Monday, December 11, 2017

Billy Carson displays his ignorance for us all

        I'd never heard of Billy Carson before he swanned onto Coast to Coast AM last Saturday night to be interviewed by Richard Syrett. Having listened through the two hours, I'll be quite pleased if I never hear of him again, and my teeth are sore from gnashing.

        Carson runs a web site called 4bidden knowledge, which markets trivia like urban survival kits. He seems to have recently completed a video documentary series for Gaia TV about the so-called "Secret Space Program." He claims detailed technical knowledge of space technology, but since his show features some of the usual suspects of pseudo-knowledge like Mike Bara, Linda Moulton Howe and Erich Von Danikin, I don't think it was facts he had in mind when he threw the show together. Sensationalism, more like.

Anti-gravity, and other myths
        Like all the other theorists of "Secret space programs," Carson maintains that the publicly-announced space missions of NASA and all the commercial companies such as Space-X are mere "window dressing" stunts diverting our attention from what's really going on. He says that hot technologies such as anti-gravitics and zero-point energy were mastered long ago by US aerospace, and have been used for deep space missions including manned journeys to Mars. He even alluded to a Reagan-era program which took 300 people en masse into space on one of those thingies. Richard Syrett—bless him—enquired why nobody noticed such a huge expedition at the time, and Carson suggested that "cloaking" was the answer. Damn clever, these pseudo-space-technologists—they think of everything in their quest to create the perfect unfalsifiable propostion, don't they? To them, it's quite good enough for the likes of Linda Moulton Howe to merely assert that such things have happened, and it automatically becomes true. "Evidence? Of course there's no evidence. Are you daft? The whole point is it's SECRET."note 1

        So what would an anti-gravity space mission be like? There would be no earth-shaking roar as mighty rocket engines come to life, no majestic rising of a rocket on a plume of smoke. Instead, somebody would throw a switch and the spacecraft would simply lose weight. They never say what energy source would achieve this little miracle, it just IS. So then the spacecraft would be free to rise vertically using virtually no propulsion at all—a squirt of monomethylhydrazine should do the job— until it was out of the atmosphere. It would not actually be in orbit—there would be no need for that. Initially, it would hover directly over its launch site, because relative to the planet beneath it, it would still have whatever tangential velocity the Earth's surface has at the launch site latitude.note 2 But over time it would slowly drift westward, as micro-drag reduced its horizontal speed. As a matter of fact, there's no particular reason to take a weightless spacecraft out of the atmosphere at all—all the benefits of zero-g could be had in the stratosphere, or even just staying on the ground.

        You could keep going upwards, of course, but in that case your lovely anti-gravity technology is a rapidly declining asset. The force of gravity is inversely proportional to the  square of your distance from the center of the planet. By the time you reach the orbit of the ISS it's already declined by 10%, and at geosynchronous altitude, where the comsats are, it's 0.023g, so you're not getting much benefit from switching it off, are you?

        But anyway, the time comes to set off for the Moon or Mars. Here's where you're really going to need some oomph, because even though your spacecraft has no weight, it still has mass, and you'll need to accelerate that mass in some major way if your journey time is going to be anywhere near reasonable. Zero-point energy, perhaps? Nope, that won't work. Zero-point energy does exist, as a concept in physics, but it cannot be used to do useful work. The proof involves mathematics that Mike Bara and Linda Moulton Howe are unlikely to understand.


       So it looks like you're stuck with the "outdated" and merely "window-dressing" technologies of rocketry. Awwww, what a shame.

        By the way, at some point you're going to want to turn your anti-grav gismo OFF, since the gravity of the planet or moon you're approaching is helpful. Then ON again as you come in for a landing. It gets quite complicated.

Ken Johnston gets another five minutes of fame
        To illustrate the tired old theme of NASA's deceptions, Carson told the story of Ken Johnston's photo collection. He explained that Ken was an astronaut candidate and a US Air Force officer who ended up working for a NASA contractor in Houston. He had in his posession a unique collection of Apollo photo-prints, and when he was ordered to shred them, he made copies first. Behold, Johnston's versions show things that the NASA official release prints do not—alien cities and geometrical craters, for example.

