Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review of Mike Bara on 'Higherside Chats' - OH GOD

        Well, dammit—I'm wasting my time here. Mike Bara obviously didn't take the time to listen to my March 12th rebuttal of his hour-long drivelothon on Jammerstream. Yesterday he appeared on yet another pseud-psych internet radio show, Higherside Chats, and blithered all the same stuff. Checklist:

  • The Moon regulates the Earth's magnetic field. This is not accepted by conventional astronomy but is well explained by hyperdimensional physics.
  • (15:00) Mars has a really elliptical orbit.
  • (23:30) Lunar glass is twice as strong as steel.
  • (28:30) Apollo astronauts brought back technology.
  • (35:00) During the Apollo missions, 'Santa Claus' was a code word for UFOs. At one point the astronauts radioed "Pass the word, there is a Santa Claus".
  • (40:00) Orion was at 33° as Apollo 16 landed.
  • (50:00) There's an unmistakable bright red stripe on the rock known as Data's Head
        It gets better. Remember the hilarity over him saying, on Jammerstream, that Von Braun had "snuck into the rocket equation" a secret term accounting for spin energy? He went through that comedy routine again. Here are his exact words, and I can only say that Mike's experience of the world of engineering must have been entirely different from my own.
(43:19) "Basically, you know, if you spin something you get more energy out of the system, and it took them a long time to account for that in figuring out how they could get their spacecraft to actually be able to rendezvous with each other-- or for that matter even get to the Moon. Because... it definitely seems to be like there was a learning curve at NASA through the years. And they finally figured this out, and now I think it's all sort of just built in to the equations. Now, I think without anybody at the lower levels knowing what they're doing, they basically plug in the computer program "How do we go to Mars? Well, OK, this is the perfect time to go". The guys down below have no idea why the decision's been made for that day or that time — it's just a command decision made at the top level, and those are the only guys that really even know are the top five or six guys."

        Of course, I'm an old codger but in my day, if you wanted a decent job in any branch of the engineering profession they wanted you to understand the equations. Thoroughly.

Here are a few notes:

Mike Bara loves to explain anything hand-wavingly by saying "Oh yeah, that's all predicted by HD physics." The problem is, he can never point to where that prediction was written down.

Orbit of Mars: Its eccentricity is a mere 0.09. Put another way, its aphelion is only 20% more than its perihelion. Compare that with the orbit of Pluto, whose eccentricity is 0.25. Pluto's aphelion is 66% more than its perihelion. THAT'S elliptical.

Lunar glass: It's NOT TRUE. See this and this.

Santa Claus: The actual quote was "Be advised there is a Santa Claus". The words were spoken by Jim Lovell, CMP of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the Moon. The crew had just successfully carried out the Trans-Earth Injection burn — behind the Moon and out of radio contact with Houston. If they had failed, they would have been marooned in lunar orbit for ever. It was Christmas Eve. Geddit, Mike?

Apollo 16 landing: The whole of Orion was below the horizon.

Data's Head: See this. Oh, and several other comprehensive rebuttals over the years I've been writing this bloggery. What's it going to take to get Mike Bara to understand??

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yes, Hoagland & Bara really do believe their nonsense

        Trained Observer asked about this today, in a comment to the previous post. Since H&B are not saying or writing anything I can critically review at the moment1, I thought I could cobble together a posting on the subject.

        I truly believe they believe. Their problem is that they're so totally devoid of training in science that they lack the capacity for complete rational thought. As I wrote at least once recently, they seem to get ideas, then short-circuit the normal process of checking whether the ideas have any validity or evidential support. Instead, the ideas go straight to the printed page, or the radio show, or the pseud-psych conference auditorium. There are thousands of examples of this phenom. Well, perhaps hundreds.

        The motivation is a) making a living, and b) developing a following. By any measure, you'd have to say that in both cases they're a partial success. Probably more than if they'd turned the ideas into sci-fi—a very crowded field of endeavor. True, there is some evidence that Hoagland is hurting for funds (the rather desperate appeals to his disciples for cash), but he's not on the streets. In a triumph of "form over function", the fact that they are both really good at presenting themselves blinds radio show producers and conference organizers to they fact that they basically deal in lies.

