The following is a series of E-Mails and Articles on what the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) does and doesn't show regarding this region of Mars made famous by Richard Hoagland. Also see a number of links to sites where you can see these images.
I'm keeping an open mind on this, but have increasing doubts about this being anything more than natural formations. However, I feel there is still enough evidence supporting artificiality to warrant NASA's continuing to take good images until it's conclusive one way or the other.
The last article at the bottom of this page is NASA's chief, Dan Golden, committing to take images of Cydonia.
For updated image enhancements and further analysis, see:
August 13, 1999
This update July 25, 1998
EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is the summary report sent to NASA officials
yesterday by Dr. Horace W. Crater, president of the Society for
Planetary SETI Research (SPSR). Included with the summary report
were papers written by SPSR scientists, some of which were presented
at the American Geophysical Union conference in Boston on May 28.
It should be noted here that no significant, detailed analysis of
the MGS images has been undertaken by NASA in relation to the Viking
data and the predictions and expectations connected with the
hypothesis of possible artificiality. As far as we know the work
done by SPSR scientists constitutes the only careful study of the
images in relation to the Viking data, using state-of-the-art
While NASA has held to its policy of "no comment" on the images,
several scientists associated with NASA stated prematurely on the
basis of subjective impressions that the MGS images had conclusively
established that the "Face" is a natural object. It is a given that
these scientists, who are as a whole unfamiliar with the research
that has been carried out on the Viking images over the past twenty
years and have little basis on which to render a judgment, hardly
know what may or may not be significant with regard to artificiality
in the new images. We deplore the lack of scientific integrity shown
by these individuals on a matter of such importance. As the report
states below, the question is far from settled and the issue of
artificiality remains open.
SPSR - Society for Planetary SETI Research
THE MGS CYDONIA IMAGES
July 25, 1998
Prepared by Dr. Horace W. Crater, President SPSR
On behalf of the SPSR research team
During the month of April, 1998, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
obtained three new images of objects in the Cydonia region of Mars.
These three images included one of the "Face" and two of the area
that has been referred to as the "City." Premature announcements by
a few scientists, accompanied by a very early, poorly processed
picture of the Face, were widely disseminated by the news media as
final "proof" that nothing on Mars can be considered possibly
artificial. SPSR regrets these early announcements, which were
made prior to any significant study of the images. In the weeks
since image acquisition, SPSR researchers have made a preliminary
assessment of the impact these new images may or may not have on
the question of possible artificiality, as well as the question of
possible geological anomaly. Our general finding is that while
there are certainly some negatives with regard to the artificiality
hypothesis, there are also some positive results.
In the Viking images the eastern portion was mostly in darkness,
and it was hoped that the new image would resolve questions
regarding symmetry and detail on the eastern side of the "Face."
Unfortunately the one image of the Face that was obtained was taken
at a low angle of approximately 45 degrees from the western side of
the object. The eastern side, though illuminated, is so severely
truncated by the camera perspective that even with the best efforts
at orthorectification, insufficient data is present to resolve these
Similarly, the two images of the "City" that were obtained missed
the most important object, secondary only to the Face, which is
the "Fortress." This object, along with the Face, had produced one
of the three most significant non-fractal responses, and is visually
unique in the landscape, exhibiting what appear to be regular "walls"
enclosing a central area. SPSR scientists have never subscribed to
the theory, advanced by speculative individuals, that the "City"
objects were pyramids, or that the "City Square" is so anomalous as
to be a major object of concern. On the other hand, the "Fortress"
remained an object of great interest. Unfortunately these two images
captured only the "City Square" and portions of what some have called
"pyramids." Thus the questions regarding the "Fortress" remain
Although on the whole the so-called "pyramids" shown in the two MGS
"City" images do not appear obviously unusual, there are some
characteristics at or near the large feature known generally as the
"Main Pyramid" (the largest of the "City" formations) that appear to
require further investigation. These are (a) apparent regular
terracing in the form of two rectangular ledges on the north side of
the object, (b) a circular depression with a peculiar rectangular
"cut" extending from it, located just north of the object, and (c)
a crater on the edge of the circular depression that has been
interpreted by SPSR geologist Harry Moore as possibly showing evidence
of ice on the crater floor.
Summary of Results to Date
Study of the new images by SPSR has focused on three main areas:
examination of the Face image, examination of the smaller objects
referred to as "mounds," whose geometric distribution has been the
subject of Dr. Horace Crater's research, and unusual features
possibly representing geological anomaly. Our preliminary analyses
have been recently presented at the meeting of the American
Geophysical Union (AGU) in Boston on May 28th, 1998. In addition
several other SPSR members have produced materials related to the
imaging and erosion of the Face based on the MGS images.
