by Jeffrey G. Roberts, Special Contributor, GovernmentSecrets.com
Around 2035, an interplanetary craft from Earth will touch down in an area of the Northern hemisphere of Mars; an area known as – Cydonia. Location: 9.5 degrees W. longitude, 41 degrees N. Latitude. And as the crimson sands of the Martian deserts wail across the cold forbidding plains at -90 F., what will the emerging crew see before them? That all depends upon what the Viking I orbiter saw in that exact same area, fifty-nine years earlier, on July 25th, 1976.
And therein lies the tale that will not die, the controversy that will not go away; the conspiracy – as some call it – of a NASA cover-up more massive and pervasive than any other since the founding of the United States 236 years ago.
For on its 35th orbit of Mars, Viking I, at an altitude of 1162 miles, snapped its 72nd photograph to send back to Earth – number 35A72 – and nothing would ever be the same again. For there, staring back at Viking I into the starry night, was what appeared to be the visage of a face. A face almost 2600 feet high (the Empire State Building in New York is “only” 1250 feet in height), 1.6 miles wide, and 1.2 miles in length! It appeared Sphinx-like, as if the ancient Egyptian edifice was staring straight up into space.
And on the third planet from the sun – all hell broke loose. NASA imaging scientists Vincent DiPietro and Greg Molenaar were the first to discover this incredible anomaly, and dutifully brought it to the attention of their superiors, believing, rightly, that an unbiased scientific inquiry would now commence, to determine just what the face was. They realized that the discovery of an artificially constructed edifice of such titanic proportions would have the scientific world abuzz – unlimited access at their disposal, for what had the potential to be a shattering revelation – that we were not alone.
But that was not what happened. Far from it. DiPiero and Molenaar were, instead, vilified, shunned, and threatened by their peers! As Shakespeare’s Hamlet said, “Me thinks he protesteth too much!” Why the attitude? Why the intellectual timidity? Perhaps some didn’t want us to know that we were not alone; or perhaps didn’t want to share the spotlight with a superior race – even if that race had been extinct for millennia. Perhaps it’s just human nature and ego. If so, it’s also intellectually dishonest. Perhaps governments and institutions of higher learning feared their vast intellect and contributions to society would be reduced to utter anachronisms overnight, should the knowledge of alien life in our planetary backyard be exposed to an eager public. Why answer the charges – when you could attack the character and integrity of the one making them?
And on the 4th planet from the sun, the megalith known as The Face on Mars, continued to stare out into the cosmic void, whether the primitive creatures on the 3rd planet believed in it, or not. Like the Wizard of Oz said, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”
As Arthur C. Clarke said, the Biblical premise that God made man in his own image would be a ticking time bomb, in the face of such a momentous revelation. How would the religious institutions on Earth deal with such a monumental discovery? Many think they could not. And a Rand think tank study said as much, too.
As the eerie pictures of the face began to appear in the popular press, NASA was deluged with questions: Who built it? What is its purpose? Where are the builders now? Of course, NASA could not answer any of them. They preferred instead to shun it, hoping the whole Face on Mars controversy would go away. But it didn’t. No more than the Face’s surrounding pyramids did – some with 1000 times the internal volume of the Great pyramid at Ghiza! And geomorphologists, geologists, and cartographers agree that wind erosion will never form a symmetrical polyhedron with perfect sides, as has been photographed next to the Face. Mathematical, geometrical, and trigonometric measurements of both the face and its surrounding pyramids, showed an exact and repeating sequence, indicating intelligent design, not random, utilizing “sacred geometry” and Pi – with knife-like precision. And as more data was received, photographs 35A72, along with 70A13, and others, showed that the Face, whatever it was, seemed to reveal a kind of headdress or helmet, a tear below the right eye – and teeth in the mouth! Quite a feat for a natural geological formation!
NASA was quick to point out that the Face was merely a trick of light and shadow. Except – if that were true, the “illusion” would have disappeared when viewed from different positions. It didn’t. It retained its face-like features no matter what angle it was viewed from. And there is no known process of wind-borne erosion that can create straight angles. It would be as if a tornado blew apart a house, then returned, took all the flotsam & jetsam of the home within its swirling vortex – and re-built it exactly the way it was before!
Indeed, Mark Carlotto of the United States Analytic Sciences Corporation, after subjecting frames 35A72 and 70A13 to computer fractal analysis and 3-D scans, automatically correcting for azimuth of the sun and shadow angles, revealed that, “The Face on Mars was the least natural object for 24,140 miles in all directions.” The chances of that happening are beyond astronomical – unless the face was artificial, and constructed by an intelligence.
The controversy is much like the UFO controversy. The government has always been quick to label UFO’s as weather balloons, mis-identification, the planet Venus, or optical illusions. Strange, though: if you’re a military or airline pilot, or even a private individual who witnessed a UFO, or a landing, you could be threatened with court martial, job termination, or a prison term. Ever heard of being threatened with loss of freedom – over an optical illusion?
Indeed, Professor Stanley McDaniel, of Sonoma State University, said in 1992 that he became concerned over the “…glaring mistakes in the arguments used by NASA to reject their research. [the Face on Mars analysis] With each new NASA document encountered, I became more and more appalled by the impossibly bad quality of the reasoning used. It grew more and more difficult to believe that educated scientists could engage in such faulty reasoning, unless they were following some sort of hidden agenda aimed at suppressing the true nature of the data.”
(An interesting footnote to the Face on Mars controversy: in 1947, Japanese sculptor Isamu Naguchi proposed creating a large human head, projecting its face skywards, and to be a mile long. Ironically, it was to be entitled, “The sculpture to be seen from Mars!”)
But in 1983 the entire Face on Mars debate exploded into the public consciousness, as Richard C. Hoagland saw the photographic analysis of DiPietro and Molenaar – and soon became the unofficial spokesman for millions of people, convinced that our government was withholding and/or doctoring evidence of an alien civilization within our own solar system. He then took up the mantle, almost single-handedly, to prove this. And his accomplishments as a science writer made him the perfect “poster boy” for bringing this explosive revelation to light. He was curator of the Astronomy & Space Science division of the Springfield, Massachusetts Museum of Science at 18; science advisor to Walter Cronkite at 23; a consultant to several TV science documentaries, a well as a consultant to NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center. He has written for Omni, Analog, and Science Digest, and is the author of The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever, and co-author, with Mike Bara, of Dark Mission – The Secret History of NASA. He suggested the plaque ultimately carried aboard Pioneer 10; as well as the “Galileo Experiment” conducted by astronaut David Scott on Apollo 15, in 1971. Hoagland also wrote the Europa Proposal – that organic compounds could exist under the frozen surface of the 2nd moon of Jupiter, in an ocean of liquid water. The planned Europa probe of these oceans stems from his initial proposal. He has established the Mars Project, and EnterpriseMission.com, to pressure NASA and the scientific community at large, to further investigate the Face on Mars – whatever it is – and not to sweep it under the rug, hoping it will go away.
In 1998 Mars Global Surveyor re-photographed Cydonia, at an altitude of 250 miles, with ten times the resolution of Viking I. It showed the face to be nothing more than a giant, eroded mountain, just as NASA had proclaimed all along. Or was it? Immediately, cries of a cover-up and charges of doctored images began to leak to the press. And it certainly didn’t help NASA’s official position when images of both Mars, as well as the moon, began to surface from the thousands taken, and found by independent imaging analysts to indeed having been doctored – airbrushed- out structures, anomalies, and unexplainable – “things”, which would have proved embarrassing to NASA at best – catastrophic at worst.
Indeed, after 1992, NASA announced that it would no longer fly over the area of Cydonia. Why?
In August, the far more advanced Mars Science Lab, known as Curiosity, will have touched down in the Aeolis Palus region of Gale Crater. It will there for one Martian year, or 687 days, roving as far as twelve miles, searching for life, past or present, analyzing Martian geology, climate, and investigating future landing sites. Unfortunately, the plains of Cydonia will be quite a distance away.
But whether formless pile of rock on a windswept mountain, or an artificially constructed colossal monument by an ancient race, sometime within the next twenty years – we will know.
So, some warm summer night, step out onto your front porch, and gaze up at that tiny red dot in the night sky; identifiable out of all those stars – as the planet Mars. And maybe – just perhaps – a thought might impinge on your mind from that far-off world: “We were here. This is who we were.”
About the Author
Jeffrey G. Roberts graduated from Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, home of the famous Lowell Observatory. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in writing and American history, respectively.
Formerly from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he makes his home now in Tucson, Arizona, also a great home for the study of astronomy and astrophysics – the University of Arizona. A published author of the Face on Mars-inspired novel THE HEALER, Mr. Roberts is of the opinion that we are not being told the whole truth about Mars. Why? And thus, the investigation continues.