Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Doing Hoagland & Bara's math for them

        Recall that a vitally important tenet of Richard Hoagland's mythology, endorsed by Mike Bara, is that the number 19.5 arises naturally from the geometry of a tetrahedron.

        Hoagland & Bara are both dunces at math, and could never show you the proof of this theorem — the original math was done by the cartographer Erol Torun. However, I enjoy math and I present for your entertainment and edification a simple proof:

        Theorem: If a tetrahedron is inscribed within a sphere, with one vertex at the North pole, the other three vertices will lie on the 19.5° South latitude (and of course the same goes for the South pole/North latitude).

        Work. It can be shown that the center of a tetrahedron divides its vertical height in the ratio 3:1 — if h is the height, the center lies 3h/4 from each vertex.
This is proved by similar triangles—one proof can be found here.

The center of a tetrahedron must obviously also be the center of an exscribed sphere, so 3h/4 then becomes the radius of the sphere:

The latitude of the three lower vertices is given by the angle θ.

By inspection, sin θ = h/4 × 4/3h = 1/3

∴ θ = arc sin 0.3333 = 19.47277°


        Hoagland & Bara are welcome to use this proof in their future work, preferably with attribution to The Emoluments of Mars, although we know they think nothing of "borrowing" other people's work and slapping their own © on it. They can probably draw better diagrams than I can. Cheers.

NOTE THAT this merely confirms the geometric fact. It in no way endorses Hoagland & Bara's mystical ideas about energy appearing at the 19.5° latitudes. That's still as much balderdash as it ever was.

Update 10th April:
        Last night, in the course of a two-hour stint on Coast to Coast AM, Hoagland spoke about the "lights" on Ceres, photographed by the Dawn  spacecraft back in February.

credit: NASA/JPL

        I rolled my eyes as he said—perhaps inevitably—that the lights are at 19.5°. The text on the C2C web site is as follows:
Enterprise Mission analysis, using the latest refined "Ceres cartography," has discovered that the lights, remarkably, light at ~19.5 degrees North ... and are aligned north of due east by ~19.5 degrees. 
        I can't confirm that so I'm calling it a barefaced lie for the moment. If it later turns out to be true I'll let you know and do a mea culpa.

Research by binaryspellbook shows that the lights are at "about 19 degrees North." OK, good enough. MEA CULPA.


Binaryspellbook said...

I checked your maths and they are correct. Cheers Expat. I bet if you were wrong and I had found you out you would have corrected your equations.

UNLIKE !!!!!
The venerable (Cartman Bara's term not mine) "Riiicharrrd CCCCCCC HOAAAAGLAAAANDDD!!

OK, now comes the part where the "mathematically challenged" (or squeamish ...) might want to turn away. If you do, we promise we'll summarize the cool stuff -- in neat, plain English -- at the end ....


The foundation of all true "rocket science" is--

The “Rocket Equation!”

Wp = Wi * (1 - e**(-dV/g*ISP))

Richard C. Hoagland.


And the rest as they say is "Googleable"

Anonymous said...


nice job or to speak with the words of Sherlock's elementary :-)
as in elementary school math :-) we simply wait and see how Ripley is going to twist this one to ad absurdum :-)


Anonymous said...

I'm sure I've totally misunderstood (and the recovery from way too many beers last night isn't helping) but... if the line is at 19.5 degrees lattitude if you were to rotate your image 90 degrees left or right so it was on it's side, would it not then become 19.5 degrees longitude??.... (admitedly thats just changing the image to make it fit the numbers, but if that would make it 19.5 longitude then it might explain why Hoalgand still thinks his theory/analysis is still valid-?)

expat said...

We're going over old ground here, but that's all right.

Yes, you can turn the diagram on its side, but is the spin axis going sideways too? If so, the 19.5° level is still a latitude and nothing's changed except your p.o.v.

If you say "No, the spin axis is still vertical -- just the tetrahedron rotates" then you've created a 19.5° longitude but the peak vertex of the tetrahedron is now on the equator.

The problem with that is that it's a random point on the equator. Geometry doesn't tell us which point on an equator is the 0° point of longitude. Human astronomers have made arbitrary decisions about that. Greenwich in the case of Planet Earth, a point near crater Bruce on the Moon.

