New Mars Timeline


One of the serendipitous features of this model is that it now allows an independent assessment of the relative ages of various features and phenomenon on Mars. All previous efforts to date surface features have had to rely on relative ages, based on crater counts, normalized to cratering statistics and radiometric ages from the Moon.63 The tidal model provides the first truly independent means of calibrating, from a radically different perspective, the geological history of Mars, if not other bodies in the solar system (see below).

Thus, a new Mars chronology can now be tentatively proposed.


It is divided into three main periods:

  1. the time from solar system formation to Mars’ capture by Planet V

  2. the period of Mars’ existence as a tidally-locked satellite of Planet V

  3. the interval post-Planet V’s destruction to the Present

Period I

The earliest era of Mars’ history – Period I in our proposed new timescale -- remains the most uncertain and ambiguous. In terms of the model presented in this paper, one key reason is the presence of widespread cratering due to the nearby explosion/collision of Planets K and V. This pattern of hemispherically devastating impacts, coupled with the massive fluvial changes to the northern plains that immediately followed, have all but eliminated records of earlier Mars’ features from which reliable reconstruction of its history prior to capture would be possible.


The nature of the collisional/explosive “Planets K&V Event” also effectively destroyed the ability to use relative cratering as any reliable estimate of age, on Mars (and many other satellites and planets). As previously noted, debris from this incalculable planetary catastrophe would not only have bombarded Mars, but also would have spread throughout the solar system, irrevocably changing cratering statistics and any crater-based age determinations on a host of other worlds.

Despite this major obstacle, there do seem to be some remaining clues to dating ancient Martian surface features. Recent publication of MGS evidence of deep and widespread sedimentary layering indicates a long period of “warm, wet” climate.64 The presence in some areas of over 1000 evenly spaced rock layers (presumably from standing water deposition) also implies that these sedimentary deposits were controlled by cyclic climatological events. And this, in one model, then implies some kind of ancient, regular, polar obliquity shifts and resulting periodic increases in atmospheric density, from changing solar insolation of the Martian poles.65

Since this kind of cyclic obliquity shifting would be prohibited after Mars’ capture as a tidally locked satellite, it is proposed here that these conditions only could have occurred when Mars was freely orbiting the sun as an isolated world. This implies that Mars enjoyed a considerable period of “warm, wet” climate early in solar system history, before its capture by Planet V, and before the internal radioactive energy sources of Mars died. In this new chronology, Mars long primordial period of isolated, heliocentric existence -- Period I – ended with the multi-body capture of Mars by Planet V.

Period II

In this chronology, Period II dates from the “capture event” itself, to the destruction of Planet V. Surface evidence of this major phase of Mars’ geological evolution includes,

  • the beginnings of radial crustal fracturing around the Tharsis uplift

  • the beginnings of and rapid tidal enlargement of Valles Marineris from one of these equatorial rifts

  • the despinning of the planet until a tidal lock of ~24 hours was achieved

  • the beginnings of the lesser 180-degree Arabia Terra uplift, opposite Tharsis, as a direct consequence of the establishment of tidal lock

  • the eruption of vast quantities of NO2, CO2 and H2O into the Martian atmosphere as a direct result of the accelerated uplift of the tidally-distended Tharsis

A significant increase in water availability, warming temperatures occasioned by an increased greenhouse process, and bi-modal pooling of this water into two stable “east/west” oceans, would have marked what might be termed this “Garden of Eden “ phase of Martian evolution.

If Planet V possessed one or more additional moons, as Van Flandern has proposed, their location in the same system as the tidally captured Mars, would have occasioned an internal Martian heating similar (though less intense) to that currently seen in the Io/Europa situation.66


Thus, for as long as Mars was a satellite of Planet V, internal energy from a tidally disturbed orbital condition, in addition to its own dying reserves of radioactive elements, would have kept its core alive, its magnetic field at full strength, and its atmosphere constantly replenished. This “idyllic” planetary situation – Period II - would have ended abruptly some 65 MYA, in the collision of Planets K &V.

Period III

The last phase of Martian history would have begun with the destruction of Planet V and the release of Mars back into a solar orbit. With the sudden relaxation of its previous tidal lock from Planet V, all the waters collected in Mars’ two bi-modal oceans would have rushed toward the lowest areas again – mainly the northern plains.


This unprecedented tsunami situation not only would have scoured vast portions of the planet’s crust from Tharsis and Arabia and relocated these previous sedimentary layers as vast mudflows across the north, the rush of waters would have carved enormous new “outflow channels” in that crust away from Tharsis and Arabia – exactly as we see.


As they plunged down the Valles Marineris system and headed north, some of these now catastrophically released waters would have buried older “outflow channels,” from the earlier phases of Valles Marineris’ creation (Figure 26), under kilometers of additional sediments -- also confirmed by the new MOLA observations.67

 Figure 26

Outflow water channels beneath and north of Valles Marineris (MOLA)

Recent MGS observations have uncovered additional striking evidence supporting this “catastrophic collapse” of the former “Tharsis ocean,” this time northwest of Arsia Mons. Writing in the June 2001 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research,68 University of Arizona researcher James Dohm has billed his team’s new findings as “the largest flood channels in the solar system,” caused by “catastrophic floods of enormous magnitude” – some 50,000 times the flow rate of the Amazon.


Located southwest of Olympus Mons (Figure 27), the newly-discovered channels are 10 times the size of Kasei Valles, the largest previously known outflow channel system on Mars. Measuring as wide as 200 kilometers, in our view only the catastrophic collapse of the former “Tharsis tidal ocean” and the scouring effect of trillions of tons of newly-released water rushing north can now account for their existence – exactly as the tidal model would predict.

Figure 27

New flood channels on Tharsis (NVS) --

10 times larger than any previously discovered, draining northwest.


Strikingly consistent with this model is the bi-modal distribution of all the Martian “outflow channels.” If the oceans we’ve projected were bi-modally distributed, as we now state categorically, then the outflow channels emptying those oceans when the tidal lock collapsed would also be expected to have a bi-modal distribution in the geologic record. Again, this is exactly what we see.


Examination of the channel distribution maps from MGS (Figure 28) reveals that catastrophic outflow channels draining the two potential tidal oceans are unquestionably also bimodally distributed -- around the periphery of both the Tharsis and Arabia regions, exactly as the tidal model would predict.

Figure 28

Image map showing bi-modal outflow channel distribution from Tharsis and Arabia ocean beds


Apart from the immediate (and catastrophic) relocation of Mars’ oceans, the slow geological relaxation of Tharsis (and to a lesser extent Arabia) back into the mantle after their partial tidal support was suddenly removed, would have begun in Period III as well. This would have created over the following millennia an inevitable downward warpage of the crust around this massive, now unsupported uplift, called the “Tharsis trough” (Figure 24). This inevitable settling would have also triggered additional volcanic activity both in those regions, and at 90 degrees. The latter we have now identified with the late creation of Elysium Mons.

The catastrophic arrival on Mars, a few hours after the Planets K&V collision, of the first debris wave, is marked by the peculiar “line of dichotomy” of “shoulder-toshoulder” impact cratering that has so puzzled planetary geologists since 1971. These first impacts would have begun a long period of Mars continually “mopping up” material left from the catastrophe near its resultant solar orbit; estimates for this interval depend on how rapidly the huge quantity of dust and larger crustal fragments would have either collided with Jupiter (or other solar system planets), or would have been completely ejected from the solar system by encounters with these bodies. Those estimates range from “a few million” to perhaps 100 million years.69

Because of this vast orbital reservoir of condensed core and mantle materials from the Planets K&V collision, Mars would have continuously “swept up” new supplies of olivine and iron-rich sulfur compounds from space for millions of years. This process would have continually replaced previously fallen materials weathered from surface exposure to liquid water stemming from irregular periods of Martian volcanism, triggered by the continuing slow collapse of Tharsis and Arabia.


In this way, Mars surface history after the collision ~ 65 MYA – the beginning of Period III -- would have been a complex tale of episodic “warm, wet” periods in which these “primitive” materials could be destroyed, followed by cold and arid intervals in which they could once again accumulate. This episodic environment likely has extended to the Present, triggered by this residual internal volcanism from the continued settling of Tharsis, as well as major obliquity shifts and their periodic warming and release of current polar reservoirs of CO2 and H2O.

In our model, one direct consequence of this accreted, sulfur-rich surface environment is the mysterious “stains” themselves. Appearing initially as extremely dark, flow-like features on sloped surfaces, it is our proposal that “stains” are created in Period III by underground liquid water, “wetting” surface sulfur-rich materials. On the current sands of Mars, composed of iron oxides and trace sulfur compounds, this would initially produce sulfuric acid.


