As predicted in our lead story on Comet Lee, the disinformation game to discredit our questions concerning the true nature of Comet Lee has begun. It was brought to our attention in the delightful email below. A more complete report will follow in a few days.
Subject: The Truth About Comet Lee?
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 11:10:36 PDT
Hello Folks at the Millennium Group!
I have been reading your web page for several weeks and I really am fascinated with it. I am not a scientist or anything, just a stay at home mom. Anyway, I was checking to see if there were new articles when I saw the article on Comet Lee. I wanted to verify the fact that there is a new comet from a second source, so I checked out this web page:
I found the page entitled "COMET OBSERVATION HOME PAGE" there were four pages beginning with the image taken by Tim Puckett. Five minutes later I wanted to go back to that page to print out the images when lo and behold, the exact page I had just been looking at was changed. Now appears an article entitled "The Truth about Comet Lee". I found this to be extremely weird. The article mentions that "there have been some wild statements about Comet Lee...These are simply bogus, false statements by people who must have some agenda other than the truth."
GEE, AND JUST WHAT IS YOUR AGENDA AT JPL/NASA FOLKS?
Now that I have been set straight, I am no longer worried about a little old dirty snowball! What would we do without those honest caring folk at JPL/NASA protecting us from groups like yours? :)
PS: Keep up the good work!
Subject: Looks like a nerve was struck
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 15:33:45 -0400
Boy... talk about a knee jerk reaction from NASA... wow.
Blatant disinformation as well. Stating things like "Comet Lee's orbit will not be affected by CMEs" is really disingenuous, since no one including NASA knows what the effects would be of a massive CME directly impacting a comet. We know (and NASA splashed the images around) that Comet Hale-Bopp interacted tremendously with the Sun's corona... in fact the interaction even bent and disrupted the comet's tail.
The flavor of the statements on the web page says a lot about the truth or lack thereof behind them. The whole topic was obviously getting too much attention... and by using the comparison to Hale-Bopp they seek to put the Millennium Group into the class of a cult. I wouldn't be surprised if they try to take the site down.
In Light, IAM,
Subject: Re: NASA/JPL Statement
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 20:15:27 -0400
Here's my quick take on Morris' statement:
I feel Morris is really going out on a limb. Perhaps he doesn't realize that a good detective always archives discovery material. What follows is a direct excerpt from the Morris statement. It is followed by some comparative proof that he is promulgating disinformation.
"The comet is not expected to become bright. It is not abnormally bright nor is it brightening at an unusual rate. In fact, it is not expected to become a naked-eye object. It is currently near its peak brightness."
"Comet Observers' Forum:"
Link Page: http://correio.cc.fc.ul.pt/~apereira/index.html
While approaching the Sun from 1.7 to near 1 AU, this object has shown a sustained increase in intrinsic brightness, following an inverse power law in r, with index about 5.4. Such a high value, while not completely unprecedented, is nevertheless unusual for a long-period comet.
There is some evidence for an increase in brightening pace around 1.5-1.4 AU, about the point where water sublimation can be expected to kick-in really vigorously, but the whole interval can be represented very well with the following inverse power law parameters: H0=6.11 (.05); n=5.38 (.15).
Note: It is worth mentioning that the above information was obtained by utilizing the "Morris method."
There are other data, as well, which conclusively rebuts each point of his statement, but then again, you did ask for a quick take on his statements.
Let me know if you want an item by item rebuttal.
Guess what I said in reply?
Earl L. Crockett
The comments concerning scientific ideas made on this page are never made as absolutes. Let me repeat the following statement ONE more time, for the benefit of those reading these pages from the *professional* sector (for they are obviously reading them!); We are simply asking questions. We are believers in empirical observation. Only when something quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck and has feathers, do we cautiously call it a duck. We will leave deductive reasoning to the believers in Big Bang Theory. And further, we do not discuss aliens, space ships, nor do we even make "pseudoscientific predictions" on these pages. And yet the questions continue to go unanswered!
gary d. goodwin
RETURN TO PART ONE