Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Maximum paranoia

"Everyone in the United States is being tracked with Satellite Microwave pulses.  This is not a joke.  Place your hand FIRMLY on the top-back part of your head, and hold it for 30 seconds.  You will begin to feel the "pops" and pulses on your knuckles.  The top of your hand will begin to "tingle."  These microwaves [sic] pulses cause brain damage to you and your family members."
image: Richard Lighthouse

        The above is taken from the website of Richard Lighthouse, who says he holds a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and has previously worked for NASA.

        If his master's degree were in electrical, not mechanical, engineerng, Lighthouse would know that a feature of microwave transmission is that it propagates in a very narrow beam. It's an advantage in broadacst and telephony applications, because many different signal paths can be established within a limited space without cross-interference. However, to target all 325 million people spread across four million square miles, microwaves would not be the technology of choice.

        And then, is Lighthouse really alleging Tracking, or is he really talking about Attacking? His crude diagram (reproduced above) shows no return path by which the sinister forces of evil might derive useful information about the location and status of each individual. As we know, a majority of US adults now willingly carry with them a small device that enables precision tracking automatically by cellphone service providers. There would not seem to be any need for less efficient tracking from orbit, but attacking would be another matter—we have not yet reached the point where cellphones can be made into weapons (injury from people bumping into lamp-posts because they're too focussed on that little rectangle in their hands doesn't count).

A family tree of paranoia
        Lighthouse has another diagram on that web site, and it's too complex to reproduce here, where blogspot would shrink it to the point of unreadability. The diagram depicts the CIA at the head of a hierarchy of alphabet soup agencies whose task, allegedly, is to attack citizens. The hierarchy has four branches: The first is to AFSPC (Air Force Space Command) with its directed energy weapons. The second descends via ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) to DHS (Department of Homeland Security) which, according to Lighthouse, practises something he calls "Gangstalking".note 1 The third branch goes through ODNI again to NCTC (National Counter-Terrorism Center), which identifies foreign targets, and the final branch identifies domestic targets supervised by DOJ (Department of Justice) and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).

        This diagram is titled Overview of the Targeted Individual Program. With all those dedicated agencies and expert people involved, it's a bit surprising that the pile of dead bodies isn't more noticeable. Perhaps, it occurs to me, Richard Lighthouse is as wrong about this as he is about microwave tracking.

Guess who believes this nonsense
        Why, Kerry Cassidy, of course. On 15th February Kerry published "A Letter to all Targeted, Tortured, Trafficked Individuals Worldwide." She included Lighthouse's hierarchy diagram (not very well attributed, I must say) and wrote:
"At the moment I am inundated by horror stories from targeted individuals.  What people don’t realize is people have been targeted by satanists and diabolical military ops for many years long before this whole “TI” movement began.  I have way too many people talking about what has been done to them.  Keep in mind that pedophile rings, human trafficking, human slavery and sacrifice has been going on for centuries.

If I interviewed every targeted, trafficked individual it would be like interviewing every cancer patient worldwide.  They attack, target, stalk, rape, damage and destroy homes, families, careers etc."
        In May 2015 Kerry reported an attack on her by what she called a "scaler" [sic] weapon. However, it didn't seem to be particularly effective because she felt sick enough to cease her internet logorrhoea for just a few days. Can't the combined forces of all those agencies do any better than that?

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[1] Three years ago, the New York Times published a long article about this branch of paranoia in its Health section. The author, Mike McPhate, wrote "The community, conservatively estimated to exceed 10,000 members, has proliferated since 9/11, cradled by the internet and fed by genuine concerns over government surveillance. A large number appear to have delusional disorder or schizophrenia, psychiatrists say." 

ref: Complaints of group-stalking (‘gang-stalking’): an exploratory study of their nature and impact on complainants. Lorraine Sheridan & David James: J. Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Vol. 26 Issue 5, 16 June 2015. "Group-stalking appears to be delusional in basis, but complainants suffer marked psychological and practical sequelae."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

R.I.P Opportunity

graphic: NASA/JPL

        Along with countless other people interested in spaceflight and astronomy, I congratulate JPL Project Manager John Callas and his expert team on a fabulous mission that came to an end in a planet-wide dust storm on 10th June last year, and was officially declared completed yesterday. The rover exceeded its planned life by 14 years, 294 days

        Here's a wonderful interactive infographic of Oppy's journey, courtesy of The New York Times.

Monday, February 4, 2019

"Multiple scientists"... oh yeah?

James Concannon writes...

        Robert Morningstar, as I've remarked previously, gets up in the morning and scratches around his favorite internet sources to see what's shocking today. He then re-posts a selection without ever checking to see if what he's laying before his followers is actually... you know, TRUE.

        Today's hilarious result was an article titled "Multiple Scientists Publish Papers Suggesting The Moon Is Hollow & Artificially Made," by Arjun Walia of Exonews. Walia has no qualifications related to astronomy, and none in journalism either. An article he wrote in 2013 linking vaccines to autism was demolished by the I Speak of Dreams blog.

        So who are these "multiple scientists" of which Walia writes? In order as written, they are the following:

1. USAF Colonel Ross Dedrickson (d. 2007). He had some crackpot ideas about aliens on the Moon, but he was not a scientist and he never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

2. Dr. Horace Crater, a physicist from the University of Tennessee Space Institute, who, according to Walia's Exonews article,  "recently published a paper in the Journal of Space Exploration that identified certain features that appear inside the [satellite] crater Paracelsus C on the far side of the Moon."

        A paper of that nature was indeed published by J. Space Exploration, on 30 September 2016. Its exact title was Image Analysis of Unusual Structures on the Far Side of the Moon in the Crater Paracelsus C. The problem is, Horace Crater, who retired in June 2015, didn't write it. The authors were Mark J Carlotto, Francis L Ridge and Ananda L Sirisena of the Lunascan Project and Society for Planetary SETI Research, Tennessee, USA. Mark Carlotto is one of the foremost proponents of the artificiality of the so-called Face on Mars. He's a satellite imaging specialist, not a scientist [but see comment by Dee, #10 below]. The Lunascan Project is or was a project specifically looking for lunar anomalies. These are the "unusual structures":

        That does not quite amount to a claim that the entire Moon is artificial, now does it?

3. The Deputy Manager for the Clementine Mission to the Moon. That would presumably be Lt. Col. Pedro Rustan of the US Naval Research Laboratory. As fas as I know Rustan never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

4. Ingo Swann. Swann (d. 2013) was a self-described psychic and remote viewer, not a scientist. Arjun Walia writes that he "reported viewing strange structures and humanoid creatures on the Moon." That's "viewing" as in "seeing in his imagination" not as in "actually seeing." Swann never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

5. Sean C. Solomon, the director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Solomon said that the core of the Moon is a mystery, not that it's a hollow space.

6. Jim Marrs. Marrs (d. 2017) was a journalist and author, not a scientist. His reliablility on matters lunar may be judged from the fact that he said, at the Conscious Life Expo in February 2015, "NASA offers us no better resolution of images of the Moon and Mars than 100 yards, and at that, they all have "blurred out areas." " Marrs said plenty of whacko things, but that the Moon is hollow and artificially made is not two of them.

7. Isaac Asimov. Asimov (d. 1992) was a renowned science fiction author. He had some interesting insights about the Moon but he also never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

        So the Exonews article contains not one single example of what its headline promises in plurality. Perhaps a writer cannot be held accountable for a headline, but Robert Morningstar, who describes himself as a scholar and a "civilian intelligence analyst," can be and should be castigated for irresponsible re-posting.

Ken Johnston makes a promise he can't keep

        A whole bunch of people are going to be disappointed at 1:30 pm on 22nd March, as they assemble for the following presentation at the Human Origins Conference in Rio Rancho, NM.

        I already know what Ken's going to show under the pretence that he's revealing alien bases. It'll be photo artifacts like this:

         The filespec of that image is Dr Ken Johnston Apollo Archive Collection_Page_487.jpgnote 1 Bear in mind that this image was scanned by Ken's biographer Bret Sheppard from a reversal frame—a projector slide, in other words. Such scans are notoriously subject to reflections. Here's a correctly-scanned version of AS15-88-11967 for comparison:note 2

photo: NASA

        Bear in mind, also, that Johnston himself is a bit of a skeptic about this rubbish. Interviewed by Kerry Cassidy in January 2016, Ken had this comment:
(1:27:49) "A lot of these anomalies that people will see -- I don't necessarily see them, 'cause I'm pretty much a straightforward engineer .. We know that if we stare at the wall long enough we can make all kinds of pictures."
        I guess Ken has learnt that you don't get invited to woo-woo conferences by expressing opinions like that, so he's taken the pragmatic line.

        He's gone so far as to associate himself with really woo-woo associations. Ascension Age (a.k.a. Allied Command Organisation Invisible College) is a coterie of people fantasizing about space colonies. Their web site proclaims:
"Commander Ken Johnston Sr. is one of our Main Directors on Planet Earth for educational Communication and recruitment for intergalactic contact."
        If ever Ken was "a straightforward engineer," he sure isn't one any more.

Nefertiti and a parrot on Mars
        Human Origins conference attenders are in for even more disillusion the following day, when George Haas presents The Mars Codex. George is the dreamer who sees patterns on Mars. When the patterns aren't clear anough to convince anyone, he simply draws things in.

photos: Cydonia Institute

Thanks to James Oberg for monitoring

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[1] A whole collection of this nonsense can be found here.

