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Terrestrial Titanospirillum velox along-side its purportedly alien look-alike.  (Source: Riccardo Guerrero / Richard B. Hoover / Journal of Cosmology)

Another close-up of the possible "alien".  (Source: Riccardo Guerrero / Richard B. Hoover / Journal of Cosmology)
Astrobiologist shattered meteorite, reports finding fossilized microbe E.T.s inside

An astrobiologist working at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center outside Huntsville, Alabama has made an astounding claim.  In a recently published journal article, he claims to have discovered a preserved alien life form residing inside a meteor that journeyed through the vast black of space before impact our planet.

This extra-terrestrial may not be a bulbous-headed humanoid like in the movies, but it may offer up an answer to one of mankind's greatest inquiries -- are we alone in the universe?

The researcher, Dr. Richard B. Hoover [profile], had to go to extraordinary lengths to make his discovery.  He reasoned that if alien microbes were to hitch a ride on a meteorite, they would likely have to do so in a special meteor.  

Specifically, he zeroed in on the CI class of carbonaceous chrondite meteors.   These meteors are rich in water, amino acids, and other organic compounds -- seemingly a virtual pantry for a microorganism.  

Picking the most ideal type of CI meteorite -- CI1 optimized his chances, but narrowed his pool of available specimens.  In total only nine such meteorites are known to exist on Earth.

After going to great lengths to obtain one of these meteorites, he destroyed a piece of it, smashing it apart.  Using scanning-electron microscopes and field emissions electron-scanning microscopes he images the result dust and fragments and made the extraordinary discovery he was hoping for -- what appears to be a fossilized bacteria.

The identified specimen appears remarkably similar to the bacteria Titanospirillum velox, a sulfur-loving archaebacteria, which was discovered in 1999 mud samples from Spain.

The meteorite was reportedly broken under carefully controlled sterile conditions.  Now the only unknown is whether the meteorite could have somehow been contaminated.  The meteors were sterilely harvested in the frigid reaches of Antarctica immediately after their observed fall.  The fact that they were collected so quickly limits the possibility that indigenous microbes contaminated them.  The possibility of atmospheric contamination still remains, though.

Dr. Hoover believes that this is not a case of contamination.  He is convinced that he has become the first human to record a scientifically verifiable encounter with an alien being.  He states in a recent interview, "I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet Earth. This field of study has just barely been touched -- because quite frankly, a great many scientist would say that this is impossible."

The discovery has been met with a great deal of skepticism, but also fascination.  Dr. Hoover writes in a note to the editor's note accompanying his study, "Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis. No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published."

With the paper currently peer-reviewed and published [abstract] in the Journal of Cosmology, Dr. Hoover's discovery will face its next critical test, with the collected materials being examined by a second research team for verification and validation.

Dr. David Marais, an astrobiologist at NASA's AMES Research Center states, "It’s an extraordinary claim, and thus I’ll need extraordinary evidence."

Dr. Hoover is confident his discovery will be validated.  He comments, "A lot of times it takes a long time before scientists start changing their mind as to what is valid and what is not. I’m sure there will be many scientists that will be very skeptical and that’s OK."

"If someone can explain how it is possible to have a biological remain that has no nitrogen, or nitrogen below the detect ability limits that I have, in a time period as short as 150 years, then I would be very interested in hearing that. I’ve talked with many scientists about this and no one has been able to explain."

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By quiksilvr on 3/7/2011 9:32:23 AM , Rating: 3
This is going to be impossible to defend. There are so many factors
1. Was it contaminated during travel to lab?
2. Was it contaminated by the air when it crash landed on Earth?
3. How similar does it look to the bacteria we have on Earth?

I would love for definitive proof saying that there is indeed life out there, but I don't think getting a meteor that crash landed on Earth (even in Antarctica) would be enough to satisfy everyone.

RE: Ugh...
By FITCamaro on 3/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh...
By mcnabney on 3/7/2011 10:14:37 AM , Rating: 4
The contamination is exceedingly unlikely - especially with Archaebacteria. You don't just bump into that stuff. Now if he found Staph or E. coli - I could see an argument for contamination, but finding Archae there is nearly impossible to happen on accident. It would be like testing the cleanliness of a hog farm in northern Missouri and finding a giant squid. It just doesn't make sense for it to be there on accident.

However, the bacteria they claim to have found is very primitive and would fall in line with what we might expect from an intersteller bacteria that kicked-off life on earth. For that reason my #1 suspicion is FRAUD by deliberately planting the evidence. If this type of fraud can be eliminated this finding is likely the real deal .

RE: Ugh...
By Da W on 3/7/2011 10:43:51 AM , Rating: 3
I don't know why 95% of poeple are trying to demolish his claim instead of being happy with the news. Primitive lifeform made of carbon is possible elsewhere in the universe, is that so hard to imagine?

The key doubt that i have are:
1) Life on earth came from a meteorite such as this. The bacteria would have to survive the crash landing, which is highly improbable. And it wouldn't answer the question: where does this alien lifeform originated then? I think if you have a soup with all the necessary nutrients, similar lifeforms will just happen anywhere in the universe.
2) We might, however, but the only or one of the few complex lifeform in the galaxy. Forming a premetive worm-like bacteria is easy, evolving into a complex and smart machine like the human needs billions of years of stability and luck, which is what earth has that may be hard to find elsewhere.

RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:37:14 AM , Rating: 4
I don't know why 95% of poeple are trying to demolish his claim instead of being happy with the news.

Simple: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Such proof is not in the offing, and the circumstances around the publication of this research (specifically, via the highly dubious "Journal of Cosmology" instead of an actual, respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal) is indicative of a conjecture that is unlikely to pass muster with the rest of the scientific community.

Would I be ecstatic to hear of irrefutable proof of life on other planets? You betcha. However, going off half-cocked every time some pseudo-science pops up purporting to be that proof only discredits actual science and the scientific method.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:57:59 AM , Rating: 5
On the contrary, the proof needs to be of the magnitude as the claim...hence, it is also true that mundane claims require mundane proof.

How extraordinary would it be to claim that 2+2=4? That would be a pretty mundane claim. The proof, say, finding several objects, pairing them together, and demonstrating that putting 2 pairs together predictably results in a collection of 4 items, would also be pretty mundane. But completely appropriate for the claim.

Claiming that you have proven life exists on other planets, or in space, is a very extraordinary claim. Proof of that claim would, by the very nature of it, also be extraordinary. Like...look, here's this alien that landed on my lawn in his UFO. Or in this case, unambiguous proof that the formations in this space rock are indeed biological in origin. Such proof would absolutely be extraordinary. Literally, far beyond what one ordinarily experiences...that's what that word means. Substantiated proof of extraterrestrial life would be wildly beyond what one ordinarily experiences.

And by the way, you apparently didn't recognize that quote to begin with...I didn't just make that up. That came from Carl of the most respected and celebrated scientists of all time.

RE: Ugh...
By mikeyD95125 on 3/7/2011 5:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
That is a good explanation, but just to clarify all mathematical proofs end up resting on axioms. For example 2+2=4 is only true by definition, because we humans represent collections of four units with the number 4. One cannot objectively prove 4=4 as it is an abstraction that does not actually exist. One just has to accept the definition that 4 units is represented with a 4 therefore making it axiomatic.

Nitpicking? Yes, but true.

RE: Ugh...
By retrospooty on 3/8/2011 7:00:50 AM , Rating: 1
2+2=4 ? We need not prove math, it is absolute.

Anyhow, I wouldnt say you need extraordinary proof, but your point is taken. Extraordinary claims do require proof. Extraordinary proof? no, but solid proof without potential contamination and/or other hypotheses as to how the proof came to be. It needs irrefutable proof. .

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 9:13:19 AM , Rating: 4
You're an idiot. I'm going to do this one more time for the off chance that you actually just aren't getting it...but it seems far more likely that you're just stupid.

A mundane claim requires mundane proof...because on either side of that equation, the information is already mundane. The claim that 2+2 equals 4 is a very mundane's barely interesting at all, and intuitively seems very obvious. The proof, demonstrating how collecting items together in pairs to add up to 4, is also barely interesting at all, and seems very obvious. Ergo, mundane.

The claim that alien life exists in space and/or on other planets is's not obvious at all (indeed, there is no proof as of yet at all that supports that claim) and far outside what one normally experiences during the normal course of their life. Because of that, the claim is, by definition, and extraordinary claim.

That extraordinary claim cannot be backed up by mundane evidence. You can't say "This rock, which may or may not have been infiltrated by terrestrial microbes, has formations that rather look like they are the result of biological processes...therefore I have proven that life exists elsewhere." Your proof is not equal to the claim. If the proof is not equal to the claim, then the claim is unproven.

On the other hand, if you did truly have extraordinary evidence...say, a walking, talking, alien from outerspace who's biological makeup is based on silicon instead of carbon and doesn't even involve DNA but rather has a fundamental biology never before seen on this planet, well then you might just have proof that is equal to the claim. And that proof would be, obviously, extraordinary - after all, the number of times anyone on this planet has ever actually seen an alien life form is zero. If you came up with one, it would be the most extraordinary event in human history.

Now stop being a f#cktard and pretending that you don't need proof of the same caliber as the claim to substantiate a theory.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 12:44:15 PM , Rating: 1

I hereby present the theory that you are an idiot.

In support of that theory, I present the evidence that you yourself has posted here on this forum.

Case closed.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/10/2011 9:31:32 AM , Rating: 3
Verdict: Case thrown out, due to a confusion on the part of the prosecution between intelligence and holding a differing opinion. The prosecution is advised to go back and study what intelligence and opinion actually are, to learn some respect... in short is advised to go back to school. ;-)

RE: Ugh...
By delphinus100 on 3/9/2011 9:19:21 PM , Rating: 3
2+2=4 ? We need not prove math, it is absolute.

Uh, sorry, mathematics leans on the concept of 'proof,' too...

RE: Ugh...
By melgross on 3/7/2011 1:35:56 PM , Rating: 4
In scientific research, the concept that extraordinary claims need to be backed by extraordinary proof is a well founded one.

If something is claimed that is not far off the well understood trail, it needs just a small amount of proof, as it may fit within that known context fairly easily. But when something is claimed that overturns what is thought to be true from other strong and voluminous work, then it must be backed by a great amount of strong data and reasoning. The need for this should be obvious.

If a friend told you that she drove to a resturant, even though she doesn't like to drive all that much, you might just say; really? If she said, "yes", you would believe it. But if she said she entered a cross country race, you would likely require more proof. If she said she bought a Ferrarri, and joined a racing team, you would find that harder to believe, and would ask for more proof. If she said that she would be driving in the Indy 500 shortly, you would want even more. The further along that line you go, the more proof is required.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 9:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
then it is time to drop this code of censorship that is being blindly adhered to.

You're a catastrophic moron, probably buried so deep in religion that you no longer have two neurons to click together in a logical fashion. It would appear that it is too late for you...please just do the rest of mankind a favor and don't procreate. You and your kind seriously compromise the gene pool.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/2011 10:44:33 AM , Rating: 1
Can you feel the tumbleweed, blowing past?

RE: Ugh...
By Samus on 3/7/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ugh...
By Smilin on 3/7/2011 12:53:44 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know why 95% of poeple are trying to demolish his claim instead of being happy with the news.

We bash it *because* we're happy about the news and we want it to be genuine.

RE: Ugh...
By nuarbnellaffej on 3/7/2011 4:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
We bash it *because* we're happy about the news and we want it to be genuine.

That is basically how science works, skepticism, and thorough testing.

RE: Ugh...
By JKflipflop98 on 3/7/2011 5:08:49 PM , Rating: 3
That's exactly right. You have to try to tear down any and all ideas. The ones that withstand your assault are the good ones.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ugh...
By Smilin on 3/8/2011 9:27:37 AM , Rating: 2
Who said anything about people? Don't let emotions into this.

It's the *idea* being attacked. What doesn't kill it will make it stronger. I personally think finding a lifeform from space would be cool as sh17. I hope they attack the crap out of the idea and find it true.

If such "attacks" don't happen then you get left with shoddy science. Aristotle was legendary for this. "This stone weighs more than this apple therefore it MUST fall faster".

(note: I believe in God) Religious institutions uttterly fail to challenge such ideas and you're left with people thinking Jesus rode around on a dinosaur.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ugh...
By InsaneGain on 3/7/2011 3:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
We might, however, but the only or one of the few complex lifeform in the galaxy.

I don't agree. Life started on Earth immediately after conditions barely became supportive. These conditions were still extremely hostile. So somehow life will not be that incredibly rare, even though it appears it should be. My belief is that if conditions are similar to Earth's, then this primitive life will be subject to the same evolutionary processes as Earth, and inevitably evolve until it is very similar to human due to the principals of convergent evolution. So basically, almost every 4.5 billion year old Earth-like planet should have people on them :)

RE: Ugh...
By SPOOFE on 3/8/2011 1:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
Life started on Earth immediately after conditions barely became supportive.

But remained basic creatures until conditions settled down to something less chaotic. The assertion that there may not be much complex life in the galaxy is not that spectacular; most life forms here on Earth are still incredibly simple.

RE: Ugh...
By Da W on 3/8/2011 9:41:26 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah but if the universe really is merely 13 billions years old, and that the first 4-5 billions years the universe was just too small and too hot to breed life, and that it took us 4.5 billions years of STABILITY to get where we are today, if you compute the math, there is only a 3 billion years window of opportunity for a smart lifeform to have existed somewhere else. Compound that by the low probability of having a stable planet like earth, far from nocive radiations, protected from frequent meteoric impacts, with a stable rotation around it's star to have a stable temperature and a very slow burning star like our own.

And then, seeing how it took us only 10000 years to stop chasing mamooths to get into space travel (at leats to the moon that is), imagine where an alien race with a 1billion years head-start would be. They would be jedi and rule the galaxy by now!!! We sure would have heard of them. Evolution is very slow to start but once you get smart and social, the rate at which you discover technology gets expondential.

I think we are at the beginning of the universe and we are the first. Not that intelligent alien lifeforms are not possible, i just think they havn't got time yet and WE will breed new alien lifeforms in the future, when human space settlers will stay on a foreign planet for too long and evolve differently. Anyway, that's a theory.

RE: Ugh...
By slickr on 3/7/2011 4:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
I see little green aliens every day and I have the on my facebook page as friends.
So they are real.

RE: Ugh...
By JediJeb on 3/7/2011 6:10:29 PM , Rating: 4
The meteorite was reportedly broken under carefully controlled sterile conditions. Now the only unknown is whether the meteorite could have somehow been contaminated. The meteors were sterilely harvested in the frigid reaches of Antarctica immediately after their observed fall. The fact that they were collected so quickly limits the possibility that indigenous microbes contaminated them.

