Yes, Virginia, there is a Marv Czarnik ...
... and the Moon does rotate ...

Mike Bara

In the last few weeks, we have been treated to an extraordinary degree of virulent attacks by an individual claiming to be a "NASA contractor" with "connections" that somehow give him access to the NORAD air defense "FENCE" database. Robert A.M. Stephens has gone out of his way to attack stories and principals associated with Enterprise Mission investigations. His musings have been given uncritical and high-profile play on the web sites of both Jeff Rense's "Sightings on the Radio" program (which advertises the motto "If the Truth is Out There Jeff will find it"), and one Michael Theroux, who runs a debunking web site called "Borderlands."

Mr. Stephens has made a series of outrageous and ultimately nonsensical claims, ranging from claiming that Enterprise Mission contributor Marv Czarnik does not exist, to claiming that the Moon does not rotate. What has emerged is a picture of a self important "wannabe," who has overblown his credentials by using a lot of technical terms in his postings (designed to give the impression he knows what he is talking about) but who clearly understands nothing about investigative techniques or the basics of celestial mechanics.

To document all of the errors, nonsequiters and distortions that Mr. Stephens has purveyed in his numerous posts to Peter Gersten of CAUS would take far more space and energy than such an intellectually bankrupt charlatan is frankly worth. However, we have been receiving many requests from readers to do so. To accommodate these requests with a minimal impact on our ongoing research efforts, we will highlight just a few egregious errors and outright examples of demagoguery before mercifully closing this chapter on the hapless Mr. Stephens.

Our first encounter with Mr. Stephens came after our posting of the Turret Peak weather ring image on December 8th. In a post given widespread dissemination, Mr. Stephens accused Enterprise of faking the radar data, but provided no proof whatsoever. He went on to claim that Enterprise was "lying" because Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) waves "has no 'radiation'" and that there was an ELF facility in Black Duck, Minnesota (see "Critics Fire Blanks"). Besides the obvious -- ELF is a radiated energy -- the misuse of terms ("has no 'radiation'") was a tip-off to us that we were in an exchange with someone who had not been dealt a full deck. Mr. Stephens persisted with the Black Duck, Minnesota issue because we had stated in our piece that "there is no such place." What he conveniently ignored was the disclaimer just prior to that "As near as we can tell." The reason this was inserted was that we had done a cursory check of Microsoft's "Encarta Virtual Globe" atlas and it did not list such a place (it's a tiny town of a few hundred people in central Minnesota). Given that his categorical pronouncement to the effect that the ELF facility was located there was completely, utterly wrong, it seemed a waste of energy to pursue this minor point. Again, we would remind the reader that a signature of debunking is emphasizing the miniscule at the expense of the significant.

This was followed by extreme attacks in a series of responses to interrogatories published by CAUS and Rense's "Sightings" web site. This frothing, inane attack exposed a man bordering on the edge of sanity, threatening to sue Enterprise, and accusing everyone under the sun (including "nearly 1200 UFO 'sites'") of " ... lies. Lies, not slander. Lies." Of course he advanced no evidence of such, other than the now infamous "Black Duck" issue, which we have shown merely reflects his own incompetence. For good measure, he went on to again accuse us of "fakery" and advanced the idea that I (Mike Bara) host the Enterprise Mission web site, when anyone who has followed this investigation for more than 5 minutes knows it is in fact hosted by Keith Rowland at Rowlandnet.

But the nearly lucid Mr. Stephens wasn't through embarrassing himself yet. In another rabid assault, he tried to take on the infamous STS-48 and STS-80 videos. Relying heavily on James Oberg's discredited analysis of the STS-48 video (in fact Mr. Stephens "analysis" is nothing more than a rewrite) Mr. Stephens proclaims to the world that the anomalous objects are (here it comes again) "frozen ejecta" (in other words, ice crystals). His "analysis" completely ignores the work of physicist Dr. Jack Kasher of the University of Nebraska, whose paper "Anomalous Images on Videotape From Space Shuttle Flight STS-48: Examination of the Ice-Particle Explanation" (Journal of UFO Studies, n.s. 6, 1995/96, 80-148) utterly destroys the "ice particle" explanation (and describes Hoagland's analysis as "fine") with 5 separate "proofs" that the observed objects are not "ice particles." We are not surprised that Mr. Stephens does not cite this paper, since he is almost certainly unaware of it and (as usual) seems to be speaking off the top of his head without even a rudimentary background on the subject. He follows this by stating that the STS-80 video is also showing ice crystals.

