Forensic Analysis of the Face on Mars

by Kynthia

Many are familiar with the work of forensic artists from television shows such as "Quincy," or the more recent "CSI," experts who use their talents to reconstruct a face from just the anatomy of a skull. They do this by studying the shape of the skull and then extrapolating how the muscle tissue would attach to it and what the new surface areas would be like.

What we know about the Cydonia plateau is that during the Martian year, the prevailing winds — sometimes at over 300 miles per hour -- come sweeping out of the west, moving from direction of the City over the Face, heading eastward towards the Cliff.

When you examine this newest MGS image closely (E03-00824), it is easy to see this wind pattern. The City [left) side of the face appears significantly worn away, revealing a granular, etched surface looking very austere and gaunt.

Geologist Ron Nicks noted:
There is a stunning dichotomy from one side of the feature to the other. On the left are areas of patterned ground, especially around what has been noted as "the eye". The pattern resembles that of a very recognizable form here at home. Elephant hide has a similar textural pattern. And, no, I don't think it is intended to represent "elephant hide." That's simply an example of what the patterning resembles. Recognize also that the left [City] half of the feature is that half most likely exposed to the prevailing winds, at least for as long as Mars has had its present orbit and rotational axis. Yet, that is the side that actually appears at first glance to be less eroded. However, that first impression may not be necessarily so. The right [Cliff] side, the downwind side, would have been subject to swirling winds, and aerodynamic "plucking" (for what its worth, given the rarity of atmosphere compared to Earth). It would seem that the left [City] side would have been ground down and present a faceted side much like that of common ventifacts on Earth. But that's not the case. Or is it? The left [City] side of the feature shows pits, rounded edges and muted angles, whereas the right [Cliff] side displays highly angular cliffs, smooth (albeit somewhat blurry) surfaces, and smoothly hollowed out basins (perhaps created as a result of swirling vortices and eddies coming over the crest (nose), carrying erosive sands). In actuality, the case can be made that the right [Cliff] side of the feature has shown less erosion than the left. Just the opposite of what I believe most others are currently claiming from this image. There are layers of material clearly evident on the right [Cliff] side, where such layering is all but absent on the left [City] side. With the left being more exposed to the wind, one could expect that a surface might be swept clean enough to expose layering -- it isn't so. No such layering is at all obvious, as it is on the right [Cliff] side. In fact, from the geologic standpoint and based on this evidence, I would find it difficult to argue that the left and right sides of this Cydonia feature were composed of even the same material.

Just over the crest of the Face’s nose (on the Cliff side), you can see the edges of what appears to be a "casing" (the "layering" that Ron Nicks talks about — see terrestrial examples below), where the original Face surface is obviously peeling away. Just below, in the ravines furrowing the Cliff side, are apparent deposits of material and debris flowing down slope from this higher up erosion (technically called "mass wasting").

Based on abundant structural clues in the latest, high-resolution image, quite possibly (going back to our forensic model), when initially created, the City side of the Face had a fuller appearance. With time (how much time?!), this side — because of those relentless prevailing winds -- simply eroded away at a faster rate than the "protected" side, the side facing toward the Cliff. Look at the deterioration of our own Sphinx today, with a lifespan of a brief "moment" compared to the "250,000 years plus" estimated that the Face on Mars has stood against those winds. Surely, if five thousand years can do such extensive damage to the body of the Sphinx on Earth, so as to make portions of it devoid of detail and almost unrecognizable, what could we expect of an ancient "monument" abandoned on the windswept surface of the planet Mars for a hundred times as long ..? In fact, it's amazing that we see as much detail on the exposed side of the Cydonia Face as we do: nostrils on the nose, and even a surviving eyeball -- complete with under lid.

Also remember, the head of the Sphinx was apparently re-sculpted sometime during the time of Ancient Egypt, long after it had suffered extensive erosion damage somewhere in the mists of time on Earth (that’s why the head today is smaller and contains more detail than the body). If it were not for the anatomy of its overall morphology (shape and form), we would not even know the Sphinx was supposed to represent a human head married to a lion’s body.

An identical Anatomy of Form is key to discovering the identity of the Martian enigma at Cydonia.

All of us have been to the beach and watched a child pouring sand over a friend until she is completely covered. You'll recall that you really can't make out the features and details of her body after such an exercise, which are rapidly lost underneath even a relatively thin blanket of overlying sand.

