Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review of RCH/C2C 21st Sept

       Richard Hoagland was vouchsafed about ten minutes in Hour 1 to comment on the re-accretion theory of Phobos that was expounded in Rome yesterday. He also, naturally, seized the occasion to promote the upcoming Transformation Conference, hoping to snag a few more punters at $500 a head.

       Skipping the question of what happened to the dramatic announcement he'd predicted just two weeks ago, he contented himself by assuring us that "They're going to be driven inexorably toward the fact that Phobos is artificial, because their theory JUST WON'T WORK."

       And why does he say re-accretion won't work? Because, he claimed, Phobos is already threatening to tear itself apart due to tidal forces. "You can't have accretion in a body that's dissociating," he stated (perhaps not exactly verbatim, but close.) In passing, we might raise an eyebrow since his use of the term dissociating blows his whole theory that this is a constructed body — dissociation essentially describes what happens to a loose clump of rocks and debris.

       Well, as usual, due to his total lack of education in physics and astronomy, Hoagland has got it wrong. Tidal forces are a real phenomenon, to be sure. It's possible for them to be strong enough to cause the break-up of a moon, yes indeed. But NOT Phobos.

       FACT: Tidal force exerted on a moon depends on the radius and density of both the moon and its parent planet, and most critically on the mean distance from the planet of the moon's orbit. A gentleman called Edouard Roche, a French astronomer, did the difficult calculations for us back in 1848, and came up with a critical orbit radius INSIDE WHICH a moon of a given size and mass could not survive. This radius is known as the Roche limit. The classic example of the Roche limit in action is Saturn: inside about 133,000 kM, you get rings — beyond it, moons can and do accrete.

       FACT: Phobos's orbit is at 172% of its Roche limit.

       On this very radio show, back in 2006, Hoagland said in response to new Mars Express images of the so-called Face on Mars, "Science is not about what you can see, it's about what you can measure." Time for Hoagland to stop hand-waving do some measuring, methinks.

Update, 10/13/10: 
Yesterday this appeared on Hoagland's FB page:

My "ESA guy" got scared and refused to release/disclose what he'd promised several months ago.

No comment needed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of the line

        End of the line for the dramatic revelations about Phobos at the EPSC conference.

        End of the line for Deepwater Horizon.

        Richard Hoagland was comprehensively wrong.

        What's next? Oh, that's right -- the cities in the rings of Saturn. How fun.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


       Hoagland & Bara have a great technique for making themselves appear to be much more on-the-ball than they really are. They just wait for any offbeat news item with a space connection, and claim that it's EXACTLY WHAT WE PREDICTED. Apparently nobody but me reacts by asking "When was this predicted? Was the prediction written down? Can I see?"

       A few historical examples:

As I noted in the previous post, Mike Bara wrote that the star Regulus was 19.5° below the horizon as Buzz Aldrin took communion on the Moon, "exactly where the model would predict it to be" when in fact that's NOT what the "model" predicts.

On 4th Sept Hoagland wrote “A VARYING gravitational “constant” is CENTRAL to our Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Model”

On 14th Oct 2008 Bara wrote that the hexagonal storms on Saturn were “an inherent and specific prediction of the Hoagland\Torun Hyperdimensional physics model.”

Neither Hoagland nor Bara, nor Hoagland's metaphorical bum-boy Max Kiejzik have ever been able to come up with a citation to confirm those last two, despite repeated (and polite) requests.

       Yesterday a stunning example of this convenient recall adjustment phenomenon (let's call it CRAP) turned up in Hoagland's FB page. Somebody posted a recent article on a new NASA initiative abbreviated as HEFT (Human Exploration Framework Team.) The initiative proposed amendments to the official Presidential plan for the future US space program, specifically:

* Start right now on developing a heavy lift rocket rather than waiting until 2015
* Retain the Orion design for future deep space expeditions
* Develop a separate version of the Orion capsule for ISS emergency rescue

       Using all the powers of CRAP, Hoagland posted as follows:

It's coming together EXACTLY as we discussed, MANY months ago on "Coast." :)

       That's pretty funny. Hilarious, in fact. The major discussion of the future of NASA on "Coast to Coast AM" took place on May 26th, and that has to be the one he's referring to. What most people remember about that is Richard Hoagland literally shouting down Robert Zubrin over the question of Phobos' artificiality. But in fact, the roundtable also included Buzz Aldrin and Howard Bloom. Here's the summary of that part of the discussion:

Bloom said he supports private efforts such as Elon Musk's Space X rocket, as well as Aldrin's Unified Space Vision. Joining him in the first half of the show, Apollo astronaut and rocket scientist Buzz Aldrin outlined a plan in which NASA could land on the Martian moon Phobos in 2022 and set up a base, with eventual landings on Mars itself by 2031. Aldrin also said that he supports an international effort to develop the moon with partners such as China and India.

In the second half of the program, founder of the Mars Society, Robert Zubrin and C2C Science Advisor Richard C. Hoagland discussed and sometimes debated space issues. Zubrin stated he was not in favor of the Obama space plan, and that instead "our goal should be to send humans to Mars by the end of the decade." Hoagland believes Obama has taken bad advice (from John Holdren in particular) in formulating NASA's mission plan.

       I heard that show, and the summary is accurate enough. The main point was that Hoagland agreed with Aldrin about the Phobos-then-Mars strategy. In fact, he predicted that President Obama would change his mind and make a Kennedy-style national commitment to that goal. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING was said about splitting the functions of Orion, and if anybody urged that NASA start right away on the heavy-lift vehicle, I missed it.

