Stain Distribution


A major, long-term consequence of this eventual Mars synchronous rotation around Planet V is the present bi-modal distribution of subsurface water stains. The tidal forces from Planet V would have pushed water into sub-crustal fissures and cavities at right angles to the exerted tidal stress between Mars and Planet V (Figure 17).


Over time, this would have driven additional Martian water in between the two “tidal oceans” deep underground and toward one of the two “water poles” at either end of the line connecting Mars with Planet V.

Figure 17

Water is forced into sub-crustal cavities in the ocean beds

by the tidal forces exerted by Planet V at right angles to the lines of force


This important theoretical detail is neatly confirmed by the crucial observation that the stain flow images are clustered only in the Tharsis region and Arabia, exactly 180 degrees opposite. Any water apparently residing in between these two locations seems to have been driven underground by the proposed tidal stresses on the planet. So deep, in fact, that it is now unable to leave any surface indications between these two former tidal “poles.”

Another observation consistent with the idea that the stains reflect current water reservoirs just below the surface, relates to the “line of dichotomy” itself. Stains observed on Tharsis seem only to occur north of this line of demarcation. This implies that the smoother hemisphere to the north is the older geologically, as on Tharsis it possesses the majority of the subsurface water/surface stains now remaining from one of the two tidally separated oceans.


If the material making up the more heavily cratered southern hemisphere is due to superimposed material on the smoother, more eroded original crust (Figure 18), then we would likely not now find much water near the surface in those regions – even under the former Tharsis tidal ocean.

Figure 18

MOLA generated 3D topography strip showing the dramatic difference

in crustal elevation between the heavily cratered southern highlands and the smoother northern lowlands.

Possible water stain images appear only above the crustal “line of dichotomy.”

The exception to this pattern would appear to be the location of the opposite “tidal ocean” – the Arabia Terra plateau, which is heavily cratered as if from the Planet V event, but possesses the second highest number of current water stain images (see Figure 5). Recent scans from MOLA have shown that the crust is significantly thinner in Arabia than it is in most of the cratered southern hemisphere,30 accounting for the presence of relatively shallow water seepages beneath this former ocean.


Additionally, researchers Brian Hynek and Roger Phillips from Washington University in St. Louis, interpreting this new altimeter evidence from Mars Observer, conclude that an enormous amount of surface material was somehow excavated from the planet's western Arabia Terra region.31

“We argue that this entire region has been massively eroded," said Hynek.


"The region used to look like the rest of the [southern] highlands, but a vertical kilometer of material — enough to fill the Gulf of Mexico — has been relocated downslope and spread out into the northern plains."

According to Hynek, the most likely erosional force of this magnitude is flowing water.

“Lots of things can erode planets. Wind is very effective on long timescales. Volcanoes, ice, and glaciers can all erode features,” he said.

“But on this large of a scale these are unlikely explanations.”

Their puzzling observations are neatly explained by the sudden collapse of a former “tidal ocean” previously maintained by Planet V. When Planet V “exploded,” a massive wall of water would have been released in a few hours, rushing northward – taking a good deal of Arabia Terra with it in the process – exactly as Hynek and Phillips now conclude.


This, of course, also explains the current surface presence of stain images in this region – they are the exhumed underground remains of the subsurface waters from this former “Arabia Ocean.”

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The Destruction of Planet V


We have freely used the phrase in this paper “when Planet V exploded" to describe the eventual disappearance of Planet V and the release of Mars back into a heliocentric (solar) orbit.

In Van Flandern’s original model, Planet K and Planet V disintegrated via literal explosions, leaving only a residue of smaller fragments (the asteroids and comets); most of the material from these (and previous) planetary explosions, according to Van Flandern, was completely ejected from the system by the highly energetic nature of the events themselves or subsequent encounters with Jupiter. In terms of the actual mechanism, some previously unknown “physics process” Van Flandern has argued, is responsible for destroying single planets well after their formation.


This insistence on a heretofore unmodeled, “mysterious energy release” mechanism has played a major role in Van Flandern’s less than enthusiastic reception by the planetary science community, in spite of the many other recent confirmations of his model. Since the evidence Van Flandern has marshaled for the after effects of this Event is far more important here than the precise destruction mechanism he’s proposed, we believe a shift of emphasis could retain the best features in this instance, while avoiding the non-testable aspects of Van Flandern’s original EPH model

It is our opinion that the eventual destruction of Planet V was occasioned by a simple and direct (if not long overdue) collision with the other proposed major planetary object in Van Flandern’s celestial mechanics’ reconstruction: “Planet K.” Post Apollo models for the origin of the Moon have embraced a similar concept. As the three leading pre-lunar landing theories for lunar origin were tested on the returning Apollo samples and found to not fit the evidence, a radical new theory was proposed.


In 1975, Drs. William K. Hartmann and Donald R. Davis, writing in ICARUS, suggested that the Moon was formed as a side effect of a catastrophic “glancing collision” of the Earth with another major planetary object. Their idea was that “a Mars-sized planetisimal” collided with the early Earth, spalling off enough lightweight crustal material to recondense to form the Moon. In 1984, the first planetary conference to specifically consider all aspects of this revolutionary theory was convened, titled “Origin of the Moon.” 32


It is our proposal that a similar event, simply delayed by a quirk of celestial mechanics until very late in solar system history, precipitated the destruction of two planets in the current Asteroid Belt ~65MYA. This event, we suggest, thus liberated Mars from its temporary synchronous orbit of Planet V to once again pursue a solitary – if significantly more elliptical than any other inner planet -- solar orbit.

Remarkably, at a June, 2001 Earth Systems Processes Global Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, astrobiologist Bruce Runnegar of the University of California in Los Angeles presented some striking independent evidence that “something” major happened in the solar system ~65 million years ago. Runnegar and his colleagues had previously identified evidence of a 400,000-year cycle in ancient ocean sediments, indicating changes in Earth's climate corresponding to natural fluctuations in its orbit.


To probe this cycle’s influence on Earth's climate over the past 100 million years, Runnegar’s team constructed computer models based on known variations in planetary orbits, their proximity to the Sun and their interactive perturbations. In running the models, they found that the known fluctuations of the solar system's dynamics remained constant going back to 65 million years ago.


Then, to their surprise, the frequency of perturbations to the orbits of the inner planets suddenly changed.33

“If the orbits of Mercury, Earth and Mars were being shaken up at this time, maybe asteroids were being shaken up too,” says Runnegard.

Or, maybe they were being formed – in a gargantuan collision. Aspects of this model echo another source of surprising information about the solar system: cuneiform records from the earliest “high” civilization, the Sumerian.


Zecharia Sitchin has written extensively about the Sumerian’s uncanny “knowledge” of possible collisional events from this earliest period of solar system history.34 With the latest discoveries of radically different extra solar planetary systems and current theoretical efforts to understand these systems in terms of potentially interacting planetary orbits, the relevance of Sitchin’s Sumerian translations should take on new meaning.

In our Mars tidal model, the result of such an unimaginable collision of two massive planetary objects (remember, at least 4-5 Earth masses each) would be almost indistinguishable from a literal planetary explosion. The effects of the collisional destruction of Planet V and K on a nearby captured Mars, orbiting less than 100,000 kilometers away, would have been almost inconceivable. In addition to the discovery of suddenly “shaky planetary orbits” at ~65 MYA, such an Event should have left a number of predictable surface features on Mars itself – other unmistakable signatures of vast destruction.

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Signatures of a Catastrophe


Assuming that only the top 1% of Planet V and K’s lithospheres survived this disruptive Event -- as accelerated chunks of various- sized crustal debris moving outward from the site of the collision -- large amounts of much smaller materials from the exposed high temperature mantles and cores of the respective planets would have been ejected at high speed directly towards Mars in this Event.


In looking for resulting evidence of their impacts on Mars, we should expect to see signatures of rapid surface heating and then freezing; catastrophic water and associated mudflows; a major loss of atmosphere along with huge quantities of water; and finally – hemispherical cratering on Mars from a vast amount of blast debris from Planet V.

Mars shows all these signatures and more.

The strongest direct evidence of a debris-filled “explosion Event” occurring close to Mars, is the mysterious “line of dichotomy” separating the northern and southern hemispheres at that angle of 35 degrees. Logically, if Mars was in synchronous orbital lock with Planet V when the “explosion” came, then evidence of a wave of impacts from the destruction of the Planet should be plastered all over Mars’ one “side,” at right angles to the incoming debris. It is not. Instead, the line of dichotomy is aligned (~60 degrees) to the current Mars spin axis. And the authors acknowledge that this presents some serious problems for this entire model.

Without the narrow orientation constraints now imposed by the Mars tidal model presented in this paper, some previous workers have attempted to explain away this serious geometric discrepancy by proposing a completely different pole position for the “preexplosion” Mars: an original rotational axis almost 90 degrees to the current orientation. Such a situation is termed “polar wander,” and involves the long-term mechanical realignment of a planet’s spin axis (relative to surface features) after a new mass distribution is imposed – either internally (long-term convective flow) or externally (material accreted from major impacts).35 This “wander” continues until a new rotational equilibrium is established under the influence of the new mass distribution, with a new resulting pole position.

The nature of this “new mass redistribution,” which subsequently forced Mars to assume its current pole position, was assumed in this case to be the sudden addition of significant crustal mass from the disintegrating Planet V. If Mars’ “pre-explosion” spin axis had been perpendicular to this incoming wave of blast debris, so this theory proposed, the momentum of the impacts coupled with the unbalanced additional mass piled on the planet’s “side,” would have initiated a “polar wander scenario” – until Mars “toppled over” to reach its current position of new rotational equilibrium, relative to its current surface features.

