Friday, November 17, 2017

Which is it, Robert Morningstar?

 James Concannon writes...  

       The civilian intelligence analyst who is wrong about almost everything seems now to have arrived at a final version of his article about the Las Vegas massacre of 1st October. The piece is titled LAS VEGAS VIDEO IMAGES AND SOUNDS PROVE MULTIPLE GUNMEN COMMITTED LAS VEGAS MASSACRE, and his serial amendments have served only to confuse the issue.


        Morningstar writes "I’ve corellated [sic] the videos linked below with this external photos [sic] of the hotel to triangulate the postion of the 2nd Mandalay Bay Hotel shooter who fired from a low platform atop the green roof porch shown above." (emph. added) The videos referred are the taxi driver's video and the video from the hotel across the street (that would have to be the Desert Oasis Motel, a crappy one-storey building.)

        My comments about that are, first, that at no time did the taxi driver have a view of that platform. As she approached the drop-off from the north she could see the sloping green canopy edge but not the gray platform AM* wants for a gun position. My second comment is that the Motel video is useless—the flashes seen on it are from around the tenth floor, and there are no broken windows at that level. I also note, as I have previously, that triangulation is not what the intelligence analyst did. But anyway, that's a clear statement of where he thinks a second gunman was.

        He continues "The Las Vegas Taxi Driver’s Video caught a shooter firing from the lower floor of the Mandalay Bay from a very close vantage point, i.e., pulling out of the Mandalay’s Drive-Though entrance." That would have to be something like this frame, at 04:59:



Here's an approximate daylight version of that view from Streetview:



        Again, the absence of broken windows absolutely rules out gunfire from any floor of the hotel except Paddock's suite on the 32nd.

        He continues "By comparing frames and correlating the driver's position and the camera angle to the shooter's position (indicated by the gun flash) in that frame, and using a triangular section of the unique roof (poviding two 90 degree angles for precise referencing,  I was able to calculate the shooter’s position to be outside the hotel and shooting from a balcony that covers the drive-through entrance of the hotel."

        Once again, the taxi driver had no view of that balcony area at any time. At the moment when she pulled out of the covered area, such a view was doubly impossible since the roof area was above and behind her (see image above.) I've looked at that section of the video multiple times and I do not see a gun flash, and neither do I see two 90° angles. It's my belief that the shooting had stopped by that time anyway. No used shell casings have been found anywhere on that balcony or rooftop.

         So Morningstar has offered us four gunnery positions, all of which are impossible:
  1. The balcony
  2. The 10th (ish) floor
  3. A lower floor
  4. A platform on the canopy roof.
WRONG AGAIN, frisbee genius.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Scott Kelly nails it

       Scott Kelly writes that, when his phone rang and it was Steve Lindsey, Chief of NASA's Astronaut Office, offering him command of a long-duration mission in the ISS, he was actually having dinner with his sister-in-law Gabrielle Giffords in Washington D.C. He also writes that his first reaction was to turn it down."Honestly, I'd rather fly as a shuttle commander again," he replied. But then he writes "I also knew I would take any flight assignment I was given." He eventually accepted, even though he'd just been diagnosed with high PSA and there were unmistakable fault lines in his marriage.

        The PSA reading turned into full prostate cancer, and Kelly underwent surgery in November 2007. Just three months later he officially separated from his wife, Leslie Yandell, and started multi-lingual training.  On the flight that followed, he was in space from 9 October 2010 until 16 March 2011, serving as Commander from November on. A year later, the phone rang again and the question was "Would you rather be promoted to Chief of the Astronaut Office or go back to ISS for a full year?" Kelly opted for the Astronaut Office, but was assigned the year-long mission anyway. He retired in April 2016 having clocked an aggregate 520 days in space over five missions.

        Those are just a couple of highlights from Endurance—a national best-seller published last month and written by Kelly. As a space junkie, I have a full library of astronaut memoir books and I can honestly say that this is probably the best of the bunch. The book may lack the heart-stopping drama of a lunar landing, but it more than makes up for it with its intricate detail both human and technical. Kelly writes of the exhilaration of spaceflight, and the pride ISS crews take in the science they are able to accomplish, but he does not hold back (at least, doesn't seem to) on the pesky annoyances of life up there.

        A case in point: Long-duration spaceflight put an end to the Apollo-era technology of lithium hydroxide canisters for removal of carbon dioxide from spacecraft atmospheres. A six-month mission would use hundreds of the bulky cartridges and the storage space just isn't available. So the ISS has a high-tech system called Seedranote 1, and it seems to be the bane of Kelly's life in space. He writes that he can check the CO2 level any time he likes on a computer readout "...but I don't need to—I can feel it. I can sense the levels with a high degree of accuracy based only on the symptoms I've come to know so well: headaches, congestion, burning eyes, irritability." He points out that the US Navy Submarine Service doesn't allow CO2 to get any worse than 2mmHg partial pressure, but the ISS considers 6mm acceptable. Add to that annoyance that the Seedra machine keeps breaking down and is a bitch to repair, and you have the recipe for a lot of pissed-off astronauts.

