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New Conspiracy Theories

By Jimmy Reynolds
Posted on: 4/18/2002

An interview with an insider regarding the Cassini mission to Saturn, and some other conspiracy news.

The last few months have yielded a bumper crop of conspiracy theories. This might only prove that anything can grow if you spread enough manure on it. Whatever the source, conspiracies and cover-ups seem to be everywhere. In fact, with the help of the Lubbock Interplanetary Alien Research Service (L.I.A.R.S.), I’ve managed to uncover some cover-ups of my own. Consider it a contribution to the war on ignorance; I won’t say to which side.

Cassini Deception

Last year, NASA launched its Cassini probe toward the planet Saturn. The space agency admitted that the probe was carrying ninety-four pounds of plutonium, the radioactive metal used in the cores of most nuclear weapons. In this case, according to NASA, the plutonium was fuel for a radio-thermal generator (RTG), a kind of miniature nuclear reactor that provides the spacecraft’s power. Fearing a catastrophic accident, anti-nuclear groups protested the launch. They were ignored and Cassini is now on its way to Saturn. It should arrive there in 2004.

This is not the whole story. L.I.A.R.S. put me in touch with one of their confidential sources, a man who claims to have first-hand knowledge of NASA’s inner workings. He insists that his real name not be printed. We agreed to use his code name, “Dueling Banjo,” instead. He recently spoke to me by phone from his camouflaged bunker in the Rocky Mountains.
Jimmy Reynolds: Thank you for speaking to me, uh, D.B. What exactly are your credentials? What did you do at NASA?

Dueling Banjo: I was their top nuclear physicist. I knew all their secrets. I had total access to the Administrator and the President.

JR: That’s quite a claim. I could check it out, you know.

DB: No, you can’t. They erased my personnel records and college transcripts. They’re doing everything they can to discredit me. They even tried to kill me. They put nerve gas in my septic tank. CNN wanted to do a story about it, but their producer quit returning my calls. Then they hauled me into town for psychia…

JR: Sorry to interrupt, but what’s this about a Cassini cover-up?

DB: The “radio-thermal generator” is just a cover story. Ninety-four pounds of plutonium is enough to make several nuclear bombs. That’s exactly what it’s for: Cassini is a nuclear strike against alien bases on some of Saturn’s moons. The Voyager probe spotted ’em.

JR: Voyager went through there in 1979. Why the delay?

DB: It took that long to develop the targeting system. You don’t really believe that propaganda about Reagan’s “Star Wars” program being aimed at the Russians, do you?

JR: That’s certainly intriguing. I was wondering about a technical detail, though. If there’s no RTG, what does Cassini do for power? Solar panels won’t work that far from the Sun.

DB: True. Actually, Cassini has a gasoline generator with a really big air tank.

JR: Even so, how could it carry enough fuel to last seven or eight years in deep space?

DB: You are new to this conspiracy business, aren’t you? Remember that experimental eighty mile-per-gallon carburetor that somebody’s cousin accidentally got on his new Cadillac but had to give back a week later?

JR: Sure, that story’s been around for fifty years. It’s been called an urban legend.

DB: Well, it’s not. Cassini’s generator engine has one of those carburetors. The oil companies donated it.

JR: That ties up a loose end. But aren’t you afraid that going public will tip the aliens off? Won’t they read about it or see it on TV?

DB: Is your paper distributed at Area 51?

JR: Not yet.

DB: Then they won’t read about it, and they’re way too intelligent to watch TV.
That concluded the interview since DB had to go take his medication. I’ve been asked to look into some other conspiracy theories. Here, briefly, are my findings:
1. There is no evidence that Elvis, rather than the U.S. Government, is bankrolling the international UFO cover-up.

2. We don’t know what became of the baby alien who was smuggled out of Area 51 in somebody’s lunchbox in 1952. Al Gore is a few years too old, so maybe it became a talk-show host.

3. Your neighbors do not keep a black helicopter in their garage. That’s just their old AMC Pacer with a tarp over it.
Remember, you heard it here first.

A slightly different version of this article was originally published in the “Post-Rational” column of the North Texas Skeptic, P.O. Box 111794 Carrollton, TX, 75011-1799

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