Building a Backstory for an Alien Satellite

… And the course of the path of the moon is light to the righteous, and darkness to the sinners … – I Enoch 41:8, R. H. Charles’ translation.

For those who have no idea what I’ll be talking about, here’s a primer:

Black Knight Satellite Conspiracy Theory

For “fun,” I’ve been poking at the Google Newspaper Archive and Wikipedia, and trying to dig up some more articles / background info. Inspired by Ken Hite’s “The Dracula Dossier,” I briefly thought I might phony up a whole, physical mock dossier, but that would be a lot of work, so I’m just going to post my copy-pasted bullet points.

The idea is that you can use this ‘raw material’ to flesh out some RPG thing you’re writing background for. Periodic alien visitation, ancient alien satellite left in orbit, prehistoric human space-faring evidence, etc. Maybe change the names / dates / locations if you need to. I’ve got most of the Black Knight Satellite ‘events’ on my list, and I’ve added some more arguably ‘relevant’ material.

If you were more industrious than I, however, you could easily print out the photos, and print the articles on newsprint and put them in a folder. Ideally, you’d have some supporting ‘memos,’ and similar period paperwork. Could be a neat ‘artifact’ for your players to find.

Timeline and articles below the jump:


1772: Lagrange mathematically predicts the stable ‘Lagrange points.’

1846, March: French astronomer Frederic Petit claims to have discovered a second moon. Claimed to have been seen in evening of March 21, 1846, by two other astronomers, and an additional observer at a different observatory.

1882: Professor and meteorologist Ezekiel Wiggins predicts the existence of a second or  ‘dark moon.’

1884 July 3 Aurora Illinois 2

1898: German scientist Dr. Georg Waltermath claims a system of tiny moons orbiting the Earth.

1899: Nikola Tesla detects radio signals from space / Mars.

1901 Tesla Message from Mars

1906: First Jupiter ‘trojan’ asteroid discovered at a Jupiter-Sun system Lagrange point.

1913, February: Accidental gravitational capture of passing asteroids discussed by Clarence Chant, re: meteor shower of Feb 9, 1913.

1918: Dr. Walter Gorn Old claims to have confirmed Waltermath’s moon; names it Lilith, claims it is dark & invisible most of time, claims to have viewed it transit the sun.

1926: German science journal Die Sterne publishes findings of German astronomer W. Spill, who claimed to have viewed a second moon orbiting Earth.

1927: Long delayed radio echoes (LDEs) first detected near Oslo, Norway.

1953: American Donald Keyhoe alleges US Army radar spotted 2 near-Earth objects (NEOs). Implied to be artificial satellites, alien spacecraft or small asteroids.

1954: The US Army commissions American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto, to search the sky for NEOs.

1954: Keyhoe alleges search finds 1 or 2 NEOs.

1955: Tombaugh denies he has found any NEOs.

1955, December: Possible break-up event, as deduced by Bagby (see 1968, July below).

1957: Tombaugh denies he has found any NEOs.

1957: First successful artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, launched by Soviet Union.

1958: Keyhoe goes off script, gets cut-off on a live TV broadcast.

1958 Jan 23 Bend Bulletin

1959: Tombaugh issues final report stating he found no NEOs.

1960, February: ‘Mystery satellite’ in a polar orbit announced as discovered by US Department of Defense.

1960, March: Time magazine reports that the US Navy has identified the ‘mystery satellite’ as a USAF satellite gone astray.

1963, May: Mercury 9 mission with Gordon Cooper alleged to eyewitness the Black Knight, though no surviving transcripts mention it, and Cooper denies it.

1968, July: American engineer John P. Bagby submits his claim that observations since 1947 “suggest that the Earth has at least ten close natural moonlets which broke off from a larger parent body in late 1955. A series of puzzling disturbances in the orbits of many artificial satellites now appear to be explainable as due to perturbations by these natural bodies.”

1969, January: Bagby’s claim published in the journal Icarus.

1969, May: Apollo 10 mission, ostensibly a test trip to lunar orbit and back, alleged to be a mission to BK.

1973: Alleged decoding of the 1927 LDEs by Scottish astronomer & writer Duncan Lunan gives 12,600 year age of the Black Knight & Epsilon Boötis origin. Lunan states object in orbit of the L5 Lagrange point.

1979, August: Soviet astrophysicist Sergei P. Bozhich tells an American journalist, “There is no doubt in my mind that a crippled alien spaceship is orbiting our Earth.” His further remarks cite ten pieces, and his orbital calculations agree with Bagby’s presumed break-up date.

1998, March: Lunan revises his theory, claims new observational evidence support.

1998, December: Space Shuttle mission STS-88 takes photos during EVA said to show BK.

2011: NASA announced the discovery of the first Earth trojan asteroid, 2010 TK7.

2018, September: NASA & the FBI suddenly evacuate and close a solar observatory in Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, with only vague explanations.

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