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.

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[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.
        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.

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.
        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.

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[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.

        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

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[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.