Daily Archives: December 7th, 2007

Update: More on the Chang’e image flap

From The Planetary Society Blog :

So the story that I wrote about the Chang’e image not being fake but also containing a small processing error has been propagating across the Internet — it showed up in Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log on MSNBC, on John Borland’s Wired Science blog, and on New Scientist’s blog, among many other places. These other blogs have all treated the story pretty evenhandedly, but I’ve been dismayed by the color of the commentary in the replies by readers of these blogs; so many people are unwilling to drop the idea that the images were somehow faked, with the obvious subtext being that those Chinese can’t be trusted. I agree with John Borland, who commented:

It’s odd that moon images are so often questioned. We can do so many other things that stagger the imagination; why are people reluctant to believe that we can’t go to the Moon? I find it also particularly interesting that many people are apparently willing to believe something so improbable (faking a moon mission? That’s serious business, way harder than faking a memoir or a resume). Skepticism is certainly useful, but there’s an ugly scent in the air when so much extraordinarily bitter criticism gets leveled at China in particular.

Let me state clearly that I congratulate the Chinese for their achievement of departing Earth for the first time, and placing a spacecraft into lunar orbit, a spacecraft that has already proven capable of delivering beautiful images that will improve on the global Clementine image map. Let me further state that the minor mistake made by the chief scientist in pointing to one crater as a new crater was just that, a minor mistake, caused by an inadvertent error in routine image processing. I extend my congratulations to the Chang’e science team, headed by Ouyang Ziyuan, and would also like to express chagrin that what should be a celebratory time for them is being overshadowed by this silly conspiracy theory.

The above was written by Emily Ladkawalla, a Planetary Society blog writer. The gist of her response about whether the Chinese faked their Moon photos or not makes logical sense in a perfect world. I know alot of people inferring that all of the Moon explorations were faked because of UFO aliens shooting down our space craft because of an interdiction placed upon us or various religious groups claiming that because mankind is full of sin, God won’t let humanity get beyond the Earth’s Lagrange points.

My own opinions don’t follow the above, but I do think that NASA and other governments haven’t been forth-coming about what has been found on the Moon, and Mars for that matter. There has been too much information leaked out about what has been found on these two bodies and possible dealings with ET technology. I initially surmised when I read that the Chinese possibly faked their Lunar photographs, they found what Hoagland and Bara wrote in their book Dark Mission, ruins left behind by ETs or a previous advanced human culture. The thought that they never made it there never crossed my mind. But I did get a comment to my earlier Chinese moon probe post from a possible credible source stating that the probe actually crashed into the Pacific Ocean. I asked for more information, but the commenter never came back. And I was never able to verify his claim, either yay or nay.

I agree with Emily’s other point that these space programs are nationalistic in nature, for national pride or security. If there wasn’t, nations would not fund the programs at all. That’s unfortunate, but let’s face it, government funding to explore unknown lands have historically been military in nature, going back to the first walled city-states coveting their neighbor’s farm-lands.

In the end, whether there’s ruins on the Moon or Mars or not, exploring space is part of our human nature. And somebody is going to find an advantage to it, or make an opportunity in spite of it.