Thursday, September 6, 2018

Point-by-point critique of Mike Bara's "Ancient Aliens & JFK"

        Things are looking up slightly over at Adventures Unlimited Press, where fantasist David Hatcher Childress presides. Bara's new book may still be a load of trash, but in terms of presentation, production and editing this is a much better job than its five predecessors.The whole 230-page book is virtually free of keyboard errors, the running chapter titles are all correct, and three pages of nicely-produced color photos are included. My only complaint is that, as usual, there's no index. If Childress refuses to pay for indexing, I wonder why he doesn't get one of his minions to learn computer-assisted indexing and do it all in-house. He could get a permanent license for TExtract, for example, for $395 (cf. up to twice that for agency indexing, just for one book.) An idea for you, David. Yer welcome, mate.

Thumbnail synopsis: JFK decided to end the Space Race and mount a joint expedition to the Moon with the Soviets. (That part is true). He knew there was useful alien technology on the Moon and wanted to retrieve it for reverse engineering. (That part is bollocks).  Certain political factions were appalled that Kennedy would be willing to share this technology with Russia. (Tiny grain of truth).  One or other of these factions conspired to have JFK assassinated to prevent this from happening. (Highly unlikely). It was probably LBJ. (It probably wasn't). THE END.

         If this all seems familiar, it is. Bara told the same story, at reduced length, in his previous book Hidden Agenda which I critiqued almost a year ago. In last year's book Bara seemed certain that the LEET technology on the Moon was left there by the Anunnaki. This year he's much less certain—in fact if he mentions the wretched Anunnaki at all I missed it. So the title of this new book is deliberately misleading as there's nothing much here about ancient aliens.

Now for the errors and questionable logic...

1. Chapter 1. This is 19 pages of absolutely standard JFK biography which Bara could have copy/pasted from any number of sources, even Wikipedia plus its references. I suppose it had to be done but perhaps 5 pages would have sufficed.

2. p.16. Bara writes of Joe Kennedy Sr that he married off his daughter Kathleen to the son of the Duke of Devonshire, as "a transparent effort to cull favor with the English nobility." Surely you curry favor, not cull it... [Also see Comment #10, it seems Joe wasn't currying or culling]

3. Chapter 2. Another 20 pages of highly unoriginal material, this time about Majestic-12, a favorite topic of gullible UFO fans such as Linda Moulton Howe. In this case Bara's text follows the Wikipage quite closely, but not word-for-word so I should perhaps not asperse plagiarism. Bara is obviously aware that MJ-12 is ridiculed as a hoax by most researchers, but he thinks there's a good chance that it was genuine. He writes (p.33) "If MJ-12 existed—and I believe that it did—then Kennedy, of all people, would have been aware of its existence and purpose." Later, on p.71, Bara strongly implies that MJ-12 itself is a suspect in the JFK assassination. That's poppycock in my opinion.

MJ-12 is all bound up with Project Serpo, which Bara has said he also believes is a true story. There's not the slightest doubt in my mind that Serpo was a hoax designed to sell a book. MJ-12 was either a complete hoax or deliberate FBI disinformation.

4. p.40. Bara writes that The United States was shocked by Gagarin's first spaceflight, on April 12, 1961, "...and six days later, NASA finally delivered a report... commonly known as 'The Brookings Report' to Congress." This is inaccurate. NASA delivered the report on 24th March, to the Committee on Science and Astronautics of the US House of Representatives. It was that committee that read the report into the record of the full House on 18th April. NASA had had the report from The Brookings Institution since the end of November 1960.

That damned Brookings Report. Ever since Hoagland dug it up (with the help of Don Ecker) all the conspiracy theorists have been metaphorically waving it around making totally false claims about it. Mike Bara himself, on Ancient Aliens S4E5, said "The Brookings Report said very specifically, 'Don't tell anyone'" That's completely false, and I thought I saw signs from this new book that he was softening on that point. On p.41 he writes that the report called for NASA "to consider suppression of the discovery of alien artifacts," (emph. added) which is almost true. However, on p.54 we find him backsliding to the point of writing about the report expounding "the necessity for concealing information from the public if need be" (emph. in the original this time). He then re-iterates (p.55) that NASA submitted the report to Congress as a direct reaction to Gagarin's triumphant orbit, which is not the case.

