Hundreds were injured yesterday when what is estimated to be a ten-ton meteorite exploded over Chelyabinsk, a city in central Russia. People as far as 125 miles away reported seeing the meteorite's long white tail as it hurtled toward Earth. The meteorite exploded before hitting the ground, shattered windows, triggered car alarms and sending chunks of flaming rock shooting across the sky.
At this time, Russian authorities say that radiation levels in the area are normal.
Scientists at the European Space Agency and the United States' NASA state that the incident was not connected with 2012 DA14, a 125-foot asteroid estimated to pass within 5,000 miles of earth later today - an astronomical near miss.
NASA's assertion that the two events are unconnected has to be taken on faith, but have you ever wondered if the government would even tell you if an asteroid impact was imminent? Knowledge of such an event would trigger worldwide chaos as the date of impact came closer. Rioting, hoarding, terrorism, random acts of nihilist violence, and people abandoning their jobs to spend more time with their families would send society spiraling out of control. What would you do if you were the government and you knew that no matter what, a very large percentage of the population was going to die? Would it be responsible to tell the truth or better to let people continue on until that fateful day? What if you and your family had access to secret, below-ground government bunkers, and all you had to do was keep your mouth shut? Would you tell and jeopardize the survival of your loved ones?
I think we know the answers.