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In 1976, the Viking 1 Orbiter took a photograph of the Cydonia region of Mars, showing what looks like a humanoid face one mile long and 1,500 feet high. NASA dismissed the resemblance as a trick of light and shadow.
The Cydonia region also contains what appear to be several pyramid-like objects, which some researchers claim are mathematically aligned and display other characteristics that would seem beyond random chance.
The first hopes for new photos of the region were dashed with the mysterious loss of the billion dollar Mars Observer as it approached Mars in 1993.
While most viewed this incident as a tragic accident, others suspected information has been denied to the public, and that perhaps NASA knows more about evidence for past extraterrestrial life on Mars than they're telling.
With NASA's refusal to land the Sojourner and its mother ship, the Pathfinder, near The Face, many suspect a purposeful suppression of information. Those scientists who feel the Face was built by extraterrestrials state that this is surely the most interesting area of Mars to explore. NASA claims their selection of a landing site was based on many factors, such as where they believed they could execute a successful landing.
Recently, due to pressure from the public, NASA announced the Cydonia region would be re-photographed. The first new photograph of what NASA claimed was the Face on Mars in 20 years was released on April 6, 1998. However, due to its questionable nature, rather than an end to the controversy the new photo has only fueled the debate.
While the new photos did not show any evidence of an artificial structure, it will probably take a manned mission to Mars before the debate is finally settled. As archeologist and author Graham Hancock points out, there are formations right here are Earth who's formation-natual or artificial-continue to be debated.
New information from the Pathfinder lead many scientists to now believe that Mars once contained large bodies of liquid water, a condition thought to be a prerequisite for life. A December 4, 1997 JPL press release stated:
"Based on the first direct measurements ever obtained of Martian rocks and terrain, scientists on NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission report in this week's Science magazine that the red planet may have once been much more like Earth, with liquid water streaming through channels and nourishing a much thicker atmosphere."
Dr. Matthew Golombek, Mars Pathfinder project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, stated "If you consider all of the evidence we have at Ares Vallis-the rounded pebbles and cobbles and the possible conglomerate, the abundant sand- and dust-sized particles and models for their origins, in addition to the high silica rocks, it suggests a water-rich planet that may have been more Earth-like than previously recognized, with a warmer and wetter past in which liquid water was stable and the atmosphere was thicker."
Also, a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica has lead some scientists to conclude that at least microscopic life did exist on Mars. Professor Richard N. Zare, Ph.D., of Stanford University, examined the rock from early Mars.
The estimated age of the rock is anywhere from 1.4 to 3.6 billion years old. Dr. Zare and his colleagues conclude that it is highly probable that some form of primitive, single-celled life existed on Mars at that time.
NASA is planning a host of other missions to Mars over the next few decades. In 2005, a probe will collect Martian soil and bring it back to Earth, perhaps providing further evidence that at least some forms of simple life did exist on Mars. Is it possible that millions of years ago intelligent life once inhabited Mars? Could they have constructed The Face? It certainly seems worth taking a closer look.
By Relly De los Santos with excerpts from The Forbidden Science.
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