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An open challenge to Gridkeeper / John Lenard Walson

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posted on May, 16 2008 @ 05:53 PM
reply to post by peterwilson_69

The more massive an object is, the further away its LaGrange point would be so it's theoretically possible that there would be HUGE objests further out or even outside of orbit altogether. Just playing Devil's advocate here.

posted on May, 26 2008 @ 02:43 AM

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 10:41 PM
reply to post by Star Ranger

I suspect these images are simply the result of badly figured optics, so bad that they don't focus very well - ever. Some parts of the image are focused, others not - and what remains seem severely astigmatic or distorted. What's being described as 'detail' on the object is not that at all.

His lunar videos are no big deal and don't require the same optical quality and tracking capability that resolving Earth orbiting satellites require.

Tracking satellites in Earth orbit at what appears high power is non trivial. You can't do it without some serious automated tracking control. The published bona fide telescopic video images of the ISS show size change and rotation as the satellite approachs, passes at its closest point and recedes - exactly what you would expect to see. These JLW images do nothing like that. Additionally as real satellites near the horizon where the angular velocity is minimal you would expect to see some chromatic dispersion (refraction caused by the atmosphere) as the object gets lower in the sky. Oddly, most of his objects seem 'blue' where I would expect something more like the Sun's white or yellow since these are presumably being illuminated by sunlight.

My guess is this is all a 'put on'. These images are simply those of stars (mostly hot blue) being tracked by a really poor optical quality telescope (possibly home made figured optics) on a standard equatorial mount at high power. The minor positional adjustments that are visble are consistent with corrections made tracking a star on an equatorial mount. I'd challenge him to upload video of some stars (known point sources) at the same magnification with the same telescope as a calibration check for focus. I'll bet they'll look exactly the same as these 'things in orbit' he's photographing. I'd also want to see evidence of rotation as the object approachs and recedes.

This isn't what it purports to be in my opinion.

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 07:50 AM
reply to post by Star Ranger

After looking at more videos by JLW and reading past comments by Gridkeeper let me add additional comments.

My conclusion is unchanged. These are nothing but severely distorted images of stars at high magnification. JLW has no satellite tracking capability and all of his images are taken with a standard equatorial mounting. The additional magnification (beyond his lunar and Saturn images) and most of the distortion comes from the optical zoom of the attached video cam. There are a number of clues in the videos. One mistake JLW made was to include audio in one of his uploaded segments.

Super magnification technique?

My guess JLW is using nothing but the so-called 'afocal' technique. I did it successfully when I was an adolescent teen decades ago. Basically you focus the eyepiece of the telescope on your target object. What exits the eyepiece is a collimated bundle of light. Normally your eye treats that bundle as if it were at infinity and you of course see an image. To record it electronically and to magnify it, you only need to set the vidcam at infinity and mount the camera where you eye would normally go. You can then zoom the camera to get increased magnification. It's no big trick.

Why an equatorial mounting?

Most (all?) satellite tracking systems are of the alt-azimuth type. The tracking motors need to have variable high speed capability to track the object (especially near the zenith). Even if his equatorial mount has controlled high speed slewing capability two visual effects should be evident in all (including JLW's) tracked satellite images - field rotation and perspective rotation of the object. None of these is evident which suggest no rotation of the optical assembly with respect to the object. Exactly what happens with objects pinned to the celestial sphere when tracked with an equatorial mounting. Check bona-fide ISS videos taken from Earth on YT to see.

JLW is recording nothing but bright stars tracked in one axis with an equatorial mounting. A number of JLW videos show regular repetitive corrections in the same direction in the image position. In one video he includes audio and you can hear the motor run as it makes the correction. What's happening here is the polar axis of JLW's equatorial mounting is not precisely aligned with the North Celestial Pole. At high power this manifests itself as a regular and constant drifting at a constant rate in the same direction of the object star in declination. What you hear at regular intervals is JLW making that correction to keep the star (er spaceship) centered.

What are we seeing?

Primarily severely distorted airy discs and their associated diffraction patterns smeared over the field of view. Normally airy discs require high power and an optically precise instrument. However somewhat irregular images can be generated by putting a full aperture mask (with 2 or 3 openings an inch or two in diameter) over the front of the telescope. Even in a poor quality reflector you will see suggestions of airy discs and diffraction rings because the light is only coming from a few small areas on the mirror.

Even if JLW is not using an aperture mask (he should) and his telescope is of reasonable quality his images lack any surface rendering or color differentiation, The skeletal or transparent nature of these ‘spaceships’ is perfectly consistent with a overly magnified severely distorted point source like a star. Changing the focus ever so slight probably changes the distribution of this scatter and accounts for the variety of objects he sees. Simply tweak the focusing knob and voila see a new space ship. It’s also why he can’t use it ‘super magnification’ on continuous sources like planets and the Moon.

(More below)

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by waveguide3

I'd also love to see your videos. Please upload somewhere. I used to have a 4.5" Orion telescope, and can not see how he can see these things with an 8"

Just defies belief!

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 06:56 PM
reply to post by TortoiseKweek

I'll try to get them up on Photobucket. Less likelyhood of copyright issues if they're not on a public platform like YouTube. The soundtrack is commercial so I'm a bit wary.
The vids I created are on a spare hard drive I don't use any longer. I'll try to activate it and show forum members how I believe Griddy/Walson does it. It's got little to do with astronomy btw. He's not looking at stars or anything in the sky, believe me.


posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by Star Ranger

(Continued from above)

Challenges to JLW (and Gridkeeper) to demonstrate ‘resolution’ at his magical high magnification setting.

