Friday, November 1, 2019

Mike Bara, Brooks Agnew, and Xenon depletion

        Mike Bara, the bullshit artist who will say anything you want if you pay him, once said that he's hired an investigator to track me down and that he will soon file a restraining order against me. That was in October 2012 and I'm still waiting for the process server.

        At the time, Bara was being interviewed by Brooks Agnew on something called X-Squared radio, which still exists and calls itself  "the #1 talk radio program in America on Sunday nights." Agnew is a strange fellow indeed. Some of his on-line résumé is probably true ("an internationally acclaimed lecturer on energy, manufacturing, and quality improvement"), but Metabunk has outed him as a fake Ph.D., and his ideas about a hollow Earth and time travel make me giggle a bit.

The secret door
        What made me think about Agnew recently was the fact that he was one of the guests "behind the secret door" for George Noory on 24th October. I dozed off for some of it but I heard Agnew say that Earth's atmosphere has 60% less xenon than the solar system average. Well, this blog and its readers seem to like xenon as subject matter—my article Yes, folks, it's the xenon isotope show from May 2016 has had 5,418 page views so far, and 48 comments—both figures well above average.

        So is Agnew correct? I had to research the question (xenon abundance not being something I discuss on a daily basis) and in fact xenon is even less abundant in the atmosphere than he said. The solar system in general has 18.25 times as much xenon as has Earth's atmosphere. Earth shares its relative lack of Xe with the Sun, and most known comets and asteroids. Wikipedia tells me that the explanation may be that the missing gas is trapped inside quartz.

        Agnew seems to think that Xe depletion supports the hollow Earth hypothesis. My opinion is that Agnew's books support the hypothesis that he's a dreamer. It's more likely that Mike Bara will get his restraining order than that time travel will be possible in our lifetimes.

© 1975 Columbia Records, John Berg

Saturday, October 19, 2019

SDM tries it on yet again

        On 4th September, responding to the US Govt Answering Brief that I covered in August, Sean Morton filed a five-page document with the Ninth Circuit titled INFORMAL APPEAL RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT BRIEF. It was signed by SDM in his jail cellnote 1 but served by someone called Scott Cartwright. Reading it through, I'm struck by the fact that it lacks SDM's style. For one thing, there are no spellling errors. And then there are no pompous self-justifications or absurd digressions, as for example in this extract from Morton's 2018 Expedited Motion for Summary Disposition:
"Sean has made a showing of exigency. A delay will substantially further harm Sean who claims he is entitled to have his life, property and rights restored. An expedited schedule for briefing an oral argument will be insufficient to prevent that harm. This is especially true because Sean's free speech, media, loss of life and property considerations are at stake. Sean's imprisonment causes an avalanche of irreparable injury including injuring the public right to have Sean be protected media. The longer the delay the more the public has cause to distrust the government and think the IRS targeting scandal is above reproach and the courts are not protecting the peoples rights to be free of oppression. Expediting remedy will restore trust in the courts and government after deep abuse and fractures in the system. "
        So I conclude that somebody else drafted this document. Perhaps Morton finally has the public defender he should have had right from the start of the legal process (and which he did not have, thanks to his own pig-headed stupidity). Or perhaps somebody found some $$$ to pay for a legal service.

        The document may not have SDM's stamp on it, but that does not stop it from advancing some utterly daft arguments. An example:
"The offense Mr. Morton is convicted of is in error because the statute expressly requires the conduct to be in the geographical location of the 10 square miles of United States. By the governments own admission the conduct falls well outside the scope of the statute because the indictment alleges all conduct was expressly in California, a separate sovereignty. Sean is convicted in error because his conduct was not in United States as required by the letter of the law. Statutory authority and Federal jurisdiction is exceeded because the conduct was purely intrastate California conduct and therefore outside the power of Congress to regulate."
I can't imagine that one succeeding.

        There are a few issues that might have a better chance, but since I'm not a legal scholar I can't say how much merit, if any, they have. For example:
  • Should a Faretta hearingnote 2 have been held before the court allowed Morton to act pro se?
  • Did the government provide adequate discovery? (There is talk here of 55,000 pages of evidence that should have been provided on CD, but the CDs turned out to be blank)
  • Document alleges that the jury instructions did not include willfulness or mens reanote 3 as required by common law.
  • There's a repeat of the allegation that Sean and Melissa were selected for prosecution because of their political beliefs. The Govt. has already answered that one and it certainly won't fly.
        Nobody knows when the Ninth Circuit will issue a final judgement on appeal. They've certainly now got an avalanche of paperwork to pore over. Morton has served just over two years of his six-year sentence—if the appeal court manages to delay for another two years or so, its judgement may be moot.
Thanks again to AE for monitoring

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[1] Morton signed it "Dr Sean David Morton." His PhD (in therapeutic psychology) was purchased from the International Institute of Health and Spiritual Sciences in Montreal, Canada

[2] See this for an explanation. This might be his best point.

[3] Mens rea simply means the legal principle of a defendant knowing that his or her behavior is illegal. At least I know that much. I also know another fine latin phrase, Ignorantia legis neminem excusat  (Ignorance of the law excuses nobody).

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The mystery of Apollo 10

[For a general refresher on the Apolllo 10 mission, the wikipedia article is good]

James Concannon writes...

         In their 2009 book Dark Mission, Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara wrote (p. 280)  "While the spacecraft [the Apollo 10 LM, Snoopy] was theoretically fully capable of landing on the moon, inexplicably, it was not given the capability to do so."

        In expat's critique of the book, he wrote: « FACT: Snoopy was emphatically NOT capable of landing (well perhaps, technically, it was, but not of successfully taking off again.) Grumman engineers had not yet implemented SWIP (the Super Weight Improvement Program) and the spacecraft was too heavy. More accurately, it would have been too heavy if it had been fully-fueled for a landing and takeoff. »

        It's not a widely-known fact that George Mueller, Director of NASA's Office of Manned Spaceflight, was actually in favor of a landing by Snoopy. He felt that, even if the astronauts couldn't exit the LM and walk on the lunar surface, just the fact of a brief touchdown would sufficiently fulfill JFK's challenge to land a man on the Moon.

        In Foothold in the Heavens (2010), Ben Evans wrote this, on the basis of an interview with Tom Stafford:
"Stafford told Mueller in no uncertain terms that if Apollo 10 was rescheduled to make a landing, "The flight crew won't be on it. There was just so much to do." The main problem was that 'his' lunar module, designated LM-4 and shortly to be re-named Snoopy, was overweight; it was only by a few kilograms, but still too much to satisfy the safety margins for a successful lunar liftoff. Grumman engineers had long known that LM-4 was earmarked for an Earth-orbital or lunar-orbital test flight, rather than a lunar landing, and had not subjected it to their Super Weight Improvement Program (SWIP)."
STATS: The mass of Snoopy, unfuelled, was 9,484 lb cf. 9,287 lb for Apollo 11 's Eagle. An overweight of 197 lb or 89 kg.

        On the basis of an online discussion with a space fan (in French, as it happens) I fell to wondering how come, if 197 lb overweight was a show-stopper for Apollo 10, it became possible to add a Lunar Rover weighing 463 lb for the later J Missions (Apollos 15-17). I'm a member of a Facebook group that regularly discusses space history and has several experts (James Oberg is one) who take an interest. So I posted to that group yesterday and got immediate response:

James Concanon: Snoopy was too heavy to have landed on the Moon and taken off again, right? The Descent Stage was 220lb heavier that that of Apollo 11. So how come for the J Missions it was OK to add a 463lb LRV?

Ronald Purviance:  Many things. Saturn V mods to increase payload, changes in way the LM was released for descent to the surface, and changes to the LM itself.

Alan McEwen: ...

Rolf Karlastad: Alan: If you're not too heavy to take off, more fuel = more delta V.
Even if you had too much fuel for takeoff, due to a lack of thrust, one could simply burn fuel until the thrust to weight ratio was greater than one, and you would lift off.
Sort of the opposite of a plane where you rely on lift.

Alan McEwen: I deleted my previous response because I realized it was wrong. Snoopy was short fueled in the ascent stage. That is why it could not have completed and an ascent to orbit. Thrust was not an issue. As I said it could lift off. There was just not enough energy potential in the amount of fuel to carry out a full ascent. The weight issue came into play with The descent. As you may remember , Buzz and Neil landed with almost empty tanks. If I'm not mistaken they also had 2 PLSSs and basic science cargo. Snoopy did not have those things if I remember correctly. Had Snoopy been fully fueled, plus carrying the cargo, it would not have enough descent propulsion fuel to make a landing.

John Breaux: Bigger descent engine is the main thing. Also in later missions the LM would be taken closer to the surface before undocking meaning it needed less fuel for the descent. I'm sure some of the bigger brains here can give you exact figures.

Shane Barry Penington: Absolutely Correct...BINGO you get the $64,000.00 prize! They also figured a more direct descent trajectory from a lower orbit...

David Paul:  Yes, in later missions they used the SM engine for the initial descent orbit insertion, letting that engine do some of the delta-v needed. Also, by the J missions, they had changed the fuel mixture ratio on the Saturn (I think it was the S-II) so they could get more payload up.

Greg Bigelow: At approx. 2:20 Tom Stafford himself says it was too heavy to land. https://youtu.be/DkS2BMeA2Io

Rolf Karlstad: he over simplified. Perhaps it didn't have enough delta V to land. Unless for some reason the landing legs were weak. See? Weight doesn't really factor in, only delta V. It didn't have enough delta V to land because it didn't have enough fuel, perhaps because it was too massive, and the tyranny of the delta V equation Delta V = natural log (mass fueled/mass empty) *isp *g
It's really the only factor at play here.

That's the History, now for the Mythology
        So, OK, I got my answer. But perhaps predictably it stirred up a well-known controversy about that mission. Gene Cernan must take part of the blame for this, because he himself suggested an alternative reason why Apollo 10 was not cleared to land.
 "A lot of people thought about the kind of people we were: 'Don't give those guys an opportunity to land, 'cause they might!' So the ascent module, the part we lifted off the lunar surface with, was short-fueled. The fuel tanks weren't full. So had we literally tried to land on the Moon, we couldn't have gotten off." --Cernan, quoted in Rocket Men by Craig Nelson
...and of course, some of those Facebook experts couldn't resist reviving the controversy:

Steve Pietrowski: NASA intentionally short-fueled the LEM so there was no way they could have landed and gotten back. Management assumed that the X crew would have tried for the surface if they had a viable chance. For the J-missions, they had better PDI, as well as a redesigned engine bell for the descent stage. I don't think the engine was uprated powerwise, just made more efficient.

Sarah Bowyer:  I don't think NASA short-fuelled the LM because they didn't trust the crew not to try and land on the surface! Yes, they were competitive, but not to the extent of ignoring orders and trying to land before the procedures had been worked out. Remember, when A10 flew, they had a good chance of being on a later lunar mission.

Steve Pietrowski:  I'm pretty sure I read it in "Chariots for Apollo." I don't recall management explicitly forbidding a landing either. They sort of just didn't bring it up; then mentioned, "by the way, you won't have the fuel." I know I've seen this story in the wild elsewhere. If anything it adds a layer to the legend.?????

James Concannon: That was not the reason for the half-empty tanks. The reason was they needed the spacecraft's mass at the moment of rendezvous to be exactly what it would have been if it had taken off from the surface.

Tom Faber: Will this myth that Snoopy's ascent stage was short fueled to keep the crew from trying to land ever die out? No, that is NOT the reason. It had a reduced propellant load so that the rendezvous maneuvers with the CSM were flown with the ascent stage at close to the same mass as one had after an actual ascent from the surface. If it had a full load its handling characteristics would have been very different.

Besides, these men were professionals. They would not have disobeyed orders. And what would have happened if they did? They would NOT have been heroes. They would have forever been branded as the crew who would follow orders. It would have cast a pall over the whole program. Congress may have pulled the plug on the rest of the program right there.

Ronald Purviance: Every time I hear this BS rumor, it makes me mad. It totally dishonors the crew.

Greg Kennedy: I’ve posted to similar threads several times. Suggest you check NASA history publication “Apollo by the Numbers”. It has statistical data for all the missions including vehicle weights, propellant loads, etc.

Just the facts
        I took Greg Kennedy's recommendation, and looked up the document. Here's a link to the ToC. In the tabulations labeled Spacecraft Key Facts, I found two very interesting facts.

FIRST, Although the Descent Stage of Snoopy is confirmed as overweight, the Ascent Stage was actually lighter than that of Eagle: 4,781 lb cf. 4,804 lb. So if that's true, why would there be any concern about Snoopy's capability to take off?

SECOND, The rated thrust of the Apollo 10 Ascent Stage engine is given as 1,650 lbf cf. 3,218 lbf for Apollo 11 and all subsequent missions. Even the Apollo 9 figure cited is 2,524.

        Nobody in the expert group ventured any explanation. So there is a mystery—two mysteries—about Apollo 10 after all.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A murderer writes...

        Kerry Cassidy definitely seems to have a soft spot for the convicted murderer Mark Richards. She has undertaken the 300-mile round trip from her home near Malibu to Vacaville eleven times to interview Richards at length. Richards is 66, Cassidy is 60-ish, and they're both reasonably well preserved, so it's perhaps not surprising that there's some mutual attraction—however, rumour-mongers who hint that Kerry's visits may be "conjugal" are undoubtedly fantasizing. A California State prison visiting room is no place for hanky-panky.

        Last Sunday Kerry gave Richards a platform for a complaint he has about attacks on him and his family by "a group of internet thugs," in the form of An Open Letter to the Modern Judas. Throughout this 4-page anti-panegyric, names of those he accuses of betraying him are redacted.
"Horrid, weak, evil people like [REDACTED]—who are incapable of doing anything good or creative so they feed off ruining anyone who isn't as limited as they are—move through the history of our world like a poison. People like [REDACTED] who claimed to be 'friends' at one time ... have time and time again been talked into cutting the throat of someone who showed them nothing but kindness. ... They either let an agent of evil, like [REDACTED] convince them that betrayal is justified, or they tell themselves that there is a legitimate reason for them to turn on their friend."
        The problem with this editing (done, he writes, so as not to give any publicity to the attackers) is that as a reader I can't make any assessment of Richards' complaints. He neither identifies those he calls thugs, nor gives us any information about the content of their attacks, still less provides any documentary proof that the attacks are false. In default, I bear in mind that:

  • Richards is a convicted murderer. Kerry Cassidy has said that he is a"political prisoner" of the Illuminati, but the truth is that he was convicted by a jury that deliberated for four days. A man who is serving life without parole is not in a good position to talk about other people ruining him. He ruined himself.
  • Richards styles himself "Captain" despite never having attained that rank.
  • Richards has spun preposterous tales of his personal heroism fighting aliens in outer space, without even a shred of corroboration.
  • His defense to the charge of murder has been inconsistent. Kerry Cassidy's transcript of the tenth interview includes this passage: "He was framed for a murder he is accused of having masterminded while he was on a mission off-planet in service to humanity. He was Captain of a starship enterprise type vessel, fighting the war against aliens bent on the takeover of Planet Earth." Yet on pp. 13-24 of the transcript, we read that a trial witness known as "the chimney sweep" stated that he had a receipt proving that Mark Richards had bought lunch for his crew prior to the murder. The account continues "But Mark claims he simply paid for the lunch and then did not eat with the crew but continued on to have lunch with his parents at their home." How can a man who is supposedly off planet fighting alien wars also be having lunch with his parents??? 
A Murder in Camelot
        It's hard to guess exactly what all of the redacted names in Richards' open letter might be. One might be Richard Dolan, perhaps, who, as I noted a year ago, called Richards "a deeply, deeply, dangerous, disturbed and sick man." That was in a preview of a documentary video by Kevin Moore. Moore has had his problems, but he now says that his video will be out this coming December. A trailer is available.


        It's perhaps tempting to think Kevin Moore himself might be one of the redacteds. However, it's fairly plain that Richards is complaining of people who were on his side at one time. That does not describe Kevin Moore—far from it. Perhaps, however, he's the "agent of evil" who convinces the Judases that betrayal is justified.