On the same page he writes "...the US wasn't even remotely close to being able to put a man in orbit." I take issue with that. After all, Alan Shepard's suborbital flight in Freedom 7 took place less than a month later. John Glenn was probably in training already, and his first orbital flight, in Friendship 7, would have taken place on 16th January 1962 but for a series of technical and weather delays (it actually lifted off on 20th February.)

5. pp. 73-74. It really does seem as if Bara has his dates all wrong in the early history of the US Space Program. He writes "As we look back on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs he initiated in his May 1961 "We Choose to go to the Moon" speech, it seems to me that Kennedy was very frustrated by his inability to find out what the CIA, MJ-12 and the shadow government were up to." Mercury and Gemini were initiated before Kennedy was president (in the case of Gemini, only just before), and the "We choose to go to the Moon..." was not delivered to Congress in April 1961 but to an audience at Rice University on 12th September 1962. Plus the fact that, in the opinion of many space historians, it was Lyndon Johnson, not Jack Kennedy, who actually decided to force NASA to "take longer strides" (and by the way, be sure to build the new Manned Spaceflight Center in Texas.) The first episode of that lovely 1998 TV series From The Earth To The Moon was accurate on this point. The episode title was Can We Do This?

6. p.76. Bara returns to the subject of that damned Brookings Report again, writing that what it "essentially did was give NASA political cover for what its real mission was all along—the retrieval of alien technology from the surface of the Moon." That's the really bad one. It marks the transition of Bara's writing from mere inaccuracy to total fantasy. There is not, and never has been, the slightest evidence that this was Apollo's real mission. Bara can't produce any such evidence, so by default he merely asserts it.

7. pp78-83. A virtually word-for-word repeat of the section of Hidden Agenda describing Project Horizon, the 1959 military project to place a 20-man permanent base on the Moon. Once again Bara shows that he has no concept of the immensity of the task that would be required. He acknowledges that Horizon was canceled, but he writes "It would have been a fairly simple thing to implement this plan over the next few decades.... My suspicion and speculation is that that is exactly what they did."

As I wrote when critiquing Hidden Agenda, the illustrations in Bara's own book make it obvious that before Horizon was half built every amateur astronomer on Earth would be saying "Er...excuse me.. what's THAT THING?"

8. p.85. I scared the office cat with my explosive reaction when I turned to this page. Here, believe it or not, is this disgraceful bit of flim-flam:

credit: Barefaced lie by Mike Bara

First appearing on p.117 of Hidden Agenda, this nonsense was created by turning a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image upside down. The original shows landslides down the rim of Marius crater, in Oceanus Procellarum. Take a look.

Also on p. 85, Bara seems to have backed off a bit on his often-claimed pseudo-fact that glass manufactured on the Moon is twice as strong as steel. Here he writes "about as strong as steel."  Actually Blacic (1985)note 1 gives the following figures for Young's Modulus:
Lunar glass: 100 GPa, cf. alloy steel 224 GPa, terrestrial glass 68 GPa. So the true statement would be "less than half as strong." We may all pray for the day when Bara makes true statements.

9. pp. 83-87. A repeat of Bara's utterly ridiculous accusation, first trotted out in Hidden Agenda, that the color TV camera on Apollo 12 was deliberately ruined to avoid showing alien ruins. I commented enough about it at the time that I don't feel the need to get all hot under the collar again.

