TO THE READER: In November, 2000, an article by Gary Posner was published in The Skeptical Inquirer. Here is a link to the internet version: The Face Behind the "Face" on Mars: A Skeptical Look at Richard C. Hoagland. Part of Posner's article discusses my criticism of Richard Hoagland concerning various statements on the Enterprise Mission website and various statements that Hoagland has made on the radio show Coast-to-Coast. These statements are related to an article that Hoagland wrote about Europa many years ago. More background can be found here: The Origin of this Page.

         Almost immediately after Posner's article appeared, Michael Bara posted the following rebuttal on the Enterprise Mission website: CSICOP Turns its Eye on Hoagland -- And Gets it Blackened in The Attempt. The reader may also get some more insight into Mr. Bara by reading his appropiately-titled article Orwell and the Internet.

         My response (by e-mail, dated November 24th) to what Michael Bara writes about my criticism of Hoagland concerning the Europa issue is posted below. It refers to all the above documents as well as an article that I have written concerning the history of ideas about Europa: An Ocean on Europa?. That article contains no criticism of Hoagland whatsoever.

         A link to Mr. Bara's response (dated December 28th) can be found at the end as well as links to future messages to him.

Dear Mr. Bara,

         Gary Posner informed me that you have posted a rebuttal to his recent Skeptical Inquirer article on the Enterprise Mission website. I want to respond to what you have written about the Europa issue and about me. I consider this an important matter and so will reply at considerable length.

         Mr. Bara, you are trying very hard to discredit me. You have tried to do this in the past too. But, as before, you just end up seriously discrediting yourself. I think that this will become rather clear from my comments about what you have written.

         I will first briefly summarize my main points. Then I will explain each point in more detail.

1. You try to discredit the accuracy of what I have written about the history of ideas concerning Europa, which you refer to as "revisionist." As an example, you mention the work of John S. Lewis. You assert that his work is not even cited in the 1979 paper of Cassen, Peale, and Reynolds concerning tidal heating of Europa. You say that such citations are missing because the theory that Lewis proposes is wrong.
         When I was immersing myself into all the papers and books that I cite in my historical article "An Ocean on Europa?", it became clear to me that the work of Lewis was of paramount importance. My opinion about this is amply borne out by the facts, as I will show below. His work is certainly cited in the paper of Cassen et al! You are wrong about that easily checked fact. But, more importantly, your dismissive evaluation of his theory and the influence and importance of his work is wrong.

2. It is extremely unfortunate that you attempt to dismiss or diminish the contributions that other people have made concerning how Life might come to exist on Europa. You do this to promote Hoagland's contribution. I think that most people will see the unfairness of such an attitude. And, again, your evaluation of those ideas is simply wrong. Instead of helping Hoagland, and helping to settle this issue, I feel that you have made matters considerably worse.

3. Contrary to what you have surmised, I am an absolutely independent entity. The fact is that you know very little about me. You do not even know what my opinions are concerning the Cydonia issue, other than the fact that I have challenged the mathematical evidence that Hoagland presents concerning that issue. I would add that you have only seen a glimpse of the reasons why I am critical of Hoagland.

4. Posner's account of how I got involved in this whole mess concerning Hoagland and Europa is accurate. I describe the background about this in "The Origin of this Page" on my website, and Posner's account is taken from that. However, I think that it will be worthwhile for me to add a few more details about this. As far as Hoagland making misleading statements concerning the idea of an ocean on Europa, that is simply a fact. I document this on my website. But there was one particular statement that he made which, because of the circumstances, was decisive. I will remind you of this.

5. As I have consistently pointed out, Hoagland does indeed refer to the work of Cassen, Peale, and Reynolds in his article "The Europa Enigma". An attentive reader of that article should realize that the idea of an ocean on Europa is not Hoagland's. On that basis, you argue that Hoagland could not possibly have tried to intentionally mislead people in his radio appearances and in various statements on his website. I will discuss this argument fully, pointing out the obvious hypocrisy implicit in it.

