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Deluded or Attention-seeking?
on 28 December 2010
For years now, Richard Hoagland has been pouring forth a stream of conspiracy theories about how NASA, the US government, UNESCO, the RSPCA, the Church of England, the Dalai Lama, Ken Dodd and anyone else he can think of, is hiding the truth about Outer Space - i.e., that WE ARE NOT ALONE.
This book is his Magnum Opus. In it he claims to have scrutinised photoes taken by the Viking missions to Mars which, he assures us, show evidence of an ancient civilisation - namely big faces and pyramids either carved into rock formations, or built especially for us to see. He is very careful to show how, by DIGITALLY ENHANCING the pictures (the originals of which are often very fuzzy), the true nature of these monuments can be properly seen. In other works (which I haven't read, I hasten to add), he claims that the ancient Egyptians were in cahoots with extra-terrestrials to build the pyramids; that there are giant transparent domes on the Moon; life under the surface of at least one of the Jovian satellites, and other manifestations of the existence of ancient civilisations which the guvment wants to hide from us. They do this, apparently, by DIGITALLY ENHANCING pictures so we can't see their true nature (pot kettle black, anyone???).
His latest wheeze is that, earlier on this year (2010), a Russian Missile was detonated over Norway by Dark Forces (i.e. the Nazis) to stop Man's exploration of space (funny how they missed the Viking Missions, the ISS, the Cassini and Hubble telescopes, countless communications satellites and all those other ventures that have been largely successful). Apparently President Obama cancelled "Project Constellation" because those same Nazis (officers who escaped into space after WW11) would thwart any US attempt to land on or explore the Moon - just like they stymied all those Apollo missions. The Rotters. Funny how they managed to escape into space but couldn't finish their atomic bomb or, for that matter, stop us and the Russians from defeating them. The devilish swine - they lost the war deliberately, to confuse us. My God, is there no end to their treachery?
The pictures in Hoagland's book show various portions of the surface of Mars, tweaked to make it look as if perfectly random rock formations have in fact been carved by - all together now, one two three - an ANCIENT CIVILISATION. The text invents, fabricates, falsifies and twists a whole stream of figures, diagrams, formulae and concepts designed to convince the reader that all these fantasies are somehow based in fact. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a fantasist, pure and simple.
What is it with these people who harp on about extra-terrestrial Ancient Civilisations? Has it ever occurred to them that maybe WE are the Ancient Civilisation that, one day, will be discovered by species yet to evolve? Hoagland (who has manufactured all sorts of bogus claims to have been a consultant to NASA and the Curator of a Science museum, none of which is true) is clearly obsessed with generating images and ideas that gain him attention and credibility. The more time goes on the more outlandish his claims become.
I'm far from being someone who automatically believes everything the authorities tell us (look at Galileo), but there is a difference between on the one hand being sceptical of the authorities and, on the other, believing everything else that you hear. Paradoxically, this book IS worth reading, if only to see how far someone will go to try and get you to believe that 2+2=17. Read it if you like -it's not at all badly written - enjoy it, and have a good laugh. Just keep your tongue in your cheek - someone's got to; Hoagland doesn't.