Friday, November 1, 2019

Mike Bara, Brooks Agnew, and Xenon depletion

        Mike Bara, the bullshit artist who will say anything you want if you pay him, once said that he's hired an investigator to track me down and that he will soon file a restraining order against me. That was in October 2012 and I'm still waiting for the process server.

        At the time, Bara was being interviewed by Brooks Agnew on something called X-Squared radio, which still exists and calls itself  "the #1 talk radio program in America on Sunday nights." Agnew is a strange fellow indeed. Some of his on-line résumé is probably true ("an internationally acclaimed lecturer on energy, manufacturing, and quality improvement"), but Metabunk has outed him as a fake Ph.D., and his ideas about a hollow Earth and time travel make me giggle a bit.

The secret door
        What made me think about Agnew recently was the fact that he was one of the guests "behind the secret door" for George Noory on 24th October. I dozed off for some of it but I heard Agnew say that Earth's atmosphere has 60% less xenon than the solar system average. Well, this blog and its readers seem to like xenon as subject matter—my article Yes, folks, it's the xenon isotope show from May 2016 has had 5,418 page views so far, and 48 comments—both figures well above average.

        So is Agnew correct? I had to research the question (xenon abundance not being something I discuss on a daily basis) and in fact xenon is even less abundant in the atmosphere than he said. The solar system in general has 18.25 times as much xenon as has Earth's atmosphere. Earth shares its relative lack of Xe with the Sun, and most known comets and asteroids. Wikipedia tells me that the explanation may be that the missing gas is trapped inside quartz.

        Agnew seems to think that Xe depletion supports the hollow Earth hypothesis. My opinion is that Agnew's books support the hypothesis that he's a dreamer. It's more likely that Mike Bara will get his restraining order than that time travel will be possible in our lifetimes.

© 1975 Columbia Records, John Berg

Saturday, October 19, 2019

SDM tries it on yet again

        On 4th September, responding to the US Govt Answering Brief that I covered in August, Sean Morton filed a five-page document with the Ninth Circuit titled INFORMAL APPEAL RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT BRIEF. It was signed by SDM in his jail cellnote 1 but served by someone called Scott Cartwright. Reading it through, I'm struck by the fact that it lacks SDM's style. For one thing, there are no spellling errors. And then there are no pompous self-justifications or absurd digressions, as for example in this extract from Morton's 2018 Expedited Motion for Summary Disposition:
"Sean has made a showing of exigency. A delay will substantially further harm Sean who claims he is entitled to have his life, property and rights restored. An expedited schedule for briefing an oral argument will be insufficient to prevent that harm. This is especially true because Sean's free speech, media, loss of life and property considerations are at stake. Sean's imprisonment causes an avalanche of irreparable injury including injuring the public right to have Sean be protected media. The longer the delay the more the public has cause to distrust the government and think the IRS targeting scandal is above reproach and the courts are not protecting the peoples rights to be free of oppression. Expediting remedy will restore trust in the courts and government after deep abuse and fractures in the system. "
        So I conclude that somebody else drafted this document. Perhaps Morton finally has the public defender he should have had right from the start of the legal process (and which he did not have, thanks to his own pig-headed stupidity). Or perhaps somebody found some $$$ to pay for a legal service.

        The document may not have SDM's stamp on it, but that does not stop it from advancing some utterly daft arguments. An example:
"The offense Mr. Morton is convicted of is in error because the statute expressly requires the conduct to be in the geographical location of the 10 square miles of United States. By the governments own admission the conduct falls well outside the scope of the statute because the indictment alleges all conduct was expressly in California, a separate sovereignty. Sean is convicted in error because his conduct was not in United States as required by the letter of the law. Statutory authority and Federal jurisdiction is exceeded because the conduct was purely intrastate California conduct and therefore outside the power of Congress to regulate."
I can't imagine that one succeeding.

        There are a few issues that might have a better chance, but since I'm not a legal scholar I can't say how much merit, if any, they have. For example:
  • Should a Faretta hearingnote 2 have been held before the court allowed Morton to act pro se?
  • Did the government provide adequate discovery? (There is talk here of 55,000 pages of evidence that should have been provided on CD, but the CDs turned out to be blank)
  • Document alleges that the jury instructions did not include willfulness or mens reanote 3 as required by common law.
  • There's a repeat of the allegation that Sean and Melissa were selected for prosecution because of their political beliefs. The Govt. has already answered that one and it certainly won't fly.
        Nobody knows when the Ninth Circuit will issue a final judgement on appeal. They've certainly now got an avalanche of paperwork to pore over. Morton has served just over two years of his six-year sentence—if the appeal court manages to delay for another two years or so, its judgement may be moot.
Thanks again to AE for monitoring

======================/ \==================
[1] Morton signed it "Dr Sean David Morton." His PhD (in therapeutic psychology) was purchased from the International Institute of Health and Spiritual Sciences in Montreal, Canada

[2] See this for an explanation. This might be his best point.

[3] Mens rea simply means the legal principle of a defendant knowing that his or her behavior is illegal. At least I know that much. I also know another fine latin phrase, Ignorantia legis neminem excusat  (Ignorance of the law excuses nobody).

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The mystery of Apollo 10

[For a general refresher on the Apolllo 10 mission, the wikipedia article is good]

James Concannon writes...

         In their 2009 book Dark Mission, Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara wrote (p. 280)  "While the spacecraft [the Apollo 10 LM, Snoopy] was theoretically fully capable of landing on the moon, inexplicably, it was not given the capability to do so."

        In expat's critique of the book, he wrote: « FACT: Snoopy was emphatically NOT capable of landing (well perhaps, technically, it was, but not of successfully taking off again.) Grumman engineers had not yet implemented SWIP (the Super Weight Improvement Program) and the spacecraft was too heavy. More accurately, it would have been too heavy if it had been fully-fueled for a landing and takeoff. »

        It's not a widely-known fact that George Mueller, Director of NASA's Office of Manned Spaceflight, was actually in favor of a landing by Snoopy. He felt that, even if the astronauts couldn't exit the LM and walk on the lunar surface, just the fact of a brief touchdown would sufficiently fulfill JFK's challenge to land a man on the Moon.

        In Foothold in the Heavens (2010), Ben Evans wrote this, on the basis of an interview with Tom Stafford:
"Stafford told Mueller in no uncertain terms that if Apollo 10 was rescheduled to make a landing, "The flight crew won't be on it. There was just so much to do." The main problem was that 'his' lunar module, designated LM-4 and shortly to be re-named Snoopy, was overweight; it was only by a few kilograms, but still too much to satisfy the safety margins for a successful lunar liftoff. Grumman engineers had long known that LM-4 was earmarked for an Earth-orbital or lunar-orbital test flight, rather than a lunar landing, and had not subjected it to their Super Weight Improvement Program (SWIP)."
STATS: The mass of Snoopy, unfuelled, was 9,484 lb cf. 9,287 lb for Apollo 11 's Eagle. An overweight of 197 lb or 89 kg.

        On the basis of an online discussion with a space fan (in French, as it happens) I fell to wondering how come, if 197 lb overweight was a show-stopper for Apollo 10, it became possible to add a Lunar Rover weighing 463 lb for the later J Missions (Apollos 15-17). I'm a member of a Facebook group that regularly discusses space history and has several experts (James Oberg is one) who take an interest. So I posted to that group yesterday and got immediate response:

James Concanon: Snoopy was too heavy to have landed on the Moon and taken off again, right? The Descent Stage was 220lb heavier that that of Apollo 11. So how come for the J Missions it was OK to add a 463lb LRV?

Ronald Purviance:  Many things. Saturn V mods to increase payload, changes in way the LM was released for descent to the surface, and changes to the LM itself.

Alan McEwen: ...

Rolf Karlastad: Alan: If you're not too heavy to take off, more fuel = more delta V.
Even if you had too much fuel for takeoff, due to a lack of thrust, one could simply burn fuel until the thrust to weight ratio was greater than one, and you would lift off.
Sort of the opposite of a plane where you rely on lift.

Alan McEwen: I deleted my previous response because I realized it was wrong. Snoopy was short fueled in the ascent stage. That is why it could not have completed and an ascent to orbit. Thrust was not an issue. As I said it could lift off. There was just not enough energy potential in the amount of fuel to carry out a full ascent. The weight issue came into play with The descent. As you may remember , Buzz and Neil landed with almost empty tanks. If I'm not mistaken they also had 2 PLSSs and basic science cargo. Snoopy did not have those things if I remember correctly. Had Snoopy been fully fueled, plus carrying the cargo, it would not have enough descent propulsion fuel to make a landing.

John Breaux: Bigger descent engine is the main thing. Also in later missions the LM would be taken closer to the surface before undocking meaning it needed less fuel for the descent. I'm sure some of the bigger brains here can give you exact figures.

Shane Barry Penington: Absolutely Correct...BINGO you get the $64,000.00 prize! They also figured a more direct descent trajectory from a lower orbit...

David Paul:  Yes, in later missions they used the SM engine for the initial descent orbit insertion, letting that engine do some of the delta-v needed. Also, by the J missions, they had changed the fuel mixture ratio on the Saturn (I think it was the S-II) so they could get more payload up.

Greg Bigelow: At approx. 2:20 Tom Stafford himself says it was too heavy to land. https://youtu.be/DkS2BMeA2Io

Rolf Karlstad: he over simplified. Perhaps it didn't have enough delta V to land. Unless for some reason the landing legs were weak. See? Weight doesn't really factor in, only delta V. It didn't have enough delta V to land because it didn't have enough fuel, perhaps because it was too massive, and the tyranny of the delta V equation Delta V = natural log (mass fueled/mass empty) *isp *g
It's really the only factor at play here.

That's the History, now for the Mythology
        So, OK, I got my answer. But perhaps predictably it stirred up a well-known controversy about that mission. Gene Cernan must take part of the blame for this, because he himself suggested an alternative reason why Apollo 10 was not cleared to land.
 "A lot of people thought about the kind of people we were: 'Don't give those guys an opportunity to land, 'cause they might!' So the ascent module, the part we lifted off the lunar surface with, was short-fueled. The fuel tanks weren't full. So had we literally tried to land on the Moon, we couldn't have gotten off." --Cernan, quoted in Rocket Men by Craig Nelson
...and of course, some of those Facebook experts couldn't resist reviving the controversy:

Steve Pietrowski: NASA intentionally short-fueled the LEM so there was no way they could have landed and gotten back. Management assumed that the X crew would have tried for the surface if they had a viable chance. For the J-missions, they had better PDI, as well as a redesigned engine bell for the descent stage. I don't think the engine was uprated powerwise, just made more efficient.

Sarah Bowyer:  I don't think NASA short-fuelled the LM because they didn't trust the crew not to try and land on the surface! Yes, they were competitive, but not to the extent of ignoring orders and trying to land before the procedures had been worked out. Remember, when A10 flew, they had a good chance of being on a later lunar mission.

Steve Pietrowski:  I'm pretty sure I read it in "Chariots for Apollo." I don't recall management explicitly forbidding a landing either. They sort of just didn't bring it up; then mentioned, "by the way, you won't have the fuel." I know I've seen this story in the wild elsewhere. If anything it adds a layer to the legend.?????

James Concannon: That was not the reason for the half-empty tanks. The reason was they needed the spacecraft's mass at the moment of rendezvous to be exactly what it would have been if it had taken off from the surface.

Tom Faber: Will this myth that Snoopy's ascent stage was short fueled to keep the crew from trying to land ever die out? No, that is NOT the reason. It had a reduced propellant load so that the rendezvous maneuvers with the CSM were flown with the ascent stage at close to the same mass as one had after an actual ascent from the surface. If it had a full load its handling characteristics would have been very different.

Besides, these men were professionals. They would not have disobeyed orders. And what would have happened if they did? They would NOT have been heroes. They would have forever been branded as the crew who would follow orders. It would have cast a pall over the whole program. Congress may have pulled the plug on the rest of the program right there.

Ronald Purviance: Every time I hear this BS rumor, it makes me mad. It totally dishonors the crew.

Greg Kennedy: I’ve posted to similar threads several times. Suggest you check NASA history publication “Apollo by the Numbers”. It has statistical data for all the missions including vehicle weights, propellant loads, etc.

Just the facts
        I took Greg Kennedy's recommendation, and looked up the document. Here's a link to the ToC. In the tabulations labeled Spacecraft Key Facts, I found two very interesting facts.

FIRST, Although the Descent Stage of Snoopy is confirmed as overweight, the Ascent Stage was actually lighter than that of Eagle: 4,781 lb cf. 4,804 lb. So if that's true, why would there be any concern about Snoopy's capability to take off?

SECOND, The rated thrust of the Apollo 10 Ascent Stage engine is given as 1,650 lbf cf. 3,218 lbf for Apollo 11 and all subsequent missions. Even the Apollo 9 figure cited is 2,524.

        Nobody in the expert group ventured any explanation. So there is a mystery—two mysteries—about Apollo 10 after all.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A murderer writes...

        Kerry Cassidy definitely seems to have a soft spot for the convicted murderer Mark Richards. She has undertaken the 300-mile round trip from her home near Malibu to Vacaville eleven times to interview Richards at length. Richards is 66, Cassidy is 60-ish, and they're both reasonably well preserved, so it's perhaps not surprising that there's some mutual attraction—however, rumour-mongers who hint that Kerry's visits may be "conjugal" are undoubtedly fantasizing. A California State prison visiting room is no place for hanky-panky.

        Last Sunday Kerry gave Richards a platform for a complaint he has about attacks on him and his family by "a group of internet thugs," in the form of An Open Letter to the Modern Judas. Throughout this 4-page anti-panegyric, names of those he accuses of betraying him are redacted.
"Horrid, weak, evil people like [REDACTED]—who are incapable of doing anything good or creative so they feed off ruining anyone who isn't as limited as they are—move through the history of our world like a poison. People like [REDACTED] who claimed to be 'friends' at one time ... have time and time again been talked into cutting the throat of someone who showed them nothing but kindness. ... They either let an agent of evil, like [REDACTED] convince them that betrayal is justified, or they tell themselves that there is a legitimate reason for them to turn on their friend."
        The problem with this editing (done, he writes, so as not to give any publicity to the attackers) is that as a reader I can't make any assessment of Richards' complaints. He neither identifies those he calls thugs, nor gives us any information about the content of their attacks, still less provides any documentary proof that the attacks are false. In default, I bear in mind that:

  • Richards is a convicted murderer. Kerry Cassidy has said that he is a"political prisoner" of the Illuminati, but the truth is that he was convicted by a jury that deliberated for four days. A man who is serving life without parole is not in a good position to talk about other people ruining him. He ruined himself.
  • Richards styles himself "Captain" despite never having attained that rank.
  • Richards has spun preposterous tales of his personal heroism fighting aliens in outer space, without even a shred of corroboration.
  • His defense to the charge of murder has been inconsistent. Kerry Cassidy's transcript of the tenth interview includes this passage: "He was framed for a murder he is accused of having masterminded while he was on a mission off-planet in service to humanity. He was Captain of a starship enterprise type vessel, fighting the war against aliens bent on the takeover of Planet Earth." Yet on pp. 13-24 of the transcript, we read that a trial witness known as "the chimney sweep" stated that he had a receipt proving that Mark Richards had bought lunch for his crew prior to the murder. The account continues "But Mark claims he simply paid for the lunch and then did not eat with the crew but continued on to have lunch with his parents at their home." How can a man who is supposedly off planet fighting alien wars also be having lunch with his parents??? 
A Murder in Camelot
        It's hard to guess exactly what all of the redacted names in Richards' open letter might be. One might be Richard Dolan, perhaps, who, as I noted a year ago, called Richards "a deeply, deeply, dangerous, disturbed and sick man." That was in a preview of a documentary video by Kevin Moore. Moore has had his problems, but he now says that his video will be out this coming December. A trailer is available.


        It's perhaps tempting to think Kevin Moore himself might be one of the redacteds. However, it's fairly plain that Richards is complaining of people who were on his side at one time. That does not describe Kevin Moore—far from it. Perhaps, however, he's the "agent of evil" who convinces the Judases that betrayal is justified.

