Thursday, October 27, 2011

The forbidden number has been spoken!

            In one of his recent mendacious presentations, Richard Hoagland insisted that the rotation period of asteroid 2005 YU55 is 19.5 hours despite the fact that the JPL Small-Body database clearly indicates that it's 18.

            YU55 is due to pass between us and the orbit of the Moon on November 8th. Hoagland stated that he had "a source at JPL" who told him that the rotation period was really 19.5 hours but they didn't want to state that publicly. He said something to the effect that, of course, JPL couldn't give voice to the magic hyperdimensional number.

            I wonder, therefore, how he reconciles that with the fact that the JPL database was not in the least shy about noting that Elenin's magnitude when first observed was — GASP! — 19.5. Or that its arrival at closest approach to Earth was 19:50, which everyone except RCH and the True Believers knows is really 19.83.

            Here's how thoroughly un-rigorous he is. When somebody asked him, on FaceBOO, why he was content to use UTC for the Elenin/Earth close approach but insisted that the Sri Lankan time zone was the appropriate bench mark for perihelion, he replied:

Have you ever heard the expression "consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds"?

            The mere fact that he claims to have a JPL "source" tells you that he's lying again. I don't believe anyone at JPL has answered a message from Hoagland since the days when messages were attached to the legs of pigeons. Even Mike Bara, in his blog 5th May 2008, acknowledged that JPL was enemy territory.

            This blog already chuckled over Hoagland's statement, during the Project Camelot videoconference disaster in June, that YU55 will do its Lunar veronica WHILE EVERYONE'S ATTENTION IS DIVERTED TO ELENIN. I now doubt that many people will even remember what Elenin was by November 8th, let alone be diverted by it. The words damp squib come to mind when thinking about Elenin already. How appropriate for Guy Fawkes Day.


Chris Lopes said...

The problem with all this 19.5 stuff is thast if you aren't talking about angles, it's a nonstarter. You can't really equate a time period or a magnitude (both of which are subject to factors that the "ancients" could not possibly have been aware of) with a "magic" angle. It just makes no sense.

Of course that's not Hoagland's view, not by a long shot. Any angle, time period, or any other number connected with NASA that even comes close to 19.5 (HD physics is not an exact science by his own admission) is proof of this ritual religion he claims to have found. Since no one at JPL (or anywhere else in the sane world) is aware of this religion, you'd expect 19.5 to come up about as often as any other number, which it does. Thus proving Hoagland (and his sekret sources) wrong. If he really believes this crap, he needs to relocate to a padded cell. If he doesn't, he has a very low opinion of his own followers.

Biological_Unit said...

I think God rained out one game just to get Carpenter ready to pitch! Cardinals win 11th World Series in 2011! Hy - per - di - men - sion - al fissicks in action again!

expat said...

Hoagland said somewhere or other that he supported Carl Calleman's interpretation of the Mayan calendar, which predicted some sort of consciousness shift yesterday.

Another in the long long line of date-fails.

Chris Lopes said...

As a long time Red Sox fan, I'd say that's the only explanation that makes sense.

I'm shocked, shocked I say, that another Hoagland prediction didn't come true. It's almost as if the guy's a total fraud or something.

strahlungsamt said...

I was just browsing Mike's site and I found this gem:

Apparently, back in the 70s, British channel ITV's Science Report broadcast a report on some "brain drain", about how scientists were being kidnapped and killed over a secret Mars landing or something. Bara found a TENTH GENERATION COPY (how that was even viewable is anyone's guess). The show was taken off and never aired again because it was the "Most Dangerous TV Show Ever Made"...
Anyway, I did my own research and found it is on youtube.
Then I did a little more digging and found a wikipedia article:
It was an April Fool's prank. It was the final episode of "Science Report" so they decided to do something naughty. (The BBC did something similar in 1950 with a documentary on spaghetti farms - this was before lawsuits became a national pastime). The made a fake documentary and aired it on April 1st. It looks like too many people believed it (including Mike) so they didn't pull another one again.
OF COURSE Mike has to show it as absolute proof of brainwashing and conspiracy. No, I mean STUNNING CONFIRMATION or whatever. Bit like "Tom Corbett Space Cadet". Just goes to show the high quality research that goes on in Hoagie and Mike's little world.

