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        Sheppard's book, Flyover Tsiolkovsky Crater, has now been withdrawn from circulation, but while it existed it attracted just one Amazon review.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.

        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...

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[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.