Aurion Mission: Aug 30, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stephen Hawking: "What are the chances that we will encounter alien life, as we explore the galaxy?" (Weekend Feature)


In his famous lecture, Life in the Universe, Stephen Hawking asks: "What are the chances that we will encounter some alien form of life, as we explore the galaxy?"

If the argument about the time scale for the appearance of life on Earth is correct, Hawking says "there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them. Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before the Earth. So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designing mechanical or biological life forms?"

Why hasn't the Earth been visited, and even colonized? Hawking asks. "I discount suggestions that UFO's contain beings from outer space. I think any visits by aliens, would be much more obvious, and probably also, much more unpleasant."

Hawking continues: "What is the explanation of why we have not been visited? One possibility is that the argument, about the appearance of life on Earth, is wrong. Maybe the probability of life spontaneously appearing is so low, that Earth is the only planet in the galaxy, or in the observable universe, in which it happened. Another possibility is that there was a reasonable probability of forming self reproducing systems, like cells, but that most of these forms of life did not evolve intelligence."

We are used to thinking of intelligent life, as an inevitable consequence of evolution, Hawking emphasized,  but it is more likely that evolution is a random process, with intelligence as only one of a large number of possible outcomes.

Intelligence, Hawking believes contrary to our human-centric existence, may not have any long-term survival value. In comparison the microbial world, will live on, even if all other life on Earth is wiped out by our actions. Hawking's main insight is that intelligence was an unlikely development for life on Earth, from the chronology of evolution:  "It took a very long time, two and a half billion years, to go from single cells to multi-cell beings, which are a necessary precursor to intelligence. This is a good fraction of the total time available, before the Sun blows up. So it would be consistent with the hypothesis, that the probability for life to develop intelligence, is low. In this case, we might expect to find many other life forms in the galaxy, but we are unlikely to find intelligent life."

Another possibility is that there is a reasonable probability for life to form, and to evolve to intelligent beings, but at some point in their technological  development "the system becomes unstable, and the intelligent life destroys itself. This would be a very pessimistic conclusion. I very much hope it isn't true."

Hawkling prefers another possibility: that there are other forms of intelligent life out there, but that we have been overlooked. If we should pick up signals from alien civilizations, Hawking warns,"we should have be wary of answering back, until we have evolved" a bit further. Meeting a more advanced civilization, at our present stage,' Hawking says "might be a bit like the original inhabitants of America meeting Columbus. I don't think they were better off for it."

Casey Kazan via
Earth-bound asteroids come from stony asteroids

by Staff WritersWashington DC (SPX) Aug 29, 2011

This is a Hayabusa capsule landed at Woomera in South Australia. Credit: [Image courtesy JAXA/ISIS]

Researchers got their first up-close look at dust from the surface of a small, stony asteroid after the Hayabusa spacecraft scooped some up and brought it back to Earth. Analysis of these dust particles, detailed in a special issue of the journal Science this week, confirms a long-standing suspicion: that the most common meteorites found here on Earth, known as ordinary chondrites, are born from these stony, or S-type, asteroids.
And since chondrites are among the most primitive objects in the solar system, the discovery also means that these asteroids have been recording a long and rich history of early solar system events.
The 26 August issue of Science includes six reports and a Perspective article that highlight the initial studies of this asteroid dust. Science is published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.
The Hayabusa spacecraft was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2003 to sample the surface of the near-Earth asteroid known as 25143 Itokawa. The unmanned vessel reached its destination a little more than two years later-and in November 2005, it made two separate touchdowns on the surface of Itokawa.
Although its primary sampler malfunctioned, the spacecraft was able to strike the asteroid's surface with an elastic sampling horn and catch the small amount of dust particles that were kicked up. After reentering Earth's atmosphere and landing in South Australia in June 2010, Hayabusa's delicate samples were analyzed extensively by various teams of researchers.
"Science is very excited and pleased to be presenting these important scientific analyses," said Brooks Hanson, Deputy Editor of the Physical Sciences.
"The first samples that researchers collected beyond Earth were from the moon, and the first analyses of those samples were also published in Science. Those samples, along with the more recent sampling of a comet and the solar wind, have changed our understanding of the solar system and Earth. They are still yielding important results.
These Hayabusa samples are the first samples of an asteroid. Not only do they provide important information about the history of the asteroid Itokawa, but by providing the needed ground truth that is only possible through direct sampling, they also help make other important samples-like meteorite collections and the lunar samples-even more useful."
The asteroid sampled by Hayabusa is a rocky, S-type asteroid with the appearance of a rubble pile. Based on observations from the ground, researchers have believed that similar S-type asteroids, generally located in our solar system's inner and middle asteroid belt, are responsible for most of the small meteorites that regularly strike Earth.
But, the visible spectra of these asteroids have never precisely matched those of ordinary chondrites-a fact that has left researchers suspicious of their actual affiliation. The only way to confirm a direct relationship between meteorites and these S-type asteroids was to physically sample the regolith from an asteroid's surface.
Tomoki Nakamura from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and colleagues from across the country and in the United States were among the first to analyze this regolith brought back by Hayabusa. The team of researchers used a combination of powerful electron microscopes and X-ray diffraction techniques to study the mineral chemistry of Itokawa's dust particles.
"Our study demonstrates that the rocky particles recovered from the S-type asteroid are identical to ordinary chondrites, which proves that asteroids are indeed very primitive solar system bodies," said Nakamura.
The researchers also noticed that Itokawa's regolith has gone through significant heating and impact shocks. Based on its size, they conclude that the asteroid is actually made up of small fragments of a much bigger asteroid.
"The particles recovered from the asteroid have experienced long-term heating at about 800 degrees Celsius," said Nakamura. "But, to reach 800 degrees, an asteroid would need to be about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) in diameter. The current size of Itokawa is much smaller than that so it must have first formed as a larger body, then been broken by an impact event and reassembled in its current form."
Separate teams of researchers, including Mitsuru Ebihara from Tokyo Metropolitan University and colleagues from the United States and Australia, cut open the tiny regolith grains returned by Hayabusa to get a look at the minerals inside them.
Their composition shows that the dust grains have preserved a record of primitive elements from the early solar system. Now, those mineral compositions can be compared to tens of thousands of meteorites that have fallen to Earth, and then correlated to the visible spectra of other asteroids in space.
Akira Tsuchiyama from Osaka University in Toyonaka, Japan and colleagues from around the world also analyzed the three-dimensional structures of the dust particles. Since dust from the surface of the moon is the only other type of extraterrestrial regolith that researchers have been able to sample directly (from the Apollo and Luna missions), these researchers closely compared the two types.
"The cool thing about this Itokawa analysis is the tremendous amount of data we can get from such a small sample," said Michael Zolensky from the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, a co-author of the research.
"When researchers analyzed regolith from the moon, they needed kilogram-sized samples. But, for the past 40 years, experts have been developing technologies to analyze extremely small samples. Now, we've gained all this information about Itokawa with only a few nano-grams of dust from the asteroid."
According to the researchers, Itokawa's regolith has been shaped by erosion and surface impacts on the asteroid, whereas lunar regolith, which has spent more time exposed to solar winds and space weathering, has been more chemically altered.
Takaaki Noguchi from Ibaraki University in Mito, Japan, and colleagues cite this chemical difference between the lunar dust and the Itokawa samples as one of the reasons astronomers have never been able to definitively tie ordinary chondrites to S-type asteroids in the past.
"Space weathering is the interaction between the surface of airless bodies, like asteroids and the moon, and the energetic particles in space," said Noguchi.
"When these energetic particles-like solar wind, plasma ejected from the Sun and fast-traveling micrometeoroids-strike an object, pieces of them condense on the surface of that object. In the vacuum of space, such deposits can create small iron particles that greatly affect the visible spectra of these celestial bodies when they are viewed from Earth."
But now, instead of using lunar samples to estimate the space weathering on an asteroid in the future, researchers can turn to the asteroid regolith for direct insight into such processes.
Two more international studies led by Keisuke Nagao from the University of Tokyo and Hisayoshi Yurimoto from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, respectively, have determined how long the regolith material has been on the surface of Itokawa and established a direct link between the oxygen isotopes in ordinary chondrites and their parent, S-type asteroids.
According to the researchers, the dust from Itokawa has been on the surface of the asteroid for less than eight million years. They suggest that regolith material from such small asteroids might escape easily into space to become meteorites, traveling toward Earth.
"This dust from the surface of the Itokawa asteroid will become a sort of Rosetta Stone for astronomers to use," according to Zolensky. "Now that we understand the bulk mineral and chemical composition of the Hayabusa sample, we can compare them to meteorites that have struck the Earth and try to determine which asteroids the chondrites came from."
Out of Thin Martian Airby Michael Schirberfor Astrobiology Magazine

MAVEN - which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN - will not only provide a better handle on the current loss, but it will also provide a window on the past, by determining how the upper atmosphere controls the loss rate.

A wet Mars is just a memory, but where did the water go? Geological observations suggest rivers and seas dotted the martian surface 3.5 billion years ago. The amount of water has been equated to a planet-wide ocean half-a-kilometer deep or more. For the planet to have stayed warm enough for liquid water, scientists assume that Mars had a greenhouse "blanket" of carbon dioxide atmosphere at least 1000 times thicker than what Earth has now.
That carbon dioxide is mostly gone. So is the water. "Either they went up or they went down," says Dave Brain from UC Berkeley.
By "down," Brain is referring to the subsurface of the red planet. Water ice is known to be lurking underground, while vestiges of carbon dioxide can be found in the polar ice cap and in certain mineral deposits. But many scientists expect that a large fraction of the water-soaked atmosphere was sucked "up" into space.
"We know that escape is occurring today from the martian atmosphere and that it has occurred in the past," says Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado, Boulder.
The current loss rate of martian atmosphere is estimated to be around 100 tons per day, but this is based on incomplete data. Jakosky is leading a NASA mission called MAVEN that plans to fly to Mars in 2013 to measure all aspects of atmospheric escape.
MAVEN - which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN - will not only provide a better handle on the current loss, but it will also provide a window on the past, by determining how the upper atmosphere controls the loss rate.
"The more we know about the loss rate now, the better we can extrapolate back in time when Mars was presumably warmer and wetter," says Michael Combi of the University of Michigan.
Combi and his colleagues model the outer envelope of Mars' atmosphere, called the exosphere, where particles make their "jump" into space. As part of NASA's Mars Fundamental Research program, they are working on a full three-dimensional simulation that can use MAVEN's observations to say how much water Mars has lost to space.
Leaky planetThe main ways that atmospheric particles can escape a planet's gravity are ion escape, neutral escape and impact erosion, explains Brain.
The last of these, impact erosion, was dominant around 4 billion years ago, when the terrestrial planets were bombarded with large pieces of space debris. Big "splashes" like these would have hurtled large volumes of atmosphere into space, while also introducing water and other material to the surface.
However, Mars managed to hold onto a considerable amount of atmosphere throughout the bombardment. We know this because the evidence of martian water is 3.5 billion years old - when impacts had become less common. Scientists therefore have to look to other escape routes to explain where all the water went. The best-measured mechanism is ion loss. This typically occurs when sunlight or a collision ionizes gas molecules in the upper atmosphere.
The resulting ions are susceptible to the forces of electric and magnetic fields, which on Mars means that the solar wind can "pick up" the ions and drag them out into space.
ESA's Mars Express mission recently measured loss rates of a few grams per second for several ion species on Mars. This is about the same as the ion loss on Earth, which might seem surprising considering that Earth has a strong magnetic field for deflecting the solar wind.
However, Mars Express was measuring these rates during solar minimum when the Sun produces less ionizing radiation and less wind-whipping solar storms. It's possible that the unprotected martian atmosphere gets stripped faster during solar maxima or during more active periods in the Sun's past.
Moreover, ion loss is only part of the picture. Mars is also vulnerable to the loss of neutral atoms due to its comparatively weak gravitational field. Neutral loss occurs on Mars in a variety of ways. Hydrogen atoms can have enough thermal energy to escape the planet's gravity. Heavier atoms, like oxygen, can also escape as a result of energetic chemical reactions or collisions.
Neutral particles are hard to detect, so scientists have so far relied on indirect measures to estimate the neutral loss rate. The best constraint comes from 35-year-old data from the Viking mission. When the Viking landers plowed through the atmosphere on their way to the surface, they provided information on the density and other conditions of the upper atmosphere.
Combi and his colleagues incorporate this Viking data into their model of the upper atmosphere. Their computer simulations focus on certain chemical reactions that are driven by sunlight. The reaction products are energetic atoms, some of which can escape into space if they reach an altitude where collisions with other gas particles become unlikely.
In their model, Combi's group has to take into account the daily and seasonal changes in sunlight hitting different parts of the atmosphere. They also consider the effect of the variations in solar activity over the 11-year solar cycle.
A recent calculation by Combi's group found the loss rate of neutral oxygen atoms should be about 100 times greater than the ion loss measured by Mars Express. Taking this as their baseline, the researchers estimate that Mars could have lost a 10-meter-deep layer of water from its surface over the last 3.5 billion years. But estimates like these are speculative, as they are based on an incomplete picture of the martian upper atmosphere. A data upgrade is needed.
Craven for Maven"The MAVEN mission is the first to have as its sole focus understanding the nature of the upper atmosphere and how it controls the escape rates," Jakosky says.
The $485-million MAVEN will carry eight instruments to measure ion and neutral escape, as well as the structure and composition of the upper atmosphere. Over its planned two-year mission, it will also monitor the solar wind, solar ultraviolet, and solar storms, which are the main drivers that influence the rate at which material is stripped off the martian atmosphere.
"We have never before had all the right instruments on one spacecraft," Brain says.
One of the challenges of past missions has been characterizing a "leak" that is spread over the entire 150,000 square kilometers on Mars' outer atmospheric surface. MAVEN's orbit will be varied in such a way that it samples the loss rate from a wide range of different latitudes, as well as at different times of the day.
Still, the satellite can only be in one place at one time, so models like that of Combi's group are needed to fill in the gaps. "These models are absolutely essential for us," Jakosky says. "They will allow us to take the MAVEN measurements that are made at discrete times and locations and extrapolate them to other times and places."
When trying to imagine loss rates long ago, researchers will have to account for changes in the solar output. By observing Sun-like stars at earlier stages in their lives, astronomers believe our Sun was more active in the past - with more storms and greater ultraviolet flux. Consequently, atmospheric escape should have been ramped up on high as well.
"We can't measure what the atmosphere was like billions of years ago," Jakosky says. "However, we can measure it today, measure how the processes that control it work, and then use models to extrapolate to other conditions."
So in the end, the models need the satellite to ground them in reality. And the satellite needs the models to stretch its reach to the beginning of martian history.
Only then will Mars spill the secret of its lost water.
Moffet Field CA (SPX) Aug 29, 2011

