Saturday, February 21, 2009

Those glass domes on the Moon

If you aren't used to the insanities of Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara, prepare to gasp. Perhaps to boggle. Perhaps both.

Hoagland & Bara have alleged, many times and with apparently straight faces, that there are vast glass structures on the moon, built by a long-dead lunar civilization and visible in some Apollo lunar surface photography after "enhancement." In answer to the question why these things aren't visible in the best orbital photographs, they reply "Obviously since they are made of glass, they are invisible."

This allegation, and those who challenge it (that means anyone who has any training in lunar science, anyone who has any training in photo interpretation, and anyone who has any common sense) has become topical again recently because of the strong likelihood that lunar orbital photographs will soon be available at higher resolution than ever before. Hypothetically, Hoagland & Bara might be asked to indicate on these pictures where exactly these so-called structures are. So far they have been strangely reluctant to specify coordinates.

Since I'm writing this for readers who are new to this rather surprising proposition, let's start at square one.

The "evidence"
Richard Hoagland likes nothing more than to manipulate NASA photography in his Photoshop™ software and see what pops out at him, so that he can claim that NASA is hiding something from us. Playing this game with Apollo lunar orbital and surface photos, he cites several examples where he says extremely large glass domes are visible when the photographs are "enhanced." Here is one of his favorites. This is from Apollo 12, Mission Elapsed Time 116:57:52, on EVA-1, showing Al Bean beginning to deploy the ALSEP lunar surface science package. A timeline reference is at

For comparison, here is a high-resolution version of the original Hasselbald photograph, AS12-46-6807 from magazine 46Y, before Hoagland manipulated it. Notice a few things as you compare the two images:

* Hoagland's version is 450 x 340px, 29 kB. This compares with the 2359 x 2374px, 1.285 MB of the original. The original is, therefore, an inherently truer view.
* Don't be fooled, as Phil Plait was initially in scorning this photo, by the lens flare that happens to be superimposed on the astronaut. That's NOT what Hoagland's imagination tells him is a glass dome. No, he says that the stippled effect in the sky — black in the original, as it should be — is a reflection off the glass dome. In some versions of the manipulated photo the sky appears midnight blue.
* Note that the "stippled effect" also appears in the astronaut's shadow on the moon's surface, which was also black in the original , and also as it should be. What Hoagland did in "enhancing" this photograph was to inhibit black and progressively enhance tones trending toward white. It's done with the "curves" feature in Photoshop™, and what it essentially means is that every pixel that used to be black has been told it has to become something else because black ain't allowed. So, lacking guidance as to what that something else should be, the algorithm produces random effects. It goes almost without saying that this process goes way beyond what might be considered legitimate photo-processing.

Hoagland & Bara would say that we have been fooled by NASA's manipulation of AS12-46-6807 to artificially obscure the glass dome, and that he obtained a uniquely un-manipulated print from Ken Johnston. However, the grotesque appearance of the foreground subject plainly attests to the fact that the manipulation is theirs, not NASA's. Also, since they were working from a print rather than the archive negative, a scanning process of unknown quality must have been involved. Hoagland consistently refuses to divulge technical detail of his photo-processing steps.

A rather poorly translated survey of Hoagland's other "evidence" starts here.

Apollo astronauts speak out -- or mostly don't
Hoagland does not claim that these structures are present at all six of the Apollo landing sites, but he seems sure about the site of Apollo 14 as well as 12. So if these structures exist, it might be expected that at least astronauts Conrad, Bean, Shepard and Mitchell would be the guys to ask about it. Unfortunately for Hoagland & Bara, few of the astronauts have even heard of them, let alone paid the slightest attention to their crackpot theories. The exception is Ed Mitchell, LMP of Apollo 14, who agreed to listen to Hoagland's idea and comment on it, on the Coast to Coast AM radio show in May 1996. To nobody's surprise, Ed Mitchell flatly stated that he had no knowledge of any such structures, and he wanted to know how it was possible for his Lunar Module to have flown through a glass dome in order to land inside it.

Hoagland replied:

"I presume that it's got tremendous amounts of holes, and you safely came down through [a] pretty open structure."

He added:

"[M]aybe you didn't [know about them], but maybe the guys that sent you there and picked the landing sites did."

Now, that last statement is a real gob-smacker, as they say in England. He's saying that Apollo mission planners were aware of a monster hazard in the vicinity of the Apollo 14 landing site, AND DID NOT INFORM THE CREW.

Mitchell's final word on the theory: "Green cheese and baloney" (see also his reference to Hoagland's masturbatory habits, on the Swedish site cited earlier).