        The problem with that narrative is that it's NOT TRUE. Ken was never an astronaut candidate—he applied for the 1977 astronaut selection but was summarily rejected on grounds that his academic qualifications were inadequate.note 3 He was never in the US Air Force—he enlisted in the US Marines in August 1962 and reported to Pensacola for flight training in September 1964. He left the Marines two years later without ever qualifying as a pilot. James Oberg has documented this in meticulous detail. During Apollo, Johnston worked for Brown & Root, which had the contract to manage the Lunar Receiving Laboratory and curate the collection of moon rocks. There was nothing unique about the Apollo photo-sets he had, and he didn't make copies but simply took one set home. Johnston himself never claimed that his photos showed evidence of alien cities on the Moon or geometric craters.note 4 It was only when, in 1995, he showed them to Richard Hoagland, that the rumor got started. By that time they had been in Johnston's ring binders for 23 years. I can guarantee that if you held one of Johnston's prints in your left hand and a NASA release of the same picture in your right hand you would see no difference. It was only when Hoagland scanned them and slammed the brightness way up that artifacts appeared. How do I know this? Hoagland himself said it; or rather wrote it.
"In scanning Ken's priceless Apollo 14 C-prints, [I'd] discovered that the computer could "see" what the human eye could not—incredible geometric detail in the pitch black areas, like the lunar sky. The sensitivity of modern CCD imaging technology, in even commercially-available image scanners, coupled with the amazing enhancement capabilities of state-of-the-art commercial software — like Adobe's Photoshop—allowed the invisible detail buried in these supposedly black layers, of these thirty-year-old emulsions, to ultimately be revealed—a "democratization" of technology that no censor at NASA could have possibly foreseen over more than thirty years." --Dark Mission, 2nd edn p. 226 (emph. added)note 5

        There you have it—Hoagland is admitting that something was added in the scanning process. In my opinion, what was added was contamination on his scanner glass. Here's the NASA release of image AS10-32-4820, showing crater Triesnecker in Sinus Medii:

credit: NASA/LPI

Now here's Hoagland's version:


        Look closely and you can see what looks like a stray beard hair in there. An honest researcher would never increase the brightness to that extent, since it guarantees that any imperfection on the scanner glass or the photo-print itself will show up in the perfect black of the lunar sky.

Billy Carson lies about the Apollo 1 tragedy
        On the subject of Ken Johnston, Billy Carson was merely wrong. When the subject got around to the Apollo 1 fire that killed Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, my teeth got their major gnashing and my bedside radio was in danger of being hurled violently against the wall. Carson went beyond wrong into utterly dishonest calumny, alleging that mission controllers knew there was a fire in the spacecraft but did nothing to save the crew, instead callously allowing them to burn alive. What can be said about a man who makes such a vile accusation with no evidence at all? At a minimum, I would say that he does not deserve any public recognition at all, and certainly not two hours on a radio show with millions of regular listeners.

        Carson added that "Betty Grissom could never get any answers out of NASA," and that's not true either. Betty Grissom sued NASA for negligence, and she got her answers although she never considered the $350,000 settlement adequate. For obvious reasons, NASA tore the remains of that spacecraft apart and undertook a meticulous post-mortem analysis. The verdict was an oxygen fire caused by sparking from worn electrical cables.

        Carson added that "the spacecraft is hidden away under tight security." Well, what does he expect? Guided tours for elementary school kiddies?note 6

Not for me, no thanks
        I'm not going to watch Carson's documentary series Deep Space. Created as it was by a man with such a slender contact with the truth, and such a nauseating habit of making vile accusations against the true heroes of our space history, what could it possibly teach me?


========================/ \==========================
[1] That's not a verbatim quote from Carson or anyone else. Just my mockery.  :-)

[2] 1471.5 km/hr eastward at Cape Canaveral.

[3] It was then that Ken obtained a mail-order Ph.D. in metaphysics from the Reform Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado, and began using the title "Dr. Johnston".