The acid would then reduce the iron-sulfur mixtures to an extremely stable, dark black compound -- ferrous sulfide (FeS) -- which would remain visible for years after this initial “wetting.” 70 Eventually, this black “iron sulfide” stain would be converted back to reddish iron oxides, via the simple process of oxidation (Figure 29). This would come from the trace amounts of free oxygen continuously liberated from Mars’ predominantly carbon dioxide atmosphere by solar ultraviolet radiation.

Figure 29

Dark (fresh) flows alongside lighter faded (older, oxidized) flows (USGS).


Another validation of the tidal model may lie in the recently published work of Kuzmin R.O. and E.V. Zabalueva Vernadsky. In June, 2000 the two geochemists from the Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, presented a paper at NASA’s 31st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference on the possibility of liquid water on the current Martian surface.


They proposed that the presence of water-soluble salts in the Martian regolith should influence the melting temperature of any ice currently trapped in the upper layers of this icy, porous soil. In the presently observed climate of Mars, such “icy soil” conditions (they contend) would be expected only above 40-45 degrees North and South (the ice, in this model, long having evaporated closer to the Equator, in the billions-of-years history of Mars). In the Russians’ calculations, the salts’ presence even in this high-latitude ice-containing-soil could produce a liquid water phase (seasonally) in a broad range of negative temperatures.71

In the tidal model, the last major source of liquid water flowed across Mars only 65MYA -- not “billions.” Therefore, groundwater would not have had sufficient time to sublimate from the current Martian soil in regions close to the Equator. In these equatorial regions, according to our model, now lie the 180-degree seabeds of two former tidally-locked oceans, whose underlying sediments would be expected to contain a very high percentage of exactly these essential water-soluble salts needed to keep subsurface water liquid under current Martian temperatures.

Thus, the equatorial location of the “stains” (30 degrees plus or minus), and their clear bi-modal 180-degree distribution, also strongly suggest – supported by the Russians’ calculations -- that “stains” do in fact represent current aquifers of liquid, briny water from those former “twin” Mars’ oceans.

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Implications for Martian Life


It is now undisputed that the catastrophic events which brought the Cretaceous to a close ~65 million years ago, and resulted in the elimination of the dinosaurs, also made it possible for mammals to eventually overrun the Earth. And, some 62 million years later – at the time of the postulated collision/explosion of the 2nd moon of Planet V, which (according to Van Flandern) resulted in comets like Hale-Bopp - one of those lines of mammals was just beginning to assume eventual domination of the Earth – the primates that would one day lead to us.

These events, we now believe, were inexorably set in motion by the destruction of Planets K&V.

  • But what of Mars itself?

  • How long did Mars spend as a satellite of Planet V – in Period II -- before the latter was destroyed?

  • Was there time enough for life to actually originate upon the planet, and if so, when – in Period I, before its capture -- or in Period II, sometime after?

  • If life did evolve on Mars, what can the tidal theory tell us now about its subsequent development?

  • Are there any clues contained in the Martian tidal model which could reveal if and when a “biological capture clock” for Mars was ever started?

As stated earlier, we now know from MGS of the existence of massive, regular sedimentary layers across major sections of the planet. From these we can logically infer that Mars experienced a protracted period of systematic climatological change, most likely in response to cyclic alterations in its spin axis obliquity – which laid down sediments in response to these repeating environmental cycles.72 Clearly, this period refers to Mars orbiting the sun as a single planet -- as such significant obliquity excursions, according to the work of Lasker et al. (1993) strongly indicate that major obliquity excursions would have become impossible during Mars’ tenure as a tidally captured satellite.73

Calculations of Mars current isolated obliquity shifts by Wisdom et al. (1995)74 reveal chaotic excursions up to 60 degrees, and periods on the order of 3-5 million years. These would inevitably result in drastic changes in Martian atmospheric density and temperature, as polar ices melted and refroze – thus easily producing the extensive sedimentary deposition layers MGS has now discovered.75


Taking one MGS observation “of a thousand individual layers,” and multiplying by the amount of time in each potential long-term cycle (~3-5 million years), we arrive at one estimate of the span of time represented by this pre-capture phase of Martian evolution: several billion years. This, in effect, is equal to the ~ 5 billion years since the formation of the solar system.76 From this we can now estimate that the time Mars spent as an isolated planet, before capture – in other words, the length of Period I -- was probably most of solar system history.

So, when did Mars’ capture occur?

Based on extensive new calculations published in recent years, it appears that “chaotic instability” of the solar system orbital dynamics can set in even after several billion years.77 These calculations, however, have been performed without consideration of two former “missing” planets (this model). It is therefore likely that our solar system’s stability would be even more chaotic with their addition to the model – particularly, if (as we and Van Flandern propose) they once inhabited the current region between Jupiter and Mars. This is due to Jupiter’s disproportionate effect (from its excessive mass) on all long-term stability considerations.

