I'd never heard of Billy Carson before he swanned onto Coast to Coast AM last Saturday night to be interviewed by Richard Syrett. Having listened through the two hours, I'll be quite pleased if I never hear of him again, and my teeth are sore from gnashing.
Carson runs a web site called 4bidden knowledge, which markets trivia like urban survival kits. He seems to have recently completed a video documentary series for Gaia TV about the so-called "Secret Space Program." He claims detailed technical knowledge of space technology, but since his show features some of the usual suspects of pseudo-knowledge like Mike Bara, Linda Moulton Howe and Erich Von Danikin, I don't think it was facts he had in mind when he threw the show together. Sensationalism, more like.
Anti-gravity, and other myths
Like all the other theorists of "Secret space programs," Carson maintains that the publicly-announced space missions of NASA and all the commercial companies such as Space-X are mere "window dressing" stunts diverting our attention from what's really going on. He says that hot technologies such as anti-gravitics and zero-point energy were mastered long ago by US aerospace, and have been used for deep space missions including manned journeys to Mars. He even alluded to a Reagan-era program which took 300 people en masse
into space on one of those thingies. Richard Syrett—bless him—enquired why nobody noticed such a huge expedition at the time, and Carson suggested that "cloaking" was the answer. Damn clever, these pseudo-space-technologists—they think of everything in their quest to create the perfect unfalsifiable propostion, don't they? To them, it's quite good enough for the likes of Linda Moulton Howe to merely assert that such things have happened, and it automatically becomes true. "Evidence? Of course there's no evidence. Are you daft? The whole point is it's SECRET."note 1
So what would an anti-gravity space mission be like? There would be no earth-shaking roar as mighty rocket engines come to life, no majestic rising of a rocket on a plume of smoke. Instead, somebody would throw a switch and the spacecraft would simply lose weight. They never say what energy source would achieve this little miracle, it just IS. So then the spacecraft would be free to rise vertically using virtually no propulsion at all—a squirt of monomethylhydrazine should do the job— until it was out of the atmosphere. It would not actually be in orbit—there would be no need for that. Initially, it would hover directly over its launch site, because relative to the planet beneath it, it would still have whatever tangential velocity the Earth's surface has at the launch site latitude.note 2
But over time it would slowly drift westward, as micro-drag reduced its horizontal speed. As a matter of fact, there's no particular reason to take a weightless spacecraft out of the atmosphere at all—all the benefits of zero-g could be had in the stratosphere, or even just staying on the ground.
You could keep going upwards, of course, but in that case your lovely anti-gravity technology is a rapidly declining asset. The force of gravity is inversely proportional to the square of your distance from the center of the planet. By the time you reach the orbit of the ISS it's already declined by 10%, and at geosynchronous altitude, where the comsats are, it's 0.023g, so you're not getting much benefit from switching it off, are you?
But anyway, the time comes to set off for the Moon or Mars. Here's where you're really going to need some oomph, because even though your spacecraft has no weight, it still has mass, and you'll need to accelerate that mass in some major way if your journey time is going to be anywhere near reasonable. Zero-point energy, perhaps? Nope, that won't work. Zero-point energy does exist, as a concept in physics, but it cannot be used to do useful work. The proof involves mathematics that Mike Bara and Linda Moulton Howe are unlikely to understand.
So it looks like you're stuck with the "outdated" and merely "window-dressing" technologies of rocketry. Awwww, what a shame.
By the way, at some point you're going to want to turn your anti-grav gismo OFF, since the gravity of the planet or moon you're approaching is helpful. Then ON again as you come in for a landing. It gets quite complicated.
Ken Johnston gets another five minutes of fame
To illustrate the tired old theme of NASA's deceptions, Carson told the story of Ken Johnston's photo collection. He explained that Ken was an astronaut candidate and a US Air Force officer who ended up working for a NASA contractor in Houston. He had in his posession a unique collection of Apollo photo-prints, and when he was ordered to shred them, he made copies first. Behold, Johnston's versions show things that the NASA official release prints do not—alien cities and geometrical craters, for example.
