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“The Flying Saucer Conspiracy” and the Black Knight Satellite: Cold War Spy-Fi?

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posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 10:19 AM
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A recent thread sent me on a hunt for the infamous “Black Knight Satellite.” This New Age legend drew on several sources: supposed contact by Tesla (who else?), long delay echoes detected by radio pioneers, and, most intriguingly of all, reports by extremely reputable astronomers of two new “natural satellites” of the Earth in the 1950s. This last piqued my interest. Supposedly, the discovery was announced in the press and even made it into Aviation Week, the aerospace trade paper. I wondered if the story were true, and if not, where it came from.

It turns out that all the clues I found circled around one central source: Major Donald Kehoe’s seminal 1955 Book, “The Flying Saucer Conspiracy.” Major Kehoe was a retired Naval Aviator, a background that gave him both an air of authority and connections in the military. He drew heavily on both in the crafting of the book, which introduced all of the elements of ufology’s “golden age,” when flying saucers were metal spacecraft piloted by aliens from other planets in the Solar System, and no-one was abducted in their dreams.

I managed to find an old copy at a used bookstore and was immediately sucked in by its thrilling table of contents:




“Blackout!”
“The First Clue!”
“The Silence Group Strikes!


These titles could have been written by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, who was rapidly becoming one of the best-selling authors of the era. How could I resist? Most of Kehoe’s non-fiction articles about flying saucers, as they were called at the time, appeared in “Men’s Magazines,” a genre that specialized in sensationalistic tales of real life adventure. “Attacked By A Tiger!” “I Escaped A Nazi Prison,” that kind of thing. Naturally, Kehoe had to tune his style to that market, thus the opening lines of the book:


For several years the censorship of flying-saucer reports has been increasingly tightened. In the United States this top-level blackout is backed by two strict orders.

[Edit for brevity. –DJW001]

It was the evening of December 23, and wintry darkness had settled over Michigan. At an isolated radar station Air Defense operators were watching their scope in a routine guard against possible enemy attack.

Suddenly the “blip” of an unknown machine appeared on the glass screen. The Ground Control Intercept officer took a quick look. The “unknown” was flying over Soo Locks—and no aircraft was scheduled near that important target. Whatever it was, it had to be identified swiftly….


[Keyhoe, Donald The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, Henry Holt and Company, 1955. Pp. 13-14]

The stakes are high, the government is struggling to cope, and at a base charged with the defense of the nation, we are suddenly dropped in media res! Kehoe consistently describes dramatic scenes he was not a witness to, filling in details from his imagination. Note that he automatically assumes that the presence of a blip on a radar screen must necessarily be a “machine.”

This breathless narration of fictive scenes moves the book along like a thriller. The mood is high Cold War drama. As he describes his investigations, he is always meeting up with Navy or Air Force buddies who have just gotten off a flight to or from Washington, DC. They are always dropping meaningful hints, then clamming up because of security concerns. Here is where what will become known as the “Black Knight Satellite” enters the story:


As I left the anteroom with Colonel C.E. Hutchin, the admiral’s press aide, an officer with a mass of campaign ribbons came down the hall. I recognized him as a captain I had known for years.

[Edit for brevity. –DJW001]

When I came back, he got me to one side.

“I should have known you’d be in on it,” he said in an undertone.

I looked at him blankly.

“I never believed it,” he went on. “You know that. But after what happened at Pearl Harbor last month…” He shook his head solemnly. “You certainly turned out to be a prophet.”

Then it hit me, He was talking about flying saucers. I waited with an electric feeling. It must have been something big to change him from a skeptic.

Two Army officers went by. The captain waited until they had passed then turned back quickly.

“Is it a fact that one of the big ones is orbiting us?” he asked.

Orbiting? You mean a space base?”

He stared at me.

[Edit for brevity (and dramatic effect) –DJW001]

“Forget what I said. It was all just a crazy rumor.


[Kehoe, op. cit. pp. 32-33]

And so a chance encounter with an unnamed officer in a Pentagon hallway accidentally leaks the news of a hitherto unobserved satellite being discovered in Earth orbit. After emphasizing the danger that such orbiting bases could pose by citing a paper by early rocket theorist Hermann Oberth, Kehoe drops the subject in order to interweave a couple of subplots.

There are more dangerous encounters between terrestrial aircraft, of course, but more startling still is the sudden appearance of a gigantic artificial structure on the Moon. Kehoe concludes that this immense lunar bridge betrays the presence of intelligent life there, then promptly speculates as to whether it is native, extra-lunar, or some combination thereof.

(It is now known that what earnest astronomers genuinely believed to be a bridge is actually an optical illusion caused when certain features are lit by a low sun angle.)

