Some of you may be familiar with the “Black Knight” satellite, and some may not; however, all the facts relative to it will be presented in the article below.
The “Black Knight” is much more than just some urban legend. It’s an artificial satellite, which can be seen on NASA’s official site. It’s often categorized as space junk, but its origins have remained a puzzle for astronomers to date.
The world first heard of the “Black Knight” in 1954, three years before Russia launched the Earth’s first satellite – Sputnik 1.
On Friday, May 14, 1954, a number of newspapers reported of a retired Marine Corps Major Donald E. Keyhoe, who stated that one or two artificial satellites were orbiting the Earth. The Major also stated that efforts were being made by U.S. Government scientists at White Sands, NM, to locate them and determine their origin.
The images below show coverage of the story by two national papers – the St. Louis Dispatch and the San Francisco Examiner.
The story didn’t end here as on August 23, 1954, Aviation Week magazine also reported of two satellites orbiting the Earth at 400 and 600 miles out. Although the magazine reported of natural satellites, this was later proved to be virtually impossible. No such natural satellites were ever claimed later on.
According to Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, an expert on extraterrestrial bodies from the University of New Mexico, and the identification project’s lead, one of the satellites is orbiting about 400 miles out, while the other one 600 miles from the Earth. It was a general opinion, including Pentagon’s, that the Russians had beaten the U.S. in space explorations.
The Defense Department hired Clyde Tombaugh, the scientists who discovered Pluto, to look for the mystery object.
The Black Knight was also included in a Pepsi commercial:
The “Black Night” has been a hot media topic for more than half a century. It’s actually one of the most covered space objects of all time. This artificial satellite has attracted public attention all over the world for decades now also because at one point it was actually believed to be a Russian spy satellite.
These are some interesting facts about the “Black Night”:
The Black knight satellite has been transmitting radio signals for over 50 years now according to monitoring agencies around the world.
The USA and Soviet Union are particularly interested in this “unidentified space object”.
It’s alleged that after building a high-voltage radio device in Colorado Springs, Nikola Tesla was the first man to “intercept” a signal from the black knight satellite in 1899.
Astronomers worldwide have been reporting strange radio signals supposedly coming from the “Black Knight” since the 1930′s.
In 1957, it was photographed by Dr. Luis Corralos of the Communications Ministry in Venezuela while taking pictures of Sputnik II as it passed over Caracas.
The Black Knight first got media coverage in the 1940′s when the St. Louis Dispatch and The San Francisco Examiner wrote about the “Satellite” on May 14th 1954.
On March 7, 1960, the Time Magazinewrote about the Black Knight Satellite.
In 1957, an unknown “object”, which was in Polar orbit, was seen “shadowing” the Sputnik 1 Spacecraft.
Neither the US, not Russia had the technology to maintain a spacecraft in Polar Orbit in 1957.
The first Polar-orbiting satellite was launched in 1960.
Polar orbits are often used for earth-mapping, earth observation, capturing the earth as time passes from one point and reconnaissance satellites, which classifies the Black Knight as an observational Satellite.
In the 1960′s the Black Knight satellite was located once again in Polar Orbit. According to astronomers and scientists, the object weighed over 10 tons, meaning it was the heaviest artificial satellite to orbit the Earth at the time.
The Black Knight’s orbit was different from any other object orbiting Earth.
This mysterious “satellite” was given a lot of importance by the Grumman Aircraft Corporation. 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 the Black Knight satellite.
A committee was set up by the Grumman Aircraft Corporation to study the data received from the observations. However, none of the data has been published.
In 1963, Gordon Cooper was launched into space. When he was on his final orbit, he reported seeing a glowing green object in front of his capsule moving towards his Spacecraft. This unidentified object was picked up on Radar traveling east to west by the Muchea tracking station, in Australia, which Cooper reported the object to.
The Ham Radio operator allegedly decoded a series of signals received from the UFO Satellite, which was interpreted as a star chart centered on the Epsilon Bootes Star System.
Decoded message indicated that the Black Knight satellite originated from the Epsilon Bootes Star System 13.000 years ago.
A story about the Black Knight Satellite was published by the technology magazine Aviation Week and Space Technologyon August 23, 1954. Pentagon was angered by this and tried to keep the story undercover.
Official images showing the Black Knight Satellite have been released by NASA.