A couple of weeks ago, one Richard Hoagland (a less negative bio here, which, as we shall see, may be somewhat exaggerated in its claims) was making a little press in the alternative media. While this is far from an unusual occurrence, what was different this time was that he was being called out as an Illuminati shill. There have been responses to those claims including one in particular on the Project Camelot site that make sense and I am not here to add my two cents to the discussion.
Rather, as these other issues regarding Hoagland emerged, I was reading a none too kind take on Hoagland on the Bad Astronomy website. Having read Dark Mission, I thought I would take look at the book’s counterpoint and see what truths seemed to result. My discussion here revolves around a couple of points of contention in regards to Mr. Phil Plait‘s take on Mr. Hoagland on his Bad Astronomy site.
Mr. Plait is obviously an intelligent man and a well qualified expert in his field. He presents a reasoned argument on almost every point to suggest that Hoagland may be just a little full of shit in some regards. That said, there are points at which Mr. Plait seems to be stretching in order to critique Hoagland on certain issues. (At this point, the reader is encouraged to check out the entirety of Mr. Plait’s critique on Hoagland as he has several compelling points, as well as the few less compelling arguments which I will be touching on here).
My purpose here is not to argue as to who is correct in these matters as both parties involved here are MUCH more qualified than I am to do this for themselves. Rather, I simply want to point out where the opinions of officialdom (IE. Mr. Plait) can fall far short of believability and possibly even reach into the realms of fabrication…a charge he levels at Hoagland at multiple points in his site.
The Hoagland section of the Bad Astronomy website contains a table of contents. Through links, one can find Mr. Plait’s arguments against Hoagland on a variety of Mars related subjects. The majority of these are very reasonable and while Hoagland has counterpoints out there to some (most easily found by reading his book linked to earlier in this post), at most times Plait certainly seems to have a winning case. Like a large majority of academics however, Mr. Plait, at points, over steps in his assumptions and simply refuses to look deeper into some of Hoagland’s more unusual ideas.
My first points of contention can be found on the page entitled “Say What?”. At one point, Mr. Plait dismisses one of Hoagland’s ideas about a NASA-Masonic-JPL connection without any counter argument but a link to Hoagland’s Enterprise Mission page. Hoagland has a much more in-depth argument supporting his conspiracy theory in his book. Many conspiracy theories have a supporting body of evidence that would make a convincing court argument however there is strong propensity among academics to ignore this evidence and dismiss the theories without a proper measure of thought. As I’ve noted on here before, those with the most invested into the current paradigm are often the those who most fervently defend it.
It is in this spirit that Mr. Plait also offhandedly dismisses Hoagland’s take on a little known 1950’s TV show “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” as being a NASA/government vehicle for pre-disclosure mind manipulation. The exact wording from the Bad Astronomy site is as follows:
“Perhaps the silliest thing on Hoagland’s site (which is saying a lot) is this bit of nuttiness where he claims a vast NASA conspiracy based on… wait for it… a cheesy 1950’s TV show! This has to be read to be believed. Or not believed. I couldn’t make this up.”
A quick read of Hoagland’s article linked to above will show that he is not claiming “a vast NASA conspiracy based on… wait for it… a cheesy 1950’s TV show!” but rather that the TV show was used by the pre-existing conspiracy as way of subtly promoting its agenda. Whether you believe in the conspiracy itself is another matter but when viewed with the assumption that this conspiracy does exist, Hoagland’s suggestion is nowhere near as outlandish as the quote above would have one believe. Our government has long had a habit of social manipulation through media, a practice that continues today.
The final point I would like to bring up here can be found on the Bad Astronomy page entitled “Are there artifacts on Mars?”. It is here that Mr. Plait claims that Hoagland is mistaking compression noise/artifacts from downsized images for artificial structures. As an example, he links to Hoagland’s page here. While my former arguments are simply opinion, it is here that I feel I have a legitimate technical disagreement to make.
My educational background is in graphic design and I am fully aware of image compression and how it works. While what the structures Hoagland is noting really are is certainly up for debate, I can say with certainty that they are not simply the result of the noise created by file compression. If so, then this is the first time I have ever seen this noise create the illusion of three dimensionality. Mr. Plait uses the example of an image he compressed as compared to a high res image to make his point. Even a cursory examination of his picture compared to the one linked to on Hoagland’s site above will show that the appearance of structure on Mars is not caused by compression noise as Mr. Plait claims. If anything, adding noise to these images would only work against Hoagland’s argument as it would decrease the appearance of the right angles that make the image anomalous in the first place. If one zooms in even closer, they would see that this noise is the result of pixelation in the image that looks more like this, with no sense of dimension at all.
I should also mention that Mr. Plait doesn’t touch on many of Hoagland’s ideas regarding the moon on his page. Arguments that can be convincing. In fact, just recently mainstream science has brought up the idea of looking for signs of past life on the moon. Hoagland isn’t exactly alone in his opinions on Mars either; a variety of academic types are actually wanting to investigate the various Martian anomalies further as well.
As previously stated, the purpose of this post is not to disparage Mr. Plait or specifically endorse any of Hoagland’s ideas. I have chosen specific arguments with which to make my point just as Plait chooses specific points with which to argue against Hoagland. One would do well to remember that there is still little we really and truly “know” and that just because someone speaks with authority on an issue, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are correct. In an age of Renaissance and ascension many new ideas will be presented. It is up to us all as individual creators and interpreters of our reality to separate fact from fiction.