The occasion was his lecture at the recent Contact in the Desert conference/orgy, now available on the tube that is Google. The first 30 minutes of this drivel was solid Trump propaganda. Mike is a staunch and uncompromising Republican of the "socialists are all wimps, nya nya neener-neener" variety. This blog tries not to get into party politics, just as it has no particular position on the question of whether Manchester United or Manchester City is the better team (Mike thinks City, and tweets the point constantly.) Right now when the world thinks "Manchester" it's thinking of graver things than footy.
For the next seven minutes, Mike treated his audience to his standard pareidolia schtick, showing them a tank, a flying saucer, and the famous (ahem) ziggurat, on the Moon. Then came this:
37:33 Bara: "This is a picture of what they say is debris running down the side of a crater. What I love to do with NASA images, is I love to flip them upside down. Because.... just because they say that UP is that way doesn't mean that up IS that way. ... What happens when you flip it upside down? When you flip it upside down it becomes this."
Bara: "Now, my model for NASA and other people is that there is glass structure -- crystalline structure all over the planet, some as much as 20 miles high [which] was used as a meteor shield, because glass is actually as strong or stronger than steel. It'd be a perfect thing for a meteor shield."
Well, I have several comments on that dismal performance. Take a look at the original page this image came from, and you'll notice a few things:
Thing 1: This image was not posted by NASA, but by Arizona State University. See that URL, asu.edu? It's part of a strip from the Narrow Angle Camera of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing a landslide down the side of crater Marius. So it isn't "a NASA image" at all.
Thing 2: Scroll that page down to the entire NAC strip. Poke that |+| button a few times so you can interpret the image. If what Mike says were true, and the jaggy feature was really sticking up instead of down, the rest of the strip should show pure black sky. Instead, it shows the floor of the crater, as we expect based on ASU's captioning. I have already criticized Mike Bara for this flagrantly dishonest image manipulation, in reviewing his book Hidden Agenda.
Thing 3: In his book Ancient Aliens on the Moon, Bara cites a paper by Rowley & Neudeckernote 1 in support of that idea that, on the Moon, "glass is actually as strong or stronger than steel." As I wrote in February 2013, Rowley & Neudecker say no such thing. On the contrary, a paper by J.D.Blacicnote 2 in the same journal tells the converse story.
Table 1 from Blacic, J.D.
The young's modulus of lunar glass is ~100 giga-pascals cf. Earth glass 68 because of the extreme dryness of the environment. But steel is way stronger at 224 giga-pascals. So I make that three whopping inaccuracies in just that short excerpt from the lecture. I maintain this amounts to a confession, because he's saying this wasn't a random mistake or some accident. The inversion of the image, and the publication of it alleging that it was something it patently is not, was a deliberate act. Shame on Bara and on the publisher, David Hatcher Childress.
Bara next switched to Ceres, Powerpointing the famous salt deposits and claiming that they had to be evidence of internal illumination. He even showed an aerial image of Las Vegas at night, noting the similarities to the Occator crater on Ceres. Evidently he thinks a dwarf planet can contain a Vegas-like city, devoid of any context--devoid of an atmosphere and almost all gravity, as well. Cougars in micro-gravity? Could be fun, I suppose.
Then it was on to Mars, with Bara essentially repeating the errors I reported on back in March, complete with that 20ft high cat playing air guitar. "My philosophy," he said, "is if it looks like something then it probably is." Yes, we know Mike, that's the problem.
Then came another old favorite. After showing the Antikythera mechanism, he continued...
1:00:32 There are things like this on Mars too. Because if you look at the pictures, what you see is stuff on Mars. This is a microscopic view, it's not really super-small but it's...about that big. This looks like a bunch of rocks..but I'll tell you what that is. That is some sort of pipe with a fitting on it that screws into something else... a valve handle.
Mick West of metabunk.org explained, long ago, that this feature is actually the impression of a Phillips head screw in the casing of Opportunity's x-ray spectrometer. The head of the instrument is pressed firmly into the dirt in order to get a good reading.
Mike Bara declared quite some time ago that he was not going to pay any attention to his critics. It's like he just wants to be wrong all the time.
Update 6 June
With Dee's comment today, that makes three people who have pointed out that the School of Earth & Space Exploration at ASU is NASA in all but name. Stuart Robbins calls it the official Planetary Data System annex of JPL. I defend the distinction I make on these grounds: The walls of ASU may not be ivied exactly, but they do enclose academe. The day-to-day work of data processing is done by graduate students and post-docs, mainly. Even supposing there were some conspiracy within NASA to obfuscate certain planetary features, it's not credible that this would extend to ASU. Can you imagine NASA saying "Here's a contract to do data processing, but a condition is that you agree to falsify some of your data"? Can you imagine ASU accepting that? Can you imagine post-docs accepting that they have to withhold or "doctor" some of their output, and keep quiet about it?
 Rowley, J.C. and Neudecker, J.W. In situ rock melting applied to lunar base construction...etc
 Blacic, J. D. Mechanical Properties of Lunar Materials Under Anhydrous, Hard Vacuum Conditions: Applications of Lunar Glass Structural Components