In the video for Chet Snow’s ‘Secrets’ Conference from 2009, Richard C Hoagland, founder of The Enterprise Mission, recipient of an Angstrom Medal, former science advisor to CBS News and Walter Cronkite, author of The Monuments of Mars, co-creator of the ‘Pioneer Plaque,’ originator of the ‘Europa Proposal,’ and principal investigator of The Enterprise Mission at last steps bravely off the verdant garden path – in part 9, at the 2.44 mark, if you haven’t quite got that far yet – and plunges deep into the Magickal World of Make Believe. This journey only lasts until the 4.33 mark but will feel very much longer. In fact it might even feel like the longest one minute and forty-nine seconds of your life. Like passing a jagged piece of glass through your urethra, only not as much fun.
It all seems very innocent at first, this brief excursion off the main topic of the secret NASA… Kennedy… Obama Connection – to 2012!, and Hoagland tosses up this slide with his typical flair for the meticulous lack of reference information whatsoever so that others have to spend hours scouring all available resources to find things. The image is AS17-134-20387 and it shows Apollo 17 astronaut and Mission Commander Eugene ‘Gene’ Cernan standing in the Taurus-Littrow Valley on the moon. It was taken with a Hasselblad 70mm camera by fellow astronaut and geologist Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt in the early evening of 11 December 1972.
It was a Monday.
Then, twenty-odd seconds into his little sidebar, things start going all pear shaped and you can feel your brain start doing an Arnold Toht towards the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
‘If you look closely in this sky,’ he says, ‘you’ll see this…’ And ‘this’ is indicated below in the pertinent section of the photograph and shown at its full-size. Unlike Hoagland’s image, however, I have used no special ‘algorithms’ to enhance the colour. This is as it appears on the Apollo 17 Image Library site. And if you clicked on the provided link, you would know that.
‘And if you focus in on this,’ he continues on, undaunted, ‘you’ll see that it’s a pair of incredible double prisms…’ – and in the image inset on the left I have enlarged those incredible double prisms to 300% so that you can actually see them, and again as they appear in the original NASA photograph – ‘which in an airless lunar sky,’ Hoagland implores, ‘in a vacuum, is impossible!’ He then goes on to explain, not how it is double prisms – or any prisms – are apparently impossible in a redundantly airless lunar sky in a vacuum, but how prisms themselves are created in case no-one has ever had a first year science course or ever seen the cover of The Dark Side of the Moon: ‘The reason is, that as light is refracted through optically, you know, transparent materials, like glass, it forms differential refraction, red, green, blue, etcetera, etcetera…’
By now I’m sure you know where this striking information is heading. Hoagland eventually finishes his thought a bit later – not to spoil all the fun for you – by defiantly concluding that, ‘This—’ meaning the presence of differentially refracting prisms, double or otherwise, ‘is—impossible under any normal reconstruction of what NASA said was really on the moon.’
And here we go…
‘On the moon,’ he insists, ‘we find that there is a STUNNING set of… crud… in the sky.’ But it’s not just any old crud. Oh no. ‘It is the remains of an ancient set of geometric glass-like domes,’ he says. ‘And those domes are giving us exquisite rainbows.’
Or, rather, wee tiny prisms you can barely see if you look very closely indeed.
To better illustrate the so-called ‘crud’ scattered on the lunar surface and choking out the airless lunar sky in a vacuum with all its huge ancient glassiness, he ostensibly uses photos from Apollo 15 – AS15-88-11896 and AS15-88-11897, respectively – to prove just how clearly visible the glass-like domes really are. I say ‘ostensibly’ due to the fact that in yet another video presentation on this topic (referenced again a bit further down, in case you’re worried), Hoagland talks about ‘newly scanned leaked images that somebody is putting 16 megabyte files so anybody out there can go to the web and download them.’ He challenges pretenders to his crown to go and find these images and see the evidence for themselves and then fails utterly to explain where they might be found, thoroughly negating his empty challenge and forcing me – as well as others – to use the original NASA images. Regardless, he uses these Apollo 15 images (to which he then carefully applies his special super secret alchemical image enhancement ‘algorithms’ he doesn’t share with anyone) because not only can we quite plainly see the ancient massive structures soaring into the blackness of space, but also how they manage to shift with parallax relative to the changing position of the astronaut taking the photographs:
‘This glass set of structures on the moon,’ Hoagland confidently observes regarding these images, ‘gives you prismatic dispersion of colour at sunrise and sunset.’
