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Thursday, March 14, 2013

14:03:2013 -- Is this alien life?


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Is this alien life? Controversial scientists publish second paper claiming they have found 'extra-terrestrial fossils' in meteor fragment



  • New paper reiterates claims made in January that meteorite contains traces of life from outer space
  • It reportedly landed in Sri Lanka in December after burning green in the sky, leaving bystanders with burns
  • Critics rubbish claims, saying that the researchers methodology is 'even flakier' than in first paper - and they have not ruled out contamination

Algae-like structures found inside fragments of a meteorite which struck Sri Lanka last year prove that life exists elsewhere in the Universe, a new study claims.

A paper by an international team of scientists, their second on the subject, makes the extraordinary claim that electron microscope images of the rocks have revealed tiny fossilised life forms from outer space.

The authors are convinced that their findings offer firm evidence of panspermia, the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe and is spread by meteoroids, asteroids and planetoids.

From outer space? The electron microscope image of a meteor fragment researchers say shows two microfossils (marked a and b) of extraterrestrial origin

From outer space? This electron microscope image of a meteor fragment shows a  microfossil of extraterrestrial origin, a study claims

The microorganism that fell to Earth: This picture shows a close up of the point marked (b) in the image above: A new paper claims that the rock in which these were found came from a meteor which landed in Sri Lanka

The microorganism that fell to Earth: This picture shows a close up of the point marked (b) in the image above: The paper claims that the rock in which these were found came from a meteor which landed in Sri Lanka

Undeniably organic? The paper reiterates claims first made in January in an earlier study led by controversial scientist Chandra Wickramasinghe

Undeniably organic? The paper reiterates claims first made in January in an earlier study led by controversial scientist Chandra Wickramasinghe

However, sceptics are already lining up to pour scorn on their methodology.

MailOnline first reported in January the claims by Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, that investigations of the meteorite had revealed evidence of alien life.

He is joint author of a new study, just published in the Journal of Cosmology, which reiterates the controversial claims on the basis of a new analysis of the rocks.

The paper tells how on the evening of December 29 last year a bright yellow fireball lit up the skies over Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, turning green as it disintegrated on entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Blazing hot, sparkling fragments rained down on the villages and paddy fields below, according to reports, leaving some witnesses with burns and giving off fumes with a strong odour of asphalt.

Local police collected samples of the curious rocks and handed them to the Medical Research Institute of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, who then passed them on to researchers at Cardiff University for further analysis, the study says.

In total Jamie Wallis, of Cardiff's School of Mathematics, and colleagues received 628 fragments purportedly from the meteorite - three of which, they say, were 'clearly identified as possible meteorites'.

In the latest study, the researchers make the extraordinary claim than these three rocks contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix.

Furthermore, they say, their tests have ruled out the possibility of terrestrial contamination.
The team published electron microscope images of structures within the stones which they say show a complex, thick-walled, carbon-rich microfossil about 100 micrometres across.

Another image, they say, shows well-preserved flagella 100 micrometres long but only two micrometres in diameter.

Claims: Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe with the fragment of space rock

Claims: Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe with the fragment of space rock in which the fossils were found

Teeming with traces of life? A controversial scientist claims this two-inch meteor fragment is packed with the fossils of extraterrestrial life similar to algae found in Earth's oceans

Evidence for ET? Critics say that even if the rock was indeed from outer space, research into it has failed to prove that the traces of life apparently found are not the result of contamination here on Earth

The researchers interpret that unusual long and thin configuration 'as indicating a low-gravity, low-pressure environment and rapid freeze-drying' - which could only happen in outer space.

A previous study, led by Professor Wickramasinghe and published in the Journal of Cosmology in January, also claimed to have found 'microscopic fossilized diatoms (a basic form of algae)' in the samples.

HOW DID RESEARCHERS GET HOLD OF THE 'SPACE ROCKS'?

'We got it from the medical research institute in Sri Lanka,' Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe told MailOnline.

'They got hold of it on the 29th December, when a fireball was seen in the area.

'Thousands of people spotted it, and minutes after there was a meteorite fall over a rice field.

'Farmers who rushed to pick up these stones had their hands burnt, and women fainted, so local medical staff and police were summoned to cordon off the area to collect the stones.

'One of these was sent to us by colleagues.'
However, the professor admitted at the time they the paper was a rush job and he and his colleagues did not have time to conduct the necessarily analyses to confirm it was a meteorite.

To make up for that omission, in the latest study Wallis and his colleagues also measured the chemical make up of the samples to determine their origin, claiming that low levels of nitrogen rule our the possibility of contamination by modern organisms.

The researchers say their findings offer 'clear and convincing evidence that these obviously ancient remains of extinct marine algae found embedded in the Polonnaruwa meteorite are indigenous to the stones and not the result of post-arrival microbial contaminants.'

