Yes, and they’re studying LIGHTNING too! – The entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, who once purchased a ranch in Utah where anomalous events occurred, has formed a new company called Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies.(BAASS), which has been recruited by the FAA as one of the reporting centers for UFO sightings and unexplained phenomena.

All Headlines News Service reports that Bigelow’s earlier venture, the National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS), which was a contact center for UFO reporting in the past, is now defunct.

Meanwhile, DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the men who stare at goats branch of the Pentagon) is working on NIMBUS, which seeks to understand the underlying mechanisms of lightning because, according to DARPA, “fundamental questions remain unanswered.” It’s also dangerous and destructive, causing more than $5 billion in damages every year.

Most of us don’t realize that scientists don’t fully understand exactly what initiates lightning and how and why it is able to travel over great distances. They would also like to be able to predict where it will strike. In, Sharon Weinberger quotes a DARPA spokesperson as saying that it is “one of the major unsolved mysteries in the atmospheric sciences.” One of the things they’re going to try to do is to trigger lightning using rockets, which could be used to model and study the discharges. They may also use lightning to develop new weapons, such as a “lightning gun” that shoots bolts of electricity.

Some amazing discoveries may be made in 2010 and hopefully we’ll hear about some of them!

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