Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quickie Press Conference Update

I spoke with Richard briefly this evening. He's exhausted, as am I (I'm travelling) and he said that the press conference went really well, with special attention from the Russian News networks. That's about all I know. He promsied to call tomorrow with a blow by blow.

I'll be in Vegas and LA all this week, so updates will be brief and comments may take awhile to moderate. Please be paitient, we'll have more news soon.


UPDATE: Bill O'Reilly's radio show called today and may have Richard on at 1:07 eastern if we can make the connection.

UPDATE UPDATE: According to Richard, the US press was scarce, as the Washington Post sent a reporter but as yet hasn't written a story. As I mentioned, Bill O'Reilly's office called, but Richard has been unable to establish contact.

The foriegn press was a different story. They showed up in droves, especially the Russians, who sent no less than 4 TV networks to cover the story and interviewed Ken and Richard for hours on end. They seem facinated by the Kennedy-Kruschev aspects of "Dark Mission." We'll have more after I get to LA on Friday.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Empire Strikes Back

As we expected, NASA has responded to the success of our book "Dark Mission" by lashing out at us and those close to us. The response came in the form of a direct personal attack by "science reporter" James Oberg of NBC news, who wrote to Kay Ferrari of JPL last week and made a series of spurious accusations against Ken Johnston for his public role in supporting "Dark Mission." Subsequently, Ferrari asked Johnston to resign his position as a JPL "Solar System Ambassador." Johnston refused.

Despite Johnston's adamant refusal to resign, Ferrari subsequently ordered the removal of Ken's profile from the JPL website. Fortunately, we preserved a copy of it here.

Ferrari made it clear that her request was made specifically because Johnston is quoted in "Dark Mission," not because Johnston has different opinions on space issues of the day. In fact, JPL employees are guaranteed a right of free speech in their agreements with the laboratory and members of the SSA program are encouraged to express their own opinions in helping to promote space exploration to the public.

Oberg's involvement is particularly disturbing, since as a "science reporter" covering NASA he is supposed to take an impartial stance regarding any controversial news stories about the agency. Instead, by sending Ferrari the information on Johnston and questioning his credentials (which Oberg, as a former colleague of Johnston's, knew full well were valid), he has taken an advocacy position in favor of the agency.

We certainly hope that NBC News has the journalistic integrity to question why one of their employees is taking a partisan position in a news story he should theoretically be covering. Indeed, NBC should consider recusing Oberg from any involvement in covering our upcoming press briefing in Washington DC.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Panorama Confirms NASA's Color Problem

We have now found a color panorama (PIA01907) which actually shows the rover color calibration dial and the Martian sky above. Once again, when we correct the color so that the dial appears as it does on Earth in normal light, the sky on Mars goes from the absurd NASA "Technicolor red" to a fairly normal "Arizona Blue."

So again, why does NASA keep modifying the color images taken from the surface to make Mars appear alien and forbidding?

(We will be posting a full size version of this image later on Dark Mission.net)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Note About Terms of Service For This Blog


This blog is for a serious discussion of the issues raised by our book "Dark Mission." As the moderator, I'm not going to allow endless circular discussions, smart-ass postings with no meaningful contribution to the discussion, or repetition of the same arguments over and over again after a question has been asked and answered. I've been a bit lenient to this point, but if your post does not appear it is because I have it deemed it to fall into one of these categories.

Because our book is off to a good start, I expect the amount of ad hominem attacks and rabble rousing by our critics to increase. I will not allow this blog to degenerate by allowing this sort of behavior.

Criticism of our data and arguments is certainly allowed, as long as it is informed criticism that invites a serious response.

These are the rules. If you don't like it, don't post here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Message From the Authors

Several people have emailed us complaining about the lack of books actually appearing in bookstores. Our publisher, Feral House, has printed and delivered books to their distributor's warehouse, and in fact has already ordered a second printing. The books are currently on their way to fill orders from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other outlets. This delivery process takes from a few days to two weeks, depending on the physical proximity to the distributors warehouse and other factors. We expect bookstores and Amazon customers to begin receiving their copies as early as next week. We implore you to be patient and allow time for the distributors to do their jobs. Please do not complain to Feral House, they have already provided the books, which is all they can do at this point. We know that all our readers will be pleased with the final product when it arrives early next week.

-- MB & RCH

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ken Johnston Answers Commentors Questions

For the most part I have been researching material for another book, but I will be more vigilant in checking this Blog and responding.
My apology for not getting back and responding to some of your statements. For the most part, I appreciate your comments and agree that we need more of the “common” folks to tell their stories so that we can piece more of the puzzle together.
Now for “The Wizard of OZ” coming out behind the curtain. I wasn’t aware that the person questioning my "first hand experience" didn’t know how to type“Ken Johnston” into the Internet and find out about my entire history. However for the record; I am now 65years old. I hold a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Oklahoma City University and two advanced degrees from the Reformed Baptist Seminary, one in Theology and the other PhD in Metaphysics.
I worked at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX from 1966 through 1980 for several prime contractors. During the first half of the Apollo program I worked for the Grumman Aerospace Corp. as a Consultant Pilot and Astronaut Liaison officer. I substituted for the Astronauts during over 3,000 hours at the controls of the Lunar Module space craft. There were 5 of us with Grumman that were the test pilots on the LM. One of us had to be in the spacecraft at all times when there was an astronaut present to answer any questions they might have and to help teach them how to fly it. The five of us went through the same training that the Astronauts had including physical fitness, zero-g training, avionics, propulsion, astronautics, etc.
After the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon most of us engineers with Grumman got (RIF) laid off so I moved over to the Lunar Receiving Laboratory where I became the Manager of the Data and Photo Control department which put me in control of all mission photography,which is how I managed to be able to get a set of pictures donated to my Alma mater. Later I worked on the Shuttle Space Suit assembly as an engineer and test subject where I flew hundreds of parabolas in NASA’s KC-135, also known as the “Vomit Comet”. I have done vacuum chamber tests and underwater Zero-G tests. While in the USMC I flew faster than twice the speed of sound in the F-4 Phantom back in 1964. I have flown at over 60,000 feet altitude and know what it is like to be up where the air is really thin. Later I worked for Martin Marietta at Vandenberg AFB during the construction of the Shuttle Launch facility called “Slick 6”. In 1984 I went to work for the Boeing Company where I retired in 1998 as a Boeing 737 Flight Instructor.
So I hope this answers some of the questions regarding my first hand experience. I am new to blogging and as a rule I am not much of a computer expert in getting in and out of the blog’s. I hope you will excuse my faults and I will try to be more responsive in the future. Keep up the good work.