Saturday, May 16, 2015

Robert Morningstar ignores the evidence

James Concannon writes:

        The "civilian intelligence analyst" Robert Morningstar announced on FB yesterday that he was about to be interviewed by Michael Vara on Late Night in the Midlands, and he posted a link to the images he was planning to refer to during the show (the topic was to be "The Secret Space Program"). My face hit my palm when I saw the fucking "Big Ben on the Moon" image that several of us have already well debunked. I wrote that he must be crazy, and reminded him of this image, showing frame AS17-M-2366 compared to AS17-M-2367, the next in sequence.

image credit: NASA

        2366 shows "Big Ben," which AM* has consistently claimed is a tower on the Moon, and 2367 shows that the top part of the "tower" is now 1000 km or so out in space. It's quite obviously scanner contamination, and again I thank 'Trekker' for drawing my attention to it.

        Well, blow me down with a feather, the intelligence analyst simply ignored what was staring him in the face.

37:55 Vara: It looks like the leaning tower.
AM*: Indeed, it does. And there's a reason for that. You know, I have the privilege of being tracked by trolls from NASA and JPL, who really like to jump on my case and mock it -- you know, as a result of some of the pranks they pull on me in trying to debunk my work, they've led me to a treasure-trove of secret NASA archives -- very high-resolution stuff -- and when I was working on one problem that they brought up, they led me to this magazine from Apollo 17. And I started to see anomalies in the lunar skyline. And I started tracking what I thought were UFOs, and as I followed one UFO around the Moon from one picture to the next, I came around the bend and there was a whole slew of them -- what I call a constellation of space stations. But as I continued I was shocked to find that photograph. And instantly I said to myself  "That looks like the Empire State building or Big Ben. I think that looks like Big Ben on the Moon." Now these debunkers, they claim that that's dust on the film, or an anomaly in the emulsion. Again, I'm just showing you a picture that was taken by Apollo 17 -- a picture that's been in the archives for 42 years and I just happen to be the one that found it and recognized it, so I show it to you. And what do you think that looks like?  I told you what I think it looks like, so I named it that. I named it "Big Ben on the Moon."

        The rest of the show went off into all kinds of fantasies that had nothing to do with secret space programs. Anybody interested can track down the podcast here. I have no idea who these "trolls from NASA and JPL" are.

And now for something not very different...
        I was also hammering away at AM* about another one of his photo-misinterpretations. This one.

image credit: NASA

        It's frame AS10-28-3988 from Apollo 10, and it shows a piece of mylar insulation that tore loose when the Lunar Module undocked. The mylar is about half a metre long, and about 20 m away. The intelligence analyst says it's a space station, and its major dimension is 166 miles. His reasoning (such as it is) is explained here.

        I wondered how far away a 166-mile object would need to be to appear as shown, so I worked it out.

Claimed dimension: 166 miles
Focal length of the camera lens: 80mm
Width of the film frame: 70mm
Fraction object height/frame height: 0.086

Field of view: 2 × arc tan (0.5 × film width/focal length)
= 2 × arc tan 0.4375
= 47.26°
So angle subtended by the object is 4.06°
Distance to the claimed space station: 166/tan 4.06°
tan 4.06° = 0.071
∴ distance = 166/0.071 = 2,338  miles

I posted all that to Morning*'s page.

On 28 May he responded:
"Thank you for thy miscalculations.... I will check the figures again, and send your homework to a world renown expert in optics and photo analysis to be graded. But remember, it's you, not me, who claims the distance to be 2,338 miles away. That's impossible since at that distance a 166 mile high object would look like a speck. And what we see in the 3 close-ups (& at least 3 other long distance photos in the Apollo photos) is not a "speck." Neither is it credible to believe that the object is a 1.5 foot piece of mylar. Stick the 1.5 foot piece of Mylar claim made by NASA into the same equation and see if you come up with 1.5 feet of anything. Thanks ... smile emoticon "Ta Ta, James" It's always a pleasure. -> M*"
        Using the same data, distance to a 1.5ft piece of mylar is 21ft. I also pointed out that a 166-mile object 2,338 miles away would look eight times as big as the Moon from Earth. Not a speck.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kerry Cassidy "attacked by the dark side" again

        Poor Kerry Cassidy. Not only is Project Camelot on the verge of bankruptcy, but her plans to start up a television network were recently thwarted by what she reported as a pinched nerve in her cervical spine, which made keyboard work painful.

       Yesterday, in a blog-post titled 'The Real Reason I Have Been Off the Air,' Kerry reveals that the "pinched nerve" is in fact the result of a sinister plot.
"New information coming from a healer/source has revealed that I do not have a pinched nerve!  But instead the nerve was interfered with by a scaler [sic] weapon formation sent by the dark side to prevent a 4th interview with Captain Mark Richards and the formation of my Camelot TV Network.

"I believe the objective of this attack was to kill me.  They will not be successful.  I am not leaving the planet until I decide to leave."
        In a comment, one of her fans wrote "I recommend juicing, primarily with carrots as a base, adding apples and other vegetables as you learn what they do."

        Carrot juice as a remedy for paranoia? Put me down as skeptical on that.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Point-by-point critique of Mike Bara's latest book

Ancient Aliens and Secret Societies; pub. Adventures Unlimited, ISBN 978-1939149404
        We don't have to wait long for the first error in this incompetent book. Just as far as line 8 of the Introduction, to be precise, where we find the word 'Parrott.'  However, I'm not going to nit-pick all the keyboard errors (I refuse to call them 'typos') other than to say there are altogether too many, and a Grand Old Man of aeronautics like Theodore Von Kármán deserves to have his name spelled correctly (see pp 180,192). On to more important things.

1 >> p.33 "Modern man needs sunglasses in the modern daylight." 

 Chapter 1 is about the ubiquity of flood myths across many cultures, and Bara cites biblical sources as well as many others. Here he's citing the creationist Water Vapor Canopy theory, according to which everything was much darker before the flood. However, neither the need for eye protection nor the theory itself are true. Bara may need sunnies to look cool for the Las Vegas strippers he hangs around with, but the human eye is well able to adjust to all but the most extreme conditions. It's been calculated that the canopy, if it existed, would imply an atmospheric pressure at the Earth's surface 900 times what it is today.

He returns to the point later, on p.85, and manages to get it  even more wrong. By this time he's waded deep into the bullshit that is Zecharia Sitchin, and he's trying to wriggle out of the obvious  problem with the idea of living beings (the Anunnaki) on a planet (Nibiru) with such an eccentric solar orbit that the temperature at aphelion would be near absolute zero. Perhaps, he writes, Nibiru is not a planet but an orbiting moon of a brown dwarf (by the way, if it's orbiting a brown dwarf star, it's still a planet,not a moon. Duuhhhh.) And he adds, "Maybe we have Anunnaki eyes." Oh, Brother!

Later still, on p.97, he reports Sitchin's hilariously wrong explanation for Nibiru's thermoregulation. All it takes, according to this idea, is a very thick atmosphere and a constant flow of volcanic eruptions, to keep the planet warm while out beyond Pluto. And when it's at perihelion? Why, then the atmosphere deflects [sic] excessive heat. Oh, brother again!

2 >> p.41 "the Water Vapor Canopy theory certainly has its critics among the anti-Christian left and the science trolls."

So, objecting to some unsubstantiated idea on scientific grounds makes you a troll, in Bara's eyes. Mmmkay.

3 >> p.86 "Sedna blew away all the preconceived notions of orbital mechanics."

It did nothing of the kind. Bara correctly notes that Sedna, an inner Oort cloud object, was discovered in 2003 and has an orbit even more eccentric than that of Sitchin's imaginary Nibiru (period 11,400 years cf. Nibiru 3,600). But this is not in conflict with the orbital mechanics of Kepler and Copernicus at all.

What astronomers have said about Nibiru is that it's very unlikely that an orbit that eccentric could be stable over many passes through the solar system. Nobody is claiming that Sedna's orbit is stable -- how could they, we've only seen 12 years of an 11,400 year orbit so far.

4 >> pp.96-143 The material on these pages is absolutely gob-smacking. It is nothing less than a complete re-telling of Sitchin's book "The Lost Book of Enki" complete with extended quotes. How the fuck does Bara get away with quoting 47 pages of copyright text from an author who's only been dead five years? It's irritating to read because of Sitchin's reversed syntax. Here's a sample:
"At the Place of the Chariots multitudes gathered, to bid farewell to the heroes and their leader (Enki) did they come. The last to embark was Enki; to the gathering he bid farewell. Before his father Anu he knelt down, the king's blessing to receive. So did Anu to his son speak a blessing, bidding him farewell. 'My son the Firstborn: A far journey you have undertaken, for us all to be endangered; let your success calamity from Nibiru banish; go and in safety come back!"
The setup of the original work is that this tale was recovered from 12 Sumerian stone tablets--but Sitchin himself admits in his Introduction that the text is only "as if translated." Bara reports it all as fact, complete with the biting-off of a penis and some sneaky genetic engineering. Oh Brother again.

5 >> p.154 "Buzz Aldrin [performed] a ceremonial offering to Osiris on July 20, 1969."

No he did not. He performed a version of the catholic mass. Aldrin is actually a presbyterian.

Later, on p.163, Bara refers again to this ceremony, incorrectly including Neil Armstrong in the event. In fact, Armstrong took no part in it.

Later still, p 245/6, he connects the ceremony to the Egyptian God Osiris by writing  that the catholic mass is "a recreation of a much earlier Egyptian rite." Bullshit. For a scholarly refutation of that assertion, see Logos Apologia 21 May 2012.

6 >> p.173 "The truth is, NASA was literally born in a lie and hid many unpleasant truths about itself from the beginning."

Well, now at last we're getting to the secret societies. Chapter 6 is all recycled Hoagland material, developing the idea that NASA was, from the outset, controlled by Nazis, Magicians and Freemasons. Of course it isn't actually true, and neither were the tenuous connections ever hidden, as far as I know.

Sure, Wernher Von Braun, Kurt Debus and the rest of the 'Paperclip' Germans were ex-Nazis, and they were in key positions, but they were not in from the beginning. NASA was formed in July 1958, and the Nazis weren't recruited until two years later, to run the newly-formed Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville. There is absolutely zero evidence that their former allegiance to the Fuhrer had any influence on NASA whatsoever. Von Braun was hired to do a job, and we should all be grateful that he did it.

When Hoagland & Bara say "magicians" they're really only thinking of one man -- Jack Parsons, who was an orgiastic follower of Aleister Crowley in addition to being a rather brilliant rocketry pioneer. His story is well worth reading (and actually Bara tells it well on pp.180-192), but again there's no evidence that Parsons' weird ideas permeated JPL. On the contrary, I imagine that the few JPL personnel who actually knew about Parsons' high jinks were embarrassed by them.

As for the Freemasons--yes, there were plenty in the early years, Administrator James Webb for one--but so fucking what?

7 >> p.194 "The German space program led the way in rocket development in the early 1930s."

There was no "German space program" at Peenemunde. There was a ballistic weapons program, which was all too successful.

8 >> p.201 "From the beginning, NASA was under the thumb of the Department of Defense ... The agency was compromised from its inception. A civilian figurehead was trotted out for the public to consume, but he was always taking orders from the Pentagon on any question it determined was in the interests of national defense."

Nonsense. Although it would be fair to say that the NASA-DoD relationship was, and remains, complicated, the rivalry between the NASA Administrator and the Secretary of Defense was pretty much a contest of equals, especially once James Webb became Administrator. Webb was a powerful man in Washington -- he had access to the President, and used it. Check out the history of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program some time. A US Air Force mini-space station concept, it was canceled in 1969 and NASA got the Skylab program instead. "Under the thumb", my ass.

If you want to read more, Dwayne Day's excellent chapter in the NASA History is definitive.

9 >> p.202/3 "[The Brookings Report] makes it clear that the discovery of extraterrestrial ruins ... falls under the dark blanket of national security ... It goes on to state that the discovery of such ruins would be wholly destabilizing to the civilized world, and actually recommends that if such discoveries were made, they should be suppressed until such time as society could be properly 'conditioned' to receive such news."

The Brookings Report made no such recommendation, neither did it ever say that such a discovery was a matter of national security. It recommended that research should be undertaken to gauge the likely public reaction, but no such research was ever funded. This blog has already covered the question, here and here (point #14).

By the way, Bara writes that Margaret Mead was on the staff that produced the report. Not so -- she attended one of the monthly meetings and gave sombre advice about what happens when primitive societies are visited by high-tech ones. The staff were all Brookings bureaucrats.


...and so we come, finally, to the much-recycled, much-debunked Ritual Alignment Model which this blog has written about a lot.

10 >> p.263 "There is no doubt ... that NASA absolutely launches, lands and performs key events in the space program not based on scientific or academic reasons, but to serve some bizarre and ancient occult belief system... I don't know if NASA does this because they believe that if the stars are not right, the missions will fail, or if they do it simply to follow the traditions passed down from the gods and cared for by the secret societies over the millenia. What I do know is that NASA continues to follow these rituals to this day, on virtually every mission they undertake."

Well, they don't. It's as simple as that. The failure of Hoagland & Bara's own 'Table of Coincidence' -- in which 19 of 42 events fail to follow their own stated rules -- is enough. Bara doesn't even cite one single example from the Shuttle program -- 135 launches, 133 landings -- to support his case.

Instead, here, he gets all confused about that catholic mass of Buzz Aldrin's. When exactly did it happen? Was it 33 minutes after the landing, with Sirius at 19.5°? Or 3h 41m after landing, with Regulus at minus 19.5? He seems to conclude that both happened, one secret and one public.

In the last few pages of the book, Bara goes to some lengths to explain that yes, Aldrin could have seen Sirius with the Alignment Optical Telescope. What he doesn't explain is how Aldrin could have seen a star that hadn't yet risen. And by the way, that later time is the correct answer.

Consider this, too. Bara cannot claim any support for his whacky theory on the basis of Aldrin's little ceremony, regardless  of the astrology. It was not a NASA  event, not in the flight plan. Aldrin took his symbolic bread and wine in his personal preference kit, and NASA controllers probably didn't even know what he was planning to do with it. That being the case, within this book Bara has offered no evidence at all for the Ritual Alignment Model. FAIL.

Monday, May 4, 2015

More recreational geometry

        The blogpost I wrote on 8th April, "Doing Hoagland & Bara's math for them," was a surprise hit. It attracted almost twice as many views as, say, the 12th March post on Robert Morningstar's weird math.

        Nice to know that my readers aren't scared of a little trig. That  being the case, today I thought I'd serve up more of the same. This has nothing to do with Hoagland & Bara's nonsensical ideas, it's just a thing.

        Following on from that April post, I wondered what would happen if you substitute a cube for the tetrahedron. In other words, if you inscribe a cube inside a sphere, centered on the equator, what would be the latitude of the contact points?

          If you thought that, you were WRONG. That's probably what Mike Bara would have put in one of his horrible books, supposing he felt the need. To scale, the cube actually looks more like this, with the side of the cube defined as 2h.

        To visualize it correctly, you need to rotate the cube 45° and look at it along the diagonal, like this:

        If the side of the cube is 2h, the diagonal is 2h√2, and therefore the tangent of the latitude is h/h√2

1/√2 = 0.707
arc tan 0.707 = 35.26°

Extra fact: the radius of the sphere is h√3, so if you were asked "what is the side of a cube that would fit exactly in a sphere of radius r?" the answer would be 2r/√3. The second diagram is less surprising knowing that.

        So there you have it. Your cocktail party conversation all set for the party season. No need to thank me.

Guess what's exactly at 35.26°N? Richard Hoagland's former home in Placitas, New Mexico. Mike Bara's former home in Redondo Beach, California is not too far off, at 33.8°. We could make a religion out of this....