At first, we had doubts that he had actually seen the STS-80 video. For any rational person to claim that an "ice crystal" can enter the Earth's atmosphere behind the shuttle, station keep with it for several minutes, and then move back into space along the path it came, as the STS-80 "star performer" does, is incredible. Such an "ice crystal" would be defying virtually all known laws of physics. But given what we already knew of Mr. Stephens, it didn't seem so far fetched after all.

Since Mr. Stephens had previously attacked our postings of various astronomical alignments as "lies," Peter Gersten of CAUS then went on to ask him about an article posted on Lunar Anomalies and authored by former NASA mission planner Marvin Czarnik. Mr. Stephens response was predictable.

"I have gone to this site as referenced. I read the page and references. All references are sound. The man in question is not." Careful observers will note again the standard debunking technique, attack the person first rather than the data. Mr. Stephens then goes on to state "There is no person by the name of: Mr. Marvin Czarnik, retired Aerospace Engineer, in the employ of McDonnell Douglas for the last 55 years..."

Now this might come as kind of a shock to a number of people, including Mrs. Czarnik, Buzz Aldrin (a friend for over 30 years) and all of the people who worked at NASA with Marv over the decades. The NASA historians who wrote "On the Shoulders of Titans," the official history of the Gemini program, will be quite shocked too, since they evidently interviewed a man who does not exist for their document and then listed him in their citations. And Richard Hoagland must be wondering just who that guy was who appeared with him at the March 21st, 1996 press conference in Washington D.C. and on several occasions on the Art Bell program.

marv.gif (41867 bytes)
Marvin Czarnik at the podium, March 21st, 1996
at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Furthermore, in the article in question, Czarnik references the papers in the scientific literature supporting his conclusions. Czarnik himself is listed as the author or co-author of no less than three of the fifteen papers listed. It is hard to reconcile how Mr. Stephens can conclude that "All references are sound" but that Czarnik does not exist.

To be fair, Mr. Stephens later admits that after receiving at least nine e-mails to the effect that Marv Czarnik did in fact exist, the whole thing was "Obviously my error somehow." The "somehow" Bob, is because you spouted off again without researching your subject.

Once again however, this insult to our collective intelligence was insufficient for Mr. Stephens. He held fast to his belief that Czarnik himself was not "sound." His sole basis for this conclusion was his (Stephens) belief in a single "fact" which he deigned to impart upon those of us less knowledgeable than himself in such matters.

The Moon does not rotate.

In order to support this astonishing claim, which is in clear contrast to what is taught to high school science students all over the world, he cites a paragraph from Czarnik's article and then attacks it:

"Quote from the page link and a Mr. Marvin Czarnik, Retired
Aerospace Engineer:

"When one considers the fact that the Earth is rotating, the moon is
rotating, and both are orbiting about the sun, that the axis of rotation
of the moon is at a different angle than that of the earth, that the
moon's axis of rotation and its orbit around the Earth precess (
wobble), and that the force of gravity for the moon is significantly
different than that of Earth, the complexity of the mission planning
required to successfully land at the desired spot on the moon at the
desired time, becomes apparent."

1. This is a great felony of data and a very juvenile error:

The moon is a stationary stellar body. It does not rotate on its axis as
Earth. It revolves around the Earth, in a stationary position, (another
words, it keeps its 'face' pointed at us at all times).
[emphasis mine - M.B.]

This 'engineer', as quoted, is in big trouble."

Now Mr. Stephens definition of "big trouble" and ours are a little different. Note how he uses the word 'engineer' in quotes, derisively implying that Czarnik (who practically fathered the entirety of the rendezvous and docking procedures and mission rules still in use today) is somehow unfit to call himself an engineer or match wits with the imperious Mr. Stephens. As it is, Stephens is right on one major point, there is "a great felony of data and a very juvenile error" in the paragraph above.

And it's yours, Bobby-boy.

Moon-rotation.gif (582346 bytes)
Images from Red Shift 3 showing Lunar rotation.

As the above graphic from Red Shift 3 amply demonstrates, the Moon of course, does rotate on its axis. It is amusing to note that Mr. Stephens basis for claiming that "The moon is a stationary stellar body. It does not rotate on its axis..." is the fact that it keeps the same face to the Earth at all times. This is in fact proof of exactly the opposite, that the Moon must rotate on its axis in order to keep that same face to us at all times. If it did not rotate, as Stephens claims, then we would at one time or another see the entire Lunar surface from Earth, not just the "near" side. This is again something every high school junior is taught in science class, and something any reasonably bright teenager should be able to figure out on his or her own just by going outside and looking (The term "reasonably bright" would seem to be the operative phrase here). And precisely what a "stationary stellar body" is I don't know. The Moon is hardly stationary, nor a "stellar body." It of course orbits the Earth, and is in motion with the Earth as it orbits the sun, and indeed the entire solar system is in motion through the galactic arm, and the Milky Way galaxy is in constant motion ... well, you get the picture. Mr. Stephens should definitely pay closer attention to the programming on the Discovery Channel and TLC.

So this "very juvenile error" is, like all the others mentioned, Mr. Stephens, not Czarnik's or ours. In fact, were it not for his resume' and picture on his personal web site -- hosted by the aforementioned "Borderlands" site --  I would have assumed that these articles originated from a mischievous 12 year old who was sneaking onto his dad's computer at night to make trouble.

Alas, such is not the case, and Bob wasn't done making a fool of himself.

Regarding (and by implication he states:

"This page is a fake and a hoax and requires no further assessment. "

His sole reasons for such a bald declaration appear to be:

  1. That there is no Marv Czarnik.
  2. That the Moon does not rotate.
  3. That there is an ELF facility in Black Duck, Minnesota.

All of which, as we have shown, are completely, indisputably, untrue.

He finishes by reinforcing his own glaring blunders in another paragraph attacking Lunar Anomalies:


"My question of validity regarding the 'lunar' page is this:

The moon and Earth are two different, by fact, orbiting bodies.
Earth, a revolving axis orbiting body. Our Moon, a stationary orbiting body. Both accomplishing a rotation on axis by two totally different dynamics.

On the 'lunaranomalies' page, this fact escapes me and still does as described."

There is a reason this "fact" does not appear on my web page, Mr. Stephens. Because it is sheer idiocy.

Having now established that he lacks any credibility whatsoever as either a scientist or even a marginally bright lay-commentator, Stephens continues by attacking the astronomical data presented on both Enterprise and Lunar Anomalies. Again, he provides no indication, other than his now well understood "credentials," that he has made any attempt to verify or falsify any of the data presented on either site. He just declares it all -- in a series of rambling non-sequiters -- to be "mistaken."

He finishes with a self-important, sarcastic assessment to the effect that those of us "that make this field of study their obsession" are somehow proving his position by questioning his competence. To support this he quotes "Dr. Richard Sauder" as telling him, " sound like a drunk."

Frankly, Bob, while I hate to reinforce your neurosis, "Dr. Richard Sauder" is being way too kind ...

It is very easy to knock over straw men the likes of Mr. Stephens. If we had the proverbial buck for every time a second year physics major, low-level NASA wannabe or panic stricken Ph.d faxed or e-mailed us promising to "prove" we were "faking everything," this investigation would have no real funding problems. It is very common to have these arrogant, ignorant newcomers visit our sites and attack us unmercifully. What is curious is that recently, better established venues have taken a sudden interest in giving these poorly educated ignoramuses a voice.

We cannot fathom why the likes of "Sightings" and "Borderlands" have decided to air these so easily discredited diatribes if their desire is truly -- as they state -- "the truth." It is possible that the purveyors of "Sightings" and "Borderlands" actually think that the Moon does not rotate, but given the outrageous volume of these attacks, it seems more likely that it is the fact that they are attacking Enterprise and Hoagland which is so attractive to them. What this implies to us is that they are seeking to create such a cacophony of falsehoods that we will be forced to respond. Remember, the purpose of a straw man is to get the enemy to waste his ammunition.

Given these suspicions, this is the last time, for a long time, that we will pillory the likes of Mr. Stephens. We have recently figured out some very important pieces to this puzzle, and rather than buy into this distraction, we will instead be moving forward on the next critical steps of this investigation.

Stay tuned ...