The problem with that narrative is that it's NOT TRUE
. Ken was never an astronaut candidate—he applied for the 1977 astronaut selection but was summarily rejected on grounds that his academic qualifications were inadequate.note 3
He was never in the US Air Force—he enlisted in the US Marines in August 1962 and reported to Pensacola for flight training in September 1964. He left the Marines two years later without ever qualifying as a pilot. James Oberg has documented this in meticulous detail
. During Apollo, Johnston worked for Brown & Root, which had the contract to manage the Lunar Receiving Laboratory and curate the collection of moon rocks. There was nothing unique about the Apollo photo-sets he had, and he didn't make copies but simply took one set home. Johnston himself never claimed
that his photos showed evidence of alien cities on the Moon or geometric craters.note 4
It was only when, in 1995, he showed them to Richard Hoagland, that the rumor got started. By that time they had been in Johnston's ring binders for 23 years. I can guarantee that if you held one of Johnston's prints in your left hand and a NASA release of the same picture in your right hand you would see no difference. It was only when Hoagland scanned them and slammed the brightness way up that artifacts appeared. How do I know this? Hoagland himself said it; or rather wrote it.
"In scanning Ken's priceless Apollo 14 C-prints, [I'd] discovered that the computer could "see" what the human eye could not—incredible geometric detail in the pitch black areas, like the lunar sky. The sensitivity of modern CCD imaging technology, in even commercially-available image scanners, coupled with the amazing enhancement capabilities of state-of-the-art commercial software — like Adobe's Photoshop—allowed the invisible detail buried in these supposedly black layers, of these thirty-year-old emulsions, to ultimately be revealed—a "democratization" of technology that no censor at NASA could have possibly foreseen over more than thirty years." --Dark Mission, 2nd edn p. 226 (emph. added)note 5
There you have it—Hoagland is admitting that something was added in the scanning process. In my opinion, what was added was contamination on his scanner glass. Here's the NASA release of image AS10-32-4820, showing crater Triesnecker in Sinus Medii:
Now here's Hoagland's version:
Look closely and you can see what looks like a stray beard hair in there. An honest researcher would never increase the brightness to that extent, since it guarantees that any imperfection on the scanner glass or the photo-print itself will show up in the perfect black of the lunar sky.
Billy Carson lies about the Apollo 1 tragedy
On the subject of Ken Johnston, Billy Carson was merely wrong. When the subject got around to the Apollo 1 fire that killed Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, my teeth got their major gnashing and my bedside radio was in danger of being hurled violently against the wall. Carson went beyond wrong into utterly dishonest calumny, alleging that mission controllers knew there was a fire in the spacecraft but did nothing to save the crew, instead callously allowing them to burn alive. What can be said about a man who makes such a vile accusation with no evidence at all? At a minimum, I would say that he does not deserve any public recognition at all, and certainly not two hours on a radio show with millions of regular listeners.
Carson added that "Betty Grissom could never get any answers out of NASA," and that's not true either. Betty Grissom sued NASA for negligence, and she got her answers although she never considered the $350,000 settlement adequate. For obvious reasons, NASA tore the remains of that spacecraft apart and undertook a meticulous post-mortem analysis. The verdict was an oxygen fire caused by sparking from worn electrical cables.
Carson added that "the spacecraft is hidden away under tight security." Well, what does he expect? Guided tours for elementary school kiddies?note 6
Not for me, no thanks
I'm not going to watch Carson's documentary series Deep Space
. Created as it was by a man with such a slender contact with the truth, and such a nauseating habit of making vile accusations against the true heroes of our space history, what could it possibly teach me?
 That's not a verbatim
quote from Carson or anyone else. Just my mockery. :-)
 1471.5 km/hr eastward at Cape Canaveral.
 It was then that Ken obtained a mail-order Ph.D. in metaphysics from the Reform Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado, and began using the title "Dr. Johnston".
 Interviewed by Kerry Cassidy in February 2016, Ken said "A lot of these anomalies that people will see -- I don't necessarily see them, 'cause I'm pretty much a straightforward engineer .. We know that if we stare at the wall long enough we can make all kinds of pictures."
 In August 2015, on his radio show The Other Side of Midnight
, Hoagland totally contradicted himself. Answering a challenge from astronomer Stuart Robbins Ph.D., on this very topic, he said "You don't have to scan. I can't show you an analog print because you're not in the same room. So I have to scan it and put it on the web. But the originals show what we're showing."
 As a matter of fact, in January this year, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, the hatch of Apollo 1 was put on public display alongside artifacts from the Challenger