One sure thing is that if the meteorite was harvested soon after it fell, and a terrestrial microbe did contaminate it and it became fossilized within a few years, then we have a lot of corrections to be made on the theories of how old the Earth really is if fossils can form so quickly. I doubt even bacteria can fossilize in a few years time.

Scientist who would so quickly claim terrestrial contamination should be ready to defend against people claiming dinosaur fossils are only a few thousand years old. I don't think you can have it both ways on that one.

RE: Ugh...
By SPOOFE on 3/8/2011 1:05:41 AM , Rating: 2
One sure thing is that if the meteorite was harvested soon after it fell, and a terrestrial microbe did contaminate it and it became fossilized within a few years, then we have a lot of corrections to be made on the theories of how old the Earth really is if fossils can form so quickly.

True, though that may not be how any supposed contamination occurred. Imagine Space Rock slamming into Earth Rock, and bits of Earth Rock get embedded into Space Rock. Within those bits of Earth Rock were Earth Fossils, which is how Earth Fossils can wind up contaminating Space Rock.

RE: Ugh...
By theArchMichael on 3/7/2011 9:45:54 AM , Rating: 3
I wonder how long it typically takes for fossilization to occur with a bacteria such as this though. If it is outside the time it entered the Earth's atmosphere, it definitely lowers the reading on my bull-sh1t-o-meter.

RE: Ugh...
By Ammohunt on 3/7/2011 2:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
I would be more interested in the type of material surrounding the fossil then the fossil itself. Questions like is it earth like sedimentary rock? You think maybe earth rock might have been ejected into space from large meteor impacts in the past? then to have it rain down again millions of years later?

RE: Ugh...
By Iaiken on 3/7/2011 9:50:06 AM , Rating: 3
You forgot one...

4. Did the meteorite originate from earth?

I'm all for searching, but I'm also for prudent and responsible scientific study. Saying that it's definitely alien at this stage is definitely questionable.

RE: Ugh...
By MrBlastman on 3/7/2011 11:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the abstract that has been published does mention that these meteors were observed in a downward trajectory and then collected after impacting. So, that implies that at least from historical records, as far as he can tell someone saw them coming from space (with a fire-trail) and hitting the ground. Of course, these things hit over 150 years ago (a couple of them almost) so there's no way to go and ask the people that found them.

RE: Ugh...
By Iaiken on 3/7/2011 12:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the abstract that has been published does mention that these meteors were observed in a downward trajectory and then collected after impacting.

I think I was misunderstood.

There have been documented cases of large surface impacts on Mars where debris ejected from the surface was able to escape the planets gravity, travel all the way to earth and survive our atmosphere. The bacteria so found are fossilized, which means that they have been dead for many tens of thousands of years. We know there have been similarly massive impacts here on Earth.

It is just as probable, however unlikely, that this rock was ejected from Earth in the past and eventually made it's way back as it is to have been ejected from an other celestial body and traveled to Earth. As such, the possibility cannot be ruled out until the origin of the rock has been concretely proven.

RE: Ugh...
By MrBlastman on 3/7/2011 1:29:00 PM , Rating: 3
I really, highly doubt that an object was able to be blasted with enough force out of Earth's atmosphere and into space due to an impact. I mean, theoretically, it might be possible but, you must understand, Mars' gravity is only 1/3 Earth's. That means that on Mars you need an escape velocity of around 5 km/s and on Earth, 11.2 km/s. That is _quite_ a bit more energy required to acheive that.

I'm not saying it is impossible, just implying it is improbable. Also, it would have to be a fairly large object ejected as the atmosphere would consume a large part of it upon re-entry.

But, as you mention, origin is completely important if they want to absolutely back the discoverer's claims.

RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 2:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
...other than the moon, you mean ;)

RE: Ugh...
By MrBlastman on 3/7/2011 2:41:22 PM , Rating: 3
The moon is a completely different story than an asteroid impact and is _still_ up to quite a bit of scientific debate.

IF the moon did in fact, come from Earth, then most probably it would have occured when the Earth was still forming either during the accretion-disk phase or just after the accretion-disk phase. At that time, if there were an impact, it would not have completely fractured the earth like it would now--a mighty catostrophic event.

Also, if you even consider the theory of the Moon coming from the Earth, you should ask yourself--why is it not nearly as dense as our planet and, more importantly, why is the core only three percent of the Moon's mass, while the Earth's Iron core is thirty percent its mass? Why is the Moon devoid of iron and other rarer elements that are on Earth as well?

I'm not saying it isn't possible, I'm just saying that the odds of it all are further apart than you think, and, if it did happen, is far more complex than pointing at a spot on a map and saying: "The moon came from here." The moon is spherical, after all.

So really, we don't know for sure yet where it came, hence why there are at least three prevalent and debated theories within the scientific community on it, all of which, are different.

RE: Ugh...
By melgross on 3/7/2011 1:43:44 PM , Rating: 4
No. This type of meteorite comes from the early formation of the solar system. It was never a part of any planet. This is well understood. There is no debate over this.

