In an essay in this month's Skeptical Inquirer, Dr. Hale readily admits that, "...Hale-Bopp is some kind of alien 'mother ship' or, at the very least, is 'under intelligent control.'" In a related essay, he adds that "there are few people in the world who are better prepared than I am to meet with an alien race," evidence that the astronomer and wayward ship captain is already in contact with the invaders.
In another chilling passage, he surmises that, "...Hale-Bopp could be one of the 'signs of the end times' as foretold in several New Testament prophecies."
In typical NASA coverup fashion, Dr. Hale later uses the tried-and-true alarmism-denialist tactic of "logical explanation" to dismiss his earlier claims, citing "scientific illiteracy" as the reason amateur comet-watchers with no astronomy experience are clearly seeing alien spacecraft in the comet's wake:
Okay, there, Skipper. "learn science." That's a nice idea. But how is learning science going to protect our planet from imminent alien invasion?
This whole phenomenon of "Hale-Bopp madness" strikes me as a glaring example of the scientific illiteracy that pervades our society and that has been addressed many times in the pages of this magazine and so eloquently by Carl Sagan in The Demon-Haunted World. The numerous scientific and technological challenges that our society will be faced with during the years and decades ahead are too important and too complex to be adequately met and dealt with by a population that cannot distinguish between legitimate science and the pseudoscience that is so prevalent now.
I fear it may be too late, with perihelion approaching in a few days. My suggestion to my readers: pack your bags, gather some canned goods, put your sneakers on, and head for the hills until the invasion is over. Hopefully the aliens will not notice us while they're conscripting humans to work in their deuterium mines and seedy alien nightclubs.