        My opinion? I think Kerry Cassidy ought to have better things to do than hero-worship a murderer, a boastful self-promoter and a liar.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The aliens like beer and chocolate

        Yesterday Kerry Cassidy posted her notes on the eleventh interview with murderer Mark Richards in the Vacaville jailhouse, the publication of which she says was "delayed due to multiple interference with our computer equipment" (read: Random computer problems that she ascribes to an Illuminati attack).

        Since she has a strong copyright notice at the top of the piece I won't risk her wrath by quoting from it, but the good news is that the Aliens have no intention of eliminating the human race. They appreciate our jewelry, our beer, and our chocolate.

I thought you'd like to know that. :-)

Thursday, October 3, 2019

What is wrong with this picture?


        This is one of Robert Morningstar's collection of "lunar anomalies" by which he hopes to persuade us that the Moon is the cradle of some ancient civilization. He trotted this out on Richard Hoagland's blogtalk show, with this accompanying text:
"In this, and many other misapplications of Gestalt Psychology, NASA intentionally blinded public perception to hide PROOF of alien activity and construction on the Moon for more than half a century."
        Morningstar proclaims himself to be "a specialist in photo interpretation, geometric analysis and computer imaging." However, we know from previous articles on this blog that AM*'s photo interpretation skills are a joke (this one, too).

        In this case, he's excelled himself by misinterpreting jpg pixellation as the "serrated edges of a construction beam."

        His caption says that this is a detail from a Lunar Orbiter 4 image of the satellite crater Deluc L (The crater is named for the Swiss geologist Jean-André Deluc, and has 23 named satellites). However, I don't know where he got that image from, and (typically) he doesn't help us by giving its catalog number. The only Lunar Orbiter 4 image showing Deluc is Frame 4119, Sub-frame h1 (BUT SEE COMMENT #2 FROM ANONYMOUS, BELOW.). Here it is, with some of the satellites identified:


        Deluc Main is at 55° S, 2.8° W. Deluc L is at 60.8°S, 6.2° W, and it's just out of this frame to the west of Deluc E. Here's a view from Lunar Reconnaissnce Orbiter centered on Deluc L, with Deluc Main up at top and slightly right of center.note 1

        So I can't tell what the "construction beam" actually is (AGAIN SEE COMMENT #2), but it's certain to be one of the many, many imaging artifacts that are all over Lunar Orbiter photography. On that mission, flown in 1967, the photos were developed on board by a semi-wet process, then scanned for transmission. This image of crater Euctemon (76.4°N, 31.3°E), also from AM*'s collection, unquestionably shows a scanning dropout.


        In short, these images are not "PROOF of alien activity and construction on the Moon," but "PROOF of Robert Morningstar's incompetence. FURTHER PROOF, I should say.

Thanks to Astroguy for monitoring

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[1] Here's the raw image from the library. Note that a 17MB .tiff is available. If that's not good enough for you, the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project offers a 652 MB download (!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Michael Salla cracks me up

        Michael Salla's actual expertise is in international conflict resolution—that's what his doctorate from Melbourne Uni was awarded for. He has no known training in physics or engineering. When he was kicked out of American University in 2001, he had a great idea: Why not cash in on the public appetite for stories about UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence by inventing a whole lot of stories about SECRET dealings between the US Government and alien civilizations, and about SECRET advanced technologies that are in use today but undisclosed. The key to this idea, of course, is that when people ask for documentary evidence of any claims Salla makes, he can say "Sorry, I can't reveal my sources. Didn't I say these are SECRETS????" I don't think anyone has ever asked him "If these are such deep secrets, how come you know about them?"

        So he founded something called the Exopolitics Institute and offered "Galactic Diplomacy Certificates" to punters who came up with $1500 by way of a fee for the study course. The Institute teaches gobbledegook like this:
"There is extensive evidence of government agencies in the United States and elsewhere having held meetings and having reached agreements with some extraterrestrial races. Those official diplomatic meetings have been highly classified and suggest that ‘galactic diplomacy’ at an official level has been secretly underway for at least 50 years without the knowledge of most citizens and elected representatives."note 1
        He self-published a whole slew of books—eight to date—with titles like Secret Space Programs & Extraterrestrial Alliances. His actual sources include 1] his own imagination, 2] William Cooper, 3] Bob Lazar, and in one case, in his most recent book, 4] an anonymous post in 4chan.

