Did the ALH 84001 meteorite bring extraterrestrial life to Earth? This NASA said in 1996


It was listed as “The greatest discovery in the history of science.” On August 6, 1996, Daniel Goldin, administrator of the JARannounced the discovery of a microscopic life form that could have existed on Mars around 4 billion years ago… and was on Earth. Extraterrestrial life on Earth, all thanks to a meteorite called ALH 84001.

A huge uproar was generated. Life on Mars, and present on Earth for about 13 thousand years!

But all that glitters is not gold, and this was later demonstrated.

The story begins with the discovery of the Alan Hills meteorite, or ALH 84001, in Antarctica in 1984. According to researchers, it is a piece of Mars that came to our planet thanks to a detachment on the red planet. NASA has since analyzed the rock, until Goldin finally released the information, ten days before its publication in the journal Science.

This August 6, during a press conference, Goldin noted, Quoted by CNN:

“I want everyone to know that we are not talking about ‘little green men’. They are extremely small single-celled structures that look a bit like bacteria on Earth. There is no evidence or suggestion that a higher life form ever existed on Mars.

A couple of things were clarified: it wasn’t a higher life form… and what was found looked a bit like bacteria on Earth.

Here the dissensions entered.

What was actually the material found in the meteorite by NASA? Did he really have an extraterrestrial origin?

as you remember the newspaper El País, from Spain, “Hydrocarbons found in ALH 84001 and other celestial bodies may very well have originated from abiotic (non-living) chemical reactions and the pseudo nanofossils are merely artifacts produced during the preparation of the observed samples.”

For other scientists, these life forms were actually bacteria produced on Earth which then attached themselves to the meteorite.

In any case, as the researcher Philippe Gillet pointed out: “It is always risky to develop such a complex thesis from a single stone”.

Since the 1990s, the thrust of space programs to Mars has been much greater, but “the greatest discovery in the history of science”, the life form found in meteorite ALH 84001, was left in the past.

Daniel McCleese, director of NASA’s Earth and Space Sciences Division 32, said at the time: “The debate over ALH 84001 will go on for years, so we don’t consider this as evidence at this time. . We find this hopeful and suggestive: that the environment on Mars could have been conducive to the development of life.

We are in 2022, with already several explorations on the red planet and it still seems difficult to verify it.


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