Monday, May 6, 2019

Mark Richards writes, and writes, and writes some more

        Mark Richards put finger to keyboard on 24th April to spew verbiage into the world-wide web, starting with this paragraph:
"My family and I found ourselves in an unenviable position this winter, as the Fake News pundits set some English cyber bully into full attack mode in our direction. He opened his attack with a series of interviews with some questionably one-sided ‘witnesses.’"
         Well, it doesn't take a genius to decode that. The "English cyber bully" is Kevin Moore, who is in production on a video documentary provisionally titled Richard Baldwin: A Murder in Camelot. We don't yet know who all the witnesses are—in fact, Moore seems to have run into a bit of production trouble and is said to be back in the USA doing some reshoots—but we do know that one of them is Richard Dolan. Dolan made a mortal enemy of Kerry Cassidy by agreeing to the interview, as I reported last October. Dolan is not a man to leap to conclusions or to speak hyperbolically just for effect. He considered the facts and came to his conclusion that Mark Richards the convicted murderer is dangerous, disturbed, and sick.

         Richards considers that a one-sided attack. But Moore also interviewed Kerry Cassidy at great length, and also shot video of a conference at which Richards' current wife Jo-Ann was speaking, last October. Now Moore has said he won't be including any of Cassidy's interview because she does not want to be on his show. As for Jo-Ann, she wrote a week ago:
"No, Kevin, I will not be in your documentary. You do not have my permission to use recordings of our phone conversations. You do not have my permission to use any video footage that you filmed of me when you showed up in CO."
        So that takes care of the only two people in the whole wide world who would speak kindly of Mark Richards. As a federal prisoner, Richards himself is not eligible for a video interview. In the circumstances I don't think Kevin Moore can be blamed for presenting a biased case. I'll leave it to him, if he reads this, to refute the idea that he was set to make his documentary by "the Fake News pundits."

On and  on and on....
        Richards did not stop with that one blogpost, which was 898 words. On the 25th, 27th and 29th April he let the keyboard rip again with Part 2 (1,600 words), Part 3 (1,767 words) and Part 4 (1.144 words). That's a bit over 5,400 words so far, and he threatens more. Even he himself describes it as a diatribe, and —God help us—Part 4 ends with the words "To be continued."

        In all that verbiage, what's missing is any sort of evidence of Mark Richards's claimed innocence, and any sort of evidence to substantiate his claims to have been heroically battling alien forces in outer space at the time he's supposed to have been masterminding the murder of Richard Baldwin. The closest we get to evidence is Jo-Ann's protestation:
"Mark graduated from high school in June 1971. I have proof of that. Mark has just sent to me additional proof as well – prison documents that verify his high school graduation and five college degrees. I will post these documents soon on my blogsite. I should also soon have their verification of his military career.
When the time is right, I shall point out flaws in what Kevin has been reported [sic]"
Let's see that documentary proof, Jo-Ann. The time is right RIGHT NOW.

Update 12 May:
        Part 5 (1,592 words) and Part 6 (1,461 words) are now up, and still nothing resembling evidence to support Mark Richards' tales of interplanetary heroism.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Lunar spectacular

        This year so far, all of us who try to follow spaceflight and space technology have been mightily impressed by SpaceX's incredible feats of rocket retrieval, by China's demonstration of prowess (not only soft-landing on the far side of the Moon, but providing the lunar orbiting relay station that made it possible), and by a fairly spectacular woopsie from Israel.

        I try to keep up on the private enterprises that are now seriously in the space business, but every time I read another magazine article or blog post on the subject I get humiliated by how much has been going on that has totally passed me by.

        Never more so than when I opened the current issue of New Yorker to find the 8-page article by Rivka Galchen, The Eighth Continent (sub-title The new race for the moon, for science, profit, and pride). Galchen is a Canadian author and magazine contributor, who has previously written for New Yorker on the topics of Quantum computing, weather, and earthquakes.

        Ms. Galchen has been out and about in what Tom Wolfe called the low-rent facilities of the new space pioneers. Check out what she found:

* The telerobotics lab at the NASA-funded Network for Exploration and Space Science, which is developing 3-D printing technology using lunar regolith as the print medium. "You could print the wrench you need to fix something," says Jack Burns, NESS's director.

* Celestis, a funeral service company that already launches its clients' ashes into space and plans to send them to the Moon.

* Astrobotic, a Pittsburgh company developing a lunar soft-lander.

* The Mojave Air & Space Port, where many of those new pioneers have set up shop. Masten Space Systems is developing reusable rocketry there, with plans to go to the Moon in 2021. The company's pet rocket is the Xodiac—remember that funky name, it'll be in the news soon.

* Honeybee Robotics, in Pasadena, is developing standardized lunar rovers and has its eye on asteroid mining.

* Moon Express, another lunar exploration company hoping to deliver its first lunar soft-lander in 2020. It was that company's vice-president, Alain Berinstain, who first called the Moon "The Eighth Continent".

        Experience leads me to believe that not all these projects will come to fruition. Most will be delayed, some will fail altogether. But that article convinces me that private-enterprise Moon exploration and exploitation is just a few years away.

        For the next week or so, the whole article can be read online at this link.

        More humiliation came my way when I read Bob Zimmerman's blogpost today and learned that the Japanese company Interstallar Technologies has just completed the first successful sub-orbital flight of its MOMO rocket.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Spring acrostic

Get out those pencils and erasers. It's time for another acrostic puzzle, with a theme appropriate for this blog.

Answers will be posted after Memorial Day, 28th May.

For general instructions on how to solve acrostics, see the previous 'Emoluments' puz.

