Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A fugitive from justice pops up on the internet

        Sean David Morton, the self-described "America's psychic," "Legal scholar," and "Ph.D theologian," is on the lam, having failed to appear for sentencing on 19 June 2017 in  Federal District Court, Los Angeles. On 4 April Morton and his wife Melissa were found guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of filing false claims against the United States, and 26 counts of passing false or fictitious financial instruments.

        In a fairly amazing display of chutzpah, Morton showed his face on the net yesterday for a two-hour live interview with Kerry Cassidy, streamed onto her web portal. The background was very different from that before which he appeared when interviewed by Cassidy on June 12th, so he almost certainly wasn't at home, but he looked well settled-in to wherever he was, with the full A-V equipment needed to chat with Cassidy via Skype. However, he didn't look at ease at all-- squirming around in his chair and putting on very false-looking grins.

        I came late to the party, so may have missed important material, but my impression was that SDM was putting on the same old show. Blabbering away at top speed, self-justifying and making outrageous claims of prediction of past events that can never be checked. I honestly couldn't follow much of it (and it was chopped up by Kerry Cassidy's usual technical faults,) but I did get that, speaking of his legal problems, he said he was working on a constitutional law angle, and "all this will be over soon." As far as I heard he didn't have much to say about Melissa, who must be quite busy this week selling up the property in Hermosa Beach. She's up for sentencing on Monday morning and will probably be wearing orange for quite a while. Unless, of course, she "does a flitting" like her husband.

        I'm no legal expert but I'm guessing that Kerry Cassidy has put herself in jeopardy by putting on this show. She may not know exactly where SDM is, but she probably has some information that the District Court would like to get its hands on. If I were the federal marshals, I'd be calling on Kerry with a few questions.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Another daft prediction that can easily be tested

James Concannon writes...

        I'm looking forward to the total solar eclipse later this month, not only because they're always a treat to behold, but also because I can test Robert Morningstar's prediction that the eclipse will probably trigger serious earthquakes in central USA and on the New Madrid fault. As I wrote last April, Morningstar is such a dunce at planetary astronomy that he doesn't understand that the Moon is at conjunction once every month without causing 'quakes. Lunar conjunctions do indeed create a very slight additional tidal force but there's no extra tidal force associated with a conjunction that causes an eclipse.

        Now a new prediction is making the rounds, promoted by some surprisingly mainstream publications including the London Daily Telegraph. Nibiru is coming!!!! shouts an author and statistician called David Meade. In a book (which I refuse to provide an easy link to,) Meade pinpoints the date of a catastrophic, probably humanity-destroying, collision. It's 23rd September.

        This, of course, is only the latest in a string of such predictions, and it appears to be based on biblical text as opposed to any actual... you know, observation. Meade writes that observation is problematic, since...
"This system is, of course, not aligned with our solar system's ecliptic, but is coming to us from an oblique angle and toward our South Pole. This makes observations difficult, unless you're flying at a high altitude over South America with an excellent camera."
Note: The above is pure poppycock. Observation of objects out of the ecliptic is done every day, there's nothing hard about it at all, as long as you're in the right hemisphere. According to the inventor of Nibiru, Zecharia Sitchin, it's a "giant planet." So if it is now close enough to be only six weeks from impact, it should be easily visible to the naked eye.

        I've got my calendar marked and I'll be watching the skies, on 21 August and 23 September.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Another open letter to Richard Hoagland (re: procrastination)

Dear Mr. Hoagland,

You are fond of saying--especially when you promise something and then don't deliver--"Make no wine before its time." Well, Richard, there's some wine you're supposed to be making that is now SIX MONTHS PAST its time. I refer to your book The Hidden History of Mars: A War In Heaven. Last March you characterized this book as "just recently completed," and you promised a free copy to Club 19.5 members. You also posted this on 24th March:
"Club 19.5 Members!! You've been patient, you've been faithful, and now - the GIFTS will begin! There is a broadcast coming up in the next few days that to even KNOW about you need to be in Club 19.5."
The broadcast you cited was simply another interview with Howard Hughes on talkradio.co.uk. An interview in which you said nothing new at all, but re-iterated the history of the so-called "Face" on Mars, and dropped the names of  Cronkite (3 times,) Roddenberry (twice,) and Sagan (once.) Do you seriously think that knowledge of this up-coming interview was an adequate gift for people who, at that point, had been paying you five bucks a month for NOTHING since October 2016?

It is now August. Where is this book? Where are these gifts? Are you content to be seen as dishonest?

Regards,

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A question about Richard Dolan

        Richard Dolan is the egghead of Ufology. For a start, he has actual academic credentials (M.A. in history from the University of Rochester, 1995.) His books are praised by Amazon readers (unlike those of Mike Bara, for example.) He publishes other authors' books as well as his own. But most important to my way of thinking, he understands the idea that unfalsifiable propositions are not very interesting and form no part of scientific debate. Here he is on the subject of Andrew Basiago, Randy Kramer, and Corey Goode:
"These three individuals have each claimed to have gone to Mars for extended periods of time. That’s explosive enough, of course, but they have also stated that they have engaged in time travel. I met Andy back in 2012 at a conference in Santa Clara, California. I found him to be very personable and intelligent. Of course, that doesn’t mean I believe his story. I don’t believe that he went through a “jumproom” to Mars. I don’t believe that he did these things with a young Barack Obama in the 1980s. And I don’t believe that, as a child, he time travelled back to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, despite the fact that he claimed he was in a photograph depicting it. I realize there are strange things beyond the circumscribed fence of our officially sanctioned reality. But I am not obligated to believe every story that crosses my path, especially those that are obviously self-aggrandising, and particularly those that don’t provide evidence."
::
"My main issue when it comes to Corey Goode (or Andy or Randy Kramer for that matter) isn’t that I “disbelieve” them, per se. Yes, I find their stories to be unlikely. But the real problem has been that none of these people have provided the evidence that an independent investigator needs to make a determination one way or the other. There is a concept in science and philosophy called falsifiability. If something is falsifiable, it doesn’t mean it’s false.  It means you have the ability to test it, to investigate it, to determine whether it is true or false."
        That was from Dolan's blog, dated 16 July. Last Sunday night he was on Coast-to-Coast AM, interviewed by George Knapp, making the same points. The topic came to the front of his mind because he was an invited speaker at the recent MUFONnote 1 Symposium in George Knapp's stamping ground (and Mike Bara's, but restricted to the cocktail bars and strip joints), Las Vegas. He said he was somewhat taken aback to see that he was scheduled to be on a Secret Space Program panel along with Corey Goode, Andrew Basiago, William Tompkins, and Dr. Michael Salla. He said, in fact, that he considered bowing out but finally agreed to go ahead with it. Listening to the interview, my impression was that he regretted agreeing to that panel, and being connected to those posturers by association. He wrote later:
"I want to make this point as clear as I can. My opinions (and yours, for that matter) don’t mean very much. What matters is the evidence that can be brought forward for these stories. I hold it as possible that there is something in these accounts that is true. After all, I believe that radical technology is being withheld from us. I believe the ARV storynote 2 and more. But if a story gives me no chance to confirm or deny its basic claims, then it’s essentially useless to me as a researcher. This is especially so if I cannot even confirm the basics of the person’s alleged career. I’ve said this many times. You can’t be considered a whistleblower if you can’t confirm that you are who you say you are."

Spineless?
        ufowatchdog evidently noticed Dolan's discomfort with that conference gig, too; writing yesterday "Perhaps Dolan could take a lesson from [James] Clarkson and grow a spine along with some integrity." The author (unnamed, but probably Royce Myers) also expressed shock that Dolan was paid to appear.


