Monday, August 6, 2012

AS11-38-5564 – Why the Daedalus Ziggurat is Not a Fake -- And NASA's image Is...

“as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg”The original Daedalus Ziggurat image as I found it on the web

Last week after Richard C. Hoagland posted the image of Daedalus Ziggurat that I had forwarded to him to the Coast to Coast AM website, a mini-controversy exploded on the web over it, with the usual suspects claiming that Hoagland had “hoaxed” the image or that it was a “fraud,” and if it wasn’t a fraud, then his inability to see it as a fraud was proof he was either a “liar” or “incompetent.” The chief purveyor of this nonsense was somebody named Stuart Robbins on his blog.

Of course, before Richard presented the image to the Coast to Coast AM listeners, Richard and I had done our due diligence on the it. Having found the image a few days before, I had already decided to make it a centerpiece of my new book “Ancient Aliens on the Moon.” I did not make this decision lightly, nor did it worry me that the image currently posted by NASA on the Lunar and Planetary Institute website had obviously been altered to reduce the chances of anybody spotting the artifact if they downloaded the source image, AS11-38-5564 (see my previous post, The Daedalus Ziggurat - The Real Story).

My original pyramid image “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg” came from the “Call of Duty Zombies forum. The original page where I found it seems to have disappeared, but there is another page in the forum with a colorized version of the image: However, the Google cache page still shows that the original un-colorized image was posted there recently, but has since been removed or the link is broken.

The current NASA scan available online comes from: and is the full 3 MB “Print Resolution” version.

Now in terms of Mr. Robbins “analysis” of the images, I will simply say that it leaves a lot to be desired. Let me also state that I am no Photoshop expert, like he claims to be, and lack the artistic talent to create anything like Daedalus Ziggurat. I found the image, posted by someone else, period. I enhanced it as best I could and passed it on to Richard for his opinion.

I do however know enough about image enhancement to know a few things that are relevant. First, because both “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg” and the currently posted NASA image are jpegs, they have quality issues and are not acceptable as research quality documents. In order to do a proper analysis, anyone accusing Mr. Hoagland or myself of fraud would have to obtain a research quality original of AS11-38-5564 and do a high-resolution scan of it under controlled conditions. Neither Mr. Robbins nor the other self-appointed defenders of science have done so. In fact, all they are doing is comparing one lossy jpeg document of dubious origin to another. Then, based only on their irrational bias toward NASA and against myself and Mr. Hoagland, they are jumping to the conclusion(s) that we are “frauds” or "incompetents." As I will soon demonstrate, we are neither.

One of the arguments that Mr. Robbins makes on his blog that he cites as evidence that we have “drawn in” the Ziggurat is that the image presented by Hoagland has a lot of “noise” in it. Since he was working with Hoagland’s enhancement of my enhancement, I guess we can cut him some slack on that. Or not.
The reason there is more noise in the original Ziggurat image “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg” is that it was probably scanned from an original and then cropped, enlarged, processed, and then prepared for publishing on the web. This is easy to see by the 72 DPI resolution, which is standard for images on the internet. This process will invariably make an image a bit noisier, but also easier to upload and download from. There is nothing nefarious or questionable about this. In fact, the “Save for Web” tool in Photoshop automatically changes the document resolution from say, 300 Dots Per Inch (the resolution of AS11-38-5564 on the LPI website image) to 72 DPI. This alone will induce noise at deep levels in the image, and contrary to Mr. Robbins assertion, is indicative of nothing except his desire to deceive his readers into thinking there’s something unusual about it. Jpeg’s are always noisy. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, if your intent is to deceive your readers into buying into your own petty biases and jealousies against people that are more important than you are, you go the extra mile, don’t you? What Mr. Robbins didn’t tell you is that a large chunk of the “noise” that appears in the image he “processed” was deliberately induced – by him.

On his blog post, as he’s describing his method of analyzing the image I gave to Hoagland, he lists this little gem:

“For the record, I took the original LPI image and rotated it clockwise 90°. I knew this was the starting point because of the shadows of craters in the image Hoagland presented. After finding the location, I rotated Hoagland’s image by 10.96°, and then I scaled Hoagland’s by 85.28%.”
Now, there is no question that the LPI image contains more information than “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg,” which was the source of the enhancement that I sent to Richard. This does not necessarily make it "better," as you will see. But given that, why would anyone of fair mind, especially a self-appointed expert in Photoshop who claims that “my work over the past twenty years doing image processing and analysis” qualifies him to pass judgment on myself and Mr. Hoagland as “frauds,” reduce our image to “85.28%?” That folks is exactly what he means by "scaled." In fact, anyone who knows anything about image enhancement knows that scaling/reducing an image induces more noise and reduces detail by design. Any competent image enhancement specialist would have enlarged the NASA image instead to bring it in line with the size of the original Ziggurat image. This upsampling process would have the effect of actually making the NASA image better, rather than making the original enhancement worse.

Original Ziggurat image (above) and reduced version (below) readers may judge for themselves which one is "better," but obviously the scaled down image is much worse and contains less information than the original.

Given that he claims that Hoagland and/or me “deliberately added noise and reduced the quality” elsewhere in his blog, this would seem to be kind of a big mistake, wouldn’t it Mr. Robbins? Unless of course, it wasn’t a mistake. Unless it was a deliberate act of deception designed to fool his less technical minded readers.
And of course, as usual, the gang that can’t shoot straight has made another huge error, one that proves that it is the official NASA image, and not ours, that has been manipulated. An error that anyone who claims to know anything about image enhancement would never make.

You see, Photoshop has a tool called a histogram. What a histogram does is analyze the dynamic range of a given image (or highlighted section of an image). This can act like a digital fingerprint to help us determine if an image or a part of an image has been manipulated or enhanced. In a grayscale image such as “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg,” or the official AS11-38-5564 image from the NASA/LPI website, the image has a possible range of up to 256 shades of gray. In reading the histogram, absolute black has a value of zero (0), and occupies the spot on the graph at the very far left. Pure, bright white would have a value of 256 and occupy the spot on the far right of the histogram graph. When we apply the histogram to the original image, “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg,” we can see that it has a fairly wide dynamic range, from color/shade 24 on the left of the graph (meaning something less than black) to color 184 on the right, which is something less than pure white. What this means is that the image has a dynamic range of 160 colors, or shades of gray, and the colors at the extreme dark and light ranges of the spectrum have been lost somewhere along the way. This is not ideal, but it does mean only that my original image has probably lost some shading information at some point.

The official NASA image however, is a different story. It contains the full range of 256 shades of gray, which would seem to mean it is a “better” image and more likely to be the authentic article. But the histogram graph for it also contains something curious.

There, at the far left of the graph, is shade zero, or absolute black. What is curious is that by far the most pixels in the NASA image are absolute black. In fact, color zero and the next few colors over (near absolute black) make up more than 33% of the entire image. What that means is that somebody put a lot of black and near black into the NASA image. Because in real life, almost nothing in any image is ever absolute black or white. So to find that (by far) the biggest number of pixels is absolute, perfect black is more than a little suspicious. On a properly processed image, the histogram should be pretty much a bell curve, bulging in the middle and then dropping off at both ends. The NASA image doesn’t do this. It spikes dramatically on shade zero; absolute black.

So what’s the most likely reason for this? I can think of only one. Somebody got this "official" NASA scan, took a paintbrush tool, set it to color zero, or absolute black, and went to town on it.
And I can prove it.
As you look at the Ziggurat image, obviously some of the most tell-tale signs of artificiality are in the shadowed areas, particularly the shadow cast by the west wall. In my enhanced version of the original, you can plainly see the wall and how it casts a dark – but not completely black -- shadow into the depression below.
The "Bara" Enhancement
But on the NASA version, this shadow is so dark that there is virtually no detail there at all. No wall, no shades of gray in the depression, just pitch-black darkness. Everything you need to see to confirm the wall and the artificiality of the Ziggurat is simply not there. It’s gone.
Adobe, the makers of Photoshop, are crystal clear on the meaning of this:

“If many pixels are bunched up at either the shadow or highlight ends of the chart, it may indicate that image detail in the shadows or highlights may be clipped—blocked up as pure black or pure white. There is little you can do to recover this type of image.”

The unenhanced NASA "official" version

In other words, it’s a deliberate manipulation of the image in question.
What the histograms show us is that while the image produced by NASA has a wide dynamic range, the areas of shadow, where the details that make the Ziggurat stand out as artificial might be found, have virtually no dynamic range. They’re absolute black. And that can only mean one thing; they were painted over by someone at NASA with a black paintbrush tool.

To test this, all we have to do is select one of the areas in question, and examine their histograms. The results are conclusive.
In the shadowed area where we can see the wall in the original version, virtually all of the pixels are absolute, indisputably black. The same applies to the dark area just behind the temple section of the Ziggurat. These specific areas of the image – the ones that would provide the smoking gun for the Ziggurat’s artificiality – have been “blocked up as pure black” by NASA.
Case closed.
Oh, I’m aware that the deceptive Mr. Robbins has tried to cover his ass by claiming that because of the lighting conditions on the Moon some areas are absolute black. But the fact is that, contrary to his fallacious claims that there are “no crater wall nor mountain to scatter light onto it,” there is a very bright, sunlit area just to left of the selection marquee that should be scattering plenty of light into the shadowed area, but isn’t.
Because NASA blacked it out.
Still don’t believe me? OK, here’s one more test. I’ll show you exactly where the brush strokes are...

You see, in Photoshop, there is another enhancement tool that’s commonly used in cases like this. It’s one that somebody with “20 years” of experience doing Photoshop should know about, but Mr. Robbins appearantly doesn’t. It’s called the “Adjust Lighting... Shadows/Highlights” tool. It contains a nifty little slider named “Lighten Shadows:” that allows you to, well, lighten shadows. Let’s see what it does to the shadows on NASA’s image.

Well golly, look at that. It allows us to see exactly where the goons at NASA applied the pure black paintbrush to the shadows around the Ziggurat. I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!

OK not really. But one final point, if you look at the shadow where the western wall of the Ziggurat has been blocked out by the NASA paintbrush artist, you can see that he made a mistake and only covered the offending parts and not the complete shadow. Some of the area appears gray, and if we zoom up and scan it we can see that it contains a moderate range of gray shades. What this means is that Robbins assertion about there being “no light scattering” in the area is also proven wrong. Absolutely, completely wrong. It’s patently obvious to any competent Photoshop user that the original lighting in this area was almost certainly very close to the lighting seen in “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg.”

Which makes Mr. Robbins and his petty, venal lap dog "expat" flat, dead wrong. On all counts.

But I won't hold my breath waiting for an apology from the Confederacy of Dunces that are the "pseudoscience" attack crowd.

So as it stands, while we may not know the exact origins of the original Daedalus Ziggurat image, we know with absolute certainty that the NASA version of AS-11-38-5564 has been deliberately faked to hide something from us. My bet is it’s a really big Ziggurat on the Moon. They first tried to hide the Ziggurat by reducing the contrast to delete key visual clues (see my previous post, The Daedalus Ziggurat - The Real Story) and when that didn't do the trick, they took out the airbrush tool, set it to absolute black, and started spraying away.

As you examine your own copies of this image, you'll find many more obvious and artifcial structures on it. You'll also see that the sky above has been backed out, obviously to hide evidence of the glass ruins that Hoagland has theorized for more than a decade and a half. This is all par for the course with NASA, who has steadfastly lied for decades about what's really on the Moon, among other places. They have been aided in this over the years by a collection of what Lenin once called "useful idiots," like Bill Nye the Science Guy, Dr. Phil Plait, and others. Robbins and expat are wannabes, but they are no better at playing this game than big boys.

What I have proven here is that the chief critics of the Daedalus Ziggurat are not only wrong, they are foolishly and sloppily wrong. Either they didn’t want to study the images in the depth that I did before releasing it to Mr. Hoagland, or they simply lacked the intellectual capacity to do so. I lean towards the latter, but let’s face it, buffoons like Mr. Robbins and his expat are just haters who attack everything we do, no matter how many times we embarrass them. I doubt this will be the last time I choose to respond to these louts, but I certainly hope it’s now obvious they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I would say they were liars and/or idiots, but that’s their territory. The difference is I can actually prove what I say.

I shall pillory them no further...

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