I truly believe they believe. Their problem is that they're so totally devoid of training in science that they lack the capacity for complete rational thought. As I wrote at least once recently, they seem to get ideas, then short-circuit the normal process of checking whether the ideas have any validity or evidential support. Instead, the ideas go straight to the printed page, or the radio show, or the pseud-psych conference auditorium. There are thousands of examples of this phenom. Well, perhaps hundreds.
The motivation is a) making a living, and b) developing a following. By any measure, you'd have to say that in both cases they're a partial success. Probably more than if they'd turned the ideas into sci-fi—a very crowded field of endeavor. True, there is some evidence that Hoagland is hurting for funds (the rather desperate appeals to his disciples for cash), but he's not on the streets. In a triumph of "form over function", the fact that they are both really good at presenting themselves blinds radio show producers and conference organizers to they fact that they basically deal in lies.
As for building a following, comments like this are a commonplace:
"He is no crook. It is just the way he sees things. I was glad he was on coast again last week or the week before. Can't wait for another full 4 hour show with him! Hoagi is the best!"(sylvie82311, on Youtube, commenting on the Chichen Itza débacle)
"Mike Bara has 4 published books, 2 television shows that he regularly appears on and several international radio shows. He has seen massive success and the only thing you've managed to master, is how to stalk him while bitching like the cunt you are. Find something better to do with your time, dickwad, because you clearly do nothing else right now, aside from twiddle your needledick to Mike's books and shows. WE GET IT, YOU'RE MAD HE WONT FUCK YOU... now move on, psycho."(Sara Shanae, sniping at James Concannon on FooBoo)
I hesitate to play psychiatrist (having no particular training in the discipline), but it's also possible that Mike Bara is one sandwich short of a picnic. Don't you wonder about a non-fiction author who includes his pet cats2 in his acknowledgements? Or who applauds diatribes like the above insultathon?
T.O. also asked about Allan Sturm, who posts to internet forums as Lunomaly, and who very painstakingly teased out what he says are the artifacts of a lunar civilization from some Apollo images. Mike Bara used some of his work in Ch.9 of AAotM. Since his publisher only allowed one measly 4-page color signature in the book, the Sturm content was monochrome only, but one color example was used in Mike's online image library. It's nice work, judged strictly as computer art, but scientifically worthless.
image credit: Adventures Unlimited Press and Allan Sturm
This, Mike says, is a power plant. On p.223 he writes
"I wanted Allan's work to be a central part of this book, but for personal reasons he declined. However, I consider some of his findings so crucial ... that I don't feel they can be excluded."My sympathies are all with Sturm. I'd decline, too, if some two-bit author said he was about to rip off my ideas to make a little spare cash, and would it be OK if he used ALL my work instead of just bits of it?
1. Hoagland is, understandably, somewhat preoccupied by the fact that his companion, Dr Robin Falkov, had major colon surgery this week. I wish her well even though I think her views on health are as wrong as Richard's views on Phobos. Bara is off shooting somewhere on his Top Secret video project.
2. The Lady Aurora and Miss Fluffy-Muffy, acknowledged in AAotM