His writings claim that advanced civilizations exist or once existed on the Moon, Mars and on some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and that NASA and the United States government have conspired to keep these facts secret. He has advocated his ideas in two published books, videos, lectures, interviews, and press conferences. His views have never been published in peer-reviewed journals. Hoagland has no university degree.
A popular planetarium lecturer at the Springfield Science Museum, Hoagland produced a program called "Mars: Infinity to 1965" to coincide with the Mariners 3 and 4 missions. Charles Renaud produced a radio program for WTIC (AM) in Hartford, Connecticut, The Night of the Encounter, which covered the July 14, 1965 Mariner 4 flyby of the planet Mars.[note 3] Hoagland was interviewed for the program at the Springfield Science Museum by WTIC announcer Dick Bertel.
In 1976, Hoagland, an avid Star Trek fan, initiated a letter-writing campaign that successfully persuaded President Gerald Ford to name the first Space Shuttle the Enterprise, replacing the previously slated name for the prototype vehicle, Constitution.[note 4] The Enterprise was rolled out for public display on September 17, 1976, Constitution Day.
Hoagland authored the book The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever, and co-authored the book Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA, which was ranked 21st on November 18, 2007 on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperback nonfiction.
Hoagland runs The Enterprise Mission website, which he describes as "an independent NASA watchdog and research group, the Enterprise Mission, attempting to figure out how much of what NASA has found in the solar system over the past 50 years has actually been silently filed out of sight as classified material, and therefore totally unknown to the American people."
While Hoagland makes frequent reference to his receipt of the "International Angstrom Medal for Excellence in Science" in August 1993, the organization that awarded the medal, The Angstrom Foundation Aktiebolag, founded by Lars-Jonas Ångström, was not authorized by Uppsala University or the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to make use of the academy's Anders Jonas Ångström memorial medal. The academy has long authorized only Uppsala University to use their medal for the Ångström's Prize (Ångströms premium), awarded yearly by Uppsala professors to physics students. Mr. Ångström stated in May 2000 that although his award to Hoagland was a mistake, he acted with good faith and with good intentions.
Many scientists have responded to Hoagland's claims and assertions. Professional astronomer Phil Plait described Hoagland as a pseudoscientist and his claims as ridiculous. Prof. Ralph Greenberg asserted that the logic of Hoagland's deductions from the geometry of Cydonia Mensae is flawed and says that he is not a trained scientist in any sense. The claim that the crashing of the Galileo orbiter into Jupiter caused a "mysterious black spot" on the planet has since been disputed by both NASA and Plait. There is photographic evidence that a similar "black spot" was present in imagery of Jupiter taken in 1998. A second image referenced by Plait shows a dark ring which looks similar to the spot Hoagland cited. In 1995, Malin Space Science Systems, NASA prime contractor for planetary imaging, published a paper critiquing claims that the "city" at Cydonia is artificial, the claimed mathematical relationships, and — very specifically — denying any claims about concealing questionable data from the public.
In October 1997, Hoagland received the Ig Nobel Prize for Astronomy "for identifying artificial features on the moon and on Mars, including a human face on Mars and ten-mile high buildings on the far side of the moon." The prize is a parody award given for outlandish or "trivial" contributions to science.
Hoagland, Richard C. (2002). The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever (5th ed.). Berkeley: Frog, Ltd. ISBN978-1-58394-054-9.
Hoagland, Richard C.; Bara, Mike (2009). Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA, Revised and Expanded Edition. Port Townsend: Feral House. ISBN978-1-932595-48-2.
Haas, George J.; Saunders, William R. (2005). The Cydonia Codex: Reflections from Mars. Forewords by Dr. Mark J. Carlotto and Richard C. Hoagland. ISBN978-1-58394-121-8.
NASA (1972). "The Moon". In Hoagland, Richard C. NASA Apollo Spacecraft Lunar Excursion Module News Reference. Chapter by Richard C. Hoagland. Periscope Film LLC (published September 2011). ISBN978-1-937684-98-3.
Hoagland, Richard C. (Executive Producer, Writer (with Geline, Robert J.)) (1992). The Monuments of Mars: A Terrestrial Connection (VHS tape). New York: BC Video Inc. OCLC41520112.
Hoagland, Richard C. (1996). Hoagland's Mars, Vol. 1, The NASA-Cydonia Briefings (VHS tape). Venice, CA: UFO Central Home Video. OCLC41559991. "Short version, revised and updated"
Hoagland, Richard C. (Disk 1: "The Gods of Cydonia: The Case for Ancient Artificial Structures in the Solar System") (2005). God, Man and ET: The Question of Other Worlds in Science, Theology, and Mythology (DVD). Venice, CA: Knowledge 2020 Media. OCLC58528205.
^A private award presented to Hoagland by Lars-Jonas Ångström in Washington, D.C., August 1993; not to be confused with the long-established Ångström's Prize (Ångströms premium), awarded yearly by professors at Uppsala University to physics students.
^The WTIC radio program, A Night of Encounter (submission title), was submitted by WTIC President Paul W. Morency as an entry for a Peabody Award, but it did not win. Contrary to what Hoagland states on his biography page, the program was not nominated for the award since there is no intermediate level of competition. All winners are chosen directly from the entire field of accepted entries. The entry form, along with an archival 7" 45 rpm gramophone audio recording of the program, are currently being held at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia Libraries in Athens, Georgia. WTIC announcer Dick Bertel hosted the program and interviewed Hoagland. The program also featured a conversation between Hoagland and astronomer Dr. Robert S. Richardson, associate director of the Griffith Observatory.
^In "Why 'Enterprise?'", The Enterprise Mission credits the 1976 Space Shuttle letter-writing campaign as being "organized by Richard C. Hoagland and a small group of associates, including White House consultant, Jerome Glenn." Glenn is the co-founder and Director of The Millennium Project, a think tank. His résumé posted on his organization's website mentions that he was "instrumental in naming the first Space Shuttle the Enterprise."
^Knize, Francis C. P. (May 28, 2004). "OMB Peer Review: Public Comment Concerning NASA" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: The White House. p. 12. Retrieved November 16, 2012. "Efrain Palermo and Richard Hoagland for their previous research which was submitted as peer reviewed material concerning the feature of water streaks on Mars and the possibility of water actually being able to collect on the surface."Efrain Palermo writes on his personal website: "I am not a scientist or a geologist. I am a layman astronomer and an artist."
^Library of Congress. Copyright Office (July–December 1968). Dramas and Works Prepared for Oral Delivery. Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third Series. Volume 22, Parts 3–4, Number 2. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 108. 0 026 718 105 6. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
^Hoagland, Richard C.; Wilcock, David (May 15, 2004). Hoagland & Wilcock on Coast to Coast. Interview with Art Bell. Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved December 6, 2007. Transcript courtesy of The Enterprise Mission.