"COMET" HALE-BOPP: A BRIEFING
BY THE MILLENNIUM GROUP
AUTHOR
Earl L. Crockett
January 27, 1998
1.0 The Background.

The wake up call for many of us came in the form of a wondrous celestial visitor that entered our Solar System circa 1992. In late 1996, and early 1997, "it" began to intrigue and enchant us with spectacular night sky displays. At that time only one high resolution photograph had been released from the Hubble Space Telescope. That is still the case today.
 

"THE TITAN"
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
7 AU

We were captured by this immense self luminous visitor spiraling towards us at a stunning speed of 95,000 miles per hour. Who, in their wildest imaginations, had ever seen or heard of anything like this before? We hadn't, our friends hadn't, our families hadn't, yet when we asked those who are supposed to know of such things we received a most surprising, and matter-of-fact, "It's just one of those. Yea ... maybe it's a little bigger, but nothing that unusual". And every single inquiry to an official government source about this wondrous object included the same tag line ending response of, "Don't worry it's not going to hit the Earth". We never asked.
 

"The Winged Messenger"
12 Inch Scope
Inbound
1.3 AU

We did our very best to learn the scientific theory describing these "things;" the accepted knowledge from which doctoral degrees are gained, tenured professorships are awarded, and billions of tax dollars are granted. We "learned" that they were composed of ice and dust which would "break apart in your hand." We read on to find that they only illuminated, and became visible, when their "ices" began to melt at about 1 1/2 to 2 AU from the Sun.
 

"The Cosmic Bow Wave"
16 inch Scope
1.4 AU

We were puzzled, and confused, about our inability to match the official theory with our observations. We were told that one "must have degrees in astronomy, chemistry, physics, etc." before being able to understand such complicated matters. "Go out in your backyard and enjoy the show. We'll handle the science."
 

"The Arcing-16 Dynamo"
12 Inch Scope Outbound
1.3 AU

We researched back a few years to see if that would help our comprehension. We heard that another one of these "things" had had an encountered with Jupiter in 1994.
 

Shoemaker-Levy 9
July 1994

What we learned was that a "dirty snowball", of 4.5 to 5.0 km in diameter, had been captured by Jupiter, and that it had broken into about "11 to 22" separate pieces of 1/4 to a 1/2 km across. The size of these pieces of dusty ice where later revised upward to diameters of 2 or 3 km. Please do not be concerned, we couldn't get the math to work on this either.
 

Jupiter Under Attack
July 1994

Press releases from those who "know" said that these icy pieces would evaporate in Jupiter's atmosphere, and that the actual events would be faintly visible to the experts. The impact of the first, or -A-, "piece of ice" turned out to be visible with a good pair of binoculars; July 19, 1994. -A- produced a crater impact signature on Jupiter a little larger than the 8,000 mile diameter of Earth, and the force of the explosion was calculated by NASA to be equivalent to the detonation of:

214,285 each, 20 Megaton Nuclear Fusion Bombs

There have been no explanations whatsoever in the intervening 3 1/2 years. We left this little excursion into past matters with more questions than when we started.
 

"The Italian Hitchhiker"
16 Inch Scope
8/13/96

We watched with fascination as the two major media events, intended to divert attention from the true nature of our approaching stellar-like visitor, where carried out with impeccable timing, and execution. We listened to the effectiveness of the campaign roll off the tongues of our friends. We quickly learned the virtue of silence. Put it on the Internet. Let those who can see read. Let those who can hear listen. We did, and 5 million have come; and are still coming.

2.0 The Search For Answers.

Einstein once remarked that "viewing" the domain of subatomic particles, the quantum, was similar to looking at the face of a clock, seeing the hands turning around the dial, but never being able to look around in the back to see the mechanism. Dealing with this object named Hale-Bopp, and the response, or lack thereof, from the official science community has been a similar experience. It is important to remember, however, that quantum physics was not hindered by this problem, and has been outrageously successful in developing the advanced technology we enjoy today. They overcame the need for Newtonian certainty by observing the effects, or appearances, and then assigning probabilities or potentias to the outcome. We must do the same.

2.1 Appearances.

The very first strangeness regarding Hale-Bopp information occurred in November 1995 when major observatories, world-wide, suddenly stopped releasing all high resolution photos.

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
When protests were made, the official explanation was that all Principle Investigators (PI's) working under NASA/NSF funding (that means everyone) had a one year proprietary period in which to conduct their research. The PI's, including those at the Hubble Space Telescope, were in no way obligated to turn over any photos, of any resolution, for one year. The fact that Hale-Bopp would have passed by and been long gone from view by the end of one year made no difference. It has since been revealed, however, that the "one year proprietary" PI rights provision is simply a ruse of secrecy. PI's have never had the right to release any information, at any time, without the explicit written approval of NASA; after the formal submission of a disclosure request by the PI's.

This condition prevails today regarding any and all scientific information relating in any way whatsoever to space or satellite data research. The disclosure provision is enforced by research grant conditions, Presidential National Security Directives published and unpublished, and the ominous and real threat of supra-constitutional action against governmental employees and contractors by the convert squadrons of "intelligence" forces maintained by the US Military, the National Security Council, and the National Security Agency. And, no it's not possible to tell them apart. "They" are just there waiting in the wings, and everyone right down to the janitor knows it.
 

The Non-Release Release

The continued outcry for photographs of Hale-Bopp from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) finally resulted in the release of the photos shown above. Once again, however, the information being "officially" presented provided many more questions than answers. A quick glance above shows a remarkable degradation of resolution between the oldest, and the newest, photos. The October 1996 photo is easily 300% smaller than the October 1995 photo, and the accompanying information does say that all of the photos have the "same field of view;" i.e.. astronomical distance across the frame of the photo. In addition, Hale-Bopp had shortened the distance between it and Earth by a conservative factor of 3 during the intervening year. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that the 1996 photo has been degraded in resolution by a minimum of 600% for reasons unknown at the present time.

We would also like to point out that the HST has been widely publicized as having a resolution 100 times greater than any ground based facility. When we compare the HST photos to the stunning Earth based telescope photos above, the mystery only deepens. And "The Winged Messenger" and "Cosmic Arcing-16 Dynamo" photos, presented above, were taken with a modest 12 inch scope as compared to the 6 meter, and greater size, observatories that NASA controls throughout the world. Yet to this date, we have not seen one single photo from all of Nasa's observatories, or satellites, that compares to the detail and resolution of the photographs generously given to the world by Dr. Ian Griffin, Astronaut Memorial Observatory, Clearwater, Florida; a private institution.

2.2 Now You See It, And Now You Don't.

As the informed public began to focus in on Hale-Bopp through the wonders of the Internet in late 1996, a curious phenomena began to repeat itself. A photo or other information would be "discovered" on an official institutional web site, it would be communicated and put up on a private web page with appropriate links to the original site, and when you went back a few hours later the information was no where to be found. A word-to-the-wise message was quickly spread to "save" anything of importance to your own hard disk.

The official explanation of the discovery of Hale-Bopp was, and continues to be, a simultaneous sighting and reporting by two individuals, in and from two different locations, on July 23, 1995. This coincidence is a first in the recorded history of comet discovery.

One intrepid private researcher had a different idea about how, and when, Hale-Bopp was "discovered". His premise was that Hale-Bopp was just to large and bright to have been previously "missed" by large observatories; for so long of a period of time. He set about a methodical search of Internet posted observatory photos taken in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius; Hale-Bopp's inbound path. He struck pay dirt at the Anglo-Australian Observatory in a photo dated April 7, 1993. He posted a notice of the existence of the photo, and it spread like wildfire over the Internet. The next day the photo disappeared from the observatory page, and a day or so later the observatory issued a statement to the effect that no such photograph had ever existed. And that the claim was an "Internet hoax" spawned by the irresponsible "public"; i.e.. you and me. It was "just another example of the poor quality of science education in the USA;" another of the often repeated statements made by "official" science regarding those expressing interest in Hale-Bopp.

Well it turned out that our wise researcher had in fact "saved" the photo in question. He posted the photo along with a detailed description of the validity of the presence of Hale-Bopp as proven by the use of a known, commercially available, computer generated star map software program. Again, the information spread like wildfire. After a week or so had gone by, the observatory issued another press release stating that they had "found" the photograph; that is, the one that had previously "never existed". They also admitted that the April 7, 1993 photo did in fact include an image of Hale-Bopp. There was, however, no mention of the circumstances surrounding the "now you see it, now you don't" disappearance of the photo from their web page. And they concluded by saying that they had simply "missed seeing the image of Hale-Bopp" when the photo was originally taken.

Once again, an "official explanation" left us with deep and fundamental questions. Astronomers no longer look through telescopes as in the days of Galileo, nor do they search over photographs for hours on end with large magnifying glasses; visually comparing their recent photos to printed star charts in the search for the treasured anomaly that will potentially lead them to fame and fortune. They use computer star map programs, just like the amateurs, except theirs are much more sophisticated, and they are run on massive super computers.

