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on April 18, 2002
I had not heard of Mr. Hoagland until a recent appearance on a late-night radio show, during which he spoke about his book. Curious, I bought a copy and read it cover to cover.
After reading the book, my opinion changed. I thought I would be given realistic information to back up the extraordinary claims that he makes. Instead, I got a mass of mathematical trivialities that were elevated to a near religious importance.
As a mathematician, I understand how someone with limited understanding of statistics and mathematics in nature can convince themselves of the importance of groupings that appear in nature. It is also important to note that in almost any system, one can pull out seemingly "stunning" mathematical relationships, IF they ignore all the information that falls outside of their self-defined parameters. That is what Mr. Hoagland does, and he is as guilty of "dogmatic thinking" as those he criticized during his radio appearance.
Since I assume this is Mr Hoagland's livelihood, I didn't want to simply criticize the fantastical "evidence" in the book without doing a small test. So here is what I did. I took a series of rocks from the woods near my home, and threw them into my son's sandbox. I then kicked a little sand at them to simulate the "raging winds of mars". Then I stood over the sandbox and looked. Not amazingly, there were several items that looked like they had sharp edges, as long as the definition of "sharp" allowed for slight sand cover and didn't require an actual straight line (much like Mr. Hoagland's criteria). Then I began measuring angles between the larger, more "significant" rocks. Again, not surprisingly, I quickly came up with multiple angles of 19.5, 33, and just for good measure, 47 - my age. Am I to make something of this "stunning" appearance of my age in my son's sandbox? No.
Mr. Hoagland's "math" and "science" are just as trivial. If someone chooses to read this book, it needs to be done with an open mind - not blind acceptance of one man's apparent obsession.
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on May 13, 2004
I read some of the negative reviews here at Amazon and they all struck me as inane drivel of the highest degree. If you're going to agree or disagree with any thesis you have to show why. If all you're going to come up with is name-calling and arguments about "math in cereal" (!!!, man, give us a break) or other , even worse, "arguments" like "NASA says it aint no face and that's what i believe" you're in my mind absolutely and positively hopeless. If, in the end, NASA and any institution of that order is for you a credible source, why bother thinking? Turn your brain OFFICIALLY off and let whomever, may that be NASA or anybody else, programm it for you. Why read what Hoagland or a number of other researchers out there profess?
"The Monuments Of Mars" is a book for people who are keen of doing something rare: think for themselves. In order to do that, you need to entertain whatever available notion out there even if it totally comes in conflict with the definition of the world in your mind. Especially if such a notion is well argumentated and has been hardly refuted with adequacy.
For those not familiar with what's presented in this book, here's a very ( and i mean, very) short summary: Hoagland along with a team of scientists ranging anywhere from geologists to physicists to computer programmers who resoluted photos, to historians and other specialties, analysed a vast series of photographs taken by NASA of the Cydonia region in Mars, photos in which the infamous "Face" appears, along with other clearly geometrical features such as pyramids or the clear designs of a former city. All these features, and their undisputed geometry, one would have to be either blind not to see, or terminally brainwashed.
The only question which remained, was to first verify through statistical probability, what the odds were of these features having been made "naturally". The odds are so staggeringly low that it would be a travesty to dismiss these as natural creations. The next, and more important questions have to do with who made them and why.
Why resort to odds when we could have more and clearer photographs of these features so the matter could be put to rest? Well, that's just it (especially for the naysayers), because Nasa refuses to rephotograph the region with a high resolution camera saying there's nothing there to be seen..And that despite all the "noise" about these features. Mysterious if not downright conspiratorial? Yes, obviously and undoudtedly so.
I don't intend to go more into what Hoagland says. You can pretty much imagine in broad lines, and besides it's your decicion and your inclination whether you'll invest the effort in reading his book anyway. To me, if your inclination is beforehand negative, you would've easily fit in in a past world who thought the world is flat because the church or "scientists" say so. And i could list a high number of such embarrasing examples, there's no shortage of them nor will there ever be.
As to the book itself, it is one which is incredibly researched. The degree of scholarship in it is superb, and more importantly, it is not the work of ONE person. Hoagland did not sit down and think all this up as some would like the case to be. There's a vast array of people who worked with him from the scientific community and who agree with him. There's also a number of other resarchers who did NOT research this subject but yet came to the same conclusions with him. Sitchin would be one. Robert Temple would be another. And the list does go on you know, as any search on alternative archaelogy in Amazon or elsewhere would show you.