If basic solar system physics is now questionable, even after billions of years of apparent “orbital stability,” then it is also theoretically possible for the “rare” planetary event we’ve proposed in this paper to have occurred: the close encounter of Planet V with Mars, with the subsequent ejection of another satellite -- required to remove sufficient energy for capture. Which again raises the crucial question: when did this occur?

The capture of Mars by Planet V --through the mechanism of the ejection of another satellite -- presents a possible independent means of dating this seminal event. Such an ejected satellite initially would have assumed its own moderately eccentric orbit of the sun – resulting in relatively rapid resonance encounters with either Jupiter or Earth. These close approaches, especially with Jupiter, would have radically altered its initial heliocentric orbit, resulting either in eventual complete ejection from the solar system or eventual catastrophic impact with another planet.

It is our tentative proposal here that such an impact did occur -- with Venus as the target. Because these two events are linked – the “Mars exchange” of a satellite with Planet V and its eventual Venus impact – this sequence of events may in fact allow a date as to when the capture of the planet Mars by Planet V occurred.

Venus is a unique planet. Although often described (because of size and composition) as a “sister planet to the Earth,” in fact the two planets could not be more different. From its atmospheric composition (~ 97% CO2) to its impenetrable clouds of sulfuric acid (more anomalous surface sulfur …), to its surface temperature (~900 degrees F.), to the pressure at the base of the atmosphere itself (92 times the Earth’s), Venus’ current environment is as opposite from the environments of Earth and Mars as one could possible imagine.


And, unlike the rotational periods of Earth and Mars and their direction of rotation, Venus spins in the opposite direction – and takes 243.7 days to make one complete rotation.78

Magellan spacecraft radar data from its 1990-1994 survey of the planet revealed a surprising geological discovery: some catastrophic event appeared to have completely erased the normal range of impact craters expected from Venus’ earliest eons. The planet appeared, instead, to have been completely resurfaced in a geologically brief period via a violent paroxysm of planet-wide volcanism. The provisional dating of this event: ~500 MYA.79

It is our proposal in this paper that these three phenomena – the cataclysmic global melting of Venus; the reversal and slowing of its spin; and the capture of Mars by Planet V - are the result of the same causal sequence of events: the ejection of a Planet V satellite at the same time Mars was captured, and the ultimate collision a few million years later of that massive moon with the second planet from the sun. This collision not only radically changed the orientation of Venus’ spin axis to its current retrograde rotation, but the energy of the event essentially melted the en-tire Venusian surface.


The extremely puzzling anomalous sulfur abundance seen on Venus (as well as equally disturbing quantities of argon-40, and even chlorine in the atmosphere – perhaps a signature of a former Venusian ocean?)80 is thus a direct result, in this model, of the impact of a major silicate satellite from planet V -- propelled into Venus a few million years after the exchange of Mars at the inner edge of the (eventual) location of the Asteroid Belt.

This “causal chain,” if we are right, thus dates Mars capture to ~500 MYA.

Remarkably, the major biological event of terrestrial evolution was occurring coincident with these phenomena: the sudden appearance (in less than ~40 million years) of all the current advanced life forms on this planet, called the “Cambrian Explosion.” 81 This was followed by ~500 million years of subsequent evolution of those life forms, ultimately resulting in the human species.

If this reconstructed timeline is correct, then the extent of Period II on Mars – a “warm, wet” capture interval, fed by volcanic activity stimulated by Mars tidal situation as a satellite of Planet V --was essentially the same as that for the appearance and development of advanced life on Earth. This timeline now has profound implications for the independent evolution of intrinsic Martian life.

From the evidence we have assembled, we now know that that large oceans existed during Period II on Mars (otherwise, there would be no vast flow channels when their tidal lock was suddenly released); that an atmosphere dense enough to permit a greenhouse effect to keep that water liquid also had to exist (otherwise, there would have been no “liquid water” in such vast amounts); and that such an atmosphere had to have contained (at least toward the end) abundant amounts of free oxygen (otherwise, the iron currently dispersed across the Martian surface would not be in its highly oxidized condition).


These observations all parallel the simultaneous development of an equivalent environment suitable for the evolution of advanced life forms on Earth: time, temperature, liquid oceans, and an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

It is thus our tentative conclusion, based on the model presented here, that the tidal epoch of Mars – Period II -- may have led directly to a separate, spectacular evolution of indigenous Martian organisms. In fact, there is nothing in this data to preclude the ultimate appearance of intelligence itself.

We only have to be willing to seriously look.

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The “Mars tidal model” we’ve presented offers a host of future, short and long-term observations by which to judge the full potential of the theory.

In October, 2001, NASA’s next unmanned Mars mission – 2001: Mars Odyssey – arrives. By December, it will have been aero-braked into its final, polar orbit and begun a set of unprecedented surface observations.82 Some of these will be directly related to the viability of the Martian tidal model we’ve presented.

Odyssey carries three new scientific instruments to Mars: THEMIS, a combined visual/infrared camera; GRS, a gamma ray spectrometer; and MARIE, the Mars Radiation Environment Experiment.83 GRS is an instrument designed to detect gamma ray emission and neutrons via cosmic ray-excited stimulation from 20 primary elements – including silicon, oxygen, iron, magnesium, potassium, aluminum, calcium, sulfur, and carbon.

It is this GRS instrument which will furnish the first definitive test of the Mars tidal model presented in this paper.

One of the elements GRS will detect is hydrogen. Hydrogen makes up two thirds of every water molecule. Thus, Odyssey will map for the first time (to a depth of approximately one meter) the global distribution of hydrogen on Mars, from which a global distribution of all subsurface ice and/or liquid water will be inferred.84

The Mars tidal model specifically predicts, based on the currently observed bi-modal stain distribution in the MOC images, that Odyssey’s GRS will confirm a superimposed bi-modal distribution of subsurface hydrogen over Tharsis and Arabia on Mars. From this, a similar bi-modal distribution of ice and water on the planet will be inferred. Only the tidal model can properly account for this unexpected (to all other Mars models) expected global distribution.

But, the Odyssey observations have the potential to confirm a good deal more.

That Planet V had to be destroyed, thus releasing Mars from its previous tidal lock configuration, is a given of this model. But, if the destruction of Planet V and the release of Mars was not via a collision of the two major planetary bodies (K&V), then the only viable alternative is a genuine explosion.

One critical test of this hypothesis will present itself via additional impending Mars Odyssey/GRS observations of Mars. If a major new energy source exists, based on a revolutionary physics capable of literally destroying worlds, then one side effect of this should have been the creation of a series of highly radioactive short-lived elements in the wake of the Planet V Event.


It is strongly implied, based on the calculated energies required to “explode” a planet that such a source would of necessity involve nuclear level effects – in which case the associated isotopes might well mimic those found in similar catastrophic stellar detonations.85 Because of the relatively recent time frame for the proposed destruction of Planet V (~65 MYA), several elements and isotopes from such a massive, anomalous nucleosynthesis in the vicinity of Mars – if it took place -- should still exist. These may include the isotopes aluminum 26, lead 107, iodine 129, plutonium 244 and samarium 146.

With half-lives ranging from a few hundred thousand to 150 million years, Odyssey’s GRS should be able to detect gamma ray emission direct from some of these primary “anomalous” isotopes, if they are present on Mars in significant amounts. Other direct decay signatures would include neutrons, as well as electrons and high-energy helium nuclei. The second Odyssey radiation instrument -- MARIE – should be extremely valuable in corroborating the latter anomalous “high-energy phenomenon” currently emanating from Mars’ surface, if they are in fact present.

The global distribution of such radioactive isotopes (or their daughter products) should also, in the model, conform to the observed TES data on anomalous mineralogical distributions: divided again by the “line of dichotomy.” If present, most radioactives (or their products) from the “Planet V Event” should still be found covering the southern hemisphere – consistent with an explosion, in this variation of our model. Measurement of the remaining isotopic distribution, compared to daughter products, should also unequivocally determine the date of this Event.

Positive detection of such short-lived radioactive elements on Mars would raise the stakes enormously. For, not only would the specific tidal model detailed here be resoundingly confirmed, but a clarification of precisely how Mars former “parent” planet was destroyed – via a “new physics,” with all its attendant implications -- would finally be forthcoming.86

Verification of longer term predictions of this model depend on more aggressive manned and unmanned Mars missions. Example: insitu measurement of the still occurring slow collapse of Tharsis back into the mantle, from a network of seismic stations placed at strategic points across the surface, should confirm the “recent” date of this event -- ~65 MYA.

