Inside The First Sighting Of The Black Knight Satellite

A mysterious, irregularly-shaped object that sort of looks a black chess piece, spinning in orbit around the Earth? Must be ... aliensAnd in the case of a story run by the Daily Mail, online conspiracy theorists SecureTeam10 claim that the object was shot down by Illuminati-led super soldiers who, uh ... prevented aliens from continuing to monitor and communicate with Earth using their 12,000-13,000-year-old spying device. Aw yeah. That's the good stuff.

The "Black Knight Satellite" refers, in fact, to a collection of unrelated UFO and alien stories that go back over 100 years. The saga is recounted in Vice, and includes the story of Norwegian engineer Jørgen Hals in 1927, who noticed unexplained, Long Delayed Echoes when he sent radio signals into space. The next sighting was in the 1960s, when an actual anomalous object in polar orbit caught the attention of the both the US and the Soviet Union. It wasn't until 1973 that science fiction writer Duncan Lunan tied these, and other stories, together under the umbrella term Black Knight Satellite. He, and others since then, speculated that an alien object in orbit was responsible for many of history's alien contact stories. In 1998, we finally got a photo, which US astronaut Jerry Ross says was actually a lost thermal blanket covering a trunnion pin on an ISS node (whatever that means). 

And the initial chapter of this story? Why, it belongs to none other than nerddom's most beloved wunderkind, Nikola Tesla, in 1899.

I took a picture of a thing. It's aliens.

Tesla may have been a scientific and mechanical genius who invented the alternate-current (AC) motor that won George Westinghouse the bid for the 1893 World's Fair, sure. He was also a noted victim of capitalist throat-slitter Thomas Edison's tech-stealing scams, yes. But Tesla as the original tin foil hat boy? This does or does not invalidate any and all Black Knight Satellite conspiracy theories, depending on which circles you run in.

In 1899, Tesla was chilling at his home in Colorado Springs, which doubled as a laboratory, upon which he had built a gigantic radio tower. Tesla, of course, ever the far-seeing futurist, was tinkering with the wireless power that served as the progenitor for modern visions of wi-fi, satellite communication, and so on. But it wasn't until 1923 that he would come forward to claim, in an interview with the Albany Telegram, "I have a deep conviction that highly intelligent beings exist on Mars." He recounted his story of developing a "wireless receiver of extraordinary sensitiveness," and having received the signal 1-2-3-4 from "Martians." Aw yeah, that's the good stuff, again.

Naturally, Tesla was slammed by his contemporaries, and subsequent theories postulate that he was picking up some background radio waves from deep space, or receiving electrical interference from Jupiter. No matter the extraterrestrial truth of his experience, Tesla, through this claim, earned a spot within the long-standing tale of the Black Knight Satellite as its first witness.