10. 88-94. Here Bara tacks on six pages alleging that the Apollo 12 astronauts conducted a covert and undocumented Standup EVA (SEVA) before the publicly announced EVAs. This fairy story is copied without attribution from somebody using the nickname Luna Cognita. This person posted an hour-long video about the allegation to Youtube in 2011. The video is quite well-made but it rests on a document dated September 2006: The Apollo Experience: Lessons Learned for Constellation Lunar Dust Management by Sandra A. Wagner. And indeed, on page 1 we find this paragraph:

"The blowing dust caused by the Apollo 12 LM landing appears to have been worse than that of Apollo 11. In fact, a standup extravehicular activity (EVA) was performed by the crew to assess the site prior to performing lunar surface EVAs because blowing dust completely obscured the view during landing."

        Seems straightforward. However, Robert Pearlman, editor of collectSpace, contacted Sandra Wagner about this and she confessed that it was an error. She simply wrote 12 when she meant 15. Scroll down to Pearlman's 3-19-2014 post in this forum. I commented further on Luna Cognita's (and now Mike Bara's) misapprehensions in November 2014.

11. Chapter 5, "Oswald and the Magic Bullet," and Chapter 6, "The Badge Man and the Beast." Quite why Bara felt it was worth devoting 36 pages of this book to the minute details of what happened in Dealey Plaza and shortly afterward I cannot say. In terms of his overall thesis, who cares what Mary Moorman filmed or what Howard Brennan says he saw?

Oh, wait... I do know why. Because it was only too easy. Bara and his co-author had already written this up, for their 2007 book Dark Mission. Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V is your friend, if you're a lazy author.

Specifically, from "Whenever anyone brings up..." on p.98 to " the Soviets" on p.99 is a direct copy from pp.171-2 of Dark Mission, and from "It makes little difference..." to "...the fatal shot" on pp.99-100 is a direct copy from p. 172 of Dark Mission. The only edits are changes such as "It is for this reason that we.." to "It is for this reason that I.." and "We felt compelled to review..." to "I felt compelled to review..." It would be interesting to know what Bara's co-author thinks about that.

12. Chapter 7, "The Wink of an Eye." Finally, Bara gets down to his business of accusing Lyndon Johnson of masterminding the assassination. Frankly, his so-called "evidence" strikes me as pathetic.  The fact that Jacqueline Kennedy was given red roses, not yellow ones, on arrival in Dallas. Bara calls this "a bizarre occult ritual" (p.138.) Then there's the fact that the blue carpet in the Oval Office was replaced (at the behest of Jackie, in fact) with a red one while the Kennedys were in Dallas. Bara writes (p.140):
"What a lot of people don't know is that Lyndon Johnson was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Freemason ... and as such was very aware of the trappings of office and the power of symbolism. To me, the red carpet is symbolic of the blood of the King, Kennedy, who he had killed. He even used Kennedy's old rocking chair in the Oval Office for several years. The symbolism is Johnson sitting on the throne of his predecessor, while symbolically swimming in his blood."
Oh, brother! Talk about stretching a metaphor!!!

13. This famous photograph, from p. 141:

The same pic was used in Dark Mission (p.182) with the same ridiculous interpretation: The interpretation is that LBJ and Congressman Albert Thomas are exchanging a "Got him!" moment. Bara writes that Johnson has "a broad smile" and that Thomas is winking. Other writers have used the word "smirk." I can't do bettter than to refer you to the "Piece of Mindful" blog from 2nd March 2017. The title is One of the Most Fake Photos of All Time.

14. Chapter 8: "Who Mourns for Apollo?" (the title is a nod to a famous episode of Star Trek 1967. That title was "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

This is, unbelievably, 28 pages debunking the many theories that hold that the entire Apollo program was faked. Although I heartily endorse Bara's text here, I'd like to know what TF this material is doing in a book that is supposed to be unmasking villainy in 1963, and to be concerned with ancient aliens?

Once again, the answer is Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V. Huge swaths of this text are directly copied from a long essay Bara wrote in 2001, of the same title. The co-authors on that project were Richard Hoagland and Steve Troy.

15. p.211. Bara here momentarily fools us into thinking he's about to answer the burning question: What exactly were the astronauts sent to look for, and what did they find? Those are his exact words, in fact.

