Inside 'Oumuamua' mystery as expert reveals why he believes cosmic object is from ancient alien civilization

AN unexplained object that ripped through the solar system at 196,000 miles per hour is from an ancient alien civilization, a renowned Harvard professor claims.

The mysterious cigar or pancake-shaped object known as "Oumuamua" slingshot past the sun in 2017 and is still the only interstellar object to get close to Earth, Avi Loeb told The Sun.



Much of the scientific community have written it off as a comet, but Loeb isn't convinced for three main reasons.

He said comets have a "tail," which Oumuamua didn't have.

Two, it tumbled every eight hours, and the amount of sunlight that reflected off it changed by a factor of 10, "meaning it has a very extreme shape, which was most likely flat like a pancake."

Three, it was pushed away from the sun by an unknown force because there was no rocket effect from evaporating gas because there was no evaporation.

"We've never seen anything like it before," Loeb said. "And my point is, if we didn't see anything like it before we better leave everything on the table, including the possibility that it's artificial in origin."

The only other object that displayed similar attributes that came near Earth was the "2020 SO," Loeb said.

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That was identified as a man-made piece of the US Surveyor 2 Centaur rocket booster that went to the moon in September 1966.

Loeb said "2020 SO" moved slower than "Oumuamua" but "both objects exhibited an excess push from the sun, reflected sunlight and had no cometary tail.

"It was clear that this ('2020 SO') was artificial, and that's only other object to display the same attributes as 'Oumuamua,'" he said. "The only question I have is who produced 'Oumuamua?'"

"GALILEO WOULD'VE BEEN CANCELED TODAY"

Loeb said the technological capabilities exist to study the explained 2017 phenomenon, but the obstacle is convincing the scientific community.

"A lot of my colleagues are shouting, this is ridiculous. We shouldn't even discuss it, we shouldn't contemplate it," Loeb said.

"It's like when Galileo said the earth revolves around the sun. If he made that kind of comment today, he would've been canceled on social media."

Loeb compared "Oumuamua" to a caveman finding a cell phone.

"The cave-dweller will initially think it's just a rock, and he would argue that it's just a rock that I've never seen before. That's what my colleagues did.

"But only if the caveman is curious, will he press a button and realize that he can record his voice. And then that would imply that it's not just a rock."

WHERE'S "OUMUAMUA" NOW?

Nearly five years later, Loeb said the object is about 30 times farther from the sun than it was in 2017 and "a million times fainter than it was when it was close to us."

But instead of chasing "Oumuamua," Loeb said it's about preparing to find another one, photographing it, and studying it.

"When I go to the kitchen and I find an ant, I usually get alarmed, because there must be many more ants out there," he said.

"So my guess is, if we keep monitoring the sky, we'll find another one in the coming years."

That's why he started the Galileo Project about six months ago with the goal of raising money to fund more research.

It's made up of about 100 scientists from around the world that are both skeptical of this theory and subscribe to it and are diving into this search for answers.

Loeb said he's been in talks with a few people with deep pockets to back his projects.

"One of the main goals of the Galileo Project is to find more objects like 'Oumuamua' in the future and then send a camera to take close-up photographs.

"If it looks like a nitrogen iceberg that's so big but we've never seen anything like it, we would learn something new that nature can produce nitrogen icebergs," he said.

"But if it's something like '2020 SO,' we would like to see close-up images of it. There might be screws on it or you might even read the labels saying it was made on X planet and why."

"THERE NEEDS TO BE URGENCY"

When the controversial object whizzed through the solar system in 2017, it was the closest any interstellar object came to earth.

That's why Loeb said there needs to be urgency in getting answers.

The Galileo Project is taking a different approach than past searches for alien life, Loeb said.

In past decades, scientists searched for radio signals, but "that's like trying to have a phone conversation," Loeb said.

"You need the counterpart to be active when you're listening. But it may well be that there is nobody transmitting a radio signal when we are looking for it.

"And in the past, when people thought about how to respond to a discovery of a radio signal, you don't have to respond immediately because the distance to the nearest star is four light-years away."

A round-trip conversation would take a decade or more to the nearest star, Loeb said, "so there is no urgency in deciding how to respond."

"It's very different in case you have an object close to us," he said. "It's like having a person in your home. You have to decide what to do immediately because there could be consequences of that.

"And there is currently no protocol and no idea of how to engage with an object that came from another civilization."

"WHO REPRESENTS EARTH?"

If humanity does make contact, who should represent earth, Loeb said.

"There is was no thought given to this," Loeb said. "I think these are very serious issues that need to be thought about."

Unless it's a case of national security, Loeb argued that it should be a worldwide collection of scientists that operate separately from governments.

"It's not a matter of a specific government to decide what information to keep or which data to keep secret," Loeb said. "It should be part of the scientific research agenda."

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