In February 1960 the US detected an unknown object in polar orbit, a feat that neither they or the USSR had been able to accomplish. As if that wasn't enough, it apparently was several sizes larger than anything either country would have been able to get off the ground.
HAM operators began to receive strange coded messages. One person in particular said he managed to decode one of the transmissions, and it corresponded to a star chart. A star chart which would have been plotted from earth 13,000 years ago, and focused on the Epsilon Bostes star system.
Black Knight Passing Jupiter
Monday, Mar. 07, 1960
Three weeks ago, headlines announced that the U.S. had detected a mysterious "dark" satellite wheeling overhead on a regular orbit. There was nervous speculation that it might be a surveillance satellite launched by the Russians, and it brought the uneasy sensation that the U.S. did not know what was going on over its own head. But last week the Department of Defense proudly announced that the satellite had been identified. It was a space derelict, the remains of an Air Force Discoverer satellite that had gone astray. The dark satellite was the first object to demonstrate the effectiveness of the U.S.'s new watch on space. And the three-week time lag in identification was proof that the system still lacks full coordination and that some bugs still have to be ironed out.
First Sighting. The most important component of the space watch went into operation about six months ago with the construction of "Dark Fence," a kind of radar trip wire stretching across the width of the U.S. Designed by the Naval Research Laboratory to keep track of satellites whose radios are silent, it is a notable improvement on other radars, which have difficulty finding a small satellite unless they know where to look. Big, 50-kw. transmitters were established at Gila River, near Phoenix, Ariz, and Jordan Lake, Ala., spraying radio waves upward in the shape of open fans. Some 250 miles on either side, receiving stations pick up signals that bounce off any object passing through the fans. By a kind of triangulation, the operators can make rough estimates of the object's speed, distance and course.
On Jan. 31 Dark Fence detected two passes of what seemed to be an unknown space object. After detecting several passes during the following days, Captain W. E. Berg, commanding officer of Dark Fence, decided that something was circling overhead on a roughly polar orbit. He raced to the Pentagon and in person reported the menacing stranger to Chief of Naval Operations Arleigh Burke. Within minutes the news was communicated to President Eisenhower and marked top secret.
In the confusion, there was a delay before anyone took the step necessary to positively identify the strange satellite: informing the Air Force's newly established surveillance center in Bedford, Mass. It is the surveillance center's job to take all observations on satellites from all friendly observing centers, both optical and electronic, feed them into computers to produce figures that will identify each satellite, describe its orbit and predict its behavior. Says one top official, explaining the cold facts of the space age: "The only way of knowing that a new satellite has appeared is by keeping track of the old ones."
It took two weeks for Dark Fence's scientists to check back through their taped observations, and to discover that the mysterious satellite had first showed up on Aug. 15. The Air Force surveillance center also checked its records to provide a list of everything else that was circling in the sky, and its computers worked out a detailed description of the new object's behavior. The evidence from both Air Force and Navy pointed to Discoverer V, fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif, on Aug. 13.
SOURCE: Time Magazine
The Black Knight Satellite
by John Emerson
The black knight satellite. I'm not really sure what to make of this story. I've only seen the most sporadic mention of this thing on the occasional website. But man, as a long time fan of Philip K. Dick, the first time I heard about it my eyes sure went wide. Regardless of the truth of the situation, it's one hell of a tale.
The most cited report of the satellite comes from Disneyland of the Gods, by John Keel. He reports that in February 1960 the US detected an unknown object in polar orbit, a feat that neither they or the USSR had been able to accomplish. As if that wasn't enough, it apparently was several sizes larger than anything either country would have been able to get off the ground.
And then, the oddness began. HAM operators began to receive strange coded messages. One person in particular said he managed to decode one of the transmissions, and it corresponded to a star chart. A star chart which would have been plotted from earth 13,000 years ago, and focused on the Epsilon Bostes star system.
On September 3, 1960, seven months after the satellite was first detected by radar, a tracking camera at Grumman Aircraft Corporation's Long Island factory took a photograph of it. People on the ground had been occasionally seeing it for about two weeks at that point. Viewers would make it out as a red glowing object moving in an east-to-west orbit. Most satellites of the time, according to what little material I've been able to find on the black knight satellite, moved from west-to-east. It's speed was also about three times normal. A committee was formed to examine it, but nothing more was ever made public.
Three years later, Gordon Cooper was launched into space for a 22 orbit mission. On his final orbit, he reported seeing a glowing green shape ahead of his capsule, and heading in his direction. It's said that the Muchea tracking station, in Australia, which Cooper reported this too was also able to pick it up on radar traveling in an east-to-west orbit. This event was reported by NBC, but reporters were forbidden to ask Cooper about the event on his landing. The official explanation is that an electrical malfunction in the capsule had caused high levels of carbon dioxide, which induced hallucinations.
Creepy, cool, story to be sure. There's two things in particular which are of particular note to Philip K. Dick. The most obvious is the idea of a satellite orbiting the earth and sending coded communications to it. One of the theories Dick had for his experiences was that they had been triggered, or enhanced, by an extremely ancient and alien satellite. The initial 2-3-74 experience also began with a very similar color to the first sighting of the black knight, a reddish pinkish light beamed directly at him.
Phil also mentioned in his exegesis that he considered ten of his novels to be of particular importance, with the novel valis as the cipher to unlock their meaning. These ten books, the "meta novel", are Eye in the Sky, Time Out of Joint, The Man in the High Castle, The Game Players of Titan, Martian Time Slip, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, UBIK, A Maze of Death and of course VALIS. I think it's fair to include Radio Free Albemuth in there as well, which was written after his meta novel statement, and which is in many ways a retelling of VALIS. What's interesting here is that he wrote the first, Eye in the Sky, so soon before the black knight sighting. About three or four years before it was detected by radar. Well, if in fact it was ever there to be detected.
Relevant quotes from valis:
"The satellite," Fat said. "VALIS. Vast Active Living Intel-ligence System. It fires information down to them?"
"It does more than that," Kevin said. "Under certain circumstances it controls them. It can override them when it wants to."
"And they're trying to shoot it down?" I said. "With that missile?"
Kevin said, "The early Christians-the real ones-can make you do anything they want you to do. And see-or not see -anything. That's what I get out of the picture."
"But they're dead," I said. "The picture was set in the present."
"They're dead," Kevin said, "if you believe time is real. Didn't you see the time dysfunctions?"
Relevant quotes from Radio Free Albemuth:
Since my contact came in most strangely between 3:00 and 4:00 A.M., I realized that probably a booster satellite, of alien origin, orbited Earth, a slave communications satellite that had been sent here thousands of years ago.
'What are you doing sitting out on the patio?' Rachel asked me.
'Listening,' I said.
To the voices of the stars,' I said, although more accurately I meant the voices from the stars. But it was as if the stars themselves spoke, as I sat there in the chilly dark, alone except for my cat, who was out there out of custom anyhow; each night Pinky sat on the railing of the patio, communing as I was but over a longer period of time, over his entire adult life. Seeing him now I understood that he was picking up information in the night, from the night, from the pattern of blinks that came by starlight. He was hooked up with the universe as he sat here now, like myself, gazing upward silently.
The new personality in me had not awakened from a sleep of two millennia; it had, more accurately speaking, been printed out by the alien satellite, impressed on me afresh from outside. It was an addition, not a substitution in place of me but a kind of package identity based on the total knowledge of the satellite. It was to raise me to the highest level possible in my ability to cope. The satellite, itself linked to higher life forms, was concerned with my capacity to live; it or they, the totality of them, had seen me faltering under the oppression, and their response was reflexive. It amounted to a rational attempt to give aid to whoever was in touch with them, who was capable of assimilating their printout. I had been selected for that reason alone. Their concern was universal. They would have assisted anyone they could reach.
The tragedy lay in their inability to reach the people of our planet.
One odd point that Moyashka had noted which he could not account for was the fact that the radio signals came only when the source was above Earth's dark or night side; during the day the signals ceased. Moyashka conjectured that the so-called Heaviside layer might be involved.
The signals, although short in duration, seemed 'highly information rich' because of their sophistication and complexity. Curiously, the frequency changed periodically, a phenomenon found in transmissions seeking to avoid jamming, Moyashka stated. Further, his team had discovered, entirely by accident, that animals in their Pul-kovo laboratory underwent slight but regular physical changes during the time of signal transmission. Their blood volume altered and their blood pressure readings increased. Provisionally, Moyashka conjectured that radiation accompanying the radio signals might account for it.
[Ed. Note here the, perhaps slight, similarity in the name of the fictional scientist who discovered the satellite, Moyashka, and the Australian Muchea tracking station which picked up Cooper's sighting.]
If the Russians did photograph the ETI satellite, the invader, they would find it old and pitted. I had been there thousands of years.
The satellite had passed from our world and, with it, the healing rays, like those of an invisible sun, felt by creatures but unseen and unacknowledged. The sun with healing in its wings.
Even if the stations in this local region or sector are all overshadowed and don't light up any longer, it is a sight to remember. With this the satellite presented us with its final insight into the nature of things: synapses in a living brain. And the name we give to its functioning, its awareness of itself and its many parts - ' She smiled at me. 'It's why you saw the figure of Aphrodite. That's what holds all the trillions of stations into harmony.'
'Yes,' I said, 'it was harmonized, and over such distances. There was no coercion, only agreement.'
And the coordination of all the transmitting and receiving stations, I thought, we call Valis: Vast Active Living Intelligence System. Our friend who cannot die, who lies on this side of the grave and on the other. His love, I thought, is greater than empires. And unending.
SOURCE: Phildickian Gnosticism