Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

July 8, 1988 SOME SEE GLIMPSE OF LIFE IN 'FACE' OF MARS AP and UPI WASHINGTON - Unusual formations on the surface of Mars - including a mile-long rock shaped like a human face - may have been carved by a lost civilization, four scientists said yesterday. The scientists, including a former astronaut, said at a news conference that the chances are better than 50-50 that the structures were made by intelligent beings. The scientists said that a photograph taken of the Martian surface in 1976 by NASA's Viking spacecraft clearly shows a face that could have been carved out of a Martian mountain a half-million years ago. The sphinx-like image that stares outward from the planet may be part of a complex of buildings, as evidenced by other unusual formations nearby, the scientists said. Brian T. O'Leary, a former astronaut and an expert on Mars, said there is sufficient uncertainty about the origin of the rock face that it should be a major target for future spacecraft sent to Mars. O'Leary said last January he asked Soviet space scientists who were preparing to send probes to Mars to examine the area where the face appears. He said the Soviets were interested, but replied that their spacecraft was not technically designed to study the Cydonia region of Mars, where the sight is located. The Soviets launched a probe toward Mars yesterday and plan to launch a second one later this month. The news conference yesterday was prompted by a recent study of the Viking photographs conducted by Mark Carlotto, an optical engineering expert. In an article published in Applied Optics, Carlotto said that a computer enhancement of the Viking photographs shows that the face and various other nearby features appear to have been carved by "intelligent design." Yesterday, Carlotto told reporters that a sophisticated statistical study of the shapes clearly shows that "the face is not natural." Richard Hoagland, founder of a private organization of scientists called "The Mars Project," said that in addition to the face there is "a complex of unusual objects" at the Cydonia site. The complex includes a five-sided mountain that resembles a pyramid and a massif he believes could have been part of an astronomical marker. Hoagland said that a line drawn from the center of the city, across the face to the massif, or cliff, would line up exactly with the Sun at the moment of Mars' summer solstice, as it would have occured 500,000 years ago - an alignment it is extremely unlikely could occur naturally. (Source: The San Diego Union - July 8, 1988)


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank