Sprat Issue 52 – Media Blackout On Comet Fly-bys
By James Donahue
Because of advanced telescope technology and a keen citizen interest in watching the
stars, the passing of comets and asteroids has been watched with great interest by people all over the world.
Comet Hale-Bopp, which lit up the night sky in 1997, was dramatically linked to the
Heavens Gate doomsday cult after members allegedly committed suicide in a San Diego house. It was highly publicized.
Also in the news was Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 which broke into pieces and collided with
Jupiter in July 1994. This event made us more aware of the possibility that comets or asteroids are constantly flying around
in space and that they occasionally strike planets and moons, including the Earth.
Sky watchers . . . many of the amateur enthusiasts . . . have been busy ever since Shoemaker-Levy
search for and cataloging incoming object that have the potential of striking Earth. Television documentaries have pointed
out evidence where large asteroids have actually struck Earth in the distant past, causing massive destruction and possibly
even the extinction of life.
We have had some interesting near misses. For example on June 14 this year, Asteroid
2012 LZ1, a massive hunk of rock about the size of five football fields in width, whizzed within 3.35 million miles of our
planet. The media made note of it.
Another approaching rock, dubbed 2012 DA14, is expected to pass so close in February,
2013 that it will fly under some of the man-made satellites orbiting Earth. This asteroid is 150 feet wide, large enough to
cause an explosion with the power of a nuclear blast if it ever strikes Earth, but not big enough to cause the end of life
as we know it. Researchers calculate that it will fly within 17,000 miles of Earth, but will not hit us.
The discovery of Asteroid 2011 AG5 has scientists a little more concerned. This space
rock is about 460 feet wide and will come close enough to Earth in 2040 that some researchers calculate it may actually hit
our planet. Scientists attending the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space meeting this year in Vienna discussed possible ways of deflecting this asteroid if it comes too close.
It does not appear that Mr. Sprat’s concern about a "media blackout" about approaching
comets and asteroids has any validity. Space and science journals and even the national media have given these and other "fly-by"
stories a great deal of attention. So what is Mr. Sprat’s real concern?
It seems that the conspiracy theorists that gather on Godlike Productions were all alarmed
about Comet Elenin which whizzed through our solar system in 2011 because some self-proclaimed doomsday prophets predicted
that Elenin would collide with Earth. It didn’t happen. The comet came and went, and was barely visible to the naked
eye when it arrived. The media almost ignored Elenin because it was far out in space and didn’t even offer much of a
show in the night sky.
Then there is the ongoing story about the mysterious Twelfth Planet of Nibiru, as told
in ancient Babylonian and Sumerian mythology and rekindled in writings by Zecharia Sitchin. Sitchin believes Nibiru, also
dubbed "Planet X," is the origin of alien visitors known as the Annunnaki, reported in the Mesopotamian story Epic of Gilgamesh
as found on clay tablets.
The sensational journal Weekly World News recently reported that NASA scientists "reportedly
confirmed" that the planet Nibiru is not only approaching our solar system, but is racing toward a collision with Earth on
November 21, 2012.
One might think that the story of a wild planet-sized object racing into our solar system
and estimated to be on a collision course with Earth would be big headlines everywhere. But the media hasn’t uttered
a word. This, explains a writer for the website Earthsky, is because Nibiru doesn’t exist. Astronomers have never seen
such a planet in spite of continuing radical web reports and even sketchy images published on line that claim otherwise.
Sorry Mr. Sprat. Your concern about the media silence about looming collisions with
large objects in space does not seem to be valid.