[4] Interviewed by Kerry Cassidy in February 2016, Ken said "A lot of these anomalies that people will see -- I don't necessarily see them, 'cause I'm pretty much a straightforward engineer .. We know that if we stare at the wall long enough we can make all kinds of pictures."

[5] In August 2015, on his radio show The Other Side of Midnight, Hoagland totally contradicted himself. Answering a challenge from astronomer Stuart Robbins Ph.D., on this very topic, he said "You don't have to scan. I can't show you an analog print because you're not in the same room. So I have to scan it and put it on the web. But the originals show what we're showing."

[6] As a matter of fact, in January this year, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, the hatch of Apollo 1 was put on public display alongside artifacts from the Challenger and Columbia disasters.

33 comments:

vonmazur said...

I was waiting for this.....2 hours less the commercials, utter BS..Syrett needs to maybe think about asking some real questions, but then again, the show is not about to stop the money flow for a little truth. One more thing that I noticed, was that Billy C sounded like an uneducated person most of the time, his manner of speaking, misuse of words and bad pronunciation were the clues. It was not only the ignorance, but the half baked ideas, assumptions not proven, and the other errors in logic that made this really hard to listen to without grinding of teeth and expletives.

expat said...

Thanks for the comment. Obviously I could hardly agree more.

Two Percent said...

I don't get it.

Why does uneducated crap like this bother you guys, when the State carries on the way it does? We're not told the truth about lots of things. From that, you can deduce that we are told a lot of lies, by the people we pay to govern us.

If the government didn't tell us so many lies, these guys would be out of business.

So, why deny these plonkers their bit of self-aggrandizing fun, and a few dollars from the even more clueless? Relative to the bigger picture, where's the harm?

expat said...

If the State accused NASA management of allowing the Apollo 1 astronauts to die, I'd have a go at it too.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

What was so urgent that STS-121 was launched against objection from NASA Chief Safety Officer, who rightfully, refused to authorize that flight?

Chris said...

TP, that's circular reasoning. Firstly, it's meaningless to compare the actual, observable crap spouted by pseudoscientists with these vague and unquantifiable "lies" that we are supposedly told. It's comparing apples and oranges.

Secondly, even if they could be compared, what about it? On this blog we talk about pseudoscientists and the things they say. Your very own question can be asked of you, why you feel any need to post on this blog, and in answering that you can answer your own question.

Two Percent said...

Of course! But they are on the same side, so that ain't gonna happen.

As for the explanation for the fire...

"...caused by sparking from worn electrical cables."

I think we have discussed this before, but never mind. That statement cannot be quite correct.

The "space" capsule (regardless of being a hotchpotch of lousy designs) was new.

It had never flown before. In fact, it had hardly even been tested. The fire occurred during its first ever "plugs out" test. This is an electrical test, when you find out (for the first time, believe it, or NOT) whether the damned thing will run off its internal power, without a ground-based power supply. This is when any half clueless engineer would expect to find potentially significant electrical issues. It could easily, and damned well should have been done with the door open. It would have been far safer. What's more, given they were pushed for time, it would have been far quicker. There was ABSOLUTELY no need to lock those guys in and pump the thing full of 100% oxygen, at atmospheric pressure, even if the huge dangers thereof were not as well known as they obviously were afterwards. They were known beforehand.

Anyway, apart from the fact that NASA was responsible for this fatal fiasco...

Why were there "worn" cables inside a new capsule in the first place?

I don't care if some half-literal clown makes wrong statements about this 50 years later. Why did the disaster happen in the first place?

2%

P.S. Did you see the picture of Aldrin's face when (presumably, he heard the news) that Trump has signed up to enable NASA to send men "back to the Moon".

The uncharacteristic look of horror had me wondering was he thinking (a) there goes my meal ticket, (b) I hope I'm not still around when they get there, and can't find our footprints etc... or (c) how are we gonna explain that the rocket required in the 21st century will have to be 10, or 100, times bigger than our baby Sat V's?

Two Percent said...

Of course! But they are on the same side, so that ain't gonna happen.

As for the explanation for the fire...

"...caused by sparking from worn electrical cables."

I think we have discussed this before, but never mind. That statement cannot be quite correct.

The "space" capsule (regardless of being a hotchpotch of lousy designs) was new.

