Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mike Bara misinforms the millions -- again

        TV critic Ramsey Isler wrote of The History Channel's fantasy pseudo-doc series Ancient Aliens "....the ridiculousness of this series, including the black and white art with aliens photoshopped in, and interviews with people of dubious authority." He was actually commenting on the South Park spoof, but the comment was right on anyway.

        Someone of extremely dubious authority popped up last night for Season 4 Ep 5: "The NASA Connection." That someone was cuddly Mike Bara, aerospace technician laid off by Boeing in 2010 and unable to find a job ever since. The show was a very predictable re-hash of all the familiar "What did NASA know and when did they know it?" nonsense that appeals to people who have no relish for facts. As usual, the production values were good to excellent, and Mike Bara's on-screen personality was engaging. It was what he said that gave me the screaming ab-dabs.

Point 1. Right up front, pre-title, Bara tells us "The Brookings Report says very specifically 'Don't tell anybody.'" IT SAYS NO SUCH THING. As this blog has commented before, the report recommends studying whether it might be a good idea to withhold certain information from the public, but does not itself even consider the question. Mike Bara has been told this over and over again, but he just does not take it on board.

Point 2. About 06:30 in, Bara states that 33 minutes after the landing of Apollo 11, Armstrong and Aldrin both participated in a communion service at the moment when the belt stars of Orion were on the horizon. Well, Bara should give himself a refresher course on his own book, Dark Mission. In the first edition, it was stated that Sirius was at 19.5° above the horizon 33 minutes after landing. That was amended in the second edition to Regulus at 19.5° below the horizon, more than two hours later, when Buzz Aldrin performed his little religious ritual. Neil Armstrong was not involved. No NASA official could possibly have contrived to create this dubious piece of astrological theater, even if one had wanted to. On the Aliens show, Bara was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Point 3. Bara later developed the 33 meme by saying that the figure 33 crops up again and again all through the history of NASA. As examples he tells us that the runway at Cape Canaveral is runway 33, and that the only launch pad at White Sands missile range is pad 33. Well, the orientation of the Cape runway, 330°/150°, was dictated by available space. It was built parallel to the pre-existing State Route 3, now known as the Kennedy Parkway. As for White Sands, my information is that the prime launch location these days is Launch Complex 32. LC-33 was the historical facility, now a National Monument, designated by the US Army in 1945. That's 13 years before NASA was created, Mike. There are also pads designated LC-35 (Navy), LC-37, and LC-38.

Point 4. Bara trots out the fallacy that NASA is really part of DoD. He says "A lot of people have the idea that NASA's a civilian science agency -- it's not." This is not just wrong but irresponsible. The history records again and again that the relationship between NASA and DoD is contractual, not dependent. Look it up. Ending the show, Mike says "NASA's core mission was to go to the Moon and retrieve evidence that there was a prior civilization." Oh, what nonsense.

        It's really a bit disgusting that this misinformation should be pumped out to a couple of million suckers on their sofas, plus who knows how many more that will be sucking it up from Youtube. The only thing that cheers me up is the thought that Richard Hoagland must be eating his heart out not to be part of it. So much of this trash is his own personal mythology. As he sat there in New Mexico last night, watching Erich Von Daniken explain that there's a face on Mars, he must have contemplated getting out of the woo-woo business immediately. I wish he would. I wish Mike Bara would get a job and stop torturing us with mis-info.

Update: Mike has a brand new blog. I took advantage and posted this comment:
re: "Ancient Aliens: The NASA connection"

Buzz Aldrin's communion ceremony did not occur 33 minutes after the landing of Apollo 11, it was an hour or so later. Neil Armstrong took no part in it.

Also, if the belt stars of Orion were on the horizon at Landing +33, why wasn't that mentioned in "Dark Mission"? Instead you wrote that Sirius was 19.5° above the horizon. Strange.

My jaw dropped when I read Mike's reply:
I don't control the content of their show, dumbass.
 Well, now we know. He can't control what comes out of his mouth. That explains a lot.


strahlungsamt said...

Speaking of ancient aliens, did you see the structures they built on the moon. Top seekrit film from the missing 2 hours (that nobody I know can remember - guess their minds were blanked Tommy Lee style) Apollo 11 footage when Armstrong and Aldrin wandered into an alien structure and planted a nuclear bomb like the Brookings Report told them to.
For reasons of security, all names and identities have been changed.

