This startling new image (left) of the well-known "Face on Mars" may
ultimately be regarded as one of the most important photographs of the
entire Space Program. For, after almost 30 years of acrid controversy and
debate, a "whole new side" to this perplexing Martian mystery - and the
profound social and scientific questions it continues to present - has now
literally dawned ….
The image above is an enhanced, color close-up created by Keith Laney and
the Enterprise Mission - from a combination of three 2001
Mars Odyssey VIS
frames (of the five simultaneously taken by the Odyssey VIS camera system).
The official image release is JPL/ASU V0 3814003 (below/right).
The five frames -
from the near "IR" end of the visible spectrum, to the "violet"
acquired by the Odyssey spacecraft as it flew over the Cydonia region on
October 24, 2002 - precisely one year (Greenwich time) after Odyssey
arrived in Martian orbit.
What makes this color close-up so remarkable is that, for the first time in
over a generation, a NASA spacecraft acquired multi-spectral images of "the
Face" as seen in morning light - with the illumination coming from the East.
What this unique sun angle has now revealed - a Cydonia view that
researchers had yearned for, but never before had the opportunity to analyze
- is nothing less than revolutionary ….
For, even casual examination of the Face as seen in this "new light"
(right and left)
reveals two new pieces of vital information:
1) that the eastern side,
under even this pre-dawn illumination - for whatever reason - is incredibly reflective; and
2) that, in lowered contrast images
source of this anomalously "high albedo" is an inexplicable series (in the
natural model) of highly geometric "panels!"
Even those of us who, for some time now, have interpreted the weight of
evidence in favor of an artificial origin for this unique Cydonia construct,
this new data is unexpected - nay, startling - confirmation of our previous
The key parameter that makes this new image so remarkable, is "when" it was
If you carefully examine the "data block" for image V0 3814003 on the
Arizona State University (ASU)
THEMIS website (right), you can immediately
ascertain that it was taken by the Odyssey camera "at 4:39 AM," local
Martian time. Further reading of the table reveals that the "phase angle" -
that is, the geometric relationship between the Sun, the Martian surface
directly underneath the spacecraft just east of the Face, and Odyssey itself
- was "90.3 degrees."
Since "90 degrees" (for a spacecraft directly overhead)
would indicate the Sun was literally on the eastern horizon, the slightly
greater angle reveals that actually the sun was 0.3 degrees below the
horizon when the image was acquired (and even slightly lower at the location
of Face itself).
The last line in the table, "Description:
Cydonia - face at night" confirms
this geometry: technically, then, this "Odyssey dawn image" was actually
acquired just before sunrise … with the Sun still hidden below the
Cydonia horizon (left).
This simple, inarguable geometry makes the astonishing high brightness of
the Face's eastern side - and before the Sun has risen - extraordinary ….
And this, in turn, leads directly to the pivotal question: just what could
make "an average Martian mesa" (to quote
Carl Sagan, from his infamous
Parade Magazine "Cydonia hit piece" many years ago) so incredibly reflective
… even in the semi-dark, pre-dawn twilight of
A side-by-side comparison (right) reveals the true incongruity of such a
brilliant-surfaced object. The official NASA version of the Face from
V03814003 (right/left) is totally "washed out" on the illuminated (eastern side) -
even though the image was shot before the sun had risen!; while, in the
Enterprise rendition (right/right), after considerable effort to lower brightness
levels, some surface details can just be seen beneath the glare.
Again, for this over saturation of the THEMIS imaging CCDs to have occurred,
and under these really dim lighting conditions, "something" about the innate
reflectivity of this Martian surface feature - at this geometry - must
truly be "anomalous." To learn
just how "anomalous," one only need look to spacecraft surface images of
pre-dawn Martian twilight, captured by other unmanned missions … for
instance, the unmanned Viking Landers in 1976 (left) or Pathfinder, in
In this Viking 1 post-sunset surface view (left), prepared by former USGS
graphic artist Don Davis, note how the sky remains bright well after the sun
sets on Mars (sunset, of course, is merely the opposite condition to
sunrise; therefore a post sunset image is optically equivalent to a pre-dawn
image at the same location and time)
The bluish "afterglow" several degrees
above the sunset point on Mars is due to the unique "forward scattering"
properties of the much thinner Martian atmosphere, which is filled with
varying amounts of finely-divided dust (in the official model) -
preferentially scattering blue light forward toward the camera ….
The major thing to note in this image is the Lander wind cover on the
nuclear power generator (light ellipse - far right): notice that it is just
barely visible in this twilight Mars illumination … even though the lighting
geometry is ideal for so-called "specular reflection" (the light above the
setting sun should be bouncing directly toward the camera) and … the cover
itself is painted brilliant white!
Yet, as can be seen, under this illumination this white wind cover is barely
under identical lighting (right),
is the Face - even allowing for the obviously increased gain settings in the
Odyssey camera (to bring out the darker western side) - so incredibly
bright? And why is that inexplicably reflective eastern surface also arrayed
in those stark … startlingly geometric … patterns?
Another pre-dawn image (left), this one from
Mars Pathfinder, reinforces
this enigma: an obviously almost un-illuminated landscape, lit only by the
sky, clearly incapable of presenting such dramatic surface differences as
seen in the Odyssey Cydonia image ….
But it's a Viking 2 sunrise shot that best illustrates this major new Cydonia mystery.
As you can see (right), even with the sun actually on the horizon, the
overall illumination of the surface landscape in this Viking 2 dawn image is
extremely dark - a combination of dust absorption of sunlight at the
horizon, and an extremely thin Martian atmosphere.
With the gamma of the same image significantly increased (below-left) -
equivalent to the gain employed in the Odyssey VIS camera for the pre-dawn
Cydonia image - the surface rocks and other features become more visible.
But, as is readily apparent, with the exception of two small foreground
objects at the lower right, brightness extremes presented by the Face are
simply not present on the reddish rocks and boulders strewn across this
Martian landscape - even when directly illuminated by the rising sun!
The exceptions (right) are in themselves most interesting.
It is apparent
that their bright sunward-facing surfaces are from polished, mirror-like
reflections - probably caused by wind blown sand abrading over time metallic
crystal surfaces (or, at least "something" metallic…).
The problem with applying this natural explanation to the Face
The specular reflections from these close-in features viewed by the Viking 2
camera are on the order of "a few square inches"; the surface area of specular reflections from the Face's eastern side measures several miles in
For the inevitable critics of the preceding image processing and Face
analyses, it is imperative for everyone to realize that these spectacular
results have been achieved by merely decreasing the brightness of Odyssey
image V03814003, and then applying a 3X pixel over sampling (to smooth out
"jaggies"). No other "image processing" techniques have been applied.
Yet, the striking results - both in revealing the highly anomalous
brightness of this feature, as well as its inexplicable geometric nature - are easily illustrated by the following series of images (left).
have applied "decreasing gamma adjustments" in six stages to the same
published ASU/JPL "dawn" image - essentially, just "turning down the
brightness." As can be seen, by the time the brightness has been decreased
to approximately 10% of the official published image value, the astonishing
3-D geometry of the Face's eastern side (left) is easily and overwhelmingly
Given that we do not have access to the absolute photometric transfer
functions of the Odyssey VIS camera, this technique can also be used to put
some crude upper limits on the absolute reflectivity of this amazing object.
If we equate the surface brightness of the soils around
the Face with NASA's
published estimates of the average albedo (reflectivity) of the Cydonia
region (about 20 percent - according to a pre-Pathfinder NASA Conference),
we can then approximate the relative reflectivity of the Face in this new
image, based on when the surface "disappears" in our brightness reduction
animation (below -
press keyboard F5).
Keeping firmly in mind that these are only "ballpark estimates,"
via this technique turns out to be reflecting - straight up - an amazing
99.9% of the surface illumination falling on it, compared to the ground's
average of about 20%! Since no rocky surface can possibly have this degree
of right-angle, natural reflectivity - the Face's eastern side MUST BE
acting like a set of coherent, artificial mirrors!
Further, the multi-colored, "prismatic" appearance of these striking 3-D
"panels" (close-up-left) raises the serious possibility of
semi-transparent, glass-like refractions in this material - from whatever
is making up this structure. This, in addition to the previously discussed,
front surface, mirror-like reflections ….
This, in turn, is totally
consistent with the possibility of a highly anomalous artificial surface to the Face's construction … which we published over ten years ago.
