Science Over the Edge

A Mix of News, Events, History and Gossip

Applet credit: Ed Hobbs

November 1998

In the News:

Reinhold Messner, famed mountaineer and author, claims that he has solved the mystery of the Himalayan Yeti: The animal is not a humanoid ape, but a large Tibetan bear. In ;his newly published book, Yeti, Messner uses photos to show the creature, which lives at 12,000 to 18,000 feet and can grow up to 11 long, is a long haired version of a grizzly bear. Messner, who encountered the creature himself while hiking through a Tibetan forest at night in 1986, isn't the first person to claim the Yeti was a bear. Encounters are rare, contends Messner, because the animals prefer to travel at night.

Not everyone agrees with Messner, though. Craig Calonica, a 45 year old skier and climber, reports he saw two of the creatures walking together just two months ago while he was on a skiing expedition on the Chinese side of Mt. Everest. Calonica said the animals walked like men and had thick, shiny, black hair. He says what he saw was not human, not a gorilla, not bear, not goat and not deer.

NASA has launched into space the first craft to be powered by an "ion drive." The ion drive, long the stuff of science fiction novels and Star Trek, will allow space probe Deep Space 1 to rendezvous with asteroid 1992 KD next July. Without an ion drive the probe would needed ten times the amount of fuel as it currently is carrying. Deep Space 1 uses 180 pounds of xenon gas as propellant and obtains the electricity needed to power the engine from solar panels.

Interested in engines for space flight? Click here!

Researcher Lawrence Witmer claims that the mighty T-Rex didn't snare or sneer or even kiss. Though Hollywood has portrayed dinosaurs with lips the Ohio University professor can find no evidence on the creatures skulls that they had the structural features need to make lips work. Witmer's report came at a Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in late October.

Want to learn more about dinos? Click here!

In History:

Nine years ago this November Robert Scott Lazar went on a television show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and claimed he was hired by the government to reverse-engineer one of nine flying saucers hidden near the famed "Area 51" secret military base. His revelations stirred up a controversy that is still not settled. To read more about Lazar's bizarre story, click here.

In the Sky:

The dreaded Leonid meteors, which some fear will damage communications, weather and navigation satellites, should be visible over North America on the morning of November the 17th. Some estimates place the rate of meteors strikes over the U.S. to be about 20 to 30 an hour. Southeast Asia, though, maybe treated to a rare show of close to 10,000 meteors an hour during the morning of the 18th.


On September 26th two men camping in Trinity National Forest near Hyfork, California, reported seeing a 9 foot tall "Bigfoot" creature. The two were roasting marshmallows when a screeching noise in the woods sent them scurrying in search with their flashlights. According to the campers the creature they spotted had yellow eyes and left footprints 20 inches long. The Fish and Game department has declined to investigate the incident, noting, "We don't have a management plan for Bigfoot."

Interested in learning more about these type of strange reports? Go to our Bigfoot page.

On the Tube:

The Mysteries of Magic takes a look at the world of illusion on Discovery Channel Sunday, November 29, from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Friday, December 4, from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.; and Saturday, December 5, from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. ET. Segment titles are: Death Defying Feats, The Masters of Mystery, The Impossible Made Possible.

Check out the Discovery Channel's Sci-Trek on Mondays at 9PM and 1AM and Saturdays at 6PM. On November 9 and 14 the episode covers Dead Sea Scrolls &endash; Unraveling the Mystery

Special Effects: Titanic and Beyond on TCL. See how the movie was made. Tuesday, November 3 at 8pm ET

TCL presents the Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius. Volcanic destruction and preservation. Tuesday, November 10 at 8pm ET.

Science over the Edge Archives

Copyright Lee Krystek 1998. All Rights Reserved.