I've now started a new blog specifically for acrostics. It includes commentary as well as a monthly puzzle.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

UFO Congress backpedals on Ken Johnston

        This is a laugh. The UFO Congress, promoting its 2019 meet-up, has tacked a VERY STRONG disclaimer onto its page about Ken Johnston. Having referred to him as "Dr. Johnston" in the blurb, the following has now been added:

NOTE: Ken Johnston is not a doctor and does not have an accredited Ph.D.

        In four paragraphs, the text explains that Johnston was deceptive in claiming the Ph.D. in the first place, stating that his doctorate was conferred by the Reformed Baptist Seminary. In fact it was “The Reform Baptists Theological Seminary,”  one of several diploma mills run by tax-protester William Conklin. In other words, a worthless piece of paper.

        I also take issue with one other factoid in the blurb. It describes Johnston's Apollo photo collection as "...of a higher resolution than what is found on-line." It's a tricky point because they are attempting to compare the resolution of a 10x8 photoprint with that of a digital image, but consider these points:

Point 1. The online NASA Apollo image library generally offers its products in two different resolutions—low and high. Take a look at a typical listing, Magazine C from Apollo 17. The hi-res images, suffixed HR, are jpgs of at least 500kb, on up to 1600kb. They are typically 2400 pixels square and the numerical resolution in metres per pixel depends, of course, on how far away the subject is. But this resolution is more than adequate for inspecting the surface, and far more convenient than peering at a photoprint through a loupe.

Point 2. Any serious researcher for whom that resolution is inadequate can, by paying a modest fee, order up extremely hi-res digital images in .tiff format that are scanned direct from the camera negatives. This is what I did when investigating Hoagland's "Data's Head" claim, and I received a version of AS17-137-21000 that was 46.1 MB, 5190 x 6175 px.


Point 3. The first exposure of Ken's photo collection occurred in early 1995, when he showed a selection to Hoagland after a lecture in Seattle. That means that these prints had been in Johnston's ring binders for at least 20 years and, even in glassine envelopes, some fading and discoloration would be inevitable (More on that here).

Point 4. Hoagland has always claimed that Johnston's print-set shows things that NASA's equivalents do not. But the fact is, he's not actually comparing a print to a digital image—he's comparing his own scan of a print to NASA's scan. Hoagland's scanner glass is quite clearly contaminated.

Part of Hoagland's scan of AS10-32-4820

        Bottom line, I do not think the claim made for this collection is sustainable.

Thanks to James Oberg for monitoring this

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Clyde Lewis: Ignorant speculator

« [T]he compelling question has to be asked – has there been a head start program in space and have we been conducting space war operations since Apollo? Has this program been ongoing or was it abandoned after 1979 and then rebooted during the S.D.I proposals of Ronald Regan – the program that was eventually called the Star wars Program. »
        The answers are no, no, no and no. The questions were posed by Clyde Lewis of the "Ground Zero" website/internet radio show, in a long article titled STRATOSFEAR, THE SECRET SPACE WAR published yesterday. The article summarizes a discussion in a TV studio between Lewis, Space Shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin, and Mike Bara. That's Mike Bara the self-worshipper who, according to the Rational Wikipedia, is homophobic as well as mysogynistic. He constantly claims to be a NYT best-selling author even though IT'S NOT TRUE.

        Well, the "secret space war" turns out to be the not-very-secret Project Horizon, a proposal drafted in 1959 to establish a military Moon base staffed by 12 U.S.Army officers, costing $7 billion. Lewis writes:
« As cameras were rolling, we discussed the lunar objectives that were pre NASA including the military’s plan to build a space station on the moon before 1969. Back in 2016, I presented a program where I uncovered documents about Project Horizon a secret space station that was supposed to be built on the moon. »
         "Uncovered", eh Clyde? The existence of Horizon was reported by Astronautix in 2005 and was probably public knowledge well before that. Wikipedia's first page on Horizon was dated 2 July 2005, and today it's a quite detailed exposition, last edited nearly a year ago.

        One key point to understand about Horizon is that it never happened. As the wiki reports (citing John Logsden in 2010),note 1 Eisenhower nixed it as NASA was created as a civilian agency in 1959. In two of his published books,note 2 Mike Bara has suggested that Horizon may not have been cancelled but may have been secretly built, manned, and declared operational. Clyde Lewis seems to agree:
« We were told that the military was not part of the moon shot in 1969. We are told that it was NASA that sent the astronauts there. So the question is, was the military already on the moon, sent on a secret away mission and was the astronaut’ giant leap merely a show for the public to cheer on.»
        Don'cha love those rhetorical questions? They allow speculators to hint that they know more than they're allowed to say, without requiring anything resembling evidence. Again, the answers are no and no.

        Well, I headed this article "Ignorant speculator" so perhaps I'd better justify the adjective. The report that Lewis cites estimates that construction of the base would require 61 Saturn I and 88 Saturn II launches through November 1966, with another 64 launches during the first year of operation. Anyone who thinks that program could have been conducted in secret cannot have been anywhere near a Saturn rocket launch. Those things were NOISY.

        Another key point is the actual structure envisaged for Horizon. Here are two illustrations from the report that Clyde Lewis himself cited (which, by the way, is included in the 2005 Astronautix report):

        This thing is not buried out of sight— it's right there on the surface. Before it was even half built, every amateur astronomer in the world would be saying "Er... excuse me... WTF IS THAT?"

        Lewis provides documentation of three other historical moonbase projects—one of which involved Carl Sagan—but these, like Horizon, never got beyond the planning stages.

