Exposing PseudoAstronomy

July 22, 2016

For Fun, Some Numerology About NASA, Courtesy of Richard Hoagland


I’ve mentioned before that Richard Hoagland’s claims can really be broken down in to four main categories: Numerology, Conspiracy, Pareidolia, and Shoddy Image Analysis.

In this post, I’m going to give you a small taste of the first one so that you can see just how silly it really is. This comes from his radio program from the morning of July 20, where he was discussing the anniversary of NASA’s Viking 1 lander on Mars, approximately 17 minutes into the broadcast (commercials removed):

… the 40th anniversary of the Viking mission, and the 47th anniversary of Apollo 11. And if you think NASA doesn’t do things ritualistically, 47, of course, is part of 19.47, and 40 is 1 more than 39; it’s canonically 40, you know, Old and New Testament, so the numbers, the numerology of NASA is well in operation because, obviously, it was not accidental that Viking was landed on the exact same anniversary date, July 20, as Apollo 11.

Let’s get the only factual statement about NASA out of the way in the above: Yes, NASA does like anniversaries, and it does like major US holidays. So does everyone. It’s a dream from public outreach’s point of view. That’s not unique to NASA. Moving on …

For the above to make any sense, you must realize that Richard loves the number 19.5 because it fits into his magical worldview. It’s really 19.47… (extra numbers after it), but he often rounds to 19.5.

So, what he’s done is removed the whole “19” part to claim that “47” is part of his system of numerology, therefore this particular anniversary of Apollo 11 is important. Of course, this makes absolutely no sense; it’s like me saying that I’m 25 years old, but I’m going to remove the “2” because the “5” lines up with how many knocks I do on a door, therefore 5 is important and syncs up with my age. It’s just stupid.

For “39,” you multiply 19.5 (remember, we rounded) by 2 to get 39. But to get the number to make any sense in Richard’s convoluted system, he had to add 1 because this is the 40th anniversary of Viking.

Now, granted, if you make up an entire numerological system and claim it’s significant, I suppose it may not be entirely fair for me to argue that he’s added yet another ad hoc rule to get to the numbers he wants. Why he didn’t say that the Apollo mission, 11, shows that “1” is important, evidenced by the repetition of the number “1” in it, therefore you can take the “1” from Apollo 11 and subtract it from the anniversary of Viking 1 (another 1!!!), which is 40-1, and you get 39. That makes much more sense than Richard’s ad hoc reason to subtract 1.

This isn’t the first time Richard has done this, though. Some of you may remember his infamous numerology of Comet Elenin in 2011 that proved by 1 in 46.5 BILLION chances that it wasn’t a spaceship.

If it weren’t so sad that people actually believe him, it’d be funny.

7 Comments »

  1. Man, oh man, when the truth comes out – that the magical inscribed solid is a dodecahedron and not a tetrahedron at all – is his face ever going to be red. 19.5? What nonsense.

    Comment by Stan Rogers — July 22, 2016 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  2. “…40 is 1 more than 39; it’s canonically 40, you know, Old and New Testament…”

    I honestly don’t have any idea what that’s supposed to mean, other than the “40 is 1 more than 39” part.

    Comment by Dick Young — July 22, 2016 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

    • Verbal diarrhea.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — July 22, 2016 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

    • The Protestant Old Testament has 39 books, while some Orthodox and Catholic versions go several books over the 40.

      “Canonically 40” would then be a poorly worded reference to all the “proto-canonical” or “pseudo canonical” books going over the canonically 39, at least according to Protestant canon. Implying that in the “larger” religion around the nine “19.47” gods, more numbers are “allowed” depending on denominations. Or something.

      This is my estimation of what kind of thought association was occurring in the mind of Hoagland.

      As for numerology, don’t forget (of possibly just do) Hoagland’s pointing out of remarkable pattern of “19s” throughout the Koran. Or “Templar/Masonic geometric information” in the”most fundamental dimensions of the World Trade Center Towers” using that 2×19.5 as well.

      Comment by Dee — July 24, 2016 @ 12:15 am | Reply

  3. Welcome back Stuart, looking forward to September.

    Hope your research has gone well.

    Comment by Graham — July 23, 2016 @ 5:21 am | Reply


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