A handful of scientists believe they have discovered alien fossils inside a meteorite.
The claim comes, in part, from Chandra Wickramsignhe, known for his many “out there” theories, such as the panspermia hypothesis and the idea that rogue planets may deposit life while moving through star systems.
You’ll find it in the paper “Fossil Diatoms In A New Carbonaceous Meteorite,” published in the Journal of Cosmology, which you can read here.
“We report the discovery for the first time of diatom frustules in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka…The new data on fossil diatoms provide strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia.”
The meteorite fell near the “ancient city” of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka on December 29, 2012. Witnesses reported a “large fireball.” It was later recovered, and fragments of the meteorite were sent to the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology and Cardiff University.
Scientists studying the meteorite later discovered it was a carbonaceous chondrite (again?!), but the real kicker was this: inside the meteorite, they found fossilized diatoms.
“Diatoms are unicellular phytoplankton characterised by elaborately sculptured frustules comprised of a hydrated silicon dioxide polymer. The intricately woven microstructure of these frustules would be impossible to generate abiotically, so the presence of structures of this kind in any extraterrestrial setting could be construed as unequivocal proof of biology…”
The paper also mentions red rain, a bizarre phenomenon that occurred just days after the meteorite struck. Apparently, the telltale “donut-shaped structures” of red rain were found:
“…bears a striking similarity to the SEM images of the Kerala red rain cells…”
Mysteries all around.
While these discoveries aren’t “unequivocal proof” of alien life, this is an interesting development. To Wickramsignhe, it’s vindication. To others, it’s yet another bizarre idea that will need to run the gamut of scientific investigation and review (the fossils may, of course, be of terrestrial origin).
But that’s how it goes. Some scientists stick to more grounded, ordinary pursuits. Others ask the weird questions.
Because, at the end of the day, someone has to. The truth is out there.