And, when an elaborate effort is made to equalize the much darker, western
half of the structure with the brilliant eastern-side (right) - again, by
only adjusting proper image brightness and contrast from east to west - the
three-dimensional, internal scattering nature of the Face comes "shining
through" … obviously, exactly as someone on the Odyssey team intended, and
as we scientifically predicted over a decade ago.
Beginning in the 1992 Edition of
"The Monuments of Mars," we strongly
suggested that the Face was NOT merely "a mesa-carved 'Mount Rushmore' …
lying on a level Martian plain" - but something "far more interesting."
Mark Carlotto and
Mike Stein's unprecedented computerized fractal work on
the original Viking images had strongly indicated by 1990 that "something"
about the Face was decidedly "non-fractal" - i.e. in one interpretation, it
is composed of artificial surface materials (left), which are
successfully resisting the relentless efforts of the Martian climate to turn
them back to dust. The bright "Face highlight" of the non-fractal Face image
indicates how much it departs from its far more fractal surroundings
A numerical analysis (right) further points out this dramatic "fractal model
fit error" of the Face's pixels, compared to the total image area - i.e. its
unique surface signature, indicating potential "artificiality" - even more
Here's what we said in1992: that Carlotto's newly published "non-fractal
Face results" were likely due to a "sophisticated placement of
shadow-casting [artificial] pyramidal substructures on [the] underlying mesa
In other words, that major portions of the Face were composed of,
objects … now showing (through erosion) countless exposed elements of their
internal geometric (thus, non-fractal - compared to their Cydonia
surroundings) structure …."
This was in direct opposition to the prevailing
opinion of all other researchers at the time (those who took seriously the
tenant that the Face is indeed "an artificial structure") - who believed
(and still do!) that the Face was carved … in other words, "Mt. Rushmore."
In my opinion, to the contrary: Carlotto's provocative fractal results
strongly indicate that the Face (or at least large portions of it …)
But, even further, I began at that moment to also seriously consider an even
more extraordinary proposition:
That the Face was, in fact, two "faces," specifically engineered (again, not
"carved") as a massive, constructed work of art - designed (for some reason
on Mars) to reflect two distinctly different terrestrial species …
When the MGS "full Face image" was grudgingly released by Michael Malin in
late May of 2001 (below/left) - and the feline eastern half overwhelmingly
confirmed (even to observers who knew nothing about our ten-year-old
prediction) - we wrote on Enterprise:
"In response to this long-awaited image, a few in the independent research
community have even responded by declaring that the Eastern half, or Cliff
side, is 'more eroded' than the City side. Or, they have described the
previously shaded side as 'more irregular' - anything, apparently … to keep
from admitting that it's feline.
"In truth, it is simply wrong that the Eastern (Cliff) half is 'more eroded'
than the Western (City) half (left). It is equally wrong that that side
(the right) is also more 'irregular.' These are clearly coping mechanisms
put forth by those that expected to see a symmetrical 'human' face. The
reality is that the Eastern half is simply less familiar than the more
commonly seen Western (Viking) half.
And, since it is decidedly feline, it
is less consistent with many of the hopes and expectations of seeing a
familiar, friendly human visage staring back at us from the Cydonia Martian
plain. In reality, the Eastern half is significantly less eroded and appears
to have more of the original 'casing' on it then the more weathered Western
What the problem really comes down to is that the Cliff side
confirms our model - that that side is feline - and not 'theirs' (that the
Face would be symmetrical, and human) - and that is a new scientific and
political reality that many long-time researchers (and even casual
observers) of this decades-long puzzle are having difficulty coping with
Remarkably, the latest multi-spectral Odyssey "dawn"
Cydonia image - V03814003 - now further supports precisely
such a model.
By revealing an inexplicable, "honeycomb-like" pattern on the Face -
visible as a series of "brilliantly reflective, geometric patches"… but only
on the eastern side.
This is now totally consistent with our previous analysis: that the eastern
half has (by virtue of being shielded by the western side, which has taken
the brunt of the sand and wind erosion) preserved a far less-eroded, highly
reflective surface of the original Monument. Further, this new pre-dawn data
totally eliminates several competing hypotheses put forward in 2001 to
"explain" the striking visual asymmetry when the MGS "full Face image" was
first released - including, those that speculated that "deep sand dunes"
were covering the eastern aspects of the Monument!
Look at this direct comparison (right): between the MGS 2001 black and white
image of the Face, and the latest Odyssey pre-dawn color view. As can be
seen, "something" about that eastern surface is creating an intensely
mirror-like reflection of the pre-dawn Martian lighting - and in a
distinctly geometric pattern. Could this merely be some type of inherently
bright "scattering" material … like snow?
"snow" is not a likely explanation for this striking optical
appearance, can be seen by in this crucial terrestrial comparison (left). The object on the left is "Shiprock Butte," a literal sunrise shot of an
awesome, wind-eroded surface feature in northwestern New Mexico, considered
an analog in the "mainstream" view to the "wind-sculpted natural geology of the Face on Mars." The object on the right is the new
composite image of the Face - its brilliant eastern side (again, in the dim
pre-dawn Martian lighting), clearly overexposed.
Note that Shiprock has some snow on it, both on the sunward facing side and
in the shadows. However, even under direct sunrise illumination here on
Earth (1.5 times closer to the Sun, thus 2.25 times brighter), the light
scattering from the Shiprock snowy surface
(above/left-left) cannot begin to match Odyssey's pre-dawn reflections from the Face (above/left-right)!
According to the Canadian Meteorological Centre, fresh snow has an albedo of
about 83 %. Old "aging" snow only scatters about 50% of sunlight falling on
it. Since we've now quantitatively estimated the eastern side brightness of
(above) at over 99% (!), this effectively rules out any natural
"high albedo, lambert-type (all-direction) scattering surfaces" - caused by
snow or ice (water, or even frozen CO2) - as an explanation for the
severely overexposed Face's eastern half. And, if "snow" was present on the
Face when the image was acquired (hardly likely, given the official Martian
northern hemisphere date of image acquisition - northern summer), why didn't
this same snow fall on the shadowed side in the Odyssey view … or on the
other, nearby mesas … as it has at Shiprock?
Further, as can be seen in this computer-generated "ray trace" rendering
(right) - a flat, mirror-like set of parallel
reflecting surfaces can reproduce precisely such highly overexposed
recordings of the Face's eastern surface, compared to non-specular
surroundings … at key geometric angles.
In other words, the evidence just presented strongly indicates that
"something" about the protected eastern Face's surface (the "feline" half …)
- captured by Odyssey in an instant of precise pre-dawn sun/spacecraft
illumination geometry - is capable of producing mirror-like reflections …
bounced 250 miles straight up … even before the sun had risen over the
This explanation is reinforced by a comparison of
the Face with its closest
"next door neighbor," a mesa located just to the southeast (left).
As can be seen, while the Face's eastern flank again is totally overexposed
in the Odyssey view, the mesa right next door is barely lit! Yet, the source
of illumination for both objects is exactly the same … the pre-dawn
brightening several degrees above the Cydonia horizon.
By the process of elimination, we are inexorably forced to conclude that
only some kind of manufactured, highly "directional" glass and metal surface
on the Face - whereby the angles of all the surviving reflecting elements,
despite the curving underlying structure, are aligned - could redirect the
horizon sky glow coherently, vertically, at such a specific angle … and thus
produce these startling optical phenomenon seen in Odyssey's VIS camera!
There is the one other equally artificial, but even more startling
In this Mars Surveyor image of the Face (right, left), compared to the same
area from Odyssey (right, right), note the distinct, glowing,
three dimensional quality of the eastern geometry seen in the Odyssey view.
Then, note hints of a similar rectilinear structure on the Face's surface in
the white light image, at opposite lighting and higher resolution. This key
similarity - but at two totally different scales - suggests that the
brilliant reflecting elements seen in the Odyssey, 20-meter color version
may in fact be larger scale, more massive interior structures - captured
underneath the visible light features seen in the MGS 5-meter view.
This would have been possible because of the unique illumination angle of
this image…pre-dawn sunlight, shining almost horizontally through a
high-tech, now porous (glass?), still eroding eastern surface covering
be photographed by Odyssey, looking straight down at a 90-degreen angle. A
good analogy would be the view through a fine-mesh window screen at
twilight, into a well-lit room - where the mesh is literally too small to
be seen against the massive illuminated pieces in the room ….
The overall effect in this Odyssey view would have been identical to an
internal lighting system - producing an imaging effect almost like an x-ray
… making visible for the first time the internal architectural structure of
the Face on Mars!
