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Fake Sources

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
August 9, 2006

Wired News Writer Faked Info, Wired

“Wired News has removed three articles from its website after an internal investigation failed to confirm the authenticity of a source used in the stories. “Tribal Curse Haunts Launch Pad” (June 27, 2006), “NASA Boosts Heart-Monitoring Tech” (July 7, 2006) and “Don’t Flush It — Breathe It” (July 14, 2006), all by Philip Chien, relied in part on quotes and citations from Robert Ash, described in the first two stories as a “space historian” and in the last as an “aeronautical engineer and amateur space historian.”

Editor’s note: Some of you may recall that Phil Chien once asked (during a NASA press conference) if cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (who got married while on-orbit) would be able to consumate his marriage upon return to Earth.

The “Ted Collins” posting from (which Chien admits to creating) claims to be made “in England”. The IP resolves to which is in the Orlando, Florida area.

This post by “Ted Collins” is followed by one made by an “Alex Harris” posting also from The “Alex Harris” posting really lavishes praise on Chien’s book “Columbia – Final Voyage”. “Alex” also wrote a glowing review (scroll down) of Phil’s book at Barnes & Noble.

Of course there is also the pseudonym Robert Stevens (a name mentioned by Wired as one of Chien’s “sources”) that Phil also uses (also posting from – here he disavows even knowing Chien er, I mean himself.

You can follow this thread here

“Alex” aka “Ted” aka Phil Chien has made a number of posts over the past few months praising this book. He also takes swipes at Jay Barbaree. Here he describes an encounter with himself (i.e. Phil Chien) at a book signing.

Phil will be at some book signings soon in the Orlando area. Stop by and say hello. Maybe Phil will sign Ted’s, Rob’s, and Alex’s names as well.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.