Just because print media is becoming increasingly rare, that doesn’t mean it is any less susceptible to being used as a conduit for complete bullshit. But sometimes the negative aspects of a particular bit of idiocy can be outweighed by the comedic value.
I recently bought a book called “Dark Mission: the Secret History of NASA,” written by Richard C Hoagland and Mike Bara. Hoagland is a well-known conspiracy nut who was, according to the book’s back cover, a “NASA consultant and CBS news advisor” and Bara is a former engineer with Boeing.
Hoagland and Bara claim, among other wild claims, that the astronauts who flew the Apollo moon missions of the late Sixties and early Seventies discovered tons of evidence of an ancient Lunar civilization. The pair also claim that these discoveries were documented by the astronauts with “tens of thousands of high quality photographs” of “extraordinary glass like structures on the moon!”
Now I haven’t read the entire book. Haven’t considered the authors’ entire thesis. But by page IV of the book’s introduction I was presented with a single photograph and a couple of paragraphs of text that told me all I needed to know. After this one, early taste of what Hoagland and Bara had to offer, I knew whether the book as a whole was going to fall on the mean-spirited “I’m really trying to bullshit you with bullshit that might not actually be bullshit but probably is bullshit bullshit” end of the scale or on the more comically absurd “I’m just fuckin’ with you, dude” end.
The following photograph is one of the “tens of thousands of high quality photographs” that Hoagland and Bara claim is “just one example of the ancient, glass-like ruins photographed in person by the Apollo astronauts and hidden away (by a former NASA employee) in a private archive for more than thirty years.” A few sentences later, the author further describes what’s shown in this photo, and others just like it in the book, as definitive proof of “extensive structures” on the surface of the Moon.
So, with no further adieu, here is the photo that Hoagland and Bara kick their book off with. The hook. The unbelievably fantastic image that is supposed to rock the reader’s world and compel him or her to read the remaining five hundred pages. The proof of an ancient Lunar civilization that is so irrefutable, so stunning, that NASA (which, by the way, is a Masonic front, according to the authors) had it suppressed for years. Here it is–THE photographic evidence of the gigantic ruins left on the Moon by its previous, long dead, inhabitants.
Here it is. Get ready. Here we go…
Is it just me? You can be honest–I can take it. But IS it just me, or is this just a poor quality picture of an astronaut on the moon? All by himself–right? No “structures” of any kind to be seen–right? Really–you can tell me if there’s something there that I’m just not seeing.
Nah, this is just an astronaut on the surface of the moon. With no “glass like” nothin’ nowhere’s near nothin’.
So, what are Hoagland and Bara trying to prove with this “Emperor Has No Clothes” intro to their five hundred page conspiracy book? That they are delusional nutjobs who actually DO see something in this photograph besides space, the moon, and an astronaut? Or are they under the impression that we’re all so stupid that we will think that there’s something in this photo that’s not there just because the text they surround it with keeps telling us there is?
Either way, at least Hoagland and Bara waste no time in letting us know that they are inviting us through the looking glass. In a way, it’s an admirable move. Hoagland and Bara could have just as easily kicked off their book with a fake photo showing an impressive crystal cathedral on the lunar surface. But they didn’t. They kicked it off with a photo of basically nothing. They’re saying “If you can just go with this–if you can just bring yourself to believe what we say and not what you actually see–then, brother, we’ve got five hundred more pages of bullshit you’re REALLY going to love!”
And if you can’t make that leap of idiocy, then Hoagland’s and Bara’s ballsy move just saved you the time and effort of bothering to plow through the rest of their obviously ludicrous book.
It’s the kind of courtesy you don’t usually find in the world of pseudomedia. I like it.