Thursday, August 30, 2012

Strange Universe, stranger allegations by Mike Bara

        I'm not quite so much of a Mike Bara fan that I rushed back early from vacation so as not to miss one of Mike Bara's pseud-psych internet radio shows. However, I did catch up with it yesterday and I thought y'all might like to know what-all I thought of it.

        This was an edition of Strange Universe, nearly two bloody hours long, hosted by Sean David Morton's wife Melissa—SDM himself being off gallivanting around Europe with Kerry Cassidy (I've heard no reports of Europe sinking under a thick layer of bullshit, but I fear it may be imminent).

photo credit: project camelot
        Mike and the Mortons are very tight IRL, so there was never any danger of anything other than powderpuff interviewing and enthusiastic agreement with everything Bara, guru of the New Age, had to impart. No phone-ins were accepted—that was no doubt thought to be too dangerous.

        Mike got right off on the ziggy story (damn it, I was hoping I'd written my last on that topic.) He complained not once but several times that Stuart Robbins and I accused him or Hoagland of personally concocting the ziggurat. That, of course, is entirely untrue. The basis of our mockery is not that he faked it but that he found it on a sci-fi web site and considered it reliable enough to include as the "centerpiece" of his forthcoming book. Let me write that again, with slightly more emphasis: He does not trust the Apollo 11 image, he does not trust the LROC WAC or NAC strips, he does not trust the Japanese Kaguya images, BUT HE DOES TRUST THE WORK OF SOME RANDOM TEENAGE SCI-FI FAN. And by the way, both Mike Bara and Richard Hoagland have said in so many words that they "enhanced" the zigpic, whatever that means. Enough said.

        Mike's next complaint was equally laughable. He stated that the attacks on the ziggy-story were couched in vile, offensive, insulting language and were personal as opposed to factual. Melissa Morton, of course, would neither have known or cared that the party using the words "asshole", douchebag", "sack of protoplasm" and "psychopath" was none other than Mike Bara, guru of the something-or-other (ref. my previous blogpost "Mike Bara, Olympian insulter").

        There was more in the same vein, with Melissa interjecting stuff like "The nerve of these people!! Who do they think they are??" Mike had only just gone live with his 5-part blogpost at the time, and he spent some time crowing about how he'd blown the "haters" away with his impeccable logic and L33T SKILLZ at Photoshop. Now, of course, we know that he achieved nothing of the kind.

The art of the airbrush
        I want to skip on, however, to another "strange allegation" because it goes to the heart of the Hoagland/Bara accusations of NASA cover-up and it's so very, very easy to undermine. Backing up his thesis that Apollo astronaut photography is not all it seems, Mike cited that least reliable of witnesses, Ken Johnston, the so-called "NASA whistle-blower." He told how Ken, working in the Lunar Receiving Lab, wandered one day into a secure area and discovered people airbrushing Apollo photography. Not just prints for distribution to the media, mind you, but the actual original camera negatives.

        At this, Melissa positively gasped. She swallowed the story hook, line and sinker. "My God!" she practically screamed, "That means that the photos are changed for ever, the original versions can never be retrieved." "YES, that's exactly what it means," enthused Mike Bara, guru of photographic processing. And the only problem with the story is, it's not true. How do I know it's not true? Very simple—there was no such thing as the original camera negatives.The film the astronauts shot on the Moon was reversal film, not negative. The kind we all used to shoot to make slide shows (Oh, probably some of my readers are too young to have done that. Reversal film produces a positive image but it's transparent, fit for screen projection.) Technical note: The film stock was 70mm double-perforated Ektachrome E-3 on a special Estar thin base. The stock was specially made for high-altitude surveillance photography.

         To be sure, an internegative would have been made from the reversal original, and distribution prints made from that. I believe, in fact, that it was even more complicated. For distribution to high-quality magazines like Life and Saturday Evening Post, a master large-format print was made, that print was touched up, then a second interneg was struck. One thing they wanted to avoid was any sparkle in the sky which might have been misinterpreted as stars (although in fact the planet Venus is bright enough to be seen in a few Apollo 14 shots.)

        Here's why it MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL to airbrush a negative, whether it's a camera original or an interneg. The photo-paper that the neg will be printed to starts off as all white, OK? The degree to which any given area darkens is governed by the density of that spot on the negative. To take the two extremes: If the negative is totally opaque, that spot never sees any light so remains pure white. If the neg is fully transparent, the print goes all the way to black, more or less. Now, here's the point. You cannot retouch a negative to make an area of the print blacker because there's no setting on an airbrush labeled "make more transparent." See?

        So either Ken Johnston's memory is faulty, or Mike Bara is telling it wrong, or possibly both. Please note, I'm not claiming that no retouching of these images happened. On the contrary, I have every reason to believe a retouching tool was used. But NOT ON THE CAMERA ORIGINALS. AND NOT TO OBSCURE EVIDENCE OF A LUNAR CIVILIZATION.
        If you're masochistic enough to want to suffer through the whole thing, follow this link >>.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Malice and homage

        I do declayah, I don't know what to do about y'all blog readers and commenters. I go away for a few days (and the wine wasn't too bad, thanks James—there was even a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet to be had) —I go away for a few days and first you let Mike Bara post 20,000 words of ad hominem drivel, then you go and let one of my all-time heroes die from surgery that should never have been attempted in the first place. Then to cap it all you let Mike make an utter drooling nincompoop of himself by calling that hero a liar. Now I suppose you expect me to clean this place up. Well, I will—first things first.

The day I met Neil Armstrong
        The occasion was a small press conference announcing his appointment as Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Cincinnati University. I was there as producer of a BBC TV documentary about the Apollo program 10 years after Apollo 11. Prof. Armstrong had just recently slammed one of his hands in the door of a pickup truck. He'd had surgery on two fingers, and was very noticeably rubbing at the stitch-line as he spoke. On the one hand it humanized him, but on the other it seemed to emphasize the nervousness he always had when speaking in public. During question-time his answers were brief but not in any sense evasive. I was able to use about a minute of the tape in my production.

        Afterwards I approached him personally and he was pleasant, asking about my project and which other Apollo astronauts I was going to interview. He even signed a photo for me—a practice he later discontinued after he learned how much $$$ his autograph was worth.

        R.I.P., world-class hero. James Oberg was a guest on a short NPR obit show.

Mike's blogpost malice
        An extraordinary performance, wasn't it? According to Mike Bara, I'm a dumbass and an obsessive nutcase. Stuart Robbins is a NASA shill "on the take," and James Oberg is a bloated sack of protoplasm. Well, I say Mike's tutorials on image editing are inaccurate, irrelevant and needlessly rebarbative. All that matters for him to truly make his case is the Kaguya imagery. If the ziggy exists, he should be able to show it. He cannot do that. In fact, he conspicuously tries and fails. In public.

It's not there, Mike

        Mike's attempt to make a direct comparison with the features of the Ziggurat at Ur shows, in my opinion, the exact reverse of what he intends. Since there's no conceivable way anyone outside a loony bin would believe an exact copy of the Urzig was built on the Moon, it simply shows that if you badly want to see something in a jumble of lunar craters, that's what you will see.

        Anyway, as usual Stuart Robbins has done a far better job than I could rebutting the rebuttal of the rebuttal (it's not RUBUTTING, Mike), I'll direct you to read that and just say "Yes, I agree." It's here and here and here and  here.

More malice

        First we had Richard Hoagland using the anniversary of Apollo 11 to launch a wholly specious attack on NASA. Then Mike Bara commemorated the death of Neil Armstrong by calling him a liar. Malice seems more natural than homage to these two specimens.

        Hoagland & Bara don't seem too good at reading their own work, either. Nowhere in the oeuvre have they ever said that glass domes and technical artifacts were present at the Apollo 11 site. Unless I misunderstand, the only Apollo sites they are claiming are under glass are 12, 14 and 17. So what are Prof. Armstrong's "secrets" supposed to be?

On p. 541 of Dark Mission, we find this:
"[O]n the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11 ... Armstrong himself had seemed frustrated. He started his highly emotional address by first comparing himself to a parrot—saying only what he had been told to say."
         In fact, Armstrong said the exact opposite. His words were "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." Quite obviously, he's apologizing for not being a good speaker because his talent, UNLIKE A PARROT, is for flying, not talking.

        Anybody can judge for themselves whether he seemed frustrated, or whether this speech was "highly emotional." I personally don't find it so. That's what Armstrong is always like as a public speaker. And remember, I have personal knowledge of this.