        My opinion? I think Kerry Cassidy ought to have better things to do than hero-worship a murderer, a boastful self-promoter and a liar.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The aliens like beer and chocolate

        Yesterday Kerry Cassidy posted her notes on the eleventh interview with murderer Mark Richards in the Vacaville jailhouse, the publication of which she says was "delayed due to multiple interference with our computer equipment" (read: Random computer problems that she ascribes to an Illuminati attack).

        Since she has a strong copyright notice at the top of the piece I won't risk her wrath by quoting from it, but the good news is that the Aliens have no intention of eliminating the human race. They appreciate our jewelry, our beer, and our chocolate.

I thought you'd like to know that. :-)

Thursday, October 3, 2019

What is wrong with this picture?


        This is one of Robert Morningstar's collection of "lunar anomalies" by which he hopes to persuade us that the Moon is the cradle of some ancient civilization. He trotted this out on Richard Hoagland's blogtalk show, with this accompanying text:
"In this, and many other misapplications of Gestalt Psychology, NASA intentionally blinded public perception to hide PROOF of alien activity and construction on the Moon for more than half a century."
        Morningstar proclaims himself to be "a specialist in photo interpretation, geometric analysis and computer imaging." However, we know from previous articles on this blog that AM*'s photo interpretation skills are a joke (this one, too).

        In this case, he's excelled himself by misinterpreting jpg pixellation as the "serrated edges of a construction beam."

        His caption says that this is a detail from a Lunar Orbiter 4 image of the satellite crater Deluc L (The crater is named for the Swiss geologist Jean-André Deluc, and has 23 named satellites). However, I don't know where he got that image from, and (typically) he doesn't help us by giving its catalog number. The only Lunar Orbiter 4 image showing Deluc is Frame 4119, Sub-frame h1 (BUT SEE COMMENT #2 FROM ANONYMOUS, BELOW.). Here it is, with some of the satellites identified:


        Deluc Main is at 55° S, 2.8° W. Deluc L is at 60.8°S, 6.2° W, and it's just out of this frame to the west of Deluc E. Here's a view from Lunar Reconnaissnce Orbiter centered on Deluc L, with Deluc Main up at top and slightly right of center.note 1

        So I can't tell what the "construction beam" actually is (AGAIN SEE COMMENT #2), but it's certain to be one of the many, many imaging artifacts that are all over Lunar Orbiter photography. On that mission, flown in 1967, the photos were developed on board by a semi-wet process, then scanned for transmission. This image of crater Euctemon (76.4°N, 31.3°E), also from AM*'s collection, unquestionably shows a scanning dropout.


        In short, these images are not "PROOF of alien activity and construction on the Moon," but "PROOF of Robert Morningstar's incompetence. FURTHER PROOF, I should say.

Thanks to Astroguy for monitoring

===========================/ \===========================
[1] Here's the raw image from the library. Note that a 17MB .tiff is available. If that's not good enough for you, the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project offers a 652 MB download (!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Michael Salla cracks me up

        Michael Salla's actual expertise is in international conflict resolution—that's what his doctorate from Melbourne Uni was awarded for. He has no known training in physics or engineering. When he was kicked out of American University in 2001, he had a great idea: Why not cash in on the public appetite for stories about UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence by inventing a whole lot of stories about SECRET dealings between the US Government and alien civilizations, and about SECRET advanced technologies that are in use today but undisclosed. The key to this idea, of course, is that when people ask for documentary evidence of any claims Salla makes, he can say "Sorry, I can't reveal my sources. Didn't I say these are SECRETS????" I don't think anyone has ever asked him "If these are such deep secrets, how come you know about them?"

        So he founded something called the Exopolitics Institute and offered "Galactic Diplomacy Certificates" to punters who came up with $1500 by way of a fee for the study course. The Institute teaches gobbledegook like this:
"There is extensive evidence of government agencies in the United States and elsewhere having held meetings and having reached agreements with some extraterrestrial races. Those official diplomatic meetings have been highly classified and suggest that ‘galactic diplomacy’ at an official level has been secretly underway for at least 50 years without the knowledge of most citizens and elected representatives."note 1
        He self-published a whole slew of books—eight to date—with titles like Secret Space Programs & Extraterrestrial Alliances. His actual sources include 1] his own imagination, 2] William Cooper, 3] Bob Lazar, and in one case, in his most recent book, 4] an anonymous post in 4chan.

Submarines in outer space
         Salla has guested on Coast to Coast AM 37 times since 2003, most recently a wek ago, 18th September. The producers just adore his evidence-free speculations (Timothy Lavin wrote in The Listener that the show "lets clearly delusional or pseudoscientific assertions slide by without challenge.") Last week's "clearly delusional assertions" by Salla included a claim that the US Navy has retro-fitted submarines with anti-gravity technology and used them as large spaceships.note 2 He also said that the Navy has a patent on advanced electro-magnetic propulsion technology using a quantum vacuum generated by microwave cavities. If this technology were declassified and licensed to the commerical aerospace industry, he said, it could fly a jet plane from New York to Honolulu "in a few minutes."

         I freely admit that I don't understand quantum physics, but I don't think that's quite how the quantum vacuum works. Proponents of QVT propulsion have somewhat shot themselves in the foot by proclaiming the EM Drive a "proof of concept" demonstration (the EM Drive has now been pretty conclusively debunked)note 3. Besides, I know of no theory that QVT promises super-fast travel—the standard laws of physics would still apply no matter how exotic the engineering.

        It seems to me that the key to understanding Salla is very simple: He just gives himself permission to make up any rubbish story he feels like. Cracks me up.

===================/ \==================
[1] From a paper by Salla titled The Emergence of ‘Track Two’ Galactic Diplomacy with Extraterrestrial Races – The Role of Private Citizens & Groups in Establishing Communications & Agreements with Extraterrestrial Races. Published in Galactic Diplomacy (link to web page now 404).

[2] This is really hilarious. Anti-gravity technology, by definition, provides lift in a vertical direction as opposed to thrust, or propulsion, which has to be horizontal if it's to be at all useful. For propulsion, a converted submarine would presumably be stuck with using its propellors. Not very effective in space, one might think. I have written previously about the inherent limitations of anti-gravity technology.

[3] 'Impossible' EmDrive Space Thruster May Really Be Impossible. Mike Wall, Space.com 23 May 2018. See also my own write-up on this.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Richard Hoagland, statistics dunce

James Concannon writes...

        Richard Hoagland, the former museum curator who hasn't had a job since 1972, appears to be (metaphorically) frothing at the mouth over the way Hurricane Dorian pummeled the Bahamas this month. Promoting his blogtalk show The Other Side of Midnight yesterday, he wrote:
« Dorian was -- beyond any reasonable doubt, now -- a "controlled weather, genocide event."
The evidence is overwhelming; just look at the horrifying ground images of the Bahamas ... and the bizarre track of Hurricane Dorian itself--
A Category 5 ... sitting -- MOTIONLESS -- over ONE tiny Atlantic island ... for over two full DAYS!
UNPRECEDENTED -- according to the National Weather Service -- in all the annals of over a century of meteorological science!
Join me -- and my guest "geo-engineering analyst," Dane Wigington -- as we continue to explore, and document-- with striking NASA evidence (!) -- the vicious genocidal agenda being played out right before our eyes ... to kill a LOT of human beings ... if not planet Earth itself! »
        Well, look. Yes, it was a catastrophe by any measure, and I hope richer nations (you know who you are) will step up with some dollar help. But "just looking at the horrifying images" and "the bizarre track of [the hurricane]" does not constitute overwhelming evidence of attempted genocide.

        My learned friend Mr. Google tells me that the death toll is currently 43. The normal deathrate is 7.2/1000, in a total population of 403,337. So 16 deaths are to be expected in any two-day period. To call a death toll only two-and-a-half times the expected norm "vicious genocide" marks this man Hoagland as an alarmist nincompoop with no flair for statistics.

