Recently someone posted an interesting article on my Facebook page and asked me what I thought about it, and it so arrested me that I thought it deserved some commentary. But first, the article:

The Black Knight Satellite Revisited

Let's look closer. The article states the problem succinctly enough: "Imagine in 1960 you discover a radar blip. This radar blip appears to be a satellite orbiting the Earth... but this satellite isn't listed along side Sputnik or Explorer, in fact no-one (or any country) knows of its origin. Not only that, but this satellite, named 'Black Knight' - has a polar orbit!... Neither the USA nor the USSR/Soviets have accomplished a polar orbit. Black Knight was found to be many, many times larger than any current satellite orbiting our planet."

And that prompts an obvious question: "So if we didn't put this satellite up there, who did?" Then comes a not so obvious answer: "The options come down to two: aliens or ancient man (when I say ancient man, I'm talking about advanced civilizations)."

The article then goes on to cite a Time magazine article of March 7, 1960, which states that the US Department of Defense had finally concluded that the satellite was the debris of a US Air Force satellite, Discoverer V, which had "gone astray," but later in the same article, the magazine reported that when it was first discovered, then-President Eisenhower was informed of it in a Top Secret memorandum. Researcher John Keel then enters the picture, for according to him (we're given no citations in the internet article other than the reference Disneyland of the Gods...) HAM operators began to receive coded messages about the same time as the satellite was noticed. According to Keel, one of them supposedly decoded a message, and it turned out to be a star chart from 13,000 years ago.

While I am certainly not opposed to the idea of aliens and ancient lost civilizations, is this enough to conclude that the Black Knight satellite must be alien, or for that matter, a derelict from an ancient lost civilization? No it is not, and there are other possibilities.

Consider only the two possibilities and their implications: (1) The US government is telling the truth, or (2) the US government was lying. On the first count, we can all stop reading and go home; there is no further story. But on the second count, the plot thickens. Considerably....

1960 was, after all, the height of the Cold War. The USA and USSR both needed intelligence on each other's capabilities, and a reconnaissance satellite in polar orbit would be the perfect platform by which to achieve it. From the USA's standpoint, it makes even more sense to avoid the risky U-2 flights over Soviet Russia.

There is, however, a third possibility, even more disturbing, a possibility suggested by the wider context. In early 1947, Admiral Richard Byrd returned from Operation High Jump, the fullscale military expedition to Antarctica where, according to the cover story, we were testing winter equipment and tactics (why go there?? Wouldn't the Canadian Arctic or Alaska do just as well? And be less expensive?) On the way back to the USA, as most people know, Byrd gave an interview to a reporter from El Mercurio newspaper in Santiago de Chile, in which he said the United States must be prepared to defend itself against enemy fighters that can fly from pole to pole with tremendous speed. So... if the satellite was ours, might one of its purposes have been not only to spy on the USSR, but on the activities and goings-on in Latin America?

Mind you, I am not a subscriber to the Nazi-survival-in-Antarctica scenario, but it does give one pause.

And there is a fourth possibility: the satellite might indeed be Nazi. While the evidence for such an idea is non-existent, the possibility is worth looking at. Contextually, the 1950s were, of course, the era of the (in)famous contactees, Van Tassel and, of course, Adamski, the latter of whom was contacted by very human, and one might even say Nordic, extra-terrestrials, flying around in their decidedly retro-looking flying saucers, and giving him messages of joy, love, harmony, peace and brotherhood. Admaski's earthly contacts and associations are worth looking at closely, however, for one of them was the American Nazi William Pelley. And  as I mentioned in Roswell and the Reich, "our" Nazis weren't above using "our" V-2s and cameras to spy on us, so why wouldn't a post-war Nazi International, if it had the technology? A polar orbit satellite would be the perfect platform to watch both former enemies, the USA and the USSR. Two birds, one stone. Additionally, they had a rudimentary technology by which to boost something like that into orbit (can anyone say "Kecksburg" here?)

Later, both Dr. Von Braun and, more importantly, his crony from "the good old days" in the Third Reich, Dr. Herman Oberth, implied that the Nazis had had "help" in achieving their technological breakthroughs, the implication being that it came from "ET". But I think not, as I have been at pains to show in my books the science represented by the Bell and other projects may be rationalized on a wholly terrestrial basis; no ET needed. So why would they make such statements? One answer - an obvious one if you think about it - is that they were lying. But to what purpose? One possibility might be that it was yet another subtle implanting of the "ET meme" into the popular culture, as part of a psychological operation conceived in conjunction with the subtle displays of advanced technology. Could the Nazis have conceived of such a plan?

The answer is a definite yes, and there is even direct evidence to support that contention (the subject of another book, I'm afraid); but for our purposes here, it suffices to say that one need not look to ET nor to ancient civilizations as being the only explanation for the Black Knight satellite story. One might look closer to home and to our own time. It could have been something Soviet, something American, or, indeed, something Nazi.

Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. Irene Garrison on March 12, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Sighting June 25, 2004
    IAt first I did not know exactly what I saw with my naked eye and through binoculars.
    I believe it was this elusive Black Knight satellite.
    Sorry no picture available except drawing I made of same.
    I know why it is so elusive. It glows very brightly like a star and at night some people report it as glowing lblue ike a large e moon.when it floats near earth.
    When I saw it, initially I thought there was something wrong with the moon, I saw it at about 5:15 a.m. It lost power and dropped between the earth and the moon.
    It is absolutley massive, as large as a rising full moon during the month of October. It has a peculliar colour similar to pewter with a bluish tinge. The eneergy comes from the top, very bright at top third of this sphere. It has three seams on it, I call them roads one below the top window, another mid point of sphere and the third is located near the base of this sphere. Why did I see iit and not the rest of the world, I do not know the answer to this. But I do know what I saw.

  2. Josh on March 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Check out German director Fritz Lang’s “Woman in the Moon” from 1929.
    It’s about mankind’s first trip to the moon.
    Fast forward to 1969 and it became a reality.That’s a difference of 40 years.
    Isn’t there supposed to be some kind of 40 year time loop theory kicking around out there?
    I wonder if Lang influenced the SS in more ways than we know….

  3. Louis on January 25, 2011 at 8:06 am

    On reading “According to Keel, one of them supposedly decoded a message, and it turned out to be a star chart from 13,000 years ago” I could not help but think about Wayne Herschel’s book “The Hidden Records”. The web link –

    In this book the author puts forward a hypothesis that goes from interesting to dam right mind blowing. It makes so much more sense than the Anunnaki and Nibiru. His hypothesis or alternative Sitchin theory includes the Cydonia ruins and puts these ruins in a new light and has any Mars ruin sceptic running for the hills because when the ruins are looked at in this new light they become a slam dunk and undeniable!

    The evidence that he puts forward for the stories of flesh and blood gods and human origins is very compelling and is there for all to see, encoded in ancient ruins around the world and mars…

    The Author also picks up on a lot of Sitchin’s errors in his translation (or dare I say deliberate errors) and puts forwards his own interpretations/translations that make so much more sense, than a radiating planet with a comet like orbit!

    When I read the Hidden Records, the entire way through I kept thinking to myself – I wonder what Farrell make of all this!?

    • Joseph P. Farrell on January 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      NIbiru is one of my BIGGEST problems with Sitchin, plus his decidedly retro view of technology and inability to see a physics in some of his texts…and and….I have many problems with Sitch

  4. chris stibrany on January 9, 2011 at 9:10 am

    All I can say is after finishing Ravenscroft’s mostly excellent Spear of Destiny today, that the first thing the words ‘Black Knight’ conjured in my mind was the nazi SS and their supposed antiholy quest. So it seems the perfect name they would pick.
    Where did the name come from? Do even unknown satellites have code they spit out with their identifying marks?

  5. Janus232 on January 9, 2011 at 2:20 am

    From Disneyland of the Gods, by the late John A Keel


    Several million years ago some super-civilization in a distant galaxy launched an unmanned satellite to our solar system. Its purpose was to search for life and, if it found any, to keep tabs on its development. The satellite is still functioning and circles earth periodically, presumably sending
    reports back to its home planet.

    This may sound like a crackpot theme from some obscure fringe journal but actually it is a theory that has been put forth by a number of leading scientists after repeated observations of an artificial satellite of unknown origin. The object was first sighted by Dr. Lincoln La Paz of the University of
    New Mexico in 1953, four years before the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I. As more reports poured in from observations around the world, the Department of Defense assigned Dr. Clyde W. Tombaugh to run a search for the strange ”bogey.” Dr. Tombaugh was the distinguished astronomer
    who discovered Pluto in 1930.

