even casual examination of the Face as seen in this "new light"
(above, top) reveals two new pieces of vital information: 1) that
the eastern side, under even this pre-dawn illumination -- for whatever
reason -- is incredibly reflective; and 2) that, in lowered contrast
images (below) the source of this anomalously "high albedo"
is an inexplicable series (in the natural model) of highly geometric
those of us who, for some time now, have interpreted the weight
of evidence in favor of an artificial origin for this unique Cydonia
construct, this new data is unexpected - nay, startling -- confirmation
of our previous analysis.
The key parameter
that makes this new image so remarkable, is "when" it
If you carefully
examine the "data block" for image V0 3814003 on the Arizona
State University (ASU) THEMIS website
(above), you can immediately ascertain that it was taken by the
Odyssey camera "at 4:39 AM," local Martian time. Further
reading of the table reveals that the "phase angle" -
that is, the geometric relationship between the Sun, the Martian
surface directly underneath the spacecraft just east of the Face,
and Odyssey itself - was "90.3 degrees." Since "90
degrees" (for a spacecraft directly overhead) would indicate
the Sun was literally on the eastern horizon, the slightly greater
angle reveals that actually the sun was 0.3 degrees below the horizon
when the image was acquired (and even slightly lower at the location
of Face itself).
The last line
in the table, "Description: Cydonia - face at night" confirms
this geometry: technically, then, this "Odyssey dawn image"
was actually acquired just before sunrise
with the Sun still
hidden below the Cydonia horizon (below).
simple, inarguable geometry makes the astonishing high brightness
of the Face's eastern side - and before the Sun has risen - extraordinary
. And this, in turn, leads directly to the pivotal question:
just what could make "an average Martian mesa" (to quote
Carl Sagan, from his infamous Parade Magazine "Cydonia hit piece"
many years ago) so incredibly reflective
even in the semi-dark,
pre-dawn twilight of Cydonia?
comparison (below) reveals the true incongruity of such a brilliant-surfaced
object. The official NASA version of the Face from V03814003 (left)
is totally "washed out" on the illuminated (eastern side)
- even though the image was shot before the sun had risen!; while,
in the Enterprise rendition (right), after considerable effort to
lower brightness levels, some surface details can just be seen beneath
Again, for this
over saturation of the THEMIS imaging CCDs to have occurred, and
under these really dim lighting conditions, "something"
about the innate reflectivity of this Martian surface feature --
at this geometry -- must truly be "anomalous." To learn
how "anomalous," one only need look to spacecraft surface
images of pre-dawn Martian twilight, captured by other unmanned missions
for instance, the unmanned Viking Landers in 1976 (below) or
Pathfinder, in 1997.
this Viking 1 post-sunset surface view (above), prepared by former
USGS graphic artist Don Davis, note how the sky remains bright well
after the sun sets on Mars (sunset, of course, is merely the opposite
condition to sunrise; therefore a post sunset image is optically equivalent
to a pre-dawn image at the same location and time) The bluish "afterglow"
several degrees above the sunset point on Mars is due to the unique
"forward scattering" properties of the much thinner Martian
atmosphere, which is filled with varying amounts of finely-divided
dust (in the official model) - preferentially scattering blue light
forward toward the camera
The major thing
to note in this image is the Lander wind cover on the Viking nuclear
power generator (light ellipse -- far right): notice that it is
just barely visible in this twilight Mars illumination
though the lighting geometry is ideal for so-called "specular
reflection" (the light above the setting sun should be bouncing
directly toward the camera) and
the cover itself is painted
Yet, as can
be seen, under this illumination this white wind cover is barely
Why, under identical
lighting (below), is the Face- even allowing for the obviously increased
gain settings in the Odyssey camera (to bring out the darker western
side) -- so incredibly bright? And why is that inexplicably reflective
eastern surface also arrayed in those stark
pre-dawn image (below), this one from Mars Pathfinder, reinforces
this enigma: an obviously almost un-illuminated landscape, lit only
by the sky, clearly incapable of presenting such dramatic surface
differences as seen in the Odyssey Cydonia image
it's a Viking 2 sunrise shot that best illustrates this major new
you can see (above), even with the sun actually on the horizon, the
overall illumination of the surface landscape in this Viking 2 dawn
image is extremely dark -- a combination of dust absorption of sunlight
at the horizon, and an extremely thin Martian atmosphere.
the gamma of the same image significantly increased (above) - equivalent
to the gain employed in the Odyssey VIS camera for the pre-dawn Cydonia
image -- the surface rocks and other features become more visible.
But, as is readily apparent, with the exception of two small foreground
objects at the lower right, brightness extremes presented by the Face
are simply not present on the reddish rocks and boulders strewn across
this Martian landscape - even when directly illuminated by the rising
(below) are in themselves most interesting. It is apparent that
their bright sunward-facing surfaces are from polished, mirror-like
reflections - probably caused by wind blown sand abrading over time
metallic crystal surfaces (or, at least "something" metallic
problem with applying this natural explanation to the Face is simply
reflections from these close-in features viewed by the Viking 2
camera are on the order of "a few square inches"; the
surface area of specular reflections from the Face's eastern side
measures several miles in area
enhancement and brightness reduction of the Face on image V03814003
(below), seeking to penetrate the last, still overexposed highlights
of this incredibly reflective surface, reveals an astonishing continuation
of the "grid-like geometry" noted earlier. This, in turn,
is strikingly consistent with a critical prediction, regarding the
possibly highly anomalous physical nature of this surface
made over ten years ago.
in the 1992 Edition of "The Monuments of Mars," we strongly
suggested that the Face was NOT merely "a mesa-carved 'Mount
lying on a level Martian plain" -- but something
"far more interesting."
and Mike Stein's unprecedented computerized fractal work on the
original Viking images had strongly indicated by 1990 that "something"
about the Face was decidedly "non-fractal" -- i.e. in
one interpretation, it is composed of artificial surface materials
(see below), which are successfully resisting the relentless efforts
of the Martian climate to turn them back to dust. The bright "Face
highlight" of the non-fractal Face image (left) indicates how
much it departs from its far more fractal surroundings
numerical analysis (below) further points out this dramatic "fractal
model fit error" of the Face's pixels, compared to the total
image area - i.e. its unique surface signature, indicating potential
"artificiality" -- even more effectively.
what we said in 1992: that Carlotto's newly published "non-fractal
Face results" were likely due to a "sophisticated
placement of shadow-casting [artificial] pyramidal substructures on
[the] underlying mesa .
In other words,
that major portions of the Face were composed of "artificial
now showing (through erosion) countless exposed elements
of their internal geometric (thus, non-fractal - compared to their
Cydonia surroundings) structure
." This was in direct
opposition to the prevailing opinion of all other researchers at
the time (those who took seriously the tenant that the Face is indeed
"an artificial structure") -- who believed (and still
do!) that the Face was carved
in other words, "Mt. Rushmore."
In my opinion,
to the contrary: Carlotto's provocative fractal results strongly
indicate that the Face (or at least large portions of it
has been built.
But, even further,
I began at that moment to also seriously consider an even more extraordinary
That the Face
was, in fact, two "faces," specifically engineered (again,
not "carved") as a massive, constructed work of art --
designed (for some reason on Mars) to reflect two distinctly different
hominid and feline.
When the MGS
"full Face image" was grudgingly released by Michael Malin
in late May of 2001 (below) -- and the feline eastern half overwhelmingly
confirmed (even to observers who knew nothing about our ten-year-old
prediction) -- we wrote on
response to this long-awaited image, a few in the independent research
community have even responded by declaring that the Eastern half,
or Cliff side, is 'more eroded' than the City side. Or, they have
described the previously shaded side as 'more irregular' - anything,
to keep from admitting that it's feline.
it is simply wrong that the Eastern (Cliff) half is 'more eroded'
than the Western (City) half (above). It is equally wrong that that
side (the right) is also more 'irregular.' These are clearly coping
mechanisms put forth by those that expected to see a symmetrical
'human' face. The reality is that the Eastern half is simply less
familiar than the more commonly seen Western (Viking) half. And,
since it is decidedly feline, it is less consistent with many of
the hopes and expectations of seeing a familiar, friendly human
visage staring back at us from the Cydonia Martian plain. In reality,
the Eastern half is significantly less eroded and appears to have
more of the original 'casing' on it then the more weathered Western
half (above). What the problem really comes down to is that the
Cliff side confirms our model -- that that side is feline -- and
not 'theirs' (that the Face would be symmetrical, and human) --
and that is a new scientific and political reality that many long-time
researchers (and even casual observers) of this decades-long puzzle
are having difficulty coping with right now."
