Saturday, January 26, 2008

Here's one of the reasons I'm dispirited by the attention lavished on the Martian "mermaid" (or "Sasquatch," depending on the source).

You're looking at a partial high-resolution image of the notorious Face on Mars, universally "debunked" by mainstream media outlets due in no small part to the baseless pronouncements of a single pseudoscientific pundit.

I suspect many readers will agree that the highlighted feature at least resembles a humanoid eye, down to the well-defined elliptical structure surrounding the central protruding "pupil." But how do we go about testing the notion that the Face on Mars boasts an anatomically accurate "eye"? After all, aren't we merely seeing what we want to see?

In this case, no.

Long before the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft returned provocative images of the Cydonia Mensae region of Mars, the presence of secondary facial characteristics had been predicted by proponents of what became known as the Artificiality Hypothesis. It seemed likely that the Face, if the work of intelligence, would betray traces of anthropomorphic detail when imaged by better cameras. (The "eye" was only barely visible in the best of the early Viking photos from the 1970s; certainly little or nothing about its shape or structure could be inferred.)

So when the first overhead images of the Face became available, the presence of a seemingly well-preserved "eye" became apparent vindication for proponents of artificiality on Mars. After all, it had been predicted by a testable hypothesis. Other "secondary" features were noted as well: lip-like structures that defined a broad, parted "mouth," candidate "nostrils" and others.

While none of these features proved that the Face was the work of extraterrestrial intelligence -- let alone the subject of a far-reaching NASA cover-up -- they pointed to the possibility that the Face (and perhaps other anomalies in its vicinity) were more than the "tricks of light" as maintained by NASA's public relations personnel. (To date, NASA has yet to conduct a scientific investigation that would bear out its contention that the features in Cydonia are wholly natural -- an undertaking that might reasonably include the expertise of archaeologists familiar with the role of remote sensing in detecting potential sites here on Earth.)

And so we remain inoculated to the presence of the truly mysterious. The recent "Martian" found in a 2004 rover image has garnered surprisingly intense (if generally dismissive) attention from both independent bloggers and a condescending mainstream media. Meanwhile, the enigmas in Cydonia go conspicuously unremarked, dismissed as the stuff of wishful thinking or the stalwart dreams of conspiracy-mongers.

But this doesn't have to continue -- unless, of course, we let it. As I write, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft circle the Red Planet. Both wield stunning instruments that could easily be trained at Cydonia, regardless of what ultimately awaits us there. Noisy "conspiracy" claims aside, the presence of possible archaeological sites on Mars is scientifically testable -- but in order to arrive at a meaningful conclusion we must cast away a host of entrenched preconceptions, regardless how attractive they might seem to an academic community weaned on the certainty that humans have always occupied a central role in the history of our solar system. (To be sure, the very presence of a human-looking visage on Mars smacks of the pervasive "will to believe" that's infected so many astronomical inquiries throughout history, from the casual certainty of a geocentric cosmos to the illusory "canals" of Percival Lowell.)

The Face on Mars is not dead. We can continue parroting the "answers" offered by self-proclaimed skeptics or we can proceed with objectivity, caution and the knowledge that reality is seldom as abiding as we'd prefer.

(Thanks to DarkPlanet for use of the "eye" image.)


platts42 said...

Your essay is a good call to the powers that be to focus some attention on the Face. If the resources are already in place, why not simply redirect them? It behooves us as a species to examine the site until we are absolutely certain that it is not artificial.

Since you have shown again and again, that opinion has been swayed away from that objective examination by huckster, what we have is a community that believes it has all the information it needs, without actually digging it out. It's opinion that they're done, not that they are actually done.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with a greater examination of Cydonia, but unfortunately it has been tainted by Public Opinion to be "too far out there" to give it the attention it deserves.

Keep up the good fight. The more you present a rational voice, and lucid thoughts free of the internal struggle of your community, the better the chances you have of getting through to the people who matter.

wmmott said...

"And so we remain inoculated to the presence of the truly mysterious. "

Bravo! And exactly.

The "inoculation" is the ultimate purpose for some, no doubt.

But there must be those who know that the public will find these anomalies in the images they release.

BTW, the presence of past civilization on Mars supports the possibility of hidden earthly humanoids--it ties right in, as a matter of fact, and I touch upon it quite a bit in CCCC.


wmmott said...

A dead give away for a) artifacts of a manufactured nature and b) evidence of organic life, is when you find objects or evidence of extreme symmetry, a symmetry which indicates a planned or organic design.

Objects of this type exist elsewhere in the NASA image. These have a complexity that could not have been created by the wind. The symmetrical forms are also too varied in type--if they were formed by millions of years of sands blowing in the wind, then they would all have a very similar look, shape, "grain" or angling, etc. They don't.

Take a good look and you'll see that the TINY "humanoid" is sitting on/growing out of a highly-symmetrical pedestal of sorts, with raised square areas on the side and a rounded top. It looks like the base of any number of ancient and recent sculptures on Earth.

When you download the high-res version of the image and look, you'll see other things that should raise questions, things that I purposely did not outline in the article. To be succinct, the scene is one of devastation, but devastation in an ancient city, of a junkyard jutting through eons of debris.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether the "Mermaid" or "Bigfoot" is a true "trick of light and shadow" or an artificial construct, but has anyone at least considered the possibility that it might be moss, lichen or a small cactus?

I have yet to hear that as a possible explanation.

Despite Hoagland's P.T. Barnum act, The Face does warrant further investigation since we have the tools in place. But don't count on NASA doing it, the water is muddied and they'll leave it that way.

Daniel Brenton said...

Mike --

Interesting stuff. I had pretty much written off the "mermaid," but these other anomalies make this worth reconsidering. I am not clear if there are natural processes that can produce objects of such striking symmetry (such as your "flanged object") but it would seem fair that the question be asked as to what those processes would be. (This inquiring mind wants to know ... )

Mac --

You had mentioned, I think in your Culture of Contact interview, that you didn't see a need for some grand conspiracy for a cover-up, but simply the pig-headed desire (on the part of one or more people in the right place) to not be inconvenienced by something they did not want to see. I'm with you on that. The alternate is to suggest that there is something our country is "hiding" there for some reason, and I think to work from that assumption (as does Hoagland) invites derision and enables the people responsible to dismiss the act of providing substantive answers more easily.

I would hope that someone with some spine in NASA or above could come forward and say, "Okay, we were hiding these things because we didn't want to be bothered, this is who it was that made us do it, and yes, we may have something here and we'll look at it closer."

If someone would just own up, at least it would shut Hoagland up about all these damned conspiracy allegations and he would have to go tuck his tail between his legs and go whimper in a corner for a while. That in itself would be worth some agency embarrassment.

(Oh, look -- I suggested that the people in power might not be devils again. I must be part of the conspiracy.)

(Yeah, stick it.)

The Odd Little Universe of Daniel Brenton

Anonymous said...

Looks like Zorgrot to me!

Mac said...

Zorgrot! I'm surprised Paul hasn't weighed in with that theory! (Although it's admittedly a little quackers . . .)

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for pushing my eye enhancement over at Darkplanet. I've been screaming for a lot of years, trying to force attention on this important and too often overlooked facial feature. The MSSS image that it is taken from never really received the focus it should have.

Darkplanet is pretty much dead now (work and life in general have robbed me of much of my free time to maintain it) but I'm so glad that you were able to extract something useful from that effort. Please feel free to use and abuse the images from that article in whatever future project you may have brewing.

Wouldn't it be amazing if we could swing some renewed interest in the face. I know it won't happen but dammit, it should!


wmmott said...


I've heard it said that for every government dollar you see spent, there are twelve you don't see. Don't know if that's true or not, but it wouldn't surprise me, nor would I be surprised to someday learn that there's a whole posse of Mars rovers on the Cydonian Plateau as part of a classified project, that even the guys at NASA and JPL (for the most part) know nothing about.

Nope, wouldn't surprise me a bit.

robert said...

Good Essay Mac,

It is writing like this that MUST be taken and SENT to what I have been refereing lately to the 'Meanstream Media' who swollow whole link and sinker the PR BS put out by NASA without ANY critical review. As I mention in the Introduction to the CAAIM at:

This started with the infamous "HEAD" image found by Todias Owen and the Gerry Soffen came out in front of over 1,000 "news press corps", including Hoagland, who stated there was a secobd image and the "trick and shadow" theory was spun into being. As I point out...NOT ONE of these "inestigative press corps" bothered to question Soffen's remoarks or to actually SEE the different image PROVING his "trick of light and shadow" statement. And so the "cover-up" has continue unabated since...and sadly the national Meanstream Media remain just as ignornat as those 1,000 press people back in 1976.

