ALIENS could have the ability to be within our own solar system and send “extraterrestrial probes” near Earth in missions similar to those conducted by NASA, Pentagon officials now say.
The claim was made in a draft research report released last week, co-authored by Sean Kirkpatrick, the director of the Pentagon’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) and Abraham Loeb, a professor with Harvard University’s astronomy department.
In the report, the two authors pointed to an interstellar object identified in October 2017 dubbed “‘Oumuamua” and a meter-size interstellar meteor (IM2) which collided with Earth in March 2017.
‘Oumuamua was described to have “an extreme flat shape” and did not show any comet-like tail of gas and dust behind it.
Due to this, some have questioned whether the object was “thin and artificial in origin.”
While the two objects were deemed “unrelated,” they both had “an identical speed relative to the Sun at large distances and an identical heliocentric semimajor axis.”
Kirkpatrick and Loeb claim that these coincidences raise the question of whether “an artificial interstellar object could potentially be a parent craft that released many small probes during its close passage to Earth.”
The authors dub these probes as “dandelion seeds” which could separate from the potential parent object due to gravitational force from the Sun or an independent manoeuvre.
“With proper design, these tiny probes would reach the Earth or other Solar system planets for exploration, as the parent craft passes by within a fraction of the Earth-Sun separation – just like ‘Oumuamua did,” they wrote.
In the report, Kirkpatrick and Loeb suggest that the “mission” of these probes could be fairly similar to missions conducted by NASA being “scientific and exploratory in nature.”
Specifically, they claim that it would make sense for extraterrestrial beings to target planets that have liquid water and habitable atmospheres, like Earth.
They suggest that during the supposed missions, the “dandelion seeds” could “propagate the blueprint of their senders” and use a planet’s nutrients for “self-replication or simply scientific exploration.”
The Pentagon official and Harvard professor do note that it remains unknown if there are any “functioning extraterrestrial probes near Earth” like the ones they described.
Through the Galileo Project at Harvard and in partnership with the Department of Defense, Loeb is investigating that possibility.
Currently, the project is researching the first interstellar meteor (IM1) and whether its “extraordinary material strength resulted from it being made out of an artificial alloy, like stainless steel or materials not yet developed by humans.”
The draft research paper comes weeks after Pentagon officials admitted they did not know the origins of several mysterious objects recently shot down over the United States.
“I’ll let the intel community and counterintelligence community figure that out. I haven’t ruled out anything,” General Glen VanHerck, head of the US North American Aerospace Defense Command, said at the time.
“At this point, we continue to assess every threat or potential threat, unknown, that approaches North America with an attempt to identify it.”