Submarines in outer space
         Salla has guested on Coast to Coast AM 37 times since 2003, most recently a wek ago, 18th September. The producers just adore his evidence-free speculations (Timothy Lavin wrote in The Listener that the show "lets clearly delusional or pseudoscientific assertions slide by without challenge.") Last week's "clearly delusional assertions" by Salla included a claim that the US Navy has retro-fitted submarines with anti-gravity technology and used them as large spaceships.note 2 He also said that the Navy has a patent on advanced electro-magnetic propulsion technology using a quantum vacuum generated by microwave cavities. If this technology were declassified and licensed to the commerical aerospace industry, he said, it could fly a jet plane from New York to Honolulu "in a few minutes."

         I freely admit that I don't understand quantum physics, but I don't think that's quite how the quantum vacuum works. Proponents of QVT propulsion have somewhat shot themselves in the foot by proclaiming the EM Drive a "proof of concept" demonstration (the EM Drive has now been pretty conclusively debunked)note 3. Besides, I know of no theory that QVT promises super-fast travel—the standard laws of physics would still apply no matter how exotic the engineering.

        It seems to me that the key to understanding Salla is very simple: He just gives himself permission to make up any rubbish story he feels like. Cracks me up.

===================/ \==================
[1] From a paper by Salla titled The Emergence of ‘Track Two’ Galactic Diplomacy with Extraterrestrial Races – The Role of Private Citizens & Groups in Establishing Communications & Agreements with Extraterrestrial Races. Published in Galactic Diplomacy (link to web page now 404).

[2] This is really hilarious. Anti-gravity technology, by definition, provides lift in a vertical direction as opposed to thrust, or propulsion, which has to be horizontal if it's to be at all useful. For propulsion, a converted submarine would presumably be stuck with using its propellors. Not very effective in space, one might think. I have written previously about the inherent limitations of anti-gravity technology.

[3] 'Impossible' EmDrive Space Thruster May Really Be Impossible. Mike Wall, Space.com 23 May 2018. See also my own write-up on this.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Richard Hoagland, statistics dunce

James Concannon writes...

        Richard Hoagland, the former museum curator who hasn't had a job since 1972, appears to be (metaphorically) frothing at the mouth over the way Hurricane Dorian pummeled the Bahamas this month. Promoting his blogtalk show The Other Side of Midnight yesterday, he wrote:
« Dorian was -- beyond any reasonable doubt, now -- a "controlled weather, genocide event."
The evidence is overwhelming; just look at the horrifying ground images of the Bahamas ... and the bizarre track of Hurricane Dorian itself--
A Category 5 ... sitting -- MOTIONLESS -- over ONE tiny Atlantic island ... for over two full DAYS!
UNPRECEDENTED -- according to the National Weather Service -- in all the annals of over a century of meteorological science!
Join me -- and my guest "geo-engineering analyst," Dane Wigington -- as we continue to explore, and document-- with striking NASA evidence (!) -- the vicious genocidal agenda being played out right before our eyes ... to kill a LOT of human beings ... if not planet Earth itself! »
        Well, look. Yes, it was a catastrophe by any measure, and I hope richer nations (you know who you are) will step up with some dollar help. But "just looking at the horrifying images" and "the bizarre track of [the hurricane]" does not constitute overwhelming evidence of attempted genocide.

        My learned friend Mr. Google tells me that the death toll is currently 43. The normal deathrate is 7.2/1000, in a total population of 403,337. So 16 deaths are to be expected in any two-day period. To call a death toll only two-and-a-half times the expected norm "vicious genocide" marks this man Hoagland as an alarmist nincompoop with no flair for statistics.

        Moreover, the meaning of the word genocide is the deliberate extinction of a race or sub-race. Bahamas is racially 92% African, but are all the deaths African? I don't know the answer to that and I bet Richard Hoagland doesn't either. There would certainly have been a lot of visitors on the islands in early September. And then, there are about one and a half billion people with African ethnicity in the world. The race isn't even going to notice 43 fewer members.

        As for an "agenda to kill planet Earth itself", LMFAO. Richard, go to your room.