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Bara's brief response (edited)

Dear Mr. Bara,

Below you will find a copy of a letter that I have sent to Mr. Hoagland. I have put it in the post today after several attempts to send it by fax failed. I am also sending copies to the individuals on the cc list by e-mail today. In addition, I may later send copies to others as I see fit. Of course, it will also be posted on my own website, as have my previous messages to you.

I have repeatedly made the point that Mr. Hoagland is presenting fallacious evidence to the general public as well as to the scientific community concerning the Cydonia issue. That is very serious criticism, especially because it comes from a highly qualified mathematician. It behooves Mr. Hoagland to follow my suggestion of actually hiring other highly qualified mathematicians or statisticians to offer their own opinion about whether I am right or not. If he can get support for his evidence from such individuals, then that can only help him to promote the Cydonia issue. If he cannot, then perhaps he will finally realize that I am indeed right.

I have serious doubts about whether Mr. Hoagland even cares. From my vantage point, he certainly doesn't act like it.

Ralph Greenberg

Dear Mr. Hoagland,

It has been almost six years since I first approached you concerning the mathematical evidence that you have presented to the public concerning the Cydonia issue. Perhaps it is finally time for you to seriously consider my criticism of that evidence. I intend to challenge you to a debate in the next two or three months. I will then propose a written debate to take place at a mutually agreeable location on the internet. In the meantime, I ask you to do two things. First of all, I urge you to carefully read the relevant essays on my homepage. They have been there for a long time and I know that you are aware of their existence. The principal one has the following URL:

http://www.math.washington.edu/~greenber/DMPyramid.html

In that essay you will also find links for other closely related essays.

Secondly, I strongly urge you to consult other mathematicians or statisticians who, like myself, have devoted their lives to studying various subtle mathematical issues. You can certainly find such individuals in the mathematics or statistics departments of a nearby university. I suggest that you pay them to take the time necessary to examine your mathematical evidence, to listen to your explanations, to read my critical essays, and to give you their own objective evaluation. I hope that you will listen carefully, and with an open mind, to what they tell you. I believe that you will find absolutely no support for your evidence among those individuals. Perhaps you will then realize that my criticism has been valid all along. If so, and you are finally willing to discard that evidence, as I advised you to do a long time ago, and you are willing to acknowledge publicly that you have been wrong about it, then there will no longer be a need for a debate.

As you must know, I am a mathematician who is highly respected within the mathematical community. My many research papers have been published in top international journals. Those papers contain theorems and conjectures which are the product of careful thought, in many cases over a period of years. If another mathematician approached me with the opinion that one of my theorems or proofs or conjectures was wrong in some way, I would take that extremely seriously. I would absolutely have to know if something that I believed to be correct, and even published, was actually, or possibly, wrong. It would certainly be upsetting to me to make a serious blunder, and potentially embarrassing, but that would not matter. It would be an obligation to the mathematical community and to myself to find out. Similarly, if I found a serious error in the work of another mathematician, or a scholar in a different field who uses mathematical arguments, I would feel equally obligated to bring that error to his or her attention and I would rightfully expect a substantive response.

You do not publish in scholarly journals. Instead you put your ideas forward to the general public. But I do not see why a different standard should apply. In the Fall of 1996, I wrote several letters to you about what you refer to as the "Geometry of Cydonia." I received no response. It seemed to me that you simply turned a deaf ear to my criticism. In 1998, I challenged you to a debate. Art Bell confronted you with my challenge on the air. You responded with unjustified insults. Several months later your assistant Michael Bara wrote an article entitled "Orwell and the Internet" which was placed on your website. That article went beyond mere insults. Bara referred to my criticism (which also dealt with the Europa issue, still unresolved to this day) as "poison" and "mendacities." He juxtaposed those remarks with quotes from Hitler and a photo of Goebbels and Hitler.

What happened at that time was offensive and totally unacceptable. Nevertheless, I decided to patiently persist in challenging the mathematical evidence that you have used to influence your audience - the readers of THE MONUMENT OF MARS, the attendees at your lectures, and, of course, the listening audience for the Art Bell Show. In mid-1999, I created my own website including some of the essays alluded to above and a shorter form of the essay about the D&M Pyramid. I expanded that essay at the end of 1999, and it has been there ever since, at the above URL, and with no essential changes.

I know that you are aware of my essays, but you have never responded to the substance of my criticism. I believe that what I explain there is devastating to your evidence. Let me just mention one of the many points that I make. The "relationship model" put forward by you and Erol Torun for the D&M pyramid is contradictory. That is, it is impossible to design a pyramid incorporating all, or even most, of those relationships to the level of accuracy one would expect of an architect's design for a structure, especially such a massive structure. This point certainly deserves a substantive response from you, but, quite frankly, I myself do not see how you could respond in a way that deals squarely with that crucial issue. Perhaps you can find a way. In a debate, I assure you that a facile answer on your part will not be successful.

It is clear that you have found this mathematical evidence useful in influencing the opinions of your audience. All of those mathematical constants mysteriously showing up when you take ratios of angles, and radians, and compute values of trigonometric functions. I imagine that that may look very impressive to many people and make it seem that the case for artificiality is far stronger than it really is. This has undoubtedly helped you to build up a following and to promote your agenda concerning Cydonia by getting people to write letters and faxes to NASA officials, thereby putting some pressure on NASA to provide more and more images of Cydonia. Perhaps this has even been an effective strategy for that purpose, but I do not believe that the end justifies the mean. As I see it, you are using mathematics to fool people, perhaps fooling yourself at the same time, and it is a fundamentally divisive strategy.

As you certainly realize, it would be extremely difficult for most people to really evaluate that mathematical evidence, one way or the other. Yet you use it to influence people's opinions. When a real mathematician comes along to object, and even takes the time to write an essay explaining the basis for the objection, you show nothing but indifference.

Ostensibly, your objective has been, or should have been, to get scientists at NASA to take the Cydonia issue seriously. Presenting fallacious mathematical evidence is obviously not an effective way to do that. It merely gives scientists, who often have considerable background in mathematics, an easy excuse for dismissing the whole issue. For that reason alone, you should be deeply concerned about whether or not my objections are valid.

It may be costly for you to follow my suggestion of hiring some qualified individuals to examine your mathematical evidence and my critique of that evidence. I feel that you have an absolute obligation to take my criticism seriously and to look into this issue thoroughly. From my perspective, you are absolutely wrong. I am asking you to care about that possibility.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Greenberg

cc

Michael Bara

Art Bell

Phillip Christenson

Richard Grossinger

Linda Moulton Howe

David Livingston

George Noory

Barbara Simpson