Are we done?
        There, that's cleaned this place  up a bit. It's nice to be back, congratulations to Catriona for joining the ranks of the banned douchebags, and I sincerely hope this is the last time I write about the damned ziggy. Mike Bara, SHAME ON YOU.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The planes: J'accuse!

        According to James Concannon's log, on 11th May 2011 at 03:00 Richard Hoagland wrote:
"The planes were NOT "hijacked commercial flights"; they were COPIES of those planes ... equipped with a "few extra frills.""

        All rise! This blog-court is now in session, Justice Expat presiding. Richard C. Hoagland, you are accused of grandstanding a tragic event in order to draw attention to yourself and your outrageously callous and inaccurate ideas. Please face your accusers:

Captain Victor J. Saracini, 51, Lower Makefield Township, Pa
First Officer Michael Horrocks, 38, Glen Mills, Pa

Robert Fangman, 33, Claymont, Del.
Amy Jarret, 28, North Smithfield, R.I.
Amy King, 29, Stafford Springs, Conn.
Kathryn LaBorie
Alfred Marchand, 44, Alamogordo, N.M.
Michael Tarrou, 38, Stafford Springs, Conn.
Alicia N. Titus, 28, San Francisco

Alona Avraham, 30, Ashdod, Israel
Garnet ''Ace'' Bailey, 53, Lynnfield, Mass., pro hockey scouting director, Los Angeles Kings
Mark Bavis, 31, West Newton, Mass., pro hockey scout, Los Angeles Kings
Graham Berkeley, 37, Wellesley, Mass.
Touri Bolourchi, 69, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Klaus Bothe, 31, chief of development, BCT Technology AG (Germany)
Daniel Brandhorst, 42, Los Angeles, Calif., lawyer, PricewaterhouseCoopers
David Brandhorst, 3, Los Angeles, Calif.
John Cahill, 56, Wellesley, Mass., senior executive, Xerox
Christoffer Carstanjen, 33, Turner Falls, Mass., computer research specialist, University of Massachusetts
John ''Jay'' Corcoran, 44, Norwell, Mass., merchant marine
Gloria de Barrera, 49, El Salvador, exporter
Dorothy Dearaujo, 82, Long Beach, Calif.
Lisa Frost, 22, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., sales and marketing associate REMAINS FOUND
Ronald Gamboa, 33, Los Angeles, Calif., store manager, The Gap
Lynn Goodchild, 25, Attleboro, Mass., Putnam Investments
Francis Grogan, 76, Easton, Mass., priest, Holy Cross Church
Carl Hammond, 37, Boston, Mass.
Christine Hanson, 3, Groton, Mass.
Peter Hanson, 32, Groton, Mass., software salesman REMAINS FOUND
Susan Hanson, 35, Groton, Mass., student
Gerald F. Hardacre, 62, Carlsbad, Calif.
Eric Hartono, 20, Boston, Mass.
James E. Hayden, 47, Westford, Mass., chief financial officer, Netegrity Inc.
Herbert Homer, 48, Milford, Mass., corporate executive, Raytheon Co.
Robert Jalbert, 61, Swampscott, Mass., salesman
Ralph Kershaw, 52, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., marine surveyor
Heinrich Kimmig, 43, chairman, BCT Technology AG (Germany)
Brian Kinney, 29, Lowell, Mass., auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Robert LeBlanc, 70, Lee, N.H., professor emeritus of geography, University of New Hampshire
Maclovio ''Joe'' Lopez Jr., 41, Norwalk, Calif.
Marianne MacFarlane, 34, Revere, Mass., customer service representative,
Louis Neil Mariani, 59, Derry, N.H.
Juliana Valentine McCourt, 4, New London, Conn.
Ruth McCourt, 45, New London, Conn., founder, Clifford Classique
Wolfgang Menzel, 60, personnel manager, BCT Technology AG (Germany)
Shawn Nassaney, 25, Pawtucket, R.I., American Power Conversion
Marie Pappalardo
Patrick Quigley, 40, Wellesley, Mass., partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Frederick Rimmele, Marblehead, Mass., physician
James M. Roux, 43, Portland, Maine, lawyer
Jesus Sanchez, 45, Hudson, Mass., off-duty flight attendant
Kathleen Shearer, Dover, N.H.
Robert Shearer, Dover, N.H.
Jane Simpkin, 35, Wayland, Mass.
Brian D. Sweeney, 38, Barnstable, Mass., business consultant
Timothy Ward, 38, San Diego, Calif., information technology project manager, Rubio's Restaurants
William Weems, 46, Marblehead, Mass., commercial producer


Captain John Ogonowski, 52, Dracut, Mass
First Officer Thomas McGuinness, 42, Portsmouth, N.H.

Barbara Arestegui, 38, Marstons Mills, Mass.
Jeffrey Collman, 41, Novato, Calif.
Sara Low, 28, Batesville, Ark.
Karen Martin, 40, Danvers, Mass. REMAINS FOUND
Kathleen Nicosia
Betty Ong, 45, Andover, Mass.
Jean Roger, 24, Longmeadow, Mass.
Dianne Snyder, 42, Westport, Mass.
Madeline Sweeney, 35, Acton, Mass.

Anna Williams Allison, 48, Stoneham, Mass., founder, A2 Software Solutions
David Angell, 54, Pasadena, Calif., executive producer, NBC's ''Frasier''
Lynn Angell, Pasadena, Calif.
Seima Aoyama
Myra Aronson, 52, Charlestown, Mass., press and analyst relations manager
Christine Barbuto, 32, Brookline, Mass., TJX Co.
Carolyn Beug, 48, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kelly Booms, 24, Boston, Mass., PricewaterhouseCoopers
Carol Bouchard, 43, Warwick, R.I., emergency room secretary, Kent County Hospital
Neilie Casey, 32, Wellesley, Mass., TJX Co.
Jeffrey Coombs, 42, Abington, Mass., security analyst, Compaq
Tara Creamer, 30, Worcester, Mass.
Thelma Cuccinello, 71, Wilmot, N.H.
Patrick Currivan
Brian Dale, 43, Warren, N.J.
David DiMeglio, Wakefield, Mass.
Donald Ditullio, 49, Peabody, Mass., Smith and Nephew
Albert Dominguez, 65, Sydney, Australia
Alex Filipov, 70, Concord, Mass., electrical engineer
Carol Flyzik, 40, Plaistow, N.H.
Paul Friedman
Karleton D.B. Fyfe, 31, Brookline, Mass., John Hancock
Peter Gay, 54, Tewksbury, Mass., plant manager, Raytheon Co.
Linda George, 27, Westboro, Mass., TJX Co.
Edmund Glazer, 41, Los Angeles, Calif., chief financial officer, MRV Communications
Lisa Fenn Gordenstein, 41, Needham, Mass., TJX Co.
Andrew Curry Green, 34, Los Angeles, Calif., director of business development, eLogic
Paige Farley Hackel, 46, Newton, Mass., spiritual counselor
Peter Hashem, 40, Tewksbury, Mass., salesman
Robert Hayes, 37, Amesbury, Mass., sales engineer, Netstal
Ted Hennessey, 35, Belmont, Mass., consultant
John Hofer
Cora Holland, 52, Sudbury, Mass., Sudbury Food Pantry at Our Lady of Fatima Church
Nicholas Humber, 60, Newton, Mass., owner, Brae Burn Management
John Jenkins, 45, Cambridge, Mass., corporate office services manager, Charles River Associates
Charles Jones, 48, Bedford, Mass., computer programmer
Robin Kaplan, 33, Westboro, Mass., TJX Co.
Barbara Keating, 72, Palm Springs, Calif.
David Kovalcin, 42, Hudson, N.H.
Judy Larocque, 50, Framingham, Mass., founder and CEO, Market Perspectives
N. Janis Lasden, 46, Peabody, Mass., General Electric
Daniel John Lee, 34, Los Angeles, Calif.
Daniel C. Lewin, 31, co-founder, Akamai Technologies
Susan MacKay, 44, Westford, Mass., TJX Co.
Chris Mello, 25, Boston, Mass., analyst
Jeff Mladenik, 43, Hinsdale, Ill., interim president, E-Logic
Antonio Montoya, 46, East Boston, Mass., housekeeping worker, Boston Harbor Hotel
Carlos Montoya
Laura Lee Morabito, 34, Framingham, Mass., national sales manager, Qantas Airways
Mildred Naiman, Andover, Mass.
Laurie Neira
Renee Newell, 37, Cranston, R.I., customer service agent, American Airlines
Jacqueline Norton, 60, Lubec, Maine, retiree
Robert Norton, 82, Lubec, Maine, retiree
Jane Orth, 49, Haverhill, Mass., retiree, Lucent Technologies
Thomas Pecorelli, 31, Los Angeles, Calif., cameraman, Fox Sports and E! Entertainment Television
Berry Berenson Perkins, 53, Wellfleet, Mass., actress and photographer
Sonia Morales Puopolo, 58, Dover, Mass., former ballet dancer
David Retik, Needham, Mass.
Philip Rosenzweig, Acton, Mass., executive, Sun Microsystems
Richard Ross, 58, Newton, Mass., Ross Group
Jessica Sachs, 22, Billerica, Mass., accountant, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Rahma Salie, 28, Boston, Mass.
Heather Smith, 30, Boston, Mass., Beacon Capital Partners
Douglas Stone, 54, Dover, N.H.
Xavier Suarez
Michael Theodoridis, 32, Boston, Mass., consultant
James Trentini, 65, Everett, Mass., retired teacher and assistant principal
Mary Trentini, 67, Everett, Mass., retired secretary
Pendyala Vamsikrishna, 30, Los Angeles, Calif., project manager for consulting firm, DTI
Mary Wahlstrom, 75, Kaysville, Utah
Kenneth Waldie, 46, Methuen, Mass., Raytheon Co.
John Wenckus, 46, Torrance, Calif., tax consultant
Candace Lee Williams, 20, Danbury, Conn., student
Christopher Zarba, 47, Hopkinton, Mass., software engineer, Concord Communications

Monday, August 13, 2012

Open letter to Adrienne Loska

        Adrienne is Mike Bara's manager. As such, of course, she's obligated to defend him against the douchebags and dumbasses who question whether he has even the slightest grasp of physics and astronomy. She demurred, however, when asked if she wished to defend Mike for writing this to Sarah Bilgri:

God Sarah I just looked at you pictures [sic] on your Facebook page. Please don't reproduce. You are just too ugly to be allowed to have children.
        Adrienne did, however, defend Mike's unwillingness to respond to the many criticisms of his "work." She posted this to FooBoo yesterday.

I don't think that Mike should be expected to repeat work that has already been done by Einstein, Kozyrev and DePalma. Mike is an engineer. As I understand it, engineering is the practical application of math and science to solve problems. Engineers test theories and then turn them into something practical that people can have access to and use. This is what Mike does. Of course, he understands the math. He's done the work he’s needed to do in order to reach his conclusions and because of his desire to share his knowledge and discoveries, he’s put his findings out there for everyone to see. By doing that he’s opened himself up to criticism, and that’s to be expected, but just because someone doesn’t understand something he has stated or they don't agree with a topic or concept of his, it doesn’t mean that he is obligated to explain it to them further.

        The text was really addressed to Catriona, not me, so I didn't presume to respond directly. But this is what I would have written if it had been any of my business:

Dear Adrienne,
I accept your definition of what an engineer does. I merely wonder whether, in fact, your client has ever done it. A man who thinks that "astrology is a perfectly valid and defensible science" (The Choice, p.31) or that "Newton's laws of motion ... only work if the object being measured doesn't rotate" (The Choice, p.60) must be suspected of having a highly impractical view of the world and how it works. A man who has said he's an experienced jetliner designer (Shiny Side Out radio, 4th August) and yet makes a colossal error in a rather simple calculation of orbital mechanics (The Choice, whole of ch.12) must be suspected of self-delusion at the very least, and quite possibly of fraud. At any rate, I for one would not wish to step on board any jetliner he had designed — if, indeed, any such aircraft exists.

You write that "Of course, he understands the math." How do you know that, Adrienne? He has stated that "hyperdimensional physics" — a vaguely-expressed concept that your client and two other people in the entire world believe in — is based on Maxwell's original 20 quaternion equations. And yet, not once in all the writings and lectures of your client and his former co-author has any single one of those quaternions been used or even, as far as I know, mentioned. You'll have to forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical about your client's mathematical talent.

