The Hoagland Files

To Richard Hoagland the Miami Circle ain't just rocks; it's part of a great extraterrestrial drama

"At the moment we are in good shape," he says. "We have everybody at war with everybody else. The circle is safe."

The multiplicity of groups interested in saving the circle don't know what to make of Hoagland.

"I think he is out to lunch," offers Bob Carr, Miami-Dade's official archaeologist and the man in charge of circle exploration. "But he's bright and I'm open-minded," he adds.

Carr plans to organize a seminar at the end of the month to be titled something like "Forbidden Science," where Hoagland and others can present their theories.

Hoagland gave Becky Roper Matkov, executive director of the Dade Heritage Trust, a book on Stonehenge. "I think [Hoagland] is pretty interesting," Matkov ventures.

NASA officials are blunt. "He is one very smart man and not for a second do I think he really believes in all this crap that he is peddling," says George Alexander, a spokesman at the administration's jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California. "I think he is just doing his shtick to put bread on the table."

This is what you would expect NASA to say, Hoagland explains. He points to a 38-year-old congressional report that questions whether the public should be told if extraterrestrial life is ever found as his "smoking gun." The government agency knows the truth, but won't reveal it. By carefully examining astronauts' memoirs, one can detect secret messages left by frustrated employees, he says.

For Hoagland the adventure of the Miami Circle has only just begun. He had the idea of posting real-time video of the circle on his organization's Website,, as well as on other Internet sites. And he has gathered electronic gear, including what he calls "ground-penetrating radar," to explore the area after the legal issues have been resolved.

"There is so little that we know of this global, ancient culture," Hoagland says wistfully. "We have little bits and pieces that hint [it] existed, but we desperately need more real data. This could provide an untouched site, never known before, to be explored with the full modality of modern science."

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