The tidal model also contains a cautionary tale for future missions and investigations. In the current search for Mars’ elusive water reservoirs, already some investigators (Malin et al. – 1999) – based on a few high-resolution MGS imaging of very selected regions of the northern plains87 have rejected the idea of “ancient oceans.”


The absence of wide-spread, long-term oceanic features along the margins of the northern plains – for instance, fluvial-eroded scarps -- argues in their presentations that Mars never supported long-term, liquid, wind agitated waters on those plains. And, in the current Martian models, if Mars ever had significant amounts of standing water (“oceans”), they would have had to occupy those currently-observed (from MOLA), low-lying northern plains.

But this is precisely opposite what the tidal model argues: that Mars’ long-term oceans were not centered around these current low-lying northern areas -- but around Tharsis and Arabia, with a vast gap of dry land (including portions of the northern plains) between. Only when the tidal lock with Planet V was broken, do we contend that a vast amount of water rushed toward these low lying northern Martian regions. But, such waters would also have quickly evaporated and/or frozen – leaving no time to etch classic “oceanic signatures” across those plains.

The warning is quite clear: without the correct Mars’ model, future missions and investigations run the serious risk of looking in the wrong locations for the wrong surface features to test the wrong geologic models.

Likewise, an aggressive effort to locate fossils and/or evidence of former intelligence on Mars must focus on the correct regions in this model. Such investigations, if properly conducted, should ultimately lead to a confirmation of our now ~500 MYA timeline for Mars’ parallel biological development with Earth – the discovery of a variety of truly advanced indigenous fossils (some of them quite large), and/or even artifacts -- only possible if the tidal model is substantially correct.

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Richard Feynman was once quoted as saying “You know you’re on the right track with a new idea, if you put in fifteen cents and get two dollars back.”

The Mars tidal satellite model we’ve presented here is just such a “two dollar” idea. It for the first time accounts for a number of baffling, enduring mysteries about the Red Planet, while at the same time remaining consistent with each new observation -- such as the recent equatorially constrained, bi-polar “dark stain phenomena,” and MGS observations of “recent” (<100,000 year) ice deposits near the Martian surface.88

Previously enigmatic Martian surface features are now elegantly and simply explained by the significant tidal forces to be experienced in such a captured orbit. These include a unique tidal erosion mechanism for the largest canyon in the solar system – Valles Marineris; the presence of two antipodal “bulges” in the mantle and crust of Mars – Tharsis and Arabia – raised by these major tidal forces over time; and the otherwise inexplicable bi-modal distribution of current fluvial signatures known as “stains,” as the fossil remnants of two former “bi-modal tidal oceans.”

The Mars tidal model also accounts for,

  • the presence of vast surface and deep, ancient water channels flowing northward from Valles Marineris, and now Tharsis

  • the vertical scarp encircling Olympus Mons

  • the otherwise inexplicable height and volume of the Tharsis volcanic uplift itself; the location of the Arabia and Elysium uplifts (at 180 and 90 degrees, respectively), from Tharsis

  • the formation of the Tharsis “trench”

  • the extreme difference in crustal thickness between the hemisphere’s above and below the “line of dichotomy”

  • the dramatic difference in cratering patterns between these same two hemisphere’s

  • the sudden fluvial excavation of massive amounts of material from the Arabia Terra rise

It also accounts for the otherwise inexplicable presence of high levels of iron, iron oxides, sulfur and olivine on Mars – all major signatures of some kind of external “collision/explosion event” recently in solar system history.

The authors fully acknowledge that certain secondary aspects of the tidal model may not be testable as yet. For instance, it may not be possible to precisely determine what precipitated the destruction of Planet V. Two possibilities have been suggested here: either, a devastating collision with another major object also formed in this general location of the early solar system; or, the outright explosion, via a literal “new physics,” of Planet V. Either mechanism results in the return of Mars to a free orbit of the sun circa 65MYA, as mandated by this model, and leaves vital surface clues (for follow-on missions, such as Mars Odyssey) as to this crucial sequence of events.

However, there is sufficient evidence now consistent with this model to strongly infer the prior existence of a “Planet V.” This is based on the clear signatures of its effects now visible in the topography and geology of Mars, as well as other bodies in the solar system. The lack of a currently verifiable mechanism for Planet V’s destruction in no way diminishes the wide-ranging implications of the striking evidence of its demise, nor the quiet surface testimony of its profound effect upon the body we call “Mars.”

