On OSOM open lines, Hoagland was asked if he had ever done any jail time. He denied this immediately. I was curious and now find that his first ever publisher and indeed the publisher of the last book Hoagland contributed to states that Hoagland actually did spend time in LA county jail.
The source article by Grossinger is linked here. Scroll to around 1/3 way down the page.
"Hoagland actually wrote much of Monuments in LA County jail. He never should have been there, but a silly mistake, a bureaucratic oversight, in New York followed by a corrupt attorney in California apparently landed him there. As the story goes, the warden liked the Martian concept enough that he let Dick use the facility computer to work on the project (while he also wrote the kitchen manual for staff use). In fact, once the warden got wind of the gist of his inmate’s project, he became a great supporter and encouraged his “charge from Mars” to broadcast installments of Monuments to the prison at large over the loudspeaker at night.
Bored, surly males awaited their amusement at the bewitching hour, ever in suspense for the next phase of the tale of the unknown aliens and their Martian city. I don’t know if they laughed or cried, or even if this actually happened but, if it did, the book’s original captive audience was a Dickens-like fan club hearkening to the nineteenth century.
Hoagland is a unique mixture of amateur scientist, genius inventor, scam artist, and performer, blending true, legitimate speculative science with his own extrapolations, tall tales, and inflations. He is a brilliant and glorious myth-maker and a evidence-based scientist at the same. The Face on Mars is powerful speculative science in an exobiological, archaeo-astronomical context virtually unexplored before him."
Further research indicated Hoagland was jailed for the theft of a rental car and misuse of a planetarium credit card. I cannot however substantiate that as fact.
Would you ask Richard to address his jail time and set the record straight on air.
Derek James Eunson