One last item on the Face
This pre-dawn Odyssey image finally allows a direct comparison of key
morphological predictions re the eastern side, against the actual lit view …
which up 'til now have been based totally on images illuminated from the
Enterprise art director for many years, has spent
considerable time and effort painstakingly sculpting (in clay - remember
that?!), as well as with computer-generated models, what the eastern
"feline" side should look like … when we finally had Odyssey's new view.
On the right is a direct comparison.
Back to the surroundings of the Face
If you examine a bit more closely features in the immediate vicinity in this
unique Odyssey view, more fascinating "optical anomalies" begin to make
themselves apparent. Again, take that "average mesa" to the southeast of the
Face (immediate right,
right). In this darkened, more realistic rendition of
a portion of image V03814003, it is now evident that it too is not behaving
exactly like "an average Martian mesa."
First of all, its dramatic brightness difference, compared to the Face's
"right next door," is NOT because of any major differences in height. As can
be seen again in the Mars Pathfinder post-sunset imagery (left), after
sunset (or before sunrise), the primary landscape lighting comes from a
large area of the sky - several degrees above the point where the sun has
actually set (or will rise).
Thus, the sky illumination of both features in
V03814003 - regardless of their intrinsic height - is essentially the same.
So, how to account for their dramatic differences in brightness … if not
color … in image V03814003?
In this rotated, close-up, low brightness view (below/right), the "next door
feature's" major characteristic in this pre-dawn lighting turns out to be an
amazing, regular geometric "checkerboard" of multi colors! Close examination
reveals different axes and different levels to these colors - as if we're
looking down through multiple layers of some transparent, actively prismatic
The unmistakable "bluish" tints on the southeast (facing the
pre-dawn sky) are a further signature of internal scattering of the
predominant color of the pre-dawn sky itself ….
The only known material that is a) transparent, and b) can create such
prismatic coloration, as well as "a bluish, scattering of sky light" … is
glass - a most unlikely substance, I think you would agree, to be found on
"a naturally eroded mesa at Cydonia...."
The overall impression of this feature in this extraordinary
is that of a huge, glass ruin - once composed of many floors and rooms (look
carefully, right), and many different axes of symmetrical construction … now
reduced to just a n echo of its former self. There is also, in this un-rotated, lightened version of the same feature
(left), a remarkable array of additional, also distinctly "bluish"
geometric patterns evident all across the entire upper surface … some even
arranged in precise, concentric circles.
patterns clearly outline the formerly highly symmetric nature of this
construct! For example, a "straight line axis" - connecting two of these
"concentric circles" at each end - dominates the overall morphology. This
axis is at a 45-degree angle to the image frame and, significantly, is also
precisely parallel to the Platform edges of the Face, just northwest...
This stunning object - seen literally in this new light - is also clearly
NOT "just another average mesa!"
That this internal-scattering material is likely glass - the remaining
remnants of what must have been a dazzling array of superstructures once
built all across this "mesa" - is evident in the unique nature of its
appearance; unlike the Face's "blinding reflections," these geometric
patterns are somewhat "more subtle reds and blues, laid over a darker,
underlying matrix"… strong indication that only the pre-dawn lighting at
this angle is capable of making them apparent against the darker surface
underneath (via right-angle internal scattering, as opposed to surface
reflections) from Odyssey's 90-degree perspective overhead ….
This critical spacecraft/sun geometry also explains why, in the higher phase
Viking western lighting images, these features were not an outstanding
"fractal anomaly" in Carlotto and Stein's original analysis; at those higher
sun angles, and at Viking's resolution (one half Odyssey's), the surviving,
delicate and essentially transparent glass geometry seen beautifully here is
To the east of this remarkable feature lays another, also completely
nondescript Martian "knob" seen in the original Viking views (right). Again,
at this unique pre-dawn Odyssey lighting, its true, exquisitely anomalous
nature finally is revealed.
As a stunning set of "right-angle glowing features and internal rectilinear
geometries," apparently created by a massive array of partially surviving
shattered glass cubes! These incredibly geometric features, as can be seen
(right), are scattering the blue sky light even more intensely … before
another Cydonia dawn …
Finally, examination of this remarkable pre-dawn
Odyssey frame reveals a
possible solution to another long-standing mystery about Cydonia (left):
the true nature of the "D&M."
