Wednesday, August 02, 2006
[Click title to read blog post]
Spunky Lesley of The Debris Field is angry. She is...or has been...a regular listener of Coast to Coast AM for some time. At least since the earlier Art Bell days, she has suffered the more insufferable guests in the interest of the show's over-arching cause...to celebrate the quirky, the para-normal, and the bizarre with a sense of wonder.
This past weekend however, C2C has in her opinion, crossed the line. And Richard C. Hoagland is at the crux of the issue...imagine that! :)
At issue is a recent discussion between host George Noory and Richard about the status of UFOlogy today. Using the subject of a prior show involving Art and Disclosure proponent Steven Greer as a jumping off point, George and Dick launched into a "bash UFOlogy" party.
While any discussion of UFOlogy could be excused for pointing out the fields lethargic mode of "progress", this one then took the unfortunate turn. Richard Hoagland contrasted the field of UFOlogy...a bunch of kooks with no evidence for their pet theories...with his assertions on Moon and Mars ruins, "hyperdimensional physics", and explaining how he was different because he had plenty of hard evidence for HIS positions.
As Lesley points out, this is beyond the pale. But also expected from an opportunist like Dick. What got her dander up...in Bristol fashion...was the fact that George then joined in with the bashing!
She rightly points out that UFOs in large part have made C2C into the popular show that it is. From breathless "open lines" calls from truckers seeing odd things in the sky, to discussions with literally dozens of UFOlogical guests, C2C has greatly benefitted from UFOlogy, and this convenient "biting the hand" coupled with the faux contrast in legitimacy offered up by Dick Hoagland was just too much.
While I share the feelings of many with regard to Greer and his Disclosure carnival, to toss the "baby" of sincere UFOlogy out with the "bathwater" of its most egregious hucksters is in direct conflict with the supposed goals of C2C.
Regardless of ones position on the origin or intent of UFOs, there is ample evidence that they exist. Are they from other worlds? We cannot be sure. But there IS ample evidence that they in fact exist. From radar, film, video digital images, physical traces, eyewitness testimony and editorial reports, we know that sometimes very strange things appear up there. Determining what they are is the purview of UFOlogy.
With Dick Hoagland's position, we're in a completely different milieu. Dick looks at moon photos and sees things that others do not. He looks at the face on Mars, and perceives numerous mathematical congruences that do not fit when examined closely. He sees a mans face on Mars, but then...when the true asymmetrical nature of the face is brought to light, he claims not only that this is not damaging to his theory, but that the non-human side is a feline aspect predicted by him all along. Pardon me while I take a moment to bust a gut.
Dick is a charlatan. He always has been. He lied about his involvement with the Pioneer plaque. He lied about the circumstances surrounding his being a "recipient of the Angstrom Medal". He lied about the status of his "talks" at NASA conferences.
He has applied his dubious hyperdimensional physics canard to any and every event to come along...global warming, hurricanes, the shapes of moons, ad nauseum.
In short, Dick is a known quantity.
But for George Noory to join in the denigration of UFOlogy as if he has never thought anything of the field himself, is truly revelatory, hypocritical and reflective of what has become a rather common attitude among American media these days...
"What have you done for me lately?" Noble, huh?
I join with Lesley in crying foul on this ridiculous discussion.
While Dick Hoagland and his "unitary executioner" role will fizzle to irrelevency in due time (and rather soon, I predict), there will continue to be people seeing, recording, measuring and talking about things they observe...up there.
And there will be groups of educated, curious, imaginative, talented folk to gather that information and experiment and speculate on its content, its meaning, and perhaps determine the truth to be found therein.
UFOlogy lives on, despite the rantings of puerile pretenders and fairweather friends.
Dick and George represent the decay of paranormal studies, and bring it down to the level of sensationalistic fakery and convenient pseudo-science.
Luckily, there are better outlets these days for such subjects. Coast to Coast AM has indeed "jumped the shark".
[h/t to The Debris Field]
In general defense of Noory and his modus operandi, as host he is pretty much, at least as far as I can tell, always agreeable with everyone. Thus, I appear, and he basically sounds like he and I are best pals, and agree, and then someone like Greer, or Linda Moulton Howe, pops on, and its the same with them. That's his style, and it seems to work, most of the time. Not every host has to be confrontational.
Now I'll go listen to the Hoagland show, which I had skipped because I have no interest whatsoever in Hoagland, but which sounds like an episode I should listen to, although I'm not sure how it could be worse than the recent episodes with Greer, James Gilliand, and the Eckers / Birnes / Knapp crap-fest.
Okay, I've now listened to the show. I wasn't offended in the least by what Hoagland said - opinions are opinions (his not being worth dry spit, as far as I'm concerned, but that's a different story). I think Noory was just going along with the flow, like he always does (you either accept that this is how he works, or you don't - different strokes for different folks on his style).
What did offend me was the constant plugging of Hoagland's upcoming conference. Not because he was plugging it, per se - all guests plug something (it's the nature of the beast), but because he was plugging it as a must-attend event where he would reveal incontrovertible, "smoking-gun" evidence that would prove his claims. My problem with this - and it makes everyone look bad - is that if he really does have that evidence, why wait? Release it immediately! I would.
It's very Druffel-esque, and Linda Moulton Howe-esque, and... well, you get the picture.
If you had evidence that would change everything, why wait for a relatively obscure conference (in the middle of the desert, for Pete's sake) to release it? So much for "just wanting to get the truth, and get it out there".
Ugh. It reminded me of why I have no use for Hoagland.
I have no problem with George being agreeable to fringe folks...it's his stock in trade. But I believe like Lesley, that when a line is crossed, it can and should be noted with the disdain it deserves. It doesn't require being "confrontational" to express respect for UFOlogy, or any other C2C-worthy topic.
Hoping to change anything? Not really, just posting the observation (in my case). And noting the reaction Lesley expressed. She listens more than I do to C2C.
As I noted in my post, Lesley is angry. I am not, but that is beside my point...that I agree that crossing a line of civility among paranormal discussion topics is not helpful, and does damage to both subjects.
Not surprising or unexpected, but worthy of note, IMO.
As I said, one day Hoagland will be less than a footnote...like ZetaTalk.
I certainly agree that any air time provided to the likes of Greer and Gilliland is a waste of same.
Thanks for writing!
Gravy for the goose Mr. Kimball. You were decidedly non-forthcoming with regard to identifying which cases were to be examined in your upcoming *mocumentary*. The spit to which you allude in your above exclamation _is_ pretty dry.
//It's very Druffel-esque, and Linda Moulton Howe-esque, and... well, you get the picture.//
...But _you_ don't. Forgetting for a moment that you are dwarfed in _every_ way by Ms. Druffel and Ms. Howe and only snatch at them now in a mewling attempt to buff-up what you imagine as your 'base', I imagine we'll have to add "Kimball-esque" to the mix... ...but not too much, mind. We'll want folks to be able to keep it down.
AVG Blog -- http://alienviewgroup.blogspot.com/
Nothing I am angry about has to do with whether Steven Greer should be believed or not. However, if Noory doesn't believe in Greer or any other ufologist he should confront them on his show when they can defend themselves, not behind their back with Hoagland and the following night with Shostak. I write this as I listen to last nights show of Sean David Morton ranting about his "always right on" predictions and Noory not calling him on any of it. Then again, Sean is there to defend himself.
He contradicts himself regularly and is a pushover.
I can't believe there could be someone even more of a phony than Art Bell, but there is. Bell's hand picked replacement George Noory.