1. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this topic. Feel free to move around if needed.

    I would like to debunk one claim made by a YouTube UFO channel called Secureteam 10 in a video titled as: "6 GIANT Towers Discovered On The Moon 3/31/17". There is no need to watch the video, because it contains other, unrelated claims as well.

    The channel claims they have found at least six "towers" from the moon via Google Earth/Moon. They give coordinates of two:
    1. 22°21'50.69"N, 81°59'12.92"E
    2. 16°17'20.57"N, 87°36'23.56"E

    If you enter these coordinates to Google Earth while in the moon mode, the anomalies will be visible. You will see something that looks like "towers", possibly "several miles high". These are not image artifacts. Google Earth software renders the "towers" in 3D mode, but when you zoom out they will disappear. These anomalies are not visible in any LRO images.

    I would like to hear your opinions on how to debunk a claim like this. It is easy to say these are software issues, but how to make sure? We know the Google Moon data sources: https://www.google.com/moon/about.html - in this case the data could originate from the USGS. USGS have stated that the data may contain errors. Google have also stated that the maps might not be accurate.

    Perhaps the easiest way is to ask from Google and hope they answer? Or just use a good telescope and check the area.

    Thank you!

    Twitter & FB: @HoaxEye
  2. Spectrar Ghost

    Spectrar Ghost Senior Member

    I'm having trouble getting to the specific spots, but first instinct is stitching errors between satellite images.
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  3. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Thanks! I used Google Earth in moon mode (View->Explore->Moon). Copy paste one of the coordinates to the search window. Double-click the result in the history window. I have also selected Global Maps -> Lunar Orbiter Mosaic.

    You might have to zoom out/pan a bit before the "tower" becomes visible

    Just in case, here is a screen shot
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    Google Moon is very low resolution. Inspect the areas using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) imagery instead. That has images with a resolution down to 1 metre or 50cm per pixel in many areas.

    The LRO Quickmap is here: http://target.lroc.asu.edu/q3/

    You have to enter the co-ordinates as decimal degrees rather than DMS format. The first location you give comes out as 22.36408056, 81.98694444.

    That unfortunately corresponds to an area where high-res imagery is missing, but I don't see any towers:


    Direct link: http://bit.ly/2p0sWJ8
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    This is the video you mentioned. I don't have Google Earth on this machine but they certainly look like glitches in the altitude data, if indeed they are genuinely on Google Earth (Secureteam10 is known for hoax videos).

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY7Xarpo75M

    eg 0:45

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  6. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Thanks! I know the towers are not there, but I'm unable to pinpoint the error. I have also checked several maps based on Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) elevation data, but they usually cover large areas. I will try to ask from Google.
  7. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Thank you. I'm painfully aware of Secureteam 10's hoaxes (this is why I didn't link the video). But these "towers" are on Google Earth. This is why I would like to debunk this tower claim properly.
  8. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    how did you get your camera at such a low altitude? I also cant figure out how the video shots were taken... maybe I have an old Earth version? best I can get is:


    looks like something funky happening with their 3d mode as none of the other features around seem to be in mega-3d like that. wonder if it has something to do with specific shadow placement.. like when artists draw 3d photos, theres a certain way to do it


    Unfortunately you have to, unless you accurately present all their evidence (esp screenshots)and how they got it. For example I still cant figure out what settings he hit to make his hills look so pointy as I cant get mine pointy that much.

    Attached Files:

    • m8.JPG
      File size:
      67.1 KB
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  9. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    zoomed out the "towers" are obviously not as high as the blobs around it. so yea I think the shadows are messing with the 3-d programming somehow. my guess anyway




    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  10. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Thank you, very interesting comment! Faulty 3D rendering of the shadows could actually explain this. I hope Google's moon team will reply.

    But I didn't answer your first questions:
    - Video:

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY7Xarpo75M
    (they will not explain how to reproduce the effect). The video contains all kinds of other claims like NASA airbrushing the "towers" from LRO images, but I ignored those.

    - How I made the screen shot: zoomed back, eye altitude about 8 km. Tilt down (shitft + arrow down), eye altitude about 2 km. I'm using the latest version of the client.
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  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think it's the shadows per se that cause the effect, it is just faulty elevation data. Google Earth (and Moon) makes its 3D images by draping the imagery of the surface over a digital terrain model, which is created from an elevation dataset independent of the surface imagery.

    The elevation dataset for the moon is likely derived from the LOLA laser altimetry data. That uses laser light bounced off the surface to measure the distance. Rogue reflections or data dropouts would lead to individual data points with incorrect elevations, which the digital model would show as deep holes or tall towers.
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  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

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  13. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I did it!!!
    22°21'50.69"N, 81°59'12.92"E

    Now that I know how to tilt (thanks Hoaxeye).. and I changed the elevation exaggeration to 3 from the default of 1.

    I'm afraid to play with other settings. Why would they let you exaggerate elevations? I don't get it.

    and you can see the texture on the pointy icecube is 'stretched'

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    It's useful on Google Earth to highlight up and downhill portions of a walk, for instance. And it just makes the terrain pop out a bit more.
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  15. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member


    ok here it is at 3 and the second pic I touched nothing but changed the exaggeration back to 1.



    I don't know how to measure it's height.
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  16. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    and second coordinates, exaggeration set to 1. just changing the tilt.
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  17. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Thanks for the great observations and comments! I checked the Mars "tower" discussion and found this: https://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2007/05/giant_building_found.html - there was a 72 km "building" on Earth in 2007 which was later removed :)

    About @Trailblazer comment about the elevation data: this could explain all "towers" and "holes". However, USGS have used both LROC NAC (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera) and LOLA (Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter) data to create DEMs (Digital Elevation Models). See page 11 https://astropedia.astrogeology.usg..._VV_Report_NLSI_LUNAR_SOUTH_POLE_20130412.pdf - "There are 20,349 points that have a difference larger than ±50 m and 234,793 points that have a difference of larger than ±25 m". These data points - if Google Earth uses them - could also explain these errors.

