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D.R. Barber 1997 - Reprint

http://SaturnianCosmology.Org/ mirrored file
*NLO News: January 1997*

*Living Micro­Organisms From Space ­ Real or Apparent?*

The recent announcement by the American space­agency, NASA that a team of scientists have found evidence for primitive fossil life on the planet Mars reminded me of an article, which I wrote in 1963, that described a sequence of unusual events at the Norman Lockyer Observatory, Sidmouth, in the period 1936 to 1961. During the summer months of 1936 the Observatory's spring­water supply, used in the routine processing of photographic material, was found to contain a very high concentration of ultra­rapid gelatine­liquefying bacteria, whose characteristics were markedly different from those of B. fluoroscens liquefaciens, normally present in the local supply. The invading organisms disappeared in the ensuing winter, only to reappear during the summer of 1937 ­ indicative of a spore­forming micro­organism. Following the 1937 outbreak, water samples were sent to the bacteriological department of the Seale­Hayne College, Newton Abbot, and tissue cultures were obtained. It was, however, found to be impossible to match these with any known strains of indigenous liquefying bacteria. The result was later independently confirmed by tests carried out at the Lister Institute.

Between 1937 and 1963 five more major outbreaks of the invading micro­organism were recorded, and in one event (1956) the appearance of the ultra­rapid liquefyers in the water supply was preceded by approximately 4 days by an extremely rapid airborne strain of liquefying organisms having a yeast­like structure.

At the height of each major 'invasion' irreparable damage to freshly processed spectrographic plates was caused by numerous quasi­circular crater­like defects (0.05 ­ 0.25 mm in diameter) from the centre of which the silver deposit had been eroded, and transferred to the perimeter. In a badly affected 1/4­plate negative some 5100 of these craters could be seen at low magnification (x15). In several instances the photographic film was completely liquefied and was seen to slide off the glass base intact. By contrast, the indigenous strains of F. fluorescens were quite incapable of completely liquefying the gelatine layer even at high concentrations.

Two outstanding features of the invading micro­organisms that differentiated them from the local spring­water liquefiers were:

1. its phenomenally rapid liquefaction property; and 2. its complete toleration of the highly toxic concentration of silver and silver halide salts in the processed photographic film.

On some tests made with pure cultures on unexposed and unprocessed plates rapid liquefaction was not impaired.

When confronted by such unusual properties of the bacterial organism as those just described, it is natural to pose the questions:

1. Is the observed activity of the invading bacterium wholly consistent with that expected from terrestrial strains? 2. Why do these micro­organisms show such high tolerances to toxic silver halide salts in sharp contrast to the reactions of indigenous types? 3. If the 'invaders' are indeed extra­terrestrial, what is the likely source?

In an attempt to answer these questions, all the available data between 1936 and 1961 were analysed in conjunction with solar (geomagnetic storm) activity and planetary (Venusian) configurations.

The results were completely unexpected and clearly indicated that (with one doubtful exception in a total of nine bacterial events) each recorded presence of the abnormal liquefying micro­organisms in the local water supply coincided closely in date with an inferior conjunction of Venus and a concurrent major geomagnetic storm.

Furthermore, an examination of the local weather conditions preceding each of the six major events exhibited a similar pattern marked by a period of rainfall immediately prior to the bacterial invasion and a wind direction remaining predominantly northerly during the time­interval between the geomagnetic storms and the bacterial events.

The latter observation suggests that a northerly surface air­stream is required to transport the air­borne micro­organisms to the locality of the Observatory where they are brought to the ground by the local rainfall. Indeed this is what might be expected if the foreign particles are initially injected into the upper atmosphere by the solar wind entering the auroral belt some 500 miles north of Sidmouth. Moreover, the observed mean interval of 55 days between geomagnetic storm and bacterial invasion of the local water supply is consistent with a cloud velocity of some 15 miles/day, a speed sufficiently realistic to support the above hypothesis.

If indeed this is a valid one, we have presumptive evidence that the events occurring at the Norman Lockyer Observatory were caused by the extra­terrestrial strain of gelatine­liquefying bacteria which had originated in the upper atmosphere of Venus and then been transported to Earth by the solar wind associated with major geomagnetic storms.

Granted that the arguments presented above are highly speculative, the support provided by the totem of observational evidence appears sufficiently strong to justify a valid speculation. We may, therefore, presume that the facts as observed are consistent with an extra­terrestrial origin for the invading organisms and that they are brought to Earth in the solar wind from the upper atmosphere of Venus ­ where the temperature is similar to the summer temperature at the Earth's surface.

Consequently, the fact that the observed invading bacteria were living may well make their discovery of even greater importance than the recent claim that fossilised micro­organisms in a meteorite had come initially from the planet Mars.

Donald R. Barber (Director Emeritus).


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