[2] When I blogged about this image in 2016, "Trekker" identified the terrain as this area in the Mare Fecunditatis.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Now you see it, now you don't

        Well, actually, now you don't see it, now you still don't. I'm referring to Nibiru, or Tyche, Planet X or Planet Nine. A trans-Neptunian object in a 15,000-year orbit, much loved by pseudo-astronomers including Messrs. Hoagland & Bara. These two half-educated speculators wrote about it in their 2007 book Dark Mission (NOT a NYT best-seller despite its authors' frequent claims). The speculation was, actually, either one massive planet in a posigrade orbit, or two smaller ones going retrograde (p.115, 2nd edn.). It was based on a diagram plotting specific luminosity (W/kg) vs. specific angular momentum (sq cm/sec) that hoagland took from a book called The New Solar System then slapped his own copyright on it. The figures the diagram uses include, in each case, the named body plus anything in orbit around it.

        According to him, the solar system as a whole has less angular momentum than it should, and Planet X (or Planets -y and -z) would bring it into line. I don't think either Hoagland or Bara understand what specific angular momentum means (it means angular momentum per unit mass, so to arrive at the true angular momentum of the solar system, you'd need to multiply that number for 'Sun' in the diagram—4 x 1020 approx—by the mass of the whole kit and caboodle).

        When, in January 2016, Batygin & Brown of CalTech lent their support to Planet X on the basis of the orbital anomalies of six Kuiper Belt objects, Mike Bara did the Toldya dance on his blog. But he got totally confused between Planet X and Nemesis, a hypothetical brown dwarf companion of the Sun that has nothing to do with the Kuiper Belt. Stuart "astroguy" Robbins expressed more than a modicum of skepticism about the announcement from CalTech.

An icy disc
        This week Sefilian and Touma of Cambridge University and the American University of Beirut have come up with a model that explains the orbital anomalies without requiring a massive trans-Neptunian object (TNO).note 1
 "We wanted to see whether there could be another, less dramatic and perhaps more natural, cause for the unusual orbits we see in some TNOs. We thought, rather than allowing for a ninth planet, and then worry about its formation and unusual orbit, why not simply account for the gravity of small objects constituting a disc beyond the orbit of Neptune and see what it does for us?
"If you remove planet nine from the model and instead allow for lots of small objects scattered across a wide area, collective attractions between those objects could just as easily account for the eccentric orbits we see in some TNOs." --Antranik Sefilian
        The hypothesised icy disc probably has a mass equivalent to ten Earths—not very muchnote 2, but Sefilian and Touma say it's enough. They aren't claiming to have actually observed such a disc, just to have worked out the physical implications assuming it exists. It's important to understand that nobody claims to have actually observed Planet X, or Nibiru, either. Now you don't see it, now you still don't.

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[1] Antranik A. Sefilian, Jihad R. Touma. Shepherding in a Self-Gravitating Disk of Trans-Neptunian Objects. Astronomical Journal, 2019

[2] Neptune is 17 Earths, Jupiter 318

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Mike Bara, unorthoDOX

     Mike Bara really does love the word imbecile. In the world of twitter, anyone who disses his fave sports teams gets that epithet, and also anyone who thinks it's tacky to turn an image of a landslide on the Moon upside down and label it as a "crystal city". Actually, for the latter, he sometimes favors  "lick my balls, asshole". He does have a way with words, although it's not a way I favor personally.

        Of course he didn't really hold up that sign during his recent Tell The Truth Wednesday vlog—that's just an internet fake, I can't think where it came from. What he did hold up was an envelope containing two free tix to Alien Snowfest, a prize he was offering to one of his fans. The interesting part is that the lucky prizewinner got to see her name and full street address plastered across YouTube thanks to Bara. The address was entirely readable.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Congratulations to the China National Space Agency

        Chang'e 4 touched down on the floor of Von Kármán crater at 02:26 GMT today. This is the first image from the lander:

photo: CNSA

        There is no direct communication between Earth and Chang'e 4. Data is relayed via a satellite called Queqiao (trans: Magpie bridge) at the L2 libration point, 64,000 km beyond the Moon. Queqiao was pre-positioned in May last year. I don't know whether the relay has spare channels that might be available to other nations' far side landers, if and when they arrive.

        Von Kármán is an enormous crater, whose Eastern edge is right on the 180° longitude. The cross marks the exact landing point, 45.471° S 177.606° E.

        Here's where it is in relation to the whole far side. The very large dark area at 26.5° N, 148° E is the Mare Moscoviense, one of the very few maria on this side of the Moon. Tsiolkovsky, the crater that Ken Johnston says contains an alien base, is also notably dark, at 20.4° S, 129.1° E (almost due NW from Von Kármán). The so-called "crashed spaceship" visited by the non-existent Apollo 20 mission is at 18.66° S, 117.68° E; NW again from Tsiolkovsky and well over toward the near side.

ref: Space.com

Trivia: The crater is named for Theodore Von Kármán (born Kármán Tódor in Budapest), a mathematician and aeronautical engineer who was one of the founders of JPL. The public auditorium at JPL is also named for him.

Update 4 January:

photo: CNSA

        This is how far the Yutu rover has progressed. It will now go into sleep mode for six days to assure survival during the hottest part of the lunar day.

Update 11 January:
The real-time descent and landing video is now available.