Black Knight also known as the Black Knight satellite is an alleged object orbiting Earth in near-polar orbit that ufologists and fringe authors believe is approximately 13,000 years old and of extraterrestrial origin. However it is most probable that Black Knight is the result of a conflation of a number of unrelated stories. Fringe authors claim that there is a connection between long delayed echos and reports that Nikola Tesla picked up a repeating radio signal in 1899 which he believed was coming from space. The satellite explanation originated in 1954 when newspapers including the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the San Francisco Examiner ran stories attributed to UFO researcher Donald Keyhoe saying that the US Air Force had reported that two satellites orbiting the Earth had been detected. At this time no man-made satellites had been launched
In February 1960 there was a further report that the US Navy had detected a dark, tumbling object in an orbit inclined at 79° from the equator with an orbital period of 104.5 minutes. Its orbit was also highly eccentric with an apogee of 1,728 km (1,074 mi) and a perigee of only 216 km (134 mi) At the time the Navy was tracking a fragment of casing from the Discoverer VIII satellite launch which had a very similar orbit. The dark object was later confirmed to be another part of this casing that had been presumed lost. In 1973 the Scottish writer Duncan Lunan analyzed the data from the Norwegian radio researchers, coming to the conclusion that they produced a star chart pointing the way to Epsilon Boötis, a double star in the constellation of Boötes. Lunan's hypothesis was that these signals were being transmitted from a 12,600 year old object located at one of Earth's Lagrangian points. Lunan later found that his analysis had been based on flawed data and withdrew it, and at no time did he associate it with the unidentified orbiting object. An object photographed in 1998 during the STS-88 mission has been widely claimed to be this "alien artifact". However, it is more probable that the photographs are of a thermal blanket that had been lost during an EVA. Alternatively, people analyzing these pictures have suggested that it could be the Pakal Spacecraft, a supposed Mayan spacecraft written about by controvercial pseudoarchiological author Erich von Daniken
Space Junk or Extraterrestrial “Satellite”, the black knight as it’s called today– has been around for quite some time now. The discovery of the Black Knight Satellite is perhaps one of the most (in)famous space objects to orbit our Planet. This “Artificial Satellite” has caused mayor media interest since the late 50's, and it has become one of the most talked about objects in space. First thought to be an Russian spy satellite, the Black Knight has gripped the interest of millions worldwide.
According to monitoring agencies around the world, The Black knight has been transmitting radio signals for over 50 years now.
The USA and Soviet Union have shown particular interest in this “unidentified space object”. Since its discovery this satellite has interested countries such as Sweden and enthusiasts worldwide. One of them is a Ham Radio operator who apparently had decoded a series of signals received from the UFO Satellite and interpreted it as a star-chart centered on the Epsilon Bootes Star System and that the Black Knight originated from this System 13.000 years ago. (The Epsilon Boötis is a double star in the northern constellation of Boötes. It has the traditional names Izar and Pulcherrima. The star system can be viewed with the unaided eye at night, but resolving the pair with a small telescope is challenging; an aperture of 76 mm (3.0 in) or greater is required. — Wikipedia)
But according to many, this discovery was made much earlier than we thought. Rumors are that it was Nikola Tesla the first man to “intercept” a signal from this otherworldly satellite in 1899 after building a high-voltage radio device in Colorado Springs. After Tesla’s discovery in the next 30 to 50 years the signal was being intercepted more frequently until it was apparently “decoded”. Since the 1930's Astronomers worldwide have been reporting strange radio signals which allegedly come from the “Black Knight”.
In 1957, Dr. Luis Corralos of the Communications Ministry in Venezuela photographed it while taking pictures of Sputnik II as it passed over Caracas. The strange thing was that unlike the Sputnik one and two, The Black Knight Satellite orbited Earth from East to West. Sputnik one and two orbited West to East using Earth’s natural rotation to maintain orbit.
The story of the Black Knight made its media debut in the 1940's when the St. Louis Dispatch and The San Francisco Examiner wrote about the “Satellite” on May 14th 1954. The Time Magazine wrote about it on the seventh of March, 1960. Here is what they said about it.
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 Fence program’s purpose was to monitor known satellite objects, whether American or Russian, or otherwise, and to identify new objects, so as to stay abreast of Soviet spy satellites and other space-military operations that might have been undertaken over US airspace. This, of course, was at the height of the Cold War, and the political climate around the world was focused on military secrecy and keeping up with the Russians. It was also at the very beginning of the global Space Race.
Mysterious unidentified flying satellite from STS-88.
What was strange about this ‘dark satellite’, was that it was neither American nor Russian, or at least it didn’t conform to any known American or Russian satellite at the time. It was also in a ‘polar’ orbit, meaning that it passed over or near both the north and south poles once per revolution, which was reported to be impossible at the time. The Time article attributed this ‘dark satellite’ to mismanagement of the Dark Fence program, and it was suggested that the object they detected was actually the Discoverer 1 Corona Reconnaissance satellite that was launched in February of the previous year. Discover 1 was intended to have a low-Earth geocentric ‘polar’ orbit, but it failed to achieve such an orbital path and is believed to have crashed somewhere near the South Pole in short order.
Right from the start, Black Knight was an enigma, even though many accepted the idea that it was really just a misplaced American science project. Others, of course, felt there was more to this than was reported.
On September 3, 1960, a camera at the Grumman Aircraft Corp. Long Island factory managed to capture an image of the object. It was said to be a redish-pink glowing object moving in an east-to-west orbit, which is, apparently, the opposite of most other man-made satellites, and which doesn’t fit the polar orbit reported by Time. Subsequent to this, astronaut Gordon Cooper Jr. allegedly caught a first-hand glimpse of the object during his 22-orbit Mercury-Atlas 9 flight, which was the final of the Mercury Program missions. Cooper claimed that it was an object much larger than any other man-made satellite of the time, and that it glowed a neon green.
Cooper, who passed away in 2004, had long been sympathetic to the UFOlogy movement and had been vocal about not only the reality of extraterrestrial life, but also the idea that the US government had been and continues to be complicit in a cover-up of contact with such. Then in 1998, during NASA mission STS-88 to the ISS, flown by the Space Shuttle Endeavour, images were captured of an unidentified object in orbit; an object that a great many people believe is the ever elusive Black Knight satellite.
Following Time’s publication, John Keel detailed the discovery in his book Disneyland of the Gods (1988), wherein he noted that around the same time that Dark Fence detected this mysterious object, ground based HAM operators were reporting having received strange radio signals. According to Keel, one such HAM operator received and decoded a signal and claimed that the message corresponded to a star chart, plotted from Earth 13,000 years ago, and focused on a star system called Epsilon Boötis…and this is where things get really interesting.
That HAM operator was Duncan Lunan, a Scottish author of science fiction, with a focus on astronomy and spaceflight. Lunan claimed, in an article in the British Interplanetary Society’s magazine, Spaceflight, that he had encountered and interpreted a signal from an alien probe somewhere in orbit around the Earth. He said that the same signal had previously been detected by researchers in the 1920’s who were studying the long delayed echo effect (or LDE), but that they had disregarded the encoded message as having been an echo of an Earth-originating signal bouncing off of either the moon or Earth’s upper atmosphere. In his article, Lunan relayed the decoded message as follows:
“Start here. Our home is Upsilon Bootes, which is a double star. We live on the sixth planet of seven, coming from the sun, which is the larger of the two. Our sixth planet has one moon. Our fourth planet has three. Our first and third planets each have one. Our probe is in the position of Arcturus, known in our maps.”
Many believe, including Lunan, that this message came from a Bracewell probe in orbit around Earth. A Bracewell probe is a theoretical autonomous satellite built to remotely explore distant star systems with the expressed purpose of communicating with alien civilizations. An interesting coincidence in all this, is that the concept of a Bracewell probe was first proposed by telecommunication and radioscience engineer Ronald Bracewell, in a paper published in 1960, the same year Black Knight was discovered. A notable example of a Bracewell probe is the device that featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode ‘The Inner Light’ (season five, episode 25).
It’s also interesting to note that one of the theoretical causes of the mysterious long delay echo effect, which is a strange anomaly experienced by radio operators, wherein transmitted signals echo back to the transceiver several seconds after transmission, is that alien technology is retransmitting those signals back in the direction of the transmitter in an effort to communicate…possibly by a probe located in orbit. That isn’t the most widely accepted theory used to explain LDE of course, but it is listed as a possible cause for the effect, among electromagnetic interference and EME or Earth-Moon-Earth signal bounce (or even EMEME / double EME). And now we’re about to dive into the real weirdness.
In 1980 Philip K. Dick published what many believe to be his magnum opus, VALIS. VALIS is an almost autobiographical novel, wherein he detailed many of the strange and paranormal experiences he had over his lifetime (up to that point, obviously). In that book he detailed an event that occurred on February 20, 1974 at his home in Chicago, Illinois. He received a delivery at the hands of a beautiful young woman who wore a gold necklace with an odd fish-shaped pendant. Dick recounted that the sun glinted off of the pendant, which caused what he called a ‘pink beam’ that penetrated his eye and imparted untold wisdom in the blink of an eye.
Dick claimed that this ‘pink beam’, which he claimed to have experienced on multiple occasions, was a transformative event in his life, and though most saw it as an hallucination, he used the experience, referred to as 2-3-74, as inspiration for the VALIS Trilogy.
There are a great many people who believe that the origin of that ‘pink beam’ was in fact, the Black Knight satellite, associating the ‘pink beam’ with the redish-pink colour of the satellite. It’s fairly well known that certain academics view VALIS, as a result of comments made by Dick in his exegesis, as a sort of cipher key, needed to decode the true meaning behind Dick’s ten most important works, which are known as the ‘meta-novel’. Those works 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, and A Maze of Death.
The fact that Eye in the Sky was written just three years before Black Knight was discovered, suggests to some that Dick was the recipient of otherworldly communication, possibly from a civilization hailing from the Epsilon Boötis star system. You might be thinking that it should now be a fairly simple endeavour to confirm the existence of such a thing in orbit around Earth, if it’s still there that is, but consider this…
Right now there are somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100,000 man-made objects orbiting Earth. Some are multi-billion dollar uber-sciencey military satellites, or telecomm satellites or even scientific instruments, but most are simple space junk, like parts off of old spacecraft or dead satellites etc. A good portion of that space junk is ‘dark’, in the same way Black Knight was thought to be, making it very difficult to differentiate between one bit and another. Black Knight may be lost among a cloud of garbage, which seems par for the course on our planet.
NASA and other space agencies around the world have put a great deal of thought into the issue of space junk, and the Chinese are currently in the process of developing a sort of net that will be used to collect space debris and safely bring it back to Earth for recycling or to otherwise be dealt with. But what if they bring Black Knight down?
Here’s the thing about all of this. The above may seem like a lot of conjecture and supposition, and perhaps some of it is – surely it’s a stretch to say that Philip K. Dick was a harbinger of tidings from an alien species using a Bracewell probe – but many of the facts are confirmed. Black Knight does seem to exist, and while noting that certain governments do have a penchant for secret technology and clandestine operations, its origin and purpose seems to defy explanation. If we are able to accept the stories and theories held therein, and the, at times tenuous, connections between them, can we accept that there’s a 13,000 year old alien probe orbiting our planet, sending literary inspiration to select people via the gold necklaces of attractive delivery people?