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Dr. John Brandenburg, Monday, 1-5-15 January 6, 2015

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Dr. John Brandenburg, Monday, 1-5-15


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Guest:  Dr. John Brandenburg.  Topic:  A giant nuclear explosion on Mars & “Death On Mars.” the new book by Dr. Brandenburg.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Dr. John Brandenburg back to the show to discuss his new book, “Death On Mars: The Discovery of a Planetary Nuclear Massacre” & the giant nuclear explosion on the surface of Mars.  Please remember to purchase the book through the OGLF/Space Show Amazon portal so Amazon will contribute to The Space Show. Contact me for added instructions if necessary.  In our first segment of our 1 hour 44 minute program, Dr. Brandenburg outlined the hypothesis behind the theory that there was a giant nuclear explosion on Mars a very long time ago that blew away most of the Martian atmosphere.  He cited evidence given the presence of Xenon 129 in the Martian atmosphere along with the presence of thorium and potassium around Mars.  He suggested listeners look at the Martian thorium and potassium distribution points by searching the maps that are widely available online.  Listeners had lots of questions about all of this, especially since Dr. Brandenburg estimated the size of the two explosions to be equal to something on the order of the Empire State Bldg, or a billion megatons.  We contrasted this explosion size with the largest nuclear bomb exploded on Earth, 50 megatons by the Soviet Union.  Furthermore, because of the size of the explosion, he suggested this was not a natural nuclear explosion but a weapon of some sort regardless of how impractical that might sound.  He also explained how the size and quality of the explosion could be calculated.

In the second half listeners had more questions.  Dr. Brandenburg agreed to send me his Journal of Cosmology article which I will upload to the blog when I archive this program.  The article is titled “Evidence of a Massive Thermonuclear Explosion on Mars in the Past, The Cydonian Hypothesis, and Fermi’s Paradox.”  Later in the segment Dr. Brandenburg did discuss the Fermi Paradox, the Cydonian connection and Mare Acidalium.  Before the show ended, John talked about his science fiction books and the latest one he is working on which will be out sometime this year.  John writes science fiction under the name Victor Norgard.

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Don’t forget to read Dr. Brandenburg’s reviewed paper on he blog.  You can contact Dr. Brandenburg through me.



1. descent - April 15, 2015

This page really has all of the information I needed concerning this subject
and didn’t know who to ask.

2. Calvin - February 4, 2015

Dr. John,
I listened to a podcast as you described nuclear destruction on Mars. The Sumerians describe the anunnaki and one of the brothers of these beings was banished to mars and I think they wrote on the clay tablets that there were nuclear wars there on Mars. I was wondering if you studied the anunnaki and there writings describing this? I might not have the story exactly correct but I think it’s close. I’m a Mars fan and liked you’re thoughts.

3. Tom - January 22, 2015

To finally kill all the BS about face on Mars in Cydonia (at least in the reasonable people) see the 3D animation from Mars

Express put together in 2006 (ancient now); the face looks exactly like what it is: a bunch of hills on Mars.


John Brandenburg - January 26, 2015

Tom, Great Horny Toads !!!

You are a naive victim of the fallacy that ‘science and scientists are always about the search for truth’ when that is only on their best days. On its worst days science is about things like creating neutron bombs and good chemical synthesis paths for making methamphetamine in your bathtub.

What you have shown is , Tom, sadly not one of the best days of science as is illustrated below at this link.


The prominent horns shown in your image are completely spurious and promoted by MSSS ( Malin Space Science Systems ) . Such “horns” would cast shadows that could be clearly seen even in the Viking images , such as 70A13 and they are absent. These horns are not even seen in ESAs 3-construction of the face form imagery.

I hope our militaries are not using the MSSS shape from shading algorithm to give elevation maps to our troops!

So there is plenty of BS, but it is being shoveled by MSSS with ESA its witless accomplice.

