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ZetaTalk: Comet Lee
Note: written on Jul 15, 1999.

Comet Lee is not the aberration that it is claimed to be, just at long last a bit of honesty from the astronomical elite - NASA and JPL and the IAU. They are preparing the public for more startling announcements, and preparing the public at the same time for their excuse for not alerting the public earlier. The excuse? That they have lately realized their formulas, the precious formulas they were so righteous about just a year or two ago and are still teaching the young in schools, are wrong. Oh, so hard to let go of precepts! But now they will hang their heads, and wring their hands, and point out the many times they have noticed of late that comet behavior did not follow the precepts, exactly, as this, they think, will let them off the hook. Of course, they have been watching the 12th Planet's approach for over a decade, since it was discovered in 1983, then termed Planet X. Does it behave like a typical comet? Not at all, nor have most comets closely watched over the past few years with the new equipment available to NASA and JPL. But now, with this admission, more revelations will be forthcoming.

Little by little the public will be pointed to that area of the sky they were pointed to when 1997 XF11 was a sudden and brief scare - toward Orion, the exact opposite of where the public was pointed to when any and everything in the sky in the other direction was claimed to be the elusive and secretive comet Hale-Bopp. View Comet Lee with an educated eye, looking at the behavior of NASA and JPL, rather than at the sky, and you will learn more about what is just around the corner for Planet Earth than you will peering at the sky. During the 1997 XF11 flap the flawless and never-wrong IAU announced within weeks that they had been wrong, premature, and noisy about something they hadn't checked out closely! This set the stage for what is to follow, and Comet Lee will not be the last admission by the astronomical elite that they cannot predict, with certainly, the behavior of inbound objects.

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