        As part of his just-published article, Clyde Lewis seeks to link his speculations to Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who has been in the news lately. He cites REPORT THAT UR DESTROYED SECRET US BASE ON MOON.  This Wikileaks link references a report that seems to have been written in January 1979 and declassified in December 2012, but since there's no content here it's impossible to assess whether the original is credible. "UR" is supposedly code for The Soviet Union. As I've written many times before, we now have such excellent high-defintion photographic coverage of the Moon that any speculations about alien activities, military operations, or vast glass domes look a bit pathetic.

        I hope I've written enough to convince any doubters that Clyde Lewis's piece is worthless speculation from two arrivistes who know a great deal less than they think they do.

===================/ \====================
[1] Logsdon, John (2010). John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-11010-6

[2] "Hidden Agenda" (2016) and "Ancient Aliens and JFK" (2018). In "Hidden Agenda", Bara wrote (p.115) "I see no reason why these plans couldn't have been carried out behind the scenes, in parallel with the public NASA space program."  In "JFK" he wrote (p. 78-83) "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." [emph. added]

Sunday, April 14, 2019

UFOs and madness

        When people ask me if I "believe in UFOs", my immediate answer is "Yes, of course". I'd have to be totally crazy to deny that unidentified phenomena are fairly often seen in the sky. But of course, that's not what they mean to ask. They really mean to ask if I think some of those flashie-washies are intelligent messengers from interstellar space. This is very literally to ask if I think some UFOs are IFOs, and the answer is no. Carl Sagan would agree with me...
"[T]here are things seen in the sky which are unidentified--that's what an unidentified flying object is, it means we don't know what it is. It doesn't mean it's a space vehicle from somewhere else. And there ought to be things in the sky that we don't understand--the sky is very rich in phenomena--astronomical, meteorological, optical and man-made phenomena. And therefore only a very reliable sighting of an extremely exotic object ought to be considered in any way relevant to our problem of life elsewhere.  And to the best of my knowledge, there are lots of exotic reports, but none of those exotic reports are reliable."note 1
        Sagan was speaking 40 years before the release of military images by the five-year-long Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, that excited many people who have a fervent need to believe in extraterrestrial intelligence. But I'm absolutely sure that those images would not have changed Sagan's opinion one iota. He believed that mysterious things are seen in the skies but that there's no valid reason to jump to the conclusion that they are intelligently-guided spaceships. And I agree (of course.)

        So what should we say about those people—millions of them—who really do maintain that at least some of the woo-woo in the sky is ET observing us? Are they all crazy, or what?

The light years
        I was led to this question because on my reading list last week was Chris Rush's memoir The Light Yearsnote 2. Rush, now an aging and respected mainstream artist, abandoned his well-heeled New Jersey family while still a teenager and dropped into the drug culture of the '60s. BIG TIME. Publisher's Weekly wrote:
"Rush’s storytelling shines as he travels across the country and back again, searching for truth, love, UFOs in New Mexico, peace, something that feels like God, and a place to call home."
        I have no qualifications in psychiatry but I'm as sure as I can be that Rush really was crazy at that time. He took every recreational drug that was around, feminized himself to the point of absurdity, and wandered the Arizona mountains and deserts with no plan other than to "find God." And he really was a UFO believer in the full sense. He writes:
"I saw a flying saucer this summer. They're all over the place now. I think maybe this is also part of  the story, you know—the Space People and how they want us to change. I'm confident they'll be here soon. I hear that if we all visualize the ships, that'll encourage them to come even sooner."
        Rush was so convinced of the importance of the UFO phenomenon that he contacted, and eventually visited, the one-time write-in Presidential candidate Gabriel Green, founder of the Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America Inc. I have no hesitation in declaring that Green (1924-2001) was a nutcase. He declared that he had met the crew of a flying saucer, and that they came from the planet Korendor, a satellite of Alpha Centauri. A modern equivalent would be Corey Goode, who claims many such face-to-face meetings. Neither of them has any credibility whatever.

        The Heaven's Gate "away team" were all crazy, but what about Courtney Brown? It was he who through so-called "remote viewing" told the world that there was an alien spaceship accompanying comet Hale-Bopp, and it was precisely that IFO that the Heaven's Gate loonies believed they could get aboard by means of suicide. I doubt if Brown is really crazy, more likely just misinformed and arrogant.

        "Misinformed and arrogant" would apply also to Robert Morningstar, editor of UFO Digest, who gets castigated a lot in this blog because of his wildly erroneous declarations—a perfect example from last September would be this. He's an educated and reasonably intelligent man, but when it comes to the UFO phenomenon he loses all analytical skills, and peddles trash like this. The one thing that Morningstar will never, ever, do is admit that he was mistaken.

A business decision
        There's money to be made in the UFO business—serious money. Many people are so thirsty for updates that the market for books, magazines, videos and conferences on the topic has never been brisker. The quintessential exploiter of this market is Tom Delonge's To The Stars Academy, launched in 2014. TTSA was chosen as the conduit for the US Government's release of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification data, and Delonge recruited Luis Elizondo from that project once he retired from the Pentagon, plus several other former federal officials. I don't think any of those people are mad in the slightest—they just see a business opportunity and want to be part of it. They may be right, although a fairly recent article in Motherboard casts some doubt on TTSA's financial prospects. It's perfectly possible that Delonge and his collaborator Hal Puthoff don't themselves believe UFOs are IFOs—perhaps they're just very keen to promote themselves and their "research" to those who do.

        So in contemplating all this, I find no answer to my own question. Clearly, you don't have to be bonkers to be a believer, but it certainly helps.

