Even among conspiracy theorists, Bill Cooper is an anomaly.
For his unique, rambling, surrealistic style, he should be celebrated as an Andy Kaufman-esque performance artist. Instead, he is dismissed with a smug sneer by most "respectable" conspiracy theorists, who argue he is a liar, a disinformation agent, a lunatic, or a little bit of each. He's even the subject of an entire chapter in the crackpotological encyclopedia Kooks.
A former member of Naval Intelligence, he is a popular shortwave radio host and author whose work is an extraordinary mix of suppressed facts and wild speculation. He writes in an engagingly paranoid tone, OFTEN WITH ENTIRE SECTIONS IN CAPITAL LETTERS TO EMPHASIZE A POINT. Cooper may want to broadcast the truth, but he's also a master showman in the spirit of P.T. Barnum. In a Rolling Stone interview, X-Files mastermind Chris Carter admitted that he used Cooper as inspiration to cook up convoluted plots for his show.
What he lacks in respect, Cooper makes up for with a uniquely American brand of multicultural popularity. He is celebrated by a Rainbow Coalition that Jesse Jackson would envy. His militia-friendly rants against one-world government and gun control have made him a folk hero of the patriot crowd. Meanwhile, his descriptions of genocidal plots against African-Americans involving crack and AIDS have gotten him lionized by the hip hop community.
What, then, to make of the following gem from Cooper? In his 1991 tome Behold a Pale Horse, he warned that the US government was turning Jupiter into a second sun. Cooper predicted that Galileo, the NASA spacecraft orbiting Jupiter, would create an atomic chain reaction in the giant planet, effectively turning it into a small star. How? In December 1999, Galileo will deliver a 49.7-pound load of plutonium used to power the craft into the heart of Jupiter. The end result will be a huge atomic reaction, and a newborn star that Cooper has dubbed Lucifer.
But why would the government do this? First, to stave off the coming ice age, and more importantly, to fulfill a Masonic ritual that is the final requirement for founding an Illuminastic New World Order. Apparently, many Illuminati high priests will be at the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza to witness this crowning event.
As bizarre as the scenario sounds, it isn't beyond the realm of possibility -- at least from a scientific standpoint. Arthur C. Clarke speculated upon this possibility in the novel 2010, a sequel to his Kubrick-adapted masterpiece. The book ends with Jupiter exploding precisely in this way, and being renamed Lucifer. (The film version deleted this Satanic rechristening.)
Currently, Galileo is circling Io, the largest of Jupiter's four moons. Io -- described in news accounts as "fiery" and "unstable" -- is located in the middle of one of Jupiter's intense radiation belts. So far, this radiation has caused crippling computer malfunctions, and has triggered a fault in the onboard computer's memory. Considering NASA's history with space probes, it wouldn't be surprising if they lost control of Galileo. And then, of course, it's anyone's guess what might happen next. Perhaps some Masonic insiders at NASA could even use this excuse to shoot Galileo straight into Jupiter.
Meanwhile, back on Earth: At the stroke of midnight on December 31, a golden pyramid will apparently be placed on the missing peak of the Great Pyramid, flooding the surrounding area with golden rays. George Bush is scheduled to be there.
Some would argue this is another of Cooper's elaborate fish tales, directly lifted from 2010 to feed the panic-mongering hunger of his fans, eager for another Baron Munchausen adventure. Cooper, for his part, insists he's merely reporting what he was told in Naval Intelligence.
Will our planet soon become a paradise for wannabe George Hamiltons? Maybe not. Still, it may be a good idea to stock up on suntan lotion in preparation for Y2K, just in case.
Robert Sterling is the editor of The Konformist (www.konformist.com), the Internet magazine dedicated to rebellion, konspiracy, & subversion. He is easily bribed.