Just as the sand makes it all but impossible to discern the details of a child covered on the beach, likewise the deposits collecting for thousands of years on the leeward (downwind) side of the Face on Mars have obscured many anatomically important features toward the Cliff. There are however, in this latest image, some surviving elements that give us clues to what else "lies beneath those sands."

Without question, there is an underlying mental template to this "monument" we call the Face, an inherent structure (like the Sphinx on Earth) that creates a "decodable matrix" … giving us some very strong clues in this new image to its ultimate intended form.

The structural base of the Face gives us our first clues to its identity: it’s extraordinarily symmetric, like a picture frame. And, no artist creates a "frame" without intending to feature what’s inside that frame. In my many years of literally living with this ancient structure, while sculpting and re-sculpting, I came to realize that — as Richard Hoagland first proposed at the UN almost a decade ago -- the anatomy of this monument strongly implies multiple intended forms inside that frame: the two most prominent being a Hominid Face on the City side, and a Feline Face on the Cliff side. There are some very telling, distinctly anatomical features that suggest this.

Thinking and seeing like a forensic artist, when you look closely at the nose area and nostrils, you see some crucial, distinguishing details. On the City side, the placement of the nostril is slightly higher, and the ridge of the nose is a sharper incline -- echoing what we see in preserved skulls of proto-human "hominids." But on the Cliff side, there are significant differences in this underlying structure. You notice that the incline of the nose is fuller, broader, more rounded -- suggesting the skeletal frame of a lion's nose. This is not attributable to a build-up of "sand," for you can simultaneously see that the texture on this nose area (dotted with stark shadows from exposed underlying structure) is definitely different from the mantling debris that has settled further down on the cheek area of the Cliff side. Then, you see that the nostril on the "lion" side is different as well: it’s slightly lower, with a broad under padding. It just looks very feline.

Now, look at the forehead: on the City side, it slopes as you would expect for a hominid representation, but on the Cliff side, it is significantly more pronounced -- showing a more massive skull-shape … again, like a lion; in addition, there is an additional shape that doesn't appear on the hominid side, precisely of the form and placement where the lion’s ear would be.

Another feature that suggests a feline identity on the Cliff side is what appears to be a "mane" under the jaw line, a feature that is completely missing from the City side. One could say that this is merely "a build-up of wind swept sand," but then, why is there a distinct line marking the continuation of the lion’s "jaw," and why does the peak area on the mane (if it’s a low collection area for eroded debris) seem in 3-D representations so high?

It is true: the Cliff side is also badly eroded and covered in places by debris, yet the structural anatomy of a lion’s head, as Hoagland predicted so many years ago, is unmistakably still visible. Moreover, as we noted at the outset, the case for artificiality is strengthened by the symmetrical platform (the "frame") the Face sits within and on. See 3D CAD Model by David Kiepke.

Ron Nicks:

No matter how you slice it -- old images, new images, fake images, images, images, images … it still looks like a "face." The face of "what" I do not know, but nonetheless, a face. It is more than trying to be persistently bombarded with images that have been manipulated in such a fashion that similarly manipulated images of my own mother would not be recognizable to me. To me, one of the most distressing things about the entire "face" issue is that it is, in my opinion, reaching the point of analysis paralysis. To me, at this point, it is sufficient to say "from any angle, from any light configuration, it looks like a face, and until we walk up to it (the NASA cartoon not withstanding) the issue will remain unresolved."

Those who have difficulty accepting that a "monument" can have multiple identities perhaps can better grasp the idea when they consider that this is a huge structure: a mile long and 1500 feet high. It’s like a small mountain, and was principally intended for viewing in profile … In that view, the "other identity" (on the other side of the nose ridge, either from the City or the Cliff) is not visible -- and so is not in visual conflict.

It is interesting to note that many of those who still hold that this structure cannot be a "real" artifact, are so adamant that they are convinced there is no other way of seeing it. Further, they believe that 99.99% of the population agrees with them. Yet, the current poll on MSNBC's "NASA revisits the "Face on Mars"(regarding the question of artificiality) is tracking a greater percentage in favor of the Face being artificial!

Perhaps the "hidden few" at NASA believed that finally seeing the full Face as asymmetrical would convince the public that it’s not "a Face" at all. But if that was their goal in suddenly releasing this new image, it’s obviously backfired.

What this new image has done for lots of people outside NASA is to convince them that, yes, it’s not just "a" Face … it’s at least TWO Faces … and one of them represents provocatively, inexplicably -- like the Sphinx on Earth -- a lion

Exactly as Hoagland predicted so many years ago.

About the Author - Kynthia

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