Apparently late last year some British scientists claimed to have discovered the first hard evidence of ancient astronauts, or rather their genetic experiments, and I’m surprised that it garnered so little media coverage. It certainly didn’t become as big a topic of discussion in the fringe history community as you might have expected from such a monumental discovery. Is this how proof of alien life emerges? With a shrug and a “so what”? Or is it just that the announcement occurred while Ancient Aliens was in a production hiatus?
I read the story this morning in the Huffington Post, which links to material published over the last few weeks in British papers. This, in turn, seems to go back to claims made in the British press in late December, based on a paper published in the Journal of Cosmology that I can’t link to because it gives me a permission error. The Journal of Cosmology has been attacked for its lax academic standards and unclear peer review, and the journal responded by declaring that the paradigm of life on earth beginning on earth was a belief system and not evidence-based science.
Prof. Milton Wainwright an a team of scientists at the University of Sheffield and the University of Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology told British newspapers that using a balloon to skim the stratosphere they discovered a small metal sphere made of titanium and vanadium about the width of a human hair. This small sphere apparently oozed biological material, prompting Wainwright to suggest that the sphere was manufactured by space aliens to see other planets with the building blocks of life, a hypothesis known as directed panspermia.
Wainwright conceded that there is no solid evidence that the sphere is of intentional extraterrestrial manufacture.
This is the second time six months that Wainwright has claimed to find extraterrestrial life. Back in October he also claimed to have found a carbon-based alien microbe during the same series of experiments that yielded the metal sphere. Scientists dismissed that conclusion when Wainwright was not able to demonstrate that the microbe contained any unearthly signatures.
Wainwright’s name sounded somewhat familiar, so I looked him up and it turns out that there’s a good reason I remembered him. He’s the same scientist who claimed that the so-called “red rain” of Kerala, India was a living biological entity. In this, he was following Godfrey Louis and Santhosh Kumar, who in 2003 proposed that the rain came from outer space. I came across Wainwright’s name when looking into Louis’s and Kumar’s claims when Unsealed: Alien Files discussed them in 2013. In 2006 Wainwright agreed that the red rain was biological and implied that he was open to Louis’s view that the cells in the rain came from outer space, perhaps as part of an alien seeding mission. The Indian government later determined that the red rain gained its color from terrestrial algae.
Wainwright also believes that there is a conspiracy of scientists working to suppress his evidence that Darwin did not invent the theory of evolution. He holds a number of other minority views, including the assertion that bacteria cause cancer and that Hitler was saved by penicillin.
Wainwright’s writing partner in his Journal of Cosmology article is Chandra Wickramasinghe, the early proponent of panspermia who argued a decade ago that influenza came from outer space. Wickramasinghe and Wainwright jointly proposed in 2003 that SARS came to earth from space and were promptly attacked for their lack of evidence.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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