So the “horns are on you” Tom

John Brandenburg

Matt - January 26, 2015

Test picture

Matt - January 26, 2015
Matt - January 26, 2015
4. John Brandenburg - January 20, 2015

Dear Kristophr,

It is always seemed possible that Mars was struck by an asteroid that itself supported a natural nuclear reactor. However, the amount of xenon 129 is large, and so is the amount of U238, Thorium and radioactive Potassium in the planetary wide surface layer. So the asteroid would have to be large, kilometers in diameter, any asteroid that large would be expected to have created a big crater instead of exploding in the atmosphere like Tunguska. Tunguska is estimated to have been only a hundred meters or so in diameter, depending on the study, and the atmosphere of earth is thick , not like Mars. If Mars atmosphere was thick when this happened, it was alive, and that’s a different discussion, more like my scenario. Such an asteroid , though large, would also have to be a very rare case, since we have no meteorite ( fragments of asteroids) that displays any signs of being parts of such an asteroid.
The natural nuclear reactors on Earth took place in very rich ~70% uranium deposits, concentrated by bacteria, and were water moderated. This is very similar to water moderated nuclear reactors built by people. A carbonaceous moderated reactor you propose sounds like a graphite moderated reactor built by people to make plutonium, but that graphite must be absolutely pure for that to work, and the uranium must be metallic. Carbonaceous meteorites are mostly clay full of water and a mixture of refractories similar to original solar nebula composition. Most of the neutrons in such a matrix would be absorbed , not moderated. Have you ever heard of a nuclear reactor made of wet, dirty ,clay mixed with 2% tar???? If so why aren’t people running them? No, no reactor like this would work, if it did the world would be full of them! The neutrons are captured by impurities in such a matrix before they can fission anything. To my knowledge no 99.99% pure graphite meteorites with pure metallic uranium pieces in them have ever been recovered. Thus you are speaking of a completely unknown phenomenon in nature. I postulated the only known process I know of that can create what has been found on Mars. I could have said these things were done by “mysterious blue unicorns of geochemistry” , but you notice I did not discuss this possibility. I instead invoked somebody like we see when we turn on the news. That is a known phenomenon in the cosmos, though somewhat prone to “hooliginism”

5. Kristophr - January 19, 2015

Sorry, but I can’t buy the LGM theory.

That radioactive mess can be explained by a large asteroid full of heavy radioacticves.

Look up the African natural breeder reactors.

Thorium and U238 doped with U235 and Pu239 in a cabonaceous mix asteroid can go through a moderated breeded reaction, with Xenon buildup and outgassing slowing things down.

Mars was just unlucky, getting one of these late in planetary development, instead of early.

These natural reactions would cause lumps of fissionable material to build up. Inertial detonation can happen when the asteroid hits atmosphere and lumps are forced together. One nuclear explosion would be enough to make other lumps in the asteroid go off in sympathetic blasts, making an unholy mess before ground impact.

6. John Brandenburg - January 16, 2015

Sadly, here is precedent in human history for such things, such as when the Romans destroyed Carthage- they sowed the ground with salt ( an expensive item in those days) in order that the city could never rise again.

Therefore, let us focus on positive things, such as going to Mars and restoring it to life , as a home once again for life and intelligence. How can we do this , how soon can we do this, what is required?

John Brandenburg PhD

Matt - January 16, 2015

Dear Dr. Brandenburg,

you are right, let us go to support Mars exploration and restoring. Thank you very much for your kind response to my question; it was fun to have that small talk here! Much success with your future work on advanced propulsion! Science needs also phantasy!


7. John Brandenburg - January 15, 2015

Dear Kirk,
Matt is correct, the hydrogen bomb core is encased in common U238 or Thorium , which are inert until the fusion core detonates releasing 14MeV which fission the casing.

This is standard practice on Earth.

Do not attempt this at home, folks!


Matt - January 16, 2015

However, dear Dr. Brandenburg,

there is weak point. If we assume an advanced civilization (compared to eartlingkind and to marslingkind ) as origin of specific isotope production, why should build them such an old style, not very elegant weapon? I would assume that a civilization that is able to bridge distance between stars owns very different means or more advanced weapons as simple thermonuclear devices. I think the aliens could probably kill all on Mars, but why should they not use Mars for themselves afterwards? In this context makes a very dirty weapon no sense.


