Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ken Johnston Still Under Attack

Despite our recent posting of Dr. Ken Johnston’s credentials, certificates and awards, including his doctoral certificate from the Reform Baptist Theological Seminary of Denver, granted in 1985, NASA shill James Oberg has continued to attack Ken on several fronts. From the ridiculous accusation that Ken was not “in charge” of the photographs in his possession at NASA’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory, to attacking the doctorate itself, Oberg has been -- inexplicably for a guy who says he wants to “move on to other things” -- persistent. By his own account, Oberg has been burning up the phone lines trying to find something – anything – to discredit a man he has known for over 30 years, while continuing to pretend he’s never even met Ken Johnston.

The purpose of these vicious and personal attacks is multi-faceted, and designed to achieve several nefarious goals.

Any objective observer would have long-since concluded that Ken is exactly who he says he is, and that he has provided more than sufficient documentation verifying his resume. Yet, in his unrelenting attempts to assassinate Ken’s character, Oberg has hidden behind the lie that he is simply doing what any other journalist would do in his shoes. In reality, Oberg’s attacks have nothing to do with journalism. Oberg has no intention of ever writing anything for NBC or MSNBC on the questions raised by Dark Mission or the testimony Ken has given. He’s simply using this as an excuse to attack an honest American who served his country with honor in the Marines and at NASA in order to satisfy the blood thirst of the creeps who inhabit the CSICOP (now “CSI”) end of the spectrum, and to serve those at NASA who are threatened by Ken’s testimony.

This is clearly proven out by the pettiness and irrationality of the specific attacks themselves.

For instance, Oberg continues to argue that Ken was not “in charge” of the photographic datasets in his possession at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, despite the memo from NASA’s Dr. Jeffery L. Warner, which states that “the data and photo facilities in Room 105 that is run by Ken Johnston… is an order of magnitude better than when I left it.” It’s hard to understand how someone who “runs” a data and photo facility is somehow not “in charge” of the data and photos that he is given oversight of. Only a twisted agenda like Oberg’s can manage to turn this into some sort of “discrepancy.”

Furthermore, it wouldn’t matter if Ken had been merely the janitor at the LRL during the Apollo Program, much less “in charge” of anything. All that matters is that he was, in fact, in a position to have access to the official Apollo photographs he has now provided to the world (as Dr. Warner’s memo, among many other documents, clearly establishes); that he was subsequently ordered to destroy these photographs (a story we recount in “Dark Mission”), and that he chose instead to preserve some of the images -- to the ultimate betterment of mankind.

So given these indisputable facts, why is Oberg still pursuing a subject he claims he’d rather not be spending time on? Perhaps the answer lies in the legal entanglements which potentially arise from NASA’s original order.

One unspoken motivation for Oberg’s bumbling attempts at intimidation and highly invasive attacks on Ken’s character may be the desire to discredit him as a potential first-hand witness. Given the highly questionable legality of the order given to Ken to destroy key Apollo photographic data, a future courtroom appearance or Congressional inquiry is not out of the question. Several former NASA employees, all probably drawing pensions from their days at the Agency, are potentially implicated. That these same ex-NASA employees are now (according to Oberg anyway) denying that Ken Johnston was ever actually involved in the management of any LRL facilities or in charge of any photographs is hardly surprising. However, given their signed memos to the contrary (from over 30 years ago), it’s clear that they are most likely simply trying to cover their own rear ends, since they are directly threatened by Ken’s first person testimony regarding what they ordered him to do in those critical Apollo years.

This relentless smear campaign will also have a chilling effect on anyone else inside NASA thinking about coming forward. If they were to do so, as Ken has, and tell the truth about what they saw and did at the Agency all those years ago, they can expect the same sort of threats, intimidation and character assault that Ken has now experienced. Oberg, from his position as science reporter at NBC news, has already shown -- by getting Ken fired from his position as JPL Solar System Ambassador -- that he will use his power as a “journalist” to wreck the reputation of anyone who dares stand up to the NASA “family.”

However, as an obviously unintended consequence of Oberg’s one-man smear campaign against Ken, we now know that there were several other NASA photo labs, most notably “Building 8” at NASA’s (then) MSC in Houston, where early generation Apollo photographic prints and negatives were also stored and analyzed. So the question now arises, who was in charge of those official NASA photographs? And were they also ordered, as Ken was, to destroy their sets of photographic data from Apollo around the same time Ken was given his specific orders?

Perhaps someday (Congressional), inquiring minds will want to know…

But we must not lose sight of the most significant underlying reason for Oberg’s increasingly desperate efforts to attack Ken Johnston -- to distract readers of this blog (and anyone in the mainstream media) from the real, far more significant policy questions that are raised by Dr. Johnston’s disturbing first-person testimony. Namely, why was he told to destroy four priceless sets of lunar surface and orbital photography from the Apollo missions, and what was on them that NASA was so interested in hiding that they refused to allow the photos to be preserved or simply donated to academic institutions, to whom they would have been invaluable?

What Ken’s meticulously preserved first-generation prints showed was massive artificial “scaffolding” towering over the astronauts as they worked around the Lunar Module “Antares,” on Apollo 14. Later comparisons with Apollo 12 images from that landing site (only 122 miles away) confirmed these same towering glass-like structures, literally “over the horizon,” -- as seen from both landing sites. But without confirmation from NASA’s own image archive, some 30 years (and who knows how many photographic generations) later, Ken’s heroic act of disobedience might have gone unrewarded. As it is, thanks to the scanning efforts of NASA’s own archivists, we can now confirm that these artificial structures are clearly visible in NASA’s current database posted on its own official websites – even if they are degraded by the passing of more than a generation since Ken obtained his original prints and refused the orders by NASA Headquarters to destroy them.

So again, the issue is not “Ken Johnston,” an American hero who served his country when called and who was a true pioneer in the development of the Apollo program itself, but rather the data he preserved and showed the world.

As to Mr. Oberg, who, not satisfied with getting Ken fired from his well deserved position as a JPL Solar System Ambassador, has continued to attack Ken and complain about his own treatment in these pages, we have only one thing more to add. Oberg has continued to insist in both private emails and public forums that Ken -- and indeed our entire premise -- should be rejected, because in his mind we made an “error” in our second press release promoting the October 30th National Press Club event.

Forgetting for the moment that I had nothing to do with the composition of that press release (I was merely the contact person listed on it), Oberg has also attacked me personally because the press release mentions that Oberg was “a colleague of Johnston’s at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center during the Apollo Program in the 1970’s.” Note that the release never said that Oberg “worked on the Apollo program itself, or anything else implying that he was directly involved in Apollo when employed at NASA. Oberg, however, has continued to insist that he was never even at the (Johnson) Manned Spacecraft Center “during the Apollo program.”

Oberg buttresses his argument by writing that he started at JSC (the renamed “MSC,” in 1973) in late July, 1975 -- after the splashdown of the final Apollo mission, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). He actually states his “start date” at JSC as July 28th, one week exactly after the splashdown of the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

This is, at best, a Clintonian prevarication.

As anyone who has ever worked in aerospace well knows, programs don’t “end” with the splashdown of a spacecraft or final flight of an aircraft. They go on for months, and sometimes years, afterwards. There is data to be gathered, scientific and engineering reviews to be published, and lessons learned to be applied to the next program.

Apollo was no different. In fact, the Apollo Program Office continued to stay open well beyond the July 21st splashdown of the last Apollo spacecraft. This official NASA history (SP-4209) shows that the Apollo Program Office was still open as late as October, 1975, when it was refitted to accommodate the shuttle program, which Ken and James both worked on.

It is not surprising to us that James Oberg continues to make outrageous charges and false claims about Ken, or is deceptive about his own employment history in a lame attempt to cover up the simple fact that he and Ken Johnston, indeed, both worked together at Johnson “during the Apollo Program.” We implore our readers to cut through the noise created by Oberg’s ongoing fallacious claims, and focus instead on what’s really important here – the amazing Apollo lunar ruins that NASA has tried, and now obviously failed, to keep secret for so long.

And to focus on the courage of one real American -- who has dared to stand up to an unending barrage of personal attacks at the hands of one of NASA’s own “hit men,” for simply trying to tell everyone the truth.


  1. What part of the story would Dr Levin disagree with?

  2. Submitted 00:30 CST Dec 10, 2007

    -- What is the source of your persistent delusion about me “burning up the phone lines trying to find something – anything – to discredit a man he has known for over 30 years, while continuing to pretend he’s never even met Ken Johnston.” Where did I claim I had “never met” him – and how would I have a reliably complete roster of the thousands of people whose paths crossed with mine in the 22 years I worked at the NASA center? What I think I’ve been posting is that I don’t recall anything about him from that period – something I still believe to be true. What I vigorously dispute is your continued allegation that I was “a colleague” of Johnston’s and knew well that his claimed biographical details were authentic – an allegation which (as with all the others) you present no evidence beyond your own steadfast faith in your own imagination.

    -- As for “during the Apollo program”, I recall being quite explicit in saying I never got to the center until after the last flight – a fact which you cannot dispute. Johnston’s own program awards documents (the ones affectionately known as ‘phone book awards’ in that everybody employed in the program got them) show he was in the Skylab program by 1972, no longer at the Apollo Program’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory, and I myself was never in the Apollo program – it was shuttle, from my first day – so the entire allegation is misleading and bogus. Besides, arguing when Apollo ended is pretty endless, since “Apollo program” (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia // says “The Apollo program was a human spaceflight program undertaken by NASA during the years 1961 – 1975 with the goal of conducting manned moon landing missions,” and at we see reference to “The Apollo Program Summary Report (Document # JSC-09423, April 1975) – if the summary report is published before I even get there, one might presume the program had ended prior to the summary report being written.

    -- But that’s a quibble – the critical allegation that I knew Johnston’s claimed bio statements were true, from familiarity with him in the 1970s, and hence acted unethically to check up on them recently, is the main bogus claim in this argument.

  3. You just have to keep moving the goalposts, don't you Jim? How many times have you tried to set a new standard to be be met?

    Face it, you lost. Go away.

  4. Mike refers to "the ridiculous accusation that Ken was not “in charge” of the photographs in his possession at NASA’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory..."

    Why use inflammatory language such as "accusation"? Maybe I didn't make myself clear -- I was claiming, based on interviews with multiple sources who worked in the LRL and the Apollo photography office (NOT in the LRL), that the claim that Ken was "in charge" of the original Apollo imagery, and hence could destroy unique and irreplaceable records as part of some coverup, was not consistent with everybody else's recollection, the organization charts, and the existing photo archive history.

    I'm sorry if that was unclear, and if I seemed to dispute that Ken had access to one or more sets of imagery in the lab. I was focusing on the bigger question of Ken's authority over the original archives.

  5. JimO said...


    I was focusing on the bigger question of Ken's authority over the original archives.

    December 10, 2007 9:25 AM



    And you did this as a Representative of NBC News when you signed that email to Ms. Ferrari, something now NBC is saying you did not have the authority to do since it was your 'private' investigation. Yet they will not come here and PUBICLY distance themselves from about this matter. Until THAT happens we here can only presume that THEY are indeed behind the original email and continuation of this attack either openly or behind the scenes.

    And YOU continually bring the question up in OTHER wit..:

    "Now, as long as the images don't show any vast collapsed glass domes and other ruins up there --
    even half-vast ruins would be newsworthy! They would be a match for the half-vast theories of some recent authors and bloggers on 'lunar anomalies'.
    Jim Oberg (Sent Wednesday, December 05, 2007 5:02 PM)"

    So YOU are STILL on the attack.

    Why should we not counter YOUR accusations and 'supposedly' false use of NBC credentials?


  6. Posted dec 10 // 11:17 AM CST
    Editied dec 11 // 1:13 PM CST

    gene said... "Oberg should be sued for libel in order to stop him and others in the future from partaking in this kind of BS."

    I'd like to ask Gene to dispassionately list any alleged libels that I have made about Ken Johnston.

    Let's try for one, first. Please specify it, and where on this thread (or anywhere) I'm actually supposed to have made it. Just remembering something, or hearing somebody else SAID I said it, isn't good enough, of course.

  7. submitted Dec 11, 1:15 PM CST

    Mike, can you update your blog readers on the status of the search for the photographs that Ken gave to his university for safekeeping? Where are they now?

  8. Where is Ken Johnston ?

    He was going to show us pictures of him getting in and out of the LEM.

    NASA sent men to the Moon but the Chinese and Japanese can't find all that Rovers and junk. They know that they won't find anything, we all know that we won't find anything.

  9. "I'd like to ask Gene to dispassionately list any alleged libels that I have made about Ken Johnston."

    How 'bout stating or implying that Ken lied about his credentials, thereby causing the loss of his job?

    "Just remembering something, or hearing somebody else SAID I said it, isn't good enough, of course."

    In a court of law it's not good enough, but for the purpose of this blog that people are following, it's fine.

  10. i worked for NASA in the mid 80's.. they are a congressionally funded fed organ. they are all pr related and will do anything they are told at higher hq level in order to get funding... when i was at ksc florida i read in the local rag that so much info and pictures were in storage and rotting away it was rediculous... wonder what it would take to probe or see all that junk....?
    guad Joe

  11. Richard is categorically not a Mason. For the record, enither am I. I have thought about joining though, just to F*** with all your heads.... :)

  12. Boy, my head would be SPINNING if you did that!

  13. It might be a good idea to remind outselves of a useful principle in argumentation -- keep the 'cool' on, by refraining from speculating or accusing about the motives of people with a different point of view. Concentrate on what can be established as facts, and agreed on.

    Having been at this sort of thing for decades, I ought to have accumulated sufficient humility to consistently behave in accordance with this constructive approach, and while I strive for it, I can see the times when I fall short. I can count on folks to point that out, and must accept such comments.

    Here, the question ought to be the credibility of the claims in the book, not the intentions of the claimants or of those who raise factual issues with such claims. Is that possible?

    And when can we hear directly from Ken Johnston instead of from people who put themselves forward with their views of what they think he has said and meant?

  14. [b]zorgon said.
    For the last few weeks we have had a running thread at ATS (Since the announcement of the Disclosure on Oct 30th) and many of us were really looking forward to something new and interesting that would indeed show disclosure... [/b]
    I went there posted one time. was totaly ignored by what seemed nothing more than a cult of circle jerkers.

    There were also a few self declared "experts" who the rest of the sheep members followed/worshipped/groveled on their knees to. These so called experts don't like anyone to threaten their postion. I wouldn't post at that forum again for any reason.

    When that forum wants to chamge and really listen to other points of view then let me know. Otherwise get lost clown.



  15. One reasonable question might be, 'Where is Ken Johnston'? He could clarify a lot of unresolved issues here.

    Another might be, "Where are the Apollo photographs Ken Johnston donated to his university?"

  16. What I've been led to believe is that the Johnston files were lost twenty years ago and that the university didn't realize they were gone until he came back and asked to see them, recently. Any updates on that search?


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