Jimmy Church handed Mike Bara yet another opportunity to plug his latest book for two hours this week, on Fade to Black internet radio. Bara said it was a shame that his critics descended to insults and personal attacks rather than sticking to the facts -- a hilarious statement and the polar opposite of the truth. Mike has referred to me as "idiot", "douche bag", "moron", "psychopath", "dumbass", and "deranged" -- those are just from memory. I don't use epithets when addressing him. I just tell him he's wrong.
I thought maybe Jimmy Church would have more spine than, say, George Noory, and perhaps challenge Bara over his wild fantasies. As it turned out, he did balk at the miles-high glass towers on the Moon, but willingly lapped up all the "unmistakably artificial" Martian objects that Chapter 8 of the book is all about.
Mike presented his usual argument from (very dubious) authority -- "I'm an engineer and I know a mechanical object when I see one." He's deluded. I made a list of the figures from Chapter 8 so you can interpret the online gallery without having to buy the wretched book. Numbers at left are page numbers.
The Martian Junkyard
192 (2 images) Banyan trees
193 Sand slides
194 Palm trees (upside down)
195 Slot rock
196 Slot rock with metallic gleam
197 Three "mechanical objects" from the Spirit rover (extremely fuzzy)
198 Machined fitting (extremely fuzzy)
199 Martian "blueberry" compared with a pentremite fossil
200 Martian "crinoid" compared with a crinoid fossil (sourced)
202 Dinosaur skulls (sourced)
203 Dinosaur skulls compared with real skulls
204,205,206 The "humanoid skull" (sourced)
208,209,210 The figurine
211a An air conditioning unit (fuzzy)
211b Bent sheet metal
212a Partly buried "technological objects" (sourced)
212b The "spoke"
213 A wrench
214 A cowbell and a gearbox
215 Sheet metal cased objects with circuit boards
216 Metal cased object
217 Circuit boards
219 Object with rectangular slot
220 Hubcap and valve stem
221 Eroded sheet metal
222 A turbocharger
223 A tank and a cylinder (also shown in the 8-page color signature) (sourced)
Here's the point. Mike Bara cannot possibly know that these objects are what he says they are. In reality, the most he can say is that they look like "a wrench, a circuit board, a hubcap....etc." As one of the Amazon reviewers wrote, it isn't enough that it looks like a duck. It has to walk like a duck and quack like a duck, too, before you can be fairly confident that it's a duck. Translating that into science reality, to be remotely convincing he'd have to give us supporting data. Geochemistry, metallurgy, for example -- even some context and scale would help. Does such data exist? Maybe -- we can't tell because 90% of his images come at us without any reference to the original images in the various online libraries. Bara himself has written on more than one occasion that random imagery without such references is useless. So Chapter 8 belongs in the bin along with the rest of the book.
The debate that almost happened
Stuart Robbins, the astronomer who Mike Bara hates and insults even more than he does me, has given up trying to stage the radio debate with Mike on Coast to Coast AM that was agreed to last year. He has half-persuaded Jimmy Church to host such a debate, and the prospect was discussed this week. Jimmy said he thought it would "make good radio," and Mike seemed to agree, but then backed off somewhat with "What's in it for me?"
Late in the show, with only about 12 minutes to go, Stuart got through on the call-in line and it seemed a deal might be made there and then. However, Jimmy Church inadvertently dropped the connection to Bara so that was that.
To make conversation, Jimmy asked Stuart to comment on an image that Bara says is a flying saucer on the Moon. It's one of his details from AS11-38-5564.
Stuart played it exactly right, saying "I have no idea [what it is]" and adding "That's what we do in science -- if you can't really pull it out of your data, then you have to say 'I'm not sure, we need better data.'" If only Mike Bara the infallible engineer would understand that.
PS. Here's the "flying saucer" in context, at the extreme left edge of the Moon, showing how those angular shadows get created.