Richard C. Hoagland (born April 25, 1945) is an author who claims that advanced civilizations exist or once existed on the Moon, Mars and on some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and that a number of conspiracies exist involving NASA and the United States government to keep these facts secret. As a non-scientist who is not subject to peer review, he is free to disagree with the body of knowledge represented by astronomy and planetary science — and he has done so emphatically, in books, videotapes, lectures, mass media interviews, and press conferences.


Hoagland served as a Curator of Astronomy & Space Science at the Springfield Museum of Science, located at The Quadrangle in Springfield, Massachusetts, and has claimed to have been a science adviser to Walter Cronkite and CBS News during the Apollo program.

Hoagland also claims to have co-produced with WTIC (AM) a Peabody Award-nominated radio program, A Night of Encounter, covering the July 14, 1965, Mariner 4 flyby of the planet Mars. However, the official Peabody Awards entry form (51-65R) lists only Charles Renaud as the producer of the program. WTIC announcer Dick Bertel hosted the program and interviewed Hoagland, and the program also featured a conversation between Hoagland and astronomer Dr. Robert S. Richardson, Associate Director of the Griffith Observatory.

Hoagland has appeared on CNN, the BBC, UFO Evidence & Conspiracy and Mysteries in Space. Claims

Hoagland has made numerous claims about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life which he believes are supported by photographic evidence from planetary exploration.

Hoagland, along with Thomas E. Bearden, propose their own form of physics which they call 'Hyperdimensional Physics', which they claim represents the full implemetation of James Clerk Maxwell's equations, instead of the commonly understood versions of these equations as modified by Oliver Heaviside. A central tenet of these views holds that vast amounts of energy originating from dimensions we cannot perceive are available at latitudes 19.5° both south and north on the Sun and every planet in the solar system. Hoagland points to the colossal volcano, Olympus Mons, on Mars as the supreme example. Olympus Mons is at 18.3°N 227°E. Hyperdimensional physics is not taught in any recognized institution of learning anywhere in the world, and 19.5° energy on planet Earth has not yet been demonstrated.

During guest appearances on Coast to Coast AM, Hoagland has said he has long-standing friendships with real scientists from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, managed by the California Institute of Technology, who according to Hoagland, provide him with inside information.

Mars, Face on Mars, and Cydonia

Knowledge of conditions on Mars has improved immeasurably in the Space Age, starting with Mariner 4 in 1965 and continuing through 18 successful missions and three partial successes since then. (see the timeline of Mars exploration)

The consensus among professional planetary scientists on the question of life on Mars is that it is improbable. The question is open only to the extent that conditions in the distant past were more favourable to life. The Viking biological experiments of 1976 were just sufficiently enigmatic to allow optimists to believe that, with better technology, Martian microbial life may yet be discovered. Macrobiology, in the form of city-building civilisations, is now ruled out because, at the resolution of the best orbital photography (0.3m, or about one foot, per pixel, from the HiRISE telescope on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), the remnants would be unmistakable.

Hoagland seized on the so-called Face on Mars that appears in a 1976 Viking Orbiter image taken of the Cydonia region on Mars to support his alternative theory.

He claimed that this feature is an artificial structure intentionally built to resemble a face. According to Hoagland, the face is part of a city built on Cydonia Planitia by extraterrestrial intelligences consisting of very large pyramids and mounds arranged in a geometrical pattern, with the ratios between measured angles roughly equaling mathematical constants like pi, e, the square root of two, and the golden section.

To Hoagland, this is evidence that an advanced civilization existed on Mars, and that NASA is suppressing the evidence for reasons explained in a Brookings Institution report entitled Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, specifically on page 216 of the report which raised the question of whether evidence of extraterrestrial life found in the solar system should be withheld from the public. It is a possibility that such information would destabilise society.

Hoagland also speculated that ancient Martians may have escaped to Earth, genetically engineered certain human populations, referencing the Mesopotamian myths of the Annunaki and the fallen angels of the Old Testament, and that these human populations are related to Martians.

On April 5, 1998, the Mars Global Surveyor probe sent back better images of the Cydonia region that indicated that the face was nothing more than an irregularly shaped mountain. Hoagland contends these images were deliberately downgraded (run through multiple filters that degraded the original image) in quality to give a catbox appearance in order to hide what is really on Mars.

When, on April 8, 2001, enhanced images showed that the feature was not symmetrical, he wrote that the face was actually half hominid (left side) and half feline (right side).

Even when, on September 21, 2006, several new 3D views derived from the high-resolution stereo camera on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter were released, Hoagland remained unconvinced. Science is not about what you can see. It's about what you can measure, he remarked. Hoagland's co-author, Mike Bara, accused the European Space Agency, which released that photo-set, of fraud.

The image from the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, released in April 2007, was so detailed that even Hoagland appears to have conceded the point. In the epilogue to his book released the following October, he no longer claims that the entire mesa is a face, instead pointing out details within the MRO frame that he says are obviously collapsed geometric ruins.

