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Table of Contents
What Color is Mars? The Green Planet? The Glass Worm
Face the Face City Slicker The White Bunny
Bizarre Image Analysis Say What? (Updated March 24, 2004) Hoagland's Credentials
NEW! (March 13, 2004) Some fallout: Hoagland discusses these pages on C2C
Links of Interest

How do I put this delicately? I am not a big fan of one Richard C. Hoagland. His claims are grossly wrong, and generally easy to show as such. His analysis is flawed, his conclusions faulty, and his claims of conspiracy unfounded and unsupported.

I have given both general and detailed reasons why his claims are wrong in these pages. But while I have attacked his claims specifically, I haven't talked much about meta-issues. These are topics that are not about the science, but about the general claims themselves. So I will mention one here, which goes a long way to showing why I think Hoagland's claims and others like his are not only ridiculous, but self-contradictory:

Let's say that NASA really is a massive Masonic-Illuminati-whatever conspiracy, as Hoagland claims. If that were true, is it really likely that they would ever release pictures at all? If they knew about evidence of aliens on Mars, then why not just launch probes in secret? The military has lots of secret launches, for example. NASA need never have any Mars probes the public would find out about.

If NASA didn't know about aliens, they certainly would after the first time they went to Mars, if finding the evidence is as easy as Hoagland claims. So why release any more images? They could simply claim the probe stopped working. Hoagland claims they digitally alter images, so following his logic they could just fake any more images they needed.

So if Hoagland is right, then why does NASA keep sending probes to Mars in the first place? And why release images immediately? If he is right, then obviously NASA must have a team of people examining every image for potentially embarrassing signs of aliens. Yet even with that, Hoagland says that all these images show obvious signs of aliens. See the inherent contradiction? If the signs are obvious, why would NASA release the images? The far more likely conclusion is that Hoagland is completely wrong. If he were right, we'd never see these images to begin with. So like the claim above, some of the best evidence that Hoagland is wrong is that we see the images in the first place!

Another point: if somehow NASA were surprised by evidence of aliens in a Mars image, and Hoagland was on to them, wouldn't it be far easier just to snuff him? A lot of unsolved murders happen every day in cities here in the US, and I suspect that if the Big Bad Evil Government wanted to have someone disappear, it would be a lot easier and less risky than getting the whistle blown. Think about it. If Hoagland is right, and the government were that evil and nefarious, then they have nothing to lose by offing Hoagland (or any whistle blower). If they get exposed in the process, then it doesn't really matter, since he was about to expose them anyway. And if they do it successfully, then no one need ever know.

The very fact that Hoagland can scream about a conspiracy is some of the best evidence that there isn't one.

This can be said for most conspiracies, including Planet X and the Moon Hoax. If NASA would murder astronauts (as most Moon Hoax proponents say) or astronomers (as Planet X adherents believe), then they could certainly take out a couple of loudmouth conspiracy theorists without too much fuss. So the fact that these people are alive is pretty good proof they're wrong.

That's all I have to say about Hoagland for now. I have wasted enough time and energy on his nonsense. But there is one last thing, a touch (or great heaping mound) of irony that I really must mention.

I leave you with this very telling quotation from Hoagland, on page 17 of his book:

Once you allowed yourself to cross that "magic" line-- between dismissing the Face as merely a remarkable phenomenon of nature, and seriously considering the possibility that someone made it-- all bets are off.

Indeed, all bets are off. After all, once you cross that line, clearly nothing is impossible, even if it is patently absurd. Somehow, for Hoagland, crossing that line meant never looking back; abandoning reason, logic, and plain old common sense. I think that most people can see that, and I sincerely hope that after reading these pages, you'll see it too.

©2008 Phil Plait. All Rights Reserved.

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