1. The Referee

    The Referee New Member

    [Note from Mick West, owner of Metabunk.org:
    The following post is NOT by a regular member of Metabunk, as far as I know it is just someone who signed up here simply to announce their hoax. I do not know who it is, and I do not condone or approve of their deception in any way. I am in favor of an honest dialog about verifiable facts. I do not think this hoax has helped that]



    Hi Everyone,

    This will be my last post here.

    Let me state first up that the object of this exercise was not to humiliate Max Bliss. He is a decent man who believes in things beneath his intellect. The object always was to vivdly demonstrate the trait of conspiracy theory believers to wholeheartedly embrace that which confirms their beliefs and to reject that which denies them, no matter what the merits of the arguments are.

    I am trying to teach "discernment."

    But Jay Reynolds is right. It is time to end this.

    Who I am is unimportant. I am not a pilot but I am related to two of them, who assisted by giving me the technical details needed to be plausible. One day you may see this in some academic literature as a case study.

    I can demonstrate easily that I perpetrated this to the viewers here and to you Max. I left you clues which told you precisely what I was doing. You only had to look. The first three messages I sent you contained rather tortured syntax which should have alerted you. The second message is the shortest and will take you the least time to decode; the first letter of each sentence spells out "FAKED". Applying the same system to the other emails, including the fragment of the one posted on Metabunk yields similar messages. I did try to warn you.

    Suffice to say that there was not an ounce of truth in anything I wrote. Every word of it was made up. I simply wrote and expanded a theme started by you, Max. I told you what you wanted to hear, even though as the experienced debunkers here pointed out, it was very far fetched. TMA has no place on aircraft. Its use would result in death and destruction on a grand scale. Aluminium Oxide weighs far too much, as others here have pointed out and there is no distribution network for the large amounts of it required.

    There are no special ULD containers and there are no TMA tanks at airport fuel farms. Sorry Max, it was all made up.

    And yes, I guess you didn't watch "Olympus has Fallen"?

    Max, you are a decent guy. It had to be someone prominent and you took the bait too easily. In your communications to me you said you had heavyweight mainstream media ready to interview me. It is rather disturbing to me that the people you mentioned would even countenance the chemtrail hoax being true, and that is one reason why chemtrail believers need to be given a reason to maybe pause and reflect.

    Not everything you read, no matter how attractive to your way of thinking it may be, is true.

    You aren't saving the world. You are wasting you boundless energy and passion on a quixotic quest that will get you nowhere.

    Max I will not release your replies to me unless I see some sort of backpedalling from you. The email you sent me yesterday reveals nothing but a hunger to expose "chemtrailing" to the world and I will release all of them if I sense some sort of rationalisation of your actions. I will include the dates so people will see what I am talking about, but I have no wish to humiliate you any further.

    I reproduce the first three emails I sent below.

    Signing off,

    TheReferee/Hornblower

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
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  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Cross refererencing with the other thread on the subject:
    https://www.metabunk.org/threads/max-bliss-anonymous-chemtrails-airline-insider-speaks-out.2132/

    It will be interesting to see how this is taken. I've always advised against doing something like this, as it's sometimes hard to put the genie back in the bottle. And there's a big risk that it might just make people angry. I hope that people take it as it was intended - an illustration of the dangers of believing too quickly and unquestioningly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  3. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

    Ouch!:eek:
     
  4. M Bornong

    M Bornong Senior Member

    I fear that more damage has been done than good. I hope I'm wrong.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  5. TomC

    TomC Member

    *gets popcorn*
     
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  6. AnonymousATCO

    AnonymousATCO New Member

    Crikey!
     
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  7. FreiZeitGeist

    FreiZeitGeist Senior Member

    I hope that you post a second time, if...

    ... this happens.

    You did an Experiment with Max Bliss and (indirectly) with the Members of this Forum, so we should get the result of this experiment. When you´re ready with it, please post your results here!