What follows reminds me powerfully of Lucy in the Peanuts comic strip, yanking the football away just as Charlie Brown goes to kick it. Bara makes passing mention of the rock called (by him and Hoagland) Data's Head, and then refers the reader to one of his previous books for details. Any reader not already familiar with the mythology of Hoagland would not have the slightest clue what that's all about. I've written about it several times, including this post from 2007 citing five reasons why Cernan and Schmitt could not possibly have retrieved that rock, or even noticed it.

In the next few pages Bara brings up the so-called "alien spaceship" seen in a stereo pair from the Apollo 15 pan camera. Here's a short briefing on that. It's about 10 km long and hardly an answer to the question What did they bring back? Plus it's nowhere near any of the Apollo landing sites, so why even mention it? Lucy snatches the football again...

OK, enough of the carping from me. I'd just like to add an approximate tally of the pages in this 230-page book that are copied from other sources.

Chapter 1, 19 pp. Copied from standard political history.
Chapter 2, 20 pp. Copied from standard conspiracy theorists
pp. 78-83 Project Horizon, copied from Hidden Agenda
pp. 83-87 Apollo 12, copied from Hidden Agenda
Chapter 5, "Oswald and the Magic Bullet," and Chapter 6, "The Badge Man and the Beast."  36 pp copied from Dark Mission
 Chapter 8: "Who Mourns for Apollo?" 28 pp. Copied from Bara, Hoagland & Troy 2001

I make the total 113 pp, or almost exactly 50% of the book. 

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


vonmazur said...

"To curry favor, favor Curry" P.D.Q. Bach in his magnum opus, "the Seasonings" ;-)

To be serious, one would think this whole "Who Shot John?" thing is done to death,(Pun intended) One can imagine all the conspirators, meeting at Ruby's strip club, with Lee Oswald as the security guard...I would pay to see the Masons and Jesuits, along with all Cubans and whomever else, discussing this hit...One wonders about the lack of real life in people that they have to dedicate themselves to various monomanical ideas just to have something to do..

Chris said...

Thanks for the work you put into that very thorough review, although technically you only had to do half a job :-)))

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris Lopes said...

The surprising thing isn't that about half of the book is copied from other work, it's that ONLY about half is copied from other work. Bara has been dining on the corpses of Dark Mission and The Enterprise Mission for a decade or so. His next book will be written by the Google search engine.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

What about the Space NAZIS? Despite what anyone else thinks, does he really believe that they haven't already looted the libraries and super advanced technologies on the Moon and Mars?

OneBigMonkey said...

re- the point about the LBJ swearing in photo, I'm not sure how the piece you link to helps. It seems to be using woo to disprove woo.

The author seems to think that all the images of LBJ's swearing are fake because the swearing in itself was fake because the assassination was fake!

His analysis is seems flawed to me, and he argues that it the two images taken of the ceremony itself are made of composite photos and not the result of two photos taken in quick succession. If you actually line up the photos using the door frame at the back you can see that there is definitely movement by pretty much everyone in the frame

including the photographer himself as the images are at slightly different angles.

Far from absolutely static Jackie and LBJ do move slightly, as can be seen when you line up their faces using their nose as the fixed point:

The author also doesn't seem to grasp that there are at least two different photographers at work - one using flash, one not., which is why the ceiling lights appear different

For my money it's also debatable whether the person accused of winking is doing so, or has just been caught mid blink. The author is doing a typical conspiracy theorist trick of ascribing motives and behaviours on the basis of a fraction of a second's worth of image.

Either way, Bara's a loon.

expat said...

You know, you're right (as usual). I somewhat regret linking to that piece because it makes the wrong point. The point, as you rightly explain, is that the photo is wildly over-interpreted. Whether it's been faked or not is of very secondary importance.

Anonymous said...

Have you had a look at the Daedalus Ziggurat image on the Moon that Bara provides a thorough analysis of? Or the Cydonia region of Mars and the impossible by coincidence mathematical architecture of it?

There is no way you can deny it isn't real- Bara contrasts it with the airbrushed image NASA later provided, which shows pure blacks when compared with an authentic Apollo image.

