Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Morningstar predicts

James Concannon reports...

        Today, the self-styled "civilian intelligence analyst" and "specialist in photo interpretation, geometric analysis and computer imaging" (who can't tell the difference between a 166-mile wide space station and a 2ft sheet of mylar insulation) posted this prediction:
"Mars' passage close to Earth on July 31st, 2018 will created [sic] super storms like Katrina (again, as it did i 2003), along with volcanic activity and intense electrical storms around the globe. Be ready for something and anything."
We'll be watching.

Update 20th July:
Severe tornadoes ripped through Iowa, partly destroying Marshalltown. Nothing to do with Mars.

A different storm sank a boat in a Missouri lake, drowning 17. Nothing to do with Mars, either.

6.0 magnitude earthquake, Papua New Guinea. Nothing to do with Mars.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Robert Morningstar's fake-everything page

James Concannon reports...

        Robert Morningstar has written "I manage my Facebook page like a newspaper." What a joke. The truth is that he's turned his page into an aggregator of totally fake news. His sources include such laughable peddlars of propaganda as Pamela Geller, yournewswire.com, wnd.comdailycaller.com and zerohedge.com. He sometimes writes a little text himself, but more often just re-posts the lead from his source.

       The majority of the garbage he re-posts is straight Republican talking-points. It's no secret that Morningstar's politics are slightly to the right of Adolf Hitler, so readers of the page get reminded daily that Donald Trump is a saint, and that Obama and the Clintons are serial child-killing maniacs.

        Last month expat was lamenting the fact that, these days, Internet arguments so often deteriorate into accusations of pedophilia. I guess the general idea is "Since pedophilia is the worst thing we can imagine, let's accuse our enemies of it and see if it sticks." So, for example, just yesterday Morningstar posted this from zerohedge:

Ex-Clinton Foundation Official Tied To Chinese Kindergarten Embroiled In Bizarre Sexual Abuse Scandal

        The actual story is highly tenuous and the connection to the Clinton Foundation non-existent. It dates from 26th November 2017, and Morningstar seems unaware that CNN covered it three days later, reporting that the police investigation concluded that the parents were making up the stories of abuse for whatever reason. But this is what passes for "news" in the world of Robert Morningstar.

Islam
        Another major theme Mr. Morningstar has willingly sucked up from his sources is Islamophobia. These sources include the blogs jihadwatch.org and creepingsharia. As expat reported back in Januay 2016, AM* thinks nothing of deliberately misattributing news images, labeling them as evidence of the crimes of Islam when they are, in fact, no such thing.

        Snopes.com monitors those sources and, under the tag creepingsharia, documents another flagrant case of misattribution, this time involving video coverage of a religious procession in Bradford, Yorkshire. The procession was not, as alleged, a demonstration in favor of Sharia.

        Morningstar hates snopes.com because it frequently contradicts his prejudices. But instead of countering its analysis with logical rebuttal, he simply writes the catchphrase "Snopes is for dopes" and leaves it at that. His followers don't seem to mind, and they probably agree.

It's all a conspiracy
        Those twin major themes have almost pushed science and medicine off this horrible page, but those themes do still have a foothold, especially when the news can be twisted to imply a cover-up by governments or large corporations. A few days ago we saw this headline:

Cancer Institute Finally Admits Marijuana Kills Cancer

The source was ushealthmagz.com and the lead was as follows;
"In August 2015, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released a report on their website which stated, “Marijuana kills cancer”. Yes, you read that right – marijuana kills cancer."
        Except that the NCI report cited did not state that. Read the actual report, or the abstract anyway, and you'll find a 6-point bullet list ending with this very, very guarded statement:

* Cannabinoids may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.


Why?
        Why does an educated man—a scholar, no less, he tells us—re-publish such trash without batting an eyelid? I've thought about that question, and here's the picture I have. Morningstar doesn't care about the truth. He has all these sources, and he gets up in the morning and reviews them. He truly sees himself as an editor/aggregator on behalf of a readership that's as bigoted and intolerant as he is, so he just picks whatever stories he thinks will appeal to that readership. The question of whether they are true or not doesn't cross his mind. Snopes is for dopes, for the simple reason that checking out unlikely news stories is a ridiculous and quite unnecessary activity.

        There's also, I think, some element of wishful thinking. He wishes he would be the one to discover a mysterious 10-mile high tower on the Moon, so he fastens on a piece of lint caught in a scanner and makes it so. He wishes he would discover a huge space station in lunar orbit, so an Apollo 10 image of a piece of floating mylar insulation becomes that space station and he calculates its size as 166 miles across. It doesn't occur to him that such an object would be extremely well known to every astronomer both amateur and professional in the world (and by the way, it could NOT be permanently hidden behind the Moon since a selenosynchronous orbit is an impossibility.)

Morningstar's 166-mile space station (public domain)

        If I'm right, it's a waste of time trying to convince him that he's wrong. I will continue to snap at his heels, however, whenever I have time. My hope is that some of his followers may one day see how bamboozled they have become.

Update: Morningstar now accuses me of sympathy with pedophiles

8th July: AM* re-posted a "story" from yournewswire with the headline:

British Man Gets Prison Sentence For Exposing Political Pedophile Ring

        The story concerns a con-man known only as "Nick." This person, now 50 years old, made allegations of sex abuse against a number of public figures, alleging multiple incidents of pedophilia and even murder, dating back 30 years. "Nick" filed a claim for £20,000 compensation.

        The police investigation of these claims, known as Operation Midland, found no evidence to support the allegations and was closed in 2016. Compensation was paid to those who had been harrassed by the investigation.

        Now "Nick" himself has been charged with twelve counts of perverting the cause of justice and one of fraud. He will appear in court in September.

        The yournewswire piece falsely reported that "Nick" has already been sentenced, adding "It’s not the first time the British legal system has conspired against those in society determined to bring pedophiles to justice."

When I posted to AM*'s fooboo page, correcting the yournewswire story, he replied:
"But we all know that what he exposed ("Nick") was true, and the British police are only protecting the guilty."
I replied
"No we don't "all know" that, Robert, that's just your fantasy. Nick's stories were pure fabrications."
AM* then came back with:
"Of course, "You all" don't know about the rampant pedophilia in Britain because you sympathize with pedophiles and so you blind yourself to their crimes."
I demanded that he produce evidence that I sympathize with pedophiles, or retract the accusation.

So far he has done neither.

--J.C.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bret Sheppard displays first his ignorance, then his vindictiveness

        If you feel the need to listen to three hours of two guys who basically agree about everything shouting at each other, check out Gary Leggiere interviewing Bret Sheppard on The Martian Revelation Show, recorded last Saturday. Bret Sheppard is the guy who knows nothing whatever about spaceflight or physics, but who wrote and self-published a book strongly supporting Ken Johnston's claim that the Apollo 14 astronauts made 16mm film of an alien base in the lunar crater Tsiolkovsky. Naturally, he cannot provide this film sequence as evidence for his claim, nor can he provide any other documentation as backup.

        Sheppard's book, Flyover Tsiolkovsky Crater, has now been withdrawn from circulation, but while it existed it attracted just one Amazon review. That review probably tells you all you need to know about the wretched thing.