        Moreover, the meaning of the word genocide is the deliberate extinction of a race or sub-race. Bahamas is racially 92% African, but are all the deaths African? I don't know the answer to that and I bet Richard Hoagland doesn't either. There would certainly have been a lot of visitors on the islands in early September. And then, there are about one and a half billion people with African ethnicity in the world. The race isn't even going to notice 43 fewer members.

        As for an "agenda to kill planet Earth itself", LMFAO. Richard, go to your room.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

"I'm a lunatic" said Robert Morningstar

        He was just joking, of course—giving a facetious answer to George Noory's question "Why are you so interested in the Moon?" on Coast to Coast AM, 19th August. But many of the things he had to say during that two-hour interview made me think "lunatic" was close to the truth.

        Morningstar was expounding a theme that there's some kind of "new honesty" in NASA now that Jim Bridenstine is Adminstrator (since April 2018). He said that, in NASA's image library, old fuzzy images are gradually being replaced by higher resolution versions, which to my knowledge is totally untrue. He didn't give any specific examples, but he did OOOH and AAAH a lot over this image, which he says he found in a Polish astronomy magazine in 2018.


        Morningstar enthused over the gorgeous color, which he said the "old, dishonest NASA" would never have allowed to be seen. In answer to Noory's question "Why would they suppress color on the Moon?" he replied "If people could see how beautiful the Moon really is, they'd all want to go there." Well, y'know, since there's no possible way the general public can get to the Moon anyway, where's the harm in that? Besides, now that the cat's out of the bag, so to speak, why aren't people clamoring for transport to the Moon?

       Later in the show he returned to this topic, saying that he's being asked why we don't see these colors during full Moon at night. In a spectacular display of his misunderstanding of optics, he said that it's the same reason the sky is blue in daytime. The atmosphere filters out all but blue light. We are left to wonder whether Mr. Morningstar, the "specialist in photo interpretation," has ever looked at Mars in the night sky.

        By the way, anyone can make a full Moon digital photo as gloriously colorful as they like. Here's an article showing how. The result is no more real than Mike Bara's pathetic attempt to convince us that increasing color saturation of an image is "just like turning up the volume on a radio."

Turtle rock
        Morningstar repeated a claim he first made in October 2016, that "My friend Ed Mitchell" photograhed a UFO while on the Moon. He means this photo of turtle rock, AS14-68-9472:


        Morningstar said the UFO has "a geometric pattern." Oh yeah? If you're having a hard time even seeing a UFO, let alone a geometric pattern, look in the sky just above the second fiducial from left. There's a small piece of scanner lint. Ed stepped a little to his right and shot the next frame, AS14-68-9473:


        Bye-bye Mr. UFO.

        There was plenty more lunacy in the show, but I think that's enough to make the point.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hoagland's numerology

        Richard Hoagland was interviewed by some dude called Robert Stanley—he calls himself a "Jedi journalist"—for two hours on Unicus radio, 12th July. Hoagland made me giggle a bit by declaring that 2019 is "the year of disclosure" (wasn't that 2017?), and even more by taking personal credit for President Trump's directive to send American men and women back to the Moon by 2024. Hoagland, you see, has created a three-hour video titled The Presidential Briefing and had it "personally delivered".note 1  It includes, naturally, Hoagland's well-known fantasies about alien ruins on the Moon and Mars.

        Yes, I'm sure we all believe that Trump sat down for three hours, digested this message, then sent immediately for the NASA Adminstrator telling him to get moving Moon-wards.

Two megatons under China Lake
        At the time of the Unicus interview, the sequence of earthquakes at Ridgecrest and China Lake was still fresh on everyone's minds. Mag 4.6 on July 4th, 5.4 on the 5th, finally 7.1 on the 6th. Depths were 1.9km, 7km and 8km respectively. Hoagland declared that the energy of the big one was equivalent to a 2-megaton nuclear weapon, and it could only have been achieved by creating a huge void at 8km depth, which then collapsed. This, he said, was done the same way as the World Trade Center was "dustified"—with a torsion field weapon.
1:33:32 RCH: Where's my proof that this is what was done? Look at when it was done. 20:19. Take those two numbers, take [...] 20:19 military time. Add those two numbers together. What do you get?
RS: 39.
RCH: Divide by two. 19.5!!!. The signature of hyperdimensional torsion field physics! Whoever did this communicated the message of how it was done.
        I swear, from the tone of voice and the way he made this statement, he was not just having a joke. He really believes some evil galactic warlord worked through the reverse numerology and planned this event for 8:19 pm. Only he, Richard C. Hoagland, is smart enough to figure it out. Since the other two major seismic events in the series were not at that time, I guess he'll have to work out a different numerology for them.

        What I don't quite get is how a weapon can create a huge void at a depth of 8km. Even if the ground is "dustified", as he puts it (quoting JudyWood), surely the amount of material would be unchanged. It's not like the World Trade Center, where 80% of the towers can simply blow away on the breeze, as Judy Wood claims.

        Hoagland next drew attention to the fact that there wasn't much structural damage, and only one death (some unfortunate guy was fixing a jeep, which then fell on him).
1:34:55 Somebody went to great lengths to make sure there was no collateral damage. Now what does that tell you? It tells me someone was trying to be benign... was trying to raise the threat level without killing people but showing overwhelming technological supremacy, because in the [.?.] we have nothing that can match this.
1:35:29 Here's the capper. I have a report from one of my contacts on the East Coast ... One of her students reported that among other bizarre stories coming out of Ridgecrest was that the bees—ordinary honey bees—were observed on the ground, dazed, writhing around, and dying. Now bees do not respond to earthquakes in this way. But bees ... this would have been a side effect of the detonation of a torsion weapon, the bees would have been discombobulated and/or killed, 'cause bees resonate to those frequencies.note 2
Dazed and dying bees right after the Ridgecrest earthquake to me was a "ding-ding-ding" that this was a technical torsion field weapon being demonstrated to our guys, basically saying "stop doing whatever you're doing or it'll get a lot worse."
        So far I haven't noticed the U.S. Navy stopping anything, unless you count an Iranian patrol boat in the Strait of Hormuz. Either they're foolhardy for brushing off this dire threat, or perhaps Richard Hoagland is a nincompoop who lives in the fantasy land of sci-fi comics, and nothing he says or writes is true.

========================/ \========================
[1] The video starts with a caption that will go down in the annals of brown-nosing:

« The President who finally ends NASA's 60 years of 'deep state' cover-up of its real solar system discoveries — beginning with 'ancient ET ruins on the Moon and Mars' — will inevitably go down in history as 'the greatest President of the United States ...'  "If not the World...." »
[punctuation exactly as in the orig.]

[2] Hoagland is bullshitting here. Bees have chordotonal organs that allow them to respond to ultrasonic fequencies, but these would have a range of a few metres only. There's not a shred of evidence that they can detect or react to high-frequency transmission of any kind.

He made the same bullshit allegation in his 2007 web page The Bees' Needs—writing that torsion waves were responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder. Neonicotinoids are now generally accepted as the main cause of CCD, which hit its peak in 2006 and is now perceived as less of a problem than was thought then.

Part 2 of "The Bees' Needs" never appeared.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Exploring the outer reaches of ignorance with Joseph A. Olson

        Olson is a civil engineer, one of eight authors of Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory (Stairway, 2011) and a climate change denier. In an undated online article, and in a guest appearance on Coast to Coast AM on 1st August, he turned out to be an Apollo denier as well.

        I haven't read Olson's book, and I have no plans to (an Amazon user reviewer wrote "A collection of blog posts wrapped in a self-published vanity piece by a bunch of bat-shit insane conspiracy theorists"), but if his climate denial is anything like his Apollo denial, ignoring it is the kindest treatment you could give it.

