> The real test is to come up with the hypothesis first, then collect the data.
That is exactly what they were doing. Testing the hypothesis that the standard model accurately describes nature. They found it didn't, hence the need to explore it and come up with new hypothesis's to test.
1) You start out observing something the current theory can't explain.
2) Come up with a new theory that accurately predicts all experimental results so far, the newly observed effect, and that also predicts something new that has not been tested yet.
3) Test the new thing that the new theory predicted. If you do observe the new effect, it lends credence to the theory.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
They are claiming to be on step one, with an inkling of step 2 being worked on. not step 3 to which your specific criticism would apply.
On a tangent, the most commonly overlooked part of the process among cranks is the consistency part of step 2, namely that your new theory must accurately predict everything that has already been observed. I don't think it is a simple oversight, there is some metal block among cranks that keeps them from appreciating it, hence the propensity to claim they can prove Einstein wrong. Which of course doesn't make sense, he was already proven right. That doesn't mean that relativity is the final answer, it just means that it successfully predicted observed effects that the old theories didn't, and was consistent with all observed data about the world so far. (Well it breaks down at the quantum level, but so did newtons laws, so it was still a strictly better theory in that it predicted more things correctly, but still not everything)