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Skylab: the conspiracy theories

22 Jun 2011, 02:02 UTC
Skylab: the conspiracy theories
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I do love a good conspiracy theory. And I'm working in two fields where they abound, archaeology and space exploration. Today, having completed the final revisions to my Skylab paper for the Journal of Australian Studies (and can I just add how nice it is that the Australian government have scrapped the stupid journal ranking system they recently introduced), I am thinking about everything I had to leave out, and everything I could explore in the next thing I write on this topic. The following newspaper article, from the Lewiston Evening Journal (on July 12, 1979, p 19) is full of themes that would be great to explore further: authenticity, US-Australian Cold War relations, feelings of neglect and abandonment, and the Aussie larrikin.Skylab piece just a hoaxMelbourne, Australia (AP)An Australian golf course groundskeeper told reporters he found what he thought was a pretzeled piece of Skylab, and he packed a bag for America. Then a metalworker came forward and said it was just a hoax.The motive: practical joking, but also spite against American space officials. The groundskeeper, John Rowe of the southwestern Australian town of Albany, told his story to a local newspaper, a local radio station, and a Perth ...

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