Harvard’s top astronomer Avi Loeb claims that alien spacecraft are hanging around Jupiter, and he doesn’t care what the rest of the scientific community thinks, the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting.
Ordinarily, when news publications report on sightings of alien spacecraft in our corner of the universe, the sourcing is pretty thin – either it comes from a random person’s blog or a dubious YouTube channel. But in this case, the claim is coming from someone who, by all rights, should be considered as respected in his field as any academic could be – Loeb is chairman of Harvard University’s astronomy department.
Furthermore, he’s willing to stake what’s left of his career on his belief that alien spacecraft are in our midst, including one or more near Jupiter recently. He doesn’t have any photographic evidence to support that – just some quick calculations that he literally jotted down on what is now a random scrap of paper littering his office.
“Oh, this is something I did last night.”
But the assertion that’s gotten him the ridicule – or at least shrugged shoulders of skepticism – from his peers in the space-exploration community is his belief, about which he’s published a paper and gone on a media tour, that ‘Oumuamua is of alien origin.
For those not familiar, ‘Oumuamua, which is the Hawaiian word for “scout,” is an object that began showing up on telescopes and space-watching equipment around October 2017. About 300 feet long, shaped vaguely like a cigar, and moving differently than how it should normally be moving, the object is believed to have originated outside of our solar system.
Beyond that, though, no one is really sure what it is or where it came from. Just about every serious astronomer not named Avi Loeb believes it’s some sort of rock, perhaps a bit of comet debris.
Loeb thinks it’s aliens.
“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that ‘Oumuamua is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment.”
So outrageous is his claim that one fellow astronomer, North Carolina State University astrophysicist Katie Mack, suggested that even Loeb doesn’t believe the object is of alien origin, but that he simply published his hypothesis in order to get his name in the journals.
Not so, said Loeb. He can’t think of anything the object could be except alien technology, and if you don’t believe him, tough.
“Many people expected once there would be this publicity, I would back down. If someone shows me evidence to the contrary, I will immediately back down.”
Meanwhile, he’s willing to risk his career on his beliefs. Faced with the very real possibility of being pushed out of his job, and even forced to relinquish his academic titles and honors, Loeb said he’d welcome it – it would give him the chance to return to his Israeli farm and focus on more research.