Now, here in a little place I like to call Reality, things are often very different. Because there is no atmosphere on the moon, both the setting and the rising of the sun happen rather abruptly, with no lingering ‘light scattering’ the way we see it on the Earth, and they occur about every 29 days, which is a much longer period than a manned lunar visit ever was. Cernan and Schmitt have the honour of having been there the longest – three days. And as for the Apollo 15 images in question, it’s more than a little obvious that these were not taken at sunrise or sunset: look very carefully at the shadows on the ground. And to my current knowledge – and I could be wrong, as I’ve only had the opportunity to look through about three quarters of the available Apollo images – no photographs were taken by astronauts at sunrise or sunset on any of the lunar missions, making the capturing on film of ‘prismatic dispersion of colour’ through ‘an ancient set of geometric glass-like domes’ rather unlikely.
And yes, before anyone can object, the Surveyor 6 mission did capture a few sunset images on 24 November 1967 and transmitted them back to Earth via television. Black and white television. And not very high quality black and white television.
If you’ve read through any of my Is That Lipstick on the Doll’s Head? series, you’ve got a general knowledge of where this is going. It’s neither my intention nor desire to go through all the photographic lack of evidence in Dark Mission for a second time. Though I would like to add some bits of additional material to what has gone before, especially in light of the stunning and striking information Hoagland has provided in his ‘Secrets’ Conference presentation, and to occasionally posit some questions for those interested to ponder.
And not to drift too far afield, but in this brief video (I told you I’d reference it again), which is a smaller segment from a much longer and far more painful Project Camelot series about Dark Mission (and if you’re as intrigued by this as I know you are, you can watch Parts One, Two, and Three any time), Hoagland states, in reference to his incredible prisms:
One of the key predictions of the model [Everything is ‘a model’ on Planet Hoagland, and this refers to the ‘model’ that there are ancient domes on the moon] is that if you have glass, if you have glass domes, glass ruins… people who live in glass houses see prisms. They see stunning arrays of colour.
What’s fascinating about this comment, apart from its absurdity, is that I am lucky enough to not only work in a big building with enormous great glass windows, but to actually have glass windows in my home. And when the sun is streaming through them on a clear day, you would simply not believe how often I don’t see prisms or stunning arrays of colour. But maybe it’s because I haven’t got the right kind of glass. And according to Hoagland, with regard to glass, ‘only on the moon is it twenty times stronger than steel.’ In fact, in a transcript of another part of the same turgid video series he states:
So it looks like the lunar ruins are made out of the most common material you find on the moon, which by the way when you make ruins [But what civilisation actively makes ruins?], the structural buildings on the moon, they're twenty times stronger than steel. [No mention as to when he and his research team had the opportunity to fully analyse the material first-hand to confirm this hypothesis].
And the reason is: there's no water on the moon. There's no atmosphere. There's no impurities that get into the glass that make it weak and brittle. So on the moon, glass is a structural material and it has - if you dope it [which would be adding impurities] with various minerals, metals, you can make it do all kinds of cool things.
So let’s talk for a moment about domes. Just for a smidge. See what this glass dome here and here is doing? Or this glass dome? Or even this glass dome ? That’s right. They’re reflecting all sorts of pretty things – including the sun. See what else that last dome is doing? That’s right. Scattering the direct sunlight streaming in it from behind. But can you see what this other glass dome isn’t doing at all? Or this one? That’s right. They’re not casting prisms everywhere inside. Neither is this glass dome. Of course in the Reichstag image, due to the photographer facing at what’s called an ‘up-sun’ angle, there are some tiny bits of colour – perhaps even a prism – because of…?
Wait for it…
That’s right. Our old friend lens flare. And rather than merely parrot back loads of information I’ve already provided in some detail in the past (with no thanks to the limitations and irritations of the shitty text editor my blog host was so very fond of using four years ago) or go on about how it all happens or why, I’ll simply provide you with this link to read at your leisure.
Even if there was some remote possibility that this ‘ancient set of geometric glass-like domes’ wasn’t terribly geometric or geodesic and was somehow made without the valuable aid of grids and girders (because glass is twenty times stronger than steel on the moon and can be anything you want it to be, as we have been reliably informed) it would still reflect things, whether it was spherical, conical, cylindrical, elliptical, or semi-circular. The domes would reflect things all the time. Not just at sunrise, not just at sunset, but ALL. THE. TIME – under any lighting conditions, at any time. You would see them not just whilst you’re standing in front of them on the lunar surface, but in all probability – if they are indeed just as massive and ubiquitous as Hoagland claims – you would be able to see them, on occasion, when the conditions are right, reflecting tiny glints of light as you look at the moon from the comfort of your own back yard as you stand over a roaring fire-pit fuelled with the torn pages of Dark Mission. And if by chance these ‘glass-like domes’ had been, a thousand years ago and for whatever ludicrous reasons imaginable, fitted with some sort of non-reflective material so that people and low orbiting satellites or lunar landers couldn’t see them and bonk into them, then you Wouldn’t. See. Prisms. Either. Dick.
Not at sunrise. Not at sunset. Not at any other time.
However, if these prisms are, in fact, ‘stunning confirmation’ of the ‘ancient glass-like domes’ on the lunar surface ‘model,’ and if these prisms are only seen as the tell-tale artefacts of the otherwise apparently invisible domes as the sun shines through them in the airless lunar sky in a vacuum, and if the ‘exquisite rainbows’ are cast at sunrise and sunset as light is refracted through optically, you know, transparent materials, like glass, to form differential refraction – then explain this (which you can click to enlarge slightly):
This is AS17-134-20470, taken by Gene Cernan during EVA 3. As you can see, either here or through the link up there in the line above this one, there aren’t any ‘ancient glass-like domes’ towering majestically in front of or behind the Lunar Module for the sun to refract through. Neither are they hiding cunningly in the shadows underneath, nor did the Lunar Module land on them by accident.
This – just exactly like every other piece of theoretically conclusive and stunningly confirmatory ‘photographic evidence’ of sunlight being refracted through optically, you know, transparent materials, like glass, to form differential refraction, and there are many – is an example of lens flare.
And in frame AS17-134-20469, taken only just moments before the one above, not only can you see the unwanted, irritating, and so often disastrous side effects of direct up-sun photography, but also that it is, in my view, rather a clear contradiction to the assertion that, on the moon, one would only see the striking prismatic diffraction of light through an ancient set of geometric glass-like domes.
The evidence of lens flare, large and small, is literally everywhere in Apollo photographs. All you need do is look. And it helps to have both a critical and objective eye and some comprehension of the mechanics of just how the phenomena works –which is why I provided the earlier page reference you didn’t read. As the article says, and as anyone who’s got enough experience with photography will tell you, one need not necessarily be facing the sun to endure the annoying consequences of lens flare. It can happen even under the best and most controlled of circumstances. However, on the surface of the moon, the problem is magnified to an even greater degree.
Look at AS17-134-20377, for example. This is a ‘cross sun’ image. And if you look to the left of Gene Cernan, you will see the sun glaring off the bottom section of the Lunar Module and not only casting a small flare of blue light, but slightly fogging the left side of the frame as well. AS17-134-20380 has the same issue, as does AS17-134-20381, which also has a very tiny prism floating at an angle to the top left edge of the flag. In AS17-134-20383, taken of Jack Schmitt just a few frames before the famous Hoagland image of Gene Cernan standing with the American flag, you can plainly see a stunning array of exquisite rainbows and two small prisms not refracting through an ancient set of geometric glass-like domes…
The list – like the beat – goes on. And you will no doubt be pleased to discover that I will not attempt to catalogue them all here. Suffice to say that believing prisms extant in Apollo photography are evidence of glass-like lunar domes is like believing that the Tyrannosaurus Rex had small hands to make texting easier. Making wild speculative claims with little or vanishingly small amounts of supporting evidence and wasting nearly 20 years of your time ‘researching’ imaginary invisible domes by focussing your attention only on one sort of extremely common photographic lighting anomaly in a carefully selected handful of NASA images…
without looking at the surrounding or adjacent frames which quite plainly reveal the underlying cause of those anomalies, which instantly negate your suppositions and and spurious theories or ‘models…’
is not only bad science, but it’s dishonest, disingenuous, and does a great disservice to the community from whom you seek credibility and by whom you wish to be taken seriously, and to those whom you charge extortionate fees for amateur-quality video cassettes or DVDs or for admission to banal conferences where they can listen to you espouse this feckless drivel.
And you look like an idiot.
But let’s just for one tiny moment take Hoagland’s assertion at face value and pretend that there are, indeed, the stunning remains of an ancient set of geometric glass-like domes ascending magnificently above the Southern edge of Mare Serenitatis, giving us these exquisite rainbows as the setting or rising sunlight is refracted through the optically, you know, transparent materials, like glass, to form differential refraction. And, for the sake of this little thought experiment, let’s take a random example of this assertion – frame AS17-147-22544, taken by Jack Schmitt on a ‘down-sun’ angle at Geophone Rock during EVA1 – to showcase the irrefutable evidence.
