PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 21/2002 - 12 February 2002
-------------------------------


"What do I mean by "barely"? I mean that this asteroid, traveling at
68,000 miles per hour, came within 400,000 miles. In astronomical terms,
that is nothing. To get an idea how close this thing came, imagine
that your head is the Earth. Now hold your right hand, representing the
sun, at arm's length. Now take your left forefinger, representing the
asteroid, and move it toward the Earth at 68,000 miles per hour until your
pinkie is up to the knuckle in your left nostril. Now try to type a
sentence. That is what I mean by "barely."
--Dave Barry, Baltimore Sun, 10 February 2002


(1) NASA BUDGET BEFUDDLES SCIENTISTS
    Space.com, 11 February 2002

(2) NO DOWNED PLANE FOUND AS CITIZENS REPORT FIREBALL
    New Haven Register, 11 February 2002

(3) MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS REPORT HEARING SONIC BOOM, SEEING FIREBALL
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(4) NEW REPORT ON HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE IMPACT DAMAGE
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(5) LET'S WHUP THAT GIANT SPACE ROCK OF DEATH
    Baltimore Sun, 10 February 2002

(6) SPACEGUARD & NASA
    David James Johnson  <starmanus@earthlink.net

(7) A FEW COMMENTS ON McBEATH'S VIEWS ON THE HISTORICITY OF THE JOSHUA
IMPACT EVENT
    E. P. Grondine <epgrondine@hotmail.com>

(8) EPH & EROS: A SHORT RESPONSE
    Tom Van Flandern <tomvf@metaresearch.org>

(9) AND FINALLY: LUNAR PLOTS SOLD IN CENTAL ASIA
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>


===========
(1) NASA BUDGET BEFUDDLES SCIENTISTS

>From Space.com, 11 February 2002
http://www.space.com/news/budget_grief_020211.html

By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- NASA's new budget may turn the solar system into
a battleground of budgets, a field of broken promises, and a waiting game
for hot shot nuclear technology.

At the center of the storm is a new NASA "Nuclear Systems Initiative" - an
aspect of which would lead to a uranium-fueled nuclear fission reactor with
an advanced electric propulsion system. This hardware was praised by NASA
leader, Sean O'Keefe during last week's budget briefing, calling it a way to
defeat "distance and time" in exploring the outer planets.

Sean "O'Grief" budget

Space nuclear power experts here at the Space Technology & Applications
International Forum (STAIF-2002) were largely enthusiastic about the space
agency's initiative.

However, the go-ahead to ramp up NASA's nuclear technology comes at a price.
Axed were a Pluto-Kuiper Belt flyby mission to be launched in 2006 and a
projected orbiter to circle Europa, a moon of Jupiter.

In response, O'Keefe at the budget briefing spoke of future nuclear
propelled craft to explore outer planet destinations. For Pluto, such a
craft would get there faster, then orbit instead of scoot by that faraway
world. Once on duty, huge amounts of data would be speedily transmitted,
rather than information gleaned during a fleeting flyby, he said.

But the nuclear news was not welcomed in all camps.

"It should be called the Sean O'Grief budget," said one observer.

Some critics claim that O'Keefe needs a fact checker when evaluating time,
risk and cost to reach Pluto via nuclear electric propulsion anytime soon.
Whereas the cancelled Pluto Kuiper-Belt probe demands only a 9.5 year flight
time, the NASA chief pegged that mission as taking 17 years to reach its
target.

It is true that low thrust nuclear electric propulsion can gently push for
years and accelerate to a great speed. But if you want to come to a stop and
enter orbit around Pluto, you have to decelerate from the half-way point, so
you end up with a slow transit. "You can have an orbiter, or you can have a
fast transit, but not both for any system likely to be ready in the next
decade," one scientist complained.

"Going faster will reduce the data because a flyby would be too fast.
Slipping into orbit is premature and would add huge expense," the scientist
claimed.

Old news or New Frontiers?

The proposed fiscal year 2003 budget for NASA has already received a good
news/bad news report card from the Division of Planetary Science (DPS), an
arm of the American Astronomical Society, based in Washington, D.C.

Among items saluted by the group was the revival within NASA of nuclear
technology to enable future space missions. So too was another new
initiative, the New Frontiers line of competitively procured planetary space
flight missions.

The DPS, however, noted its concern about the cancellation of the outer
planets program, a NASA action that killed the $488 million Pluto-Kuiper
Belt project and a projected Europa Orbiter mission.

The cost-capped Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission -- also known as New Horizons --
was recently picked after an open competition. Scientists and industry
partners "spent millions of dollars and months of time in good faith
response to a NASA call for proposals," the DPS assessment says, only to
have that effort nixed.

"This precedent discourages community participation in NASA's efforts to
produce cost-effective missions through competition," letter continues.
Whether New Horizons might be resuscitated under NASA's New Frontiers
program is now tucked away in the to-be-determined column.

Going nuclear, but at what cost?

As for nuclear technology for in-space propulsion and power, the DPS
applauded the White House-backed, NASA action. "Development of this
technology was terminated in the 1970s and planetary exploration has been
limited ever since to long, complex flight missions using conventional
propulsion and to spacecraft barely capable of powering a single light
bulb," the DPS appraisal explains.

Also backing NASA's nuclear space power and propulsion work, but with a
caveat, is Louis Friedman, executive director of The Planetary Society - a
public membership space advocacy group.

"Nuclear power is needed for the future of deep space exploration and we
welcome the initiative in the President's proposed budget. Tying it to, or
funding it by, the cancellation of scientifically approved, popular science
missions does not seem right and we will continue to seek approval of the
Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission," Friedman told SPACE.com.

Waiting game

NASA's space nuclear initiative is not universally embraced, and for a
variety of reasons.

For example, one open letter circulating on the Internet has asked "friends
of outer planet exploration" to rally against NASA's current position to
derail missions to distant Pluto and Europa. As for Pluto, "there is no
better time to launch than now, and there is no more economical mission than
New Horizons," the letter argues.

Waiting for nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) will shorten the trip time and
obviate the need for a Jupiter swing-by. But that wait means less atmosphere
to analyze, more area in permanent darkness, and allows Pluto and its
companion, Charon, to retreat farther and farther from scientific scrutiny,
explains the letter.

Furthermore, the letter continues, NEP is not needed to mount a Europa
Orbiter mission. To tie that propulsion system to Europa exploration, the
open message says, means further delay and much greater cost.

Safety first

Another worry by some scientists is the ability of NASA to get any nuclear
propulsion system off the ground in the first place.

NASA's Nuclear Systems Initiative is proposed to cost about $1 billion over
five years.

Some of those funds would help construct a nuclear electric propulsion
system that energizes a set of ion engines. NASA's Deep Space 1 successfully
utilized an ion engine in its recently completed mission.

The nuclear electric propulsion system being proposed would be fabricated to
stringent safety standards. For instance, the nuclear reactor would stay
intact in the event of a launch failure.

Additionally, this nuclear hardware is to be launched in a "cold",
non-operating state. The reactor part of any future spacecraft mission would
be activated at nearly 1,555 miles (2,500 kilometers) distance from Earth.
This altitude was chosen to be compliant with the NASA Orbital Debris
Guidelines in case the system failed to start.

How any number of anti-nuclear or pro-environment groups could play a role
in slowing down NASA's nuclear agenda is another concern shared by several
scientists contacted by SPACE.com. The result could mean a waylaying of
outer planet exploration, they contend.

Dialogue needed

At last week's STAIF gathering here, numbers of scenarios regarding use of
advanced propulsion were presented.

Muriel Noca of the Outer Planet Mission Architecture Group at the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California spelled out the benefits of
solar electric propulsion and nuclear electric propulsion.

A clear winner of a mission was a solar electric propulsion craft that
orbits and drops a lander onto Titan - a moon of Saturn, Noca said. That
mission, when tied to aerocapture -- using a thermal protection system to
dive into the atmosphere of the moon to slow down and then orbit the world
-- equates to a shorter trip time and a greater payload delivered to that
mysterious locale.

Nuclear electric propulsion, Noca said, could open up for exploration a host
of moons circling Jupiter, such as Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa.

Spacecraft assigned multiple destinations could be accomplished by using
nuclear electric propulsion, Noca said. What is needed now, she added, was a
dialogue to begin between nuclear space propulsion engineers and scientists.
Those discussions would be useful to help define missions of interest and
types of science to be carried out
 
Copyright 2002, Space.com

=============
(2) NO DOWNED PLANE FOUND AS CITIZENS REPORT FIREBALL
 
>From New Haven Register, 11 February 2002
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1281&dept_id=31007&newsid=3235161&PAG=461&rfi=9
 
NORTH CANAAN (AP) - Authorities found no evidence of a plane crash after
receiving calls from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont from
people who heard a sonic boom or saw a fireball Saturday afternoon.

Police, firefighters, and airports received calls at about 2:30 p.m.
Saturday from people who described seeing a fireball in the sky or hearing a
sonic boom and an explosion.

"One said it looked like a long metal item, and another said it looked like
a piece of metal with a fireball," said a police dispatcher at Troop B, who
refused to give her name.

David Paine, a state police spokesman in Massachusetts, said officials
believe it could have been a meteor.

"There were a number of calls for sighting of fireballs and sounds of sonic
booms in Russell, Montgomery, Pittsfield and into New York state," said Lt.
Paul C. Maloney, another spokesman for the Massachusetts state police. "We
did send an aircraft in the areas (where the sightings were reported) and
they saw nothing at that time."

The Federal Aviation Administration, which received calls from southern
Vermont and western and central Massachusetts, said it had no reports of
missing aircraft and had been told by the North American Aerospace Defense
Command there were no military activities taking place.
 
©New Haven Register 2002 

============
(3) MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS REPORT HEARING SONIC BOOM, SEEING FIREBALL

>From Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

http://www.boston.com/dailynews/041/region/Western_Mass_residents_report_:.shtml

Western Mass. residents report hearing sonic boom, seeing fireball
Associated Press
February 10, 2002

State public safety officials found no evidence of a plane crash after
receiving calls from residents who heard a sonic boom or saw a fireball
Saturday afternoon in western and central Massachusetts.

Police, firefighters, airports and the state emergency management agency
received calls at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday from residents who variously
described seeing a fireball in the sky or hearing a sonic boom and an
explosion.

''We believe it could have been a meteorite,'' trooper David Paine, a state
police spokesman, said Sunday.

Full story here:
http://www.boston.com/dailynews/041/region/Western_Mass_residents_report_:.shtml

==============
(4) NEW REPORT ON HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE IMPACT DAMAGE

>From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

[From January 2002 issue of ORBITAL DEBRIS QUARTERLY NEW, NASA JSC,
http://www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/v7i1/v7i1.html#news5]

New Report on Hubble Space Telescope Impact Damage

The Image Science and Analysis Group at the NASA Johnson Space Center has
just released its latest assessment of small particle damage to the HST in
Survey of the Hubble Space Telescope Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris
Impacts From Space Shuttle Service Mission 3A Imagery (JSC-29539). Prepared
primarily by David Bretz and the late Leif Anenson, the report characterizes
the results of a special investigation of HST photographs from the December
1999 mission of
STS-103 to identify high velocity impact features. A similar analysis was
performed following the second HST servicing mission by STS-82 (see Survey
of the Hubble Space Telescope Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Impacts from
Service Mission 2 Imagery, JSC-28472, 1998).

During the STS-103 mission the Electronic Still Camera (ESC) was used from
inside the Space Shuttle crew cabin to map all visible areas of the body of
HST using a 80-200 mm lens at full zoom (200 mm) and to image selected areas
with the 400 mm telephoto lens. Astronaut Scott Kelly was the primary survey
photographer, who underwent preflight training for this mission task. A
total of 99 images (50 with the 200 mm lens and 49 with the 400 mm lens)
were taken from the aft
flight deck. Many of these images were selected for special particle impact
analysis.

In all, 571 impact features (strikes) were selected for characterization and
measurement: 398 in the 200 mm lens images and 173 in the 400 mm lens
images. Where possible, the dimensions of both the central hole and the
outer delamination ring were measured. The most prevalent hole size seen in
the 200 mm lens images was 2-3 mm, but the higher resolution 400 mm lens
images yielded a majority of hole diameters in the 1-2 mm range. The
delamination ring diameters typically are twice the size of the associated
hole.

One of the most important metrics for determining the flux of the particle
environment is the density (number per square meter) of impacts. Average
impact densities of about 45/m2 were found on the -V3 quadrant of HST. This
is a cumulative effect over almost 10 years in Earth orbit. Unfortunately,
micrometeoroid and orbital debris impacts cannot be differentiated in the
images. Therefore, statistical techniques, taking into account the mean
densities of micrometeoroids
and orbital debris and their effects on hypervelocity impact morphology,
will need to be applied to distinguish the probable populations.

IMGE CAPTION:
[ http://www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/v7i1/hubble_fig1.jpg ]
Five HST impact sites photographed with 400 mm lens.

=========
(5) LET'S WHUP THAT GIANT SPACE ROCK OF DEATH

Baltimore Sun, 10 February 2002
http://www.sunspot.net/features/home/bal-hf.barry10feb10.story?coll=bal%2Dartslife%2Dhome

Dave Barry

You can skip this column. I'm sure you have more important things to do. You
don't need to waste your valuable time reading about how MILLIONS OF PEOPLE,
POSSIBLY INCLUDING YOU, RECENTLY WERE ALMOST KILLED BY A GIANT SPACE ROCK
AND THERE ARE MORE COMING AND NOBODY IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Excuse me for going into CAPS LOCK mode, but I am a little upset here. In
case you didn't hear about it, which you probably didn't: On Jan. 7, an
asteroid 1,000 feet across - nearly three times the current diameter of
Marlon Brando - barely missed the Earth, which is most likely your planet of
residence.

