NASA has issued a statement dismissing web rumours that an asteroid will slam into Earth close to Puerto Rico sometime between 15 and 28 September, causing "wanton destruction to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America".
Paul Chodas, head honcho at the Near-Earth Object office of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: "There is no scientific basis - not one shred of evidence - that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates."
"If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now," he added.
The NASA statement cites previous unfulfilled prophecies as proof of similar internet hysteria:
In 2011 there were rumors about the so-called “doomsday” comet Elenin, which never posed any danger of harming Earth and broke up into a stream of small debris out in space. Then there were Internet assertions surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, insisting the world would end with a large asteroid impact. And just this year, asteroids 2004 BL86 and 2014 YB35 were said to be on dangerous near-Earth trajectories, but their flybys of our planet in January and March went without incident - just as NASA said they would.
That's as maybe, but we must bear in mind that this is the agency which claims to have put a man on the Moon - something which has been convincingly disproven.
We have it on good authority that an asteroid will indeed strike on 21 September, and that US government officials are currently making their way to a deep mine complex in Montana according to secret plans laid down in the 1960s.
Bruce Willis, meanwhile, has not been seen since 27 July, when he was sensationally seen eating a peach while wearing a "black printed T-shirt with a pair of jeans". His absence requires no further explanation. ®