        I think that's a little harsh, personally. For one thing, there's nothing unusual or venal about conference speakers being paid—How else could Hoagland make a living? And then, I think we should applaud Dolan's measured skepticism on the likes of Basiago and Goode. We may write them off as con-men, but Dolan's approach is more scientific.

Falling Apart
        The main topic of ufowatchdog's piece was the resignation of  former Director James Clarkson from MUFON, in protest of the acceptance of a woman called J.Z. Knight into MUFON's Inner Circle. Knight is quite a piece of work—her excesses make entertaining reading but I'm not sure I'd want to be associated with her either. Clarkson dismisses her as a channeler and cult leader.

        MUFON, and Ufology in general, seem to be fragmenting—riven by the same jealousies and doctrinal differences that notoriously plague extreme left-wing political movements (that's you, Workers Revolutionary Party and Sendera Luminosa.) Good riddance, I say. It does no good for plodders like Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center to record 100 sightings a month (and breathlessly report a selection of them on Coast-to-Coast AM monthly) without any semblance of analysis. Yes, we all know unexplained things are seen in the skies—it's been true for so fucking long that it's reached the point of boredom. As much as Richard Dolan tries to force this topic into the box labeled SCIENCE, I'm afraid that applies to his work, too.

Update:
        On 1st August, the Bad UFOs blog ran an article by Robert Sheaffer titled MUFON unravels. Sheaffer cited the resignation of not just Clarkson but also Rich Hoffman and Nick Redfern, and the removal of John Ventre as State Director for Pennsylvania after Ventre posted a bizarre racist rant on social media. I still say "good riddance."

=================/ \=================

[1] Mutual UFO Network, a  US National "investigative body."

[2] Alien Reproduction Vehicle: See this.

Friday, July 21, 2017

An irrational perfectionist

        Mike Bara, on working with Richard Hoagland as joint author of Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA:
37:55 "[chuckle] "It was exhausting. Exhausting. Richard is a... Richard is a... um, an amazing content editor, but he's also a perfectionist. To the... to the extent that I think it's not... it's not necessary. [..?..] I said he's a... he's an irrational perfectionist. He's a crazy perfectionist. And it just took a long time and it was very stressful. And I ended up with... with blood sugar in the mid- to high 300s. And I.. you know, I had to... I had to take a long break after we finished that one. But again, you know, I'm proud of the book and I'm... I'm so grateful that he gave me a... a platform upon which to build my own thing, that I'm doing here. Whatever it is I'm doing. So."
        That was a little gem from 70 minutes of chat with Chris George Zuger (whoever he is), poured onto Youchoob as a show called Den of Lore (whatever that means) last night.

        The split screen  showed both Mike and his interlocutor, giving Mike ample opportunity to hold exhibits such as his book covers up to the Skype camera, and Chris Zuger, a recent renouncer of ciggies, to show us himself taking  puffs from his vape tube. The discussion started with the Nazca mummy, and Bara reiterating the only correct opinion he's had in ten years. Then it wandered through his conversion to conspiracy theory by TWA800, to the usual artifacts on Mars and the Moon, to UFOlogy. He had a hilarious take on this thing:

photo credit: NASA

        He said it's a picture of an Arctic lemming, taken on Devon Island, which NASA is "passing off" as a picture of Mars. It does look a bit like a lemming, indeed.


        ...but by what twisted logic would the Curiosity team at JPL resort to such deception? The image dates from September 2012, nowhere close to April Fool's Day. This is just more of Mike Bara confusing "looks like" with "actually is." (see Mars rat taking Internet by storm -- space.com 31 May 2013.)

Update 27 July:
        During a brief appearance on Coast-to-Coast AM, Bara let drop that he's completed a work of fiction. He didn't say whether this was a novel or a screenplay, but either way, God help us all.My bet is that, like his brother Dave's fiction, it will feature a hero who is utterly irresistible to women.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Robert Morningstar bashes James Burke

James Concannon reports...

        Robert Morningstar, the Fordham scholar and frisbee expert, gave us his opinion of James Burke on FooBoo today.
"James Burke, the original "Mad Scientist"? Who cares what he thinks? He rants in mindless twit & twaddle, more of a poet than a scientist and not a very good one (scientist) at that. Opening scene for next show... walking on the shores of the Atlantic near N. Ireland: "Ah, how profound! Here I have a Starfish? There we have a horseshoe crab, direct descendant of the trilobite that lived in the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian era. And here in my hand (cupping hands) is a Nematode, one of the simplest life forms ever known. And there we see an ocean? ... The soup of life... :) Is there a 'connection'??? Ahaa ... Maybe! Stay tuned to find out tonight on "Coniptions"." I really liked his lily & posey-loving poesy, but science ... just a little bit. James Bure [sic] is the original inventor of that bane of modern media -> "InfoTainment," which gave birth to Fox news and CNN "Canned Science"... Hahaha ... Like Global Warming "science."  -> M*"
        Burke, as many people know, is not a scientist and has no pretension to be taken as one. His MA (Oxon) is in Middle English, and his reputation is as a historian of science. I don't think he's any good at frisbee at all, but I happen to know he plays a mean game of bridge, if that counts for anything in AM*'s mind. I don't know how Burke himself would react to being called Infotainment, but my personal reaction, as one very familiar with Burke's work, is that it's inappropriate. The portmanteau word was coined to denigrate television news shows that provide way too much soft news and feel-good magazine-style stories. Since Burke was never in the news business in the first place, his contributions to television can hardly be said to trivialize news.

        Morningstar's jealous outburst was in response to the posting on his FB timeline of two of Burke's documentaries from the 70s—"The Men Who Walked on the Moon" and "The Other Side of the Moon." The posting—initially from Jerrye Barre—was kind of an aside, since the main topic was The Brookings Report and Morningstar's misinterpretation of it (see Footnote #2). This blog was highly critical of Morningstar's use of the report in argument, back in January 2015. Quite why the frisbee expert should have such disdain for someone who generally attracts accolades is anyone's guess. Possibly AM* would prefer a commentator on spaceflight who was more open to the Hoagland-style claim that the Moon is littered with ancient technology. Burke-style documentary television doesn't cover that for the simple reason that it isn't true.

credit: BBC

        My personal opinion is that that pair of documentaries, aired on the tenth anniversary of the first Moon landing, were an important contribution to the history of spaceflight, and I can't fault Burke's final conclusion that Project Apollo did actually have something to offer the world apart from non-stick frying pans. These films (yes, films not videotape—this was 1979) are undoubtedly good information, and undoubtedly entertaining, but to categorize them as Infotainment is missing the point, I think.

JC

Disclosure: At one time James and I were colleagues in the BBC Science Department.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Mike Bara is probably right for once

        Welll....  I didn't really want to get into the Nazca mummy controversy at all, but it's the pseudoscience topic du jour and everybody else in the business has commented. So here's my aggregation of what's emerged so far.

        On 20 June, Gaia TV released to Youtube what they called "SPECIAL REPORT: UNEARTHING NAZCA." The video documented an expedition to Nazca, Peru, to investigate what was claimed to be the mummified corpse of an alien. The expedition was led by Jay Weidner and Melissa Tittl of Gaia.com. Weidner is the man who insists on very flimsy evidence that all the Apollo 11 video and film was faked up by Stanley Kubrick in Area 51, so his involvement makes the whole thing problematic as far as I'm concerned. Gaia's point man in Peru was Jaime Maussan, a Mexican investigative journalist who has been responsible for fakery including a previous alien mummy that wasn't (the Roswell slides.)


         Metabunk was very quick to produce, only a day later, an admirably rigorous assessment of Gaia's claims, rating "alien mummy" as the least likely of seven possible explanations for this artifact. The most likely, per this analysis, is "A modern fake mummy, created from a combination of human and animal bones, created for the show."