    The results of Dr. Tombaugh’s study were never formally released by the Pentagon. Nothing further was heard about the object until December 1957, when Dr. Luis Corralos of the Communications Ministry in Venezuela photographed it, somewhat to his own astonishment. The first man-made
    satellite, Sputnik I, had been launched two months earlier and he was taking pictures of Sputnik II as it passed over Caracas. His photograph revealed a trace of a second, unknown object closely following the Soviet’s dog-carrying satellite. Laika, the first earthly animal to enter space, had

    The Black Knight
    While both the United States and the Soviet Union were racing to launch relatively small satellites into orbit in the late 1950s, astronomers and military tracking stations were following the course of something huge. On January 4, 1960, scientists discovered two large objects in a polar orbit. To date neither the U.S. nor Russia had achieved a polar orbit. The objects were estimated to weigh at least fifteen tons. The largest U.S. satellite at that time weighed 450 pounds and the largest Soviet satellite 2,925 pounds.
    Late in February 1960, the U.S. Department of Defense formally announced that an unidentified satellite was circling the globe. It was tracked and studied by several different observatories and the National Space Surveillance Control Center at New Bedford, Massachusetts. Professor Alla
    Masevich, the Soviet scientist heading the Russian Sputnik tracking program, flatly denied suggestions that the mystery satellites belonged to the Soviet Union.

    The press labeled the intruder ”The Black Knight” and it was extensively discussed in the New York Times, Newsweek, Life, and other major periodicals. It vanished as mysteriously as it had arrived. But it has quietly reappeared from time to time ever since and been buried in the fine print of NASA’s weekly catalog of debris and objects orbiting the earth.

    Echoes from Space
    If a satellite from another world exists, is there any way we can communicate with it? Dr. Ronald N. Bracewell of Stanford University addressed this problem in an article in the British scientific journal Nature (May 28, 1960). He noted that communication with planets in other star systems would be difficult, if not impossible, because of the great distances involved. But if some other civilization has already planted a satellite in our solar system there might be some way to communicate with it. The question is: How?
    Radio experimenters in the 1920s noted a strange phenomenon which they labeled LDE – Long Delayed Echoes. Signals sent out from earth sometimes came bouncing back several seconds later, as if they had been reflected back by something in space. In a few instances these LDEs returned days later. This effect was unexplainable unless something was picking up the signals in space and retransmitting them!

    Researchers in Norway, Holland, and France reported LDEs in 1927, 1928, and 1934. The echo pulses were delayed from three to fifteen seconds and the researchers kept careful records which were duly filed away and eventually forgotten. In more recent years, LDE has become an extremely
    rare phenomenon. However, between 1957 and 1961 when the Black Knight was most active, all kinds of odd radio signals were received by radio astronomers, ham operators, and military stations. Some of these signals seemed to be receding from the earth as if the transmitter were mounted in an object that was traveling out into space.

    Broadcasts to Other Worlds

    In the early 1960s science mobilized to study natural radio waves pouring into our solar system from the stars. Radio astronomers also tackled the problem of communication with other worlds. In April 1960, Project Ozma tried to pick up interstellar signals with a radio telescope at Green Bank,
    West Virginia. Russian astronomers also made similar efforts and created a stir when they mistakenly interpreted natural radio waves from massive stars called pulsars as ”a beacon from a super-civilization.”

    In 1962, Dr. Bracewell expanded his original theory. He visualized a satellite equipped with a computer which would scan all radio frequencies as it traveled through space. When it picked up an intelligible signal it would record it and then broadcast it back on the same frequency. Suppose, he
    speculated, that the instrument was programmed so that if the message was returned again, indicating the system was understood, it would then transmit a message of its own? A message about life on other worlds. The LDEs of the 1920s could have come from such a satellite, he thought, and it was still waiting up there for us to send some kind of acknowledgement so it could
    flood us with the wisdom of the universe.

    Bracewell’s ideas were not well received. No one tried to send signals to the mystery satellites. Astronomers decided they were natural objects, miniature moons. Our moon-bound astronauts were instructed to keep a sharp eye for the satellites. Although plagued by strange radio transmissions, apparently from some source in space, they failed to spot the elusive Black Knight.

    Beep Beep Bloop

    Four generations of scientists have been enthralled with the notion of communicating with other worlds. Dr. Hans Freudenthal of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands even invented a special language called ”Lincos,” a cosmic language based on mathematics. It started with basics –
    beep… beep beep… beep beep beep. Then punctuation of a sort was introduced with different sounds… beep beep bloop. More complex ideas were added with special sounds for plus and minus.