Finally, there is significant evidence that Mars’ environment -- as a tidally locked satellite for ~500 million years -- created conditions astonishingly favorable to the evolution of advanced biology upon the planet. Recent rediscovery of decades-old Viking data, indicating the presence of microbes in the soil exhibiting a 24.66-hour Martian circadian rhythm, leave wide upon the possibility of much higher evolution not yet officially discovered. This includes the now distinct possibility, based on the eerie parallel of Mars reconstructed 500 MYA of evolution with the Earth’s, of even former intelligent inhabitants.

It is the opinion of the authors that the evidence of Mars as a tidal locked satellite is now sufficiently compelling to begin a major reassessment of our current view of Mars.


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The authors would like to acknowledge the following groups and individuals for their invaluable contributions to this research:

  • The Enterprise Mission Membership, for their continued invaluable support of this research.

  • Ron Nicks, for important discussions of the concept.

  • And Jill England and Effrain Palermo, for the vital statistical analysis on which the bi-modal "stain" model is based.

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  1. 1 Recent Results From the Viking Labeled Re-lease Experiment on Mars Gilbert V. Levin and Patricia Ann Straat, Journal Of Geo-physical Research Vol. 82, No. 28 September 30, 1977

  2. Nussinov, M.D., Chernyak, Y.B. & Etinger, J.L., Nature 274, 859-861 (1978).

  3. Gilbert V. Levin and Ron L. Levin, Liquid water and life on Mars, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, July 20 1998, San Diego, California

  4. Mars Pathfinder Mission Status, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, daily website reports, July 9 – Aug. 1, 1997



  7. “Internal Structure and Early Thermal Evolution of Mars from Mars Global Surveyor,” Zuber, M. et al., SCIENCE, March 10, 2000, Vol. 287, #5459, 1788-1793.

  8. T. Van Flandern (1978), “A former aster-oidal planet as the origin of comets”, Icarus 36, 51-74.

  9. T. Van Flandern (1993; 2nd edition 1999), Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Com-ets, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 215-236; 178.

  10. Hancock, Graham, “The Mars Mystery -The Secret Connection Between Earth and the Red Planet,” Crown Books, ISBN 0-609 60086-9

  11. Donald W. Patten and Samuel L. Windsor, “The Scars of Mars,”

  12. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series A, volume 313 (no. 1524), 5-18 (1984)

  13. NASA Activities Dec. 1980, vol. 11, number 12

  14. “Evidence for Recent Groundwater Seep-age and Surface Runoff on Mars,” Michael C. Malin and Kenneth S. Edgett. Science


  16. Hoagland, R.C., Bara, M.H., “Enterprise Mission Investigators Confirm Existence of Present Day Water on Mars,” July 18th, 2000

  17. “A study of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) Images Showing Probable Water Seepages. Are They Dust Slides as NASA Claims or Proof of Water on Mars?” Efrain Pallermo, Jill England and Harry Moore, 

  18. Edgett, K. S., M. C. Malin, R. J. Sullivan, P. Thomas, and J. Veverka, Dynamic Mars: “New dark slope streaks observed on annual and decadal time scales,” Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXI, Abstract No. 1058, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas, March 2000. (poster presentation)


  20. “The Race to Epsilon Eridani,” Schilling, G., Sky and Telescope, June 2001



  23. Woolfson, M., Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 304, 195-198 (1999); “The satellites of Neptune and the origin of Pluto”, R.S. Harrington and T.C. Van Flandern. Icarus 39, 131-136 (1979)

  24. “The Impact origin of the Moon,” by Roberto Bugiolacchi. 



  27. Wu, S. S. C.; Garcia, P. A.; Jordan, R.; Schafer, F. J.; Skiff, B. A. “Topography of the shield volcano, Olympus Mons on Mars” - Nature (ISSN 0028-0836), vol. 309, May 31, 1984, p. 432-435


  29. “The Snows of Olympus,” Clarke A. C., W. W. Norton & Co., New York (1995)

  30. Zuber, et.-al, “Internal Structure and Early Thermal Evolution of Mars from Mars Global Surveyor Topography and Gravity” –Science Mar 10 2000: 1788-1793


  32. ibid.




  36. Schultz, P.H. and Lutz, A.B., "Polar wan-dering on Mars", Icarus 73, 91-141

  37. Donald W. Patten and Samuel L. Windsor, “The Scars of Mars,” pp. 19-21

  38. “The Physical and Chemical Properties and Resource Potentials of Martian Surface Soils,” C. Stoker et al., in J. Lewis, M, Mathews, and M. Guerreri, eds., Resources of Near-Earth Space, University of Arizona, Tucson, 1993

  39. “Solar System Evolution: A New Perspec-tive,” S. R. Taylor, Cambridge University Press, 1992


  41. “Record Of Oxygen From Ancient Atmosphere Seen In Rocks”

  42. ibid.