At last, Kehoe picks up the thread again in Chapter 8. We learn that two astronomers, Clyde Tombaugh and Lincoln La Paz have been searching the night-time sky for “moonlets.” He claims that the story “broke” on March 3, but he does not say which papers, if any, ran the story. By May 15, 1954 the Associated Press ran an article, picked up by the New York Herald Tribune, claiming that two moonlets had been discovered in Earth orbit by the team. Four months later, on August 23, Aviation Week, the aerospace trade publication, ran the following snippet:




Satellite Scare

Pentagon scare over the observance of two previously unobserved satellites orbiting the earth has dissipated with the identification of the objects as natural, not artificial, satellites. Dr. Lincoln La Paz, expert on extra-terrestrial bodies from the University of New Mexico, headed the identification project. One satellite is orbiting at about 400 mi. out, while the other track is 600 mi. from the earth. Pentagon thought momentarily the Russians had beat U.S. to space operations.


This is the article that is most often cited to validate the legend of the Black Knight Satellite. Clearly, the Air Force was doing damage control; the word “satellite” had already acquired the connotation of artificiality, and if the United States had not launched them it was vital that no-one thought it was the Soviets. This brief report is phrased in such a way that it appears that the objects were observed first, and then Dr. La Paz was contacted in an attempt to identify them. In fact, as we have seen, Dr. La Paz was actually searching for these bodies in the first place, a fact that is generally overlooked in the “Black Knight” mythology.

To be continued.




posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 10:32 AM
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Dr. La Paz, like many other astronomers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, believed that the Earth may have had more than just the one moon we have known since time immemorial. After all, if tiny Mars could capture two little asteroids and make moons of them, surely Earth should be able to snag a passing asteroid or two. He expressed this theory in professional journals, and it was for this reason that he was selected to mount a search for these objects, despite the likelihood that confirmation bias would affect his observations.

By October of 1954, Dr. La Paz was featured in Mechanix Illustrated, explaining his work for the Department of Defense.



Kehoe characterizes this and other articles by and interviews with La Paz as being part of a cover-up, whereas it was really just La Paz trumpeting his pet theory in the press. (In fairness, he might have been right in principle after all!) In fact, the research had been announced to the public as early as March of that year!





The question remains: who was it who leaked the “discovery” to The Associated Press in the first place?


To be continued.
edit on 19-6-2016 by DJW001 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 10:34 AM
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So what you're trying to do here is use your own imaginative, fictive style of prose, to convince us that nothing kooky was ever going on with regards the Black Knight satellite, or indeed with regards to US military knowledge of the Extraterrestrial/ Interdimensional threat.

You seem to be springboarding from a weak position, claiming that the source of the Black Knight mythology was basically a work of 'fiction'. You're taking quite a leap there. You think the military wouldn't know wwhat was going on, at least in part? If you think the whole 'awareness' of the ET/ ID threat within military circles was non-existant or irrelevant, then you'd be wrong. Compartmentalisation & secrecy orders means that most of it would never get out, and that which did, would be subject to disinformation campaigns to rubbish the claims made.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 10:35 AM
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Jim Oberg, the resident NASA expert, has weighed in on the Black Knight "satellite" many times. You may want to do a search and learn the truth of this object.
edit on 6/19/16 by 123143 because: ADDED EMPHASIS.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 10:37 AM
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originally posted by: 123143
Jim Oberg has weighed in on the Black Knight "satellite" many times. You may want to do a search and learn the truth of this object.

Yes he has, and others have as well. The "Black Knight" is a trunnion pin cover.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment


You seem to be springboarding from a weak position, claiming that the source of the Black Knight mythology was basically a work of 'fiction'.


I am pointing out that the "facts" frequently cited to support the myth have their origin in a single source, an alleged military whistleblower who "leaked"the story of two artificial satellites that suddenly appeared in Earth orbit in 1954. Sometimes, thy supposedly dscended into the atmosphere!


You're taking quite a leap there. You think the military wouldn't know wwhat was going on, at least in part?


The military would know what it knows, and fear what it doesn't know.


If you think the whole 'awareness' of the ET/ ID threat within military circles was non-existant or irrelevant, then you'd be wrong.


Where do I say that? So little was known about conditions on other planets, and the military so paranoid, that the military certainly thought of extraterrestrial invasion as a plausible threat.


Compartmentalisation & secrecy orders means that most of it would never get out, and that which did, would be subject to disinformation campaigns to rubbish the claims made.


Yes, that's what believers want to believe. In any event, the "whistleblower" in this case would not have had access to any classified information at the time of the leak.
edit on 19-6-2016 by DJW001 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 10:48 AM
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originally posted by: 123143
Jim Oberg, the resident NASA expert, has weighed in on the Black Knight "satellite" many times. You may want to do a search and learn the truth of this object.


I'm pretty sure Jim will find the results of my research delightful. I can identify the exact origin of the story now.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: DJW001

Great thread and investigation DJW001 , Donald Kehoe stikes again.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 11:16 AM
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originally posted by: DJW001

originally posted by: 123143
Jim Oberg, the resident NASA expert, has weighed in on the Black Knight "satellite" many times. You may want to do a search and learn the truth of this object.


I'm pretty sure Jim will find the results of my research delightful. I can identify the exact origin of the story now.


Delightful, and eminently plagiarizable.... [grin]

Nobody knew what small natural OR artificial satellites would even look like to ground observers, but volunteer teams were already being organized for 'Moonwatch' visual tracking, in 1957. An old buddy of mine, TIME aviation correspondent Jerry Hannifin, recalled making slow, low, late-twilight flights in a Piper Cub trailing a lantern on a tether over in-training teams on the ground so they could practice on a dim light of recorded direction/speed. Results varied.

I was a space-struck kid in those years and read everything about the near-future 'satellites'. BOY'S LIFE even ran a story in the summer of 1957 about a Soviet satellite snuck into orbit to upstage the US, and a team of kids who jury-rigged antennas to track it.

Consequently, lots of stuff seen moving high in the sky at twilight, which looked like the small satellites were expected to look, were logged. How could it have been otherwise?

PS -- I read Keyhoe, too.

LaPaz and Tombaugh got their funding, searched, and found nothing.

Here's a story [and links] I wrote in 1979:
www.jamesoberg.com...



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 11:19 AM
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I am chastised.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 11:52 AM
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a reply to: DJW001

Black night has been adequately debunked on here.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 12:15 PM
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So... who leaked the story to the Associated Press? What Pentagon official with the highest of security clearances blew the whistle? The Herald Tribune ran the story of the artificial moons on May 15, 1954:



And who was the source of this leak?




Ex-Marine's Report

Artificial Satellits Are Said To Be Circling The Earth



By the Associated Press



WASHINGTON, May 14-- Donald E. Keyhoe, who writes about such things, said yesterday the earth is being circled by one or two artificial satellites, and that Air Force Secretary Harold E. Talbott personally has seen a "large, silvery disk-shaped object" in the sky....


[Emphasis mine. --DJW001]

Yes, you read that correctly. Donald Keyhoe (emphasizing his military cred, naturally) informed the Associated Press of the preliminary "moonwatch" findings, interpreting them as artificial and promptly linking them with an alleged "flying saucer" sighting by one of the highest Air Force officials! (Who promptly denied it, of course.) No wonder the Pentagon was "set abuzz" by the rumor... which Keyhoe himself started and never admitted to in his book.

This little bit of journalistic legerdemain is the seed around which the legend of the Black Knight satellite crystallized.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 12:38 PM
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For the heck of it because I find it to be a very interesting and real subject, and since you took a lot of time to construct your post, I will include this link with a mile long url: Black Knight Satellite pictures and info from my non-friend, Google



Edited to Add: When I saw your post I had to say, "Hmm..," because I'd been discussing the subject with a few people recently and wasn't aware of any previous threads at ATS about it because I hadn't looked. Anyway, "Hmm...."
edit on 19-6-2016 by tweetie because: added commentary



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: 123143
Jim Oberg, the resident NASA expert, has weighed in on the Black Knight "satellite" many times. You may want to do a search and learn the truth of this object.


It's really annoying when people do this..

Why don't you just tell us? Instead of having to trawl through all of Jim obergs old posts..
edit on 19/6/16 by Misterlondon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 12:47 PM
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originally posted by: chrismarco
a reply to: DJW001

Black night has been adequately debunked on here.


So.. What is it then?



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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originally posted by: Misterlondon

originally posted by: chrismarco
a reply to: DJW001

Black night has been adequately debunked on here.


So.. What is it then?

A conglomeration of unrelated anecdotes and misidentified images.
www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 6/19/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 01:06 PM
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originally posted by: Misterlondon

originally posted by: 123143
Jim Oberg, the resident NASA expert, has weighed in on the Black Knight "satellite" many times. You may want to do a search and learn the truth of this object.


It's really annoying when people do this..

Why don't you just tell us? Instead of having to trawl through all of Jim obergs old posts..


Why should I do your work for you? I don't have that kind of time.

If something is of interest to you do your own legwork.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 01:23 PM
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originally posted by: chrismarco
a reply to: DJW001

Black night has been adequately debunked on here.


What's been debunked is the claim that the 'Black Knight' has been photographed recently in orbit, which it hasn't. What has been done here is to identify the origin of the story.

Like the supposed communications from the moon concerning aliens during Apollo, it starts off with a fiction, gets repeated often enough and begins to take on the guise of fact.



posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: DJW001

Strong work. I enjoyed that very much.

Thanks!




posted on Jun, 19 2016 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: OneBigMonkeyToo

Yes, the bag (cover) in space photo 'tabloided' and telephoned into a "Black Knight" by idjits is true, but...

doesn't the "unknown satellites" have a more firm base?

I seem to remember Vallee mentioning that aside from visually observed anomalies at the observatory he was attached to in France in the 1950's, there were radar readings of an unknown satellite in an 'artificial' polar orbit detected ...before Sputnik (eta: well, something in a retrograde orbit was seen in the early 60's by Vallee as Google tells me).

The basic claim of small objects in orbit before there should've been is the "real" Black Knight genesis, as my old brain tells me, anyway.



edit on 6/19/2016 by Baddogma because: add/correct



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