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Is That Lipstick On The Doll’s Head? Part Four: Do You See What I See? 3.0












Much is made both in the pages of Dark Mission and at one time on The Enterprise Mission web site about a little something called the ‘Shard.’  Most of the Enterprise information is now relocated at a place called though a more concise version of it exits here if you don’t feel like burdening yourself.

shard-lo-3This, according to the story, is a roughly 1.5 mile tall structure or spire sticking off the surface of the moon, much like the stick-shaped thingy found on the Zond 3 photograph. The ‘star’ floating above the ‘Shard’ is said to be a camera registration mark. Weird. I have never seen a camera registration mark – fiducial markings, they are often called – printed anywhere but on the edge of photographs. The distance between these marks are measured when calibrating the camera, so why is just one lone mark floating out in the middle of critical frame real estate?

lo-3-84m-copySorry, I suppose I ought to show you a better image of the ‘Shard.’ There. That’s better. Now we have a better frame of reference from which to start. Unfortunately I could not upload the original file I have as it is some 20mb. You can view your own copy of it at your leisure here or, if you feel like it, download and peruse it in greater detail at a later date.  There are a number of resolutions from which to choose. For the purposes of our discussion, though, the smaller image on the left should suffice well enough for you to see what we are talking about.  This was produced by scaling down the pixel dimensions in a digital photo-processing software programme called Adobe Photoshop 7.

So, as I mentioned, the registration marks are usually located on the perimeter of the image frame. Most of the Apollo cameras were fitted with something called a Reseau Plate which contained a grid for determining distances between objects – which is why you see all the little crosses in so many lunar photographs. The Lunar Orbiters, on the other hand, had:

‘A geometric pattern…preexposed on the spacecraft film of Lunar Orbiters II to V at the same time as the edge data. This pattern aided in the detection of and compensation for distortion introduced by the processing, readout, and ground reproduction systems.’

The quote, in its full context in case you feel I am being intentionally vague, is available at the Lunar & Planetary Institute page and is about as comprehensive as it gets for a 40 year old mission.

shard-1If you are still having difficulty seeing the ‘Shard,’ perhaps this image ‘enhancement’ will be of assistance by giving the subject a bit of much needed perspective, something rather lacking in Dark Mission, and in just about every other discussion of this topic I have yet to find.

This is a version of the now-infamous ‘Shard’ one rarely ever gets to see unless, like me, you go and track it down, and it is known, especially amongst many anomalists, by the cryptic name of LO-III-84M. But you knew that if you had followed the provided link.

I do not – in any way – dismiss the possibility that there may very well in fact be a 1.5 mile tall spire on the lunar surface. ‘Evidence,’ however, seems rather a subjective thing. And though I have often said here that I do not necessarily disagree with all of the theories and ideas presented by Richard C Hoagland, I believe there are much more compelling suggestions (note I said ‘suggestions’) of Moon Tower Evidence available elsewhere to researchers which strike me as far more plausible than that which is presented in the diaphanous pages of Dark Mission.

cube-shardOne of the biggest issues I take with the so-called ‘Shard’ evidence isn’t so much the ‘Shard’ itself – it’s clearly not a photographic abnormality in that it casts a plainly visible shadow on the lunar surface – but with the utterly absurd notion that it has a companion known as the ‘Tower’ or the ‘Cube’ rising some seven miles into space.

If you click on the left-hand image and look closely at it, you can see that, as per the topic in the previous chapter, it has been ‘enhanced’ to the extent that the pixels are beginning to stand out from the background.  And of course one of the first things eagerly pointed to in favour of artificiality is the ‘geometric structure’ seen in both these ‘anomalies.’

Well of course it’s geometric. Pixels – short for ‘picture elements’ – are, by their very nature, geometric, whether they are rendered as circles, squares, or rectangles. And once you blow something up beyond the limitations and tolerances of the inherent source material, yeah, you’re gonna see the pixels. It does not necessarily mean there are structures inside.

lo-3-84m1-smallThe reason I take issue with the existence of the theoretical ‘Tower’ or ‘Cube’ and the accompanying ‘analysis’  is that this so-called ‘structure’ (when seen in context) quite obviously corresponds to the geometric pattern pre-exposed on the original Orbiter film. Clicking on the right-hand image, you can see the ‘grid.’ Those are not stars. And for any purists out there, this original 19.4MB file was cropped to show the area in question and then the pixel dimensions were reduced from their original 1157 x 849 to 657 x 465 (maintaining the correct proportions) and the extant 11.43 pixels per inch were left intact. No other processing was involved. Well, except for the addition of the Ubiquitous Hand of Indication and the caption.

AS10-32-4856-smallNo other image is known to exist which confirms the veracity of the ‘Shard,’ meaning that it could simply (though rather extraordinarily) be a photograph of out-gassing or some other natural geological event – an idea considered highly unlikely by the Enterprise Mission folks because it clearly runs counter to what they seem to believe.  But, according to one of their postings, attributed to Mike Bara, there is a ‘cross-confirming’ image of the ‘Tower’ or ‘Cube.’

The Enterprise Mission enhancement of this ‘confirmation’ photo is provided (exactly as it was found) along with the best possible copy of the untouched (though very much smaller) frame – AS10-32-4856 – I could possibly find. According to the final line in the Bara report:

‘These two frames [AS10-32-4856 & LO-III-84M] constitute proof that the “Tower” is a real Lunar feature and not a photographic defect.’

Yeah, okay…

And then there is the mysterious tale of ‘4822’ – the giant castle structure which floats some nine miles above the surface of the moon, just to the not-too-distant right of what Hoagland calls ‘L.A. on the moon.’ I believe L.A. probably stands for ‘Ludicrous Anomaly’ and, frankly, I will not even bother remarking on it further.

AS10-32-4822-copyI find it quite difficult to write about the subject of ‘4822’ due to the heavy sighs I keep making and the fact that my eyes keep rolling upwards. According to the mythology, there are apparently now up to twelve different versions of this image and only two of them show the ‘Castle.’ All of the other versions, quoth the legends, have been cunningly doctored to eliminate any sign of this anomaly.

That seems perfectly reasonable, doesn’t it?

If you recall, in the previous chapter I mentioned the National Press Club briefing on 21 March 1996 (a ritually significant date, as it is customarily the Equinox) and listed the known members of the team  assembled by Hoagland. One of the team was the ‘properly motivated’ Alex Cook. Young Mr Cook, it seems, confirmed the existence of the ‘Castle’ by discovering it on a copy of ‘4822’ he had obtained from NASA.

2castles-a-b-cWhat Hoagland tells us (in paraphrase just to save you the pointless linguistic gymnastics that only obscure what’s really being said) is that his own version of ‘4822,’ coupled with the version from Alex Cook, shows that the ‘Castle’ is real because these two images – two different frames from the same film roll – were taken seconds apart and therefore the ‘Castle’ is offset enough in them, or seen from enough of a different angle between the two versions, to prove that it is a real structure.

I took the Hoagland 4822 and the Cook 4822 and put them side by side.  The file size on the Hoagland 4822 JPEG I found was larger than that of the Cook 4822 JPEG. So, very carefully, little by little, I re-sized Hoagland’s 4822 (only by pixel reduction with original proportions left constrained) until the two images were the same relative height and width. I dropped the opacity on the Cook 4822 to 40% of the original (as it was overpoweringly brighter), and overlaid the two images.

Oddly enough, they are about 99% exactly the same. If you look closely at the bottom left-hand frame, you will note that I left the two images offset by just a tiny fraction so that you could see that there are indeed two images. Any abnormality in the other 1% of their differences could be due to anything from how the prints were originally made to just how horribly they have been blown up and ‘enhanced.’

Another thing to keep in mind is that if these were actually two images taken ‘seconds’ apart, both the position of the spacecraft and the position of the moon below would have shifted enough to make these frames not just marginally different to each other, but significantly different.

Even after orbital insertion the ship is moving at something like – What? Ten thousand miles an hour? And in that these were taken out the window of the Apollo 10 craft by an astronaut holding – in his hands – a bulky Hasselblad 70mm camera with an 80mm lens (or worse a 250mm telephoto lens which would have created even more offset given the probability of human error) they should be more than just a little different.

2castles-alt-1In the interests of fairness and to be as thorough as I can (because you find this as interesting as I do or you wouldn’t still be sitting there reading this) there is another comparison photo set available, this one dating to the pre-Enterprise Mission days when they were still calling themselves ‘The Mars Mission.’

I chose to work with this incredibly awful set of images as well because, as degraded as they seem to be by the stresses of extreme magnification, I wanted to illustrate that I wasn’t altering existing data. In the previous example, the Hoagland 4822 and the Cook 4822 were both presented in the upright positions as I have them depicted.

In this alternative version, you can see that the Hoagland 4822 image is tilted slightly anticlockwise (and this is how it was found – I had nothing to do with it) whilst the Cook 4822 image is shown more upright. I found it helpful to tint the images because they were unimaginably difficult to see as individual frames when composited.

I also tinted the Cook 4822 blue for comparative purposes and, as you can probably see in the second set of images (in the centre), dropped the opacity to 50%. The Hoagland 4822 (on the left) is tinted yellow. Together, in the lower left corner, the ‘Castles’ don’t really match, but they make a cool purple and grey colour scheme.

The last image, on the lower right, shows that, once nudged just a wee bit until the two images are in more proper alignment, there is an ever-so-slight offset to the top of the ‘Castle’ and everything else almost perfectly lines up. Finally, tilting the Cook 4822 backwards only just a bit, it becomes clear that the two images fit together uncannily well for two entirely different images which were supposed to have been photographed at two different points in time and from two different angles.

2castles-alt-2I felt that it was fair to tilt the image. Certainly Hoagland – or someone at The Enterprise Mission – did when putting their ‘proof’ together. If it was perfectly acceptable for them, then I feel justified in doing it here. As we are not being shown how the two photographs are dramatically different, other than this minuscule enhancement, who can say with any certainty just how the originals are or were oriented?

Either way, it clarifies my point that these are not two entirely separate images taken ‘seconds apart’ on some ‘power wind’ sequence as Hoagland would have us believe. And if they were, it is one of the most remarkable achievements in hand-held aerial photography.

And, a little bit of research shows that, though Hoagland makes a great deal out of these two photos being so-called ‘stereo pairs,’ the truth is stereoscopic strips were actually taken about 16 miles apart with 60% overlap, meaning that the ‘Castle’ should have moved more than just a tiny hairsbreadth if these two images are, in fact, ‘stereo pairs.’

The Lunar Orbiter cameras (the unmanned flights from 1966 to 1968 used to map areas where the upcoming Apollo missions would land) were set up to take stereo images by using two different focal length lenses and simultaneously exposing two 35mm images on to one 70mm frame, but here we are talking about a guy with a big hand held camera taking snaps out the window of a ship flying at breakneck velocity through space. How does one individual with one camera manage to take ‘stereo’ or twin images in such rapid succession from the window of a fast moving craft that when combined they are virtually identical in every conceivable respect?

LM-butt2-detailAnother of the brilliant insights taken from The Neighbourhood of Make-Believe can be seen in its original pre-Dark Mission form at The Enterprise Mission web site under the curiously fitting label of IM Butt, or maybe that’s LM Butt. It’s not that I’m lazy; I just can’t in good faith post this ridiculous image. But go ahead. Take a look. I’ll wait…

Was that fun?  Well the important bit to take notice of isn’t just the repeated pattern of a computer enhancement of a photo of a film of a photo but rather that we are being shown yet another new ‘Magic Bullet’ – the second frame in this montage – which shows the Lunar Modual (oh…Lunar Module; I guess it is LM Butt, after all) parked beside an ‘inclined multi-level’ buttress.

It is utterly shit images like this which are simply just a blatant slap across the joyous face of reason.

Apollo12-buttressI look at stuff like this and think Hoagland must be just pissing himself with gales of laughter at the stupidity and gullibility of anyone who thinks this ‘inclined multi-level buttress’ idea is anything but a stinking load of shit, not to put too fine a point on it.

It’s an absolute insult.

And to make matters worse, unless it was a mistake on the original NASA film, The Enterprise Mission seem to have published their version backwards from the original Apollo 12 frames (seen in their correct sequence to your left). I’d like to take a moment to explain that, once again as you may notice, there is no frame number provided by Hoagland, only a vague reference that this image was taken by ‘an Apollo 12 astronaut.’

Thanks, Dick.

Any researcher of even moderate integrity who is truly interested in discovering anomalies – the curious, the fascinating, the thought-provoking, the bizarre, and the possibly unexplainable – in space mission photography (whether it’s from NASA, the ESA, the Russians, the Chinese, or whomever) would openly share every scrap of information they could gather so that other researchers could easily examine and, one would hope, replicate the results for absolute confirmation. That’s how science works. Good science, anyway: Repeatable experiments and repeatable outcomes.

Obscuring information with arm waving and bullshit in effort to isolate a mere fragment of data only makes your claims that much more preposterous and worthy of derision when the curtain is finally whisked away to expose the knobby white and hairless knees supporting such a massively ridiculous conclusion. And it strikes me as amazingly arrogant to think that anyone would parade such utter rubbish like this before the world –  let alone before other researchers in the hope or expectation of ever having it realistically peer reviewed – call it ‘conclusive’ evidence, and think that no-one would ever want to bother to check the results for themselves.

Five minutes of worth of research – five minutes – tells us that the photographs in question come from film ‘Magazine 49/z (B&W) Frames 7172-7324’ and that ‘This magazine was initially used by Pete Conrad during EVA-2. Later in the EVA, Al Bean borrowed Pete’s camera when his own malfunctioned, and completed the magazine.’ We also learn that the frame comes from a panning sequence taken by Pete Conrad (our apparently nameless ‘Apollo 12 astronaut’) when he and Alan Bean arrived at Sharp Crater.

Though it is entirely probable that this information was difficult to obtain 12 years ago (although somehow I doubt that very much), it certainly wasn’t impossible to get it, and it is clearly quite readily available now, so why not update the research to include all current, accurate, and pertinent information?

It is so incredibly, painfully obvious that this so-called ‘multi-level inclined buttress’ is nothing but a sliver of absolutely mundane lens flare that whatever else is imagined to be in this photo only pales by comparison. It’s almost as bad as looking at something as simple as a rock and thinking it’s a complex piece of machinery.

And who would do that?

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