Scott Kelly and Terry Virts repairing one of the Seedras, from p.88 of the hardcover edition

        Kelly tries to be a boy scout and not complain, but he does wonder if Houston really understands how totally exhausted an astronaut can become after a spacewalk, and he speculates that some training tasks are deliberately set up to be impossible, just to see how the trainees react.

No errors, comrades
        Speaking of complaints, he reveals an interesting difference between astronauts and cosmonauts. As a NASA astronaut, Kelly's base pay was generous and his per diem minimal—actually just $5. For the cosmonauts, it's the other way around—the majority of their remuneration is in per diems, which can be reduced if they are found guilty of "errors." Kelly surmises that complaints can be viewed as errors, and that explains why, when Moscow mission control asks how things are going, the answer is always v'syoh prekrasno (everything's fine) even when it patently is not.

        Kelly reports that relations between the American and Russian crews were always very cordial. During the working day they mostly stuck to their own areas of the huge space station, but they would get together for some meals, particularly on Friday evenings. Exchanges of food were commonplace, as were more important items like tools or replacement hardware. Informal exchanges, however, did not suit the bean counters on the ground, who were charged with adhering to the terms of formal international agreements. Their rules meant that every exchange, be it equipment, water, computer software, even urine—yes, urine, for urine is a resource on the ISS—has to be accounted for, placed on a balance sheet and eventually compensated in cash. Kelly tells the story of one time when the Russian crew offered him some unused space on a Progress module that was due to be detached and sent to burn up in the atmosphere. Kelly gladly got rid of several kilos of trash. The time came when the bean counters discovered the discrepancy in the trash inventory and asked Kelly to explain it. "I guess the trash fairy came in the night" was his wry reply.

Kelly with cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko

        Scott Kelly is an authentic American hero, because he overcame early learning disabilities, and other setbacks, to become one of the most skilled aviators and spacefarers of his generation. His book is a gift to all of us.

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly with Margaret Lazarus Dean. Knopf, October 2017. ISBN 978-1524731595 (hard cover)

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

[1] Seedra is just a pronounceable form of the acronym CDRA, Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hoagland's radio show goes from bad to worse to FAIL

Back story: In July 2015 Richard Hoagland, the former museum curator who hasn't had a job since the 1970s, launched a two hour, five-nights-a-week radio show The Other Side of Midnight, live on  Dark Matter Digital Network, and archived for members only. This blog commented several times as he first lost his best producer, Ross Campbell, then got kicked off DMDN, went to KCAA-AM for a while and thence to the cheaper WBCQ ($50/hr cf. $150.) In October 2016 the show folded.

        It was back in June this year, on a reduced "weekend only" schedule. In July the membership fee was doubled from $5 to $10 per month. From 15 July until 8 oct there should have been 26 shows, but seven of them were cancelled for various reasons, mostly technical issues. It became obvious that Hoagland was no longer paying a professional engineer.

        A week ago the announcement was made that Hoagland was abandoning the radio medium and falling back on the oh-so-cheap ($99/month) BlogTalk Radio. The announced show for Saturday night 14th October was Barbara Honegger: Historic 9/11 breakthroughs. NB: BlogTalkRadio is supposedly foolproof.

        What follows is a verbatim transcript of the train-wreck that ensued. The "Keith" referred to is not Keith Rowland of DMDN, the original tech. manager of the show,note 1; but Keith Laney, an imaging expert who had guested on the show numerous times. Laney has no known experience at managing radio or even podcasting.

[JAZZ MUSIC TRACK]
00:05 BH: "I'm hearing music."
RCH: "Yes, yes, you and I should not be going out over the air."
00:20 RCH: "Keith can you hear me?" [MUSIC VOLUME INCREASES]
[..?..] Can you call Keith and tell him..?? I need Skype
00:58 RCH: "OK, well, that's good. ?..?...you should hear it.
01:09 RCH: "OK, Barbara, what are you hearing?
BH: "I keep hearing music."
RCH: "No, I mean, when I called on you, you said you could not hear. What could you not hear?"
BH: "You mean when we were on the air?"
RCH: "Yes, yes, what could you not hear?
BH: "No, I can hear everything but there is a delay. When I spoke..."
RCH: "Ohhh it's..it's...it's a delay. Keith... You.. you're cutting out horribly, I can't hear you.
01:40 BH: "You talking to me?"
RCH: "I'm talking to Keith. My engineer. My temporary engineer. [LOUD THROAT-CLEARING] Keith I cannot hear you.  ... OK. Well obviously we can't solve this so we're gonna have to go to a back-up show, and we will recycle the ?show?, have the proper filters in place by tomorrow night. Guys I am so sorry. .. All right?
BH: "So are we on tomorrow night?"
RCH: "OK, I'm hearing a terrible delay. So this is a technical catastrophe. I guess....?? But, er... yeah, let's try and recycle the ?show? for tomorrow night."
BH: "Yes, that's fine."
RCH: "OK, good. So let me goodnight you, and then goodnight the music. And... good night everyone, and we'll go to a backup show, and tomorrow night same time, same bat-channel. We will try it without the echo. OK?"
BH: "Same time, same place. Tomorrow."
RCH: "Yep, yep.Thank you."
BH: "OK, all right."

==================================
The FB announcement was "OUR APOLOGIES, POSTPONED TO TOMORROW NIGHT DUE TO UNEXPECTED LAST MINUTE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES THAT WE HOPE TO RESOLVE BY TOMORROW EVENING…"

After a similar experience the following night we were told "DUE TO CONTINUING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES THE PROGRAM WITH BARBARA HONEGGER ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT, SUN / MON OCT. 15-16 HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE."

[Insert Homer Simpson D'oh icon]

Update:
        The 21st October show was CANCELLED, Hoagland complaining that after "hours and hours of checking" the settings suddenly changed. Personally I don't find that credible. However, he did get through an entire 3-hour show on 22nd October—Robert Morningstar commenting on the Las Vegas massacre. Now why, I hear you ask, would AM* be considered an expert on the topic, considering that he can't even get the name of the perp right? He first called him Steven Pollack, then half-corrected it to Steven Paddock. The actual name is Stephen Paddock.

Thanks to Bellgab commenters "Nobody" and "Pablo Smash" for info

===========================/ \=============================
[1] The very first three words ever heard on the show were from Rowland. The words were: "I said go!"

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Robert Morningstar gets the Las Vegas massacre story hopelessly wrong

James Concannon writes...

        First we have Kerry Cassidy listening to the voices in her head and reporting them as if they were factual, and now we have Robert Morningstar, frisbee expert, publishing 3000 words on the Las Vegas massacre and getting almost nothing right. I will respect his claim of "All Rights Reserved" by not quoting from the piece, but I will review it and comment on it.

        For a start, Morningstar gets the name of the perp wrong. Throughout his essay, he writes "Steven Pollack" instead of Stephen Paddock. He may have corrected the text by the time you read it, but the original version was wrong. OOPS.

Original text © 2107 Robert Morningstar

        Reading this essay through, we don't have to wait long for the first major error. In the very first line Morningstar claims that this event was the worst killing in the history of the United States. Well, compare 58 dead with 268 (Battle of Little Bighorn), 2,996 (World Trade Center) and 700,000 (American Civil War.) What Morningstar is unsuccessfully grasping for is that the death toll was the largest of any mass shooting by an individual.

       Morningstar's whole thesis is that Paddock did not act alone—that there was at least one additional gunman at the Mandalay Bay. He gets started along that road by telling us that Paddock must have had help getting 23 firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition into Suite 32135. Well, perhaps... my remark on that is that bellmen at the Mandalay are quite used to carrying heavy equipment, since many pornographic videos are shot in Vegas hotel rooms.

        Morningstar embeds this video in his text, purporting to show gunfire from around the 10th floor of the Mandalay Bay. But that's impossible—there are no broken windows at that level, and the alternative explanation that the flashes are reflections is infinitely more credible.

        A second embedded video, recording the onset of the attack and almost all the carnage, is used by Morningstar as if it proves the "second gunman" case. Very few of the gunshots sound like the weapons fire we're used to hearing in films and TV—some sound almost like a slow drum roll, and some are more like loud clicks. The distinction between the two sounds is the heart and soul of Mr. Frisbee-man's case. But bump stocks were found on 12 of Paddock's 22 rifles, and two of them were mounted on bipods. Does it somehow strain Morningstar's logic to suggest that more than one weapon was used, perhaps even simultaneously, by a single shooter?

         Morningstar originally stated that he had triangulated (how?)note 1 the position of the second shooter to the ledge at third floor level.


        That idea has too many problems to be credible. How would a sniper get access to that ledge, and come back down after the event, without being observed? Why were no shell casings reported on that ledge? Is that vantage point too low to be effective, considering that bleachers at the concert venue would obstruct the view from that angle?

        Morningstar next alleges that both the Bellagio and Flamingo hotels were sprayed with gunfire that night—a claim that has specifically been denied by authorities. He shows us smartphone video made by René Downs, but that video does not show what he says it shows. It shows crowds of excited people in the lobby and corridors of the Bellagio, prevented from exiting because the hotel (like all others on the Strip) was in lockdown.

        Our favorite frisbee expert wraps it all up by alleging, with no evidence whatsoever, that Pollack [sic] was working with the FBI over an arms deal that "backfired badly." Morningstar styles himself a "civilian intelligence analyst" but if this essay is a fair sample of his analysis I'd say he's a major, major failure.

Credentials
        In addition to making himself his own CIA, Morningstar writes that he is "a specialist in photo interpretation, geometric analysis and computer imaging." The Rational wikipedia lists six specific examples of where Morningstar's photo interpretation has been dead wrong. In May 2016 this blog listed 28 errors of interpretation by him. Once again, OOPS.

