LIFE ON MARS; DEBATE RENEWED
By Kathy Sawyer
The Washington Post | Monday, March 29, 1999, pg. H05
Two and a half years ago, researchers from NASA and Stanford University shook the world with the announcement of possible signs of ancient microbial life in a rock from Mars.
It was a drama worthy of “The X-Files,” complete with high-level secrecy, leaks a mobbed NASA news conference, and global ruminations about what it all meant.
Since the 1996 announcement, fragments of the rock have been sliced, probed and measured by dozens of scientists in many fields, spurred by more than $2 million in new government funding, in an intense effort to test the extraordinary claim.
Today, most scientists who have studied the samples, or studied the studies, have concluded that the various lines of evidence in the rock are either disproved, shaken or inconclusive.
Even the researchers who made the original claim acknowledge that they have failed to convince many of their colleagues . . .