A team of British scientists believe they have found alien life in meteor shower debris they collected during the Perseid meteor shower. The samples were collected via a balloon that was sent into the stratosphere. Once in the stratosphere sterile slides were exposed capturing small biological organisms that the scientists believe could have only come from space.
The team of scientists was lead by astrobiologist Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe who is credited as a co-developer of the theory of panspermia. This theory holds that life is abundant across the universe and the “seeds of life” are spread from planet to planet by meteors.
The team from the University of Sheffield found microscopic algae and two unidentified complex microscopic biological organisms. Their findings were presented last month at the Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology conference in San Diego.
Wickramasinghe told the Daily Mail, “Biological entities of this nature have not previously been reported occurring in the stratosphere.”
Skeptics of the findings claim that these biological samples could come from earth and were somehow carried in to the stratosphere. However, Dr. Wickramasinghe says that the entities they found are too large in mass for that to be possible. He argues:
By our current understanding of the means by which such particles can be transferred from Earth to the stratosphere they could not – in the absence of a violent volcanic eruption occurring within a day of the sampling event – make such a journey. If there is no mechanism by which these biological entities could be elevated from Earth to the stratosphere then it must have arrived from above the stratosphere and have been incoming to Earth.
Dr. Wickramasinghe is no stranger to controversy. In January of this year, along with a team of scientists from the University of Buckingham, Wickramasinghe submitted a paper to the Journal of Cosmology claiming that a meteorite found in Sri Lanka contained evidence of extraterrestrial life.
Skeptics in this case claimed Wickramasinghe shows too much bias towards his theory of panspermia, and that the evidence of life found on the asteroid also could have been of earthly origin.