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Selfsim
2014-Jan-30, 01:54 AM
Lawsuit Alleges NASA Is Failing To Investigate Alien Life (http://www.popsci.com.au/science/lawsuit-alleges-nasa-is-failing-to-investigate-alien-life)


You may recall, NASA recently announced that a strange rock had somehow "appeared" in front of its Mars Opportunity rover. The explanations for the mystery rock were straight-forward: maybe some kind of nearby impact sent a rock toward the rover, or, more likely, the rover knocked the rock out of the ground and no one noticed until later.Not so, says self-described scientist Rhawn Joseph, …
He's not happy ...

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in a California court, is aimed at NASA and its Administrator, Charles Bolden, requesting that the agency "perform a public, scientific, and statutory duty which is to closely photograph and thoroughly scientifically examine and investigate a putative biological organism." Joseph is disputing the rock theory, since, "when examined by Petitioner the same structure in miniature was clearly visible upon magnification and appears to have just germinated from spores." (Joseph is the Petitioner.) The "rock," according to the lawsuit, was there the whole time, it just grew until it became visible. "The refusal to take close up photos from various angles, the refusal to take microscopicimages of the specimen, the refusal to release high resolution photos, is inexplicable, recklessly negligent, and bizarre," according to the suit.Is this where a fixation with ET's existence leads?

(His lawsuit application is at the bottom of the linked page).

PS: Alleged link with the notorious Journal of Cosmology, apparently ...

Swift
2014-Jan-30, 02:05 AM
says self-described scientist Rhawn Joseph
As a self-described lawyer, I don't think his case has merit. :D

Selfsim
2014-Jan-30, 02:13 AM
I most certainly agree with Swift's 'self-described lawyer' perspective.
(I also hope this thread doesn't turn into Conspiracy Forum material .. If it does, I most definitely won't be defending it .. :) )

His analysis is more interesting (and slightly more worthy of discussion):


Petitioner immediately recognized that bowl-shaped structure, hereafter referred to as Sol 3540, as resembling a mushroom-like fungus, a composite organism consisting of colonies of lichen and cyanobacteria, and which on Earth is known as Apothecium.

4. Petitioner then magnified images of the same Martian outcrop, taken 12 Martian days earlier (Sol 3528) and detected the presence of an identical structure, in miniature, in the same exact location, and in the same exact spot where the larger structure was photographed on Sol 3540 (See Exhibits A and B). The structure, in miniature as depicted in Sol 3528, is obvious and resembles a fruiting body of a fungus which has just begun to germinate from spores (See Exhibit B). As stated in an initial 2 page report published at Cosmology.com, by Petitioner, the obvious conclusion is that the structure in Sol 3528 (Exhibit B) was alive and it grew into the structure depicted when NASA’s rover team took photos 12 Martian days later (Exhibit A), i.e. Sol 3540.

5. Petitioner magnified images of specimen Sol 3540, taken on and after Mars’ day Sol 3540, and detected the presence of structures within and upon the top of the bowl-shaped specimen which resemble “paraphyses” and miniature fruiting bodies (Exhibit A). Parapheses are spore-producing tentacle-like growths typical of Apothecium. The Court, upon examining the pictorial evidence, is reminded that NASA refused to release high definition, high resolution photos, and published only very low resolution photos taken at a distance, and all of which appear to be slightly out-of-focus.

6. On or about January 17, 2014, Petitioner wrote up a preliminary report of these discoveries and Petitioner asks the court to read the report and examine all the pictorial evidence which is available at Cosmology.com. It is the Petitioner’s impression that spores were exposed to moisture due to changing weathering conditions on Mars. Over the next 12 days these spores grew and developed into the structure depicted in Sol 3540 (See Exhibit A); photographed on the day the rover team again focused on that outcrop after a 12 day hiatus. The structure in miniature (Exhibit B) appears in the same exact location in the same exact spot as the larger structure photographed 12 Martian days later (Exhibit A). The evidence is consistent with biological activity and suggests that life on Mars may have been discovered. However, in the absence of moisture, biological specimens such as Apothecium will dry out, turn brittle and break apart and this appears to be the condition of the structure as depicted in Sol 3540.I must admit, some clearer photos would be nice.

Noclevername
2014-Jan-30, 02:21 AM
Is this where a fixation with ET's existence leads?

This is where a fixation on getting attention by claiming to know "what THEY don't want you to" leads.

KaiYeves
2014-Jan-30, 02:32 AM
At least it's nice to know Opportunity can still provoke interest ten years after landing.

Solfe
2014-Jan-30, 02:55 AM
Until this story, I had thought the Curiosity rover made the find. It's been cold and I feel sluggish, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Very nice find, I am sure the controllers are already going camera happy over this rock. No need to sue, he just need to wait for more images.

