Mention “Places to find wreckage from crashed UFOs” to even the most casual followers of UFO news and the locations that most often come to mind are Area 51 in Nevada and Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. You know you’re talking to a real insider if they bring up Sanford University in California, where a well-known microbiologist is using something called “Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging” to look at the individual atoms of samples from alleged UFO crashes in Colombia and Argentina. Wait … what? Stanford?
“We have developed a method that uses secondary ion mass spectrometry to image antibodies that are tagged with isotopically pure elemental metal reporters.”
At the Nolan Lab (you know you’re dealing with a “well known microbiologist” when the lab is named after him) at Stanford, Dr. Gary Nolan leads studies of “hematopoiesis, cancer and leukemia, autoimmunity and inflammation” by studying single cells using various high-tech devices. In his spare time, he uses those same devices to study alleged UFO pieces. In a recent interview with KQED, he explains it wasn’t his idea – he got one of those mysterious calls from the government.
“I was approached by some people representing the government and an aerospace corporation to help them understand the medical harm that had come to some individuals, related to supposed interactions with an anomalous craft. I had no expectation of this, but they came primarily because they were interested in the kinds of blood analysis that my lab can do.”
After that, Nolan moved to investigated pieces of the actual anomalous crafts. In addition to the latest ones from Colombia and Argentina, he’s analyzed pieces given from the alleged 1945 UFO crash in New Mexico at the same location as the Project Trinity nuclear tests. What did he find from that?
“If people are expecting a spectacular smoking gun, this is not it. But the objective is to take even some of the most blasé cases and just create a pipeline of how this should be done, to demonstrate to people that you don't need to come up with a spectacular answer. I mean, we don't disprove anything with this case. It's just not a case of this being an obvious piece of technology.”
Beyond proving if the pieces are alien made, Nolan says he wants to understand why some people claim the metals show evidence of being made by changing the isotope ratios of given elements – an expensive process. If there’s a practical benefit, he wants to know about it because it would improve our own material science. You can look at his work as both finding something new and eliminating that which can be explained. When Nolan put pieces from the Colombian and Argentine UFOs in the imaging device, he was shocked to find the ratio of isotopes didn’t make any sense. Of course, all this means is that they can’t be eliminated as something we know – but they also can’t be eliminated as alien metal. While he doesn’t speculate, he does share what other scientists think of his work in the UFO field and his defense.
“A little bit the usual giggles, and some have said, "Garry, you're going to ruin your reputation." And my response is: I'm not making a conclusion. I'm just saying that there is data here that is anomalous and that somebody needs to explain. I'm willing to take the time to explain it. What scientist takes something off the table? If the explanation is sitting there right in front of you and you decide to throw it away before you even come to a conclusion, you can't really claim to be a scientist — you're a cultist.”
That sounds like a good argument for all ufologists to follow. Nolan says he can’t understand the reluctance to discuss this kind of research, especially among other scientists doing similar studies – he says he’s aware of dozens and is certain there are many more. He says we need people like himself who consider everything and we need skeptics too. His advice to both is “Keep it on the table.”
Let’s hope he shows us more of what’s on his.