That's why the 19.5° longitude cannot have any mystical significance.

Dee said...

Expat, about "arbitrary decisions".

Well, on Earth a case could be made that there was some deliberation going on before a prime meridian was settled on, historically and not as much in the case of Greenwich.

Note, RCH oracles mysteriously on his site: "for reasons not abundantly clear, the Julian calendar itself is ultimately anchored to Greenwich Mean Time, based in England".

Already established popularity (British golden age of empire?) and convenience seems to have been a major factor in the final decision here. More interesting is the historical battle for determining a prime meridian or "God's Chosen Meridian", etc. I wonder if Dr. John Dee ever promoted to have a proper British one? If so, I cannot find documentation on it.

But the choice of meridian on other astronomical bodies cannot be traced to any believable conspiracy, which of course was why this discussion happened in the first place.

Expat wrote, "that's why the 19.5° longitude cannot have any mystical significance."

Here I disagree. Any deliberately chosen number can have that! Like if I decide to drink 7 pint of beer in 7 pubs on 7 days straight. It's just that not many others might understand the signal which I'm trying to transmit to the world here.


expat said...

Perhaps I should have written "natural mystical significance."

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

NASA is the one who uses 19.5 in symbolic ritualistic magical incantations, not Hoagland; he's just the messenger.

If the math is wrong, blame NASA, but again, what difference does it make either way, whether the math is inaccurate or correct, if no Torsion effects are found manifest, and if magic doesn't really work?

Big wet kiss, Adrian.

expat said...

« NASA is the one who uses 19.5 in symbolic ritualistic magical incantations, not Hoagland »
{{citation needed}}

« If the math is wrong, blame NASA, »
WTF???? I just expended three hours explaining in detail why the math isn't wrong. Can you read????

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Does that mean that NASA has inadvertently proven the veracity of Torsion Physics, or is it magic? Either way, then, Hoagland must be right.

expat said...

Updated with a comment about RCH's lies on woo-woo-radio last night.

Trekker said...

He's really pushing it, by calling the spots 'lights'.

Binaryspellbook said...

Hi Expat,

According to the "lights" are at "about 19 degrees north."

expat said...

All right, I've mea-culpa'ed. Damn.

Anonymous said...

first elenin had about half a dozen 19.5s going on, then the chinese moon robot lands at 19.5 degrees and now the ceres ufos/buildings are at 19.5 - what more proof does any logical, rational, analytical Hoaglandian need that RCH was right all this time...

Anonymous said...

Hoagland is an utter prize idiot of the highest order.

I was going to listen to the C2C show but about three lines of the show summary told me everything I need to know: a 'free space exploration from the confines of government-based agencies' - REALLY???

Corrupt governments and self-serving corporations are more hand-in-hand than they've ever been but Dick seems to think that this powerful shadowy group who has been controlling everything for centuries and hiding ET technologies for decades are powerless to stop some rich dude going to the moon? They're just going to say "ok, go on then, but pretty please dont tell the whole world about robot heads on the moon or apartment buildings on mars".

And the wealthy billionaires who take their corporations to the moon and mars will TOTALLY be doing it for the benefit of humanity and would never dream about keeping any such technology hidden to use to line their own pockets with massive government contracts, funded by the tax payer. (I don't know about you, but I made my first billion eradicting malaria and bringing peace to multiple nations).

But wait: what I am saying, of course Dick is right! Under the re-incarnate egyptian phorah Barry The First it's the right political climate for the shadowy group who have been destorying the planet to say "sorry bout that, changed our minds now, here ya go". I'll be staying tuned for that magically day - probably will be on 19/05 come to think of it...

G-Zeus said...

The lights are Coronal Discharge.
I win. Nobel Prize please.

expat said...

Good heavens, it's George Benkel. I thought you were dead or something. Glad you aren't... I guess....

G-Zeus said...

A Plasma "rope" is discharging on Ceres. Electric fields help to stabilize our Solar System.

Chris said...

I don't get the mea culpa. This is still cherry picking by the big man. 19, 19.4 or 19.6 is not the same as 19.5. What tolerance is allowed by the physics of inscribed tetrahedal physics anyway? Seems it's whatever's "close enough" for hoagland to call it.

Pick any latitude you like, you'll find something there. What about the other bright spots on Ceres, don't their latitudes tick the right box? And anyway in the near future we'll have an explanation, and it will not involve anything from RCH, so what is he actually claiming by cherry picking one set of spots that isn't at 19.5 latitude?

I would suggest rescinding your mea culpa given RCH could find this pattern anywhere. Eg the photo was take on Feb 19th. Close enough to Feb 19.5th!

expat said...

I appreciate the sentiment Chris, but it was the accusation by me of "barefaced lie" that was over the top.

There may be more to say on this soon, however.

FlightSuit said...

Hello all. I haven't been around here lately, because I've just been awfully busy. I just want to say that it makes me happy to know I can come back here and find that Expat and company are still doing such fine --and entertaining-- work.

Speaking as somebody who was a Hoagland fan and True Believer before I got into skepticism, I can't tell you how important it is that folks like you are out here, doing what you do.

Dee said...

FlightSuit, good that you mention it and I'll add that I too was a Hoagland "fan" starting in 1995-1996, especially around the time Ken Johnston was introduced and in 1996 of course the landmark National Press Club presentation.

Just for the nostalgic flashback: The
Enterprise Mission Alliance

Starbase-one Nebadon Sector Urantia
-- Home Page is
The ORIGINAL - AUTHORIZED on October 10, 1995

Read here beauties like: Hoagland Stakes his Reputation on Truth! Hoagland says he has confirmation that TWA flight 800 was downed by a missle. Possibly a Pheonix radio signal seeking missle.

Anyway, where was I? Yes, I was very interested for a few years (and somewhat still am but in different ways) in UFO, potential cover-up and aliens -- just the small chance something was going on and I didn't know about it! And if it really was going on, groups of "former NASA scientists, engineers and other researchers" would indeed put their stuff out so the world could scrutinize it, at least that seemed like a logical move at the time. But putting things "out there" turned out not to be any form of process or critique. It became a never ending stream of "putting things out there". Even if it actually was out there. Not to mention the scientists and engineers claimed to be involved in the research were not without, well, problems. These were the people at the 1996 press conference whichat the time had me hoping something might be up, considering some of the credentials at first glance:

Marving Czarnik - retired NASA and McDonnell Douglas engineer
Ken Johnston - test command pilot, archive supervisor at NASA
Ron Nicks - professional geologist
Brian Moore, Ph.D. Physics (?)
Robert Fiertek, architect (NB on his CV he mentioned his time at The Mars Mission Research Organization as "Director of Architectonic Research/ 3D-Simulation Modeler")

At least they seemed professional with some credit to lose.

The first serious skeptic I encountered online in '97 or '98 was Ralph Greenberg. His work made me take my own already building criticisms more serious. It was very telling right away his challenges were never answered in kind by RCH. Perhaps a turning point for me: honest people with a good story would not pass up that opportunity to test it. Finally not being ignored by "main stream"!

In the mean time I did meet a lot of wonderful people in all those online communities discussing the Moon and Mars mysteries, ranging from actual NASA engineers to young curious people. And the Enterprise team members of course (but that's for another time). In many ways the off-spin from RCH's ecosystem became more interesting than his own work and drama "shtick". And many of his loyal fans did start to question many behavioral weird things straight of the bat. Most just slowly gravitated away to more interesting mysteries of life. New fans always came back to fill the gaps.


expat said...

Bara likes to claim that Marvin Czarnik personally vouched for all the "glass towers" in the Ken Johnston scans. In reality I think Czarnik only agreed that "The Shard" is probably artificial.

Here's a report of the 1996 press conf.

Unknown said...

I almost, kind of, believed they might have, maybe, been onto something back in the beginning. I mean, the idea that some space aliens might be hiding out on Mars and built structures isn't scientifically impossible.
However, the more I read, the more I wasn't convinced. All the "structures" and "stunning evidence" he produced all still look like they could also be rocks at the end of the day.

Anyway, don't forget Dwayne Day's hilarious account of his (non) epiphany at the National Press Club.

I also recently found this "Married with Children" episode which seems to be a subtle dig at Hoagland and his ilk. Watch it to the very end to get the joke.

Stay Tuned.....

Dee said...

Strahlungs Amt, thanks for that spacereview link! The remark on floating light sabres in a space craft had me in stitches!

I always wondered how that 2007 briefing went but it seemed like a really desperate attempt to get 1997 back. I do remember RCH being happy about the Russian interest. The author is right about the boring aspect because by 2001 RCH already had become old news and had gotten more and more ludicrous and desperate with the visual conjecture on odd shaped Mars rocks and by hijacking the Twin Towers tragedy.

Now I'd really like to know if that statement about a small group of disciples who apparently all live together in some kind of peaceful communal arrangement had any truth to it at the time.

Never heard that one before!


Unknown said...


I've been thinking about that harem story. I guess it's the same reason Mikey gets such quality pooty-tang every time he goes to Conscious Life Expo.

The woo industry is the same dog-eat-dog world as the porn industry. Except the stars are a lot older and the rewards are a lot smaller. By their standards Hoagie and Mike are successful authors and the ladies get close to them in the hope of getting their own academic treatises (translate: poppycock) published.

Another thing, when pretty girls go to college, they live in a rarefied world the rest of us are not privy to. Just by looks alone, guys fawn over every word they say in the hopes of getting a little action (and if they're not so good looking, easy works too - I've been to college in the US). As a result, the ladies don't have to worry about awkward stuff like science and they grow into adulthood believing and spewing the most annoying shite the rest of us would never get away with. Hence the number of (ex) pretty girls in woo.

Fast forward a few decades, they're now older and they don't have the same choices so their only option is to move into Hoagie's Gate and wait out until the world ends in 2012.

They're not called "Bread Crumbs from the Gods" for nothing.

Stay Tuned......

Dee said...

Strahlungs Amt,

Lets fix that intro for Bara:

Conman and confabulations rise and fall. But as they do, they leave behind not so subtle hints of their delusional grandeur or their once flourishing pseudo-scientific subcultures. We call these tantalizing leftovers from a time before: "Bell Artifacts.”

Tara Jordan said...

"As a result, the ladies don't have to worry about awkward stuff like science and they grow into adulthood believing and spewing the most annoying shite the rest of us would never get away with. Hence the number of (ex) pretty girls in woo."

Dear adorable cretin.Are you aware of the irony?.You spend a considerable amount of your miserable life and energy at denouncing Mike Bara,but you behave in the same misogynistic manner,as the monstrosity in chief from ancient aliens.Obviously you have a major issue with women in general,and "pretty girls" in particular.Mike Bara is a total loser but at least he gets laid.You should try to so the same,occasionally.

Dee said...

But Emma, aren't you proving his point more or less, the one of living in a rarefied world the rest of us are not privy to? Anyway, since you're somewhat of a woo girl (at heart) perhaps it explains why you needed to play Women's Advocate here.

S.A makes a correct observation, although probably more valid 10 or 20 years ago than they are now. Same time-frame for Bara actually getting laid - without paying for it - or at least paying all the bills and gifts, each and every occasion. Which adds up pretty much to the same.

FlightSuit said...

I'm sorry, Strahlungs, but I'm going to have to side with Emma on this one. The skeptic community has, sadly, acquired a reputation as a place where sexists find a welcoming home and platform.

I think we should therefore hold ourselves to a high standard in terms of whether we're going to say things that sound casually sexist.

Will I listen with rapt attention while a girl I'm attracted to spouts nonsense? Sure I will, but that's on me, and my willingness to do so does not in any way translate into academic achievement for that girl.

I know a lot of women who have earned impressive credentials in various fields, and I don't think their looks made it any easier for them to get those diplomas.

Tara Jordan said...


You are entitled to your own opinions,and as a matter of fact,misogyny doesn't make me sweat.I work in an environment where men are predominant (probably around 98%).I am not a feminist,quite the opposite.Women tend to blame the patriarchal nature of society for their own shortcomings.
Statistically men are generally intellectually superior to women,but that doesn't mean that all men are rocket scientists.It is difficult for women to escape her own biological conditioning (emotionality,hyper sensibility,vanity,crude materialism etc...),but men also have tremendous difficulties at controlling their natural impulses,and more than often they are more than eager to do just about anything to get attention from the weaker gender.
We live in a men`s world and you have the illusion of being in control,while in fact,women are controlling every aspects of your lives. If you haven't met smart women,you can only blame yourselves, you probably hang around the wrong places.

