Walter Bosley – Secret Missions

My friend and former co-host Walter returned recently to discuss Secret Missions: The Hidden Legacy Of Old California, the fifth book in his “Empire of the Wheel” series concerning strange happenings in Southern California and the American Southwest. He informed us that early European explorers may have arrived in the area in the 17th century to search for a powerful symbolic object that Walter thinks was hidden here by the Knights Templar or their agents. He contends that he object that they may have been seeking was a weapon made of metal from a meteorite, which was supposed to possess great power.

We started with a short history of Spanish conquest and the idea that conquistadors were often sent with explicit instructions to treat the native populations with respect. We also talked about which non-native civilizations may have first set foot in North America, and  accounts which cast doubt on the death of one of the most famous explorers of early California history and his burial location on one of the Channel Islands.

For the last part of the show we turned to the subject of debates with critics and how to get through them in a civil manner as well as Walter’s extensive fiction writing.

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15 Responses to Walter Bosley – Secret Missions

  1. Red Pill Junkie says:

    Ok, I gotta ask: What did you think of Interstellar, Walter?

  2. John Randall says:

    Really enjoyed the discussion guys! Thought the “Count Chocula ” rebuttal was priceless ( I’m not normally a mixer Walter,but well done ! 😉 !

  3. Phil From Louisiana says:

    Not really trying to change the subject from Juan Cabrillo or Count Chocula… The LA Times is reporting that Ray Bradbury’s longtime home has been bought and is being torn down.

    • Greg says:

      This was sad news. There are a lot of historical buildings in LA that need protection, and the LA Conservancy keeps tabs on most of them. I guess they missed this one.

      • Phil From Louisiana says:

        I can understand someone taking the viewpoint that the house wasn’t quite historically significant, but spending 1.7 million dollars on a house just to tear it down to me is just mind-boggling.

  4. Phil From Louisiana says:

    I’m not going to try to post a link, but searching google news for ‘Ray Bradbury’ should bring it up.

  5. Walter Bosley says:

    I don’t think Ray Bradbury saw Interstellar but I’m seeing it tomorrow. Here’s what I think: I totally agree with the philosophy that we are meant to move on from planet to planet, world to world. This nesting on Mother Earth crap is bullshit and the antithesis to why we exist. If you’re a homebody, well, OK. That’s fine. But planets are born and they eventually die. We are supposed to use their resources for a while then go elsewhere. I have held this position for a few decades now, from the time I first gave it thought and have experienced nor seen nothing since to change that view. Not the birdies nor the butterflies, not even being a father of a ‘precious little human child’, will change my position on this. I’m anxious to see the film Interstellar.

    I suppose discussion of my book bored the hell out of everyone listening.

    • Red Pill Junkie says:

      Welp… I guess one of the problems I have with that premise is simply, who gets to decide who goes up and who stays down?

      As a citizen of a 3rd world country, the prospect that the planet’s resources are going to be spent up just so we can save a few members of the most industrialized nations is not that appealing –Even though I know Nolan introduced a bit of quick commentary on all that at the beginning of the movie 😉

    • Phil From Louisiana says:

      Sorry. I’ll try to buy the book next paycheck. In the meantime I worked about sixty hours this week, and then I worked Friday too. And to make matters worse, it was raining on Planet Louisiana this week. Often on me.

      As far as commentary on the subject matter of the book as discussed in the podcast… I don’t remember where I read it, but I’ve seen discussions that the Spanish had a lot of expeditions and settlements in the area of what’s now the Lower 48 that either weren’t widely known or that they didn’t even tell anyone about to begin with. Like the one in the Carolinas whose name I can’t remember. (Please pardon my lack of sleep.) For some reason the name Helena Montana comes up, but my brain’s having a big “?Syntax Error Ready >_” thing.

      If the game of telephone around the intersection of early Spanish settlement of the Americas, Gold mining, and folklore interests you, I would further recommend the works of Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie, who wrote extensively on the subject.

      (And there’s that Texas connection again).