Discovered on the original 1976 Viking images, this singular five-sided
feature (left), located just a few miles southwest of the Face, has come to
represent - perhaps even more than the celebrated "Face" itself - the
continuing, haunting enigma of Cydonia ….
Properly termed the "mathematical
Rosetta Stone," because of its unique and telling internal mathematical
relationships, the physical nature of this object remains a major Martian
Beginning with the geomorphologically anomalous
five-sided form presented
here from Viking (above/left), additional
Odyssey B&W imagery last year revealed
another geometric aspect to this fascinating feature's profound internal
But, mysteriously, even though the Mars Surveyor spacecraft has been in
orbit for over six years, Michael Malin (Principal Investigator of the MOC
camera aboard the MGS) has yet to release a full-on, high-resolution
(>5meters) image of this extraordinary, obviously highly symmetrical
structure. Without such detailed close-ups, fundamental questions regarding
the true nature of this object will remain unanswered ….
It was with some interest, then, that we realized that in the bottom left
portion of this Odyssey "dawn" image, the "northeast quadrant" of the
had, in fact, been imaged … at ~20 meter resolution (roughly twice that of
Viking) - and in color. Perhaps even more important, whereas all previous D&M images (Viking and Odyssey) have been taken with the sun coming from the
left, in this image the Pyramid is clearly illuminated from the right - the
direction of the not-yet-risen-sun.
It is immediately apparent in this image that the D&M - named by the author
after the two original Goddard contract imaging specialists who found it on
the Viking imagery, Vince DiPietro and Greg Molenaar --- is as reflective at
this viewing angle as the Face itself!
Significantly, the "mesa in the middle" (left), is scattering just about
what would be expected in this lighting, while the Face (top) and D&M (left, left) are distinctly far too bright …. Again, differences in height
or surface slopes should make no difference here … as the source of
illumination is a large, diffuse area in the Martian eastern sky many
degrees above the Cydonia horizon (see again, Viking and Pathfinder surface
Clearly, whatever material is making the Face literally "glow" in this
pre-dawn light, is also having the same effect upon the mysterious "D&M" ….
In this close-up Enterprise enhancement (right), this overwhelming glare has
been substantially reduced … allowing details of the "protected" northeast
side for the first
time to emerge. And, in this comparison (below, far right),
"honeycomb" of highly rectilinear, room-like features finally are exposed.
Again, this new view now provides startling confirmation of a hypothesis
initially framed in the first edition of "Monuments," now almost 20 years
ago: namely, that the D&M is literally hollow - created as a vast,
compartmentalized "super condominium" … a true "arcology" on Mars. The
ordered geometry - together with the anomalous reflectivity - seen here, only reinforce that original view ….
This short recitation of optical Cydonia anomalies now hints at a dramatic
escalation of our original "Intelligence Hypothesis":
Namely, that all of the nearby features to the Face were either artificially
modified, or had some kind of artificial structures built upon them … in the
epoch during which the Face itself was first created. That their individual
light-scattering properties are also now strikingly "anomalous" is
unmistakable. One can only wonder what a similar pre-dawn image, secured by
Odyssey… in color… would reveal about my other original discovery…
City of Pyramids itself.
Obviously, this new Odyssey data has opened up new, fundamental questions
about the extant and nature of "artificial construction at Cydonia" … and
the ultimate nature of what eventual rover missions - or a manned landing
itself! - will one day come to find.
So, how do we go about testing this, admittedly, increasingly extraordinary
Ideally, one of the two MER rovers currently enroute to Mars (left) could
be landed at Cydonia. By virtue of their onboard color CCD stereo cameras,
and the sophisticated analytical x-ray and gamma ray equipment that they
carry, we'd then know in short order if these anomalous optical features
seen from orbit are backed up by true physical anomalies measured on the
ground … including, the unmistakable signatures of manufactured, high-tech
But, alas, that's not going to happen - in the short run.
NASA seems determined to follow their step-by-step, "drip by drip" planned
escalation of the interesting discoveries at Mars... with the "discovery"
during the MER missions of present water just beneath the soil … the next
step on their "timed-release aspirin" political science agenda, and the
But, NASA is not the only "player" in the game this time."
In December/January, besides the two
NASA rovers, three other spacecraft
(one piggy-backing on the other) are scheduled to arrive at Mars. These five
missions make up a veritable "fleet" of robots currently enroute (right),
operated by three separate national interests this time: Japan, the United
States and Europe.