       On Facebook, there was immediate strong verification of the effectiveness of CRAP. Chris Burch posted:

He's right you know. He did predict this would go down.It's kind of irritating when someone is right all the time. I guess thats why Mr. Hoagland is a target for certain individuals. They just can't stand it. Hey. Give the man his due.

       Really quite amazing, isn't it? Just like those mile-high glass domes on the Moon, if you insist they're there in an authoritative manner, some people will see them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mike Bara's very personal interpretation of the truth

       Reading that error-filled book "Dark Mission," it isn't always easy to tell which author is responsible for the page you're on. In general, Hoagland is the one who overemphasizes EVERYTHING, and Mike Bara is the one who seems full of resentment. But perhaps they fool us at times.

       There's no doubt, however, about the authorship of the material on pp. 11-14 in the intro to the 2nd edn. It's Bara, doing what he fancifully calls "additional research on key points" (presumably he didn't want to call it "correcting our cock-ups".) In this case the "key point" is the exact moment when Buzz Aldrin performed the rudimentary holy communion ceremony on the Moon he describes in his book Men From Earth. The moment is significant, Bara tells us, because it needs to fit their theory that NASA goes to ridiculous lengths to ensure that major mission events occur only when certain astrological conditions are satisfied: any of several stars are at any of five elevations.

       Bara's first idea was that the ceremony occurred 33 minutes after the lunar landing, when the star Sirius was at an elevation of 19.5° as seen from the landing site. Now he tells us that that's most likely wrong. Better information suggests that the ceremony was later, at MET 105:25:38, after Aldrin made a short speech asking everyone to pause a moment and "give thanks in his or her own way." Hastily summoning the Red Shift software that Hoagland & Bara use to support the tottering towers of their theory, Bara declares triumphantly that all is OK. Even if Sirius was no longer at the magic elevation of 19.5°, Regulus (Alpha Leonis) was at MINUS 19.5°. Totally invisible, of course, but nevertheless satisfying the theory. Bara writes that this is exactly as their "model" would predict.

       The trouble is, that's NOT what the model predicts. The model predicts that EITHER Regulus OR Sirius, OR Alnitak, OR Alnilam, OR Mintaka will be at an elevation of EITHER -33°, OR -19.5°, OR 0°, OR 19.5°, OR 33°. Bara himself reiterates this on the very next page, and in actual fact, Hoagland has sometimes cheated and used other celestial objects in support of the theory.

       Anybody with training in science or even logic would dismiss this instantly as worthless evidence in support of a nutty idea. Perhaps the diehard fans of the comedy duo of H&B would say "we know what he means," and move on to the next bit of flim-flam. But most of us, I think, recognize this for what it is. A self-serving lie.

       On The Final Frontier, James Concannon points out that Hoagland & Bara have been able to find "ritual" star alignments for only one of the six Apollo landings, Apollo 12. That really is fatal to their crackpot theory, because Hoagland traces what he calls NASA's obsession with Egyptian mythology to the NASA geologist Farouk El-Baz, who is Egyptian by birth. What was Dr. El-Baz's primary contribution to Apollo? Why, landing site selection, of course. So this so-called evil genius, architect of NASA's "fanatical, relentless"[1] drive to pay homage to the Egyptian Gods, was only able to achieve ONE hit out of six landings?

[1] Quote from the caption to Fig. 5-10, "Dark Mission"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The fun is about to begin. Hmmm, yes.

       Ever since the Mars Express close fly-bys of Phobos, in March this year, Richard Hoagland has been promising that The European Space Agency itself would soon vindicate his thoroughly unscientific idea that the little moon of Mars is artificial. In a radio show he even went so far as to claim "they're dying to say it -- they're just waiting to be asked."

       Yesterday, on his FB page, he declared that the fun is about to begin. He means that the European Planetary Science Congress 2010 opens in two weeks, in Rome, and his idea of "fun" is the announcement that Phobos is artificial. Others may think that the "fun" will be in ridiculing Hoagland when that announcement is NOT made.

       Phobos will be discussed in session SB5 on Small Bodies and Planetary Moons, 20-22 Sept. The abstracts have been published and -- no surprise to anyone with any science training -- there's no sign of any announcement that Phobos is a spaceship.

       Later in Hoagland's FB text yesterday is a clue as to how he's planning to handle things when the conference is over.

One word--
"Plastics" .... :)
No, I meant "Phobos."
Biggest bang for the buck!
NO question ... given what is WAITING there ....
Which, my lastest "intel" says the Europeans are going to unveil -- if not a GREAT deal more -- shortly .... :)
Stay tuned.
The fun is about to begin! :)

We've been double-crossed before ....
We just have to be patient; the "inside game" is rapidly coming to some kind of "climax."
What may come out in PUBLIC, however, is still not totally locked in
Positioning ... positioning ... positioning ....

       When he's wrong, as he almost always is, his standard approach is to say nothing at all and move on to the next piece of utter nonsense. But in this case, look for Hoagland to say that HIS SOURCES have revealed to him that PRIVATELY the announcement WAS made in Rome.

       Which, of course, would still be totally contrary to what he's been claiming ever since March. No doubt his disciples will not notice, and will continue to hail him as a hero and the only man who truly knows what's going on.