Regular readers of this blog don’t need to be told who Rhawn Joseph is, but for the rest of you, he’s the panspermist who gazes at photos from NASA and ESA of the surface of Mars and Venus, and then claims to have identified mushrooms. And spiders. And human skulls. He’s just a barrel of laughs.
He’s also been dabbling in the law. He tried to sue NASA, and more recently, he sued Springer Nature for refusing to publish one of his pareidolia papers, and for daring to retract another when people alerted the publisher about what a flaming ball of garbage it was. He’s litigious, but either too cheap or too weird to get a legitimate lawyer to help him out, so he’s filing these things pro se, which makes them particularly amusing. Here’s a succinct summary from a judge:
Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D., proceeding pro se, is a scientist who claims he found evidence of possible extraterrestrial life on Venus and Mars. To expound his ideas here on Earth, Dr. Joseph wrote two articles—one about life on Venus, the other about life on Mars—and submitted them for publication in an academic journal called Astrophysics and Space Science (“ApSS”). ApSS published the article about Venus, and the piece received some traction in the scientific community. But before publishing the article on Martian life, ApSS told Dr. Joseph that it needed to vet his findings a bit more. Dr. Joseph did not like the sound of that. So he withdrew his submission of the Mars article and demanded that ApSS remove the Venus article from its website. Rather than remove the Venus article, and after conducting additional peer review, ApSS told Dr. Joseph that it would retract the article.
The judge also made a few other comments.
The Complaint is at times difficult to follow. It is littered with speculation, confusing ramblings, conclusory legal assertions, and personal attacks against Defendants. See, e.g., Compl. ¶ 12 (“The Defendants are lying, confabulating, engaging in fraud and falsifying their references[.]”), ¶ 20 (claiming that “major scientific discoveries must pass through three stages: 1) Ridicule, 2) Violent opposition, 3) Acceptance as obvious and self-evident” and that Dr. Joseph’s work regarding life on Venus and Marks “is now at stage 2 (violent opposition)”); ¶ 23 (calling the two individual Defendants “mediocrities”); ¶ 30 (“Defendants libeled and slandered Plaintiff in April of 2020.”). Because Dr. Joseph is proceeding pro se, the Court endeavored to distill the facts from the Complaint as best it could and construe them in the light most favorable to him.
Yeah, that’s the shouty deranged Rhawn Joseph I know all right.
The best part: Rhawn Joseph was suing Springer Nature for…
FIFTY BILLION ($50,000,000,000) DOLLARS!!!