Mick West

Michael "Mad Mike" Hughes Dies in Rocket Malfunction

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IMG_7051a.jpg

Yesterday Mike Hughes died when the parachute on his home-made rocket failed, and he crashed into the desert at an unsurvivable speed.

I met Mike in May of last year at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas. We were at his "Exit The Matrix Expo," a badly organized and poorly attended flat earth convention that I had, for some bizarre reason, been invited to speak at.

I saw him standing in line at the Panda Express in the Hotel's food court. He looked over at me and said: "hey, are you Mick West?" We proceeded to have a very nice chat. He was a small wiry man, almost jockey small, a size which was a great help to him in following his dreams of becoming a famous daredevil.

Flat Earth didn't kill Mike. His death is not a cautionary tale of the dangers of weird conspiracy theories. He died following his passion and being blinded by optimism. Flat Earth was just something tacked on that gave him loads of publicity. Perhaps he came to...

TTSA Exotic Material vs. Thermite Slag

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comparison.jpg
In a talk last year by Luis Elizondo, this slide was shown

87063556_10157072957631302_2523542433157873664_o.jpg

The one that caught my eye was the second from the right
Metabunk 2020-02-21 13-27-36.jpg

Which instantly reminded me of a couple of pieces I have on my bookcase:
Metabunk 2020-02-21 13-28-45.jpg

These are the result of burning some thermite in a flowerpot.
Metabunk 2020-02-21 13-31-08.jpg

Even the shape is reminiscent of the bottom of a flower-pot, which is a common vessel for burning thermite (relative heat resistant, at least not melting). After chipping away the cracked piot you get something like this:
Metabunk 2020-02-21 16-44-27.jpg

The bottom part...

Crazy Contrails from LAX Ground Stop

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6A-Cw8jVBk

I looked up earlier today, and I noticed these really unusual contrails. There were curves, and circles, with trails going horizon to horizon. It was very impressive, and I'm sure the chemtrail folk were thinking the worst.
Metabunk 2020-02-17 18-03-28.jpg
So, I immediately hopped on FlightRadar24 to try to figure out what was going on. I quickly narrowed it down to Alaskan flight 2862 from Everett in Washington to Los Angeles. For some reason it flew a couple of 360s over Sacramento.

Metabunk 2020-02-17 09-24-06.jpg

But that wasn't all. I zoomed out a bit to make an animation of this happened, and I was rather surprised to see there were SCORES of planes in holding patterns, all of them heading for LAX, and a lot of them at high altitude.
Metabunk 2020-02-17 18-05-15.jpg

I contacted an ATC friend, and he told me that LAX had a...

MUFON Case 105762 - White Cigar "Following" Plane (Another Plane)

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Metabunk 2020-01-29 11-16-57.jpg

A pilot looking down and to the left from 40,000 feet saw this white cigar-shaped object seemingly following him, and took a video with his phone.

Lucklily the original file was uploaded to the MUFON database, and it had both a timestamp, and GPS location!
Code:
File Modification Date/Time     : 2020:01:29 08:00:51-08:00
GPS Coordinates                 : 37 deg 13' 2.64" N, 113 deg 3' 31.68" W
With this it was a relatively simple matter to find both the plane, and the white object, which of course turned out to be another plane.
Metabunk 2020-01-29 11-21-15.jpg

So the photographer's plane was a private jet at 40,000 feet. The white object is United 541, a 737 at 25,800 feet, descending towards Las Vegas.

TFTRH #36 - Gary Voorhis: Tic-Tac UFO Witness

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Source: https://youtu.be/8EbRv2xUinI

Gary Voorhis was a computer technician on the USS Princeton during the 2004 “Tic-Tac” UFO incident (commonly referred to as the “Nimitz Incident” after the aircraft carrier heading the strike group.) Gary first saw “UFOs” as slow-moving radar targets on the ship’s SPY-1B radar, which he helped maintain. He also saw lights in the direction of those targets. Initially, the radar targets were thought to be radar clutter (false targets) but after a couple of days, planes were sent out to take a look. Gary saw some video from that “interrogation” and remembers a longer and more impressive video than the one that was later leaked to the public. He thinks what he saw was some kind of advanced technology, possibly alien technology.

I think a more likely explanation is some kind of series of radar glitch and unrelated visual observations of some sort – all possibly confused in...

Taal Volcano Eruption 2020

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Metabunk 2020-01-12 08-50-54.jpg
(Image source)

Taal is a volcano just 40 miles south of Manilla and is currently spewing large amounts of ash into the air.

Metabunk 2020-01-12 09-08-57.jpg

The local Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) rapidly raised the alert level to 4, meaning ""a hazardous eruption may happen within hours or days." (Level 5 is reserved for when a hazardous eruption is underway.) There are also warning of a possible Tsunami.
Source: https://twitter.com/phivolcs_dost/status/1216329536536637440

Besides the obvious science and disaster aspect of the eruption, there's the inevitable disinformation. Interestingly, both the PHIVOLCS Twitter account and their web page...

Plane Shaped "Drone" Caught on Camera. Mead, NE - Cessna Caravan?

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Drone Cessna Caravan Metabunk.jpg

https://www.wowt.com/content/news/CAUGHT-ON-CAMERA-Recent-drone-phenomenon-spotted-in-Saunders-County-566798651.html

The somewhat shaky video shows a plane-shaped object, and it sounds just like a plane, so I'd guess it's probably a plane. But the reporter, Lileana Pearson, says

And a deputy says at one point "It's a V, it's got a V" - which is an interesting illustration of someone subconsciously inferring a shape from an arrangement of lights.

The location is given as "Saunders County, west of Omaha", and "near County Road R, outside of Mead, Nebraska, presumably by the barn shown in the video

Somewhere around here:
[ATTACH type="full" alt="Metabunk 2020-01-08...

TFTRH #33 – Anthony Magnabosco: Street Epistemology and Conspiracy Theories

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Source: https://youtu.be/FbdOITMdoiY

Anthony Magnabosco is the most well-known practitioner of the craft of "Street Epistemology", which he defines as: "a dialog where you use questions to explore somebody's claim to see how they concluded that it's true." While commonly associated with atheism (the term comes from the book "A Manual for Creating Atheists" by Peter Boghossian) Street Epistemology can be used to explore any kind of belief. There's actually quite a bit of crossover with how to talk to conspiracy theorists.

Anthony and I discuss our mutual experiences with talking to people, how our approaches are similar, and how they differ. It's a fascinating conversation, and while we go for the full hour, we were actually cut short by a minor emergency, and I hope to continue in the future.

Podcast web Page...

"Mouse" in Space (Ice?)

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Source: https://youtu.be/l8W19r5m_GU?t=2605

At 43:24 in the above live stream of the SpaceX CRS-19 Launch, something slides around the engine. Someone remarked that this looked a bit like a mouse, and some of the more imaginative conspiracy theorists took this to be evidence that the footage was faked.
SpaceX-CRS-19-Launch-Live.gif
The video is shot from two sides, alternating between viewpoints, which makes it difficult to follow exactly what is going on. But it's much clearer if we take just the shots from the "mouse" side, zoom in, and speed them up 10x.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnbSMjFebPk

A real time version of this is here.

Here we see the "mouse" build up at the top...

Mysterious drone swarms over Colorado and Nebraska - Chasing Venus?

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Metabunk 2019-12-31 09-23-03.jpghttps://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mysterious-drones-swarm-over-colorado-nebraska-unleashes-origin-theories-n1108941
I think there's a degree of mass hysteria going on here. Yes, there's probably some drones been spotted, but the video evidence is rather sketchy. The image above looks like nothing more than some building lights in the distance. There are a few other shots in the NBC video:

Metabunk 2019-12-31 09-28-55.jpg
This one (above) shows what looks like the moon and six lights. But several of them are on a low...

TFTRH #31: Professor Elizabeth Loftus – Memory and Conspiracy

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IB6NWdBNjvw

Elizabeth Loftus is an expert on memory. A Distinguished Professor in several fields*, her work focusses on false memories, how they can be accidentally created and how they can be deliberately manipulated. We discuss many aspects of memory and how it sometimes relates to the world of conspiracy theories. We touch on UFOs, Chemtrails, 9/11, Jeffery Epstein, and the moral panics of the 1980s.

*In my introduction, I mangled together the various departments where Professor Loftus is a professor. The correct list is:

  • Psychological Science;
  • Criminology, Law and Society
  • Cognitive Science
  • Law
Links to topics discussed

TFTRH #30 - Tom: 9/11 - Why We Believe and Change

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq-xxf35PzY

Tom has dabbled in a few conspiracy theories over the years, and still thinks there are some significant questions that have never been answered about why the World Trade Center buildings fell down the way they did on 9/11. We talk about how he came to believe what he does, how it has changed over the years, and what evidence it make take for him to feel the question is resolved.

TFTRH #28 - Brian Dunning

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk9C4XkCMD8

Brian Dunning is a prolific skeptical podcaster with his award-winning show “Skeptoid” coming up on its 700th episode. He’s also a writer, with his most recent book Conspiracies Declassified: The Skeptoid Guide to the Truth Behind the Theories, explaining the facts behind 50 different conspiracy theories. He’s also a documentary producer, currently working on Science Friction, a documentary about scientists who get misrepresented by the media. We discuss all these topics and more.

"UFO" Sighting over Downtown San Diego Freeway [DARPA Balloon]

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czCfqZrWgio

I first saw the above video (dated Oct 22, 2019) via a low-resolution crop re-post on one of the UFO sites, where it looked even less identifiable.

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-28-44.jpg
While it was unfortunately filmed in portrait mode, it was still a 4K video, so I downloaded that and zoomed in:

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-27-17.jpg

Looks like an advertising blimp, but with an odd white panel below it. THe original video said "San Diego", so I did a search for tethered blimps in San Diego:

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-29-56.jpg

Bingo! There's a tethered blimp over San Diego, with a white panel type thing underneath it. Here's some local news video:
Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-32-23.jpg
https://www.kusi.com/federal-agency-to-conduct-urban-drone-tracking-system-testing-through-friday/...

TFTRH #27 - Michael Shermer

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvrHX0qRRMs

Dr Michael Shermer is founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine Skeptic. He's written several books on science and skepticism and his latest work is an audio-only 12-part course, for Audible and The Great Courses, called Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories: What We Should and Shouldn't Believe—and Why. We cover the full spectrum of conspiracies, their history and context, their social and psychological causes and their very real effects. We discuss real and false conspiracies, and how to tell the difference. We then finish up with UFOs, the Intellectual Dark Web, and the Skeptical Movement.

Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories can be found on Audible or via Amazon.
https://www.audible.com/pd/Conspiracies-Conspiracy-Theories-Audiobook/B07XH3YSD7?...

TFTRH #26: UFO Jesus

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1mpwyAsBwY

UFO Jesus is a popular advocate of UFO “disclosure”, the belief that the US Government is close to revealing that it knows that some UFOs actually are the result of alien visitors. We talk about this and our different interpretation of the evidence used to support this case. In particular, we focus on the 2004 case of the USS Nimitz, where, over several days, unexplained sightings and radar returns culminated in two fighter planes observing what one pilot, Commander David Fravor, described as a “white Tic-Tac shaped craft” performing impossible maneuvers. A later video was also taken, which I think shows a distant plane, and UFO fans think is this Tic-Tac. There are rumors of a higher-resolution longer video that shows more.
UFO Jesus closes with six prophecies, and I’m a bit skeptical. But he gives a nice short timeframe of six years, so...

Sept 3, 2019 release of Hulsey's WTC7 draft report: Analysis

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OClixCTdDw
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-DadyW-LR4

The above two videos details some issues raised in the thread below (and in prior threads) regarding Professor Hulsey's study.

Draft report and videos at:
http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc7
http://ine.uaf.edu/media/222439/uaf_wtc7_draft_report_09-03-2019.pdf (mirror)

UFO in Tampa Bay

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxYAze89TG4

Video shows a stationary light with irregular flashing. After 19 seconds the light accelerates and flies off to the right.

Another version of this video says:
Some people interpret this as a larger craft in the clouds, which would mean rather high speed.

However, I think the simpler explanation, as suggested by others, including people...

Identified: Art Bell's "UFO" Aluminum Louvered Sheets - Heat Exchanger Fins

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Vent vs radiator.jpg

"Arts Parts" refers to a collection of objects that were supposedly anonymously sent to Art Bell.
https://web.archive.org/web/20010614020521/http://www.artbell.com/roscrash.html
bild1-1.jpg

The "vent" material is very interesting:
bild4-11.jpg

That's a much more specific look. Very similar to air-conditioning vents, but on a dollhouse scale.

UPDATE Dec 12 2019 - The following is a summary of the identification from the thread below.

It's almost 100% certain this is a sheet of louvered fins for a heat exchanger (like a radiator or air conditioner).

Here's a VERY good match.

Source: http://www.daiwaracinglabo.com/about/

Note the exact same pattern of alternating direction blocks of...

Debunked: The WTC 9/11 Angle Cut Column. [Not Thermite, Cut Later]

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Debunked Angle Cut Column 2.jpg

This image is famous in 9/11 conspiracy culture:

hdanglecutlarge.jpg

The column in the center of the photo (by Sam Hollenshead) has been cut at an angle, presumably during the cleanup process. Yet Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911) still insist it was cut before the building fell, and looks nothing like a normal cut, and hence is evidence of thermite. Here's an AE911 slide they used just a few weeks ago:

upload_2018-1-27_13-52-44.png

Here's Richard Gage, head of AE911, discussing this:
Source: https://youtu.be/cjzZ7Yot_5s?t=1m11s

However other photos of the scene show the exact same column, so we can figure out where it is...

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Tales From The Rabbit Hole

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