What is a UFO? An “unidentified flying object.” I follow [la tarde de este miércoles] the press conference, organized by NASA, on what we know about unidentified aerial phenomena, and I wonder if this will mean that ufologists have to close the booth. And it is that, the report commissioned -in October of last year- to a team of independent experts (biologists, astrophysicists, diplomats, experts in artificial intelligence and journalists… they have forgotten about archaeologists), could sanction or, on the contrary, to deny the books that, as a student, he sold in a kiosk at the França station: while Asimov’s ‘Introduction to Science’ accumulated dust, among the travelers of the Talgo triumphed ‘The magical power of the pyramids’ and what sounded like UFOs.

The broadcast continues; one of the experts leading the report, david spergelIt puts things in their place. Before the false and malicious rumors that, finally, science was going to admit the existence of extraterrestrial visitors –in the style of a b-movie series– qualifies that, in the absence of knowing the final results expected for this summer, the objective of the investigation is not in the real nature of UFOs (of course, if they knew, they would cease to be so ipso facto) but in define a work protocol on how to analyze the news about “mysterious” aerial phenomena.

Thus, the person in charge of the NASA science program, Nicola Foxsupports the experts who, since the beginning of the initiative, have been double criticized: on one side the charlatans who saw the business endangered (there are many accused, even from within ufology, of lying) and, on the other, the opinion of scientists who consider this a waste of time.

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Needless to say most of the UFO files have been explained; from natural meteors, through optical illusions, to more or less secret human devices: exploration balloons (the explanation of the famous UFO incident in roswell), ballistic prototypes, civil and military aircraft… What did the Allied pilots think when, in 1944, they saw a contraption without propellers capable of overtaking them by more than 200 km/h? A UFO? No. The German Me262; First jet aircraft to see combat. However, due to lack of evidence, we have not always been able to find the explanation.

While it seems highly unlikely that “flying saucers” have violated our airspace, the possibility of extraterrestrial life on other planets is something that science takes very seriously. The astronomer and popularizer Carl Sagan defended said possibility; which It’s not supposed to talk about green humanoids, with eyes and hands, like ‘Mars Attacks!’. If there is life out there, random evolution will have carved different paths from those taken by reptiles, insects or earthling humans. Last week, Carl Sagan’s dream, expressed in his novel ‘Contact’, it came true. The observatories caught an alien encrypted message: “Klaatu barada nikto”? We kept looking… it was just a drill so we could stay alert: “The truth is out there.”