As for building a following, comments like this are a commonplace:
"He is no crook. It is just the way he sees things. I was glad he was on coast again last week or the week before. Can't wait for another full 4 hour show with him! Hoagi is the best!"
 (sylvie82311, on Youtube, commenting on the Chichen Itza d├ębacle)
 "Mike Bara has 4 published books, 2 television shows that he regularly appears on and several international radio shows. He has seen massive success and the only thing you've managed to master, is how to stalk him while bitching like the cunt you are. Find something better to do with your time, dickwad, because you clearly do nothing else right now, aside from twiddle your needledick to Mike's books and shows. WE GET IT, YOU'RE MAD HE WONT FUCK YOU... now move on, psycho."
 (Sara Shanae,  sniping at James Concannon on FooBoo)

        I hesitate to play psychiatrist (having no particular training in the discipline), but it's also possible that Mike Bara is one sandwich short of a picnic. Don't you wonder about a non-fiction author who includes his pet cats2 in his acknowledgements? Or who applauds diatribes like the above insultathon?


        T.O. also asked about Allan Sturm, who posts to internet forums as Lunomaly, and who very painstakingly teased out what he says are the artifacts of a lunar civilization from some Apollo images. Mike Bara used some of his work in Ch.9 of AAotM. Since his publisher only allowed one measly 4-page color signature in the book, the Sturm content was monochrome only, but one color example was used in Mike's online image library. It's nice work, judged strictly as computer art, but scientifically worthless.

image credit: Adventures Unlimited Press and Allan Sturm

This, Mike says, is a power plant. On p.223 he writes
"I wanted Allan's work to be a central part of this book, but for personal reasons he declined. However, I consider some of his findings so crucial ... that I don't feel they can be excluded."
        My sympathies are all with Sturm. I'd decline, too, if some two-bit author said he was about to rip off my ideas to make a little spare cash, and would it be OK if he used ALL my work instead of just bits of it?

1. Hoagland is, understandably, somewhat preoccupied by the fact that his companion, Dr Robin Falkov, had major colon surgery this week. I wish her well even though I think her views on health are as wrong as Richard's views on Phobos. Bara is off shooting somewhere on his Top Secret video project.

2. The Lady Aurora and Miss Fluffy-Muffy, acknowledged in AAotM

Monday, March 11, 2013

Expat clears his throat, ready to bore the masses

        Tomorrow morning Stuart "astroguy" Robbins will be interviewing me again for his regular podcast, probably available by the end of the week. Topic will be the more political side of Richard Hoagland's work—NASA as a defense agency, Neil Armstrong as a parrot, and so on. I think we'll also touch on the Accutron nonsense.

        In the evening, I'm taking up a kind offer from the Jammerstream Dark Matters producers to rebut Mike Bara's hour-long exposition last Thursday. I invited the producers to read my review and they did. Unless I screw up royally that will be on the net next Thursday at 9am and 9pm EDT. Pod thereafter.

        I seriously doubt any of the material will be new to regular readers of this blog, so take a pass by all means.

Friday, March 8, 2013

No, Mike Bara, a tetrahedron is not a 4-sided pyramid

You'd think that, considering the tetrahedral figure is fundamental to the joke which is "hyperdimensional physics," Mike Bara could at least have got that right. But no, it was one of many blunders in the latest Bara errorothon—Dark Matters woo-woo internet radio by Jammerstream. If you hurry you can hear it all, and I hope you have an airsickness bag handy. Here are a few more gems:

James Webb, the first NASA Administrator, was a 33rd degree mason.
- I believe Webb's affiliation is correct1, but he was not the first NASA Administrator. T. Keith Glennan was, and held the post for 885 days, laying strong foundations.

It's been 53 years since the invention of the rocket, and we've made no advance since then.
- The invention date of rocketry is variously reported as  AD 998, 1232, and 1264. The need for a rocket engine to operate in a vacuum, and thus be self-contained with respect to its fuel, means that certain fundamental principles are invariant. However, the ion engine, such as powered the highly successful Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres, must surely be counted as progress.

All the energy in the universe comes from higher dimensions.
- This will come as a surprise to the worlds of physics and cosmology. However, it's perhaps true that nobody really knows where the energy originates. Certainly Mike Bara is not in possession of any privileged information.

The original occupants of Egypt were Caucasian, not Moslem.
- Caucasian is a racial division, Moslem a religious one. This is therefore a false comparison.

The landing site & time of Apollo 16 were contrived so that the constellation Orion would be at an elevation of 33°.2
- Ha-ha, how funny that he picked Apollo 16 for this nonsense. Of all the Apollo landings, this was by far the most off-nominal. The launch was delayed from 17th March 1972 to 16th April. The landing was very nearly cancelled outright due to a malfunctioning SM engine immediately after CSM-LM separation. The actual landing, nominally at 98:46 MET, did not take place until 104:30, nearly six hours late. I would say it's rather obvious that any sinister Egyptian God-worshipping elements in NASA would have had their plans well and truly shafted, wouldn't you?

Caution: On no account have anything in your mouth when you read this next gem
...actually, you might bust a rib laughing. Don't blame me!

Mike Bara mentioned several times his entirely erroneous idea that spinning a heavy object somehow creates energy, in defiance of some of the best-established principles in all of science. He eventually gave as an example the return trip of the oh-so-nearly-doomed Apollo 13. Maintaining trajectory, he explained, required several mid-course corrections, and that, of course, was because the CM was powered down and the gyros were not spinning as they normally would be. Hence, you see, an important element of the spacecraft's propulsion was absent. Then, perhaps anticipating the objection that the guidance engineers would have known about that and taken it into account, Mike Bara the world-renowned aircraft designer came up with this gob-smacker:

"I think this was something that Von Braun snuck into the rocket equation back in the 1950s without anyone knowing."

Mike -- go to your room.

1. This is funny. I found "confirmation" of this factoid on wikipedia. However, the citation was to Ancient Aliens --The NASA Connection. In other words, none other than Mike Bara, world-famous purveyor of non-facts. The citation was added last May by—a user who is now blacklisted.

2. Chris Lawrence has the Stellarium software that displays a labeled starfield as seen from anywhere at any time. He checked, and in fact the whole of Orion was below the horizon. Sirius was at -33°, which is in fact in line with Hoagland's Table of Coincidence. Mike Bara is just as wrong as ever.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Ancient Aliens on Mars" promo

My answers: No, No, No, Possibly, Definitely not, Definitely not, Definitely not, No.

Now for the questions. This is the blurb for AAoM, just out.

"Best-selling author and Secret Space Program researcher Bara brings us this lavishly illustrated volume on alien structures on Mars. Was there once a vast, technologically advanced civilization on Mars, and did it leave evidence of its existence behind for humans to find eons later? Did these advanced extraterrestrial visitors vanish in a solar system wide cataclysm of their own making, only to make their way to Earth and start anew? Was Mars once as lush and green as the Earth, and teeming with life? Did Mars once orbit a missing member of the solar system, a "Super Earth" that vanished in a disaster that devastated life on Earth and Venus and left us only the asteroid belt as evidence of its once grand existence? Did the survivors of this catastrophe leave monuments and temples behind, arranged in a mathematical precision designed to teach us the Secret of a new physics that could lift us back to the stars? Does the planet have an automated defense shield that swallows up robotic probes if they wander into the wrong areas? And are the lights still on down there, deep below the sands of Mars, just waiting for us to uncover them? New York Times Bestselling author Mike Bara examines all these questions and more in his new book Ancient Aliens on Mars. Chapters include: War of the Worlds, The Mars Tidal Model, The Death of Mars, Cydonia and the Face on Mars, The Monuments of Mars, The Search for Life on Mars, The True Colors of Mars and The Pathfinder Sphinx."
        Does his former co-author  Hoagland know about this? Looking at those chapter titles, I'd say RCH deserves at least 75% of the royalties.

        Today Mike Bara is telling the strippers and porn starlets "New research confirms 12 year old Bara/Hoagland theory".

He means this research. He means this theory.

        Anyone wishing to confirm that the 12-year-old web page actually is relevant to Marte Vallis (and it may well be, from my memory of it) had better be browsing with MSIE only. The page contains so many errors that it's unreadable in Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

Result of validation runs:
HTML: 2768 errors, 3 warnings
CSS level 3: 2251 errors

NOTE: This is what tends to happen when you make pages with Microsoft FrontPage 5.0 (circa 1998)


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mike Bara, world-famous prevaricator

        It's taken me a while to catch up with Mike Bara's pharisaical performance on Fringe Radio Network (25th February) because the archived mp3 was truncated. However, it has now been fixed.

        Mike responded in a particularly mendacious way to the following question:

In Ancient Aliens on the Moon, Mike Bara shows Apollo-era images of the craters Asada and Proclus, saying that these craters are actually satellite dishes. More modern images at 100 times better resolution now exist. Why does he not show those?

        Mike's response was that he does not trust the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images, because NASA has had an opportunity to "sanitize" them, eliminating the evidence that they are really technology. He says that his images have not been under NASA control and are therefore authentic.


        As this blog has pointed out more than once, his images of Asada and Proclus (actually Proclus A, but let that pass) are details from the wide-angle Apollo 16 orbital shot AS16-121-19438. All it takes is clicky-clicky to see that THOSE DETAILS ARE STILL THERE, ON THE OFFICIAL NASA WEB SITE.

        If NASA was, as Mike Bara alleges, intent on "sanitizing" evidence of satellite dishes on the Moon, would they have left that image up there? Of course not.

        And then there's the question of where a lunar satellite dish would be getting its signal from, given that a selenostationary orbit is an impossibility. Mike has never addressed that question at all.


Two more quotes from that interview are worth noting.
 "I'm trying to get to young people whose minds have not yet been poisoned by mainstream media."

        I regard that as an excellent justification for maintaining this blog, and a vindication of all who try and counteract Mike Bara's lies by whatever means.

"I put together stuff that I know to be true, in my mind. Then I go out and look for evidence."

        I remember writing not long ago that Mike Bara does not have the same concept of truth that most of us do. Well, there you have it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Facebook conversation

James Concannon posts:

Dateline: today. From a page called Conspiracies and Underground News: A Truther's Movement 
CUNaT: "Below are links to four MUST HAVE BOOKS! If you want to expand your mind and help yourself find the TRUTH, check out any one of, or ALL of these books by famed Author, Mike Bara."

[List and promo follow, including a book that isn't yet written]

James Concannon: "Mike Bara has chosen to write about topics of which he has no knowledge. Not surprisingly, the result is a whole series of appalling, unforgivable errors. Here are a couple of examples:"

"From "The Choice"
"Mars's orbit is so eccentric that its distance from Earth goes from 34 million miles at its closest to 249 million miles at its greatest"
James Concannon: "FACT: Mike's figures are correct but they do not prove what he says they prove. Mars's eccentricity is a mere 0.09. If the orbit were perfectly circular there would still be a very great difference between the closest and furthest approaches to Earth."

"From AAotM, writing about views of Earth from space:
"the clouds are the highest in the atmosphere, meaning that they are reflecting more light back to the camera and at a faster rate. Since they are returning more light, the clouds are the lightest. The surface areas ... are darker, because they are a bit further away from the camera than the clouds and therefore the light has to travel further before it is reflected back. The deep blue oceans are therefore the darkest, because the light has to travel all the way to the ocean floor before it is reflected back to the camera."

James Concannon: "FACT: The speed of light is a fixed quantity. It cannot be reflected "at a faster rate" from clouds."

"FACT: The different colors on images of the Earth have nothing whatever to do with their altitude above the surface, still less the time it takes light to travel from them to the camera. The colors are a consequence of albedo."

"FACT: Light only penetrates a few hundred feet into the ocean, if that. It cannot possibly travel all the way to the bottom and, even if it could, it would not account for the wavelength."

CUNaT: "FACT: you're clearly jealous of his success and have nothing better to do with your time than ramble incoherently about why you're angry that hes successful"

James Concannon: "There's nothing incoherent about science. Please re-read."

CUNaT: "FACT: you're clearly a fake profile and you're stalking him like an ex-girlfriend. If you want his dick up your ass, just ask politely, you loose assholed, prick."

CUNaT: "FACT: Mike Bara has 4 published books, 2 television shows that he regularly appears on and several international radio shows. He has seen massive success and the only thing you've managed to master, is how to stalk him while bitching like the cunt you are. Find something better to do with your time, dickwad, because you clearly do nothing else right now, aside from twiddle your needledick to Mike's books and shows. WE GET IT, YOU'RE MAD HE WONT FUCK YOU... now move on, psycho."

James Concannon:"Yes, 4 books (actually 2 and a half) and several radio shows, all full of appalling factual errors. I've cited two examples -- there are many more."

CUNaT: "When you go back and reference his writings, do the pages stick together?"

James Concannon: "No. Are you planning to address the _issues_ at all, or just trot out the obscene insults?"

CUNaT:  "I'm not going to argue with you, moron. You agree his facts are correct yet you still blather on. You're blocked, bye asshole."

The entire exchange was then deleted. I have some evidence that CUNaT is actually Sara Shanae a.k.a. Sara Casm.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mike Bara wrong on proto-planet

        Mike Bara posted a link to this article on his strippers-and-porn-starlets page today, and added the comment:

This finding reinforces the solar fission theory of planetary formation I advocate in my 2nd book "The Choice" 

       The article describes the still-forming Jupiter-sized planet of HD 100546, a young star in Musca. The hard black edge is part of the coronagraph obscuring the star itself. The work was done by Sascha Quanz et al. at ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

photo credit: Reuters

        It's nice to know Mike reads the science news, albeit a Reuters/Yahoo digest rather than the original report. However, as evidence for solar fission this is worthless. Doesn't even begin. Au contraire, the original report says the observation favors accretion:

"According to current theory, giant planets grow by capturing some of the gas and dust that remains after the formation of a star. The astronomers have spotted several features in the new image of the disc around HD100546 that support this protoplanet hypothesis. Structures in the dusty circumstellar disc, which could be caused by interactions between the planet and the disc, were revealed close to the detected protoplanet. Also, there are indications that the surroundings of the protoplanet are potentially heated up by the formation process."

