George Knapp was joined by Carl Hoffman, author and contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler, for a discussion on the mysterious 1961 disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea which has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Hoffman explained that Rockefeller journeyed to New Guinea as part of a film crew in 1960 and became fascinated with the Asmet tribe, who were famed for their artwork. After finishing the film, Rockefeller briefly returned to the United States, but then returned to New Guinea to continue his study of the Asmet people. During this time, Hoffman said, Rockefeller traveled throughout the northern Asmet territory collecting artwork and cultural artifacts.
After hearing about a pair of remote southern Asmet villages which boasted unique carvings, Rockefeller ventured toward the region with a Dutch anthropologist named Rene Wassing and two local men. The group attempted to make the trip via the ocean around the island in a boat that was more suited for river travel. When the vessel reached the mouth of a river, the waters proved to be too treacherous for the ship and capsized it. The two local men swam to shore in an attempt to get help, but after waiting 24 hours on the overturned boat, Rockefeller became fearful that he and Wassing would drift further out to sea, so he also decided to attempt the nine mile swim. Officially, it would be the last time anyone ever saw Rockefeller alive.
Despite a massive search and rescue mission by the Dutch government, which had territorial control over the western half of the island, no sign of Rockefeller was found and, after about 10 days, he was declared dead. Six months later, Hoffman said, reports began to emerge that Rockefeller survived the swim and was killed by villagers. Although the Dutch government dismissed these reports and claimed to have fully investigated them, Hoffman revealed that newly discovered documents show that the tale of Rockefeller's murder appear to be true. According to his research, missionaries in the Asmet region of New Guinea learned that Rockefeller had been beheaded and cannibalized by villagers in retaliation for a Dutch raid on their land. This information, Hoffman lamented, was suppressed by the Dutch government as part of a larger agenda aimed at maintaining their control over the territory.
Plankton in Space
In the first hour, Richard B. Hoover, who established the Astrobiology Research Group at the NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in 1997, shared new evidence from famous Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyev that marine plankton were discovered alive on the outside of the windows of the Russian section of the ISS. He dismissed theories that the plankton was carried to the ISS from Earth's oceans via air currents and suggested, rather, that they are actually proof of microorganisms which "live and grow" within the watery interior of comets. He surmised that, as comets heat up, these creatures are expelled and, along with ice and water droplets, form the comet's tail. Since the ISS frequently passes through debris fields created by these comet tails, Hoover posited that to be the likely origin for the plankton found on the ISS windows.