I would advise you to not take everything your government tells you unthinkingly- rather, I believe Bara is rightly taking the trouble provide his analysis on something he sees as a cover-up by the government, and this criticism you provide is oft unfounded and not as thorough as Bara's. I'm not biased towards him, but I don't really see much of an argument your side when you write an article and Bara writes a whole book using well-illustrated mathematical and scientific concepts, as well as photographic evidence.

Still, it obviously took you a lot of time to write your blog, so I commend you for

P.S. here is a link you may find interesting -> as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg

By the way, are you writing this blog as employment for the U.S government as some sort of debunking, or personal recreation?


expat said...

Greetings, anon, and thanks for the comment.

« Have you had a look at the Daedalus Ziggurat image on the Moon that Bara provides a thorough analysis of? »

Yes I have. I wrote about it extensively, for example here.
Bara found the image on "Call of Duty Zombies"--an internet forum for teenage videogamers. The image was concocted by Terry James who used the handle kksamurai in May 1999. Bara subjected it to what he has called "enhancement" but he has never specified what that involved.

The image is a version of AS11-38-5564. The ziggy does not appear in the version of that frame in the NASA library, or the library of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. It does not appear in the image of that region taken by the Japanese orbiter Selene.

On the NASA version, Bara claims that the ziggy is "airbrushed out" but he sees in that same frame a flying saucer, a gun emplacement, a drill and other things. So he's asking us to believe NASA eliminated the ziggy but not those other elements.
Given these facts, is it surprising that I think the ziggy is in Bara's imagination?

« ...Or the Cydonia region of Mars and the impossible by coincidence mathematical architecture of it? »

Again, yes. That is not Mike Bara's work but that of Richard Hoagland. The astronomer Stuart Robbins looked closer and found Hoagland's math to be hilariously wrong.

« I would advise you to not take everything your government tells you unthinkingly- »

Which government is that? We're on the Internet here, not in the USA.

« this criticism you provide is oft unfounded »

The main criticism currently is that Bara totally fails to explain how JFK could have known about technology on the Moon. He gives no examples, and does not say if anything was brought back from the Moon or how useful it turned out to be. Is this unfounded?

« Bara writes a whole book using well-illustrated mathematical and scientific concepts, as well as photographic evidence. »

Do you think deliberately turning a lunar image upside down and mis-labelling it is a "scientific concept"? Where do you find mathematics in Bara's book? Remember, Mike Bara wrote an entire book chapter (Ch.12 of "The Choice") on the basis of a total misunderstanding of orbital mechanics.

« P.S. here is a link you may find interesting -> as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg »

That's not a link, it's a filename.

« By the way, are you writing this blog as employment for the U.S government as some sort of debunking, or personal recreation? »

The purpose of this blog is to mock pseudoscience. Call it debunking if you like. I derive no income from it.

expat said...

I was just reading up on Kathleen Kennedy who Bara writes (p.16) was "married off" by her father, Joe Kennedy Snr. The phrase "married off" had a medieval ring to it, not like something from 1944.

It seems that her parents, Joe and Rose (née Fitzgerald) were actually opposed to this match on religious grounds. They wanted their potential grandchildren raised in the Catholic Church, not the Anglican tradition. The parents actually boycotted the wedding ceremony which was held at a Register Office.

Another way Bara is wrong, then.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,
The Daedalus Ziggurat image provided by Bara has been subjected to a histogram, where he clearly shows that the colour temperature in black throughout the image is characteristic of a late 1960's- early 1970's picture with predicted black levels, whereas the "official" NASA image shows complete, solid black levels in the crater and solid white on the ziggurat itself. I am aware of the unlikely source of this image, yet by all analysis provided it seems to be a legitimate image and the other anomalies Bara discusses in the surrounding area such as the "spaceship" resting on the ground are completely expected. Although, however, I sometimes don't see what Bara claims he sees, such as the 'drill', the other anomalies are definitely there, and not airbrushed.