Remarkably, the latest multi-spectral Odyssey "dawn" Cydonia
image -- V03814003 -- now further supports precisely such a model--
an inexplicable, "honeycomb-like" pattern on the Face
-- visible as a series of "brilliantly reflective, geometric
but only on the eastern side.
This is now
totally consistent with our previous analysis: that the eastern
half has (by virtue of being shielded by the western side, which
has taken the brunt of the sand and wind erosion) preserved a far
less-eroded, highly reflective surface of the original Monument.
Further, this new pre-dawn data totally eliminates several competing
hypotheses put forward in 2001 to "explain" the striking
visual asymmetry when the MGS "full Face image" was first
released - including, those
that speculated that "deep sand dunes" were covering
the eastern aspects of the Monument!
Look at this
direct comparison (below): between the MGS 2001 black and white
image of the Face, and the latest Odyssey pre-dawn color view. As
can be seen, "something" about that eastern surface is
creating an intensely mirror-like reflection of the pre-dawn Martian
lighting - and in a distinctly geometric pattern. Could this merely
be some type of inherently bright "scattering" material
"snow" is not a likely explanation for this striking optical
appearance, can be seen by in this crucial terrestrial comparison
The object on
the left is "Shiprock Butte," a literal sunrise shot of
an awesome, wind-eroded surface feature in northwestern New Mexico,
considered an analog in the "mainstream" view to the "wind-sculpted
natural geology of the Face on Mars." The object on the right
is the new Odyssey "pre-dawn" composite image of the Face
-- its brilliant eastern side (again, in the dim pre-dawn Martian
lighting), clearly overexposed.
that Shiprock has some snow on it, both on the sunward facing side
and in the shadows. However, even under direct sunrise illumination
here on Earth (1.5 times closer to the Sun, thus 2.25 times brighter),
the light scattering from the Shiprock snowy surface (left) cannot
begin to match Odyssey's pre-dawn reflections from the Face (right)!
effectively rules out any simple "high albedo, lambert-type
scattering surfaces" - such as snow or ice (water or C02) --
as easy explanation for the severely overexposed Face's eastern
half. And, if "snow" was present on the Face when the
image was acquired (also hardly likely, given the official Martian
northern hemisphere date of image acquisition), why didn't this
same snow fall on the shadowed side in the Odyssey view
it has at Shiprock?
can be seen in this computer-generated "ray trace" rendering
of Barry Swan, below) - a flat, mirror-like set of parallel
reflecting surfaces can reproduce precisely such highly overexposed
recordings of the Face's eastern surface
at key geometric
other words, the evidence just presented strongly indicates that "something"
about the protected eastern Face's surface (the "feline"
) -- captured by Odyssey in an instant of precise pre-dawn
sun/spacecraft illumination geometry - is capable of producing mirror-like
bounced 250 miles straight up
the sun had risen over the Cydonia horizon!
is reinforced by a comparison of the Face with its closest "next
door neighbor," a mesa located just to the southeast (below,
right). As can be seen, while the Face's eastern flank again is
totally overexposed in the Odyssey view, the mesa right next door
is barely lit! Yet, the source of illumination for both objects
is exactly the same
the pre-dawn brightening several degrees
above the Cydonia horizon.
By the process
of elimination, we are inexorably forced to conclude that only some
kind of manufactured, highly "directional" surface on
the Face -- whereby the angles of all the surviving reflecting elements,
despite the curving underlying structure, are aligned -- could redirect
the horizon sky glow coherently, vertically, at such a specific
and thus produce these startling optical phenomenon
seen in Odyssey's VIS camera!
There is the
one other equally artificial, but even more startling alternative
this Mars Surveyor image of the Face (above, left), compared to the
same area from Odyssey (above, right), note the distinct, glowing,
three-dimensional quality of the eastern geometry seen in the Odyssey
view. Then, note hints of a similar rectilinear structure on the Face's
surface in the white light image, at opposite lighting and higher
resolution. This key similarity - but at two totally different scales
-- suggests that the brilliant reflecting elements seen in the Odyssey,
20-meter color version may in fact be larger scale, more massive interior
structures - captured underneath the visible light features seen in
the MGS 5-meter view.
This would have
been possible because of the unique illumination angle of this image
sunlight, shining almost horizontally through a high-tech, now porous,
still eroding eastern surface covering -- to be photographed by
Odyssey, looking straight down at a 90-degree angle. A good analogy
would be the view through a fine-mesh window screen at twilight,
into a well lit room -- where the mesh is literally too small to
be seen against the massive illuminated pieces in the room
effect in this Odyssey view would have been identical to an internal
lighting system - producing an imaging effect almost like an x-ray
making visible for the first time the internal architectural
structure of the Face on Mars!