Other claims:

Rocks on Mars containing biological fossils were purposely destroyed by NASA's rover.
The true color of Mars is salmon red with patches of greenish plant life and a light blue sky.
(Adapted with acknowledgment from Tom Van Flandern) Mars was once the moon of a larger planet, that then exploded, leaving Mars isolated.
The advanced civilization on Mars had prior warning of the cataclysm and so escaped via migration to planet Earth, eventually adapting to the environment and becoming the present human race.
Numerous objects surrounding the landing sites of the Mars Exploration Rovers are in fact pieces of Martian machinery.

Life on Europa Hoagland claims to be responsible for the theory concerning the presence of oceans, and possibly life, under the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, which he originated in the January 1980 issue of Star & Sky magazine, a claim which is disputed by Ralph Greenberg, a professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington, who asserts that such theories were widely known in the 1970s, pointing out that Isaac Asimov, for example, promoted them in his 1979 book Extraterrestrial Civilizations. Hoagland himself references the work of Cassen, Peale, and Reynolds in the article. Their computer modeling work looked at the possibility that tidal heating could maintain an ocean beneath the icy surface. Other work on the subject, including speculation concerning life, had been published throughout the 1970s, going as far back as 1971.

The Moon

The consensus view among scientists who study the moon is that it is, and has always been, lifeless. Although a certain quantity of water ice was detected by the Clementine mission of 1994 in high-latitude craters, selenologists are fairly certain that there is not sufficient water to support microbial life. Macrobiology, such as a technology-building civilization, is, by this widely-accepted view, out of the question. No trace of biology has ever been detected in the moon rocks available for study on Earth.

Richard Hoagland rejects this entire body of work, and promotes the following alternative ideas:

There are large semi-transparent structures constructed of glass on the lunar surface, visible in some Apollo photography when the images are manipulated.

NASA is suppressing knowledge of an ancient civilization on the Moon. The advanced technology of this civilization is lying around on the Moon's surface.

The twelve moon-walkers, who would be well qualified to confirm the existence of lunar artifacts and glass structures, have had their memories selectively edited so that they no longer remember seeing evidence of a lunar civilization.

A feature in an image of the lunar surface, mistakenly believed by professional planetary scientists to be a rock formation, is actually the severed head of a robot.

U.S. government conspiracy

The United States government has covered up the presence of extraterrestrials. In this he has support from ex-Pentagon official Colonel Philip J. Corso, as detailed in his book The Day After Roswell.

The Space Agency murdered the Apollo 1 astronauts.

NASA Missions to Mars are a well documented interest of the Bush family.

There is a clandestine space program, using anti-gravity technology reverse-engineered from lunar artifacts and communicated by secret societies. The capabilities of this technology include causing comets to explode.

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by government agencies unwilling to let potential discoveries of extraterrestrial ruins and technology be made public.

Federal agencies such as FEMA, NASA, and the U.S. government are linked to Freemasonry.

Other claims

Hoagland was awarded an International Angstrom Medal for Excellence in Science in 1993. This was an unauthorized and unofficial award, given to Hoagland by the Angstrom Foundation Aktiebolag (AFAB), and without the permission of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Uppsala University.

Hoagland has asserted that he was the co-creator of the Pioneer 10 plaque along with Eric Burgess; however, according to accounts by Burgess and others, Hoagland was simply present when Burgess made the suggestion to Carl Sagan that Pioneer 10 carry some type of message to the stars. The design and execution of the message was done by Sagan and others.

The Saturnian moon Iapetus is an artificial world. Hoagland speculated that Iapetus might be a fully or partially artificially constructed world by an ancient (and likely long-gone) extraterrestrial civilization. His conjecture relies on the moon's equatorial ridge, his perception of a geodesic shape (a moon of Iapetus's size ought to be compressed into an approximately spherical or ellipsoid form under pressures generated by its own gravity), and his claims of rectangular or linear structures in a close examination of surface features. This was an expansion of the 1980 theory of Donald Goldsmith and Tobias Owen, who suggested that the striking bicoloration of Iapetus might be the result of alien modification of a natural object.

The Galileo spacecraft, which burnt up in Jupiter's atmosphere, caused a mysterious black spot due to its nuclear payload.
The Arecibo message was intentionally altered by author Carl Sagan.
The 9/11 attacks were part of a pseudo-Masonic conspiracy.
On December 9, 2007 Hoagland wrote that the vexatious problems NASA was then having with the 'ECO' low fuel sensors in the space shuttle main fuel tank were due to what he called Torsion Physics and would never be resolved by conventional engineering. On February 7, 2008 STS-122 launched successfully. In the post-launch press conference mission managers reported that the ECO sensors had performed flawlessly. The problem had been traced to an external tank feed-through connector — and corrected using perfectly conventional engineering. The mission ended, as planned, on February 20 — and was called a complete success. Hoagland offered no apology for his error.


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