SPACEX DENIES ANY OVERSIGHTS IN CLASSIFIED SATELLITE LAUNCHJanuary 14, 2018
Yesterday, you'll recall, I blogged about those ship collisions that have been occurring, this time not to American warships and civilian freighters, but to Chinese and Russian ships. While most of the focus has been on the Chinese collision with an Iranian tanker, and with the fact that tankers usually don't suddenly go up in flames just because another ship collides with them, I focused on the collision with the Russian ship of a ship under the flag of Sierra Leon, which collision as reported by RT is at the very least suspicious. I raised the possibility yesterday that we might be looking at a variety of technologies covertly in play:
1) cyber-warfare, via
a) hacking or
b) defective hardware/chips;
2) electromagnetic technologies capable of targeting specific electronic systems remotely and taking them out, or taking them over, remotely (for the UFO cognoscenti out there, think of the Malmstrom AFB incident, and Boeing's ability to reproduce the effect supposedly done by the UFO);
3) Mind control technologies capable of manipulation of the behavior of the crews of the ships
4) global positioning spoofing technologies.
I also advanced two possible scenarios as to who was utilizing one or more of these technologies and doing this and why:
1) The West and the East(i.e., Russia and China) were doing it to each other in a tit-for-tat covert warfare that appears to have begun around the time of the USS Donald Cook incident; or,
2) A third actor, a non-territorial actor, perhaps a non-state actor(in the conventional sense) was doing it to both sides to manipulate and escalate tensions for its own purposes.
So now consider the recent launch of the Zuma classified US satellite by Elon Musk's SpaceX corporation:
Concentrating on the first article, take note of the following paragraphs:
It isn’t clear what job the satellite was intended to perform, or even which U.S. agency contracted for the satellite. As usual for classified launches, the information released by SpaceX before liftoff was bereft of details about the payload. A video broadcast Sunday night narrated by a SpaceX official didn’t provide any hint of problems, though the feed ended before the planned deployment of the satellite.
The WSJ admits that the lack of details about what occurred means that some possible alternate sequence of events other than a failed separation may have been the culprit. And since this is another Musk project/failure, which means the eccentric billionaire will certainly not be tweeting up a storm explaining what went wrong, we may not know the exact reason for the failure for some time.
As of Monday night, nearly 24 hours after the launch, uncertainty surrounded both the mission and the fate of the satellite, the WSJ reports. Notably, the Pentagon’s Strategic Command, which keeps track of all commercial, scientific and national-security satellites along with space debris, hadn’t updated its catalog of objects to reflect a new satellite circling the planet.
Neither Northrop Grumman Corp., which built the satellite, nor SpaceX, as Elon Musk’s space-transportation company is called, has shed light on what happened.
A Northrop Grumman spokesman said, “We cannot comment on classified missions.”
A SpaceX spokesman said: “We do not comment on missions of this nature, but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally.” That terminology typically indicates that the rocket’s engines and navigation systems operated without glitches. The spokesman declined to elaborate.
What we do know, is that the secretive spy satellite was worth "billions", which makes this the second billion-dollar satellite Musk has managed to lose up in two years; Facebook’s internet satellite was strapped on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, which it spontaneously blew up on the launch pad in September 2016.
And from the second article, Space X is denying that it did anything wrong:
But the mystery around the launch and the payload continues, as in an emailed statement, company President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, said that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday "did everything correctly."
“For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.
In other words, what Space X is really saying by not saying it, is either that (1) the government or Northrup-Grumman did something wrong with the payload and the loss is their fault; or (2) the loss is no one's fault, but is the result either of deliberate sabotage or an attack. Obviously, for the sake of our high octane speculation, we're going to consider the second possibility. What becomes immediately apparent, once one considers this possibility, is that it fits the wider pattern of speculation about ship collisions and the various technologies that might possibility be behind them. One can at least imagine similar technologies in play both in a sabotage and "attack" scenario against the satellite.
It's the who that is once again the interesting question, and with it, the why. As for who, one can easily imagine a corporate competitor to Musk's SpaceX vying for lucrative government contracts in the billions. Would jeopardizing national security by an attack on a classified multi-billion dollar satellite be of any consequence? Sadly, in today's world, I would have to say no. But I suspect in this case that corporate sabotage might have to take second place to the hypothesis of another state actor, or an extra-territorial non-state actor (in the conventional sense), for I strongly suspect that the object of attack was not Musk's SpaceX corporation and its lucrative launch contracts, but the satellite itself. A multi-billion dollar satellite suggests that it was packed with electronics platforms of a variety of natures, suggesting that it was either a spy satellite, or a weapons platform of some sort, possibly both (the latter disguised as the former). And that suggests in its turn that someone did not want whatever capability that the satellite represented to be deployed, and that suggests - as I have averred- a state actor or non-territorial actor. With respect to the last possibility, one must remember that weapons platforms cum-spy satellites may not necessarily be targeted on anything terrestrial. Such platyforms could so to speak, be designed for "double duty" against both terrestrial and non-terrestrial targets.
What I am suggesting in yesterday's and today's blogs is that we are, perhaps, viewing a massive covert war of some sort taking place just behind the scenes of today's headlines. The real difficulty appears to be deciding just who the combatants are.
See you on the flip side...