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REVIEW: Dark Mission

Title: Dark Mission
Subtitle: The Secret History of NASA
Authors: Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara
Published by Feral House
ISBN: 978-1-932595-48-2
Copyright 2009 (revised edition)
soft cover, 616 pages, footnotes, B&W/color plates
As anyone who has read Hoagland's work knows, he writes like a TeeVee pitchman and gets paid by the punctuation mark.  His style is a bit tiring after a while and trying to keep up with all the brackets, braces, ellipses, and quote marks wears on the reader.

Fortunately for the reader, he is tempered a bit by co-author Mike Bara.  Bara brings a somewhat steadier tone and muted hyperbole to the topic at hand.  That said, it is quite obvious which of the authors edited which parts of the book.

Style points aside, the information in the book is, in a word, astounding.  The authors begin in the late 1800s and build their case meticulously through the development of rocketry, Operation Paperclip, the formation of NASA, and finally up to today's headlines.

Their thesis comes down to the likely existence of life and the remains of an ancient, advanced civilization that spanned the solar system.  They go on to pain-stakingly build the case that some elements within NASA have been aware, even before landing on other moons and planets, that these things were there.  They also posit, based on a study commissioned by NASA in the early 60s called the "Brooking Report," that these groups have established a careful time-line of information release to literally engineer society to accept the profound implications of these discoveries.

The authors do a rather thorough job of outlining the 'invisible hand' behind the slow trickle of information and the deliberate social conditioning that the aware reader is already aware of, though may not yet be able to define.  In other words, the authors give the reader a pretty good idea of who "they" are, and what "they" are up to behind the scenes.

The authors take us on a sometimes tedious journey, event by event, mission by mission, to build their argument.  They provide the reader with ample examples, quotes, images, mathematical formulae, and documented events.  Even those who have closely followed Hoagland's work will gain new insight and additional background and many of his more astounding claims.

In a nutshell, Hoagland argues that NASA is composed of several competing groups.  At the most over-arching level, he speculates there are "owls" and "roosters."  The owls are seeking to hide and control any information beyond 'dirt and rocks,' concerning other solar system bodies.  The roosters are supposedly fighting to finally release the information and let the pieces fall where they may.

At a secondary level, Hoagland defines the Nazis, Masons and Wizards who, as he says, infest the inner workings of the space program.  All three groups, as the author notes, are steeped in ancient myths, rituals and beliefs, which color NASA's operations.  The Nazi's, of course, are von Braun's clique, brought to the US under Paperclip after WWII.  The Masons, obviously, are high-ranking members of that secret society.  The Wizards are along the lines of Jack Parsons, founder of JPL, who was a singularly strange character, who at one point, with his friend L. Ron Hubbard, tried to breed the Anti-Christ.  Lest one scoff, this is well-documented by Parson's own writings, as well as others.

The authors then go on to exhaustively document NASA's strange predilection for using ritualistic dates, stellar alignments and ancient symbology in practically every aspect of the operation.  They define five stellar objects and three specific points on the sky (horizon, 19.5 degrees and 33 degrees), and then carefully document how these select objects and alignments play heavily in virtually every aspect of the NASA program.

They go on to show the overwhelming use of certain symbols in official mission logos.  Certainly, even the casual observer can detect the common use of Orion throughout NASA's history.  The homage to the Egyptian goddess Isis becomes apparent, as well.  Blue triangles (symbol of the star Sirius) and even naming the space station ISS are but two.

The authors then move on to re-iterate all of Hoagland's efforts over the years.  Step by step and image by image, the reader is shown the rather large body of evidence pointing to what Hoagland calls "archologies" on multiple solar system bodies, particularly the Moon and Mars, but certainly not limited to those.  The authors are careful not to come outright and claim the existence of ET ruins, but they make a clear case for investing in more research, and at the very least, 'official' recognition that there are obvious mysteries with amazing implications for all of Mankind.

The authors, having built a solid case for their archologies, for NASA rituals, and for a hidden agenda, then turn to documenting multiple lines of evidence for extant life on Mars.  In this, as in the other arguments, they do not limit themselves to just NASA documentation.  They present findings from Russian, Japanese and European missions, as well.  The back up their own claims with those of other researchers, including NASA scientists.  Certainly, anyone who follows the space program knows of Dr. Gil Levin's decades-long quest to have the findings of his Viking life experiments re-examined.  Even at the time, it made headlines that Viking had found evidence of respiration, metabolism and circadian rhythms.