The only question is the one about possible contamination. Normally, only the outer few centimeters of meteorite is possibly contaminated. Sometimes, if it's been left for a long time, more. But considering where it was found, biological activity is very low under those conditions, and so local contamination is much less likely.

But to eliminate this possibility, slices are taken from as far into the interior of the specimen as possible.

RE: Ugh...
By Drag0nFire on 3/7/2011 12:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone else read "Deception Point"? Cause there are some stunning similarities at work here...

RE: Ugh...
By Iaiken on 3/7/2011 2:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
Only minus the literary ineptitude of one Dan Brown.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/10/2011 9:34:14 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if you have written any best sellers lately? No? Then perhaps you are more literary inept than he is ;-)

Journal of Cosmology.....
By GreenEnvt on 3/7/2011 9:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
'Nuff said.
(website looks like my 2 year old designed it, 15 years before her birth).

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Moohbear on 3/7/2011 9:31:00 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking, the journal is very recent and does look very serious. Besides, with a discovery of the sort, you'd think he'd go for Nature or Science, except if he didn't want his paper really reviewed...

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Moohbear on 3/7/2011 9:32:01 AM , Rating: 2
edit: "does look" should read "doesn't look".

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By RjBass on 3/7/2011 9:42:33 AM , Rating: 2
Really? A guy makes what is possibly one of the most important scientific discovery's of all time and your concern is with the website?

You really need a new hobby.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 10:05:12 AM , Rating: 3
Really? Do you think a respected, peer-reviewed journal of record would have a website that would look iffy on Geocities?

Have you read any of the articles on that site? It's a is a secondary priority on that site...they're a lot closer to the National Enquirer than they are to Nature.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Boze on 3/7/2011 11:14:47 AM , Rating: 2
It could be possible that he's trying to push this new journal from what appears to be obscurity into the scientific public's eye.

I still think he would have been better off submitting this to Science, but I think I'd rather wait till qualified scientists review this paper before shooting it down. If its true, it could be one of the greatest discoveries we've ever made.

And on the other hand though... the Journal of Cosmology could have paid a local college kid in a computer science program $500 to make a jam up web site.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Boze on 3/7/2011 11:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
One other thing I should add... Gregor Mendel's research was published in an extremely obscure journal and sat around for decades before anyone reviewed it again.

Just sayin'... he's the Father of Genetics and all.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:33:10 AM , Rating: 2
It could be possible that he's trying to push this new journal from what appears to be obscurity into the scientific public's eye.

No, I don't believe that's possible at all. The only reasonable conclusion one could draw from the submission of a paper to that "journal" would be an expectation that it wouldn't pass muster anywhere else.

If you have verifiable information about a newsworthy subject, you send it to Reuter's, or the NYT, etc. You don't send it to the National Enquirer. This "journal" is effectively the National Enquirer of "science" journals.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By melgross on 3/7/2011 1:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's a good thing you're such an expert.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 2:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the issue at hand is that it's very sad that you're such a gullible chump, apparently.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By kingius on 3/10/2011 9:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
There he goes again; in motorman's world, everybody but himself is an idiot. He smells an awful lot like arrogance, and you know what they say… ignorance and arrogance go in hand.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By DNAgent on 3/7/2011 8:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
would look iffy on Geocities?

You're dating yourself with this...did you pop out of a meteorite, too?

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
...go look at that website and we'll see who's "dated."


RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By nafhan on 3/7/2011 10:27:09 AM , Rating: 2
If a guy living in a van by the river claimed to have discovered a new energy source in his van, you might be skeptical. A bad website is the internet version of that.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By MozeeToby on 3/7/2011 11:58:22 AM , Rating: 3
The researcher is apparently well enough respected in his field that he was allowed to destroy a sample of one of the rarest kinds of meteorites on the planet, not something they just hand out to anyone.

That said, the Journal of Cosmology was apparently only started a year and a half ago and is known mostly for publishing some fringe alternatives to black hole physics. I suspect that the researcher is well respected but overstepped his evidence with the sensationalist way that he wanted to publish causing the better publishers to be wary of this paper.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By nafhan on 3/7/2011 1:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
The scientist and his research may be totally legit (I'm certainly not in a position to judge that). My comments were completely in regards to the journal in which he chose to publish and specifically how that journal's awful website may relate to the quality of the work published within it.
As you mentioned, there may be a reason why he wasn't able to get it into one of the more well known journals. Hopefully, additional peer review and publication may be forthcoming.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By JakLee on 3/7/2011 4:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, they could have offered him 10x what Nat Geo/Science/ect offered him for exclusive first publishing rights.... Scientists got to eat too

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By Moohbear on 3/7/2011 6:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Scientists PAY to have their papers published in peer-reviewed journals, not the other way around. If he wanted money, he would have sent his finding to the National Enquirer, they might have bought it and added a picture of Elvis or Michael Jackson...

