Opening up an exciting field of scientific study, a Mumbai-based scientist has formed a centre to study the mysteries and suspense shrouding Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) -- once sighted above Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence in New Delhi -- to coincide with the World UFO Day-2021 (July 2), here on Friday.
It also marks the release of a major report in June 2021 by the US Department of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, acknowledging the existence of UFOs, and how the Pentagon Report failed to explain 143 of the 144 UFOs sightings investigated in the past decade.
"Against this backdrop, the Indian Astrobiology Research Foundation has launched the 'IARF-Centre of Excellence for UFOs (ICEU)," IARF Head and scientist Pushkar G. Vaidya, told IANS.
To begin with, the ICEU will create an authentic, searchable database, cataloguing all UFOs sightings reported in the Indian media, and others that were ignored.
It will provide people a credible platform to submit their own UFO sightings which would be independently verified by the ICEU and its expert teams.
"The ICEU will conduct primary research and surveys on UFOs across the country and involve the people and international scientists on UFO discussions within the scientific parameters," explained Vaidya, 40, who is a scientist with over 25 years in astro-biology and related aspects.
Explaining the philosophy behind the ICEU, he said that UFOs have been spotted in Indian skies since long and recorded since the 1950s, though there have been no reports of genuine UFO landings or crashings, or alien creatures seen scurrying about anywhere.
"The World UFO Day is celebrated this day (July 02) to commemorate the controversially famed UFO crash on July 2, 1947 at Roswell, New Mexico in the USA Since then, UFOs have grabbed public imagination and led to lot of interest even among the global scientific communities," Vaidya said.
Although UFO sightings are being reported from various parts of India since 1954, the most famous one was in November 1996 when a group of aeronautical engineers witnessing UFOs for several days above the Kandivali suburb of north-west Mumbai.
"Interestingly, in June 2018, a UFO paid a visit to the PM's official residence in the capital, which was widely reported by the media and sent the Indian intelligence agencies into a tizzy," smiled Vaidya who authored a book "In Search Of Aliens" (1997) when he was 16 years old.
Prior to that, worried Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force brass wrote to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2012, detailing over 100 UFO sightings near the famous Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh.
"We plan to investigate in detail all such past and present events to get to the truth of the UFOs, their possible origins from alien civilisations, the implications for the country and humanity as a whole," Vaidya added.
Besides, there have been stray UFO sightings reported from Thane (adjoining Mumbai), Bengaluru, Kerala, Assam by individuals and now there are several amateur groups of 'UFO Hunters' in India who track and scout for such objects in space.
On the relevance of ICEU in the Indian context, Vaidya said: "The subject of UFO falls squarely within the stated definition of astro-biology which concerns the study of the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe, including the search for hitherto unknown or undetected intelligent extraterrestrial life."
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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