6. I must say something about your appropiately-titled article "Orwell and the Internet", which you refer to in your rebuttal. At the end of that article, you refer to my criticism of Hoagland as "poison" and as "mendacities." Juxtaposed with those statements, you have put a picture of Goebbels and Hitler. Why did you do that? I am astonished that you would even dream of making such an offensive association. I am astonished that Hoagland would allow that on his website. Were you trying to frighten me? Or possibly just to inflame your loyal readers? I once asked you to apologize for that lapse of judgement on your part, and will ask you again. Making such an association is unconscionable!

Now let me explain the above points more carefully.

1. Here is what you have written in your rebuttal:

"Cassen et al. for instance, make no mention of the "earlier" work by Lewis that Greenberg is so enamored with; they do not cite him in their paper at all. The reason for this is simple: Lewis' ideas, based on the then extremely limited terrestrial knowledge of the Jovian satellites, was simply wrong. He ascribed the possible internal heating as being from radioactive decay (an idea that was later emphatically disproven by the actual Voyager fly-bys). Obviously, Cassen et-al. did not reference Lewis' work because it has no bearing on their (almost now certainly correct) later model of internal heating due to tidal stresses."

         You are completely right when you say that I admire the work of John S. Lewis. His papers written in 1971 (a short one published in Science and a longer one published in Icarus) are based entirely on theoretical considerations about the origin and composition of the Solar System. These considerations led him to a picture of the Galilean satellites which no one before him had even dreamt of: deep, deep oceans - even possibly hundreds of miles deep - of liquid water under the icy crust and above a rocky core. Even the possibility that these bodies might be differentiated (i.e. a layer of water, liquid and/or ice, above the rocky core) was new. As I was writing my historical article, it became clear to me how influential his work was. All the subsequent work is based on the same kind of mathematical and compositional analysis which is found in his 1971 papers, although with significant variations. In particular, this includes the Cassen, Peale, Reynolds paper of 1979, which brings the marvelous idea of tidal heating into the picture.

         Mr. Bara, contrary to what you write, the 1979 paper of Cassen et al. actually cites two papers of Lewis - one of his 1971 papers on the subject and also his 1976 paper (written with his collaborator Guy Consolmagno.) That second paper is an elaboration and refinement of the ideas from Lewis' 1971 papers.

         In addition, Lewis' 1971 Icarus paper is cited in more than 50 scientific papers during the 1970s and almost another 50 during the 1980s (according to the Scientific Citation Index). Those are very impressive numbers! His shorter 1971 paper in Science, which is essentially an announcement and summary of his ideas, has a total of about 30 citations through the 1970s and 80s.

         As far as Lewis' theory that radioactive decay would be sufficient to maintain liquid water oceans on the Galilean satellites, you are right that this theory was put into serious question in the late 1970s. I emphasize this fact in my historical article. But things have turned around since then. There is now strong evidence that Callisto may have a substantial, subsurface ocean. Since Callisto's orbit has an extremely small eccentricity, tidal forces could not explain the existence of such an ocean. Ganymede may also turn out to have an ocean. In fact, the theories expounded by Lewis in 1971 are actually looking pretty darn good now. Concerning Europa, it may be that both radioactive decay and tidal heating are important as energy sources both for maintaining an ocean and for nurturing Life.

        So I would say that what you refer to as my "revisionist" version of history is right on the mark. Mr. Bara, I have been a scholar for almost all of my life. When I approach a project like writing my historical article about Europa, I research it thoroughly. I have tried to understand all of the papers relevant to the subject. I have truly tried to see how the ideas developed, and to convey that as well as I could in my historical article.

