Exposing PseudoAstronomy

March 8, 2012

Podcast Episode 26: Richard C. Hoagland, Part 1 – 19.5°

This episode is my first (of many) formal episodes devoted to some aspect of the ideas behind Richard C. Hoagland’s … um … we’ll just say “mythology.”

I go into a fair amount of depth exploring the idea that everything energetically important happens at 19.5° on the sun and planets in the solar system. (Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t). I go into a lot more detail than in my blog post on the subject from last year.

Hopefully you find it informative and interesting. I tried to make it a bit like a “tour through the solar system” since people seem to like that kind of approach with subjects.



  1. First, mythology is the right word to describe the totality of Hoagland’s efforts. Any massively (and in this case, badly) written work of fiction tends to tell a larger, all encompassing story. In this case, the story lacks any real coherence (Hoagland’s theories make the plot of the show Lost look straight forward by comparison), but that’s because he never planned on creating a mythology in the first place. What we have here is a product of someone who (in an effort to stay relevant in the ever changing world of pseudo-science) has been forced to add elements to his original theories that really don’t fit. This baroque collection of nonsense is the end result of 4 decades of just trying to stay ahead of the curve (and the competition).

    Second, no there is no evidence to support 19.5 as a “magical” number. As you suggest though, that doesn’t stop Hoagland. He just invokes the magic words “bands of influence” (a phrase that has no meaning outside of a discussion of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones) and utters terms like “above the statistical noise” or “within the error bars” as if he knows what they mean. I guess the thinking is that if it’s good enough for George Noory (who presents himself as one of the most credulous life forms in all Creation), it’s good enough for his audience as a whole. My guess is it’s not working quite as well as it used to.

    Comment by Chris L — March 9, 2012 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

  2. I noticed you didn’t take on Mt. Everest or the Mariana Trench. Only mystical 19.5 powers could have created these. maybe 19.5 isn’t refering to the latitude, but the number of seconds you spend researching this!

    Comment by The Last Piece of Pizza — March 14, 2012 @ 7:53 am | Reply

    • Did you look these up before posting? Mt. Everest is 27° 59′ N latitude while the Mariana Trench is 0° 11′ N.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — March 14, 2012 @ 9:27 am | Reply

      • Rearrange the numbers in the minutes and you’ve got 19.51. What more evidence do you need? You need to have an open mind!

        Comment by The Last Piece of Pizza — March 14, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  3. Leaving aside the risable idea that you can just rearrange the numbers to make them significant, I thought the magical number was 19.5 not 19.51 – a magic near miss perhaps?

    Comment by muklowd — March 18, 2012 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

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