Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mars 'Face' Clearer Than Ever

Garvin, for his part, doesn't want to discourage anyone from coming up with their own explanations.

"Please realize that as a scientist of Martian landscapes, my position is that of a traditional scientist, and requires that I utilize the paradigms associated with multiple-working hypotheses grounded in the physics of landscape development," he said. "Other opinions on the basis of other approaches are of course welcome and encouraged."


While Garvin's tone might sound patronizing to some advocates of the Artificiality Hypothesis, it's the most lucid, sensible statement about Cydonia yet offered by NASA. I consider it a veritable invitation to proponents of planetary SETI -- and one that shouldn't go unacknowledged.





Of course we need "hypotheses grounded in the physics of landscape development." But if we're to take the possibility of ET ruins seriously, we also need to bring the tools of archaeology, architecture and even art to bear on this lingering enigma.

15 comments:

Unknown said...

That actual 3D image is so close to the SFS model I made way back when, it's eerie. I just wish I could access it now, but my desktop computer is out of commission until I get a new motherboard.

Mac said...

I was just comparing the two. The main difference is that the ESA's version has a sort of "horn" jutting from the brow, which seems to contradict previous SFS. What do you think?

BTW, I don't like how the ESA release passes off synthetic perspective images as "photographs"...

Unknown said...

I would need to re-open the Bryce file, but I believe if I exaggerated my height map that "horn" would show up.

I'm not going to argue with their 3D camera, but I'd really like to have access to their data and calibration information.

Mac said...

I get the feeling the ESA perspective shot, while detailed, doesn't accurately represent the Face's elevation. The "horn" looks like a distortion to me.

W.M. Bear said...

The "horn" looks like a distortion to me.

I agree. Other modelings of the Face from that perspective don't show it, nor do any of the other reasonably high-resolution orbiter pix. And even in this shot, I would argue that the Face STILL looks like a face. And I would just ask, if the scientific orthodoxy DOESN'T (in its heart of hearts if it has one) think there might be just the FAINTEST chance that it IS artificial, why are they going to so much trouble (especially including distorting imagery) to try and convince the public that it's NOT? It all smacks to me of "protesting too much."

Mac said...

Every couple years a new hi-rez picture of the Face hits the Web and everyone's suddenly tripping over themselves to "debunk" it.

It's actually pretty funny, when you step back to observe. The same lame associations are trotted out. The same straw men. The same sound-bites. The same allusions to "conspiracy theorists" and the perfectly mythical Face on Mars "cottage industry" -- of which I suppose I'm a part, having "cashed in" with a book.

I could re-post the same counter-arguments I posted in 2001 and they'd be totally applicable to the ESA release.

Dustin said...

"Protesting too much" is exactly what you're seeing, I think. Everytime there's some new image everyone does their best to show how silly this idea of a face is, and by extention, they hope to make everyone ignore the Cydonia area, and the idea of life on Mars as a whole. As with any scientific endeavor, if there's nothing to hide, release all raw data and let scientists from outside your organization make up their own minds.

Mac said...

And don't forget that, since the images aren't actually released until months after they're acquired (in NASA's case, contrary to its pledge to release Cydonia data immediately), NASA and the ESA have a considerable window in which to write up these press releases.

In other words, they know exactly what they're doing. We're seeing a deliberate comapaign to stomp out interest in these features by obscuring the more more subtle aspects that are vital to a proper investigation.

W.M. Bear said...

Mac -- A thought has occurred to me that I haven't seen elsewhere including here (though maybe I DID see it on Cydonian Imperative and am just forgetting to credit!) I posted it on another PB thread further down but I'll restate it, since it seems (somewhat, anyway) relevant to the current discussion.

It strikes me that one problem "orthodox" investigators (i.e., everyone who works for NASA/ESA under threat of the Inquisition cutting off their grants) seem to have with the idea of a huge artificial construction like the Face is that it implies that there was once a flourishing civilization on Mars, something that seems to many to be contradicted by the possibilities allowed by Mars' geological history. But what about the idea that the Face may have been carved using powerful lasers by a passing interstellar probe as a way of "leaving a trace" for any future civilizations that might evolve in the Solar System? At any rate, I'm curious. Has anyone else (including yourself) proposed this kind of explanation and, if so, who and where? Thanx,

--WMB

Carol Maltby said...

I can't remember if Mac put it in the book or not. But I don't recall that being speculated anywhere that I've seen.

Good thought.

Mac said...

No, I didn't come up with that. I like it -- remotely engraving planetary landscapes with messages might be a plausible strategy for von Neumann probes.

W.M. Bear said...

Thanks, Carol and Mac. You're the real Mars experts, but I may just try and make myself into one so I can propose this notion! (Or, given that may take awhile, you're welcome to make use of it if/when it seems helpful to do so.) It seems to me that the plausibility of Martian artificiality hypotheses (in the eyes of the "orthodox" anyway) does depend to some extent on potential explanations for this artificiality. Since "planetary SETI" seems to be becoming at least a semi-respectable field of late, maybe this explanation has a role. The basic idea is that such a probe (Von N. or otherwise) would sculpt natural formations on worlds that it passes by way of leaving evidence of its passage. (At least for civilizations intelligent enough to spot such evidence! Maybe that's the "test.")

Carol Maltby said...

What they are calling the "Skull" appears to be the large feature just above an old but goodie Cydonian feature, nicknamed the Coat Hanger, AKA The Trailer Park.

If you are familiar with the feature in question from the MSSS images, you'll recall that it doesn't look the slightest bit like a skull. And even in the ESA's impressionistic simulation of a view, it only looks like a skull if you happen to think a skull has 3 eye sockets.

Mac said...

If you are familiar with the feature in question from the MSSS images, you'll recall that it doesn't look the slightest bit like a skull.

I am and I do.

Anonymous said...

Maybe ESA meant the other skull, the hidden one next to the face.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1285/541393311_0f84fb7df3_b.jpg