NASA computers found the "missing day" of the Bible story about Joshua-Fiction!

NASA Has Found a “Missing Day” on the Calendar, Explained Only by the Bible-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
An email says that NASA (The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has stumbled across some computer generated evidence that the Bible is true.  A man named Harold Hill, a NASA consultant and president of the Curtis engine company, describes how NASA computers were looking back in time when they issued an alert that something was wrong.  There seemed to be a day missing from the calculations.  The scientists puzzled over this a long time until someone in their midst reflected that in the Bible, there’s a story about the day the sun stood still for the Hebrew leader Joshua.  This solves the puzzle, almost.  According to the computer, not an entire day was lost, but 23 hours and 20 minutes.  Now there’s a new problem.  What about the other 40 minutes?  That’s when the same employee remembers that there is another story in the Bible about a day when the sun moved backwards 10 degrees which, according to the employee, is an arc of 40 minutes…so the entire question of the missing day is solved!
The Truth:
Except for the reference to the astronauts, this version of ‘the Missing Day’ story has been around for nearly 30 years.  Harold Hill was a real person and he was the president of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, Maryland.

He had converted to Christianity as an adult and became a popular speaker among Christian groups, because he was a successful businessman, claimed to be a consultant to NASA, and did presentations on science and the Bible.  One of his most popular presentations was the story of the Missing Day.

Harold Hill apparently told the story without much notice until October 1969, when a columnist for a small American newspaper was told about one of his speeches and was given some notes about the Missing Day.  She was so intrigued, that she wrote it up and it was published.

The columnist’s name was Mary Kathryn Bryan and her column appeared in the Spencer Evening World in Spencer, Indiana.
According to the newspaper, the results of that particular column were ‘simply unbelievable’.  They started receiving requests from all over the world for reprints of the article, and finally stopped counting when the number of inquiries passed 1,500. The total number of cards, letters and telephone calls is now in the thousands.
From that article, the Missing Day story found its way into untold numbers of magazines, newspapers, gospel tracts, books and now emails.  Harold Hill himself included it in a Christian book which he wrote. The story has several problems, however.

One problem is that apart from Harold Hill, there is no known source for the NASA story.  For many years, whenever anyone wrote to him about it, he sent a form letter which said he had misplaced the source of the information, but would send everybody a copy when he found it.  The source never materialized. In his subsequent book, Hill dismissed all skepticism about the story and said that no substantiation was needed.  His attitude was that if people believed it and it drew them to spiritual things, it was justified.

Another problem is that NASA has denied that Harold Hill was ever one of its consultants.  James S. Lacy, from the Office of Public Relations for NASA, wrote in a letter to a journalist that the only trace they could find of a Harold Hill having any connection with NASA was a person who was involved in contracting for the operations and maintenance of some diesel engine operations.

Further, according to a letter I have from the NASA Public Affairs office in Washington, ‘There is no truth to the recurring story that NASA uncovered a lost day in the movement of the Earth.’

It is interesting to note that an attempt to explain Joshua’s long day from a scientific standpoint was published many years before Harold Hill’s NASA story. In the 1930s, Dr Harry Rimmer wrote a book called ‘The Harmony of Science and Scripture’, in which he drew from an 1890 book by Yale professor C.A. Totten.

Using popular biblical chronologies of the time, Totten concluded that the world was created 4,000 years before the birth of Christ, on Sunday, September 22, 4000BC. However, he said that the calendar calculations showed that September 22 was actually a Monday, and not a Sunday, and that the error was probably because of Joshua’s missing day.

Totten also makes reference to the Hezekiah story in 2 Kings and argues that this accounts for another missing 20 minutes or so. Totten’s calculations sound suspiciously familiar to the NASA story. The bottom line seems to be that there is a lot still missing about ‘the Missing Day’.

Updated 7/24/05.
For more information: Click the “Urban Myths” link then “The Missing Day.”