The fact that we know only 5000-7000 years of human history when this planet numbers over a million years of existence means that we are actually in the dark about our origins. At least as far as "mainstream science" is concerned and this is a fact they accept themselves while offering us all kinds of comical explanations and tons of "missing links" in the process. The truth might be in fact very simple, that is, simple if you actually realise that the Universe is very probably bursting with intelligent life, not only now, but for millions of years in the past, and that the chance that we, are in very intriguing ways connected with the "out there" is also nothing shocking. It only is if you allow the world in your mind to be something painfully small.
Only reading this book will more than likely not be enough to provide you with all the data supporting such theories. Yes i mean data, and not speculations. Raw data. You will need to pick up some Sitchin, some Temple, some Colin Wilson, or others. Only then will you able to form a more spherical and stronger opinion.
But if you haven't done so up to now, Hoagland's book is a great place to start.
Absolutely essential material for people not content with the hilarious version of the truth spoon-fed to us on a daily basis.
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on September 17, 2003
Hoagland is a conspiracy theorist of the highest order. He believes that there are ancient alien artefacts on Mars and that NASA has pictorial evidence of these objects but has chosen to conceal them from the public. The reason for this subterfuge is a 1960 government paper called the Brookings Report which recommended that if proof of alien civilizations were ever to be found on the moon or Mars, it would have to be supressed because of the profound religious impact it could have on humanity.
Hoagland's starting point is a handful of photos originally taken by one of the Viking orbiters in 1976 which shows what could be a face carved into the Martian rock in a region called Cydonia. Encouraged by this discovery, he has identified numerous other structures in the vicinity of this object, some of which could be pyramids. He also has found several numerous mathematical relationships linking these structures, which he believes add up to a message for humanity. Like Zecharia Sitchin and Erich von Daniken, Hoagland favours the alien intervention theory to explain Man's origins. (For those interested in the math, the related book is "The Monkey and the Tetrahedron" by David Jinks).
The main problem with Hoagland's book is its length. Hoagland is obviously not a writer so he writes as he speaks. The outcome is a long-winded dialogue on alien life, NASA cover-ups, photo analysis and mathematics which could easily be condensed into less pages. Some of his claims also stretch credulity to new limits - see for instance his theory about the Arabic writing that is supposedly apparent in one of the Mars photos, where he says this was intentionally inserted by NASA to spite his efforts!
Still, given the lengthy delays before NASA released the photos and the secrecy with which the organisation operates under, it's possible the pix were doctored to suit a cover-up agenda. If you read the book with an open mind you'll probably find it thought-provoking. The fact that it's in its 5th edition is perhaps testimony to the quality of its contents.
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on April 8, 2002
Has science disproven the Face on Mars? Not even close. That's NASA's favorite thing to say... until they're asked exactly which study or scientific paper it was that disproved it. The scientific end has in fact been taken up by a number of willing science professionals who end up looking favorably on the possibility of artificiality. The most recent image of the Face (an image NASA promised, then had to have legal proceedings initiated before they complied) confirms a 10-year old prediction made by Richard Hoagland at an address given at the United Nations. This book should be required reading for anyone wanting a clearer window into some of what's become of our ambitious goals in space exploration and how our agencies perform without ever-increasingly vocal and careful scrutiny by the public, as well as other related and important subjects.
Hoagland's distinctive genius for exploring diverse connections without wandering from the reasonable covers a satisfying number of possible answers to the obvious questions ("Who built the Face on Mars, and why?" being several of them), and this book also gives a clear sense that it's not all about whether a Martian mesa resembles a face, but rather a whole collection of anomalous structures at Cydonia, Mars, each impressive on its own, that integrate into an even more compelling whole. The mathematics embodied in the five-sided "D & M" Pyramid on Mars alone should easily satisfy Carl Sagan's criteria that other civilizations should speak to us in the universal languages of mathematics and geometry (had Sagan not, strangely enough, campaigned against the very idea of Martian monuments... only to recind his opposition in his last book... sadly too late ever to see the fruits we could optimistically hope from such balanced outlooks as he eventually adopted).