        Mike Bara blogged the mummy just a day later, opining that this was "just another attempt to generate clicks and drive subscriptions." He characterized Jay Weidner thus:
"I like Jay Weidner. But if jumping to conclusions was an Olympic sport, Jay Weidner would have more gold medals than Michael Phelps."
        Weidner retaliated by cancelling an appointment Bara had to appear (again) on George Noory's Gaia-sponsored TV show. Bitchery!!!!

        Jason Colavito blogged skeptically the same day. On 3rd July ufowatchdog weighed in, pouring further doubt on Jaime Maussan and also bad-mouthing Paola Harris, Don Schmitt, Clifford Stone, and Dr. Jose de Juesus Zalce Benitez—all of whom are peripherally involved. The article, headlined "Mummy, Mummy, Money," focused on the commercial aspects of the story:
"Gaia.com is clearly not hurting from any of these personalities, and they know it.  According to their own website, Gaia.com (a publicly traded company) saw a 61% increase in digital subscribers this year and this doesn't count the last few months.  It appears there is no such thing as bad publicity anymore. "
        Well, yesterday Mike Bara stood himself up in front of the flag of the Manchester City Football Club and recorded a 10-minute video giving his opinions. He said, among other zingers, that he knew the Gaia TV producer and "she is not an honest person" (was he talking about Melissa Tittl? It's not clear.)

        We should know more next week, when further medical and genetic analysis is due to be released. But for now, this blog acknowledges that Mike Bara is probably right. And Jay Weidner is a child.

Update:
        The first DNA test is in, from the  Paleo DNA Laboratory of Lakehead University, Canada.


Update 25 July:
        Bara has released a short update video today, giving two reasons why he believes the "mummy" is almost certainly a fake.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Mortons: Recriminations, lies and videotape

        Two days ago now, a video interview with SDM was released onto Youtoob. It was part of a generic called High Strangeness, and the interview was conducted by Sean Paul Ross and Caroline Hill in what looked like some kind of library. The tagline was:
"Sean David Morton gives his side of the story about his court case before disappearing after a warrant is issued for his arrest."
        There was doubt about when and where this interview was conducted, but the story is that it was somewhere in the Los Angeles area, taped before the sentencing hearing although not released until nine days later. It was a 2-camera set-up so it's credible that some post-production was required.

        I couldn't possibly summarize Morton's arguments and self-justifications—they were, I think, purposefully convoluted and the interviewers didn't seem to grasp much more than I did. I do recall that he said very emphatically that the issuance of a refund check in the amount of $480,323 was the IRS's fault, not his or Melissa's. Thus exonerating himself for having fraudulently filed the claim in the first place. There was a lot more in the same vein, just like his performance with Kerry Cassidy.

Lies
        Two things stood out for me. One was an extraordinary caption that popped up at 29:07 (the whole thing ran 31:18.) It read "Cameraman became uncomfortable with the subject matter and left." You've got to love that—the guy holding Sean's close-ups says to himself  "Fuck this, I'm not keeping this camera focused on a bunch of lies one second longer." More cameramen should have the guts to do likewise—many a political interview would be cut very short. In this case, the last few minutes of the video just held the static three-shot.

"Screw you"
        The other thing was a NSFW outburst from Melissa Morton herself in the Youtube comments. Commenter atube4view wrote "SEAN AND HIS WIFE WILL DIE IN PRISON!?" Melissa shot back with "Screw you. I'm NOT in prison and never will be. You are a jerk just like ALL MEN!! You lie to women, cheat on them and use them. I hope YOU die a very slow and painful death."

        By the way, Melissa's avatar is a cute little white pussy-cat. Time will tell whether Melissa puts on the orange jumpsuit when she goes for sentencing on 21st August—the day of the All-American solar eclipse.

Update 1st July
        Melissa's mini-rant has now been deleted, but I swear on my saintly mother's grave that I transcribed it accurately.

 Update 7th July
         Sean Paul Ross has now provided the following information about the walkabout cameraman:
"He's a professional cinematographer that was doing me a favor as a friend (we'll pay people when we have a budget for the show). We talked about it afterwards and his opinion was that SDM was either lying or starting to get into some dangerous territory that could piss the federal government off and he did not want to be associated with SDM at that point and risk any repercussions on himself. It frustrated me because it essentially ended the interview, but everything happens for a reason and I've resolved in my mind that perhaps that was the moment the interview was supposed to end. I don't know that it's right to be worried about the Feds coming after us because if SDM was right that they wanted to make an example of him, we have helped raise awareness of that example. We are not encouraging people to follow SDM's example... just look at how it turned out for him. My takeaway is to be sure to pay your taxes and use a good CPA to make sure you do them right, however most definitely do NOT use the one SDM used."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sean David Morton, sociopath?

Some of the classic symptoms of sociopathy are:
  1. Superficial charm and good intelligence
  2. Untruthfulness and insincerity
  3. Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience 
  4. Lack of conscience
  5. Pathological egocentricity
        I'm no psychiatrist, but even I can see that SDM checks all those boxes You only have to take a short look at that "interview" with Kerry Cassidy from 12th June to see more than sufficient confirmation of #1 and #2. #3 is illustrated by the fact that, having been successfully sued for civil securities fraud  by the SEC in March 2010, he nevertheless continued to attempt fraud on the US Government in the belief that he would never be caught--or, if caught, that he had a cast-iron defense. The fact that he is now on the lam having failed to appear for sentencing in US District Court yesterday makes a sad joke of that self-analysis.

        #4 is easily covered by  his willingness to invite investors to give him money which he then (allegedly) spent instead of investing. Even friends, such as Kerry Cassidy, were bled by this scam.

        As for that pathological egocentricity--how about this for a transcript of part of the video covering the 2016 Conspira-Sea cruise. Morton is sitting at a dining table being interviewed by Annie Georgia Greenberg, an attractive blonde who's pretty much the host of this video.

06:16 SDM: "Hello, I'm Dr Sean David Morton, I went to Oxford, and Stanford, and USC. My Ph.D. is in psychology--I'm a best-selling author. I've been a screen writer... I'm a legal scholar, I'm a pioneer of the system we call remote viewing.  I also host the Number One radio show on the internet--Strange Universe Radio."note 1
        At that, Annie made a gesture more eloquent than mere words. She blew out her cheeks in frank disbelief and looked away. Brilliant.

        Curiously enough, another checkbox for sociopathy is "absence of delusions." That doesn't quite jive with other excerpts from the Conspira-Sea video. Morton is with Annie again, a day later.
SDM: "They don't want you to know we have anti-gravity.
"They don't want you to know we have unlimited power.
"They don't want you to know that we have bases on the Moon and possibly bases on Mars.
"They don't want you to know they're using HAARP to control the weather.
"They don't want you to know what's in Area 51.
"They don't want you to know  that there's a small cartel of about 750 people that own everything."
AGG: "And who are 'they' in this case?"
SDM: "We're talking about an extraterrestrial species called the Nephilim--the sons of God. Somehow they inter-mate with human beings, and their sons and daughters became the kings and queens--which is the aristocracy, which is the government."
AGG: "Sooo... what does your T-shirt say?"
SDM: "It says 'To save time, let's just assume I know everything.'"
        Sean David Morton and his wife Melissa were arrested as they stepped off that cruise ship in San Pedro. Morton surrendered his passport and put up a $10,000 bond--which will now, of course, be forfeit.

