Hale-Bopp - The Beat Bops On
And now, a week later, the plot continues to progress like a man in muddy, baggy, and hopelessly over-stuffed overalls, slogging petulantly toward where he thinks the finish line lies, but its foggy so he's not sure, but to quit now would show lack of resolution.
What about that pesky picture?
Well, interpreting the physical evidence (the photo) has been controversial. Nobody seems to know anything for sure, though many believe they do. A thoughtful perusal of several Usenet groups and strings reveals that both amateur and professional astronomers have joined in the fray, as we might have wished and/or expected, and have joined on both sides of the issue.
Some contend that Chuck Schramek erred in his choice of star charts, since the one he used didn't show a star to be where the object in question appeared, while other charts did. Others accuse him of intentional fabrication, or an over-enthusiastic and premature conclusion in announcing his discovery before verifying everything to several decimal places. Without intimate familiarity with the various star-locator charts and programs at issue, the uninformed observer (yours truly, for instance) can only listen to the tune and speculate.
Some point out that IF this object is real, and is as large (and therefore as massive) as it appears to be, perhaps it would explain the premature break-up of the nucleus of Hale Bopp.
On the scarcity of recent NASA HST photos, it seems that professional scientists who contract with NASA to make use of these have the option of withholding their release until their analyses are complete, which could be delayed for as long as a year. Others contend that HST is for viewing really distant and unknown phenomena, like quasars and colliding galaxies, etc. Comets are considered to be well-understood phenomena, and therefore not worth the time.
There is also the matter of the comet's close proximity (line-of-sight-wise) with the sun. Instruments designed to look at vanishingly faint quanta of light don't like being blasted with direct sunlight. While this condition may be said to exist today, it didn't in May, which is when NASA quit posting photos.
Nobody with lesser tools seems to have gone back to look at the comet again; or perhaps they have and don't consider their findings to be worth sharing.
Of course, IF the object is real (and not just a real star that's lurking way, way off in the distance), then there's nothing to prevent it from moving itself to some other part of the sky without first clearing it with the FAA. Perhaps Schramek just happened to snap his shutter while the craft just happened to be near the comet. Being self-powered, an alien craft capable of interstellar travel would have little problem relocating itself on short notice to another part of our relatively tiny neighborhood sky. At such (to us) immense distances as Jupiter's orbit, detection of anything is largely accidental--just ask Messers Hale and Bopp.
In short, the scientific and quasi-scientific communities haven't reached a consensus.
A Few Words on Remote Viewing
Right in the midst of the fray since the beginning, we find The Farsight Institute. Recent posts to their home page include summaries of professional (i.e., Farsight-trained remote viewers) queries, targeting both the object itself and the White House. The purpose of these queries was to discern the activities and moods present at each of the target sites.
Farsight has essentially claimed that, after what one presumes to have been spirited discussions and a monumental gnashing of teeth, gears, and political priorities, President Clinton is reluctantly planning to make an announcement shortly. In this announcement, he will acknowledge the presence on earth of extra-terrestrials, and will ask for calm (right!). This announcement will, or would, as one might expect, throw not only the U.S. but the entire world into turmoil. It is claimed that he has no choice in the matter (which he certainly wouldn't if, in fact, real bona-fide aliens had convinced him and his staff of the reality of themselves and their Really Big Staff). Shades of TR ... approach stealthily but carry a large staff.
Do You Believe It?
I don't know if I do or not. Sensationalism is tempting when one has what one thinks is accurate, reliable, inside information. Without having spent many evenings sitting around the fire chatting with these individuals and getting to know their personal feel, it is difficult to grant credibility on topics so abstruse and open to subjective interpretation, not to mention topics of such import. Perhaps it goes without saying that the same holds true for those elected officials in whom we are apparently bound to place our faith under normal circumstances. Under unusual circumstances, well ...?
There is no doubt that Farsight is presently basking in a certain shade of lime-light ... feeling its collective oats, so to speak. But these are strange times, and who are you or I to pooh-pooh channels of information which are non-traditional? Are they valid? Farsight does provide examples of readings on other topics of controversy (TWA Flt. 800 and the Olympic bombing) to establish--one might say retro-visually--its claims of credibility. In their position I would probably do likewise.
After all, UPI, AP, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor are not the only information conduits in existence, and, one might argue, not even among the most credible of conduits. Look at all the misinformation Hearst has so helpfully (not!) brought us over the years under the presumption that size and power equate with credibility.
Where does that leave us?
Right where we are. The sun still comes up in the morning, the kids still need breakfast, our hearts still beat, and our imaginations still wander and wonder. The important thing to remember is that we are all in this together. If the aliens land, then they land. As with all experiences of a novel nature (and Nature is proving to be far more novel than we, with our certified-and-approved-textbook educations, might feel comfortable with), you never know what's gonna happen until it happens, and when what happens finally happens, all your predictions and expectations turn out to look embarrassingly silly. The only thing we can ever count on is that whatever happens, it's gonna be new, and newness will always defy the most well-informed anticipation.
That's why I stress getting to know yourself ... not your ego, because that's not you ... but rather the bare, naked, ageless and timeless consciousness which witnesses that ego (see, all this is just another cleverly-disguised plug for my pretty basic home page). Let us assume, all other things being equal, that remote viewing has at least the potential for being valid. It could be valid only if it proved true that the separation which makes such viewing 'remote' is illusory. My hand is remote from my brain, but I feel it because of connections I can't see with my eyes. If my being is infinite, as has been claimed by enlightened beings since the dawn of time, then all of that infinite being is local, not remote, regardless of the mind's (the ego's) self-delusions called time and space.
I suspect that remote viewing is possible only because we are all connected to everything anyway, but have hidden these connections from ourselves out of ignorance (see A Dangerous Book). It is that ignorance which may well be fast drawing to an end for humanity, and with it all of the delusion and fear which, thanks to "da nightly nooz," seem so normal a part of life for most of us.
Some of us will handle it, the rest won't. Make sure you are in the right group.
Meanwhile, stay tuned ...