New Evidence for Cold Ocean on Early Mars

Date: 28 August 2011 Time: 01:01 PM ET
Mystery Solved: Mars Had Large Oceans
A view of Mars as it might have appeared more than 2 billion years ago, with an ocean filling the lowland basin that now occupies the north polar region.
CREDIT: Taylor Perron/UC Berkeley

The existence of an ancient, frigid ocean on Mars that was surrounded by glaciers could explain the unusual minerals found making up the northern lowlands of the Red Planet, a new study suggests.
These findings add new evidence to the idea that ancient Mars was once cold and wet, not cold and dry nor warm and wet as is often argued.
Astrobiologist Alberto Fairén at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center and his colleagues investigated why the early crust of the northern Martian lowlands apparently lacks a mineral group called phyllosilicates when compared to similarly aged crust in the planet's southern lowlands. These minerals are common in marine sediments on Earth. [Photos: The Search for Water on Mars]

Their climatic and geochemical models suggest that if a northern ocean existed on Mars, it would have been close to freezing. Moreover, features around the proposed ocean basin are consistent with the presence of large glaciers, such as underwater stretches of rocky debris known as moraines. Near-freezing temperatures and large glaciers would prevent phyllosilicates from forming and depositing in a lowland ocean basin.
"Our multidisciplinary analyses offer an explanation for the existence of an ocean in the past of Mars which is consistent with the mineralogy detected so far by orbiters and landers," said Fairén, lead author of a study appearing online Aug. 28 in the journal Nature Geoscience. "If there were oceans on Mars, they were cold glacial, similar to the polar seas on Earth. The coasts would be rimmed by glaciers, and portions of the ocean would be ice-covered."
There are currently two leading ideas for what the climate of ancient Mars might have been like.
One is that it was cold and dry, asserting that valley networks and other geological features suggestive of liquid water in Mars' past were essentially results of bursts of heat confined in space and time, suggesting that Mars could not have sustained oceans. The other is that Mars was once warm and wet, implying that it could once have supported lakes, seas and rainfall for long periods.
"I became interested in this idea after realizing the contradiction among the geological evidence, which points out that liquid water was once abundant on Mars, and the climate models, which so far have had a difficult time explaining warm conditions on early Mars allowing water to remain in the liquid state," Fairén told
Instead, the researchers are suggesting an ancient Mars that was wet but not warm.
"A cold and wet Mars seems to be a suitable solution for this decades-long standing puzzle, and a glacial northern ocean would fit perfectly in that cold and wet scenario," Fairén said.
The scientists are currently searching for additional evidence of a cold Martian ocean in global datasets, including analyzing the evolution of glacial coastal land features, looking for signs of icebergs and preparing additional low-temperature geochemistry models.
"This is not an easy job, as the evidence for the ancient ocean is mostly buried under tons of more recent materials, including kilometer-thick sedimentary and volcanic deposits, which make our work more and more challenging," Fairén said.
Armstrong relives historic Moon landing

By Amy CoopesSydney, Australia (AFP) Aug 29, 2011

a unique moment in time

It's more than 40 years since Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon, but his memories of the historic flight remain as undimmed as his passion for further exploration of space.
The Apollo 11 commander, now aged 81, relived the 1969 mission that enthralled the world as he watched Google's new high-definition images of the Moon in Australia last week.
The pictures, available on YouTube since May but which Armstrong said he had only just seen, show Apollo 11's landing spot, including the fuel cell left behind which it also used as a launch pad.
"So for the sceptics about whether we ever landed on the Moon -- this is a pretty good indication that somebody's done it," he quipped to a business audience that had paid hundreds of dollars to hear him speak.
The famously private astronaut provided a rare glimpse into the flight, recalling the moment he hurtled free of Earth's gravity at "more than 10 times the speed of a rifle bullet".
"You're looking down at Asuncion Island in the Atlantic at dusk, and you soon fly into darkness," he said.
"You see some city lights on the African coast and notice lightning flashes illuminating some thunderheads like neon mushrooms far below you."
Crossing over to the daylight side of Earth he said a "scimitar of light" became a flood, blinding in its brightness, and though minutes passed by swiftly "you seem to be perfectly motionless".
"You look at Malaysia and the islands of Indonesia below, they're dropping away from you six or 8,000 kilometres per hour they're dropping away," he said.
"The horizon is growing more and more, you can see Australia off to the right and Japan off to the left, and all of a sudden you can see the entire circle -- the whole planet Earth, kind of a gigantic blue medicine ball covered with white lacy clouds, and it's floating slowly away from you into the inky black sky."
Playing the new high-definition pictures of the Moon alongside the original July 1969 Apollo footage, Armstrong recalled his arrival on the desolate, cratered landscape and the historic phrase relayed back to Earth: "Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."
But he was also forward looking, telling the audience that the American space programme was "in some chaos".
As the United States contemplates the future of its space programme following the end of the shuttle era last month, he said NASA should start using the Moon for training missions for Mars exploration.
"I do favour going to Mars but I believe it is both too difficult and too expensive with the technology we have available at the current time," he told those gathered in Sydney.
"I favour returning to the Moon. We made six landings there and explored areas as small as a city lot and perhaps as large as a small town. That leaves us some 14 million square miles that we have not explored."
Armstrong also reflected at length on the Apollo programme and Americas space race with Russia.
It was a sometimes desperate and very close contest, he said, with the Soviets unmanned Luna 15 racing neck-and-neck for the lunar surface with Apollo 11 after an ambitious John F. Kennedy had set a deadline of 1970 for the United States to land on the Moon almost a decade earlier.
The Soviet craft's landing gear failed as it approached the Moon and it crashed into the surface, while Armstrong hoisted the American flag to "reach a goal that dreamers had been dreaming of for many, many centuries".
After Apollo 11, Armstrong said five more lunar spacecraft and 10 astronauts landed on the Moon, with the experiments completed there and samples returned multiplying mankinds knowledge of its closest neighbour "one thousand-fold".
"We understood the substantial risks, we were willing to accept them because we believed that our goal was a worthy goal," he said.
"I was fortunate enough to be led by men who made me yearn for the vast and endless sea above the surface of the Earth, and I am in their debt."
Earth’s neighbouring star found
The Australian National University   
Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Researchers have uncovered a new stellar neighbour with the discovery of the closest young star to Earth.

The international team, including Simon Murphy, a final-year PhD student from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, have shown that the star, named AP Columbae, is the closest so-called `pre main-sequence’ star. Their paper has been published this week in The Astronomical Journal.

“Pre main-sequence stars are much younger than the Sun. Using telescopes in Coonabarabran, Chile, Hawaii and California we have shown that the faint, red-dwarf star AP Columbae is the closest such star to the Earth,” said Mr Murphy.

“For decades it was believed that young stars only resided in vast star-forming regions like the Orion Nebula. These regions are typically several hundred light years away from the Earth. With the advent of accurate, all-sky surveys we can now find young stars much closer to home.”

AP Columbae, an otherwise innocuous red-dwarf star in the constellation of Columba is a comparably close 27-light-years away from Earth and approximately 40 million years old.

“To put that into perspective, it means this star was formed after the dinosaurs became extinct and when mammals first started to become dominant on Earth,” Mr Murphy said.

The star is the newest member of a group of young stars known as the Argus Association. The age and close proximity of AP Columbae make it a prime candidate for getting good images.

“Because AP Columbae is so close we are able to hunt for giant gas planets at high resolution, close to the star. Later this year we are hoping to use the eight metre Gemini South telescope in Chile to observe any planets that might be present.”
High Frequency Gravitational Waves

Inside the Spy Game With The Man Who Knew Too Much: An Update  

After "publicly accusing a person with seven current contracts with the Intelligence Community, four classified -- with a distinguished career in Intelligence to boot, and who is the current Chair of the Science Board for the Undersecretary of Defense for Chem/Nuclear/Biological matters -- as being in the pay of a Foreign Power who is wittingly passing them classified material..."
Dan T. Smith -- the man who knew too much -- leaked an investigation of a joint Chinese-American high-frequency gravity wave research program a year before the public version of the investigation was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence MASINT Committee under CIA's Dr. Ron Pandolfi, as told in Spies, Lies, and Polygraph Tape | Knowing the Future: The UFO Spy Games, with a nod to the films of Alfred Hitchcock.
Futurist, STARstream Research
October 7, 2007
This page was last updated 08/21/2011 03:57:30 AM -0000
( -- This article was originally published in October 2007. Given the incomplete information we had available at the time, I decided to reveal as much as possible and overcome writer's block by using as many titles of films by Alfred Hitchcock as I could fit into the tale. I have underlined the titles of the Hitchcock films in this version of the story so you can see how it was originally put together (please let me know if I missed any!).
Since the story was published, part of the investigation referred to in the article as it appeared in 2007 was revealed to the public by the American Office of the Director of National Intelligence. We broke the story of the investigation a year prior to confirmation from the US government -- but as you may see, there were other, more serious sounding allegations included in the original story, which may (or may not) be in the redacted classified material from the government's report. You can read the declassified FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY version of the study here, thanks to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). The FOUO version has the classified material redacted, as noted in the report.

Mr. Dan Smith is either breaking the spy game rules or playing by someone else's covert game plan.

At issue: Smith's allegations, that a meeting with physicist Robert Park -- arranged by Smith at the request of a Senior Intelligence Official at the DIA, who reports to the Director of National Intelligence -- was about potential misuse of government resources for research into high-frequency gravity waves.
A response to Mr. Smith's allegations from a physicist, and another top former intelligence officer and professional consultant to the U.S. Government, exposed a more serious allegation of impropriety on the part of the Senior Intelligence Official.

Physicist Robert Park is a well-known skeptic of all things paranormal. He is the author of the book "Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud."

Park failed to respond to our request for his comments.

Citizen Smith's involvement in an elastic affair involving the Intelligence Community began shortly after the torn curtain that once divided east and west was permanently dissolved by the frenzy of electronic communication over the Internet. Mr. Smith is known for his allegorical twisting of behind-the-scenes spy games, posted at his blog, which has received attention recently from UFO researchers and forum members.

And Mr. and Mrs. Smith are not strangers to Washington politics.

Mr. Smith's father, Harvard economist Dan Throop Smith, was the Treasury Department's number one tax adviser during the Eisenhower White House. He has two sisters, one that once taught in a one-room school in Montana, and according to Smith's Blog, lives without the luxury of television or the Internet. Mr. Smith's other sister, the wife of business executive Charles Leighton, is a friend of President George W. Bush's aunt, Nancy Bush Ellis. Mr. Leighton earned a Jack Anderson story in the Washington Post over a bizarre cuff link affair.

Dan Smith posted what appear to be sensitive email messages to a public Internet web site, the Open Minds Forum, and in the process transmuted private messages into open source material. As a result it appears that Smith's actions helped to sabotage the alleged meeting with Park.

What are we to make of Mr. Smith's new role as saboteur? Smith's attempt to effectively blackmail his handler has tied a rope around his personal agenda, strangling the intended disclosure for the time being. It's all downhill from here.

One area of concern regarding the latest series of 'leaks' coming from email messages distributed by Mr. Smith, is that some of the emails appear to have originated with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The addresses in question end with "" Mr. Smith's posting of the email addresses clearly identifies two individuals at the DIA.

If verified, the use of official government email servers in communications to Mr. Smith would confirm that Smith is not a 'psycho' acting out a bizarre fantasy on the Internet. The Senior Intelligence Official's modus operandi often appears to involve Smith, which is strange given previous statements to Internet journalists that Mr. Smith's state of mind is questionable.

Smith posted a message to Park, apparently from the Senior Intelligence Official, that appears to confirm Dan Smith's role in the spy game:

"Dan received degrees from the University of Maryland in physics and philosophy. He occasionally provides pro bono counsel to the US Government, providing a representational perspective from the lunatic, scamming, and general fringe science communities. He currently appears to be too unstable to provide a valuable contribution but may recover over the weekend. I'll check with him and decide whether or not he should participate."

The latest spy fiasco, in what superficially appears to be a CIA family plot to coerce the rich and strange to sabotage government disclosure, has given Mr. Smith a bout of stage fright, causing him to withdraw from public forums to his personal blog:

"It was my contention that we were headed to a new level in the acclimation effort via the R&D protocol. But when I put Ron on the spot with respect to to a meeting with a known skeptical academic, he opted to cut me out of that meeting. I have not heard from him since. For the time being, I have removed myself from contention on the disclosure front."

R&D refers to "Ron," the Senior Intelligence Official at DIA, and Dan Smith. The academic referred to by Mr. Smith is Robert Park. "Ron"  -- Dr. Ron Pandolfi -- is well known for his interest in alternative scientific subjects, and for shutting down government programs rooted in pseudo-science.

In an email from Ron earlier this year, I was advised to refrain from "revealing methods and sources" and later received a request from a private investigator associated with Ron:

"I am kindly asking that you please do as Ron requests and retract the obviously specious information Dan provided to you about him."

Smith has run afoul of a few of the birds from the AVIARY -- intelligence officers past and present, stigmatized by bird names once used to casually conceal their identities during the research phase of a Fox TV special about UFOs that aired in the late 1980s.

Without a shadow of a doubt, some members of the AVIARY appear to be under suspicion of more than spreading rumors of top-secret government liaisons with extraterrestrial life forms.

Allegations from one of Ron's associates, a former senior intelligence officer at CIA who continues to consult for the U.S Government, suggest Ron's actions over the past year are intended to 'out' a spy stealing government secrets. To catch a thief, Ron appears to keep Smith spellbound with the promise of government disclosure. But did "Ron" pick the wrong man?

Our foreign correspondent, Caryn Anscomb, who is based in the United Kingdom, told us that Ron's associate "seems a bit upset with it all."

A physicist known for his research in fringe areas, including psychic remote viewing and alternative energy sources, reacted to the allegation from Smith that the meeting with Robert Park was to discuss the waste of government funds for gravity wave research. Smith immediately posted the emails to the public forum at Open Minds.

Smith wrote, "It seems that the Soap Opera has been transmographied into a slight-of-hand act. It might also be called misdirection. By taking that ever so cheap-shot at [the physicist], and by having [Ron's associate] get on his High Horse to come charging to [the physicist's] defense, we have become a conspiracy of dunces or geniuses, depending on one’s PoV."

The physicist's response to Smith's allegations of misuse of government resources, "to accuse a scientist of fraud is legally actionable," triggered a reaction from Ron's associate, the former intelligence official:

"Indeed. As is publicly accusing a person with seven current contracts with the Intelligence Community, four classified...with a distinguished career in Intelligence to boot, and who is the current Chair of the Science Board for the Undersecretary of Defense for Chem/Nuclear/Biological being in the pay of a Foreign Power who is wittingly passing them classified material. Later denials that what was meant was that it might be a 'hypothetical' that was really meant is not exculpatory in a Tort Action for personal and professional libel. When written confirmation exists that the person doing the posting was doing it as part of an agreed 'Protocol' with a sitting Senior member of the DNI, by becomes rather important for other reasons. Most courts would not see it as an innocent 'mistake' when the identical pattern is repeated three times in one year."

Smith appears to be suffering from vertigo as he assails the heights of counter-intelligence, in his quest for a cosmic lifeboat. In the process, his goal of moving government disclosure to the forefront of Washington politics has receded into the horizon, revealing the precipice beneath him.

My advice for Mr. Smith: be careful with your next step. If you slip the drop can be murder.

As for the spies, they continue to chatter past each other over the web, like strangers on a train, destined to stare out the rear window at the receding landscape of the real world.

Bon voyage!

[Note: I was included in the some of the original emails from Smith. The replies were later posted at Open Minds Forum. They are reproduced at the Spies, Lies, and Polygraph Tape blog, without comment.]

I confess a bit of hesitation in bringing this tale to the general public, having earned a notorious reputation for not obeying the rules of journalism when it comes to anonymous sources. Once you enter the spy game, you are always under suspicion of being a secret agent, no matter how young and innocent you appear on the surface. One thing I have learned from the lessons of others caught up in the shadowy tales of intrigue and real-life espionage: when you become involved in spy games, you should always tell your wife.
Smith's allegations are confirmed by the public release of an FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY report, commissioned by Dr. Ron Pandolfi, for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) MASINT to the MITRE JASON government consultants. Many of the 'unusual suspects' were identified by name in the report, including, but not limited to Pandolfi, Mark Pesses, and Paul Murad.
The introduction to the report explains, "The subject of High Frequency Gravitational Waves (HFGW) has attracted considerable interest in the US government over the last few years. In September 2007, HFGW came to the attention of the National MASINT Committee of ODNI; in turn, staff at this committee asked JASON to review both the underlying science and technology of HFGW, and their implications for national security. JASON hosted briefings during June 17-18, 2008 from individuals both inside and outside the US government, and also collected about a thousand pages of printed or electronic material. This report gives our conclusions and supporting analyses, after having considered this input. Classified topics and conclusions are presented in the accompanying classified appendix ... We are especially grateful to Ronald Pandolfi and Mark Pesses of ODNI for their continued help in arranging briefers and documentation; they were ably assisted by Paul Flemming and Sara Shelton. We benefitted from briefings by Robert Baker, Gary Stephenson, Paul Murad, Patricia Walters, Ronald Pandolfi, Kevin Pollpeter, and Mark Pesses."

Uri Geller


A Phenomenon of CIA Interest  

Long before the NBC TV reality show "Phenomenon," featuring psychic Uri Geller and illusionist Criss Angel, there was the CIA. Although it happened many years ago in a land that today seems far, far away -- the early 1970s -- it remains a tale of great significance for our time.

This page was last updated 08/29/2011 02:03:41 AM -0000
( -- Long before the NBC TV reality show "Phenomenon," featuring psychic Uri Geller and illusionist Criss Angel, there was the CIA.

Although it happened many years ago in a land that today seems far, far away -- the early 1970s -- it remains a tale of great significance for our time.

Uri Geller attracted the attention of the CIA at a time when the depth of Russian and Soviet satellite interests in all things paranormal sent a chill up the collective spine of the Intelligence Community.

Today there are signs that the Intelligence Community remains engaged in exploring psychic phenomena for use by "psychic spies" -- either to collect intelligence, or to bait and switch the enemy as a counter-intelligence ploy, as part of the war on terror.

U.K. based author Jon Ronson told the tale of Uri Geller's "reactivation" by a mysterious man named "Ron," shortly after the events of 9/11.STARstream Research confirmed the existence of "Ron," a senior intelligence official, named Dr. Ronald S. Pandolfi, and his interest in exotic phenomena.

When we contacted Ron, he directly denied the use of psychics by the present -day intelligence community. This appears to contradict other information provided by multiple independent sources to STARstream Research, including confirmation from another UK based psychic, Chris Robinson, suggesting that DIA and NSA continued to explore psychic remote viewing following 9/11.

Declassified official US government records prove that psychics were being used for intelligence collection in the STAR GATE program until 1995. Declassified UK MoD files prove that the British Ministry of Defence was also exploring psychic phenomena shortly after 9/11.

Investigative journalist and author Gus Russo, who is better known for digging away at the conspiratorial aspects of the JFK assassination plot for PBS and ABC than for exploring the world of the paranormal, was told by a source familiar with the National Security Agency that NSA was currently using highly trained psychics, called remote viewers, to gather intelligence. The alleged program is said to operate at the deepest level of secrecy at the agency. It is possible that the CIA killed the STAR GATE program to protect a next-generation project that was secretly underway at NSA. It was later learned that Chris Robinson was working with Thomas Drake, the former senior NSA official who had been under indictment by the US Justice Department for his whistle-blowing against government waste and mismanagement at NSA. The most serious charges against Drake were later dropped in favor of a plea agreement to unauthorized use of a government computer system. The extent of Drake's involvement with paranormal intelligence collection, and any official involvement by NSA, remain unknown.

In the 1970s, the idea that paranormal phenomena might actually represent a serious threat to the United States was taken quite seriously. In the western world, Uri Geller was at the center of the phenomenon.

The CIA, and a handful of other government agencies, narrowed the paranormal field down to two possible areas of immediate interest: psychokinesis, the alleged ability of the mind to affect matter directly, and clairvoyance, the alleged ability of the mind to perceive distant persons, places or things. To overcome the so-called "giggle factor" of embarrassment associated with the paranormal in the scientific community, the intelligence community would later identify the field as Anomalous Mental Phenomena, or AMP. Early work with Geller and others lead to numerous paranormal programs.

A once-secret 1973 CIA memo states "Since, as matters now stand, apparently nothing more is to be done with GELLER and since we can ill afford to ignore the powers which he allegedly has and which SWANN does not share, [Ingo Swann, another famous psychic tested by CIA] the following possibility might be explored."

The importance of Uri Geller to the CIA cannot be understated. He represented an immediately accessible test subject at a time when films of Soviet psychics moving matter with their minds had been obtained by the western world. Concerns were raised that anyone capable of affecting material objects might also be capable of initiating the detonator of a nuclear weapon.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the memo is the picture it paints of the the modus operandi of the spy agency.

The memo continued:

Telling SRI (sincerely, by the way) [the Stanford Research Institute, where tests of Uri Geller's powers were taking place] that we have no intention of easing them out and that they will have full access to the data and first option re publication, we persuade them to use their good offices with GELLER in the following manner. They tell him that, in order to get the kind of money necessary for prolonged research, they showed their data and film on a highly selective basis to officials in the USG [U.S. Government]. While all expressed interest (and many incredulity) only one group had both the vision and the courage and the means to pursue the matter -- and they urge GELLER to at least listen to the proposition they wish to make. If he asks who they represent SRI finesses the matter by telling him that the representatives, themselves, would rather explain their status.

NOTE: Alternatively, with appropriate backstopping, we could pass ourselves off as NIH officials -- see below) SRI then provides the introduction to GELLER and we try to convince him to accept a contract as our consultant for a two or three month period -- renewable if both parties concur. If we don't pose as NIH officials and if he insists on knowing who we are, we tell him -- but only after enough low-key and sympathetic exposure to permit him, at least, to judge us objectively. If we pose as NIH, the rationale for our interest is simple -- straight basic research. If we drop cover, the rationale is simply that, in addition to our scientific interest in understanding the phenomena, we are concerned about the potentialities for its use in the wrong hands against the interests of humanity as a whole; we have a defensive responsibility in that regard and solicit his help in meeting it. In other words, we virtually level with him. As matters now stand we have little to loose and, handled adeptly, we might get a reasonably cooperative response. If so, we arrange for him to be ensconced in an NIH clinic (under alias if he prefers) and ensure that the conditions (privacy, security, yet freedom of movement for G who will live and sleep there but be free to leave outside 'office' hours) are optimum from his and our points of view. We then conduct the experiments designed for him and have him examined by an array of NIH specialists. In this context, while we probably have to keep the regimen as un-threatening and unpainful as possible, it would be of great value if we could obtain blood / metabolic / other indices both when he is 'high' (performing well) and when he is in a normal state. If consistent traces lead to biochemical suggestions, the whole matter of both identification and enhancement in others (drug-wise for example) might be short-circuited. All of us experience in less dramatic ways 'on' and 'off' states -- with minor cycles being measured in hours or days and major ones measured sometimes in years. When we are 'on' we 'click,' feel 'fit,' are on top of things and we are perceived by others as being 'effective,' 'dynamic,' 'magnetic,' etc. It seems reasonable to assume that similar or analogous cycles are operative in the 'psi' arena -- and that (as with us) the underlying causes are physical / chemical, as well as environmental and psychological.


Is CIA Crashing the White House UFO Disclosure Party?  

Tareq and Michaele Salahi achieved personal fame after crashing a White House dinner party. Dan T. Smith would like to do the same for disclosure of government UFO phenomena secrets, with a little help from Ron Pandolfi, his friend at CIA.
Futurist, STARstream Research

This page was last updated 08/27/2011 03:51:55 AM -0000
( -- Tareq and Michaele Salahi achieved personal fame after crashing a White House dinner party.

Dan T. Smith would like to do the same for disclosure of government secrets, with a little help from Ron Pandolfi, his friend at CIA.

Smith is the son of Dan Throop Smith, the late Harvard economist who served as chief tax adviser to President Eisenhower, and a descendent of the Throop family, who founded Cal Tech.

Dan Smith, inflamed by the abuses of power in the Nixon administration, told me he once contemplated more drastic actions than mere party crashing.

On September 11, 2001, America witnessed first hand the devastation wrought by drastic actions. Smith attaches particular personal significance to the 9/11 events, which he interprets as a wake up call to the eschaton: the final days of mankind.

According to Smith, his sister, a friend of Nancy Bush Ellis, spoke with the former CIA Director and U.S. President George H. W. Bush by phone from a plane shortly after leaving Logan International within minutes of the hijacked 9/11 flights.

Days before 9/11, Smith says he was invited to a meeting with his friend from the CIA. The implication of this meeting, claims Smith, was advanced knowledge of an impending world-altering event. Smith later reported this meeting to the local FBI.

Smith is convinced that his friends in the intelligence world are holding the cards to the end of days. From the outside looking in, one cannot always tell who is ahead.

Smith's goal in "crashing the White House party" is to force the hand of government disclosure.

About ten years ago, Smith exposed his trump card: Dr. Ronald S. Pandolfi, who, according to numerous accounts in the New York Times and the Congressional Research Service, was a high level CIA analyst tasked against U.S. corporations offering technology assistance to China's rocket program in the 1990s. Based upon the Pulitzer award winning account in the New York Times, Pandolfi worked out of the National Intelligence Council, writing National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) for the President of the United States.

Mr. Smith suggests that Dr. Pandolfi is more than an analyst: according to Smith, he is involved with CIA and DIA operations, not only science and technology. Pandolfi's most recent official public action involved tasking the elite JASON scientific advisory committee on an obscure pseudo-scientific cooperative effort between American and Chinese researchers.

A few years ago Pandolfi and Smith were at the center of a strange Internet fiasco intended to associate John Gannon, former CIA man (and head of the National Intelligence Council) who helped in the creation of Homeland Security, with the reverse engineering of "UFO" technology.

One of the benefits of "rogue journalism" is the freedom of bending the rules to the game. This is particularly helpful when some of the party players sitting at the game table work for government intelligence agencies.

Conspicuously absent from this party: The Secret Service.

Pandolfi confirmed to me by email that he was aware of Mr. Smith's desire to "crash the White House" for disclosure.

In the summer of 2009, Smith claimed Pandolfi was acting as an Intelligence Community liaison to the White House.

When I informed Pandolfi of Smith's intention to show up at the White House gate, he quickly arranged to meet privately with Smith at another location in the Washington, D.C. area.

Later Smith reported Pandolfi had left the White House position over excessive politics in the Obama administration.

Now, having exposed his Pandolfi card for everyone interested in the games at hand, Smith once again contemplates a strategy to "crash the White House" for disclosure.

Pandolfi, and his former mentor at CIA, Dr. Christopher "Kit" Green, have been widely exposed by the Internet as the "keepers of the weird" -- the government's real life X-files -- a carefully guarded "phenomenology problem" that confounds the experts in the Intelligence Community.

For what it is worth, some of the files were released as a result of Pandolfi's CIA in 1995, when Congressional action resulted in the takeover of the Defense Intelligence Agency's STAR GATE program.

Smith remains convinced there is much more about the phenomenology problem still hidden in the bowels of the Intelligence Community.

Whether or not those files will reveal anything about Smith's deeply felt belief that this is the end of history remains to be seen.

Don Ecker's 'Dark Thoughts': Long Saga of Lunar Anomalies  

On July 20th, 1969 the American Apollo 11 Mission touched down, forever immortalized with Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" quote. So, if we as a species should know about any celestial body, our Moon should be the most known, right?
Well as it turns out, not necessarily.
By DON ECKER, Host, Dark Matters Radio

May 18, 2011
This page was last updated 05/18/2011 10:13:08 PM -0000
( -- The Moon -- gazed upon for countless centuries by lovers in all seasons, used by farmers to illuminate their nighttime harvesting in the autumn, cursed by soldiers trying to sneak up on the enemy and looked upon with awe by first time young astronomers. The Moon has almost always presented a familiar if not friendly countenance peering down upon us with serene familiarity.
The "Man in the Moon" has been a familiar figure to generations of Moon watchers. The optical illusion of a face is generated by the craggy features set off by smooth plains of the lunar surface.
The Moon, of course, was also the catalyst that fueled a multi-billion dollar and ruble race between the American and Soviet space agencies in the early 1960s, when President John Kennedy threw down the gauntlet to the American public in his historic race to the Moon speech. And on July 20th, 1969 the American Apollo 11 Mission touched down, forever immortalized with Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" quote. So, if we as a species should know about any celestial body, our Moon should be the most known, right? Well as it turns out, not necessarily.

Mystery Lights

For the last several hundred years, astronomers have observed mysterious lights on the lunar surface. In the early 19th century, England's Sir John Herschel saw unidentifiable lights on the Moon during an eclipse, and said some of the lights appeared to be moving above the Moon. Other astronomers of the period reported seeing geometrical patterns of lights that resembled city streets. In 1869, the Royal Astronomical Society of Great Britain began a three-year investigation when a "sudden outbreak" of mystery lights was observed in the area of Mare Crisium.
On the night of July 29, 1953, John J. O'Neill settled himself at his telescope for an evening of lunar viewing. O'Neill was the science editor for the New York Herald Tribune. The "seeing," an astronomer's term for viewing, was excellent. As O'Neill began to observe the area around the Mare Crisium crater, he was astounded to view what appeared to be a "bridge" that straddled the crater, a structure that appeared to stretch for 12 miles.

O'Neill reported his discovery to the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers. As he expected, O'Neill was attacked by a number of astronomers, but one month later O'Neill found support from England when legendary British astronomer Dr. H. P. Wilkens verified it.

A natural' description

Patrick Moore, a leading member of the British Astronomical Association, also observed the bridge and reported it. Here was a bridge where one had never been seen before. O'Neill, careful in the extreme, called it a "natural" bridge that had somehow "popped up" almost overnight.
Lunar Transient Phenomena, or LTP, is an old subject with astronomers. Beginning several hundred years ago, certain areas of our Moon have consistently displayed light and object phenomena having no clear explanation. Starting in the 1960s, NASA began to study LTP in earnest. This study included anything that showed color, light, movement or anything mysterious, anything that was different from the norm.

In June of 1972, an astronomy magazine published a NASA announcement about a program for studying LTP. NASA was looking for anyone with the proper equipment and experience to study the Moon in detail. Thirty-two observers responded and were detailed to study four different sites that had shown LTP in the past. The program was not a success, as only six astronomers reported with regularity, and then not necessarily on the sites assigned.

Moore's catalog

Patrick Moore began to catalog LTP, and the list proved to be fascinating. In the crater Aristarchus, blinking lights, red and blue lights, brightenings and pulsations have all been observed. In the crater of Plato, blinking lights, moving lights and red color have been observed. Other craters that have displayed LTP in the forms of unexplained lights, clouds, blinking and flashing displays and colored lights have included Eratosthenes, Biela, Rabbi Levi, and Posidonius.
NASA has attempted to explain the above examples of observed LTP as gas escaping from lava deposits, Moon sunrise that caused ultraviolet excitation of gas, solar flare particles that create luminescent excitation, or volcanic action that causes belching fire that would explain the lights and occasional smoke.
First published in 1976 by David McKay, George H. Leonard's book Somebody Else is on the Moon became one of the first books to take a close look at high strangeness on the Moon. Leonard created quite a stir by delving deep into NASA archives and finding a great number of photos from the first unmanned missions, and the later Apollo missions to the Moon.

NASA photos

Many of the photos showed Moon anomalies that Leonard and others claimed could not have been natural. The Moon does not have any discernible atmosphere or weather, no air or running water. With the exception of changes from meteor bombardments, the surface stays much the same as it has always been. NASA has stated that the lunar body is almost geologically dead, yet certain areas have registered on seismic equipment left on the Moon by the Apollo missions. These areas correspond with areas that are known for LTP.
When it comes to Apollo missions, rumors have abounded for years about what the astronauts are reported to have witnessed. In Timothy Good's Above Top Secret, it is reported that former NASA Chief of Communications Systems Maurice Chatelain says that Neil Armstrong viewed two UFOs resting on the rim of a crater. "The encounter was common knowledge in NASA, but nobody has talked about it until now," Chatelain stated.
Soviet scientists confirmed the incident. Dr. Vladmimir Azahzha, a physicist and mathematics professor, has stated, "Neil Armstrong relayed the message to Mission Control that two large, mysterious objects were watching them after having landed near the moon module. But his message was never heard by the public - because NASA censored it."

New Moon efforts

Several years ago, Moon anomaly investigator James Sylvan contacted UFO Magazine requesting information on contacting Richard Hoagland of the Cydonia, Mars investigating team (now called the Mars Mission). Sylvan had been following up for years on George Leonard's work, and had gathered all the photos that Leonard had referenced. Sylvan then sent Hoagland samples of photos showing the anomalies that Leonard had found during his investigation.
Sylvan's set of photos showed items that truly did not appear natural. In the still-warm wake of his exclusive focus on Mars, Hoagland began to study the lunar question, and became convinced that certain areas did have huge artificial structures. The primary formations today are referred to as the "shard," the "tower," and the "cube."
In this recent revival of lunar anomalies investigation, the crater Ukert proves to be most provocative. Noticed by Hoagland, the strange phenomena on Ukert prompted him to contact Dr. Bruce Cornet, and independent geologist. Now allied with Hoagland in the search, Dr. Cornet has published his analyses of the photos of the lunar areas in question, descriptions that can more or less be considered the current party line on Moon anomalies.

Dr. Cornet explained Ukert as ". . . a crater like feature that displays a circumscribed equilateral triangle at full moon in its center. I agree that this triangle is not natural, because the sides of the crater are much brighter only opposite the sides of this triangle. The angles of the triangle intersect the darkest three areas of the crater rim, while the brightest three areas of the rim are opposite the sides of the triangle. In addition, the brightest parts of the rim are midway between the apices of the triangle, and are at 120 degrees orientation from one another."

'Comments on the shard'

Cornet says, "The Shard is an obvious structure which rises above the Moon's surface by more than a mile. Its overall irregular spindly shape (containing a regular geometric pattern) with constricted nodes and swollen internodes, if natural, has got to be a wonder of the universe. No known natural process can explain such a structure."
Cornet goes on to say that "The Tower represents an enigma of the highest magnitude, because it rises more than five miles above the surface of the Moon, and has been photographed from five different angles and two different sides. The Tower exists in front of and to the left of the Shard in the Lunar Orbiter III-84M photograph. The top of the Tower has a very ordered cubic geometry, and appears to be composed of regular cubes joined together to form a very large cube with an estimated width of over one mile!"

Again working with NASA imagery, Cornet also describes evidence for a massive, but vastly damaged dome that appears in Mare Crisium. Cornet stated that he was able to make out a set of large, concentric and circular light patterns within the mare. Reportedly he identified a spire or tower that rises from the surface within the light circles. "Magnification of the area around this spire shows cubic patterns like those around the Tower in Sinus Medii."

He has emphasized that computer enhancements of some of the formations show that they're apparently made of some reflective, glass-like material, highly eroded on the Moon's airless, vacuum-like environment.

NASA's non-reporting

The next question that readers are likely to ask is, if this information is even half true, then why was none of it reported by either NASA or the Apollo astronauts? The answer might go like this: Even though NASA is a civilian agency, it is in part financed by Department of Defense funds, and in the past, most astronauts were active duty military officers on detached status to NASA. In effect, all are subject to the military regulations, and if these regulations are broken, fines and penalties await.
Sitting behind all this is the National Security Agency (NSA), which monitors all transmissions and screens all footage taken on missions.
Under these circumstances, the barriers to openness are close to insurmountable. Were our years-long effort and billions upon billions of dollars (1960s dollars) expended just to say we got there? Is it feasible that after a half dozen missions, we just quit?
For years, rumors abounded that we were "asked" to leave early on (by the much-speculated "somebody else on the moon"), but that would have caused massive questioning and perhaps panic if we suddenly stopped, so we completed the program and the went into hiatus - until Apollo-Soyuz in 1975, and then the Shuttle in the early 80s, and most recently the Clementine mission (which at press time was still unrecovered). Again, this idea is pure speculation and rumor.
But an underlying question remains: Where secrecy is possible, where can we be sure of getting the truth? The only way a solution to these new and highly important mysteries will be found, especially if the Cornet analyses are even remotely on target, is through yet another, completely open lunar mission.
Whatever else might be found from current data stands as is until then.

Join the Conversation: There's Some THING On the Moon?

For more about the government's paranormal efforts, see SPIES LIES and POLYGRAPH TAPE -- Knowing the Future: The UFO Spy Games Book.
For more information, please visit

Copyright (c) 2011 by Don Ecker and Dark Matters Radio for STARstream Research / -- All rights reserved.
Thanks for the comments. Part II should be posted by next Friday at the latest (9/2/11) -- same section. It will have info to clarify what Man is, why we're here and who is also here with us, and what is being done about it. This necessitates some info to be shared on timelines.

Re: Marks2much -- my age is in my moniker (byline) and I have been at this for years, and was just as confused as a lot of other people. ( I am not a famous author posting under a pseudonym, although I know almost as much as Dr. Boylan, Dr. Michael Wolf, and the late John Keel.)

One day in Dec. '97 my doctor told me I had 3 years to live and so I quit my lucrative county computer job, cashed in my retirement and savings chips -- why not party and go where I wanted to go before leaving the planet?
While hiking in Sedona in June '98 I dropped to my knees and made an intense prayer to be able to serve Man and the planet before I died so that my life might count for something positive. There was no answer, no voice from the clouds. I continued traveling.
I decided to move to Tucson in late October '98 and that's when I was (very unceremonially) visited in my motel room -- in El Paso. I was taken out of my body, protected by a swirling green energy field (protection I was later told) and allowed to watch the whatever-it-was they were doing to my head, and I was 20-30 min later put back in my body. It was 2 in the morning. I was put back to sleep.
They had done something, and given me knowledge and an ability to ask and receive info about whatever I asked -- it comes in 1-sec downloads. However, if I had no need to know something, I was told so and had to live with not knowing whatever it was I had asked. I didn't even know who They were.

The next three days were unreal... I had written it all off as a dream, but I not only knew things now and had answers to almost all my questions, but I could heal myself by willing it (sorry, it doesn't transfer to others) and I now see auras.

In fact, I sometimes think I know too much. They showed up in person again in 2003 and asked if I was ready to do my part... Sure, I said -- Healer? Teacher? Maybe prophet (ugh)? None of the above. I was disappointed when They told me what it was, but I have done and continue to do my part, a minor thing, in addition to doing a few posts. I can see my part working and They permit me to post. I wrote a book that connects all the dots, 17 chapters, 12 appendices, huge glossary... and no one will publish it. Not that people are going to have the time to read it for a while anyway, so it sits on a CD in the closet. Some of the info shared in my posts is from that book.

BTW, knowing the answer is not what it is cracked up to be, but what sustains me is Their promise of where we (proactive) people are going. Perhaps the book will be printed there...

Re: AmrahAOlson -- you are right about the reptiles, but don't worry, most of them are gone and because we're in quarantine, their cohorts cannot get to us. The new Earth will be free of them and many other obstructive things.
The Zetas are mostly "good guys", perhaps you are thinking of the Dows -- a bunch of Greys who do work with the Orion group for less than nice purposes.
The PTB/Cabal/Chaos group are not expected to survive the Earth Changes in a way that would allow them to take power/control again over Earth... I have heard that most will be trapped in their DUMBs (underground bunkers) under water or lava with their assist from the Remnant gone.

I have posted elsewhere that Man is a valuable being (possessing a soul -- the soul is created in the Father's image with all the potential implied in that) and that is why there is so much neg effort spent trying to contain/trap and dumb Man down -- to keep him from actualizing his divine heritage. That is also why the HIgher Beings are involved -- to put the Father of Light's Plan back on track.
Not said earlier was that not all men have souls, and it was a mistake to incarnate into bodies that the Anunnaki provided... hence Man is to learn from that karmic error and rise above it. That info is in Part II.