I have to admit, when many of you sent me this story, I was intrigued, because the whole subject of the Black Knight satellite is one of those stories that does not get much attention, but whose significance, if true, is baffling indeed. For those who don't know this bit of contemporary mythology, a brief "bring-me-up-to-speed" might be in order.
During the 1950s, as the space race between the USSR and USA was heating up, a mythology began to appear: there was, it was alleged, an object - some versions of the story put it at an approximate weight of fifteen tons, well beyond the publicly known launch capabilities either of the Soviet Union or the United States - was in polar orbit around planet Earth. This object was clearly artificial, and moreover, there were two problems: (1) fifteen tons well exceeded the launch capabilities of either the USSR(which at that time clearly led the USA in public and visible space technologies), and (2) the object was in a polar orbit, which exceeded the technological capabilities of either nation to achieve. Indeed, at its first discovery, the object exceeded the launch capabilities of either nation to put into any kind of orbit, much less a polar one. This, of course, presented a conundrum, for if the story was true, then this left but two real possibilities: someone else from or on Earth had launched it (leaving the questions of who, when, and how hovering disturbingly over the story), or the object was not from Earth at all. Either way, one had a "hidden player" on the space scene. Dubbed "The Black Knight" satellite, the story became part of the fringe lore of the space age, informing to some extent the science fiction work of well-known and engaging sci-fi author Philip K. Dick. Then the story more or less faded, kept alive on the edges of the science fiction and space-age "alternative research" communities, but by and large forgotten even to many of them.
Until now, when, curiously, the story has made something of a come-back, prompting once again the question "why now"?
As this article makes clear, there is a mystery here, and it won't go away:
"In 1899, Nikola Tesla picked up unusual signals from an unknown source on his high-voltage receiver in Colorado Springs which he speculated were “intelligently controlled signals” that originated “from another world.” Astronomers have reported picking up similar radio signals since the 1930s and Dr. Lincoln La Paz of the University of New Mexico sighted the possible source in Earth orbit in1953. The U.S. Department of Defense commissioned astronomer Clyde Tombaugh to look for it. A famous article about the Black Knight was published in both the St. Louis Dispatch and The San Francisco Examiner on May 14th 1954. At that time, there were no man-made objects in Earth orbit … that we know of.
"That changed in 1957 when the USSR launched Sputnik 1. It was reported that an object believed to be the Black Knight Satellite was “shadowing” Sputnik 1. When Sputnik 2 was launched a month later, Dr. Luis Corralos of the Communications Ministry in Venezuela photographed it again shadowing the satellite. In 1960, a Grumman Aircraft Corporation tracking camera took a picture of it but the company kept its findings secret. In 1963, U.S. astronaut Gordon Cooper reported seeing a UFO like the Black Knight in front of his capsule. A photo taken during a space shuttle mission in 1998 (seen in the videos) shows an object many believe is the Black Knight and a 2014 video feed from the ISS shows a similar object."
And there's more curiosity about the object, including its strange association to sci-fi author Philip K. Dick:
As the second article makes even more clear, there was an abundance of strange stuff associated with the satellite:
"On September 3, 1960, a camera at the Grumman Aircraft Corp. Long Island factory managed to capture an image of the object. It was said to be a redish-pink glowing object moving in an east-to-west orbit, which is, apparently, the opposite of most other man-made satellites, and which doesn’t fit the polar orbit reported by Time. Subsequent to this, astronaut Gordon Cooper Jr. allegedly caught a first-hand glimpse of the object during his 22-orbit Mercury-Atlas 9 flight, which was the final of the Mercury Program missions. Cooper claimed that it was an object much larger than any other man-made satellite of the time, and that it glowed a neon green.
"Cooper, who passed away in 2004, had long been sympathetic to the UFOlogy movement and had been vocal about not only the reality of extraterrestrial life, but also the idea that the US government had been and continues to be complicit in a cover-up of contact with such.
"Then in 1998, during NASA mission STS-88 to the ISS, flown by the Space Shuttle Endeavour, images were captured of an unidentified object in orbit; an object that a great many people believe is the ever elusive Black Knight satellite.
"Following Time’s publication, John Keel detailed the discovery in his book Disneyland of the Gods (1988), wherein he noted that around the same time that Dark Fence detected this mysterious object, ground based HAM operators were reporting having received strange radio signals. According to Keel, one such HAM operator received and decoded a signal and claimed that the message corresponded to a star chart, plotted from Earth 13,000 years ago, and focused on a star system called Epsilon Boötis…and this is where things get really interesting."
What is to be noted here is that both Venezuelan and American scientists (and one can only presume, the Russians as well), took photographs of the satellite, which are to this day been kept secret, or at least, never surfaced.
But there's more, and it's here our own high octane speculations enter the picture. Consider the end of the second article:
"Here’s the thing about all of this. The above may seem like a lot of conjecture and supposition, and perhaps some of it is – surely it’s a stretch to say that Philip K. Dick was a harbinger of tidings from an alien species using a Bracewell probe – but many of the facts are confirmed. Black Knight does seem to exist, and while noting that certain governments do have a penchant for secret technology and clandestine operations, its origin and purpose seems to defy explanation. If we are able to accept the stories and theories held therein, and the, at times tenuous, connections between them, can we accept that there’s a 13,000 year old alien probe orbiting our planet, sending literary inspiration to select people via the gold necklaces of attractive delivery people?"
There's two assumptions here that deserve attention, the first being that the Black Knight satellite - if real - has been around for 13,000 years, and that it is "from elsewhere," and the second is the implicit assumption that it's still up there. And underlying this, another story: why the attention back on to this bit of Cold War space mythology now, and precisely during a period over the last two months that have seen such strange space news stories? In other words, why is the Black Knight back now?
It is interesting to note that the American Space shuttle had payload to polar orbit launch capacity of about 14 tons, and payload recovery capability of about 16 tons(see Wikipedia Space Shuttle). In other words, depending on the physical volume of the Black Knight satellite, it is conceivable that the object might have been recovered and returned to Earth during one of the classified missions of the shuttle. This, of course, raises the stakes about the story considerably, for if this be the case, then rest assured that satellite - if indeed it ever existed (and I am inclined to believe it did) - then its origins are now probably well known, and whatever secrets it may have held might be unravelling, at least in secret.
So why is the Black Knight back now? I strongly suspect that it's back because it forms a part of whatever strategy the powers that be might be concocting concerning the dreaded "D" word: "disclosure." Here, permit me to remain skeptical, for the powers-that-be are well-known to be consummate liars, and whatever information they might disclose concerning this mysterious object - if they disclose at all - will have to be subject to the procedures of verification, including independent verification of its actual physical composition. And the real question hovering over the story is, of course, why it is back now?
See you on the flip side...
(Thanks to Mr. S.D. and others of you who shared these stories)