Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Two videos from Luna Cognita

James Concannon writes...

        Two videos by "Luna Cognita" have re-surfaced in the blogosphere recently. Both make accusations of NASA-Apollo cover-ups, both are quite well put together, and both are utterly wrong.

        Luna Cognita might be José Escamilla, or maybe John Lear, or someone funded by one of those specimens. His (or her?) production values are way above standard Youtube quality. The editing and scripting are quite close to broadcast quality. Here's the video index.

        The first one to be given new exposure was "APOLLO 12's COVERT EVA - Proof of NASA's Off-The-Record Lunar Surface Operations," dating from October 2011 and over an hour long. The allegation is that the Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean conducted a clandestine Stand-up EVA shortly after landing. The notoriously error-prone Mike Bara drew attention to this in a recent blog post, remarking "Yes, they did. But not for the reasons the narrator believes... The truth is, they were looking for something." In a tweet the same day, he added "And I will show you what they were looking for soon." So far, he hasn't delivered.

        A Stand-up EVA (SEVA) involves depressurizing the Lunar Module, suiting up, and opening the docking tunnel hatch over the astronauts' heads. By standing on the ascent engine cover, one astronaut can then get an unobstructed 360° view of the surroundings. Only one SEVA was ever actually performed -- that was by Apollo 15 astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. Here's the transcript of that event. Note that the whole process takes from MET 106:41:20 to 107:16:23 -- some 35 minutes.

        There was no SEVA in the Apollo 12 flight plan or in any of the mission transcripts. Luna Cognita anchors his hour-long accusation of an Apollo 12 coverup on a document dated September 2006: The Apollo Experience: Lessons Learned for Constellation Lunar Dust Management by Sandra A. Wagner. And indeed, on page 1 we find this paragraph:

"The blowing dust caused by the Apollo 12 LM landing appears to have been worse than that of Apollo 11. In fact, a standup extravehicular activity (EVA) was performed by the crew to assess the site prior to performing lunar surface EVAs because blowing dust completely obscured the view during landing."

        Seems straightforward. However, Robert Pearlman, editor of collectSpace, contacted Sandra Wagner about this and she confessed that it was an error. She simply wrote 12 when she meant 15. Scroll down to Pearlman's 3-19-2014 post in this forum.

        Wagner's assumed reason for the Apollo 15 SEVA is at odds, by the way, with Dave Scott's own comments (following MET 106:50:01 in the transcript) and the fact that the SEVA was in the flight plan well before any dust problems occurred or were even contemplated. But that's a side issue. To me, the bottom line is that there is not sufficient "missing time" in the 12 transcript to allow for a clandestine SEVA. The radio silence from MET 04:15:09:31 to 04:15:18:34 just doesn't cut it.

        Luna Cognita claims that the SEVA happened a bit later, from MET 04:15:39:57 to 04:15:58:43 -- a stretch of 18:46. But this is still not enough time, and in fact the astronauts spent that time re-programming the computer, correcting an error they had made when tracking the star Pollux.note 1
        Here's Mission Control (from the Tech Air-Ground transcript) giving them clearance for the re-program at the exact time at which Luna Cognita claims the SEVA began:

        Perhaps Mike Bara will astonish us all with a complete explanation in a few days. But given Bara's past performances, we're likely to get either nothing at all or ignorant bullshit.

Music behind the Moon
        The second Luna Cognita vid was The stunning Apollo 10 coverup - The Music Behind The Moon. This is mercifully less than nine minutes, and originally posted May 2008. It was recently promoted by the error-prone psychologist Robert Morningstar on 29th October, on Fussbook.

        It beats me how this "Luna Cognita" fellow (or female?) can claim that an event was covered up while simultaneously showing us the transcript of it, freely available to anyone with a computer and net access. But there you are -- conspiracy theorists have their own logic.

        Apollo 10 was the "dress rehearsal" for the Moon landing. Astronauts Stafford, Cernan and Young went into low lunar orbit, separated the LM from the CSM, and flew it to within 8.4 nautical miles of the surface before backing off and redocking. While behind the Moon, out of contact with Houston, all three astronauts made several remarks about "weird music" audible on the VHF radio channel. The source of these sounds was almost certainly artifacts of VHF ranging at a time when there was no line-of-sight between the two spacecraft.

04 06 13 02 LMP That music even sounds outer-spaeey, doesn't it? You hear that? That whistling sound?
04 06 13 06 CDR Yes.
04 06 13 07 LMP Who0ooooo. Say your - -
04 06 13 12 CMP Did you hear that whistling sound, too?
04 06 13 14 LMP Yes. Sounds like - you know, outer-space-type music.

04 06 17 58 LMP Boy, that sure is weird music.
04 06 18 01 CMP We're going to have to find out about that. Nobody will believe us.
04 06 18 07 LMP Yes. It's a whistling, you know, like an outerspace-type thing.
04 06 18 10 CMP Yes .... VHF-A ...

        At AOS (Acquisition of Signal), when the LM was once more contactable from Earth, this dialog took place.

        Luna Cognita makes the following allegations: 1) Some incriminating material was edited out just before the PAO said "That was John Young", and 2) What Young actually said was "Boy, you wouldn't believe this, Frank" (meaning Frank Borman.)

        Well, the idea that some substantial dialog was edited out is laughable. The audio was released in real time to accredited news media. There was even a feed to guest rooms at the Nassau Bay Hotel, the favorite haunt of NASA junkies (and groupies). As for the remark being addressed to Frank Borman, the problem with that is that Borman was not even in Houston at the time. He was in Prague, accepting a gold medal from the Czech Academy of Sciences. If you don't believe me, read the mission transcript, page 671 (by pdf count), 118:58 GET.

        This blog has commented before about Mr. Morningstar's inaccuracy in respect of the DSE and DSEAnote 2 tapes. He should find himself some sources that are more credible than Luna Cognita.

[1] Verb 32 initiates the Coelliptic Sequence, meaning the calculation needed to perform the circularization burn, nominally one hour after LOI. Very fortunately for Apollo 12, VERB 32 did not start the burn itself -- that required a separate VERB 41.

[2] DSE, Data Storage Equipment, was installed in the Command Module. It stored  voice and data during the times that the CM was out of contact behind the Moon. DSEA, Data Storage Equipment Assembly, was likewise installed in the Lunar Module. The purpose of both systems was to provide information in the event that some serious anomaly occurred behind the Moon and the astronauts were never heard from again. Morningstar has stated on several occasions that the astronauts were not aware of this -- an allegation that is easily refuted.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The bit with the radio could be explained as follows. Radios often have dynamic feedback which changes the output volume when a signal comes in. Often the signal is a lot louder than the background noise so when no signal is present, the background noise is amplified louder. When a signal comes in, the volume drops so the signal doesn't deafen the listener.
When the CM was over the far side of the Moon, there would have been no signal so the volume might have compensated and gone way up, picking up the "music" they heard.

Check this out: Symphonies of the Planets.