Tin foil hat time.
On 2004-12-26, based on 169 observations total over an observation arc of 190 days, raised the impact probability of Apophis
99942 - an approximately 340 meter asteroid or NEO (Near Earth Object)- colliding with Earth on April 13th 2029 to 1-in-37 (2.7%), corresponding to an
unprecedented Torino Rating of 4. The following afternoon, on 2004-12-27, precovery imaging supplied by the Kitt Peak Observatory [Observer: Gleason
A.E.; Measurers: Larson, Jeffery A. , Descour Anne S.] dating at the earliest back to 2004-03-15, increased the span of observation to 287 days (+97),
ruling out the possibility of impact; these additional 97 days have subsequently been incorporated into future orbital estimations.
One particular person of interest in this chapter is Jeffery A. Larsen, research professor with the physics department at the United States
Naval Academy, listed on Google Scholar as being involved in US National Security and Nuclear Weapons, who has co-authored such papers as
Anti-Satellite Weapons [JW Dietrich, JA Larsen - 2018], Matched Filter Processing for
[w/ Gural Peter S., Gleason Arianna E.; Received 2004-03-09, just six days before the earliest dated precovery imagery for
Apophis' revised trajectory]; and Near Earth Asteroid 2012TC4 Observing Campaign: Results from a global planetary defense exercise.
This is perhaps unsurprising. The military-intelligence-industrial complex developed the atomic bomb and the precursor to the Internet
(ARPANET) in the interest of national security. Why should hazardous NEOs and the corresponding response management be outside their purview?
Short answer: It isn't.
Long answer: Given that the initial estimates placed the path of potential impact across the contiguous United States [an oceanic point of impact is
more likely which would result in generation of tsunamis inundating densely populated coastal areas], if it were disclosed that 99942 Apophis was on a
collision course, global market futures would be placed in immediate jeopardy with serious implications on derivatives and underlying assets
particularly sensitive to massive Teraton asteroid impacts - potential losses doubtlessly being in the tens of trillions. Even if a workable solution
i.e. asteroid deflection was to be publicly proposed and implemented, it would take many years to literally get off the ground and still have a low
probability of success. During which time, markets would start to over-optimistically hedge their bets on what might be little more than false hope,
exacerbating the economic fallout should the intervention fail.
The alternative is anticipate the detection of hazardous NEOs in the immediate future, given continued technological improvements in optics and data
processing, and have the military-intelligence apparatus entrench itself within astronomy circles, which on the surface will appear as some
collaborative effort to advance scientific interests [e.g. research grants, access to equipment and additional manpower in cataloguing of objects,
etc.]. However, once such a potentially devastating large NEO has been detected on a presumptive collision course, an operation will be undertaken
covertly within days to determine if impact is likely, and if confirmed to be so thereupon convincingly fabricate data sets and precovery imagery as
required [using the selfsame software applications purposed to clean up or enhance imagery] such as to result in the conclusion among members of the
astronomical field that the object in question poses no future threat, while classified research into the particular NEOs characteristics,
composition, orbital path, and possible deflection methods continues unbeknownst to those outside the compartmentalized network, paralleling the work
done in the civilian sector in this area. There exists a limited number of observatories that possess telescopes powerful and sensitive enough to
detect hazardous NEOs candidates and assess their properties to any significant extent, so the matter of assigning operatives [especially one with
some scientific background in the field like J.A. Larsen] to get ahead of the curve on discoveries and monitor astronomers and associated researchers
and technicians for any unwanted curiosity that might result in compromising disclosures is relatively straightforward.
edit on 23-8-2021 by
WaterproofedCrackpot because: Additional information needed for context
edit on 23-8-2021 by WaterproofedCrackpot because: Clean up
and additional context