  44. “A Global View of Martian Surface Com-positions from MGS-TES,” J. L. Bandfield, V. E. Hamilton, P. R. Christensen, SCIENCE, March 3, 2000

  45. “Ancient Geodynamics and Global Scale Hydrology on Mars,” Phillips, R. et al., SCIENCE, March 15, 2001




  49. Apollo 12 Mission Report, pp. 3-10 to 311, 9-39 to 9-40; Victor Cohn, "Moon Quake Caused by Lem Called 'Unlike Any' on Earth," Washington Post, Nov. 21, 1969; Gary V . Latham, Maurice Ewing, Frank Press, George Sutton, James Dorman, Hosio Nakamura, Nafi Toksoz, Ralph Wiggins, and Robert Kovach, "Passive Seismic Experiment," in Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Re-port, NASA SP-235 (Washington, 1970), pp. 39-53


  51. T. Van Flandern (1993; 2nd edition 1999), Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley

  52. Personal communication with the authors.


  54. Alvarez, L. W., Alvarez, W., Asaro, F., and Michel, H. V., 1980, “Extraterrestrial cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction”: Science, v. 208, p. 1095-1108


  56. R.O. Pepin, "Meteorites: Evidence of Martian origins", Nature 317, (1985)

  57. “Are the 'Mars Meteorites' Really from Mars?” MetaResearch Bulletin, VOLUME 5 (1996)

  58. SCIENCE 285, 1364-1365 and 1377&1379


  60. SCIENCE 285, 1364-1365 and 1377&1379




  64. T. Van Flandern (1997), “Comet Hale-Bopp update”, MetaRes.Bull. 6, 29-32: [The author gratefully acknowledges Richard Hoagland of the Enterprise Mission for this argument.

  65. “Impact and Explosion Cratering,” Roddy D. J. et al., eds, (1977) Permagon Press, New York

  66. “Sedimentary Rocks of Early Mars,” Malin, M. and Edgett, K. SCIENCE, December 8, 2000

  67. “Water on Mars,” Carr, M., Oxford University Press, New York, 1996

  68. See note 20.



  71. McFadden L. A. (1989) in “Asteroids II” (R. P. Binzel et al., eds.), University of Arizona Press, Tucson

  72. Chemist Mike Castle, personal communication.


  74. op cit “Sedimentary Rocks of Early Mars,” Malin, M. and Edgett, K. SCIENCE, December 8, 2000

  75. J. Laskar, F. Joutel & P. Robutel, “Stabilization of the Earth's obliquity by the Moon,” Nature, vol. 361, 1993, pp. 615-17; J. Laskar & P. Robutel, “The chaotic obliquity of the planets,” ibid., pp. 608-12


  77. ibid. “Sedimentary Rocks of Early Mars,” Malin, M. and Edgett, K. SCIENCE, December 8, 2000

  78. op cit.: S.R. Taylor, Solar System Evolu-tion: A New Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 1992

  79. Laskar, J. "A numerical experiment on the chaotic behavior of the Solar System" Na-ture, 338 (16 Mar 1989):237-238. 11b. Laskar, J. "The chaotic motion of the Solar System: a numerical estimate of the size of the chaotic zones." Icarus 88 (Dec 1990):266-291. 11c. Laskar, J., Joutel, F. and Robutel, P. "The chaotic obliquity of the planets" Nature 361 (18 Feb 1993):608-612. 11dc. Laskar, J. Thomas Quinn, and Scott Tremaine. "Confirmation of resonant structure in the Solar System". Icarus 95 (Jan 1992):148-152


  81. Phillips et al. (1992), JGR 97:15,92315,948; Schaber et al. (1992) JGR 97:13,25613,301; Strom et al. (1994) JGR 99:10,89910,926

  82. “Venus Revealed,” p. 120, Grinspoon, D. H., Addison-Wesley, New York, (1996)







  89. “Oceans or seas in the Martian northern lowlands: High resolution imaging tests of proposed coastlines,” by M.C. Malin and K.S. Edgett, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 26, p. 3049-3052, 1999 

  90. “Evidence for recent climate change on Mars from the identification of youthful near-surface ground ice,” JOHN F. MUSTARD, CHRISTOPHER D. COOPER & MOSES K. RIFKIN Nature 412, 26 July 2001, 411-414

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