Why a Harvard Scientist Thinks Alien Technology May Be Underwater

In 2019, a cigar-shaped object dubbed “Oumuamua” was spotted speeding through the inner solar system and accelerating especially as it exited, seemingly defying the physics of ordinary asteroids. There are many mundane hypotheses about why “Oumuamua” accelerated — deflation, or expulsion of previously trapped gas, is one of the most popular. However, Harvard astronomy professor Dr. Avi Loeb has written numerous papers and a book arguing that this may have been caused by light sail spacecraft created by alien civilizations – powered by a form of interstellar propulsion.

Now, Loeb has proposed a new provocative hypothesis related to a mysterious meteoroid known to Earth’s inhabitants years before “Oumuamua.” Given a less memorable name, CNEOS 2014-01-08, it is believed to be just two feet long when it hit Earth in 2014 at over 100,000 mph before it exploded into tiny fragments and landed in the South Pacific Ocean. Astronomers believe that it is likely to be the first observed interstellar object of the same size to hit Earth – so CNEOS 2014-01-08 caught the attention of the astronomical community.

Loeb is also going the extra mile: He’s leading a $1.5 million expedition to retrieve the fragments of CNEOS 2014-01-08. As a scientist, Loeb is open to all possibilities — including that CNEOS 2014-01-08 might contain extraterrestrial technology.

“The first interstellar meteor, CNEOS 2014-01-08, was a rare outlier for two reasons,” Loeb told Salon when asked about the alien technology hypothesis.The first has to do with its impressive speed: “By tracing its trajectory, we know [CNEOS 2014-01-08] Traveling outside the solar system at speeds in excess of 60 kilometers per second. That’s faster than 95 percent of all stars near the sun. “

Among other things, Loeb added, “the light curve from the fireball [CNEOS 2014-01-08] Created in Earth’s lower atmosphere, we calculated its material strength to be stronger than all 272 other objects “in a NASA-held catalog to keep a close eye on near-Earth objects.” Its material strength is twice that of iron meteorites . ”

Siegel believes there are more plausible hypotheses, such as “this is an object from our solar system whose impact velocity is poorly measured, like other objects hitting Earth from space from our solar system.”

These strange features distinguish CNEOS 2014-01-08 from its more common meteoroid relatives, which typically originate in our own solar system. In fact, much of the debris remains from the violent early days of our solar system, when it formed from the gaseous remnants of pre-solar protoplanetary nebulae. The asteroid belt contains some particularly dense (by space standards) accumulations of some “leftover” material that never formed planets; alternatively, it fell off our solar system’s existing planets in violent collisions and remains afloat in the void. Random meteoroids of this nature keep hitting the Earth: Scientists estimate that between 10 million and 1 billion kilograms of meteorites, most of them tiny micrometeorites, hit Earth each year. Interstellar meteorites, especially large ones with strange properties, will be a new discovery.

Loeb’s hypothesis is not without its critics. Dr. Ethan Siegel, an astrophysicist and science writer who has been critical of Loeb’s work in the past, told Salon that he sees Loeb’s hypothesis as a “sarcasm” that would undermine the work of other astronomers.

“The alien technology hypothesis is so far-fetched that there’s no scientific reason to think it’s just people crying wolves without evidence, something we’ve never seen before,” Siegel told Sharon. It’s extraterrestrial technology, and to me it’s an absolute irony for the hundreds of legitimate solar system scientists who are doing an excellent job of studying what actually exists.”

Siegel thinks there are more plausible hypotheses, such as “This is an object from our solar system whose impact velocity measurement is inaccurate, like other objects hitting Earth from space from our solar system”; or, “This is one of many, many, many interstellar objects that we know need to be there to pass through our solar system, and this one happens to hit Earth, and it’s going to be a naturally occurring little object.”


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Arizona State University astrophysics professor Dr. Steve Desch suggested to Sharon via email that no matter what CNEOS 2014-01-08 is made of, only a small amount of matter will survive a collision with Earth’s atmosphere — maybe just “grams” of matter. Desch cites the work of NASA scientist Marc Fries to determine this. Desch also argued that “all evidence points to an iron meteorite that was part of a natural object ejected from the star system.”

“Ideally, in addition to tiny fragments, we’d find a piece of advanced technological equipment, like the hundredth version of the iPhone,” Loeb told Salon.

Still, no one has finally cracked the CNEOS 2014-01-08 mystery, which, if nothing else, is one Loeb seems determined to solve. The Harvard scientist explained to Sharon that the upcoming expedition “will have a sled equipped with magnets that will search the ocean floor for debris from meteor explosions about a hundred miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea.” Loeb said it will Using a machine already designed, and he has already received $500,000 in donations for the project, another $100,000 is needed to start the expedition.

“Ideally, in addition to tiny fragments, we’d find a piece of advanced technological equipment, like the hundredth version of the iPhone,” Loeb told Salon. “I would love to push a button on an object like this.”

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