James Oberg has contributed a piece to The Space Review titled “The Dark Side of Space Disaster Theories“. In the article, Oberg takes issue with some of the conspiracy theories put forth by Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara in their new, controversial book Dark Mission:
…a recent book (Dark Mission, by Richard Hoagland and Michael Bara) spent a lot of time muddying the waters over a series of NASA Mars mission failures in the 1990s. This isn’t just some remote corner of an intellectual ghetto on the Internet—the book came within one tick mark of making it onto the New York Times bestsellers list for paperback non-fiction (it reached #21 nationwide). So as an exercise in cultural self-defense and in proselytizing sound “space safety” history, here is a detailed look at the claims, the delusions, and the errors in that book’s treatment of these space accidents.
Oberg is well-placed to answer some of these accusations, considering his knowledge of space exploration, and – more pertinently – that he is mentioned by Dark Mission in regards to the loss of the Mars Polar Lander. In the past I have taken issue with some of Oberg’s skeptical arguments, most often with regards to ufology, but this article is certainly a good counter-balance to some of the theories put forth by Hoagland and Bara.