Update:
        Morningstar re-worked his essay into an article for UFO Digest. In it he suggested that a second gunman could have been positioned on the balcony over the main entrance to the hotel. The image below shows how more than half the concert audience would be obstructed by the stage and bleachers from that position:



=================/ \====================
[1] Let's remind ourselves how triangulation works, shall we? You take optical bearings on the object of interest from two different places as far apart as is practical. Transferring your bearings onto a map then pinpoints the object.

This, however, is not what Morningstar did. He took a single freeze-frame from the taxi driver's video (perhaps around 03:00?) and visually matched a part of the canopy to arrive at what he now says is a position on the balcony over the drive-through hotel entrance. Fatal to his case is the fact that no shell casings have been found at that position—many windows overlook the balcony and canopy and it's inconceivable that such obvious evidence would have been missed.

At exactly 03:03 there are two flashes, but they are not associated with any sound of gunfire and it's impossible to tell what the actual source is. They look a lot like flash photography to me. If this is what Robert AM* claims to have "triangulated," he's a flim-flam man, not an intelligence analyst.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Kerry Cassidy on the road to Mandalay

        Kerry Lynn Cassidy wants us all to believe she has secret information sources that enable her to interpret current events more correctly than the professional media. Judging by her track record, I'd say that's just what Kerry wishes were true as opposed to anything with any actual truthiness. Yesterday she wrote "Years ago Camelot was told that 2017 was to be the final date for the showdown related to the currency reset." Well, there's not much of 2017 left for that one to play out, and there's no sign of this "reset" at all. Sean David Morton was another one who fretted about conspiracies in relation to currency, and look where that got him (in Federal jail, in case you hadn't already heard.)

        If you've guessed that the context of Kerry's remark is the horrible massacre that killed 58 country music fans in Las Vegas last Sunday night, you're correct. In a blogpost titled "War of Worlds: Pirates of Mandalay Bay : Illuminati versus U.S. Navy?" Kerry lays down her usual mix of paranoia, untruth and misunderstanding. She begins:
"The location of this latest false flag however real the human casualties relates to the history of Mandalay and Kipling, the British illuminati versus possibly what they may see as the U.S. Navy "pirates".  This may well be a turf war between illuminati factions over who will run the financial system and how and when it gets taken down and reformulated into the NWO currency.
::
No doubt this is also all about controlling the guns (and getting the U.S. populations under control by attempting once again to take away their guns).  One would think by now they would know this will never work."
         My reformulation of that last comment would be "One would think the likes of Kerry Cassidy and Alex Jones would have realized by now that relentlessly interpreting shooting tragedies this way has no basis in fact or experience. From Sandy Hook to Pulse to Dallas to San Bernadino, such speculations have been shown to be hopelessly wrong. Guns have never been confiscated or even significantly reduced as a result."

Shooting blanks
She continues:
"The claimed shooter Stephen Paddock is a Manchurian Candidate if I have ever seen one...  Avid gambler, accountant and property manager.  Why?  Gamblers are heavily under mind control and in this case Paddock was an avid video poker player.  This only facilitates inserting subliminal commands necessary to activate a sleeping assassin.  Most likely he had no idea what he was doing. However, with the number of other shooters operating that night there may be no real way to tell if Pollack's gun was shooting blanks as a distraction or not."
        I'm not a poker player at all but I believe hundreds of thousands of men and women play video poker. How anyone would "insert subliminal commands necessary to activate a sleeping assassin" without activating everyone else is a problem for me. Besides, I doubt Cassidy has any evidence that Paddock spent any more time at video poker than the average teenager spends nattering and texting on his or her smartphone.

        The speculative connection to the British Illuminati via Kipling would be hilarious if it didn't show such gob-smacking ignorance and insensitivity to the agony of families who have lost sons, daughters, mothers and fathers. Not that we expect anything approaching sensitivity from Kerry—four days after the Charlie Hebdo assassinations she wrote "Where are the bodies?" as if she wouldn't even believe it had happened without seeing for herself the mutilated corpses of cartoonists.

        In a much briefer post a day earlier, Kerry Cassidy wrote "The signs are everywhere that the shooter in the Mandalay Bay massacre was a patsy and that shots were coming from other directions as well as on the ground"—to which I have to say WHAT signs? She also revealed just how gossamer-thin her "evidence" is, writing "I think there are some striking similarities to shooting in Manchester concert in the UK.  Man-dalay / Man-chester / Manchurian." That's about as convincing as the connection Kerry Lynn Cassidy / Killing LasVegas Concert / Kinky Laughable Codswallop.

Update:
Snopes has now looked at the evidence for a second gunman and confidently declared it FALSE.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Extinction Event Did Not Happen Yesterday

        I'm not even going to write the name of the ignorant liar who made a few hundred dollars by telling everyone that Planet X, or Nibiru, would impact the Earth yesterday and wipe out all life. I do not wish even my microscopic influence on public opinion to add to the publicity this liar has already had. Still less am I going to name his wretched, wretched book about a non-existent planetoid. If any readers wish to read 115 pages of self-published poppycock they can surely find it for themselves.

