Concerns Of Available Government Information Surrounding The Comet

Hale Bopp

(updated 12-9-96)

Living in the United States Of America affords us great freedoms. Our forefathers sacrificed much, oft times their very lives to see that we might have liberty from tyranny and enslavement. Unfortunately, it seems that the nature of man tempts him to misuse power and all too often leads him to aspire to domination over his fellow man. The words of a past prophet ring very true;

"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion."
Every American is well aware of our government's attempts to keep information from the public eye. The usual reasoning behind most of these sad occurrences has been to protect the greater public's interest. Of course this is the explanation to the public when the individuals have been exposed. We remember, of course, Nixon's attempt to infiltrate the Democratic party, that he could be re-elected, thinking that he knew what was best for us-what would get him re-elected. The wide spread human travesty that we now know as Vietnam. Multiple insurgencies into foreign governments to deliver them into democracy. Poisoning and drugging our own people, in the socalled name of science. Most recently, lying to those that gallantly served in the Gulf war fighting for freedom, stating that maybe twenty or so soldiers were exposed to nerve gas. Now proved to be in the hundred thousand range.

Do I trust the word of NASA/JPL concerning Hale Bopp? Absolutely and categorically NO. NASA, another governmental agency that has grown beyond the control of The People. Or at least displays the attitude that they are beyond the control of the public. The public that buys their lunch ticket. We The People have given over billions of dollars to pay for hundreds of satellites, research projects that are found in the universities and observatories around the world and their salaries.

So why am I so concerned? The following examples are just a few of the discrepancies that I have found in researching Hale Bopp. Perhaps you don't agree with me. Like I said in the beginning, that's a right that we are fortunate to have here in the United States. Feel free to contact me and tell me. If I believe that what you have to say is a valid argument, I will include it on this page. And if what you have to say totally disproves the following points, I will remove the statements from the page.

When I first became aware of Hale Bopp, and saw the images from HST, I was very excited. I thought "wow, what great pics". Then of course as I began to examine them I realized first that this comet was bigger than any that I'd ever read about. I couldn't wait for the next images from HST.

But then the pictures stopped before they ever really got started. I made excuses for them; HST had been scheduled previously, ...well I really couldn't think of any other reasons! So I started researching why HST stopped taking pictures or at least why they weren't being shown on the internet at the end of 1995. I began sending out emails and asking questions. I sent emails to Hal Weaver, who works directly with HST, ESO, Ron Baalke at JPL, Larry Wasserman from the Lowell observatory, Charles Morris, And Brian Marsden. Most met with silence, although a few did answer.

Here's one answer to the question, from JPL, "Where are the images from HST of Hale Bopp?"

In answer to your question as to why Hale-Bopp is now being imaged by smaller telescopes than previously....
1. The comet has brightened considerably. Big telescopes gather so much light that they can't be used to look at bright things-- there's so much light that even the shortest possible exposure will overexpose the image.
2. The comet has gotten bigger in its angular size, both because it's physically bigger and because it's closer to us. Large telescopes tend to have longer focal lengths than smaller ones, so in order to capture the entire comet you've got to go with a smaller telescope. Think photography. You can't use a zoom lens on a subject that's big and close -- you've got to switch to a wide-angle lens.
Hope this clears things up for you.
And oh yes, it's definitely a comet. A Very Bright comet, to be sure, but it's behaving exactly the way comets do. I've seen it, and it's already impressive with binoculars in a dark sky.
Best regards,
Bill Owen, wmo@wansor.jpl.nasa.gov
This is of course nonsense. HST is used to image Mars (but only certain sectors) and the other planets and objects of the solar system, all much closer than Hale Bopp. This quote from Hal Weaver, concerns HST's images of Hyakutake taken on March 25, when it was only 9 million miles from Earth.
"Unlike most of the published images of Hyakutake, these Hubble images focus on a very small region near the heart of the comet, the icy, solid nucleus. The Hubble images provide an exceptionally clear view of the near nucleus region of the comet Hyakutake."
As for the bright light question...here's a remarkably contradictory bit of posting from ESO that directly tells that HST has been imaging HB all along, regardless of its brightness:
"New Spiral Jet Reported ...Hal Weaver first reported the jet seen in HST images obtained at 14UT on July 25 [1996] was much more prominent than in previous observations (1995 Oct 23, 1996 Apr 8, 1996 May 20, and 1996 June 22). He also reported..."
This is a direct contradiction to the above Owen denial.

(update12-9-96):
There is now a new picture from the HST posted on Hal Weaver's page. It's interesting to note the timing of the image which appears to be in response to all of the hubbub on the internet concerning the lack of images from HST. And also that the image is singular, showing very little definition that the HST is so popular for. Where are the rest of the pictures that Mr. Weaver speaks of in the statement above? This picture is from September of this year (1996). Where are the images to fill in the gaps?


Hale Bopp has been promoted as the comet of the century. Brian Marsden of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge Mass. has said,

"...taking the situation at face value, this comet is in many respects similar to the Great Comet of 1811 and may perform as spectacularly."
Quite a comment from a man who knew that the prediction of the comet Kohoutek was to be the comet of the century. Mr. Marsden is associated with the program at JPL that keeps the images of comets on-line. Look what you get now when you access the JPL comet image site...
http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/Recent_Images.html

You are greeted by this message from Charles Morris...

"It is with significant regret that the COHP announces that comet images will no longer be accepted and posted from all contributors. This page is a "free-time" activity and the time required to post comet images has grown significantly over the past year (now requiring 20-40 hours or more per month). There are now many other pages (including some at JPL) that post comet images. To provide better service to COHP users, I intend to provide a more extensive set of links to other sites with images while continuing to post a very limited number of images on the COHP. Images already submitted will be posted as time permits. Contributors having unique comet images (including those taken at professional observatories, showing a new comet, or interesting detail) and who are interested in having the images posted on COHP should contact the undersigned prior to submitting the image(s). csm.
Yes that URL does say RECENT IMAGES. It is interesting to note that the "comet of the century" is being suppressed, compared to the long gone comet Hyakutake. Just look at this comparison of posted images of the two between July '95 and May '96:
 
DATE HALE BOPP HYAKUTAKE
7/95 13 0
8/95 52 0
9/95 31 0
10/95 34 0
11/95 0 0
12/95 0 0
1/96 0 1
2/96 3 97
3/96 0 675
4/96 2 133
5/96 1 5
TOTAL 136 911
 
My thought is, that as the "Comet of the Century" gets closer, there would be an increase in professional observations. As Hale Bopp approaches, the numbers begin to increase, then fall off and totally stop. Hyakutake was of course discovered after Hale Bopp and quickly became popular. You would expect Hyakutake to take the limelight, but you would also expect that Hale Bopp would at least make a come back, if not remain fairly strong. But here we see that NASA completely stops displaying the images.
The excuse-here is a statement from Ron Baalke with his explanation:
"My system administrator accidently deleted the comet Hale Bopp home page. I've restored 75% of the images so far, and the remainder of the images will be back soon."
Ron Baalke
(update12-9-96):
Well apparently the message is getting through. Although it took six months, the above message was finally taken off of the page a couple weeks ago. But the missing images don't appear to have been reposted. One person coming to the aide of Mr. Baalke, stated that this was in fact the fault of a now "gone" supervisor. Again, there appears to be many, many coincidences associated with this comet. Sometimes a simple explanation won't do, especially when so many apparent problems with divulging information exist.

(update1-22-97):
Now in January Hale Bopp has emerged from behind the sun and JPL is getting edgy about the public outcry for images. Last night they put 33 images on their site from around the world. It's great to have the pictures, don't get me wrong. But I still have to ask, where are the Hubble images? And if you examine the images at the site listed below, you'll notice that the images are many in number yet marginal in quality. Yes they're from "observatories" around the world, but none that have the distinction as well equipt or well known. The motivation here appears to be satisfying the complaints rather than providing the answers.

You can check this out for yourself at the following sites:

HB image archive:
http://newproducts.jpl.nasa.gov/comet/images.html

Hyakutake image archive:
http://newproducts.jpl.nasa.gov/comet/hyakutake/


Finally I asked the direct question, wanting to believe that somehow these things above were just weird coincidences...that I was mistaken or wrong about it. I wasn't reassured by the following answer to my query, rather brushed off and meant to feel ignorant.

Mr. Baalke,
Is anyone at JPL concerned about the effects of HaleBopp? I know that it is not going to hit the Earth, I'm not a nut! But I have had some concerns about its behavior and its size, etc, etc.. Can you reassure me that no one is concerned about this comet?

From: Ron Baalke 
To: minnie@pe.net
Subject: Comet Hale-Bopp
What affects? Comet Hale-Bopp will be about 1.3 AU (121 million miles) from the Earth at its closest approach to Earth - nothing to worry about at all. We've had comets come much closer in the past. This includes Comet Hyakutake earlier this year which flew 12 times closer than Comet Hale-Bopp.
Regards,
Ron Baalke


Another problem with information that I have had difficulty with, was the scheduled occultation of star PPM200723 on October 4/5 of this year. Click  here (no longer available) to go to the Occultation Data. This appears to be another effort by NASA/JPL to cloud the information available.


NEW INFO:

(11-22-96)

This is just off the Associated Press wire and I found it quite interesting!

Cape Canaveral, Fla.

"The eleven day delay in launching Columbia forced researchers to skip one of their most coveted targets, the comet Hale Bopp, which is too close to the sun now."

What do you think? Isn't it interesting that in most of the western United States that the comet it still up in the night sky after sundown and doesn't actually go down below the horizon until a couple of hours later. It is also still over about 2.5 AU's from the sun and earth. That's over 200 million miles! The other question might be...Why avoid the sun? We now have infrared scopes focused on the sun. Just how do they now avoid frying the mirrors and lenses? Any NASA officials that would like to explain this discrepancy please fell free to do so.

(update12-9-96):
And in an update to this story: The space shuttle spent a number of extra days in orbit. First it was the "jammed" door, that kept any possible pictures from the background from getting to us. Then they spent the extra days up there because of weather was bad at the Cape. What about Edwards? There were a number of days that were good weather during this time. Well...just food for thought.


(11-26-96)

And just a question...The influence of the sun's field, has in the past, caused problems with navigation of aircraft at higher altitudes, in addition to ground based and satellite communications. If Hale Bopp possesses a powerful ElectroMagnetic Field, would this not add to these problems? I have noticed as of recent, a number of aircraft that have had these types of difficulties and have had to turn back or not take off. This is not a warning to stop flying or that there is a danger in flying, just a call for information. If the government will not include the PEOPLE in the information loop, the People must find out for themselves.


Have you seen the latest images posted at JPL's Hale Bopp Home Page? The new pictures on JPL's Hale Bopp page were taken by everyone BUT the major and well known observatories. Are these the best images NASA/JPL has currently available of the "Comet Of The Century"? Again... where are the Hubble Space Telescope images and data?


  What possible problems could come of telling the truth? 

copyright 1996 gary d. goodwin