Wednesday, July 11, 1979


I don't want to alarm my readers, but I've just read some alarming news that may alarm you. SkyLab, the Air Force's top-secret orbiting space weapon (cleverly disguised as a NASA research satellite) is going to crash to Earth some time tomorrow. To make matters worse, officials at the North American Air Defense Command have no idea when or where the 77-ton station is going to hit.

This is, to put it mildly, terrifying beyond all known limitations of abject fear. According to NASA sources, there are more than 500 pieces of the space laser weighing between several hundred and several thousand pounds that are expected to survive re-entry and crash to the ground as molten chunks of metal traveling at tens of thousands of miles per hour.

NASA estimates that you have a one in 152 chance of being injured or killed by a falling chunk of SkyLab tomorrow. Now, I'm not a gambling person, since games of chance allow the Numbers to invade your mind and take over your soul, but I know enough about probability to know that those are pretty good odds.

As if there weren't already enough to worry about, what with 70 tons of molten lead and depleted uranium about to rain down on us tomorrow, there's also the minor detail that the demise of SkyLab leaves us completely defenseless against alien attack.

We KNOW that the Tau Cetians are just itching to retaliate against us for destroying their secret moon base. As you may recall, this preemptive strike was carried out by Fred Haise and Jim Lovell during the successful Apollo 13 moon landing.

Without SkyLab to defend us, our planet is completely vulnerable. And with the twin Voyager spacecraft en route to annoy our outer planets, it's doubtful we can enlist the gas giants to help us. The situation is dire, folks. Extremely dire. There is a very good chance that we will not live to see 1980.

Not to alarm anyone, of course. I'm just laying out the facts. The decision to hoard canned goods and move to an underground bunker in the Ozarks is entirely up to you.