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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 25

Firmage: Statement Regarding Stephens-Hoagland

From: Joe Firmage <jfirmage@uswebcks.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 22:46:32 -0800
Fwd Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 09:48:53 -0500
Subject: Firmage: Statement Regarding Stephens-Hoagland

Hello everyone,

We have been presented in the past few weeks with a spectacle
remarkable even on the scale of the ridiculousness common to
UFOlogy. Robert Stephens emerged some months ago and began to
share some provocative information concerning the subject of
UFOs. He was about to be engaged in a debate on Art Bell's radio
program covering 200 questions concerning claims made by Richard
Hoagland, when his participation was cut from the air. In the
midst of the firestorm of debate that followed, he bowed out in
a "confession" that labelled himself a "Fraud". Many have said,
with some justification, that Stephens' final radio comments
were somewhat disjointed, though others have reported that he
was particularly cogent in his other appearances. In any case,
he has taken his agenda to the written word, and is publishing
the "200 questions" he's been talking about.

What is Stephens' agenda? According to him, it is to expose
Richard Hoagland as a fraud. Now, I have committed myself not to
descend into personal or institutional attacks so common in this
domain, as I have far more interesting and productive things to
do with my time. But this case is different than the rest. I
have volunteered to comment on Stephens' assertion, so let me
make six brief points:

1 - If you read my book, you will find no mention of
"hyperdimensional physics", "tetrahedral geometry", "19.5",
"Cydonia", "Face on Mars", or basically any of Hoagland's
signature claims, and I have studied his claims insofar as that
is possible from two meetings and numerous reviews of his web
site. The reason you won't find any of his claims in my book is
because I do not believe Hoagland's evidence supports his
assertions. I am and will remain open-minded to all good
evidence on any and all subjects, but I have not seen good
evidence from Mr. Hoagland up to this point. Generally speaking,
that portion of his data that I have seen would not hold up in a
pre-trial hearing, let alone in front of a jury.

2 - When I quietly entered this domain a year ago, I began
providing private grants to a number of researchers over time,
including Hoagland, to see if there was any "there" there. In
the case of Hoagland, I have seen nothing of productive value in

3 - I can personally witness to the whole "December 7th" craft
landing claim, as Richard communicated similar information to
me. I listened but chose to ignore it, again for lack of a shred
of good supporting evidence.

4 - Do I find evidence that Hoagland conducts fraudulent
"science"? My experience with Richard Hoagland suggests Stephens
is correct. I have no personal agenda against Richard Hoagland.
I am simply stating the truth as I see it.

5 - I do not know Robert Stephens except through a brief dialog
concerning my views on Mr. Hoagland. In my dialog with him he
has been a careful and clear-headed thinker. I cannot vouch for
all of his claims one way or the other, but I can and will
support them where I personally am in a position to discriminate
fact from fiction. Stephens' point regarding the NRO is likely
accurate. I have separate confirmation that our global tracking
systems do observe many "unknowns" each month. I agree with his
view that the secret to super-luminal propulsion is to be found
in systems that will influence time through electromagnetic
means. Stephens' questions of Hoagland are extremely serious and
should be answered by Hoagland. If they are even mostly true, we
will have a crystal-clear picture of why the "guvmint" could
never work with the field of UFOlogy in its present state. If
Robert's claims are not true, then Hoagland should be able to
put this to rest and acquit himself rather efficiently and
emerge all the stronger for it.

6 - I cannot speak in any informed way on the alleged "troika"
between Hoagland, Bell, and CAUS. From my perspective, I have
seen no good evidence that Art Bell is anything but a good
entertainer with a broad and effective reach, with an open forum
for all kinds of ideas, and perhaps too little discretion on
what he chooses to broadcast. In the case of Peter Gersten,
though his over-aggressive defense of Hoagland in various venues
is mystifying, I have seen his hard work in a thankless task,
with a good heart, surrounded as we all are by a swamp of
fiction. His work with Corso was significant. A signed affidavit
was no small victory.

Whether you agree with Stephens' tactics or not, his points are
well grounded, and this is a critical issue and must be
addressed for the health of our movement. I thank him for his
diligence and courage to confront our weaknesses. Those of us
who seriously study the UFO issue are convinced that it is the
most important single question facing humanity at this moment in
time. It is far too important to have the entire UFO community
subjected to derision from Hoagland's unchallenged and
unsupportable claims.

If this domain cannot police itself, then it doesn't deserve to
be trusted with astoundingly far-reaching and fundamental data.
Let us commit ourselves to truth, plain and simple.

J O S E P H    F I R M A G E
Founder & Chairman

International Space Sciences Organization

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