It is especially annoying when it involves something that should be easily ignored. Take for example the recent buzz on the net concerning the supposed alien ship orbiting the sun. Oh sure, the photo is extremely suggestive though the dang thing seems to be the size of a planet and its possible function is hard to discern. But just look at those articulated arms on that thing.
Of course, the official NASA explanation is also pretty reasonable. One of the problems with digital photography is a tendency to occasionally produce patterns out of random patterns (for example, stray cosmic rays coming in at an unusual angle - according to NASA). It is a common enough phenomena to actually be occasionally true (though perhaps not as often as some skeptics would like to believe).
So Nathan Rich's glitch explanation is pretty good. At least it was the first time back in 2011 when the same type of object was spotted by SOHO (and my thanks to SunsFlare over on YouTube for looking this one up). In fact Nathan Rich's recent statements about the April photo was a repackaging of his same explanation back in October.
OK, so once is an accident and twice is coincidence. These things happen. It is a bit odd that these stray cosmic rays would result in the same formation each time, but it isn't impossible. Highly unlikely, sure, but not impossible.
So I guess Nathan Rich isn't too happy that it happened again. Good grief! You would think that those stray cosmic rays would learn a few new tricks. So now SOHO is offline for some "needed repairs." Not a moment too soon because this is getting a bit weird.
When the news story broke last month, I wrote it all off as a simple glitch. My assumption was that if anything was really going on then there would have to be previous corresponding photos and without such images, leave this type of report to our old "friend" The Weekly World News. I felt pretty happy with that attitude.
Then I made the mistake of looking for information related to previous such images. OK, there is one. Now I'm not so happy. Gee, at the very least you would think that NASA could use our tax dollars to build better equipment than this dang piece of junk. But things happen and two such incidents don't necessarily mean anything.
But now we are up to three such images. All remarkably the same. As Groucho Marx once said: "That's an awful lot of accidents for such a quiet neighborhood."
And by the way, we have just gone past the coincidence stage and thrice is a problem. Whether it is a major technical failure or a visitation, Houston's got a problem and they are not really being honest about it. Most likely, they don't even know what really is going on (which might explain the quick move to take SOHO offline).
I don't think we need to get out the tinfoil hats (just yet), but I can't wait to hear Nathan Rich explain this one. Hey! Maybe it is just the planet Venus.