Harvard professor leading research on existence of UFOs and alien civilizations

Some of our questions about the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial civilizations could be answered by a new international research project led by Harvard University.
The Galileo project, led by Harvard astronomy professor Avi Loeb, will search for records of extraterrestrial civilizations capable of technologies that surpass what we know on earth. It will use telescope observations, missions that send cameras into space, and more.
"Given the abundance of earth-sun systems recently discovered, the Galileo project is dedicated to the hypothesis that humans can no longer ignore the possible existence of extraterrestrial technological civilizations (ETCs)," the team said in a statement.
The project follows the government's report on unidentified aerial phenomena and an interstellar object, Oumuamua, which entered our solar system in 2017 to search for and confirm the presence of ETCs.
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Loeb told USA TODAY that the idea for the project is that "we will find more objects from interstellar space in the future, and those that look weird should be tracked by sending a camera on a space rocket that approach them and take "a close-up."
He added that the project will allow scientists to take another look at unidentified objects in space after the government's report was released last month.
"These military personnel and politicians talking about these unidentified aerial phenomena weren't trained by scientists, and it's like asking the plumber to bake you a cake," Loeb told USA TODAY. "We shouldn't ask them to find out what objects in the sky are about. That's the job of scientists."
The team, which includes professors from Princeton, Cambridge and Stockholm Universities, will examine existing and future astronomical surveys along with artificial intelligence to identify interstellar objects that defy current scientific explanations.
The data collected will be made available to the public and the team said the process is transparent.
Loeb noted that the project may not find groundbreaking evidence for interstellar objects, but stated that the research will still help scientists understand other "atmospheric phenomena".
"It's like a fishing expedition," he said. "You don't know what you're going to find, and I don't want to be guessing."
Nonetheless, he called the project "one of the most fascinating questions science can answer".
"It's going to have a huge impact on society, on humanity," said Loeb. "If we find evidence of a smarter child in our cosmic block, it will change the way we think about our place in the universe and our relationships with one another," he said.
"If we close the shutters on our windows and say, 'We have no neighbors. We are the smartest and give me extraordinary evidence before I am ready to look through my window,' then we will maintain our ignorance, just as in the days of Galileo. "
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Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.
Follow reporter Marina Pitofsky @marina_pitofsky. Email: mpitofsky@gannett.com
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Project Seeking UFOs and Alien Civilizations, directed by Harvard

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