Now for the silly question. Doesn't Opportunity basically "sniff" and "taste" rocks for information? If so, that makes pictures secondary doesn't it?

Jens
2014-Jan-30, 02:59 AM
As a self-described lawyer, I don't think his case has merit. :D

Yeah, it's weird. Suing somebody for being "bizarre"? I'm not sure why it would be "negligent." It seems a bit like suing Van Gogh for using too much yellow in his paintings!

Ken G
2014-Jan-30, 03:31 AM
Besides, it's obviously a half-eaten Martian apple, discarded by a careless alien who came over to investigate the rover. I say NASA is being negligent for not backtracking and looking for footprints before the dust settles, so I'll sue them if they listen to Joseph and stop to look at the "rock", missing the alien just feet away!

uncommonsense
2014-Jan-30, 03:56 AM
I noticed: 1) He is representing himself without a lawyer - a daunting task in a writ of mandamus case against the federal government. Good luck. 2) H e has major isues regarding standing. 3) Venue will likely be challenged (at least thats the first thing I would do if I were advising NASA. Get it out of the plaintiffs backyard thereby making it far more difficult to proceed.

Glom
2014-Jan-30, 04:09 AM
Fungus, eh? I like the images I'm getting of a Martian fungi forest.

pzkpfw
2014-Jan-30, 04:57 AM
... Petitioner then magnified images ...

Is this all the kind of thing where someone magnifies a picture beyond its useful purpose and starts imagining things?

Selfsim
2014-Jan-30, 05:30 AM
I'm not sure, but the arm seems to have been extended and the microscopic imager did appear to take closeups. They are here (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/opportunity_m3541.html) (I think this is the object in question).

The panoramic camera shots are here, also (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/opportunity_p3541.html). The darker photo (1st image, 3rd row from the bottom (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/p/3541/1P442541300ESFCAEOP2595L7M1.HTML)), certainly gives the impression of a very non-rock looking object.

I favour the squashed donut theory, myself ...

PS: Or perhaps a maple-leaf?

Maggnum
2014-Jan-30, 06:20 AM
As silly as the suit seems, I am firmly in the camp of "any publicity is better than none". WHo knows, maybe the judge will order NASA to take the pictures, forcing NASA to ask for a dollar increase in their budget, causing the government to increase NASA's funding so they can get the pictures, causing the public to cry out for even more funding... whew..of course it's more likely the judge will laugh, throw out the suit and award costs against the Petitioner. But one can dream!

swampyankee
2014-Jan-30, 10:32 AM
As silly as the suit seems, I am firmly in the camp of "any publicity is better than none". WHo knows, maybe the judge will order NASA to take the pictures, forcing NASA to ask for a dollar increase in their budget, causing the government to increase NASA's funding so they can get the pictures, causing the public to cry out for even more funding... whew..of course it's more likely the judge will laugh, throw out the suit and award costs against the Petitioner. But one can dream!

I'd be surprised if it got to a judge; it's probably something the clerk of a court could throw out.

Swift
2014-Jan-30, 07:01 PM
I'd be surprised if it got to a judge; it's probably something the clerk of a court could throw out.
Once he stops laughing.

Selfsim
2014-Jan-30, 07:53 PM
I like how the object is 'obviously alive' ...
the obvious conclusion is that the structure in Sol 3528 (Exhibit B) was alive and it grew into the structure depicted when NASA’s rover team took photos 12 Martian days later (Exhibit A), i.e. Sol 3540. and then, in the 'Court Orders' Section:
31. If the organism is biological, …… Hari-kari .. all in the space of a mere 7 pages!

And then of course .. the vested interest emerges.
(Yet another dreaded Sci Fi author, it seems …)

31. (cont'd) ...NASA must publicly acknowledge that the discovery was made by the Petitioner and must ensure that Petitioner appears as first author on and has final editorial approval of the first 6 scientific articles published or submitted for publication by NASA employees which discuss and present this discovery.But who is this guy?:
23. Petitioner is a tax payer, his tax payer dollars helped fund the Mars rover program, and Petitioner is a scientist who has made major contributions to the field of astrobiology, the search for extraterrestrial life, the study of Mars and missions whose purpose is to search for extraterrestrial life.Yet another faith-driven 'Astrobiologist'?!

