Scientist Claims to Have Found Evidence of ET, But Don’t Phone Home Just Yet

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Do we now have proof that aliens exist?

NASA scientist Dr. Richard B. Hoover sent the scientific world into a frenzy this weekend when he announced that conclusive evidence of alien life was found nestled inside a rare meteorite.

Dr. Hoover’s findings, which were published late Friday night in the The Journal of Cosmology, an online peer-reviewed scientific journal, claimed that he discovered fossils of worm-like micro-organisms inside a rare CI1 carbonaceous chondrite (a fancy term for meteorite) that slammed into France in the 1800s. These fossils, Hoover claims, bear striking resemblance to bacteria found on our own planet, and can thus be considered evidence that life does exist in outer space.

(More on NewsFeed: See the microbe that proves life outside earth is possible)

“I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet Earth,” Dr. Hoover told on Saturday. “The exciting thing is that they are in many cases recognizable and can be associated very closely with the generic species here on earth.”

Sounds out of this world, doesn’t it? That’s because it is — well, at least the claim is.

TIME contributor Michael D. Lemonick took a deeper look into Dr. Hoover’s report, and found that it is strikingly similar to previous scientific claims to extraterrestrial life — none of which have been accepted into mainstream science. Furthermore, Lemonick points out that the Journal of Cosmology has a history of promoting panspermia, or the hypothesis that life exists throughout the universe, and is distributed through “seeds” carried on meteorites and the like.

Other scientists, like biologist and blogger P.Z. Myers, have been quick to refute Dr. Hoover’s claims, saying that the Journal of Cosmology is nothing but “the ginned-up website of a small group of crank academics.”

But even if this discovery is far out, NewsFeed would like to believe Dr. Hoover — if only for our own entertainment. Just imagine the film James Cameron could create based off the idea of panspermia! It would surely put Avatar to shame. (via Yahoo!)

(More on See 10 types of aliens we wish were real.)