Our tidal model, and the evidence supporting it presented here, emphatically forbids such an “easy” dynamical solution to this major problem. The alignment of Mars prior to Planet V’s destruction is now firmly determined: it must have been with the Tharsis/Arabia line aimed directly toward Planet V (Figure 6). The spin poles would then have been at right angles to this immovable alignment. So, the debris from the “explosion” should have smashed into the planet at right angles to the current Mars Equator – which the line of dichotomy shows it clearly did not.

It has been argued that some major debris – huge ejected “pieces” of Planet V’s disintegrating crust -- reached Mars first. That these planet-busting impacts, which left the major scars known as the “Argyre” and “Hellas” basins, literally “rolled Mars over on its side” before the blast wave of smaller (but more numerous) debris arrived. This however, is not at all likely. The smaller pieces would have been accelerated fastest, and would have arrived first … followed by the largest pieces last.


Simple Newton’s Laws:

F = MA

So, what is our solution?

We propose that as it was approaching Planet V toward its ultimate collision, Planet K passed close by Mars in its orbit around Planet V (Figure 19). This close encounter gravitationally interfered with the tidal lock between Mars with Planet V. In fact, it began a radical, gravitationally induced reorientation of the entire Mars’ spin axis relative to Planet V. This was NOT internal “polar wander” relative to surface features, but an entire change of the obliquity of Mars (spin axis tilt) relative to Planet V.

Figure 19

Proposed collision event of planets V and K. Close approach of planet K alters Mars obliquity,

resulting in a debris splatter pattern 60 degrees to previous (and current) spin axis


After initiating this first major change in Mars’ orientation in perhaps several hundred million years, Planet K continued inward toward it’s catastrophic rendezvous with Planet V. This impact initiated an almost inconceivable release of energy – the equivalent of Van Flandern’s EPH explosion – and the shattered fragments of the crust of both worlds, accelerated by the enormous blast, began their spherical, outward journey through the solar system. Some of them, a tiny fraction of the total mass of both exploding planets, in the space of a few hours eventually reached Mars.


But, by the time the first major wave of fragments had arrived, Mars had tipped over by some ~60 degrees, presenting almost the entire southern hemisphere to the “explosion.” That’s why the “line of dichotomy” is tilted by that ~60 degrees, relative to Mars spin axis. In fact, as Mars continued to heel over and larger, slower fragments continued to arrive, this was when the material which partially covered Arabia Terra reached the planet.


Shortly after that, the largest, continent-sized fragment -- which created the 2300 kilometer wide, 5 kilometer deep Hellas basin, the largest on the planet Mars – impacted south of Arabia Terra (Figure 20).36

Figure 20

Hellas’ 2300 km impact basin


Hellas Basin
Hellas Basin is the largest preserved impact structure on Mars. Over 2000 km in diameter and 8 km deep, the Hellas basin and its surroundings exhibit landforms shaped by a diversity of geologic processes. Ongoing Hellas region research at PSI includes numerous geologic mapping projects, investigations into the development of circum-Hellas canyon systems, degradation of highland terrains, emplacement of lava flows, evolution of lobate debris aprons, and the morphologies and populations of impact craters.

This perspective rendering of the northeast rim of Hellas basin and Hesperia Planum is one of many new products being produced at PSI by Varun Bhartia, an Arizona Space Grant intern from the University of Arizona. Working with PSI researchers Les Bleamaster and David Crown, Varun is helping to build a comprehensive collection of Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey image products for our Geographic Information Systems layered database.


Approximately 12 hours since the collision of Planet’s K and V had now elapsed.

The effects on Mars of such an unimaginable collision/explosion “right next door” would not be limited to massive, visible impacts on the surface. The effects of countless megatons of smaller, accelerated mantle and core material from Planet’s K and V, entering the Martian atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, would literally superheat that atmosphere and then blow a major fraction of it into space.


Any surface waters would literally boil from the shockwaves and radiant heating of incoming high-velocity debris, and a major fraction of that water would then join the atmosphere in its escape. With the immediate loss of a significant percentage of the atmosphere, temperatures on the surface would plummet, resulting in any remaining liquid water quickly freezing. Shallow underground reservoirs would remain liquid for a longer interval, before also becoming ice.

It is a “snapshot” of these bi-modal, formerly flash frozen water concentrations at the moment of catastrophe – the locations of the two former Martian tidal oceans -- that the current “stain images” now seem to be confirming.