========================/ \======================
[1] Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 1977

[2] Farrar, Straus and Giroux (April 2, 2019) ISBN: 0374294410

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Court of Appeals to Sean David Morton: "F off"

        You might remember from a blogpost of last November, "Sean David Morton takes his best shot," that the self-described legal scholar used a very dodgy version of the doctrine of judicial estoppel to argue that his conviction on 30 counts should be set aside and that he should be released from his cell in the Tucson penitentiary. Well, the wheels of justice grind slowly but they get there in the end. Yesterday the Ninth Circuit gave him the answer, and it's a major slap-down—basically not just "fuck off" but also "If you keep this bullshit up we'll gag you". The full text:
Before: O’SCANNLAIN, W. FLETCHER, and WATFORD, Circuit Judges.
Appellant Sean David Morton’s requests for summary disposition (Docket Entry Nos. 27, 28, 29, 30) and to expedite his appeal (Docket Entry No. 32) are denied. The motion to stay briefing (Docket Entry No. 31) is denied as moot. Further filing of meritless motions may result in the court withdrawing appellant Morton’s leave to represent himself on appeal. See 9th Cir. R. 4(d).
Appellant’s opening brief is due May 20, 2019; appellee’s answering brief is due June 20, 2019; and the optional reply brief is due within 21 days after service of the answering brief. Any further motion for an extension of time to file the opening brief must demonstrate extraordinary and compelling circumstances.
        I'm obliged to The Emoluments' unofficial legal correspondent, A.E., for tracking the case.

Sovereign Citizens? No way
        I'm obliged to ufowatchdog for drawing my attention to a nicely-written piece by Ashley Powers in the 29th March New York Times. The article is headed How Sovereign Citizens Helped Swindle $1 Billion From the Government They Disavow, and it slices SDM into tiny shreds and serves him up for dinner.
« When Mr. Morton reached adulthood, he sold unorthodox beliefs from behind a suburban-dad veneer: a flop of dark hair, a round, clean-shaven face, and a button-down-and-khakis wardrobe. He was charismatic but also childlike, friends said, his ego easily bruised. He branded himself an investigative reporter within the U.F.O. world, and in the 1990s, when Mr. Morton appeared on “The Montel Williams Show,” he made outrageous claims — more than 100 alien species had visited Earth! — with the certainty of a Nobel laureate. “I got close enough to one of these things that was floating around in the desert to actually get my face burned by it,” he said.
Even other U.F.O. enthusiasts considered him a kook, but Mr. Morton’s fans didn’t care. The truth was out there — and Sean David Morton had it. Branding himself a prophet, he plumbed the new-age convention circuit alongside specialists in animal telepathy, chakras, hauntings, angelic gemstone messages and the afterlife. »
        Morton has served 19 months of a six-year sentence. He may get out in another two years, perhaps (his wife Melissa is already in a half-way house). But I hope he's learned from this that his ridiculous posturing as a legal scholar is far from helpful. I'm quite sure he's been telling his fellow-crims "Just watch me, lads, I'll be outta here in next to no time". If he's told them the truth, they must be having a good laugh now.

Mini-update, 15th April
Royce Myers' ufowatchdog blog has posted more on this today: "The Kookiness continues."

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Kerry Cassidy in Vacaville again

        Not as a prisoner, but as a prison visitor, for the TENTH time. Vacaville is the site of the Solano California State prison, and it's been home to a violent murderer and spectacular liar called Mark Richards since 1983. Kerry Cassidy likes hearing Richards' extravagant yarns so much that she's schlepped to Vacaville now ten times—a journey of over 300 miles each way—to hear them and tell the world about them.

        This latest interview took place in mid-March. Cassidy's report of it is in video here, and transcribed here. I'm extremely glad for the transcript because I always struggle with the audio of her reports. It's got nothing to do with her voice—when Kevin Moore interviewed her I heard every word.

source: Project Camelot

Do your research!
On the 22nd (of 27) page of the transcript, KC writes:
"I encourage all those reading this and watching my Mark Richards interviews to ... see what resonates. Discernment is all about being able to tell truth from falsity. As with all information, do your own research."
I did quite a bit of research for my critique of Interview #9, and had no problem doing more for this article. I have to report that very little "resonates". Some comments:

Page 1: "He is an honorable officer of the Navy, who because of his rebellion against the Draco and Reptoids (Luciferian alliance) is considered a threat to their operations".

Richards is nothing of the sort. He never enlisted in the US Navy, much less attained the rank of Captain. The Luciferian alliance is a science fiction concept with no basis in reality.

Page 2: "He was framed for a murder he is accused of having masterminded while he was on a mission off-planet in service to humanity. He was Captain of a starship enterprise type vessel, fighting the war against aliens bent on the takeover of Planet Earth.

Richards was not "off-planet," or fighting wars against aliens. He was present at the murder scene although he did not strike the fatal blows. His fingerprints were on the murder weapon, and the victim's credit cards were found in his possession.

Page 5: "I believe that Richard Baldwin was selected as the victim by the team within the military and highest levels of power in Britian and the U.S. reponsible for framing Mark Richards."

Poppycock. The simple truth is that Richards' home remodelling business was failing and he needed money. There is not the slightest evidence of involvement by US military ops. As for British top-level involvement, that goes beyond fantasy into sickness.

Page 10: "Mark states that he had just returned from fighting the war in the Falklands. Which he says was a battle for control of planet Earth. .... It was a battle with alien races; Draco, Reptilians and Greys. The Raptors fought on the side of the humans."