Your client, echoing Richard Hoagland almost word for word, has written (The Choice, p.47) that the following features are at a latitude of 19.5°:

Neptune's Great Dark Spot
The Great Red Spot of Jupiter
The erupting volcanoes of Jupiter's moon Io
Olympus Mons on Mars
Earth's own Maunakea volcano

This, he has told us, is evidence of this concept he calls "hyperdimensional physics." Well, Adrienne, do you know what? None of those features are actually at 19.5°. If he'd written Mauna Loa instead of Mauna Kea, he'd have got one right. Oh, I suppose some of the 400 volcanoes on Io are probably at 19.5° just by chance, but is that the foundation of a new branch of physics?

Bruce DePalma documented the fact that a rapidly-rotating sphere in air describes a higher arc when projected than a non-rotating one. Physicists (that's the collection of people your client calls "blithering idiots") would say that's a nice example of the Magnus Effect. You referred to this experiment in what you wrote on Facebook. Could you please cite any mathematical analysis of this phenomenon written by DePalma or Hoagland? Are you truly, truly, convinced that Mike Bara, in spite of being wrong about almost everything in physics and astronomy, understands the mathematics involved?

I suppose you're correct in writing that Mike has no obligation to answer follow-up questions from his readers. Perhaps, then, the best service you can offer him as manager at this point is to advise him not to respond at all, rather than to respond by insulting readers who are better qualified than him in physics and astronomy. Another service you could usefully deliver is to explain to your client that fact-checking, in these days of google and wikipedia, is so incredibly easy that it's well worth giving it a shot. And another is that juvenile web forums like Call of Duty Zombies are not really a reliable source of graphics for professional publication


Saturday, August 11, 2012

No, Mike, I'm not a psychopath

        It's been a hilarious couple of days on the Bara-Boo page. Mike appears to have cast himself as some kind of James Bond ultra-villain planning world domination but constantly thwarted by government agents. He wouldn't be stroking an angora cat though—our Mikey is a dawg man.

It started, as noted before, with "I am going to utterly and completly [sic] destroy you"

Next we had "When I create a masterpiece such as this and smite my enemies, I love me some me...."

Then it was "Dear Dr. Robbins; I apologize. I thought you were just another dumbass like expat. I had no idea you were actually a paid NASA shill."

Perhaps the most delicious was "HAHAHAHA Haters!!!!! I have you now. I shall be merciless*, and slow"

        I'm serious. He really did write that.I had a little influence in the background, but I posted nothing to the page. Nothing at all, and James Concannon assures me that he didn't either.

        Mike referred to this blog as "a blog by a psychopathic cyber-stalker." I want to assure you that I'm not a psychopath. Given that two of the official signs of psychopathy are egocentricity and "superficial charm," I would be inclined to point the finger in the reverse direction. As for "cyber-stalker," that sobriquet is really reserved for people who comb the outer reaches of cyber-space searching for the cute redhead in 8th grade who ignored them.  I don't really see how it can apply to someone who protests that a published work is full of really horrible errors, and documents those errors carefully.

        And, speaking of errors, there was one more hilarious quote from MB. "I can't let certain things go unchallenged if they are not true. And none of it is." As we know, challenging my accusations of error is exactly what Mike consistently refuses to do.

        Mike now has a manager. Her name is Adrienne Loska. Since Mike refuses to respond to accusations of error, I'm hoping Adrienne will keep a list of them on his behalf.

* So far, "merciless" appears to mean posting an entirely erroneous picture proposing that pixellation of a digital image is caused by reducing it. D'oh! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mike Bara, Olympian insulter

        I guess I was supposed to tremble in my shoes when Mike Bara posted this, at about 17:00 PDT last night:

"Dear douchebags who have been attacking my integrity and claiming that I (or Richard C. Hoagland) faked the Daedalus Ziggurat photo. Please watch my blog this evening. I am going to utterly and completly destroy you and your insipid "analysis." I am going to prove that NASA are the ones that have faked their image. I am going to expose you as the idiots you are.

Other than that, have a nice day."

I didn't tremble, I went to bed. I woke up to this bid for the Gold Medal in insults. This was my reply:

"You seem to have somehow got hold of the idea that, when debating issues with scientists, the person who comes up with the most inventive personal insults wins. This is not the case -- it is in fact the reverse of the case. Objective and knowledgeable people reading the issues from both sides will reject the arguments of insulters automatically.