The supreme court got my case, man
        To the symptoms of insincerity and delusion we should perhaps now add monumental hubris, as ufowatchdog reports that Morton actually delivered his internet radio show yesterday from his cell-phone, allegedly in a car roaming the L.A. freeways.
"Morton stated he filed an appeal with the United States Supreme Court earlier in the morning and intends to get a response from the Supreme Court [today], though even an emergency appeal could take weeks for the courts to consider.  The U.S. Attorney General's office appears unaware of any appeal and prosecutors are generally notified if an appeal in their case has been filed.
        I'd say that heat Morton is feeling is not merely the summer weather that has hit Southern California this week, but the Federal Marshals breathing down his neck.

====================/ \======================
[1] I've been to Oxford too. I had a nice tea and went back to London on the 6:00 train.
If Morton means he was enrolled at the famous University, he's lying. It's also extremely hard to believe he's a "best-selling" author. His trilogy The Sands of Time is self-published, and it would be extraordinary for such books to be genuine best-sellers. As for "I'm a legal scholar," can I just say LOL?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SDM explains himself to KLC

Basic facts: On 7 April 2017, Sean David Morton and his wife Melissa were found guilty in Federal District Court of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of filing false claims against the United States, and 26 counts of passing false or fictitious financial instruments. Morton is due for sentencing on 19th June, with the prosecution recommending 87 months in federal prison plus a restitution payment to the IRS of $480,322.55.

The Mortons are alleged to have defrauded around 100 customers of $6 million between 2006 and 2007. According to the SEC, only a fraction of the investments received by them went into foreign exchange trading accounts and the rest was placed in shell companies run by them for their own benefit.note 1

========================================

        Yesterday, SDM sat down for a nearly two-hour skype chat with Kerry Cassidy. Much of it was sheer bullshit about UFO bases in Antarctica, but Kerry did want an update on the legal situation--in the circumstances, who would not? Morton, of course, said that it was all the fault of everybody except he and Melissa. "The attacks on Melissa and I are just so outrageous," he said. Here's his explanation of the missing six million spondulicks.
50:51 SDM: "Eight years ago we were working with Alexander Adams. Alexander Adams was a CPA. And what we did is, we had a ... we were dealing with foreign exchange trading, and I had a trader that didn't do what I told him to do, and basically we turned about $525,000.. almost... almost $6 million, and the trader tanked the accounts... he just did the exact opposite of everything I told him to do, and, er... lost the money."note 2
        Well, what are we to make of that strange "$525,000.. almost $6 million"? Could that be a slip of the tongue, unintentionally revealing how much of the $6 million was actually invested in the market, leaving $5,475,000 to find its way into the pockets of the Mortons? If I had been Kerry Cassidy I'd have asked about that. I'd also have asked how either sum could have completely disappeared in currency trading. I mean, if you trade on the NYSE or NASDAQ there's always the possibility that you'll back a company that literally ceases to exist--but with currency, your assets may diminish because of bad luck or bad judgement, but it's hard to see how they could vanish outright. Unless some unbelievable nincompoop bought $525,000 worth of Zimbabwe dollars, I guess.

Kerry conned
        Kerry, however, let SDM completely off the hook. And that's the more strange since according to Bill Ryan (Kerry's ex) she personally lost $116,000 invested with Morton. This was money inherited from her mother, which she had intended to use to start Project Camelot. Ryan says he himself lost about $25,000.note 3 To me, it's a bit surprising that Kerry and Sean are even on speaking terms, let alone good friends.note4

        In yesterday's interview, Morton then launched into a 15-minute self-justifying tirade, accusing the IRS of entrapment and of violating the statute of limitations for tax crime. He explained that the core of the case is a tax refund of  $480,323 which was erroneously paid to the Mortons on their 2008 tax filing. He pleaded that he submitted bonds as repayment of the sum, and acted in good faith. What he didn't say, of course, was that the IRS says $480,323 was the amount the Mortons had fraudulently claimed as rebates due on non-existent overpayments. What Morton called an "IRS computer error" did not come out of the blue sky--it had to have been the result of a claim, didn't it?

        In a news release after the Mortons' conviction in April, Sandra R. Brown, Acting U.S. attorney, Central District of California, wrote this:note 5
"On the same day the refund was deposited into the Mortons’ joint bank account, the couple took immediate steps to conceal the money, which included opening two new accounts, transferring over $360,000 to the two new accounts, and withdrawing $70,000 in cash.
"When the IRS attempted to collect the erroneous refund from the Mortons, the Mortons presented to the IRS various “coupons” and “bonds” that purported to pay off their debt with the IRS. The Mortons created and submitted these bogus documents to the IRS, instructing the agency to draw upon funds with the United States Treasury to satisfy their debt"
They're out to get you
        At the end of this tirade, Kerry showed no sign of comprehending, instead complaining of legal troubles of her own (something about Youtube enabling piracy of her 600 videos and taking a cut itself.) Then, she connected this whole thing to her well-known theory that the gubbmint is out to get you.
1:06:02 KC: "I do want to say the real reason you're being targeted is because of the work you do. Had you not written [the] Sands of Time book, I think they would leave you alone. But as it is now, umm...it  being a best-seller and all of that, and also revealing quite a bit about the Secret Space Program... ehm... you know, this is... this is their issue, I guess they're trying to shut you up, basically."
        I have to laugh when I recall that Morton, on the 2016 Conspira-sea cruise, declared "I'm a legal scholar." Next Monday we'll know how long his scholarship is going to be available to a jail full of convicts---all of whom maintain, naturally, that they're innocent.

Update 15th June
        Today ufowatchdog reports that Morton filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court claiming he had not been given a fair trial.  Morton's motion was again denied and the court also ordered all future motions filed by Morton would be considered "moot" and "No further filings will be entertained in this closed case." Looks like the technique of motion-flooding the court simply gets them pissed off.

Update 19th June
        Morton did a bunk and made himself unavailable for sentencing today. When the feds catch him--as they surely will--I imagine that'll be good for a few extra years on his jail time. I also imagine the marshals will be knocking on Kerry Cassidy's door any minute now...

Check ufowatchdog for many more deets, docs....


=======================/ \=======================
[1] Psychic Sean David Morton scammed $6M convincing people he could predict stocks' fortune, SEC claims --New York Daily News, 5 March 2010

[2] The trader was Daryl Weber, who Morton described in the prospectus for Delphi Associates as "A mathematical genius, FX trader, statistical analyst, and computer software engineer."

[3]  Project Avalon Forum, 7 February 2010

[4] In the same Project Avalon forum, Bill Ryan wrote this: "Astonishingly for me, as an aside that really does say something about Kerry, she has completely let that go and appears to bear Sean no ill-will of any kind. I don't know many people who could do that, and I have been unable to do that myself. "

[5] Hermosa Beach Couple Found Guilty in Tax Scam and Passing Fraudulent Financial Instruments to Pay Off Debts --US Attorney's Office, Central District of California, 7 April 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mike Bara confesses that he cheated

        Well, he wouldn't see it as a confession, I'm sure. Put it this way--he may not have realized he was confessing, but in fact he was.

        The occasion was his lecture at the recent Contact in the Desert conference/orgy, now available on the tube that is Google. The first 30 minutes of this  drivel was solid Trump propaganda. Mike is a staunch and uncompromising Republican of the "socialists are all wimps, nya nya neener-neener" variety. This blog tries not to get into party politics, just as it has no particular position on the question of whether Manchester United or Manchester City is the better team (Mike thinks City, and tweets the point constantly.) Right now when the world thinks "Manchester" it's thinking of graver things than footy.

Upside down
         For the next seven minutes, Mike treated his audience to his standard pareidolia schtick, showing them a tank, a flying saucer, and the famous (ahem) ziggurat, on the Moon. Then came this:

 
37:33 Bara: "This is a picture of what they say is debris running down the side of a crater. What I love to do with NASA images, is I love to flip them upside down. Because.... just because they say that UP is that way doesn't mean that up IS that way. ... What happens when you flip it upside down? When you flip it upside down it becomes this."
 