Hoagland later developed the theory that the Apollo astronauts have had their memories "selectively edited" so that they no longer remember seeing glass domes or other evidence of lunar civilization. He has never said how this was accomplished, or how he came by such knowledge. Not for the first time, he's come up with a theory so outlandish and so utterly devoid of supporting evidence that we have to wonder whether he himself actually believes it. Does he, or is he just playing games?

Better resolution photos coming shortly
Two people with acknowledged expertise in the Space business recently drew attention to this fact on the Dark Mission official blog. On 10th Feb 2009 James Oberg posted:

"I'm interested in going beyond the forty-year-old photos as shown -- I want to get the latitude/longitude of the claimed anomalies and then look up those locations on the Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and European Space Agency databases from their recent independent lunar orbital photoreconniassance missions. Just to compare. Might be illuminating, you think?

This task is frustrated by Mike's stated refusal to provide actual latitude/longitude locations of claimed structures."

Ten days later, Don Davis posted:

"The Apollo 'Panoramic' orbital cameras has a resolution of about 2 m, the 'metric' camera about 30m. the hand held photography probably somewhat worse in resolution then the Metric camera. Apollo only covered a limited part of the Moon, that which happened to be under it's designated orbits, and in sunlight.
A quick look at Lunar Orbiter spacecraft image resolution figures for mission 4, with which most nearside global mapping was done, ranges from 58-134 m although many Lunar Orbiter images show more detail, many less.

China’s Chang’e-1:
* Stereo camera with an optical resolution of 120 m

India’s Chandrayaan-1:
* Terrain Mapping Camera is a CCD camera with 5 m resolution

Japan's SELENE
*Terrain camera (TC) resolution 10 meters per pixel and 2 HDTV cameras

The upcoming LRO will see details down to a meter across. So anyone wanting to predict things on the Moon that they think they see at the limits of resolution of older photos should be overjoyed that opportunities are imminent to re-examine the areas in question with new and sharper detail."

Mike Bara's only response to this eminently reasonable and inherently scientific approach was this:

"Yeah, LRO, a mission run by NASA. Riiiiiiight.

I trust that about as much as I trust Lunar Orbiter data being "processed" by Jim Oberg and his pals."

I posted as follows, which Mike Bara refused to publish:

"Mike, since you say you see glass structures on the moon in NASA-supplied photography, albeit photoshopped beyond the point of being useful, why do you now mistrust NASA-supplied photography at better resolution? You'll be free, of course, to put your photoshop experts to work making all kinds of monsters appear.

Don Davis is right -- you should welcome this opportunity. C'mon, LET'S HAVE THE EXACT LOCATIONS OF YOUR GLASS STRUCTURES."

Summary & conclusion
Hoagland's presentation of the Apollo 12 Hasselblad frame is clearly fraudulent.

His explanation of why Ed Mitchell dismisses the theory has no credibility whatsoever.

Mike Bara's refusal to provide coordinates of the claimed structures after a very reasonable request further damages the credibility of the whole theory and shows it up as profoundly unscientific.


Sphinx said...

what do you think about this one dear expat?

expat said...

I think it's another example of manipulation of a photograph beyond its ability to yield useful information.

But I VERY MUCH appreciate your willingness to document exactly how the image was manipulated. How I wish Hoagland & Bara would do the same. When I asked for details of the processing of the Apollo 17 "Data's Head" image, Mike Bara first replied "I'm not going to do your homework for you" and later "You know nothing about how images are processed." He really doesn't understand science at all.

expat said...

I'll add this: EVEN SUPPOSING that your manipulation of the Hasselblad frame shows something real, rather than typical jpg artifacts, there isn't the slightest indication that this is something built by a civilization. Far, far from it.

Sphinx said...

expat said:

..."EVEN SUPPOSING that your manipulation of the Hasselblad frame shows something real"...

Now, you can do the same thing with the photo and yo end up with the same result.

I can bet on this.

And, yeah, that does NOT said that the "thing" from the Moon is a robot head. Could be as well as a rock or a piece of a meteorite with some red metal at the base.

Regarding the link that I share with you...I don't now for a fact what it is, but the thing is that NASA manipulate the picture to made it more darker. That is also a fact.

Is true that can be many explanations for that, but thats the beauty of the free world, free imagination and beliefs.


I'm not Mike's or Richard's lawyer.
I try, with all the media, religious and social manipulation, to judge things with my on own head ( not the one on the Moon )


Sphinx said...

Even if they are structure on the Moon, Mars...whatever...I don't think any agency will agree to announce that discovery.
And not only because the economy is in the tank but we are really, really not ready for that kind of major discovery.
Mankind have not evolve enough to be ready for such a big step.

