For All Nails #31: Star of Wonder, Star of Light
Letter to The Times (London)
19 December 1972
Our observatory has received a number of enquiries about a mysterious astronomical object observed crossing the evening sky from south to north. It can be observed in Britain, for example, passing through Ursa Minor about 9:32 p.m. on Christmas Eve, visible overall from about 9:27 to 9:34 FN1.
It is clear that this object is in continuous free fall around the earth, orbiting in the same manner as our moon. Contrary to speculation in the less respectable press, however, it is clearly terrestrial in origin. In fact, extensive observations by astronomers around the world have established the following:
1) This is not the first or second artificial planetoid, but in fact the twenty-sixth to be placed in orbit. Most have since perished in the atmosphere, slowed by the influence of drag, but seven are still under observation.
2) The vast majority, including Object 1 in May 1970 and the current Object 26, appear to have been sent into outer space from a location somewhere in the Pacific. Beginning in July 1971, a total of five have been launched from at least one and possibly two sites in the Arctic, with some definitely from the Eastern hemisphere FN2.
3) Object 26 is not only larger than previous planetoids but is flying further away from the earth, at an average height of about 130 nautical miles. This implies that a considerably more powerful rocket was used to put in into flight.
The implications of artificial planetoids should be obvious. If large enough to carry a man (as Object 26 may be), he could observe any location on the earth without hindrance. A weapons platform in outer space could be used to launch an irresistable attack. More optimistically, the scientific opportunities from human presence in outer space are incalculable.
We have of course made our observations available in detail to the Defence Ministries of both Britain and the CNA. (Prof. Belanger of Champlain University there was essential in calculating orbital elements and helping to estimate the launch sites.) Naturally our governments' activities in this area must to some extent be shrouded in secrecy. But now that the evidence of space activity is available to anyone with eyes to see, we urge these governments to address this issue in public, as is appropriate to the free governments of two free peoples.
Sir Huw Davies
Regius Professor of Astronomy
University of Aberystwyth
David Mix Barrington
(Forward to Ca Ira.)
(Forward to Rocket Science.)
(Return to For All Nails.)