8. Kirk - January 15, 2015

Dr. Brandenburg,

Assuming a civilization capable of engineering on this scale, have you contemplated the possible design of a billion megaton device? Could sufficient fissionable material be brought together quickly enough for a monolithic device of that size to not fizzle due to premature detonation? Would a highly-synchronized, multiple core device — something on the order of a cubic matrix of ten-million 100 megaton devices, (215 devices along an edge) — create results consistent with what you hypothesize?

Kind regards,

Matt - January 15, 2015

Dear Kirk,

you need for the casing (“tamber”) of the fusion part (“secondary”) of such a thermonuclear device no U235. “Normal” none radioactive U238 is sufficient, because the fission of U238 is achieved by fast neutrons of the fusion process itself. Therefore shall be no problem with a critical mass for this component. To ignite this very large thermonuclear device you could probably take a smaller hydrogen bomb as a “primary”, which is itself ignited by a “normal” fission (“atom”) bomb, equipped with a small set of plutonium. I assume that such a staged design might not need an “spark plug” of U235 or plutonium inside the fusion fuel to initiate the fusion, if the “primary” (here an hydrogen bomb is located in the center of the Mega bomb, but I am not sure. Dr. Brandenburg should know it better. I think we can assume that a very advanced civilization may present also much more advanced weapon design as we can.

Best regards


9. John Brandenburg - January 13, 2015

Dear Mark,

Again I ask, why would anyone drop enormous nuclear weapons on Mars? The evidence pointing to this dreadful possibility, based on scientific measurements, appears strong. No one has offered an alternative explanation for this body of data. This possibility requires intelligence and purposeful actions by that intelligence.
So why? What was their motivation?

As for Sagan’s requirement of ‘extraordinary evidence,’ : In
my Sci-fi novel, written under the nom-de-plume Victor Norgarde:
“Morningstar pass , The Collapse of the UFO Cover-Up” ( the paperback has the best edit) the ( of course beautiful) heroine Cassandra Chen challenges her adversary in a debate to cite extraordinary evidence for the fact that the Earth orbits the Sun , rather than the other way around, and he cannot. “show me a big speedometer someplace Bill!”
She then says: “Bill, in that case I will then settle for something merely remarkable!”

When he cannot offer even any remarkable evidence for the Earth’s motion she finishes him off with the line ” Bill , I believe something extraordinary and I can offer something quite commonplace as evidence! I believe the universe is expanding and as evidence I point out that it is dark at night!”

This is of course the answer to “Olber’s Paradox”

So I point out Mark, that, based on evidence, you are willing to accept the possibility that someone dropped two fission-boosted hydrogen bombs as big as the Empire State Building on to Mars, which went off as air-bursts, destroying whatever biosphere was there. However, you are not interested in why they would do such a thing. That is extraordinary evidence of something, indeed.

John Brandenburg

10. John Brandenburg - January 12, 2015

Dear Mark,
Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that my interpretation of the Mars nuclear data is correct ( I have presented this data in many scientific forums and no one has offered an alternative explanation -I did this several times because I am careful before I publish books on a subject)

So then, again, for the sake of argument, somebody dropped two huge hydrogen bombs-wrapped in uranium and thorium, to boost their yield and fallout- on Mars set to go off as airbursts to maximize blast damage like at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This blew off most of Mars atmosphere and poisoned the planet with radioactivity so it could never recover its biosphere again. It created nuclear-melt glass at both sites.

Why would anybody do such a thing? This took considerable resources to do, why would they do it? And, if they had no logical reason, did they have illogical reason, that is, motivated by emotion?

I think that question , “why,” is at least as important to the human race at this point as the discovery of the explosions themselves. Because it concerns our continued existence is a silent, unknown cosmos.

So “why”?

John Brandenburg

Matt - January 13, 2015

Dear Dr. Brandenburg,

there is a big difference between both parts of your paper (nuclear catastrophe theory and the “face and pyramids” theory). That are the solidness of related or used scientific proves, which is very different. Whereas the nuclear residuals seems to base on measurements (facts), in contrast the “alien theory” cannot deliver such hard facts. It is based mainly on subjective interpretations of appearance (“it looks like”) and geometry. I would apply the following phrase of Carl Sagan in this case: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.