2. You write:

"In the first major journal paper on the subject (On the Habitability of Europa, Squyres, et al.) the earliest prior reference is Hoagland's paper, "The Europa Enigma." Just as obviously as with the question of an ocean, the authors did not consider the other possible "prior works" now cited by Greenberg as relevant. This isn't too surprising, since most of the Greenberg "anti-Hoagland references" are from obscure lectures or conference presentations, which are generally not considered appropriate forums for scientifically credited work. Beyond that, simply mentioning life in a certain place, without putting forth a specific (and ultimately correct) model is not a valid claim to ownership of a specific theory. If it was, then "credit" for the microbes ostensibly found by NASA researchers in the "Martian meteorite" in 1996 would have gone to Percival Lowell -- who asserted over a hundred years ago that there was "life on Mars, " when he gazed through his telescope and thought he saw canals. And, he even published!"

         Mr. Bara, I first informed Mr. Hoagland, Art Bell, and others about the work and ideas of Benton Clark, of Gerald Feinberg & Robert Shapiro, and the brief but very insightful remarks of Duncan Lunan in June, 1997. At that time, I hoped and asked for some fairness on the part of Hoagland. I tried for more than one year to get something to happen. I failed. Even some simple, but sincere, gesture of fairness would have meant a great deal. I do not understand why he refused then and continues to refuse to give fair credit to those individuals. It is not at all justified by the content of their work and ideas in comparison to his.

         My historical article discusses Hoagland's 1980 article about Europa in some detail. I devote several paragraphs to explaining the interesting and imaginative ideas contained in it. I feel that I have treated it quite fairly. But I also discuss in detail the extremely insightful ideas of Clark and also those of Feinberg & Shapiro, devoting several paragraphs to each. Both of these contributions are inspired by the possible existence of oceans on the Galilean satellites and also by the 1977 discovery by Robert Ballard of the deep-sea abodes of Life here on Earth. The speculations presented by those scientists are rather close to those suggested by scientists today. I also discuss the ideas of Lunan and his associates at ASTRA, which are condensed to just two pages in one of Lunan's books. But even that does not deserve to be dismissed as "simply mentioning life in a certain place." In fact, as far as I have been able to document it, Lunan and his associates were actually the first to offer substantial speculations about Life developing on the Galilean moons, and that was even pre-Ballard. In certain respects, their speculations are similar to those of Hoagland.

         I make no comparisons between these various contributions in my historical article, although I am in a rather unique position to do so. It seemed to me in writing that article that my own opinions about the relative importance, the completeness, the plausibility, or the depth of the insights that each contribution displays would have been out of place. It would also be rather difficult to make such a comparison fairly, almost like comparing apples and carrots.

         I want to emphasize this fact. You will not find any critical comments about Hoagland's 1980 article on my website. The four contributions which I mentioned above are all quite different. I certainly learned more from some than from others about the question of Life developing in oceans on Europa. The plausibility of the theories presented and the depth and thoroughness of the discussions are not equal. I view Hoagland's article on Europa as a positive contribution and have no desire to detract from it. Can we leave it at that?

         Let me add that scientific conferences are considered as an extremely important method of communication in the scientific community. Generally speaking, lectures at such conferences are aimed at a wider scientific audience than journal papers. They are an ideal forum for a more speculative type of topic. The Proceedings from such conferences, and, in particular, the 1979 Life In The Universe conference where Benton Clark lectured, often become important reference works and are available in almost every university library.

         By the way, you might find it interesting that it was Carl Sagan who is indirectly responsible for the citation of Hoagland's article in the 1983 paper "On the Habitability of Europa" by Squyres, Reynolds et al. I learned how this came about from Ray Reynolds. He called me soon after receiving my summary of the Europa history in 1997. After praising the thoroughness of my research, he told me that it was an unfortunate error to have overlooked Benton Clark's article in their reference list. (He singled that article out for some reason.) He then told me that after their article was finished, Squyres showed it to Sagan, who suggested that it might be good to reference Arthur C. Clarke's then recent novel "2010," which pursues the theme of Life on Europa. Looking at Clarke's novel led Squyres to Hoagland's article. The authors decided to also include that as a reference.

         Mr. Bara, the conflict between Mr. Hoagland and myself over the Europa issue will not be resolved by the kind of approach that you take. You make matters worse by trying to denigrate, dismiss, or diminish the work and ideas of various individuals in order to make Hoagland's article seem more important. What is needed is some sense of fairness.

3. You write:

"These next couple of paragraphs are pure CSICOP-serving pap. Posner makes it sound like Greenberg is some sort of independent entity, who "just happened" to come to his attention, when I know for a fact that Greenberg is in frequent contact with CSICOP members, if not a member himself."

         Mr. Bara, I have a subscription to The Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Also, in late 1997, I exchanged a few e-mail messages with Dave Thomas about an article in Skeptical Inquirer that he had written concerning "The Bible Code." At that time, I sent him information about my closely-related "Telephone Number Experiment." Sometime later, after writing the relevant articles for my website, I informed him of their existence.

         Then, about a year ago, you sent an e-mail message to Dave Thomas and Kendrick Frazier making some disparaging remarks about me. Thomas forwarded that message to me. I then wrote a long message to you correcting the nonsense that you had written, and sent a copy to Thomas and Frazier. Thomas wrote back to me, saying that he would have liked to see your reaction when you received my message.

         Gary Posner got in touch with me by e-mail in August. His article was already on the internet then and he asked me to comment on the accuracy of what he had written about the Europa issue. I was happy to do that. He did not tell me how he found my website. I had no contact with him before receiving his message.

         In addition, looking down the list of CSICOP Fellows provided in your rebuttal, I find that I have had contact with some of them. I do know John Paulos slightly. He is another mathematician, and we actually have a mutual friend. I exchanged a few e-mail messages with Jill Tarter in 1997 about the LITU Conference. (As you may know, she is the person who the Jody Foster character in Contact is based on.) I also exchanged one message with Scott Lilienfeld back in 1996.

That is the extent of my connection with CSICOP.

         But you might find the following fact interesting. Since 1997, I have had an extensive correspondence with Horace Crater - perhaps fifty or so e-mail messages from him to me, and vice versa. There have also been some letters, and a package or two. As you certainly must know, Crater is the President of the Society for Planetary SETI Research (SPSR). Our correspondence has been about Cydonia.

         Now, Mr. Bara, what do you make of that. Perhaps I am a member of SPSR, and not CSICOP. Or, perhaps, I am an individual like Vince DiPietro who has a passionate interest in getting NASA to take more and better photographs of Cydonia and who is deeply bitter about the damage that Hoagland has done to achieving that goal. Maybe that is why I have been so critical of Hoagland all along.

         But the actual reasons are somewhat different. I certainly detest his anti-intellectual attitude concerning the "Geometry of Cydonia," as indicated by his refusal to respond to the challenging arguments that I present on my website concerning that topic. But I also detest the irresponsibility of his behavior on Coast-To-Coast. Hoagland has a privileged forum on that show. In my opinion, he has repeatedly abused that forum. I have been vocal about some of the things that he has done which have disturbed me, but, in fact, not all of them.

         In 1997, I wrote to Hoagland asking him to apologize for something he had done on the Art Bell Show in 1996. I told him that a sincere apology for that specific incident might change my opinion of him significantly. It was just a one-time incident, but an extremely serious and also an extremely revealing one in my opinion. If you wish to understand me a little better, perhaps, you should ask Hoagland about that letter.

4. You write:

" And the notion that Greenberg in turn "just happened" to find an article on Europa is pure nonsense. By his own admission, after hearing that Hoagland had a preeminent claim to the model for life on Europa, Greenberg spent "dozens and dozens of hours" trying to find any references to overturn Hoagland's claim. He has continued to push the idea that Hoagland is claiming to be the first to propose a liquid water ocean there, when in fact this has never been Hoagland's claim."

