- Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson bankrolls Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb’s expedition to recover possible alien technology from the Pacific Ocean.
- “If any operating system in it survived, we could attempt to revive it,” Loeb said.
- Hoskinson also invested in a startup trying to bring back extinct animals like the woolly mammoth, the Tasmanian tiger and the dodo.
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson flew a group of scientists to the Pacific Ocean on his private jet this week. The scientists, accompanied and funded by Hoskinson, are on an expedition to retrieve fragments of potential alien technology that crashed in 2014.
The expedition is led by Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb who, together with his student Amir Siraj, identified a watermelon-sized object that fell from space in 2014 as an interstellar meteor — originating from outside our solar system. NASA confirmed their finding last year.
Loeb said the interstellar meteor may have been “launched a billion years ago from a distant technological civilisation” given its “extremely rare material strength.” To get to the bottom of it, he designed an expedition to the crash site just off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
But scientific expeditions need generous patrons, and in March, a name familiar to the crypto industry stepped in with $1.5 million funding.
“I’m proud to have funded this expedition and it will be fun to go along and see if we find something alien,” Hoskinson said in April.
The expedition began earlier this week with a journey on Hoskinson’s private jet from the United States to Australia, according to Loeb’s blog.
But Hoskinson confirmed he’s still with the expedition team.
‘Hanging out with the aliens’
If successful, the expedition could help shed light on one of the greatest mysteries about the universe, namely the question whether there is — or was — intelligent life beyond the Earth.
If the interstellar meteor were “a technological artefact, its core could have survived the atmospheric entry, and the expedition might find a sizable relic of it on the ocean floor,” said Loeb.
“If any operating system in it survived, we could attempt to revive it,” he said.
Loeb frequently blogs about the ongoing expedition. The team found yesterday “a strange curled wire” and confirmed its chemical composition was unlike human-made alloys.
The expedition will run another analysis tonight — in an ultimate attempt to understand whether it was “manufactured technologically by another civilisation.”
“It’s easier to seek extraterrestrial facts on the Pacific Ocean floor than get them from the government,” Loeb said.
Loeb could not publish his co-authored paper in a peer-reviewed academic journal due to government restrictions on some of the data required to verify their calculations.
For Hoskinson, the search for alien artefacts may have been a much-needed distraction from the recent regulatory turmoil.
Just two days after the SEC action against Cardano, Hoskinson visited the Alien Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. “Hanging out with the aliens,” he said.
‘I’ve always wanted to eat a Dodo egg’
Hoskinson loves unusual ventures.
Last year, he invested in a startup called Colossal Biosciences that is trying to bring back extinct animals like the woolly mammoth, the Tasmanian tiger or the dodo.
Paris Hilton also invested alongside Hoskinson in Colossal’s $60 million Series A investment round.
“I’ve always wanted to eat a Dodo egg, and soon I’ll have the chance,” Hoskinson said of his investment in January.
On their journey to the expedition field this week, Loeb reportedly told Hoskinson, “reconstructing an extraterrestrial operating system might be far more exciting than the revival of the Tasmanian tiger in Australia.”
Networking on the private jet
Hoskinson, who used to fly commercially only two years ago, calls his private jet “one of the best business investments I’ve ever made.”
His private jet is ranked as the 15th biggest polluter in the United States — a testimony to the staggering wealth he’s built in crypto over the past few years. Its emissions exceed those of billionaires and Hollywood celebrities including Mark Zuckerberg, Ken Griffin, and Kim Kardashian.
But Hoskinson said in a video that it’s not all personal use. He rents his jet to clients like Metallica and runs it at a profit.
His open promotion of his clientele drew criticism from others in private aviation.
Tertius van Jaarsveld, CEO of Dubai-based private charter flights company UFlyGlobal, told DL News at the time that “it is just not appropriate to name people like that” since privacy is one of top reasons why people fly privately.
One of the benefits of owning a private jet, Hoskinson said in that video, is that “you can use it to network with pretty remarkable people.”
“You can have heads of state, celebrities, and other people that probably you’d want to have some form of relationship with,” he said.
Now that list is complete with an astronomer searching for alien artefacts.
Updated on June 16 with Hoskinson’s comment that he’s still with the expedition and also with the information that Loeb’s co-authored paper couldn’t be published in a peer-reviewed journal due to government restrictions.