Monday, February 27, 2012

Hoagland fails to understand Lunar atmosphere data, X-37B mission

        The panel discussion at the end of the Amsterdam Conference (April 2011) on "The Secret Space Program" has turned up on Youtube, and predictably it depicts an audience of sycophants applauding what is, in fact, totally erroneous information provided by the semi-literate pseudo-scientist Richard Hoagland.

        Starting at 14:07 in the video is Hoagland's answer to a question about the US Air Force secret orbital test vehicle code-named X-37B (Hoagland gets its designation wrong, calling it XB37.) Completely ignoring the known and documented fact that this test vehicle has never been further than low (~400 km) Earth orbit, and is certainly restricted to that environment, Hoagland announces that its true mission is to conduct reconnaissance on the SEEKRIT manned bases at the poles of the Moon. I'm not kidding — check for yourself.

        He goes on to say, in that breathless tone he adopts when he really wants to get the attention of his disciples, that results from the Indian Chandrayaan-1 Moon lander have demonstrated that Lunar atmospheric pressure has increased by a factor of 100 since it was measured by the Apollo 17 ALSEP back in 1972. He doesn't exactly say how he thinks this came about, but the implication is that he thinks this is evidence that someone is living up there and doing some terraforming.

        The key bit of information that Hoagland is utterly missing is that the Apollo 17 data was strictly nighttime atmosphere, whereas Chandrayaan-1 performed the first ever measurement of daytime atmospheric composition and pressure. What's more, the Apollo 17 experiment (Lunar Atmospheric Composition Experiment - LACE) ran for several years, whereas the Indian experiment (Chandra's Altitudinal Composition Explorer - CHACE) was attached to the Moon Impact Probe which did a one-time-only suicide dive to the surface lasting 24 minutes.

 Image credit: ISRO

        The precise problem the designers of LACE faced was the very stark difference between daytime and nighttime atmospheric pressure. It would be, in fact, very difficult—perhaps impossible—to design an instrument with the sensitivity range to measure both.They opted for the night measurement because the extreme day temperature (390°K, or nearly 120°C) causes outgassing from not only the instrument itself but all the technology in the immediate vicinity—the other ALSEP experiments, for example, not to mention the Lunar Module Descent Stage itself. Thus this type of measurement would not have been particularly useful. The CHACE experiment, being a quick kamikaze dive, was inherently less vulnerable to contamination.

        The CHACE result is certainly interesting, certainly high, although I think not totally outside expected limits. It is emphatically not evidence that anyone is tampering with the Moon's tenuous atmosphere. It's pretty good science, and we can't expect Richard Hoagland or his followers to understand or appreciate that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

John Glenn: Hoagland misses the point

        Richard C. Hoagland made a right ass of himself on Coast to Coast AM last night. Nothing unusual there, you may say. True, but this was a doozy.

        The proximate reason for booking this self-publicizing pseudo-scientist was the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's heroic Mercury mission, orbiting an American astronaut for the first time. Toward the end of hour 1, Hoagland made reference to Glenn's famous appearance on the Frasier comedy sitcom. Hoagland, hilariously, called Glenn's appearance a "scathing indictment of NASA," and proceeded to read Glenn's script as reprinted in Dark Mission p. 542 (2nd edn.)
"Back in those glory days, I was very uncomfortable when they asked us to say things we didn't want to say and deny other things. Some people asked ... "Were you alone out there?" We never gave the real answer, and yet we see things out there -- strange things -- but we know what we saw out there. And we couldn't really say anything. The bosses were really afraid of this, they were afraid  of the 'War of the Worlds'-type stuff, and about panic in the streets. So we had to keep quiet."
        Hoagland & Bara apparently believe this was an example of a NASA astronaut spilling the beans, revealing his true thoughts. Well, first off, it's quite true. Col. Glenn did say that. It was Frasier Season 8, Ep 184, first aired March 6, 2001. Frasier is A COMEDY SHOW. In case Hoagland or Bara is reading this, please let me explain the joke, because you obviously don't get it.

