March 09, 2016
Has the Earth been
visited by a satellite
from an ancient alien
As the shadow of the 20th century loomed large,
Nikola Tesla claimed to have
received the most amazing message in human history.
Tesla had just set up
in Colorado Springs, where he built a large
magnifying transmitter to further his investigations into the
wireless distribution of electricity.
Soon after he began to receive mysterious signals on the equipment,
that seemed to be coming from space. Three impulses, one after the
other at fixed intervals. Oneů twoů three...
Tesla was entranced.
After carefully dismissing all known natural
phenomena, he believed he may have
received a signal from
intelligent life on another world.
Tesla started to
receive signals from space
at his Colorado
Springs facility in 1899
Some today suggest that Tesla had picked up signals from pulsars -
spinning neutron stars that emit radio waves, although it remains
unknown exactly what it was he observed.
At around the same time, Italian radio pioneering Guglielmo
Marconi was experimenting with using radio to transmit morse
code signals. To his amazement, he found some of his morse code
messages returning back to him, sometimes years later.
These discoveries caused a major stir in the press at the time, with
talk of aliens from Mars trying to contact the Earth. However, the
strange signals were soon relegated to a curious scientific
footnote, not to be revived for nearly 30 years.
In 1927, J°rgen Hals, a civil engineer in Oslo, was using an
early commercial radio receiver to listen to short wave
transmissions from a station in Eindhoven when he noticed something
The signals were been reflected back by something.
These echoes came
at irregular intervals, sometimes 3 seconds, sometimes 15 seconds.
Hals had discovered what would later be known as
LDEs - Long
The LDEs so intrigued scientists that from 1928 to 1930, a huge
experiment was conducted into the phenomenon. The echoes were
certainly real, but nobody had any idea what was causing them.
Further experiments in France and the UK in the 1930s left
scientists equally baffled.
To this day, there is no agreement on
what is behind LDEs, although few scientists believe they have
anything other than natural origins.
was the first known
Could Tesla's speculation back
in 1899 be correct?
Was there some intelligence
behind the echoes?
Were they even a message from
In 1954, an amazing story appeared in
technology magazine Aviation Week and Space Technology that
suggested exactly that.
The U.S. military had discovered 2
mysterious satellites in Earth's orbit.
The Pentagon was reportedly furious about the story. They had not
wanted the discovery to be made public. An explanation was quickly
put out that the satellites were actually asteroids.
Whilst it is possible for Earth's orbit to capture an asteroid, it's
extremely rare and only happens under certain unusual circumstances.
Many scoffed at the Pentagon's
explanation and the widespread belief at the time was that they were
Had the Russians managed to
secretly get something into orbit 3 years before Sputnik,
the first publically acknowledged satellite?
Or were the objects from further
afield in the universe?
By late 1957, the Soviets had just
launched their second satellite - Sputnik II, carrying a
passenger, a small dog called Laika.
But it also had a more mysterious
passenger, because it was been tracked in space by an object and
neither the Russians or Americans had any idea what it was.
The press reported
American space radar
unknown satellites in orbit
In 1960, the U.S. Navy's
Dark Fence radar system made an
even more spectacular discovery.
They had detected a large black object
in polar orbit around the Earth, possibly weighing as much as 15
What was particularly odd about this was neither the U.S. or the
Soviets had the ability to put objects in polar orbit in 1960, and
the purported weight was far beyond what either country were capable
of getting into space.
Like the incidents in 1954, press reports of the discovery caused a
major splash with the public. And like 1954, the Pentagon quickly
stepped in to kill the story - it was just space debris from a
Discoverer rocket launch, a suggestion that did not convince many.
Whatever it was in Earth's orbit had also acquired a name - the
Black Knight satellite.
The origins of the name are unclear, but
it may have been based on an inchoate satellite launching rocket the
British had developed called Black Knight. The object would continue
to be seen, but it was very unpredictable. It would vanish for long
periods before reappearing years later.
What could it be?
The most intriguing idea came from an eminent Stanford space
scientist, Ronald Bracewell, and his theory for how
civilization might communicate with Earth.
Bracewell proposed such a civilization may send a probe out into the
universe looking for planets that could evolve intelligent life.
They would lie dormant in orbit around the planet until the
occupants were advanced enough to send radio signals into space, at
which point it would send a signal back.
Was the object found by Dark Fence a 'Bracewell probe'?
Fascinated by the possibility, Scottish
science writer and amateur astronomer Duncan Lunan decided to
go back and re-examine the data produced by the LDE experiments in
What Lunan says he found was absolutely astonishing. The Scot had a
hunch that the seemingly random delays observed in the echoes from
1928 might be significant.
He mapped them on a graph and was
staggered to discover they formed the pattern of a constellation.
NASA's idea of a
Bo÷tes, a constellation in the northern sky home to many
One, a binary star system called Epsilon Bootis was central to Lunan's theory.
Amazingly, he claimed to have
decoded a message from it's inhabitants.
