Nineteen percent of respondents to a survey of academics reported that they or someone they knew had witnessed unidentified atmospheric phenomena (UAP)—observations of the sky that could not be identified as aircraft or as known natural phenomena—and 37% reported some degree of interest in them. Conduct research at the UAP.
The findings, which are based on a survey of 1,460 American academics, were published in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications He highlighted that many academics consider the UAP assessment worthy of academic scrutiny.
Marissa Yingling, Charlton Yingling, and Bethany Bell surveyed professors, associate professors, and assistant professors from 144 US universities in 14 academic majors in 2022. The survey was sent to 39,984 academics and had a response rate of 4%. The participants, who were 62% male and 80% white, were asked about their perceptions, experiences, and opinions about UAP. Of the 14 different majors represented, 10% of respondents worked in political science, 10% worked in physics, 10% in psychology, and 6% in engineering.
Nineteen percent of the participants (276) reported that they or someone they knew had witnessed UAP and 9% (128) reported that they or someone they knew might have seen UAP. Thirty-nine percent of all participants reported not knowing the most likely explanations for UAP, while 21% attributed them to natural events and 13% to devices of unknown intelligence.
Although only 4% of the participants reported having conducted academic research related to the UAP, 36% (524) reported some degree of interest in conducting research in this area. 43% said they would be more likely to conduct academic research on the UAP if it was done by a reputable researcher in their discipline, and 55% said they would be more likely to conduct research on the UAP if they could secure funding.
37% of the participants rated the importance of further research on UAP as very important or very necessary, while 64% considered the participation of academics in research related to UAP as very important or very necessary.
The results indicate that many US academics across disciplines consider academics’ participation in research in the UAP important and may be cautiously willing to engage in research in the UAP, particularly if others who consider themselves reputable in their field do so. The authors suggest that open discussions about UAP among academics could enable greater academic participation in research related to UAP.
However, they note that more surveys in larger and more diverse cohorts are needed to investigate attitudes toward UAP in general among academics in the United States.
Marissa Yingling, Faculty Perceptions of Unidentified Atmospheric Phenomena, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1057/s41599-023-01746-3. dx.doi.org//10.1057/s41599-023-01746-3
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