      While I’m here, I might as well reply to RPJ too… if I had actually slept I’d flesh out the details. For the past thirty years, most of NASA’s spending and R&D has been structured around the idea that it’s not cost-effective to try to reduce the cost of launching material to orbit or to develop a reusable launch vehicle, and that they just need to develop Very Big Expendable Rockets instead. The only people who are spending on developing cheaper reusables are people who started out in the internet or computer industry who took their money from that and started aerospace companies, and not from the established aerospace companies or established aerospace industries. Back in the 90’s there was a large bureaucratic turf war, where all responsibility for developing reusable launch vehcles was transferred to NASA, that doesn’t believe in it. DoD was limited to futzing around with expendables, and settled on two, from Boeing and Lockheed. Who merged their effort and basically tried to narrow it down to putting most launches on one rocket, with engines made in Russia; the Atlas V. So we’re subsidizing Vlad’s devouring of Ukraine as if we’re incapable of building rocket engines ourselves. (We’re not). Which brings me back to SpaceX…

      As of 2012, SpaceX had spent 1.2 billion developing its launchers; they started out building their turbopump using a the team that built the Fastrac turbopump for NASA back in the 90’s. By 2013, they had the Falcon 9 v1.1; it can carry about 13,000 kg for a cost of 61.2 million. (Yes, I know that’s more than you or I can afford right now, but I have a point I’m trying to make). 61,200,000/13000 = 4,707 dollars/kg. In a modern manufacturing facility with relatively transparent accounting, so you know that’s not a “dumping on the market” price to drive non-government suppliers in other countries out of business.

      Compare this with the products of the EELV program. Delta IV costs (it’s hard to tell from the wikipedia article) 140 million in earlier-in-the-previous-decade dollars for launching 9,500 kg to LEO, which comes to 14736/kg to LEO. But you can’t buy it because ULA only markets Atlas to semi-commercial customers, thus keeping Delta IV production low and production costs high. With that, they’ve achieved cost per launch on the Atlas V of… in 2014 dollars, 173 million for a contracted launch for ESA. That’s for a high-orbit payload, but the LEO capacity of the rocket is 9,800, about the same as Delta IV. Oh, and that’s in 2014 dollars if you’re concerned about apples-to-apples.

      173000000/9800 = 17,000.00/kg to LEO.

      Looking at these numbers… here’s a couple more; NASA’s yearly budget in 2012 was 17.4 billion dollars.

      SpaceX spent 1.2/17.4 = about 6.8 percent of NASA’s yearly budget to reduce the cost of Western-supplied space lift from $ 17,000 /kg to $4,700/kg, a factor of 17000/4700 or 3.6. And he’s doing it with expendable rockets; I expect those costs to drop substantially if his experiments with reusability are successful.

      A factor of 3.6 every 12 years for 48 years is 167. For 96 years, it would be a factor of 28,000. Do I think that straight-line extrapolation will hold? Probably not. But we don’t have to sit around and live with 17,000 dollar/kg launch costs forever.

      • Phil From Louisiana says:

        that looked horrible. I think I’ll come back after I get some sleep and remember who all you people are.

        • Red Pill Junkie says:

          You do that, Phil 😉

        • Phil From Louisiana says:

          OK, tl; dr version:

          I believe the stagnation on the cost of launching to orbit over the past thirty years, until very recently, is due to both public and private sector bureaucracy, and there are signs that this is breaking up; a factor of about 3.5 cost reduction over a twelve year period has been achieved by applying modern manufacturing techniques to expendable rockets. I believe that further reductions are possible by further development of reusable vehicles for multiple generations of development, and later by less conventional propulsion options such as (for instance) laser propulsion.

  6. Walter Bosley says:

    I don’t see it as a ‘Who decides who goes and who doesn’t’ thing. People will find a way to go whether the elite want them to or not. I think too many people are still boxed within that model. Whoever can get themselves off planet will go, is how I see it.

  7. cyn says:

    Hahaahaaa,
    “Stucky”s” and “The Thing” !!! =)

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