The murder took place on 6th July 1982. Argentine forces surrendered on 14th June, so the dates are plausible. However, the belligerents were exclusively The United Kingdom and Argentina, and the motives were control of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich, not "planet Earth". Again, Reptilians etc. are figments of science fiction. It's frankly astounding that Kerry Cassidy would report this fantasy as fact, when so much about the Falklands War is a matter of easily-researched public record.

Page 13: "With regard to the trial, ... the DA relied exclusively on the information provided by Andrew Campbell. ... Campbell was highly likely to have been the undercover agent on the scene orchestrating events, while Hoover (the other perp) was the patsy."

This "does not resonate," as Kerry would say. Another way of putting it is that it's a fucking lie. Hoover was at least as important a source of information for the prosecution as Campbell. Both Campbell and Hoover were 18-year-old unskilled kids. See "From Pendragon to a Secret Space Program".

Page 16: "There are 5 key points on the planet, called LaGrange points or L5. ... Mark says those points allow one to jump off planet easily and used to be used for shuttle craft going back and forh to the larger Orion craft parked above the planet."

The five LaGrange points are not on the planet but in space, in the orbital plane of any two large gravitational bodies. L5 is just one of them. They have nothing to do with shuttle flights and there is no such thing as a parked Orion spaceship.

Page 24: "NEW NATIONAL PARK OFF VANDERBURG [sic] AF BASE. This new National Park called "Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve" has been established to hide a huge ET underwater and undergound base that stretches down to Malibu"

It's fair (or "it resonates") to call the Dangermond Preserve new, since the $165 million donation to the Nature Conservancy was made just in 2017. However, it is not a National Park and it does not conceal an alien base. Its extent is 24,000 acres.

The lunch receipt
        On pp. 13-24 of the transcript, we read that a trial witness known as "the chimney sweep" stated that he had a receipt proving that Mark Richards had bought lunch for his crew (Campbell & Hoover) prior to the murder. The account continues "But Mark claims he simply paid for the lunch and then did not eat with the crew but continued on to have lunch with his parents at their home."

        The question then is, How can a man who is supposedly off planet fighting alien wars also be having lunch with his parents??? That question obviously troubled Chad Mensan, a YouTube commenter. He wrote:
"Throughout the previous nine interviews, and the several years during which they were conducted, the story was ALWAYS "off-planet"; it was never vague and never varied. Now we're told that there is physical evidence to the contrary, and it's presented without even an acknowledgement of its contradiction.
I think that there's something seriously rotten behind the scenes on this issue. Most importantly I hope that Kerry's okay."
Chad has a very good point. In my opinion, Kerry is not "okay". She's deranged.

Update: This is brilliant!
Another YouChoob commenter, "Ritalie," has now responded to Chan Mensan thuswise:
"What you are describing is not a change of a story, as much as it sounds like a timeline change. Have you ruled out the possibility that we have experienced a major time shift? I've seen it happen when Trump was elected. This is not the same Earth that we were on, prior to the 2016 election. Remember Hilary? Or Dolores Canon? Neither exist anymore."
        Of course!!!! A time shift!!!! How silly of us not to have thought of that. Mark Richards' story hasn't changed at all, it's just that the facts changed without his knowledge. Oh yes.

Update 9th April:
        Kerry has now released a statement apparently addressed to all those people who think, like me, that she's been bamboozled by a world-class liar. An extract:
"It’s not my job to convince you or anyone else.  We present the evidence and provide the interviews so you can see the witnesses speak for hours at a time under my high scrutiny and questions.  You decide.

If it resonates so be it.  If not, then no amount of truth telling will open your eyes.  If you wish to believe that Jo Ann and I are deluded.  That Mark who has written books and treatises available for a very low cost is not to be believed.  If you wish to remain in your cocoon of unknowingness do so."
        Oh dear. "Presenting the evidence" is exactly what Kerry fails to do. Letting us see Mark Richards speak for hours at a time is also what she fails to do, although I'm sure she'd love to take her camcorder into Vacaville if it was allowed. As for "high scrutiny," that's not what I've seen from her interviewing technique. Far from it.

"You decide," she says. Thanks, Kerry, I already did. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

We won't have LMH to kick around any more

Coast to Coast AM put up this announcement today:
« Because of other career commitments, including work on her autobiography, Linda Moulton Howe will no longer be presenting her monthly reports on Coast to Coast AM. "Thank you," Linda wrote to George Noory, "for the monthly air time" (dating back to 2003 with George, and 1991 with Art Bell). "Those 28 years have been a privilege for me to broadcast my Earthfiles science, environment and Real X-Files news...Cheers to more light and truth everywhere!"
We thank Linda for her outstanding contributions to Coast over the years, and wish her the best in all future endeavors. »
        "Light and truth" is not what this blog has seen in LMH's work over the years—far from it. Here's a selection of links to historic LMH postings here:

July 3, 2016: "Their ships were far superior to ours"
Linda swallows the utterly daft story about Apollo astronauts being warned to stay away from the Moon by extraterrestrials. She later deleted the story, but instead swallowed the slightly less daft story about Apollo 11 being followed to the Moon by an alien spacecraft.

December 22, 2017: "Open letter to Linda Moulton Howe"
Linda makes a complete hash of an interview with John Brandenburg.

December 2, 2018: "Linda Moulton Howe throws her reputation away"
Linda in even more gullible mood as she swallows barefaced lies by a man claiming to have been an astronaut on secret Apollo missions. Among other problems with Jon Lavine's story, he described landing at a site that would have been permanently out of touch with Planet Earth.

December 30, 2018: "Linda Moulton Howe capitulates"
Linda withdraws the Jon Lavine story, but suggests that he is a victim of MKULTRA-style memory substitution, rather than what he actually is—a liar and a fraud.

