Milton Wainwright is no stranger to claims of alien life. This time, he's saying that he's found organisms 25 miles above the Earth — proof that aliens exist. Should he be taken seriously?
A researcher from the University of Sheffield in the UK, Wainwright first claimed that alien life exists after finding microorganisms in the stratosphere 16 miles above Earth in 2013. He said the height was simply too high for any life form on Earth to reach via jet stream, and that the organisms he found were too heavy to simply float up that high — especially with no recent volcanic blasts to propel them.
Then there was also the state of the collection apparatus he sent up. The device exhibited tiny dents, suggesting that the organisms hit the tin with some speed. The strikes came from above, so Wainwright concluded that the organisms had come from space.
Tabloids ate up Wainwright's discovery immediately — but scientists were more wary, mostly saying that his evidence was too flimsy to prove that alien exist.
Wainwright's more recent discovery of organisms 25 miles above the planet offers different – though still similar – evidence from his earlier claim. The organisms he recently collected have tested positive for DNA, and they contain masses six times bigger than the size limit of particles that could have flown up from Earth — even with a boost from violent volcanic eruptions.
Excited about his discovery, Wainwright shared the news with some of his students at Sheffield, one of whom naturally posted the researcher's email online.
When Jason Koebler of Motherboard got in touch with Wainwright, the researcher said the organisms were biological, they feature a defined structure and are not in any way related to organisms on Earth.
Wainwright revealed that his newest paper detailing his most recent discovery has been accepted by an international astrobiology journal but he didn't divulge which publication and when the paper would come out.
Given his discovery, Wainwright said comets could be seeding life across the universe and may just be where life sprouted from in the first place. Instead of a couple cells continuously evolving through millions of years, it's possible there were actually a number of evolutionary trees. Perhaps there wasn't just one common ancestor, but different comet-borne ancestors that landed on Earth at various times.