So, even if Mike or any other guy who deals with that kind of research, point out a location where is for sure something, no one, not one single space agency will provide a positive identification of any kind of alien structure.

expat said...

I don't agree. I think it would do nothing but good for the NASA budget -- Steve Squyres has said it in so many words.

What Mike Bara and Richard Hoagland do is not "research" -- it's cynical invention of non-existent phenomena for the purpose of selling books and video merchandise.

Sphinx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sphinx said...

You don't agree only because Steve Squyres said in so many words and NASA will have more $ and benefits?

When 34.000 children die every day from poverty and diseases, when 15% of the population lives under $2 a day.....c'omon...

We r not even capable to rich the level that every single human bean on this planet to have @ least one pair of shoes.

You must come up with some more real argument on that issue.

And I didn't even brought in discussion the religion.

Regarding Richard and Bara purposes

Yeah, selling books...

I don't think they r rich after the sell of DM.

Not even Richard with "The Monuments of Mars", DM, several videotapes, CDs...DVDs...and lectures all over US..I don't think his wealth has increase significant.

Yeah, I agree the fact that is a practice. Many ppl do that. But they earn some money,they (Richard & Bara) can't be compared with... J.K. Rowling who got in 2008 $798 million

Anonymous said...

You dont appear to have enough concrete proof to tackle Hoagland and Bara. Ill pop back soon when you have!!!

Anonymous said...

May i suggest you read the Dark Mission Book. More importantly go and watch the 2 hour interview of Hoagland which you can find at After you have watched the interview, plaese come back here and delete this Blog, its complete nonsense!!!


expat said...

I've read the book "Dark Mission." Some of its many, many inaccuracies are what this blog is all about.

I've watched most of the nauseating Project Camelot interview. Richard Hoagland sure has a high opinion of himself, doesn't he?

Tell me, anonymous, do you really find it credible that Apollo mission planners would have known about a very large hazard in the vicinity of a landing site, and failed to tell the crew?

Do you consider that a pair of photographs that Hoagland himself describes as "really crappy" is better evidence of what's on the moon than a high-definition tiff scanned from the original Hasselblad negative?

Anonymous said...

" Tell me, anonymous, do you really find it credible that Apollo mission planners would have known about a very large hazard in the vicinity of a landing site, and failed to tell the crew? "

I believe the crew new all to well what they were up against. Its the drugging that took place to wipe there memories on there return that missing here!

" Do you consider that a pair of photographs that Hoagland himself describes as "really crappy" is better evidence of what's on the moon than a high-definition tiff scanned from the original Hasselblad negative? "

You claim that Hoagland uses a small rez image and your bsing your facts upon this. Seeing as you have read the book and watched the interviews on Project Camelot, you will have noticed that he URGES people to go to NASholes website and look at the SAID images for themselves. Ive done this with SAID image, taken the ORIGINAL from NASholes website and " Turned up the gain " and i to have found the same anomolies. Infact, ive found more anomolies that he doenst cover, such as other Glass Domes. Seeing is believeing my freind, just dont go with what Hoagland is saying. If you think he's wrong then proove hime wrong with viable and credable evidence. Nasholes website have all the original images, all the answers my friend!!! :-)

Good hunting brings the dinner home my friend :-D

Info Provider

expat said...

anon wrote:
>>Nasholes website have all the original images<<

No, the high-def scan from the original negatives is way too large a file to post on the web. It has to be specially ordered.

expat said...

anon wrote:
>>Its the drugging that took place to wipe there memories on there return that missing here!<<

Please cite the source of this information. If the source is merely speculation from Hoagland & Bara, it's worthless.

Anonymous said...

Hoagland had me going for a while. Looked into the Clementine laser data to try to find the "domes". If Selene had found them with its laser data, we would have heard loud proclamations by now since they have published their results. But their data look like standard expected terrain. My personal opinion is that all these horizon "domes" are really levitated dust, illuminated at the correct angle. As the terminator moves around the Moon, the dust is lifted electrostatically. A lot of papers on the topic are there for the reading. If you have the dust lifted up only so far across a region, then it looks like a collapsed glass dome. Other angles present fuller domes. But it is just tiny amounts of illumination bouncing off minute dust particles levitated in the space above the terrain (~kms). You do see in many lunar surface based images non-black "space" if you turn up the gain. I think most cases are the dust.

Anonymous Guy

expat said...

Thanks, anon.

Moon real-estate said...

It is not about the blue color as much as it is the 3d structure beams and the prisms.

Hoagland didn't "enhance" this photos he simply turned the light up.

Does it pay well to be in the debunking business?

Why not enjoy the great findings?
Soon we will be back in the soil - so what is the point of your endeavor?

expat said...

>>Hoagland didn't "enhance" this photos he simply turned the light up.<<
Please re-read the main post, which includes a description of Hoagland's manipulation.

>>Does it pay well to be in the debunking business?<<
The pay is zero.

>>what is the point of your endeavor?<<
To promote the truth.

moon real-estate said...

why have you purposely
avoided -
3d structure beams and the prisms

That part where it is obvious Nasa faded out the colors (you can see the color calibrator) at the end of Camelot interview part 2

Say something about that -

show that you are after truth

expat said...

The so-called "beams and prisms" have no credibility. As previously explained, these images have been manipulated well beyond their ability to provide truth.

moon real-estate said...

YOU just lost credibility in my eyes

Hoagland dares you to download these photos from nasa

And just bring the light up

Shame on you

expat said...

To "moon real-estate":

Please be more explicit, and I'll try to accommodate you. Which images? What do you mean by "bring the light up"? Simply increase brightness? Or is an adjustment to gamma required as well?

moon real-estate said...

Check out the the Camelot interview

start at hour 1:00:03

it is the last photo reviewed on this clip

Hoagland encourages the viewers to get that photo and just bring the color up to normal and viola

I don't understand why he is being attacked by non agency people?

He is very cautious and methodic in his investigations relying only on solid cross referenced evidence
and not even witness testimonials

expat said...

>>He is very cautious and methodic in his investigations relying only on solid cross referenced evidence<<

Like when he wrote this, perhaps?

The ECO sensor problem was solved using conventional engineering.

Like when he wrote this, perhaps?

As detailed in this blog, his mathematical errors are APPALLING.

Like when he wrote the Neil Armstrong likened himself to a parrot in his 25th anniversary speech? Armstrong said the EXACT OPPOSITE.

I could go on....

No, I am not going to view an hour of this fraud waffling away in order to retrieve a reference to some images. Please provide it and I will try and accommodate you.

moon real-estate said...

I am not the type that drowns somebody else with tons of information
I did not Ask of you to see the entire interview

I specifically mentioned the time to start viewing - 1:00:03

it is a 2 minute scene discussing one single photo for you to watch -
And comment on

expat said...

>>I specifically mentioned the time to start viewing - 1:00:03<<

That's all very well, but youtube is streamed video, meaning that I do have to wait a substantial part of that time until enough of the content has streamed. Sorry.

moon real-estate said...

WHAT !? ARE YOU Kidding ME? !

No you don't - just pull the curser to the right
it will start stream/downloading from there.

You don't need to wait at all

moon real-estate said...

Like when he wrote this, perhaps?

The ECO sensor problem was solved using conventional engineering.

Could you please reference me to the article
Describing NASA's conventional problem solving


expat said...

>>No you don't - just pull the curser to the right time it will start stream/downloading from there.<<
Yes, you're right. Thanks. I can probably find that Apollo 17 frame. Now please explain exactly what you mean by "bring the light up". As evidence of a lunar civilization, it's remarkably weak.

>>Could you please reference me to the article Describing NASA's conventional problem solving<<

Here's one:

expat said...

Here's a better link for the ECO sensor fix:

moon real-estate said...

Regarding ECO sensor

You Are wrong - it is not fixed yet - But they think they have an Idea...
Just like they said in the first article you linked.

Read Hoaglands Post - It was updated and explains more.

He is Rasing a very good point regarding the Russian Hypothesis - why mock him?
I believe - he will be proved right
The question is - How will NASA admit the way it was fixed

I am not for or against Hoagland in particular - but you are just hammering on him unjustifiably- without seeing the evidence

expat said...

>>You Are wrong - it is not fixed yet - But they think they have an Idea...<<
You'll need to explain why 14 shuttle missions have flown with complete success since Hoagland wrote that completely false essay.

>>Read Hoaglands Post<<
Of course I've read it. Duhhhh..

>>why mock him?<<
Because he's almost always DEAD WRONG.

>>you are just hammering on him unjustifiably- without seeing the evidence<<
Hoagland's idea of "evidence" has nothing in common with scientific evidence. Regarding anomalies on Mars and the Moon, Hoagland writes "It looks like a crinoid, so it must be a crinoid. It looks like a robot head, so it must be a robot head." This is utterly laughable as evidence.

expat said...