        I understand this nincompoop is now claiming that he's been misquoted by the media and he never said September 23rd—the true date is some time next month. That's what end-of-the-world liars always do, isn't it? Keep advancing the date. It's truly pathetic.

        Last night Coast to Coast AM, with Jimmy Church as relief host, poked a bit of fun at this prediction, as the hours of September 23rd ticked away. Quite a lot of fun, actually. In my opinion they should have been poking fun at themselves, for having helped to make this nonsense credible in a show aired 19th January. The other guest that night was a numerologist—they made a nice pair of delusional con-men (con-persons, I should say.)

        C2C's bio-note tells us that this ridiculous person studied astronomy "at a mid-Western university," but it also noted:
"[This barefaced liar] has concluded that the prophetic Book of Revelation actually foretells the apocalyptic arrival of Planet X in our time period, and he added that Bible Code expert Rabbi Glazerson also backs a similar timeline."
So this is not just nonsense but biblical nonsense.

        This barefaced liar writes of his own work "This book is a must-read and a Survival Guide to the most important story of the century." Fuck You. It never happened.

Update:
        Exposing Pseudoastronomy also tackles this topic this week, being a bit kinder to the barefaced liar than I am.

Update:
October came and went. No Nibiru—what a surprise.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jimmy Church slams Sean David Morton

        Jimmy Church is a four-days-a-week podcaster, and a fairly frequent relief host of Coast-to-Coast AM. As I've written before, I think he's pretty good. His show is called Fade To Black, and many of his guests are the standard pseudoscience mob that this blog exists to mock, and I guess that's who he means when he talks about "our community." Last Monday, he gave his audience a quick update on the fate of Sean David Morton (sentenced that very day to six years in the slammer,) and then editorialized as follows:

18:31: "No matter what you feel about the government, or the IRS—the IRS may be the most evil thing in the history of the known world—and I get that, I understand.. um, but no matter what your feelings are about the feds, and the IRS, if you have a check in your hand for half a million dollars, and you know it ain't your money, you don't cash it. We all know right from wrong. We do. We really, really... if we don't know right from wrong then we shouldn't be out in public. But, if we do know right from wrong, and we have our faculties about us, holding a check for half a million dollars in your hand that you know is not yours—don't cash it. And if you do, that is a decision that you make as an adult. Nobody is forcing you—you make the decision on your own. And he made that decision. The... the complications with the case, and how many charges were there, and... you know, the bottom line is, you don't cash the check. [..?..] Anyway, he got caught. OK? And he and his wife were found guilty. [..?..] He tried to hide the funds—they split it up, and took out $7,000 in cash, kept that, split up the rest of the money, put it in a bunch of different accounts, and [..?..] when the IRS asked for the money back, they said NO. The IRS literally said "we want the money back," and they said "No. come and get us." Well, OK. They did. [...] The bottom line is that they were officially sentenced today and that's it, they're going to prison."

"But, I have been silent on this whole thing. [...] I don't wish prison on anybody—this is a non-violent crime. It's a non-violent crime. And prison sucks. It absolutely sucks. So, I don't wish it on anybody. All I'm saying in this case, is sometimes you bring things onto yourself. You go and cash a check for $500,000 hoping to get away with it, and you don't, well you get caught [and] that's the end of the story. There's a couple of other things about Sean that... that kind of need to be said here. OK, today I went and watched a video on the ConspiraSea Cruise,note 1 actually an excellent video by the way. Ahhm... and well presented. But in this video ..ahhm, Sean is sitting there, and this is what he says publicly out of his own mouth. He says that he went to Stanford, that he went to Oxford, and that he was a doctor. [...] And then he says that he's an award-winning director, and a screen writer. And so, I stopped right there and I did just a little personal investigation on the web, just to check the record, the IMDB things. There's no "award-winning director" of anything anywhere, there's no screenwriting credits of anything. ..... So anyway, but then he said this, in this video that he has the largest internet radio station in the world. Now, hold on a minute here. He's in prison, but you can't say things like that ... Ok, fine, I can't change what people think, but me, I'm a black-and-white numbers guy. ... So it's very easy to go and check out a few things. Where is his web site ranking, for his web site? If it is the No. 1 radio show in the world that means it's quite simply that you have revenue that is God-like. You must have in your driveway seven different color Lamborghinis, one for each day of the week. ... That's what that means, and when he says something like that, that is a crazy thing. So you go and you look up... it's easy to check, go look at his web site, go look at the ranking. I don't know what it is. I don't remember—it's something like 12 million. Know what 12 million ranking world-wide is? It means you have maybe one person a day going to that web site. One. The largest internet radio broadcast in the world. Go and look—who's the network, who's the syndication? It's gotta be somebody BIG. It's got to be a household name. .... You must have 5 million,10 million ... All of the things that he has said about himself—and he's turned around and defrauded the government and then convicted of that—what do we depend on here? And what upsets me with all of this is our community is represented by a guy like that ... claiming screen credits, and the largest show in the world, and it's all B.S. And so for us, [..?..] that's what makes me upset, he's never been a guest on this show, so I have that going for me. But it's everybody else.  And it allows them to go 'Look. This is why that community is crazy, because they're represented by this. It's all ficticious, it's not true.'"