        During the Martian Revelation interview, Sheppard did his best to defend the idea that a balloon might be useful on the Moon. He referred to a 1950s-era technology that used a helium balloon to hoist a rocket into the stratosphere, thus avoiding the need to expend large volumes of rocket fuel for the first 1% of a flight, when the pull of Earth gravity is at its strongest.
01:58:03 Sheppard: "NASA used that same thing later to test the atmosphere on the Moon, Mars and Venus. And what would happen is, they would have the balloon, with their [..] diagnostic equipment or whatever on the bottom, and when the Sun would come over the edge of the terminator it would heat up the balloon. The balloon would rise, and—keep this in mind—that we do not know what the atmosphere is. We're completely dependent on what NASA tells us."
        One of the many things that Sheppard does not understand is that science experiments may be carried by NASA spacecraft, but the experiment packages themselves are not built by NASA but by scientists who have successfully applied to have their experiments carried. The principal information we have about the Lunar atmosphere comes from the Lunar Atmosphere Composition Experiment, part of the ALSEP array carried on Apollo 17. It is not NASA telling us these results, but the Principal Investigator of LACE, Dr. John H. Hoffman of the University of Texas, Dallas.

        Much later (2013), the  Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) basically confirmed the ultra-low atmospheric pressure on the Moon. The atmosphere is very comparable to that at 400km above the Earth's surface, where the ISS orbits. The Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) on LADEE was designed by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It is them that are telling us the results, not NASA.

        It goes without saying that the experiment Sheppard describes never happened. I'm giggling about the balloon on Venus, a planet whose mean surface temperature is ~460°C.

Pedophilia
        Before the Martian Revelation interview ever happened, I suggested to Gary that he might show Bret Sheppard this modern high-resolution image of Tsiolkovsky, from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter NACs, and ask him to point out where the aliens are. On Gary's foo boo page, Sheppard posted:
"You want me to show you on a map that is completely sanitized with CGI for the satisfaction of a bunch of debunkers who protect pedo's in court with false memory syndrome?"
         I lament the fact that Internet argument has now deteriorated to the extent that a belligerent and ignorant person losing a purely technical argument thinks it's all OK to accuse his opponent of advocating pedophilia without any evidence, purely to score a point. I challenge Bret Sheppard to provide evidence that I have ever advocated pedophilia, or retract the accusation publicly.

"I never said that"
        In the same foo boo dialog, Sheppard wrote:
"I never said they used balloons for safe touchdowns. I said they used them for atmospheric experiments like NASA has on both Venus and Mars."
        From Flyover Tsiolkovsky Crater by Bret C. Sheppard, pub. CreateSpace, 2016. ISBN 978-1541162624
"Questions have arisen about the reality of the Lunar landing due to there not being any blast zone under the L.E.M. The craft looks like it touched down gently ... Was it gently deposited on the surface by a balloon?"
        I'd cite a page number but the editor (Karen Patrick) quite forgot to paginate the book.

Thanks to "The Orbs Whiperer [sic]" for leading me to the quotes above.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Mike Bara responds to his critics

The following exchange is copied verbatim from Mike Bara's author facebooboo page:

Doug Brokaw: Dude, what is it with you and all these non-existent conspiracy theory's and government cover-ups? And why do you have to insult two of the Apollo Astronauts, calling them liars? Is it about selling books? You know if you applied the same effort towards writing the truth you would probably sell a lot more books. That and you wouldn't be laughed at by the scientific communities. And what was this photo of "Crystal spires" on the moon? You took a NASA photo of landslides in a crater, then turned them upside down and claimed they were your Crystal spires! Disgraceful! I didn't come to your site to write a comment, just curious about what people were saying about you at other sites (not very complimentary). It never ceases to amaze me how low people can go in an attempt to convince others of whatever nonsense it is they believe themselves.

Mike Bara (Author): Lick my balls, assshole [sic].

Monday, June 11, 2018

Mike Bara feeds his audience a diet of nonsense

        Writing of images of the Earth from space, Mike Bara once offered this extraordinarily ignorant explanation:
"[T]he clouds are the highest in the atmosphere, meaning that they are reflecting more light back to the camera and at a faster rate. Since they are returning more light, the clouds are the lightest. The surface areas … are darker, because they are a bit further away from the camera than the clouds and therefore the light has to travel further before it is reflected back. The deep blue oceans are therefore the darkest, because the light has to travel all the way to the ocean floor before it is reflected back to the camera." — Ancient Aliens on the Moon, p.125
        Last Saturday, speaking to a packed house at Contact in the Desert, he confirmed for us all that his understanding of optics, albedo, and selenology is dismal. He was talking about the glass towers that he claims were constructed by some alien civilization on the Moon.
17:17 "It seems to correspond with the parts of the Moon that are dark. If you've noticed, the Moon, look at the face of the Moon ... there's light stuff and dark stuff, and the dark stuff seems to have a lot of this glass structure over it and what seems to be happening is light takes a little bit longer to get to the ground and bounce back to the camera. And that's why you see this darkness in these areas."
        It hardly needs saying that the dark appearance of the lunar mares by comparison with the bright highlands is caused by the fact that the mares were created by lava flows when the Moon was young and hot, several billion years ago. They are predominantly basalt, whereas the highlands are plagioclase. And there are no glass towers anywhere on the Moon—the artifacts that Hoagland and Bara see are entirely due to scanner contamination.



        Bara came up with one additional bit of nonsense on this topic. He said (16:30 approx.) that lunar glass is a fine material for construction because it's "as strong as steel or stronger." That's NOT TRUE. Blacic 1985note 1 quotes the young's modulus of lunar glass as ~100 giga-pascals cf. Earth glass 68 because of the extreme dryness of the environment. But steel is way stronger at 224 giga-pascals.

Air conditioned
        CitD this year was held in Indian Spings, not at Joshua Tree conference center as in past years. The audience were in the luxury of air conditioning rather than the 110° desert heat of Joshua Tree's outdoor arena. Reviewing the 1h 40min lecture on Youtube, I confess I was a bit surprised. I assumed Bara would use his time to plug his forthcoming book in the "....and Ancient Aliens" series, much as he did at the New Living Expo last month (reviewed on this blog). Instead, it seems as though he just reshuffled Powerpoint slides from many previous speaking engagements and swept through all the familiar territory of NASA deceptions, astronaut prevarications, and condos on the Moon. This was one of his very first slides:


        I thought I detected a murmur of assent from the audience. It was probably there even if not really audible—that NASA is an agency of falsehood is a dogma embedded in the UFO community, largely thanks to Richard Hoagland's eloquent but entirely false propaganda. Ten minutes later Bara demonstrated that lying comes naturally by showing this slide, which he maintains depicts "the real colors of the Moon":


        How did he arrive at this travesty? He loaded the Apollo 17 image into Microsoft Office™ Picture Manager and slammed the color saturation control all the way to max. We know this because in January 2013 he performed the exact same trick on the rock in Shorty crater that resembles a skull (reviewed on this blog at the time). At CitD he added that the astronaut at extreme left still showed white, proving that he hadn't introduced color that isn't really there. Nobody from the audience yelled out "No, Mike, you haven't changed the whites but you've fucked up every other color." The audience—and there seemed to be plenty of them—apparently accepted the output of Mike Bara's amateur color manipulation rather than the ~2000 well-exposed still frames from the actual Moon.note 2

        He covered the skull-like rock a bit later (29:00 approx), and a minute later put up another of his favorite examples of things that are on the Moon that shouldn't be there.


        He says the image on the left is a satellite dish on the Moon, but that's NOT TRUE. It's a very low-resolution image of the crater Asada, at 7.3°N, 49.9°E. Seen at approximately 300 times better resolution by the LRO narrow-angle camera, Asada is this:



Bara continued:
31:11 "When you look at this picture, the same frame number, versus what's on the NASA site, they are completely different. All the stuff has been whitewashed out."
        But that's NOT TRUE. Here's a link to the NASA image, and there's Asada a little below dead center. Another problem for Bara is that, as I proved mathematically six years ago, a selenostationary orbit is impossible because the radius of such an orbit would pass on the Earth side of the L1 libration point. So it's hard to see what a satellite dish might point at.


Facing up to it—or not
        Well, given the random nature of this scamper through Mike Bara's historic Powerpoint slides, it was inevitable that we'd get around to the so-called Face on Mars—the feature I prefer to call Owen Mesa after Tobias Owen who first drew attention to it.

        Now Bara performed the same trick that he had done in his Books about Mars; namely, ignoring contrary evidence. He showed his audience this sequence:


38:48 "Here's the original Viking, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express...."

        The resolution of those images is, respectively, 44.7m, 19m and 13.7m per pixel (see "40 Years of the Face on Mars" in this blog). What's missing? Why of course, the image taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on 5 April 2007 at a resolution of 0.25 m/px. Here it is:


         Just as with the so-called "satellite dish," Bara doesn't show this because it's too good and does not enable him to make credible claims that this is an intentionally built feature.

         And there was worse to come shortly. Here's what he showed claiming it to be the "right eye".


        IT'S NOT TRUE!! You only have to glance at the high-res image to see that what's where the right eye would be (roughly) is a very ancient eroded crater that looks nothing like Bara's concocted piece of mendacious crap. Based on a total misunderstanding of dynamic range in photography, Bara asserted "It's not made of rock." That's not true either.

Let there be parrots and air-guitar playing cats
        At that point Bara was less than half way through his time. Since the audience hadn't walked out (at least, not as far as I could determine), Bara proceeded to take them through very familiar territory—the D&M pyramid (42:45), the monolith on Phobos (49:00), the parrot (51:15), the cat (58:30), Abydos for God's sake (1:03:05), the Lost book of Enki (1:06:00). He even reiterated his utterly mistaken claim that there must have been a secret breakthrough in transportation speed based on the historical data (1:09:50)—a thesis I debunked a month ago.

        What can I say? At least he expressed a little skepticism about the parrot. Small mercies...

======================/ \=========================
[1] Blacic, J. D.; Mechanical Properties of Lunar Materials Under Anhydrous, Hard Vacuum Conditions: Applications of Lunar Glass Structural Components (1985) (Table 1)

[2] On 20th June, responding to a comment on Youtube expressing skepticism, Bara wrote "There are literally hundreds of earth based telescope images showing the colors." He must be thinking of Jose Escamilla's distortions.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Eight down, four to go

        Al Bean's death yesterday at age 86 leaves only four Moonwalkers still alive. Here's the tally:

Apollo 11
Neil Armstrong: d. 25 August 2012 after coronary by-pass surgery (which should never have been attempted IMHO)
Buzz Aldrin: STILL WITH US, age 88

Apollo 12
Pete Conrad: d. 8 July 1999 after a motorcycle crash.
Al Bean:  d. 26 May 2018, cause uncertain

Apollo 14
Al Shepard: d. 21 July 1998 from complications of leukemia
Ed Mitchell: d. 4 February 2016 under hospice care

Apollo 15
Dave Scott: STILL WITH US, age 85
Jim Irwin: d. 8 August 1991 after a third heart attack, first of the Moonwalkers to die

Apollo 16
John Young: d. 5 January 2018, complications from pneumonia
Charlie Duke: STILL WITH US, age 82

Apollo 17
Gene Cernan: d. 16 January 2017
Harrison "Jack" Schmitt: STILL WITH US, age 82

        I met Al Bean in Houston in 1979. He graciously invited me into his home in a gated community and showed me his famous artwork. He was a gent and a hard worker in space. It's despicable that whippersnappers like Mike Bara are now writing that Bean deliberately ruined the color TV camera during his Moon mission. How the hell would Bara know?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The short, short life of the EM drive

        The EM drive, a.k.a. the Resonant Cavity Thruster, made its début in 2001 as a theoretical design by Roger Shawyer. The device is a closed hollow metal frustrum within which resonant microwaves are generated by a magnetron. The difference between the areas of the two ends of the frustrum, according to the theory, gives rise to a net thrust toward the smaller end, without anything being ejected. So it is potentially a low-thrust rocket engine requiring no fuel.


        Positive test results from the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, China, reported in 2008, were retracted in 2016 as experimental error. Nevertheless some people, including some at NASA's Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory, continued to report thrust in the 50 µN range.

        At the Technical University of Dresden, Martin Tajmar and G. Fiedler built a version of the EM drive inside a vacuum chamber evacuated to ~10-7 millibars. The device was rigidly attached to a torsion balance whose deflection was measured by a laser interferometer with sufficient sensitivity that a deflection produced by a thrust as low as 1 µN could be measured. Tajmar & Fiedler reported preliminary results at the 51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum, in 2015. The paper was titled Direct Thrust Measurements of an EMDrive and Evaluation of Possible Side-Effects. From the Abstract:
"[W]e observed thrusts of +/- 20 µN however also in directions that should produce no thrust. ...Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EMDrive but intends to independently assess possible side-effects in the measurement methods used so far."
        I, and many other commenters, knew there was something very dodgy about the device when we read that the control experiment—a run when the device was rotated so that thrust along its axis could not possibly deflect the torsion balance—produced better "thrust" than when the device was oriented optimally. Well, we knew that already because this thing cannot possibly work as claimed. It violates Newton's third law of motion. As I wrote at that time, if this works then sitting in your car and pushing on the dashboard will work, too.

The kibosh
        Now, the Dresden lab has put the almost-final kibosh on the EM thingy. On 16th May, at a Space Propulsion conference in Seville, Spain, they presented The SpaceDrive Project – First Results on EMDrive and Mach-Effect Thrusters by Martin Tajmar, Matthias Kößling, Marcel Weikert and Maxime Monette. Stripped down to telegram length, Tajmar et al. reported that they think they've found the source of the experimental error. They remembered from Electrical Engineering 101 that an electrical conductor carrying current in the presence of a magnetic field experiences a force orthogonal to both the electrical current and the magnetic field. This is the principle that makes my coffee grinder, and your vacuum cleaner, and every other electric motor in the whole world, go round and round.

        Is there an electric conductor carrying current in this experiment? Yes, the cable supplying the magnetron, which runs along the torsion arm. Is there a magnetic field present? Yes, the good old field from Mother Earth that makes compasses work. Back-of-an-envelope calculation confirms that forces in the same range as those observed could well be the result of that current (2 amps) and that magnetic field (~48 µTesla at an angle of 70°). Assuming the length of the cable is 15 cm.,
F = 2x48x0.15 sin 70 =13.52 µNnote 1

        I hope Sarah Knapton enjoyed her breakfast of words a few days ago. She's the Science Editor of the London Daily Telegraph who wrote, on 28th July 2015, 'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours.

