Some people either have far too much imaginative cognitive activity or they're self-deluding. Take, for instance, the people who refuse to believe that a meteor exploded in the sky over Russia on Friday (Feb. 15). Apparently, the fact that such an occurrence would take place on the same day as the near-miss flyby of the massive half-a-football-field-sized asteroid 2012 DA14 was a bit too much of a coincidence. Apparently unfounded conspiracy theories and the idea of extraterrestrial visitation was easier to envisage.
It all seemed to start with former baseball player and PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs) whistleblower Jose Canseco tossing out the idea on Twitter that no meteor had exploded at all. When pressed to elaborate, Canseco meandered from accusing the Russian government of covering up what really happened and eventually asserting that what had been called a "meteor" had actually been some kind of long-range missile test, probably fired from North Korea (and apparently okay with the Russians).
But Canseco wasn't the only person thinking that the meteor, which detonated over the Chelyabinsk region in central Russia, was not a meteor. In fact, Russian liberal leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told reporters, according to The Voice of Russia, “Those were not meteorites, it was Americans testing their new weapons. [US Secretary of State] John Kerry wanted to warn [Russia’s Foreign Minister] Lavrov on Monday, he was looking for Lavrov, and Lavrov was on a trip. He meant to warn Lavrov about a provocation against Russia.”
Lavrov was in Africa. Convenient for the Russian politician's conspiracy theory...
The meteor exploded with the force of a 500 kiloton blast, NASA reported in a statement late Friday evening. After recalculating earlier estimates of the meteor's size and explosive force, they had upgraded the both the size and blast. Whereas they had originally thought the meteor weighed about 7,000 tons, they later described it as weighing around 10,000 tons.
The blast sent over 1,100 people seeking medical attention, at least a tenth of those remaining in the hospital for an extended time. Most were injured by flying glass dislodged by the concussion of the shockwave propelled by the exploding meteor. The blast not only shook buildings but shattered windows, knocked people to the ground, set off car alarms, and even disrupted cell phone service. Pieces of the meteor rained down over several regions of Russia. (This also sparked the idea that Russians had shot down the meteor or another missile.)
Videos captured the arrival and detonation and were soon scattered all over the Internet.
And still people like Canseco and Zhirinovsky were sure of their missile theories.
But at least they didn't think they were UFOs.
That came later. One article, posted at Mystery Worlds, claimed that the meteor's entering the atmosphere undetected by any radar systems was a sign of a conspiracy. There was also a bit of speculation about a coming alien invasion vaguely linked to a video from Russians posted on the last day of January reportedly sighting UFOs and seeing aliens in the vicinity of where the meteor detonated.
One guy at FootballPHDs.com even tossed in a little "food for thought" by alluding to the return of the Ancient Aliens. He called the incident a "supposed" meteorite occurrence and noted that it was certainly "interesting" that the asteroid and meteor showed up so close to the end of the Maya long count calendar (Dec. 21, 2012).
NASA also noted that the meteor came in on a different trajectory than the path asteroid 2012 DA14 was following. The two space rocks were unrelated.
Tell that to the conspiracy theorists...