I was glad to see you finally come up with a source of the faked "ziggurat" image you "enhanced" before passing it to RCH (What was the nature of that "enhancement," Mike?) The source is an extremely unreliable blog, which acknowledges that it is NOT the original source. The original source is a fanatical religious blog called "themurkynews." The ziggy is presented there along with this one:

Now that we know this, it's even more staggering that you saw fit to include this image in a published work which masquerades as fact. On this basis I now accuse you of total irresponsibility and I call on you to withdraw this shoddy piece of internet rubbish from your book.

I will leave Dr. Stuart Robbins to respond in detail to your accusations, and I sincerely hope he will find the time. What is entirely missing from your diatribe is any reference to the image of the same area of the Moon taken by the Narrow Angle Camera of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. As you know, this image is of good quality and EIGHTY TIMES BETTER RESOLUTION than the Apollo image you mistrust. It shows conclusively that there is no ziggurat at that location. Again, your failure to inspect, comment upon, or even acknowledge this image exposes you as an irresponsible propagandist.

Mike, you have chosen to write on scientific topics without having the education or knowledge to do so accurately. The predictable result is that you have made absolutely unforgivable factual errors. It does no good whatsoever for you to then insult your critics and accuse them of being homosexual as though that were an insult. When you make gross errors in science, your errors are going to be pointed out. It's not a question of hate, and I assure you none of your critics is afraid of you, or "scared of the truth" as you often claim.

I note with amusement that, after completing the long blog-post last night, you messaged your Facebook friends with "When I create a masterpiece such as this and smite my enemies, I love me some me...." My advice to you is, when composing childish self-congratulatory texts such as that, proof-read one more time.

If you have any integrity, you will allow this comment to appear on your blog."
        I've waited four hours in case Mike Bara has any integrity. It seems not. I'm really glad to see that Dr Stuart Robbins has also replied, in detail.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Are these the seven most terrifying words in the English language?


        Mike himself told us this near the beginning of his latest venture in pseud-psych internet radio — a two-hour session last Saturday night on something called Shiny Side Out. It comes from Australia, which guarantees that guests on phone lines from Seattle will be fairly incomprehensible. By inviting Mike Bara, the host guaranteed that his guest would be ignorant in addition to incomprehensible.

        Mike voiced those seven words of doom in connection with the TWA Flight 800 disaster, which he credited with having jump-started his new "career" as a conspiracy theorist. He wanted us to believe that he had special expertise which made his eccentric opinion about the disaster credible. However, he spoiled it a bit by saying, later, "Newtonian physics is wrong", "Red shift is complete nonsense", and "If you spin something you will get more energy than you put into it". As we know, his opinion of physicists in general is that "most of them are blithering idiots."

        So much for expertise.  Toward the end Mike ventured again into the realm of planetary astronomy, a field which has been the undoing of both him and his former co-author more times than you can shake a JPL engineer with a mohawk at. He said this: "The Moon feels more gravitational pull from the Sun than it does from the Earth." Let's see now....

µ for Earth: 4 x 106 km3 sec-2
µ for Sun: 1.32 x 1011 km3 sec-2
Mass of Moon: 7.35 x 1022 kg
Moon-Earth distance 3.84 x 105 km
Moon-Sun distance 1.5 x 108 km

The factor µ is the Standard Gravitational Parameter of an astronomical body. It's the product of the body's mass and the Universal Gravitational Constant, G.

Gravitational attraction between any two bodies is given by µM/d2 where µ is the SGP of one body, M is the mass of the other body, and d is the distance between them.

Therefore for the Earth-Moon system:

F = (4 x 7.35 x 1028) divided by (3.842 x 1010)
    = (29.4/14.74) x 1018
    = 2 x 1018 newtons

for the Sun-Moon system:

F = (1.32 x 7.35 x 1033) divided by (1.52 x 1016)
   = (9.70/2.25) x 1017
   = 4.31 x 1017 newtons, an order of magnitude less than the Earth-Moon figure.

NOTE: The above calculation is in error. µ for Earth should be 4 x 105 km3 sec-2. Therefore the correct figure for F(Earth) is 2 x 1017 newtons, less than half the figure for the Sun-Moon system. Mike Bara is correct.