No reckoning of famous predicting mistakes would be complete without mentioning the Great Strike of 2287. On the planet Albion Prime, the government-owned Albion Broadcasting Corporation’s Astro Office issued a public warning through popular astronomer Marcus Delfino about the planet’s passage through the debris trail caused by the collision of two asteroids.

The Albion system was notorious for that sort of activity, and issued regular hypernet bulletins warning shipping and people on the ground of possible asteroid strikes on the off chance that any fragments made their way past the planetary defense plasma cannons. Delfino was the public face of the ABC Astro Office, appearing on weekly and emergency broadcasts.

Famously, in 2287, Delfino was on the hypernet for his usual programme when he made the following remarks: “Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the ABC and said she heard there was an asteroid on the way…well, if you’re watching, don’t worry, there isn’t!”

Less than 12 hours later, a barrage of material from the collided asteroids overwhelmed Albion’s planetary defenses, destroying one of the key cannons and shorting out power to several others that had been daisy-chained together. The resulting meteors struck densely populated areas, causing widespread damage and killing over a dozen. May people blamed Marcus Delfino’s statement on their failure to properly deploy meteor screens and deflector shields.

In later years, Delfino would insist that he had been technically correct and that there was no asteroid–after all, once the objects entered Albion’s atmosphere, they became meteors and meteorites. He would also claim, at various times, that he had been referring to the planet of DeSoto II, another notoriously strike-prone world that had indeed not been struck that day. Either way, the resulting furore cost Delfino his job and led to what wags have called the “Delfino syndrome:” future ABC Astro Office asteroid predictions tended to always err on the side of caution by predicting massive strikes even when the odds were small.

No one wanted their face slapped all over the hypernet with an incorrect prediction.

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