Dr. John Brandenburg – Plasma physicist gives inside look at outsourced UFO research |325|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Dr. John Brandenburg – Plasma physicist gives inside look at outsourced UFO research |325|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Aug 23 | Others

    Dr. John Brandenburg’s interview with Gordon White reveals inner workings of government secret space program.
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    photo by: Skeptiko
    Every since Gordon White appeared on Skeptiko to talk about his book Star.Ships, I’ve been itching to get him back on to talk about his research into the secret space program and how this conspiratorial view of things might be helpful in understanding science-as-we-know-it. Gordon delivered big time by guest hosting and bringing us this interview with plasma physicist and Mars researcher Dr. John Brandenburg:

    Alex Tsakiris: This interview that you’ve done with Dr. John Brandenburg requires a little bit of contextualization. Before we start with Dr. Brandenburg’s theories, which are extremely controversial and can take us in a million places, do you want to tell us who he is?

    Gordon White: Dr. Brandenburg is a plasma phycisist who has spent any number of years with Top Secret clearance, occasionally not. [And] working in the privatized Space Program so he’s XJPL. He’s worked on the Clementine mission. He’s worked in some of the companies that have fed into the Regan Star Wars program. That’s been his career.

    Alex Tsakiris: Let me just fill in one detail: you say hard scientist. If you scan the internet for this guy, you’re likely to see, as you always will on anything that’s interesting, a lampooning of him in a number of different ways, [but] let’s be clear: Cal-Davis PhD. Theoretical Plasma Physics from Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. That’s top notch; the real deal. That’s a nerdy scientist. Sandia Labs, JPL…all of the places; rubbing shoulders with Carl Sagan — a personal relationship. Exchanging emails and telephone calls. [Also] Richard Hoagland. This is the real deal so if you do run across [him] in that Google search, and he’s portrayed as some kind of buffoon, that’s not the case here.

    Gordon White: One thing is verifiable, we can prove based on this conversation and some casual research afterward, there is a section of the Anglo-American military that believes there are artificial remains elsewhere in the solar system. Whether there are or not is frankly open to interpretation. But it is self-evident in the policy over the last 70 years, that an element of the American Military Industrial establishment believes there are artificial remains around the solar system and it’s affecting policy. It is affecting internal policy and it’s affecting off planet policy.

    I think when Dr. Brandenburg says quote, “They want this information out,” if they did I would suggest they go to the New York Times. What they’ve done is given it to brilliant, rigorous, oddball groups because you’ve run a P&L. You know what it’s like. You don’t want the dog project on your books, but you do need the research anyway. That was Dr. Valet’s conclusion as to why FBI agents would show up to a UFO conference in the middle of nowhere. They’re not there in some kind of mysterious way that maybe someone’s [has] burst out with some secrets. They’re actually there because we’re in an area where we have to outsource the research because the disinfo component that comes with the National Security implications makes it very difficult to otherwise navigate.
     
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  2. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Gordon White's questions at the end of the podcast:

    [I've altered the spoken words somewhat in an attempt to make the questions clearer]

    What was the role of Carl Sagan in the "public vs background" science arena that was going on in the late 70's and early 80's?

    What do you think of the implications of the fact that we rebooted his [Carl Sagan's?] show [act?] in a similar manner very recently: as exemplified by the "media science" vs "actual science" debate in relation to space phenomena?

    Alex's question:

    Who's writing the script and controlling the agenda?
     
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  3. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I don't know -- the questions seem to depend on the tacit acceptance of weird theories. For example, the speculation over the significance of Xenon-129 in Mars' atmosphere depends on what we know of atomic explosions here on earth. We know of no alternative explanation based on the current state of our science, and so it's deemed overwhelmingly likely by some that there was a nuclear explosion on Mars. But as Brandenburg said, we can't absolutely rule out some kind of natural phenomenon that would account for it.

    One thought is why -- if aliens bombed the heck out of Mars -- didn't they do the same to earth? Maybe humans weren't present on earth at the time, and so they didn't have to negotiate with them and we are in fact the descendants of aliens who settled here. But it seems hardly likely to me that they wouldn't have known that earth was conducive to life and just ignored Mars altogether.

    Then again, if there was a nuclear explosion on Mars leading to the annihilation of life there, who is to say, as Gordon speculated, that it wasn't just the result of an accident? Maybe the aliens colonised Mars as well as earth, but luckily for us, the accident happened on Mars rather than here.

    Is there a consciously constructed face on Mars? Is there a nearby 5-sided pyramid? There certainly appear to be things that look like that, but to gauge it better, we'd need to go there and see if that's just an interpretation, or a fact.

    There are certainly sections of the scientific establishment -- exemplified by Sagan, and latterly New Atheists/Materialists -- who will always want to play down certain types of hints of extraterrestrial influences (and any other phenomena that challenge the status quo), and maybe to some extent they are officially encouraged to do that. But whether that amounts to a desire to consciously control the message (i.e. conspiracy) as opposed to cock-up, I'm unsure.

    I suppose my general response to such things is simply to register them, but I don't find myself being convinced, or not convinced. For me, I'd need more evidence to come down on one side or the other. For the moment, this podcast leaves me in an agnostic limbo.
     
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  4. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    Just listening now. I don't have access to Face on Mars photographs outside the mainstream, but it doesn't look like a more than average simulacrum of a slightly simian head. You can find far more convincing images of Mother Theresa in an egg plant, or John Lennon in a slice of toast, and few take them seriously as coded information.

    Of course it may be a massive upward looking artwork of a Martian face, but I wouldn't rest a theory of civilisation on it. If it is a face, why is it looking skyward? If Martians were sophisticated enough to signal the cosmos through monumental masonry, why does the face resemble a primitive stone tutelary guardian rather than the detailed artefact of a developed society whose art matched its technology, as it does on earth? I'd need to see tool marks to invest more than passing interest in this one. I'm completely open minded on the possibility of alien civilisations, even ones on Mars, but how come a single piece of rock art remains when every other remnant has been blasted to dust? A similar nuclear explosion on earth would leave all kinds of evidence, even stuff close to the blast site.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
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  5. Alex

    Alex New

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    that's not my view. I hear him saying that we have plenty of samples thoughout our solar system.
     
  6. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    Re the Xe-129 on Mars, I remember the natural Oklo reactor in the Gabon, Africa which was "working" 2 billion years ago. There's a study here on this which shows Xe-129 formed last in the series of Xe isotopes. It goes like this. Uranium fissions to fission products which then decay and the result is Xe isotopes. No nuclear weapon needed.
    http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ph241/masters2/

    So is it possible a natural reactor occurred just as on Earth and the Xe-129 got spread around by natural processes?

    Re a civilization on Mars, this would depend on how long the atmosphere is there - billions of years needed and the composition would have to be very special. Results from the Mars MAVEN satellite (orbiting since 2014) indicate "solar wind, extreme ultraviolet photons from the Sun, and most importantly, solar storm events" stripped the atmosphere.
    http://www.iflscience.com/space/mar...s-how-it-turned-habitable-world-dead-planet0/
     
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  7. Alex

    Alex New

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    I think Brandenburg knows his stuff... this sounds like something he would very quickly account for... kinda feels like... maybe Rupert Sheldrake didn't account for the dogs hearing the car before the owner came home.

    But I could be wrong... research more or ask Brandenburg.
     
  8. Ian

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    Re: 129Xe, based on a quick Google search it would appear that an explanation put forward by a team of researchers is that “[132Xe was] lost by impact erosion during heavy bombardment, followed by release of 129Xe produced from 129I decay in the crust.”

    Donald S. Musselwhite, Michael J. Drake & Timothy D. Swindle, “Early outgassing of Mars supported by differential water solubility of iodine and xenon” in Nature 352 (22 August 1991), 697–699.
    M.J. Drake, T.D. Swindle, T. Owen & D.S. Musselwhite, “Fractionated martian atmosphere in the nakhlites?” in Meteoritics 29:6 (1994), 854–859.

    I haven’t read Dr. Brandenburg's book, but would expect him to want to address this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
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  9. Ian

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    At 1:05:27 in the interview:

    Gordon White: “[… w]hat I know people listening are thinking is: How have you run down the options? There must be some – even just for doing proper scientific diligence – Dr. Brandenburg, are there genuinely any other naturally occurring reasons for this ratio [of 129Xe/132Xe] and the presence of Krypton according to anyone you’ve spoken to, or anyone…”
    John Brandenburg: “No.”
    Gordon White: “…a nuclear physicist, or anyone who has attempted to challenge your data? Because you looked, didn’t you?”
    John Brandenburg: “Yes I did. […]”

    (N.B. I offer this transcript because this section of Alex’s transcript doesn’t appear on the podcast page, seemingly due to a formatting error.)
     
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  10. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    Hi Alex, I did more digging as you suggested and found more. The key is to account for the presence of the Xe-129 isotope. Like a few others (Xe-130, Xe-131 it is stable) - it does not radioactively decay.

    1. Xe-129 can only be produced by the radioactive beta decay of I-129 (iodine) which takes millions of years.

    2. I-129 is produced by fission (splitting up) of uranium and plutonium. In the Oklo natural reactor above, 2 billion years ago, only the Xe-129 is left as all the I-129 has decayed away.

    3. I-129 is also produced by supernova explosions before the solar system formed. I-129 then decays to Xe-129.

    So 3 seems to be the correct explanation for Xe-129 present on Mars and Earth than 2 if large enough amounts of I-129 were produced in the supernova before the solar system formed.
     
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  11. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    Does anyone know of large scale vertically oriented anthropomorphic art? One thinks of the Sphynx, Mount Rushmore or the Easter Island heads, but off the top of mine and I can't recall any grand monumental figures or faces that look upward. If the Mars face is a constructed artefact it strongly suggests a sense of inter global communication, and a desire to evidence an intelligent presence. To create something of the scale of the Mars Head other manifestations of civilisation would be evident, trackways, adapted watercourses, basic living accommodation. As I noted above, art tends to become more sophisticated as technology develops, so if this is a depiction of a face it's most likely to be a relatively primitive species aware of and signalling to a more sophisticated one.

    An accidental lookalike is the most obvious theory, and we'd need a close up to dispel that conclusion.
    Edit: The giant chalk figures of Western England (Cerne Abbas, etc) are an example of upward facing human figures, albeit viewable from the surrounding countryside, and not 3-dimensional.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
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  12. Billy Mavreas

    Billy Mavreas New

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    some thoughts i had during this interview:

    i found it quite confounding that dr john brandenburg went on about no craters found to account for a nuclear explosion. that he insisted on 'explosion' and not 'event' or some other more inclusive word suggested that he is working well within that military paradigm.

    brandenburg seemed completely ignorant of the possibility that the massive canyons on mars have been attributed to large scale plasma strikes by the folks over at thunderbolts. also that neither host, alex or gordon, steered him in that direction left me hanging !

    as a plasma physicist i think he would get a kick out of the ideas coming from electric universe proponents and those cats over at thunderbolts project. i believe they did a whole video episode on the scarring on the surface of mars.. very up his alley !

    also i found that gordon seemed to lose his patience with the good dr near the end, kind of dismissing him and hurrying him off the phone as he kept on with his speculations. it would have been a perfect time to cycle back to brandenburg the science fiction writer ; )
     
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  13. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    How about the possibility that a natural reactor formed on Mars - option 2?
    Well surely nuclear fission is nuclear fission, whether it happens in a bomb or in a reactor - natural or otherwise.

    David
     
  14. Ian

    Ian New

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    I don't wish to sound sound dismissive, but I'm really not happy about anyone coming along claiming something as remarkable as a nuclear holocaust on Mars and apparently not engaging with serious journal articles that would (if true) discredit his hypothesis. Is anyone who owns a copy of the book able to tell me whether Dr. Brandenburg addresses the Musselwhite et. al. articles in that publication? If not, that would be really bad.

    It's also worth pointing out that his other claims about trinitite being found on Mars are also, apparently, not supported in the literature; and noteworthy that he didn't refer to this apparently discredited claim in the interview. Maybe he has something to say about this in the book, I don't know.

    Also, the idea that a supposedly "bronze age" civilization could, or would, have built structures of that immense size on Mars seems wholly preposterous. Nothing remotely similar exists on Earth (compare the size of the Cydonia "face" to, e.g., Silbury Hill). But that is not entirely essential to his hypothesis, so I'll leave that to one side.

    This is even before we get onto areas such as his claim to being secretly supported by government agencies who daren't fund this research publicly. This seems, to me, like a clever line that will be picked up by others in the field because it's so flattering to those making the claim, and because it ties in with what some people want to believe about the omniscience of secret military structures. All the more convincing, because there may be a grain of truth in it, to the extent that some people working for government in this general area are (presumably) interested in this stuff too. But ultimately it doesn't make a blind bit of difference to the evidence that Dr. Brandenburg is presenting, which seems weak at best.

    Skeptiko is extremely useful and good in that it provides a forum for those with supposedly "wacky" theories to air their views without the kind of groupthink that exists around controversial areas of science; however, in this case I think the interviewee should have received a lot more pushback than he did. The interviewer was so gushing that at times I was concerned for his underpants.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
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  15. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    Agreed. I'm also suspicious of any claim that one would have to be stupid, ignorant of the facts, in denial, or part of the agenda not to see the weight of evidence. If something is self evidential it won't require such inferences to stand up for itself. A wacky theory might be true, but to gain traction it must lose its wackiness.
     
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  16. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    I know I suggested the natural reactor explanation first but do not think enough Xe-129 would be distributed over the surface of Mars and then get into the atmosphere.The Oklo "reactor" on Earth would only have very local effects. So I'm going with the supernova explanation, I-129 produced in a supernova explosion then decaying to Xe-129.
    Then geological effects getting the Xe-129 into the Martian atmosphere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
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  17. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well the standard concept is that we needed a supernova to create the heavier elements needed for life - so are you saying in effect that the Xe-129 would be in any planetary atmosphere, regardless of its history?

    Does anyone know if Xe-129 was present in our atmosphere before the bomb tests, or if it is present in (say) Venus' atmosphere.

    Certainly it isn't likely to escape from an atmosphere too easily!

    David
     
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  18. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    There is a micro community of people online and on Youtube you believe humans already have bases on mars
    and that mars was destroyed by nukes
    I dont endorse these stories; I just provide a couple of links for anyone who wants to go down that particular rabbit hole



     
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  19. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    Yes to the first two questions and in the rocks. I haven't read Brandenburg but I suppose he must be arguing for anomalous amounts that cannot be accounted for by natural processes. But he must admit the supernova origin as well. That's established science.
     
  20. malf

    malf Member

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