At a perilous time in our history we need more HONEST and AGRESSIVE reporting and taking NASA and the Polticians and beaurocrats to task on these questions.

However, as we've seen in the present political coverage...the PEOPLE have been outwitting the pundits day by day and pol by poll. The talking heads have become dizzy from their bobbling bymbling and tongue twisting triad to fill dead air space.

Keep writing such insightful essays..but I suggest that we ALL need to CONTINUOUSLY hit the Meanstream Media with articles and proofs like we have about the Ares Face and the D & M at least. Those two Cydonia anomalies are one of the BEST places to keep hamering NASA, Politicians, beaurocrats, and Meanstream Media people on as a continuing basis as needed until we get airtime for SERIOUS discussions about these objects without the 'giggle factor' and put these other things, whcih may be artificats, onto the backburner in the media's mindless minions.

Again...great work...SPREAD IT AROUND !!!


Anonymous said...

Exactly my point, Mac. If it's at least POSSIBLE that the Face is artificial (and that's all we can really say at this point -- that it's a possibility), this possibility certainly implies the possibility of some kind of "ancient civilization" on Mars.

Now, presumably, given the speculative hypothesis that this WAS the case, wouldn't this civilization have been likely to leave SMALL-scale as well as mega-scale artifacts lying around. And if it left small-scale artifacts lying around, isn't it at least PLAUSIBLE that the Rover cameras might have snapped pictures of some of these?

The fact that the Mainstream media (MSM) might choose to have a field day with some pix possibly showing these artifacts -- calling them "Bigfoot," etc. -- in no way detracts from the possibility of their existence. Granted, in many cases, something that may not actually be artificial may look like it is -- a simulacrum that looks like a humanoid statue, for example -- does this necessarily mean that EVERYTHING suggestive in the pix can be "explained away" like this?

My answer is no. And if there were only a few, shall we say, "suggestive objects" in the Rover pix, I might be inclined to dismiss their "artificiality" as being "in the eye of the beholder" too. But there are a TON of them. And, granted, MOST of them probably are natural formations. But ALL of them?...

Anonymous said...

Hi Mac,

Just to note, the "martian" image is from "Spirit's West Valley Panorama" taken November 6-9, 2007, not 2004, as some media have reported.

I also think it is likely just an eroded piece of rock, given its very small size (and very close to the rover).

Re Cydonia, I agree that the Face, etc. should still be examined closer if possible. That "eye" feature in particular has always nagged at me...



The Meridiani Journal

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a connection between the abduction phenomenon and ancient Egypt? Considering that there are anomalies on Mars such as "pyramids", the "Martian Sphinx", the "Nefertiti" glyph, etc. -- has anyone else wondered if there might actually be a Mars-Egypt-UFO connection?

Mac said...

Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a connection between the abduction phenomenon and ancient Egypt?

Not really.

Considering that there are anomalies on Mars such as "pyramids", the "Martian Sphinx", the "Nefertiti" glyph, etc. -- has anyone else wondered if there might actually be a Mars-Egypt-UFO connection?

I'm not sure where you're coming from. Yes, there's an intriguing (if superficial) resemblance between some anomalous features on Mars and structures in Egypt, but I don't know where UFOs/abductions come in ...

Anonymous said...


I've noticed that in many abduction reports there are allusions of some sort or another to ancient Egypt. Which is also why I think Whit Streiber mentions an ancient Egypt connection in his new novel _The Greys_.

Mac said...

I've noticed that in many abduction reports there are allusions of some sort or another to ancient Egypt.

There are some allusions, but how much of it is "real" and how much of it is the abductee attempting to summon an appropriately "alien" visual vocabulary for a reality-jarring event?

Then again, maybe there's a link. Maybe the Egyptians had the sort of civilization that wouldn't topple if the "Grays" revealed themselves occasionally. And the Sumerian Oannes business is suggestive of some form of nonhuman contact.

wmmott said...

It's worth noting that the Martian Boogie web page has been getting hits from DoD IP addresses today.


Anonymous said...

as much as I would love for this to be evidence of artificial intelligence, I think that you (and others) are seeing something because you want to see it, which is a big problem in all branches of life.