And then ask yourself this:
Why, self, would this stunning array of colour – an exquisite rainbow – spectrally refracting off an ancient glass-like dome and standing as unimpeachable evidence of the veracity of Hoagland’s model, be the only thing in focus in the otherwise out-of-focus background? In fact, now I think of it, why are a good deal of these stunning confirmations of the lunar dome ‘model’ often seen in much clearer focus than the rest of the background material? Were they closer to the camera than previously thought? And if the prisms are proof of the glass-like domes towering in all their staggering enormity at the far horizon, does it not stand to reason that they, too, ought to be blurred by at least the same degree as other distant objects in the photographs? And, correspondingly, ought not the colours of these exquisite rainbows be equally as de-saturated as other colours in the photograph? And ought not the prisms, as well, suffer the very consequences of over- or underexposure as do all the other objects we can see? Would they not, as elements extant on the original film medium, be subject to the same relative quality issues effecting the entire image in the process of digitisation? And, getting back to the random sample frame, if the sun was blazing as brightly as it obviously was from behind Jack Schmitt whilst he took the photograph of Geophone Rock –as we can clearly see just a few frames later in the full panorama when he turns round to face the opposite direction – wouldn’t we actually see the ancient glass-like domes more like this?
Beneath such punishing solar intensity, why do we only see a wee small prism floating out in the vastness of space? And if Hoagland’s assertion is that these glass-like domes can be seen spectrally refracting light as the sun shines through them, then, given the location of Jack Schmitt relative to the position of the sun in this particular instance, would these exquisite rainbows not be, by necessity, going in exactly the opposite direction? Wouldn’t the ancient glass-like domes be refracting the sunlight away from him at that point, rendering them invisible to us because they would be on the other side of the glass? Or is there another source of back lighting we can’t see? Are you ever going to write about Food Network again?
‘Ah, but what about those striking Apollo 15 images?’ you may counter, thinking I’ve forgotten those stunning photographs amidst my rant. ‘The ones with the giant domes in them, piercing the airless lunar sky in a vacuum?’
In the blessedly abbreviated version of the excruciatingly long Project Camelot Dark Mission video series (referenced above), Hoagland, in his fervour to discuss another numberless and thus enigmatic ‘picture from Apollo 17,’ temporarily drops his guard and, at approximately the 1.12 mark, rather carelessly divulges one of his mystical photographic enhancement techniques, saying:
If you turn up the gain, right up here, above these mountains, which aren’t mountains, by the way, they’re old eroded arcologies, you find a prism. You find a stunning colour shard of glass spectrally refracting light.
If you turn up the gain.
Interestingly enough, I’ve owned and used Photoshop (and, less frequently, a handful of other bits of imaging software) from about 1995. And nowhere in Photoshop, to my recollection, is there – or was there ever – a utility allowing one to ‘turn up the gain.’ It really isn’t a term bandied about in photography. Even a simple Google search for it only turns up this remote discussion thread in a Nikon forum.
Typically turning up the gain, as the term can be best applied to the more universally recognised concept of music, only distorts the original signal and adds noise. It does not, by nature, make things clearer or more distinct. It’s the difference between Kaki King and King’s X, as an analogy. In adding ‘noise’ to an image you may sometimes get a sense of sharpness, of more dimension, maybe even a bit more dynamic range if it’s done correctly, but it only introduces distortion to what’s there and often emphasises imperfections in the source material. It does not reveal hidden items. If anything, turning up the so-called ‘gain’ with some magic ‘algorithms’ only reveals an incredible lack of understanding of image enhancement. And with added noise and distortion in a photograph, the phenomena known as pareidolia increases dramatically.
The two Apollo 15 images which Hoagland provides as stunning and conclusive evidence of old eroded arcologies and an ancient set of geometric glass-like domes – AS15-88-11896 and AS15-88-11897, since it was a while ago and I know you don’t want to scroll back – are overexposed in much the same way as the image to the left. Obviously the dark and light elements are reversed here, meaning the sky is not black as it’s seen on the moon, but the general concept for purposes of illustration are the same. Too much light has been let in the camera, either because the aperture was put at too small of a setting or because the ISO was set incorrectly. I would say, in this case, it would be the former. And as a result of too much light on the image, the sky loses much of its detail and colour and begins to ‘bleed’ over or ‘wash out’ the darker edges of the mountain and the horizon.
This same issue, with varying degrees of clarity, can be seen – as can lens flare – in virtually hundreds of Apollo photographs. And though the two images chosen by Hoagland are not precisely some of the best examples of overexposures of the lunar landscape, they do constitute part of his ‘proof’ and so I will use them here. Look closely at the horizon and you can see where the brightness of the regolith is starting to bleed into the darker sky. There is also quite a lack of contrast and detail in the Lunar Module, the flag, astronaut James Irwin, or, well, much of anything else. Because the image is overexposed.
However, once one has deftly applied special ‘algorithms’ and turned up the ‘gain,’ the lack of sharp contrast between the regolith and sky, as well as other imperfections in the image – whether from the scanner used to digitise the photo, dirt on the original negatives, scratches in the emulsion, lens flare or whatever – becomes dramatically amplified and distorted. Nothing hidden has been revealed. Only a lack of skill and knowledge.
‘Yes, but why do the ancient set of geometric glass-like domes dominating the lunar landscape and producing a stunning set of crud in the sky move with parallax relative to the position of the astronaut?’ I hear you object.
And the answer is, they don’t.
What does move in relation to the relative position of astronaut Dave Scott – the one taking the photographs – is the effects of the hard sun beating down unfiltered on the lunar landscape. The domes are made up faerie stories. And if the same super special ‘algorithms’ are applied to the example image of the beach, again to the left, does it appear that I have just suddenly revealed the hidden truth of a multi-layered, spectrally refracting clandestine glass-like dome on some remote beach somewhere in the process of emitting an interstellar beacon into the far reaches of the galaxy – or that I’ve just introduced noise and distortion, amplifying the original signal, as it were, and over-embellished some trivial shit already inherent to the image?
Think about it.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
And whilst you’re contemplating that, let me leave you with two final thoughts:
First, in the farthest reaches of the distant galactic core round which the sad little Planet Hoagland revolves, there appears to be a fascination with thinking that every blur, flash, speck of dust, errant hair, odd scratch or peculiarly-coloured streak on a NASA photograph is seemingly proof of a decades-long conspiracy against the people of the world.
When we are told, rather ambiguously, however, that there are ‘newly scanned leaked images that somebody is putting 16 megabyte files so anybody out there can go to the web and download them,’ but not what the source of the ‘leaked images’ is or how it is they have been processed – either by ‘somebody’ or by Hoagland – we simply cannot, without the ability to verify them or exactly attempt to duplicate the results – which I believe is called ‘the scientific method’ – take them as legitimate.
As it is used in Dark Mission, for example, Apollo image AS17-134-20426 has a red streak in it consistent with a similar one in AS17-134-20452. Hoagland asserts that the streak in his image is indisputable validation of the existence of an ancient set of glass-like domes scattering the light at sunrise or sunset or some ridiculously similar notion, yet the actual NASA image shows none of that. The explanation for these two anomalies is much more mundane than giant glass-like domes. Whatever its source, the Dark Mission image is a spectacularly amateurish scan probably done off an old, cheap scanner without it being calibrated properly, or at all – given the overall red cast – or which had an issue with ‘light leak’ from the lid not being fully closed.
The latter image, as one can easily discover, was the first one taken by Gene Cernan just after he’d changed the film magazine midway through EVA3, and shows what is typically referred to as ‘fogging,’ ‘halation,’ or also ‘light leak.’ These sorts of artefacts occur – mostly in film photography and not so much in digital – when the foam strips protecting the film gate, called ‘seals,’ have worn down or or not completely touching the film after it’s been loaded. Often times the hinges on a camera can go wonky and let light bleed through as well. Another frequent cause is two sections of film touching together during the development process.
None of these photographic aberrations, I hasten to add, neither errant red streaks, nor funny blue bits, nor stunning arrays of colour, nor exquisite rainbows in the form of sporadic and often microscopic prisms you can barely see without straining being spectrally refracted through optically, you know, transparent materials, like glass, to form differential refraction mean that there are an ancient set of geometric glass-like domes looming high into the airless lunar sky in a vacuum.
Unless you’re an idiot.
And lastly, both Hoagland and Bara have quite often thrown down a challenge to their detractors, demanding, ‘Where is the informed criticism?’ And yet when it’s presented to them, they appear to either completely ignore or disregard it as generally fatuous and uneducated.
Well, I’ve got your informed criticism right here…