I have been wondering what happened to the satellite whose orbit was decaying. It was the biggest news event for this sort of thing since the Skylab in 1979.
NASA is now saying that the satellite broke up over the [Indian and] Pacific Ocean[s], and mostly landed in pieces there. Maybe there was a part the government wanted to retrieve first before they did any confirming about where the metal fell?
As is typical nowadays, a hoaxer in Calgary, Alberta, started to put out Twitter posts that the thing had landed up there:
Over the weekend, a Calgary filmmaker named Sebastian Salazar acknowledged that he was behind the “Oko-hoax,” with the updates based on passages lifted from H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.”
“I just started copying word for word what was on there, including the characters,” Salazar told the Calgary Sun. He signaled the hoax by using the name “imnotgonnalie2u” for the Twitter account, with a winking face as the account’s icon.
“The news guys weren’t picking it up; they were, ‘all right, we’re going to wait for confirmation,’ and good for them,” Salazar said.
Yeah, you’d figure that the news agencies have caught on to the whole game of internet hoaxing—the contemporary version of the false tip, which has been in existence in the print media since Guttenberg, at least.
I remember the Skylab fall coming in the same year as Three Mile Island. It was a time that people just generally were down on technology–that electronic or new-fangled things just couldn’t be relied on. Not like today, when every new gadget or communication medium is worshipped like an icon. The Skylab fit right in with gas-guzzling cars, and appliances that broke after six months. I think even the first Star Trek movie (late 1979) had a transporter malfunction.
This all had me thinking about the Pioneer Plaque. It was also something for its time (1973), sending out our heavily scienced message with Full Frontal Nudity.