A red rain phenomenon occurred in Kerala, the place where I live, during July-September 2001. The characteristics of this phenomenon were very strange. Conventional explanations appeared totally inadequate to account for this phenomenon. I started an investigation with limited resources and I was greatly assisted by my research student A. Santhosh Kumar. We have been studying this red rain since 2001. Some of our research results are now published in the journal -Astrophysics and Space Science, an international peer reviewed journal of astronomy, astrophysics and space science.
According to these published results, the red particles, which caused the red rain of Kerala, are possibly of extraterrestrial origin. This conclusion is arrived by analysing the various aspects associated with this phenomenon, like the geographical and time distribution pattern of this phenomenon and the nature of the red particles. It appears that the phenomenon can be explained much easily if it is assumed that the origin of the red particles is from cometary fragments, which underwent atmospheric disintegration above Kerala. There are also some additional correlating evidences that prompt this line of thinking, like the sonic boom from the meteor airburst, which preceded the first red rain case. Having made a logical possibility like this it follows that the cometary body in question should contain huge quantity of these red particles, which amounts to an estimated quantity of more than 50,000 kg.
What makes this finding most important is the biological cell like nature of these red particles. Under optical microscope they appear like biological cells and the Transmission Electron Microscopy further shows a clear cell structure. Their organic nature is indicated by the major presence of carbon and oxygen. But despite these biological indications the cells do not show the presence of DNA. The genetic molecule DNA is present in all living organisms found on Earth. So the absence of DNA argues against the biological nature of these red rain cells.
But I wish to consider the possibility of alternate biomolecules in these cells whose origin is now suspected as extraterrestrial. This way the cells may represent an alternate form of life from space. If these are such biological cells then their production in huge quantity inside cometary bodies can be explained by the theory of cometary panspermia.
If the above ideas are wrong then I wish to know a better explanation for the strange nature of the red rain phenomenon and also for the strange nature of the red cells. If these cells have a terrestrial origin then it follows that they exist in huge quantities in some part of Earth and it is sure to have been noticed by some microbiologists. But there appears no such identification so far.
We expect to publish the next set of results in a journal soon and we will also be conducting several collaborative studies to reveal the mystery of these cells.
"The red rain phenomenon of Kerala and its possible extraterrestrial origin" Godfrey Louis & A. Santhosh Kumar, Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 302, pages 175-187, 2006 (published online first on the date 04 April 2006)
Link to Online: (full text restricted to subscribers of the journal) http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&issn=0004-640X&volume=302&issue=1&spage=175
Preprint (full text) of the above paper (Released in 02 Jan 2006) is available for viewing from any of the following links or other mirror sites of ArXiv.org:
Primary US link: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0601022
Indian mirror: http://in.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0601022
UK mirror: http://uk.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0601022