But wait!
His true real origin emerges …
22. In 2012, Petitioner published evidence, based on computer analyses, of plasma-like structures in the thermosphere, over 200 miles above the planet.:whistle:

Selfsim
2014-Jan-30, 08:04 PM
Then of course, the all-important accusation … 'gross incompetance'! ..
The refusal to take close up photos from various angles, the refusal to take microscopic images of the specimen, the refusal to release high resolution photos, is inexplicable, recklessly negligent, and bizarre. Any intelligent adult, adolescent, child, chimpanzee, monkey, dog, or rodent with even a modicum of curiosity, would approach, investigate and closely examine a bowl-shaped structure which appears just a few feet in front of them when 12 days earlier they hadn’t noticed it. But not NASA and its rover team who have refused to take even a single close up photo.
And finally, the pièce de résistance: the inevitable conspiracy theory:

13. Compelling NASA to closely photograph and thoroughly examine the structure identified in Sol 3540, serves the public and national interests, the interests of science and thus the public good. The failure so far by NASA to perform this duty is inexplicable, and constitutes negligence, gross incompetence, and could be construed as misuse of public funds and a purposeful attempt to deceive the public about the discovery of life on Mars so that NASA administrators can continue with their plans to defund planetary exploration programs in favor of "privatization" and the enrichment of private profiteers. The fact is, its an outrage that Petitioner has to even petition the court to order NASA to perform what NASA should have done without being asked.

Swift
2014-Jan-30, 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by Joseph
The refusal to take close up photos from various angles, the refusal to take microscopic images of the specimen, the refusal to release high resolution photos, is inexplicable, recklessly negligent, and bizarre. Any intelligent adult, adolescent, child, chimpanzee, monkey, dog, or rodent with even a modicum of curiosity, would approach, investigate and closely examine a bowl-shaped structure which appears just a few feet in front of them when 12 days earlier they hadn’t noticed it. But not NASA and its rover team who have refused to take even a single close up photo.

Maybe we should sue NASA over their discriminatory hiring practices against curious rodents?

Maggnum
2014-Jan-30, 09:14 PM
Unfortunately ( or perhaps fortunately) a clerk can't make that decision. All a clerk can do is confirms the filings are correct and the proper names of the parties have been included.

Laughing crazily while trying to input the data is allowed though! :D

Van Rijn
2014-Jan-30, 09:16 PM
I mentioned this yesterday in the "Trivial things that amuse you thread"

http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?136798-Really-trivial-stuff-that-amuses-you&p=2189217#post2189217

There's a bit of background for this fellow. Some time back, people started posting references to articles here from the Journal of Cosmology, usually panspermia related. The site claimed to be a peer reviewed science journal, but many of the articles reminded me more of our ATM section than a serious science journal. Rhawn Joseph, for example, had an article that was really just a rant against BBT and conventional cosmology. BBT, according to him, is religion (no, not just scientific dogma, he thinks it's literally creationist religion), and it is Geocentric as well. :rolleyes: And, not too surprisingly, he has very little understanding of modern cosmology, but his articles are apparently fine for the JoC.

Anyway, looking a bit further than Journal of Cosmology, it turned out he had his own site, which apparently had been around longer than the Journal of Cosmology site, and coincidentally the webpage formatting looked almost identical to that of the JoC.

This fellow is into *extreme* ATM. He gets into ancient aliens, evolution is all wrong, cosmology is all wrong, insists on panspermia (he considers the abiogenesis hypothesis to be religion too, apparently). Supposedly when life came to Earth, the DNA already had programming for humans). I gave up after I looked a little at one or two of his articles.

A real character.

Selfsim
2014-Jan-30, 10:09 PM
Yes … Joseph's warblings may have created some resonance amongst other cranks too.
(See here (http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6958) and here (http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6962)).

From those links, it seems a petition was raised, (Sept 2012), to make the case for removal of John C. Mather as the Project Director for the Webb Telescope, too. He stood accused by cranks of fraudulently portraying the COBE results. Robitaille's paper here (http://ptep-online.com/index_files/2007/PP-08-02.PDF) was also used to build the case.

I'm not sure about how many signatures they managed to obtain. I'd be interested to know what the end result was (if anyone knows)?

tusenfem
2014-Jan-31, 12:36 PM
OMG

According to "neuroscientist and astrobiologist" Rhawn Joseph" NASA is hiding life on Mars.
(see e.g. LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-court-papers-jelly-doughnut-rock-20140129,0,5209307.story#axzz2ry1J1GEz))



"NASA's rover team inexplicably failed to perform the basic demands of science, which is re-search, look again," he wrote in a petition for a writ of mandamus filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. "The refusal to release high resolution photos is inexplicable, recklessly negligent and bizarre."


You can find his analysis that it is not a stone but a mushroom at Cosmology (Journal for the Advancement of Theoretical Science (http://cosmology.com/) (of very dubious reputation)

similar threads merged

Noclevername
2014-Jan-31, 12:54 PM
ToSeeked (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148951-NASA-Sued-over-Martians!).

EDIT: OK, fixed! I'm helping! I'm helping! :D

Cougar
2014-Jan-31, 01:33 PM
I'd be surprised if it got to a judge...

