I didn't plan it this way, but I'm picking up Part 2 at the exact mid point of the book -- p.107 of 214, chapter 4 of 8. A simply enormous majority of the second half is a straight lift from Hoagland. I wouldn't know what arrangements (if any) those rascals Hoagland & Bara have for profit-sharing but, at a rough guess, I'd say 40% would be a fair share for Hoagland. Not that there will be truckloads of money anyway. When first listed the Amazon ranking was 1,040,783. The day after Mike Bara's appearance on Coast to Coast AM it improved to 6,055 (and #1 in Books > Professional & Technical > Profesional Science > Astronomy & Space Science > Mars). When it actually went on sale it improved further to 4,666. Today it has slumped to 9,228 (still no competition in > Mars) and it's discounted from $19.95 to $16.50.
8. pp. 107-120 You might think that Ralph Greenberg, professor of mathematics at Univ. Washington, had killed off the sheer insanity of Richard Hoagland's pseudo-mathematical analysis of Cydonia with his 2002 epic debunk. Apparently not, for here it is resurrected in its entirety by Hoagland's acolyte Mike Bara, and Bara even attempts to refute Greenberg. He's outclassed. Picasa frames #106-132 tell the story, and if they don't leave you utterly confused I don't really know what would. What's going on here is that Hoagland starts off with a presupposition that the marsography of Cydonia contains a hidden mathematical message, and then "proves" it by cherry-picking features and angles, and in some cases outright cheating.
What would Hoagland know about math anyway? This is the man who abjectly failed to apply the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation correctly and consequently produced a huge web page that was totally useless and invalid. He refuses to correct it, so you can still see it. Read it and weep.
There are mathematical absurdities here, like declaring that 2.720699, which is π × (√3)/2, is close enough to e, the base of natural logarithms, that it can be used as a substitute. The value of e is actually 2.71828.
What strikes me as I see all this nonsense again is not just that kind of comedy performance, but the overall sloppiness of the diagramming. Compare Picasa frames #107 and #113. In #107, a vertex of the D&M pyramid is shown to be pointing fairly accurately at the "face." Fair enough. But then the pointer to the center of the "tholus" does not follow a vertex and appears to be random. In #113 the whole pyramid has been rotated and suddenly one of the vertices is pointing directly at the "tholus." In #130 the same vertex again points at the "tholus" but suddenly the important point is not the center of the tholus but a spot on the north-west crater rim.
Better men than me have rejected this entire exercise because an orbital photograph has too much unknowable distortion to treat it as though it were a product of an accurate survey. Hoagland & Bara maintain that it's all OK because their images have been meticulously orthorectified. Actually, on p.107 Bara writes "orthographically rectified." That made me giggle -- it can only mean that the images were spell-checked. Mike Bara's spelling of the word "foreword" needs some orthographic rectification. Huuuurrrr...
9. pp.121, 125 (Picasa #123-127) Oh, here we go again. Another straight "lift" from Hoaglandiana. They want us to believe that there's something magic about the 19.5° latitude, and in support they cite all the wonderful instances of "energy upwelling" at that latitude throughout the solar system. On p.121 Bara specifically makes the claim that Jupiter's red spot, the giant Martian volcano Olympus Mons, and Mauna Kea are all at that latitude. Usually Hoagland writes "at or near," but here Bara says "at."
Such a pity that their data is dead wrong::
Jupiter's red spot is at 22°S
Olympus Mons is at 18°N
Mauna Kea is at 19° 49' N (if he'd written Mauna Loa he'd have been almost spot on)
On p.125 he makes the same claim about the Great Dark Spot of Neptune, adding for good measure that Hoagland specifically predicted it would be found at that latitude. Well, guess what? It's not true. Neptune's dark spot was first observed at about 25°S and it then wandered northwards before disappearing altogether. I believe there's a new one now, in the northern hemisphere.
What neither Hoagland nor Bara have ever addressed is the sad (for them) fact that NONE of history's top 100 volcanic eruptions or top 100 earthquakes has been at 19.5°.