    @deirdre : thanks for your trials with the "exaggeration" setting. I didn't know it affects the moon rendering.

    I wrote an email to Google's moon team hoping they can provide some answers.
  18. Astro

    Astro Active Member

    Given the age of google moon, and given that they simply say the elevation data comes from the USGS, are we sure it's not from the older Clementine data?
    Might be worth checking to see if any glitches came from the Clementine data. The problem is that in the past I've found glitches with Google moon that are not present in the original data Google pulled from. It's not a primary source of any of this data, it's just using pre-existing data from other sources such as USGS. If the problem can't be found in the USGS data then it ends up being just another example of why it shouldn't be used as if it were primary source material, which is what hoaxers like Secureteam always do.

    Here's the raw data for Clementine's LIDAR data:
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  19. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Thank you @Astro
    We don't know if the elevation data comes from the Clementine data. I couldn't find any detailed information from Google, NASA or USGS.

    It would be interesting to analyse the LIDAR data, but I don't know how to do that. This requires more digging and learning...

    I have not received any response from Google yet.
  20. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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  21. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Thank you again @deirdre - the elevation data source is mentioned, but I don't know much about topography. The language used in various webpages and documents is difficult to understand (at least for me).

    If I understood the text correctly, Google Moon elevation data is based on Clementine images and other photographs:

    If true, more recent data sources like Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is not used.
  22. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    For what it's worth, Secureteam 10 seems to have had its YouTube monetisation withdrawn, due to numerous complaints about fake videos.

    Strong language warning:


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  23. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    I hope YouTube will not change their decision concerning channels like Secureteam 10. They don't respond to any critic (except by blocking the offending accounts) or e.g. remove any videos that have been debunked.

    However, I didn't start this thread because the claims were made by ST10. I don't think they even found these anomalies themselves. I wanted to debunk these Google Earth/Moon anomalies properly, but it seems challenging. I don't have the technical know-how to check the Clementine data as suggested by @Astro and Google has not replied via email or Twitter. It is easy to say these anomalies are caused by a sw bug, error in data or combination of both, but I would like to see some proof.
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  24. Astro

    Astro Active Member

    I enjoy digging into old raw data, but unfortunately I've got a lot on my plate right now myself. I'm currently working with a local university to get some telescope tracking software up and running on a variety of telescopes, which is a pretty time consuming process or else I'd take a crack at it. It's possible that Google's process of porting the data to Google moon created the anomaly, but I'd like to look at the elevation data in greater detail to try and track down the source of the error.
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  25. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    quick search.. heres the footage (2 min vid) from sept 2015 so yea Secure Team 10 didn't find it.
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  26. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    I knew it! Thanks for providing the evidence. UFO hoax channels/websites rarely find anything by themselves. They spend the time making videos or blog posts (==money).
  27. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Sounds like an interesting project! No worries. I think this can be solved via e-mail to correct person(s). @deirdre sent me a list of potential contacts. I have some e-mailing to do :)
  28. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I think the simplest debunk of this for people would be to point out the fact that you can't see their shadows on the Moon.

    For a start they are evenly lit in Google Earth - so much so that it's hard to see them from above. Even nearby very low terrain features have shadows:
    See the one at 16°10'58.84"N, 87°34'54.84"E

    Then look at the apparent size.

    6km wide and 5 km high. At lunar sunset when the terminator reaches the glitch it would make a long shadow. Shadows are quite stark on the moon doe to the lack of atmosphere.

    These shadows should be visible to anyone with a good pair of binoculars, or a P900.


    Since we don't see them, they are not there.

    This Glitch is on the near side at 20.856903°, -26.173004°, Northwest of Copernicus, and between Euler and Pytheas:



    There's some nearby HD images in GE, showing just how stark the shadows would be
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The terminator will be near that area on May 6, 05:00 UTC, and it will look something like this:



    But a 6km tall & wide tower would cast a 100km long shadow that should be visible on a P900 image, even without cropping it would look like this:


    And not only shadows, a 6km high peak like that would also be visible past the terminator in the shadow as a very bright point of light, as in the thread: Explained: Moon Terminator/Shadow UFOs

    And given that these glitches are all over the moon, if they were real then you'd be able to see them about every day somewhere on the terminator.

    Moon terminator images from:
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
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  30. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    Excellent work by @Mick West - as usual :)

    One possible next step: photograph the moon on May 6. I have a telescope, but no suitable DSLR connector. Also, spring time is often challenging for moon photography in Western Finland. Anyone else willing to give it a try?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  31. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I think there's probably sufficient photos already. I took one myself. Oct 11 2016
    6:27PM, at a suitable phase to show the shadow if there was one:

    Shadows in nearby craters, no shadow here.

    Same day, 4 hours later:
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
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  32. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

  33. HoaxEye

    HoaxEye New Member

    After reviewing both videos again, it is clear that Secureteam 10 actually copied the footage from the Sept 2015 video. They never even mention the source. That is content theft.

    Also: I have not received any responses from Google or NASA yet.
  34. Lunar surface models are riddled with all sorts of data glitches. I've been having fun recently using QGIS to make 3D models of the surface using data from a variety of sources. This view of Hadley Rille is based on Japan's data and I've rotated the view see it from underneath.

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