According to a statement by Loeb’s publisher HMH Books received by the Boston Globe, Loeb “showed it was not an asteroid; it was moving too fast along a strange orbit, and left no trail of gas or debris in its wake.”
To Loeb, it’s compelling evidence that an advanced alien civilization came by for a visit. It’s a striking theory, but one that puts him at odds with the vast majority of SETI researchers, who hold that we have not yet found compelling proof of life beyond the Earth.
But to be fair, before 2017 we had also never found anything like ‘Oumuamua. It’s the first interstellar object to have ever been directly observed, which has made it the subject of extensive speculation since it was first spotted by astronomers at the Haleakalā Observatory, Hawaii, on October 19, 2017.
The cigar-shaped object entered the solar system tumbling at a highly unusual orbit — and at a breakneck pace — seemingly defying the gravitational pull of the Sun. That finding left astronomers frazzled: was it a comet or an asteroid? And why was it emitting gas?Victor Tangermann, “Harvard Astronomer Argues That Aliens Visited Us in 2017” at Futurism
The book is Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth
Okay, Oumuamua is unusual.
But here’s what seems even more unusual. That a Harvard astronomer would be retailing stories that, sixty years ago, were the domain of tabloid magazines. And people are listening seriously.
Look, here at UD, we’re game for space alien theories in principle. Why not? It’s fun.
But something has changed in science when a Harvard type takes this stuff seriously – and that’s all okay – when we haven’t, according to NASA, found so much as a single fossil bacterium on Mars.
See also: It Turns Out! Not Only Was Space Junk Oumuamua An “Extraterrestrial Lightsail” But Our Whole Universe Might Be An Alien’s Experiment! Wowza.