Monday, April 21, 2008

Narrowly-focused attacks

On March 17th, "rogerv" wrote:

They never really dare to get themselves bogged down on debates of substance as they don't want to see the full context of evidence brought out. So their lines of attack are always very narrowly focused...
The following reply was suppressed

Would you call James Oberg's thorough debunk of the book's assertions about Mars Observer, Mars Polar Lander, and Mars Climate Orbiter overly narrow? It doesn't strike me that way. The only way it could possibly have been broader would have been for him to flat-out declare that NASA never under any circumstances causes deliberate failure of its expensive missions. To those of us who actually understand spaceflight, that goes without saying, and you can't prove a negative. Hoagland and Bara rely greatly on that principle in almost everything they write. A parody would be "NASA is infiltrated by free-masons and fascists and nothing it ever releases to the public is true. NOW PROVE OTHERWISE".

Another gem from that Australian tape (which, btw, must surely have been from 1993, not 1992) was Hoagland's confident-sounding assertion that the Mars Observer mission was sabotaged by the US Federal Goverment without NASA's approval or knowledge. Just think about that. It means that some other federal agency has the means of tracking and communicating with a spacecraft, and expertise on its vulnerability, without the knowledge of, or any co-operation from, JPL mission controllers or the manufacturer (Martin Marietta). Really hilarious.

As James Oberg has also pointed out, Richard Hoagland must be really scratching his head trying to figure out how on Earth Global Surveyor, Pathfinder, Odyssey, Mars Express, and Reconnaissance Orbiter were permitted to succeed. Most of them had far better imaging technology than the spacecraft that were deliberately destroyed. The ruthless cabal of demonic mission-spoilers, dedicated to suppressing knowledge of an ancient Martian civilization, must have fallen asleep at their consoles, presumably. My ribs are aching with laughter.

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