One of the most amusing events currently taking place at this moment is the big deal about the rogue American space satellite that is soon to be shot down. What is difficult to comprehend is the sheer level of hypocrisy involved.
On January 11th, the Chinese launched a ground-based, medium-range ballistic missile at one of their old weather satellites sitting 537 miles above Earth. They smashed it to smithereens. Not only did they get subsequent weeks of hassle about space debris but the indignant ranting and ballyhooha that followed from the American side was deafening. Bumptious Senators huffed and puffed their chests, articles appeared about how this could change the balance of space power and how threatened the Americans felt, and there were strong implied threats about the long term implications for future Chinese/American relations.
The American justifications for their impending actions are that the satellite has a full tank of frozen, toxic hydrazine propellant on board and that the tank would likely survive reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. This could result in the dispersal of harmful or even potentially deadly fumes over an area the size of “two football fields”, as Hydrazine is similar to chlorine or ammonia in that it affects the lungs.
This is of course a high risk strategy for the Americans in one particular area; if they miss, they sure are going to look very stupid. The Chinese got it in one.
And in the meantime, the Russians have accused the US of using the event as a premise for testing an anti-satellite weapon. And they are almost certainly right.
So, what price a weapons free environment in space then?
As Nick Redfern so frequently points out on his blog at The Night of the Living Jackboots, we in the UK are the most watched nation in the world. The number of CCTV cameras in Britain far surpasses the population per head of any other country, and it stinks. Fundamentally, it is lazy policing that has been enabled by the 9/11 event and subsequent terrorist atrocities. But of course, in matters such as this, you cannot trust a government, and its use has gone way beyond any justification on security grounds.
Likewise, in astronomy, the lazy approach is also being taken. Instead of entirely focussing funds into a developed manned space programme powered by new design engines that will carry its payloads and passengers at speeds far greater than the fairground ride attraction level they are currently at, new telescope arrays are either springing up or being planned for just about everywhere. As I have already said, the chances are that intelligent extraterrestrial life will likely be discovered by someone munching on a hamburger while sitting in a darkened observatory rather than, say, an astronaut walking across the surface of Mars and suddenly noticing something that looks suspiciously artificial. Which is a shame, because there goes the romance of the whole thing.
Franklin D Fields recently had an article published in a couple of spots called Why don't Americans believe UFOs are real?. The answer trips off the tongue a little too easily I’m afraid; because they’re not as stupid as they seem. Mr. Field’s article is essentially an Exopolitical/Disclosure cant, containing ground breaking statements like “It is obvious that our government knows about the reality of UFOs. Furthermore, it is clear that the government is engaged in a conspiracy to hide the truth.” Give American’s their due; some of them will be asking, “How do you know this Mr. Fields?” And his answers, at least to those who require convincing, are less than durable.
A woman on a message board, replying to an email sent through by Bill Hamilton about the current spate of UFO sightings, says, “Do you have any info on Dec 2012? Where are you going to be?” Bill hasn’t replied yet but I will; under the bed with my thumb up my ass and reading a copy of Portnoy’s Complaint.