Science Over the Edge

A Mix of News, Events, History and Gossip

Applet credit: Ed Hobbs

February 1999

In the News:

Bigfoot expert Cliff Crook claims that the famous film of a sasquatch shot by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin on October 20, 1967, is a fake. The short, grain sequence shows what looks like a surprised bigfoot scrambling into the California woods. The film has been carefully analyzed for years without anyone being able to prove it was a hoax. According to Crook, a bigfoot fan from Canada was able to pick out what looked like a bell-shaped fastener on a costume using computer enhancement. The fastener seemed to be swinging as the "creature" moved.

Others aren't so sure claiming that the grain on the film is so high that it would be impossible to pick out such a small object.

Silicon Valley tycoon Joe Firmage, formally the CEO of USWeb, and a man who has made two fortunes in the world of high-tech, has quit his job to promote scientific inquiry into UFOs and expose what he believes is a government cover up of the crash of a alien spaceship at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Firmage also believe that many of the scientific breakthroughs of the past fifty years, including lasers, semiconductors and fiber optics come from technology recovered from that ship. His views are summed up in a 600 page document he's written called The Truth.

Scientists have found the ruins of a perfect circle under a torn-down apartment house in southern Florida. Nobody knows who constructed the circle, or when it was done, though it seems to be thousands of years old. It is unlikely to get much older though, as the Miami developer who owns the land is anxious to get on with a construction project that will destroy the ruins. Researchers are working furiously to examine the site while it still exists. Some have speculated the circle may have served as a astronomical calender like Stonehenge in Britain.

Visitors to museums on the web someday maybe able to see more then if they went in person if the Digital Michelangelo Project is successful. Experts from Stanford University are using lasers and robotic arms with cameras to scan into a digital database such works as Michelangelo's David. One of the first results from the project is a correction to the history books. Scientists discovered that the statue stands some 17 feet high, not 14 as was formally thought. The data gathered will allow virtual reality representations of the works to be available at other museums, libraries, and perhaps even across the web.

In History:

Remember hearing stories of alligators living in the sewers of New York? It had a basis in fact. On February 10, 1935 the New York Times reported, teenage boys shoveling snow into a open manhole saw something alive in the water ten feet down. Using a rope they pulled up a seven foot long, 125 pound, live alligator. When it snapped at them they killed it with their shovels. Later other gators were reportedly seen in the sewers by city employees. How did they get there? Urban legends suggest they were escaped or thrown away pets, but since most "gators" sold in pet stores are really South American caimans, this explanation doesn't seem to ring true.

In the Sky:

February will be a chance to see four planets in the night sky at dusk. Venus, the brightest, will be visible in the WSW. To the upper left of Venus will be Jupiter. Jupiter and Venus will get closer and closer so that by the evening of the 23rd they will be right next to each other. Saturn is high in the sky in the SSW. After mid-month Mercury, the most inner planet, will be visible to th lower right of the Venus/Jupiter pair.


Want to buy some UFO crash debris? Or maybe just window shop? Go to the Tucson Gem And Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona. Lecturer David F. Shoemaker will be conducting talks there about tests that have been run on these objects which he claims prove they have "unknown" properties that "fall outside the realm of conventional science." Shoemaker will be there at the Congress Street Expo in the Stone People Products booth on February 5, 6, 7, 12 and 13.

On the Tube:

Discovery Channel takes a look at Space Colonies - Living Among the Stars. Could you have a future home in a space station colony, or on another planet, or on an asteroid? Monday, February 1, at 9 p.m. and midnight; Saturday, February 6, at 6 p.m.; Saturday, February 13, at 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.; Saturday, February 20 at 5 p.m. ET/PT

Lost Treasures of the Yangtze is on TCL this month. A huge dam is being built to on China's Yangtze river. Will priceless artifacts of an ancient and mysterious culture be lost? Narrated by Jodie Foster. Friday, January 15, from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. ET.

Alien Hunters - The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is the subject of this premire on the History Channel. Airs February 22 at 8 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. PT.

The History Channel also takes on the subject of whether Earth has been visited by aliens in the past with Ancient Aliens which airs on February 24 at p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. PT.

Asteroids!- Did an asteroid kill the dinosaurs? More importantly could one wipe out the human race? Big rocks falling on Earth is the subject of this premire on the History Channel. Airs February 25 at 8 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. PT.


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Copyright Lee Krystek 1999. All Rights Reserved.