Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mike Bara and the Egyptian Gods

        Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara have written that Dr Farouk El-Baz was "the most powerful single individual in the American space program" (Dark Mission, p. 286, 2nd edn.) Not merely Project Apollo, they assert, but the entire space program. Outranking, presumably, the Adminstrator, the Center Directors, the Apollo Program Manager and all the Flight Directors. Last week's Ancient Aliens echoed this wild misapprehension, asserting (partly with Bara interview material) that El-Baz controlled the sites and times of all the Apollo landings. This, according to the crackpot theory, gave him the opportunity to select sites and times that would pay due homage to the Egyptian Gods Isis, Osiris, and Horus. This blog has commented lavishly about that idea before.

Today I posted this to Mike Bara's new blog:
"You have incorrect information about Farouk El-Baz, Secretary of the Apollo landing site selection cttee. If he was the powerful progenitor of Egyptian God worship you say he was, how come only ONE of the six Apollo landing sites satisfied your so-called 'Ritual Alignment Model' (Apollo 12)? You'd think he could have done better. In fact, considering you and RCH give yourselves 50 chances (5 stars, 5 elevations, perspective from landing site OR Houston) it is, I would say, fairly surprising that you didn't do better by statistical chance.

"The true situation is as follows: Dr El-Baz, as an extremely competent geologist and selenologist, was very influential in landing site selection but did not take the decisions alone. All spacecraft landing site decisions are a compromise between safety and scientific priorities--in other words, there will be people on the committee who will argue for the most scientifically interesting sites, and those who will protest that it's no good targeting a site of prime geological interest if the spacecraft is going to be destroyed by adverse terrain. I personally attended Viking site selection meetings and I know whereof I speak. Dr El-Baz, being a  scientist, would obviously have been on the science side of those debates. I don't know, but it's very easy to imagine, that he may have been overruled by safety-minded engineers sometimes, especially for the early missions 11-14.

"Now, as to the timing of the landings, that was not in the purview of El-Baz or his committee at all. In every case, landing times were a trade-off between ideal lighting conditions at the landing site and favorable orientation of planet Earth. Ideally, one of the 85ft dishes at Madrid, Goldstone and Canberra needed to be at or near the sub-lunar longitude for most accurate telemetry. Those decisions were taken by specialists having nothing to do with site selection. Moreover, the actual landing times differed from nominal for a variety of reasons none of which would have been under control of an Egyptian God worshiper. Apollo 11, for example, landed at MET 102:45:40 cf. the nominal 102:47:11. There were worse divergences, too -- sufficient for one of your "ritual" stars to have shifted from its "ritual" elevation.

"So you see, the notion that Dr El-Baz dictated the position and timing of every Apollo landing is a bankrupt idea based on misunderstandings. Will you have an opportunity to correct the information on "Ancient Aliens," and apologize for misleading the 2 million viewers?"


Chris Lopes said...

I noticed your comment hasn't made it to Bara's blog yet (if ever). Considering how few people actually post to his blog (even the old one was kind of barren), you'd think he'd welcome a little contentiousness. At least a real discussion (or as close to it as Bara can get without calling someone a dumb ass) would promote the idea that something is actually happening (other than lame self promotion)on his blog. As it is now, the place just looks like some stupid vanity project. Enough to impress the "dancers" at his favorite "gentleman's club", but not enough to convince a publisher or producer he has anything going on.

Anonymous said...

Mike Bara is an idiot(he follows Newt G...enough said)..Anyway, did you notice he didn't mention the name of Farouk's Father..and even if Farouk were a stellar mage, we here in the United States have a little thing called the first amendment..
Bara doesn't even know farouks family or the name of his parents!
He is more of an idiot than fox news. #misinformant

Chris Lopes said...

Not only doesn't Bara (or Hoagland) know anything about the real Dr. Farouk El-Baz, he doesn't know anything about Egyptian society either. There are about as many Isis and Horace worshipers in Egypt as there are Odin worshipers in Scandinavia. Egypt (Islamic fundamentalists aside) is a modern country where they rely on science and technology to keep the machinery of civilization going. Dr. El-Baz is a product of THAT Egypt, not the one starring Boris Karloff.

Anonymous said...

And on a completely different note...

"Dr Robin" on C2C bringing us the news that Vitamin D is important to the human body. Wow, it is truly ground-breaking stuff indeed... (of course, vitamins are EVEN more betterer for you if they are in triangle and tetrahedron shaped pills, but you have to take nineteen and a half every day...)

Chris Lopes said...

Considering what she sells, they work even better than that when they are deluded to several parts per billion.

Jack@Site Selection said...

I'm gonna have to agree with Chris. Bara seems a litle too 1-sided..