© Hyakutake in the
Constellation Perseus

On Hale-Bopp,


and Medusa

"..why at Medusa's head (almost right between her eyes)
and why exactly on the same day, April 11th, one year apart"



© Bill Hutchinson

The heroes, scoundrels, gods and goddesses of ancient Greek mythology were space travelers who long ago mounted their chariots of fire and abandoned the mortals of planet earth.

Today in the frenzy of comet Hale-Bopp's arrival the heroes and scoundrels are amateur and professional astronomers. Hale and Bopp discovered a great comet. They tell us of a mountainous snowball tumbling random through our galaxy. Chuck Shramek and friends are bent on convincing us without concrete evidence that Hale-Bopp is followed and controlled by a companion Saturn Like Object. They claim governments and scientists worldwide are conspiring to discredit them. Others, like Dr. David Tholen, won't abide wild eyed speculation or poor science but probably would like to believe we have neighbors in the galaxy. And, thankfully, workaholic web masters like Don Moffat of the Canadian Science Web Hairy Star Party and Russell Sipe of www.halebopp.com satisfy our thirst for information . The gods and goddesses of today, bless them all, are the fringe "Armageddon" element convinced the sky is falling. Comets, asteroids and other holy and unholy debris are coming to smash the earth they say. Possible, I suppose, but none of that matters anymore. The real mystery of Hale-Bopp is where it is going in April and why.

Comet Hale Bopp will pass through the constellation Perseus, named for the Greek hero who slew Medusa and carries her disem-
bodied head at his side. The comet will pass Algol, the star known as the eye of Medusa, on April 11th. This in itself is no big event except for the fact that Comet Hyakutake also passed through the head of Medusa at Algol and - hold onto your hat - also on the 1lth of April.

Of course, it was inevitable the paths of these two comets would cross but why in Medusa's head (almost right between her eyes) and why exactly on the same day, April 11th, one year apart? [I'm not making this up. Check the ephemerides and plot the locations yourself.]

Who are we going to ask for an explanation, Hale or Bopp? Probably not. Chuck Shramek? He's already convinced the Saturn Like Object is in control. Could be he's right. Or wrong. Perhaps we should be listening to the Armageddon theorists.

But in all matters Hale-Bopp speculation seems to be the trend so I am entitled to my own theory about this latest development.

The Greeks gave us the ancient constellations. Their inspiration was the myth and celestial lore which says Perseus slew Medusa. He beheaded her as she slept in the cave of the Gorgons. He kept her head in a magic wallet to protect the innocent from her stare lest they turn to stone. He used the head of Medusa to destroy many of his enemies including a sea monster thus saving his lover, Andromeda. Later, Perseus and Andromeda were put in the sky as constellations where Perseus still keeps Medusa's head in his grasp.

Now, back to the coincidence of April 11th. Hyakutake and then Hale Bopp. Why two comets in one year at the same location? Were the comets hurled hundreds of millions of miles by rogue space travelers to give strength to Medusa? If so, are we in danger? Or, perhaps they were sent by the gods or God to stop Medusa's influence and bring peace to the planet? The comets' paths cross almost perpendicular to each other. The sign of the Cross? I wonder. It is rumored that the Vatican's Advanced Technology Telescope is pointed at this comet.

April 12th is Astronomy Day. Amateur clubs and organizations all over the world are planning star parties. Is there significance in this date so close to the Medusa intersection? Are there too many coincindences?

Your guess is as good as mine as to what all this means. Should we look at Medusa on April 11th? What will happen? Will we turn to stone or will we gain the strength of Perseus? Are we in for world peace or chaos?

A better question might be: Why isn't anyone else talking about this phenomenon? ;-)

What do you think? Send speculations to bill@eaglestation.com

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All photos Copyright ©, Bill Hutchinson,
The Kenai Peninsula Eagle Press®