        The plot involved the character of Roz planning a radio show about space exploration. In a reversal of their usual roles, Roz is in charge, with Frasier merely booked to narrate the show. Neither of them adapts well to the work situation, and they clash repeatedly. Eventually Roz announces that Frasier is off the show, to be replaced by none other than John Glenn. Frasier, outraged, persists in interfering, and the argument escalates. Glenn sits down in the recording studio and begins the "improvised" monolog that Hoagland & Bara quoted. Glenn's monolog is actually intercut with scenes of Roz and Frasier still fighting and paying no attention to what their celebrity guest is saying.

        THE JOKE, Mr Hoagland and Mr Bara, IS THAT THE CHARACTERS ARE SO SELF-ABSORBED THAT THEY TOTALLY MISS SENSATIONAL MATERIAL. In fact they even hand over the recorded tape without having heard it. Just to be quite sure we understand this is a spoof, the producers added a laugh track throughout Glenn's monolog.

        Geddit? Geddit? Oh dear me, what clowns Hoagland & Bara are to be sure.....

Parrots and Pilots

        Later last night Hoagland trotted out his other total misunderstanding of astronaut quotes, saying that Neil  Armstrong, on the occasion of the Apollo 11 20th anniversary, likened astronauts to parrots, saying only what they'd been told to say. Here's what Armstrong actually said:
"Wilbur Wright once noted that the only bird that could talk was the parrot, and he didn't fly very well. So I'll be brief."
         Armstrong, of course, is possibly the greatest pilot the world has ever known but is also well known for being a poor and nervous public speaker. Is he likening himself to a bird whose talents are the exact opposite? No, of course not. He's apologizing for not being eloquent and saying that therefore he won't speak for long. He's the exact opposite of a parrot.

        Later still, Hoagland gave a pretty accurate account of US Space Policy, with all its hiccups and inconsistencies, since the Mike Griffin days, but then spoiled it all by revealing his extreme political naiveté. He said that the Republicans will deliberately lose the presidential election in November, because "somebody" has decided that Barack Obama is the right man to lead us through the 2012 apocalypse.

        Even George Noory had a hard time with that one.

James Oberg adds that he correctly anticipated this nonsense three days earlier. His confidential advisory to news media clients, emailed at 10:46 AM CST on February 17, included this paragraph:
15. In 2001 on the TV show ‘Frasier’, Glenn took part in a spoof in which he secretly confessed to encountering terrifying space aliens. As should have been expected, UFO nuts have claimed the scripted satire is actually an authentic admission of truth: search “Glenn, UFO, Frasier”, see  &

Monday, February 20, 2012

GFAJ-1: The movie

        Gudrun Jonsdottir, Hayley Dunning and Golnaz Fakhari of the Univ. British Columbia Sch. of Journalism (as GHG Productions) put together a 4-minute video promoting Rosie Redfield's microbiology counter-research (if I may coin a word.) How wonderful that Redfield turns out to have pink hair and a theatrical manner.

        Since Felisa Wolfe-Simon is known to have an excellent ear for music, perhaps we can hope for "GFAJ-1: The Musical" soon.

        New readers who might find this blogpost bafflingly cryptic can get background here and here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

More Accutron fraud

        Following up the previous post on this blog, I came across further dishonesty in this MicroSet timing trace:

Image credit:

        Recall what's going on here: Richard Hoagland has gone to the Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, at the time of the Venus transit of June 2004 to attempt to verify his hypothesis that interaction between the Sun and the planet Venus creates a "torsion wave" which temporarily reduces the inertia of anything it interacts with. His test apparatus consists of an Accutron wristwatch connected to a MicroSet watch timer, displaying on a laptop computer screen. A system diagram is here. The hypothesis is that the "torsion wave" will increase the frequency of the tuning fork controlling the watch. Hoagland wrote:

To make a LONG story shorter ... the torsion/HD effects of Venus -- as it was physically departing the western edge of the Sun (as seen in the Florida sky at dawn ...) -- were simply astonishing!

