Monday, December 2, 2019

George Noory, oracle of our age

        In case anyone doesn't already know all too well, George Noory is the principal host of the four-hour overnight radio show Coast to Coast AM. He also sometimes appears as a talking head on the ridiculously popular History Channel series Ancient Aliens, now in its 14th season. He therefore joins such well-known numbskulls as Mike Bara, David Childress and Giorgio Tsoukalos as custodians of the astounding mendacity of a show that Jason Colavito has mocked better than I ever could.

        Noory isn't the sharpest knife in the box, especially when the topic is physics or astronomy. He has two standard questions for any physicist that comes his way as an interviewee: "How did the Big Bang happen, I just don't get it?" and "What could Einstein have accomplished if he had had a modern computer?"

Mining the Moon
        Last night's interviewee wasn't exactly a physicist, but a sort-of-expert on space science, Rick Sterling. Sterling didn't commit any howling errors, and said several times that the future of US space exploration was mostly in the hands of private enterprise now. He's right about that, of course, but the show's own titular science adviser Bob Zimmerman could have said the same thing only better.

        It was in discussing the possibility of the remnants of an ancient civilization on the Moon that George Noory brought the level of the conversation down to Ancient Aliens -style pseudo-fact. He remarked that the late Ingo Swann had "remote viewed" the far side of the Moon and had seen structures, buildings, roads and all the features of a civilization. He then pushed the topic even further away from any semblance of truth or logic by stating that he believes humankind was once very advanced, technically, with H-bombs and spacecraft and all the trappings of modern society, but then "something happened." He clearly thinks it quite possible that this former version of mankind inhabited the Moon and built stuff before, for unknown reasons, it lost all that capability and reverted to a hunter-gatherer society.

        It just astounds me that the moon-anomaly crowd don't go to the obvious place to find out what's up there. Why TF would you get your information from a laughably inaccurate form of woo such as "remote viewing" when you can simply look up the library of images returned by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter? That marvellous piece of engineering has been in orbit now for more than ten years and has sent us images of more than 75% of the lunar surface at 0.5m/px resolution.

        Case in point—Sterling said his group (The Society for Planetary SETI Research) has been investigating some "anomalous" features near the satellite crater Paracelsus C that look a lot like mining operations. Paracelsus C is at 21.7° S, 165.1° E. Here's the LRO image at 64 m/px:

        I can offer Rick Sterling better. Here's a permalink to the zoomable version, and the lunain can be examined all the way down to 0.5 m/px. See any mining, Rick? See any of the solar panels that would obviously be required for a technical civilization to do its thing???

Social media
        By sweet coincidence, that interview aired on the same night as Lesley Stahl's in-depth interview with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki on CBS's 60 Minutes. Wojcicki, a very confident and appealing personality, talked about the difficulty of policing YouTube content considering that 500 HOURS OF NEW MATERIAL ARE UPLOADED EVERY MINUTE. She basically admitted that the best her reviewers can do is to remove content that can be defined as actually harmful, and allow generalities that most of us would consider trash. The example she gave was nix to “Don’t hire somebody because of their race," but OK to “White people are superior.” She also said that the platform is viewed for A BILLION HOURS A DAY, making it the most-used of the social media after Google itself.

        So it seems we have raised a YouTube generation, exposed to inevitable lies. Facebook is full of propaganda. Lightweights such as George Noory are considered in some sense opinion leaders. Truly, my friends, our culture is in danger.

Update 7th December:
        Today Jason Colavito commented on Randall Carlson's YouTube video asking "Why is there NO record of ancient humans?" Carlson has the same idea as Noory, and I'm sure Jason won't mind me quoting him—his reasoning is impeccable, as usual:
"He alleges that catastrophes have wiped out every trace of prior cycles of advanced civilization, though he declines to explain the infrastructure of said civilization and how comets and volcanoes could eliminate every nut, bolt, and screw; destroy every domesticated animal; and burn away all traces, even the very pollen, of the domesticated plant species they would have had to farm to feed such a civilization. Where are the alterations in the record of the environment from their agriculture and industry? In other words, beyond temples and fortresses, there should be many other traces of a lost global Atlantis-like civilization, and no disaster could both destroy all of them and leave enough humans to carry on in its aftermath."


THE said...

Once again it would seem to need to be clarified, that photographs, moving images, digital images, and audio recordings, are not admissible in a court of law without the accompanying testimony of an actual first hand eye witness, to explain what it is that the reproductions really represent. Standards of professional journalism demands collaboration of three independent sources. The Scientific Method is much, more stringent than either of those two. As NASA dominates the data, they might well doctor the evidence. However that militarized Federal agency is just as credible as the best of Remote Viewers.

expat said...

Once again it would seem to need to be clarified that all the data processing for LRO is done by graduate students and post-docs at Arizona State University, an academic institution.

Trekker said...

The LRO is powerful! It's just been announced by NASA that it has found the impact site of the Indian Chandrya'an at last.

THE said...

How does any one single university meet the stands of evidence in either a court of law, or of professional journalism, or in the case of telescopic images to the Scientific Method, Patterick?

expat said...

Proof-read, proof-read, proof-read....

Simply by doing a good job and not releasing anything misleading. UNLIKE, say, Mike Bara, who thinks it's fun to turn a lunar image upside down and pretend he's found a crystal city.

THE said...

Without an observer on the ground at the subject site, human pattern recognition is extremely fallible, even without deliberate shenanigans. You would leave us at the mercy of having to trust a bunch of drunken college kids.

expat said...

I think the Project Director, Mark Robinson, knows how to keep order.

expat said...

By the way, here are the drunken college kids.

Two Percent said...

Well, well. Long time, no chat...

I'm not brave enough to say that Remote Viewing is impossible. Or inaccurate. If you do a little research into NDEs, you might be surprised (amazed, astounded?) by what has reportedly been observed, and what seems hard to dispute. Anyway, let's not go there. I just wanted to throw in another 2%'s worth, as it's rare that I feel so inclined these days...

As for this:

"... he believes humankind was once very advanced, technically, with H-bombs and spacecraft and all the trappings of modern society, but then "something happened." "

Personally, I'm in no doubt that this is half right. I'm just not saying which half.

"for unknown reasons, it lost all that capability and reverted to a hunter-gatherer society."

Of course, under human "control" that particular turn of events is probably inevitable (over and over, if we don't wipe ourselves out), and we have been able to discern many similar collapses of technological societies in our past.

Examples: the Egyptians, the Aztecs, (the Romans), the English (in progress, again)... Not so sure about the Chinese. Have they also had major-setback collapses? At present, the entire world teeters on the brink of such a collapse. But maybe the Chinese are in a position to survive it, unlike perhaps, all the rest of us.

"See any mining, Rick?"

Who knows? Speaking for myself, I see lots of it, but not in Paracelsus C.

That said, what are the anomalous dark "shapes" at about 'Lat: -21.6482, Lon: 165.2117'? (Zoom in.)

Are these what Rick was referring to? If so, Not!

As for:

"See any of the solar panels that would obviously be required for a technical civilization to do its thing???"

Oh dear, oh dear, expat!

WHAT an assumption!

OBVIOUSLY NOT "required"! What technical (did you mean technological? Or technically, highly advanced?) civilization would put up with being "unable to do its thing" for 2 weeks out of every 4, while Paracelsus C is in the moon's shadow? Oh, batteries? 'Obviously', said technical civilization is well past Eveready Rabbit-powered technology. I mean, what real use are Solar Panels for interstellar travel? ("Like", even the Apollo Command Modules didn't have Solar Panels deployed, did they?) [Directive #7: Upon commencing Lunar Mining Ops, revert to pre-historic power supply technology to appease the locals...]

"So it seems we have raised a [-xxx-] generation, exposed to inevitable lies.
[-yyy-] (is) full of propaganda.
Lightweights such as [-zzz-] are considered in some sense opinion leaders.

xxx - Name any generation you like, since Adam & Eve (and the serpent). Every generation has been exposed to, and often had to learn to deal with, inevitable lies... since Lies are one of the few things that most humans are capable of, and are almost universally seen as some form of "advantage" (to the liar).

yyy - How about "the 19th (20th & 21st) century newspapers (are)"; "political statements (are)"; "radio"; "the TV news"; "your favourite movies (are)"; "your favourite TV shows (are)"; "most scientific opinions (are)"; ad infinitum?

zzz- "successful pop-stars"; "popular movie stars"; "many past (and present) US Presidents"...

"Truly, my friends, our culture is in danger.

OH! What?

Whose culture? When did that happen?

expat said...

« That said, what are the anomalous dark "shapes" at about 'Lat: -21.6482, Lon: 165.2117'? »

Well spotted, I bet that's what Rick was referring to. Looks a lot like collapsed lava tubes. I'll ask Stuart Robbins.

Trekker said...

Expat, you dealt with those shapes in an earlier blog:

Trekker said...

Here's a Youtube video of the formations, from Mark Carlotto. Granted, he's trying to imply artificiality, but he DOES show the 'structures' under different lighting conditions, which allows them to be seen as 'innies' rather than 'outies' - like the lava tubes your mentioned above.

expat said...

Thankee Trekker

Chris Lopes said...

They don't go to the LRO image library for the obvious reason that the images would completely falsify their pseudoscience. Instead you get magical "remote viewing" and 50 year old low resolution images that are further corrupted by Photoshop "adjustments". No one on those shows is actually interested in what is really on the Moon.

Moonman said...

The problem with the argument that the LRO images or data could be doctored is that this same argument can apply to all information. Thus, it becomes impossible to convince someone who denies data. The Flat Earther community deny all sorts of data most of us would take for granted. Gosh, imagine everyone saying you can't trust Isaac Newton's data because he was a shifty character.

Another example are people that think NASA "cuts the feed" whenever a "UFO" flies by the ISS. This is despite the fact NASA dumps lots of continuous bandwidth all the time so why would any "undesired" video ever show up? Other options they might have used are 1) do a time delay like they did for bad language back in the good old days on TV to allow real-time editing of "events", 2) not show it anything or 3) show a simulation since 3D modelling is so fancy these days. But what we really get is them showing things as they really are. As to what the "UFOs" are, we can say they are unidentified until someone puts in a lot of free time to figuring it out using insufficient data. But alien craft? Not so fast.

Are there problems sometimes with the data coming from LRO or other spacecraft? Perhaps, since you get galactic cosmic rays going through the sensor. But they process it the best they can using computers and in depth knowledge of the devices.

So, we are to bring into the Court the LRO data processors and bore the Jury with the long tedious methodology? But then why would you trust them? If another country took pics of the same place and showed the same thing as LRO, how would you know they are to be trusted? Trusting no one doesn't get you very far in life.

I am not saying that there might not be some alien (or past super advanced extinct human/non human) debris on the Moon though. For instance, Dr. Greg Matloff has even suggested dinosaurs could have developed a civilization whose remains might be searched for on Earth. I have seen some technical papers (from Dr. Paul Davies) with the rationale that ET debris could drift for millions of years and end up on the lunar surface in some small pieces. But the problem is that it's like a needle in a haystack. So, why even bring the idea up? Still, it shows that these outlandish ideas have been considered by real PhDs.

Regarding lunar anomalies, of course there are lots of lunar caves and pits and rolling boulders (not alien rovers people!) so these are not worth listing. The "Blair Cuspids" are now resolved to be just rocks on sloped terrain thanks to LRO.

I like the Nazca (or Hitchhiker's Guide)-like "Whale" in the following image at 28816 row by 834 column

And a "Wall" at column 1364, row 415 in this image

expat said...

Thanks Moonman—that whale is a perennial.

THE said...

The reason why photographs and audio recordings are inadmissible in a court of law without an actual witness who can testify to a first hand personal account, is because the human brain's pattern recognition facility is far from being accurately dependable. A black hole apparently was recently discovered in our own Milky Way Galaxy. The way that it was discovered is quite innovative, but it's supposed to be impossible. Is it really a black hole, or are black holes really what scientists imagine them to be? Scientists are too quick to believe in hypothetical nonsense that hasn't been proven by the Scientific Method with a formal testable theory and prediction of outcome.

Photojournalist, Alexander Gardner, would hear tell of fighting, after the fact, during Lincoln's war. He would travel to the site and interview witnesses, then rearrange fatalities as if toy soldiers, in order to recreate the battle scene as accurately as possible, from the detailed accounts.

Consider the following hypothetical example. A politician walks down the steps outside of the courthouse he exits. A photographer at the bottom of the stairs and off to the side, captures the image of him, with the strip club next door, to his other side. The picture looks as if the politician is coming out of the strip club.

The unretouched snapshot tells a lie, while the recreation tells the truth. This is why a witness, subject to cross examination under penalty of perjury, is required to testify in court.

OneBigMonkey said...

Any spot on the moon has a minimum of 3 different high resolution photographic sources: the LRO, Japan's Kaguya, and China's Chang'e-2. Add to that the original Lunar Orbiter series and India's Chandrayaan for most of it and you have more than enough sources to prove that claims of alien structures or even human ones (other than the obvious small ones) are utter hogwash.

This is not a court of law, and the application of an arbitrary standard in the hope that some evidence will be ruled inadmissible is neither required nor appropriate.

THE said...

It makes no difference if technology were to advance to the point where every amateur astronomer were to have a drone hovering over the Moon. Without eyes on the ground, there is no telling what it is the images are of, because of limitations of human sensory perception; extrasensory perception, notwithstanding, either. That's even without, chicanery. For that matter, even eye witnesses rarely corroborate one another.

OneBigMonkey said...

There have been eyes on tbe ground, and eyewitness testimony, and a whole raft of charlatans, fraudsters and morons have made merry with their observations and recorded media. I have lost count of the number of times an outrageous and patently false claim about some artificial feature or other on the moon has been utterly and comprehensively refuted by evidence from multiple sources, only for some deluded half-wit to roll up in the following post and gobble up the clickbait as if that refutation didn't exist.

Amateur observers effectively do have those drones in a virtual sense with raw data from multiple agencies that they can download and process themselves. Not once has any of those sources contradicted each other in all the examples I have examined. Plenty of juries have made incorrect decisions because their prejudices didn't fit the facts. The facts are available as far as the lunar surface is concerned, whether people choose to believe them is a whole different thing.

Trekker said...

OBM, are the Kaguya and Chang'e images as detailed as the LRO's? I was under the impression that they weren't. As far as I know, only the LRO has imaged the six landing sites at a resolution that allows us to make out the items on the ground. Have the others done so? Can you link to their high resolution images?

THE said...

Facts are facts, and truth is truth, irrespective of human ability to comprehend. Eyes on the ground, looking the wrong way, does not a witness make.

OneBigMonkey said...

@ Trekker - The LRO's coverage in many locations is stunnig and very detailed, and certainly provides the best imagery of the Apollo sites without any additional processing. However India's coverage in places certainly rivals it. China's coverage is complete and of a uniform quality standard, but not as good as the LRO. Japan's coverage is also excellent but of variable quality. I've yet to find any discrepancies in between any of them.

I'm very specific when it comes to making claims about these agencies' coverage of the Apollo sites - what they show is clear evidence of human activity, not hardware, and it's noticeable that the more activity there is the more obvious the signs are in their imagery. It's also fair to say that they require more processing to bring out those details.

I've done a section on my Apollo site aimed at showing people how to obtain these images and process them so that they aren't reliant on taking the word of other people making outrageous claims. China and India both require registration to get them (neither have caused me any issues), and of the two India's are by far the most difficult to work with thanks to their clunky java based software. Thankfully there are workarounds and I detail them. I'm hopeful that Chandrayaan-2 (which I think has a better spec camera than the LRO) will produce some good photos of the Apollo sites once they release them.

expat said...

Excellent page, very useful. Thanks.