11. Mark - January 12, 2015

I just want to add that my impression after looking through Dr Brandenburg’s paper was exactly the same as Matt’s. It is the so-called Crichton-Gellman effect (see Michael Crichton speeches), where you see a part of the newspaper (it was some time ago M. Crichton said it) that is your field of expertise and you know that the account is nonsense and BS, then you turn the page and you read something else and you think it’s perfectly accurate because you don’t know anything about the subject. But it’s most likely a lot of nonsense again.

I don’t know a lot about nuclear physics, just a little. Can’t judge that part accurately. Other people can do better. But the face on Mars, the pyramid …. You can only think you can see such structures because we have them on Earth and we know they are designed by a mind, not nature. If there had been any intelligent beings on Mars, their evolution would most likely be different from ours (maybe no faces, maybe no eyes, maybe two pairs of eyes, maybe something completely different; maybe no heads, just whole trunks or bodies) and not parallel. So to see all those human traits on Mars is just to express human bias.

It doesn’t work for me at all and the whole Cydonian Hypthesis, while entertaining, just damages the credibility of the rest of the paper.

Anyway, it would be interesting to land a rover near the features and put it to rest once and for all some day. It’s not like you couldn’t do any science around there, right?

12. John Brandenburg - January 11, 2015

Dear Mathias,
I just see some ice in a crater, interesting, but if you were hoping I would identify it as the Palace of the Snow Queen , I am sorry to disappoint you.

Yes, my family Patriarch Solomon Brandenburg (probably part Jewish) and his two sons Johann and Mathias, and their families, were kicked out of Berlin and forced to flee to the-then American Colonies in 1754. This happened because we would not take off our hats for somebody in a religious procession.

Thus, was established a family tradition of defiance of established authority and their dogmas.


John B.

Matt - January 12, 2015

Dear Dr. Brandenburg,

sorry, it was not possible to delete my comment with that large Mars picture after uploading it. It is no so important. nevertheless some people in the internet used it to demonstrate artifical structures on Mars (using an older, not so detailed version of the pic).

I will write directly to you via email.



13. John Brandenburg - January 10, 2015

Dear Matthias,

You have no need to apologize, Matthias, you communicate very well in English. I am also pleased that you and I agree on many things about Mars such as the probability of primitive life existing now on the planet -yes they found methane with the MSL!!!! Mars has Flatulence! A Promising Sign of Life! – and we also agree on the necessity of investigating the nuclear data and sending people to Mars to maximize our knowledge.

However, I respectfully disagree with your idea that I have “gone too far” in my linking the evidence of the two nuclear explosions with what looks like eroded archeology directly downwind of the two explosion sites. I can read a map, and I am as competent as anyone in judging whether an eroded sphinx , next to a pyramid ,and a matching sphinx at a similar site on the other side of the planet are what they appear to be, or, merely ‘playthings of nature’.

Remember Mattihas, why people are so good at recognizing faces and straight lines in the visual clutter of the landscape. For 200,000 years our ancestors were savage warring tribes, fighting constantly over hunting grounds and water holes. For our ancestors, spotting a face looking at us in the forest brush, or a spear or arrow being drawn back, meant we could see an ambush and be forewarned, and live to father more children. Just as then, we have spotted faces and a pyramid, and in my view this is a warning: the Cosmos can be as dangerous as the Earth is. Under the Priniciple of Mediocrity ( the cornerstone of SETI) If you want to see what intelligent life behaves like in the Cosmos, just turn on the news! This discovery at Mars , in my view, validates “Mediocrity” once again.

I am actually honored that you should say this , Mathhias, “that I go too far” for they said the same things about all scientists who have extrapolated data to make bold hypotheses. People said this about bold geologists saying that South America and Africa fit together, because they were once one continent. “YOU GO TOO FAR!”

Besides, I am half Viking ( Icelandic) and my middle name is Einar, meaning “warlord” and we Vikings were always accused of going “too far” ,

“You Vikings go too far!”
Charles the Simple of Brandenburg 989 A.D.

Nice to chat with you Matthias.