It had never flown before. In fact, it had hardly even been tested. The fire occurred during its first ever "plugs out" test. This is an electrical test, when you find out (for the first time, believe it, or NOT) whether the damned thing will run off its internal power, without a ground-based power supply. This is when any half clueless engineer would expect to find potentially significant electrical issues. It could easily, and damned well should have been done with the door open. It would have been far safer. What's more, given they were pushed for time, it would have been far quicker. There was ABSOLUTELY no need to lock those guys in and pump the thing full of 100% oxygen, at atmospheric pressure, even if the huge dangers thereof were not as well known as they obviously were afterwards. They were known beforehand.

Anyway, apart from the fact that NASA was responsible for this fatal fiasco...

Why were there "worn" cables inside a new capsule in the first place?

I don't care if some half-literate clown makes wrong statements about this 50 years later. Why did the disaster happen in the first place?

2%

P.S. Did you see the picture of Aldrin's face when (presumably, he heard the news) that Trump has signed up to enable NASA to send men "back to the Moon".

The uncharacteristic look of horror had me wondering was he thinking (a) there goes my meal ticket, (b) I hope I'm not still around when they get there, and can't find our footprints etc... or (c) how are we gonna explain that the rocket required in the 21st century will have to be 10, or 100, times bigger than our baby Sat V's?

2% said...

P.S. Corrected the typo literal to literate...

expat said...

« It had never flown before. In fact, it had hardly even been tested. »

Oh dear, OF COURSE it had been tested. I can't give you its exact technical history—at this point I doubt if anyone could. But we do know that CM-012 was delivered to the Cape on August 26, 1966, five months before the fire. Do you imagine that NASA engineers were just standing around admiring it all that time?

re: Aldrin. No, I did not see the photo, but for footprints you only need to inspect modern LRO images.

Two Percent said...

It WAS the first "plugs out" test, so, a whole five months on, it had still never been fully tested. Of course, it all makes perfect sense.

As for footprints, they proved that on Moth Basters. Actually, what they unintentionally proved (but glossed over) is how hard it is to make footprints in dust (sand?) under vacuum. Without the air between the grains of sand, they don't move nearly so easily. They had to "stamp their foot" like tantrum-throwing brats, but even that did not work well.

And that was after only a few minutes while they built vacuum. Imagine, 1 million years under vacuum, and 1/12 million times, baked for days on end under the unfiltered, blazing, 250 degrees F, heat of the sun. That Lunar Dust is gonna be harder than Polar Ice in mid-winter. But we know how they came to believe the moon was covered in dust, don't we?

[Of course, that all assumes the Moon was actually there, a million years ago, and already tidally locked by then.]

I believe, I believe...

OneBigMonkey said...

A little light reading on Apollo 1

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/the-hell-of-apollo-1-pure-oxygen-a-single-spark-and-death-in-17-seconds/

tl:dr - NASA did not build the CM, its subcontractors did, 100% oxygen spacecraft were tried and tested with Mercury and Gemini, someone has to be the first to give it a full run through. You can't have a full dress rehearsal simulating launch conditions with the door open. Safety standards were lax throughout the Apollo programme until the fire because they hadn't had anyone die. That changed in a hurry. Accusations of murder are a scurrilous lie.

As for footprints, the reason they can make prints in lunar dust is because it is lunar dust - it is jagged and the particles lock together in a way that sand on Earth just won't. Not all lunar dust has been there since the formation of the moon, it has arrived from bombardment and been created by weathering.

Anonymous said...

Nazis, T. Townsend Brown, Tesla's Waldorf Astoria treasure trove,
nothing, eh ?

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

When a juror swears an oath to find according to the law, they are thereby bound to decide a verdict in context of a potentially, unjust law. That's what gives judges the authority to dictate to jurors on what basis they are to make their determination. Under such martial rule, a charge of murder might well be made, where perhaps one of negligent homicide, or manslaughter, might be closer to the truth.

What did NASA know, and when did they know it? As astronauts are deemed, expendable, might NASA have been a bit too, cavalier? Does the waiver that astronauts have to agree to, shield NASA from culpability of a criminal offense?

Trevor Gale said...


"...Hot technologies such as anti-gravitics [sic] and zero-point energy were mastered long ago by US aerospace, and have been used for deep space missions..."

Anti-gravity my arse. As it happens, just a few nights ago I farted quite strongly and suddenly realised that I was in a spacecraft crew capsule; my flight colleagues were all complaining at me and one of them, a very nice lady I fancied, looked at me with some disgust. I felt I'd been lifted off the resting place, probably as an anti-whatsit reaction, but I must have been in trouble because there was something wrong with the venting / recirculation subsystem on board. I had an idea for a solution, but...

Yep, I was in bed, dreaming, the only thing that lifted off was one of the blankets. It woke me up.

Such absolute nonsense (the claim concerning 'technologies', not my farting which I can assure you is true) is in my view a real danger to society in the sense that it pervades the 'assumed knowledge' of many people who have little reason to disbelieve it, and eventually this becomes included in the subject matter used in education - i.e. some of our great kids going into the next generation will be carrying this false knowledge, this erroneous belief, this pseudo-science, into their own everyday lives and influences.

We can take this 'anti-gravity' concept even further, for the utilisation of 'zero-gravity' environments, especially for scientific measurement and for industrial optimalisation is today a necessity. Thinking of studying and optimising crystal structure growth, or to increase safety in such things as fuel tanks where 'fuel sloshing' can cause or worsen accidents, leads to experiments which must be performed in zero-G. That's without considering anything involved in manned-space mission situations such as crew working procedured in Space Station (ISS).

Flying experiments and other hardware on ISS is extremely expensive, whether you believe it should be or not, so for some experiments that don't need a long-duration zero-G period there are so-called 'parabolic flights' - in these, use is made of a modified, strengthened aircraft which is flown by a couple of expert pilots in a climb to a (typically) 50-degree ascent followed by release of power to fly over the 'top' of a parabolic trajectory during which there is zero gravity within the cabin, followed by a 50-degree descent and a recovery back to straight-and-level flight. That's done some 30 times on each flight so you get 30 'zero-G' periods (before and after you're maybe going to get 1.8G periods so you're advised to take a light breakfast!).

Trevor Gale said...

I have flown a number of different experiments in many parabolic test-flights and the amount of pre-planning, experiment design, result-analysis programming and most importantly the integration of safety issues plus overall pre-flight testing takes an enormous amount of time and effort (so much work that I always found I needed a full English-style breakfast prior to flight!).

There are also limited amounts of test-flight times available, plus although the costs are much less than flying on ISS they are still very significant.

Now if we could attain an zero-G environment by using anti-gravity, why, we'd only have to take a taxi across town to the lab to do all this. Aw, heck, I could just pop on my bicycle and get some exercise instead.

As for 'zero-point energy (being) mastered long ago by US aerospace' and it's having been used for deep space missions, then I can only point to the projects such as the Voyager deep-space exploratory craft which utilise a nuclear power source (MHW RTG's) for their infrastructure and on-board measurements & experiments: this has a limited (although indeed long) lifetime and ultimately implies an ending-date for the missions, before many of the other items of equipment might be expected to fail. If there was such a magical ( usable ) energy source then that would definitely have been used on these missions.

Propounding that 'Ken Johnston was an astronaut candidate and a US Air Force officer' is something upon which I can make little comment as I don't know the gentleman in question, however I note that sufficient trustworthy documentation shows this not to have been the case... I also went through the ESA Candidate Astronaut psychometric test (amongst others) procedures and I could in the best "pseudo-tradition" sense claim that I was not selected because there was too much alien influence from in-built Agency bias against real engineers - while the plain truth of the fact is that (a) English candidates were over-represented (geo-national budgets), and (b) quite simply, I didn't make the grade! Now who can I find out there to blame, I mean it can't possibly have been my own failing can it?

None of that gives any credence whatsoever nor has any relevance to the results of someone farting around with a dirty scanner and then using something like Photoshop to add to the comedy and making silly claims which may relate to the content of some dreams which happened prior to switching on the computer in the first place.

The comments referencing the Apollo 1 fire that killed Grissom, White and Chaffeeare are simply in the worst possible taste imaginable, great people have died in the persuit of the development of the very capability of Mankind and naturally some of these people have died in Space-related activities. The Apollo missions resulted in one of the greatest achievements of mankind and it is due to the efforts, time and sacrifice of all involved that we can learn from these missions and go further in the persuit of knowledge and evolution. Respect for such people has been duly earned and nobody anywhere has the right to bring that into a bad light at all.

expat said...

« Nazis, T. Townsend Brown, Tesla's Waldorf Astoria treasure trove,
nothing, eh ? »

Please re-read what I wrote about an anti-gravity space mission.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Ahoy 2%,

Are you saying that a contemporary mission to the Moon, would require greater payload capacity, or that the old rockets would have been insufficient to do the work?

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Ahoy, Trevor,

Would particle acceleration of a massive container full of gear, hypothetically, be as effective as anti-gravity? What might be the similarities and difference from a Star Trek Transporter, and/or, Replicator?

George Benkel said...

There is an unfortunate worship of Tesla by no-nothings and woo salesmen. Simple fact, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. High voltage is always combined with LOW current. Does anyone remember the American Antigravity "Institute"? They raised money to buy pot. Google doesn't even recognize Antigravity as a real word, good on them!

Anonymous said...

"Google doesn't even recognize Antigravity as a real word, good on them!"

WTF...!?!?!? Google....Really...!?!?!

...an extreme trustworthy reference Georgie darling...really..beyond hilarious

Adrian

expat said...

Added another para about the anti-grav space mission

George Benkel said...

I would like to work in the Anti-Gravity field. Something tells me that nobody is hiring. There have been experiments that show lift, using Electric Ionic Wind. Tell us how this is some kind of (x). I won't use that fake word anymore!

David Evans said...

H. G.Wells had the right idea. Build your spacecraft with windows all around, and roller blinds on the windows. Coat the blinds with antigravity paint. Then close all the blinds except those in the direction you want to go. Simple!

expat said...

Yeah, brilliant but HGW didn't know about that inverse square law I wrote about yesterday. My message is that anti-grav isn't nearly as useful as pseudoscience assumes.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Would Fusion make a difference?

expat said...

Maybe, in conjunction with an ion engine. But the journey time to Mars would be impossibly long. Ion engines are very efficient but offer low acceleration.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Why aren't you trying to debunk the DeLuze Fusion Reactor, Patrick? Does this mean you find it theoretically viable? I would honestly appreciate your evaluation, and the evaluation from the crew, here.

expat said...

Oh good heavens! I knew a lot about controlled fusion in the '70s but I haven't kept up. I don't know enough to critique it.

Two Percent said...

It's all wooooooo...

I thought you may have made a good point about the inverse square law of gravity, but I'm not so sure. If, as is obvious to me, certain intelligences are very able to manipulate gravity, then maybe, expat, that, and the requisite amount of power, is all you need. But of course, since you don't accept any of this, you are really talking through a hole in your head. The indications are that they have solved: (a) the gravity and solid matter problems, and (b) to a less reliable extent, the many problems of small, portable, highly controllable, high-capacity power sources.

Anyway, when it comes to military research and knowledge, we are mostly about as ignorant as your friend Billy Carson, so, all living in glass houses, let's take care where we throw those stones. Or not, depending on how airy you'd like your house to be!

Anyway, since we are on this subject, please feel free to mock this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html

I don't know where the video is hosted, but do take a look. "They" were obviously showing off for the camera. The timing is interesting as well.

Just 2%

Two Percent said...

And this one:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/unidentified-flying-object-navy.html

expat said...

« The indications are that they have solved: (a) the gravity and solid matter problems, and (b) to a less reliable extent, the many problems of small, portable, highly controllable, high-capacity power sources. »

What indications? And don't reply "UFOs" please.

George Benkel said...

Why frack the Earth with toxic fluids? What about Tar Sands? Expensive deep-water oil wells? Just show up to a Elon Musk company with the technology and be the greatest hero of both the environment and rapacious capitalism. What am I missing here?