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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mall

by Phil Plait, Aug 05 2009

I wasn’t going to write about this, since it’s really just schadenfreude, but so many people have sent it to me via email I figure it’s touching on some level of skeptical consciousness.

sibrel_arrestedMoon hoax conspiracy promulgator, astronaut stalker, and Buzz Aldrin punching bag Bart Sibrel was recently arrested for vandalism. Apparently, someone took too long to get out of a parking space he wanted. He parked nearby, got out of his car, and then repeatedly jumped up and down on the offending car, doing over $1400 worth of damage.

Now, there is certainly a vast array of snark just quivering to be let loose here. Sibrel is largely responsible for the dumbosity of the Moon hoax still being around, and has used arguably slimy tactics to keep it so. He has lied about me, and still says things that are provably wrong even when I have told him to his face (well, over the radio) that they are factually wrong. Yet he keeps on saying them.

And, of course, there is the potentially huge ad hominem about a conspiracy theorist who goes ballistic over such a minor issue as a parking space. It’s certainly easy to assume he’s a nutsoid goofball who’s just a NASA photo away from losing it completely. But that should be avoided: I know I myself have daydreamed of what I would do to people who take too long to pull out of a parking space — generally at some point large electric shocks applied to delicate body parts are involved.

But the difference, of course, is in idly fantasizing about something versus actually doing it. The real irony here is that Sibrel’s Apollo claims are fantasy, and aimed against people who actually did do something.

So I won’t go out of my way to engage in beating this particular zombie horse. Instead I’ll let you idly daydream about it. Try not to write anything slanderous in the comments, but the best "parking space travel" joke will get the kudos of the Skepticblog community.

17 Responses to “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mall”

  1. Rob says:

    Wow, Phil, good job measuring your response here — you have much more self control than I do. That being said….. HAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! I’m not going to slander the guy, but man that is hilarious ironic. Or is it ironically hilarious? Hilarironic? Ironalrious? Or have I just had too much coffee this morning?

  2. Ranson says:

    We all know that there really wasn’t anyone in the space…that’s just what the valets want you to think.

  3. Bart Sibrel – putting the ASS in “Astro-Not” for far too long.

  4. Dennis Skala says:

    OJ’s post double murder escapades come to mind here.

  5. Cthandhs says:

    That’s a giant leap for a crazy man and a small step backward for mankind.

    • Ranson says:

      Several giant leaps, from the report.

      • Pat in Montreal says:

        Too funny! Wow that made my day! :)

        Incidents like that must work wonders for this nutballs credibility.

      • William Mook says:

        All he has to do is cite the X-file episode where Sculley and Mulder went to the town that the CIA had wired with mood altering technology to cause an otherwise sane and likeable character to take a gun and got to a tower and kill a few dozen people – then ask, why would the government do that? lol.

        Every signal has noise inherent in it. One can look at the static and vainly seek for meaning – ignoring the signal. Look long enough, you will find the meaning you seek. Just as you can filter noise into a pure tone.

        Its just the operation of Shannon’s law – nothing more. You can increase signal relative to noise, with effort, but the noise remains there always.

        Why do folks like this character and his followers seek this particular tone from the random bits of noise that are in this particular signal.

        1) most do not trust the government; largely a reflection of abuse they suffered at the hands of their paretns or guardians;

        2) some note that progress in space travel has not been made since the lunar landings. If one projects exponential growth in capability in aerospace from say 1939 to 1969 naively onward from 1969 to 2009 – we would see something like 2001 A Space Odyssey or better.

        In 1968 the New York Academy of Sciences published SPACE MISSION PLANNING: The Next 25 Years of Space Travel (1968-1993) We stopped about 1970 level (by the book’s standards) in 1983 – and are now regressing. Which has no more sinister explanation than space travel is hard, expensive and not very rewarding commercially.

        The same was true of dirigible technology which was abandoned in the 1940s – notwithstanding projections of a fabulous future of a world tied togther with ‘ships of the skies’ carrying costly cargoes through the stratosphere.

        So, while 100,000 ton cargo dirigibles never developed, no one proposed serious conspiracy theories to account for the failure of airships. One reason was likely the development of jet travel only a few decades later and 700 ton 747s.

        We should enjoy the show while it still has currency! Obviously no one will take seriously these ideas after Virgin Atlantic or its successor builds commercial hotels around the Apollo landing sites at some point in our future. Our kids or grandkids will ask us then, did people really believe we DIDN’T go to the moon? And we’ll miss the assorted nutballs and fondly recall them. While sociologists write about the loss of credibility all governments suffered from as traditional system failed etc., etc.

    • Rob says:

      Wouldn’t it be a step forward for mankind? I mean, it got Sibrel in jail, right?

  6. May I suggest a theory? I strongly believe this incident never took place and the alleged criminal (Bart Sibrel) was composed entirely out of CGI.

  7. steelsheen11b says:

    Man is Sibrel a maroon.

  8. Alan says:

    Blast. I heard a great parking space joke the other day, but it’s far too offensive for here…

    How about something with “needing more tranquility”…

  9. Paul says:

    This is what happens when parallel parking fails to cast parallel shadows.

  10. jerome clemente says:

    the guy needs a bigger parking lot… how about parking with the lunar rovers on the moon???

  11. John Blain says:

    The reason why the former lunar astronauts would not swear on the bible that Bart Sibrel was holding, was because it was a “STARR BIBLE” (anagram of Bart Sibrel) (another figment if his warped imagination)and so was a fake bible, as was suggested in his video containing equally fake, so called evidence, that he used to try to debunk the real moon landings.