    Just for the records, the Story is also cross-referending with another thread on Metabunk.
    After you send the first email, Max Bliss reacts and he´s got responses from this Forum. The discussion after the first eMail starts here: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/max-bliss-debates-chemtrails.1648/#post-54518

    And you, Mr "The Referee / Hornblower", seems to had reading our discussion too, You´re using the argues from the Metabunk-Members in your last eMail to give Mr. Bliss a warning. You wrote in your third eMail:

    I think, nobody ever before camed to the idea to make a Mass-Calculation for spraying TMA into the atmosphere to bring Aluminium-Oxid in there. You have found this here and used this information. Maybe to give Max a hint.

    Please inform us, if you are using this "case-study" for your paper.



    From my side of view. This strategy is o.k.: If they are enougth hints that the information is a hoax. Like on April-fools-day. "The Referee" gaved some hints, but i think they where not clear enoth for an conspirancy-minded men like Mr. Bliss.

    To code a "secret message" into the first letters of an Email is not obviosly enogth to mark a hoax, from my side of view. The hint he given in the second eMail about the crash in China should be enougth to starts some research about TMA, but Mr. Bliss didn´t make it.

    (sorry for my bad english - but this is another important point. Sceptical People are knowing where they are strong and where they are not. Believers try to show all to be expert in evreything. I´m just writing, when I´ve proved something and be shure to be rigth)
     
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  8. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    I think the coded message was mainly to allow the hoaxer to confirm that from its inception it was intended to be a hoax, in case Max tried to say that Hornblower wasn't the original sender, etc. It was a devious device well hidden but in plain enough sight when explained, which could not have happened by accident.

    My friend David Emery wrote this many years ago. I found it again immediately by googling "how to spot an email hoax".

    Note Emery's first two points of advice and you will see that Max bit the bait far too quickly by ignoring the obvious tell-tale signs he should have noticed:

    http://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/nethoaxes/ht/emailhoax.htm

    A con pits a clever person against another who is to some degree blinded by a need for something. In money cons it is pure greed, in other types of cons there must be some sort of perceived benefit to be gained by the target. Max probably saw himself as a hero, and there was the element of flattery in there when the hoaxer used Max's own personal bias for his insistence that commercial planes MUST be spraying to make persistent contrails. I recall Max repeating Harold Saive's idea about trimethylaluminum in his debate with a chemistry student several weeks ago.

    The hoaxer used that, along with the main ingredient for a successful con, confidence.
    By showing Max some detailed albeit flawed information, and a few made-up documents and photos, he seemed to easily instill enough confidence in Max to overcome suspicion and establish trust.

    About a year ago I offered G. Edward Griffin the chance to run any of his ideas through here as a sort of peer review. I told him he might benefit by having people throw heavy stones against his ideas. True to form, he has not taken up my offer. Jim Lee has, but got offended when we did what he asked. Max could have used us, but his need for prestige and confirmation bias was in the end the way he got played.
     
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  9. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    I fear this will make Max and by extension (at least some) chemtrailers even more entrenched. A lot of them already think they are being tagerted with disinformation. Making their fears real does not help.

    Also, I fully expect there to be some blowback to metabunk from this. It is already considered a "disinfo site" frequented by "trolls". This really does not help.

    On another note: If it you are writing the academic paper yourself, please PM me. I would very much like to talk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
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  10. Ross Marsden

    Ross Marsden Senior Member

    Like my compatriot says, Crikey!
    Also, Yikes!
     
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  11. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    If this is correct it will only ever get in academic literature as a case study on pitiful ethics. No good will come from this and ridicule is a tried and tested method used in psychology not to change someones way of thinking.
     
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  12. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    Dave, it also really adds little to academic knowledge. There is enough literature out there on conspiracy thinking, and much of the literature notes its circular nature and selective criticism.
     
  13. The code is pretty cool. Harder to brush it off as the whistleblower getting scared and retracting their statements. It's pretty funny reading the emails on blogs knowing the code is in there.

