Richard C. Hoagland and Dr. Edgar Mitchell Debate

Art Bell Show Wednesday, May 15, 1996 1 AM to 4 AM PDT

Transcribed by G. Varano, Part 5 of 6

[MITCHELL IMAGE] AB: Let me quickly tell you about the materials that you can get. I hope you've got a pen handy. Apollo 14 astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, has written a book. It's a brand new one. It's called "The Way of the Explorer" and if you would like a very special copy, one with a short dedication to you or whatever you would like to have written, write that down, make a little note. The book itself is $35 in the U.S., $45 outside the U.S., and you would send off that amount of money and whatever little dedication you would like to:

Dr. Edgar Mitchell
Box 6728
Lake Worth, FL 33461

And I want to ask Dr. Mitchell just very briefly, would they make checks out to you personally?

EM: Yeah, that's probably the best way.

AB: Ok. So there you are. To Dr. Edgar Mitchell And, of course, Richard C. Hoagland has a wide variety of materials documenting much of what you're hearing about this morning, photographs, video tapes, presentations at Ohio State University, that will explain to you in detail and show you what you're looking at with regard to these structures. All right. Let us wrap up this segment on what can or cannot be said. Anything else, Richard, or Dr. Mitchell?

RH: Yeah, Art, I just want to say possible structures. I agree with Ed that we must take this step by step. I'm extremely heartened to hear him concur that there are enough interesting things in the photographs he has seen to want to know more. That's the first step in real science and real curiosity, to want to know more. So I will totally concur that the model we're presenting are tentative. They're not conclusive. They're tentative, and we need to know more. I want to ask Ed...You made an interesting comment in your own book which I unfortunately, I did not have time to complete, but I'm a good way into it. First of all, I'm really struck by how you lived in Roswell. I did not know that.

EM: Yeah, right down the road.

RH: Ha, ha, ha. And you watched, as a kid, those nuclear bombs going off over the desert and wondered. And then you have this delicate passage where you wind up at MIT in quantum physics and all that. The thing that I was intrigued with is where you talk about, after your return from Apollo 14, doing these public appearances, and people asking you a series of questions, and the seminal question, "What did it feel like, Dr. Mitchell, to walk on the moon?" And your reactions and what you did in pursuit of trying to understand that reaction. Can you kind of lay out in a little more detail that whole thing?

EM: Oh sure. Basically, when people asked me, "What did it feel like to be on the moon?" Being a super rationalist and a Ph.D. and all of that, I didn't think it was a germane question. I thought if you ask me what did I do on the moon, or what did I think about on the moon, I could have told you. But what I feel, I didn't know. And so I set out to... I started thinking about that question. First of all, it irritated me because I didn't have an answer to it, and eventually I asked myself, "Should I know what I felt like on the moon?" So I went to some good friends of mine, Dr. Jane Houston and her husband Bob Master, and said help me find out what I felt like on the moon, and that began the investigation of inner experiences for me back in 1972 and led to the approaches that I have taken in understanding experience and the psychic experience and all this whole subject matter of consciousness that we've been looking at for 25 years.

RH: In the book you talk about that at a base level, feeling connectedness which is very important as a Navy pilot in landing, for instance, on a pitching deck of a small carrier in the middle of the very big ocean, that you had to really feel. You had to be one with the machine, and that part of your being troubled was you could not think back and connect to the feeling of being connected to the Apollo 14 experience. Do you want to expand on that?

EM: I think the whole... it goes to the way we have been trained in our civilization. It goes right to the notion of classical Newtonian mechanics and science of any sort where we're really interested in the rational, deductive, logical, objective approach to things, which is called the third person experience, by the way. And we're not as interested in the first person experience or the inner experience. That has been the realm of our mystical experience and it's the basis of all of our religious and spiritual experiences. And we have kept these two aspects of ourselves separate. We call it science on one hand, religion on the other. We call it outer, inner. We call it mind, body. We have a lot of names for it. But, by and large, we have kept these parts of ourselves separate, and it is now quite clear that you get a very warped perspective of the world if you do that.

RH: See I find that...

EM: What I have tried to do is bring it together into a single model, to say these are different facets of the way the universe is put together. We need to acknowledge them both.

RH: Ok. Let's not leave Apollo 14 for a second because what really intrigued me, as here you are going for the peak experience, the pinnacle of everything you have learned, your curiosity, the rational side of you, which I really can identify with, and you're there and in hindsight you're asking yourself why am I not connected to this experience like I was connected to those pitching carrier decks that allowed me to get home and survive. And what I need to know now is what is the answer that you came up with. What did Houston and Masters in their regressions of you? What did they find?

EM: Well, let me answer, first of all, know why that happened. It's because we were in the mode of the super rational. We were in the mode of scientists, looking and observing with the left brain and doing it in the traditional rational scientific mode. The intuitive, inner instinct was operating, but not at a level of conscious awareness. So what happened here with working with Bob and Jean was to go back and connect the incidences between, let's call it now right and left hemispheres of the brain, yet the intuitive, the experiential, the first person connected with its counterpart in the third person, the rational scientific, and that's exactly what happened.

RH: So they were able to connect them to your satisfaction.

EM: Sure. Absolutely.

AB: All right. I have a question for both of you. It comes by fax, and maybe it is an answer or maybe it's not, but let us dispose of it. Is it possible that a meteor impact on the moon's surface could, in fact create melted sand, glass, in the shape of a dome. In other words, the heat generated by that impact would turn sand to glass, and could that be what we're talking about?

EM: Well, we see all sorts of evidence of small particles that are blasted like material you see in a volcanic substance. You see it all around. That's quite a different matter from having it on the micro scale at the level of particles of crystalline material of sand to having a full blown structure, such as is being implied here by Richard's model.

RH: Do you remember those ?Edgerton? photographs at MIT, the milk drop. ?Edgerton? was the guy who did the strobe photography?

EM: Yeah, sure, sure.

RH: And on the cover of Coronet Magazine there used to be this frozen image of a droplet of milk...

EM: Exactly.

RH: ...sprayed up in a kind of a semi-hemispherical inverse dome structure. I think the faxer is...

AB: Exactly. In other words, if you slam a rock into the water, a wall comes up from that, correct?

RH: Ok. Let me dispose of that. It's a good idea, but no cigar, because in order for that to freeze, and to remain visible, the physics of the impact would have to be totally different ...

EM: than what we have...

RH: from laboratory data, whatever, and Ed and I are in total agreement. That really cannot explain what we are seeing.

AB: All right.

RH: But it was a good try.

EM: Right.

RH: The audience is thinking.

EM: That's what we want and, as long as we're looking at natural phenomena, and questioning them, then we're on the track.

RH: All right. Let me stop you there, Ed, because you're doing this Descartes thing on me, which I find fascinating. To me, on of the most interesting things of the NBC program the other night was when you stood up in front of an audience, I think it was in Cambridge, and you said there is this false dichotomy of the world, natural and unnatural, or natural and paranormal. You said it's all normal. If it's experienced, it's all there and we got to figure it out.

EM: Yep.

RH: For you to separate natural and unnatural, that human activities, intelligent activities, I should frame this in a larger sense, that intellectual intelligent activity in th universe is unnatural is, I guess, what I'm having a slight problem with because if ...

EM: No, no. I say it's quite natural.

RH: ...what we're looking at on the moon is artificial, then to me it's as natural as if we looking at geophysics...

EM: I will agree in substance...

RH: It may be more improbable given what we currently think of what's going on in our own backyard, but it ain't unnatural.

EM: No, I agree with that. By the way, we're pushing words here, but what I'm talking about is vestiges, if we're implying vestiges of a civilization and intelligent beings constructing something, I think we've got a problem with that.

RH: Well now wait. Ok. Let's pursue that.

AB: Well, if we do. (RH interrupts) Richard, hold on. If we have a problem with than then we should have a problem with Roswell and with other strong hints of extraterrestrial ...

RH: Precisely.

EM: Oh, I think we do. I thing we do. I don't think that all of these are a foregone conclusion. I have said over and over and over again, in the public domain, we don't have smoking gun evidence that Roswell or any other visitation is absolutely real. We haven't put all of that to bed yet. I think the probability, the statistics are getting very, very high, in my opinion, that, yes, these are real physical events and they have been dramatically covered up

RH: Wait, wait, wait. What are (EM continues) .. Ed, please, let me say something. This is interesting, because for Roswell, and I've studied the Roswell case, obviously not as much the experts, people like Stanton Freedman and the other, but I certainly looked into it because it's the quintessential, you know, E.T.'s land and, you know, lost star from home, spaceship vanishes, military men are sworn to secrecy, civilians and... I mean it stands as the pinnacle experience of the so-called field. And yet there's not one datum of physical evidence currently existing, and we now know that because of Steven ?Shift's? work in the GAO report. Even the traffic, even the communications traffic in and out of Roswell, which should have been preserved, bureaucracies live on paper, mysteriously was shredded and disappeared over the years. Whereas, in the lunar example, we have good physical evidence on lots of missions with lots of pictures, excellent database to examine with current technology and if all that fails, we got the moon, Ed, to go back to, and we're going back to the moon.

EM: I totally agree. What's your point, though? I don't see the connection here between the ...

RH: My point is..

EM: ..that you're making.

RH: My point is this. You have come out championing, I mean you just said it a moment ago, that we're pushing close to the smoking gun on Roswell, where there isn't on scintilla of physical evidence that has survived, and yet, on the lunar data, where there's all kinds of physical evidence and we can really solve this with a relatively short fuse, you're telling me that we don't have enough to even make a plausible case for artificial structures.

EM: Oh, I don't. No, I didn't say you don't have enough to make a plausible case. I just don't want to lock us into that is the answer. I will grant. I will say it's a very, very, low probability event, but I can conceive of scenarios where that might be the case. I just don't think it's a very likely explanation.

RH: Ah now, wait. A low probability event. What are we talking about? Which series of events are we talking about?

EM: Oh. That the phenomenon you are explaining for your photographs as being intelligent made structures, sometime in the past, I say that is a very low probability of being the explanation for what you're looking at.

AB: All right. Let me jump in here. If Roswell is likely and Gordon Cooper, who went on Paranormal Borderline in this last week and described an incident at Edwards Air Force Base, where a saucer came down while a military film crew was filming, extended landing gear, landed, the film crew went toward it continuing to film this event. It lifted off the ground, retracted the gear and shot straight up into the sky. Well, that's what he said happened at Edward when he was there, and the report was filed and the film was sent to Washington, and it all disappeared. Well, if that is so, and if Roswell is, at least, probable, then why not think of it as probable for there to be remains of civilizations that have been long established, long gone, perhaps.

EM: Well, I don't disagree with the process you are using to compare these things. The answer comes in what is the probability number that you're using. In my opinion, the probability number for the explanation of Richard's anomalous photographic event as being constructed by some other civilization, I think the probability of that being the right explanation is very low. That is my personal opinion. I think the probability that the Roswell incident representing an extraterrestrial event is taking on the proportions of very high probability because of the accumulation evidence over the years.

RH: Yeah, but what ...

EM: Now, wait, I'm not finished yet. The probability of what Gordon Cooper presented as a valid piece of evidence, I can't evaluate it yet, although I was just with Gordon and a number of the astronauts over the weekend, and we discussed these very things we're talking about.

RH: Art, this is ...

EM: Because I don't have any experience with that particular evidence, I mean that event. That's a new one on me that Gordon just talked about recently and so that hasn't been digested.

RH: Ed, here's the paradox that Art is bringing up. And it's a very eloquent point, Art, and I'm impressed that you would put all this together. The main argument against the Mars data or the moon data for as long, now 13 years we've been looking at this, has been basically the Percel claim, God's quarantine regulations, the idea that we are limited to speed of light travel. The earth in this solar system is four light years from the nearest star, probably hundreds of light years from the nearest inhabitable star or star system.

AB: Richard, I'm sorry. I've got to break in. We're at the bottom of the hour, so put a bookmark there.

RH: We'll pick this up.

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