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Is That Lipstick On The Doll’s Head? Part Four: Do You See What I See? 2.0

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TWO

Always wanting to beat the pants off of us ‘Capitalist Pigs’ during a mythical time called ‘The Cold War,’ the Soviet Union – a now equally mythical land like Atlantis or Lemuria – made it clear that they were the leaders in yet another mythical thing called ‘The Space Race’ by launching a little tin machine called Sputnik into the starry void in the early evening hours of 4 October 1957. And two years later, on 7 October 1959, the Soviet-launched Luna 3 spacecraft transmitted to Earth the first ever views of the far side of the moon.

zond3-dalekIn less than ten years, as we busied ourselves trying to fulfil John F. Kennedy’s 1961-stated dream of ‘landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth’ by tinkering with Pegasus and Saturn V rockets and blowing things up quite spectacularly on the launch pads, the Soviets fired into space on the afternoon of 18 July 1965 a Mars 3MV-4A – more popularly known as Zond 3 which – rather oddly, resembled a heavily modified Imperial Dalek.

Two days after its launch, Zond 3, equipped with a television system which allowed for on-board film processing capabilities, sent back to the Earth via facsimile transmission an approximately 30-frame sequence also of the far side of the moon and then continued on into space.

In 1987, Jane’s Information Group published a book called Solar System Log (now apparently out of print) which catalogued the details of some 100 different space-faring vehicles and included some of the images they had captured. Amongst the missions detailed was that of the Zond 3.

zond3-1And from a Zond 3 photograph provided in the pages of this publication, 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 principle investigator of The Enterprise Mission shows us even more iron-clad evidence of strangeness on the lunar surface. And that would be the indicated bit sticking up on the right-hand side of the provided frame.

This image, such as it is, aptly labelled ‘Image #1’ (presumably by Hoagland), was the best version I could find. It originates, it seems, from a much larger and equally poor image available on The Enterprise Mission website (and found used again at said site here way way down at the bottom of the page if you care to scroll forever to see the full graphic in its more or less original context) and dates from Hoagland’s 1996 investigation into lunar anomalies.

One may surmise, as it is not stated directly anywhere in Dark Mission, that this discovery was derived from some of the research Hoagland dove into after the Mars Observer ‘went dark’ on 21 August 1993 and he was suddenly left with very little to do.

zond3-2Another image from the Zond 3 mission, here given the title of ‘Image #2,’ used in the original Hoagland 1996 montage (which you just saw if you followed the link), has been apparently drawn from Exploring Space With a Camera, which a bit of further research reveals was first printed as NASA Special Publication 168 in 1968. You might be able to read the source information on the bottom of the image but I figured I would save you the effort and the eye strain.

I provide the general history of the Zond 3 flight (which you may read more about here or here for a start, if you’re interested in learning more) for two reasons: one, it lays out a little helpful background information and, two, it offers a couple of otherwise innocuous clues easily overlooked and certainly not mentioned anywhere that I have been able to find in conjunction with Hoagland’s research.

On 21 March 1996 Hoagland, along with a ‘team of scientists and engineers,’ went before the National Press Club in Washington to present their findings on lunar anomalies. As this event took place more than twelve years ago, the trail is somewhat cold – which certainly gives one pause to consider if the length of time it took for Dark Mission to be published was intentional, so that proper and necessary sources for ‘peer review’ would be quite difficult to find – and locating information or sources on it now is rather scant.  This was still in the more ‘formative years’ of the internet and many of the sites referenced in contemporary reports are no longer extant; relics lost in the darkness and distance of the information superhighway.

What does exist is an IRC log (at The Enterprise Mission site) and some scattered blurbs about it afterwards which is about as close to the event as anyone is going to get without investing a vast amount of otherwise useful time. Therefore any inaccuracies supplied here are only due to the limitations of the available source material, and that includes Dark Mission itself, which tends to frequently side-step specific details.

Later that evening (21 March) Hoagland went on the national late night radio show Coast To Coast AM (then hosted by the masterful and sorely missed Art Bell). With him was Dr Ken Johnston, a former manager at the Data and Photo Control Department at the NASA Lunar Receiving Laboratory and one of the ‘team’ assembled by Hoagland. (The entire transcript of the broadcast is posted, in four parts, on The Enterprise Mission web site and can be found here if you are on the edge of your seat).

Although Ken Johnston was the only one joining Hoagland for the broadcast, Hoagland was asked by Art who the remaining team were. Hoagland never really answered that question. Big surprise. The best I have been able to piece together is that the other individuals involved with the Press Club Briefing were Marvin Czarnik, a retired aerospace engineer whose ‘experience goes  back all the way to the Mercury program and Gemini,’ Ron Nicks, a geologist formerly with the Battelle Institute, Alex Cook, a student and amateur astronomer who represented ‘the best and brightest of ordinary folk who are properly motivated,’ Brian Moore, PhD, ‘lunar construction techniques, Moore space, Inc., worked at Kennedy Space Center for two years,’ and Robert Fiertek, ‘architect, Fiertek Design’ who was interested in anomalies on the Moon and Mars for nine years.