    I expect the fallout from this will be pretty entertaining but I doubt it'll change much.
     
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  14. I'm also reluctant because it's almost too convincing (for Max) which he could easily counter if he was a quarter of a politician. If I play "chemtrailist advocate" I could envisage Max on a day when he's not stoned as responding:

    "I don't follow this path of inquiry because I DO understand how they are conducting these toxic spraying missions, I am following this path because I DON'T know how it is done. Yes, I took this whistleblower (I should have recognised the whimsical "hornblower" title) on face value and considered the information carefully before dissemination of those parts which were approved. The joke has been on me. Really funny, wasn't it? But after reflection I ask those of you who seek the truth, is this not the biggest example of trolling against our cause that we have ever witnessed? We suffer the shills, trolls, disinformation agents every second of every day and THIS is the greatest height they can rise to: an act of extreme trollage admitted by themselves?? I think we have all learned something about the depths they need to sink to in order to try and throw us off track. It's almost laughable. Anyway, casting off that disturbing but insightful episode, I hope you all have your marches organised for 25 August and look forward to feedback on their success in opening the eyes of the sheeples!!"

    or some such thing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  15. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Is it a good idea to write his speeches for him Neil? ;-)
     
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  16. I should have copywrited that stuff, eh? No joke, a seasoned politician would make mincemeat of that trolling and become a superstar.
     
  17. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    Is it really a good idea to put words into their mouths? I mean, even if there was some truth to it, it reeks of strawman. We don't like to be pidgeonholed, I would bet noone does. These kinds of assumptions about other people may be inevitable, but I always like both try to keep them in check and try not to voice them publicly, as they might be construed as disregard, insults or denigration. It's, IMHO, always better to assume not to know what the other is thinking. It makes for a more open, honest and mature debate.
     
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  18. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    Sorry, if I'm overtly preachy today.
     
  19. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  20. solrey

    solrey Senior Member

    Max is fixated on undulatus clouds. He's deleted each of my two or three attempts to explain the wind shear that produces them. He doesn't want to hear real verifiable scientific facts, yet he blindly latches on to obvious BS if it is what he wants to hear. You get what you deserve. I hope he learns the intended lesson.
     
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  21. It's also quite amusing how the emails are touted in blogs as "The beginning of the end".
     
  22. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Even if ridicule is not intended.

    That's why I have the line "Do not suggest they get an education, or take some classes" in the politeness policy. It's just really hard to convince someone of something if they think you are belittling them in any way at all. You have to be really careful. I don't think that care was taken here. While it does of course illustrate problems with thinking, it is inevitably going to be perceived as mocking and underhand, even if it is carefully explained that no mockery was intended. If you've already lied to them, then why are they going to believe your explanation of the lie?
     
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  23. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    We only have the hoaxers word for the lack of mockery, although I suggest "You are so gullible" in the code is evidence for some mockery as well as the public admission. Some FB comments are extremely cruel at the moment and I wonder how anyone could be naive enough to think that would not be the end result.

    For me I feel the debunking was enough as it stood as it raised more questions than it answered (although I did laugh at the Olympus has Fallen reference), and the admission is going to entrench the main players now. This has made things personal now and I can see them closing ranks and although we are all shills anyway it has not done Metabunk any favours.
     
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  24. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    My experience of over a decade in dealing with the "Planet X" believers is that no matter what you do, they will interpret it as confirmation of their beliefs. Speaking out against their claims = they are right because you are paid to work against them. Silence about their claims = they are right because you can't prove them wrong. Their steadfast belief in conspiracy trumps everything else.
     
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  25. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    Several times when I was trying to explain to folks that the New Madrid fault does not go into the Gulf, I told them this " Don't take my word for it, go to your local college or university and talk to one of the geology professors there." It is a version of 'take a class' but worded in a more polite way.
     
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  26. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    The percentage of them who will actually DO that, as opposed to those who just accept what they see on internet conspiracy sites, is vanishingly small.
     
  27. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Max has invested himself heavily in this and contacted the CAA with his proof

     
  28. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Is he not yet aware of the hoaxer admitting it was a hoax?
     
  29. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

  30. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Unfortunately they might have a special bin for people making anonymous email claims without a shred of substance.
    Or, the tax-paying public's scarce money will be squandered making a polite yet negative response which Max never expected would be useful in any way
    because he brought nothing to the table but thin air.

    Those two videos are chest thumpers for his follower's consumption, he got what he wanted out of them.
     
  31. TomC

    TomC Member

    Search max bliss on Twitter. Plenty of people tweeting links and talking about "the beginning of the end" - by which they mean they think this is the evidence that will finally convince the masses, I'd be surprised if the news this is a hoax reaches many of them

    This is another hoax that will end up used as evidence to convince people new to chemtrails who can't be bothered to research the validity of the claims
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
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  32. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Max seems Blissfully unaware that his sky has fallen. As we watch the slow motion trainwreck, he is still busily uploading his reports to the authorities of the hoax material.
     
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  33. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    I suspect that this 'whistleblower' stuff will be added to the steaming pile and thought of as true, regardless.
     
  34. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Was this the only format used to proclaim the hoax? No other contact was made?
     
  35. mrfintoil

    mrfintoil Active Member

    I have a sense that this story might also become a good example of how quick proponents of the "chemtrail" narrative are to jump to conclusion without actually verifying or even understand what is actually being said.

    I've seen similar situations in the past where believers truly doesn't understand the material they are dealing with, yet make wild conclusions about it.

    I say good job Hornblower for exposing these people for what they are - [...]
     
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  36. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    But is it a helpful example? Will it change anything? Or will it just make them angry, and more entrenched?
    https://www.metabunk.org/threads/politeness-policy.1224/
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  37. mrfintoil

    mrfintoil Active Member

    It's hard to tell at this point obviously. I've been debating the chemtrail community for many years now, even have had opportunities to (sort of) debate people like Scott Stevens, Roxy Lopez and Harold Saive. And the only reason the discussions only reached a "sort of" discussion was because of these persons themselves. I apologize if anything in my previous comment appeared to be impolite or condescending, my statement was based solely on my experience interacting with said people. Many of these individuals approached me head on online with the usual rhetoric such as "wake up", "sheeple" ect, they wanted to prove me wrong. But I actually believe in politeness as well, there is nothing more effective than polite factual debunking. And when these people realized that I was actually pretty well informed on the subject and gifted with great patience as well, they started to turn away from any factual discussion, questioning my motives, giving vague answers such as "google it". All interaction with these people resulted in a ban, except for Roxy Lopez who threatened me with a ban but I pulled out of her group before she decided to do it.

    Again, my apologies. I'm not trying to be condescending to anyone, but these said people are in fact uninformed and they become afraid because of it. My point is that such mindset is obviously something that will affect how one will interpret elaborate hoaxes such as this one. I do think people like Max, Lopez or Saive will interpret it as nothing but a direct proof that there are "forces" out there attempting to discredit their struggle. Not least from Metabunk. But I do believe this example can be used to convince those who are not deeply into the mindset that "anti-chemtrail celebrities" such as Stevens, Lopez, Saive and Bliss don't really spend too much effort verifying things as long as it appears to support the conspiracy narrative.

    So yeah, in my mind this is a double-edged sword depending on who you present the example to.

    [edited grammar]
     
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  38. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    It's a fantastic example of that, but we have seen other such examples over the years and tried to point out the obvious ramifications only to have it be ignored or re-interpreted in a way which seems truly nonsensicle. I have become a little discouraged about any reasoning or example getting through to the 'true believers'. They ALWAYS seem to be able to find a way to 'spin' things so that they can avoid having their beliefs undermined.
     
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  39. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

  40. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013