Mike Bara

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Mike Bara is an author of unintentional fiction, and a general laughing-stock among those who actually understand physics, astronomy, and the history of spaceflight. He describes himself as "a born-again conspiracy theorist."

He has written three and a half books, whose defining feature is the total, laughable, inaccuracy of anything in the realm of science. He has appeared as a talking head on the all-bullshit TV series Ancient Aliens, again making frequent howling errors of the type that would make a 6th grade science student cringe. Bara is an evolution denier.[1]

Contents

[edit] Education, Work experience

Bara is from Seattle, and attended Chief Sealth high school[2]. He registered at Seattle Pacific University but dropped out. For several years he made a living as a CAD-CAM technician (basically a jumped-up draftsman) in the aerospace industry. After being laid off by Boeing, he met the pseudoscientist Richard C. Hoagland, who persuaded him that there was an easier living to be made publishing utter balderdash and pretending it was science. For some time Bara ghosted articles for Hoagland's appalling website, The Enterprise Mission[3], then did most of the work on a jointly-authored book, Dark Mission, while Hoagland took most of the credit.

[edit] "Literary" (ROFL) work

Dark Mission was an attack on NASA and on several other organizations and people who had failed to worship at the altar of Hoagland over the years. One critic, writing for Amazon, wrote of this work:

As a scientist ... I was sent an advance copy of Dark Mission to review for a prestigious national publication. Even though it cost me the fee I would have received for writing the review, I convinced the publication's editor that the book was worthless and not deserving of any review. ... My professional critical conclusion was that it was so false that it was not worthy of a review in a serious publication. It is bunk -- bunkity bunk bunk -- of the worst sort.

Bara's first book as sole author was an attempt to cash in on the public fear of the Mayan apocalypse in December 2012. Named The Choice, it advanced the startling idea that anyone can choose to make the world whatever he or she wishes, merely by choosing it, kind of like the law of attraction which had been popular 4 years earlier. Bara did not address the question of how seven billion people can simultaneously change the world to suit their personal tastes.

To give a flavor of the laughable inaccuracy of this work, it contained this passage in support of the discredited theory of planetary formation by solar fission:

Mars's orbit is so eccentric that its distance from Earth goes from 34 million miles at its closest to 249 million miles at its greatest" (The Choice, p. 34.) [4]

Unabashed by the failure of this book to attract any serious attention, Bara next attempted to cash in on the popularity of the rubbish TV series Ancient Aliens, writing 232 pages of garbage titled Ancient Aliens on the Moon. One of his prize exhibits, which he devoted most of a chapter to, was what he called a ziggurat on the far side of the Moon. He found the image on a video-game forum, Call of Duty Zombies. Even though at the time he had no idea where the image originally came from, he went ahead and published the "fact" that there was a one-mile square ziggurat on the Moon. After publication, critics[5] pointed out that far better imagery of that site, not only from an advanced NASA/JPL orbiter but also from the Japanese orbiter Selene, clearly showed that there was no such structure. Nevertheless Bara insisted that the teenage gaming version, whose provenance, remember, he knew nothing about, was the only trustworthy image of that site.

This belligerent author returned to the topic in his next book, even though it had nothing whatever to do with the book's subject matter. In a long foreword[6] to Ancient Aliens on Mars he launched an attack on his critics, accusing them of sending sexually harassing messages to his attractive female Facebook friends,[7] reiterating his insistence that the Call of Duty image was authentic, and utterly failing to explain why the ziggurat did not appear on the better and more recent imagery.

The body of the book was one chapter of boilerplate Mars-stuff copied from the net, followed by seven chapters of absolute rubbish copied from Richard Hoagland.

[edit] Explorer 1

Nothing illustrates Bara's abject ignorance of technical matters better than the case of Explorer 1, the very first American satellite (launched 31 Jan 1958).

The brainchild of Wernher Von Braun, Explorer 1 was the success the nation craved after several failed attempts to match the Soviet achievement of Sputnik 1. Because of the imprecision of the rocket fuels of the 50s, and the fact that the Juno rocket had no guidance after first-stage burnout, the orbit parameters were not exactly as planned. It went into a 223 x 1592 mi orbit, cf. the planned 220 x 1000 mi. Given that the Earth's diameter is 7922 mi, that makes its semi-major axis 4868 mi, cf. the planned 4571, an excess of 6.5%.

Mike Bara, unschooled in orbital mechanics and having no flair for mathematics, totally botched this story. He compared the apogee as measured from the Earth's surface with the planned apogee and quite incorrectly deduced that the rocket had 60% excess power. In Ch. 12 of The Choice, he wrote:

I won't bore you with the details, but the fact is a miscalculation of that type simply cannot happen. (The Choice, p.144)

He should, perhaps, have bored himself with a little research on the topic. As he did not, he utterly embarrassed himself by writing an entire chapter about some imaginary "anti-gravity effect" on the basis of a fundamental error.

[edit] Talents

Judged purely as performances, Bara's TV and radio appearances are pretty good. He can deliver the stuff on cue. He's also shown himself capable of delivering book chapters on time, per contract. All this has great appeal for producers and publishers who are too ignorant to understand that what they're looking at is worthless, such as Giorgio Tsoukalos and David Hatcher Childress.

Bara's other talents are for insulting his many critics, and also for arrogance.

He wrote in his blog "I must admit I take delight in humiliating people who think they're smarter than me". By "humiliating", he generally means just name-calling, not actual rebuttal of objections to his work. The favorite epithet is douchebag -- which is strange because it seems unlikely that Mike, the all-American boy, has ever seen a douchebag. To one female critic, he wrote:

God Sarah I just looked at you pictures [sic] on your Facebook page. Please don't reproduce. You are just too ugly to be allowed to have children.

To a male critic he wrote, in e-mail:

I hear John Travolta is looking for a new masseuse. I'm sure you qualify.

Bara clearly considers insinuations of homosexuality a robust insult -- not everyone would agree about that. In the height of the controversy over the non-existent lunar ziggurat, Bara wrote:

"I am going to utterly and completly [sic] destroy you" "When I create a masterpiece such as this and smite my enemies, I love me some me [sic]...." "HAHAHAHA Haters!!!!! I have you now. I shall be merciless, and slow"

This is what the output of a third-rate author looks like when he doesn't have an editor to correct his copy.

[edit] Political opinions

On 10 September 2013, on Facebook, Mike Bara gave his opinion of President Obama: "[A] Kenyan douchebag impersonating an American speaking in phony platitudes."

Bara's FB text 9/10/13

I think that's all we need to know.

[edit] Publications

  • Hoagland, Richard C.; Bara, Mike (2007). Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA. Port Townsend: Feral House. ISBN 978-1-932-59526-0. 
  • Bara, Mike (2011). The Choice. Pompton Plains, NJ: New Page. ISBN 978-1-60163-144-2. 
  • Bara, Mike (2012). Ancient Aliens on the Moon. Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited. ISBN 978-1-935487-85-2. 
  • Bara, Mike (2013). Ancient Aliens on Mars. Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited. ISBN 978-1-935487-89-0. 

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. See The "Emoluments of Mars" blog 17 March 2014
  2. Classmates.com, Chief Sealth Class of 78
  3. It has been said of that website "The 90s called. They want their HTML back"
  4. Fact: Mars' orbit is only slightly eccentric. Even if it were not eccentric at all, there would still be a very great difference between the closest and furthest approaches of Mars and Earth, because Mars and Earth both orbit the sun at different rates and are sometimes on the same side of the sun, sometimes on opposite sides. Confronted about this by a caller when Bara was guesting on Coast to Coast AM, Bara retorted "I never said that" (even though the caller was reading verbatim from the book.) More on this in Exposing Pseudoastronomy, November 2011. Bara compounded the error by repeating it almost word-for-word in a later book, Ancient Aliens on Mars.
  5. See, for example, blog posts by Astronomer Dr. Stuart Robbins and "expat" in the Emoluments of Mars blog
  6. Bara referred to this in his blog as a "forward"
  7. In April 2008, on the original Dark Mission blog, Bara posted "I live on Redondo Beach, California, I drive a 2007 BMW 5 Series, I’m a New York Times bestselling author, and I hang out with strippers and porn starlets half my age."
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