NASA'S GALILEO PROBE FINDS NO EVIDENCE FOR ELVIS ON EARTH The Galileo science team today announced that the spacecraft's instruments failed to find any new traces of Elvis Presley during its flyby of Earth last December 8th. "It's a tough background subtraction problem," explained Dr. Edward B. Rock of Caltech. "We know the planet contains several thousand Elvis imitators. You have to distinguish the real thing from many objects of similar apperance." The method used involved interdisciplinary comparison from several of Galileo's sensors. "For example, an Elvis imitator would have a very similar appearance to Elvis in the SSI [Solid State Imaging] and NIMS [Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer] data," said Dr. Graham Finale. "But no imitator has Elvis's magnetism." Researchers combined data from Galileo's sensitive magnetometer, mounted on a 36-foot (11 meter) boom, with optical, infrared, and ultraviolet measurements. They are capable of identifying a single genuine Elvis among all the other features of Earth's landscape. This is a very sensitive technique-- a feat equivalent to standing in St. Joseph, Missouri, and distinguishing a jellybean in a bowl of amphetamines in Memphis. Galileo investigators were cautious about ruling out the possible existence of Elvis. "We can only set an upper limit," said Dr. Rock. "And we're guessing to some extent at the profile we're looking for. If Elvis has lost weight, for instance, he'd have a different infrared signature." According to the science team, there are 0.21 plus or minus 0.17 Elvises on Earth, a number described as "consistent with zero." Though speculation has been published in some journals that evidence for Elvis might exist on other planets and moons in our solar system, most scientists agree that Earth is the most likely place to find him. "If, as the new results suggest, there's no Elvis on Earth," said Dr. Torrance California, "this lends weight to the supposition that he really is dead."
This message was sent on 21 Mar 1996