Author Topic: Good books about the moon landings hoax?  (Read 130913 times)

Offline Luke Pemberton

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2014, 09:50:06 AM »
In his analysis, he uses a simple one dimensional method to determine the neutral point. In other words, he draws a straight line between the Earth and the Moon and works a simple equation. In real spaceflight, the trip to the moon is much more complex. It requires not only using all three dimensions; it also requires factoring the effects of the movement of the Earth, moon and the spacecraft.

But solving the problem in 1 dimension is perfectly adequate because one can solve the problem using Renetian Physics. You know, the physics which overturned Newton and Einstein.  ;D ;D ;D
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein.

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people – Sir Isaac Newton.

Offline Allan F

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2014, 10:02:14 AM »
"Willful ignorant" is only insulting if it isn't true. Otherwise, it's just descriptive.

Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline Kiwi

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2014, 10:41:25 AM »
...Renetian Physics...  ;D ;D ;D

Damnit, you've nearly encouraged me to drag out NASA Mooned America! to check out some of that particular branch of physics. And I say damnit because I really don't want to waste my time, but we do occasionally need something to divert us from life for a while.

And I feel a bit mean sniggering at Rene's writings now he has gone, because he was gracious in sending me his book and was actually polite about, and interested in, what I said regarding his claims in Nexus. I'll have to check, but he might have even conceded a point or two.

However, I must plead guilty to some manipulation, in that I used a particular photo of mine to illustrate a point he missed about lens flare in photography, and that photo is similar to ones that are found on page three of some UK newspapers. But the subject is shown in a tasteful silhouette, and it is, after all, the flare in the background that Rene was supposed to examine most.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 10:48:30 AM by Kiwi »
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2014, 11:12:30 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I'll go through them slowly to pick out the links.

I do love Capricorn one. While yes it is technically about Mars. It's clear what real life event ( ;D :P ) it was based on!

Actually according to its writer and director it was based more on Watergate than on Apollo.  But I supposed that depends on how you want to interpret "based on."  He draws the setting from Apollo, indeed, and extends it to a fictional Mars mission.  But the notion of a massive, high-level coverup he drew from Watergate.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2014, 11:17:40 AM »
I arrived at my own conclusion regarding Brian's claim by not using maths (my worst subject at school), but by getting a large sheet of paper, finding all sorts of figures about the speed of the moon's motion around the earth, the speed of an Apollo craft heading to the moon, the directions of their motions, and the timing of both, and doing a scale drawing. It was only in 2D and probably wasn't very accurate, but it was enough to convince me Brian was very wrong.

The name for the math you're alluding to is orbital mechanics.  And Brian was so very, very wrong right out of the gate because he didn't even think to consider it as an orbital mechanics problem.  And every problem regarding motion in space -- especially between and among celestial bodies -- is an orbital mechanics problem.

Brian's approach really is as idiotic as taking your car to the mechanic because it won't start, and watching him rummage around in the trunk.

I'm American, so math is singular and the boot is the trunk.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Kiwi

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2014, 11:26:42 AM »
In the shadow of the Moon, and Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon are 2 very fine video productions highlighted by the Apollo astronauts own descriptions of what it was like to actually be there. I highly recommend both.

I haven't seen the second of those, but can also highly recommend "In the Shadow of the Moon."

The astronauts were all aged between 71 and 78, and I was quite impressed at their comments. I don't believe they could have done such a good job decades ago, because of their jobs and their training. I remember back in July and August 1969 the media commenting so often on how untalkative the Apollo 11 crew were, and my eyebrows shot up often when reporters regularly asked the tedious question, "How did it feel..."

Mike Collins summed up his side of it in his wonderfully humorous way in Carrying the Fire, pages 53-54:

Quote
Test pilots are taught to perceive, to remember, to record every impression in flight — so that later, on the ground, they can report, as fully and as precisely as possible, exactly what happened.  No one disputed this point, so that what happened during a space flight was discussed publicly at the post-flight press conference in as much detail as the press could stomach.  But, of course, that was not sufficient.  What they really wanted to know was: beyond all that technical crap, what did the crew feel?  How did it feel to ride a rocket, what thoughts were racing through your mind as you plummeted toward the sea with the parachutes not yet open?  How scared were you, anyway?  This is what Life paid to find out, and what others pried to find out without paying, and in truth, neither unearthed very much.  Life's little extra certainly wasn't worth the money.  I suppose this was  mainly because, as technical people, as test pilots whose bread and butter was the cold, dispassionate analysis of complicated facts, we were frankly embarrassed by the shifting focus.  It didn't seem right somehow for the press to have this morbid, unhealthy, persistent, prodding, probing pre-occupation with the frills, when the silly bastards didn't even understand how the machines operated or what they had accomplished.  It was like describing what Christian Barnard wore while performing the first heart transplant.  Furthermore, we weren't trained to emote, we were trained to repress emotions, lest they interfere with our very complicated, delicate, and one-chance-only duties.  If they wanted an emotional press conference, for Christ's sake, they should have put together an Apollo crew of a philosopher, a priest, and a poet — not three test pilots.  Of course, they wouldn't get them back to have the press conference, in all likelihood, because this trio would probably emote all the way back into the atmosphere and forget to push in the circuit breaker which enabled the parachutes to open.

Skeptic_UK, there's another excellent book. Not highly technical but very informative and entertaining. If you seek out reviews, you'll probably find claims that it's the best-written book by an Apollo astronaut:--

"Carrying The Fire — An Astronaut's Journeys", Michael Collins, Cooper Square Press, New York, 1974

More gems:
Quote
73   Armalcolite —
   Who would suspect that (FE2+,Mg)Ti2O5 would be discovered at Tranquility Base in 1969 and that this new mineral would be called "armalcolite," a name derived from the initial letters of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins.

144   Peeing in space —
   Allow me to enter for the record the official, approved Gemini 7 procedure for going potty in space:
Operating Procedure
Chemical Urine Volume Measuring System (CUVMS)
Condom Receiver
1.  Uncoil collection/mixing bag from around selector valve.
2.  Place penis against receiver inlet check valve and roll latex receiver onto penis.
3.  Rotate selector valve knob (clockwise) to the "Urinate" position.
4.  Urinate.
5.  When urination is complete, turn selector valve knob to "Sample."
6.  Roll off latex receiver and remove penis.
7.  Obtain urine sample bag from stowage location.
8.  Mark sample bag tag with required identification.
9.  Place sample bag collar over selector valve sampler flange and turn collar 1/6 turn to stop position.
10.  Knead collection/mixing bag to thoroughly mix urine and tracer chemical.
11.  Rotate sample injector lever 90 degrees so that sample needle pierces sample bag rubber stopper.
12.  Squeeze collection/mixing bag to transfer approximately 75 cc. of tracered urine into the sample bag.
13.  Rotate the sample injector lever 90 degrees so as to retract the sample needle.
14.  Remove filled urine sample bag from selector valve.
15.  Stow filled urine sample bag.
16.  Attach the CUVMS to the spacecraft overboard dump line by means of the quick disconnect.
17.  Rotate selector valve knob to "Blow-Down" position.
18.  Operate spacecraft overboard dump system.
19.  Disconnect CUVMS from spacecraft overboard dump line at the quick disconnect.
20.  Wrap collection/mixing bag around selector valve and stow CUVMS.

214   The Van Allen Belt — Gemini 10 —
   But now we... are beginning a shallow, one-half orbit climb from 180 miles to 475, all because of the energy added to our orbit during that fourteen seconds.  The ground fusses at us for radiation meter readings and can't believe the tiny numbers we read to them.  At eight hours and nine minutes we have accumulated .04 rad; by 8:20 it's .18 rad; finally at 8:37, they accuse us of having the device turned off.  “We're wondering if your dosimeter is still snubbed.”  “No, it's not still snubbed.  It's reading .23 rad.”  “O.K.  It looks like the... rate is less by a factor of about ten, and there is no sweat down here on that.”  Good.  They are happy, we are happy, this unbelievable day is drawing to a close.

304   Parts and defects —
   ...my own feelings were more in keeping with those expressed in a speech by Jerry Lederer, NASA's safety chief, three days before the [Apollo 8] flight.  While the flight posed fewer unknowns than had Columbus's voyage, Jerry said, the mission would "involve risks of great magnitude and probably risks that have not been foreseen.  Apollo 8 has 5,600,000 parts and one and one half million systems, subsystems and assemblies.  Even if all functioned with 99.9 percent reliability, we could expect fifty-six hundred defects…"

310   Apollo 8 Genesis reading —
   The crew also celebrated Christmas by reading the Bible, each of the three taking a turn at the first chapter of Genesis.  It was impressive, I thought, a stroke of genius to relate their primordial setting to the origin of the earth, and to couch it in the beautiful seventeenth-century prose poetry of King James I's scholars.  Borman, Lovell, and Anders deserved to make it home for that reason alone, for having thought to bring the rest of us to their moon in humility and reverence.  It was a graceful touch.

383   Isaac Newton —
   I remember last December, during the flight of Apollo 8, my five-year-old son had one, and only one, specific question:  who was driving?  Was it his friend Mr Borman?  One night when it was quiet in Mission Control I relayed this concern of his to the spacecraft, and Bill Anders promptly replied that no, not Borman, but Isaac Newton was driving.  A truer or more concise description of flying between earth and moon is not possible.  The sun is pulling us, the earth is pulling us,  the moon is pulling us, just as Newton predicted they would.  Our path bends from its initial direction and velocity after TLI in response to these three magnets.

386-7   Gravity and eyes —
   The ground seems to enjoy the TV a lot, judging from the comments coming from Houston, and I guess it must be eerie for the layman to see us floating in all directions past the endless panels of switches.  I finally realize why Neil and Buzz have been looking strange to me.  It's their eyes!  With no gravity pulling down on the loose fatty tissue beneath their eyes, they look squinty and decidedly Oriental.  It makes Buzz look like a swollen-eyed allergic Oriental, and Neil like a wily, sly one.

393   Crater Kamp —
   We need to know as much about the surface as possible, including how far it is below us, and one way of improving this measurement is by pointing the sextant at one piece of real estate and measuring our angle to it as we whiz by.  I have picked a crater in the Foaming Sea (Mare Spumans) and have named it KAMP, in honor of my children and wife (Kate, Ann, Michael, Patricia).   

408   Neil's words — characteristic dignity —
   But one surprise at least is in store, and a very impressive one at that.  Houston comes on the air, not the slightest bit ruffled, and announces that the President of the United States would like to talk to Neil and Buzz.  "That would be an honor," says Neil, with characteristic dignity.  "Go ahead, Mr President.  This is Houston. Out," says Bruce McCandless, the CAPCOM, as if he instructed Presidents every day.

409   Peace and tranquillity —
   My God, I never though of all this bringing peace and tranquillity to anyone.  As far as I am concerned, this voyage is fraught with hazards for the three of us — and especially two of us — and that is about as far as I have gotten in my thinking.  Peace and tranquillity indeed...

410   Lava tubes —
   "How goes it anyway?"  "Roger, Columbia... the crew of Tranquility Base is back inside... everything went beautifully."  "Hallelujah!"  Well, that's a big one behind us:  no more worrying about crashing through into hidden lava tubes, or becoming exhausted, or the front door sticking open, or the little old ladies using weak glue, or any of that!  Whew!

411   850 computer strokes —
   Today is rendezvous day, and that means a multitude of things to keep me busy, with approximately 850 separate computer key strokes to be made, 850 chances for me to screw it up.

413   Apollo 10's "music" -
   There is a strange noise in my headset now, an eerie woo-woo sound.  Had I not been warned about it, it would have scared hell out of me.  Stafford's Apollo 10 crew had first heard it, during their practice rendezvous around the Moon.  Alone on the back side, they were more than a little surprised to hear a noise that John Young in the command module and Stafford in the LM each denied making.  They gingerly mentioned it in their debriefing sessions, but fortunately the radio technicians (rather than the UFO fans) had a ready explanation for it: it was interference between the LM's and command module's VHF radios.  We heard it yesterday when we turned our VHF radios on after separating the two vehicles, and Neil said that it "sounds like wind whipping around the trees."  It stopped as soon as the LM got on the ground, and started up again just a short time ago.  A strange noise in a strange place."

