A Non-Scientist’s Reaction to Richard Hoagland

As promised, Tim is writing his first blog post! So be sure to check the author name from now on before we figure out some easier system of distinguishing.  I urged him to write up his reactions to the SyFy channel’s 2012 Secrets after we spent over an hour howling with laughter at it Sunday night. ~N

Ok, so I am not typically the type to write a blog posting, actually I’m not the type to really read or write at all, but it’s always good to attempt something new.  Anyway, Nicole & I were watching this show on SciFi…SyFy…PsyPhi…whatever it’s calling itself now, about 2012.  This dude came on…now right away I knew he was someone I should trust.  I mean his hair, bolo tie and hat, it resembled a Sombrero-Cowboy Hat hybrid, were good indicators that this guy was worthy of my attention.  His name was Richard Hoagland.  Apparently he’s a genius (at least in his own opinion).  He was telling me about this thing called Torsion Field Physics.  Now, I’ve never heard of this before but I’m no scientist so that wouldn’t be surprising.  However, I learned that the Mayans were experts in Torsion Field Physics…Calendars and Torsion Field Physics…and sacrificing things to appease the Gods.  Well, I learned from Hoagland that the Mayans were experts in Torsion Field Physics and he knows Torsion Field Physics and they appeared to be the only ones who know anything about it…so either he’s right or he’s just making this stuff up.  I think I’ll trust him though because he had some awesome scientific type equipment.  Sure, it may only look like some little box with a broken watch on top and a USB cable running to his laptop…but he swears it’s scientific.  It’s called an Accutron after all…need I say more?  Now I’m not sure if Accutron is an Autobot or a Decepticon, so I am a little wary still, but if it can find Energon Cubes, then Torsion Field Physics should be easy…fictional things should be able to deal with other fictional things, right?

Seriously though, or as serious as I am capable of being.  Why don’t Hoagland’s family and friends love him enough to just get him committed somewhere?  I know I am not a full blown skeptic and I don’t really care to research or look into things, but even I think this guy is a crackpot.  Martians left Mars because it was doomed and they came to Earth to hang out with the Egyptians & Mayans to teach them about Torsion Field Physics and warn them about impending disaster.  Then the Martians went and hung out in Atlantis.  Really?   That sounds as plausible as my theory that tiny green gremlins will burst from inside the Earth in 2012 and run around stabbing people in the toes with spears and with all these green gremlins leaving the center of the Earth, there will be nothing at the core anymore and the Earth will collapse in on itself.  That’s right, the core of the Earth isn’t iron or anything like that…it’s tiny Green Gremlins.

I decided my new best friend, Richard Hoagland, deserved a quick Wikipedia search.  I really do think this man would awesome to hang out with…it would be a non-stop riot and his Wikipedia page only further supports that opinion.  For instance, he believes the US Government and other major governments of the world have known 2012 was going to happen for some time and have staged an elaborate ruse to confuse us and keep that truth from us.  The Berlin Wall coming down, the two satellites that collided in space, 9/11, they were all part of this conspiracy to keep us from finding out about the impending disaster in 2012.  Personally, I think he’s giving way too much credit to politicians.  He also believes in an ancient Moon Civilization, life on Mars, the Face of Mars, the Face of Bo…oh that last one is from Doctor Who not Hoagland, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he believed Doctor Who was actually a documentary.  As I said, I am not a scientist.  I probably slept through any science classes I took, in fact, I probably slept through most classes I took, science or not.  But even for me, some of these theories are so completely absurd that they’re funny.  They make no sense and the conspiracies needed to hide some of these “facts” are so elaborate that they leap into absurd.  So I implore you, if you know Richard Hoagland or know anyone who believes everything he says, have an intervention.  Send them to The Bad Astronomer or one of the other great scientifically accurate blogs out in Cyberland (not to be confused with Cybertron).  Do something to help them learn real science.

UPDATE: On further research, by that I mean I actually looked something up, it turns out Hoagland’s Accutron looks just like a watch on a box because it IS a watch on a box.  An Accutron watch is a watch made by Bulova that uses resonating tuning forks as a means of regulating the time keeping function.  But with the name Accutron, I’m not changing my mind, it might still be a Transformer.

