AUSTIN, Texas - Reports that the Pentagon investigated records of encounters with unidentified flying objects for decades is generating buzz.

“These guys are trained pilots and they know what is explained and what’s not, and so for them to react the way they did it was obviously something that was unexplained. Now whether or not it was something extraterrestrial or something that was reverse engineered, who knows?” said Punk Rock and UFOs author Mike Damante. 

Some say it’s healthy to be skeptical about everything you see.

“There could be a lot of things up there that aren’t on record but are flying around and manmade,” said astrophysicist Aaron Lee.

While skepticism has a role, some argue ignorance doesn’t.

“It is dismissive to kind of arrogantly say 'oh, well you know it’s not UFOs or extraterrestrials that don't exist. We’re the only ones out here in the universe.' That’s kind of intellectually arrogant and ignorant,” said Damante.

But what can science tell us about the possibility of life outside of our own cosmic neighborhood?

“There is most definitely other alien civilizations out there just because in the last few decades we have to come understand so much more about what the universe is made up of,” said Lee.

Discoveries of stars and suns laid out much like our own may hold important clues.

“All of those stars that we’re seeing, they all probably have planets around them, and a good number of them very likely have planets, like earth, in a position from that star that make those planets suitable for life as we know it,” says Lee.

Understanding the universe and whether or not we’re alone comes with consequences.

“People may not want to have to rewrite history books, or may not want to look at their religions and say, 'wow, this is not what it really means.' It sends a big shock to the system,” said Damante.

According to the New York Times, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was shut down by the Pentagon back in 2012.