On 10 June 2021 Politico published an article by Bryan Bender, which reported on an interview with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. One of the items discussed was UAP. I found the discussion of sufficient interest, that I reproduce that part of the article below.
"You have directed your top scientist to investigate military reports of unmanned aerial phenomenon.
A couple of years ago, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was briefed on what those Navy pilots saw, and I have talked to the Navy pilots. They are quite convinced. And these are realistic folks. This isn't some UFO tin-foil hat kind. These are pilots who locked their radar on it. They tracked and then they saw it move so fast that they couldn't believe it. And then they went and tracked it again, locked their radar on it in a new position. So there's some phenomenon that we need to explain.
NASA is a natural place. Part of NASA's science mission is the search for extraterrestrial life (SETI.) When we bring a sample back from Mars...what we'll be looking at is, are there any examples of fossils thagt might indicate that there were some kind of life, millions and millions of years ago.
Another example: We just had now a sample return on its ways from the asteroid Benna. In that sample, will we see anything in the elements that we get back that would indicate there are the composite elements that could have formed life?
So this is a serious effort by NASA, and it's been a mission of NASA. And therefore, me asking the top scientist here if he would focus some of his research on what might be the phenomenon that we are seeing - that the military pilots are -it all fits with NASA' mission for extraterrestrial intelligence.
How formal is your directive on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena?
It is formal in the sense that the scientist that is the head of our science mission directorate, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, I have had several conversations with him, most recently 10 minutes ago, about this very topic and about what he has been doing on SETI and now what he is further doing in an inquiry to see if we have any scientific explanation for some of this."
Current NASA statement on UAP
I searched the NASA website for any current statement about UAP that they might have made in recent times, given the above information from Bill Nelson. I found one that was updated as recently as 26 June 2021. The statement is headed: "FAQ: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs/UFOs.) As part of a series of questions about SETI is the following question and answer:
"Does NASA search for or study Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)?
NASA does not actively search for UAPs. However, through our Earth-observing satellites, NASA collects extensive data about Earth's atmosphere, often in collaboration with the other space agencies of the world. While these data are not specifically collected to identify UAPs or alien technosignatures, they are publicly available and anyone may use them to search the atmosphere.
While NASA doesn't actively search for UAPs, if we learn of UAPs, it would open up the door ro new science questions to explore. Atmospheric scientists, aerospace experts and other scientists could all contribute to understanding the nature of the phenomenon.
Exploring the unknown in space is at the heart of who we are."
Other recent NASA statements on UAP
I then looked around for any other recent official NASA statements on UAP. An 8 June 2021 article by Paul Scott Anderson, on EarthSky.org contained a quote attributed to NASA Press Secretary Jackie McGuiness were she said:
"There's not really a lot of data and scientists should be free to follow these leads, and it shouldn't be stigmatized. This is a really interesting phenomenon and Americans are clearly interested in it [so if] scientists want to investigate, they should."
In a 5 June 2021 article by Gabriela Miranda on USA today.com, another statement was attributed to NASA Press Secretary Jackie McGuiness, which was:
"NASA press secretary Jackie McGuiness said Nelson has not assembled a task force to begin studying UFOs. However, researchers were directed to continue exploring and studying the topic as they see fit according to CNN."
Duncan Phenix in a 3 June 2021 article on mysterywire.com reported on a 2 June 2021 press conference held by Bill Nelson and other NASA leaders. Bill Nelson was asked about UAP and in turn asked Dr. Zurbuchen is he wished to comment. Zurbuchen stated:
"Yeah, look, I mean, I'm happy to in the realm of science, we're all about unidentified issues, and objects and whatever before, that's what we do. We find something with our observatories, looking at the sky, looking at the Earth, and we go analyze it. We have, you know, history is full of examples of things that were identified, or were referred to as UFOs, you know, some types of clouds, you know, phenomena, better phenomena that way.
And, for me, personally think that as we look at the molecular, you know, and the bacterial level, which is what we are really using the tools of science for, the kind of questions which focus on life elsewhere,, are, are very much in the realm of what we do using the tools of science. So we will do whatever we can to move our understanding forward. In many cases, I I wanted to just say what we learned so far in the last few decades is people tend to underestimate nature. Nature is an amazing place where a lot of miracles happen. That, you know, once we understand, it's like, why didn't we think of that? But the point is, there's amazing science pout there that remains to be discovered. We're committed to continue to do that, especially as we take on new tools, whether it's Jams Webb, whether it's, you know, you know, the Dragonfly outer missions, to look at life in other in other worlds."
It will be very interesting to see what, if anything, comes out of this directive of the current NASA Administrator, on UAP.