It doesn't end there, though... Hoagland's researches go far beyond the simply the idea that we are being "spoken to" by Martian monuments, and give a suprisingly sober and timely idea of just what they may be saying...
At the same time, even in less "provocative" areas of inquiry - the subject of Martian water, or life on Europa, for example - Hoagland's Enterprise Mission still remains on the cutting edge of Mars, and space, exploration and science... Hoagland's ability to spark curiousity and interest in space exploration and science in even the most disinterested or unlikely persons could well make this fascinating book a most valuable asset to parents and educators. "Monuments of Mars" is an inspiring, unswerving example that science is still, after all, about asking questions.
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on March 13, 2002
Life on Mars. The very words evoke all kinds of visions - from HG Wells' bug-eyed creatures in his War of the Worlds to the little green men that form the basis of so many Disney cartoons. Whether you take the idea seriously or outwardly laugh at the concept, one thing's for sure - every man, woman and child out there wonders deep down inside whether there really is (or was) life on Mars. Instead of simply wondering though, Hoagland actually tries to prove it.
The problem however, is that proving it from a distance of several million miles is a thankless task. Not having the resources of NASA or the US government at his disposal, Hoagland therefore has to rely on photos and whatever data NASA deigns to release to the public. In other words, the evidence may not be ideal to start with and worse, may even be tainted by the issuer.
Conspiracy devotees (and X-Files afficionados) will love this but Hoagland hypothesizes that the US govt since the late 1950s has decided that humanity is not ready for confirmation of life on other planets. This was the conclusion of the Brookings Report, a NASA-commissioned report in 1958 which oddly enough, mentioned the possibility of finding alien artifacts on Mars and the moon and recommended such evidence be suppressed. The outcome is sanitized data and photos which have been passed thru several filters to remove key information. Despite these obstacles however, Hoagland has managed to piece together an absorbing theory which at the very least, will make you think. Give it a read, keep an open mind and be prepared to throw all preconceived notions about life and where we came from out the window. If you can do this, you'll have a blast.
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on February 9, 2002
This book is absolutely compelling reading from page one. I've been following this since I read the first (?) edition of this book published in 1987. That book (348 pages, much smaller than this updated version) caused me to begin questioning the human belief system. That is to say I began to wonder about whether what we all have been taught to accept as 'fact' was in fact real. I began talking to everyone I knew about this, and discovered that even people I had previously thought to be open-minded were actually pretty closed minded on this subject. Since then, I've been on kind of a personal quest to find out why people have such a problem accepting anything Hoagland says. I personally still have not been convinced of anything on this 'Face on Mars' one way or the other, but Hoagland's theories are fascinating and well thought out enough that I don't think they can be dismissed out of hand. I've read reviews from others who just laugh and say that these formations are just coincidental and formed by nature. This could be true, but how can these people be so sure? Would these same people dismiss the Egyptian pyramids as natural formations too? (Obviously not, since they are close by and easy to study. Apparently, just because Mars is so far away, this automatically disqualifies it from further study). Why are they so intent on dismissing Hoagland's theories so quickly, without really knowing? I think it has something to do with a fear that their own belief systems are threatened by any seemingly implausible evidence or theories.
To me, this book is much more than a book about strange Martian constructions. It is more a criticism of the closed-mindedness that is stopping mankind from making progress and discoveries that could change the world as we know it. Do we really think we already know all there is to know about this? Hoagland doesn't ever claim to know everything about this. All he wants is answers, and apparently the 'scientific' community doesn't, or at least doesn't care. What has happened to humankind's curiosity? Our curiosity is what got our civilization this far. Why stop now?
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on May 12, 2001
Everyone interested in the psychology of obsessive self-deception must see this; I mean this in all seriousness. It is simply classic. Based on nothing but a blurry photo of the Martian landscape, the author invents a complex belief system involving imaginary mathematical connections between hills he and a few others imagine to be pyramids and sphinxes and their counterparts on Earth, delusional pseudoscientific cosmologies involving the "four-dimensional" aspects of planetary formation, and so on and on, in moonfire profusion. There is hardly any doubt that he believes it himself; he is so attached to and identified with this little wish-fulfilling descent into neurosis that even when higher-resolution versions of the so-called face on Mars quite clearly reveal it to be nothing by a couple of hills casting shadows, he determines that the face is instead half-human and half-lion. So great is his investment in this fairy tale that we might wonder if he would concede defeat even if NASA sent him to the red planet's surface to see for himself that there is, in fact, nothing to see.
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on August 4, 2000
In "The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever," author Richard Hoagland gives a heavily referenced history of The Face on Mars and other suspiciously "non-natural" structures and features of the Martian surface. He describes how The Face was first discovered shortly after the Viking Mission started sending back images from Mars. NASA immediate pooh-poohed the possibility of its artificial origin. The images of The Face were too startling to be ignored, though, and research by Vince DePietro, Greg Molenaar, Hoagland and others resulted in the discovery of other unnatural, pyramid-like structures located in the vicinity of The Face. Hoagland provides solid arguments for the claims he makes. Often, this slows the pace of reading this thick book. But, by taking his time in explaining his claims, he tackles many of the arguments that might arise in the reader's own mind. Hoagland's book describes how NASA has pointedly ignored evidence from noted scientists and organizations verifying the suspiciously non-natural nature of the Cydonia region on Mars that is home to these anamolous features. Finally, Hoagland documents how NASA has refused to PUBLICALLY rephotograph Cydonia and suggests that NASA may have already done so in secret. He offers that there may be dark reasons for this suspected duplicity. "The Monuments of Mars" describes an engaging (and ongoing) real-world mystery. But, it is also frustrating in that the evidence that could solve this mystery is being withheld by the very government agency that is supposed to be honestly and publicly disseminating it...
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on March 23, 2000
Richard Hoagland was the first to kick open the doors of secrecy which have been bolted shut all of these years by the intelligence agencies, secret societies and the space program.
When I first listened to Richard on the Art Bell show back in 1996, I thought he was a total off the wall wacko and nut case. But as I kept listening, bought and read his book, and made my own discoveries relating to his work, it turned out that he was right all along.
Like James Clerk Maxwell and Nikola Tesla, Hoagland has been ridiculed, black-balled and black-listed by elements within NASA, JPL and portions of the news media. His continous appearances on the Art Bell show have shined the light of truth on a paranoid clique of scientists within NASA and JPL who can't handle the possibility of their image as "masters of the known universe" being shattered by revelations of extra-terrestrial life. Not even the Brookings Report will save the shattered remants of their precious "image".
This is the year in which the truth will be "Making Manifest of All that is Hidden" and bring about "Full Disclosure"
In light of this, here's a new spin on an old but familar quote;
Yes Virginia, there really is a Face on Mars.
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on March 16, 2000
As a Young Earth Biblical Creationist how do I come to terms with this. Richard is a brilliant man, I wish I had his smarts. Isaac Newton was also a brilliant man and also a Young Earth Biblical Creationist, writing one million words on Biblical Prophecy. How does the Bible address Richard's findings? It appears that prior to the fall of Jerico that the year was 360 days. Biblical prophecy is based on 360 day years, i.e. Gabriels vision to Daniel on the comimg of Jesus: Daniel 9:24-27. With the fall of Jerico, Mars completed its last near pass by to Earth. With a 360 day year the elliptical orbits of both Earth and Mars allowed periodic near passbys between these two planets, hence the great fear of Mars in the different mythologies and the "god of war" connotation. Why Mars? A study of Noah's Flood provides the key. 8 people were saved in a worldwide flood. This points to a fully inhabited Earth. Genesis 6:4 provides the key for the flood and also much of the current speculation concerning "middle plain" forces at work today. An expanded study of Genesis 6:4 with the Book of Enoch shows that with the flood those wiped out have since been trapped in the "middle plain" with no chance to get to heaven but only hell at the close of the 7th millenium. Their efforts to reestablish themselves in physical form on earth and to sidetrack as many souls as possible is shown in the great apostasy (falling away from the Church) and "et" activity today as eluded to by Jesus in all four Gospels when he said "there will be much deception in those times" This provides the key to the activity on Mars. The face is a monument to someone important, possibly the first angel to fall prior to the Garden of Eden. I suspect there will be great evangelical movements after Jesus comes for back for the Church. God bless those left behind. The time, I believe, is near.
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