Based on the major frequency "jump" of the Accutron tuning fork occuring EXACTLY at the moment of 3rd Contact (when Venus' edge just "kissed" the Sun's western limb) -- from ~360 hertz (cycles per second) to 364.5 hertz -- the extrapolated daily acceleration of the Accutron at that rate was about twelve minutes per day! For a watch normally rated (by Bulova) as "... accurate to a minute a month." Clearly ... unquestionably-- "Something" had reached out from Venus at the precise moment it was geometrically projected against the visible edge of our closest star -- when, remember, Venus was ~25 million miles away from Earth -- and (somehow!) "touched " our little Accutron detector ...

Venus and the Sun -- by means of their own extraordinary masses and separate, but reversed, rotations (Venus spins backwards, remember ...) -- were obviously creating their own extraordinarily powerful, interfering "torsion fields" -- just as we predicted!! 

         Hoagland's theory is highly problematic. I cannot imagine any rational reason why third contact, as seen from South Florida, should be an event that would generate torsion, even if torsion fields existed (which they do not.) Moreover, there's a simple problem with Hoagland's timings. He notes third contact at 07:03:53, and fourth contact at 07:21:00. However, this table, issued by NASA Goddard, reports third contact at 07:07:33 EDT, and fourth contact at 07:27:31 EDT, both at Miami. Homestead is on the same longitude as Miami. Hoagland's frequency trace is therefore clearly fraudulent.

        Hoagland provided one other trace, from later that same morning:

Image credit: 

        This trace covers a longer stretch of time—from third contact all the way through 12:15 EDT, when he says that Venus was 1.5 solar radii away. He draws attention to a further frequency spike at that time without commenting on how that fits his hypothesis, and completely ignores the biggest spike of all, to over 366 Hz. There's no time scale to measure by, but that spike can be interpolated as occurring at 09:06 EDT, unrelated to any actual astronomical event. The simplest, and therefore most likely, explanation for all this woo-woo is that Richard Hoagland's wristwatch is crap.

"Let me through, I'm a world-famous pseudoscientist"

        Hoagland has said he took the same test apparatus to Stonehenge last August, and although he was shocked to discover that he was not permitted to enter the stone circle, he nevertheless says he achieved similarly "astonishing" results. If he ever publishes them, I'll study them with interest. Don't forget, too, that we're due for another Venus transit next 6th June.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mike Bara, star of pseud-psych internet radio

        "The torsion energy concept is a very complex thing to get into in a short phone conversation," said Mike Bara (at 24:00) to internet radio host William Henry yesterday1, once again declining to explain the physical theories that he and Hoagland claim are so central to their overall model of the universe. The plain fact is, of course, that they can't explain them because neither of them is within a light year of understanding Maxwell's quaternion equations.

        He went on to say that, even though a torsion field may be a "complex thing," Richard Hoagland has measured it. Well, no, Mike, he hasn't. Hoagland has claimed that he sensed it with his Accutron setup — at the Teotihuacan Pyramid, the Coral Castle, and more recently at Stonehenge. But sensing it is not measuring it. He has never even stated what units it would be measured in. His pathetically inadequate experimental protocol, criticized by James Concannon on this blog back in May last year, does not even provide a scale by which actual torsion energy, if it exists, might be measured. All he has shown are some spikes of frequency variation, some of which occur during the time of the "torsion wave," but many of which do not.

Image credit:

         Mike Bara's own words (at 05:00) ought to have been a clue to the bankruptcy of the Hyperdimensional Physics/Torsion Energy scam. He said "The motion of the Earth itself, the rotation of the Earth and its motion through space in its orbit around the Sun — that motion itself ... should theoretically be able to pull energy from the vacuum, or pull it from higher dimensions." Well, Hello??? isn't the fact that this does not actually happen a bit of a give-away that the underlying theory is invalid?

        There were other gems in this half hour of unscientific fantasy. HAARP can harden the ionosphere against solar flares, and this is the true secret purpose of the HAARP installations. The Moon has been "modified," or "engineered," by persons unknown. Not to mention quite a bit of the New Agey anti-wisdom about the consciousness and spirituality of the planet. That stuff is frankly out of my league and I don't pretend to understand it.

        Why does Mike Bara get so many of these pseud-psych gigs? Don't answer that — I know. He can fill air time in a way that sounds interesting. Only those with some knowledge of physics realize that they're hearing garbage.
 1Revelations Stargate Radio, 2/1/12