In what may strike some as an obvious conspiracy theory, the hacker group Anonymous is claiming NASA knows about alien life. The video, making the rounds now on social media, combines the work of several articles on the site Ancient-Code.com. Is this a shocking reveal that’s about to shake up how we think about ourselves?
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The skeptics are quick to point out that the video, at least as it appears on YouTube, has advertising. With well over half a million views, that money is surely lining the pocket of some masked cyber vigilante.
Yet the message is too important to dismiss outright. So with a healthy dose of skepticism, here it is.
It begins with the Cassini space probe’s discovery of hydrogen on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. Hydrogen could indicate “a potential source of chemical energy that could support microbes on the seafloor of Enceladus,” NASA said at their press conference.
NASA’s Ames Research Center has also added a significant number of planets to the list of those that could potentially have life. Those in our galaxy now number 4,034. The Kepler space missions are looking for planets in what is euphemistically called the “Goldilocks Zone.” These are planets that aren’t too cold, and not too hot, and may contain the elements needed to support life.
“Only in the last few decades have we been able to detect the existence of other worlds,” said Lamar Smithin, Chairman of the House Committee on Science Space and Technology. “The pursuit of evidence of life beyond our planet fascinates the American people.”
The Anonymous video takes this claim of potential one step further. As The Daily Mail notes, the articles usedƒ as source material for the Anonymous video lack bylines. They do quote NASA associate administrator Dr Thomas Zurbuchen’s remarks made during a congressional hearing on “Advances in the Search for Life,” which was held back in April.”
“Our civilization is on the verge of discovering evidence of alien life in the cosmos. Taking into account all of the different activities and missions that are specifically searching for evidence of alien life we are on the verge of making one of the most profound and unprecedented discoveries in history.”
Anonymous claims this is more than potential, and they insinuate that the speech was just a warm up for the big announcement.
“The TRAPPIST-1 system is just 39 light years away,” Dr Zurbuchen continued, “and its discovery tells us that there is plenty of planet making material in our little corner of the solar system, indicating that finding Earth-like planets may actually be closer to us than we originally thought. Future study of this planetary system could reveal conditions suitable for life.”
“While we haven’t found definitive signs of life elsewhere just yet, our search is making remarkable progress and astrobiology is a focus of a growing number of NASA missions.”
“One such mission is NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has found evidence that ancient Mars did have the right chemistry to have supported microbial life as well as evidence that the raw ingredients for life to get started existed on the red planet at one time,” he noted.
“For astrobiology, the key thing to remember is that answering the fundamental question of ‘is there life out there?’ will require scientific breakthroughs from many different science fields, including ones that are not currently engaged in this exciting endeavor.”
After the success of this first video, the team released a second. Is it something we should anticipate, or just more errant ramblings and wishful thinking?