        In my ever-so-humble opinion, Linda is no great loss to radio. Her voice is awful, and I'm not the only listener who has that opinion. She all too often lets her thirst for sensationalism overcome any sincere journalisitc talent she may have.

        I will not be reading the autobiography, and I presume she won't be reading mine if it's ever published either. Tit (no pun intended) for tat. Tat is exactly what this woman specializes in.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

This is seriously funny

Apollo 10 transcript, Day 6

05 13 29 44 Stafford: "Ohh —Who did it?"
05 13 29 46 Young: "Who did what?"
05 13 29 47 Cernan: "What?"
05 13 29 49 Stafford: "Who did it?" (Laughter)
05 13 29 51 Cernan: "Where did that come from?"
05 13 29 52 Stafford: "Give me a napkin quick. There's a turd floating through the air."
05 13 29 55 Young: "I didn't do it. It ain't one of mine."
05 13 29 57 Cernan: "I don't think it's one of mine."
05 13 29 59 Stafford: "Mine was a little more sticky than that. Throw that away."
05 13 30 06 Young: "God Almighty."

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Maximum paranoia

"Everyone in the United States is being tracked with Satellite Microwave pulses.  This is not a joke.  Place your hand FIRMLY on the top-back part of your head, and hold it for 30 seconds.  You will begin to feel the "pops" and pulses on your knuckles.  The top of your hand will begin to "tingle."  These microwaves [sic] pulses cause brain damage to you and your family members."
image: Richard Lighthouse

        The above is taken from the website of Richard Lighthouse, who says he holds a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and has previously worked for NASA.

        If his master's degree were in electrical, not mechanical, engineerng, Lighthouse would know that a feature of microwave transmission is that it propagates in a very narrow beam. It's an advantage in broadacst and telephony applications, because many different signal paths can be established within a limited space without cross-interference. However, to target all 325 million people spread across four million square miles, microwaves would not be the technology of choice.

        And then, is Lighthouse really alleging Tracking, or is he really talking about Attacking? His crude diagram (reproduced above) shows no return path by which the sinister forces of evil might derive useful information about the location and status of each individual. As we know, a majority of US adults now willingly carry with them a small device that enables precision tracking automatically by cellphone service providers. There would not seem to be any need for less efficient tracking from orbit, but attacking would be another matter—we have not yet reached the point where cellphones can be made into weapons (injury from people bumping into lamp-posts because they're too focussed on that little rectangle in their hands doesn't count).

A family tree of paranoia
        Lighthouse has another diagram on that web site, and it's too complex to reproduce here, where blogspot would shrink it to the point of unreadability. The diagram depicts the CIA at the head of a hierarchy of alphabet soup agencies whose task, allegedly, is to attack citizens. The hierarchy has four branches: The first is to AFSPC (Air Force Space Command) with its directed energy weapons. The second descends via ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) to DHS (Department of Homeland Security) which, according to Lighthouse, practises something he calls "Gangstalking".note 1 The third branch goes through ODNI again to NCTC (National Counter-Terrorism Center), which identifies foreign targets, and the final branch identifies domestic targets supervised by DOJ (Department of Justice) and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).

        This diagram is titled Overview of the Targeted Individual Program. With all those dedicated agencies and expert people involved, it's a bit surprising that the pile of dead bodies isn't more noticeable. Perhaps, it occurs to me, Richard Lighthouse is as wrong about this as he is about microwave tracking.

Guess who believes this nonsense
        Why, Kerry Cassidy, of course. On 15th February Kerry published "A Letter to all Targeted, Tortured, Trafficked Individuals Worldwide." She included Lighthouse's hierarchy diagram (not very well attributed, I must say) and wrote:
"At the moment I am inundated by horror stories from targeted individuals.  What people don’t realize is people have been targeted by satanists and diabolical military ops for many years long before this whole “TI” movement began.  I have way too many people talking about what has been done to them.  Keep in mind that pedophile rings, human trafficking, human slavery and sacrifice has been going on for centuries.

If I interviewed every targeted, trafficked individual it would be like interviewing every cancer patient worldwide.  They attack, target, stalk, rape, damage and destroy homes, families, careers etc."
        In May 2015 Kerry reported an attack on her by what she called a "scaler" [sic] weapon. However, it didn't seem to be particularly effective because she felt sick enough to cease her internet logorrhoea for just a few days. Can't the combined forces of all those agencies do any better than that?

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[1] Three years ago, the New York Times published a long article about this branch of paranoia in its Health section. The author, Mike McPhate, wrote "The community, conservatively estimated to exceed 10,000 members, has proliferated since 9/11, cradled by the internet and fed by genuine concerns over government surveillance. A large number appear to have delusional disorder or schizophrenia, psychiatrists say." 

ref: Complaints of group-stalking (‘gang-stalking’): an exploratory study of their nature and impact on complainants. Lorraine Sheridan & David James: J. Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Vol. 26 Issue 5, 16 June 2015. "Group-stalking appears to be delusional in basis, but complainants suffer marked psychological and practical sequelae."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

R.I.P Opportunity

graphic: NASA/JPL

        Along with countless other people interested in spaceflight and astronomy, I congratulate JPL Project Manager John Callas and his expert team on a fabulous mission that came to an end in a planet-wide dust storm on 10th June last year, and was officially declared completed yesterday. The rover exceeded its planned life by 14 years, 294 days

        Here's a wonderful interactive infographic of Oppy's journey, courtesy of The New York Times.

Monday, February 4, 2019

"Multiple scientists"... oh yeah?

James Concannon writes...