In 1998, compelling visual evidence for
the existence of the mysterious satellite finally emerged.
The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour,
managed to take dozens of clear high-resolution photographs of a
strange black object near their craft. As in 1960, the object was
dismissed as space debris - a thermal blanket that had come loose
during the construction of the International Space Station.
But the photographs just fueled more speculation about what was in
the skies. The old stories of Tesla, the LDEs and Duncan Lunan's
star map were revived.
After more than a century of speculation, the big question still
Are there ancient alien satellites
in Earth's orbit?
Evidence for 'Space
Following the radar sightings in the 1950s and 60s, both the Soviets
and the Americans would start to send men into space.
If there was something alien up there,
it surely wouldn't be long before one of them encountered it.
In 1963, astronaut Gordon Cooper was orbiting the planet in
his Mercury space capsule. He reported seeing an object near his
craft, that glowed with a greenish hue.
Back on Earth, this UFO was seen by dozens of witnesses on the radar
screens at NASA's
Muchea Tracking Station in
Australia, and the news was widely reported in the press.
reported multiple UFO
NASA's reaction was odd...
They forbid reporters from asking Cooper
about the UFO. Later, they would put out a story that a carbon
monoxide leak in the capsule had caused Cooper to hallucinate the
Two years later, Major James McDivitt, passing over Hawaii in
Gemini 4, saw a long, white cylindrical object with protruding
angular arms flying close to his capsule.
Report', widely seen as a government attempt to debunk
the UFO phenomena, was unable to find a rational explanation for
McDivitt's sighting, describing it as 'especially puzzling'.
Some critics of McDivitt's UFO have suggested it was the discarded
second stage of the Titan rocket.
But after seeing a photograph of
the second stage, McDivitt dismissed the possibility .
"I am sure that this is not a
photograph of the object which I described many times", he told
UFO skeptic Philip Klass.
There was something out there, close
enough to be observed, and what could it be?
In 1969, the astronauts of the most famous space flight of all,
Apollo 11, saw something strange out of the module's window. Early
in their journey, Buzz Aldrin described a glowing object
outside that appeared to be tracking Apollo's path.
At the time, NASA kept the encounter secret, and the astronauts only
make an oblique reference to it in their communications.
"There was something out there,
close enough to be observed, and what could it be?", Aldrin said
"Now, obviously the three of us weren't going to blurt out,
'Hey, Houston, we've got something moving alongside of us and we
don't know what it is, you know'?"
Were the objects encountered by the NASA
astronauts Bracewell probes or even the fabled Black Knight
According to Gordon Cooper, one of America's pioneering early
astronauts, encounters like these are common and well documented at
NASA but are always kept secret.
Major James McDivitt
reported a strange
object in Earth's orbit
"For many years I have lived with a
secret, in a secrecy imposed on all specialists in astronautics.
I can now reveal that every day, in the USA, our radar
instruments capture objects of form and composition unknown to
us", Cooper said in 1981.
"And there are thousands of witness reports and a quantity of
documents to prove this, but nobody wants to make them public"
'Epsilon Bo÷tis calling'
OUR HOME IS
WHICH IS A DOUBLE STAR.
WE LIVE ON THE 6th PLANET OF
7 - CHECK THAT, 6th OF 7 -
COUNTING OUTWARDS FROM
WHICH IS THE LARGER OF THE TWO.
OUR 6th PLANET HAS ONE MOON,
OUR 4th PLANET HAS THREE,
OUR FIRST AND THIRD PLANETS
EACH HAVE ONE.
OUR PROBE IS IN THE ORBIT OF
THIS UPDATES THE POSITION OF
ARCTURUS SHOWN ON OUR MAPS.
This is the amazing message science
writer and amateur astronomer Duncan Lunan
claimed to have
decoded from the long delay echo data gathered in 1928.
The message, according to Lunan, originated from a stable point
between the orbits of the Earth and the Moon called the L5.
is a star system in
the constellation of Bo÷tes
Along with this, Lunan found the varying delays shown in the echoes,
when mapped on a graph, formed a map of the
Epsilon Bo÷tis star system.
made his discovery in 1972, but the star system he saw was not how
it looked in the skies then.
Lunan was puzzled, but he had a hunch. If this really was an alien
probe, it must have taken many years to reach Earth, perhaps
thousands of years.
Could the map be how the constellation looked
sometime in the past, a time that would reveal when the probe was
The hunch proved to be correct, the map matched how Epsilon Bo÷tis
looked some 13,000 years ago.
If Lunan was right, the implications
were staggering. A satellite from a far distant alien civilization
had been orbiting the planet since pre-history.
Professor Bracewell, who coined the idea of alien satellites, was
convinced Lunan had proved his theory. Lunan's findings were also
validated by the prestigious British Interplanetary Society, the
oldest space advocacy body in the world.
But a few years later, Lunan withdrew his findings. Not because the
message wasn't there, but because he no longer believed
Epsilon Bootis could sustain
This seems a somewhat odd position...