What do I mean by "barely"? I mean that this asteroid, traveling at 68,000
miles per hour, came within 400,000 miles. In astronomical terms, that is
nothing. To get an idea how close this thing came, imagine that your head is
the Earth. Now hold your right hand, representing the sun, at arm's length.
Now take your left forefinger, representing the asteroid, and move it toward
the Earth at 68,000 miles per hour until your pinkie is up to the knuckle in
your left nostril. Now try to type a sentence. That is what I mean by
"barely."

What if this asteroid had hit the Earth? According British asteroid expert
Benny Peiser, as quoted in the National Post of Canada, "Such an object
could literally wipe out a medium-sized country." So if you live in a large
country, you have nothing to worry about!

No, really, if this thing had hit anywhere on Earth, it would have been
seriously tragic. And don't think you're safe just because this one missed.
There are plenty more asteroids and asterettes (which are your female
asteroids) whizzing through space, and eventually one will hit us. Some
already have. Astronomers believe that 65 million years ago, a large
asteroid struck Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs; in 1985, a smaller one
obliterated the career of Henry "The Fonz" Winkler. It is only a matter of
time before disaster strikes again.

I'm sure this information raises some troubling questions in your mind, the
main one being: There's a British asteroid expert named "Benny?" But also
you're wondering: What is the astronomy community doing about this?

Good question. As it happens, the American Astronomical Society was holding
a conference in Washington at the very same time as the asteroid nearly hit
the Earth. I know this because The New York Times covered the heck out of
the conference. Here's the scary part: The Times did not print one word
about the asteroid. Instead, as this thing whizzed past, The Times printed
the following exciting astronomy news:

JAN. 8 - Astronomers have discovered that certain gamma rays, which they
used to think came from billions of light-years away, in fact came from only
a few hundred million light-years away!

JAN. 9 - Having studied the far edges of the universe with the Hubbell
telescope, astronomers now believe that roughly 14 billion years ago, stars
formed more quickly than was previously thought!

JAN. 10 - Astronomers "peering deep into the heart of the Milky Way" have
discovered more than 1,000 sources of "powerful X-rays," far more than were
previously known!

So there you have it: While the Giant Space Rock of Death was coming THIS
CLOSE to turning our planet into a cosmic Whack-a-Mole game, the astronomy
community was squinting at the far edges of the universe. This is like two
police officers standing in the park, and a screaming woman runs past,
chased by muggers, and one officer says to the other: "Look over there! An
albino squirrel!"

No, the astronomers aren't going to save us. Humanity must take matters into
its own hands. Step One, of course, is for everybody to lay in at least a
two-week supply of margarita ingredients. Step Two is to mount a massive
international project, based on the movie "Armageddon," to watch for an
incoming asteroid, and then send up a rocket, commanded by Bruce Willis, to
blow it up with a hydrogen bomb. Except of course we can't really use Bruce,
because he'd want $20 million, plus a percentage of the asteroid. So we need
someone else - someone with courage, skill and a proven ability to perform
in the face of grave danger. There is one name that comes immediately to my
mind, as I'm sure it does to yours. Geraldo, your planet needs you.

Knight/Ridder Tribune

Copyright © 2002, The Baltimore Sun

============================
* LETTERS TO THE MODERATOR *
============================

(6) SPACEGUARD & NASA

>From David James Johnson  <starmanus@earthlink.net

Dear Benny and Colleagues,

The Spaceguard Survey, as viewed by NASA, is progress, as any search is
better than none. But the NASA agenda is not shared by that of the rest of
the world. Are 1KM or larger NEOs a danger to life on the Earth? Yes. Should
they be surveyed? Yes. But I do not subscribe to the number of the 1KM or
larger population which NASA speculates exist. Should an actual Spaceguard
Survey be only concerned with one type of NEO or Size? NO. All such objects
need to be surveyed. Granted the smaller objects are not easily detected or
tracked. But it can be done.

In the same light, the 1992 Survey report suggested that observatories
needed to be brought on line in every Hemisphere, providing us with a
clearer picture of what is out there, and a true early warning system. Very
little has been done in this area, and we are virtually blind in the
Southern Hemisphere, leaving only Northern Hemisphere searches. 