Chris Lopes said...

I imagine that Bara becoming the voice of the Dark Mission meme probably bothers Hoagland a bit. He claimed that the producers of Ancient Aliens actually tried to get him to be a part of the show, but they couldn't come to terms (AKA, Hoagland wanted more money and/or input than they were willing to give him) so now we get Bara (who's "requirements" are somewhat less Hoagland's) instead. Lucky us.

expat said...

Yes, it's a safe bet that Hoagland wanted a credit as producer. After all, SyFy gave him that for that dreadful, shameless, hype for the 2012 movie.

Anonymous said...

You'll all be eating your words in 2012 when re-incarnated king barry tells us the truth about our ancient star wars origins, despite 70+ years of extreme secrecy!!.... I mean, er, 2016 - you know, because it's in the physics, not that the prediction was wrong or anything.

I know I'll be staying tuned for when some nuc-powered robot lands on some tetrahedral crater and goes exploring around ancient martian apartment blocks...

What an episode of AA that's gonna be!...

strahlungsamt said...

I can just picture Hoagland or Bara watching Erich von Daniken and thinking "Where did I go wrong?".

Compared to Hoagie and Mike, Daniken is the Ron Jeremy of woo. Daniken at least got there first and knew how to make his material exciting. He also has a string of bestsellers and keeps popping up on tv shows. He even had $36 million left over to build an ancient alien theme park (which went bankrupt shortly after - hint don't build woo temples in Switzerland, build them in Nevada near Area 51).
I've watched Daniken a few times on TV. Like the true pseudo scientist he is, he goes to a place, looks for any and all cave paintings or statues that look like they might be, could be, must be spacemen and presents it as stunning confirmation of ancient visitation. Never once does he think to ask if the pictures have some other meaning (or if said ancient people were using hallucinogenic plants). If he did, his theory would be proven wrong in an instant. In fact, Daniken has survived many debunkings intact.
See, that's Hoagie and Mike's problem. They're boring, boring, boring. Listening to them is an endurance test (crystal meth helps). Plus, their conspiracies don't support anyone's agenda. Look how Alex Jones went from anti-semite to pro Israel and anti Obama. Look how Fox brought the Moon Hoax into the mainstream. That's an exciting (if wrong) conspiracy.
Those conspiracies are useful for somebody's political agenda. Hoagie and Mike aren't. Nobody wants them besides the debt collectors. If they were any good, they'd be regular guests on Glenn Beck and have their own Ancient Aliens show by now (complete with Obama = 666 prophesies).
If Daniken is Ron Jeremy, Hoagie and Mike are Hank the angry drunken dwarf and Beetlejuice (both Howard Stern sidekicks).
I'll bet Daniken had Vegas starlets for breakfast lunch and dinner too.

Chris Lopes said...

I agree with your take on Von Daniken. I saw him in a brief Project Camelot interview a while back and he was just as entertaining then as I remember him in the 1970's. He's ever the happy warrior of pseudo-science, who really seems to believe what he's saying.

One of the problems with Hoagland and Bara is that they really don't believe what they are selling. It's a con and they know it, so they have no real emotional investment in their own ideas. That's why they (Hoagland mostly) are constantly switching gears to try to find something that will resonate with people. That ever changing narrative comes off as insincere hackery, which is what it is.

Chris Lopes said...

Nice update Expat. That is perhaps the dumbest thing (in a very long line of dumb things) Mike has ever said. No of course he isn't responsible for what he says. Responsibility would assume some connection between his mouth/vocal cords and the speech center of his brain. Clearly (based on what we have witnessed coming out of his mouth) there is no such connection.

Biological_Unit said...

The BarAint is very clearly a totally corrupt and cynical low-brow gutter trash.

expat said...

I just noticed that in the Table of Coincidence Hoagland & Bara self-published years ago, they noted that Orion was on the horizon 33 minutes after the Apollo 11 landing. However, NOT AS SEEN FROM THE LANDING SITE. Instead, it was as seen from the landing site of Apollo 12, which would not in fact land for another 4 months.

I've drawn Mike's attention to this oddity. Another post to his blog that'll never see the light of day, for sure.