Over the next twenty years, it’s very likely that the study of what we’re currently calling unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP, will make serious progress toward becoming a fully formed discipline. It’s impossible to know how it will develop, what questions and methods will define it, and what its boundaries and partner disciplines will be. There’s no underlying genetic code that determines those things. At present, UAP studies are just an embryo, so it’s fragile and susceptible. And it’s not being allowed to develop organically because it’s being held within a single box, whose shape it will permanently take on after too long.

The only framework within which we are, at the moment, allowed to study the UAP subject is what I call the *science and security* framework. I want to lay it out briefly and offer some reasons why we shouldn’t let it have exclusive access to study these phenomena. The science-and-security framework is the product of two basic assumptions:

(1) The question “What is UAP?” can only be answered by studying them as physical phenomena, and so the answer will come in the language of physics.

(2) The most pressing reason we have for studying UAP is to determine their significance for national security.

Now, those two statements might sound about right to you, and that would mean you’ve adopted this as your own framework for thinking about UAP. It’s certainly possible that these two assumptions are right enough. It might be that UAPs are essentially just physical objects we don’t yet understand operating according to physical principles we don’t yet understand–just a kind of very advanced automobile. I, and a lot of people working on this subject, think UAP might be something much stranger, but we’d need to study them to find out.

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