         Europa was in the news quite a bit during 1996-97. I read various articles about Europa. It was in January or February, 1997 that I came across the article in Science News. It was actually from several months back, but another article I had read referred to it, and so I looked it up. The Science News article had just one brief sentence saying that the idea of an ocean on Europa had been proposed by John S. Lewis in 1971. Now, I had heard Hoagland talk about Europa quite a few times on the Art Bell Show and realized that something was mixed up here.

         I did not know how to find the article by Lewis, but got the idea of looking for books that he might have written. In fact, Lewis has written an encyclopedic volume entitled "Planets and Their Atmospheres." That book has an extensive bibliography (of some 25-30 pages, as I recall) and led me quickly to the papers of Lewis. Later, I found a reference to the paper of Cassen, Peale, and Reynolds.

         I also found some discussion of Life on Europa, although I cannot remember which one. It might have been Clark's article because that would be the easiest to find. (In fact, it would be quite easy, since the volume Life In The Universe has an index.) In March, Jay Ingram's article about Hoagland and Europa (from the Toronto Star) was read on the Art Bell Show. That prompted me to write to Ingram to tell him that his article was incorrect. Ingram responded quickly, telling me that Terence Dickinson was also writing an article that would soon appear and would be especially interested in my information. Ingram urged me to send more details. But I didn't do that right away.

         There were two more incidents that occurred in April, 1997 - a news release on the Enterprise Mission website and Hoagland's behavior when Art Bell read Dickinson's misleading article on the show. Those rather blatant incidents added considerably to my motivation to pursue this. But rather than sending Ingram what I knew at that time, I decided to look into things as thoroughly as I could. Most of the dozens of hours that you refer to were during April and May, 1997. My six-page letter was sent to Ingram, Hoagland, Art Bell, Dickinson, and others at the beginning of June.

         My letter criticized Hoagland for his misleading statements concerning the idea of an ocean on Europa. I would have hoped that he would respond to such criticism by at least making a simple statement on the air, and on his website, clearly attributing the ocean idea to those who actually came up with it. Nothing like that happened. I recall one night when Hoagland happened to mention John S. Lewis on Coast-To-Coast, referring to Lewis as his friend. That startled me, and I thought that finally he would say something to clarify things. It would have been so easy. But he said absolutely nothing about Lewis' work from 1971.

         In my letter, I pointed out the contributions of Lunan, Clark, etc concerning the question of Life on Europa. I wrote that Hoagland probably didn't know about those contributions before, and I raised the question of whether he would respond to that information with the fairness that those other individuals deserved. One night on Coast-To-Coast, Hoagland mentioned his "friend" Duncan Lunan. Again I was startled by that (since, as with Lewis, I had never heard him mention that name before) and thought something more would be coming. It would have been a golden opportunity to make one simple gesture of fairness, but Hoagland decided to say nothing concerning the speculations of Lunan and his associates at ASTRA about the Galilean moons.

         Let me remind you of the incident that occurred when Hoagland appeared on Coast-To-Coast one night in early December, 1997. That afternoon, I had sent Art Bell a fax summarizing the history of ideas about Europa. It was very polite and said nothing critical of Hoagland. I had been raising this issue for six months and thought that it was about time to resolve it. I have no doubt that Bell sent Hoagland that fax. This was another golden opportunity. It would not have been necessary to read the fax, but Hoagland could have easily briefly summarized it. I felt that he had an obligation to clearly state that the idea of an ocean on Europa had been proposed before he wrote his Europa article in 1980 and that, in addition to himself, other individuals had also offered substantive speculations about Life developing in such an ocean.

         Instead, this is what happened as soon as Bell introduced Hoagland:

ART BELL: Richard, you are I believe originally noted for your investigation into the monuments of Mars, and then, following that, artifacts that you have shown on the moon.

