Observations of unidentified aerial phenomena reported by 19% of academic survey respondents

A recent study published in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications found that 19% of US scientists or their acquaintances had witnessed unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), and 37% showed interest in researching such phenomena. The survey involved 1,460 scientists in 14 disciplines from 144 US universities, with a response rate of 4%.

The survey reports that 19% of US scientists have witnessed or know someone who has witnessed an unidentified airborne event (UAP), and 37% are interested in doing research in this area. Researchers have found that peer approval and funding availability can significantly influence their interest in a UAP investigation. The study calls for more open discussion among scholars on UAP and further research.

In a survey of scientists, 19% of respondents report that they or someone they know has witnessed unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) — observations of the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena — and 37% report some degree of interest. in conducting UAP research. The results, based on a survey of 1,460 US scientists, are published in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications and highlight that many scientists consider the UAP assessment worthy of academic study.

Marissa Yingling, Charlton Yingling, and Bethany Bell surveyed professors, assistant professors, and assistant professors from 144 US universities in 14 academic disciplines in 2022. The survey was sent to 39,984 scientists and the response rate was 4%. The participants, who were 62% male and 80% white, were asked about their perceptions, experiences, and opinions about the UAP. Of the 14 different disciplines represented, 10% of the participants were in political science, 10% in physics, 10% in psychology, and 6% in engineering.

19% of participants (276) reported that they or someone they knew had witnessed a UAP, and another 9% (128) reported that they or someone they knew might have witnessed a UAP. 39% of all participants reported not knowing what the most likely explanations for UAP are, while 21% attribute them to natural phenomena and 13% to devices of unknown intelligence. Although only 4% of participants reported that they had conducted academic research related to UAP, 36% (524) reported some degree of interest in doing research in this area.

43% said they were more likely to do UAP academic research if it was done by a respected scholar in their discipline, and 55% said they were more likely to do UAP research if they could secure funding. 37% of participants rated the importance of further UAP research as very important or absolutely necessary, while 64% considered academic involvement in UAP-related research very important or absolutely necessary.

The findings suggest that many U.S. scientists across disciplines consider academia’s involvement in UAP research to be important and may be cautious about wanting to participate in UAP research, especially if it is done by others they consider authoritative in their field. The authors suggest that open discussions of UAP among scientists may encourage greater participation of scientists in UAP-related research. However, they note that further surveys in larger and more diverse cohorts are needed to examine attitudes towards UAP more broadly among US academics.

Reference: “Teaching Perceptions of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” Marissa E. Yingling, Charlton W. Yingling, and Bethany A. Bell, May 23, 2023, Communications in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
DOI: 10.1057/s41599-023-01746-3

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