Wrong again, Bara. Dead wrong.

On another subject, Mike has also posted his TripAdvisor travel map — 51 cities in 4 countries. Mike Bara, the world-famous archaeologist, hasn't been to either Peru or Denmark. So why in heaven's name do the producers of Ancient Aliens consider him an authority on Aramu Muru (Unexplained Structures, Season 2 Ep 8) and the Wikingerburgen (Aliens and the Secret Code, Season 3 Ep 13)?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hoagland's unlikely propositions

        Curiosity's A-side computer took a hit last Thursday, probably a flash memory glitch. JPL mission controllers switched to the B-side at 2:30 pm PST, placing the system in safe mode. The press release stated:

"We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations," said Richard Cook of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. ... The spacecraft remained in communications at all scheduled communication windows on Wednesday, but it did not send recorded data, only current status information. The status information revealed that the computer had not switched to the usual daily "sleep" mode when planned. 
        In other words, a setback but not a particularly scary one, and one for which the systems were well prepared. However, it happened just as analysis of the first subsurface sample—of a type of mudstone or soapstone—was in process. Data had already been taken from the 'Sample Analysis at Mars' (SAM) organic chemistry instrument and the 'CheMin' X-ray system, but there is more to come once the A-side computer is fixed.

        Richard Hoagland, of course, could not resist interpreting this as another example of a "convenient" malfunction allowing the masonic/nazi/magician elements within NASA to do their fell1 business in the dark. He turned up on Coast to Coast AM last night, misreporting the facts in important respects and mispronouncing the name of his "friend"2 Craig Covault (Covault is the doyen of aerospace journalism. The amazing depth of his reporting on this issue can be sampled here.)

        Hoagland then said that several hints had been dropped in public recently indicating that a space age sleight-of-computer was imminent. Among these were:

  • William Shatner's appearance in the Oscar telecast on 24th February, with a "time travel" theme.
  • Use of the term sequestration (meaning hidden)3 for the mandatory US budget cuts that took effect on 1st March
  • President Obama's use of the term Jedi mind-meld as he bemoaned the fact that the sequestration could not be averted.

        Words almost fail me as I contemplate how utterly illogical these propositions are. The Oscar show would have been conceived and scripted over the period October 2012 - January 2013 (the announcement of Seth MacFarlane as host was made on 11th October). You'd have to imagine a phone call from Charles Bolden to Anne Sweeney, President of Disney-ABC, around about 15th October.

-- Please hold for the NASA Administrator."

-- Good morning Mr. Bolden, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

--Good morning Ms Sweeney, or may I call you Anne?"

--That'd be fine, Chuck."

--Congratulations on your choice of Seth MacFarlane to host the Oscars. Fine idea. We here at HQ have been following that young man's career with interest. Now that we have no manned spaceflight program, we're turning our attention increasingly to showbiz."

--Well, thank you. We expect to have some fun with Seth."

--Yes, well, actually, fun is what I'm calling about. See, we expect that one of our computers on the Mars rover will fail along about next March, and we'd like to use the opportunity to carry out some highly secret operations. We thought it'd be a great idea to use the Oscar telecast to drop a public hint about that."

--Er... maybe I'm not following you. If these operations are highly secret, why would you want to drop hints about them?"

--We here at NASA love to play games with the public, Anne. We particularly love playing mind-fuck games with pseudo-scientists like Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara. What we have in mind is for Bill Shatner to come on your show and fool around with the idea of time travel. That should be enough of a tease, and Bill doesn't have to know he's doing it for us."

--Do you think people would get it?"

--Sure. Nobody could fail to understand the connection between a not very funny comedy routine and a computer failure that hasn't happened yet. I mean, everyone got the idea when we inserted all that code into John Carter of Mars. Right?"

--Y'know, Chuck, you may be batshit crazy but that isn't such a bad idea. I'll have my people get back to your people about this later."

(and similar calls to the White House)

1. "fell" in the Shakespearean adjectival sense: "Sinister, malevolent". I love using surprising words.
2. My guess is that Craig Covault is Hoagland's "friend" only in the limited sense of "I've seen him at NASA press conferences." I could be wrong. In that sense, he's just as much my friend, come to think of it.
3. Read about sequestrations here. The term was first used in 1985.