They add: 'The presence of fossilized biological structures provides compelling evidence in support of the theory of cometary panspermia first proposed over thirty years ago.'

The study backs up the claims of Professor Wickramasinghe's widely rubbished January paper which claimed to have found evidence of alien life in the same rocks.

Smoking gun? This scanning electron microscope image purports to show the tell-tale sign of a microscopic fossil

Smoking gun? This scanning electron microscope image purports to show the tell-tale sign of a microscopic fossil

A mathematician by training, Professor Wickramasinghe, 74, claims microbes from outer space arrived on our planet from comets which then 'multiplied and seeded' to form our life 3.8billion years ago.

A CONTROVERSIAL ACADEMIC


Chandra Wickramasinghe is notorious as the only scientist to argue against evolution during the 1981 Arkansas legal case against the teaching of creationism in schools.

The 74-year-old Sri Lankan-born British mathematician obtained a PhD from Cambridge under the supervision of the late Sir Fred Hoyle.

The pair went on to collaborate on a body of work some credit with providing the basis of the field of astrobiology. 

Their joint work on the infrared spectra of interstellar grains led to developing the hypothesis of panspermia, which proposes that cosmic dust in space and comets is partly organic - and may have 'seeded' life on Earth.

They further contended that extraterrestrial life forms continue to enter the Earth's atmosphere, and may be responsible for epidemic outbreaks, new diseases, and the genetic novelty necessary for macroevolution.

In 2003 he was joint signatory on a letter sent to The Lancet which suggested that the virus which causes SARS may not come from chickens, but could in fact be from outer space.

He was head of Cardiff University's Centre for Astrobiology until two years ago, when funding was withdrawn and he was dismissed from his post.

He also believes that pathogens like the SARS virus arrived here from deep space.

'We are all aliens - we share a cosmic ancestry,' he said at the time of the original study's publication. 

'Each time a new planetary system forms a few surviving microbes find their way into comets.

'These then multiply and seed other planets.

'These latest finds are just more evidence to point to the overwhelming fact that life on Earth began on other worlds.'

Professor Wickramasinghe was head of Cardiff University's Centre for Astrobiology until two years ago when funding for the department was withdrawn and he was dismissed from his post.

The controversial professor, the only scientist to testify against evolution in the famous 1981 creationist trial in Arkansas, has since carried on the project as a private company and charity.

Critics have already lined up to rubbish the latest study's claims and to suggest that the methodology of the researchers was also flawed.

Phil Plait, author of Slate's Bad Astronomy blog, said: 'I read the paper, and really it’s more of the same as from the first paper.

'In some ways, it’s even shakier; they provide lots of technical data that gives their work a veneer of credibility, but when you look a bit deeper you find they didn’t do a lot of critically necessary tests to establish the veracity of their claims.'

Controversial: Chandra Wickramasinghe
The location where the rocks were found

Controversial: Professor Wickramasinghe, left, says the still-smoking rocks were found after they fell in Sri Lanka, right, after a dramatic meteor shower

Plait claims the tests undertaken by Wallis and his colleagues did not go far enough to confirm that the rock samples they analysed were in fact from the meteor that appeared over Sri Lanka in December, and, even if they were from space, the analysis was insufficient to eliminate the possibility of contamination here on Earth.

THE PANSPERMIA HYPOTHESIS


Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe is a leading proponent of panspermia, the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe and is spread by meteoroids, asteroids and planetoids.

Panspermia proposes that life forms that can survive the effects of space, such as extremophiles, become trapped in debris that is ejected into space after collisions between asteroids and planets that harbour life.

These life-forms may travel dormant for an extended amount of time before colliding randomly with other planets or intermingling with protoplanetary disks. 

If met with ideal conditions on a new planet's surfaces, the bacteria become active and the process of evolution begins, it is believed.

He points out that another meteorite fell to Earth in the same area in 2004 and any samples picked up could have in fact been from this event - long enough ago for the rocks to have become thoroughly contaminated.

And he adds that nowhere in the latest paper do the researchers indicate that they have undertaken the usual precautions to minimise findings which may have been caused by contamination.

'So, they find some rocks, they claim (without enough  evidence) that they're meteorites, and they claim (without evidence) they're from a recent meteorite fall,' says Plait. 'They find diatoms, and they claim (without controlling for contamination) that not only these diatoms came from space, but that meteorites like this seeded Earth with life.

'Which is more likely: that, or that they found a rock from Earth that already had diatoms in it?'

When Professor Wickramasinghe's January paper was published, Monica Grady, professor of Planetary Sciences at the Open University’s Faculty of Science, told MailOnline she found the whole thing ‘laughable’.

‘There are serious inconsistencies with the data presented in the paper,' she said.

‘The most important is that the rock they have found is yet to be proven to be a meteorite.

‘Until that is done, no credence can be placed on the findings presented, especially when they are published in a non-mainstream journal.'






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MUFON

How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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