One last item
on the Face:
Odyssey image finally allows a direct comparison of key morphological
predictions re the eastern side, against the actual lit view
which up 'til now have been based totally on images illuminated
from the west. Kynthia, the Enterprise art director for many years,
has spent considerable time and effort painstakingly sculpting (in
clay - remember that?!), as well as with computer-generated models,
what the eastern "feline" side should look like
when we finally had Odyssey's new view.
Below is a direct
Back to the
surroundings of the Face.
If you examine
a bit more closely features in the immediate vicinity in this unique
Odyssey view, more fascinating "optical anomalies" begin
to make themselves apparent. Again, take that "average mesa"
to the southeast of the Face (immediate right, below). In this darkened,
more realistic rendition of a portion of image V03814003, it is
now evident that it too is not behaving exactly like "an average
of all, its dramatic brightness difference, compared to the Face's
"right next door," is NOT because of any major differences
in height. As can be seen again in the Mars Pathfinder post-sunset
imagery (below), after sunset (or before sunrise), the primary landscape
lighting comes from a large area of the sky -- several degrees above
the point where the sun has actually set (or will rise). Thus, the
sky illumination of both features in V03814003 - regardless of their
intrinsic height - is essentially the same.
how to account for their dramatic differences in brightness
if not color
in image V03814003?
In this rotated,
close-up, low brightness view (below), the "next door feature's"
major characteristic in this pre-dawn lighting turns out to be an
amazing, regular geometric "checkerboard" of multi colors!
Close examination reveals different axes and different levels to
these colors - as if we're looking down through multiple layers
of some transparent, actively prismatic substance. The unmistakable
"bluish" tints on the southeast (facing the pre-dawn sky)
are a further signature of internal scattering of the predominant
color of the pre-dawn sky itself
The only known
material that is a) transparent, and b) can create such prismatic
coloration, as well as "a bluish, scattering of sky light"
is glass - a most unlikely substance, I think you world agree,
to be found on "a naturally-eroded mesa at Cydonia"
overall impression of this feature in this extraordinary Odyssey image
is that of a huge, glass ruin - once composed of many floors and rooms
(look carefully, above), and many different axes of symmetrical construction
now reduced to just a n echo of its former self.
There is also,
in this un-rotated, lightened version of the same feature (below),
a remarkable array of additional, also distinctly "bluish"
geometric patterns evident all across the entire upper surface
some even arranged in precise, concentric circles. These patterns
clearly outline the formerly highly symmetric nature of this construct!
For example, a "straight line axis" -- connecting two
of these "concentric circles" at each end -- dominates
the overall morphology. This axis is at a 45-degree angle to the
image frame and, significantly, is also precisely parallel to the
Platform edges of the Face, just north west
stunning object - seen literally in this new light -- is also clearly
NOT "just another average mesa!"
That this internal-scattering
material is likely glass -- the remaining remnants of what must
have been a dazzling array of superstructures once built all across
this "mesa" -- is evident in the unique nature of its
appearance; unlike the Face's "blinding reflections,"
these geometric patterns are somewhat "more subtle reds and
blues, laid over a darker, underlying matrix"
indication that only the pre-dawn lighting at this angle is capable
of making them apparent against the darker surface underneath (via
right-angle internal scattering, as opposed to surface reflections)
from Odyssey's 90-degree perspective overhead
spacecraft/sun geometry also explains why, in the higher phase Viking
western lighting images, these features were not an outstanding
"fractal anomaly" in Carlotto and Stein's original analysis;
at those higher sun angles, and at Viking's resolution (one half
Odyssey's), the surviving, delicate and essentially transparent
glass geometry seen beautifully here is essentially invisible!
To the east
of this remarkable feature lays another, also completely nondescript
Martian "knob" seen in the original Viking views (below).