423-4   Phil Shaffer —
   Houston reports the instant at which we leave the lunar sphere of influence.  This means simply that despite the fact we are only thirty-four thousand nautical miles from the moon, and still 174,000 away from the earth, the earth's pull has become dominant, and the mathematical equations now recognize that fact.  "Mark," they say, "you're leaving the lunar sphere of influence, over."  "Roger," I reply.  "Is Phil Shaffer down there?"  He's the one who, on Apollo 8, somehow gave the press the idea that the spacecraft physically jumped at this point, and then had a hell of a time trying to unconvince them.  No, Shaffer's not on duty, but someone else is ("We've got a highly qualified team on in his stead").  "Roger, I wanted to hear him explain it again to the press conference... tell him the spacecraft gave a little jump as it went through..."  "Thanks a lot," says Houston sarcastically.  "Dave Reed is sort of burying his head in his arms right now."
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 11:53:54 AM by Kiwi »
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2014, 11:31:27 AM »
The title of Dark Moon refers to its authors' claim that, according to their interpretation of the Apollo 13 timeline, had the ship continued uninjured it would have arrived at the Moon too soon, and that its landing site would have been in darkness.  This, they say, proves that Apollo 13 was planned from the start to be a staged failure.  What they don't realize is that upon arrival at the Moon, the Apollo spaceship nominally goes into a ten-revolution calibration orbit, at two hours per rev.  That's to allow ground controllers to observe the orbit and finely measure it, so that the descent maneuver can be planned.

That's only one of perhaps a hundred important elements of space science and engineering the books authors are completely ignorant about.  Neither one of them is a space scientist or engineer, and there is practically no end to the stuff they get wrong.

One of its authors, David Percy, is a photographer and purports to have proven by photographic analysis that the photographs can't have been taken on the Moon.  Unfortunately he has no skill or talent at photo analysis, and this should have been made apparent to him by the responses he got when he first published his claims in the Fortean Times.  Instead of reconsidering his approach, he seems to have been encouraged, and so wrote one of the longest, most meandering books on any fringe subject I've ever seen.  Plus he went on to make a four-hour video, excerpts from which can still be found on YouTube.  (He's the bearded, congenial English fellow).

I'm not speaking acerbically when I opine that the vast length of his material is meant to lull the reader and viewer into a stupor from which he finds it difficult to think critically.

Percy attempted to defend his photo analysis, but broke off sharply when an astute reader pointed out that his own photographs failed the "tests" Percy proposed had to apply to real photographs.  In other words, Percy simply makes up what he thinks is the science of photo analysis and interpretation, doesn't test his methods, and then runs away when reality intrudes.  In the meantime all the rest of his claims have been fact-checked and found to be sadly wanting.  Good luck getting Percy to discuss his work in public anymore.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Online gillianren

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2014, 12:05:18 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I'll go through them slowly to pick out the links.

I do love Capricorn one. While yes it is technically about Mars. It's clear what real life event ( ;D :P ) it was based on!

Actually according to its writer and director it was based more on Watergate than on Apollo.  But I supposed that depends on how you want to interpret "based on."  He draws the setting from Apollo, indeed, and extends it to a fictional Mars mission.  But the notion of a massive, high-level coverup he drew from Watergate.

And it's worth noting that Watergate is part of why I found Capricorn One to be such an exceedingly silly movie.  (Among other things.)  One of the things Watergate proved is that a coverup of that scale couldn't work, because it would always get revealed.  Especially now that we know who Deep Throat was and why; he revealed what he did in part out of internal rivalry.  Petty jealousy can bring down a conspiracy a lot faster than investigative journalism.
"This sounds like a job for Bipolar Bear . . . but I just can't seem to get out of bed!"

"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labour-saving device in the face of complexity."  --Henry Louis Gates

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2014, 12:19:15 PM »
Petty jealousy can bring down a conspiracy a lot faster than investigative journalism.

I think that's why the Framers of the U.S. Constitution set up the checks and balances as they did.  They realized petty squabbles would act in mutual opposition to maintain an even keel, hence empowered the holders of office to act upon those natural human tendencies.  It's a comical image, but imagine people fighting over the steering wheel -- if they're all equally strong, the wheel doesn't turn.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Noldi400

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2014, 12:35:22 PM »
Oh, and skeptic_UK?  If you stumble across a film titled Dark Side Of The Moon, please understand that it is a "mocumentary" - an intentional satire of the moon hoax conspiracy.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2014, 12:45:39 PM »
I think it is a big mistake to read the hoax literature first because (1) the authors don't know what they're talking about, and (2) they are masters of deceit and manipulation.

