Re: Piece of Mir found in Massachusetts

Date: Mon Jun 17 2013 - 15:04:56 UTC

  • Next message: "Re: Piece of Mir found in Massachusetts"

    You wrote:
    "Doesn't anyone else have a problem with this story?"
    Well, yes. So far, everyone who has posted about this on Seesat-L has expressed very much the same skepticism. The original story was a "local boy finds funny rock" tale which spread globally to various small web sites and blogs by simple copying. It doesn't qualify as "viral" --there are far too few copies. It hasn't been picked up by any of the "usual suspects" for carrying and spreading sensational space stories. For example, the normally gullible hacks at have not written about it.
    You also wrote:
    "I think it's a hoax.  Anyone can fake NASA letterhead, and if you look at the debris field, it's about as far from New England as you can get."
    Regarding the debris field issue, the slightly more detailed versions of the story, like the one Ted M. linked to, suggest that the supposed "piece of Mir" was rather from the "Mir era" and might have been connected with a Progress freighter. They propose that the chemical composition implies an "87% probability" that this was "ballast" (as they put it) from a Russian spacecraft from the Mir program. It's hard to imagine that such statements (which are clearly silly as they stand now) could somehow have originated in a genuine scientific analysis, later distorted. To me, this also suggests a hoax, but I would add that I think the hoax is being played on the guy who found the rock. He is described as a "collector" of all sorts of random objects in a couple of stories, and I suspect that someone decided to have a little fun with him. Another option is that someone somewhere in the vast NASA bureaucracy wrote him a letter offering some very unlikely speculations just to be "nic!
     e". And either Mr. Green (the owner of the "green" rock) or the local media who talked with him have cherry-picked the most exotic possibility and cast it as a proven case instead of a generous speculation.
    Frank Reed
    Conanicut Island  USA
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