Again, at this unique pre-dawn Odyssey lighting, its true, exquisitely
anomalous nature finally is revealed--
As a stunning set of "right-angle glowing features and internal
rectilinear geometries," apparently created by a massive array
of partially surviving shattered glass cubes! These incredibly geometric
features, as can be seen (above), are scattering the blue sky light
even more intensely
before another Cydonia dawn
Finally, examination of this remarkable pre-dawn Odyssey frame
reveals a possible solution to another long-standing mystery about
Cydonia (below): the true nature of the "D&M."
on the original 1976 Viking images, this singular five-sided feature,
located a few miles southwest of the Face, has come to represent -
-perhaps even more than the celebrated "Face" itself - the
continuing, haunting enigma of Cydonia
. Properly termed the
Rossetta Stone," because of its unique and telling internal
mathematical relationships, the physical nature of this object remains
a major Martian mystery.
anomalous five-sided form presented here from Viking (above),
additional Odyssey B&W imagery last year revealed another geometric
aspect to this fascinating feature's profound internal symmetry
mysteriously, even though the Mars Surveyor spacecraft has been in
orbit for over six years, Michael Malin (Principal Investigator of
the MOC camera aboard the MGS) has yet to release a full-on, high-resolution
(>5meters) image of this extraordinary, obviously highly symmetrical
Cydonia structure. Without such detailed close-ups, fundamental questions
regarding the true nature of this object will remain unanswered
It was with
some interest, then, that we realized that in the bottom left portion
of this Odyssey "dawn" image, the "northeast quadrant"
of the D&M had, in fact, been imaged
at ~20 meter resolution
(roughly twice that of Viking) -- and in color. Perhaps even more
important, whereas all previous D&M images (Viking and Odyssey)
have been taken with the sun coming from the left, in this image
the Pyramid is clearly illuminated from the right - the direction
of the not-yet-risen-sun.
It is immediately
apparent in this image that the D&M - named by the author after
the two original Goddard contract imaging specialists who found
it on the Viking imagery, Vince DiPietro and Greg Molenaar --- is
as reflective at this viewing angle as the Face itself!
the "mesa in the middle" (below), is scattering just about
what would be expected in this lighting, while the Face (top) and
D&M (below, left) are distinctly far too bright
differences in height or surface slopes should make no difference
as the source of illumination is a large, diffuse area
in the Martian eastern sky many degrees above the Cydonia horizon
(see again, Viking and Pathfinder surface images, above).
material is making the Face literally "glow" in this pre-dawn
light, is also having the same effect upon the mysterious "D&M"
this close-up Enterprise enhancement (below), this overwhelming glare
has been substantially reduced
allowing details of the "protected"
northeast side for the first
to emerge. And, in this comparison (below, far right), a veritable
"honeycomb" of highly rectilinear, room-like features finally
new view now provides startling confirmation of a hypothesis initially
framed in the first edition of "Monuments,"
now almost 20 years ago: namely, that the D&M is literally hollow
- created as a vast, compartmentalized "super condominium"
a true "arcology" on Mars. The ordered geometry
- together with the anomalous reflectivity --
here, only reinforce that original view
* * *
short recitation of optical Cydonia anomalies now hints at a dramatic
escalation of our original "Intelligence Hypothesis":
all of the nearby features to the Face were either artificially
modified, or had some kind of artificial structures built upon them
in the epoch during which the Face itself was first created.
That their individual light-scattering properties are also now strikingly
"anomalous" is unmistakable. One can only wonder what
a similar pre-dawn image, secured by Odyssey
would reveal about my other original discovery
The City of
new Odyssey data has opened up new, fundamental questions about
the extant and nature of "artificial construction at Cydonia"
and the ultimate nature of what eventual rover missions -
or a manned landing itself! -- will one day come to find
* * *
how do we go about testing this, admittedly, increasingly extraordinary
of the two MER rovers currently
enroute to Mars (below) could be landed at Cydonia. By virtue
of their onboard color CCD stereo cameras, and the sophisticated
analytical x-ray and gamma ray equipment that they carry, we'd then
know in short order if these anomalous optical features seen from
orbit are backed up by true physical anomalies measured on the ground
including, the unmistakable signatures of manufactured, high-tech
alas, that's not going to happen - in the short run.