I really can't underscore this enough.

The only legitimate reason, in my opinion, to read the hoax books is so that you know what their claims actually are.  I'm happy to summarize them, of course, and my web site reproduces their claims in a pseudo-dialectic form.  But even the most hardened skeptic has to admit that hearing hoax claims via me would be second-hand sourcing.  Hence if you really want to wade into that cesspool of illogic and misinformation, there's at least one scholarly reason to do so.

But I have learned through a decade and a half's experience that Bob's brief summary is entirely correct.  Bob lists it second, but I promote it to first and foremost:  these authors are intentionally trying to deceive you.  You may ask how I know that.  A large fraction of that basis is an inference I strongly promote, and that is the number of times and ways in which I've caught them blatantly and unapologetically lying defies the explanation that they are simply misguided souls or simply have a different view.  A smaller, but considerably firmer fraction is that having risen to a position of note among the media, I have occasion to hear the inside machinations among them.  They do not believe their own hype.  To them this is a business of bilking the gullible.  Kaysing even admitted this on camera, a fact his followers seem singularly unaware of.

Now arguing motives is generally not the skeptic's chosen method.  We have to note the method here, because the question "Should I read this book?" has to be answered partly by understanding the reason why it exists.  Here we find the reasons claimed by their authors are not the reasons they believe among themselves.  Hence a motive to deceive bears on whether one should allow their words inside their heads.

So we do have to consider a more objective basis on which to judge the value of their work.  And that's stated most concisely as the abject ignorance among their authors of how space really works.  Among them, only Bill Kaysing ever had any involvement with engineering or science -- and that only as a librarian.  Percy has no training in photographic interpretation.  Rene called himself a self-trained physicist, but could demonstrate no skill at it.  Bart Sibrel is simply a disgruntled cameraman who has since gone on to other things.  None of these people can or could elaborate even the slightest correct fact of space engineering or space science, and it is upon their misconceptions that a case is laid out for unsuspecting lay readers and viewers.

Ultimately it can be said that they consider Apollo fake because they themselves can't figure out how it was done.  But their sin lies in hiding their ignorance, professing expertise to an audience ripe for hearing such controversial claims, and avoiding any meaningful test.  You will not learn anything about space by reading their books.  In fact, anything you take away from them is likely to be flat-out wrong.  You'd probably end up worse off trying to learn space science and history from those books.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline nomuse

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2014, 01:11:33 PM »
In case non-New Zealanders don't get that, the expression, "C'mon, it's not rocket science" is very common here, and used to point out that the subject being discussed isn't all that difficult, but rocket science is.


That's my feeling about the hoax. It isn't rocket science. The real landings were, and understanding them properly is, but 98% of the hoax believer claims revolve around thinking shadows in a photograph should always run parallel in the plane of the picture.

And when you've gone through 98 ludicrous mistakes that can be demonstrated with kitchen table science, it doesn't seem necessary to properly solve the more technical claims in order to realize the hoaxies are full of hot air.

Offline Andromeda

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2014, 01:13:42 PM »
I recommend the Mythbusters episode on the hoax claims, it was excellent.
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.

Offline nomuse

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2014, 01:19:10 PM »
And Capricorn 1 is where Peter Hyams got his start. So does that mean we can blame Kaysing for Outland?

Offline Noldi400

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Re: Good books about the moon landings hoax?
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2014, 01:46:04 PM »
The thing that struck me about Capricorn One - even as a layman space travel buff who, at the time, had barely even heard about moon hoax believers - was that it was just so damn stupid.  Going to Mars in what appeared to be an unmodified Apollo stack?  Landing on Mars - right through the atmosphere - in a Lunar Module? No radio chatter about news and sports scores (impossible to tape in advance), even while they were in reasonable radio range? No panoramas of the Mars landscape - just a single static shot of the LM? And on and on, ad nauseum.

I understand that the movie maker was focused on the conspiracy aspect, and that enjoying science fiction usually requires a certain suspension of disbelief, but the tonnage of disbelief was just too much for me to get off the ground. It was as if they thought that going to Mars was the same as going to the moon, just a little further away.  And Peter Hyams really had no excuse for not knowing better, or for thinking that his audience - a generation that had grown up with Mercury-Gemini-Apollo - wouldn't know better.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz