Scientists working with the controversial astrophysicist Avi Loeb want to specifically search for physical artifacts of extraterrestrial civilizations as part of a new project at the renowned Harvard University. They explained this during the presentation of the so-called “Galileo Project”. In doing so, they referred not only to the controversy surrounding the nature of the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua, but also to the recent UFO revelations by the US government. Using the scientific method, they now want to evaluate scientific data from specially optimized instruments. In contrast to their work, the classic SETI research is dedicated to possible signals, it is said.
Not the undisputed boss
Even if the team is significantly larger, the focus of the project’s presentation is on its boss, Avi Loeb. He has headed the Astronomy Department at Harvard since 2011 and last caused a controversy when he argued in a popular science book that the first interstellar comet ʻOumuamua was not of natural origin, but extraterrestrial technology. The research team of the Galileo Project, however, includes a large number of other scientists from various institutions in the USA and Europe. They are all now committed to the goal of moving the search for technical evidence of extraterrestrials away from random or anecdotal observations towards systematic research.
In order to present the project, those responsible have now formulated three priority goals to which they want to dedicate themselves. So should of the Galileo Project Provide high-resolution images from several detectors of “unidentified phenomena in the air” – that is, UFOs – in order to put the latest debate on a solid footing. For this purpose, telescopes are to be set up at selected locations and specifically monitor the air. In addition, the team wants to search specifically for other interstellar objects such as’ Oumuamua in order to have more time for exploration in the future. After all, the researchers want to look for artificial satellites on earth with a diameter of one meter or less, using AI technology, among other things.
On the occasion of the project presentation has the US science magazine Science Approval but also criticism found in the research community. For example, Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen’s University Belfast raised the question of what the team wanted to add to existing research. After all, they are already looking for interstellar comets, and with the Comet Interceptor, ESA is even working on a probe that could investigate such an object on site. Adam Frank from the University of Rochester also considers it legitimate to ask whether the earth has been visited in its four to five billion year history and to look for artefacts from it. Regarding a connection to UFOs, however, Fitzsimmons says: “OK, that’s bullshit.” Above all, this is likely to hold criticism, after all, the recently submitted UFO recordings seem to be explained otherwise and there are also great doubts about others.