My cover story for the May issue of 'Astronomy' magazine features the Chelyabinsk Super-Bolide. The main story is for subscribers only, but a sidebar on an intriguing unpublicized feature of the meteor -- some people HEARD it hissing by overhead, minutes before the shock wave reached the ground -- is fully accessible here.
This new book commemorates our small international 'band of brothers' who were in hindsight astonishingly successful at winkling secrets out of the Soviet space program in the 1970s and 1980s.
Cold War Space Sleuths - tribute to pioneering work of Jim Oberg
Editor Dom Phelan calls him "the man who more than most became the archetypal Cold War Space Sleuth"/ Colleagues label him "provocative, interesting, adversarial, and controversial but he does have a basic respect for the facts...", and added: "What distinguished Oberg's work was a certain flamboyance coupled with assiduous and exacting research. He was also not afraid to tell a good story – although not at the expense of the facts."
Cooper's original Germany 'UFO story' -- Weather balloons
March 5, 1976: Acuff [Jack Acuff, NICAP Director] tells me: "I talked to Cooper several years ago. He is into weird stuff, but he said he hadn't seen any UFOs on his space flights.... he did talk about a UFO in Germany that he chased and then decided was a weather balloon."
In recent years, press coverage in Moscow suggests a reversion to the Soviet-era "spyflight" accusations, and Putin has proclaimed he's had enough "history that casts Russia in a bad light", but expanded Moscow-Seoul contacts would argue against retrograde Russian officials from making a big deal of reopening this wound. Still, unanswered questions remain: how severely did the US Navy provoke Soviet air defense forces in a series of carrier-based overflights six months before the KAL-007 shootdown? Why did the Soviets choose to attack the plane over international waters? Were any bodies actually recovered and secretly cremated? Much has been revealed, but much remains hidden away.
you going to Russia’s Baykonur Cosmodrome
in Kazakhstan to attend the launch of a manned
‘Soyuz’ spaceship, a commercial
communications satellite, a scientific probe,
or any other reason? The long-mysterious and
super-secret spaceport has become a mecca
for ‘space tourists’ of the 21st
Century, but understanding what you will see,
or even what you are actually seeing once
you get there, is hindered by decades of secrecy,
by the fog of cultural barriers, and by the
impenetrability of “technical jargon”
associated with “rocket science”.
Now a solution is available – a world
expert on penetrating “Soviet space
secrets” is available to expand the
value of your experience. Jim Oberg can triple
the appreciation of your experience by careful
pre-trip organization and briefings, and as
desired by personal interpretative and explanatory
services on site. For
more details, go HERE.
conventions, industry seminars, university
activities, private groups, educational and
hobby programs, and other audiences of any
size seeking entertaining and informative
talks on various aspects of outer space are encouraged
to contact Jim Oberg soon for their necessary
scheduling of talks in the coming academic
expanded repertory of topics now includes
several new offerings and updated old favorites. These programs can be tailored to specific
length and focus needs.
Is First American Journalist at New ‘Yasniy’
Launch Site in Siberia
On June 28, 2007 Jim was at the new 'Kosmotras'
satellite launch base at Yasniy, Orenburg
Region, Siberia, to watch a 'Dnepr' rocket
carry the Bigelow Aerospace "Genesis-II"
space module prototype into orbit. He will
be writing about this experience for several
magazine clients in the months to come.
February 27, 2007: New Kourou Launch Pad Can
Conduct Manned Flights
item (my translation), quoting Anatoliy Perminov,
head of the Russian Space Agency, while visiting
the European launch center at Kourou, French
Guyana: "Yes, of course, over the long term,
the ‘Soyuz-ST’ [booster] which
will be launched from Kourou can be used also
for manned launches. This promising manned
transport system, developed now together with
the European partners, can be used for organizng,
from Kourou, the launches of manned spacecraft."
This program involved
fourteen travelers who visited the Hayden
Planetarium, the NASA Goddard Space Center,
the National air & Space Museum, Capa
and the Kennedy Space Center, then Russian
space sites such as various museums (including
some usually closed to
the public), the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training
Center, and the Baykonur Cosmodrome, where
they attended the Soyuz TMA-7 blastoff on
more detailed report is in preparation but
here are a few photos from the expedition
courtesy of Josette Dominguez.
22) With Story Musgrave at the Saturn/Shuttle
‘Vertical Assembly Building’
(VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center,
26) Examining SFOG canister (‘Solid
Fuel Oxygen Generator’) inside
Mir mockup at ‘Gagarin Cosmonaut
Training Center’. A unit like
this one malfunctioned in February
1997 and nearly killed six crewmen,
including a visiting american astronaut.
26) Peering into Soyuz ‘Orbital
Module’ trainer at ‘Gagarin
Cosmonaut Training Center’,
Star City, NE of Moscow
29) At edge of Soyuz flame pit an
hour after booster installation
on the launch pad, two days prior
to blastoff. L-R: Jim, Jo Dominguez,
Doug Grimes (MirCorp Travel), Alicia
Stevens (Discovery Tours, AMNH).
Jul. 19, 2005, 3:00 PM // Wisconsin Public Radio,
"Ideas Network" Ben Merens: While NASA engineers
continue to examine the Space Shuttle, Ben Merens
and his guest examine the planned mission, as
well as the history, and future of the shuttle
Guest: Jim Oberg, former Space Shuttle mission
Oberg presentation for industrial safety
in the ‘NASA Safety Culture’ and
Their Lessons for Earthside Safety”
This presentation shows how many notorious
space disasters were not due to inherent hazards
of space, but were due to violating well-known
principles of hi-tech safety. It provides
explanations for the Challenger and Columbia
shuttle catastrophes and for the 1999 Mars
robot fleet disaster...
“Toward a Theory
of Space Power”, James Oberg, remarks
delivered May 20, 2003, Washington Roundtable
on Science & Public Policy, sponsored
by the George C. Marshall Institute, Washington,
DC. 28 pages. $10.00 postage paid ($12.00
outside North America). A recent book by Everett
Dolman, Astropolitik: Classical Geopolitics
in the Space Age, speaks of the importance
of space and space-faring nations and has
high praise for Oberg’s work. Dolman
writes, “Strategy, grand strategy in
particular, is not simply the efficient military
application of force. Since grand strategy
is ultimately political in nature, that is
to say the ends of national strategy are inextricably
political, yet the means or dimensions of
strategy are not limited.” He goes on
to define six or seven things that make up
a grand strategy, and concludes by saying,
“To date, only James Oberg’s Space
Power Theory [now out of print with an expanded
version in preparation], a comprehensive effort
commissioned by the United States Space Command,
approaches the requirements laid out above.”
"Wow! In a world devoid of critical thinking and awash in meaningless
sound bites, this Mr. Oberg
is like a breath of fresh air. If
I ever realize my goal of becoming Earth's
Dictator for Life, I promise to empower Mr.
Oberg with the authority to go around slapping
any news people caught spreading nonsense
or found culpable in the dumbing down of America." --
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