1. Examination of the Face Image
A. Overall Morphology
Dr. Mark J. Carlotto and Dr. John E. Brandenburg have done
independent analyses of the MGS Face image, including the best
possible effort at orthorectification of the image. Dr. Carlotto
states that within 1-8%, the features on the Face previously
referred to as the "helmet," forehead, middle brow, nose ridge,
mouth area, lips, and chin are placed symmetrically with respect
to the centerline of the formation. Given the low camera angle,
which renders orthorectification difficult, this result is positive
with respect to the artificiality hypothesis and supports the SPSR
prediction that the Face has the general three-dimensional form
as was suggested by the Viking images.
In addition, Dr. Carlotto's earlier prediction, based on
photoclinometric analysis of the two Viking images, of how the
shadowing on the Face would appear in the expected MGS orbit, was
correct. As a result we conclude that the algorithms used by
Dr. Carlotto to derive shape-from shading results for the Viking
images were accurate, and that the object does in fact have the
overall three dimensional morphology predicted from the Viking images.
Dr. John E. Brandenburg, using independent geometrically controlled
orthorectification, supports Dr. Carlotto's finding. Just like
Dr. Carlotto he uses the Viking data base to constrain
othorectification. His analysis, using mathematical techniques based
on the theory of surfaces, results in an approximation of how the MGS
resolved object would appear as if imaged from above. In addition
his analysis shows that despite the general inadequacy of the data
on the eastern side of the object, what appears to be the second
(eastern) eye socket is more symmetrically placed than the
non-rectified image would seem to indicate.
B. Elements of Detail
Dr. Brandenburg has found evidence for what appears to be a possible
ornamentation on the "helmet" or upper portion of the surrounding
symmetrical berm. This element of detail, called a possible
ornamentation because of its symmetry, was predicted by the Viking
images  and is consistent with the predictions of Dr. James F.
Strange at the university of South Florida that there could be
culturally meaningful detail in higher resolution images of the
object. Dr. Brandenburg also found that not only is this feature
itself very nearly symmetrical but also in his orthorectified image
it is symmetrically placed on the Face mesa, confirming hints of this
symmetry in the Viking data. (Note however, that Dr. Carlotto's
rectification does not display this symmetrical placement).
There is also evidence for a "pupil" in the western eye socket,
which had been predicted by Mr. Vincent DiPietro on the basis of
the Viking images. Dr. Carlotto states, however that it is
unclear whether this is an illusion created by a shadow or an
actual circular feature. An unexpected finding in the new image is
the presence of a more pronounced feature corresponding to a
"nose" which is in the appropriate location, has the appropriate
shape, and most surprisingly appears to have symmetrical circular
indentations suggestive of nostrils. Both of the independently
derived orthorectifications display this symmetry.
These and other elements of detail continue to support the possibility
that the object is an admittedly highly eroded, but generally
symmetric and three-dimensional, face-like anomaly. There is little
in the new image that is inconsistent with expectation. On the
contrary, the new image strongly supports the morphology suggested
by the Viking images. In particular we call attention to the
surrounding berm, which has been called the "headpiece" or "helmet."
This feature is remarkably symmetrical and appears to have no
immediately obvious geological explanation. There is evidence of
water erosion on the berm that is suggestive of a former body of water
surrounding the object (see the paper by Mr. James Erjavec)
C. Negative Evidence
On the negative side, the evidence for "teeth" predicted from the
Viking images by Dr. Carlotto appears to be very weak if not
non-existent. Additionally, many of the individual features
considered in isolation from one another appear to be heavily
eroded natural formations. Against these apparent negative results,
we note that it is the overall placement of individual features,
consistent with a facial interpretation, that continues to lend
support to the hypothesis of possible artificiality. SPSR member
Ananda Sirisena has shown that the sun angle in the MGS image
could play a major part in obscuring possible teeth-like features
in the mouth area. SPSR researcher Lan Fleming has investigated the
question of whether the "eye" and "mouth" features in the Viking
images were shadows caused by chance combination of solar
illumination angle in those images and the placement of ridges on
the Face mesa not visible in the Viking images. By studying both
sets of images he concludes that the features were created by
either depression or enclosures of significant depth relative to
their width and not by fortuitous ridge shadows. The MGS image
supports the conclusion, advanced previously by SPSR, that the
"trick of light and shadow" theory advanced by some to account for
the facial appearance of the object is not valid.