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Chemical Signatures of a Collision Event


Several current geochemical puzzles regarding Mars are solved with the introduction of this “Martian satellite model.” When Viking carried out the first insitu surface composition measurements in 1976, one of the puzzling results was an unusually high percentage of sulfur in the soil. Compared to an average surface abundance on Earth of 0.07%, Viking reported a Mars sulfur abundance of over 3% -- 43 times more. Similarly, iron on the surface of the Earth is 3.8%, while on the surface of Mars it measures over 15%.37

Models for planetary formation generally agree that iron and a host of other “heavy elements” sink to the centers of newly forming worlds to form high-temperature cores.38 Another generally agreed upon core constituent, present to approximately 10%, is sulfur – as FeS. In the awesome collision of two such massive planetary bodies, it is inevitable that copious amounts of these high-temperature materials would be ejected directly into space. It is our proposal in this paper that not only did this occur, but that Mars swept up precisely these abundant core materials; which is why they now exhibit such unusual and misleading abundances in the surface materials mantling the planet.

Recent Surveyor composition data from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) has revealed that this anomalous sulfur is in the form of sulfates, as opposed to iron sulfide – the form of the original FeS we are proposing. It is obvious, in our model, that the original FeS falling out of space became oxidized, turning into sulfates. A similar fate seems to have befallen the anomalous iron that also rained on Mars from this catastrophe.

For Mars presents us with a greater paradox than sulfur. We must ask a far more basic question: why is it so red?


Mars redness, we now know from TES data,39 results from the extensive drifts of iron oxide strewn across the surface. A fundamental question then becomes: if the original iron source was metallic iron, from the exploding/colliding planets’ cores, where did the free oxygen come from to eventually oxidize that iron down on Mars? Even primordial free oxygen, capable of oxidizing iron in geological strata termed “banded-iron formations” and “red beds” on Earth, it is agreed, derived from one main source: growing biological activity.40

  • In the iron-rich, rusted sands of Mars, are we seeing striking evidence of similar biological activity?

  • Did the “rain of iron” falling from the sky from the destruction of Planet V encounter an atmosphere containing copious free oxygen – bringing to a tragic end a bio-logical “Garden of Eden” era for the captured Mars?

Mars Global Surveyor surface composition data indicates another major surface anomaly on Mars that supports this tidal model. Using the information from TES, Robert N. Clarke and Todd M. Hoefen, of the U.S. Geological Survey, have reported the identification of widespread abundances of olivine [(Mg, Fe)2 SiO4] on the Martian surface (Figure 21).41

Figure 21

Mars global Olivine distribution (Blue) (USGS)


As olivine (an iron-magnesium silicate) quickly weathers into other minerals in the presence of liquid water, its surprising abundance according to all conventional Mars models would indicate that the planet has been “cold and dry” for the last several billion years. It’s widespread presence, according to Clark, seems to effectively preclude former models of a “warmer, wetter Mars.”


Our interpretation is quite different: that the source of Mars’ olivine (like its anomalous iron and sulfur) is totally external -- also coming from the destruction of Planet V, rather than from conventional internal ancient volcanism.

Because olivine is thought to be a major component of the mantles of the inner “rocky” planets, its dispersion into space in a major planetary collision would be inevitable. Like the anomalous presence of iron and sulfur in the Martian surface soils (in our model, from the collisionally-exposed planetary cores), we now propose that the unexpected global abundance of olivine is also precisely in accord with the hypothesis presented here: that a collision/explosion of two major Earth-type planets released enormous quantities of mantle material directly into space.


And that Mars inevitably swept up a significant amount of this rapidly condensed material. Because Mars’ climate radically changed immediately after this Event, and its remaining water froze, the presence of large quantities of unweathered olivine on Mars can only be another striking signature of Mars’ former existence as a satellite of Planet V -- which (the olivine confirms) was then catastrophically destroyed.

If our model is correct, there should be two additional observations strongly supporting this assertion. First, the olivine that TES detected should be primarily concentrated in the areas defined as being from the blast wave pattern of Planet V’s destruction. Second, the current water “stains” should cluster in areas with low current olivine detection.

Point number one: examination of the global olivine distribution map from TES (Figure 22), shows that over 90% of this important mineral is concentrated in areas south of the “line of dichotomy” on Mars – where impact debris from Planet V is also concentrated. Again, olivine in this amount would normally be found in unweathered volcanic fields newly erupted from the planetary mantle. Since the standard model for explaining Mars’ heavily cratered southern hemisphere assumes a very ancient surface, this presents a fundamental problem.

Figure 22

Water stain map superimposed over Olivine distribution map


On a planet otherwise exhibiting abundant evidence of extensive water flows and its attendant weathering of olivine, how can the current surface distribution of this mineral support an ancient southern hemisphere? The answer is: it can’t.


Thus, we take this wide-spread olivine as strong confirmation that,

a) the source of this material is new

b) is external to Mars’ underlying landscape

More precisely, that it’s simply accreted mantle material from the disintegration of Planet’s K& V.


Point number two: by overlaying Palermo’s “stain global distribution” with the USGS TES mineral map from Clark and Hoe-fen, we can easily assess the second correlation. As one can see (Figure 22), the “water stain” image clusters occupy – almost exclusively – areas with little or no olivine. This is also entirely consistent with the model we’ve proposed, that these stains are evidence of current, extensive, ground-based liquid water.