One of the more pertinent bits regarding the present topic, though, is from the transcript of the second half hour in which Hoagland states:

‘We now have a second frame from the Zond-3 mission, on July 20, 1965. And remember – the first Zond frame showed this 30-mile high dome-like protrusion of the lunar limb. This second frame shows a twenty-some mile “Tower” – very massive tower -which is farther to the north, on the limb of a photograph taken a few seconds earlier. It’s in this 28-frame sequence that we can’t get our hands on, out of Moscow.’

Clearly the numbering of these images has changed in that they no longer correspond numerically to his description. Then again this was twelve years ago. You can’t always be expected to keep this kind of stuff straight.

It is stated in Dark Mission that Hoagland had, in 1995, visited the National Space Science Data Centre at Maryland where he had seen a NASA publication (SP-168) containing an image from Zond 3 which had been sent to NASA headquarters in July 1965. It also states that he was unsuccessful at obtaining ‘original versions (negatives or prints)’ of Soviet space missions from the National Academy of Sciences at Moscow.

So then… We are apparently looking at two images which were part of a 30-frame sequence (24 seem to be of any practical use) taken by a camera with a 106mm lens from a distance of roughly 10-12,000 kilometres (or 5500-7400 miles) and whose original negatives are presently forever drifting through the vastness of space on a heliocentric orbit, which might explain why Hoagland – or anyone else – will never see them: Innocuous clue one.

The negatives were processed on the spacecraft and scanned at 67-line resolution (some later were rescanned at 1100-lines) and transmitted to Earth through essentially a fax machine and prints were then struck from these transmissions. Later, two images, both of unknown resolution, generation, or origin, found their way into Jane’s Solar System Log and SP-168 respectively, which means that they no doubt had to be imaged again in some fashion to end up in books. They were then ‘discovered’ by Richard C Hoagland (in the aforementioned publications) and, one would obviously have to presume, either re-photographed, re-photocopied, re-scanned or re-imaged in some manner once more so that Hoagland could create his 1996 montage. And then probably re-imaged yet again for his press conference: Innocuous clue two.

So here we have before us a copy of a reproduction of a reprint of a photo of a fax and are being told that it’s conclusive proof of striking and stunning revelations. Please forgive me if I am sceptical. There can be no definitive ‘proof’ here because there are no possible means of knowing where these images themselves came from or how they were printed or handled – or mishandled – prior to being reproduced long before we, or Hoagland, ever saw them.

Zond03_24-big-Here, in a clearly much smaller form, is a version of what is called by Hoagland ‘Image #1.’

By the way, Zond 3 images are still currently available (with some considerable amount of searching) at a few sites here and there, but getting decent, let alone complete, image sets and information can be rather tricky. It took quite some digging to find these sites which, I think, are probably some of the best currently available, which isn’t saying much. The versions of these images now available from the NASA web site, for example, are quite frankly pretty crappy, leading one to speculate, again, about the veracity of some of Hoagland’s claims.

zond3-24-detailCertainly when you enlarge a better version of ‘Image #1’ – which appears to be otherwise known as Zond 3 Frame 24 to the rest of the interested parties in the world – there is a fairly strange (and one might even say anomalous) smudge on the upper right side of image which doesn’t really seem to totally correspond to the other pixels on the image, but it’s difficult to be sure  just precisely what it is. At such high enhancements the image becomes so degraded and pixellated that it’s hard to determine if what you’re looking at is part of the actual image or an artefact of the processing.

It’s important to remember that when you are dealing with digital imaging – or more specifically a digitally-rendered copy of an original film negative or, as in this case, a printed photograph – you can always take pixels away but you cannot add them. Well, actually, yes you could do, but taking pixels away typically makes an image smaller and, conversely, adding pixels makes and image larger. However, taking pixels away does not enhance fine detail, and adding pixels in does not add quality. And certainly does not, in any way, add any detail not already there to begin with. Pixel addition will make an image larger, yes, but it also makes the image ‘softer.’ And sharpening those ‘details’ afterwards only makes the image worse:

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In order to enlarge even a small portion of the Zond 3 image, I needed to add one thousand pixels to the existing image. Sharpening only degrades the image even more and increases the artefacting as it begins to highlight the individual pixels – something Hoagland’s images are often riddled with and, typically, the very things he points to quite often as conclusive ‘proof.’
Zond03_28-big

Here, too, is a better quality version of Zond 3 Fame 28 (or Hoagland’s ‘Image #2’) in which it is fairly evident that the so-called thirty-mile high dome he alludes to as ‘stunning’ proof of his glass-like structures model is no longer present. Could it be that the  image Hoagland used – one taken from a book – could have simply had printing defects from one of the numerous times it was copied or recopied? I am sure that the case could be made that the images I have used here, taken from various sources on the internet, could also have been doctored or manipulated to eliminate the ancient ruins but, honestly, if you ‘enhance’ the region Hoagland presents as evidence…

zond3-28-detail…there seems to be no obvious suggestion of tampering with the photo or of somehow digitally obscuring the thirty-mile high glass dome, so where is it?

One of the bits of arm waving and bullshit seemingly meant to divert attention is the absolute ambiguity with which Hoagland ‘explains’ the procedure or steps involved in achieving his ‘enhanced’ images.

In the transcript of the 1996 Art Bell broadcast he states:

‘…we put these photos under the optical scanner, and used the computer algorithms that we’ve been working with now for several years.’

Although it is indeed subtle, one can almost imagine Hoagland casually passing his hand before the face of a viewer or listener, waggling his fingers – ‘These are not the driods you’re looking for…’ – because, really, what has he told us?

He scanned the images into the computer.  Saying ‘optical scanner’ apparently makes it sound more high-tech and flashy, providing that ‘Oooo’ factor: ‘Oooo! See? Not just any scanner. It’s an optical scanner!’ He also mentions ‘algorithms’ in something of an airy fashion as if to suggest that he is simultaneously discussing concepts far above our heads whilst courteously ‘dumbing it down’ for the rest of us mere mortals to comprehend. This verbal masturbation seems remarkably self-aggrandising when you consider that an algorithm is basically a method of calculation – a list of steps taken to reach a result – and is the foundation of virtually every piece of computer software ever made.

It’s all H.O.G.W.A.S.H.

It bears repeating that in Dark Mission, Hoagland states he used ‘a 486 personal computer, a 1600dpi scanner and a variety of then state-of-the-art digital photo-processing software’ to do his enhancements. Specifically he says ‘commercially available software.’ Even the IRC log mentions Hoagland as saying ‘You only have to have a home office computer and image software to scan and enhance the data.’

But how it is he produced these images he claims are evidence, or just what ‘algorithms’ he used to enhance them are never hinted at nor explained. Perhaps because our brains would merely explode at the vast amount of information we would have to take in just to understand it all. In 1996 I would probably guess that he used Photoshop 3 or 4, maybe CorelDRAW 5 or 6. There were (and still are) hundreds of off-the-rack imaging software products available in a vast array of capabilities and price ranges, so who knows how he produced (or presently produces) his images? That information is never fully divulged. That would destroy the illusion.

I find it interesting that, reading the Art Bell transcript, one finds Hoagland saying:

‘And this…is part of the pattern that we have noticed. I have not seen any overt examples, that I could put my finger on, in this lunar work – of outright retouching or air-brushing or faking of pictures, or destruction of data. What I find, is a pattern of deception, a pattern of losing information, of mis-labelling it… In other words I see a pattern of…trying to deter people, trying to dissuade people – from getting access to the data…’

hoagland-vegasThat has an oddly familiar ring to it.

Like a couple of scantily-clad dancers at a David Copperfield show on the Vegas strip, our Dark Mission authors seem to want to distract and obfuscate; to divert our erstwhile attention away from the finer details and minutia behind some of the images being presented as some sort of unassailable truth of The Great Lie Perpetuated By NASA.

It begs two questions, really:

1) Can they honestly believe that we will wilfully except these very often ridiculous bits of photographic nonsense and such easily refuted claims being touted for some inexplicable reason as ‘hard science?’ and;
2) What the hell is in the background over there that they don’t want us to see?

2 Responses to Is That Lipstick On The Doll’s Head? Part Four: Do You See What I See? 2.0

  1. mystic says:

    Regarding the zond. Dome photograph, the image that Hoagland uses is currently residing on an official NASA website and it clearly shows the dome in question.
    http://history.nasa.gov/SP-168/section2a.htm

  2. Geo says:

    Without any reference from NASA as to where these images came from, there is simply no way to tell what the ‘dome’ is. As I mention in this post, as far as the image used by Hoagland is concerned, we are looking at *copy* of a *reproduction* of a *reprint* of a *photo* of a *fax* and are being told that it’s conclusive. It appears that he had no interest in looking at other versions of the photograph to corroborate his claim and seems content with using substandard and potentially flawed copies.
    The NASA image in your link appears to be from the same ‘Exploring Space With a Camera’ book published, by NASA, in 1968. It might *not* be, but it looks *very* similar. And, as I said, without a citation of the source, it is impossible to know. The images I used to compare were tracked down to the best possible original sources I could find (and that was over two years ago)on the internet. I’m not saying mine are conclusive either, but at least I took the time to try to locate the closest approximate to the original Soviet versions to see what information they contained.
    This only illustrates the point, though, that Hoagland has a long history of taking one bad photo entirely out of context and making ludicrous claims and does no further research. His ‘enhancements’ are typically flawed, as anyone with even a general knowledge of image enhancement will attest, and he has a habit of discarding or disregarding other images which call his work into question.
    The ‘dome’ on *some* of the copies of the Zond photo could be anything. And, playing the Devil’s Advocate, as I have done from the beginning, if a dome that large truly was jutting off the surface of the moon, anyone should be able to see it quite clearly with binoculars or a telescope – and likely with the naked eye. It would be enormous, relative to the size of the moon, and simply impossible to miss.
    Thanks for the link, though!

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