Thus the NASA agenda often is not the same as the rest of the world, yet the
NASA agenda has always been a reflection of the American governments goals,
and projections. However, NASA is not the ultimate authority in
space-related subjects, and such an authority should not be relegated to one
single nation. Granted each nation moves to insure there security, yet what
of mankind? The Spaceguard quest, is survival, and defense of the earth.

Dr. Morrison's present analysis appears overly optimistic pertaining to the
NEO population, and NASA's true ability to accurately catalog 90% of the 1Km
or larger NEO population, remains questionable. It would appear that often,
where a Government sponsored agency is concerned, one can also hear the
politics echoing through the hallways. Then you also hear terms such as
credibility.

I have heard it said that if we pose too many warnings, or make too many
waves, then our credibility as scientist may be damaged. Yet if we do not,
or even if our warnings are taken to heart by governments, we're still the
first to be blamed when things do not go as the Government had predicted.

The good news, however, is real science is being conducted, and as always,
we never fully agree on how things should be done, yet there is much to be
done, and time is not on our side. Funding is needed for a number of
projects, and more observatories placed into the Spaceguard system, in both
hemispheres. At present the hot item needs are that of Australia, for one.
With out their eyes, our whole systems abilities are questionable. The
argument that all NEO end up in the Northern Hemisphere sky just doesn't
hold water.

In the end, this important research is continuing, disagreements will
continue, and through it all perhaps Mankind will survive. Individually our
home nations can not mount an appropriate defense alone, but together we
can. Regardless of what a nations status is in our world today, we are all
human, and all deserve the right to live. This is what Spaceguard means.

Dr. David James Johnson
starmanus@earthlink.net

Stellar Research Group:
http://www.angelfire.com/in/stellargroup
(US) Spaceguard Research & Survey:
http://www.angelfire.com/space/spaceguardus

=========
(7) A FEW COMMENTS ON McBEATH'S VIEWS ON THE HISTORICITY OF THE JOSHUA
IMPACT EVENT

>From E. P. Grondine <epgrondine@hotmail.com>

Hello Benny,

As the text materials contained in the collection of works known as the
"Bible" underlie a number of religions, and also play a role in various
national aspirations, they have attracted almost endless comment and
analysis over the years, much of it quite biased, intense, and fixated. Both
Goran's and Alastair's notes are examples of this, and the future promises
an almost endless supply of many more similar notes. My interests lie
elsewhere, and I simply do not have the time to comment on or respond to all
of these notes. In the future I most definitely will not, and any notes
uncommented on or unanswered by me should not be taken by anyone as any
acceptance on my part that anything stated in them is correct.

Why my responding to such notes would be an exercise in futility can best
immediately and easily be demonstrated by a quick analysis of Alastair
McBeath's note on the Joshua Impact Event, which shows how even a reasonably
good scholar can be led astray by others when working with biblical
materials. As Alastair states, "Joshua's text [and here I point out that
what Alastair meant to say was "The text of the writing known to us as
"Joshua""], along with most of the early biblical books such as the
Pentateuch, is very poorly dated, to perhaps sometime within the 10th to 4th
centuries BC as the work we now know. Similarly, it draws on earlier oral
and written sources, and was subject to unknown numbers of revisions." 

Given that, the next question immediately arises: Given the weakness of the
text tradition, why then does Alastair place such an extraordinary emphasis
on the exact translation of one word in it, specifically, "hailstones"?

The answer to this question is perfectly clear to those familiar with the
field, as clear as Alastair's dependence on the works of some of the current
generation of "revisionist" Middle Bronze Age scholars. Like them Alastair
conveniently omits from his summary of "Joshua" the very lengthy description
found there of the ancient Israelite's attack on the city of Ai, and of the
coalition which the Hittite King formed in response to it. The FACT that the
"revisionist" school of scholars seek to conceal by this omission is that
the formation of this coalition and the area of its operation are well
testified in the CONTEMPORARY HITTITE RECORDS of the disasterous campaign of
the Hittite King Hantilish. My citations in my earlier note to Johansson of
the Edict of Telepinush, 15-17, and the fragmentary record KBo III 46, seem
to have entirely escaped Alastair's notice, as did my mention of the FIVE
OTHER DOCUMENT TRADITIONS TOUCHING ON THIS EVENT besides those of the
Israelites and Hittites, which I again repeat appear to contain TWO
CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS OF IMPACT, specifically those of Thutmose I and
Idrimi, all of this this time in capital letters, as the use of ordinary
small type does not seem to work...

The "revisionists'" bias, and thus Alastair's bias, which we have just seen
demonstrated in his faulty summary of the content of the "Joshua" text, is
also reflected in his repetition of "revisionist" omissions on the
archaeology of the Middle Bronze: "The historical Israelite conquests in,
and settlement of, Palestine described in the book may well date to c.1220
BC and subsequent years, [they may well date to that time, except that they
do not] perhaps up to c.1200, though the matter is not definitively settled,
[and there's an understatement] as there is little archaeological evidence
to support the Joshuan conquest,..."

Hold it right there. As I pointed out in my earlier note, the FACT is that
THERE ARE DESTRUCTION LEVELS AT JERICHO, HORMAH, GIBEON, AND ARAD WHICH HAVE
PREVIOUSLY BEEN DATED TO VERY ROUGHLY 1550 BCE +/- SOME YEARS. Also,
"Joshua" reports the destruction of the coalition military forces, and the
list given there of the coalition military forces includes the military
forces of peoples who are usually lumped together today under the term
"Minoan". Even if "Joshua" did not mention this, another certain FACT is
that Hittite kings always campaigned with the military forces of their
appenage states attached to their own armies, and thus from the CONTEMPORARY
HITTITE ACCOUNTS of Hantilish's campaign one can safely place the "Minoan"
military forces in the area.  Sure enough, after the ca 1586 BCE Joshua
event these now defenseless people are conquered by Achaeans ca 1580 BCE,
and we know this from 2 MORE SETS OF CONTEMPORARY RECORDS: those in Hittite
cuneiform detailing the invasion of the west coast of Anatolia, and the
Achaean's own records in Mycenean Linear B from Knossos on Crete. Thus the
Joshua Event is also attested by EVERY ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE WHERE LATE MINOAN
IB COMES TO AN END.

The only question that remains is whether this event ca 1586 BCE involved
"stones" or "hailstones". According to a translation into English of later
copies of a work assembled sometime between 10th and 4th centuries BCE from
much earlier oral and written materials, the destruction MAY have come from
"hailstones", but as Alastair points out, this text tradition is very
unreliable. Even weaker than "Joshua" text are the Ionian myths, according
to which the destruction involved "stones". But according to TWO
CONTEMPORARY RECORDS, those of Thutmose I and Idrimi, there was an IMPACT
EVENT which occured at this time. Also, according to other CONTEMPORARY
RECORDS, there is a sudden dramatic fall in the price of meteoritic iron.

Now I have to ask, which should take precedence, the reading of the word
"hailstones" in "Joshua", or the CONTEMPORARY RECORDS and ARCHAEOLOGICAL
REMAINS? Whatever your own answer, my own answer is that in the future I am
just going to sit back and let Alastair and Goran fight it out over the
historicity of Babylonian astronomical omen texts, which if either of them
noticed I have never mentioned or commented on at all in either of these 2
notes on the JOSHUA IMPACT EVENT OF CA. 1586 BCE.

All the best,
Ed

===========
(8) EPH & EROS: A SHORT RESPONSE

>From Tom Van Flandern <tomvf@metaresearch.org>

Dear Benny

In CCNet for 2 February, David Tholen stated that the "EPH failed a major
test. ... No debris field was found orbiting Eros." However, the full
wording of the prediction first published in 1992 and repeated a year before
the NEAR spacecraft went into orbit around Eros said: "If no satellite
orbits are stable, then we must look for former moons that have gently
impacted on the surface, often rolling great distances and leaving visible
roll marks in the process." (MRB 8, p. 16, 1999) Shortly thereafter,
Scheeres findings that the gravity field of Eros was unstable because of the
asteroid's icicle-like shape were more widely circulated. (J.Astronaut.Sci.
43#4, pp. 427-452, 1995). So the "decayed satellite" qualifier on the
prediction was applicable. The NEAR spacecraft later did find abundant
boulders and roll marks on the surface of the asteroid, in apparent
fulfillment of the prediction.

The Eros matter was just one example of the EPH's general prediction that
satellites of asteroids and comets would be found to be "numerous and
commonplace". The table below is the current discovery list, where the
legend for the last column is: C = comet; J = Jupiter Trojan; M = main belt;
N = NEO; T = TNO; ? = light curve only. Note the apparent acceleration in
the rate of discoveries.


#    Name                              Year    *
1    532 Herculina                     1978    M
2    216 Kleopatra                     1980    M
3    C/Grigg-Skjellerup                1993    C
4    243 Ida: Dactyl                   1994    M
5    1994 AW1                          1994   
6    3671 Dionysus                     1997   
7    1991 VH                           1997   
8    5407                              1997    ?
9    1998 PG                           1998    ?
10   C/1995 O1: Hale-Bopp              1999    C
11   45 Eugenia: Petit-Prince          1999   
12   1999 HF1                          1999    ?
13   1996 FG3                          2000   
14   2000 DP107                        2000   
15   90 Antiope                        2000   
16   762 Pulcova                       2000   
17   87 Sylvia                         2001   
18   107 Camilla                       2001   
19   1998 WW31                         2001    T
20   1999 KW4                          2001   
21   22 Kalliope                       2001   
22   617 Patroclus                     2001    J
23   2001 QT297                        2001    T
24   1998 ST27                         2001   
25   2001 SL9                          2001    N
26   2001 QW322                        2001    T
27   1999 TC36                         2002    T

MODERATOR'S NOTE: After giving Tom the last word here, I would like to draw
a line on the CCNet debate about his Exploded Planet Hypothesis. BJP

============
(9) AND FINALLY: LUNAR PLOTS SOLD IN CENTAL ASIA

>From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

[ http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=02022002-035651-4155r ]

February 10, 2002, 9:05 PM EST

Lunar plots sold in Central Asia
By MARINA KOZLOVA

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (UPI) -- A consulate of the Lunar Embassy has opened in
Almaty and so far five people in the former Soviet republic in Central Asia
have purchased $99 plots on the moon.

While some may view this as a joke or a moneymaking opportunity, the idea of
owning land on the moon has sparked a legal debate over whether it even is
possible to sell and purchase parts of the moon.

The Almaty consulate is part of an enterprise run by Dennis Hope, who opened
his privately owned Lunar Embassy in California, which also is connected
with the Lunar Embassy in St. Petersburg, Russia

The consulate in Almaty sells 177.76 acres of the moon's surface for $99,
Yulya, a consulate representative who preferred not to use her last name,
told United Press International. She said in the United States, a unit of
the lunar surface is more expensive.

Moon plot buyers receive a contract of acquisition of property, the Lunar
Constitution and a map of the lunar surface.

"Buyers are respectable people with portions of romanticism," Yulya said.
The buyers in Kazakhstan are businessmen. Some of them bought plots as a
gift to their beloved, she added.

Plots may be gifted and handed down, she said, but added it is practically
impossible for the owners to pawn plots on the Moon's surface because people
think it is a joke.

Professor Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, director of the National Remote Sensing
and Space Law Center at the University of Mississippi and an expert on law
in outer space, including the Moon Treaty, told UPI: "The legitimacy of the
Lunar Embassy's sale of deeds to property on the Moon and other celestial
bodies is highly questionable, and most likely illegal under both the 1967
Outer Space Treaty and the 1979 Moon Treaty."

"The Outer Space Treaty is silent on the question of property rights. It
neither permits them nor prohibits them," Gabrynowicz added.

Gabrynowicz said the Moon Treaty leaves the final determination of the
status of property rights to a future "international regime" which has never
been established.

"And although the Moon Treaty specifically prohibits parties to the treaty
from recognizing or conferring real property rights, this could be changed
if an international regime were established and its members agreed to
recognize property rights," she said. "All of this, as a
political matter, is highly speculative."

Gabrynowicz said she would not give the Lunar Consulate in Kazakhstan any of
her own money.

Under the 1979 Moon Treaty, officially called the Agreement Governing the
Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, the moon and
its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind.

"The moon is not subject to national appropriation by any claim of
sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means," the
agreement says. "Neither the surface nor the subsurface of the moon, nor any
part thereof or natural resources in place, shall become property of any
State, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization,
national organization or non-governmental entity or of any natural person."

"But the last sentence of this paragraph also says, 'The foregoing
provisions are without prejudice to the international regime referred to in
paragraph 5 of this article,'" Gabrynowicz said. "This means that 1.) if a
regime were established its members could 2.) agree to
recognize property rights if they chose to."

In an interview with scifidimensions.com this month, Hope said in 1980 he
filed a declaration of ownership for the moon and the other eight planets.
He said he told the United Nations and governments of other nations to speak
up if they had objections. "I never heard from them," he said in the
interview. "This is all predicated on the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. We are
fully compliant within the laws as they are currently written."

Hope has received financial benefits from the Lunar Embassy. According to
StudentMagazine.com, Hope claims 273,000 people around the world have bought
a piece of the moon. Hope donates 50 cents from the sale of every acre to
charity, the magazine reported.

Copyright © 2002 United Press International

--------------------------------------------------------------------
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contact the moderator Benny J Peiser <b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk>. Information
circulated on this network is for scholarly and educational use only. The
attached information may not be copied or reproduced for any other purposes
without prior permission of the copyright holders. The fully indexed archive
of the CCNet, from February 1997 on, can be found at
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/cccmenu.html.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in the articles
and texts and in other CCNet contributions do not necessarily reflect the
opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the moderator of this network


*

CCNet ESSAY, 12 February 2002
-----------------------------


"After some 3 days of searching, I am now able to report to
Conference participants that out of its total 2003 budget of some
$15,100 million, NASA has proposed a budget for the JPL NEO office of
$3.8 million, +$.5-.$75 million, which will fund detection, tracking,
characterization, and theoretical studies. Of course Conference participants
will immediately realize that this amount is hopelessly inadequate for
dealing with the hazard, but the proposal is not surprising, given
the information which I uncovered in the course of trying to find
the NASA NEO budget: specifically, that WHILE THEY UNDERSTAND LARGE
IMPACT EVENTS TO VARYING DEGREES, THE 4 TOP OFFICIALS IN CONTROL OF US NEO
DETECTION POLICY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE SMALL NEO
IMPACT HAZARD, and I'm talking 000.000000% here."
-- Ed Grondine, 12 February 2002


"Thus the Spaceguard Goal of NASA, as articulated in 1998 by Dr.
Carl Pilcher before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics,
is to discover 90% of the near-Earth asteroids larger than one kilometer
within 10 years. It is this Spaceguard Goal that is driving much of
today's research into, and funding for, the near-Earth objects (NEOs).
Assuming an average albedo of about 11% for near-Earth asteroids (NEAs),
the dividing line between one kilometer and larger-sized objects and those
that are smaller has been taken to be absolute magnitude 18. Toward the end
of 2001, about 550 NEAs brighter than, or equal to, absolute magnitude 18
have been discovered out a total estimated population of about 1000 large
NEAs (Rabinowitz, 2000; Bottke et al., 2000; Stuart, 2001). While at
first look this progress seems very impressive, when the facility
with which new objects are detected in the first few years of an
intensive search effort is taken into account, the current discovery rate
does not seem sufficient to meet the Spaceguard goal."
--Don Yeomans et al., PLANETARY DECADAL STUDY COMMUNITY
WHITE PAPER
SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION SURVEY, 2003-2013


DAZED AND CONFUSED: IN SEARCH OF US POLICIES FOR DEALING WITH THE IMPACT
HAZARD
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/ce021102.html

By E.P. Grondine <epgrondine@hotmail.com>

Hello Benny -

Last Monday I braved both the crazed drivers of interstate highway 95 as
well as possible terrorist attack to attend the NASA budget briefing held in
the auditorium at NASA Headquaters in Washington, DC. What possible
motivation could there have been for me to so selflessly undertake such a
dangerous voyage?

As Conference participants are well aware, the NASA NEO budget is so small
that it is never mentioned as a line item in the documents which NASA hands
out at the budget briefings, and thus the only way to find out what NASA's
NEO budget is, is to make the trip into town. And since I myself am equipped
with certain skills developed during many years of squireling out some of
the most concealed information of the space programs of the former Soviet
Union and China, I suppose that in some ways I am uniquely suited to the
task of finding out exactly what NASA's NEO budget is. Throw in the large
numbers of people killed in recent times by the impact of small asteroids
and comets, and thus Duty calls...

After some 3 days of searching, I am now able to report to Conference
participants that out of its total 2003 budget of some $15,100 million, NASA
has proposed a budget for the JPL NEO office of $3.8 million, +$.5-.$75
million, which will fund detection, tracking, characterization, and
theoretical studies. Of course Conference participants will immediately
realize that this amount is hopelessly inadequate for dealing with the
hazard, but the proposal is not surprising, given the information which I
uncovered in the course of trying to find the NASA NEO budget: specifically,
that WHILE THEY UNDERSTAND LARGE IMPACT EVENTS TO VARYING DEGREES, THE 4 TOP
OFFICIALS IN CONTROL OF US NEO DETECTION POLICY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO
UNDERSTANDING OF THE SMALL NEO IMPACT HAZARD, and I'm talking 000.000000%
here.

[continued] http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/ce021102.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------
CCNet is a scholarly electronic network. To subscribe/unsubscribe, please
contact the moderator Benny J Peiser <b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk>. Information
circulated on this network is for scholarly and educational use only. The
attached information may not be copied or reproduced for any other purposes
without prior permission of the copyright holders. The fully indexed archive
of the CCNet, from February 1997 on, can be found at
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/cccmenu.html.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in the articles
and texts and in other CCNet contributions do not necessarily reflect the
opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the moderator of this network



CCCMENU CCC for 2002

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