Further corroborating evidence for this dramatic sequence of events comes from additional TES data. As reported in SCIENCE,42 two distinct surface spectral signatures have now been identified on Mars from low-albedo regions of the planet. Comparisons with spectra of terrestrial rock samples indicate that the two compositions are a basaltic mix dominated by plagioclase feldspar and clinopyroxene, and an andesitic (silicic) composition dominated by plagioclase feldspar and volcanic glass.


The distribution of these two distinct mineral compositions is, again, split roughly along the planetary dichotomy line. The basaltic composition is confined to the heavily cratered terrain in the south, and the more silicic composition is concentrated in the northern plains.

This separation of Mars into two distinct mineralogical regimes, composed now of two very different surface materials – one considered “primitive” (because the chemistry is simple), and the other “complex” (because its formed by extensive weathering of lighter, differentiated crust materials) – is in fact another remarkable confirmation of the tidal model. In the conventional geological history of Mars, the discovery of a basaltic (“primitive”) volcanic rock composition of the (below the “line of dichotomy”) southern hemisphere, indicates as we have noted that this part of Mars is considerably older than the rest of the planet.


The theory is that it in fact dates back to the earliest history of Mars, when the first massive basaltic volcanism was forming surface crust. In this view, the (presumed) remnants of the last heavy meteor bombardment are also represented on this “primitive” southern hemisphere, by the extensive cratering below the “line of dichotomy.” This overwhelmingly crater-covered landscape, in this theory, simply confirms the idea that this is truly ancient “3+GYA” original Martian crust.

The tidal model, and its associated “Planet V destruction,” takes the same data and presents a radically different reconstruction.

In our view, this “bi-modal” surface composition is actually another major confirmation of the tidal model. The massive cratering and basaltic (“primitive”) composition of the southern hemisphere stems directly from the same external source that left the mysterious olivine, iron and sulfur strewn across the planet:

the primitive, infalling mass of basaltic mantle and core materials which have covered Mars to a depth of almost 30 kilometers from the “exploding” Planets K & V.

The more weathered northern plains, according to TES data, also confirm – contrary to all the conventional Mars models -- that it is in fact the older hemisphere of Mars, and was long exposed to the erosive and weathering effects of liquid water … if not perhaps free oxygen.

The last major signature of Mars’ former existence as a tidally locked satellite of Planet V, and the sudden catastrophic change in that condition, comes from a close examination of the Tharsis “bulge” itself. Roger J. Phillips of Washington University in St. Louis and several colleagues recently published an extensive new study of this massive Martian feature.


Phillips reports that the Tharsis rise is the result of 300 hundred million cubic kilometers of lava -- enough to cover Mars 2 kilometers deep, if spread evenly across the planet -- that somehow became concentrated in one place on Mars. This calculation is far greater than previous estimates from past studies.43

Around much of the Tharsis rise is a puzzling, low-lying area called the Tharsis trough (Figure 23).

Figure 23

The “Tharsis Trough” (MOLA)


Phillips says,

“Imagine that Mars is a beach ball and that the Tharsis mass load is your fist. As your fist pushes into the beach ball, there is a bulge created on the opposite side of the ball (the Arabia bulge), and a depression or trough surrounds your fist (the Tharsis trough).”

The authors – in light of the tidal model presented in this paper -- have a very different interpretation of these associated features.

As noted earlier, it is endemic to the tidal model that both the Tharsis bulge and it’s 180-degree smaller counterpart, Arabia, are classic signatures of tidally distended fluids. The enormous bulk of Tharsis cited by Phillips’ in this recent study merely demonstrates how effective the tidal forces from Planet V truly were, in allowing such an enormous mass of mantle material to rise above the Mars mean datum against Mars gravity – some 10 km above the surrounding terrain. This condition is termed “hydrostatic equilibrium.”

It is intrinsic to this model that when Planet V’s partially supporting tidal forces were suddenly removed, this enormous Tharsis mass was suddenly dependent for its continued elevation solely on existing internal forces within Mars. The result was simple: over millions of years, Tharsis began to slowly sink back toward the center of Mars, seeking to establish a new state of hydrostatic equilibrium.


The “Tharsis trough” around this massive concentration of material is merely the result of an inevitable depression in the Martian crust around this ponderous mass (Figure 23 above), as that crust has broken and sunk under the enormous (now unsupported) weight of Tharsis, attempting to come to a new equilibrium condition.

As for the Arabia bulge on the planet’s other side, contrary to Phillip’s assertions, its uplift had nothing to do with this partial relaxation of Tharsis back into the mantle. To the contrary, as previously noted Arabia’s original uplift was a separate tidal signature of Mars previous close association with Planet V. After its destruction, Arabia experienced it’s own partial readjustment toward Mars center, also in direct response to the removal of the previously partially supporting tidal forces from Planet V.

