An Irish astronomer who was ridiculed for suggesting that the Earth was being watched by aliens at a conference in 2001 has had his theory echoed by scientists at the Pentagon and Harvard. 

Dr. Eamonn Ansbro, from County Roscommon, told a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) conference in California in 2001 that Earth was under surveillance from aliens. 

Ansbro said the universe is 13.7 billion years old and told the Irish Independent that there has been "sufficient time" for intelligent life to have formed elsewhere in the universe. 

However, he said he was ostracized by his colleagues after presenting his theory in 2001. 

"To my absolute astonishment, the scientists present ostracised me, including one from Harvard," Ansbro told the Irish Independent. 

"My wife and I were not invited for breakfast. They said they had a problem with my findings." 

He added that people in mainstream academia "turned white" when he presented the theory 22 years ago. 

"I said ‘these things are in our backyard.’ The panel of eight astronomers got absolutely irate. I had all the data to back up the theory. To my astonishment, they ostracised me," he told the Independent. 

However, the Pentagon and Harvard have recently released a report stating that UFOs may be small probes "visiting planets" in the solar system after being released from a larger vehicle. 

The report was co-authored by Abraham Loeb, chairman of Harvard's Astronomy Department, and Pentagon UFO Chief Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick and was compiled as part of an open hearing on UFOS in the US Senate. 

Kirkpatrick said it is possible that UFOs may be on similar missions to those NASA conducts on other planets. 

"An artificial interstellar object could potentially be a parent craft that releases many small probes during its close passage to Earth, an operational construct not too dissimilar from NASA missions," Kirkpatrick wrote in the report. 

Ansbro said he has been saying the exact same thing for the past 30 years. 

"My research concluded Earth is under automated surveillance, using hundreds of probes which operate along orbital tracks, synchronized with the rotation of the earth’s movement. 660 of them to be precise," he told the Independent. 

Ireland appears to be something of a UFO hotspot, with 105 recorded UFO sightings in Ireland lasting an average of 13 minutes per visit. 

The majority of the sightings in Ireland have been described as unexplainable bright lights.

A 2021 report by Psychic World found that Ireland had recorded the most UFO sightings in Europe, ahead of France and Spain. 

In November 2018, the Irish Aviation Authority investigated a possible UFO sighting after a British Airways pilot reported something "moving so fast" off the south-west coast. 

The pilot, who was flying from Montreal to Heathrow, asked air traffic control staff at Shannon Airport if there were military exercises ongoing in the area and was surprised to learn that none were planned.