The proximate reason for booking this self-publicizing pseudo-scientist was the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's heroic Mercury mission, orbiting an American astronaut for the first time. Toward the end of hour 1, Hoagland made reference to Glenn's famous appearance on the Frasier comedy sitcom. Hoagland, hilariously, called Glenn's appearance a "scathing indictment of NASA," and proceeded to read Glenn's script as reprinted in Dark Mission p. 542 (2nd edn.)
"Back in those glory days, I was very uncomfortable when they asked us to say things we didn't want to say and deny other things. Some people asked ... "Were you alone out there?" We never gave the real answer, and yet we see things out there -- strange things -- but we know what we saw out there. And we couldn't really say anything. The bosses were really afraid of this, they were afraid of the 'War of the Worlds'-type stuff, and about panic in the streets. So we had to keep quiet."Hoagland & Bara apparently believe this was an example of a NASA astronaut spilling the beans, revealing his true thoughts. Well, first off, it's quite true. Col. Glenn did say that. It was Frasier Season 8, Ep 184, first aired March 6, 2001. Frasier is A COMEDY SHOW. In case Hoagland or Bara is reading this, please let me explain the joke, because you obviously don't get it.
The plot involved the character of Roz planning a radio show about space exploration. In a reversal of their usual roles, Roz is in charge, with Frasier merely booked to narrate the show. Neither of them adapts well to the work situation, and they clash repeatedly. Eventually Roz announces that Frasier is off the show, to be replaced by none other than John Glenn. Frasier, outraged, persists in interfering, and the argument escalates. Glenn sits down in the recording studio and begins the "improvised" monolog that Hoagland & Bara quoted. Glenn's monolog is actually intercut with scenes of Roz and Frasier still fighting and paying no attention to what their celebrity guest is saying.
THE JOKE, Mr Hoagland and Mr Bara, IS THAT THE CHARACTERS ARE SO SELF-ABSORBED THAT THEY TOTALLY MISS SENSATIONAL MATERIAL. In fact they even hand over the recorded tape without having heard it. Just to be quite sure we understand this is a spoof, the producers added a laugh track throughout Glenn's monolog.
Geddit? Geddit? Oh dear me, what clowns Hoagland & Bara are to be sure.....
Parrots and Pilots
Later last night Hoagland trotted out his other total misunderstanding of astronaut quotes, saying that Neil Armstrong, on the occasion of the Apollo 11 20th anniversary, likened astronauts to parrots, saying only what they'd been told to say. Here's what Armstrong actually said:
"Wilbur Wright once noted that the only bird that could talk was the parrot, and he didn't fly very well. So I'll be brief."Armstrong, of course, is possibly the greatest pilot the world has ever known but is also well known for being a poor and nervous public speaker. Is he likening himself to a bird whose talents are the exact opposite? No, of course not. He's apologizing for not being eloquent and saying that therefore he won't speak for long. He's the exact opposite of a parrot.
Later still, Hoagland gave a pretty accurate account of US Space Policy, with all its hiccups and inconsistencies, since the Mike Griffin days, but then spoiled it all by revealing his extreme political naiveté. He said that the Republicans will deliberately lose the presidential election in November, because "somebody" has decided that Barack Obama is the right man to lead us through the 2012 apocalypse.
Even George Noory had a hard time with that one.
James Oberg adds that he correctly anticipated this nonsense three days earlier. His confidential advisory to news media clients, emailed at 10:46 AM CST on February 17, included this paragraph:
15. In 2001 on the TV show ‘Frasier’, Glenn took part in a spoof in which he secretly confessed to encountering terrifying space aliens. As should have been expected, UFO nuts have claimed the scripted satire is actually an authentic admission of truth: search “Glenn, UFO, Frasier”, see http://www.enterprisemission.com/glenn.htm & http://kauilapele.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/john-glenn-discloses-ufo-presence-on-2001-frasier-show-and-a-few-more-astronaut-ical-tales/