One side effect of this inevitable “sinking process,” of bringing Tharsis and (to a lesser extent) Arabia into a new condition of hydrostatic equilibrium with Mars, was the late creation of a whole new volcanic “rise” at 90 degrees to both these former uplifts. In looking at the map (see Figures 8 and 9), it is obvious that the Elysium uplift is the direct result of the release of compressional forces in Mars’ mantle, the slow sinking of the two former tidal masses on both “sides” of Mars seeking a new equilibrium.


Over time, the enormous potential energy released within the mantle from the partial downward readjustment of Tharsis and Arabia caused a “pulse” of major heating inside Mars where the internal forces balanced. The result, 90 degrees in between, was the creation of a much later, much smaller volcanic uplift --Elysium Mons.

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Magnetic Confirmation of Catastrophe?


For many years the question has remained: does Mars (like all the other planets measured) possess an intrinsic magnetic field? This question is important to geologists and biologists alike. For, if Mars has (or had) a sizable magnetic field, then the evolution of the planet would have been far more benign for the development of life. Mars Surveyor, beginning in 1997, finally gave an answer to this question: no. The core mechanism which would support an active Martian magnetic field generation process, like in the Earth or Jupiter, has died -- leaving only a remnant surface field from an ancient dynamo to be detected.

But what MGS did detect of this ancient Martian field is quite bizarre: a remarkable series of “magnetic bands,” stretching across a huge swath of the southern hemisphere, a quarter of the way around the planet (see Figure 24). These irregular east/west stripes measure about 100 kilometers wide and are up to 2000 kilometers in length.

Figure 24

Mars magnetic field striping distribution. (NASA/MSSS)


The stripes represent areas of Mars’ ancient “frozen field,” recorded in magnetized “strips” of Martian crust, alternating in polarity – North/South – until they reach the “line of dichotomy,” where they then mysteriously dissipate.44 Two important additional facts: the bands do not extend into the northern plains; and, they also mysteriously stop at the locations of the huge Argyre and Hellas impact basins.

When planetologists were initially confronted with this data, they likened the magnetic striping to an analog of magnetic banding seen in sea floor spreading here on Earth, a strong signature of plate tectonics. This view was reinforced by the location of the Mars’ magnetic banding: exclusively in the heavily cratered southern hemisphere (Figure 24 above).


These workers immediately equated the banding (in their model) with the process being “very ancient’ -- dating back to the original formation of Mars’ basaltic crust. The main problem with this model: the Mars’ banding is far larger than the suggested parallels on Earth, and there seems to be no “point of symmetry” from which the upwelling lava spread out in both directions, unlike undersea ridges here on Earth which are creating new seafloor in this process.45


We suggest a completely different origin.

When the initial wave of blast debris from K and V reached Mars, it proceeded to leave a vast sea of molten rock across the southern hemisphere from the millions of essentially simultaneous impacts. The seismic effects in Mars from such an inconceivable event can only be expressed in terms of the well-known Richter scale. Calculations have been done expressing the conversion of the expected impact energy of a colliding object into seismic shaking.46

These calculations demonstrate that even the fall of a one kilometer object on Earth can locally create the equivalent of a 9.5 Richter scale earthquake, the largest ever measured. Imagine a rain of objects a million times greater -- ranging from a few hundred meters to several kilometers across – all hitting Mars simultaneously. Even allowing for the lesser gravitational acceleration of Mars, and the lower initial velocity of debris from the nearby K & V collision when compared to Earth events, this wave of impacting debris would amount to an input of seismic energy roughly equivalent to a Richter Scale 15 Event – across the entire planet!

The closest recorded approximation of the physics of such an event may be found during the Apollo lunar missions. In 1969, after the Apollo 12 astronauts emplaced a seismic experiment on the lunar surface, the ascent stage from their discarded lunar model was deliberately impacted back on the Moon to calibrate the experiment. According to the official NASA mission documents and press reports, the Moon “rang like a like a bell for over an hour after impact…” 47


One explanation was that the dry, upper layers of the Moon efficiently transmitted the impact energy (equivalent to 1600 lbs of TNT) of the impacting LM, as a set of standing waves around the Moon, first increasing and then decreasing in intensity as the energy was reflected between two upper layers of the lunar crust. We propose a similar phenomenon – but at an incalculably greater intensity – occurred on Mars as a direct result of the barrage of impacts that blanketed the southern hemisphere from the destruction of Planet V.

We suggest that the input of this much seismic energy, simultaneously across the entire southern hemisphere of Mars, created a set of unprecedented standing P and S waves within the crust, reverberating back and forth between the Martian poles. In this hemisphere, literally melted from the multiple, overlapping impacts, these resonant harmonics cooled the banded sections first (in the rarefactions between the standing waves) -- resulting in the existing background global magnetic field of Mars being “frozen in” -- as a series of alternating bands of polarity within the heavily iron-enriched rocks (Figure 25 above). (This well-known threshold, whereby magnetic materials cooled below a certain temperature will retain a background magnetic field, is termed the “Curie point.” 48)


As a further confirmation of our model, we point to the “anomaly” of Argyre and Hellas. The MGS magnetic survey discovered that the “banding” stops at the site of these two major impact basins. We propose a simple and elegant explanation for this important observation: in keeping with basic Newtonian physics, which constrains these largest fragments of Planets K&V to arrive last, it is consistent with this model that when these massive, slowly-moving impactors arrived and excavated their respective basins, their colossal collisional energy destroyed the delicate “standing wave” conditions for preserving the magnetic banding from the previous debris.


