The Harvard professor said the ocean balls are alien technology, and may just be industrial waste

The Harvard professor said the ocean balls are alien technology, and may just be industrial waste

Physicist Avi Loeb, right, on stage with physicist Stephen Hawking and others, unrelated to this article, in New York in 2016.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters

  • A Harvard professor discovered mysterious, mineral-rich globules at the bottom of the ocean.
  • Because of its unique composition, it has been controversially claimed to be alien in nature.
  • Several scientists have refuted this claim, and one now believes it may just be industrial waste.

Claims by a Harvard University professor that metal balls discovered under the ocean may have been made by aliens have once again been called into question.

In July, Avi Loeb, director of the Center for Computational Astrophysics at Harvard University, claimed that the spherules washed up from the Pacific Ocean were left behind by a meteorite that exploded near Earth in 2014.

He said its strange chemical composition suggested it could be a form of alien technology.

This statement drew criticism from parts of the scientific community, who said Loeb was too bold and too hasty in his assertions.

Now analysis may offer a more realistic explanation for the mysterious pellets: they may simply be an offshoot of coal burning.

Areas of industrial waste

Patricio Gallardo, a researcher at the University of Chicago, analyzed the chemical composition of coal ash, a waste product left over from the burning of coal in power plants and steam engines.

For reference, Gallardo used a publicly available coal chemical database called COALQUAL.

He said his analysis found that the concentrations of iron, nickel, beryllium, lanthanum and uranium reported by Loeb and his colleagues in the mineral pellets were “consistent with expectations for coal ash from the Coal Chemical Composition Database.”

“Meteoritic origin is not preferred,” Gallardo said in his post.

Gallardo’s analysis was published in a journal that has not been peer-reviewed.

“Well, they’ve actually discovered evidence of a technological civilization… here on Earth,” astrophysicist Caleb Scharf of NASA’s Ames Center said in a November 2 X post.

In a Medium post published Thursday, Loeb said the claim about coal ash was: “based on unreviewed comments that only superficially examined a few elements out of the dozens we analyzed.”

“For any claim to be scientifically credible, it must reproduce the measured abundances of all elements and, in particular, demonstrate the loss of volatile elements – as concluded in our research.”

Loeb offered several refutations of the analysis. Team member Dr Jim Lim, head of the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Technology in Papua New Guinea, was quoted as saying: “The area where the mission took place should not have coal mining.” He also said the pellets contain more iron than coal ash.

Where did the mysterious metal spheres come from?

Loeb’s decision to search for these pellets came from a high-stakes gamble.

According to the New York Times, the scientist’s team discovered partially secret government records indicating the explosion of a near-Earth object in 2014.

Their analysis, along with a message from US Space Command, suggests the fireball could have come from an object that traveled from interstellar space, according to the Times.

This made Loeb wonder whether the object discovered in 2014 was an extraterrestrial probe, The Times reported.

To test his theory, Loeb went to great lengths to recover debris from the object, which was to land near Papua New Guinea. He’s captured a magnetic “shovel” that can sink under thousands of feet of water, an expedition that received $1.5 million in backing from a cryptocurrency mogul, according to the Times.

This wasn’t Loeb’s first foray into the mysterious world of alien hunting. He also claimed that ‘Oumuamua, a rare cigar-shaped interstellar rocky object that flew in a strange pattern as it passed Earth, was likely a piece of alien technology. This claim has been hotly disputed.

The Papua New Guinea expedition would have failed if the pellets were not magnetic, according to The Times. But the team recovered hundreds of metal spherules, small balls that are the hallmark of the debris left behind by meteorites when molten rock burns through the atmosphere.

In a paper published online last August, Loeb and his colleagues said that five of the 57 pellets they analyzed from the group were indeed foreign and had not been examined through peer review.

It was made of an excess of beryllium, lanthanum and uranium, an “unprecedented” composition of tiny spheres, according to the study. These spheres also carried exotic iron isotopes, versions of atoms, which overall “supported their interstellar origin,” the study’s authors reported.

By dubbing these five globules BeLaU, Loeb and his colleagues go a step further in their interpretation. These “may reflect an extraterrestrial technological origin,” they stated in their paper, although they noted that the claim requires further investigation.

Loeb said the fragments “could be a spacecraft from another civilization or some technological gadget.” CBS News.

Controversial take

Many scientists quickly distanced themselves from Loeb and colleagues’ interpretation.

Some agreed that the strange composition of BeLaU globules could indicate an extraterrestrial origin, but questioned the claim that they were necessarily made outside the solar system. Others, who analyzed the object discovered in 2014, disagreed that it might come from interstellar space, and suggested that the formation of the sphere could come from the solar system.

Loeb disagreed with what he described as his “lazy critics.”

In response to a request for comment from Business Insider, Loeb said the coal ash was not magnetic enough to be captured by the dredging equipment they used to collect it, which uses magnets.

According to Loeb, an analysis by his own team comparing the composition of pellets and coal ash, conducted by his collaborators Stein Jacobsen at Harvard University and Roald Tagle of Bruker in Germany, “found that the two are very different in many elements including iron.” Or silicon or aluminium.”

“There is no way the two can be confused. We are puzzled by the suggestion of linking our pellets with coal ash,” he told BI.

He added that his research teams are currently analyzing the remaining 93% of the approximately 800 balls collected.

“It is astonishing that anyone would definitively say that the pellets are coal ash without access to the materials,” he told BI.

He said, “The only way to determine the nature of the pellets is through precise scientific analysis, which we are currently conducting with the best equipment in the world.”

A full analysis of the spherogenesis will be reported once it is completed, Loeb said.

Gallardo did not respond to BI’s requests for comment.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *