Saturday, March 5, 2011

NASA Scientist Claims Alien Life Landed Here on a Meteorite

Dr. Richard Hoover is an astrobiologist with NASA who claims he's found evidence of extra-terrestrial life by examining many different meteorites around the world.

Though it may be hard to swallow, Hoover is convinced that his findings reveal fossil evidence of bacterial life within such meteorites, the remains of living organisms from their parent bodies -- comets, moons and other astral bodies. By extension, the findings suggest we are not alone in the universe, he said.
“I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet earth,” Hoover told “This field of study has just barely been touched -- because quite frankly, a great many scientist would say that this is impossible.” ...He found the fossilized remains of micro-organisms not so different from ordinary ones found underfoot -- here on earth, that is.

The scientific community is organizing a large group to investigate these claims.

Of course, this is nothing new.  In 1984 a meteorite found in Antarctica (it's called ALH 84001 - seen at right) showed similar signs of previous life.   Apparently, the meteorite could not be tested in a way that would prove this conclusively, so the theory that it contains evidence of alien life is going to remain in the gray area.  Maybe Dr. Hoover's new findings will shed some light on things.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Life Form Discovered by NASA

Mark Twain once visited Mono Lake in California and lamented that it was a "lifeless" place.  He was very wrong.  NASA has discovered a new life form in that lake, and it changes everything:

NASA has discovered a totally new kind of life form, but it’s not an alien—it’s here on Earth. Astrobiologists have found a bacteria living in a poisonous California lake that’s actually partially made of arsenic, it announced in a much-hyped press conference today. Whereas every other organism ever observed is made up of six essential ingredients—carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur—this one seems to have replaced phosphorus with arsenic, the Washington Post explains.  That means the bacteria evolved from a different common ancestor than every other organism on the planet...[link]

The Times ran a story about this research back in March, but, until today, it didn't really get much notice.  It could have come from space.  It could be a form of life on earth we simply haven't seen before.  Since it appears to live in a poisonous lake, it's no surprise that we didn't see it sooner.  No matter what its origin, it has evolved differently than any other known creature.  This is a big discovery.

Lake Mono, California

It was found in a place called Lake Mono, which has a size of about 65 miles and dates back to the ice age (when it was a much larger lake).  And this new life form is not the first unusual animal found there - the Lake Mono Brine Shrimp are only found in this lake.  It's also filled with a high level of salt and is very calcium rich.  This leads to the formation of stalagmite-like outcroppings called tufa (below), and the salt/calcium mix in the lake makes an unusual coating that covers everything the water touches.  If there was ever a place to search for strange new life, it was certainly Lake Mono.

Tufa from Lake Mono

I doubt anything new will be revealed about this life form any time soon, but this is a big day for biology.  There is always so much that we don't know.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Astronomers Find Unusual Pockets of Energy in Our Solar System

Something big is going on at the center of the galaxy, and astronomers are happy to say they don’t know what it is.  A group of scientists working with data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope said Tuesday that they had discovered two bubbles of energy erupting from the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The bubbles, they said at a news conference and in a paper to be published Wednesday in The Astrophysical Journal, extend 25,000 light years up and down from each side of the galaxy and contain the energy equivalent to 100,000 supernova explosions.

Odd.  I've never heard of anything like it.  And I'm not sure what they mean by "energy."  Normally, that term is not used to refer to a substance hanging around, but to refer to stored energy, so they must be referring to energized particles of some sort.  They say it isn't dark matter, and isn't anything else they have seen before.

The strange part is the sudden observation of these large pockets.  the observers claim that they did not notice them, before, but is it possible that these pockets of energy simply weren't there until now?  Perhaps something is causing this change in our galaxy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Demise of Disinformation

In recent years, the once fantastic publications from the Disinformation group have become boring and derivative.  In place of the varying points of view they once offered, they now simply parrot the opinions of political pundits.

I have one of their books (I forget which one), and I enjoy it.  I don't agree with all of the writers, but, then again, I'm not supposed to.  The idea of the book (according to its intro) was to bring new opinions and points of view to the reader, and it succeeded.  But that vision is lost now.

In George W. Bush's second term, the disinformation website was filled with a few articles about conspiracies and media cover-ups, as well as a few thousand articles criticizing the policies of President Bush.  I can get that over at CNN.  Or a YouTube commenter for that matter.

Today, things aren't improving.  There are articles proclaiming that the Tea Party is stupid and that anyone disliking President Obama is certainly a racist.  That kind of tripe isn't disinformation - it's just angry political ranting.

A once useful publication has rendered itself obsolete.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Devil Sighting in France; 10 Injured and One Dead After Fleeing Out a Window

I'm not making any of this up.  This morning in Paris, France, a very unusual thing happened that has tragically resulted in the death of an infant.

In the middle of the night, a man heard his baby making noise and got up to check on it without putting any clothes on.  His wife saw him and immediately cried out that he was the Devil and the rest of the household woke up and became afraid as well.  Very soon, the ten people who lived there all jumped out of a third story window in fear of this man that they believed was the Devil.  An infant was taken out the window and did not survive the fall - it was the only fatality.

Some sources say that the man was stabbed by one of the family members, but the reports are not clear.

However, no evidence of drug use has been found, and no unusual religious rituals seem to have taken place.

What's going on?  Is this a hoax?  Mass delusions like this aren't really possible (because multiple people can't share the same illusion) and surely the same man didn't force 11 people out of a window and then convince them all to claim it was the Devil that did it.

We'll know more as the story develops, but nothing has developed all day in this story and I worry that this is all we'll get.

I'll keep you updated.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Real Monster of the Nile

The title may seem misleading to some, but what's going on in Burundi could be the plot of a real horror movie:  An enormous Nile Crocodile has apparently developed a taste for human flesh stalks the waters looking for victims - sometimes killing people without eating the bodies.  (He recently topped's list of The Top Ten Worst Maneaters in History - a list which contains 9 other such creatures that are not just spook stories.)

He's been named Gustave, and he's very real.  He literally weighs a ton, is 20 feet long, and can be identified by the bullet wounds visible on his head.  And getting shot a few times doesn't seem to have slowed him down.  Gustave is not your normal large animal, however, because he's actually known to kill humans without eating their bodies - something that my naturalist friends tell me is impossible, since "animals only kill to eat."

Gustave has been around for 60 years and some estimate that he has killed 300 people, but it's difficult to say. Others place his kill count well below 100 (which is still horrifying).  He's the largest croc of his type ever seen, and that makes him hard to miss.  It's been two years since any confirmed kills by Gustave, but plenty of attacks have been blamed on him by locals who are certain they have seen Gustave - there aren't a lot of seven meter long specimens with bullet scars.

Is it wrong for me to call him a monster?  Some would say that he's just an animal and that I'm being misleading, but it's not that simple.  The word monster comes from a Latin word which means "that which is revealed."  Monsters don't only scare us, but they reveal things to us.  (For example, a ghost in a story might reveal to us that there is life after death - and it might scare us.)  Gustave provides a revelation of his own: nature isn't always your friend.

(And in case you're wondering, these animals can live to be 100 years old, so he's not dying of old age any time soon!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Something Suspicious About the Chilean Miners

I am very glad that the Chilean miners are being rescued, and it's a credit to the country that they were able and willing to spend the money and time it took to find those men (after they had officially been declared dead) and to rescue them.  This is good news.  But there's more - and some parts of the story we will never truly know.

Mine shafts have a long history of strange activity.  In 1945, a a section of the Belva Mine (located in Pennsylvania) caved in and left many miners trapped.  They were frightened, but they soon noticed a door open in the cave and a man holding a lantern assured them that rescue was coming - and disappeared back into the door.  (No one ever comments on the nature of that door.  Did the trapped miners try to open it themselves?  Did the door blend in with the wall?  And no word on why the man wouldn't let them escape through his door - or bring them any food.)  There are many stories of such underground men being encountered by modern diggers - but no evidence, unfortunately.

There are also some very widely accepted stories about hidden tunnels all over the Earth.  This site lists U.S. military bases and their tunnels that lead to other bases in other states; I don't know if any of it is true, of course. But I do know that you can do an internet search for "hidden underground passages" and find something for just about every part of the world.  These tunnels are normally attributed to something far more ancient and mysterious than the government, however.

And, who can forget the Shaver Stories?  Richard Shaver published some stories about going underground and meeting with strange people called the "Deros" who were not so kind as the fellow who helped the Belva Miners in 1945 - instead they ate people.  His stuff was published as fiction, but written as if it were true.  He would maintain that it was true until he died, and this lead to a very enduring following.

So, we're left with a rather spotty legacy of miners seeing strange things and stories of underground caverns.  What does this have to do with the Chilean miners?  Probably nothing, but there are few loose ends in their story.

For starters, these men were in the in the mine for two whole months - that's the longest anyone has ever been trapped in a mine and survived.  We are told that they survived by rationing food and eating small bites every other day, and they even had some food left over when they were rescued.  Is it possible that they had some help?  The doctor who made contact with them was impressed at their level of comfort, and we've seen that they are rather cool-headed about the ordeal.

But what's really suspicious is the gag order these men have agreed to.  Before being rescued, these men were asked to sign an agreement saying that they would never talk about the first seventeen days they spent in the mine.  We are told that this is because of the secretes that they told: since they thought they would die, some of them told stories about having affairs and other things that were secret.  But, if this is being kept a secret, how could the press know about it?  And is it really necessary to make them sign something like this before rescuing them?  It's very odd.  Did they see something, or did they find something they were not supposed to see?  And could it have anything to do with why the Chilean government was so quick to claim that the men were dead and hold a funeral for them?

The truth is, unless one of these mens breaks their agreement, we'll never know what went on in that cavern before they were rescued.