Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I recently received a link from a friend which made an alarming claim.

The link (viewable here) is an interview with an individual, of unstated credentials, in which the contention is made that the seafloor at the Gulf oil spill site is rising -- ten feet or more in places, and over an area with a diameter of ten to fifteen miles.  The interviewee went on to explain that this bubble is a rising pocket of methane gas, released from frozen methane hydrates at the drill site, and that when (not if, note) this explodes, it would create a tsunami that would dwarf the one that devastated Aceh and Sri Lanka in 2004, inundating much of the low-lying southeastern United States, Central, and South America.

At first, I was inclined to sit up and take notice.  Methane and hydrogen sulfide explosions from the deep ocean are not outside of the realm of possibility, and in fact one theory relates the Permian-Triassic extinction (the largest extinction in the world's history, dwarfing the one that did in the dinosaurs 150 million years later) to a massive methane/sulfide release, with consequent alterations to the chemistry and transparency of the atmosphere and oceans.   The result: 95% of the world's species became extinct.

The gentleman then went on to explain that BP, in cahoots with the US government, was taking pains to avoid anyone finding out about this, because of the panic that would ensue if it was made public.

So, anyhow, I was a little alarmed.  Then I noticed the name of the guy being interviewed.

Richard C. Hoagland.

I don't know if you've heard about Hoagland, but if you're a skeptic, you should remember his name.  Here are a few of Hoagland's accomplishments (for want of a better word):

1) The "Face on Mars" brouhaha. The "Face on Mars," of course, turned out to be a rock outcropping which only looked like a face when viewed in the right light (because of the way the shadows fell); at other times during the Martian day it looked like, well, a rock outcropping.  This didn't stop Hoagland et al. from getting all the woo-woos in the world stirred up that it was evidence of an ancient civilization on Mars.  It did have the effect of inspiring a nifty episode of The X Files, but other than that, it was sort of a non-starter as a scientific observation.

2) The 19.5 N and S latitude theory, which claims that on every planet in the solar system, there are naturally-occurring features containing vast amounts of energy, located at 19.5 degrees north and south of the planet's equator.  One such example, he says, is the Martian volcano Olympus Mons (which I actually looked up, and is 18.3 degrees north of the Martian equator, but that's undoubtedly within the margin of error for his prediction, so we'll let it slide).  I did a quick scan of the earth at 19.5 degrees north and south, and all I could find that seemed interesting was the East African Rift Valley (a highly geologically active area, not that those are uncommon on the earth's surface) and the Big Island of Hawaii, which has a volcano or two and the energy generated by thousands of scantily-clad sunworshippers.  Not exactly unequivocal support of his theory, but honesty forced me to mention it.

3) There are large semi-transparent structures, created by a superintelligent civilization, on the moon.  NASA's photographs of the moon have been digitally altered to erase them.

4) Speaking of NASA, it's run by the Freemasons, and has been complicit in everything from faking scientific data from space missions to assassinating JFK.  The Masons were also responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

5) On the other hand, there is a secret space agency, which is currently using antigravity technology that was reverse-engineered from artifacts left on the moon, presumably by the same superintelligent society referenced in #3.

And so on. It should be clear by now that Mr. Hoagland has been spending too much time doing sit-ups under parked cars, and that we should give his "huge gas bubble in the Gulf" claim little to no credence.  I say "little," because, as I've said before, there is geologic evidence that such massive explosions have happened in the past -- but given the source, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.  My advice -- you shouldn't cancel your Florida vacation just yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment