Thursday, August 23, 2012


Part V – Confirming Images

AS11-44-6614 – A picture of a Ziggurat is worth 15,000 words...

From the beginning of his “analysis” Stuart (PS4NASA) questioned why, as part of our “due diligence,” Richard Hoagland and I didn’t scan the web for digital images from other missions. In his second post on the matter, he asserted his claim that;

“...other images of the same place taken by several different craft (including non-NASA ones), including images at almost 100x the original resolution of the Apollo photo, don’t show the feature”

Of course, we dispensed with the false “images at almost 100x the original resolution of the Apollo photo” claim in the previous post. But beyond that, there are several very good reasons why I never bothered to check for images of the Ziggurat area from other, more modern missions (including “non-NASA ones”).

 A) As I stated in Part IV, I don’t trust them (and with very good reason), and B) I didn’t have to. I already had two more photos taken by the Apollo 11 astronauts with a different camera and a different film. And they show, unequivocally, that it’s a Ziggurat.

But before we get to those photos, let’s go over a few other important points first.

The main reason I thought the Ziggurat photo was important enough to include in Ancient Aliens on the Moon was that it simply looked like a Ziggurat. I immediately recognized it’s similarity to the Ziggurat at Ur, in modern day Iraq, and those similarities persuaded me it clearly was artificial. The much debated “left” wall was only one aspect of making that case. There are just as many other features on the image that convinced me that it was likely real as the left wall did.

Artist’s rendition of how the Ziggurat at Ur once appeared

The Ziggurat at Ur has a more complex design, but in most aspects the Ziggurat at Ur and the Ziggurat at Daedalus are eerily reminiscent of each other.

What’s common to them both are angled exterior walls, angled front ramps and a square central “temple” with a single access ramp leading to it. There is an oval dome atop one of the entrance arches on the Ziggurat at Ur, and likewise there is a similar oval dome atop the central temple structure of the Daedalus Ziggurat.

One difference is that the area between the front ramps of the Daedalus Ziggurat is solid, forming what looks like a reinforcing buttress, whereas on the Ziggurat at Ur they are open. However, it could be that the space between them  was once open but has been filled in over the eons by dust and debris. If that was the case, they would be even more visually similar.

The Daedalus Ziggurat with key features identified

So then the question becomes” does the Daedalus Ziggurat really have these features or are we just seeing things,” as the critics always argue? As we’ve seen, on the official NASA version “5564.jpg,” it generally does not show these features. On “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg” it does. But as we have also established beyond any reasonable doubt, the left wall of the Ziggurat seen on as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg has been obliterated with a paintbrush tool on “5564.jpg,” as has the left wall of the Temple structure. We will see further evidence to support this conclusion in a bit. But, we can still look at the other features; the ramp, the temple, and the dome on top to make a conclusion.

The Daedalus Ziggurat from “5564.jpg” (L) and “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg” (R)

There really is no disputing the wedge-shaped angled ramps at the front of the structure. They are visible in all versions of the images of the area, and if you trust the LROC or Kaguya/Selene data (which I do not for obvious reasons), they also have a significantly higher albedo (brightness) than the surrounding territory.

The Temple enlarged and enhanced

But where the real differences lay is in the Temple area. It is a square structure that appears to be at the exact lateral center of the overall Ziggurat. The central “entrance ramp” to the Temple comes across from the center of the northern wall, and there are four bright areas similar to windows on the shadowed left side. The corners of the Temple structure appear beveled, and there is a bright, horizontal stripe that seems to go all the way around the top level of the structure. The roof of the temple is much darker than the striping, and this darker area appears to be square. In the center of this darkened roof is a much brighter oval dome that is identical to the type of dome that is depicted in the artists’ reconstruction of the Ur Ziggurat.

Enhancement of as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg with dome and entrance ramp emphasized

So, besides the left wall, any judgment I would make about any new images of the Daedalus Ziggurat would include an evaluation of these features. That includes “5564.jpg.”

Now clearly, Stuart (PS4NASA) is including “5564.jpg” when he makes his claim about “other images” not showing the feature. For the record, as far as Richard C. Hoagland is concerned, he agreed with Stuart’s (PS4NASA) assessment. I never did.

When I first looked at “5564.jpg,” I obviously noticed that the left wall had disappeared in a hail of black spray paint and so had the details on the shadowed side of the Temple. It also appeared, as I up-sampled and zoomed in, that the visual depth and the square shape of the Temple had also disappeared, along with the dark square roof and the dome. But then after saving a close-up of the Ziggurat to my hard drive, I noticed something exceptional; it had reappeared.

In looking at the thumbnail image generated from “5564.jpg,” I could suddenly see the top of the Temple again. As I pointed out in my first post -- and as Stuart (PS4NASA) generally ignored in his posts—this was because the full size image of “5564.jpg” lacked contrast in the Ziggurat area, and this denied viewers the key visual cues they need to deduce shape from shading. I got the same effect if I put the 5564.jpg image on my screen and then stepped back from it.

This is because in Windows, thumbnail images are simply smaller versions of the larger images they represent. By definition, as we’ve discussed, when an image is reduced it will get more pixelated and also more contrasty because of the reduction process.

That’s why when you look at the side-by-side comparison that Stuart (PS4NASA) created, they look very different. But are they really?

Better, but you can’t polish a turd, Beavis...

In the raw, everything but the angled front ramps all but disappear. Only if you step back can you see any hint of the darker, square rooftop or the brighter dome. But they are there. If you increase the contrast, you begin to see that the dome and the darker roof are still there, along with the entrance ramp. But again, because of the overall lack of contrast and because you can only do so much with enhancement, the 3D depth of the square temple structure mostly blends into the background.

What NASA did besides reduce the contrast was to paint in a couple of fake shadows. These fake shadows break up the visual cues that tell your brain that the Temple is there, that it is square, and that it is rising up above the Ziggurat’s outside walls. This is very effective at deceiving the mind into thinking there’s “nothing to see here, move along...” The fake shadow on the left side of the Temple also destroys the visual cues that the Temple has 3D depth, making it appear there is no left wall and also creating the illusion that entrance ramp is on the left side of the Temple area, rather than at the exact lateral center as it is in as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg.

Just to demonstrate my point, I very crudely messed with the contrast (but nothing else) on “5564.jpg” to bring out the details which were now missing. The front ramps, the temple entrance ramp, the dome on top and Temple building itself can be greatly enhanced (or nearly erased) simply by isolating them and altering the contrast. Throw in a few painted in shadows and fake craters, and you could make Lincoln disappear from Mount Rushmore. And if you have access to the kind of high-end hardware and software NASA uses, it becomes even easier to cover your tracks.

So, a more proper comparison would be between the enhanced version of “5564.jpg” and “as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg.” I think most normal people would concede it’s a much closer match than the raw unenhanced version of “5564.jpg.” But it’s not like I expected a fair comparison from someone like Stuart (PS4NASA) who’s proven to be deceptive and is a self-described “idiot.”

Now, I predict that Stuart (PS4NASA) will respond to this by claiming that I am experiencing something debunkers call “Pareidolia.” This is a supposed human tendency to “see patterns” in random noise where there really is no pattern. It is often used to dismiss the Face on Mars, but I will wait for Ancient Aliens on Mars to deal with that assertion. The actual truth is that there is no such thing as “Pareidolia.”  It's just a phony academic sounding word the debunkers made up to fool people into thinking there is scholarly weight behind the concept. It's actually a complete sham.

The word was actually first coined by a douchebag debunker (is that my first “douchebag” in this piece?! I must be getting soft) named Steven Goldstein in a 1994 issue of Skeptical Inquirer. Since then, every major debunker from Oberg to “Dr. Phil” has fallen back on it, but it is still a load of B.S. There is no such thing.

And, if Stuart (PS4NASA) accuses me of having a case of “Pareidolia,” consider this; if I am just “seeing things,” if nobody else is seeing the details I’m seeing, then why did he post so quickly attacking as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg as a “fraud” in the first place? Remember, in that first post he never said we were just “seeing things,” he said it was a hoax and implied we were the perpetrators. So he certainly saw the not just the wall, but the Temple, the ramps, the dome, etc.

So over the course of these postings, we have now established several things regarding Stuart’s (PS4NASA) 2nd challenge to me. First, his claim that other images from other missions “don’t show the feature” simply isn’t true. The only reason he thinks that is because he’s been looking in the wrong place at images that don’t show the Ziggurat area in the first place, or is deliberately misleading his followers about the true location. Second, the images that have been found are either too low resolution for a real comparison, or they show signs of image tampering, as with the Kaguya/Selene data. Or, in the case of “5564.jpg,” they still show some of the features of the Ziggurat in spite of having deliberately altered to conceal it.

So having given up on finding any decent digital data from more recent missions, I began to look up the possibility that there were more confirming (or disconfirming) photos of the Ziggurat from the Apollo era. This search led me to look into the entire “5500” series taken around Daedalus the same day as the Ziggurat photo would have been taken.

First however, we need to understand just how to read the photo numbers themselves. In the case of AS11-38-5564, the “AS11” means the mission was Apollo 11. The “38” means photographic magazine 38, which has a secondary letter designation of magazine “O.” The “5564” is the specific photographic frame number.

The “38” magazine (magazine “O”) was loaded with the best film they carried, Panatomic-X 70-mmblack and white film, along with the best lens they had, the 250-mm lens. This meant that the “5500” series would be the best possible orbital reconnaissance photos the astronauts could take. The only variables were sun angle and that “haze” problem NASA seemed to be worried about.

So obviously it made sense to look at other online versions of the photos in this magazine.

In looking at the NASAphotographic map for Apollo 11 magazine “O,” (the blue outlines on the map above) there were a couple of possibilities for photos that overlapped the Ziggurat area. Frames AS11-38-5565, 5566, and 5568 were might have caught it. Of those, I found only one that showed the area clearly and in full; AS11-38-5568.

Watch the Ziggy disappear... AS11-38-5568 (“5568.jpg”)

To my disappointment (but not my surprise) I found that the Ziggurat had once again completely disappeared, leaving only a hint of the front ramps/buttresses that had been visible in all other images of the area. The temple had all but disappeared even under enhancement. This time, there wasn’t even a turd to polish...

But the weird thing was, it showed even less detail than “5564.jpg,” which at least could be enhanced to bring out some of the details seen in as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg. The fact that AS11-38-5568 had been taken when the spacecraft was further away than “5564.jpg” could not account for the discrepancy. Again, in order to eradicate that level of detail, there has to be a conscious intervention driven by a specific agenda to achieve this level of alteration. “5564.jpg” and “5568.jpg” not only don’t match, they don’t even come close.

So I gave up on magazine “O” and the “5500” series

But, as you can see from the map below, I was in luck, because one of the other astronauts was also shooting photos at the same time. This series of photos is shown in red on the map and is from the “6100” series, or photographic magazine “P.”

So maybe I was in luck after all. From looking at the map, it appeared that frames AS11-41-6155, 6156, and 6157 were good candidates for coverage of the Ziggurat region. It was almost as if they were looking for something...

One of the good things about the magazine “P” 6100 series is that it used the same Panatomic –X black and whitereconnaissance film and 250-mm lens that was used on AS11-38-5564. This meant that even though the spacecraft might have been a bit further away (it was on a return trajectory to Earth at thousands of miles per hour) the quality of the photos should be comparable.

It was. But once again, the results weren’t.

6155.jpg (enhanced)

6156.jpg (enhanced)

6457.jpg (enhanced)

These four “6100” series photo scans showed pretty much the same thing as “5568.jpg.” Although you could see Stuart’s (PS4NASA) misidentified “X” very clearly, there didn’t seem to be much in the way of a Ziggurat, even under enhancement. The Temple, the dome and the other features were simply gone.

I found this very troublesome, because you could certainly see a lot more of the Ziggurat features in “5564.jpg.” But on these, those features were simply gone, as if they had been erased...

But I also knew that was a weak argument to stand on. After all, even though we have caught NASA at lying and manipulating images and data at least a dozen times over the years, there was still an audience new to these controversies that believed everything NASA said as if it was a pontification from the Pope of scientific materialism.

Fortunately however, as I pointed out at the top of this post, I do have confirming images which do show the Ziggurat, albeit at lower resolution than an unaltered scan of AS11-38-5564 would have shown it. But they are still at much higher resolution than anything that has been presented by Stuart (PS4NASA) to this point. And they are far less questionable than the usual NASA sources.

See, at the same time that two of the astronauts were photographing “targets of opportunity in the Ziggurat region, the 3rd astronaut (we might never know which one) was also taking photographs with yet another camera. This one was loaded with the SO-368 Ektachrome MS ASA64 color film the astronauts carried and most likely used the 80-mm lens. These photos come from Magazine “V,” or the “6600” series. This series includes the photo AS11-44-6609 that Ken had loaned me earlier and that I discussed in Part III.

It also includes two more photos, NASA frames AS11-44-6613 and AS11-44-6614, both of which specifically target the Ziggurat region. I found them on the Apollo 11 Flight Journal website. And as I examined them, I knew I could trust them, because unlike “5564.jpg,” and the others they hadn’t been messed with. And they both showed the Ziggurat, plain as day.

Both photos were obviously taken within seconds of the original Ziggurat image, but because they used different film and probably the 80-mm lens instead of the 250-mm lens as I mentioned, they aren’t quite as good. Still, they are more than good enough to confirm the presence of the Ziggurat.

And it’s a Ziggurat…

Of the two “6600” series images, 6614 is clearly a bit better because if you look at the map, the spacecraft was slightly closer to the Ziggurat’s location when it was taken.

In looking at the 3 images, my best guess is that AS11-38-5564 and AS11-44-6614 were probably taken at virtually the same time. This is because in both of those frames, the Ziggurat appears at the far right of the frame. But it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that unlike all of the other images (with the exception of “5564.jpg” if you work with it a bit), they show the front ramps, the square temple, the entrance ramp, the dark roof area, and the dome. And they have the shading and 3D relief that is consistent with the original Ziggurat image, as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg.




When you look at 6614.jpg and compare it to the original Ziggurat image, I think it’s safe to say that most normal people would conclude they are comparable if not nearly identical. It’s simply that one was taken with slightly better camera equipment than the other.

That they are virtually identical and verify the same features becomes even more obvious when you simply overlay the two images on top of one another. I didn’t have time to do a proper bang-up job of this, but perhaps I will in the near future. But the point is made nonetheless...

as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg overlaid on to “6614.jpg” at 50% transparency. Features align nearly perfectly with almost no adjustment.

So now I will wait with baited breath to see how Stuart (PS4NASA) explains this one. How exactly is that all of the NASA images identified from the map that AS11-38-5564 is on magically show nothing where the Ziggurat should be, but these two show pretty much what as1120pyramid20smallue2.jpg showed all along?

I’ll save you some time and tell you how. Obviously, the Ziggurat had been making the rounds of the internet for some time. Given the number of photographs of the thing, it’s actually possible that NASA was well aware of its existence even before Apollo went to the Moon. In any event, when it came time to post a scan of AS11-38-5564 to the web, the offending item was digitally removed. Then they went back to the maps and found the rest of “5500” and “6100” series, and they did the same to them. But they F****d up. They didn’t think to check the other maps and see if there were any other photos taken of the same region. So AS11-44-6613 and AS11-44-6614 slipped through the cracks.

And I found them.

I’m sure Stuart (PS4NASA) will never buy into this scenario. He’ll probably be reduced (pun intended) to a variation of NASA’s arguments against the Face on Mars, which are now amount to “It’s not a Face.” But what we now know beyond any reasonable doubt is that we have major discrepancies between the datasets. We have also established beyond any doubt that at least a significant portion of the NASA dataset has been compromised.

And THAT pretty much does it for Pillar #2:

“...why other images of the same place taken by several different craft (including non-NASA ones), including images at almost 100x the original resolution of the Apollo photo, don’t show the feature.”

But wait! There’s more...!

On the new images, the first thing I checked of course was the shadows. If Stuart (PS4NASA) is right about them, then the shadows on 6613 and 6614 should match the shadows on the official NASA version of AS11-38-5564. They should be absolute, pitch-black. But of course, they aren’t.

After converting to grayscale so I can do an apples-to-apples comparison, I checked the histograms, just as I did in my previous post. Not only are the shadows in dispute not all one color (pitch black), they are well away from black, in the lower mid-shading band between shades 69-85. In other words, they are nowhere near the absolute black that they are in the official NASA version of AS11-38-5564. This implies two things.

First, that there is actual light scattering going on around the Ziggurat. Sadly, because these images are lower resolution (but still well above the limits) we can’t get much data by enhancing these shadows. They are just too far away and the camera/film combination is not as good. But we can see that they are far from absolute black.

Now Stuart (PS4NASA) will probably argue that this is just “noise.” What he won’t mention is that it is “noise” in the mid-gray tonal range, not absolute black. If he was right, and there was nothing at all wrong with the official NASA version of AS11-38-5564, then the shadows would match, or at least be very close. They aren’t.

And that means (point #2) that these two scans, AS11-44-6613 and 6614, probably haven’t been tampered with. But quite obviously, the official NASA version of AS11-38-5564 has been.

Another cool thing we got from these two images that also indicts the authenticity of the official NASA version of AS11-38-5564 is what happens when we look at the sky. Under enhancement, (“Lighten Shadows...”) we can see that, like so many other images from Sinus Medii and Oceanus Procellarum and so many other regions of the Moon, that there are glass structures over the horizon scattering light everywhere.



Note that this soft, billowy “air glow” layer is completely consistent with other images we’ve studied over the years of these glass structures. They also, as they so often do, follow the local horizon. And, just as you’d expect from “real” glass structures, the geometry of the scatter is consistent with the lighting conditions. It is thickest/brightest directly across from the camera, and then fades at the edges.

I’m sure Stuart (PS4NASA) will try to explain this away as some kind of camera anomaly or lens flare, but tell me Stuart (PS4NASA), how does a lens flare KNOW the geometry of backscattered light? And also, we know what lens flares from Hasselblad cameras look like; they are hexagonal. These are not.

This also explains why NASA felt the need to take their paintbrush tool and black out the sky in the official version of AS11-38-5564. They didn’t want us to see the glass structures beyond the horizon.


So, to recap here, Stuart (PS4NASA) has issued 3 main challenges to me arguing that the Ziggurat is a hoax. These 3 pillars of his argument are that 1) Noise in the Ziggurat image suggests it’s a fake (proven false), 2) shadows on the Moon should be absolute black (proven false and even acknowledged by him in the comments section of his own YouTube video) and 3) that other images of the same area show no sign of the Ziggurat (proven false and proven that you weren’t even looking in the right place).

As we all know, a tripod is an inherently unstable structure, and all you have to do break one of the legs to bring it crashing down. In this case, I have shattered all 3 legs and in the process exposed Stuart’s (PS4NASA) inability to execute something as basic as finding a 2 mile square target on the lunar surface.

But honestly, I don’t think Stuart (PS4NASA) is stupid. Incompetent in certain areas for sure, but not necessarily stupid. Perhaps he just thought that all of his education and the degrees he earned made him smart enough that no one could touch him. Perhaps it is time for him to learn an axiom I learned in my 30 years working in aerospace engineering: Education and intelligence are two completely different things.

To Stuart’s (PS4NASA) fans who have put so much faith in him, perhaps it’s time for you to consider finding your own answers with an open mind, rather than digging your heels in and placing all your faith in someone just because he follows and defends the established orthodoxy. Time after time, I have dealt with NASA types and NASA sycophants, and each and every time when push came to shove they turned out to have clay feet. Stuart (PS4NASA) is in good company, at least.

I understand that the information people like Richard and I present makes you uncomfortable. I understand you want to turn away from it and pretend it’s not there. But as I pointed out in my last book The Choice, we aren’t going to have that option much longer. A lot of things that will make you a lot more uncomfortable than this are going to be coming out in the next few months and years. It will be easier if you just accept that, rather than put so much energy into fighting it.

Way back in this process, Stuart challenged me thusly: “I’d like to see what Mike will say to expose me as an idiot and show the NASA original is the one that’s been faked.”

Challenge accepted, and challenge met. Maybe it’s time for you to look in the mirror and reassess if maybe it’s you who’s doing the bad science. Everybody else already has all the evidence they need...

Dr. Stuart Robbins
Astrophysicist; heal thyself...

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