Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Malice and homage

        I do declayah, I don't know what to do about y'all blog readers and commenters. I go away for a few days (and the wine wasn't too bad, thanks James—there was even a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet to be had) —I go away for a few days and first you let Mike Bara post 20,000 words of ad hominem drivel, then you go and let one of my all-time heroes die from surgery that should never have been attempted in the first place. Then to cap it all you let Mike make an utter drooling nincompoop of himself by calling that hero a liar. Now I suppose you expect me to clean this place up. Well, I will—first things first.

The day I met Neil Armstrong
        The occasion was a small press conference announcing his appointment as Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Cincinnati University. I was there as producer of a BBC TV documentary about the Apollo program 10 years after Apollo 11. Prof. Armstrong had just recently slammed one of his hands in the door of a pickup truck. He'd had surgery on two fingers, and was very noticeably rubbing at the stitch-line as he spoke. On the one hand it humanized him, but on the other it seemed to emphasize the nervousness he always had when speaking in public. During question-time his answers were brief but not in any sense evasive. I was able to use about a minute of the tape in my production.

        Afterwards I approached him personally and he was pleasant, asking about my project and which other Apollo astronauts I was going to interview. He even signed a photo for me—a practice he later discontinued after he learned how much $$$ his autograph was worth.

        R.I.P., world-class hero. James Oberg was a guest on a short NPR obit show.

Mike's blogpost malice
        An extraordinary performance, wasn't it? According to Mike Bara, I'm a dumbass and an obsessive nutcase. Stuart Robbins is a NASA shill "on the take," and James Oberg is a bloated sack of protoplasm. Well, I say Mike's tutorials on image editing are inaccurate, irrelevant and needlessly rebarbative. All that matters for him to truly make his case is the Kaguya imagery. If the ziggy exists, he should be able to show it. He cannot do that. In fact, he conspicuously tries and fails. In public.

It's not there, Mike

        Mike's attempt to make a direct comparison with the features of the Ziggurat at Ur shows, in my opinion, the exact reverse of what he intends. Since there's no conceivable way anyone outside a loony bin would believe an exact copy of the Urzig was built on the Moon, it simply shows that if you badly want to see something in a jumble of lunar craters, that's what you will see.

        Anyway, as usual Stuart Robbins has done a far better job than I could rebutting the rebuttal of the rebuttal (it's not RUBUTTING, Mike), I'll direct you to read that and just say "Yes, I agree." It's here and here and here and  here.

More malice

        First we had Richard Hoagland using the anniversary of Apollo 11 to launch a wholly specious attack on NASA. Then Mike Bara commemorated the death of Neil Armstrong by calling him a liar. Malice seems more natural than homage to these two specimens.

        Hoagland & Bara don't seem too good at reading their own work, either. Nowhere in the oeuvre have they ever said that glass domes and technical artifacts were present at the Apollo 11 site. Unless I misunderstand, the only Apollo sites they are claiming are under glass are 12, 14 and 17. So what are Prof. Armstrong's "secrets" supposed to be?

On p. 541 of Dark Mission, we find this:
"[O]n the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11 ... Armstrong himself had seemed frustrated. He started his highly emotional address by first comparing himself to a parrot—saying only what he had been told to say."
         In fact, Armstrong said the exact opposite. His words were "Wilbur Wright once noted that the only bird that could talk was the parrot, and he didn't fly very well. So I'll be brief." Quite obviously, he's apologizing for not being a good speaker because his talent, UNLIKE A PARROT, is for flying, not talking.

        Anybody can judge for themselves whether he seemed frustrated, or whether this speech was "highly emotional." I personally don't find it so. That's what Armstrong is always like as a public speaker. And remember, I have personal knowledge of this.

Are we done?
        There, that's cleaned this place  up a bit. It's nice to be back, congratulations to Catriona for joining the ranks of the banned douchebags, and I sincerely hope this is the last time I write about the damned ziggy. Mike Bara, SHAME ON YOU.


Biological_Unit said...

Neil Armstrong urged young people to go into space and remove truths protective lies referring to a quote by Winston Churchill on war.

The first victim of war is truth - Aeschylus

The space race was considered the greatest victory of the cold war.

He didn't lie about domes - he never went! Don't forget that 14 American Astronauts died getting into LEO and back after the Apollo "triumphs".

Anonymous said...

RIP Neil Armstrong.

I have to say I'm torn between the explanations given by both Stuart and Mike. As a crater imaging expert, Stuart makes a clear, detailed case for how the images must have been manipulated.

On the other hand, as someone who has written a book about aliens on the moon which is available in exchange for money, Mike makes a clear case for how he believes there must have been... erm, oh.

Trekker said...

Never mind that it’s supposedly a copy of the Ziggurat at Ur, the very fact that it should exist at all, without any supporting infrastructure, is something Mike very cleverly avoids.

He claims this structure is a mile wide – yet fails to explain how it was built, in the absence of any visible support structures. Where are the ruins of the roads, the factories, the mines, the housing for the workers, the landing strips, the food-production facilities, for example?

Also, hasn’t it occurred to him, that at a mile wide, it would overlap, and therefore be partly visible, in Stuart’s ‘wrong’ location? The fact that it isn’t, shows that Mike didn’t think things through before writing.

Jiminy Oddbird said...

The fact that Richard C Hoagland thought so highly of Mike Bara as to have him ghost write for him, speaks volumes.

astroguy said...

Anonymous, you make a good point. Not sure if I believe my own stuff now. ;)

It's almost as difficult in figuring this out ... I posted this to Facebook last night: "Hmm. Okay, I just learned that the "Kardashians" that people have been talking about for awhile are not just a mis-spelling/-pronunciation of the "Cardassians" from Star Trek. Suddenly, things make a little more sense."

To which someone responded: "One is a cold-blooded reptilian-like creature and the other is a fictional species."

Trying to figure out which is which ...

Geo said...

My tolerance for Mr Mike is scraping bottom. On 27 August he posted to his Facebook minions 'Let's save time and just assume I already know everything' [insert gagging sound] and then a recent blurb for his new bogroll and speaking tour hails him as 'star of the History Channel show Ancient Aliens.' Star? Really? I'm sure that would raise Giorgio A Tsoukalos' hair. Oh wait...