Bara: "Now, my model for NASA and other people is that there is glass structure -- crystalline structure all over the planet, some as much as 20 miles high [which] was used as a meteor shield, because glass is actually as strong or stronger than steel. It'd be a perfect thing for a meteor shield."

        Well, I have several comments on that dismal performance. Take a look at the original page this image came from, and you'll notice a few things:

Thing 1: This image was not posted by NASA, but by Arizona State University. See that URL, asu.edu? It's part of a strip from the Narrow Angle Camera of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, showing a landslide down the side of crater Marius. So it isn't "a NASA image" at all.

Thing 2: Scroll that page down to the entire NAC strip. Poke that |+| button a few times so you can interpret the image. If what Mike says were true, and the jaggy feature was really sticking up instead of down, the rest of the strip should show pure black sky. Instead, it shows the floor of the crater, as we expect based on ASU's captioning. I have already criticized Mike Bara for this flagrantly dishonest image manipulation, in reviewing his book Hidden Agenda.

Thing 3: In his book Ancient Aliens on the Moon, Bara cites a paper by Rowley & Neudeckernote 1 in support of that idea that, on the Moon, "glass is actually as strong or stronger than steel." As I wrote in February 2013,  Rowley & Neudecker say no such thing. On the contrary, a paper by J.D.Blacicnote 2 in the same journal tells the converse story.

Table 1 from Blacic, J.D.

        The young's modulus of lunar glass is ~100 giga-pascals cf. Earth glass 68 because of the extreme dryness of the environment. But steel is way stronger at 224 giga-pascals. So I make that three whopping inaccuracies in just that short excerpt from the lecture.  I maintain this amounts to a confession, because he's saying this wasn't a random mistake or some accident. The inversion of the image, and the publication of it alleging that it was something it patently is not, was a deliberate act. Shame on Bara and on the publisher, David Hatcher Childress.

Valve handle
        Bara next switched to Ceres, Powerpointing the famous salt deposits and claiming that they had to be evidence of internal illumination. He even showed an aerial image of Las Vegas at night, noting the similarities to the Occator crater on Ceres. Evidently he thinks a dwarf planet can contain a Vegas-like city, devoid of any context--devoid of an atmosphere and almost all gravity, as well. Cougars in micro-gravity? Could be fun, I suppose.

        Then it was on to Mars, with Bara essentially repeating the errors I reported on back in March, complete with that 20ft high cat playing air guitar. "My philosophy," he said, "is if it looks like something then it probably is." Yes, we know Mike, that's the problem.

        Then came another old favorite. After showing the Antikythera mechanism, he continued...

1:00:32 There are things like this on Mars too. Because if you look at the pictures, what you see is stuff on Mars. This is a microscopic view, it's not really super-small but it's...about that big.   This looks like a bunch of rocks..but I'll tell you what that is. That is some sort of pipe with a fitting on it  that screws into something else...  a valve handle.


        Mick West of metabunk.org explained, long ago, that this feature is actually the impression of a Phillips head screw in the casing of Opportunity's x-ray spectrometer. The head of the instrument is pressed firmly into the dirt in order to get a good reading.

        Mike Bara declared quite some time ago that he was not going to pay any attention to his critics. It's like he just wants to be wrong all the time.

Update 6 June
        With Dee's comment today, that makes  three people who have pointed out that the School of Earth & Space Exploration at ASU is NASA in all but name.  Stuart Robbins calls it the official Planetary Data System annex of JPL. I defend the distinction I make on these grounds: The walls of ASU may not be ivied exactly, but they do enclose academe. The day-to-day work of data processing is done by graduate students and post-docs, mainly. Even supposing there were some conspiracy within NASA to obfuscate certain planetary features, it's not credible that this would extend to ASU. Can you imagine NASA saying "Here's a contract to do data processing, but a condition is that you agree to falsify some of your data"? Can you imagine ASU accepting that? Can you imagine post-docs accepting that they have to withhold or "doctor" some of their output, and keep quiet about it?

====================/ \======================
[1] Rowley, J.C. and Neudecker, J.W. In situ rock melting applied to lunar base construction...etc

[2]  Blacic, J. D. Mechanical Properties of Lunar Materials Under Anhydrous, Hard Vacuum Conditions: Applications of Lunar Glass Structural Components

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Physics-babble

James Concannon writes...

        I believe it was an editor of the Rational Wikipedia who formulated the theory that, in internet argument, the first person to adduce quantum theory in support of his position automatically loses.

        If that's the case, and I find the idea attractive, Robert Morningstar is a multiple loser. Here he is, on the Book of Faeces... er, sorry, Faces, introducing a ball game he's devised together with some New York City pals.
"Thunderball training. unifies [sic] the metaphysical principles of Taoism and Tai Chi Ch'uan with Einstein's Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics to produce novel ways of moving through curved space-time.

The ancient wisdom of Taoism and Tai Chi principles are applied and fused with Relativity and Quantum Theory into a dynamic and exhilarating "Hyperdimensional Sport" practiced for self-development and self-defense."
        This was puff for a short (and very amateur) video he made showing off the Thunderball game. I suppose it's only fair to show this vid to any readers who might be interested--so here it is. I leave it to the enthusiasts to decide what this has to do with self-defense.

Double frisbee
        Robert AM* is quite a dexterous fellow. He plays double frisbee with more skill than I can bring to the single variety, and it looks as though Thunderball, with its requirement to pay attention to multiple flying objects simultaneously, would be beyond me. So there's that.

        But... quantum mechanics???? I asked for some clarification because I didn't believe that part, and I didn't believe AM* had any true understanding of the term. His reply only served to reinforce my beliefs:
"For your information, the main reason that my students and I can achieve such amazing feats of prestidigitation is our application of the Schrodinger Wave Equations and treating Einstein's idea of curved space-time as established reality in our Thunderball play to avoid "cosmic collisions," an idea that is too deep for a "Flatlander" like you to comprehend."
        He also provided a link to a .pdf about the Dirac equation, which of course is as spectacularly irrelevant to the question as is quantum theory. So far as I can determine, AM*'s pretentious claims are to physics what psychobabble is to genuine psychology. You might say they're a load of balls.

JC

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Open letter to Richard Hoagland

Dear Mr. Hoagland,

        Your recent re-iteration of a claim to have originated the idea of oceanic life on Europanote 1 prompts me to remind you, and others who may be seeing this text, that this and several other claims you have made are false.

1. Ocean on Europa
In March 2004, in a message to Rob Roy Britt of space.com, you wrote:
"Clearly, I was NOT the first (nor have I ever claimed to be) to propose an original liquid ocean for Europa."
On 4 December 1997, on Coast to Coast AM, you said this:
"[W]hen I was covering the Voyager story out at JPL in the Summer of 1980, actually the Spring of 1979 and the Winter of 1980, we flew this extraordinary spacecraft, NASA did, by Jupiter for the first time and encountered the four moons, you know, Io, Ganymede, Europa, Callisto, and Jupiter itself, and it was as part of that observation that I began work on essentially what turned out to be the first scientific paper, which ultimately appeared in Star and Sky Magazine in the beginning of 1980, which was a prognostication, pulling all the data together, that there might be a global ocean under the ice cover that Voyager had revealed and that in that global ocean there actually might be some extant living life forms." (emphasis added)
        That looks very like a prior claim to me. It is certainly not justified--Lewis (1971)note 2 and Consolmagno (1976) were ahead of you, as were Cassen, Reynolds, and Peale (1979).note 3 I think you know this.

2. Life in Europa's ocean
        This is, of course, a separate question, and there is no doubt at all that you have  repeatedly claimed to have been the first to publish on this conjecture. However, as Greenberg notes:note 4
"On June 19th and 20th, 1979, the conference  "Life in the Universe" took place at NASA's Ames Research Center. Benton Clark gave a lecture Sulfur: Fountainhead of Life in the Universe at that conference in which he discussed the biochemistry of those deep-sea vent communities discovered on Earth, pointing out that they do depend indirectly on sunlight: Photosynthesis near the surface of the oceans produces the oxygen that those communities require. Clark then explained how sulfur could play the role of oxygen, and that deep-sea volcanic emissions could potentially provide all the necessary ingredients for a self-sustained ecosystem. In the final part of his lecture, Clark raised the possibility that life might exist in undersurface oceans on the icy satellites in our Solar System, including Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto in particular." (emphasis added)
In the written version of his lecture, Clark wrote:
 "Consider H2O-rich bodies. In our Solar System, this includes not only Earth, but quite possibly Mars and Triton, and certainly Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa.  Liquid water does not exist at the surface of any of these bodies, except Earth,  but we should not discount the existence of "buried" liquid water reservoirs.  ... Habitable zones include not only the surface ocean environment, but also the much more probable subsurface oceanic regions. Earth-like environments as abodes for life may be the exception rather than the rule. Occupation of the much more abundant buried zones is possible, and these should ultimately become an object of exploration. Whether such environments can support life long enough and at a sufficient level of activity to permit the evolution of highly encephalized forms (intelligent life) is conjectural." (emphasis added)
        Prof. Greenberg notes other prior work. You have characterized his comments as political, but in fact they are purely scientific. Claiming credit for other peoples' work is an unattractive trait in anybody, but for somebody who calls himself a scientist,note 5 it is particularly deplorable because of the importance of intellectual priority in that domain.

3. Creation of the Pioneer "message to the Universe"
        On your website you refer to yourself as "co-creator of the 'Pioneer plaque'." (scroll all the way to the bottom of the long page). On 13 July 1990 you said "Carl [Sagan] for many years has been taking public credit for the Pioneer plaque which, of course, Eric Burgess and I conceived." In fact you had no part in the design or creation of the plaque, which was done by Sagan, his then wife Linda, and Frank Drake. As for "conceiving" it (as distinct from "creating" it,) that was overwhelmingly to the credit of Eric Burgess.  In the epilogue to his 1982 book, By Jupiter: Odysseys to a Giant, Burgess wrote:
"I came up with the idea [that the craft carry a message from Earth]. And I mentioned it [at lunch that afternoon] to Hoagland [then a freelance writer] and Don Bane [Los Angeles Herald Examiner ]. . . . And I said that the right man to get this onboard would be Carl Sagan. So I went around to JPL [NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory] -- Hoagland was in tow with me -- and found Sagan. . . . And I said, "Hey, Carl, I've got an idea for you." All Hoagland did was support me and say it's a good idea."

4. The "hammer and feather" stunt on Apollo 15
        On 2 July 2013, on Coast to Coast AM, you claimed that this was your original idea. The truth is that it was, in fact, dreamed up by Dave Scott, Jim Irwin, and Joe Allen.note 6

5. The catchphrase "On the internet nobody knows you're a dog."
        On 11 November 2015, on your digital radio show, you claimed to have "coined" this bon mot. You repeated the claim much more recently, on Howard Hughes' radio show, 11 November last year. The original was a caption to a cartoon in New Yorker published on 5 July 1993. Credit for the phrase belongs to cartoonist Peter Steiner, not you.

         Would you kindly make an early opportunity to withdraw your claims and apologize to those whose work you have falsely taken credit for?

======================/ \=====================
[1]  The Other Side of Midnight (notice)
Partial text: Thirty-seven years ago, in December 1979 (published in January, 1980), I wrote a seminal article in “Star and Sky Magazine” — picked up and sent around the world by AP, lauded by Dr. Robert Jastrow (one of the founders of NASA), and Arthur C Clarke and (later) Ted Koppel — scientifically PREDICTING, decades BEFORE NASA: “The oceans of Europa [one of the four “Galilean Moons” of Jupiter] are the PERFECT habitat [beyond the Earth] for CURRENT non-terrestrial life! ... My article only dealt with the specifics of Europa’s habitability, but it foreshadowed the existence of an entirely new CLASS of habitable worlds, DECADES before scientists or NASA missions had discovered them — “Ice-covered moons … housing ‘world oceans’ … protected by a tens-of-miles-thick covering of ice!”

[2] Icarus, vol. 15

[3] Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 6

[4] An ocean on Europa? by Prof. Ralph Greenberg, 2002

[5] Dark Mission, 2nd edn, p. 224

[6] See this transcript, notes at 167:22:58

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sean and Melissa try crowdfunding their legal predicament

        This is scarcely believable. The Mortons have turned to Indiegogo for funding.


The pitch is as follows:
"Sean is getting ground by the gears of the Department of Justice! Help Sean lawfully stop the DoJ in their tracks and reverse the VOID unconstitutional 650 year sentence! "
        This went up on Friday, and it's attracted two donations totaling $120 so far. Quite how money is going to help is not clear. They face a possible 650 and 625 years in jail when sentenced on 19th June. Perhaps Sean thinks everyone is as corrupt as he is, and a little silver in the judge's palm will make all this go away. Lots of luck with that.

As UFOwatchdog quite rightly says:
"How about raising money for all the people these convicted felons defrauded? Don't give these wanna' be martyrs a penny. This isn't about government tyranny or freedom, this is about two people who ripped off others for countless thousands, got caught, and now they don't want to pay the price for their misdeeds.

I'm sure the people who paid Morton and his wife $10,000 or the person who paid $2500 for bogus bonds and empty promises of resolving their financial problems would like their money back.  Or how about the elderly lady who lost her entire life saving in their psychic investment scheme?  These two have sadly left a path of human wreckage in their wake."
        The rational wikipedia article on SDM has been updated, and is now a readable primer on the whole mess, for those who haven't been tracking this fraud.

Update Shrout:
        Winston Shrout, that other tax protestor  and also a taxation lecturer on the ConspiraSea cruise,  was found guilty in Federal court in Oregon of 13 counts of issuing false financial statements and 6 counts of willful failure to file a tax return. Sentencing is set for 1 August, so the Mortons will go to jail first.

Update Morton:
        ufowatchdog reports that Morton has filed a motion to change his plea from "not guilty" to "no plea." If this is the best "the guy who knows how to get the verdict vacated" can come up with, he's as hopeless at law as Morton himself. You can't change a plea once you're convicted.

        Meanwhile, the crowdfunding total stands at $1,030--$320 from Indiegogo and $710 from Gofundme. A Gofundme donor named "Dominique A" wrote this:
"Dear Sean, I have been listening to you for years and when it comes to the legal stuff clearly you know your stuff. I see you have an exceptionally good heart, and are kind. Do not falter, and please ask for help on your radio show. You are both in my prayers as are all the cats. This craziness will pass."
No he doesn't. No he hasn't. No he isn't. No it won't. Sean and Melissa are going down.

Update Morton 30 May
        The text at Indiegogo has been amended to include this:
"By raising the funds that Sean promised every week for 2 months to pay Zeeka Hu, she can finish the legal work needed to correctly use the appellate court and help undo Sean's nonsensical statutory papers he wasted valuable time and money on."
        So maybe this Zeeka is "the guy who knows how to get this vacated."  It's slow work--ufowatchdog now reports that Federal prosecutors have recommended an 87 month prison sentence. The Indiegogo total remains at $320. The Gofundme campaign seems to have timed out.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Robert Morningstar predicts, again

James Concannon writes...