[Examples of real research done by the "alternative" community]

"You know, and I do my best every single day to make sure that we... we have fun with this show, that we're honest with this show—anybody can go and check our numbers. When we say something... Go and check, the numbers are all public, they're all there for the world to see. I am proud of what we have done here. ... And that's our community, and it just kills me that this went down. It's unfortunate that he got caught and he went to prison. Melissa got taken down for the count. I doubt that she would have done any of this if it wasn't for his influence, and now she's spending two years in the federal pen. And if they could go back and do it all differently I'm sure that they would. Now they've got time to go and quite frankly think about this, and how they represented all of us. They lied to us and the rest of the world. And that's it—I've held back from speaking about this, but our community just needs everything that it can to be represented correctly."
        It beats me how Jimmy can protest that Morton was giving his "community" a bad rep for saying things that are totally wrong, when at the same time one of his pet guests is Mike Bara. Bara gets everything wrong.

       From the report on ufowatchdog, what made me giggle was that this "Legal scholar," at his sentencing hearing, declared that he had been mistaken in representing himself at trial, and now requested legal representation. Denied. If he behaves himself (unlikely) we may be seeing SDM again in four years or so. Jimmy Church is dead right about one thing—prison sucks.

Thanks to Stuart Robbins for the audio

====================/ \======================
[1] ''One Week on a Cruise for Conspiracy Theorists - ConspiraSea'' --Youtube. Morton (at 06:16) "I'm a legal scholar.. I host the Number #1 radio show on the Internet"



Monday, September 11, 2017

Mike Bara goes the full delusion

        Yesterday Mike Bara came up with another vlog, eagerly lapped up by his admirers (all four of them), in which he attempted to connect hurricanes Harvey and Irma to the recent eclipse. He also explained that hurricanes are GOOD because they create jobs.

        For data support, he cited perhaps the most unreliable source imaginable—namely, Richard Hoagland's Accutron readingsnote 1 at Coral Castle during the Venus transit of 8th June 2004. Bara said that what was significant about Hoagland's data was that the disturbance created by the transit event continued after the event was over. So, you know, seeking to justify his link between a solar eclipse on 21 August and the formation of Harvey (17 August) and Irma (30 August).

        So is it true that the disturbance persisted? If so, you'd never know it from Hoagland's data which only continue for approximately another hour. Would-be interpreters of Hoagland's data are somewhat thwarted by the facts that (a) he got the time of the transit wrong,note 2 and (b) he has published two different and incompatible traces. First was this one:

credit: Richard Hoagland

        He said fourth contact happened at 07:21 (all times EDT), and the trace continues until approximately 08:20. His second attempt was this:

credit: Richard Hoagland

        Note that both traces show a spike to 364.474 Hz at what Hoagland (wrongly) calls the time of third contact, but then the first version shows three spikes to 360.53, 360.42 and 360.30 Hz respectively. The second version has two following spikes to 360.7 at times that are not the same as those of the first version, and does not even continue until the transit is over at fourth contact.

        So what should we say about Mike Bara's idea that the eclipse was linked to a hurricane that developed four days earlier, and that Hoagland's data support a link between the eclipse and a different hurricane nine days later? Poppycock is the word that comes to mind. Certainly not science.

The magic number
         A second thread that Bara picked up was also Hoagland-based. He told us that both Harvey and Irma developed at a latitude of 19.5°N, and that is the latitude at which "hyperdimensional energy" is permanently available on any spinning sphere such as a planet.note 3

        Well, let's see. Harvey developed from a tropical wave East of the Lesser Antilles. Those islands stretch all the way from Anguilla (18.2°N)  in the North to Grenada (12.07°N) in the South. Irma developed near the Cape Verde Islands (15.06°N). FAIL. Hurricane José is next in line, currently gathering strength at roughly 15°N. FAIL AGAIN.

        Perhaps Mikey believes that merely by passing through that latitude, hurricanes pick up power. In fact, that's the implication of the way he phrased it. Does he think meteorologists and hurricane-trackers would not notice this effect?

        At one point in the vlog, Bara held up a copy of his 2011 book The Choice, saying "I explained the significance of 19.5 in this book." What he actually wrote, in justification of the idea, is that the following planetary features are at 19.5° latitude:
  • Neptune's Great Dark Spot
  • The Great Red Spot of Jupiter
  • The erupting volcanoes of Jupiter's moon Io
  • Olympus Mons on Mars
  • Mauna Kea volcano
        Know how many of those are actually at 19.5? NONE OF THE ABOVE. If he'd written Mauna Loa instead of Mauna Kea he'd have got one right.

        None of the top ten volcanic eruptions in history, and none of the most destructive earthquakes, have been at 19.5°. The case for instantly available energy at that latitude is not merely weak but non-existent.

An actress speaks
          Jennifer Lawrence opines that Irma is nature's payback for electing a chump named Trump. In his vlog, Bara advised JL to "leave the science to the science people". I think he should do exactly that.


Further reading
         Since Mike is a doctrinaire climate change denier, and mocked climate science as "bullshit" in this vlog, here's an antidote.

Scientist Slams Climate Change Deniers In Brilliant Viral Post --Katharine Hayhoe's take-down of people just like Mike Bara who put their faith in pseudoscience.

=====================/ \================
[1] For a briefing on what "Accutron readings" are, see this.

[2] Hoagland reported third contact at 07:03:53, but this table issued by NASA Goddard says it was 07:07:33 at Miami, same longitude as Homestead.

[3] For a derivation of the 19.5 figure, see this blogpost. Simple enough geometry that neither Mike Bara nor Richard Hoagland is capable of.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Mike Bara comments on a former "best pal" who's now a convicted felon and in jail

       For any readers totally unfamiliar with the world of conspiracy, here are briefings on the two personalities involved:
Mike Bara
Sean David Morton

        Mike Bara started a Youtube channel about eight years ago--a mixture of his public utteringsnote 1 and diary-type material spoken straight to camera. He really does have a gift for talking to a video camera in a natural and engaging way--such a pity that most of what he actually says is garbage. Well, lately he seems to  have moved the vlog material to the Book of Farces. Yesterday he posted a vlog of general chit-chat, including this:
"In other news, erm; Sean David Morton was picked up this week ..[??] .er,  I don't know if you guys know who Sean was, but he was a very famous...erm, psychic... guest... big star on Coast to Coast in the 90s. Er, he was a close friend of mine for a few years in the 2000s and early 2010s, and erm, kind-of went down a road I couldn't follow him, and I ended up splitting with he and his wife Melissa, and they both got arrested this week. Sean had skipped out on bail.. er, trial..um.. that he was up for... for various different charges by the Government. Ummm, I'm skeptical of the case against him, from what I understand about it--however, I do know that he invited this upon himself, that he fought everything from a very... um, unfortunate perspective, and he.. you know, he basically made things, erm... [unintelligible] ....and kind of got himself into trouble. And got himself arrested this week. As I understand it the cats are fine. um... Melissa raises Norwegian forest cats. Last time I checked, there were several people coming over to the house to take care of them, to move them to other homes. They will eventually find good homes for all of them--I don't think she'll be getting out of jail any time soon. And, um.. I will say this: I am very resentful of the people who are taking great joy in this. Sean could be a bit of a dick, and he's invited this conflict in his life, um.. and I... you know, I'm... I'm sorry that he chose this path, I think he has probably some lessons that he needs to learn, but I don't take any great joy in, erm... in this happening to him and I don't think anybody else should either. I think it's, er.. I think it's er...er... I think it's an unfortunate thing for um.. he and... and his family and Melissa, and I wish that they both could have found a way to learn their lessons in a different manner. It's really too bad. So. And I'm not going to take any joy over him going to jail, like some people are in the UFO community. Some people in the UFO community are dicks, and that's just the way they are. So. Um.. You know my other comments about that are that... that I think that, again, for me truth is more important than unity. And I don't think that there is unity in the UFO community, there's a lot of rivalry... I think it's unfortunate that some people chose this moment to take it out on Sean. Sean was, er,  probably as well known as Georgio [Tsoukalos] is today. Although he didn't really have a TV gig -- So. It's a shame. Erm..And, you know, I mean, Sean's going to have to deal with what he's going to have to deal with. When I get back to California I'll probably ..??? And I hope that.. I hope he survives. I hope he makes it through his.. er, his jail time. And I would encourage him to... to co-operate. Um.. Take his punishment, and... er, try to move on with his life after this. To me it just shows you.. it just shows me that.. that being in conflict with the world does not gain you anything. I've been in conflict.. all the time, I've been in conflict with people telling everyone how bad Mayweather was going to destroy McGregornote 2 Um, So, you know, it just doesn't ultimately in the long term [...???...]
        At least he did say that SDM brought this upon himself, and that he "could be a bit of a dick," but where, I wondered, was the acknowledgement that Morton and his wife had literally cheated their clients out of millions of dollars? Where was the sense that Morton's astounding legal incompetence and hubris had exacerbated his situation instead of alleviating it? (see prior blogging). If Bara remains, as he says, "skeptical" about the case against Morton, it's because he just doesn't want to know. The blog ufowatchdog has all the deets.

