Harvard Universitys Avi Loeb thinks Oumuamua is a proof of extraterrestrial life

Since publishing a highly controversial paper on the recent interstellar visitor to our solar system, writes Avi Selk in the Washington Post, Abraham Loeb, head of Harvard's astronomy department, "has run a almost nonstop media circuit, embracing the celebrity that comes from being perhaps the most academically distinguished alien civilization enthusiast of his time - the top Harvard astronomer who suspects technology from another solar system just showed up at our door".

"Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that "Oumuamua" is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment", the two wrote in Astrophysical Journal Letters this past November. But no one really considered it to be anything other than organic in nature - except Loeb and his colleague Shmuel Bialy.

Supporting his theory, Loeb told Chicago Tribune that his theory is based on a calculation. The unusual cigar-shaped body called Oumuamua is thought to be the first interstellar object ever observed by mankind, but beyond a handful of educated guesses about what it might be, we know little else. Loeb points out that the interstellar object is moving too fast for an inert piece of rock, as if it's being pushed from behind. He explained that the object resembles a "kilometer-long obloid pancake" because it is very long but no more than 1 millimeter thick. 'Oumuamua is also so light that sunlight is pushing the object out of the solar system.

Loeb believes that the mainstream image of Oumuamua as a piece of potato-shaped rock is actually wrong.

"Many people expected once there would be this publicity, I would back down", he said. We are fighting on borders, on resources.

Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb has had a busy start to 2019. Pictured: Avi Loeb, Frank B. Baird, Jr.