The writer of this blog posting accepts no liability for any pain, damages or losses suffered as a result of the misinterpretation of or actions taken based on information contained above.
This blog posting may contain sarcasm. If you are offended by sarcasm or do not know how to differentiate between sarcasm and sincerity then do not read, copy or distribute the blog posting. Instead, please navigate to a different posting.  Thank you.

30 comments for “A Non-Scientist’s Reaction to Richard Hoagland

  1. November 10, 2009 at 16:47

    This may keep you amused for a while… http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/hoagland/

    So folks, please don’t send me stuff about Hoagland! I have enough nonsense keeping me busy in my life as it is. 🙂

    • November 10, 2009 at 21:44

      I lost many hours in undergrad when I *should* have been studying just wandering through those archives…

      There’s no end to the crazy, is there?

  2. November 10, 2009 at 17:21

    We actually own an old paperback copy of Chariots of the Gods….for some reason… and every time I see him on TV, whatever show he’s in has immediately lost credibility – even if they’re making fun of him because honestly that’s just fish in a barrel. He just shouldn’t be on TV. Like on Discovery Channel (seriously) one time, he was on this “documentary” about the crystal skulls when that Indiana Jones – ahem – film came out. Fail, Discovery. Epic fail. I think that pretty much speaks to where they’re at these days – other than Mythbusters, anyway.

    • November 10, 2009 at 21:44

      Dude, they even have “Ghost Lab” now…. OMGWTFBBQ?

  3. Barb Hutchinson
    November 10, 2009 at 21:19

    Great post Tim! Look forward to more!

  4. Tim
    November 10, 2009 at 22:41

    Gotta hand it to the TV execs, though…For once, it was on a channel whose name was deserving of the drivel being put forth, instead of having a much more respectable moniker like ‘The History Channel.’

  5. November 11, 2009 at 08:03

    Thi has got to be one of the funniest blogs I have ever read. Nicole, your friend needs to write more.

  6. Tim
    November 11, 2009 at 12:19

    Looking at that picture of Hoagland again, all I hear is him saying “I tell you about Torsion Field Physics, But I’ll also tell you about this great 1994 Dodge Shadow. It’s a great car and it would look even better with you behind the wheel. What would it take for me to put you in this car today?”

  7. Jemm
    August 22, 2011 at 17:37

    I have long been a fan of Richard Hoagland. Not because I believe or agree with him but he’s entertaining. He’s “out there” with a pseudo-scientific approach and glorious imagination constantly referring to “the data”. He claims to have been Walter Cronkite’s Science Adviser during the Apollo days. He’s about my age and I had my 19 year old butt in a pretty tight place as a Marine in Vietnam when man first walked on the moon. I have a very hard time accepting that CBS relied on a 21 year old to be Walters’ adviser. maybe Richard got coffee for everyone, emptied waste baskets, etc. Anyway, if you find him to be out there, read anything about John Lear. He makes Dick look conservative.

  8. Jett Rink
    May 20, 2012 at 10:55

    Tricky-Dick Hoaxland is a barrel of Monkeys and a real hoot to listen to late at night on the radio.

    Then it gets sad when you realize how deadly serious this guy is. Either he believes the sh*t he`s shovelling (which is sad), or he knows exactly what he is doing and he is a scam artist and 21st Century Patent Medicine Shill.

    I happen to think he is the latter. A full blown B.S. factory that depends on the ignorance of the masses to generate his revenue.

    Hoaxland is what we get and deserve when we dont do enough to teach our kids about science, technology and the ACTUAL wonders of the universe (no ridiculously byzantine, baffling baloney required to be genuinely interesting).

    This guy makes a living off of people`s ignorance.

  9. Jim West
    August 27, 2012 at 15:04

    Good to see your “healthy” skepticism take an indifferent and apathetic tone. Hoagland is by no means Galilean by any proportion or scale, but you sure fit the function and role of a fearful Catholic establishment that sought to stamp out an unconventional perspective that would unhinge its power. As a practitioner of the scientific method, you should be setting the bar for objective testament to understanding the mechanics of the universe, not foolish social media-minded subjugation. I didn’t before, but I hope that Hoagland proves to be right if this is the calibre of young scientific hopefuls we have to look forward. At least he’s trying, your self-promotion is isn’t.

    • Nicole Gugliucci
      August 27, 2012 at 16:58

      Read the title. And the opening note. And the footnote. Reading comprehension FTW!

