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Alien lifeforms might be drifting down through our upper atmosphere, borne there by meteors from deep space

alien-life-3Some hype has accompanied a report that UK scientists have found life in space.  Newspapers and TV stations find it difficult to resist stories about aliens visiting our planet.  In this case the alleged aliens are microscopic, found in the upper atmosphere, and believed by the research team to have descended from interplanetary space in the Perseid meteor shower.  The Sheffield team sent a balloon to take samples at 13 and 16 miles up, using sterilized equipment. A drawer opened with studs on which minute particles could settle, and closed until it could be examined by scientists back on Earth.  They report evidence of a single-celled lifeform called a diatom.  They found nothing actually alive, but what they found came from living creatures.  Prof Milton Wainwright attempts to ward off the suggestion that these particles originated on Earth and were carried aloft, possibly by a volcano.  He points out there have been no major eruptions for 3 years, though other scientists have suggested that the cumulative action of smaller volcanoes could achieve a similar effect.  Eyebrows have been raised that the paper was published in the Journal of Cosmology, often criticized by the scientific community for some of its ‘way-out’ articles.

Well, did it happen?  Scientists have responded with doubts and questions, pointing out that the particles discovered resemble ones already known to exist on Earth.  No doubt the isotope tests will tell us if the ratio of isotopes matches that found in Earthly matter or that found in space debris.  My initial response is skepticism.  I don’t doubt the findings, only the extra-terrestrial explanation.  It looks at though Earthly particles, including organic ones, have been carried aloft by terrestrial forces, be they volcanoes or hurricanes.  They might have remained some time drifting in our upper atmosphere.  It seems strange at first sight that material previously retrieved from meteorites, and even that captured and returned from comets, shows no similar evidence of these type of lifeforms.  While I am ready to be convinced, and would quite like it to happen, I’m sitting this one out until more convincing evidence comes along.

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