RICHARD HOAGLAND: Well actually, even before that, back in the 1980's I was looking very hard at a little moon of Jupiter called Europa, and when I was covering the Voyager story out at JPL in the Summer of 1980, actually the Spring of 1979 and the Winter of 1980, we flew this extraordinary spacecraft, NASA did, by Jupiter for the first time and encountered the four moons, you know, Io, Ganymede, Europa, Callisto, and Jupiter itself, and it was as part of that observation that I began work on essentially what turned out to be the first scientific paper, which ultimately appeared in Star and Sky Magazine in the beginning of 1980, which was a prognostication, pulling all the data together, that there might be a global ocean under the ice cover that Voyager had revealed and that in that global ocean there actually might be some extant living life forms. Well, they used to say that if you wait long enough sometimes things come around, well this last year, with the Galileo Mission, in orbit around Jupiter, some 17 years after that set of predictions, it turns out that probably we are correct.

         Mr. Bara, that was not at all what I had hoped for. Richard Hoagland made a critical decision that night - to continue the pretense. I do not understand what was going on in his mind when he made that artfully worded statement. Perhaps he just thought that if he were ever embarrassed over his continued pretense, he could simply point to his citation of the work of Cassen et al in his 1980 article, and get out of it unscathed. The fact is that his pretense over the years has cost him a lot.

Please read what Lars-Jonas Angstrom has to say:

"The Angstrom Foundation AB wants to support and promote excellence in all of the natural sciences.

The Foundation is aware of the fact that through out history it has happened that researchers and scientists have "borrowed" other researchers and scientists ideas, theories, discoveries and contributions pretending it to be their own discoveries and claiming credit for themselves.

To do so knowingly -- without an immediate correction -- is far from showing excellence in science and is, in our opinion, nothing less than a disgrace. A person doing so is disgraceful and is also bringing disgrace to a field of science in which he/she definitely does not belong. The Angstrom Foundation AB would never knowingly promote such an action."

Mr. Bara, who do you think that Mr. Angstrom has in mind?

5. You write:

"Next, Posner turns his attention to Europa, repeating the now tiresome intimation that Hoagland has tried to take credit for the work of Cassen, Reynolds and Peale on a liquid water ocean under the ice crust of Europa. In this he cites once again the obsessive campaign of Ralph Greenberg, a mathematician at the University of Washington with CSICOP ties who has made something of a second career out of pushing this idea. The problem of course is that Hoagland has never claimed any such thing, and he has cited Cassen, Reynolds and Peale in his original paper on the Enterprise web site and frequently in his on air appearances. So again, we raise the question, if Hoagland were trying to take false credit, why would he cite the work of Cassen, Reynolds and Peale, and then put it on his own web site for all the world to see?"

         Mr. Bara, if Hoagland had acted with some integrity and a sense of fairness after receiving my letter in June, 1997, then this whole matter would have been settled long ago. There would have been minimal, if any, embarrassment to him. My persistence in this matter is a direct consequence of Hoagland's stubborn intransigence. I really do not understand why being known as ONE of the first individuals to have speculated about Life on Europa is not enough for him.

         If Hoagland has frequently cited the work of Cassen, Peale, and Reynolds on Coast-To-Coast, as you say, then that must be relatively recently. I have been abroad since May, and have not heard the show. But I did see your posting in September which acknowledges the paper "Is There Liquid Water on Europa?" by Cassen, Peale, and Reynolds (written, by the way, in 1979, not 1977). That posting appeared (coincidentally?) soon after Posner's article appeared on the internet (which was already there in August). I myself have never heard Hoagland mention those names. He rarely even talked about his Europa article after that December, 1997 episode that I discussed above.

         It is true that Hoagland cites Cassen, Peale, and Reynolds in The Europa Enigma. It is true that this article is on his website for everyone to read. As I've said before, an attentive reader of that article should realize that the hypothesis of an ocean existing on Europa is not Hoagland's.