        Sentencing is now set for Sept. 18th at 11AM with an 87 month prison term requested by the prosecution. I freely admit that I'm one of those who is "taking great joy in this." Screw you, Sean, you arrogant bastard--and especially screw you Melissa, with your "I'm not in prison and never will be."note 3

Update 30 August:



        What's the betting the Feds popped a tracer on Melissa's car, that's how they found the crims at Desert Hot Springs so easily?
===================/ \==================
[1] Interestingly, the channel includes a set of four lectures jointly delivered by Bara and Morton in 2012.

[2] Refers to a boxing match dubbed "The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History" which had happened the previous day. Mayweather won by a 10th round TKO.

[3] Comment on a Youtube video, quite quickly deleted. The full text was "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."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Robert Morningstar: Another busted prediction

James Concannon writes...

        The Great American Eclipse did not disappoint. A spectacular show, happening dead on the predicted times to a fraction of a second. That, of course, is because the predictions were made by science.

So how did pseudo-science do? Abysmally, is the answer.

On April 13th the science dunce Robert Morningstar posted this prediction (edited):
"A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN & MOON CROSSING OVER THE NEW MADRID FAULT ZONE COULD CAUSE EARTHQUAKES DURING & AFTER PASSAGE on August 21st, 2017.  
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.  
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."
        Robert is an expert in frisbee. He's so totally inexpert in astronomy that he doesn't realize that the gravitational attractions of the Sun and Moon combine once every month, in an event known as New Moon. Do New Moons cause more earthquakes? Well, they certainly didn't this July and August. Here's the data:

10th July: Full Moon

24th July: New Moon

7th August: Full Moon


21st August: New Moon & solar eclipse

        No statistically significant changes in the general seismic pattern are attrributable to the phase of the Moon. The strongest quakes were as follows:

10th July, Full Moon: 4.7 MMS, Mexico
24th July, New Moon: 4.0 MMS, Baja California
7th August, Full Moon: 4.7 MMS, Costa Rica
21st August, New Moon: 4.3 MMS, Costa Rica

        On each of those days there was a smattering of quakes in the continental US of magnitude < 4, including the usual Magnitude ~2 array along the San Andreas fault in California. On the other side of the world, the Himalayas saw three quakes in the 4.5 MMS range. There's nothing whatsoever in this data to suggest a link between New Moons and seismic activity. And bear in mind, lunar perigee occurred on 18th August--another event that pseudoscience likes to spread fear about.

        Thanks to useful articles like this one or this one, and recent discussion on this blog, we now know that the gravitational attraction of the Sun is 160 times more powerful than that of the Moon. However, tidal forces are created by the difference between the pull of gravity on the near side of planet Earth and that on the far side. Since the Sun is 412 times further away from us than the Moon is, the differential is nowhere near as great. In fact, the tidal force generated by the Sun amounts to only 45% that of the Moon.

        The best thing that could happen to Robert Morningstar at this point is that his fans stop paying attention to him. His information is pathetically misleading.

Update: Moving the goalposts
23 August: AM* has now posted this response:
"1. Within the last 24 hours since the tansit of the eclipse, there have been 13 seaquakes (in a rising crescendo") near Puerto Rico and Hispanola..
Although most Americans stopped tracking the eclipse at South Carolina, it did dontinue its track SouthEast into the Atlantic. According to my theory, seaquakes were anticipated, there and on the opposite side of the Earth where the Ring of Fire is "tingling" with activity.
2. On our West Coast, The San Andreas Fault is also percolating with small earthquakes every few hours and the perturburances continue up the coast all the way to Washington State and Vancouver, BC.
3. The Seatle area where "America's Eclipse" began, has experienced 2 small quakes since the transit.
4. On the opposite side of the Earth, where I contend that an eclipse's tectonic effects are usually more pronounced (but delayed in time up to 72 hours), 4 earthquakes have occurred in the 24 hours since the Sun-Moon transit.
5. Earthquakes have shaken the Phillipines (1), Indonesia (2), and have struck as far East as Borneo (1), which had one seaquake off its northeast coast."
         So having specifically cited the continental USA, within 36 hours either side of the eclipse, he now wants us to consider seismic events in the  Phillipines and Indonesia delayed by 72 hours. Even more hilarious, he draws our attention to a swarm of tiny earthquakes up the San Andreas fault--as if there was ever a time when there wasn't such a swarm.

         For info, here are earthquake maps for the ten days 10-19 August--events that by Morningstar's own definition are unrelated to the eclipse. In other terms, they represent "normal conditions." First, The USA and Caribbean region:


Now, the other side of the world:


        These maps prove that ascribing events of magnitude 2,3,4 or 5 in locations like Seattle or The Phillipnes to the effect of the eclipse is ridiculous and fraudulent.

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.

Update:
Sean and Melissa were both re-arrested at a hotel in Desert Hot Springs, California on Monday 21st August.

Update:
On 18th September Sean was sentenced to 6 years in federal jail, Melissa got just 2. In my opinion Melissa got off lightly, considering that she quite clearly had no intention of appearing for sentencing on 21st August.

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?