Physics 1, Mike Bara 0
        Knapton isn't the only one eating words. Mike Bara, the world-famous denier of evolution, climate change, and the entirety of physics, loves the EM. So much so that he wrote a section about it in his book about "The Secret Space Program." Strange, because there's nothing secret about the device and its connection to space is limited to extravagant claims. Bara wrote of the original Xi'an announcement "the results were astounding," not realizing that the results had already been retracted. He also wrote that the device falsifies Einsteinian physics, not understanding that it's Newton, not Einstein, whose ideas would have to be wrong if this device works as claimed.

         In September 2010, in a promo interview for his appalling book The Choice, Bara said "I’m completely confident that I can prove there’s no such thing as the laws of physics." In the book itself, he wrote (page 67) "most mainstream physicists are blithering idiots." After the 2015 announcement by Tajmar & Fiedler, Bara tweeted  "Aaaaannnddd just like that the "laws" of physics go out the window.."

        Look around, Mike. I think you'll find that the laws of physics just flew right back in.

See also:
NASA’s EM-drive is a magnetic WTF-thruster. Test reveals that the magic space unicorns pushing the EM-drive are magnetic fields. --Chris Lee in Ars Technica, 5/21/2018.

Scott Manley reports on Youtube, with many of the key illustrations and diagrams from the new Dresden paper.

=======================/ \=======================
[1] This is known in electrical theory as the Lorentz force, and it's partly responsible for vibration and "hum" in AC conductors carrying substantial current.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Kerry Cassidy—A second strike

"Your government is out to get you." --Kerry Cassidy, X-Zone, 2016 

        Here's what journalists do. They start with a blank notebook page and fill it with facts. They derive these facts from reading documents, looking around, and from various types of interview, asking the classic questions who-what-where-when-why-how and hopefully many others, if they can keep the interviewee's attention for long enough. There's nothing wrong with a journalist having a special interest—on the contrary, it's a benefit, since then that person has, or should have, the wisdom and insight to get facts that others might not. James Fallows, for example, contributes more than the average journalist on Foreign Affairs just because of his long experience in that field, and there are many more examples.

       In my opinion, Kerry Cassidy is not a journalist but a propagandist. She does not start with a blank notebook page. In commenting on modern tragedies involving death, her notebook page is already headed False Flag. She did it with the World Trade Center, she did it with the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and she has done it with every school and concert shooting since Sandy Hook. Her technique is the reverse of journalism in the sense that she starts with that assumption and looks exclusively for interviewees who support that prejudice.

        In Ole Dammegard and James Fetzer, she found her ideal pair. Both of them absolutely go along with her paranoid theories and will sit and talk conspiracy with her for as long as she likes. She ran a long video interview with Fetzer—who is the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and editor of  Assassination Science—on 15th March this year. That piece specifically addressed the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, speculating that the entire event was staged and that there were no actual victims. On 29th March Fetzer was back in the interviewee seat along with Dammergard, who she introduced as "an internationally recognized expert on assassinations, false flags and covert activities." He is also editor of lightonconspiracies.com. The interview headline was False Flags: Diagnosing, Explaining and Predicting examples from Sandy Hook, the Boston bombing, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland and more. 

        Unfortunately for Kerry, and as I commented at the time, Youtube received complaints from people who did not take kindly to allegations that victims were nothing but crisis actors, and pulled the video. STRIKE ONE. Now the earlier interview has suffered the same fate. STRIKE TWO.


        Yesterday Kerry appeared on her own website (I notice that she has stopped referring to her "TV Network") in a passionate and at one moment tearful denunciation of Youtube and an appeal for support. A few excerpts:
"They are trying to shut me down altogether... YouTube has obviously been infiltrated by the Illuminati and Black Magicians.... I'm a journalist.. I do hope that I'm able to manage to sue Youtube... They're afraid of me... One more strike and I'm OUT, as they say. That means they'll delete the entire library of 750, or whatever it is, interviews that I have... "

This was the text of the complaint about the March 15th interview:
"This entire video promotes a fringe person who vehemently promotes the idea that no one was killed during school shooting and other events. By going through bogus 'analysis' and repeatedly claiming no one died, it targets vulnerable individuals, is bullying of those individuals  and anyone who supports them, and the interviewee through his statements has led to others' violence against school shooting victims and their supporters."
         I'm not in favor of shutting Kerry down entirely, but if she wants to claim the privileges of a journalist she's going to have to learn to act like one.

Update May 17th
        Kerry is now looking for a pro bono lawyer to sue Youtube for "an illegal 3-strikes LAW on their youtube website as well as illegal targeting by Youtube/Google in conjunction with advertisers against our rights of free speech and freedom of the press of independent broadcast journalists and their channels."

       So there she goes again, claiming to be a broadcast journalist. I think she ought to look up the definitions of both those words.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A flattening curve

        Conspiracy theorists are fond of explaining to us all that nothing the US Government promulgates is true. The advantage of that belief is that it enables the believer to insist that secret things exist for which there is no evidence whatever. Michael Salla, for instance, claims that a select group of high US officials has regular diplomatic contact with extraterrestrials. We don't hear about it because it's classified—in which case, I have to wonder how Salla knows about it.

        As a self-described "born again conspiracy theorist," Mike Bara is, of course, no exception.The sub-title of his 2016 book Hidden Agenda was "NASA and the Secret Space Program." And just like other authors on the same topic, Bara has a prima facie credibility problem. Everybody knows that spaceflight makes a lot of noise and involves thousands of engineers and managers—so how could a whole segment of it be kept out of sight? Bara attempts to demonstrate that the SSP must exist by a piece of pseudo-logic that reveals how his tricky mind works. On page 147 of the book he displays this diagram:

The accompanying text reads, in part:
"For almost 2000 years, the fastest things on the planet were carts hauled by beasts of burden. Then in very rapid succession you go from the horse and buggy to the steam train, the automobile, the propellor airplane, the jet engine, and then by 1960, you have the chemical rocket.
But then suddenly, it cuts off and flatlines.If you believe what the military guys are telling us, there hasn't been a single breakthrough in propulsion in almost 60 years.... That's basically impossible.... There should have been another major propulsion breakthrough that took us to the next level—the flying saucer level—decades ago.
So if you look at this graph, the odds are that there had to be a breakthrough of some kind in the last 50 years. But if that's true, where is it? The answer is that it's been hidden."
        I have several problems with that thesis. First, the "trend curve" he has drawn, starting from zero around the year 1875 and abruptly flattening in the 1950s, is not a fair representation of the trend at all. In reality, the trend is stepwise: trains exceed horses in 1810, planes exceed trains in 1920, rockets exceed planes around 2000. There's nothing there that says we ought to have a whole new technology of transport by today.

        Secondly, there's absolutely no reason to assume that transportation speed should keep on increasing for ever. Plenty of phenomena have natural asymptotic limits, and fundamental limitations apply to transport just as to other areas of human endeavor. One is the marginal cost of increasing power beyond a certain limit, and another is the tolerance of the human body for g-forces.

Orbital velocity
        The vast majority of space missions go no further than Earth orbit. For those missions, an excess of speed is just as bad as a deficit. The velocity in a circular orbit is given by the formula v = √GM/r, where G is the gravitational constant, M is the mass of the Earth, and r is the radius of the orbit. A more complex formula is needed to describe the more general elliptical orbit, but it remains true that average orbital velocity is inversely proportional to the square root of the semi-major axis, and independent of the mass of the spacecraft. That's why a visiting Soyuz capsule has no problem keeping station with, and eventually docking with, the far larger mass of the ISS.

        To strip that down to its essentials, if you want to send a spacecraft into an orbit of a given radius, you are obliged to have it arrive there at a certain velocity. 7 km/sec gets you low Earth orbit: The ISS orbits at roughly 5 km/sec at an altitude of 400km, and at geosynchronous altitude 3 km/sec is all you need (but you have to get there first.) So to expect rocket speeds to keep growing over time is to expect something that's irrelevant for the vast majority of missions.

        So has rocket technology got stuck in the state it was in 50-60 years ago, as Bara implies? Not at all—but the improvement has been in thrust, not speed as such. This is hardly surprising, since the primary demand is to lift more and more mass into orbit, and nobody cares how long it takes to get there. The blogspot editor is not too good at tabulation, but here's the best I can do for the progression from 1958 to the present day:

Engine                                Thrust          Fuel                 Used on                       First flight
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rocketdyne 75–110 A-7     347 kN       Alcohol/LOX      Redstone                         1958
Rocketdyne  XLR-89-5      758 kN       Kero/LOX           Atlas LV-3B                      1960
RD-275                             1745 kN        N2O4/UDMH    Soyuz                              1965
Rocketdyne F-1               7020 kN         Kero/LOX          S-1C (SatV first stage)    1967
Rocketdyne J-2                1028 kN         LH2/LOX          S-II (SatV second stage)  1967
Rocketdyne RS-25           2279 kN         LH2/lLOX         SSME                              1981
Russian RD-180              4152 kN          Kero/LOX         Atlas V                             2002
Merlin 1D                        845 kNnote 1    Kero/LOX         Falcon 9                           2015

Interplanetary flight
        For trips to Mars and beyond, more speed obviously means shorter journey times, so there is indeed an impetus to develop faster rocketry. But it's a complicated calculation, since every increase of a km/sec at the start of a flight is a km/sec you're going to have to lose once you get there. The New Horizons explorer, launched on an Atlas V, went all the way to Pluto but was going so fast that dropping it into orbit was impossible.

        For a manned mission to Mars, round-trip time  is a vitally important consideration, since radiation dosage is directly proportional to exposure time. With current rocket technology, 500 days is about the best we could do, but that needs to improve. NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program (NAIC) is now working on a reference mission that lasts a total of 210 days — 83 days for the flight out, 30 days on the Red Planet's surface and a 97-day journey back to Earth.

        The technology needed to achieve that isn't here yet, but when experimental nuclear rocketry comes of age, perhaps around 2030, Mike Bara may find he has to redraw his speed diagram.

==========================/ \===========================
[1] Space-X prefers a cluster of small engines over a few large ones, so that Falcon can complete its mission even with some engine failures. The Falcon 9 first stage is powered by nine Merlin 1Ds. A 2018 version, the Merlin 1D vacuum, is rated at 934 kN.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Lies, damn lies, and Mike Bara

02:14:00 Gary Leggiere: "One more question. A person named James Concannon wanted to know—I guess expat asked the same question—why did..."
Mike Bara: "I think it's the same person."
Gary Leggiere: "OK. 'Why did he, meaning you Mike, take an LRO image of landslips down the wall of a crater on the Moon, turn it upside down, and claim that it shows jagged crystalline spires. Hidden Agenda, NASA and the Secret Space Program page 117. Isn't that totally dishonest?' I don't know the image, Mike, so that's why I asked you that question."
Mike Bara: "I do know the image in question and the answer to that is that I did not do that."
Gary Leggiere: "Oh, OK. All right. Again I haven't seen it so..."
02:14:58 Mike Bara: "That claim is completely false. I did not do that."
        The above exchange occurred on The Martian Revelation, an internet radio show narrowcast live last Saturday night and now archived at Neely Productions.

        Now rewind to June last year, to Bara's lecture at Contact in the Desert. Nearly 40 minutes in, Bara showed the image in question. It is part of an oblique strip of crater Marius, processed and released by Arizona State University.


37:33 Bara: "This is a picture of what they say is debris running down the side of a crater. What I love to do with NASA images, is I love to flip them upside down. Because.... just because they say that UP is that way doesn't mean that up IS that way. ... What happens when you flip it upside down? When you flip it upside down it becomes this."


It appeared in Hidden Agenda p. 117, without any indication that it had been flipped, with this caption:


The accompanying text is as follows:
"I believe the Moon, especially the front side, is mostly covered by towering crystalline, glass-like structures which acted as a makeshift meteor shield for the various alien basses [sic] operating on the surface below." 

James Concannon adds:
       I had a text exchange with Gary "The Mad Martian" Leggiere after I had reviewed his show yesterday. I will not quote from that exchange since it was private, but I think I convinced Gary that  the wool was over his eyes.  Both passages are linked above, so anyone who cannot believe Bara would be so flagrantly dishonest can check for themselves.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

How to write an instant book

        Do we really need another book about the assassination of JFK? Mike Bara and his publisher, David Hatcher Childress, seem to think so despite the hundreds of such books already on the shelves, and mostly by far better authors and publishers. You might think that the release of thousands of once classified documents on the tragedy over the last year would provide enough new material to justify JFK Assassination Book #4001, but the 18,731 documents released a week ago came too late for inclusion and Bara makes very scant use of this vast resource (53,604 documents since last July.)

        About a week ago, Bara delivered a 1 hour 40 minute Powerpoint version of his forthcoming book Ancient Aliens and JFK to an audience at the New Living Expo. Approximately the first third seems to be an absolutely standard Kennedy biography—another example of what this blog has called "Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V scholarship." Another long section reviews the pictorial evidence from Dealey Plaza: The Zapruder film, the Muchmore film, the Orville Mix film, the Mary Moorman still-frame. Bara thinks Dallas police officer Tippit is "badge man" in the latter photograph, but so do other Warren Commission truthers. No sign of anything original here.

"Badge man"—is this really Tippit?

        Bara makes much, as he did in his previous book, of Kennedy's surprising announcement, in 1963, that he favored a joint US/USSR expedition to the Moon, replacing the rivalry then in place and the basis of "The Space Race." He formalized this idea in a speech to the United Nations on 20th September. Bara dramatizes the moment by saying "Two months later, Kennedy was dead" as if the connection between the two events was obvious. Well, it isn't—you might with equal logic say "On November 21st, Kennedy had cornflakes for breakfast. A day later, he was dead."

        Supposing there were a connection, who might that implicate in a theoretical plot to whack Kennedy? The CIA is the likely answer, since there is documentary evidence (some of which Bara includes) that the Agency was implacably opposed to sharing America's space secrets with the Sovs. But Bara does not take that line. Instead he follows Jim Marrs and at least 11 other authors in fingering Lyndon Johnson as the likely culprit. In the context of Bara's argument, this doesn't really make much sense. As is well-known, Johnson and his buddy Albert Thomas were gung-ho on the Apollo program and passionately gung-ho on keeping NASA in Houston. Those interests were not particularly threatened by JFK's desire to get suddenly cuddly with Khruschev.

        Bara's "evidence" is notably weak. LBJ didn't much like the Kennedys—yes, OK, we knew that—and had enough influence in Texas to have created a conspiracy. Bara then presents the following image as if it's a deus ex machina:


        The image shows the Johnsons during the swearing-in ceremony aboard Air Force One at Love Field. Albert Thomas is in the background, and Bara claims that he is winking as LBJ smiles in his direction. If people can be accused of high crimes and misdemeanors on the basis of such flimsy evidence, I guess we'd all better watch our behavior.note 1

Aliens? What aliens?
        Considering the title of this book, there's not much material on aliens in Bara's presentation. He asserts, as he did in Hidden Agenda, that Kennedy knew the technology of the Anunnaki was on the Moon and Apollo was his personal mission to retrieve it for reverse engineering back on Earth. This idea seemed totally screwy when he wrote it in the previous book—it seems self-evidently ridiculous now. Last year my questions were "How did he know this?", "What was brought back?", "Where is it now?", and "What benefits did we derive from it?" Now I add the question "How does that jive with the proposal to go to the Moon along with the Sovs?" Bara did not answer any of these questions in his Powerpointery, and I'll be perusing the book when it appears in just a few weeks, looking for anything like answers. I'll report back at that time.

        So on the basis of one highy improbable and self-contradictory speculation about what JFK knew in 1961, Bara and Childress think it's OK to title this book as it is. Shamelessly cashing in on the popularity of a cable TV series—I think that's very, very tacky.

======================/ \=======================
[1] Much of Bara's material is a straight recycle from the book he co-authored with Richard Hoagland in 2007, Dark Mission. The "wink" photo appears on p.182 (2nd edn.) with the caption "Is this the behavior of resolute leaders who have just experienced a national tragedy, or of two conspirators who just pulled off a coup?" To me, that's a case of wild over-interpretation.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ten years of this blog

         Ten years have passed since this blog made its entrance into the blogosphere with "Profit from Fantasy," announcing itself as a place where comments on the book Dark Mission by Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara could find a home. The book had its own blog, started on 18th August 2007, but James Oberg and I very soon noticed that Bara, as blog moderator, generally refused to allow negative comments to appear.

        The first four posts on this blog had page views well under 100, and no comments at all. The 10th post, however, "Data's Head image proved fraudulent," set a page view record of 11,117 that stands to this day. The all-time record number of comments is 186, for "Mike Bara sees glass over Picard" on 19th October 2012. The least popular post ever, with only 51 page views, was "The fun is about to begin" on 5th September 2010. Don't ask me why—that's a puzzle.

        The "official" Dark Mission blog expired on the last day of 2009, but this blog continued its mission to mock pseudoscience, with a wider remit than just one book. Most often cited words and expressions over the years have been coast-to-coast am, elenin, phobos, hyperdimensional, ziggurat, facebook, accutron. My targets, in addition to Hoagland & Bara, have been many of the darlings of late-night radio: Ken Johnston, Judy Wood, Kerry Cassidy, John Brandenburg, Robert Morningstar, Steve Quayle, and latterly the convicted felon Sean David Morton.

        There's no doubt that interest in this blog is waning somewhat: of the 15 posts this year, none has made it to the 1,000 page view level of interest. Just a couple of years ago, 2,000 was a common number. I'm not discouraged but I will be looking hard for fresh topics because I suspect the sag in popularity is due to readers feeling that they've read it all before.

        I'd like to make a "Hall of Fame" list of all the people who have supported me over these ten years with their encouragement, information, research, and intelligent comments—but I'm afraid if I did that I'd offend somebody by omitting their name. However, a few stand-outs really must be acknowledged:

James Oberg: Joint founder of the blog and vital resource on space history, especially Russian
James Concannon: A former colleague who has probably written more for the blog than anyone other than myself, and who inhabits Faceboo (whereas I almost never do).
Stuart Robbins Ph.D: An actual working astronomer who has his own blog and cringes right along with me and Concannon when the pseudoscientists make their awful mistakes. If ever I make a slip-up when writing this blog, I'll hear about it from Stuart.
Derek Eunson, Ph.D: Another real working scientist, in the field of design engineering, and not a man to mince words when it comes to scorn for pseudoscience. Derek is now teaching in China, but keeping in touch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kerry Cassidy falls foul of Youtube's ToS

Today this message appeared on The Project Camelot page:
"I have been banned from Live Broadcasting on my main youtube channel because of a recent interview regarding FALSE FLAGS WORLDWIDE with Ole Dammegard and Dr. James Fetzer!  This is politically motivated and violates my rights as a journalist to freedom of the press and free speech!!  Please support our work.  My income has been severely affected by this ban!"
        Cassidy went on to accuse "The deep totalitarian New World Order" of being behind the ban. I'm not sure what she means by that. As we know all too well, Youtube is now Google, an American multinational technology company based in Mountain View. Google may wish it could achieve world domination, but it's certainly not there yet.

        Well, look, I'm not much in favor of gagging people with weird opinions, but I don't have much sympathy with Kerry Cassidy. She claims the privileges of a journalist without being willing to submit to the discipline of the profession. She never cross-checks rumors that come her way, she routinely expounds outrageous opinions as if they were facts, and as far as I know she has never responded coherently to criticism, still less withdrawn a proposition when she was informed that it was mendacious. In my opinion she's not a journalist at all, just a narcissistic commentator with some superficial command of internet communications.

        I tried to listen to the Dammegard/Fetzer interview but I couldn't stand it. It was just standard Kerry Cassidy paranoia turned up a few notches. To her, all such events as school shootings and random terrorist-style attacks have to be false flags. She pays absolutely no attention to the fact that the sinister behind-the-scenes manipulators of these things never seem to see the supposed benefits from their activities. Prime examples would be: No confiscation of privately-held firearms despite numerous school and concert shootings; No deportation of Muslims from France despite at least two horrific mass murders in Paris.note 1

        Cassidy did not detail exactly what the complaint against her alleges, but I surmise that it would have been similar to a 3rd April allegation of Hateful or abusive content, this one filed against a previous interview with James Fetzer, with very similar content. That complaint alleged as follows:
"This entire video promotes a fringe person who vehemently promotes the idea that no one was killed during school shooting and other events. By going through bogus 'analysis' and repeatedly claiming no one died, it targets vulnerable individuals, is bullying of those individuals  and anyone who supports them, and the interviewee through his statements has led to others' violence against school shooting victims and their supporters."

       As it happens, that one did not succeed, and the video is still up. Kerry Cassidy can scream all she wants about totalitarian forces abrogating her rights, but the simple fact is that Youtube has announced Terms of Service and reserves the right to ban, partly or wholly, any violators. A vile video posted by Alex Jones has recently suffered the same fate.note 2 If Cassidy is truly suffering financially from the ban I can only suggest she gets a job retrieving shopping carts at her local supermarket, and quits boring us all with interminable paranoid rants.

This just in:
Three of the Sandy Hook parents have filed a $1m lawsuit against Alex Jones. BRAVO!!!!

Thanks to Stuart Robbins for information

=========================/ \===========================
[1] In a new video today (19th April), Cassidy does in fact address this point in her oblique way, and cites the Patriot Act as being the contrived outcome of the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. That cuts no ice with me because I do not accept, and never will accept, that any part of the US Government planned and executed the destruction of those towers.

[2] The Infowars video made the exact same accusation about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which claimed 17 lives. David Z. Morris, writing in Fortune magazine, explained:
"These strikes, warnings, and punishments, then, are ultimately motivated by YouTube’s desire to reassure the advertisers that make them money. That reality, however, seems lost on Jones and InfoWars, who are spinning their reprimand as yet another conspiracy. CNN says it referred three other InfoWars videos to YouTube for review, which Jones has characterized as CNN “calling to have a competing news organization shut down,” and described as part of a “globalist conspiracy.” That framing supports InfoWars’ broader thesis that it is uncovering truths being repressed by the “mainstream media,” rather than simply slandering teenagers who witnessed a mass murder as a way to sell overpriced dietary supplements."

Friday, April 6, 2018

Sean David Morton calls in from the slammer

        Well, guess who was on the phone call-in line to Strange Universe radio yesterday. A clue: The call was interrupted by an official voice announcing "This call is from a federal prison." Yes, indeed, it was Mr. Scamalot himself, Sean David Morton, banged up for six years starting last September. Sean and his wife Melissa defrauded around 100 customers of $6 million between 2006 and 2007. According to the SEC, only a fraction of the money received by Morton went into foreign exchange trading accounts and the rest was placed in shell companies run by Morton and his wife. They also scored $480,323 off the IRA [oops, IRS...] with an entirely fraudulent 2008 tax filing.

        Far from being in any way penitent, in his 15-minute phone call SDM maintained that a recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court basically negated the entire tax structure of the USADo you believe that? and thus vindicated he and Melissa. He said he's lost 50lb and is still in business.
10:35 "I've got lines of people every day in the er... you know, in the whole facility. Because I started to do readings for people, I finally got a deck of lightweight Tarot cards. I'm still waiting for somebody to send me a decent book of. er.. of, er.. er, of a.. a set of talk Tarot cards... that actully come with the... the talk book. Ahh... that's what I need to complete the readings. I started getting a reputation as being... you know, I mean, this is a reading I usually charge like $250-300-400 for on the outside. You know, here if I get a bag of granola and [...] some power bars I'm lucky."
        His "readings" apparently include a prediction that California will break into two separate states, and that the "caravan" of Central American refugees marching through Mexico will cause havoc at the US/Mexico border. note 1

        I suppose Morton's ridiculous optimism is something to be treasured. Just one month before his April 4 trial, he was telling Kerry Cassidy that the charges against him were certain to be dropped because he is "not a 14th Amendment citizen," whatever that means. Even now he's in the pokey, he seems to be looking on the bright side.
11:55 "There's a lot of really interesting guys. We've got one guy who won five superbowls as a running back, another guy was former head of HBO... my bunky is the great grandson of Calvin Coolidge. It's all tragedy, man."

Thanks to UFO Watchdog for the audio.

=================/ \=================
[1] According to this report, the caravan is much reduced and will not attempt to reach the international border.
Update 30 April: In fact, several hundred migrants from Central America have made it to the Tijuana-San Ysidro border crossing. None has yet been admitted or even processed. CBP says that once their backlog has been cleared, they will be split into small groups for processing, since the border facility has limited room. That does not sound like havoc to me (and California seems to be still in one piece).

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Farewell to the wacky-accy

        At the half-hour mark during yesterday's rather turgid Other Side Of Midnight, Richard Hoagland drew the attention of his listeners (all four of them, perhaps) to a new feature of the show's website.


        Not very original, I hear you say. Right, and I seriously doubt that he's going to see the floods of $$$ that are in his dreams. OSOM "members" are already paying $9.95 a month for a show that often fails to get on the air (although to be fair, he's had a run of good luck lately—nine more-or-less glitch-free shows on the trot.) But you had to laugh when he came up with one very good reason for the new Donate button:
32:45 "My Accutron broke. I've used it for years—I made a mistake the other day and dropped  the damn thing on a hardwood floor. It obviously has incredible fine wires. It broke. To send it out to specialists who do Accutron reconstruction—surgery, whatever—is going to require several hundred dollars. To get a new one is going to require something like a thousand bucks. So we need funds...."
        Now, it's possible that I've been April-fooled, but I'm assuming that was genuine, and he's been deprived of what he once called "a technology that can save the world." Last night he blathered on about wanting to put the wacky-accy in an orgone accumulator, to see what that does to the so-called "torsion field." Two bits of ridiculous pseudoscience, one inside the other—perhaps they'd cancel each other's nuttiness out and provide something of actual value (but I doubt it.) However, we'll never know now.

        There's a lovely irony in this. In the highly unlikely event that Hoagland does raise lots of lolly—and if he spends it on the wacky-accy rather than Las Vegas crap tables—you can bet your bottom dollar he'd never be able to repeat the bizarre results he's already "published." The plain fact is that he didn't just break it, it's been broken all along. That's why it shows such wild frequency swings even in the absence of any eclipse or transit. It's in the data.

        In case anybody reading this has no clue what "The Accutron" is, here's a briefing from the Rational Wikipedia, and here's Stuart Robbins of Exposing Pseudoastronomy critiquing Hoagland's protocol. Also, thanks to blogspot's labelling system, you can click on the label hoagland Accutron nonsense at the foot of this post, and bring up everything I've ever written about that damn wristwatch. WARNING: It's a lot. 23 posts.

Update:
        Chris L found this long discussion from October 2012. Plenty of good points made, and some good fun Hoagland-bashing.


Thanks to Stuart Robbins for the audio

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Hoagland anniversary

"Gorgeous"
"Pioneering"
"Groundbreaking"
 "Vitally important new discoveries"
"Revelations"
"New insights"
"New information"
"The Ultimate Game Changer"
        Those words were spoken exactly one year ago today, by former museum curator Richard Hoagland, in praise of his own work,note 1 The Hidden History of Mars: A War In Heaven. He was on Howard Hughes' radio show on talkradio.co.uk specifically to plug this book, but as I reported at the time he simply reiterated well-worn claims such as that NASA is really an adjunct of the Department of Defense, and that he personally coined the phrase "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" (neither of which is true.)

        Back in November 2016 he had described the book as "just recently completed," and promised to hand out free copies to the loyal Club 19.5 members who had kept on giving despite that fact that the radio show had been off the air for a month.

One week ago, this announcement appeared on the OSOM web site:
LOOKING FOR BOOK DESIGN HELP 
Some of you know that we, the Enterprise Mission team, are working hard to release an amazing compilation of our research. We are now at the process where we have to convert our Indesign Print Layout to a Kindle/ebook format. This is a complex book, rich with imagery. 
If you are a savvy graphic designer who KNOWS how to do that efficiently and would like to be part of the Enterprise Mission volunteer team, please contact Kynthea, our producer, using the contact form on this website.  Thank you.note 2
        It seems to me that Kindle is not the right format for a richly illustrated book, and it also seems to me that Hoagland is royally abusing his "members" by not only failing to live up to his promises but then coming to them with a plea for uncompensated labor.

        So in 16 months we've gone from "just recently completed" to "HE-E-E-E-LP!" That's not what I call working hard, Kynthea.

=========================/ \========================

[1] Actually, if I read it right, the majority of the content is not even Hoagland's own work but that of his so-called "Imaging Team" of Keith Laney, Keith Morgan, Andrew Currie, The Morgan Curve, Tim Saunders and Robert Harrison. Possibly Kynthea herself, too. Her picture puts me in mind of one of Noel Coward's most famous stage directions: "Enter Madame Arcati, in barbaric jewellery."


[2] Hilariously, the same announcement included a plea for help in redesigning the web site itself. Something that badly needs doing, yes indeed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Those faked Corona spysat images of the Moon

Today I sent this to Richard Hoagland:

Greetings.

In the last month you have posted two images of the Moon that you say were taken by Corona (KH-1 – KH-6) spy satellites looking upward. On 17th February, this one:


…and on 11th March, this one.



The first is dated, presumably in European notation, 30-3-66. Accordingly it could not have been taken by a Corona but more likely by a Gambit (KH-7) satellite, perhaps mission  KH7-26, launch date 18 March 1966, NSSDC designation 1966-022A.

The second is dated 08-01-66, a date on which no Corona or Gambit missions were operative.

Both images show identical damage. Both images show horizontal banding typical of an image transmitted by radio rather than one from a captured film magazine.

In addition, from the known geometry of the Earth-Moon system, the field of view (FOV) may easily be calculated as 0.607°. This is inconsistent with the known FOV of Gambit, 2.18°.

I am led to suspect that your data is fraudulent and I invite you to explain the exact provenance of these images.

Regards,
[expat]

Thanks to OneBigMonkey for inspiring this 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Five Minutes with an Astronomer

        Astronomer Stuart Robbins should be familiar to all regulars here, if only by his nickname "astroguy." He produces the wordpress blog Exposing Pseudoastronomy, whose raison d'être is similar to this one, but with a far more rigorous approach and with more command of online media.

        Robbins has a new project which I'd like to recommend—it's a series of five-minute talks jointly produced with The Reality Check. I've heard the pilot and I think it's very good—a succinct and factual answer to the question "What the heck is Dark Matter?" The talk is unscripted but I thought it was very fluent. I wish I could force Mike Bara to listen to it—he might, thereafter, stop being so scornful about the topic.

        Anyone can "sign up" for this feed. Just send e-mail to the astronomer and be willing to provide some feedback. The part of the e-mail address before the squiggly sign is stuart, and the part after it is sjrdesign followed by a period and the abbreviation for the word commerce.

        As to how often these chats will appear, that's not yet decided. I'm sure Stuart will record a bunch at a time then release them at fairly regular intervals.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Robert Morningstar's history lesson

James Concannon writes...

        Today on the Book of Farces Robert Morningstar defended Jeff Rense's flagrant anti-semitism, and wrote this:
"A lot of so-called "anti-Semitism" has had a basis in history and just cause behind it."

Sunday, February 18, 2018

So now I'm a clueless troll, huh?

James Concannon writeth...

         Well, ha-ha. It took no great powers of pre-cognition to figure that last night's Other Side of Midnight, featuring frisbee expert Robert Morningstar expounding on technical matters he doesn't understand, would be rubbish. I didn't expect, though, to be personally attacked for having attempted to pre-load Hoagland and Morningstar with the true facts.

        Here's a verbatim excerpt. The topic is the 1960s-era American spysats known as either Corona or Keyhole.
"26:33 When Kennedy revealed what he knew was [on the Moon], which the [NASA] Nazis view as their heritage alone... this is why the Nazis à-la ??? ...Jim Marrs... the Nazis rose up and killed Kennedynote 1 for the reasons that are so blatantly obvious 'cause... Kennedy, as soon as he got confirmation, through Project Corona, which by the way I went back and looked at the timelines--the first successful flight of Corona which was to send a very very large camera like a... like a semi into orbit, looking down photographing all the Soviet Unions's airfields and rocket bases and all that stuff. As soon as the first one was successful, in August of 1960, it turns out over the next 30 launches only about a dozen were deemed acceptable. So what happened to the other 20-some missions? They all got the film back. Was it because, like I discovered on the secret film I was given briefly, from Project Corona and Gambit, every single damn frame had nothing to do with Soviet missile bases on the ground--they were all taken looking up at [Hoagland-style emphatic speech] The Moon! Project Corona, I mean...
RM: One of the sceptics that trolls us...
RCH: I know who you mean..
RM: ..Concannon [or did he say "loose cannon"?], said how is it possible for there to be...and of course...
RCH: Because he doesn't have any idea what he's looking for! Talk about clueless!
RM: You just swi... swivel the camera to point at --uh-- targets. Manoeuvrability--just roll 180° and shoot at the Moon...
RCH: It did! I've had the film in my hands! And I have the scans. So, I mean, in the midst of the incredible cold war which I think was... was a con, it was fake news. The cold war was not real, boys and girls, and nuclear stand-offs... it was a cover. To cover this huge big reality, which is -- the human race figured out, between Roswell and Kennedy, "Oh My God, we're not alone--Oh My God, we have family --Oh My God, our history is nothing like has been portrayed, Oh My God, we're all going to lose our jobs and lose our heads" because the vox populi will be freaked out when they discover everything we've been telling them, for decades, is a lie!
        Hoagland was right about the date of the first success. A mission flown on 10 August 1960 successfully returned a capsule to Earth, but it contained an American flag, not a film magazine. That one was cloaked by NASA as "Discoverer 13." The next flight, on 18 August, returned film.

        What neither of those two nincompoops addressed was the technical question of the field of view, and how much of the image width would have been filled with Moon if anyone had been daft enough to do what Morningstar suggested and swivel the camera to look Moon-wards. The answer, as I wrote on Friday, is 10%. Here's a second look at the geometry, updated from the Friday version:


Like anyone's going to see alien structures on that....

        I've searched without success for a reliable reference to the image that Hoagland said he had in his hands. As I recall, it was something that a supporter slipped him confidentially, that the supporter swore was a detailed image of the Moon taken by a spysat. Can you spell "bamboozled"? Clueless yourself, Hoagland.

Update:
        I'm obliged to OneBigMonkey for drawing our attention to the fact that Hoagland presented the following image in the gallery for last night:


        As OBM writes, this is plausible as a spysat view of the Moon, but it's far inferior to the telescope views of the time. I think it confirms that any such material would be useless to anyone searching for alien cities or ruins thereof.

        I also point out that this is from the KH-7 series, codename Gambit, not from the much older and notably less successful Corona (KH-1 through KH-4) series. KH-7 satellites flew 38 missions between July 1963 and June 1967, of which 34 returned film, and of these, 30 returned usable imagery. The date in the mini-window at right is "30-3-66," indicating that this was mission KH7-26, launch date 18 March 1966. Its NSSDC designation was1966-022A, and orbital parameters are listed but nothing else. Of course, by that time Kennedy's address was c/o National Cemetery, Arlington VA, so it wouldn't have been of any great interest to him.

See also Comment #3 from OneBigMonkey

Consider this:
By measurement, the width of that image is 113% of the diameter of the Moon
So width at target = 3474 x 1.13 = 3925 km
FOV = 2 x arc tan 0.0053 = 0.607°

However, we know from the declassified specs that Gambit, at its best, covered a strip 6.3km wide from a 167km orbit.
FOV = 2 x arc tan 3.15/167 = 2.18°

Conclusion:
EITHER: The image has been zoomed then re-merged with its time and position data.
OR: It's a complete fake, the lunar image inserted over the original content. The horizontal banding is suspicious—it's more typical of an image transmitted from space rather than one derived from a captured film magazine. I've looked through the Lunar Orbiter image library and can't find an exact match. but there are several very, very similar frames.

Thanks to Stuart "astroguy" Robbins for the audio file.

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[1] In his 2009 book, Hoagland wrote that Kennedy's assassination was most likely contrived by "a military-intelligence cabal." Dark Mission, 2nd edn p.172