Former NASA scientist Gilbert Levin has recently published an opinion piece for Scientific American, on his long-held belief that evidence of alien life was discovered on Mars in the 1970s.
Gilbert Levin worked with NASA on the Viking missions to Mars, and he claims that evidence of life was found on the Red Planet during those missions.
Levin’s new article is simply titled, “I’m Convinced We Found Evidence of Life on Mars in the 1970s,” and details his first-hand experience with the Viking missions.
In his article, Levin explains that, “On July 30, 1976, the LR returned its initial results from Mars. Amazingly, they were positive. As the experiment progressed, a total of four positive results, supported by five varied controls, streamed down from the twin Viking spacecraft landed some 4,000 miles apart… The data curves signaled the detection of microbial respiration on the Red Planet. The curves from Mars were similar to those produced by LR tests of soils on Earth. It seemed we had answered that ultimate question.”
Samples taken from the soil on Mars during these missions were later found to contain organic compounds. NASA scientists even suspected that carbon dioxide was contained in the samples, which they believed was being “regenerated, possibly by microorganisms as on Earth.”
Levin says that NASA should have followed up and conducted more research on this incredible finding, but the space agency ultimately concluded that they only found a “substance mimicking life, but not life.”
“Inexplicably, over the 43 years since Viking, none of NASA’s subsequent Mars landers has carried a life-detection instrument to follow up on these exciting results. Instead, the agency launched a series of missions to Mars to determine whether there was ever a habitat suitable for life and, if so, eventually to bring samples to Earth for biological examination,” Levin explained.
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Levin says that there is enough evidence of microscopic life on Mars for NASA to reconsider their current plans. Instead of immediately preparing to set up a colony on the Red Planet, as NASA seems to be doing, Levin says that we should be studying the life there first, which he says is actually “well-established scientific protocol.”
“Such an objective jury might conclude, as I did, that the Viking LR did find life. In any event, the study would likely produce important guidance for NASA’s pursuit of its holy grail,” Levin said.
Levin first publicly expressed his theorist about the Viking missions in 1997, when he published an article on his website making similar claims.
IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia, NASA