        Robert Morningstar, as I've remarked previously, gets up in the morning and scratches around his favorite internet sources to see what's shocking today. He then re-posts a selection without ever checking to see if what he's laying before his followers is actually... you know, TRUE.

        Today's hilarious result was an article titled "Multiple Scientists Publish Papers Suggesting The Moon Is Hollow & Artificially Made," by Arjun Walia of Exonews. Walia has no qualifications related to astronomy, and none in journalism either. An article he wrote in 2013 linking vaccines to autism was demolished by the I Speak of Dreams blog.

        So who are these "multiple scientists" of which Walia writes? In order as written, they are the following:

1. USAF Colonel Ross Dedrickson (d. 2007). He had some crackpot ideas about aliens on the Moon, but he was not a scientist and he never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

2. Dr. Horace Crater, a physicist from the University of Tennessee Space Institute, who, according to Walia's Exonews article,  "recently published a paper in the Journal of Space Exploration that identified certain features that appear inside the [satellite] crater Paracelsus C on the far side of the Moon."

        A paper of that nature was indeed published by J. Space Exploration, on 30 September 2016. Its exact title was Image Analysis of Unusual Structures on the Far Side of the Moon in the Crater Paracelsus C. The problem is, Horace Crater, who retired in June 2015, didn't write it. The authors were Mark J Carlotto, Francis L Ridge and Ananda L Sirisena of the Lunascan Project and Society for Planetary SETI Research, Tennessee, USA. Mark Carlotto is one of the foremost proponents of the artificiality of the so-called Face on Mars. He's a satellite imaging specialist, not a scientist [but see comment by Dee, #10 below]. The Lunascan Project is or was a project specifically looking for lunar anomalies. These are the "unusual structures":

        That does not quite amount to a claim that the entire Moon is artificial, now does it?

3. The Deputy Manager for the Clementine Mission to the Moon. That would presumably be Lt. Col. Pedro Rustan of the US Naval Research Laboratory. As fas as I know Rustan never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

4. Ingo Swann. Swann (d. 2013) was a self-described psychic and remote viewer, not a scientist. Arjun Walia writes that he "reported viewing strange structures and humanoid creatures on the Moon." That's "viewing" as in "seeing in his imagination" not as in "actually seeing." Swann never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

5. Sean C. Solomon, the director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Solomon said that the core of the Moon is a mystery, not that it's a hollow space.

6. Jim Marrs. Marrs (d. 2017) was a journalist and author, not a scientist. His reliablility on matters lunar may be judged from the fact that he said, at the Conscious Life Expo in February 2015, "NASA offers us no better resolution of images of the Moon and Mars than 100 yards, and at that, they all have "blurred out areas." " Marrs said plenty of whacko things, but that the Moon is hollow and artificially made is not two of them.

7. Isaac Asimov. Asimov (d. 1992) was a renowned science fiction author. He had some interesting insights about the Moon but he also never said or wrote that the Moon is hollow and artificially made.

        So the Exonews article contains not one single example of what its headline promises in plurality. Perhaps a writer cannot be held accountable for a headline, but Robert Morningstar, who describes himself as a scholar and a "civilian intelligence analyst," can be and should be castigated for irresponsible re-posting.

Ken Johnston makes a promise he can't keep

        A whole bunch of people are going to be disappointed at 1:30 pm on 22nd March, as they assemble for the following presentation at the Human Origins Conference in Rio Rancho, NM.

        I already know what Ken's going to show under the pretence that he's revealing alien bases. It'll be photo artifacts like this:

         The filespec of that image is Dr Ken Johnston Apollo Archive Collection_Page_487.jpgnote 1 Bear in mind that this image was scanned by Ken's biographer Bret Sheppard from a reversal frame—a projector slide, in other words. Such scans are notoriously subject to reflections. Here's a correctly-scanned version of AS15-88-11967 for comparison:note 2

photo: NASA

        Bear in mind, also, that Johnston himself is a bit of a skeptic about this rubbish. Interviewed by Kerry Cassidy in January 2016, Ken had this comment:
(1:27:49) "A lot of these anomalies that people will see -- I don't necessarily see them, 'cause I'm pretty much a straightforward engineer .. We know that if we stare at the wall long enough we can make all kinds of pictures."
        I guess Ken has learnt that you don't get invited to woo-woo conferences by expressing opinions like that, so he's taken the pragmatic line.

        He's gone so far as to associate himself with really woo-woo associations. Ascension Age (a.k.a. Allied Command Organisation Invisible College) is a coterie of people fantasizing about space colonies. Their web site proclaims:
"Commander Ken Johnston Sr. is one of our Main Directors on Planet Earth for educational Communication and recruitment for intergalactic contact."
        If ever Ken was "a straightforward engineer," he sure isn't one any more.

Nefertiti and a parrot on Mars
        Human Origins conference attenders are in for even more disillusion the following day, when George Haas presents The Mars Codex. George is the dreamer who sees patterns on Mars. When the patterns aren't clear anough to convince anyone, he simply draws things in.

photos: Cydonia Institute

Thanks to James Oberg for monitoring

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[1] A whole collection of this nonsense can be found here.

[2] When I blogged about this image in 2016, "Trekker" identified the terrain as this area in the Mare Fecunditatis.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Now you see it, now you don't

        Well, actually, now you don't see it, now you still don't. I'm referring to Nibiru, or Tyche, Planet X or Planet Nine. A trans-Neptunian object in a 15,000-year orbit, much loved by pseudo-astronomers including Messrs. Hoagland & Bara. These two half-educated speculators wrote about it in their 2007 book Dark Mission (NOT a NYT best-seller despite its authors' frequent claims). The speculation was, actually, either one massive planet in a posigrade orbit, or two smaller ones going retrograde (p.115, 2nd edn.). It was based on a diagram plotting specific luminosity (W/kg) vs. specific angular momentum (sq cm/sec) that hoagland took from a book called The New Solar System then slapped his own copyright on it. The figures the diagram uses include, in each case, the named body plus anything in orbit around it.

        According to him, the solar system as a whole has less angular momentum than it should, and Planet X (or Planets -y and -z) would bring it into line. I don't think either Hoagland or Bara understand what specific angular momentum means (it means angular momentum per unit mass, so to arrive at the true angular momentum of the solar system, you'd need to multiply that number for 'Sun' in the diagram—4 x 1020 approx—by the mass of the whole kit and caboodle).

        When, in January 2016, Batygin & Brown of CalTech lent their support to Planet X on the basis of the orbital anomalies of six Kuiper Belt objects, Mike Bara did the Toldya dance on his blog. But he got totally confused between Planet X and Nemesis, a hypothetical brown dwarf companion of the Sun that has nothing to do with the Kuiper Belt. Stuart "astroguy" Robbins expressed more than a modicum of skepticism about the announcement from CalTech.

An icy disc
        This week Sefilian and Touma of Cambridge University and the American University of Beirut have come up with a model that explains the orbital anomalies without requiring a massive trans-Neptunian object (TNO).note 1
 "We wanted to see whether there could be another, less dramatic and perhaps more natural, cause for the unusual orbits we see in some TNOs. We thought, rather than allowing for a ninth planet, and then worry about its formation and unusual orbit, why not simply account for the gravity of small objects constituting a disc beyond the orbit of Neptune and see what it does for us?
"If you remove planet nine from the model and instead allow for lots of small objects scattered across a wide area, collective attractions between those objects could just as easily account for the eccentric orbits we see in some TNOs." --Antranik Sefilian
        The hypothesised icy disc probably has a mass equivalent to ten Earths—not very muchnote 2, but Sefilian and Touma say it's enough. They aren't claiming to have actually observed such a disc, just to have worked out the physical implications assuming it exists. It's important to understand that nobody claims to have actually observed Planet X, or Nibiru, either. Now you don't see it, now you still don't.

=========================/ \========================
[1] Antranik A. Sefilian, Jihad R. Touma. Shepherding in a Self-Gravitating Disk of Trans-Neptunian Objects. Astronomical Journal, 2019

[2] Neptune is 17 Earths, Jupiter 318

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Mike Bara, unorthoDOX

     Mike Bara really does love the word imbecile. In the world of twitter, anyone who disses his fave sports teams gets that epithet, and also anyone who thinks it's tacky to turn an image of a landslide on the Moon upside down and label it as a "crystal city". Actually, for the latter, he sometimes favors  "lick my balls, asshole". He does have a way with words, although it's not a way I favor personally.

        Of course he didn't really hold up that sign during his recent Tell The Truth Wednesday vlog—that's just an internet fake, I can't think where it came from. What he did hold up was an envelope containing two free tix to Alien Snowfest, a prize he was offering to one of his fans. The interesting part is that the lucky prizewinner got to see her name and full street address plastered across YouTube thanks to Bara. The address was entirely readable.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Congratulations to the China National Space Agency

        Chang'e 4 touched down on the floor of Von Kármán crater at 02:26 GMT today. This is the first image from the lander:

photo: CNSA

        There is no direct communication between Earth and Chang'e 4. Data is relayed via a satellite called Queqiao (trans: Magpie bridge) at the L2 libration point, 64,000 km beyond the Moon. Queqiao was pre-positioned in May last year. I don't know whether the relay has spare channels that might be available to other nations' far side landers, if and when they arrive.

        Von Kármán is an enormous crater, whose Eastern edge is right on the 180° longitude. The cross marks the exact landing point, 45.471° S 177.606° E.

        Here's where it is in relation to the whole far side. The very large dark area at 26.5° N, 148° E is the Mare Moscoviense, one of the very few maria on this side of the Moon. Tsiolkovsky, the crater that Ken Johnston says contains an alien base, is also notably dark, at 20.4° S, 129.1° E (almost due NW from Von Kármán). The so-called "crashed spaceship" visited by the non-existent Apollo 20 mission is at 18.66° S, 117.68° E; NW again from Tsiolkovsky and well over toward the near side.


Trivia: The crater is named for Theodore Von Kármán (born Kármán Tódor in Budapest), a mathematician and aeronautical engineer who was one of the founders of JPL. The public auditorium at JPL is also named for him.

Update 4 January:

photo: CNSA

        This is how far the Yutu rover has progressed. It will now go into sleep mode for six days to assure survival during the hottest part of the lunar day.

Update 11 January:
The real-time descent and landing video is now available.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Solution to the year-end acrostic

"Following the political tumult and excitement of the first successful lunar landings, the White House and NASA dramatically changed the direction of the entire space program under the excuse of a lack of public interest and insufficient funding."
--Richard Hoagland, Dark Mission

A. Ruffians
B. Ice-T
C. Cupped
D. Hellhole
E. Acceded
F. Ratline
G. Duffle
H. Hexadecimal
I. Oberg
J. Accutron
K. George Noory
L. Lustful
M. Aching
N. Nuffield
O. Diffidence
P. Dwelt
Q. Atticum
R. Rosh Hashannah
S. Kitten paws
T. Morningstar
U. Institute
V. Space station
W. Staunch
X. Illuminati
Y. Often
Z.  Netsex

For reference, the acrostic is here: