By Tim Binnall
The astronomer credited with discovering the mysterious interstellar object known as 'Oumuamua' has called into question the theory that it has an alien origin. The tantalizing hypothesis was put forward by a pair of Harvard scientists in a recently-published paper which argued that the enigmatic oddity from outside our solar system may be an ET light sail or some kind of probe. Unsurprisingly, this fantastic scenario spawned headlines around the world and captured the imagination of UFO enthusiasts.
However, the scientist who first spotted Oumuamua expressed considerable skepticism over the claim and, in an interview with the CBC, described it as "wild speculation." Robert Weryk, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii, explained that although the object is unique in that it's the first interstellar interloper ever found in our solar system, the existence of such 'visitors' had been "theoretically predicted for decades." To that end, he described the discovery as something of a lucky break in that "it's just something that happened to run into us" as they were looking for potentially hazardous asteroids out in space.
Regarding the solar sail theory outlined in the paper, Weryk opined that "we actually believe that's not true based on the data we obtained." Alas, this appears to be as far as he went in specifically debunking the hypothesis proposed by the Harvard scientists. As one can imagine, the seemingly out-of-hand dismissal of their paper has been met with resistance from the researchers. One of the astronomers who authored the work told Fox News that Weryk's response "showed prejudice."
He went on to assert that their research followed "standard scientific methodology" and then challenged "anyone with a better explanation to write a paper about it and publish it." Considering how many theories we've seen for the similarly-mysterious 'alien megastructure' over the last few years, we're guessing that's exactly what someone will do.