Black Knight is the name given to a radar blip discovered in 1960. This mystery satellite was found in a polar orbit, something neither the US nor the Soviets had accomplished. It was several times larger and several times heavier than anything capable of being launched with 1960 rockets. It shouldn’t have been there, but it was.
If that weren’t enough, ham operators began receiving odd messages from the Black Knight. One operator decoded a series of these messages as a star map. The map centered on Epsilon Bootes as seen from the earth 13,000 years ago. Remember, stars don’t move very far even after 13,000 years, and Epsilon Bootes is moving towards us. Only the neighboring stars appear different after that amount of time. Was the Black Knight an alien calling card?
Perhaps the strangest effect associated with the Black Knight is the Long Delay Echo (LDE). The effect observed is that radio or television signals sent into space bounce back seconds (or even days) later, as if recorded and retransmitted by a satellite. They didn’t begin with the Black Knight, but they were part of its mystery. Keel places the earliest LDEs in the 1920s. It’s not in Keel’s book, but in 1974 another mystery entered earth orbit. No radar saw it. No ham operator listened to it. One man contacted it- or rather, was contacted by it. That man was science fiction author Philip K. Dick (1928-1982).
Phillip Kindred Dick blew my mind when I discovered his works through a friend in the early 1990’s. At the time Blade Runner was the cyberpunk classic film, but PDK’s books still seemed obscure to most. since then several more films have been made based on his books have stacked up, Total Recall, Confessions d’un Barjo, Screamers, Imposter, Minority Report, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly, and Next.
In production is a adaptation of Radio Free Albemuth one of my favorite of his books. It deals with his 1974 experience of being contacted by the Black Knight, or what he called VALIS, the Vast Active Living Intelligence System. VALIS revealed itself to Dick as an ancient satellite from another world. It was sent here long ago by three-eyed, crab-clawed beings from a planet orbiting Fomalhaut. They built our civilization, taught us writing and science, then returned to their own world. VALIS was left behind to prod certain individuals when civilization needed a boost.
Dick wrote down his many “mystic” experiences. When he died eight years later, he was still unsure of their origin or their meaning. Left behind was what he called the Exegesis, an 8000- page, one-million-word continuing dialogue with himself written late, late at night. This is where we go to find the Black Knight’s return.
Exegesis remains unpublished in its original form but became the material for several other book. Radio Free Albemuth being one of them. Go and read the book now.
There are also 2 more movies based on PDK in the works, a sequel to Screamers, and PDK biopic, called The Owl in Daylight. Maybe all this new activity is actually being created by the PDK Android that is M.I.A.? is this english model Actroid now his new wife?
Here is a pic from the movie production, Radio Free Albemuth.
test your total recall with the PDK quiz.