"The organisms are not usual... They must be incoming."
A British research team says they are "95 per cent convinced"" that they've discovered alien life in Earth's upper atmosphere.
The scientists sent a balloon 27km into the stratosphere, which came back carrying small biological organisms which they believe can only have originated from space.
No sign of human-replacing spores yet, no matter how chilly statements like this sound: ""The earth is an open system with biology raining down on it as we speak."
The samples were collected during a meteorite shower from a comet. As they hit the earth's atmosphere, the comets melt - ablate, to give it a technical term - releasing the organisms as they break down.
"The particles are very clean," added Prof Wainwright. "They don't have any dust attached to them, which again suggests they're not coming to earth. Similarly, cosmic dust isn't stuck to them, so we think they came from an aquatic environment, and the most obvious aquatic environment in space is a comet.
"They're very unusual beasts, not your normal kind of life from earth."
The story gives off a fine Andromeda Strain (1969) vibe, no matter if it turns out to be true or false.