Though I consider myself semi well-versed in UFO matters, I had not heard of the Black Knight previous to seeing this article.
It has many of the hallmarks of a tasty example of mythos: puzzled scientists, strange lights in the night sky, concealed NASA evidence, and even the intriguing addition of Nikola Tesla. I shall expound...
In 1899, Tesla reported that he received signal transmissions on his high-voltage receiver in Colorado. He believed that they originated in Earth orbit and were from a device that was intelligently controlled. Odd, to say the least, given that there were no artificial satellites in orbit at that time. The article goes on to assert that once satellites were launched in the form of Sputnik 1 and 2, the object that would be known as the Black Knight followed them.
Later in 1960, the US "Dark Fence" radar program is said to have detected the Black Knight in orbit but the object was not emitting any signals. Astronaut Gordon Cooper, who was long outspoken about his belief in UFOs, reported seeing a UFO similar in description to the Black Knight while in orbit in 1963. The page at the link even has a photo of this object near an orbiting space shuttle, although I would argue that pic is suspect to say the least. I don't know, maybe not. But I digress...
Google your way into the darker waters of the Internet and you will all manner of strange things proposed as to the Black Knight's nature and origin. I like the "ancient UFO" theory which alleges that it is around 13,000 years old (how they know that, I don't know.) Probably my favorite is that the Black Knight is actually VALIS, the subject of the Philip K. Dick book of the same name. There are those who argue that it was actually the Black Knight that shot the "pink beam of light" that Dick claims hit him in the forehead and inspired the book.
As is almost always the case, there are far more prosaic explanations for the Black Knight. My suspicion was that Tesla had actually detected pulsars and that the object in the photos was something like a jettisoned piece of heat shielding or the like. Turns out I'm a little less than half right. The truth is something of a cacophonous hodgepodge as explained here:
"Black Knight is a jumble of completely unrelated stories; reports of unusual science observations, authors promoting fringe ideas, classified spy satellites and people over-interpreting photos. These ingredients have chopped up, stirred together and stewed on the internet to one rambling and inconsistent dollop of myth. The Universe is big place, and astronomers are trying to find signs of other life, some have even searched for alien probes near Earth; however the Black Knight satellite is not the answer and it never has been."
Ah Ufology. It keeps feeling like one step up and two steps back. Fortunately, there are still mysterious cases to keep me interested.
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