Special Video (#01): Richard C. Hoagland and the Ziggurat on the Moon
Recap: Richard C. Hoagland is at it again; this time, I take you on a short journey exploring Hoagland's claim that there is a ziggurat on the Moon. In this video exposé, I graphically show why this is a hoax, how this is a hoax, and conclude that Hoagland is an incompetent investigator (or lying that he did any investigation).
- Shorter, previous version (posted to YouTube).
- Apollo 11 image AS11-38-5564: LPI Link || Rotated and with Region Identified
- Richard Hoagland's "enhancement" of AS11-38-5564
- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide-Angle Camera image M118715682M
- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow-Angle Camera image M149377797R
Those words were spoken by Richard C. Hoagland on the Coast to Coast AM radio show that was live on July 20, 2012. Richard was speaking about a lunar image taken by the Apollo 11 crew in 1969 of the lunar far side, specifically the region around 9° South, 174° East.
We can go to the original photograph as shown here, a high resolution scan being offered by the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
Richard doesn't tell you where on the photograph the alleged ziggurat is, but careful searching by a few dedicated people, including myself, revealed the location as you see here. The rotation is just over 79°.
As we go into this region, you can see that there doesn't appear to be anything. That is, until you look at Richard's version, which I've now superposed on the background.
Pulling these apart and comparing, there are several differences between the original image and what Richard was presenting on the Coast to Coast site.
First, though it may be hard to tell on this due to video compression, Richard's version has more noise throughout the image. This means he's either using a later generation scan, or noise was added deliberately to try to cover things up.
Second, the image he shows is darker overall, as evidenced by the shadows in the lower left, while the contrast has been increased as can be seen by the highlights near the upper middle.
Finally, there is the obvious: The ziggurat is not present in the original. It's just craters. No amount of image adjustment nor enhancement will get you a ziggurat there, it must have been added in.
Further evidence it was added in are the shadows themselves. On the moon, there is no atmosphere, and since this was on the far side, there was no earthshine. Shadows would need to be pitch black unless there was a hill nearby that could scatter light into the shadowed region, which there aren't because this is on a hill. But, the shadows of the ziggurat are clearly not pure black but are illuminated. This is further evidence of image tampering.
A final test of any feature to determine if it's really there is to go to other images of the same location. To do this, one first has to stretch the Apollo photo because it was a perspective shot; I did this using a spline interpolation and 88 control points to the most recent lunar surface mosaics. Once I found the location's coordinates, I found that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has photographed the site with its wide-angle camera, which you see now that I'm zooming in on, at a pixel scale of 77 meters per pixel. The ziggurat isn't there. But we can go further because the narrow-angle camera has also imaged the site, in this case at about 0.8 meters per pixel - 100x better - and still, the ziggurat isn't there, it's just craters.
Hoagland claims he spent days trying to determine if this was real or not, and that this is a subtle feature. I argue based on this evidence that Richard is either incompetent to have spent that long on this when an hour's work on my end showed it to be a hoax - and most of that time spent searching for the feature location in the Apollo photo. Or, Hoagland is a liar. You make up your own mind.
Oh, and just so you know, this particular hoax has been on the internet at least since 2011, possibly as far back as 2003. Richard's former co-author, Mike Bara, is also claiming that it was he who sent Richard the image. And yet, Richard presented it as his own work, or at the very least made no acknowledgment that it had ever been presented before.
Thank you for watching. This has been a special video presentation by the "Exposing PseudoAstronomy" blog and podcast.
Provide Your Comments:
Comments to date: 6. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:
Rick K St. Louis
4:10pm on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
I just listened to the C2C where Mike Bara talked about various topics, mostly to promote his newest book. Thought my head was going to explode from all the things he got wrong.
Jim C. Central Florida
8:24am on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
My boss and I have discussed how Richard C. Hoagland is an example of the blatant disregard for honesty and diligence in the fringe media. Hoagland is an individual that is clearly taking advantage of an audience that is truly interested in learning about our physical universe and in process is hoodwinked in to the fantastic and the absurd. We do pattern analysis at work and clearly many of Hoagland's structures and anomalies are "fabricated" - either intentionally or unintentionally...
Stuart Boulder, CO, USA
2:59am on Saturday, August 4th, 2012
Maria, I'm curious to know if you even bothered to watch the video. If so, do you actually have anything to point out in it that's wrong, or did you just have a visceral reaction because Hoagland can do no wrong as far as you're concerned?
2:31am on Saturday, August 4th, 2012
Nonsense. Another Hoagi hater article.
ThorGoLucky Corvallis, Oregon
3:06pm on Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Excellent and to the point, thanks.
3:50am on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Excellent piece of sleuthing Stuart. Really first class Hoagland burn.