Monday, December 20, 2010

NASA's Egyptian God-worship examined, Part II

        Hoagland & Bara's so-called Table of Coincidence—the raw data on which they base their ridiculous theory—doesn't stop at Apollo. It continues with a hilarious claim that the Orion belt star Alnitak was at +19.5° over the Martian horizon as it would have been seen from the so-called 'face' in Cydonia, at the exact moment when the feature was first imaged by the Viking 1 orbiter on July 25th 1976.

        You have to think about that for a bit to understand how truly ludicrous this claim is. In order for the hypothetical Egyptian God-worshiping NASA clique to have contrived this feat of astrology, they first of all had to have known of the existence and exact latitude/longitude of this feature. That in itself is impossible. THEN they had to have calculated the arrival overhead of the orbiter to the nearest fifteen seconds or so. To do that, they'd have to have worked backwards to the arrival of Viking 1 in orbit, then to the trans-Mars trajectory, then to the exact time and azimuth of the launch. In short, the entire mission profile would have to have been contingent on that one astrological imperative. And if any part of that profile did not coincide with what was being planned anyway, by engineers who didn't care about Egyptian Gods, the clique would have had some explaining to do.


        The table of coincidence concludes with a mixed bag of 43 data points, of which 35 relate to the Shuttle and/or ISS—launches of Zarya and STS-88 for example. Then a couple of events related to the solar observatory SOHO. Finally, the world premiere of the Hollywood movie Armageddon—as if the NASA clique had any control over that.

        Of these 43 data points, 14 are disqualified because they involve celestial objects that are not any of the five specified in the book "Dark Mission," and four are disqualified because their viewpoints do not persuasively relate to the mission (Phoenix AZ, the Egyptian pyramids.)

        Considering that Hoagland & Bara allow themselves to search Apollo landing sites for star elevation data that have nothing to do with Apollo (Sirius at -33° as seen from the Apollo 11 landing site at the moment of the first STS-88 EVA,) it's quite surprising that they didn't find more "coincidences."

        But really, as a piece of data-gathering this is beyond pathetic. Mike Bara says "NASA always seems to want to land or launch when the stars are in favorable positions" (Video, at 04:07.) What he should do, now that the Shuttle program is almost at an end, is to do the analysis and find out whether what he said was true. He should restrict himself to shuttle launches/landings, to the five named stars and to viewpoints from KSC (the Cape) or JSC (Houston.) There were also several landings at Edwards AFB, and one at White Sands.

        I don't believe Mike Bara will do this. I think he knows he'd finally be proved wrong.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NASA's Egyptian God-worship examined

        Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara persist in claiming that a ritual-minded faction of senior NASA managers arranges for key mission events to take place at astrologically favorable times. They do this, according to Hoagland & Bara, to honor the Egyptian Gods Isis, Osiris and Horus. Isis is represented by the star Sirius, Osiris by the three belt stars of Orion (Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka,) and Horus by the star Regulus (also known as Alpha Leonis, being the main star of the constellation Leo.)

        A time is considered favorable if one of these five stars is at certain key elevations as seen from some place relevant to that mission — a launch or landing site, typically. The key elevations are as follows: -33°, -19.5°, 0°, 19.5° and 33°. 19.5 is chosen because it is the latitude at which three vertices of an inscribed tetrahedron appear when the fourth vertex is at one of the poles of a sphere. 33 is chosen because of its Masonic significance, and because the sine of 19.5° is 0.333.

        The combination of astrology and numerology alerts any but the most devoted Hoagland disciple to the fact that we are not here dealing with science — but Hoagland & Bara give the theory the sciency-sounding name The Ritual Alignment Model, and the rules of the game are spelled out simply. Mike Bara wrote on p.14 of "Dark Mission" 2nd edn. "only five stellar objects ... have any significance ...: the three belt stars of Orion, ...Sirius, ... and Regulus. And only five narrow bands of stellar altitude (19.5° above and below the horizon, 33° above and below the horizon, and the horizon itself) have any significance."

        Speaking at the so-called Alien Event in November 2009, Mike Bara said "NASA always seems to want to land or launch when the stars are in favorable positions, at least according to their mythology." [at 04:07]

        Richard Hoagland wrote, in the caption to Fig. 5-10 of "Dark Mission," of "NASA's fanatical, relentless, redundantly symbolic message of resurrection."

        So we have five heavenly bodies and five possible elevations, and a "relentless" drive to make these coincidences happen.

        Hoagland & Bara use the "Redshift" astronomical software to check for coincidences, and back in 1999 they posted a 'Table of Coincidence' to Hoagland's web site, listing some 35 candidate events over the 53 year history of NASA that they consider validate their theory. I took a look at the list up through the end of the Apollo program, and here's my analysis:

1 >> Moon at -33°at launch of Ranger 7, as seen from Cape Canaveral, 7/28/1964. DISQUALIFIED. Moon not one of the five specified stars.
2 >> Alnitak at +19.5° at launch of Ranger 7, as seen from Ranger 7's eventual impact site on the Moon. DISQUALIFIED. Since the exact impact site was not known to anyone at the time of launch, this could not have been contrived.

That's all for the Ranger program. They claim nothing for Rangers 1,2,3,4,5,6,8 or 9.

3 >> Moon at +33°at landing on Moon of Surveyor 3, as seen from JPL. DISQUALIFIED. Moon not one of the five specified stars.

That's all for the Surveyor program. They claim nothing for Surveyors 1,2,4,5,6 or 7.

4 >> Sirius at 51° at launch of Mercury-Redstone 3, 5/5/61, as seen from the future landing site of Apollo 14 on the Moon. DISQUALIFIED. 51° not one of the specified elevations.
5 >> Comet Encke at +33°at launch of Mercury-Atlas 6, 2/20/62, as seen from Cape Canaveral. DISQUALIFIED. Encke not one of the five specified stars.

They claim nothing for the other 5 Mercury flights, or for any of the 12 Gemini flights. So far we have ZERO hits.

6 >> Mintaka at 0° at Apollo 8 LOI, 12/24/68, as seen from the future landing site of Apollo 11. DISQUALIFIED. Since the exact coordinates of the Apollo 11 landing were not known to anyone at that time, this could not have been contrived.
7 >> Sirius at 19.5° 33 minutes after the Apollo 11 landing, as seen from the landing site. THIS WAS LATER AMENDED by Mike Bara to the following (see "Dark Mission" pp.11-14, 2nd edn): Regulus at -19.5° later, at MET 105:25:38, after Aldrin made a short speech asking everyone to pause a moment and "give thanks in his or her own way." DISQUALIFIED. Mission managers were not aware of Aldrin's plans, therefore they could not have contrived this. Although it's conceivable that Aldrin himself is "in on" the ritual, since Regulus was 19° 30' below the horizon, it's quite hard to imagine how he would have seen it in order to measure its elevation.
8 >> Alnilam at +19.5°at landing of Apollo 12, 11/19/69, as seen from the landing site itself. ALLOWED.
9 >> Pegasus at some unspecified elevation at what should have been the Apollo 13 landing site. DISQUALIFIED. Pegasus not one of the five specified stars.
10 >> Sirius at +33.3°at launch of Apollo 15, 7/26/71, as seen from Cape Canaveral. ALLOWED.
11 >> Sirius at -33°at landing of Apollo 16, 4/20/72, as seen from the landing site itself. ALLOWED.
12 >> Mintaka at +19.5° at landing of Apollo 16, 4/20/72, as seen from Houston. ALLOWED
13 >> Betelgeuse at some unspecified elevation at ascent of Apollo 17, as seen from the Apollo 12 landing site. DISQUALIFIED. Betelgeuse not one of the five specified stars.

        So only four of Hoagland & Bara's claimed "hits" conform to THEIR OWN RULES for determining which events are part of what they call their "model."

        I will now attempt to estimate — conservatively — how many possible opportunities NASA's Moon programs generated for Hoagland & Bara to examine with their software.

There were 9 launches and 5 lunar impact events. The program was managed by JPL, thus the point of view for star elevations could have been either Cape Canaveral or JPL. 28 OPPORTUNITIES.

There were 7 launches and 7 lunar landing events. 35 OPPORTUNITIES, allowing an additional point of view for landing events.

5 launches. All eventually impacted the Moon but, being conservative, I assume those are not candidate ritual events. 10 OPPORTUNITIES.

Managed from Houston. 7 launches for 14 OPPORTUNITIES

10 manned launches, 4 EVAs, 7 rendezvous. Point of view could have been the Cape or Houston. 42 OPPORTUNITIES

11 manned launches, 6 lunar landings, 6 lunar takeoffs, 9 Lunar Orbit Insertions, 9 Trans Earth Insertions. 94 OPPORTUNITIES, allowing for an additional point of view for lunar landings and takeoffs.

NOTE: Considering that Hoagland & Bara actually allow themselves to identify cross-mission events as significant (ascent of Apollo 17 as seen from Apollo 12 landing site, e.g.) the number of opportunities in the Apollo program is actually many hundreds. However, being conservative, I'll stick with 94.

        A conservative estimate of the number of opportunities for ritual star alignments in these six programs is 223. Four actual alignments are identified — a 1.8% success rate.

        Hoagland & Bara's theory must therefore be judged bankrupt. A total failure. Richard Hoagland & Mike Bara are liars.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tiny bacterium defeats pseudoscientist

        Last night, in a spectacular display of superhuman ignorance, Richard Hoagland managed to ask the wrongest possible question about arsenic substitution in biochemistry, and then capped it by coming up with the most ridiculous possible answer. He wondered aloud to his radio audience of millions why none of the journalists at the afternoon's NASA press conference had asked whether the extremophile bacterium GFAJ-1 came from an extraterrestrial source, and declared that to him the answer was obvious — yes, of course it did. "There is an alien in our midst," he said theatrically.

        To recap, for those who did not follow the day's events, the NASA astrobiology program called the conference to announce a very unusual finding. Geomicrobiologist (and, it turns out, accomplished oboist) Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a rather fetching tousle-haired nerd's dream-girl, took the credit for the discovery that, in conditions of restricted environmental phosphorous, GFAJ-1 can use arsenic instead, in building the DNA backbone upon which it depends to function. Wolfe-Simon had theorized that this might be possible, and had gone to Mono Lake in a successful search for proof.

        It was a pretty brilliant piece of work by Dr Wolfe-Simon, and it took an intellect as puny as that of Richard C. Hoagland to misunderstand it quite that thoroughly.

A nearly toxic lake

        Mono Lake, a couple of hundred miles East of San Francisco, is a natural chemistry experiment gone awry. Indifferent water management over the centuries has made it highly saline and unusually alkaline, and mine tailings from the California gold rush have bequeathed it near-toxic levels of arsenic. Yet gamma-proteobacteria like GFAJ-1 have found a way to make a living there.

        It's one of the best-established principles of evolution that organisms adapt to their environment. If the environment places stress on a population — say by getting hotter, drier, or more acidic — the population is selected for those individuals that tolerate the stress best. Over time, the population either fails to adapt and dies out, or develops a new strain that finds the environment congenial. Well, lo and behold, as Lake Mono became deficient in phosphorous and oversupplied with arsenic, the plucky little bacterium found a way of making do. High arsenic = arsenic-tolerant bacteria. Simple, really. So for Richard Hoagland, with no knowledge of biochemistry whatsoever, to ask which distant galaxy might have seeded the lake with GFAJ-1 is like him finding an apple on the ground under an apple tree and saying "Hmmm, wonder where that came from?"

Sagan misquoted
        We did not have to wait long, either, before Hoagland's attempts to justify his error led him deeper into the jungle of misunderstanding. He quoted Carl Sagan to the effect that a different form of DNA would be the hallmark of an extraterrestrial organism. What Sagan actually said was that a different DNA code would be the hallmark. That's a crucially different proposition, because phosphorous (or in the present case, arsenic) takes no part in the genetic code that is DNA's primary business.

        The DNA molecule has been likened to two intertwined spiral staircases — and the metaphor works well up to a point. The four-letter code of A,T,C,G is contained on the stair steps. Where one step is an A, its matching step on the other spiral must be a T. Where one is a C, the other must be a G. However, an actual double stairway would have a central pillar to support the whole structure — and there the metaphor fails because there's no molecular equivalent. Instead the supporting "backbone" of DNA is on the outside — looking more like the handrails of the stairs. And it's here that phosphorous, alternating with what are essentially sugars, plays its essential role. In short, the substitution of arsenic for phosphorous is just a cleverly improvised feat of molecular carpentry and would not signify extraterrestrial origin to anyone with any knowledge of biochemistry.

Testing for life on Mars
       Later in the first hour, Hoagland remarked "This marks the first time NASA has grappled with the concept 'What is Life?'" That idea would certainly bring a smile to the face of any of the hundreds of NASA-contracted bioscientists who confronted that very question as the biology instruments for the Viking Mars landers were being designed in the early 1970s. The question defies any easy answer — in fact, the Viking biology group never really made up its collective mind, instead sending three separate instruments each with its own assumption about the sine qua non of Life. It's also worth noting that some people — including Hoagland himself, as it happens — think that, even with 2 belts and one pair of braces, Viking's trousers still fell down.

The numerology of the space shuttle
        In the second hour Hoagland took off into the unintentionally comic territory of numerology. I found it hard to follow — it appeared to incorporate a strange form of mathematics in which the numbers 33 and 133 are identical. It came as no surprise, though, that he wanted to make something ritualistic of the fact that the atomic number of arsenic is 33. That's right, Richard — the sinister Masonic conspiracy within NASA reached back across 100 years of history to dump arsenic in Mono Lake for just that reason. Yeah, man.

        I did sort-of follow his next proposition — namely, that the still-upcoming STS-133 space shuttle mission is the first "post-Newtonian" mission. This means, according to Hoaglandian logic, that the energy needed to get the shuttle to orbit will come, not from old-fashioned rocket fuel, but from "hyperdimensional space, torsion physics, and etc. etc. etc." I'm sure this comes as a surprise to everybody involved in the mission.

        A classic Hoaglandian performance, ending with — guess what? — an 800 number that will put cash in the Hoagland pocket.

Way to go, Coast.

Update 1:
Two criticisms of the experiment from biochemists have now surfaced in the blogosphere. Both seem quite harsh.

Rosie Redfield
Alex Bradley

Although it might be entertaining to watch the biochemists slug it out in blogs, you can bet that isn't going to happen. It's just not dignified for the lead author of a paper in a peer-reviewed journal to respond to informal critiques.

Update 2:
Well, surprise—there is now a response from Dr Wolfe-Simon, although not in a blog or a tweet.

Update 3:
STS-133 went from ground to orbit powered by LH2/LO2, just as normal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 'The Choice' 2011 calendar, featuring "Wrong statement of the Month"

       I suggested this brilliant idea to Mike Bara today, and if it was a success I wouldn't even invoice him for the marketing consultancy.

       Since my suggestion is very likely to disappear from his blog quite soon, and it seems a shame to waste the ten minutes it took me to come up with 12 errors, I reproduce it here:

JANUARY (p.34) Mars and Earth would remain at the same distance from each other if Mars’ orbit were circular.
FEBRUARY (p.47) Mauna Kea is at 19.5°N.
MARCH (p.15) Scientists don’t realize that Newton & Einstein aren’t the whole picture.
APRIL (p.31) Astrology is a perfectly valid and defensible science.
MAY (p.32) The centrifugal force of Earth’s rotation tends to make us heavier.
JUNE (p.60) Newton’s laws of motion only work if the object being measured doesn’t rotate.
JULY (p.128) The International Space Station is really called Isis.
AUGUST (p.134) Gravity is only a local effect.
SEPTEMBER (p.139) Faraday cages are made of lead.
OCTOBER (p.202) The Brookings Report “detailed how best to inform the public in the event that NASA discovered extraterrestrial artifacts on the Moon or Mars.”
NOVEMBER (p.143) (appropriately) Sputnik was launched in November 1957.
DECEMBER (P.214) An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is closer than usual to the Earth.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Even Hoagland's own procrastination, it seems, is a "stunning confirmation...."

Today's comedy routine.

        Three days ago Richard Hoagland called an end to his two-week absence from his Facebook page (during which the Branch Hoaglandians had flagrant separation anxiety) in order to plug the "Cruise into 2012" which he's participating in as a guest speaker. He's been engaged to talk nonsense on a ship for eight straight hours.

        OK, that last part was an exaggeration — but perhaps not much. He promised that This multi-hour, multi-media Enterprise Mission Presentation will address the stunning, rapidly unfolding "consc-iousness changes" now demonstrably occurring worldwide. Whatever that means. And no, I'm damned if I'll put in a link to the cruise details. He can do his own plugging.