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By JediJeb on 3/7/2011 6:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
Check out the AOAC(Association of Official Analytical Chemists) website. It is one of the major players in the Chemistry field yet the website is just now even beginning to look like something I could have made using basic HTML. Just because a group puts more money into their work than their website is not a reason to denigrate them. Now if it were a computer related site that would be another matter.

RE: Journal of Cosmology.....
By MrBlastman on 3/7/2011 10:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
I want this to be true, I really do. However, he is going to face quite an uphill battle to get this accepted in the scientific community.

For starters, these rocks crashed a long time ago:


So who knows what went on after they hit the dirt. The publication does state they were collected shortly after impact, but, given how long ago they hit, do we really know for sure that this is so? Even after they were collected... what about how they were stored?

The one thing that does shed some hope in this finding is he goes on later in the text (have barely touched the surface so far but I'll read some more) to state that the significant finding he seems to have made centers around the bacteria being cyanobacteria--i.e. bacteria that photosynthesize their energy. Alone, you'd think the rocks could be contaminated. He then goes on to state that the rocks are rich in salts and when exposed to water, they dissolve into microparticles--further shedding plausibility to them not being able to be contaminated while on Earth, lest they would potentially cease to exist. The crystalline structures, in theory, would have to have been created offworld.

I say we need to leave this publication up to peer review and criticism before we can definitively say it is feasibly true or not. I will say this--if it is, this is a huge day on Earth, to finally have some offworld potential proof of life elsewhere.

Well this is typical...
By DanNeely on 3/7/2011 11:16:29 AM , Rating: 2
The story doesn't show up here until after it's already been torn apart because of bad paper quality and the fact that the journal not only looks unprofessional, but is known to have posted a lot of dubious material in the past.

It's ripped on bad astronomy, although I'm striking out on finding it again at the moment, earlier today I saw an even more scathing indictment of the article/journal it was published in. For years 100% of its content was written by a single author promoting Hoyle's discredited steady state theory, and panspermia hypothesis.

RE: Well this is typical...
By kingius on 3/7/2011 11:47:30 AM , Rating: 2
So because somebody might be wrong once, they are wrong about everything? Pull the other one. Do you take us for fools?

RE: Well this is typical...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 12:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
...this isn't a case of someone being wrong once...and it's also not a case of innocent misunderstandings. The whole site is full of ridiculous, unsubstantiated, unscientific claims, and it is clear that the entire enterprise is dedicated to promoting pseudo-scientific ideas that don't merit publication anywhere else. The whole thing is bad theater.

RE: Well this is typical...
By DanNeely on 3/7/2011 12:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that most of what has came from the source is nonsense makes it more likely that what was published most recently is also nonsense. It's not definitive, a stopped clock is right twice a day afterall; but when something is published in a scientific equivalent of the national enquirer suspicion is the order of the day.

The fact that Dr Hoover has a long record of research but was unable to publish these results in a well respected journal is significant as well. Either they rejected his paper outright, or he felt it wasn't good enough to be published in a normal source and instead went somewhere that has a very low threshold of acceptance for anything that matches the owners innate bias.

Is it possible he's found something? Yes.
Is what/how he's presented his findings credible? NO.

RE: Well this is typical...
By kingius on 3/8/2011 10:54:32 AM , Rating: 2
There is another possibility too, one that you haven't considered. The scientific community may have tried to close ranks on him and his paper without actually reviewing it based upon his reputation and / or their own world views.

You don't have to look far (see, this comment thread) to see how some will attempt to paint anyone who holds a different point of view as being somehow mentally deficient or some kind of extremist.

If you recall the recent climate email scam over here in the UK, you might have seen how some scientists will cherry pick their data to support a theory and then obfuscate what those sources are so that they cannot be verified independently. So as not to go too far off topic I raise it to show how science is not always portraying the truth. Tie this in with the oft claimed 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof' (which coincidentally helps to serve to preserve the status quo from anything that might knock it) and you might be able to see that this is a possibility.

As a reader of new scientist myself, many things that do not fit into the established rigid lines of thought are labelled as pseudoscience and ridiculed in those pages, rather than tested for merit.

RE: Well this is typical...
By DanNeely on 3/8/2011 12:06:33 AM , Rating: 2
and found the other article I read this morning.

So what God created these things?
By Meinolf on 3/7/2011 10:48:48 AM , Rating: 1
So what God created these things?

RE: So what God created these things?
By gamerk2 on 3/7/2011 11:04:39 AM , Rating: 1
To be fair, the Vatican recently ruled that the Bible does no preclude life on other planets. Probably covering their own behinds, but still...

Yeah, in the highly unlikely event we get a validation [or even a "high probability" of the claim being true], I'd LOVE to see the religious nuts go off.

RE: So what God created these things?
By Myg on 3/7/2011 11:39:56 AM , Rating: 2
They don't need to cover their butts cause they don't take the OT literally. Its only the "reformers" who seem to have that issue.

RE: So what God created these things?
By Myg on 3/7/2011 11:43:57 AM , Rating: 3
You can also bet your backside that Catholic missionaries will be some of the first people to go to visit other alien races to bring the good news of Jesus Christ (If such means of transport exists).

Of course we will probably ever see that in our lifetimes.

RE: So what God created these things?
By Aries1470 on 3/8/2011 7:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm... Vatican? Shees, It has ALWAYS been in the New Testament. All you need to know is to read the original text, not some washed down version, of Ancient Greek.

Heck, I had even asked my Theology teacher while I was living in Greece ( It was a compulsary subject in high school), and he said, that our religion does not pre-clude it, in fact, what it was telling us, is that there is life, and just that we have to concentrate on the things here on Earth.

Here is a simple passage:
John 3:12-13
Simple layman english translation:
If you do not beleive the things that happen here on Earth, and the life here, how will you beleive about the mysteries of the heavens
But yet, no one from Earth has risen to the heavens, how will they know what is up there, and teach you what is the heavenly, and none from up there have come down, except the son of God, that became human to teach you of the heavenly.

It is a translation that I simplified for you all to be able to grasp the understanding.

12: e? t? ?p??e?a e?p?? ?µ?? ?a? ?? p?ste?ete, p?? ??? e?p? ?µ?? t? ?p??????a p?ste?sete;

13: ?a? ??de?? ??aß?ß??e? e?? t?? ???a??? e? µ? ? ?? t?? ???a??? ?ataß??, ? ???? t?? ?????p?? ? ?? ?? t? ???a??


Please note, that the last part of 13, is ommited for some reason from plenty online sources! That is the part that says he is from the heavens. In Greek, "Sky" ("heavens") has a double meaning, since it can mean "heavens" (that also means sky) as in English, but also for beyond, of which means beyond the sky of Earth and from the stars.

But for the religious people and the way it has been translated for so many Eons, it has a "narrow" view due to religious people that translate it to their beleif systems.

Basically, I can see it as, I am an Alien, we have come to teach you love an compassion, so as a WHOLE, the Whole world, to become one, so you can acheive what as a Whole of a race (humanity), instead of bickering for small things. Become one, so you can overcome the dispersity of rich areas - poor areas, and reach for the stars and find us and others.
That is my take anyway. It is open to interpretation, since we are all individuals. :-)

Now, why has the Vatican "recently" ruled? What took them so long to let people know that there are other lifeforms?
Anyway, all is good.

Now back to the subject.

It is Alien, and I am sticking with it, even if it is from Earth!
Why are our "Biological" clocks set to Mars revolutions instead of Earth?

By Aries1470 on 3/8/2011 7:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
In the preview screen the Ancient Greek showed ok, after posting (parsing), it became unreadable.
Oh well, you know the location, have a look at the other site, then the one I posted the link to, and you will notice the few extra words.

My thoughts
By FITCamaro on 3/7/2011 9:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
How long were these meteorites here on Earth before we found them? So who's to say the bacteria in them isn't from here?

RE: My thoughts
By theArchMichael on 3/7/2011 9:50:52 AM , Rating: 2
The meteors were sterilely harvested in the frigid reaches of Antarctica immediately after their observed fall.

But, they also mentioned that there could have been contamination from the atmosphere, which makes me wonder whether it is possible that bacteria indigenous to Earth exist in low orbit, and also if meteorites are able to maintain a consistent low orbit (for an extended period of time) before they fall to the surface of the planet.

RE: My thoughts
By gamerk2 on 3/7/2011 10:43:37 AM , Rating: 3
Issue then becomes that the bacteria was already fossilized. Depending on the time that takes to occur, this could be genuine.

If anything, this is slightly lower on the bull-o-meter then ususal. My main worry is fruad, and if that could be ruled out, this could be declared genuine.

RE: My thoughts
By geddarkstorm on 3/7/2011 3:16:44 PM , Rating: 3
One place fossilization isn't going to occur: Space.

The worst part is, it's already been shown in published science that carbonaceous meteors often develop carbon nanotube like structures that are very similar in appearance to bacteria.

Add to the fact that finding fossilized bacteria on Earth (bacteria can be thought of as "soft tissue", which is nigh impossible to fossilize) are extraordinarily rare enough as it is, and I really can't believe we're seeing anything in these rocks that could have been alive (what's the molecular composition?). Face on Mars anyone?

Because skepticism is cool?
By morphologia on 3/7/2011 2:39:41 PM , Rating: 2
It is just as foolish for an armchair astrobiologist to debunk this claim in absentia as it is for one to accept it as solid fact. It is too early to tell anything yet...let the countless experts that were invited to verify the claim do the naysaying, I say.

Dissenters of claims like these have several reasons for flat-out calling it a lie, including:

1) They're upset that they didn't make the discovery, and so spitefully denounce their fellow scientist, unfairly.

2) The discovery is so underwhelming, and they wanted the first alien life to be some grand landing on the White House lawn or something. Just because it doesn't meet your fantasy criteria doesn't mean it isn't valid.

I for one will withhold judgement...on the discovery, at least. I'll continue to judge the premature naysayers on the merits of their perceived competence in the subject. :)

RE: Because skepticism is cool?
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'll continue to judge the premature naysayers on the merits of their perceived competence in the subject. :)

You're a fool. There's only one reason the author published his paper through the utterly bogus "Journal of Cosmology" - because he knew his research wouldn't stand up to any actual peer-review scrutiny.

Do you honestly think that the author who wrote the "Batboy" articles for the National Enquirer had his stories published there because that's where he wanted his earth-shaking revelation to be made? Or was it because he knew no newspaper that requires it's stories to be based in reality would publish his article?

Having a paper published in the "Journal of Cosmology," or in the National Enquirer, is tantamount to an admission of fraud.

RE: Because skepticism is cool?
By kingius on 3/8/2011 10:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
It is a good job you are no judge, friend, because your judgments are based on vast leaps of logic that make the distances between the planets seem piddling.

RE: Because skepticism is cool?
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 12:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
You're projecting. I can guarantee you that everything I have stated here is in perfect compliance with the accepted scientific method.

You...on the other hand...well, it's clear that science (and therefore reality) just aren't all that important to you.

RE: Because skepticism is cool?
By JediJeb on 3/9/2011 3:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
That logic holds unless the more noted publications rejected it because of fear of the subject.

If you found absolute proof that ghosts exist, and took a well written paper on the subject with all the experimental details there proving your discovery, how many journals like Nature or Science would even let it in the door? Most will look at the subject and even if the paper is good, shy away from it just because of the topic. Scientific journals are just as worried about their reputations as any other publication and will even reject good papers if they fear publishing it will give them any type of questionable reputation.

There really isn't any way...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 10:10:02 AM , Rating: 2 rationally declare that there is no life anywhere other than Earth.'s far, far from certain that this particular rock bears any proof of that. This guy's research may be a start, but there's got to be significant supporting research done by others to support such a lofty claim.

Finally, though...the "Journal of Cosmology" is about as far from a respected scientific journal as you can get. They don't publish peer-reviewed research so much as they find random stuff to wildly sensationalize - this publication categorically is not to be taken seriously.

If somehow you doubt that...despite the fact that their website appears to have been designed by a 3rd some of the articles they publish. They are FULL of snotty writers' "opinion" and really, really loose with any factual information. The gossip passed between 12 year-old girls in math class is probably considerably more reliable than anything you'll see coming from this publication.

RE: There really isn't any way...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 12:22:09 PM , Rating: 2

Phil Plait, a well-regarded and popular astronomer who blogs for Discover Magazine, has not only his own well-thought out ideas about this but also links to the reviews of qualified microbiologists for their input as well.

If you think that this particular "finding" of alien life, or the "Journal of Cosmology" itself have any merit at all...firstly, you're wrong...and secondly, go and read that article and follow it's links to respected microbiologists for a quick lesson in the scientific method.

By geddarkstorm on 3/7/2011 3:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed! Thanks for the great link.

It's funny how those "bacteria" in the pictures look no different than the mineral patterns around them. It's also worth noting, that the human mind instinctively finds patterns in chaos to match previous patterns it's got classified.

By geekman1024 on 3/8/2011 12:42:02 AM , Rating: 3
I was expecting the good old classic Aliens, yet what came on the tube was Tremors.

RE: dang!
By Belard on 3/8/2011 5:47:58 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe next time.

Brain sucking, body probing aliens are your choice of visitors, eh?

By drycrust3 on 3/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Process
By drycrust3 on 3/8/2011 10:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
Specifically, he zeroed in on the CI class of carbonaceous chrondite meteors. These meteors are rich in water, amino acids, and other organic compounds -- seemingly a virtual pantry for a microorganism.

Since no one else has seems to have said it: since this is rich in carbon, why not try carbon dating? "But its got to be billions of years old? There won't be a single C14 atom left!" Well then you have nothing to fear, unless it's discovering the bacteria are less than 10 years old. "But that would mean this came from earth?" Yes, and that is because this is the only logical place for that life to have come from!

RE: Process
By JediJeb on 3/9/2011 3:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
Finding bacteria that fossilized within 10 years would in itself be worthy of publishing if true. Also the author has offered to allow other scientist to study this find, which I imagine would include that very type of testing, would you make such an offer if you knew your findings would be immediately proven false?

This claim...
By FredEx on 3/7/2011 2:20:50 PM , Rating: 4

Just had to, could not resist.

Reminds me...
By cochy on 3/7/2011 9:37:59 AM , Rating: 3
Of the Martian meteorite that was found in Antarctica, in which "alien" fossils were discovered in the 90s. That was debunked later on...

By pheffern on 3/7/2011 12:09:33 PM , Rating: 3
I smell a viral promo for Battle: Los Angeles!

By Iketh on 3/7/2011 3:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
Does this "CI class of carbonaceous chrondite meteors" originate from Earth-like masses?

Oh really
By MrHanson on 3/7/2011 12:09:41 PM , Rating: 1
Anything for the astrobiologists to keep receiving tax payer funding.

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