         It is also true that an article written by Steven Squyres and three other scientists in 1983 has a clear citation of Hoagland's The Europa Enigma and Clarke's novel 2010. As I mentioned before, according to Ray Reynolds, it was Squyres himself who is partly responsible for those citations. Since this was a scientific conference, it is likely that some of the members of the audience had previously read that paper. I would add that everyone probably knew of Clarke's novel and many had probably heard of Hoagland and his well-publicized article about Europa.

         In July, 1996, Hoagland decided to go on Coast-To-Coast and accuse Squyres of trying to steal credit from him. He referred to it as "some kind of plagiarism." At the time, Hoagland made a big deal out of this, not just on Coast-To-Coast, but on another program where he gave an interview about it, and in a news release dated July 23, 1996. He stated that Squyres and he had known each other for years and that Squyres must have been familiar with Hoagland's 1980 article. He did not bother to mention the citation in a paper which Squyres had co-authored.

         Perhaps you see what I mean when I refer to the hypocrisy of your argument that something which Hoagland wrote in 1980 has any bearing on his behavior in the 1990s. If that argument applies to Hoagland, why does it not apply to Squyres too?

         What is the difference between those two cases? In fact, there is one great difference. Hoagland did make misleading statements concerning the ocean idea. Some of those statements are documented on my website. But did Squyres make misleading statements? I have seen no evidence that he did. All that Hoagland provides in the way of evidence is a news report by an individual named Nick Flowers.

         Mr. Bara, can you explain to me why Richard Hoagland never even bothered to contact Nick Flowers? Obviously, brief news reports can be misleading.

         I recently did contact Flowers. In reply to my query, he informed me that, except for myself, no one ever contacted him about his interview with Squyres. He also told me that Squyres said nothing which could be construed as taking personal credit for either the idea that an ocean might exist on Europa or that Life might exist there. Flowers told me that he was familiar with all the ideas about Europa, and had read Clarke's novel 2010, and so he would have known if Squyres were taking false credit.

         It seems to me that Hoagland's accusation against Squyres was nothing but a cheap publicity stunt - a way of promoting himself at the expense of someone else.

6. I will take this opportunity to comment on your article "Orwell and the Internet," posted on the Enterprise Mission website in September, 1998. In your rebuttal to Posner's SI article, you recommend it to your readers, but, in my opinion, it is something that you should be ashamed of. And Richard Hoagland should be ashamed for allowing it to be posted on the Enterprise Mission website.

         In that article, you lash out at Steven Squyres. You revive Hoagland's accusation about plagiarism. You twist what Squyres wrote in his letter (defending himself against that accusation) to suit your purpose, which is, of course, to make him seem like a liar. You try as well as you could to bolster the charge of plagiarism. But, as before, you simply discredit yourself and make it even clearer how baseless the accusation against Squyres really is.

         But worst of all is what you do at the end of your article. In May, 1998, I challenged Hoagland to a debate. Art Bell confronted him with my challenge on the air, and so finally Hoagland realized that ignoring my criticism would not work. He refused my challenge, and did so in a very insulting way. Then, several months later, your article "Orwell and the Internet" appeared. I am sure that Art Bell would not have tolerated on his show the kind of vilification that is contained in that article.

         You write (referring to my challenge to a debate): "Perhaps Mr. Greenberg was hoping that Hoagland would check his brain at the door and give him a forum for his poison. Or maybe he had another line from Hitler in mind - 'The victor will never be asked if he told the truth'."

         On the other side of the page, you write: "If crusaders like Squyres and Greenberg are allowed to spread their mendacities unhindered, the victory will surely go them."

         And, in between your insults to me (and also Squyres), you juxtapose a photograph of Goebbels and Hitler. That baffles me completely. Perhaps it is about time for you to extend an overdue and sincere public apology for making such an unconscionable association.

         In conclusion, I should inform you that this e-mail message to you will be posted on my website along with any response that I receive from you.

Sincerely yours,

         Ralph Greenberg

Bara's response dated December 28th

My response to Bara, dated January 27th