Friday, June 12, 2015

Gary Posner posts 1990-1 recordings of Hoagland boasting

        Gary Posner, M.D. is the author of one of the most comprehensive reviews of Richard Hoagland's efforts at self-promotion available. Under the title "The Face Behind the "Face" on Mars: A Skeptical Look at Richard C. Hoagland" the two-part essay covers "The Face" as well as Hoagland's exaggerated claims to have lectured to packed auditoria at NASA, to have personally designed the plaque on Pioneer 10, and to have been the first to suggest life on Europa.

        What special knowledge did Posner have that enabled him to write this somewhat devastating piece? In 1990 he was the founder of Tampa Bay Skeptics, and editor of its newsletter. He writes:
"At that time, Hoagland was serving as Science Advisor to the For The People radio program, which was based in Cedar Key, Florida, and broadcast daily across the United States on the Sun Radio Network (and worldwide via shortwave). Hosted by Chuck Harder, this "overheated radio talk show"... was devoted partly to useful consumer-oriented advice, and partly to conspiracy and fringe-science themes such as UFOs, suppressed cancer cures, and perpetual energy machines. I began taping some of the broadcasts, saving and cataloging the most preposterous comments (winding up with nearly five hours of priceless "Greatest Hits" snippets, many involving Hoagland), and writing about them in TBS Report."
        Now, in June 2015, Posner has dug out his old tapes and put them on the web. They come in ten parts and Posner has provided a synopsis. Hoagland's monster ego is fully on display, as he rants about Carl Sagan taking credit for his own work, grossly exaggerates his dealings with NASA, and brags about a miniseries he's producing for PBS called Hoagland's Mars -- which, guess what, is then canceled. Here's part of the synopsis on that topic, from tape 8:
Jan. 2 1991: 19:46: Hoagland on the "distorted" reediting of Hoagland's Mars to make him look "deluded." Considering legal action.
26:35: Harder thinks NASA is doing this because they weren't the ones who made these fabulous discoveries about the artifacts on Mars and "their egos prevent them" from giving due credit to Hoagland.
27:14: Hoagland suggests that a Congressional inquiry about all this is in order. Asks listeners to write to NASA and Congress.
        Chuck Harder himself ended up disillusioned with Hoagland. In a letter to Gary Posner, he writes "Mr. Richard Perez of Home Power magazine has filled Mr. Hoagland's shoes as Mr. Hoagland became more and more demanding, wanted money, and wanted to dictate program content." Why are we not surprised by that?

        The audio quality is poor in spots—some of these clips were recorded from shortwave—but they are pure gold. Thank you, Dr Posner.

1 comment:

Binaryspellbook said...

The hubris of that man Hoagland is unbelievable.
Excellent post. Looking forward to having fun with this.