10. pp.130-2 Here we go again, again. The claim that NASA suppressed the positive results of the Labeled Release biology experiment on both Viking landers. Untrue. The judgement of the experts (Gerry Soffen, again, and Harold "Chuck" Klein) was that, on balance, the enigmatic LR data could not prevail in the face of decidedly negative results from three other tests for life. That's not the same thing as suppressing the data -- in fact, the entire data set has been available on a NASA web site for 30 years. To be sure, Dr Gil Levín, the PI of the labeled release experiment, has protested pretty loudly over the years. Good luck to him, he's made some good points. His view has not found acceptance, particularly since the Phoenix lander found so much perchlorate hanging around Mars in 2008.
11. pp.132-5. More recycled anti-NASA propaganda. This is the one about how Mars really has a blue sky and sandy soil, but NASA artificially reddens it all. In particular, Bara tells the old, old story about the day JPL changed its mind and re-issued a bunch of Viking surface images making them redder.
I dunno, are these old fables really worth trotting out again today? Look -- here's what happened. The first few Viking images didn't capture the color wheel so the camera team just had to make a wild guess (Jim Bell has written about this.) When they were eventually able to get a look at the color wheel they realized the images they'd distributed were way off. So they reissued them with the correct color balance. It's as simple -- and as scientifically justified -- as that.
The space artist Don Davis has a very nice online resource dealing with the difficulties inherent in representing color on Mars. He knows what he's talking about. Mike Bara doesn't.
12. pp.147-67, Chapter 6, Picasa #151-182. Mars Pathfinder. Up pops the magic number 19.5 again, and also the almost equally magic 33. It's magic, you see, because of the masonic significance of the 33rd degree, and also because the sine of 19.5 is 0.333. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.
Up pops another example of the blatant dishonesty of Hoagland & Bara. We see on p.148 that the designated landing site of Pathfinder was 19.5°N, 33.3°W. Actually according to the Press Kit it was 19.4°N, 33.1°W. OK, it's pretty close, but Bara's text is still a lie. And there's not the slightest reason in the world to think that there were any masonic or tetrahedral reasons for the choice. All planetary landing sites are a compromise between safety and scientific value. The actual landing site was 19.13°N, 33.22°W (and Bara reports that correctly.)
Take a look through the Picasa frames. Most of them are features Bara wants to persuade us are Martian technology. I want to persuade you that that's bullshit. #166-171 and #174-5 depict what Mike Bara calls the Sphinx. He writes (p.160) "this Martian sphinx has all the classic earmarks of its Egyptian counterpart." No it doesn't. He also writes that it faces due East, like the one at Giza. No it doesn't, it faces North.
("earmarks"???? Maybe he meant "hallmarks." Is anybody editing this rubbish?)
13. pp.169-179, Picasa #187-191. The famous catbox. I'm not going to write much about this because, frankly, it gets me annoyed. Mars Global Surveyor arrived overhead the so-called "face" at the worst possible moment for imaging. The mesa was basically fogged in. Picasa #187 is what came back from Mars. What gets me annoyed is when people like Hoagland & Bara fail to appreciate the effort Malin's boys exerted to process the image to #188. Instead they scream that it was a deliberate cover-up.
Ask yourself these simple questions: If Malin couldn't bear to let us see what was really down there at Cydonia, how come he was happy to go back when the fog had cleared and shoot a clear picture (#198)? The maximum resolution of the camera was 1.5 m/px. If NASA/JPL/Malin are so desperate to keep the "face" a secret, how come they later presented us with the magnificent image from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, at 0.5 m/px?
Well, I will just make one other comment because it's amusing. On p. 177 Bara protests that only 42 of a possible 256 levels in the gray-scale were present. My mind went back to that night on the Art Bell radio show (it was Art who christened the image "catbox") when Richard Hoagland was practically screaming "Somebody stole 200 gray levels!!!!"
Dear Richard Hoagland and Michael Bara, I have some information for you. Not every gray level has to have a value for an image to be faithful. It's perfectly possible for many gray levels to have a value of zero, in fact it's expected for an ultra-low contrast scene such as MGS saw that day.
Here's an actual concrete example of gray levels in a space image:
Levels 0-11 and 170-256 are zero. Only 157 of a possible 256 levels have information in them. Yet the image is perfectly readable, if low contrast.
Know what that histogram comes from? Thank you Stuart Robbins, it's the histogram of the original "ziggurat" image that Mike Bara got from Call of Duty Zombies.