FlightSuit said...

Dee, I'm confused by your claim that Emma is a woo girl at heart. Where did you get such an idea?

Tara Jordan said...

I missed the best part of your diatribe.
"Anyway, since you're somewhat of a woo girl (at heart) perhaps it explains why you needed to play Women's Advocate here."

Since you are a nOOb on this blog.I wont make it hard on you.I would respectfully suggest you to do your home work,before attempting at lecturing me on "debunking".I was already active in debunking, while you were exposing your intellectual superiority on PlayStation and gamers forums.
You made my day.How entertaining the arrogant ignoramus who toils in obscurity and mediocrity.
Expat,I am done.No more "women advocacy"(snark).I apologize for crash landing in this thread.

Dee said...

FlightSuit, because Tara behaves often enough like one with all the compulsive opposition, a bit like a querulant I suppose, rather prejudiced and often using words way too difficult in comparison with the logic or sense displayed and so on. And that's to me the essence of woo! Here's a quick example:

"a nOOb on this blog"

- Shaky appeal on authority which doesn't make sense in a comment section. Unless she'd be Expat's daughter. Plus I think I might have posted more comments by now, not that it really matters to me - but it seems to do for her.

"I wont make it hard on you"

- And continues to do just that!

"I was already active in debunking, while you were exposing your intellectual superiority on PlayStation and gamers forums."

- Ironically, I'm twice her age and actually was dealing directly with RCH and some his inner sanctum personally as well as people higher up in space agencies when SHE was trying to play N64! Typically self-aggrandizing woo nonsense. Throw some mud, reverse position, see what sticks!

"arrogant ignoramus who toils in obscurity and mediocrity."

- because we have all accomplished so much in these comments! IF you measure by snark.

Dr. John Dee :-)

Tara Jordan said...

Dr John Dee.

"I was dealing directly with RCH...". I am literally in awe,can I get an autograph?. I "personally dealt" with Mike Bara,Scott Wolter and dozens of similar bullshit incubators.Do I get the Medal for Merit?.
Well Mr big shot,when you brag about having dealt with "people higher up in space agencies",I want to know what you got.The "woo girl"(by the way,what an amazing demonstration of rhetorical argumentation,from someone who pretends to be twice older as I am) happens to have friends who work for NASA Ames Research Centers and the scientific community (individuals who used to be very very close to Carl Sagan).
I wont ask you to reveal your identity on this blog,but I expect you to contact me through my Facebook page (
I will ask my friends if your name rings a bell,since apparently you are such notorious personality.Unfortunately you picked a fight with the wrong "woo girl".Now you could apologize and demonstrate some sense of humour,by trading the "woo girl" (which I find extremely offensive) for "arrogant little cunt".That would be quite funny and pretty close to reality.
Tara Jordan.

expat said...

I'm allowing this spat to appear but I wish it would stop.

Unknown said...

@Emma Peel

OK, I'm only going to say this once.

No, I was not trying to be sexist. I was merely describing a dynamic I've seen in real life enough times and applying it to the kind of people who hang out at woo conventions. In fact, I felt I felt I toned down the language as much as possible to keep it appropriate.

If you don't like it, too bad.

In any case, I apologize if you feel offended but I don't retract anything I said. I was not referring to all women, good looking or otherwise, and I know plenty of women who've achieved great things in life by hard work and perseverance who I admire greatly. Nor am I a fan of the kind of sexist behavior that goes on at skeptic conferences.

expat said...

Could we please leave it at that, now?

Tara Jordan said...

"In any case, I apologize if you feel offended but I don't retract anything I said."

Likewise but I am retracting the reference to getting laid.It was inappropriate. Usually I enjoy your comments,and I actually agree with you.Most women are materialistic creatures.Unfortunately they are not interested in science.I guess I just wanted to make my point.