“Is Plait correct in writing that the "glass" feature superimposed on the photograph of Al Bean is actually a reflection of the Hasselblad iris? It does seem a more probable explanation than the one you offer. Was Bean equipped with some type of glass-cutting tool so he could escape from this structure?”
This is yet another example of the stupidity and dishonesty of not only Plait, but the abject morons who regularly inhabit his site (I’ll let the readers decide how this applies to expat). Given this, I’ll take it slowly so even the likes of Plait and expat can follow along…
Nowhere in any publication do we argue that the hexagonal “glow” around Bean is part of the glass structures we discuss in the image presented. The caption in the image linked in his article does not even mention this pentagonal shape, and certainly doesn’t, as Plait claims, imply in any way that the shape is anything but a standard Hasselblad lens flare. In fact, the caption specifically states that Bean (and the lens flare around him) is “standing in front of a massive tier of ‘glass-like ruins’ – towering above and behind the lunar module ‘Intrepid.’” So obviously his claim that we are arguing that it is part of the far distant glass like ruins is a complete distortion.
In reality, we are well aware of what Hasselblad lens flares look like. Here is another example from Apollo 11. Here is yet another example from Apollo12. We have known about these lens flares since we first started looking at Apollo photography in the early 1990’s.
It is hard to imagine how a thorough or fair minded individual could innocently distort this into claiming, as Plait does, that our caption is referring to the lens flare as “glass-like ruins.” Clearly, obviously, we are not. This is simply another in a long line of false assertions by Dr. Phil. In fact, the only thing he gets right is the fact that the pentagonal shape is a lens flare. Somebody must have told him so, since judging by this page, he not very good at getting even the simplest things right.
For instance, he goes on to claim that “Hoagland and Bara actually held a press conference for the book.” Gee, that’s funny. When the press conference in Washington DC was held on October 30th, I was in sunny Las Vegas, throwing down at the craps tables and ogling the go-go dancers at the Luxor. Kind of amazing that such a thorough researcher like Plait would miss something as basic as that, right? Wrong.
On the same page in which he makes his false assertions about the Apollo image on darkmission.net, Plait then compounds his own mendacities by linking to an earlier “debunking” of our work on the THEMIS Cydonia IR images (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/hoagland/artifacts.html). He claims that the ruins shown on the images are “jpeg compression artifacts,” which somehow created the ruins. What he fails to inform his readers of is that the jpeg images he links to are merely browse versions, and uncompressed jpeg browse versions at that, made from earlier full size, uncompressed Tiff images. Oh, and the original source data those Tiff’s were made from? Also uncompressed Tiff’s. And guess what? Those same ruins appear on the uncompressed Tiff’s in all their glory. Kind of hard to get “compression artifacts” from lossless uncompressed Tiff’s, isn’t it Phil?
I also find it interesting that despite the presence of the full size Tiffs on the Enterprise Mission web site, Plait chose to link only to the browse jpeg versions and never tell his readers that the Tiffs even existed. Must have been an honest oversight on his part….
By no means have I perused all of Plait’s web pages concerning our work. Frankly, doing so makes me nauseous, since every page I have read has been full of distortions, fallacious reasoning and outright lies. Suffice it to say that I have worked with Richard C. Hoagland for more than ten years now, and I have found that his critics consistently fall into one of two categories: liars and idiots. Plait is one of the rare few who has the distinction of being both.
I shall pillory “Dr. Phil” no further.