Tucson Weekly . Volume 12, Number 10 . May 18 - May 24, 1995

UA PROFESSOR JAY Melosh is a little apprehensive about his upcoming television appearance.

Melosh, a respected scholar at the University's Lunar and Planetary Sciences Laboratory, will be appearing this weekend on Fox-TV's Sightings, described in press materials as "the one-hour news magazine series that explores paranormal phenomena and supernatural activity."

Melosh's segment will be alongside a look into whether alien remains were recovered from a UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico, and hidden inside the infamous Hanger 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; a profile of a psychic detective; and an examination of the positive side of alien abduction.

Melosh won't be tackling any of those mind-bending riddles. Instead, he'll talk about his theory that life from Mars could be transported to Earth.

"They claim to be doing a sort of serious scientific study of it," says Melosh. "The main thing they were interested in is the possibility that life on Earth and Mars may be naturally exchanged between one planet and another."

Melosh suggests that small chunks of rocks from the surface of Mars could be ejected into space following a powerful meteorite impact--a perfectly reasonable theory, since Martian meteorites have been found on Earth.

Since the surface of the planet is also the place where most biological activity takes place, and tough little micro organisms are capable of surviving the vacuum of space, it's conceivable that tiny bacteria could survive the long trip between the red planet and our little blue-green nest.

But don't go out buying one of those funny white contamination suits to protect yourself from Martian bugs just yet--as Melosh admits, "It's a bit of speculation."

Sightings airs at 9 p.m. on KMSB-TV, Channel 11.

--By Jim Nintzel

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May 18 - May 24, 1995

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