Thursday, January 24, 2008

Image of the "Face on Mars" taken by the ESA on July 22nd 2006. Looks reasonably face-like to me.

"Orthorectified" 1998 image of the Face. NASA would prefer you remember this one.

Here's's inevitable piece on the diminutive "Martian":

Female Figure on Mars Just a Rock

The idea that there may be life on Mars has been around for centuries, but the theory got a dubious boost from recently released photos of the surface of Mars (taken by the NASA robot Spirit) apparently showing a human-like figure. Several Internet sites have glommed onto the image and suggested the figure could be alive.

But what is it? Just a rock, astronomers say.

So far, no complaints.

Here's where things go downhill:

This is of course not the first time that NASA images have been claimed to show evidence of Martian life. A man named Richard Hoagland claimed that 1976 photographs of the Cydonia region of Mars showed a human-like face and was clear evidence of aliens.

I sympathize with and Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait insofar as I think Hoagland is either

a.) quite nuts


b.) in it for the money.

(For his sake, I hope it's the latter.)

But associating the "Martian" with the enigmas in the Cydonia region is a near-unconscionable failure of logic. True, the issue has been needlessly polarized by Hoagland's antics. But the ultimate nature of Face on Mars (far from the solitary oddity implied by debunkers) doesn't rest on Hoagland's misrepresentations. (Or, for that matter, NASA's own misrepresentations, described here and here.)


Anonymous said...

It may be "just a rock" but that rock is made of the same atoms as everything else! Wonder how a rock becomes a rock and a man becomes a man when the atoms are identical?

wmmott said...

wmmott said...

Well, some brainiac debunker-wannabe is claiming the figure is a photoshopped-in image of a famous earthly sculpture, the Danish "Little Mermaid" statue.

As I just noted on another blog, what a nice Fortean coincidence, and the similarity was noted right off by many people, several days ago.

I have a sculpture that I created years ago that also has a very similar form, when viewed from a certain angle.

However, unless NASA is pulling the prank on the entire world, the ”statue” form is PRESENT in the actual raw footage available for download from their website:
The ”figure” and ”pedestal” are present in the image. For more interesting finds in this same image, see:

So, nice try at debunking, but it just doesn’t wash. Whatever ”it” is, ”it” is actually in the photo of the Martian surface–or else NASA is hoaxing everyone.

The Fortean element of obfuscation has entered the arena.

wmmott said...

The main page from which to download the original image is here:

Yep, it's in there!

Anonymous said...


I think we both know that there is much more to the face than is generally known by the public.
The odds of finding a perfectly proportioned eyeball on the face, complete with retina and triangular pupil, and at the right location are frankly too astronomical to discount. I desperately wish more people would pay attention to this smoking gun feature of the face.

Hoagland's antics have certainly tainted the publics perception of valid Martian anomalies which is a real shame. There are legitimate questions to ask regarding NASA's conduct with Mars Face history. We all know however that we'll never receive a ridicule free forum to ask those questions.

Mac said...

I would imagine the evident "eye" is something of a thorn in JPL's side...

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