D. Analysis of the Image Quality
In a detailed account, Mr. Vincent DiPietro has analyzed the image
processing procedures used for the MGS images. It is his conclusion
that the quality of the single MGS Face image is poor and not optimal
for determination of detail. In particular, DiPietro concludes that
the minimal grey scale in the image produces an effective reduction
in the desired camera resolution, by obscuring differences between
pixels. We believe that this evaluation of the image quality has been
in effect supported by recent statements from Dr. Michael C. Malin of
Malin Space Science Systems regarding the non-optimal quality of
2. The Small Mound Distribution
The analysis done previously by Dr. Horace W. Crater on the
geometric relationships of the small features referred to as
"mounds" remains unchanged by these new images. Only four of the
twelve mounds appear on the MGS "City" image, and only
one of them is part of the highly anomalous pentad (five-mound)
feature discovered earlier. The four mounds in the new image do
have angular placements consistent with those found on the earlier
Viking images, but since 12 mounds appeared in the Viking images
these four do not by themselves contribute significantly to the
geometrical anomaly we have found.
Regarding the previous geometric analysis of the mound distribution,
we note that a few JPL scientists have been reported in the press
as stating that such analyses are meaningless because of the
curvature of the planet's surface and because of the uncertainty
of coordinate location of objects on Mars. Neither of these
objections are relevant to Dr. Crater's study, since his
measurements are of relative placements, and at the distances between
the mounds, surface curvature is a negligible factor. We stress that
the mound placement anomaly is firmly established by carefully
controlled statistical tests, and corroborated by an independent
assessment based on an archaeological technique. Thus regardless of
any assessment of other suspect objects, the mound distribution alone
still stands as an anomalous phenomena deserving of further
On the negative side, the few mounds that are visible in the new
images do not show any strong similarity of form or any clear
internal symmetry. (An exception is mound G whose boundary displays
bilateral symmetry). Taken separately they might not stand out as
other than natural objects. Nevertheless the fact that we have only
about four out of 12-16 mounds accounted for, and that the most
anomalous formation -- the five mounds of the pentad to the south of
the City area -- was not imaged, the question of the cause for
their distribution is not settled.
3. Anomalous Geological Features
SPSR geologist Harry Moore has identified what may be surface ice at
the bottom of one of the craters in image number three of the Cydonia
region near the so-called "Main Pyramid." We believe this discovery
could be of considerable importance, and that one or more follow-up
images of the crater should be taken, preferably at different sun
angles. Another SPSR geologist Mr. James Erjavec has studied the
evidence for water and sedementary deposits on and around the Face
mesa. Professor Stanley V. McDaniel of SPSR, along with others, has
pointed out possibly anomalous terrace-like features at the north end
of the "Main Pyramid" and an anomalous depression located just north
of that formation.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The question of possible artificiality remains open. While at a
cursory glance, using poorly processed and unrectified images,
the Face may give the impression of an entirely natural feature,
close analysis shows that there are a number of consistencies with
the morphology predicted from the Viking images. There remains
overall symmetry, possible decorative ornamentation, and other
features placed in a manner consistent with a highly eroded
artificially constructed object. This, in combination with the
lack of data for the east side due to the camera perspective, means
that we do not yet have sufficient information to invalidate
the hypothesis of possible artificiality or to establish the
validity of that hypothesis with regard to the Face. The lack of an
image for the "Fortress" and/or one of the two other major suspect
formations (The "D&M" object or the "Cliff") also leaves a
significant data vacuum that can only be filled by new MGS images
of those objects. Finally, the strong statistical anomaly of the
small mound distribution, corroborated by independent analyses,
We therefore strongly recommend, in view of Administrator Goldin's
strong public statements that Cydonia will be imaged until a
satisfactory resolution of the issues is obtained, that NASA follow
through on the policy given in our meeting with Dr. Carl Pilcher,
which was that the suspect area would be imaged with the high
resolution camera on every camera pass over that area during
the mapping mission of 1999-2000. With regard to the Face, ideally
what is needed are two overhead views with the sun from the east in
one and from the west in the other so that a stereo graphic view can
be constructed. However, we understand that due to the constraints
of the spacecraft orientation during the mapping mission this may not
be possible. However, if camera strips are taken on every pass over
the suspect area, particularly using the intermediate resolution
capability by means of pixel averaging (long strips at approximately
11 meter resolution), a large store of invaluable data could be
obtained. We are confident that the assurances we received from
Dr. Pilcher will be honored. We look forward to receiving
adequate data on which to make a final determination regarding the
status of the Cydonia objects.
Enclosures: papers, narratives and image discussions by SPSR members:
a) Analysis of Global Surveyor Imagery of the Face on Mars..
Dr. Mark Carlotto
b) Anomalously Distributed Mound Features on the Martian Cydonia Plain..
Dr. Horace W. Crater and Dr. Stanley V. McDaniel
c) The New Mars Synthesis and the Cydonian Hypothesis: Models Confront New
Dr. John E. Brandenburg and Mr. Vincent DiPietro
d) Evaluation of the "Eye" and "Mouth" Features of the Face Mesa..