Since two of them - the Japanese "Nozomi" mission, and
Express" - are NOT being operated under NASA management, there's at least a
glimmer of hope (ironic - since that's what "Nozomi" means in Japanese
- Hope!) that one of these three foreign spacecraft might actually,
independently, add significant new information to the "artificial structures
on Mars" question. But - only if they secure some specifically targeted,
carefully timed new observations of previously known ruins - and then only
if they're "allowed" to make the information public ….
In the wake of Odyssey's new revelations on Cydonia, obviously, high on our
list will be requests of both the Europeans and the Japanese for new,
pre-dawn (or, immediate post-sunset) orbital observations of Cydonia with
the state-of the art, high-resolution color CCD cameras that both the
Japanese and ESA (European Space Agency) missions carry.
Though the Japanese
(Nozomi) mission will possess a three color CCD camera called MIC ("Mars
Imaging Camera"), its capabilities are limited by the overall mission design
- which constrains its latitude of coverage of Mars and pixel resolution …
the latter to about 60 meters, and only at the equator. Therefore, the
"Mars Express" mission is probably our best shot.
Mars Express is designed to take up residence around
Mars in late December,
2003 (Christmas night!), in an approximately 7000 by 161-mile, 7.5 hour,
polar elliptical orbit (left). For roughly 40 minutes each revolution,
centered around periapsis (the
spacecraft's closest point to Mars), the on-board HRSC (High Resolution
Stereo Camera) system will take images - in color, stereo and at very high
resolution … down to ~2-meters per pixel.
The rest of the orbit will be
devoted to relaying this imaging data back to Earth, and conducting other
It is the stereo and color capability of the HSRC which interests us here
If what we see in the
Odyssey "dawn image" is truly "specular reflection" -
i.e. coherent flashes of light from mirror-like, artificial structures on
(or underneath) the surface of the Face - then the brightness of the Face's
eastern side will vary dramatically in only a few seconds, as Mars Express
flies into and out of these "beamed" reflections.
By timing it's flyover at the same pre-dawn geometry as the
and comparing the position, brightness, and color changes of the reflection
features in its successive stereo HRSC scans, the physical location of the
reflecting elements - either on the Face's surface, or underneath - can be
firmly determined by the Mars Express mission. In addition, examination of
the neighboring "mesas" - also in stereo and color - will allow
determination of their relative compositions and/or physical surface
differences, in comparison to the Face.
In short, the capability to finally secure "smoking gun data," regarding the
entire Cydonia question, lies within the capability of ESA's new Mars
mission. The question is: do they have the political will and interest -
against the apparent continuing "cover-up" agenda of
NASA and the United
States - to honestly pursue it? And, again, will they be allowed…?
That's where you come in.
If enough readers of this paper, and followers of this continuing
Investigation, demand that the Principal Investigator of Mars Express' HRSC
Gerhard Neukum, of the Freie Universitšt Berlin - use the HRSC's
exquisite stereo and color capability to secure this vital information … it
can be made to happen.
Simply by sending Dr. Neukum a
heartfelt e-mail or letter
- outlining the scientific objectives of the new Mars Express Cydonia imaging
his instrument can uniquely acquire; by explaining the extraordinary
implications if artificial structures are scientifically confirmed on the
planet Mars … and, by reemphasizing the extraordinary, profoundly puzzling Odyssey pre-dawn
Cydonia observations described here.
One last point:
The Aug. 15,2003 issue of Science, probably (next to Nature) the most
prestigious science journal in the world, ran an editorial entitled "One
Nuclear Leap To Mars." In it the editorial writer discussed the possibility
of finding "something bizarre on Mars that would trigger a manned Mars
The last paragraph in particular is the most telling: the
writer concludes by saying,
"perhaps one of the spacecraft now on the way to
the Red Planet - one of the two NASA rovers, the Japanese Nozomi Mission, or
Mar Express and its associated Beagle 2 - will [not 'may'] discover
something compelling or bizarre … that would shake people into thinking 'We
need to go now.'"
The last quote being from astrogeologist Jim Rice, of
Arizona State University.
"And, Arizona State, of course, is the institution which took the
extraordinary THEMIS image of this amazing object in the
Cydonia pre-dawn …."