    • richarddat
      October 6, 2012 at 08:11

      If you love science so much, then why are you promoting such an inane and vacuous post? Just because you have labeled it as being from a “non scientist”, does not mean one then can put juvenile posts on one’s blog with impunity. It most certainly reflects on you, particularly since you “urged” him to do it.

      As a grad student in science, I am inclined to agree with Jim West, and I am embarrassed both by this post, and your reply: “FTW”.

      Jim: some of us do hold ourselves to higher standards…but of course….a PHD is no guarantee of intelligence, nor of maturity. Unfortunately, it does seem to frequently imbue a condescending and haughty attitude, which, apparently, is all one needs to refute something.

      As for Hoagland, he has been up to his antics for decades now. If you truly wish to help people, present a proper scientific response to one or more of his claims.

      • Nicole Gugliucci
        October 6, 2012 at 08:40

        I’m curious… do you all walk into someone’s house and start trashing their taste in wall art? Or tell them to move the damn furniture because you don’t like where the couch is? Or make judgements on their personality, work, and life based on the one book that happens to be on the coffee table?

        • richarddat
          December 23, 2012 at 08:59

          I’m curious…..when you post things to a PUBLIC BLOG on the INTERNET – which presumably you want people to read – do you realize that equating it to a private house into which somebody was invited as a guest is a nonsensical analogy?

          That was a nice, and (I hope) disingenous attempt at ad hominem attack. Look, I understand your emotional reaction, but people were quite correct to call you on it, and you, quite frankly, should simply own up to your words.

          • richarddat
            December 23, 2012 at 09:07

            Let me also add Nicole, that I freely admit that the reputation of science, and “scientists” is in grave jeopardy. I find myself wondering if the education of today’s scientists, particularly the younger generation today is somehow lacking. I suppose bad reasoning, has actually occurred within science through all of history, but reading some of the works of previous greats, and realizing how fully versed and thoughtful they were makes me wonder. Contrast that today, with the rise of so many irrational showmen who prosper under the name of science (Richard Dawkins being an obvious prime example) and it makes you wonder. Perhaps it is just a case of the most squeaky (and vacuous) wheels getting the attention, but with people like that misleading the masses, it makes me feel as though we may be entering a new dark age.

  10. Jim West
    August 28, 2012 at 01:05

    What utter rubbish to cover your misrepresentation. It figures.

    • Tim
      August 28, 2012 at 08:25

      It’s not rubbish. Nicole was nice enough to allow me to post a blog on her site before I had my own WordPress blog set up.

      As the blog title and content say (and as Nicole pointed out), this blog is merely my non-scientist’s reaction to watching that show.

      I appreciate that you disagree and do not believe that I was fair, skeptical or scientific in my post. It’s true, I wasn’t because I’m not scientific or skeptical. Plus that was not the point of my post.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion and your comment.

      • Jim West
        August 28, 2012 at 20:04

        @Tim…I appreciate your candor and willingness to clarify further, and yes, Nicole’s generosity for sharing her blog space for your perspective to take foot. Her apparent condescendence here aside, its fair to declare that we can agree to disagree.

        Thank you for your response.

        • Tim
          August 28, 2012 at 22:05

          @Jim, in Nicole’s defense, she does have a point that the post clearly states it is completely my writing and not hers.

          I cannot speak for Nicole, but your first post did come across as a bit of an attack (whether you meant it that way or not, it’s how I interpreted it at least), so with that context put yourself in her shoes. I think that gives a better perspective on her response.

          Anyway, have a nice day and thanks for commenting.

          • Jim West
            August 29, 2012 at 08:03

            @Tim…it’s been habitual that I call a spade “a spade”. Nicole was condescending in her response, irrespective of her intent, especially if she takes responsibility of what blog space she can share. Putting it this way, if you can choose to be candid and then demonstrate nobility by her defense, surely Nicole is also capable of choosing her responses irrespective of who can claim the higher moral ground.

            With that said, thanks for the comments and a good day to you too.

  11. indigopete
    March 6, 2013 at 19:23

    Nicole –

    Hoagland may be more showman than science, but you might take a moment to reflect on the wisdom of the outright trashing and condescending nature of your commentary given it’s the first time you’ve come across his ideas.

    So, you don’t think it’s likely that Mars was once inhabited and that intelligent life that originated there informed some of the evolution on this planet ? While it’s probably accurate to say that that idea doesn’t find resonance amongst the mainstream scientific or archeological establishment, the planet is so damn old that anything could have happened.

    Entire civilisations could have sprung up and disappeared before we got here and if the next question is “where’s the evidence for that” then let me just state this observation:

    Even though the Scientific method can be applied objectively within certain very specific, known constraints, science as an establishment is as SUBJECTIVE as the next politician. It is a product of human inspiration, endeavour and expression and is therefore ultimately a cultural activity. So if you don’t look for the evidence, none will be found. For example, if scientists were to start doing some serious marine archeology, they might find something which doesn’t quite fit the prevailing view, so “best not to look”. That precept has applied throughout history and remains in force today.

    People like Hoagland can be held to account when they present ‘facts’ that are clearly challengeable. There are plenty of takers for that role (witness your first commenter). But what’s more lamentable and distasteful is the generally arrogant, dismissive tone adopted by people when they stumble across agendas they never even knew existed. Unfortunately, your article falls straight into that category.

    • indigopete
      March 6, 2013 at 19:28

      If you want more background from someone that maybe a bit more palatable for you, try Klaus Donna. He’s a museum curator… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE9ND1Ks7do

    • Tim
      March 6, 2013 at 21:36

      This always baffles me. I wrote the blog posting. It says so in the very first sentence…yet all (or most) comments are directed at Nicole. Weird.

      • indigopete
        March 7, 2013 at 03:58

        Sorry about that Tim, but it’s very confusing to a newcomer as to who the blogger is – mainly because the most prominent indicator of ownership is a great big caption box containing photo and bio down the right panel entitled ABOUT NICOLE GUGLIUCCI. I actually spent some time trying to work out whether “Nicole” and “Tim” were the same person, since people post under shortened pseudonym’s all the time.

        What would make it less ambiguous is that the article title said “by Tim” and the sidebar bio said “About Tim”

        Hope you are less baffled and apologies for the confusion.

        • Tim
          March 7, 2013 at 06:54

          Nope, still confused. It is Nicole’s blog, but I guest post. As it says in the 2nd paragraph of the about page, which contain links to my own blogs (which has this post reposted there). I guess it goes along great with your statement about “best not to look”

          Regardless of that, this post was written as a non-scientist watching a television show with Hoaglund. It was not meant to be a scientific study of him or a positive or negative review of his beliefs or science. I am a communications student, so how a message is taken by the public (and how a science message is taken by non-scientists) is important for science communications. My post was satirical and sarcasm, but showing that regardless of whether he is right, wrong, has evidence or is making shit up…this is how it comes across to some people.

          As the note at the end also says, post contains sarcasm. Since that is so, the content should be taken with a grain of salt.

          • indigopete
            March 7, 2013 at 10:53

            Re. “the content should be taken with a grain of salt”

            Indeed. The responses are out of context in that case – mainly because people thought they were talking to a post doctorate in Astronomy. We’ll try to read the small print next time but maybe I’d better fill you in on what’s going on with your page.

            Hoagland has a massive presence on the internet (for better or worse). He’s recently been running around the world doing “torsion field” measurements at various megalithic sites. You’re here innocently posting on a quiet wee blog which happens to have risen to number 4 in the world rankings out of 30,000 results for the search term “hoagland torsion”.

            So you’re getting folk parachuting in here from all over the place with no idea of what this blog is about except a commentary on Hoagland with most are used to seeing plus what appears to be the identity of the commentator down the side panel. “By Tim” was in microscopic print below the main headline which no-one is ever going to see during a 30 second glance to see what this is about.

            Maybe you should take some commercials – might make some hard cash for your efforts 🙂



  12. indigopete
    March 7, 2013 at 11:01

    …just another point – in those same search results, Google reports the blog post as being “by Nicole Gugliucci”. So when the crowds parachute in, they are pre-primed to think it’s written by her. There is even a photo of her in the listing under the blog post title.

  13. Julius Gavin
    May 22, 2013 at 07:38

    In reading these responses I see how the “World is flat” scenario lasted so long. Not one attempt has been made to address the torsion field physics work of Kozyrev or others but alot of time has been spent with personal slander and 5th. grade antics. Small minds lead to small conclusions.

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