The information he found in the LDE data was either there or it wasn't and it seems staggeringly
unlikely the message could have occurred by chance.
Lunan claimed that
Epsilon Bo÷tis' location
was encoded into
ancient monuments like Stone Henge
Lunan hasn't given up on Epsilon Bootis altogether, however.
His latest research suggests the star
system's location is also coded into ancient monuments on Earth like
Stonehenge and the (egyptians)
Even if the probe wasn't from Epsilon Bootis itself, was someone,
somewhere, trying to point mankind's attention to this mysterious
star system 103 million light years away?
'The Dark Knight'
It is often suggested that the sightings of strange objects in
Earth's orbit are space debris.
This explanation is routinely used
whenever news of such discoveries reach the press.
Back in 1960, when the U.S. Navy radar system
Dark (Space) Fence spotted a huge
object in polar orbit, it was quickly dismissed as space debris from
the Discoverer program.
However, the object Dark Fence observed seemed to be too large and
heavy to be space debris. It was estimated to be as much as 15 tons,
far in excess of what any country in the world was capable of
getting into space in 1960.
The Russians had the most powerful rockets at the time, but the
heaviest payload they could manage was just over 2000 pounds.
The object is much
than a piece of
The UFO was incredibly erratic, its orbit was hard to predict and
studying it proved difficult.
But the Grumman Aircraft corporation in
New York managed to get a photograph of it and it was apparently
Nothing on the Discoverer, a program which was actually a cover for
the then secret Corona spy satellite, was orange. Clearly, whatever
Dark Fence had spotted was not space debris.
The most detailed ever pictures of a UFO in space were taken by the
space shuttle Endeavor in 1998. These are the images most often
cited as proof of the Dark Knight's existence.
NASA, however, dismissed the object as a thermal insulation blanket
accidently dropped by an astronaut whilst constructing the
International Space Station.
Again, like the 1960 explanation, this doesn't quite fit the facts.
Although in most of the photos its hard to determine the scale of
the object, one image does show it some distance below the Space
Even without taking perspective into account, the object appears to
be as long as the Shuttle's cargo bay door, which was 60ft long.
This would make it at least 10 times
larger than the insulation blankets used on the ISS.
'Joining the dots'
Critics of the Black Knight satellite theory point out that much of
the evidence cited in its favor is actually unconnected.
Of the many Black Knight candidate objects purportedly observed over
the years, no two appear alike. The size, color, shape and
appearance vary each time. Some have polar orbits, others are
And Duncan Lunan's proposed alien satellite wasn't in Earth's orbit
at all, but the Moon's.
Some of the sightings also appear not to be genuine. The reports
from 1954 about 2 unknown satellites been observed in orbit seems to
have originated from articles written by UFO proponent Donald
It has been suggested that Keyhoe's speculations about alien
satellites got conflated by the press with real army space tracking
experiments conducted by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, to create
a completely fictitious story that the army had found UFOs in orbit.
Clyde Tombaugh, the
discoverer of Pluto,
was searching the
skies for objects in the 1950s
Gordon Cooper's reported sighting of a green UFO in 1963 seems solid
enough, but even ardent UFO believer Cooper later denied he had made
any such observation, attributing it to over-imaginative reporters.
As for Tesla, whilst accounts of the Black Knight satellite often
begin with the famous inventor, his presence in the story doesn't
seem particularly warranted other than to add an extra layer of
The signals he observed, whether they were pulsars or not, were
quite different to the LDEs and appear to have little or nothing in
common with Bracewell probes and the Black Knight Satellite.
against Spies in the skies
The curious phenomena of long delay echoes are pivotal to many of
the Black Knight satellite theories.
LDEs are reflections of radio signals
that return to the observer at random intervals, usually between 3
and 15 seconds.
If Black Knight was a Bracewell probe, as is often suggested, it
would send some kind of signal to alert us to its presence.
those signals the mysterious LDEs?
One of the many curious aspects of LDEs is that they were far more
common in the early days of radio communications, especially the
1920s and 30s, than they are today.
If there was some intelligence behind these signals, could it be of
a more earthly origin? One suggestion is the signals were part of a
top-secret military experiment to piggyback covert signals inside
conventional radio station broadcasts.
A spy could set up his equipment close to a radio tower and
rebroadcast its signals with varying delay times, the delays
spelling out a message in a similar manner to the dots and dashes of
Scandinavia, the source of many of the early LDE observations, was
gripped by a puzzling phenomena in the 1930s involving 'ghostfliers',
strange unidentified aircraft spotted over the countries.
Where the LDE signals
actually part of
a covert espionage
Accompanying the ghost planes were numerous signals, piggybacked on
top of commercial radio broadcasts.
Some of the signals were
messages in broken Swedish and mentioned the aircraft.
Around the same time, similar accounts appeared in other countries
and it's now believed the ghostflier phenomena was actually part of
an early military spy plane program.
Could a secret military program
like this be the true source of the LDEs?
Rather than messages from the
stars, were the messages from spies?