NASA seems determined
to follow their step-by-step, "drip by drip" planned escalation
of the interesting discoveries at Mars ... with the "discovery"
during the MER missions of present water just beneath the soil
the next step on their "timed-release aspirin" political
science agenda, and the "countdown"
But, NASA is
not the only "player" in the game this time."
besides the two NASA rovers, three other spacecraft (one piggy-backing
on the other) are scheduled to arrive at Mars. These five missions
make up a veritable "fleet" of robots currently enroute
(below), operated by three separate national interests this time:
Japan, the United States and Europe
two of them - the Japanese "Nozomi" mission, and Europe's
"Mars Express" - are NOT being operated under NASA management,
there's at least a glimmer of hope (ironic - since that's what "Nozomi"
means in Japanese -- Hope!) that one of these three foreign spacecraft
might actually, independently, add significant new information to
the "artificial structures on Mars" question. But -- only
if they secure some specifically targeted, carefully timed new observations
of previously known ruins - and then only if they're "allowed"
to make the information public
In the wake
of Odyssey's new revelations on Cydonia, obviously, high on our
list will be requests of both the Europeans and the Japanese for
new, pre-dawn (or, immediate post-sunset) orbital observations of
Cydonia with the state-of the art, high-resolution color CCD cameras
that both the Japanese and ESA (European Space Agency) missions
carry. Though the Japanese (Nozomi) mission will possess a
three color CCD camera called MIC ("Mars Imaging Camera"),
its capabilities are limited by the overall mission design - which
constrains its latitude of coverage of Mars and pixel resolution
the latter to about 60 meters, and only at the equator. Therefore,
"Mars Express" mission is probably our best shot.
is designed to take up residence around Mars in late December, 2003
(Christmas night!), in an approximately 7000 by 161-mile, 7.5 hour,
polar elliptical orbit (below). For roughly 40 minutes each revolution,
centered around periapsis (the
closest point to Mars), the on-board HRSC
(High Resolution Stereo Camera) system will take images - in color,
stereo and at very high resolution
down to ~2-meters per pixel.
The rest of the orbit will be devoted to relaying this imaging data
back to Earth, and conducting other
It is the stereo
and color capability of the HSRC which interests us here the most.
If what we see
in the Odyssey "dawn image" is truly "specular reflection"
- i.e. coherent flashes of light from mirror-like, artificial structures
on (or underneath) the surface of the Face -- then the brightness
of the Face's eastern side will vary dramatically in only a few
seconds, as Mars Express flies into and out of these "beamed"
timing it's flyover at the same pre-dawn geometry as the Odyssey image,
and comparing the position, brightness, and color changes of the reflection
features in its successive stereo HRSC scans, the physical location
of the reflecting elements - either on the Face's surface, or underneath
-- can be firmly determined by the Mars Express mission. In addition,
examination of the neighboring "mesas" - also in stereo
and color - will allow determination of their relative compositions
and/or physical surface differences, in comparison to the Face.
In short, the
capability to finally secure "smoking gun data," regarding
the entire Cydonia question, lies within the capability of ESA's
new Mars mission. The question is: do they have the political will
and interest - against the apparent continuing "cover-up"
agenda of NASA and the United States -- to honestly pursue it? And,
again, will they be allowed
you come in.
If enough readers
of this paper, and followers of this continuing Investigation, demand
that the Principal Investigator of Mars Express' HRSC -- Dr. Gerhard
Neukum, of the Freie Universität Berlin --use the HRSC's exquisite
stereo and color capability to secure this vital information
it can be made to happen.
Simply by sending
Dr. Neukum (below) a heartfelt e-mail or letter -- outlining the
scientific objectives of the new Mars Express Cydonia imaging his
instrument can uniquely acquire; by explaining the extraordinary
implications if artificial structures are scientifically confirmed
on the planet Mars
the extraordinary, profoundly puzzling Odyssey pre-dawn Cydonia
observations described here.
his address and e-mail:
Gerhard Neukum, Mars Express
HRSC Principal Investigator
Freie Universität Berlin, Earth Sciences Dept., Germany
Tel: +49 30 8387 0579 (secretary: -575)
Email: [email protected]
One last point:
The Aug. 15,2003
issue of Science, probably (next to Nature) the most prestigious
science journal in the world, ran an editorial entitled "One
Nuclear Leap To Mars." In it the editorial writer discussed
the possibility of finding "something bizarre on Mars that
would trigger a manned Mars expedition." The last paragraph
in particular is the most telling: the writer concludes by saying
"perhaps one of the spacecraft now on the way to the Red Planet
- one of the two NASA rovers, the Japanese Nozomi Mission, or Mar
Express and its associated Beagle 2 -- will [not 'may'] discover
something compelling or bizarre
that would shake people into
thinking 'We need to go now.'" The last quote being from astrogeologist
Jim Rice, of Arizona State University."
State, of course, is the institution which took the extraordinary
THEMIS image of this Cydonia pre-dawn