Biological_Unit said...

the Nazi's were almost maniacally obsessed with the occult

Come on now! Do you think a book that says "the Nazi's were NOT obsessed with the occult" gets published? Leave this office now luser!

expat said...

I don't think the Anomalies Network is Bara's. It seems to be run by someone called Olav Phillips.

Mikey's site was Lunar Anomalies but it's abandoned and hijacked by Japanese porn.

But it's a good story, thanks strahlungsamt.

Chris Lopes said...

Very cool find, and quite convincing. It has a very "In Search Of" quality to it, without the reenactments. I noticed some of the commenters didn't get the joke though, figures.

"Mikey's site was Lunar Anomalies but it's abandoned and hijacked by Japanese porn."

On a cosmic level, that sounds quite appropriate.

strahlungsamt said...

My first introduction to Hoaglandia was I don't remember how I found it but somehow it was the picture of the crashed flying saucer on Mars that excited me. Then there was "The Facility" and some monoliths. (Can't find the pix anymore but I'm sure they're out there somewhere).

Bear in mind, I approached it with a big dose of skepticism at the time. Still, the idea that aliens had parked themselves in the Solar System was not too far fetched so I explored further. Despite some of the Mars images looking kinda convincing, what I couldn't see anywhere was definitive proof they were anything but rocks.
Then I noticed the jpeg artifacts, the city on Callisto, various maps of Martian anomalies that didn't line up with the circles drawn on the images. What finally blew it for me was the "Sacred Geometry". Taking a low-res image and deducing ratios to 12 digit precision was a bit much. Plus pi/sqrt 5, or 19/47.3 was asking a bit much.

Somewhere, in response to a debunking on BadAstronomy, Mike talks about the "Phil Plait's of the World" who have nothing better to do bla bla bla than debunking "real" science. Funny thing is, Hoagie and Mike debunked themselves without needing any help from anyone. Once I read the Sacred Geometry, I knew they both belonged in the loony bin.

Chris Lopes said...

I understand your story completely. There is something fun about long dead cities on Mars, giant glass domes on the Moon, and moons (along with most comets and asteroids apparently) that are ancient derelict spaceships. It evokes a sense of wonder that men like Heinlein and Clarke used to entertain millions. One of those millions being Hoagland himself.

On the surface, there is nothing really impossible about any of those things, so the sense of wonder can remain intact until the evidence comes in. What that evidence arrives though, it's time to see the Universe as it is, nit as we wish it to be. It's that last part that Hoagland has never been willing to do.

He wants to keep the illusion going despite what reality keeps shouting at him. So to protect himself (and his book and DVD buying followers) from that reality, he has to spin an ever growing story to explain why the evidence isn't matching his narrative. That's how you go from a possible face on Mars to the millennium spanning conspiracy that encompasses every major institution ever devised by man. As Hoagland likes to say (in another context) the lie is different at every level. For a story this complicated, it has to be.

Yes, the magic number stuff is nonsense. No one knows that better than Hoagland himself. That's why he does such a terrible job with the math. Those endless "mistakes" he makes are just ways to make the numbers behave the way he needs them to. If he played it straight (as in actually opened up a math book) the whole silliness would dissolve into vapor. So he lies because he knows the truth is not on his side.

Chris Lopes said...

Hoagland seems to be pushing an interview he recently did Francis Walsh. In it, he connects Elenin with YU55. The funny thing is, he won't actually discuss (in any detail) the contents of the interview, he just posts (repeatedly) a link to the interview. You don't suppose he doesn't want some wise-ass who actually knows something about astronomy to be able to publicly correct him on some blog do you?

Here's the link in case you missed it.

Biological_Unit said...


expat said...

Chris: Thanks, I didn't miss it. I sampled the interview, couldn't bear the thought of listening all through.

I'm going to wait until it doesn't happen, then replay some of his alarmist rhetoric.

Chris Lopes said...

I can understand that. Despite what I wrote in my previous post, I now know the real answer he didn't post the evidence on his page: there isn't any. In the hour long "interview" (it was mostly a monologue) with the befuddled Walsh, Hoagland's only "evidence" was his inside sources (the same guys who told him about the ESA conference no doubt), and his magic numerology (once again). He did offer that "our" (as in his and his desk lamp's) calculations confirmed it, but he didn't give any details. Given his previous failures at math, that's just as well. No, you didn't miss much beyond the lurid tales of Goldstone in lock down and sekret Navy virtual exercises.