Retired Lt. Cmdr. Alex Dietrich of the U.S. Navy recounts an encounter with a UFO from November 2004 off the coast of Southern California on the PBS News Hour. The footage was released to the public in the past year as the U.S. started an office to investigate UFOs.

Harvard, U.S. Government May Find Easier Route to Finding ETs, UFOs through Using AI

The search for intelligent life in the universe may have become much easier because of artificial intelligence, according to a story on

Last year President Biden added a new U.S. government office to study UFOs at the same time a Harvard professor of astronomy launched The Galileo Project to search for UFOs.

Both the U.S. government and Harvard’s Department of Astronomy can access AI to speed up their efforts. In addition, a Tel Aviv-founded AI startup, Timbr, for example, is offering its technology the Harvard project. It allows users to interact with complex databases using simple queries.

For the U.S. government, UFOs are seen as a potential threat that should be taken seriously. According to Christopher Mellon, a former senior U.S. defense official said UFOs are a national security threat.

Professor Avi Loeb, the longest-serving chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, is leading the University’s efforts in a privately-funded initiative promising to “bring the search for extraterrestrial technological signatures of Extraterrestrial Technological Civilizations from accidental or anecdotal observations and legends into the mainstream of transparent, validated and systematic scientific research.”

The Galileo Project is looking for physical objects, instead of radio signals, like the long-running Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute.

Loeb plans to build 100 specialized telescopes with wide-angle lenses, infrared technology, radio receivers, and an audio system. Harvard will combine data from the telescopes with satellite imagery, to create a more comprehensive and high-resolution picture of the skies. Timbr, the AI system, will analyze the date and imagery.

“The use of AI to analyze images is widely known, but in Galileo’s case it is not as simple as training a machine learning algorithm to identify objects, just because we don’t know what we are looking for, or, more exactly, we are looking for objects that are not part of an existing image catalogue that would serve to train a machine learning algorithm,” said Tzvi Weitzner, the Tel Aviv-based Timbr’s cofounder and chief strategy officer.

According to Sifted, the evolution of thinking that it’s important to explore the existence of UFOs and ETs is due to more evidence of credible sightings.

“The most famous is the so-called ‘TicTac’ incident, where top gun pilots David Fravor and Alex Dietrich testified to having encountered a flying, ‘TicTac-shaped’ object that completely outmaneuvered their fighter jets, with the incident corroborated by radar.”

The declassified video can be viewed online, such as in this footage on Many researchers and scientists, however, remain skeptical.