        The undated article is titled Perplexing Apollo Questions for NASA, and it's a brilliant example of why you should never believe what you read on the Internet. Olson pops up an infographic of the 3-stage Saturn V rocket, and takes us through the fuel loading of each stage and the contribution each stage made to Apollo's journey, ending with "NASA claims that the third stage, called S-IVB, then boosted speed to 24,500 mph and carried the Apollo capsule to the Moon." He then continues with this astounding nonsense:
"Neglecting the necessary first and third stage fuel, we will for layman discussion, assume that the 340,000 gallons of stage twonote 1 are all that was needed to escape Earth’s gravity, therefore 1/6 of that would be necessary to escape the Moons gravity. Given that Apollo must use a similar amount of fuel to slow approach, and use retrorockets to land with another 1/6 to land. Therefore to land and take off, the Lunar Lander would have required at least 1/3 of stage two volume, or 110,000 gallons of fuel.
NASA WHERE IS THE LANDER FUEL STORAGE?"
        Well, let's see. Stage 2 (S-II) only got Apollo as far as Earth orbit. In "neglecting" the third stage (S-IVB) Olson has neglected exactly what he should be using as the basis for his dodgy calculations. That stage is what enabled Apollo to escape Earth gravity, with 66,000 gallons LH2, 19,000 gallons LOX (85,000 gallons total). And then—astonishing for a man who has some sort of training in engineering—he utterly neglects the comparitive masses of what the S-IVB and the LM descent and ascent engines needed to accelerate.

Acceleration toward the Moon
The mass the S-IVB propelled Moonwards included:
Itself, 123,000 kgnote 2
The Command and Service Modules (CSM) 30,332 kg
The Lunar Module (LM) 16,400 kg
------------------------------------------
TOTAL 168,732 kg

The thrust of the S-IVB's engines (200 series) was 890,000 newtons
Theoretical acceleration: 5.27 m/sec/sec
Burn time (2nd ignition): 355 sec.

Deceleration on arrival
The CSM/LM stack was initially decelerated by the Service Propulsion System (SPS) engine.
Mass to decelerate: 46,732 kg
Thrust: 91,000 newtons
Theoretical  deceleration: 1.95 m/sec/sec
Burn time: 357 sec LOI, 17sec Circ.

The LM descent engine, thrust 45,040 newtons throtlleable, had to decelerate only itself, 16,400 kg. The fuel load was 8,200 kg, approx. 2,000 gallons
Thrust-to-weight in lunar gravity: 1.68
Burn time (Apollo 11): 754 sec.

Acceleration on lunar lift-off
The LM ascent engine, 16,000 newtons, had to accelerate 4,700 kg. The fuel load was 2,353 kg, approx. 540 gallons
Thrust-to-weight in lunar gravity: 2.124
Burn time: 435 sec.

Finally the SPS engine fired again for Trans-Earth Injection. Load 30,332 kg (minus the mass of already-expended fuel), burn time 151 sec.

SUMMARY:
The SPS engine needed to decelerate 27.7% of the mass the S-IVB had to accelerate, with 10% of the thrust and roughly the same burn time.

The LM descent engine only needed to decelerate 9.7% of the mass the S-IVB had to accelerate, using ~2.3% of the fuel volume (albeit fuel of a completely different kind) and 212% of the burn time.

The LM ascent engine needed to accelerate 2.8% of the mass the S-IVB had to accelerate, using ~0.63% of the fuel volume and 122% of the burn time.

Olson's hand-waving fuel arithmetic is utterly ridiculous.


It gets worse

        Olson then shows this drawing, and comes up with this breathtakingly ignorant objection to NASA's description of the mission:
"The claim is that the crew (astroNOTS) boarded the Lander, but there is a rocket engine between these two crafts. ...  and it is doubtful that Armstrong and Aldrin ever spacewalked from the Command to the Landing module before and after their “giant leap” ... There is no airlock on the Apollo capsule,note 3 so the cabin pressure would have gone to zero for both exit and entry to the capsule.
NASA HOW DID THE ASTRONAUTS GET BETWEEN THE MODULES?"
        Of course, the answer is that, once they were on a Moon-bound trajectory and had had the full benefit of the S-IVB's engines, the CSM turned through 180° and docked with the LM, pulling it clear of the S-IVB. I'm pretty sure that many 6th grade schoolkids could tell Olson that, if he asked them.

        C2C has seen many ignorant guests in its time, starting with Richard Hoagland, moving on through Mike Bara, Robert Morningstar, Billy Carson, Maurice Cotterell, Clyde Lewis, Bret Sheppard. I think we've found a new paradigm of ignorance.

==================/ \=================
[1] The actual figures are 260,000 gallons LH2, 83,000 gallons LOX. Close enough, perhaps.

[2] Actually somewhat less, since a part of the Upper stage fuel had already been expended in achieving Earth orbit.

[3] On Coast-to-Coast AM, unbelievably, he actually said "The command module has no docking mechanism".

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Bang-bang! DOJ shoots down Sean David Morton

        Government attorneys Hanna, Aull, Makarewicz and Hughes did a first-rate job of answering Sean David Morton's appeal against his conviction and sentencing on fraud charges. On 22nd July, they filed an Answering Brief with the Ninth Circuit. It's 78 pages of enlightenment for everyone, plus amusement for those of us who believe that Morton is a despicable shyster who ought to be in jail for even longer than he already is.

        I got a big kick out of this, from page 53, commenting on what the attorneys wrote were Morton's "self-aggrandizing proclamations":
"On multiple occasions during his closing argument, defendant claimed that he was being persecuted based on his efforts to bring hidden truths to an uninformed populace suffering under the heel of government oppression and a corrupt financial system. Viewed as a whole, the totality of the evidence introduced at trial reveals a much more mundane justification: defendant was selected for prosecution based on his continued pattern of fraudulent behavior in the face of repeated government warnings."
        Can't you just imagine Morton swaggering around the courtroom yelling that he was being unfairly persecuted, utterly disregarding the clearly-stated charges against him?

"The tax returns were all completely false"
        Speaking of which, this brief laid out a clearer version of Sean and Melissa's flagrant cheating than I think we have seen previously:
"Between March and April 2009, defendant and MM submitted a series of federal income tax returns ... claiming false federal tax refunds based on nonexistent income tax withholdings. The returns all followed the same pattern: On each return, the listed defendant would claim that he or she had received interest income from various financial institutions, and that substantially all of this income had been withheld and paid over to the IRS on their behalf. While the income reported by defendants resulted in applicable income taxes, these taxes were dwarfed by the withholdings alleged to have been made by the listed financial institutions. On their returns, defendants requested that the IRS refund the balance of the reported withholdings, net of the reported tax liability. As substantiation for their claimed income and withholdings, defendants included IRS Forms 1099 purportedly issued by the financial institutions listed on defendants’ tax returns. In total, defendant submitted returns for the years 2005 through 2008 claiming refunds of $3,930,811 (2005 - $136,077; 2006 - $1,560,634; 2007 - $1,754,594; 2008 - $479,506). The tax returns were all completely false. ... [N]o withholding payments were ever made to the IRS on their behalf. The Forms 1099-OID submitted by defendants were also utter fabrications, and had never been issued to defendants by the listed financial institutions.
Of the five false tax returns submitted by defendants in March/April of 2009, four were caught by the IRS and identified as frivolous, thus resulting in the denial of defendants’ claimed refunds.  However, defendant’s 2008 income tax return slipped through the IRS review process and resulted in a refund.  On April 17, 2009, the IRS direct deposited $480,322.55 into a joint bank account held by defendants with Bank of America."
         Prior to his conviction, at a time when he was claiming "all this will go away soon," Morton several times stated "It was the IRS's error, not ours." That statement must rate as world-class in the category of disingenuousness.

Estoppel
        The brief did not specifically address Morton's claim of judicial estoppel,note 1 other than to remark that Morton had never been portrayed by them as a victim of crimes committed by Brandon Adams and Gordon Hall (Adams and Hall are the villains who originally came up with this scheme to defraud the IRS—they were separately prosecuted in Arizona).note 2

        They were, however, at pains to rebut Morton's claim at appeal that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to be represented by counsel. That wasn't, in fact, very hard—they merely had to cite from the trial transcript (4th April 2017):
DEFENDANT: I knowing and unequivocally wish to represent myself.
THE COURT: I'm sure Ms. Cader has described to you the pitfalls of doing that, haven't you, Ms. Cader?
MS. CADER: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: The case has more than the ordinary complexity for a criminal case. If you're not trained in the law, you'll be up against a prosecutor who is. There are Rules of Evidence that have to be observed, and you may find yourself unable to present your defense effectively because of your lack of knowledge and experience in laying a foundation and presenting evidence. Likewise, you may be at a lost [sic] to prevent evidence that shouldn't be admitted by the government. The trial is an exercise that requires experience and skill, and I can't tell you -- at least in my view -- how foolish your decision is. On the other hand, I can't prevent you from even making a foolish decision.
DEFENDANT: I understand all that, sir.
THE COURT: That is still your wish?
DEFENDANT: Yes, it is.
        It was more than five months later, at the end of the sentencing hearing (18th September 2017), that SDM suddenly realized what a bloody fool he had been.
DEFENDANT: [R]eally at this point, Your Honor, I'm completely loss here, and I'm beginning to realize that in this proceeding, ... I'm not capable of representing myself, and I request either a federal defender – have appointed to review so that I can respond to this, because you've completely lost me. ... So at that this point, I have to represent -- I have to request counsel because I have no idea what you guys are talking about, 91s and 109snote 3 and how this comes to that and the other thing, and I think I have a right to presentation. ...
THE COURT: Okay. I'm now going to proceed to sentencing.
DEFENDANT: Even though I've requested counsel, sir?
THE COURT: Too late, Mr. Morton.
DEFENDANT: Too late?
THE COURT: I told you at the outset that you were making among the most foolish decisions you could possibly make by not having a lawyer.
        The Ninth Circuit will, in its plodding way, eventually rule on the appeal. If they find for Morton, I'll eat my hat.

Thanks to AE once again for monitoring

=======================/ \=======================
[1] See "Sean David Morton takes his best shot" 29th November 2018

[2] Morton testified that he paid Adams and Hall $6,000 to concoct the scheme

[3] The judge and the prosecutors had been discussing the admittedly arcane question of sentencing guidelines.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Hyperdimensional mendacity

        Mike Bara has written a book about the Bermuda Triangle. What's that I hear you say? There are already at least ten books in print about that bloody triangle, why do we need another?

        Ah well, you see, this one's unique because it reveals the true hyperdimensional physics of the setup. As any fan or critic of Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara knows, the latitudes 19.5° and 33° have special significance in HD physics. And behold, on p. 153 we find this, TA-DAAAAA!

© 2019 Adventures Unlimited. Apologies for slight distortion

        The caption is "The Triangle, with northern and southern boundaries marked," and the text talks about the triangle resting exactly inside "...these two mystically critical latitudes where the walls between the dimensions are thinnest."  *facepalm.

        Well, I've learned not to take figures in books written by Bara and published by David Childress at face value. As I've reported here, in both Hidden Agenda (p.117) and Ancient Aliens and JFK (p. 85), a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image was inverted and made to look like a crystal city on the Moon. So I checked.

source: Wikimapia/Google Earth

        Sorry to disappoint, but the stunning hyperdimensional explanation for the triangle is just another lie.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

James Oberg on the myths of Apollo

        James Oberg sent me a review copy of a Powerpoint presentation he's giving at the Apollo 11 splashdown party in Houston tomorrow night. Here's an adapted excerpt.


"According to hitherto unconfirmed reports, both Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin saw UFOs shortly after that historic landing on the Moon in Apollo 11 on 21 July 1969. I remember hearing one of the astronauts refer to a "light" in or on a crater during the television transmission, followed by a request from mission control for further information. Nothing more was heard."

—Above Top Secret: The worldwide UFO Cover-Up by Timothy Good (Quill, Sept. 1989)

As the original story spread and greatly ‘improved’, more and more people stepped forward with claims they had heard even more spectacular versions.

"Well, it happened. Close friends and very close family members of both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have separately told me that indeed there were numerous, large UFOs around the crater where the Lunar Module landed and that these were seen by both Armstrong and Aldrin. I have also spoken to military officers that have seen the footage of this event — but it has never been made public."

—Dr. Steven Greer.


National Bulletin tabloid [September 29,1969] "Phony Transmission Failure Hides Apollo 11 Discovery. . . . Moon is a U.F.O. Base!" by Sam Pepper

Armstrong: “I'm telling you, there are other spacecraft out there. They're lined up in ranks on the far side of the crater edge.... “

Charles Berlitz, THE ROSWELL INCIDENT, 1980: “When Apollo 11 landed inside a moon crater two unidentified spacecrafts appeared on the crater rim and then took off again.

Ken   Johnston, “Alien Bases on the Moon” [Science Channel, 2014] “There have been a lot of rumors about what actually took place during the lunar mission. while Neil and Buzz were on the lunar surface.      …Neil …says , ‘They’re here, they’re parked around the rim of the crater and they’re watching us. “

The Real Story
Actual transcript during Apollo 11 moon walk:

110:37:09 “I did see a suspiciously small white object.”
110:37:25 “Go ahead with the coordinates on the small white object.”
110:37:28 “ It's right on the southwest rim of a crater . I think they would know it if they were in such a location. It looks like their LM would be pitched up quite a degree. It's on the southwest wall of a smallish crater

WELL, KEEP IN MIND...
During the moon walk by Armstrong and Aldrin, there was also a conversation going on with Collins, and these two independent conversations were interleaved on the same voice channel.

Collins describes the search, from Apollo 11 Crew Technical Debriefing p. 11-2

"The problem was I didn't know where the LM was , and the ground didn't either . There is too much real estate down there within the intended landing zone to scan on one, two, three, or four passes.

On each pass , I could do a decent job of scanning one or two grid squares on the expanded map. That map is the 1:100 000 map called LAM 2. The ground was giving me coordinates in the grid square coordinate system that were as much as 10 squares apart. This told me they didn't really have much of a handle at all on where the LM had landed.

As I say, it was just too large an area for me to visually scan . I used AUTO optics each time I looked at the area they suggested.

I never did see the LM."




Thursday, July 18, 2019

Robert Morningstar does something disgusting again

James Concannon reports...

        In January 2016, Robert Morningstar posted on his Faceboo page a disgusting image of a decapitated woman in a lake of blood. The accompanyhing text read:
"Islam is a religion of pieces of human beings, left scattered, with many other victims maimed across the world in the Name of Allah, the merciless and despicable, a demonic deity who demands and condones subhuman barbarity and depravity such as this."
        As expat reported at the time, the image was in fact taken in an isolated village in Brazil, and depicted the crime of a frantically jealous young man who caught his girlfriend posting photos to another man on WhatsApp. Thus, it had nothing to do with Islam and was nothing but a revolting piece of propaganda.

        Today, Morningstar is at it agin, reposting what purports to be an image of the bloody remains of a woman stoned to death. The caption is "Muslims rape, stone 60-year-old Christian woman to death," and the accompanying text from The Geller Report has today's date.
"Islamic terrorists from the Jihadist organization Jabhat al-Nusra stoned to death an Armenian Christian woman living in the Syrian province of Idlib. Christian and human rights groups reported over the last week that the 60-year-old Suzan Der Kirkour was found dead outside of her village, al-Yaqoubiyeh."
        In fact, the image is a still from a Persian-language drama movie released in 2008. The title was "The Stoning of Soraya M". I have asked Morningstar to remove this offensive item and apologize.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Kerry Cassidy reports from a Greek island

"Something told me not to return to the states on July 2nd as planned so I took a week off.. flew to a lovely island...China Lake connection to CA quake indicates man-made... Series of CA quakes to destablize grid..."
        Thus Kerry Cassidy, projecting her paranoid fantasies from an Aegean beach. Do you think she'll ever provide any source citations for her outrageous statements? No, me neither. Later, she added:
"Look at this series of CA quakes to destablize grid...War underground bases, undersea ET races and more continues.. We saw LOTS of ufo traffic in clear skies over this Greek island last night... Lots going on."
        Wait a minute, though... I thought Kerry was supposed to be broke, begging for donations. I'm sure she didn't use any donation money to get her to the land of moussakà and retsina (yum-yum). That would be quite unethical.

Update 10th July
        Kerry, now back on US soil, has posted a guide which she claims enables her followers to tell the difference between real and man-made earthquakes. She seems sure that the recent pattern near Ridgecrest is the latter type, and suggests this as the motive:
"It may be they are building toward creating what people like to call "the big one” to take down the Greater Los Angeles area… I have seen this quake happen in my minds eye and in visions.  Why they want this I do not know.  It may be part of an overall desire to weaken the infrastructure and clear out California for further infiltration and takeover by an alien race.  This is no joke."
        There's a problem with this thesis. Kerry cites several precursor phenomena in a "real" quake—cloud formations, feelings in her feet (she's an "Earth Sensitive", whatever that means), headaches, nausea, and others. But since she's been guzzling retsina and scoffing moussakà for the last week, and in the UK before that, how would she know that the Ridgecrest sequence is not real?

Wrap-up of "Truth Behind the Moon Landing"

"Seeing how much time and effort was wasted to placate an idiot that is just too stupid to understand how telescopes and cameras work. This show is more or less just an indictment of the education system."
        That's one of the user reviews of Truth Behind the Moon Landing on IMDB, signed "codydwyer". There are some even less polite ones. In my humble opinion "codydwyer" is one smart man, and absolutely right. The series ended last night, with Mike Bara, Leland Melvin and Chad Jenkins all fist-bumping saying "Case closed. We went to the Moon". Earlier in S1E6 the three spent a ridiculous amount of time debating why the US flag appeared to flutter on the Moon (Mythbusters did a far better job of that and, indeed, of almost everything else this sorry excuse for a TV show touched). Chasing the theory that the film and TV record was all created in Hollywood, the trio interviewed Peter Hyams, Director/Writer of Capricorn One, and Doug Trumbull, legendary visual effcts designer for 2001: A Space Odyssey among other masterpieces. Trumbull politely said that No, Kubrick wasn't hired by NASA to create a total fake. Trumbull would know.

        Throughout the series Mike Bara has been promoted as the Big Skeptic, pushing all the well-known fallacies such as that Apollo couldn't have survived the Van Allen radiation belts, that the Lunar Module couldn't have landed, bla-bla-bla. But we know this is all total pretense. Not only did Bara co-author a long two-part essay titled Who Mourns for Apollo?, he also wrote not one but two book chapters using that same title and vehemently affirming the reality of Apollo (Ancient Aliens on the Moon ch.6, and Ancient Aliens and JFK ch.8—the two texts are virtually identical).

       Another IMDB reviewer wrote "Is Mike Bara really that stupid? Because if it's an act...he sucks at it."

        I agree.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Oberg vs. Bassett

        James Oberg was recently interviewed by a journalist with the delightful name Faye Flam, for an article for Bloomberg Opinion about the recent reports of UFO sightings by US Navy pilots.

        Ms. Flam noted that both the New York Times and the Washington Post have both tentatively proposed that these sightings are evidence of alien visitation. She then wrote:
"But the pro-extraterrestrial visitation arguments rest on two serious errors. One is the confusion of observations with interpretations, and the other is a slight twist on an error called god of the gaps. The UFO sightings should be investigated in a scientific way, but the errors are undermining the effort.
The first error made in most of the news coverage was to claim that Navy pilots observed craft that accelerated, rose upwards or turned faster than was physically possible. But pilots can’t know any object’s speed or acceleration without knowing whether these were little things, seen close up, or bigger things, that were farther away. It’s just one clue that the vocabulary is being blurred.
James Oberg, a former NASA engineer turned space journalist, pointed out: “The bizarre events reported by Navy pilots are not ‘observations’; they are interpretations of what the raw observations might mean.” To start an investigation from a conclusion rather than from data is, he says, “a recipe for confusion and frustration and dead-ended detours.”
        Stephen  Bassett is one of the foremost believers in the alien invasion and a tireless advocate of official disclosure. His org, The Paradigm Research Group, proclaims that it represents "the people's right to know the truth regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race." Another slogan is "It's not just about lights in the sky, it's about lies on the ground."

        Reacting to the Bloomberg article, Bassett wrote:
"This article's argument rests on two serious errors. One is a deep ignorance of the history of the phenomena. The other is calling on James Oberg who hasn't been right about anything since the Nixon administration".
       Oberg's comment was that he took criticism from Bassett as a mark of honor.

Update:
Here's a NYT article dated 26th May this year detailing what the Navy pilots have reported. Leslie Kean, who Oberg says is clearly biased, is one of the authors.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Hoagland resurfaces, Part 2

        The "Other Side of Midnight" web page features the following hyperbolic mini-bio of the Man himself:
His vision has inspired a whole new generation of pioneers of thought and form and opened the way for Citizen Scientists around the Globe. His work is emulated by cutting edge thinkers around the world. He is a thought leader and pioneer, breaking the bonds of stagnant archaic scientific models. His willingness to challenge the accepted norm has blazed a path for thousands of citizen explorers. He has a way of drilling down to the fundamental question that provokes the unexpected revelation.
        "Stagnant archaic scientific models" — such as that the Moon is lifeless and always has been? Such as that numerology is worthless poppycock?

        Hour 2 of Hoagland's "welcome back" interview on OSOM, hosted by the fragrant but prolix Laura London, was quite a mixture. The first topic was methane on Mars, and here Hoagland gave a decent and straightforward account of what it would mean if methane were found to be abundant, and what's been discovered so far. Then it was on to an assortment of speculations about solar system civilizations and similar non-facts. Hoagland kept promising us some dramatic revelations in an Apollo 11 anniversary show he's planning. As experience shows, Hoagland's promises and Hoagland's deliveries are horses of two different colors.

Jules Bergman was hung over
         Almost all of the the second half of the hour was anecdotal, about his experiences with CBS News as a consultant/researcher with the Apollo production team. He re-told a story I've heard before, and it's seminal to an understanding of the origins of his hatred of NASA. Since he gave an over-discursive version (surprise, surprise) I'm going to paraphrase it rather than transcribe his exact words.

        He says, correctly, that the general rule during Apollo was that the only person at Mission Control who could actually speak to the astronauts was the Capcom, who was himself an active-duty astronaut. However, as a PR stunt, an exception was planned for Apollo 15 at a time when the astronauts were not particularly busy, on the way back from Moon to Earth. It was arranged that they would conduct an actual press conference from space, and senior correspondents from the major TV networks, news agencies and newspapers would be allowed to ask questions directly, just as in a normal press conference. Hoagland was with the CBS-TV group as they waited for this event to begin. There was delay after delay, and finally their producer got on to NASA public affairs asking what the problem was. The answer they got was that the spacecraft was not yet visible from Goldstone.

        Hoagland says he made a swift calculation with pencil and paper, and concluded that this could not be true because the mountains obstructing the view would have to have been 5,000 miles high. Much later he discovered that the true reason the press conference was held was that Jules Bergman, correspondent for ABC TV, was struggling with a killer hangover and was not in place. Hoagland says this was "a wake-up call" for him personally, being the first time that he realized NASA was not always honest.

         I find that story a bit suspect, for a couple of reasons. First, the calculation he claims to have done on the back of an envelope is not at all an easy one to do. You'd need a great deal of information about the spacecraft's trajectory and a very good knowledge of geography (add to that the fact that Hoagland's incompetence at math is fairly well-known). Second, perhaps more telling, every Apollo mission timeline was planned and controlled to the second. If such a press conference was planned—and I have no reason to doubt that—it would have been approved by a whole bunch of people, written into the Flight Plan, and implemented like any other planned event. It's extremely hard to imagine that the Apollo 15 astronauts' time budget had enough slop to allow a significant delay.

        So, to go back to the puffery I quoted at the top, perhaps Hoagland's "way of drilling down to the fundamental question" is better expressed as "a way of drilling down through the truth to a story that makes him look good."

Update: Hoagland's story falls apart
        Thanks to very useful research by James Oberg (thanks Jim) we can see how well Hoagland's story syncs up with the documented facts. The answer is, not at all.


        The Press conference, of course, appears in the flight plan. It shows that TV is acquired at M.E.T. 270:20 (very likely through Goldstone)note 1, and the conference is scheduled in the window 270:20-270:50. The annotated transcript shows that TV was acquired at 270:22:31, the conference actually began at 270:23:15 and ended 270:50:12. There is no extraordinary delay at all.

        Moreover, it is not true that media correspondents spoke directly to the Apollo 15 astronauts. The questions were written and Capcom Karl Henize read them in order. Henize explained:
"The questions you will be asked in this news conference have been submitted by newsmen here at the Manned Spacecraft Center who've been covering the flight. Some of the questions they raised have been answered in your communications with - with Mission Control, but the public-at-large has not necessarily heard them. The questions are being read to you exactly as submitted by the newsmen, and in an order of priority specified by them."
        The only open question is whether Jules Bergman had a hangover that day. Bergman's been dead for 32 years so we can't ask him. It's more than possible—the bar at the Nassau Bay Hotel was responsible for endless naughtiness in the Apollo years. I know whereof I speak, or write, believe me.

        I'm e-mailing this information to Hoagland, requesting his comments. Don't hold your breath.

Update 2: Wrong mission?
        Just in case Hoagland's error was simply mis-remembering which mission this story relates to, I checked the records for Apollo 16 & 17 (there was no transearth presser on earlier missions)

Apollo 16: Planned M.E.T. 243:30-50 / Actual 243:25:30 Capcom Hank Hartsfield
Apollo 17: Planned M.E.T. 284:07-37 / Actual 281:27:19 Capcom Gordo Fullerton

=====================/ \======================
[1] CORRECTION: Not Goldstone but Madrid. If TV had been coming from Goldstone the vertical dashed line indicating TV coverage would have been to the left of the MSFN solid line. So Hoagland's story is wrong in another detail.

Richard Hoagland resurfaces, Part 1

        Richard Hoagland has been in private mourning ever since his companion's death from cancer on 3rd March, and nobody could possibly fault him for that. As a 74-year-old, he surely must have expected Robin Falkov to outlive him. Sad.

        Well, he obviously thinks it's now time to emerge from his grief, because he appeared as a guest on his own blogtalk show last Saturday night. Hosting was the ineffably glam Laura London. Laura talked too much but at least they didn't interrupt each other, which was a blessing.

Laura London, from Facebook

        There was much chat about the commercialization of space, and the prospects for Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin enterprise, that may be Moon-bound before you know it. Hoagland opined that Blue Origin must have been forced to sign an agreement to censor any close-up photos of the Moon, as NASA has always done, so as not to "give the game away" about the... you know, the alien ruins. He forgets that the thousands of excellent images at a resolution of half a metre per pixel from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have already blown it. The "game" is that there is no game.

19.5
        The only notable thing about the number 19.5 (19.47277 if you want to be picky) is that it's the angle whose sine is 1/3, or 0.3333333 etc. It is not some mystical, transcendental property of the Universe, as 3.141596 and 2.7182818 are. It was mere human beings who decided to divide a circle into 360 things called degrees, after all. A corollary of that trigonometric fact is that if a tetrahedron is inscribed in a sphere with one vertex at the north pole, the other three vertices will be at latitude 19.5°S (I proved this geometrically back in 2015, doing Hoagland's math for him since he has no talent for it.)

        So, let's be clear. There is no justification whatsoever for attaching significance to this number when it's a longitude, the rotation period of an asteroid, the magnitude of a comet, or the time (either 19h50 or 19h30) of some event. Hoagland has made all those associations in the past, and even once famously drew attention to the fact that shirts at Old Navy were on sale for $19.50.

        On the show last Saturday night, he excelled himself in irrational flim-flam, discussing "disclosure."
50:35 RCH "Let me tell you something else that I think is interesting [for] symbolic pathways ... This is 2019, right?"
LL: "Mmm-hmmm"
RCH "OK. So... 2019... If you ...If you multiply 19.5 by two you get 39, right? So... so the July month of this year ... actually it's June ...er, is the...is the half-way point in 2019. Scrambled all together, June is the beginning, in this model, of more and more and more overt disclosure."
        I had to run that three times before I even got a feel for what he was trying to allege. Here's what I think. First of all, forget the 19.5 x 2 = 39. That was just random neurons firing in Hoagland's tiny brain. Now, he's saying that since June is half-way through the year, we're now at the year 2019-and-a-half. Then just discard the 2000 and call that insanity a "model."

        Phew... If there's one thing more invalid than numerology, it's botched numerology.

Brookings, again
        Another perennial source of error in Hoaglandia is that damned Brookings report. Hoagland insists that the report pretty much required NASA to keep quiet if it ever found solid evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. On saturday night he was even wronger than that.
52:42 RCH "If you read Brookings, there are sections particularly in the footnotes, where it is specifically recommended to Congress that the people were not ready. [...] This is how they could be made ready. So in 1959, this document [...] they basically laid out a prescription for how to get people ready. And they recommended in this footnote, which again you can read on the Enterprise Mission website, a series of things that had to be done. Production of radio, television, commercials, movies, all acculturating people to accept the idea that we are not alone. And then you have, if you look at mainstream pop culture, you've got Startrek, you've got The Outer Limits, you've got Twilight Zone, you've got Star Wars, you've got an infinite number of movies now, Marvel Comics Universe. People are so ready."
        It's true that he's put up pictures of selected pages from the report on Enterprise Mission—check 'em out. But you aren't going to find what he says you are. The footnotes from pp.225-6 make no mention of  mass media. I can do better than that, too. Here's a searchable pdf of the entire thing. The footnotes occupy pp.218-227. Within those pages the occurrences of the strings "movies" and "television" are both ZERO. There is ONE occurrence of "radio"—in the expression "National Radio Astronomy Observatory" (p.225). Hoagland was in fantasy-land.

        Well, there are two little gems from hour 1. I hope to get back to this tomorrow, with clips from hour 2.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The flying bedstead


         Ask anyone what the acronym LLTV means, and they'll either say "Whaaaaaa??" or refer to this epic crash on 6th May 1968, when Neil Armstrong used the ejection seat from ~200ft to escape his Lunar Landing Training Vehicle which was out of fuel tank helium pressure and out of control in high winds at Ellington AFB.

        Sticklers for accuracy will quickly note that this was not actually a LLTV, but its forerunner the LLRV (Lunar Landing Research Vehicle)—Armstrong's was the last of the LLRV flights. Three LLTVs were built by Bell Aerosystems, the helicopter people. Only one survives (and is on display at Armstrong Flight Research Center adjacent to Edwards AFB) because Armstrong's was not the only crash. The chief test pilot Joe Algranti ejected from LLTV#1 in January 1968, and Stuart Present likewise survived the prang of LLTV#3 in January 1971.

        The training program sounds like a failure, when narrated like that emphasizing the prangs. But in fact, it was considered a resounding success at the time. Not only Armstrong but all the other Apollo commanders completed several very successful training flights in the bedstead. It was a requirement.  Armstrong later said his practice flights in the LLTVs gave him the confidence to override the automatic flight control system and control Eagle manually during the epic Apollo 11 descent to the Sea of Tranquility.

Apollo 12 CDR Pete Conrad hovering the LLTV

More pretense on TBTLL
        Mike Bara, the world-renowned jet aircraft designer and mendacious self-promoter, clearly does not understand the LLTV program and what it achieved. Last night's episode of Truth Behind the Lunar Landing (Science Channel) focussed on that one spectacular crash by Armstrong, and Mike Bara commented "I call bullshit on the lunar landing based on the fact that Armstrong could not control the training aircraft." 

        Not only is that portrayal of the program a complete travesty and Bara's statement untrue, but, just as in Episode 1 of this show, Bara is only pretending to be a disbeliever. In the second part of his essay Who Mourns for Apollo?, co-written with Richard Hoagland and Steve Troy in 2004, he devotes three paragraphs to explaining the sophisticated inertial control system that made soft landing of the LM possible. Bara can never resist the opportunity to insult somebody, and in this case he calls conspiracy theorist Ralph René "a complete idiot" for questioning the stability of the LM in lunar gravity. 

        Fans of this show should be aware that Bara is here functioning as a mere actor rather than any kind of expert (and astronaut Leland Melvin is, at times, so obviously delivering a memorized script that it's a joke).


source: Dryden Flight Research Center fact sheet