The Sky Is Falling!
Watching for comets with The Millennium Group

In ancient times, the interruption of the rhythm and order of the sky by a comet was enough to cause panic among those who didn't know any better -- which, in those days, was everybody. Today, apocalypse-mongers have to throw a huge media blitz to bring on comet-related panic ... even when the end of the world may be nigh.

See also...
... by Patrick Di Justo
... in the Scope section
... from August 25, 1999

When Comet Lee was discovered a few months ago, The Millennium Group went to work, alerting the press that, in August, the comet's unusually eccentric orbit will bring it close to Earth and, further, that it may in fact collide with Earth, putting an end to human civilization as we know it. Moreover, science journalist Alfred Webre points out on his !EcoNews! service that avoiding the comet may be the least of our worries: Comet Lee could well be the catalyst for solar flares, worldwide plutonium contamination, and very possibly the end of civilization.

Webre notes that various Nostradamus quatrains mention Comet Lee as well as the Cassini spacecraft, scheduled for an August flyby of the Earth on its way to Saturn. His main concern seems to be whether the comet is the "King of Terror" predicted for the summer of 1999, or whether it is a sign of The Warning. "The Warning is a purifying event which cannot be escaped," says Webre, "in which everyone will simultaneously spend about five minutes alone before God: Some will find the grace within their soul, others will sense a rift with God."

"Utter rubbish," retorts a scientist at the Minor Planet Center (MPC), the astronomical clearinghouse that keeps track of comets and asteroids. "Comet Lee will not be coming very close to Earth. It is a perfectly normal comet in a normal, predictable orbit." The scientist (who would not allow his name to be used) says that Comet Lee "has been hijacked by misguided millennial 'proponents' to promote their warped view of reality." His advice regarding Webre and the Millennium Group: "Ignore them."

In their world, MG and Webre are the lonely proponents of truth in a world scheming to discredit them. Webre claims that "manipulation of the media on space issues does occur in the United States," and accuses NASA of "criminal misconduct" in its mishandling of public information about Comet Lee. The MG website deals with the group's fringe status in a self-righteous section headlined "Conspiracy theory? It's not a theory if it's a fact!"

After all, Millennium Group adherents were also the first to realize that comets might serve as cloaking devices for alien UFOs. MG member Chuck Shramek reported a spacecraft following Comet Hale-Bopp in 1996. The tragic results have forced the Millennium Group to become gun-shy about saying whether Comet Lee is an alien beard, but they're not ruling out the possibility.

Patrick Di Justo longs to have an asteroid named after him.