They also raised the local material above their Curie point again, literally melting any cooling bands which had previously formed in these locations. In this way, the absence of magnetic signatures around these two major impact sites confirms that they had to have arrived last.

We therefore propose that the puzzling magnetic banding of alternate polarity on Mars arose, not from any type of ancient “Martian plate tectonics,” but as a direct result of the enormous seismic energy transferred to the southern hemisphere by the countless massive impacts from the “recent” (~65 MYA) destruction of Planet V.


We further submit that the complete absence of any similar phenomenon elsewhere on Mars – north of the impact “line of dichotomy” -- is compelling evidence for this hypothesis. And finally, this key indication of Mars’ former active magnetic field, inferred from the strength of the “frozen field” magnetic bands -- approximately 1/400th Earth’s current surface field – is more than sufficient to have encouraged a viable Martian biological environment … in recent times.

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Another Moon?


In Van Flandern’s original celestial mechanics model for the EPH, his analysis of the orbits of long-period comets strongly implied another, far more recent “explosion event” than the one we’ve been discussing here.49 Van Flandern proposed a second satellite of Planet V as the cause of these new comets, which was destroyed in a similar manner to Planet V, but after several million years. Calculations showed that after Planet V was shattered and its determining gravitational field disappeared, Mars and this second satellite could have gone into an orbit around each other. According to Van Flandern, such a second orbital capture had “about a fifty/fifty chance,” of taking place.50

That such a “late” destructive event took place is well-supported by the comet orbit data Van Flandern’s analyzed. Whether this event took place with this second moon orbiting as a satellite of Mars is much more problematic. It is our proposal in this paper that the logical mechanism of destruction of such a second hypothetical satellite would have been another world-shattering collision.


Because of later interactions with Jupiter, the primary debris of the original collision would have been diverted into orbits which eventually crossed the orbits of all the other planets in the solar system. This (according to Van Flandern) is why there are so many recent impact craters on solar system objects; they stem from the debris of this 65 MYA Event, “mopped up” by subsequent collisions throughout the solar system.

As an extension of this process, the most massive remaining fragment(s) of Planet V would have remained near the new orbits of Mars and any second “wandering moon, ” but in a somewhat eccentric orbit. In our reconstruction, consistent with the comet data indicating a second “fragmentation event,” the inevitable collision of such a Planet K/V fragment with this second moon likely took place 62 million years after the destruction of Planets K & V.


But, unlike Van Flandern’s reconstruction, we do not believe that such an event necessarily took place in the immediate vicinity of Mars. Van Flandern believes that Mars and the “second moon” had to have been orbiting each other, primarily because the massive evidence of “late” water flows on Mars and a presumed high water content for the composition of this “second moon.”


In our model, because of the tidal release of vast reservoirs of Martian water after Planet V was gone (water not known to Van Flandern when he first proposed his model), we believe the fluvial signatures he ascribes to the destruction of this second, “Europa-type” moon were all created 62 million years earlier, in the immediate aftermath of the Planet V destruction at 65 MYA.

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Effects Beyond Mars


The catastrophic destruction of a moon or major planet – either through collision or explosion – could not take place without leaving major signatures far beyond its immediate vicinity. One potential signature -- the peculiar orbits of the long-period comets – was the data that initially awakened Van Flandern’s interest in this subject. But there are other indicators that now amply support the model of a former “tidal Mars,” and the catastrophic destruction of its foster parent.

These include the striking hemispherical dichotomies seen on several other solar system objects, in particularly Iapetus, one of Saturn’s icy moons (Figure 26). Iapetus orbits Saturn in 79.33 days. As the initial blast wave of high temperature, carbon-rich debris from the destruction of Planets K&V spread out across the solar system, it eventually swept past Iapetus.


Because of the satellite’s slow, almost 80-day tidally locked rotation/revolution around Saturn, the debris – passing Iapetus in only a few hours -- impacted essentially on the facing side of Iapetus – resulting in one of the most asymmetrical objects in the solar system.51

Figure 25

Saturn’s moon Iapetus, pitch black on one side as if from a blast wave.

The extraordinary events occurring at the end of the Cretaceous Period (~65MYA) on Earth is also on this list. From the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs and 50% of all other species, to the world-wide layers of iridium and soot that are now evidence of an extraterrestrial impact of unimaginable global scope, the destruction of Planet V obviously also left its tragic mark as far away as Earth.52 It is now apparent that the object which struck this planet ~65 MYA and triggered a wave of catastrophic mass extinctions, most likely occurred as a direct result of the impact of a large (~10 km) fragment from Planets K&V. But what of later impacts?

