Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mike Bara tells us about another "Secret Space Program" that never happened

        Mike Bara is just obsessed with the false idea that there's a secret US moonbase. He's totally wrong, as I pointed out in critiquing his books Hidden Agenda and Ancient Aliens and JFK. Just last month, I reviewed a long article by Clyde Lewis that repeated a couple of Bara's fantasies, namely:

  • Project Horizon may not have been cancelled but secretly built.
  • Wikileaks posted a reference to a report that the USSR destroyed a secret US moonbase (but not the report itself, or even a link to it).

Tell the truth
        In last night's vlog, titled "Tell the Truth Wednesday", Bara mentioned both those fantasies all over again, and spent quite a long time talking about what he called another US secret space program. "It was totally secret," he stated. It was something "that nobody ever told you about." He even said "we were lied to back in the 60s".

        OMG, a real secret??? What could this be??? Well, it turns out that he was talking about the USAF's dream project, the Manned Orbital Laboratory. Just like Project Horizon, the point to bear in mind about MOL is that it never flew. As for its secrecy, it might have been classified for a year or two but it became public knowledge in December 1963. It was cancelled in 1969.note 1

        Bara got all excited about this image posing 14 of the 17 MOL astronauts. This, apparently, is what he meant when he said "we were lied to"—meaning, we weren't told about these astronauts. Well, we sure were when this picture was released, weren't we?

        See that guy in naval uniform, bottom row extreme right? That's Dick Truly, who switched to NASA immediately MOL was cancelled and flew STS-2 and STS-8. He became the 8th NASA Administrator, in office 1989-1992.

        Other Shuttle astronauts in that picture are Henry Hartsfield , Bob Overmyer, Gordon Fullerton, Bob Crippen, Don Peterson and Karol Bobko.

        So if Mike Bara wants us to believe that MOL, like Horizon, may not have really been cancelled, he's going to have to explain how it could have continued when at least seven of its key crewmen had moved on to NASA.

Bait 'n' switch
        Bara obviously thinks dark hints about seekrit space programs have consumer appeal, and perhaps he's right. But his problem is, he can't deliver what he promises his consumers. In 2016 he wrote Hidden Agenda: NASA and the Secret Space Program, but he was forced by lack of honest material to pad it out with Vimanas, The EM Drive (which not only has nothing to do with space but is also notably UN-secret), Explorer 1 (which he totally mis-reported for the third time), the early unmanned moonshots, and technology transfer from the Roswell "crash." When it comes to actual space programs, all he has in his black bag is these military dreams that were cancelled before ever coming to fruition. I hope his readers are suitably annoyed with him.

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[1] Personally I doubt it would ever have worked as intended. The crew would have been launched in a modified Gemini, then had to float through a hole in the heat shield into the main space. A very dangerous design.


Anonymous said...

The heat shield was tested on one flight and the recovered spacecraft can be seen in the Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio. The thing that killed MOL was not the design, which was unconventional, but worked quite well, but the increasing capability of unmanned photorecce spacecraft. PBS did a quite good NOVA episode about the program and its Soviet analog the ALMAZ program. Hope this helps.

expat said...

Thanks anon. ALMAZ actually went into orbit, manned and disguised as a Salyut. Twice, I believe.

Anonymous said...

You are most welcome. Happy to help. And yes, ALMAZ did fly manned twice. Little known fact, ALMAZ carried a recoiless cannon for defense against Western attempts to hijack the spacecraft, a case of paranoia run wild.

expat said...

Oh, what a little gem of info that is!

It's also said that MMU developed for MOL was for astronauts to go outside and mess with other nations' satellites.

Chris Lopes said...

This the same as the Blue Gemini program isn't it? There was a website dedicated to the project by the same name, but I can't find it any more.

expat said...

No Chris, Blue Gemini didn't even get as far as MOL before being cancelled. James Webb went to Kennedy and told him he'd resign if it went ahead.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the MMU was an outgrowth of work done for MOL and tested during the last SKYLAB mission. But frankly I have not dug terribly deeply into the system.

Just an FYI on the ALMAZ cannon:

Anonymous said...

I really think Bara just pucks this stuff out of his posterior to attract attention, the fact he is the poster child for Dunning Kruger Syndrome never enters his defective mind.

Anonymous said...

I remember that website, it was called Deep Cold, and it showed the programs of both
the U.S. and U.S.S.R that never really took off.

It showed low-res videos of the Blue Gemini, MOL, and X-20.

The Soviet ones were the ALMAZ, the Spiral spaceplane, and Soyuz VI, IIRC.

The videos of Blue Gemini and MOL are still on YouTube though.