Well, no, assignment to a judge is the first thing that happens after a suit is filed. I believe this is what is termed a frivolous lawsuit, and I think a Motion to Dismiss is in order. Along with a request for the costs and attorney fees for crafting the Motion and drafting the Order. Such a ridiculous suit is likely to cost the filer a lot more than the filing fee. And rightly so.

Selfsim
2014-Jan-31, 08:05 PM
What gets me is his choice of 'seeing': "a composite organism, fungi and cyanobacteria".

I couldn't even count the number of times I've had 'the likelihood of the existence of exo-cyanobacteria' thrown at me in this very forum!

If his jumping to that conclusion wasn't quite so premature, (and aggressive), I reckon he could have easily had a lot more people considering 'the possibility' more seriously.

I mean just how many folk here already believe that the existence of exo-cyanobacteria 'is likely'?

It seems most of his vocal critics around the web, also consider themselves to be arm-chair 'Amateur Astrobiologists', who already believe that such sub-surface martian exo-lifeforms 'are likely'. NASA themselves have deliberately led the public to believe such lifeforms are possible on Mars, (albeit several meters down). I've lost count of how many times I've heard NASA's head publicist and Chief Speculator of all things Astrobiological, Chris McKay, lecturing about this very 'possibility'.

NASA is not the only organisation responsible for doing this, either. The European and Russian space administrations have done their bit as well.

What goes around, comes around, I say.

Luckmeister
2014-Feb-01, 01:04 AM
NASA themselves have deliberately led the public to believe such lifeforms are possible on Mars, (albeit several meters down). I've lost count of how many times I've heard NASA's head publicist and Chief Speculator of all things Astrobiological, Chris McKay, lecturing about this very 'possibility'.

NASA is not the only organisation responsible for doing this, either. The European and Russian space administrations have done their bit as well.

What goes around, comes around, I say.

"We want to search for extraterrestrial life" gets better funding than "we want to study martian geology."

Selfsim
2014-Feb-01, 08:09 AM
"We want to search for extraterrestrial life" gets better funding than "we want to study martian geology."And yet, I thought searches for ET life on Mars, were excluded from NASA's official funding agenda (since Viking)? (Reference Gil Levin's comments about this).

(Which probably irritated Joseph and triggered this particular rampage).

And then, a month or two into the Curiosity mission, Chief Scientist, John Grotzinger drops the geology 'front' and boldly announces they're re-directing the search, and are now looking specifically for organics!

The message is about what they're actually up to, is about as clear as mud (perhaps, deliberately so).

I reckon Joseph, (in his own rather irrational way), is just calling them on their now not-so-hidden agenda (post funding approval, that is). Clearly he is accusing them of not doing their jobs .. which he considers to be searching for life!

If one thinks about it, all Steve Squyres and Grotzinger have to say is:
"Oh .. we're not searching for lifeforms .. that's not what Curiosity was sent to Mars for .. we're searching for organics!"

How confusing is that?

publiusr
2014-Feb-02, 10:25 PM
Once he stops laughing.

You'd be surprised Swift.

A lot of Judges get elected. We had one go after geologists in Italy over a quake, one here went after Army Corp of Engineers over Katrina, although they and disaster researchers were asking for money to combat a scenario known as Hurricane X-- a documentary (with Joe Frank) on Discovery Channel, back when it was good.

I am scared of some judges getting science cases--it was a close thing with Kitz/Dover, with the judge a professing believer. He made the right call, but it could easily had gone the other way...

swampyankee
2014-Feb-03, 03:53 PM
Maybe we should sue NASA over their discriminatory hiring practices against curious rodents?

That's in another law suit.

Aristarchusinexile
2014-Feb-03, 04:00 PM
Fungus is an interesting possibility. Egg is my choice.

Colin Robinson
2014-Feb-03, 09:26 PM
And yet, I thought searches for ET life on Mars, were excluded from NASA's official funding agenda (since Viking)? (Reference Gil Levin's comments about this).

(Which probably irritated Joseph and triggered this particular rampage).

And then, a month or two into the Curiosity mission, Chief Scientist, John Grotzinger drops the geology 'front' and boldly announces they're re-directing the search, and are now looking specifically for organics!

The message is about what they're actually up to, is about as clear as mud (perhaps, deliberately so).

I reckon Joseph, (in his own rather irrational way), is just calling them on their now not-so-hidden agenda (post funding approval, that is). Clearly he is accusing them of not doing their jobs .. which he considers to be searching for life!

If one thinks about it, all Steve Squyres and Grotzinger have to say is:
"Oh .. we're not searching for lifeforms .. that's not what Curiosity was sent to Mars for .. we're searching for organics!"

How confusing is that?

Only confusing until you know the technical meaning of "organics".

Please take a lot at the WP page Organic compound (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_compound).