SAN PEDRO (CBSLA) - Out of 144 encounters with what the federal government refers to as "unidentified aerial phenomena," incidents more commonly called UFO sightings, U.S. intelligence officials say they can really only explain one.
Dr. Seth Shostack, a senior astronomer for the nonprofit organization Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, said there's no one who would have been more excited about proof of aliens in our airspace than him.
"But that's not what this report says," Dr. Shostack said. "It says there's a bunch of mysterious things we don't understand, but there's no real evidence presented that any of it has anything to do with aliens."
Shostack is among those in the scientific community who say the Pentagon's UAP report is less than conclusive about alien life.
"All it means is that we just don't know and we need to do more work to understand it," he said.
The Pentagon report does conclude, however, that what's seen in the videos are physical objects and acknowledges that there have been 18 encounters in which a UAP "demonstrates advanced technology" that U.S. experts cannot explain.
The report all suggests that there's no evidence the encounters are surveillance or next-generation tech from other countries.
Senior Space Policy Advisor for the Planetary Society, Casey Dreier, said he hates to be a buzzkill, but laid out his thoughts on the Pentagon report.
"To claim that UFO or UAP is the result of an advanced alien tech coming to earth and looking around and only being seen in blurry photos, that is a very extraordinary claim and we have almost zero evidence for that," Dreier said.
Both Dreier and Shostack do agree that the report does have value in that its official status de-stigmatizes reports of UFO's and encourages military pilots to be open about what they see.
"We should be excited to discover things that are unknown, but we need to remember just because we want something to be true doesn't mean it is," Dreier said.
"Even if the aliens are here, they're pretty good house guests. They don't seem to do anything," Dr. Shostack said.
for more features.