-Record one of your objects while slowly varying the focus in and out after you zoom in – don’t touch the zoom setting. This must be done at the maximum zoom setting 'where others only see stars but JLW sees' blah, blah, blah.

Expected result. Now you’ll see the spaceship morph into a myriad of different shapes. For his ISS images he just tunes the ‘shape’ by varying the focus until it approximates a bad view of what the ISS 'should' look like.

-Record Saturn at max zoom, which from Earth has about the same angular size as the ISS seen from the ground at the same magnification as your spaceship images. It should nicely fill the field of view and be about the same size as the 'ISS' when at the same magnification setting. JLW's existing YouTube images of Saturn are small and can easily be achieved with a small or moderate size telescope. His zoomed images are strangely shaky for an object on the celestial sphere being tracked by an equatorial mount.They're no big deal.

Expected result. A visual mess! The continuous surface of Saturn (unlike the point source of a star) or any planet and the Moon will smear all over the field of view. JLWs existing lunar videos and Saturn are not taken at his magical zoom arrangement.

-Record a bright wide 'double' star like Albireo (beta Cygni), using your fantastic magnification. The double is easily recognized by having 2 very different colors and are separated by about the same distance as the angular size of the ISS. So at your high magnification setting they should fill the field of view nicely as does your image of the ISS. If not Albireo, any bright double with about the same separation or a bit less.

Expected result. Two overlapping identical ‘spaceships’ (if Albireo one yellow and one blue) separated by the angular separation of the pair. Basically a double image of the same 'spaceship'.

-Record one of your spaceships at high magnification, then without re-focusing or changing the zoom level slew over to any number of nearby stars. With your alleged tracking capability (or with any reasonable telescope mounting) that should be easy to do. Hop around to a few nearby.

-Expected Result. Gridkeeper says JLW sees this thing where 'others only see stars'. My guess is at high magnification ALL the stars in the sky look like 'spaceships' in JLW’s high magnification arrangement. That's the real demonstration of fraud because JLW at the very least knows this to be true.

Finally whether JLW is just naïve about what he’s doing or a disingenuous fraud, I don’t know but suspect fraud. What I do know is these objects are optical artifacts. The scintillation (or seeing) is real but they're all nothing but stars tracked by an equatorially mounted telescope misaligned on the Pole requiring constant declination corrections. He has no bona fide satellite tracking capability. He fine tunes the distorted blur to look like some new sort of spaceship and leaves the focus alone while he records.
If the cause is not misaligned optics in his zoom assembly it might be something as simple as putting a sheet of clear Saran Wrap over the front of the telescope. At high powers it'll never focus quite right and might just look like his 'spaceships'.

I hope JLW will take up the challenges suggested here. Based on what I’ve read, he and Gridkeeper are persistently elusive about explaining or demonstrating how this is all done. I suspect that won’t change.

Thanks for reading.

posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 03:53 AM

posted on Feb, 17 2013 @ 03:17 PM

Originally posted by peterwilson_69
reply to post by Star Ranger

I track satellites for a living using multi-million dollar telescope, camera and laser equipment (plus about a bazillion other high-tech gadgets most people will never get to see or use). I'm talking the seriously complicated stuff like deformable mirrors coupled to sodium guide stars. You can't buy this stuff off the shelf; you've got to manufacture it yourself!

We can't see the detail John Lenard Walson is claiming to see so easily.

The best an advanced amateur astronomer could hope to see (and be grateful to see), is a blob of circular light while the target is sun-illuminated at dawn and dusk.

Hi! It is good to have a specialist in satellites tracking on the board.
Here a recent video made by John Lenard Walson this one is about
About Asteroid-2012-DA14-near miss.... plus recent other videos.

I doubt that there is lot of videos taken by amateur astronomers of the recent near miss asteroid.
Seem that he his using a infrared equipment mounted on his telescope among other things.
edit on 17-2-2013 by riberra because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 02:05 PM

Originally posted by waveguide3
The YouTube 'Space Machine' videos produced by John Walson/Gridkeeper have been discussed at length and determined as a hoax. You may care to read my post on Page 19 of This Thread.
The videos I created to demonstrate the technique I believe is being used are no longer available from YouTube. Should you wish to view them I'll have to upload them again. I deleted them because I'd included some commercial sound track/music to accompany the show, but am conscious of copyright issues. In my view, the sound track is the essential element. Gridkeeper may be a lousy astronomer, but he certainly knows how the edit video flim flam.
Personally, I don't believe Walson is achieving a telescopic zoom. I think the mechanical implications of doing this using a video camera attached to a Meade 8" are just too complex. All the zooms I've seen have been created at the video edit stage by Gridkeeper. Whatever Walson purports to be, he's not the genius as his followers believe. His interview with Dr John Mason confirms that.
Anyway, people will postulate for ever about Walson's technique and you'll never get the truth from the man himself. Gridkeeper has referred to Walson's use of the 'Lucky' camera technology developed at Palomar I believe. This is of course completely bogus. You can't apply it to movies anyway. It's just another smoke screen to protect the leader of the cult. Indeed, Walson seems to regarded as a God by a lot of the addled brainers.
What amazes me much more than his camera techniques is the sheer volume of stuff these guys produce. They really do work hard at it.


It seem that your demonstration falls flat on your face with this recent video.At the request of a Youtube member who asked Walson to zoom out and make a panoramic view of where he was to prove that his video were not hoaxed...

Check out this recent video of an object filmed in daytime probably at dusk ,note that he zoom out at 1m27-28 showing a view of the trees. .1ac.2.Wa1Q4Gf8M2I
Note also that the point source look like a faint star when he zoom out.
edit on 18-2-2013 by riberra because: Precision.

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