        Robert Morningstar's record on earthquake prediction is abysmal. His prediction that a planetary alignment would cause a monsta quake in June 2015 was a fail. On April 3rd 2014 he posted this warning:
"The 8.1 magnitude EQ in Chile yesterday is merely a harbinger of many more to come within the next 3 weeks, with the most severe quakes, volcanic activity and electrical storms to come between Mars' opposition to Earth on April 8th and the Lunar Eclipse of April 14-15 when Mars and Saturn will be in line with the Moon, Earth and Sun."
        Not very much happened. Morningstar claimed a hit on the basis of a swarm of quakes magnitude less than 3 up the California coast. But is there ever a time when there isn't a swarm of little ones in that area?

Today he stepped up to the plate once more with this scary prediction:
"A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN & MOON CROSSING OVER THE NEW MADRID FAULT ZONE COULD CAUSE EARTHQUAKES DURING & AFTER PASSAGE on August 21st, 2017.

I spoke with Angel Espino & Seth Weiler on Skywatchers Radio at length on Monday 4/11 about the earthquake triggering potentials of forthcoming total eclipse of August 21st, 2017.

I've attached a link below with a map of the Earthquake prone fracture lines across the continental United States so that we can plot the course of the eclipse over the US EQ fault line system.
This is in keeping with my theory that the growing strength of the gravitational forces of Sun and Moon at the moment of a total solar eclipse and their subsidence afterward can trigger earthquakes on both in the area of totality and on the other side of the Earth with [sic; presumably he means within] 36 hours of the event.

The article provides a good map of the continental US with the Eclipse track delineated. The link below in the comment section provides the EQ Fault Line map so that you can determine whether or not you are living adjacent to one of the fault zone in the area of totality.

My main concern is that the pinnacle point of totality will occur as the Sun and Moon line up over the New Madrid Fault lines as it passes over Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and points East as it they head toward the South Carolina coast, which is a massive coastal fault zone."
Rubbish
        It should not surprise us that Morningstar's predictions of geo-activity are not very good. He has no training in either seismology, geology or planetary astronomy. His credentials are in psychology, which perhaps makes him think he has a gift for scaring people.

        Specifically, there is no reason to believe that a solar eclipse occasions a danger of large quakes at the sub-solar point. It is true that the gravitational vector from the combined Sun-Moon system at conjunction is very slightly greater than when the Moon is in opposition,note 1 but then, the Moon is in conjunction every month without causing an eclipse, and without noticeably causing seismic activity either. It causes spring tides, so the effect is not zero, but the point is that it happens every month. We do not get scary earthquakes on a monthly basis, no matter what a New York psychologist and frisbee expert might wish upon us. Back in October 2012, Stuart Robbins of Exposing Pseudoastronomy performed a statistical analysis and found no correlation between lunar phase and major earthquakes. He was also looking for a possible connection to lunar perigee, which slightly increases the lunar gravitational vector, and didn't find that either.

        But anyway, I put this on record now so that this blog can assess AM*'s prediction skills when the time comes. 21 August plus 36 hours is 24 August, at 20:01:35 UTC (when totality ends.)

See you then.

Update:
        I came across this article from Nature, 12 September 2016, allowing for some correlation between spring tides and earthquakes. It's a rather subtle effect, not working the way Robert Morningstar imagines it at all. Put simply, the increased load on a coastal region cause by a high tide can convert what would have been a small quake into a much larger one. There is still absolutely no reason to think that a lunar eclipse has any more powerful effect than the regular monthly lunar conjunctions.

====================/ \====================
 [1] Here are the actual figures:

Gravitational attraction Sun-Earth: 3.6 x 1022 newtons
Gravitational attraction Moon-Earth: 0.0189 x 1022 newtons

Friday, April 7, 2017

More recreational math

        I like math, and I strongly suspect Bret Sheppard does not, so I thought I'd do Bret's homework (assigned by myself) for him.

To prove:
In a two-body system in which the smaller body is in tidal lock with the larger body, the radius of a synchronous orbit around the smaller body will always be greater than the distance to the L1 libration point.

Consider a two-body system separated by distance D.

Let M be the mass of the larger body (kg)
Let m be the mass of the smaller body (kg)
Let T be the orbital period of the smaller body about the larger body (sec)

Let r be the radius of a synchronous satellite orbit round the smaller body (m)
Let d be the distance from the smaller body to the L1 libration point (m)


Calculation:

For the smaller body's orbit, by Kepler's third law:
T = 2π √ (D3/GM) where G is the gravitational constant

Since the smaller body is in tidal lock with the larger body, the rotational period of the smaller body must also be T, and so must be the orbital period of a synchronous satellite.
So for the synchronous orbit:

T = 2π √(r3/Gm)
r3/Gm = T2/4π2

Substituting for T
r3 = 4π2GmD3/4π2GM
r = 3√(D3Gm/GM) =  D 3√(m/M)

By a simplified formula for d, the distance of the  L1 libration point

d = D 3√(m/3M) reference

Therefore d < r, Q.E.D.

        The significance of this is that, for a tidally-locked moon, a synchronous orbit is impossible since a satellite would prefer to orbit the parent body. Therefore, anyone who claims to have found a satellite dish on the moon is mathematically full of shit. Thank you.

NOTE:
For the Earth-Moon system, m/M = 0.012 r = 88,465 km d = 61,135 km

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bret Sheppard, the satellite dish on the Moon, and the meaning of "acquisition"

        Bret Sheppard was invited for a long interview on something called Spaced Out Radio last night. He gave an insight into his motivations, and more important for me, his misunderstandings. He related how, as a young art student, he stayed after class one day to hear a presentation by someone from the Stanford Research Institute. He thinks now it must have been in connection with Ingo Swann's remote viewing experiments, that were ongoing at the time. Something about a photograph taken on the Moon impressed him sufficiently that he became something of an expert in the strange field known as "lunar anomalies," and he spent literally years, off and on, scouring Apollo photography. Then he continued...
26:54 "I almost gave up. I almost said "Know what? I'm done with this lunar garbage." I was in there getting all of the anomalies out of them. You know... basically, the reason why I was doing that was to eliminate them from what I was seeing in the image that I remembered when I was 15 years old. You know, so that's what I was doing. And I was hitting a wall because I needed a control image, and the first image I got was actually from Donna Hare.note 1 And she had, er.. I wanna tell this right... she had gotten it out of the Dempsey Dumpster as part of her portfolio. She was allowed to keep that as part of her portfolio. So she had a few.. you know, mostly Apollo 12 images. You know, from Pete Conrad and Alan Bean. And this... this particular image showed the LEM and a satellite dish on the horizon of the Moon. And.. and there's Surveyor in the foreground, and Alan Bean posing next to Surveyor. I believe Pete Conrad was taking the picture. So...um... basically this ...what this image showed me... it was very clear, much clearer than the NASA image that they put on line. I mean, wiki-clear, you know. It was like "Wow! That is a picture!" So, there was this satellite dish in the background. You know, that they couldn't possibly fit in the LEM."
        Well, he must be referring to either AS12-48-7135 or AS12-48-7136, because they are the only shots showing Al Bean beside Surveyor 3.


        As for the satellite dish--well, could it be the S-band antenna that the astronauts erected as soon as they got off the ladder? Here's the actual Apollo 12 dish:



         "They couldn't possibly fit it in the LEM." Sure they could..