        Anyway, yesterday a few commenters expressed some impatience that they'd be forced to wait until next Spring and/or fork out $1200 in order to receive the next dose of wisdom from The Great Hoagland-Master. They wondered if a little preview might be in order.

Hoagland replied:

"Now" is not the time to present this developing information; it will not be "ready for Prime Time" until next Spring ....

"Make no wine before its time." :)

...and then, you could almost hear his brain clicking into auto-mode: HOW TO END THIS IN A WAY THAT AFFIRMS HYPERDIMENSIONAL PHYSICS???

...then it was "Ah, got it!"

"Timing" is a KEY component of Hyperdimensional Physics -- because of the constantly changing astronomical alignments.

        It remains to be seen whether this will satisfy the throngs of disciples. It sounds suspiciously like another nod to astrology to me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hoagland says he can't post to his own website

(I originally posted this as a comment but it's worth a separate thread)

       Richard Hoagland has written more than once on his FB page that he's unable to post anything to his web site because of a hackathon that's been denying him access since last April.

       He repeated that claim last night on Coast to Coast AM, adding that even the talented network admin Keith Rowland had been unable to penetrate the diabolical conspiracy.

       James Concannon is in touch with Keith, and checked out the story. Here's Keith's reply:

Keith Rowland November 17 at 10:48am
The site has been operational and available for update all along. I know RCH has had problems on his own computer that may have limited his own access to the site. But the website is and has been functional all this time.

       Keith Rowland has a good rep among long-time netizens and it would certainly be a surprise if he was unable to debug a simple web site for seven months. Once again, Hoagland is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

This just in: Mike Bara explains he's being stalked

       Apparently, posing a challenge to a very inaccurate statement about planetary astronomy counts as stalking in Bara's mind.

Bara reflects on his 3-hour radio show.

       Just in case Mike ever reads this, or in case a reader can get a message to him, here's a science note:

       The sidereal period of a planet (also known as the "true" period) is a function of the semi-major axis of its orbit only. The eccentricity of the orbit does not feature in the equation1. In the special case of an orbit with eccentricity zero — perfectly circular, in other words — semi-major axis is simply another way of saying radius.

       It follows that, if the orbits of Earth and Mars were zero-eccentric, the period of Earth would still be one year exactly and that of Mars 1.88 years. There is, therefore, no possibility that they could remain at the same distance from each other over time, as Mike claimed today.

[1] The equation is T = √r3 where T = period in Earth-years, r = semi-major axis in astronomical units.

Peter Uwira of the Final Frontier FB page has very expertly compiled the Coast-to-Coast confrontation. Thanks a bunch, Peter. Very well done.

Further update: 
 Mike has now left my comment on his blog for about a week without deleting it. I may be entirely misinterpreting that, but it's possible that this is as close as we're ever going to see to Mike Bara conceding a point.


       On another topic, I'm genuinely interested in the proposed mass consciousness experiment in conjunction with the Princeton GCP. I hope they go ahead with it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The sheer sales power of Coast to Coast AM

       Last night, at 8pm EST, Mike Bara's book The Choice was ranked 90,418 in overall popularity at Amazon. Overnight, Mike did three hours on C2C and today (8:30am) it's at 1,049.

       Mike can do all the pseud-psych radio in the world, but this is where the gold is. This is why authors willingly give up a night's sleep.

       As to what Mike actually said — it seemed like gobbledegook to me (and to at least one commenter on this blog.) I think he mentioned that hyperdimensional physics is the direct path to God. That might explain why he and his buddy Richard Hoagland have such a hard time explaining it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Comet Hartley 2: Oh so predictable

        The EPOXI flyby of Comet Hartley 2 yesterday was another brilliant success for JPL, and the images were extraordinary. The body of the comet looks like a two-kM-long jet-propelled peanut.

        In less than 24 hours, Richard Hoagland had figured out a highly unoriginal way of using this scientific triumph to draw attention to himself and his crackpot ideas. OF COURSE! CLAIM IT'S AN ALIEN SPACESHIP!!! He posted this:

Just look at the regular, tiered GEOMETRY of the lower end -- like a cutaway, 3-D view of a large skyscraper ... with many exposed "floors" ... after a massive internal explosion.

It's those subtle, interior SYMMETRIES that "give the game away."

And then, OF COURSE, NASA is hiding the true story.

[S]tudies (at MIT, I believe) some years ago, with cats, demonstrated that the human visual/brain mechanisms (cats are CLOSELY related to humans, genetically) ONLY see such 3-D regular geometry--


NASA releases its images so those ANGLES are specifically NOT "triggered."

        Oh yes, sure, JPL scientists were up all night figuring out how they could release the images in a deceptive way. Never mind that Hoagland has, as usual, got the science totally wrong. The cat vision study was at UC Berkeley, and showed that the retina-brain interface acted far more rapidly for horizontal motion than for vertical motion. Nothing to do with seeing angles in static objects, and nobody said that the same applies to humans in any case.

        I wonder if the NASA/JPL scientists who work so hard and so effectively to bring us news from the Cosmos ever hear about Hoagland's ravings and unfounded accusations? I assume not, but you never know.

        Meanwhile, back on the FB page, even some of the gullible disciples apparently find this tale hard to swallow. Several of them have expressed doubt.

        James Concannon posted this, and of course Hoagland deleted it immediately:

To all the Branch Hoaglandians and True Disciples:

Now look, you guys... your NASA-hating and science-ignorant guru has spent most of the summer assuring you not only that Phobos is an alien spaceship but that ESA scientists will DEFINITELY confirm that at the EPSC conference in October.


Your glorious leader wrote, in mid-July, that the attempt to cap the Macondo oil well was certain to end in failure and make the oil gusher worse.


Now he comes at you with this cock-and-bull story about Hartley being an alien spaceship, and some of you are willing to believe him.


[Reprinted by permission]

Useful links:
EPOXI/Hartley quick image gallery
Full resolution images
Morph animation by Daniel Machacek
EPOXI fact sheet (pdf)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lunar Loony Libraries

Yesterday, Richard Hoagland posted the following on his FB page. I don't think any explanatory comment from me is necessary.

No advanced, technological civilization -- going back (in our own history) to the Sumerians -- have advanced and continued to exist, unless they WROTE THINGS DOWN ... and left those crucial insights to FUTURE generations.

The media (as in "means of keeping such vital records" in existence) may change over millennia ... BUT--

The "messages" should be THE SAME:

Unless you "write things down," and store those writings (pictures of grandma ... Hollywood movies ... Bill Gates' computer graphics Windows animations ..., etc., etc.), the future will TOTALLY COLLAPSE ... in ONE or TWO generations--

Directly back into BARBARISM!

On a place (the Moon!) where there's NO air to (literally) breath ... unless the "breathing machines" are understood ... and MAINTAINED

Everyone will simply DIE. In a very short time.

So -- there MUST be fabulous LIBRARIES out there ... on the Moon, on Mars ... elsewhere in the solar system ... ANYWHERE where this amazing "previous civilization" lived and flourished ....

All we have to do is a) FIND them, and b) figure out how to READ them ....

NOT a trivial set of tasks.

But, FINDING them comes first .... :)

Or, getting NASA to 'fess up -- if THEY have already found them

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Point-by-point critique of Mike Bara's 'The Choice'

        The Choice is Mike Bara's bid to cash in on the 2012 Apocalypse mini-panic. According to its cover sell, it's a guide to "using conscious thought and physics of the mind to reshape the world." It won't surprise anyone to know that Bara no more delivers on that promise than Rhonda Byrne delivered on hers in The Secret. That part is poppycock. Well, actually, the whole book is poppycock.

        What good can possibly be said about a book that has so many errors and accomplishes so tragically little? Well, let's see — at least it has an index, which is more than can be said for Dark Mission. The copy-edit is not too bad, although since it was done by a computer there are plenty of missing words, homophones and misplaced apostrophes to giggle at. Do book editors ever actually read MS these days? Mike Bara evidently worked commendably hard, delivering 75,000 words to New Page Books on June 21st, having signed only in March. It's very unlikely he got an advance. That's about all the positive I can think of.

        Rather than take issue with the bone-headed pseudo-psychology this book represents, I will try and simply point out factual errors in the order in which they appear in the text. I may not be able to resist a little sarcasm. Sorry, it's my nature, just as it's Mike Bara's nature to chastise us all for our left-brained materialism as he steers his 2007 BMW 5 Series toward Las Vegas one more time for a rendezvous with his favorite strippers and porn starlets.

OK, here goes:

1 p.15 After a scattershot dismissal of the whole of conventional physics, Bara writes "What we have been missing ... is that Newton and Einstein aren't the whole picture."
Who does he think has been missing this? Certainly not every physicist in the entire world, all of whom are engaged in a daily struggle to fine-tune their equations and unravel the logic of the Universe. Does he think nine billion dollars were spent building the Large Hadron Collider by people who had missed this point?

2 p.17 "...if radio waves can be influenced by the positions of the planets, then our own thoughts, moods, and dreams can be affected, too."
Oh yeah? Who sez? A human brain and a short wave radio transmitter are not quite the same, Mike.

3 p.31 "...astrology is a perfectly valid and defensible science."
FACT: No it isn't.

4 p.32 "Without the Moon's calming influence, the Earth would spin so fast that the centrifugal force would most likely flatten us all like pancakes."
No, the reverse would happen. CentriFUGAL means "directed away from the center," so we'd become lighter, not heavier.

5 p.34 "Many of the planet's orbits, which ... should be perfectly circular by now, are highly elliptical. In fact, Mars's orbit is so eccentric that its distance from Earth goes from 34 million miles at its closest to 249 million miles at its greatest."
Ahem, excuse me but aren't planetary orbital eccentricities measured in relation to the Sun, not to some other random planet? Yes indeed they are.

FACT: Mars' aphelion is 154 million miles, perihelion 128 million miles, eccentricity 0.09 (cf. Earth 0.017.) Mars' orbit, although more eccentric than that of Earth, is not remarkably so. The figures Bara cites are correct but they do not illustrate the point he says they do.

This is a truly appalling, inexcusable error, coming so early in the book and making it absolutely certain that Mike Bara is not qualified to write on the subject of planetary science. When the New Page editors saw this they should have canceled his contract on the spot. Terrible, terrible. Embarrassing.

6 p.47 "Neptune's Great Dark Spot, the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, the erupting volcanoes of Jupiter's moon Io, Olympus Mons on Mars... and Earth's own Maunakea volcano ...all were at, or very near, the 19.5° latitude.

FACT: Neptune's dark spots are transient, forming and dissipating in just a few years. The one Mike is presumably citing, observed by Voyager 2, was first observed around 25°S and drifted north before dissipating.
The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is stable, and centered at 22°S.
The volcanoes of Io are far too numerous to be assigned any specific latitude. 12 known volcanoes are cited in the reference.
Olympus Mons is at 18°N.
Mauna Loa is at exactly 19.5°N - Bara almost got one right but he got the wrong Hawaiian volcano.

I'm sure he's going to say "I only wrote that they were very near 19.5°." Yes, Mike, you did, but that has no real meaning. Olympus Mons may be "very near" 19.5° but it's even nearer to 17.8°, or 18.8°, or.... etc. If this is supposed to be a geometric theory you're selling, it's either exact or it's useless.

7 p.57 "The human brain is nothing but a complex electrical signal transmitter."
FACT: Although there are some electrical pathways in the brain, chemical information exchange by neurotransmitters has overwhelmingly more influence. Why else does Mike Bara think the whiskey sours he knocks back in the lounges of Las Vegas, as he eyes the cougars across the bar, make him feel so nice and relaxed?

8 p.58 "...aren't our thoughts, which are also nothing more than electrical energy, actually coming from higher dimensions?"
It's hard to say what meaning to attach to this muddled idea. It's something to do with astrology, I think. The safe answer is "No, they aren't."

9 p.60 "Newton's laws of motion ... only work if the object being measured doesn't rotate."
Poppycock. The planet Earth, to name but one, is rotating, and objects in orbit around it still obey Newton's equation of gravity. If he'd written "Newton's laws of motion only work if the object being measured isn't moving at a substantial fraction of the speed of light," he'd have been right.

There's a terrible tendency for people like Mike Bara, who know just a little physics, to think "Einstein came along and disproved Newton." It's absolutely not true. Einstein came along and ADDED to Newton — EXTENDED Newton into more exotic contexts. A young man sitting under an apple tree can still reckon the falling apple is going to bonk him on the head according to Newton.

10 p.67 "...most mainstream physicists are actually blithering idiots..."
Well, perhaps I shouldn't classify that one as a factual error, exactly. I include it so that readers who don't plan on ever reading this ridiculous book get an insight into Mike Bara's personality flaws.

11 p.72 After expounding on ancient cultures such as the Mayans, Egyptians and Indo-Aryan Hindus and how life, to them, is a continuous repeating cycle, Bara writes " the west, time is an arrow. To the ancients, time is a wheel."

Is he saying that we in "the west" don't understand that the Sun rises and sets every day, or that the seasons repeat every 365 days? Is he saying that the ancients didn't understand that a human life is lived from birth to death? This is a sentence that sounds as if it's an aphorism but is actually without useful meaning.

12 p.128 Mike Bara is perenially confused about the International Space Station, or ISS for short. He thinks it's really called Isis, to fit in with Richard Hoagland's utterly indefensible theory that NASA spends its time worshipping Egyptian Gods.
FACT: The international space station is known as "International Space Station." ISS is not the same as Isis. Nobody attempts to pronounce it as though it were an acronym.
FACT: NASA is not interested in Egyptian Gods. When it isn't launching spacecraft, it spends its time trying to get a decent annual budget.

13 p.134 On this page Mike Bara demonstrates his ignorance of the nature of gravity. He writes "On the surface of the Earth, the magnitude of the gravitational field is more than enough to keep me in place, but if I was in orbit around the Earth, ... the influence of gravity would be so slight that I would be essentially weightless and float freely."
And what, pray, does Mike Bara think would be keeping him in orbit?

FACT: The pull of gravity simply follows an inverse square law. Newton, brilliantly, told us that the force exerted by the Earth on Mike Bara's body is equal to G*m1m2/d2 where G is the gravitational constant, m1 the mass of the Earth and m2 the mass of Mike Bara (less than it was a year ago, we understand. Well done Mike.) d is the distance Mike is from the center of the Earth, 6371 kM at the surface, about 6726 kM at ISS orbit. Yes, Newton's equation works perfectly well even though the Earth is rotating (see Bara's other error, p.60.)

Bara goes on to compare gravity with his imagined aether, and to state that, whereas gravity has a limited field of influence, the aether "exists everywhere and connects everything." This is just an extension of his ignorance. To be sure, if Mike Bara were to take his body to Alpha Centauri, he could safely ignore Earth's gravitational influence. But mathematically, no matter how large the factor d becomes, some infinitesimal value for G*m1m2/d2 could be calculated. So it's totally misleading to portray gravity as local only.

14 p.139 Bara describes a Faraday cage as being shielded by lead.
FACT: If it were, it'd be highly ineffective. The whole point of a Faraday cage is that its material is a good electrical conductor. Lead isn't.

15 p.143 "In November 1957 the Soviets had launched Sputnik 1..."
FACT: Sputnik 1 was launched on 4th October 1957.

16 p.144
Chapter 12 is all about the higher-than-expected orbit of USA's first satellite, Explorer 1. Richard Hoagland made a disastrous attempt to work out the mathematics of this on a web page, and this blog explained why he failed. Mike Bara's take on the situation is a little different but no less inaccurate.

He writes that "Explorer 1 ended up in an orbit that was almost 60% higher than it should have been." That is approximately true — the apogee was almost 60% higher than planned — but it's extremely misleading. What really matters is the additional energy the satellite had at orbit insertion, as measured by its instantaneous velocity. And a small change in velocity results in a much larger excursion in apogee (even Hoagland understood this, actually.)

So here's the calculation for Explorer 1

Planned orbit 354 x 1,609 kM (220 x 1,000 miles)
Actual orbit 359 x 2,562 kM (223 x 1,592 miles)
Radius of Earth 6,375 kM
Gravitational constant, µ, of Earth 398,660 kM3/s2

semi-major axis of planned orbit, Lsmaj, (354+6375+6375+1609)/2 = 7356 kM
distance from center of Earth to orbit point, R, 6375+354 = 6729 kM

planned velocity at orbit injection, Vorb = sqrt(µ(2/R - 1/Lsmaj))
2/R - 1/Lsmaj = 0.0001613
Vorb = sqrt(64.3) = 8.018 kM/sec

semi-major axis of actual orbit, Lsmaj, (359+6375+6375+2562)/2 = 7835 kM
distance from center of Earth to orbit point, R, 6375+359 = 6734 kM

actual velocity at orbit injection, Vorb = sqrt(µ(2/R - 1/Lsmaj))
2/R - 1/Lsmaj = 0.000169
Vorb = sqrt(67.493) = 8.215 kM/sec

So we're talking about a velocity excess of about 3%. Bara writes "Despite various conventional explanations being bandied about over the decades since then, none of them have stood up to scrutiny." The conventional explanations that I'm aware of are a) cumulative overperformance of the fifteen small "Baby Sergeant" solid rockets, b) uncertainty about the pitch angle during burn of the 3rd/4th stages, and c) unusually strong high altitude winds.

I have to ask, in what sense have these not stood up to scrutiny? Who did the scrutiny? Not the notoriously error-prone Richard Hoagland, I hope for their sakes.

(The equation is presented here.)

17 p.146 "Werner Von Braun ... must have realized that if you wanted a spacecraft to follow conventional Newtonian celestial mechanics, Rule One had to be: Don't let it rotate. .... they immediately abandoned solid fuel rockets, spinning upper stages..."
FACT: Spin-stabilization continued to be a very common technique in spacecraft design, and it's still sometimes used to this day (See this, for example.) Solid fuel rockets are an extremely common phenomenon, especially for military applications in which instant readiness is an important factor. Bara is just wrong about this.

18 p.162 "...vibration ... is really just partial rotation..."
No it isn't.

19 p.165 "...every cell and every atom in our bodies is vibrating..."
FACT: Perhaps every atom is. It would be more correct to say that every sub-atomic particle is. But, every cell? I don't think so, Mike. It's amazing how this totally false idea has caught on in the crackpot New Age community. It seems that every two-bit spiritual guidance enthusiast who gets guested on "Coast to Coast AM" talks about getting the vibrations of our bodies tuned, or whatever. Bla-bla-bla. There's no foundation to the idea at all.

20 p.202 *sigh* Here we go again. Hoagland & Bara persist in claiming that the Brookings Report of 1960 directed NASA to withhold evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence lest it spread panic. They've been told, many times, that it just ain't so, but they will keep trotting it out. Here Bara writes that the report "detailed how best to inform the public in the event that NASA discovered extraterrestrial artifacts on the Moon or Mars." What utter poppycock!

FACT: The Brookings Report did not even consider the question. It recommended that the question ought to be considered, that's all. Here's the full quote:

"...two research areas can be recommended -- Continuing studies to determine [the public's] emotional and intellectual understanding and attitudes -- and successive alterations of them if any -- regarding the possibility and consequences of discovering intelligent extraterrestrial life. Historical and empirical studies of the behavior of peoples and their leaders when confronted with dramatic and unfamiliar events or social pressures. Such studies might help to provide programs for meeting and adjusting to the implications of such a discovery. Questions one might wish to answer by such studies would include: how might such information, under what circumstances, be presented to or withheld from the public for what ends? What might be the role of the discovering scientists and other decision makers regarding release of the fact of discovery?"

If Mike Bara thinks that's "detailing how best to inform the public," he's got a reading comprehension problem.

21 p.206 Bara writes here that HAARP, although operating in the 3.6 megawatt range, can combine its 180 antennas to yield an energetic output of 5.1 terawatts. I've no idea where he gets the terawatt figure from — it's certainly an error.

22 p.214 "An annular eclipse means that the Moon and Sun are in perfect alignment, but the Sun is not totally blotted out because the Moon is a little too close to the Earth..."
No, Mike. Too far away. tsk, tsk, careless.....

23 p.217 "We have, each of us, enough energy to make this world into anything we wish it to be."
FACT: This is not true.

24 p.222 Bara writes that he'd love to have a Porsche to cruise around Hollywood with. He writes "It would feed my ego, and that is an aspect of my personality."
FACT: That's one thing he got right. And what an appropriate way to end this review. Thanks for reading, if you did.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review of RCH/C2C 21st Sept

       Richard Hoagland was vouchsafed about ten minutes in Hour 1 to comment on the re-accretion theory of Phobos that was expounded in Rome yesterday. He also, naturally, seized the occasion to promote the upcoming Transformation Conference, hoping to snag a few more punters at $500 a head.

       Skipping the question of what happened to the dramatic announcement he'd predicted just two weeks ago, he contented himself by assuring us that "They're going to be driven inexorably toward the fact that Phobos is artificial, because their theory JUST WON'T WORK."

       And why does he say re-accretion won't work? Because, he claimed, Phobos is already threatening to tear itself apart due to tidal forces. "You can't have accretion in a body that's dissociating," he stated (perhaps not exactly verbatim, but close.) In passing, we might raise an eyebrow since his use of the term dissociating blows his whole theory that this is a constructed body — dissociation essentially describes what happens to a loose clump of rocks and debris.

       Well, as usual, due to his total lack of education in physics and astronomy, Hoagland has got it wrong. Tidal forces are a real phenomenon, to be sure. It's possible for them to be strong enough to cause the break-up of a moon, yes indeed. But NOT Phobos.

       FACT: Tidal force exerted on a moon depends on the radius and density of both the moon and its parent planet, and most critically on the mean distance from the planet of the moon's orbit. A gentleman called Edouard Roche, a French astronomer, did the difficult calculations for us back in 1848, and came up with a critical orbit radius INSIDE WHICH a moon of a given size and mass could not survive. This radius is known as the Roche limit. The classic example of the Roche limit in action is Saturn: inside about 133,000 kM, you get rings — beyond it, moons can and do accrete.

       FACT: Phobos's orbit is at 172% of its Roche limit.

       On this very radio show, back in 2006, Hoagland said in response to new Mars Express images of the so-called Face on Mars, "Science is not about what you can see, it's about what you can measure." Time for Hoagland to stop hand-waving do some measuring, methinks.

Update, 10/13/10: 
Yesterday this appeared on Hoagland's FB page:

My "ESA guy" got scared and refused to release/disclose what he'd promised several months ago.

No comment needed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of the line

        End of the line for the dramatic revelations about Phobos at the EPSC conference.

        End of the line for Deepwater Horizon.

        Richard Hoagland was comprehensively wrong.

        What's next? Oh, that's right -- the cities in the rings of Saturn. How fun.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


       Hoagland & Bara have a great technique for making themselves appear to be much more on-the-ball than they really are. They just wait for any offbeat news item with a space connection, and claim that it's EXACTLY WHAT WE PREDICTED. Apparently nobody but me reacts by asking "When was this predicted? Was the prediction written down? Can I see?"

       A few historical examples:

As I noted in the previous post, Mike Bara wrote that the star Regulus was 19.5° below the horizon as Buzz Aldrin took communion on the Moon, "exactly where the model would predict it to be" when in fact that's NOT what the "model" predicts.

On 4th Sept Hoagland wrote “A VARYING gravitational “constant” is CENTRAL to our Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Model”

On 14th Oct 2008 Bara wrote that the hexagonal storms on Saturn were “an inherent and specific prediction of the Hoagland\Torun Hyperdimensional physics model.”

Neither Hoagland nor Bara, nor Hoagland's metaphorical bum-boy Max Kiejzik have ever been able to come up with a citation to confirm those last two, despite repeated (and polite) requests.

       Yesterday a stunning example of this convenient recall adjustment phenomenon (let's call it CRAP) turned up in Hoagland's FB page. Somebody posted a recent article on a new NASA initiative abbreviated as HEFT (Human Exploration Framework Team.) The initiative proposed amendments to the official Presidential plan for the future US space program, specifically:

* Start right now on developing a heavy lift rocket rather than waiting until 2015
* Retain the Orion design for future deep space expeditions
* Develop a separate version of the Orion capsule for ISS emergency rescue

       Using all the powers of CRAP, Hoagland posted as follows:

It's coming together EXACTLY as we discussed, MANY months ago on "Coast." :)

       That's pretty funny. Hilarious, in fact. The major discussion of the future of NASA on "Coast to Coast AM" took place on May 26th, and that has to be the one he's referring to. What most people remember about that is Richard Hoagland literally shouting down Robert Zubrin over the question of Phobos' artificiality. But in fact, the roundtable also included Buzz Aldrin and Howard Bloom. Here's the summary of that part of the discussion:

Bloom said he supports private efforts such as Elon Musk's Space X rocket, as well as Aldrin's Unified Space Vision. Joining him in the first half of the show, Apollo astronaut and rocket scientist Buzz Aldrin outlined a plan in which NASA could land on the Martian moon Phobos in 2022 and set up a base, with eventual landings on Mars itself by 2031. Aldrin also said that he supports an international effort to develop the moon with partners such as China and India.

In the second half of the program, founder of the Mars Society, Robert Zubrin and C2C Science Advisor Richard C. Hoagland discussed and sometimes debated space issues. Zubrin stated he was not in favor of the Obama space plan, and that instead "our goal should be to send humans to Mars by the end of the decade." Hoagland believes Obama has taken bad advice (from John Holdren in particular) in formulating NASA's mission plan.

       I heard that show, and the summary is accurate enough. The main point was that Hoagland agreed with Aldrin about the Phobos-then-Mars strategy. In fact, he predicted that President Obama would change his mind and make a Kennedy-style national commitment to that goal. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING was said about splitting the functions of Orion, and if anybody urged that NASA start right away on the heavy-lift vehicle, I missed it.

       On Facebook, there was immediate strong verification of the effectiveness of CRAP. Chris Burch posted:

He's right you know. He did predict this would go down.It's kind of irritating when someone is right all the time. I guess thats why Mr. Hoagland is a target for certain individuals. They just can't stand it. Hey. Give the man his due.

       Really quite amazing, isn't it? Just like those mile-high glass domes on the Moon, if you insist they're there in an authoritative manner, some people will see them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mike Bara's very personal interpretation of the truth

       Reading that error-filled book "Dark Mission," it isn't always easy to tell which author is responsible for the page you're on. In general, Hoagland is the one who overemphasizes EVERYTHING, and Mike Bara is the one who seems full of resentment. But perhaps they fool us at times.

       There's no doubt, however, about the authorship of the material on pp. 11-14 in the intro to the 2nd edn. It's Bara, doing what he fancifully calls "additional research on key points" (presumably he didn't want to call it "correcting our cock-ups".) In this case the "key point" is the exact moment when Buzz Aldrin performed the rudimentary holy communion ceremony on the Moon he describes in his book Men From Earth. The moment is significant, Bara tells us, because it needs to fit their theory that NASA goes to ridiculous lengths to ensure that major mission events occur only when certain astrological conditions are satisfied: any of several stars are at any of five elevations.

       Bara's first idea was that the ceremony occurred 33 minutes after the lunar landing, when the star Sirius was at an elevation of 19.5° as seen from the landing site. Now he tells us that that's most likely wrong. Better information suggests that the ceremony was later, at MET 105:25:38, after Aldrin made a short speech asking everyone to pause a moment and "give thanks in his or her own way." Hastily summoning the Red Shift software that Hoagland & Bara use to support the tottering towers of their theory, Bara declares triumphantly that all is OK. Even if Sirius was no longer at the magic elevation of 19.5°, Regulus (Alpha Leonis) was at MINUS 19.5°. Totally invisible, of course, but nevertheless satisfying the theory. Bara writes that this is exactly as their "model" would predict.

       The trouble is, that's NOT what the model predicts. The model predicts that EITHER Regulus OR Sirius, OR Alnitak, OR Alnilam, OR Mintaka will be at an elevation of EITHER -33°, OR -19.5°, OR 0°, OR 19.5°, OR 33°. Bara himself reiterates this on the very next page, and in actual fact, Hoagland has sometimes cheated and used other celestial objects in support of the theory.

       Anybody with training in science or even logic would dismiss this instantly as worthless evidence in support of a nutty idea. Perhaps the diehard fans of the comedy duo of H&B would say "we know what he means," and move on to the next bit of flim-flam. But most of us, I think, recognize this for what it is. A self-serving lie.

       On The Final Frontier, James Concannon points out that Hoagland & Bara have been able to find "ritual" star alignments for only one of the six Apollo landings, Apollo 12. That really is fatal to their crackpot theory, because Hoagland traces what he calls NASA's obsession with Egyptian mythology to the NASA geologist Farouk El-Baz, who is Egyptian by birth. What was Dr. El-Baz's primary contribution to Apollo? Why, landing site selection, of course. So this so-called evil genius, architect of NASA's "fanatical, relentless"[1] drive to pay homage to the Egyptian Gods, was only able to achieve ONE hit out of six landings?

[1] Quote from the caption to Fig. 5-10, "Dark Mission"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The fun is about to begin. Hmmm, yes.

       Ever since the Mars Express close fly-bys of Phobos, in March this year, Richard Hoagland has been promising that The European Space Agency itself would soon vindicate his thoroughly unscientific idea that the little moon of Mars is artificial. In a radio show he even went so far as to claim "they're dying to say it -- they're just waiting to be asked."

       Yesterday, on his FB page, he declared that the fun is about to begin. He means that the European Planetary Science Congress 2010 opens in two weeks, in Rome, and his idea of "fun" is the announcement that Phobos is artificial. Others may think that the "fun" will be in ridiculing Hoagland when that announcement is NOT made.

       Phobos will be discussed in session SB5 on Small Bodies and Planetary Moons, 20-22 Sept. The abstracts have been published and -- no surprise to anyone with any science training -- there's no sign of any announcement that Phobos is a spaceship.

       Later in Hoagland's FB text yesterday is a clue as to how he's planning to handle things when the conference is over.

One word--
"Plastics" .... :)
No, I meant "Phobos."
Biggest bang for the buck!
NO question ... given what is WAITING there ....
Which, my lastest "intel" says the Europeans are going to unveil -- if not a GREAT deal more -- shortly .... :)
Stay tuned.
The fun is about to begin! :)

We've been double-crossed before ....
We just have to be patient; the "inside game" is rapidly coming to some kind of "climax."
What may come out in PUBLIC, however, is still not totally locked in
Positioning ... positioning ... positioning ....

       When he's wrong, as he almost always is, his standard approach is to say nothing at all and move on to the next piece of utter nonsense. But in this case, look for Hoagland to say that HIS SOURCES have revealed to him that PRIVATELY the announcement WAS made in Rome.

       Which, of course, would still be totally contrary to what he's been claiming ever since March. No doubt his disciples will not notice, and will continue to hail him as a hero and the only man who truly knows what's going on.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hoagland's high-tech hustle

     It's been noticeable that, in his many appearances on the Coast to Coast AM overnight radio show, Richard Hoagland the pseudo-scientist has not recently been begging for cash as he once used to. I surmise that even the producers of that show, as unprincipled and as contemptuous of their audience as they are, found it a bit embarrassing for their "science adviser" to be ending each segment with "Here's the PO Box number for donations to enable us to continue THIS IMPORTANT RESEARCH." Come to think of it, the time when the begging stopped more or less coincided with the time they started calling him science adviser. Could there be a quid pro quo by which they agreed to pay him a consultancy fee if he'd just please stop with the begging? I merely ask...

     Yesterday on his FB page, in answer to a question from somebody posing as John Smith, Hoagland gave us all some pseudo-information about HAARP — that Alaskan ionosphere research facility jointly run by the US Navy, USAF and Univ. Alaska. Here's Hoagland's complete text:

HAARP uses a few BEAMED kilowatts of radio energy, from a phased antenna array ... which enormously enhances its "effective radiated power" to manipulate the Earth's ionosphere -- an ionized "plasma."

Plasmas, when excited (by a radio... mechanisms or other means ...) generate TORSION Field waves ....
Which can a) manipulate weather, b) generate earthquakes, c) render nuclear weapons inert, d) influence mass consciousness, e) affect biological systems, etc. etc. ....

In other words, HAARP -- as a "trigger technology" -- is a LOT more than "merely a means to probe the physics of the Earth's upper atmosphere."

Hope this is helpful.

Your "suspicions" re Haiti (and a lot of OTHER "anomalous events" occuring recently ...) are absolutely correct!

As I've said many times earlier, we are AT WAR ... with "someone."

And, the weapons are NOT "roadside mines and suicide bombs"; those are merely the DISTRACTIONS from a far more serious conflict, currently going on in space ... and (selectively) here on Earth ....

And Haiti was only ONE of many, many other examples now occurring.

