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For Immediate Release For Further Information:
Visual Media Resources, Inc.,
Linda J. Wortman -- (201) 487-9031
NASA SCIENTIST CLAIMS FALSE CREDIT AT MAJOR 1996
SPACE CONFERENCE FOR RUMORED GALILEO
DISCOVERY OF ALIEN LIFE FORMS AT JUPITER:
RESEARCH ACTUALLY PUBLISHED 16 YEARS AGO BY OTHERS



OBSERVERS SPECULATE ABOUT
"PREEMPTIVE POLITICAL STRIKE" BY NASA -- ON EVE OF
POSSIBLE GALILEO CONFIRMATION OF PREDICTION

New York, July 23 -- Professor Steven Squyres, a NASA planetary scientist currently attached to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, last week flatly attempted to take false credit, on behalf of NASA, for potential confirmation of a revolutionary idea centering on a major moon of Jupiter: "Europa." Speaking at the July 18, 1996 Meeting of the Committee for Space Research, in Birmingham, UK., Squyres claimed his potentially revolutionary conclusions were based on "personal examination of 16-year-old Voyager photography, under a formal contract with NASA."

In point of fact, this immensely significant research -- a proposal that a current liquid ocean, containing possibly highly exotic alien LIFE FORMS, might be confirmed within the next few weeks by NASA's current Galileo mission -- is actually an original idea extensively researched and published 16 years ago (in 1980) by independent space researcher, Richard C. Hoagland. Writing in acknowledgment of Hoagland's highly original "Europa Concept," well-known space pioneer and inventor of the communications satellite, Arthur C. Clarke, noted in 1982 in his sequel to the famed "2001":

"The fascinating idea that there might be life on Europa, beneath ice-covered oceans kept liquid by the same Jovian tidal forces that heat Io, was first proposed by Richard C. Hoagland in the magazine Star & Sky ( The Europa Enigma,' January, 1980). This quite brilliant concept has been taken seriously by a number of astronomers (notably NASA's Institute of Space Studies, Dr. Robert Jastrow), and may provide one of the best motives for the projected GALILEO Mission [emphasis added] ..."

Currently, Richard C. Hoagland is founder and principle investigator of a highly controversial independent space research and NASA watchdog constituency group, called "The Enterprise Mission." The Enterprise Mission (www.enterprisemission.com) is presently analyzing a wide variety of historical NASA data, concerning potential extraterrestrial life -- including the new information coming from Europa. In 1988, Hoagland and Squyres faced off in a nationally-televised debate on the "extraterrestrial artifact" issue on CBS's "Nightwatch" news program, hosted by Charlie Rose. According to observers, Hoagland won the encounter "hands down" -- when Squyres was forced by Rose to admit that he hadn't even looked first hand at the NASA photographic evidence he was denying existed.

On March 21 of this year, "The Enterprise Mission," led by Hoagland, held a major news conference in Washington D.C., presenting 30+ years of NASA photographic evidence, through a panel of outside experts, attesting to NASA's "less than forthcoming attitude" regarding full disclosure of space data relating to potential extraterrestrial life forms. Some observers now view Prof. Squyres' attempted claim to the "Europa Proposal" as nothing more than a thinly-veiled NASA political effort to deflect media and public attention from the true originator of this crucial 16-year-old scientific concept . . . on the eve of confirmation. There are even rumors circulating that Galileo has already verified this stunning concept -- via "withheld" Galileo imagery of Europa, originally announced by NASA for December 7, 1995, then mysteriously "canceled."

Hoagland's actual, highly specific and detailed 13+ page 1980's "Europa Concept" -- complete with original color NASA images of Europa transmitted back by Voyager -- is currently available on the World Wide Web, at "www.enterprisemission.com."

In 1971, Hoagland successfully proposed to NASA (along with fellow researcher, Eric Burgess) that a "message" be attached to Earth's first interstellar spacecraft: Pioneer 10. NASA, through the offices of Dr. Carl Sagan, accepted the proposal and thus was born the well-known "Pioneer Plaque." Hoagland has also served as an official NASA consultant to the Goddard Space Flight Center; and, in the 1960's was formal science advisor to Walter Cronkite and CBS News, during NASA's Apollo Program to the Moon. In 1993, for his continuing work on possible "extraterrestrial artifacts" and their implications, Hoagland was awarded the prestigious international Angstrom Medal for Excellence in Science.

A former graduate student of Carl Sagan, Professor Squyres' purported "original analysis" of the unmanned Voyager spacecraft images from Jupiter seemed to some a deliberate blurring, for the space community and scientific press, of clearly independent space research with legitimate "NASA" scientific interest in Jupiter. Also considered significant, was the timing of Squyres' totally misleading claim: within mere weeks (on the current time line) of a very real prospect of exciting "NASA" confirmation of this 16-year-old independent research from Galileo; in his presentation, Squyres went on to speculate that "[in Europa's ocean] biological activity may ...be powered by geothermal heat at the center of the planet -- much like the thermophilic, heat-loving bacteria and isolated biological communities recently discovered near submarine volcanoes on Earth..."

Anticipating this crucial key to the scenario by "only" 16 years, Hoagland himself noted in 1980:

 

"During the last few years the development of deep-diving submarines has opened the floors of Earth's deepest oceans to exploration. Several miles down, in eternal darkness and under crushing pressures, living creatures exist, sustained by a constant rain of dead organisms that drift down from the abundance of life at the ocean's sunlit surface. Without such sustenance from above, life in the depths was assumed to be impossible -- thus apparently ruling out Europa as an abode of life because of its solid casing of ice. But recent findings have overturned this concept...

"Near the rift systems that lie along divisions between plates in our planet's crust, molten magma wells up, creating warm water vents ...producing one of the most fertile crucibles for living organisms known on Earth... about four times greater than in productive surface ocean waters...

"Europa's ocean, according to the line of reasoning in this article, potentially has all the ingredients to permit the existence of similar internally nurtured oases of life. Only further exploration -- on both Europa and Earth -- will tell us if there are two life-bearing worlds in the solar system..."


UK News Report

UK News

Electronic Telegraph

Friday July 19 1996

Jupiter's moon may hold secret sea of life

By Nick Flowers

EUROPA, one of Jupiter's largest moons, may have an ocean under its icy layer bearing exotic life quite different from our own, scientists reported yesterday.

Prof Steven Squyres, of Cornell University, told the 1996 Committee for Space Research, meeting in Birmingham yesterday, that he based his claim on evidence from an analysis of Voyager spacecraft images.

These showed a smooth surface, nearly devoid of the craters seen on Jupiter's other ice moons, but criss-crossed with a lattice of fractures strikingly similar to ridges seen on Antarctic ice.

Prof Squyres conjured up a scenario similar to the Arthur C Clarke novel, 2061, where the icy moon is in a continual tug of war between the gravity of Jupiter, Io and Ganymede - two other moons of Jupiter. The friction from the tidal forces heats the planet and keeps water liquid about a rocky core under the ice.

Research suggests that this might be up to 65 miles thick in places, full of organic compounds and salts, making it one of the most promising places in the solar system beyond the Earth to search for life, even though it would be blocked from life-giving sunlight.

He speculates that biological activity may instead be powered by geothermal heat at the centre of the planet - much like thermophillic, heat-loving bacteria and isolated biological communities recently discovered near submarine volcanoes on Earth.

It is hoped that data coming from the Galileo space probe in the next month will yield clues as to the presence of an ocean on Europa - perhaps even detecting geyser-like eruptions from an ocean below the ice.

Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc




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