The authors go on to point out strong evidence of liquid water, mud, pools, lychens, algae, and even trees, which are commonly names after Arthur C. Clarke, who remarked unequivocally that they appeared to be huge trees, with trunks, branches and leaves.  At least as far as the water goes, NASA has admitted that much.

Hoagland and Bara lament the culture in which we live, where people require the admission of 'authorities' in order to believe the plain evidence of their senses.  One common question, not only leveled against the authors, but at independent researchers in general is, "How could 'they' keep something so big as proof of life off the Earth covered up for so long?"  The answer is quite simple, and the authors take great pains to try and overcome it, humans are biased against extraordinary information.  As a group, we will not accept what we plainly perceive, if the information is too far outside our daily experience.  We depend heavily on the blessing of 'authorities' to confirm or deny what we believe.

What comes through clearly in this book is the sense of awe and excitement engendered by these lines of inquiry.  In a sterile Universe in which humans are the pinnacle of creation, we might expect to find accidental patterns, such as the Old Man in the Mountain, or the Man On The Moon, but Mount Rushmore is rather unlikely.  This fact alone argues that the massive and growing amounts of evidence for artificial objects scattered throughout the solar system must point to an actual phenomenon.  If we are the first, and Neil Armstrong was the first of us to set foot off the Earth, then we should not find more than the occasional curiosity of Nature anywhere in our solar system, let alone Faces, pyramids, glass domes and tunnels, and buried cities.  We certainly shouldn't find green patches on Mars that expand and recede with the seasons.  What's more, shouldn't our 'civilian' agencies, for which we pay dearly, be giving us the truth?  At the bare minimum, they should be giving us the raw data that we paid for, so that we may investigate for ourselves.

The authors give the reader multiple examples of NASA's agenda by pointing to the many expensive missions to Mars that are tasked with single investigations.  Any evidence for other lines of inquiry are soundly denied and hidden.  In the case of Viking, even when the mission is ostensibly to find evidence of life on Mars, NASA simply denies the data that confirms the objective.

One prime example of this was the Phoenix lander.  The spacecraft cost billions of dollars and used thousands of man-hours, and when it landed, NASA made a huge deal of stating that it had found ice on the planet.  Any 13-year-old, for the price of a telescope and waiting for good viewing could have told us that.  The polar ice caps have been plainly obvious for well over a century.

Another example is the Spirit and Opportunity rovers.  Their mission was to find evidence of 'past' water on Mars.  The fact that they repeatedly bogged down in mud, took unmistakable photos of fossils and were routinely washed clean of collected dust did not deter NASA from its singular focus on sedimentary rocks and phosphates.  NASA even went as far as to destroy a number of fossils with the grinding tool, just to make the point that they weren't looking for those things.

By the end of the book, the reader is left with a distinct feeling of frustration, disappointment and even anger.  One ponders why an agency that is nominally public and receives billions of dollars of tax money can't seem to see their hands in front of their faces.  The anger comes from the occult rituals and obfuscating games that NASA has played with truly Earth-shaking information, and their flat-out refusal to investigate those things which the public, who pays their salaries, obviously want investigated.

Hoagland and Bara effectively argue their case, using multiple lines of evidence, documentation from disparate sources, and the unmistakable evidence of the data itself.  Multiple researchers, multiple investigations and even NASA's own history and admissions stand in stark contract to the agency's recalcitrant refusals to give the world the truth.

One could argue, as Hoagland and Bara do, that the Brookings Report is justification for careful social engineering, to prepare the unwashed masses for what is really 'out there.'  However, one could just as easily argue that secret information is a source of power, and that the Brookings Report simply offers justification for the secrecy...plausible deniability, in other words.

In any case, the well-informed individual must place this book alongside the works of other careful and credible researchers who have come to the same conclusions through various lines of investigation.  NASA is but one agency in a political leviathan, in which secrecy and lies are mother's milk.  That the military and CIA have been heavily involved in NASA since its inception should come as no surprise.

Often, it is difficult for many people to articulate the definition of 'they,' and to readily offer up documented examples of how 'they' manipulate and control the masses.  Hoagland and Bara have done a masterful, if somewhat tedious, job of it in a tome dense with information and directions for personal investigation.  It is easy, as many have, to dismiss Hoagland as arrogant and egotistical, but the ad hominem attack only discredits the messenger, not the message.  What comes through strongest in this book is the authors' sense of wonder and excitement, and the deep frustration at being thwarted at every turn in trying to satiate their curiosity.

In the closing pages, the reader is left with the distinct, though often misquoted, feeling that, "The Universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we CAN imagine."

If the authors leave the reader with the desire to add his voice to the chorus of those calling for openess and transparency in the sciences, then one assumes they have been successful.

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