An Anomalous Wire Made of Manganese and Platinum in the Pacific Ocean Site of the First Interstellar Meteor

Avi Loeb
4 min readJun 16


Diary of an Interstellar Voyage: Part 8 (June 16, 2023)

A non-magnetic curled wire from the magnetic sled after its first run through the Pacific Ocean site of the first interstellar meteor, IM1. The composition was inferred to be manganese and platinum, but with unusual proportions compared to laboratory electrodes (June 16, 2023).

After our first run through the site of the first recognized interstellar meteor, IM1, we found plenty of volcanic dust on our magnetic sled, containing tiny particles less than a tenth of a millimeter in size. I was able to remove them from the sled magnets with a painter’s brush. We had only one suitable brush, contributed by Jeff Wynn’s wife who is an artist. Rob McCallum ordered many more to be picked up in our next land visit. We did not anticipate this need, which illustrates the art of doing science.

We thought that the harvest of IM1’s site yields the same materials as the control regions away from that site until we noticed a strange curled wire, which we now label IS1–2, (an abbreviation for the second unusual fragment from the first IM1 Run) on top of one of the magnets. The fundamental question is why was it not washed away by the ocean water as the sled was dragged by the ship, Silver Star. The most plausible explanation is that the volcanic magnetic particles held it in place like a magnet holding a piece of paper in place on a magnetic pad.

An elongated non-magnetic wire from IM1’s site, discovered in the late evening of June 15, 2023 on top of one of the neodymium magnets.

The wire is 8-millimeter long and curved twice with a rigid structure. What is it made of?

Avi Loeb uses tweezers to examine the wire IS1–2 in the early morning hours of June 16, 2023.

Today, Ryan Weed and Jeff Wynn analyzed in detail this unexpected wire and concluded that its composition is anomalous compared to human-made alloys. For the composition analysis, Ryan used the X-ray fluorescence analyzer, manufactured by Bruker — whose CEO, Frank Laukien, co-founded with me the Galileo Project. Ryan concluded that IS1–2 has two composition peaks at manganese and platinum, abbreviated as Mn and Pt in the periodic table.

American Elements lists MnPt alloys with a molecular weight of 250.02 in many forms including wires. Jeff noted that MnPt are mostly platinum and used for non-corroding electrodes in laboratories. However, IS1–2 is very different in the relative composition of Mn and Pt from these electrodes.

The American Elements website says: “Manganese Platinum Alloy is available as disc, granules, ingot, pellets, powder, rod, wire, foil, and sputtering target. Ultra high purity and high purity forms also include metal powder, submicron powder and nanoscale, quantum dots, targets for thin film deposition, pellets for evaporation and single crystal or polycrystalline forms. Elements can also be introduced into alloys or other systems as compounds such as fluorides, oxides or chlorides or as solutions.”

Ryan’s analysis revealed the following composition for IS1–2 (in arbitrary units of abundance by number):

MnO: 2.109 (Mn: 0.6355)

Al2O3: 0.0836

SiO2: negligible

Pt: 0.0014

Ni: 0.0222

Sn: 0.0236

Ce: 0.0563

This constitutes the first anomaly found at the IM1 crash site. I was worried about possible contamination from the ship deck. A member of the expedition crew swiped the floor of the Silver Star’s deck with magnets and brought the results to me. There was nothing there that looked like IS1–2.

We are expecting to get our second sample tonight. I plan to stay awake until my morning jog at sunrise. By then, I hope to know whether the first recognized interstellar object from our cosmic neighborhood, IM1, carried materials that are anomalous relative to what we find in our backyard around the Sun. And most importantly, I wish to know whether it was manufactured technologically by another civilization.

At dawn, I will report back about any interesting result from our second run at IM1’s site from January 8, 2014.

The navigation leader, Art Wright, just updated me about the timing of the sled pullout from the ocean floor. He concluded by adding: “We hope to bring you more good stuff to analyze.” Art graciously chose to join us for the expedition because he was so excited about its scientific mission. As Oscar Wilde noted: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”


Avi Loeb is the head of the Galileo Project, founding director of Harvard University’s — Black Hole Initiative, director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the former chair of the astronomy department at Harvard University (2011–2020). He chairs the advisory board for the Breakthrough Starshot project, and is a former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and a former chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies. He is the bestselling author of “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” and a co-author of the textbook “Life in the Cosmos”, both published in 2021. His new book, titled “Interstellar”, is scheduled for publication in August 2023.



Avi Loeb

Avi Loeb is the Baird Professor of Science and Institute director at Harvard University and the bestselling author of “Extraterrestrial” and "Interstellar".