Thursday, August 13, 2009

Richard Hoagland's color "adjustment"

I'm obliged to a commenter on this blog, "moon real-estate", for leading me to a hilarious example of Richard Hoagland's utter incompetence when it comes to manipulation of Apollo lunar surface photography -- a game he has played very often, with usually fraudulent results.

"Moon real-estate" asked me to comment on a sequence from the Project Camelot interview Part 2, starting at 1:00:04. In this sequence, Hoagland projects a Hasselblad frame from Apollo 17 showing Jack Schmitt and the gnomon. A gnomon is a tripod-mounted device which shows local vertical and also provides a crude color chart. Hoagland claims that the picture has been deliberately de-saturated, and that when the color is restored by him to its true level, evidence of the glass domes he says are at the Apollo 17 site appears in the sky.

Here's a direct quote from the Camelot video:

RCH: "Here's probably my favorite... Here's a color chart -- here's our calibrator, red, green and blue, this is a gray-scale, called a gnomon...."

There's a rather substantial problem for him, however. The color calibrator on the gnomon is not red, green, and blue, as he thinks. Here's the technical description of the gnomon, from the official Apollo 17 Press Kit (emphasis added):

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.

So if Richard Hoagland adjusted the color of this frame under the mistaken impression that the gnomon color was red when in fact it was orange, HOW TRUSTWORTHY DO WE THINK HIS RESULTING IMAGE IS?

Anybody wanting to play around with this image for themselves can find a 752KB version here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Buzz Aldrin's wife

        On July 31st, in a thread labeled "Buzz Aldrin says there's a monolith on Phobos," a regular blog-commenter posting as T'Zairis (an assistant librarian) wrote, in part:

I also went to Amazon after I watched the video of the Buzz, and I perused description info and customer reviews of his new bio, called 'Magnificent Desolation'.
While I didn't find anything to disabuse me of the notion that he is not really talking about Mars anomalies, he does apparently devote a lot of space in his book to his current squeeze, a woman by the name of Lois. She is apparently rather wealthy, as her family has all sorts of *banking connections*, which raises red flags for me when one is talking about 'governments within governments', secret connections, and things like escaping Nazis after WW2.
I'll have to see if the library system has ordered a copy of his bio as I am very interested in Lois's pedigree...

        Since I've actually read "Magnificent Desolation" I thought I would be helpful with those "red flags." I posted as follows:

To "T'Zairis":
Buzz Aldrin's third wife ("squeeze" is unnecessarily demeaning, don't you think?) is indeed Lois Driggs Cannon, of the formerly wealthy Arizona family that controlled Western S&L. After the US Government seized Western on June 14th 1989, the Driggs family fortunes became essentially worthless. I hope this is a useful starting point for your research.

ref: "Magnificent Desolation" p.228.

Mike Bara censored my post in its entirety.

June 2011: They divorced.