The basic process is as follows: You sit in front of a computer screen showing the real-time image from the telescope, and verify the accuracy of your subject target area by comparing the screen image with the aforementioned star map program. Once things match you "push the button" and your predetermined observational program takes over. The results of the observation are taken by digital CCD electronic plates that automatically record and compile virtually hundreds of images over hours of time. The resulting single image is then computer compared to the very same star maps mentioned above, and all "anomalies" i.e.. those things that are not supposed to be there are popped up on your screen automatically. The obvious point is that the entire purpose and design of the system is to find something, anything, that has never been seen before. To "not see" the very thing you're looking for, adds one more puzzle to our growing list.
 

THE TWINS
By this time it is well established in the public consciousness that the term "Hale-Bopp" is quickly followed by the word "kook". What is not well known is that the appellation "kook" seems to have come prepackaged with the appearance of Hale-Bopp. As early as November 1996, prior to any general public knowledge regarding the presence of Hale-Bopp, or its visible appearance in the night sky, official web sites such as JPL, and NASA funded observatories, were uniformly carrying stories or comments under the heading of "Little Green Men And Other Such Nonsense About Hale-Bopp". The stories all went on to say that "Hale-Bopp won't hit the Earth", and they all concluded "Its just a comet". Included with the "Little Green Men" theme were stories about historical "comet hysteria", the "irresponsible medium of the Internet", and the precedent for "millennium madness". Why these otherwise highly scientific organizations seemed to have been compelled to communicate such matters is puzzling.
 
Ollie's Best
6 Foot (72 inch) Scope
1.4 AU

In addition, extensive explanations were posted about the "fairness" of the one year proprietary condition on all Hale-Bopp data; at a time prior to any real protest. These laments always included "how hard the Principle Investigators (PI's) had to work on planning their observations," and that "it takes extensive amounts of time to convert the raw data to acceptable photographs, and to do good research." There was, of course, no mention of the fact that the PI's, their staff, and institutions were being paid huge amounts of taxpayer generated money to do this very same work. The stories also failed to mention that the PI's were using observational instruments, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, that have, and continue to, cost billions of dollars in public funds. And, in what seems a final "insult to injury" from this point in time, we were told that "astronomy was a serious science", and that the provision of "pretty pictures to a public that would forget them by the next day is a useless waste of time."
 

12 Inch Scope
1.4 AU
2.4 The Morning After

December 1996 and January 1997 were particularly frustrating times for followers of Hale-Bopp. Amateurs in the Southern latitudes were beginning to produce photos of HB that showed a huge object. It didn't take the proverbial rocket scientist to figure out what kind of images were being taken with the HST, and with the major observatory telescopes. What was also missing was any official government web pages devoted to the subject. There were, however, a growing number of private or personal home pages. What was noted at the time was that one particular "home page" seemed to be listed on all governmental and major observatory web pages as a recommended "link" along with the designation "The Official Hale-Bopp Home Page." The "how, why, and who" of this "Official" nomenclature has never been determined.

Hour upon hour of frustrating time was spend by many surfing the web for information. The small bits and pieces that were found were quickly fired through the net for all to share. On the morning of Wednesday January 22, 1997, your reporter, booted up his computer and went immediately to JPL; the assumed location for the official disclosure of NASA information on Hale-Bopp. To his wonderment, JPL had placed a link on its page to a JPL sponsored web page on Hale-Bopp. The previous day there had been no such link. The very first thing that was noticeable was that the page "looked" like it had been there for months. That is, entries and updates, etc. stretching back to 1995. Included on the JPL web page was a suggested link to a Hale-Bopp page at Space Telescope Science Inc. (STScI) the managers of the Hubble Space Telescope. And on the STScI page along with a couple of very low resolution photos of HBO, that hadn't been seen before, was another link to a company called Applied Research Corporation, "A publicly traded company." It seems that this "private company" had been given all of the rights to the HST photos of HB by NASA. And again, this page that first saw the light of day on January 22, 1997, was boldly dated "December 1995". It announced that a 25 mile diameter had been determined for the nucleus of Hale-Bopp from photos that were taken at 7 AU, or 651 million miles. It should also be noted that the visible signature of the coma of Hale-Bopp was 1.5 million miles wide at the time of the 25 mile diameter calculation was made.

I jumped up like a madman, and went running through the house shouting "Why now? Why January 22? What's happened so that where there was nothing , we now have three pages, and all this information?" My wife, who wisely chooses to remain above such rantings of her often deranged husband, looked up calmly from her book and said "Well that's simple dear. Yesterday was President Clinton's inauguration, and they just haven't wanted to release any information about Hale-Bopp until he was safely sworn into office."

TO BE CONTINUED
 
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 Copyright 1998, No part of this article may be used or reproduced without the express written consent of the
author and THE MILLENNIUM GROUP