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World UFO Day: People Celebrate UFO Sightings But Do Alien Life Forms Really Exist?

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On July 2, people across the globe paid extra attention to the skies with the hopes of catching a glimpse of something they couldn't explain. This year's World UFO Day may be over, but the search for extraterrestrial life is only just getting started.

The celebration of World UFO Day this year commemorates 69 years of theories, based on both science and conspiracies, all stemming from the infamous crash in Roswell, New Mexico.

Most people don't seem to question that there was a crash on that same day in 1947, with some believing the metallic object to be a downed weather balloon and others asserting it originated from somewhere other than Earth.

As hard of a time as some conspiracy theorists may give NASA, the men and women working for the government-run space agency often express a desire, as strong as anyone else's, to find life beyond earth.

About two decades ago, then-President Bill Clinton commented on a meteorite, "Rock 84001" or "Allan Hills 84001," which was suspected of containing fossilized evidence of alien life. The rock, found in Allan Hills, Antarctica in 1984, is believed to have originated from Mars.

"If this discovery is confirmed, it will surely be one of the most stunning insights into our universe that science has ever uncovered," Clinton said. "Its implications are as far-reaching and awe-inspiring as can be imagined."

Ultimately, this evidence is still best labeled as inconclusive. Critics argued that the fossil's morphology could have been driven by natural processes on Mars. But with the rock believed to have broken off from Mars roughly 17 million years ago, at a time when the planet still had liquid water on its surface, the Allan Hills rock remains an intriguing find.

More recently, in March of 2011, astrobiologist Richard Hoover claimed to have discovered microbes in slices of meteorites he examined. The Journal of Cosmology published Hoover's study, in which the astrobiologist asserted he found cyanobacteria, which depend on photosynthesis, inside the meteorites.

Seth Shostak of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, like many other scientists, concluded that Hoover's findings, while delivered in detail, were "hardly proof."

"If similarity in appearance were all it took to prove similarity in kind, then it would be pretty easy for me to demonstrate that there are big animals living in the sky, because I see clouds that look like them," Shostak said.

The search for life beyond our own existence continues. For those who'd like to take part in it, Google UK has called out some really suggestive images on Google Maps.

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