Little-Known Formation in Iran Resembles Face on Mars
Image copyright © 1998 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. Click here for full-size version.
The rare image above shows an unusual formation located in Iran. This artificial-appearing feature shares a striking, if superficial, resemblance to the Face on Mars as revealed in its entirety by the Mars Global Surveyor. Note the highly symmetrical base "platform" and tapered "chin."
The exact archaeological/geological history of Iran's peculiar "platform" is presently unknown. As noted previously, NASA has written the Face off as natural based on one JPL employee's personal position that the Face "reminds" him of a hill. JPL's "hill" is the perfectly natural-looking Middle Butte formation, exposed by Lan Fleming of the Society for Planetary SETI Research. If the formation in the Mid-East is natural, it is obviously a far superior example of bisymmetry occurring via normal geological forces than Middle Butte. If, however, Iran's "platform" is a deliberately sculpted monument, then we are presented with the opportunity to see what a "Face-like" terrestrial artifact has to tell us about the enigmatic visage on Mars' surface. Such comparative architecture is a crucial component in any thorough attempt to assess possible extraterrestrial artifacts.
[Thanks again to Bill Eatock. --M.T.]
JPL Misrepresents the Face...Again
Lan Fleming has written a new article demonstrating that JPL's Face elevation data is fatally flawed. Unfortunately, this misrepresentation of space science data is nothing new in the strange, ongoing case of the Face on Mars. As has been clear since JPL released the contrast-enhanced "catbox" version of the Face in 1998, the curiously anthropomorphic "pile of rocks" on Mars is the subject of a surprising degree of duplicity undertaken at the expense of the American public. Perhaps even in these times of "coming together" in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, it would behoove the American people to keep a watchful eye on its alleged "experts."
To read Fleming's analysis, select the top article from the following page:
Update from Formal Action Committee for Extraterrestrial Studies
[The following bulletin is by David Jinks, founder of FACETS. --M.T.]
According to FACETS' legal counsel, a Freedom of Information Act inquiry into NASA's case file on FACETS' original requests may be filed shortly. If fulfilled, the FOIA request could generate memos, e-mails, phone records and other documents exchanged between and created by NASA factions regarding our recent communications with Dr. Weiler.
FACETS' initial FOIA filing is pending. Due to the request's complexity, NASA has requested more time to fulfill the FOIA request. We wait eagerly for their future responses.
(The initial FOIA filing requested all records in the possession of NASA and its contractors relating to several Viking and MGS images of Cydonia, and selected Lunar Orbiter III and Apollo imagery, including any analysis or interpretation of the images conducted by the space agency.)
FACETS is also pursuing its request for additional imaging sites. No word on the additional sites has been received from NASA since FACETS submitted it in early June 2001.
FACETS may also seek to acquire the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data used in NASA's May 24, 2001 "hit piece" on the "face on Mars." New analysis by engineer Lan Fleming has brought some interesting facts to light regarding NASA's use of MOLA data to denounce the Face (again).
Please check out Fleming's intriguing and potentially explosive paper, which concludes, among other things, that JPL may have used the wrong data in its haste to extinguish the Face discussion once and for all:
Though litigation is never the preferred means of acquiring data, a lawsuit for breach of contract is still a possibility at this point.
Iranian Formation is Artificial
A flat-topped pyramid (with additional structure on its apex) offers a view of the Iranian "face" platform.
Additional archived photos dating from 1937 confirm that the Iranian platform formation (see top of page) is indeed artificial. Interestingly, the Face-like formation is accompanied by at least one flat-topped pyramid. The impression one gets from viewing the complex from the air is of a quasi-Egyptian cultural center, which is one interpretation of the various geometric anomalies constituting the "City" region in Cydonia.
Mark Carlotto's animation shows the Face viewed from the direction of the "City." Note resemblance to the Iranian structure, pictured below at similar orientation.
The symmetry and shape of the Iranian structure's base platform is remarkably like that of the Face on Mars. Below is Chris Joseph's shape-from-shading rendering of the Cydonia Face, showing "eye," "mouth," "nostril" and "headdress." While the mound in Iran lacks superficial detail, its overall construction is similar to its unlikely counterpart on Mars. Adding to the gross resemblance is the furrow that bisects its uppermost structure, suggesting the "mouth" feature on the Face on Mars.
The Egyptian Sphinx is often cited as evidence of an esoteric link between the hypothetical architects of Cydonia and terrestrial history. The Iranian platform, while not as lavish as the Sphinx, is a much closer match to the Face on Mars from an architectural standpoint, regardless if it was intended to appear like a face when viewed from above.
Artist Isamu Noguchi's proposed megalithic face (1947)--designed to be seen by Martians.
It's entirely possible that the Martian Face (if artificial) is not a high-tech structure at all, but an "earthwork" similar to those constructed by ancient Europeans and Native American cultures.
A Native American platform in Mississippi. Would you know that it was artificial strictly from viewing aerial photos?
Of course, the presence of the Iranian structure doesn't prove any sort of "ancient contact" hypothesis. However, it does allow us to reassess what we think we know we're looking for when we search the Martian surface for engineering works. Such structures may appear deceptively natural until viewed in a cultural/artistic context. This aesthetic approach is studiously avoided by mainstream SETI, which continues to condemn the search for extraterrestrial artifacts despite early supportive statements by Carl Sagan.
If the findings in Iran teach us anything, it is that we simply don't know the hypothetical Martians' level of technological sophistication. Sober persuit of the mystery at Cydonia may help catalyze our awareness of who and what we are in the cosmic scheme. Our pervading culture of denial cannot be allowed to continue in the face of such potentially rehabilitating insights.
[With thanks to Robert Harrison, Bill Eatock and Carol Maltby. --M.T.]
Trio of Possible Martian Hexagons
Possible Martian hexagons presented by J.P. Levasseur.
Researcher J.P. Levasseur has emailed me the above image, which shows at least one strikingly faceted hexagon. A right angle is produced when all three formations are viewed from above. Hexagons are unexpectedly prevalent on Mars. While intriguing geometric shapes can occur naturally, it comes as a surprise when three such shapes happen to be arranged in a geometrically significant way.
Levasseur's hexagons could be unusual craters (although, in my opinion, they appear rather too "neat"). There is a suspicious lack of debris if these are the calderas of ancient volcanoes or impacts. Note that the formation on the far left is surrounded by possible structure at right angles to the depression (see Levasseur's tracing, inset).
If the hexagonal depressions are artificial, perhaps they are shafts linking underground facilities to the surface. But until new high-resolution images are taken, the precise outline of these enticing forms is likely to remain the subject of some debate.
Back to MTVI