John E. Brandenburg

Matt - January 11, 2015

Dear Dr. Brandenburg,

thank you for your reply. What doy say to the well known the strange stucture in a Mars crater, which can be seen in this picture?

Older pictures might be interpretated as artifical, this newer one seems to predict a natural origin (ice dom?), even if the shape and surface pattern keeps very surprizing.

Best greetings,


P.S. Your name “Brandenburg” suggests a German origin of your family!?

14. John Brandenburg - January 7, 2015

Dear Matt,
My connection of the evidence for nuclear explosions on Mars to Cydonia and Galaxias is based on the fact that I can read a map.

Both hypothetical explosion sites are directly upwind of the artifact sites.

The new images at your site reveal the object is eroded, as we should expect if it is very old. It remains my opinion , that the object , based on its symmetry, the nostrils in the apparent in the nose, and and the straight line structures on the helmet, plus the apparent pyramid nearby , is eroded archeology. I note image number 5 is from a previously discredited shape-from-shading model proposed by Malin. It shows a “horn” on the face that is absent from the actual images.

We now know from the rover a t Gale crater and the exposed sediments there that mars had Earthlike conditions for a long geologic period , and was highly oxidizing like Earth. The young average age of the Mars meteorites, their highly oxidized state suggesting an oxygen atmosphere in the past, and their exposure to liquid water reinforce this view. Therefore, if Mars had liquid water, and an ocean and an oxygen rich atmosphere in the past for long periods, and i see a collection of objects that look like eroded archeology, I am no different that a scientist who notices that Africa and South America look like they fit together. I am recognizing a pattern.

I am also unclear how this is supposed to refute my nuclear explosion hypothesis , which is based on nuclear data.

Actually, Matt, we are in a very poor position, scientifically, to say what was possible on Mars and what was impossible, in terms of biological development. Since we know only that water deposited and eroded features exist and we do not know their geologic age, and that Mars is red, that is to say covered with highly oxidized iron, (look at pictures of earth showing its deserts to see what oxidized iron looks like from space) , and we have a bunch of young Mars meteorites, and we know that Mars is now a cold dry desert place. That is all we know. Anyone who claims they know more much more that about Mars is kidding themselves.

Mars is a dangerous place for scientist, that is why I like it.

John Brandenburg

Matt - January 7, 2015

Dear Dr. Brandenburg,

at first, please apologize my limited command in English language; it is not my mother tongue. To the subject:
I am supporting you in different aspects:

1. Science has to deliver answers to your observation of nuclear “residuals” on Mars. In this respect also nuclear explosions may be a valuable hypothesis. It is about other scientists to verify or falsify your theory. I assume that the residual are scientific facts, but I am not expert in this topic. But this part of paper alone would a sensation.

2. Mars equals surface of Earth’s land masses. There are more subjects of interest on Mars as we can imagine, for example because its wet history (however, that is dated back to 3 billion years). However, a handful of robots and probes are not sufficient to explore a whole world in this regard. You are right, we need man on Mars.

3. I am convinced that there is quite high chance that simple life has existed on Mars (or even exists up to now in the ground).

However, in my view you went too far, if you recognize faces and structures, were planetary scientist and me cannot see anything. The human brain likes it to see structures and pattern elsewhere, that is one of its main functions. However, very often there are is nothing. This second part of your paper remind to the Swiss writer Erich von Däniken. In my view it is dangerous for scientist to be connected with an unscientific way of interpretation of artefacts as von Däniken did. Many readers of your theory can not say much about the nuclear aspects of paper, but judge about the whole paper based on the second part with all the “face” and “pyramids” stuff. That is a pity.

Best regards


Matt - January 9, 2015

Dear Dr. Brandenburg,

I just recognized that you predicted in 2011 that MSL will landed nearby a place on Mars, where you expected a methane source or production, as it was just confirmed. That is great.

[audio src="http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1568-BWB-2011-06-03.mp3" /]

See about 00:29:30 hour.

Best regards,


15. Matt - January 7, 2015

I just read some parts of Dr. Brandenburg’s paper, which seems to be in danger being discredited alone by his believe in the so called “face” on Mars. That is not a face on Mars. Take a look on more detailed pictures from it:


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