Ken was like a father to me
        A little later, Bret got around to talking about his association with Ken Johnston and the whole issue of the (non-existent) 16mm film of crater Tsiolkovsky shot by Ed Mitchell on Apollo 14. The topic of this blog from 19th March. He said he was living in Texarkana, in a house that was falling down, when he met up with Ken. He said Ken was a role model, "like a father to me." Some kind of deal was struck whereby Ken helped Bret move to Belen, NM in return for his and Karen Patrick's help finishing Ken's autobiography.
33:00 "The thing was, that there were a couple of issues with it... with the story. He didn't know at the time what... ahhm... what mission he saw that 16mm film. And so one of the things that I decided to do was to investigate his story. Thoroughly, you know. So anyway I started getting attacked by James Oberg and everything else, for even attempting this. So what I found was... James Oberg said that they never flew over Tsiolkovsky crater. And semantically he's right--the Command & Service Module never really flew over Tsiolkovsky crater, near it, or whatever. They never really filmed except I found a 70mm shot of Tsiolkovsky crater showing the exact sun angle that Ken was talking about from memory. And then, I found out that there were two 16mm cameras in the Lunar Module, and one in the Command Module. [He's right about that] The one in the Command Module was sort-of pointed down and going really fast, skitching across the lunar surface. And it looks just exactly like that... skitching over the lunar surface and grabbing some film. This is the one that Oberg showed Ken at one of the conferences. And that really got me thinking "What did Edgar Mitchell film in the Lunar Module?"
...
I looked up the Apollo 14 onboard voice transcription, because they say everything in those, even when they go to the bathroom. They say everything. [He means the recordings made by the Data Storage Equipment while the astronauts were out of contact with Houston, on the back side of the Moon.] So I looked that up, and I scoured this ... data, you know. And what I found was...um.. that basically right inside this... this transcript, on... let's see. it's... er...on the third day, around 2:29 p.m. and 26 seconds, that's how detailed this is. [He's misunderstood the notation. 03:14:29:26 is the Mission Elapsed Time, not the time of day.] And the Data Acquisition Camera, the 16mm, er... Edgar Mitchell said "I'm going to see... I'm going to see that.. I'm all set up for this acquisition." That doesn't mean anything else but a camera."

        Well, he's totally wrong. It has nothing to do with the camera. They were on the far side, remember, out of contact. "Acquisition" means acquisition of the radio signal from Houston, as they come around the Moon. It was known in NASA-speak as AOS, for Acquisition Of Signal. This becomes totally clear very shortly, although Bret doesn't see it. He continues:

"And then it says minus 39 plus 325..  He said "OK, HIGH GAIN, MANUAL, and WIDE." Those are camera settings."

        Once again, he's wrong. Those are antenna settings, required to get the best possible radio contact. If Bret had continued reading from the transcript, he would have seen this immediately following: "And 6 minutes away from it." Yes, six minutes until AOS. Here it all is, from the actual document:


        And sure enough, a couple of pages further on, we see:

        Another of  Sheppard's misconceptions is that this conversation took place in the LM. Actually, undocking didn't take place until M.E.T. 04:07:47:58, so all three astronauts were still in the CM at that time. Here's the part of the CM control panel concerned with the high gain antenna:


        It's a little hard to see, but the leftmost switch is for antenna tracking. The mid position is for MANUAL. The next switch controls the beam width: up for WIDE, down for NARROW. The two large dials control the pitch and yaw angles of the antenna. Mitchell was reading from the Flight Plan: Yaw -39, Pitch  +325. Those angles are much clearer on the LM control panel.

 

       So that completely explains the above dialog--nothing to do with cameras at all. I don't want to be too hard on Bret Sheppard, but he just keeps revealing his ignorance of Apollo hardware and history. And honestly, if he thinks there is 16mm film of Tsiolkovsky, why doesn't he show it? If he thinks there's an alien base there, why won't he look at the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image, which is 40 years newer and 0.5 meters/pixel resolution?

Update:
        Using Google Moon, OneBigMonkey has derived this simulated view representing what Ed Mitchell could see as he spoke the words "That's Tsiolkovsky. OK, I've got it." OBM set the altitude at 90km, somewhat below apolune. Very useful.





Tsiolkovsky is on the horizon. No view inside the crater is possible.


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[1] Donna Hare is an important figure in the mythology of lunar anomaly hunting. A so-called whistle-blower, Donna was actually employed on image processing for NASA JSC and alleges that one of her duties was to airbrush out alien structures.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Richard Hoagland comes up worse than empty

        Only Hoagland himself knows how many suckers are still paying him five bucks a month for membership in "Club 19.5," whose sole benefit is access to the archives of his radio show. Since there have been no new shows since last October, it's a rapidly vanishing resource--I imagine that members must have, by now, heard all the shows they have any interest in.

        The Great Mr. Hoagland seems to be feeling just a teensy bit guilty about taking their money, since he feels they deserve some collateral compensation. On the Other Side of Midnight web site, this notice appeared last November:
"[W]e are giving the loyal Club 19.5 members that have stayed with us during our recent hiatus, Richard C. Hoagland’s latest and most anticipated work – just recently completed with The Imaging Team from the show. This gorgeous and pioneering new book, “The Hidden History of Mars: A War In Heavennote 1 with a foreword by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, chronicles the Human Race’s Ancient History on the Red Planet with groundbreaking information that has largely been hidden from the world until now."
Last Friday, this appeared on the Book of Fools:
"Club 19.5 Members!! You've been patient, you've been faithful, and now - the GIFTS will begin! There is a broadcast coming up in the next few days that to even KNOW about you need to be in Club 19.5."
        The chutzpah of the man is world-class, isn't it? He manages to make a notice of an upcoming interview seem like a gift. I hope all those "club members" laughed, as I certainly did.
 
        Well, obviously I'm not a loyal member, but it was not hard to grasp the grapevine and learn that the "gift" was notice of yet another interview with Howard Hughes on talkradio.co.uk. Added to the hyperbolic adjectives "gorgeous,"  "pioneering" and "groundbreaking" we now had "vitally important new discoveries," "revelations,"  "new insights, new information," and "the Ultimate Game Changer." WOW--this must really be something, right?

A Major Let-down
        The interview went on as planned at 11pm BST (Euro-clocks went forward this last weekend, hooray) and I tuned in. I even sent a couple of SMS messages, but they were ignored. Obviously, HH wanted to know right off what amazing revelations this new book contains. My lower jaw hit the ground as Richard Hoagland, instead of showing us game-changing marvels, recounted the whole history of his involvement with pseudoscience, decorated with the name-droppings of Cronkite (3 times,) Roddenberry (twice,) and Sagan (once.) He gave us the detailed history of the so-called Face on Mars (yet again,) and the blow-by-blow drama of the landing of Viking 1 in July 1976 (he was accredited to that event as a writer for an airline magazine.) Pioneering? Insights? Revelations? Not a bit of it. He gave us "The Brookings Report told NASA to hush up evidence of ETs," and "NASA is really an adjunct of the Department of Defense," both well-worn claims, and both wrong. He even repeated his false claim to have coined the phrase "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" (the bon mot rightly belongs to New Yorker cartoonist Peter Steiner.)


        Considering its build-up, this was a lame, lame failure. I took heart from the few tweets that HH allowed. One said quite frankly, and correctly, that there was nothing new here. Another said basically that Hoagland's well-known conclusions from all this are disputed. At that, Hoagland said "This person is obviously refusing to look at the data. It's all there on enterprisemission.com, all free. If you don't do your homework, you'll end up in the dust of history."

        At that, I got mighty annoyed. It's a repeat of what he asserted in September 2013-- "I am sick to death of my stupid critics saying I'm nuts because they won't look at the data." On that occasion I had a sharp riposte for him. Hoagland, if you're listening, it applies just as much today.


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[1] I think the title has now been changed but I can't remember the new one