The Midweek Cuckoos
Given the proliferation of madmen on the internet, i will be introducing a new wednesday post, celebrating the loon of the week. I’m sure it will be a while before i run out of them.
So, without further ado, i introduce to you today’s Midweek Cuckoo:
Richard Hoagland shot to infamy with the late and great Face on Mars silliness. He created such a buzz around those images that a later NASA satellite specifically flew over the Cydonia plain to re-photograph the area. The better-quality images of the plain revealed what we knew all along – that the Face was merely an amusing collaboration between light and shade, and the fact that human brains are so good at facial recognition that they see them everywhere. It didn’t stop old Hoagie, though.
Hoagland’s techniques are very simple. Find a poor-quality image taken at the very edge of our exploratory boundaries. Turn JPEG artifacts into alien artifacts, throw the word ‘hyperdimensional’ in a few times, and keep reminding people that you know Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan. As time moves on and technology pushes the boundaries further out, ignore improved images of the areas that clear up the fuzziness you thought might be an alien city and show it to be a pile of rocks. Move on to the next fuzzy images.
The current focus of his attention is on Saturn’s moon Iapetus. An admittedly odd moon, and extremely interesting to planetary scientists, Hoagland sees this as yet more evidence of alien interference in our solar system. Abandoned alien spaceship? Hyperdimensional outpost? Interstellar walnut? You decide!
For an explanation of how Hoagland does his thing, and why it’s so easy to debunk his nonsense, see what a real astronomer has to say.
Thanks to Lucas for reminding me of this guy’s existence. he’s always worth a laugh.