Also, I cannot embrace Bara's argument on JFK knowing about these anomalies due to the fact that I haven't read the book, but I agree with you that Bara is making tenuous connections with these anomalies that display a lack of consistency. However, I don't believe JFK had anything to do with this, but your criticism is not analysing the mathematical concepts Bara discusses, such as the 19.5 degree angle occurrence on Mars, the moon, and other celestial objects.

I don't agree with you that these lunar spires and 'castles' suspended miles above the surface of the moon are deliberately flipped images- no way. They exhibit geometrical patterns and are to regular to be lunar landslides.
P.S. what makes you think there is no evidence for Project SERPO?

SpaceJames said...

Greetings, Expat.

I love your blog and appreciate your work debunking these woo merchants.

@Anonymous - you posted "I would advise you to not take everything your government tells you unthinkingly"

Why do you accept anything Bara says unthinkingly?

Cheers all

expat said...

Hello again anon...

« your criticism is not analysing the mathematical concepts Bara discusses, such as the 19.5 degree angle occurrence on Mars, the moon, and other celestial objects. »

That's not mathematics, it's numerology. Plus, again, it's the "work" of Hoagland, not Bara.

« I don't agree with you that these lunar spires and 'castles' suspended miles above the surface of the moon are deliberately flipped images- no way. They exhibit geometrical patterns and are to regular to be lunar landslides.»

Well, look. Here's the original image from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Here (at 37:33) is Mike Bara telling his audience at CitD 2018 how he flipped it. What else might you need? Mmmmm??

« P.S. what makes you think there is no evidence for Project SERPO? »

Lack of any first-hand testimony.
Impossibility of conducting a conversation with a planet 39 LY from Earth.
Impossibility of travel at 40xC.
Difficulty imagining a planetary orbit around a binary star-pair other than one which would give rise to life-killing variation in temperature (note that the so-called Ebens are alleged to resemble humans, and that 12 actual humans, according to the story, survived on Serpo).

OneBigMonkey said...


I had a look at the Daedalus Ziggurat image myself when it appeared on some stupid aliens programme on the syfy channel.

Not only does it not appear in any NASA images (Apollo, or Lunar Orbiter) but it doesn't appear in any Chinese, Japanese or Soviet images of the area. It appears in only one source and one source only and that is Bara's fake. And you may not like the idea that he has turned a genuine photo of a landslide upside down and claimed it showed castles in the air, but that's exactly what he did and it was proven on this blog.

expat said...

Anon: If you feel you need to read another 50,000 words on why the "Daedalus ziggurat" cannot possibly be genuine, here's the best starting point.

Trekker said...

Here's the Marius landslide in context from the LRO atlas. Note the lighting is different from the images already here on this thread, so the landslide appears in different relief:

expat said...

Thanks Trekker.

Two Percent said...

Hi expat,

Well off topic for this thread, but soon to be big news, I'm sure:

Hurricane Florence.

I'm gonna say, they might get off "lightly", thanks to the relevant Lunar Phase.

If there was a coincident Lunar syzygy, this storm would be very likely to trigger some not insignificant earthquakes as well. However, it's happening about halfway between (syzygies), so I don't expect anything momentous.

Orbs may have a different opinion.

Anyway, I guess there will be plenty of 'pre'dictions from the likes of RM*, so hopefully, you can find something related to post?

expat said...

I'm told that RM* is still claiming that the Mars effect is responsible and that that vindicates his prediction, even though his prediction expired 11 days ago. The man is a total dunce.

I warn you, I'm not likely to allow any such nonsense from Orbs.

expat said...

Added a 15th point today.

Trekker said...

Here's that 'alien spaceship' from the fantasy Apollo 20, in context on the LRO image atlas. It's actually a depression, not a mound, to add to the lunacy!

expat said...

Thanks again, Trekker. I remember you posting that before, good research. :-)

Two Percent said...

Hi again expat,

Another totally off topic comment, in case you're not already following this:

No doubt, the 'X'-perts have the answers, but I don't know where to look.