Cody, Wy AUG. 31, 1994 By Mark Bagne
Scientist from Europe and across the United States are expected to converge on Cody in Mid September to present some "revolutionary" theories about life in the Universe.
Organizers of the conference, the first of its kind, say Cody is just the place for them to pursue some quiet, thoughtful dialogue about their belief that intelligent beings may have built artifacts on Mars and the moon.
At first glance, the theories that will be explored with Cody students and citizens seem strange, but the loose grouping of professors, writer and researchers behind these ideas feel they're on the revolutionary edge of new science.
The "Cody '94 Moon/Mars Conference" was brought to Cody primarily as the result of contacts made by Tom Fell of Cody with one of the featured speakers, Richard Hoagland, who plans to attend the event, Sept. 13-18.
Hoagland, most widely known for his theory that a monument resembling a face was built on Mars, said from his New Jersey home this week that the conference was born during a conversation with Fell at a party in New York.
"I and many other scientist had been discussing for some time the idea of holding a conference to thrash this out," Hoagland said. "Cody seemed like a nice, quite place to bring the scientist together with the students -- who will live with the results of what we eventually find out.
Hoagland and the other scientist, philosophers and writers planning to speak or observe the forum generally believe hard scientific evidence exists that ancient extraterrestrial beings visited parts of our solar system.
They say data gathered by moon and Mars missions has already given indications of extraterrestrial ruins and suspect NASA has covered up some of that data because of fears it would create psychological and social turmoil on earth.
Most of the established scientific community dismisses such theories, but Hoagland and others enroute to the Cody conference believe they're at the forefront of exploring evidence others simply refuse to believe.
Hoagland is the author of "The Monuments of Mars." He's a former consultant to NASA and served as an advisor to Walter Cronkite during the Apollo moon missions. He was recently featured in the August issue of "Omni" magazine.
As Hoagland visited with Fell about the possibility of a Cody conference, he said, he became especially attracted to the idea of sharing his theories with students.
"We'll be sharing with students how the use of math and geometry and other basic principles can be used to figure out something with this much controversy and significance," Hoagland said.
He hopes the forums with Cody and Powell students will serve as a pilot project for communicating with students across America through satellite television links.
Asked about the "antiestablishment" views he and his colleagues present, Hoagland was quick with a defense.
"If a scientist has a vested interest in the way things are, it's hard for him to come to grips with something different than that," he said. "It has fallen to 'outside' scientist to take the data NASA has acquired and point out some remarkable evidence NASA has refused to grapple with for more than 30 years."
Such data, including films revealing structures built by intelligent beings on the moon, are among the presentations planned for Cody, Hoagland said.
"Revolutions in science always come from outside," he said. "We want to assemble all the 'outside' people who have worked on this, and do some thinking about it, alongside some political, corporate and media people."
Because he believes political leaders should be involved, Hoagland said he was meeting with advisors to President Clinton Wednesday to invite their participation in the Cody conference.
"Crucial political decisions have to be made by this administration," Hoagland said. "What the president should do is command NASA to open its files to make freely available to people all information regarding artifacts on the moon and Mars."
Among items to be shown in Cody, he said, are NASA data and photographs from lunar and Mars mission that have been altered and blanked out.
Although Hoagland has gained media attention as a leading spokesman for his brand of science, he also has drawn critical reviews from other leading scientist.
For example, Michael Carr, who headed the Mars Viking orbiter imaging team, told Omni: I don't know of people of any consequence who give any credence to this whatsoever."
When asked about the "face monument" on Mars, Michael Malin, the principle investigator in charge of camera on the Mars Observer, told the magazine:
"Just because a hill looks like a face doesn't prove it is a face. In my view, the face barely resembles one, and there is certainly nothing in its form or topography that is even suggestive of its being artificial. There are far stranger things in Antarctica (geology) than I have seen on Mars."
The complete schedule for the Mars conference will be published later.