I recently received this email from the following person requesting that I remove the image.

His email:

"STS-107 wrote:
06/12/2006 12:01 PM Yahoo! Mail -

To The Owner of TMGNOW.com Website:
It has recently been brought to my attention that your website contains and
presents a photograph of mine. I refer to the
so-called "lightning bolt"
photograph of the Columbia Shuttle re-entry
taken in San Francisco on Feb1, 2003.
As stated, the photograph is my property and is
protected under copyright
law of the United States. Your display and
transmission of this image
without my permission represents a violation of
federal law. Continued
possession, display, and/or transmission of this
image will result in legal
action against you and your ISP. You must
immediately remove the image and
delete the image, including all digital or print
derivatives thereof. Your
compliance with copyright law will be monitored.

The image is currently located on this URL:
http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/planetary/the_threat7.html

If you wish to license use of this photograph, I can
refer you to my licensing agent.

Sincerely,
P. G., Ph.D."

 

My response - Please note that I was willing to consider paying for the image. I requested proof as
sometimes I receive spam and all kinds of demands from everyone you could think of on the net:


At 05:44 PM 6/11/2006 -0700, you wrote:
"Dear Dr. G.,
Please send along proof of your copyright and your
request for use fees. Thank you,
gary d. goodwin
THE MILLENNIUM GROUP"

His response to my polite request:

--- P. G. wrote:

"Mr. Goodwin,

It is not my responsibility to send you copyright
proof, it is your responsibility to clear ownership before exploiting
intellectual property that is not yours.

You are again directed to remove the image from your
website and destroy all versions and derivatives immediately.

I am represented by Christopher Nunes, email address
above. This will be my last communication before I ask him to begin
legal action.

P. G."

And my response to his threat:

"Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 11:56:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: "gary d. goodwin"
Subject: Re: Columbia Shuttle "lightning" photograph
To: "P. G."
Dear Dr. G.,
I have no desire to be adversarial with you. I
apologize for posting the picture. I did not know from
the source that it was your copyright, or even
copyrighted at all for that fact. I am willing to
consider paying for the right to post the image. But
due to your harsh approach and threats, it sounds as
though you're not interested in that. I do receive
requests from people who are not interested in being
honest. That's the explanation for the request of the
copyright proof. I will remove the image from the
site. I hope you find satisfaction in your life, in
the course that you have obviously chosen. Again,
sorry for the problem.
gary d. goodwin
THE MILLENNIUM GROUP"

It appears to me that Mr. "G" has another agenda. Either he is opposed to the content of
the page - which would not be surprising considering Mr. "G" recently coedited a book on
Darwin's writings, and his ideas are in direct opposition to ours - or he is simply only interested
in, as his name suggests - money. Either way it is an approach that we have all seen in the past.

Then again, maybe this image was never supposed to be released. Thus my request for copyright proof.
Maybe, in fact this isn't Dr. "G" at all. Maybe someone is putting the pressure on - who knows?
I wish the best for Mr. "G" and all of his interests.

Today I received another rattling of sabers from Mr. "G". Here's the exchange:

"Mr. Goodwin,
Imagine if you will that something you own has been taken without your permission and used
to advance an agenda you do not subscribe to.  This is exactly the offense that you have
committed on me and my property and should explain why I approach you as an adversary.
I am not seeking money or publicity.  I have no desire to license the image to you or anyone. 
Frankly, I do not even know what your agenda is, nor do I care.  I would not be writing you now
had you not posted my name and email address online.  Why you did this after offering me an
apology for the copyright violation, I do not understand.  I can only assume you want strangers
to bother me about an image that is my property and my motivations, which are entirely my
personal business.  Thus, I am forced to conclude you wish upon me, a complete stranger,
unnecessary aggravation and stress.  Does your personal belief system justify your cruel actions?
Please remove the personal references immediately or there will be legal consequences. 
Do not regard this as a threat, but an indication of how seriously I regard your violation
of my privacy.
P. G."

One thing I find interesting about this email, is that he accuses me of stealing his
intellectual property, yet his business is USING the writings (intellectual property)
of others to profit. His public website can be found here: http://www.lbin.com/

My response:

Dear "P."
It's funny that you think you "own" something like
this. And yes you're right - you don't have a clue
what my agenda is - you're too ignorant. Either that,
or you're being threatened by someone else. "Your
property" - what hubris. But you're not unlike the
others in your position. It's difficult to control my
anger toward you and individuals like you. I am not a
thief. I am not without conscience, morals or indeed without
agenda. And I have been called worse by better than
you. You are no stranger to me. And cruelty? The
cruelty of your kind has been known in this world long
before people like myself. If you believe that you own
something like this image, you're fooling yourself.
Time will show your ignorance and your foolishness. If
you are not seeking money or publicity (which I did
not mention), then what is keeping you from allowing
this image to be publicized?????? Who has threatened
you? Please don't tell me that you are keeping it to
yourself simply because it's "yours". What's the real
reason? Grant me this answer.
Here's a clue to my agenda: I am not fearful of your
threats of legal action. I have nothing that you could
take that would harm me. But in an action that you
will not understand (I can promise you that you will
not understand) I will remove your name and email
address from the post.
May you someday understand that I am not your enemy.
Gary d. goodwin

I also find it interesting that this image is nowhere to be found on the Internet.

The following is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle discussing the picture that was taken when Columbia went down. Notice that they call the photographer an astronomer. He is not an astronomer to my knowledge. If this is the same fellow as above, and it indeed appears to be so, he is not an astronomer.

"S.F. man's astounding photo
Mysterious purple streak is shown hitting Columbia 7 minutes before it disintegrated
Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Top investigators of the Columbia space shuttle disaster are analyzing a startling photograph -- snapped by an amateur astronomer from a San Francisco hillside -- that appears to show a purplish electrical bolt striking the craft as it streaked across the California sky.
The digital image is one of five snapped by the shuttle buff at roughly 5: 53 a.m. Saturday as sensors on the doomed orbiter began showing the first indications of trouble. Seven minutes later, the craft broke up in flames over Texas.
The photographer requested that his name not be used and said he would not release the image to the public until NASA experts had time to examine it.
Although there are several possible benign explanations for the image -- such as a barely perceptable jiggle of the camera as it took the time exposure -- NASA's zeal to examine the photo demonstrates the lengths at which the agency is going to tap the resources of ordinary Americans in solving the puzzle.
Late Tuesday, NASA dispatched former shuttle astronaut Tammy Jernigan, now a manager at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, to the San Francisco home of the astronomer to examine his digital images and to take the camera itself to Mountain View, where it was to be transported by a NASA T-38 jet to Houston this morning.
A Chronicle reporter was present when the astronaut arrived. First seeing the image on a large computer screen, she had one word: "Wow."
Jernigan, who is no longer working for NASA, quizzed the photographer on the aperture of the camera, the direction he faced and the estimated exposure time -- about four to six seconds on the automatic Nikon 880 camera. It was mounted on a tripod, and the shutter was triggered manually.
In the critical shot, a glowing purple rope of light corkscrews down toward the plasma trail, appears to pass behind it, then cuts sharply toward it from below. As it merges with the plasma trail, the streak itself brightens for a distance, then fades.
"It certainly appears very anomalous," said Jernigan. "We sure will be very interested in taking a very hard look at this."
Jernigan flew five shuttle missions herself during the 1990s, including three on Columbia. On her last flight, the pilot of the craft was Rick Husband, who was at the controls when Columbia perished.
"He was one of the finest people I could ever hope to know," said Jernigan.
It was an astounding day for the San Francisco photographer, who said he had not had any success in reaching NASA through its published telephone hot lines.
He ultimately reached investigators through a connection with a relative who attends the same church as former astronaut Jack Lousma, who flew 24 million miles in the Skylab 3 mission in 1973.
Lousma put him in direct touch with Ralph Roe Jr., chief engineer for the shuttle program at Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston.
After a series of telephone conversations Tuesday afternoon, the photographer had a veteran shuttle mission specialist knocking at his door by dinnertime. Within hours, he was left with a receipt, and his camera was on its way to Houston.
E-mail Sabin Russell at srussell@sfchronicle.com."

Source of article: San Francisco Chronicle

So this photographer sold rights to the image to NASA (and his camera!), and now refuses to post it anywhere. Where in your mind does this lead you? Is this image telling us something? Does it tell us something important? Why the supposed cover-up? Just more paranoia?

And just so the bases are covered and everyone clearly understands - I am encouraging each and everyone of you to please not bother or contact Mr. G. He apparently has enough stress in his life and it is my honest desire not to cause him any grief or hardship at all. My sincere concern is the Truth of this matter. Anyone with further information on this issue is encouraged to email us.

6/13/06 14:00 More from Mr. G:

"Mr. Goodwin,
In view of your stated intention to honor my privacy, please remove the reference to the lbin.com website from your commentary.  In addition, I suggest you remove Sabin Russell's email address as well, as he also has had enough spurious email on this matter.
P.G."

And my response:

Mr "G",,
Ibin.com is a publicly accessible website and Mr.
Russell's email address is in the newspaper every time
he writes an article for the Chronicle - your
"suggestion" acknowledged and noted. I'm simply
repeating info that is already public. There is no ill
intention on my part for people to "bother" you, as
clearly stated. And I don't believe I ever stated that
I would honor your privacy. I agreed to remove your
name and email address simply because you asked.
Again... For a reason that you likely do not or will
not understand.
Let me ask you again... Will you address the question
as to why the image has never been posted anywhere on
the Internet? Are you, or have you been threatened?
How much did they pay you for the image and your
camera? Did they report back to you concerning the
details of the photo? I will have to assume that my
suppositions on this webpage are true. If you are not
allowed to talk about it, just say so. Simply stop emailing
me and I will not post another thing after this email that you
say.
Gary
p.s. I would be interested in any negative email you
may receive as a result of this exchange. I would be
willing to answer them and attempt to dissuade any
harassment. However, I doubt you will receive any.
Unlike the scientific community, the neighborhood that
I live in does not grasp at straws to hold on to
so-called proprietary material.