     Well now. Oh dear. I'm no expert in ionospheric excitations (or excitations of other kinds, these days — must be getting old) but I do know the following:

% HAARP's power is 3.6 MW
% There is no such thing as a "torsion field wave." Hoagland refers to torsion fields regularly, and he hammers home the point that they are caused by "rotation, rotation, rotation." He's wrong about that, too.
% The dire effects he cites, including incapacitation of nuclear weapons and influence over mass consciousness, are imaginary with the exception of influence over weather. Even that is highly localized and at least one order of magnitude less than the effects of solar storms that occur routinely without any conspiratorial effort on the part of DARPA.
% I'm no more an expert in psychiatry than ionospherology, but surely, isn't "We are AT WAR -- with ''someone''" a plain symptom of paranoia?

     Well, I wrote that I quoted RCH's complete text. I lied. The kicker was an afterthought below:

Details will be presented in Arizona, at the Greer "Transformation" Conference.

     That was followed by a hyperlink to enable his disciples to register for this conference. I simply can't bear to reproduce it here — the mere thought induces waves of nausea. Why? The registration fee is a stonking FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE UNITED STATES DOLLARS.

So the begging hasn't really stopped, just gotten more brazen.

     My remaining question is: WHAT THE FUCK has this junk science got to do with SETI?

Monday, August 16, 2010

The pornography of pessimism

     Somebody invented that expression to describe the appeal of Gerald Celente, whose economic forecasts run the gamut from dire to catastrophic. It might equally apply to Richard Hoagland's forecasts of just about anything.

     Fresh from his abject failures on the topic of Gulf oil, Hoagland popped up on Coast to Coast AM briefly soon after the failure of one of two ammonia pumps on ISS. Pornographically, he announced that this could spell the end of the entire US manned space program — and he couldn't resist pretending that he had "inside information" to reinforce that piece of nonsense. "We're not being told the true seriousness of this," he announced.

     After three heroic EVAs, most recently on August 16th, Douglas Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson successfully replaced the failed unit with a backup. For three solid weeks, full information has been available from many sources, not least NASA PA itself. The EVAs have been on live NASA TV. Will Hoagland be on C2C-AM soon to apologize for misleading the audience?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mike Bara chimes in

     Mike Bara got in on the act Aug 3rd, posting on his new blog (that doesn't allow comments, he-he) the same inaccuracies as Hoagland about the newly colored HiRISE image. His angle was just a little bit different, citing a piece:

Usually, these linds[sic] of articles pop-up when NASA is about to release something new and interesting about Mars. It serves as a warning to anyone in science and academia not to start asking too many uncomfortable questions because they will be subsequently ridiculed.

So, the real issue here is; what’s coming up about Mars that NASA is worried about? We’ll see.

     Oh please. This was just one of HUNDREDS of images released by the Univ Ariz HiRISE lab last month. It was simply labelled 'Popular Landform in Cydonia Region.' Links were prominently provided to other treatments of the basic acquired swath, including the "Full Mona." Warning-schwarning, Mike. Do you really believe is at NASA's beck and call to post sinister warnings to scientists? Aren't there far more direct ways for NASA/JPL/Univ Ariz to get messages to the academic community? Do real scientists (as opposed to fake ones, like Hoagland & Bara) even read foxnews?

     This is exactly the kind of speculative, unsupported, alarmist, thoroughly unscientific analysis we've learned to expect from these two clowns. But at least Bara didn't claim any inside info.

Update: The Scientist Speaks - Aug 27th
     Now that Mike Bara's blog does allow comments, I made some of these points in comment today. The eminent scientist Prof. Michael Bara pronounced as follows:

As if I needed any more proof that you are a complete blithering idiot, the fact that you are obviously a democrat confirms it. Enjoy November.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Those inside sources again

     Richard Hoagland was given a ten-minute spot on Coast to Coast AM last night, divided about equally between Mars-face and Mud-logs.

     This week the Univ. Arizona released an interesting false color image of the mesa that used to be called the 'Face' on Mars. Commenting on it, RCH said last night that it shows NASA is getting "increasingly desperate" as the time for disclosure draws near. In his mind, you see, the NASA/JPL/Arizona/The Nazis/The Masons/Whoever else hates Mike Bara/ conspiracy is always wrong. If they don't release images, then

"NASA seem[s] to have an aversion to investigating what seemed to be an ideal subject for the agency's agenda."
--"Dark Mission" 2nd edn. p. 76

     If they do release images, it shows that they're "desperate."

     By the way, Hoagland is correct that this is not strictly a new image. It's a colorized version of the image taken by the HiRISE telescope in April 2007. However, he was totally wrong in asserting that the image is useless because it's just a detail — " zooming in on the Mona Lisa's lip," as he put it. The released image is 'The Full Mona' or almost full. Hoagland was only looking at the detail in a news story.

     Turning to the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher, now successfully capped in defiance of Hoagland's prediction, he continued to mislead the C2C audience by warning that "pressurizing" the well might lead to a disastrous blow-out. He simply does not understand the top kill process. Why the producers of this popular radio show think he has any credibility on this topic is a profound mystery.

     Interstitial to his two main topics, he slipped in some nonsense about Phobos and provided us with an easy test of his claims. He said:

"My inside sources say that there will be an important leak in the next few days .. [about the artificiality of Phobos]"

     I'll give him a week before calling him a liar.

Update #1: 20:30 EDT Aug 1st
     Adm. Thad Allen made Hoagland look like the clown he is today by stating:

"The pressure at the well is around 6,980 pounds per square inch and will increase slightly during the static kill. BP will stop the procedure if pressure rises above 8,000 pounds per square inch to avoid damaging the well."
(Reported by Bloomberg)

     Hoagland is so, so, wrong.

Update #2: 11:00 EDT Aug 6th
     Time's up. Hoagland's a liar.

Update #3: Sept. 19th
     AP reports the well is dead. Hoagland's a LIAR. Don't hope that he'll be on Coast-to-Coast AM eating his words. George Noory evidently believes Hoagland is the Pope.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review of RCH/C2C 20th July

Richard C. Hoagland on Coast to Coast AM

     He's BAAAAA-aaaaaack!!! Another hour of ranting, flinging totally inaccurate accusations like stink-bombs and beating a few dead horses just for good measure.

     There was nonsense about NASA and about the "artificial spaceships" Phobos and Lutetia, but most of the nonsense was once more about Deepwater Horizon:

     He repeated yet again a plea for those mud logs and lamented the fact that Ed Markey of the congressional sub-committee on energy and mineral resources has not been able to prise them out of BP's fingers. Of course, Hoagland doesn't actually know that — he's just guessing. Markey may well have been shown them on a classified basis. Hoagland still didn't say what he'd actually do with them if he got them. This campaign of his is already a total FAIL, but neither he nor radio host George Noory have accepted that fact.

     He called for the establishment of a network of tsunami warning buoys, presumably an extension of the existing DART system, ready for when that 20-mile wide methane bubble at a pressure of 100,000 psi erupts. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that the methane bubble as he describes it doesn't exist, the distance from the Deepwater Horizon site to the coast of Florida is about 450 kM — a tsunami would be over the beaches and swim-up bars of St. Petersburg and Sarasota in less than an hour. New Orleans would be the world's biggest human aquarium in about ten minutes.

     There was worse to come. Hoagland ranted several times about the stupidity of what he called the "pressurization" of the oil well by BP, a company that he described as concerned only about its profits and scandalously unanswerable to anybody representing "We, The People." He even apologized for getting hot under the collar, remarking that "when I see people doing really stupid things, I get mad."

     Well, this diatribe was not merely inaccurate but the exact reverse of the truth — and as usual George Noory allowed it on the air exactly as though it were true. The real truth is that since 15th July the three-ram capping stack has successfully stopped all but a trickle of oil and gas from the Macondo well. The gigantic three-month long gusher has actually had the effect of REDUCING pressure, from about 9,000 psi to today's 6,800 psi. The idea that the well is being pressurized is pure fantasy. As for lack of oversight of BP's practices — Adm. Thad Allen represents the people of the USA and he's very firmly in charge. Over the weekend he sent a headmasterly letter to BP reminding them that they had to do things his way, and directing them to continue the tests and seismic surveys.

     What Hoagland didn't mention — probably because he doesn't understand — is that the reduced pressure in the well has got some experts thinking again about a so-called "top kill." This is the same procedure that was tried unsuccessfully back on 26th May — injection of enough drilling mud to counterbalance the upward thrust of the column of oil under pressure. The pressure proved too great to overcome in May, but now that it's reduced a kill may be possible. However, it won't happen unless Adm. Allen approves.

     Either by means of the top kill or the relief well — very likely both — this well will be dead and sealed in a couple of weeks, weather permitting. High-pressure oil and gas will continue to exist under that part of the sea bed. But it was Mother Nature, not BP, that put it there.

     Hoagland still hasn't written the White Paper he announced five weeks ago, and for that I guess we can be thankful. Hoagland is wrong about the sabotage; he's wrong about the pressure; and he's wrong about that other gash in the Earth's crust spewing even more oil. His continued access to the public media, to spout utter lies to a radio audience of around six million, is a very palpable disgrace.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hoagland invents a non-existent event so he can say "I predicted that"

        You may find this hard to believe, but I swear it's as true as the day is long.

        On the 14th July, at 12:30 pm, Richard Hoagland posted on his FB page, on the subject of the new cap on the Deepwater Horizon gusher:

I'll bet they quietly closed the first valve at "19.5" tonight ... on 7-14--
Just as we predicted.
Ritual Uber Alles .... :)

        Well, Richard dear, there are just two problems with that. One is that they didn't close any valves at 19:30 that night. The other is that you didn't predict it.

        For most of the 14th, the capping stack wasn't even on the well-head. It had been hauled back up to the surface to replace a leaky hydraulic line. Hoagland had indeed suggested (on 13th July) that the utter madness that is numerology was playing a part in BP operations, but he never predicted the first event at 7:30 pm.

        We're quite used to Hoagland's claims of "I predicted that" being fraudulent, but now they venture into new territory, referring to an event that never even happened.

        Meanwhile, one firm prediction he did make — on 12th July at 11:50 pm — looks like going down in flames along with just about every other prediction he's ever recorded.

suddenly -- the White House is DEMANDING real proof of BP's claims ... and this "48-hour-pressure-test" of the NEW cap, is to PROVE to the White House the actual existence of those other fissures ....

So, if THAT is the case, the much-hyped "new cap pressure test" will FAIL ....

        Right now the gusher has stopped, and the pressure is reportedly 6,700 psi. Too low to call a success, but too high to cry failure. Last night on the radio Hoagland dismissed the news as "another BP lie."

I have a different opinion about who's lying here.

Update #1: 15:30 EDT July 17th
        The 48-hour period of the originally-planned test of the 3-ram capping stack has now expired, with no oil leak. Oil pressure is at 6,745 psi, rising at about 2 psi/hr and expected to stabilise at 6,800. There are two credible theories as to why the pressure did not reach the hoped-for 8,000 psi. One is simply that so much oil has flowed out of the damaged well that the resource is actually depleted: another is a phenomenon of cross-flow meaning, essentially, that oil is circulating between one underground cavity and another.

        One very positive data point is that the temperature in the well has reduced to ambient. When oil is flowing the temperature rises significantly.

        BP has announced that the testing period will now be extended for a further 24 hours, and also that when tests conclude they will release the valves and start recovering 60,000 barrels a day from the well. If you want to be cynical, you might say that BP can hardly wait to start generating some revenue from the damn well. Cynics will be looking for BP to find excuses to delay the final cementing that will kill their "golden goose," currently scheduled for early August. It does also seem that BP has been keeping information closer to its chest than is appropriate in the circumstances.

        However, the bottom line is that the test started on July 15th DID NOT FAIL.

So let's summarise Richard Hoagland's errors up to this point.

* He wrote that "our data indicates that [Deepwater Horizon] was sabatoged[sic]" but never came up with any such data.

* He stated that there was a 20-mile wide bubble of methane at a pressure of 100,000 psi threatening to erupt. This has found no support from people who know what they're talking about, and has been ridiculed by geologists.

* He stated that there was a gash in the Earth's crust 10 miles from Deepwater Horizon, gushing 120,000 barrels a day. This is the bizarre opinion of only one other man -- Matthew Simmons of the Ocean Energy Institute.

* He very confidently predicted that the cap test would fail.

* He called the preliminary announcement that the well had been capped "another BP lie."

        So Richard Hoagland's performance on this event has been as dismally inaccurate as his previous record of trash and/or alarmist predicting. Why does Coast to Coast AM continue to give him access to their audience?

Update #2: 12:00 EDT July 22nd
Yesterday, Hoagland posted another misguided and misinformed plea to his FB page:

If we can keep them from doing this stupid "static kill," this still can be resolved in safety.

But, that requires that we communiate IMMEDIATELY with Congressman Ed Markey, demanding that this latest, insane idea of BP be permanently shelved (the "static kill"), that the well be placed BACK in "containment" (oil piped up to the ships, ... thus relieving the pressure ...) until the relief well is in position to begin to kill this monster FROM THE BOTTOM (which will NOT put additional pressure on the well or the fragile formations above the high-pressure methane/oil reservoir ...).

        He clearly thinks that BP operations have increased pressure in the well, instead of, as is the actual fact, decreasing it. And, considering that he characterized the initial announcement that the well had been capped as "another BP lie" he's not supposed to think that the "static kill" is even a serious option.

        Question to RCH: Why hasn't that ENORMOUS quantity of oil flowing from that OTHER gash in the seabed not been seen by anyone??

        Meanwhile, Adm. Allen and his advisors have one hell of a hard decision to make. A possible tropical storm is headed for the site. The relief well drilling has already been suspended and a storm plug installed. It looks like the rigs and ships surrounding the Macondo well will have to leave for at least five days. Do they leave the well capped and unsupervised, or do they release the oil once more?

Update #3: 16:30 EDT July 26th
        Well, they took the brave decision to keep the lid on. Tropical storm Bonnie fizzled, and all the vessels are now back on station. Oil pressure is 6,900 psi — a good indicator that the well is not leaking into the rocks — and the top kill is scheduled to begin a week from today. Still no sign whatever of the MUCH LARGER oil leak Richard Hoagland has twice referred to.

        On his FB page today, Hoagland trotted out some story about HAARP being used to create southerly winds, as "they" are now "increasingly desperate" to keep oil off the beaches. What a load of claptrap. The person in this who's increasingly desperate is Hoagland himself. No mud logs, no methane explosion, no huge gash. It's now obvious to everyone that his comment that the capping of the well was "another BP lie" was itself a lie.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hoagland's Gulf of Mexico FAIL

At this point, a month after Richard Hoagland first demanded the mud logs from Deepwater Horizon, his campaign has to be seen as not merely an EPIC FAIL but a bunch of alarmist, mendacious nonsense. If the mud logs have been provided at all, it is in classified form to the Congress, certainly not to Hoagland and certainly not as a result of his daft self-promoting campaign.

Hoagland screamed that the "methane bubble" was at a lethal pressure of 100,000 psi. Last night Adm. Thad Allen said on TV network news that if the new capping procedure (Top Hat #10) was successful the pressure would rise to 8-9,000 psi. Online sources (e.g. The Guardian newspaper) published a picture of the pressure gauge that would test this. Hard to know how a pressure gauge that pegs at 10,000 could measure 100,000, isn't it?

Who are you going to believe — an admiral with access to all information sources public, private and classified, or an out of work former museum curator who, when asked what his sources are, replies "inside information"?

Hoagland has made much of the city-killing potential of this so-called 100,000 psi methane bubble, advising that the whole of Alabama, Georgia and Florida are at risk from the colossal explosion and fast-moving tsunami that are imminent. Scientists who are qualified to assess this claim have said it is nonsense. Who are you going to believe — UCSB and Woods Hole geologists, or a totally unqualified radio entertainer who has been caught peddling alarmist lies on many previous occasions?

Hoagland claimed that the Deepwater Horizon blowout was just a sideshow — that the real threat was a gash in the Earth's crust ten miles away spewing even more oil. The truth is that the NOAA research vessel Thomas Jefferson, on a mission to detect underwater oil plumes from Deepwater Horizon, did note a fault in the vicinity but not that it was gushing oil. In all probability it is not related to Deepwater Horizon at all. The primary source of this alarmist rumor is Matthew Simmons, who has made a number of inaccurate statements about the Gulf of Mexico.

The radio show Coast to Coast AM has, on two occasions, provided a public platform for this arrant rubbish. In the circumstances of what is obviously a public emergency of unprecedented seriousness, do they think this is responsible broadcasting?