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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 drycrust3 on 3/7/2011 10:19:51 AM , Rating: 0
I’m sure there will be many scientists that will be very skeptical and that’s OK.

The process currently used in most fields of science is for the advocate of a theory to prove the validity of that theory.
There are active volcanoes in Antarctica, and it is known that debris from an active volcano can travel a long way, even over 100 miles.
Without trying to limit God, in that he may have created life on planets on around other stars, the only place he said he has done it is here, and the only star system that we know of that he did it was here.
We already have people believing that other rocks found in Antarctica, and one suspects they were actually found within volcano eruption throwing range, were from Mars.
Again, without trying to limit God, it does take a lot to believe that a meteor could hit a planet, eject a rock laden with life with such force that it doesn't just expel it from that planets atmosphere, but also from the gravitational field of the star it is orbiting, without killing the life on the rock. Then it travels across the galaxy to this solar system, then survives passing all the planets, slingshots the sun, hits the tiny "re-entry point" in our atmosphere, then survives entering the earth's atmosphere.
Maybe there is a simpler and more credible process, such as these rocks are just from a volcanic eruption on earth.

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?

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