Elvis on Earth?
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 92 17:39:45 PDT
Subject: Elvis on Earth?
With my apologies to dss@Eng.Sun.COM, firstname.lastname@example.org,
simos@MEDIA-LAB.MEDIA.MIT.EDU, & anyone else who has already seen this...
NASA'S GALILEO PROBE FINDS NO EVIDENCE FOR ELVIS ON EARTH
The Galileo science team today announced that the spacecraft's
instruments failed to find any new traces of Elvis Presley during its
flyby of Earth last December 8th.
Galileo, a joint project of the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration and the European Space Agency, is a two-part spacecraft,
consisting of an orbiter and an atmospheric probe, which will explore
Jupiter and its satellites when it arrives there in December of 1995.
On the way, it has encountered Venus, returned to pass Earth, and will
encounter Earth once more at the end of next year.
Prelimnary analysis of the Galileo science data has concentrated on
searching for characteristic profiles of the pioneering rock 'n' roll
"It's a tough background subtraction problem," explained Dr. Edward
Rock of Caltech. "We know the planet contains several thousand Elvis
imitators. You have to distinguish the real thing from many objects
of similar appearance."
The method used involved interdisciplinary comparison from several of
Galileo's sensors. "For example, an Elvis imitator would have a very
similar appearance to Elvis in the SSI [Solid State Imaging] and NIMS
[Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer] data," said Dr. Graham Finale.
"But no imitator has Elvis's magnetism." Researchers combined data
from Galileo's sensitive magnetometer, mounted on a 36-foot (11-meter)
boom, with optical, infrared, and ultraviolet measurements. They are
capable of identifying a single genuine Elvis among all the other
features of Earth's landscape. This is a very sensitive technique-- a
feat equivalent to standing in St. Joseph, Missouri, and
distinguishing a jellybean in a bowl of amphetamines in Memphis.
Instruments which measure radio emissions also studied the planet
during the encounter. "We picked up numerous broadcasts of
'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Hound Dog,'" Dr. Finale said. "But we were
able to correlate nearly every one with the location of previously
known oldies stations."
Galileo investigators were cautious about ruling out the possible
existence of Elvis. "We can only set an upper limit," said Dr. Rock.
"And we're guessing to some extent at the profile we're looking for.
If Elvis has lost weight, for instance, he'd have a different infrared
signature." According to the science team, there are 0.21 plus or
minus 0.17 Elvises on Earth, a number described as "consistent with
The most widely held theory on Elvis Presley is that he died on August
16, 1977. In the past few years, however, ground-based observers have
reported sightings of Presley in such locations as Kalamazoo,
Michigan. Since then scientists have been interested in more precise
measurements of "The King."
Though speculation has been published in some journals that evidence
for Elvis might exist on other planets and moons in our solar system,
most scientists agree that Earth is the most likely place to find him.
"If, as the new results suggest, there's no Elvis on Earth," said Dr.
Torrance California, "this lends weight to the supposition that he
really is dead."
Having verified their search techniques in the Decmber 1990 encounter,
scientists are now planning for the 1992 Earth flyby. At that time
they expect to use Galileo to search for aviatrix Amelia Earhart and
labor leader Jimmy Hoffa.
* * * *
Here's the broadcast schedule for Public Affairs events on NASA Select
TV. All times are Eastern. **indicates a live program.
** 2:00 pm Galileo at Earth report from JPL
3:00 pm Speedway
5:00 pm Viva Las Vegas
7:00 pm Jailhouse Rock
All events and times may change without notice. This report is filed
daily, Monday through Friday, at 12:00 pm, EST. It is a service of
Eternal Communications Branch at NASA Headquarters. Contact:
WSHIGGINS on NASAmail or at 202/555-8425.
NASA Select TV: Satcom F2R, Transponder 13, C-Band, 72 degrees West
Longitude, Audio 6.8, Frequency 3960 MHz.
© 1992 Peter Langston