NASA says 'no support' for claim of alien microbes

NASA says 'no support' for claim of alien microbes

The US space agency formally distanced itself from the paper by NASA scientist Richard Hoover, whose findings were published Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmology, which is available free online.

In response, the journal's managing editor Lana Tao lashed out at "truly unprofessional and frankly dishonest conduct of various individual(s) at NASA who have resorted to lies, slander, defamation and ad hominem attacks."

"Hysteria and lies do not constitute scientific doubt. They are calls for medication," she said in an email.

According to the study, Hoover sliced open fragments of several types of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which can contain relatively high levels of water and organic materials, and looked inside with a powerful microscope, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM).

He found bacteria-like creatures, calling them "indigenous fossils" that originated beyond Earth and were not introduced here after the meteorites landed.

"The implications are that life is everywhere, and that life on Earth may have come from other planets," the study claimed.

Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, described Hoover as a "NASA employee" who works in a solar physics branch of a lab in the southeastern state of Alabama.