In August, a Harvard professor shook the waters of the scientific community when he announced that he had recovered from the bottom of the Pacific hundreds of mysterious spheres of extraterrestrial origin, with a composition unknown to mankind.

Harvard physicist Avi Loeb examined the roughly 700 metal fragments over two weeks and concluded that they came from an object or meteorite outside our solar system that crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Papua New Guinea in 2014.

“They could still come from an extraterrestrial vessel” the professor had stated.

At the time his claims had been met with ironic comments by his fellow scientists.

Now, according to the Daily Mail, a new study casts even more doubt on Avi Loeb’s claims, saying the pellets are made of coal ash resulting from industrial activity.

The study’s author, Professor Patricio A. Gallardo, a physicist at the University of Chicago, announced that the fragments – codenamed CNEOS 2014-01-08 – simply indicated “contamination from terrestrial sources”.

According to Gallardo the pellets recovered from the ocean last June are rich in three elements – beryllium, lanthanum and uranium.

“The nickel, beryllium, lanthanum and uranium content is examined in the context of a known anthropogenic source of contamination and found to be consistent with coal ash,” he said.

Therefore, “their meteoric origin is rejected,” he announced in his paper published in Research Notes of the AAS.