    Beep beep bloop beep beep beep tweet beep beep beep beep would tell the extraterrestrials that two plus two equals four. That venerable science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, came up
    with an even better idea – transmission of simple pictures through carefully organized code signals – a simplified form of television. Then Dr. Frank Drake, America’s reigning genius of radioastronomy, devised an improved system in which a series of dots interspersed with dashes could be
    broadcast in such a way that they would form a picture when laid out on paper. Each group of signals represented a line, like the lines of a TV picture, and the dashes could be grouped so that a crude picture of a man, for example, would appear when all the lines were reassembled. Though this idea was never really implemented, its development started others thinking. If we were capable of inventing this simple yet effective system, might it be that some extraterrestrial race had followed the same reasoning and already put such a system to use? Were the LDEs and other odd
    signals we had been receiving over the years organized in some similar fashion?

    Greetings from Epsilon Bootis

    A young Scottish astronomer named Duncan Lunan reviewed the LDE records of the 1920s and set out to decode them. He laid out the LDE data on a graph, using dots to represent the pauses between echoes. To his excitement, a map began to take shape. ”The dots made up a map of an easily-recognized constellation,” Lunan said, ”the Constellation of
    Bootis in the northern sky. The curious pattern of delayed echoes was actually a pattern of star positions.”

    He worked up other LDE maps and found that they all seemed to center around Epsilon Bootis, a star in the constellation. ”If Lunan is right in his thinking, this material did contain a message,” Dr. Bracewell declared after
    studying Lunan’s graphs. ”It is saying that the people or entities came to Earth from the Constellation Bootis.” Lunan submitted his findings to the prestigious British Interplanetary Society. Kenneth Gatland, vice president of the society, noted, ”Lunan’s findings are utterly astounding. I have studied the maps and must come to the same conclusions he did.” Other scientists have endorsed Lunan’s discovery and a fresh search for LDEs with special equipment was launched in the 1970s – without much success.

    Bridging Time

    Epsilon Bootis is hardly our next-door neighbor. The star is some 103 million light-years from Earth, meaning that the Black Knight would have to be so constructed that it could survive and function for a mind-boggling period of time. Unless, of course, time and space are far different from our human conception and a superior technology could somehow bridge this vast distance in a shorter period of time. Lunan’s star charts are not perfect. In fact, they are out of date by about 13,000 years. That is, they showed Epsilon Bootis in the position it held 13,000 years ago. Lunan posits that the satellite was placed in orbit between 11,000 and 13,000 B.C.

    A number of alternate theories are springing up. Suppose, for example, that visitors from Epsilon Bootis looked over our planet thousands of years ago and decided to leave a little momento behind. Instead of erecting a monument like the pyramid, they decided on orbiting an object that would be
    safe from earthquakes, floods, and other natural calamities. So they launched the Black Knight, rigging it to be activated thousands of years later when, according to their calculations, mankind would be technologically capable to receive and interpret its signals. A satellite constructed near Epsilon Bootis would undoubtedly view the universe from the position
    of that star, and their star maps would be quite incomprehensible to Earth. But Lunan’s maps view the universe from the Earth’s position 13,000 years ago, which incidentally, coincides with the myth of Atlantis.

    The Fatal Flaw

    The biggest flaw in Lunan’s (and Bracewell’s) theory is the dependence on the radio echoes of yesteryear. During the 1930s there existed a top secret project to develop a system of piggybacking secret messages on the beams of conventional radio stations for use by spies. One method was to intercept a signal and rebroadcast it a second later with breaks containing a secret message. Another method was to cut into the conventional signal with static which was really a code. More advanced systems were developed later by the Germans before World War II. A spy merely located his equipment a mile or two from a commercial radio station, or even a military station, and he could use their signal to broadcast his own messages without fear of detection.

    It is very possible that the LDE phenomenon was part of the early experiments and were totally unrelated to the Black Knight. The pauses and fluctuations which fascinate the scientists could be a code something like Lincos when laid out in a different way. Radio messages received in Norway
    and Sweden in 1934 were clearly connected to the ”ghostflier” wave then taking place in those countries, and some of those signals did piggyback on the beams of commercial radio stations. Still, the concept of an alien satellite broadcasting to Earth is an exciting one. ”Once we firmly established its existence, we must interrogate it,” Anthony Lawton, head of a British computer firm said recently. ”When it realizes that it is in touch with an intelligence, it could be ready to give up the enormous store of information which it must have.” But if the Black Knight exists as a computerized satellite, what message will it have for us? Will it tell us something about life on other worlds, or will it just recite forgotten memories of our distant past?

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