A Harvard Physicist Is Racing to Prove This Meteorite Is an Alien Probe


The world’s top alien hunter is about to embark on his most ambitious—and potentially history-making—mission yet. Harvard physicist Avi Loeb is organizing a $1.5-million expedition to Papua New Guinea to search for fragments of a very strange meteorite that impacted just off the coast of the Pacific nation in 2014.

There’s compelling evidence that the half-meter-wide meteorite, called CNEOS1 2014-01-08, traveled from outside our solar system. And that it’s made of extremely hard rock or metal—a material that’s hard and tough enough to prove the meteorite isn’t a meteorite at all. Maybe it’s an alien probe.

It’s a long-shot effort. After years of work, Loeb and his team have, with a big assist from the U.S. military, narrowed down CNEOS1 2014-01-08’s likely impact zone to a square kilometer of the ocean floor, nearly two kilometers underwater. But the fragments themselves are probably just a few millimeters in size. It’s worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. Loeb is basically preparing to look for big sand in a square-kilometer patch of small sand.