Several years after the Viking missions returned the first Martian atmospheric and surface composition data, workers began using this list of elements and isotopes to compare with meteorites found on Earth.53 In 1985, the first identification of a rare form of meteorite (one of only 13 currently known, called “SNCs”) as specifically coming from the planet Mars was published.54 This identification was based on a claim of a “perfect match” between trapped gasses in the SNCs with the Martian atmospheric composition measured by the Viking Landers.


But this theory is not without its critics, among them Tom Van Flandern.

“This highly misleading paper ["Meteorites: Evidence of Martian origins"] is the original source of the assertion [that there are meteorites on Earth from Mars], quoted often in the media of late … Non-meteorite experts may be forgiven for not considering what was not shown.

The log-log plot [of the gasses compared to Viking’s findings] hid the size of the discrepancies for individual gases. Gases were selectively plotted only for cases of relative agreement. No comparison plots to show how well the same data fit gas compositions for other source bodies, or solar system averages in general, was presented.

“... carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most abundant gas on Mars by far. Yet its relative abundance in the meteorites is but a tiny fraction of its abundance on Mars … The case for a Martian origin [of SNC meteorites] is really a case based on a lack of a suitable alternative [emphasis added].” 55

In other words, without the model of colliding/exploding Planets K& V, the only possible origin for such “anomalous meteorites” - in the minds of most researchers -- is the planet Mars. With the substantive evidence for other, destroyed planetary bodies in this region of the solar system – now implicit in the Mars tidal model we’ve presented – serious alternatives for the origin of currently identified “Martian meteorites” present themselves.

The recent discovery of trapped salt water, as small inclusions in some meteorites56 is an obvious (if astonishing to mainstream planetologists) confirmation of a) the Mars tidal model presented here, and b) the catastrophic destruction of its former “parent” planet. If current meteorites derive from the “recent” collision/explosion of multiple Earth-massed planets in the solar system and/or escaped moons, the water from such bodies could easily be ocean water [as on Earth, and as also projected by one of the authors (Hoagland) to currently exist on Jupiter’s moon Europa].57


This water, trapped within some rare meteorite structures, would be expected to contain salt (sodium chloride) from run-off minerals dissolved from potential continental portions of the former planet(s). “The existence of a water-soluble salt in this meteorite is astonishing,” wrote R.N. Clayton of the University of Chicago.58 For all conventional (primordial) high-temperature models of asteroid formation, this discovery truly is impossible. Only the trapping of Mars as a former satellite, and its release with the disintegration of Planets K&V, contains this specific discovery as an implicit aspect of the model.

In a further note, Carleton Moore of Arizona State University reported in the July 2000 issue of “Meteoritics & Planetary Science” the discovery of anomalously high chlorine levels (one half of the “sodium chloride” of ordinary salt) in the “Martian” meteorites (the SNCs) in ASU’s collection, as opposed to normal levels in the “asteroidal” ones. The anomalous presence of water-derived salts has also been reported in NASA’s most controversial “Martian meteorite” – ALH84001 – center of the reported discovery of fossil bacteria in 1996.

Moore and his team, in re-analyzing their meteorites, concluded the excess chlorine could easily have resulted from saltwater leaking in. Moore sees these elements as potential tracers of “an early Martian ocean,” infused with salt compounds much like Earth’s own.59 This elevated presence of salts and salt compounds in the SNCs, as compared with other meteorites, in our model simply comes from another ocean – one on Planets K or V. Thus, the elevated presence of water-soluble salts in SNCs is also remarkably consistent with the model we’ve presented.

In the same vein, when the bright comet Hale-Bopp made its brief but spectacular visit to the inner solar system in 1997, an unusual new cometary signature was observed (although a previous bright comet, in 1957, had also exhibited this feature). 60 In addition to the usual twin tails exhibited by comets – an ion tail of molecular fragments dissociated by the sun, and a dust tail of small particles emanating from the coma --- Hale-Bopp displayed a remarkably third tail – comprised entirely of neutral sodium.61


The discoverers were at a loss to explain this unique feature, simply saying in their announcement,

“ … there is no obvious explanation at this moment of how the observed sodium tail is formed.”

One of the authors (Hoagland) immediately realized that this signature, while extremely puzzling to most astronomers and planetologists, was totally consistent with the EPH hypothesis, and could easily be explained by an unseen parent molecule within the new tail: sodium chloride.


In other words, if Hale-Bopp was another fragment of the disrupted planet/moon that Van Flandern initially pointed out over twenty years ago, then the discovery of sodium strongly implied that this comet parent body also had an ocean – and Hale-Bopp was simply another fragment of that planet. He promptly informed Van Flandern of his hypothesis.62


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