To "moon real-estate":

I haven't so far been able to find that exact image in the on-line Apollo 17 catalog. However, I note this -- in the "Project Camelot" video, as he describes this image, Richard Hoagland refers to the gnomon as having red, blue, and green color patches. Now here is the authentic description of the gnomon, from the official Press kit:

"Gnomon and Color Patch

The gnomon is used as a photographic reference to establish local vertical Sun angle, scale, and lunar color. This tool consists of a weighted staff mounted on a tripod. It is constructed in such a way that the staff will right itself in a vertical position when the legs of the tripod are on the lunar surface. The part of the staff that extends above the tripod gimbal is painted with a gray scale from 5 to 35 percent reflectivity and a color scale of blue, orange, and green. The color patch, similarly painted in gray scale and color scale, mounted on one of the tripod legs provides a larger target for accurately determining colors in color photography."

Did you get that, moon real-estate? Hoagland thinks the orange strip is supposed to be red. How accurate do you now think his recoloring of that image is?

expat said...

To "moon real-estate":

I did, however, find the Hasselblad frame showing Gene Cernan, part of the US flag, and the Earth in the sky above. It's AS17-134-20387HR.jpg, 600kb. Hoagland refers to this image just prior to the gnomon sequence on the Camelot video.

I downloaded this image and increased both brightness and gamma, finding no trace of the "prism" that Hoagland claims to have found in the sky at upper right. Perhaps you could repeat this process yourself, and let me know what manipulations are needed to make that prism appear? Thank you.

expat said...

To "moon real-estate":

I've now found that Apollo 17 Hasselblad frame in the catalog -- the one over which Hoagland is so hilariously mistaken about the color of the gnomon. It's AS17-134-20426HR.jpg, 752kb.

Perhaps you could see if you can duplicate Hoagland's mistake.

moon real-estate said...


I took Photo AS17-134-20426HR.jpg

And used Iphoto On may Mac - chose Edit and got the exposure all the way up

I don't know how he got that color saturation fix
So I didn't get that "sun rise"

BUT boy oh boy - that Beautiful straight long Prism - IS there

I can see it now even without the extra exposure.


moon real-estate said...

JESUS ChRist !

You don't even need to play with that photo

Check out the original From Nasa

And Just Zoom in the black sky over the hill thats on the far left

The OLD Man Wasn't lying - And you owe him an apology.

Houston over and out

expat said...

>>BUT boy oh boy - that Beautiful straight long Prism - IS there<<

That's not a prism, it's a spectral flare. My image editing software has no such control as "exposure," but I can make the flare appear by boosting gamma to 2.0 -- which is, of course, to totally distort the image.

>>The OLD Man Wasn't lying - And you owe him an apology.<<

Moon real-estate, you've somehow manged to miss the point here. Richard Hoagland is MISTAKEN in believing that the color patch on the gnomon is RED. IT IS NOT RED, IT IS ORANGE. THEREFORE ADJUSTING THE COLOR BALANCE TO MAKE IT RED IS CORRUPTING THE IMAGE, NOT CORRECTING IT.

moon real-estate said...


But you don't need to manipulate that photo in any way

Just Zoom in on the Dark Space above that Hill

That my Friend is a Prism.

As for the Orange Red dispute -

I find it highly unreasonable, if that was the case at hand - that RCH would not know this fact.

Have you questioned him regarding that?

expat said...

>>That my Friend is a Prism.<<
That, my friend, is a spectral flare. Distorting the image to that extent shows nothing that is real.

>>As for the Orange Red dispute -I find it highly unreasonable<<
Do you doubt the official Press Kit?

>>Have you questioned him regarding that?<<
No -- have you?

moon real-estate said...

I am not the one trying to debunk Hoagland.

OK i see it is turning into a trench war.

Let it be as it is.

See you on Mars :)

expat said...

Well, moon real-estate, in this thread I've pointed out three occasions on which Hoagland was definitively WRONG. I've proved that he was also WRONG about the colors of the gnomon scale. Check further back in this blog for a few more examples of him being WRONG.

What's it going to take to convince you that the man is a usless buffoon?

moon real-estate said...

I find Hoagland to be Trustworthy.

I am not sure about you -
After you telling me that zooming on a photo is manipulating it (prism case)

What would make me think he is a useless buffoon?
Him trying to be funny & not succeeding .

What would make me think he is wrong?

Perhaps a debate or at least an opportunity for him to respond to your specific questions.

In which he will provide unreasonable answers.

Anonymous said...

the most revealing thing was when it was claimed that earth was "atlantis" seems to be true to me because of puma puka and just google odd atrifacts, and you'll see the types of things that are there that should not be. This 'splains a lot to me.