Mr. Lan Fleming
e) On the Question of "Teeth" in the Mouth Area of the Face Mesa.. Mr.
f) Discussion of the Image Process Analysis of the MGS Image..
Mr Vincent DiPietro
g) Anomalous Features "Ice in Craters"... Mr Harry Moore
h) Evidence of Water and Sedimentary Deposits in and Around Cydonia ...
Mr. James Erjavec..
1. See The Case for the Face, Adventures Unlimited Press (1998), pp. 60 - 65.
2. Carlotto, Mark J., "Enhancing the Subtle Details in the Face." Ibid.,
3. Strange, James F., "Predicting the Details: What We Will See at Cydonia."
Ibid., page 183.
4. DiPietro, Vincent, "Mars, the Planet of Mysteries," Ibid., page 25.
Boston, May 28 -- Press Release
Society for Planetary SETI Research [SPRS] members
participating at the American Geophysical Union [AGU] Spring meetings in
Boston have concluded that the controversial Cydonia landform popularly known
as the "Face on Mars" is most likely an artificial construction, and that it
shows strong evidence of having been eroded by water runoff.
The new finding is based on photographs taken by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor
spacecraft in April.
Image scientist Dr. Mark Carlotto's AGU paper shows that the general symmetry
of the Mars face is between 92 and 99%, depending on the measuring system,
while SPSR geologist James Erjavec points toward strong evidence of water-
based erosion of the Mars face.
Since it is highly unlikely even on Mars that these indications of erosion
could have survived four billion years, the indication is that Mars had an
active water environment far more recently than standard Mars theory would
previously have suggested.
SPRS scientists also announced that their analysis of craters shown in the
April images captured by Mars Global Surveyor indicates that several craters
may contain frozen pools of water ice.
SPSR researcher and geologist Harry Moore discovered that several craters in
the MGS image of April 24, depicting the so-called "City," show what appear to
be flat, highly reflective surfaces in their centers. A crater located in the
upper one-third of the April 24 image also shows the afternoon sun reflecting
off the flat surface and leaving a circular reflection of light on the far
These findings all point toward a Mars which was once much more Earthlike than
Mars scientists previously thought. SPSR scientists suggest it is likely that
the water era on Mars may have lasted until around 500 million years ago.
However, SPSR cautions that all findings are tentative. SPSR President Dr.
Horace Crater said that SPSR strongly supports NASA Director Dan Goldin's
calls for Mars Global Surveyor to capture many more images of Cydonia in order
to settle once and for all the questions about possible artificial features
Crater, of the University of Tennessee Space Institute, also recommended that
NASA perform extensive spectrographic analysis of the entire Cydonia region of
the Northern Plains of Mars in order to determine if the SPSR's early findings
of possible frozen surface water on Mars are confirmed.
Crater said that if the early findings of Martian surface water ice hold up,
it may be far easier for NASA to establish human settlements on Mars than was
The likelihood of Mars holding all the resources necessary for successful
human settlement was also bolstered by the findings of Mars meteorite
researcher Dr. John Brandenburg, whose paper presented to the AGU onThursday
concludes that highly organic carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are very
probably from Mars. Since their composition is quite similar to oil shale
bearing rocks found on Earth, similar layers of such material on Mars could
possibly provide all the organic material necessary for developing plastics,
liquid propellants and heating fuel by human settlers on Mars.
May 1, 1998 (From CNI)
THIRD CYDONIA IMAGE HITS CITY SQUARE, PYRAMID
Does Not Demonstrate Artificiality, But Questions Remain
As promised, the Mars Global Surveyor once again turned its high-resolution
camera toward the controversial landforms at Cydonia on April 23 and delivered
a clear, well-lit image of the "Main Pyramid" and "City Square," two features
of considerable interest to Cydonia researchers.
However, the MGS camera failed to capture the "Fortress" which lies slightly
northeast of the Main Pyramid. After the "Face," the "Fortress" was the object
of greatest interest to those who believe the landforms at Cydonia may be
Having now fulfilled a promise to make three imaging attempts over Cydonia
during the month of April, NASA has no further plans to photograph the area
until 1999. But NASA chief administrator Daniel Goldin told CNN science
correspondent John Holliman that the MGS would, in due course, send back more
pictures of the Cydonia region, "until everyone is satisfied."
Depending upon who one asks, the new Cydonia images show nothing but obviously
natural geological features; or they offer strong corroborating evidence of
artificial structures; or they prove nothing one way or another.
Professor Stanley V. McDaniel of the Society for Planetary SETI Research, one
of the strongest proponents of possible artificial structures on Mars,
indicated in an essay posted to his web site (http://www.mcdanielreport.com/)
that the latest image of the City shows features that "appear consistent with
a natural geological interpretation."
McDaniel pointed out that the four small mounds comprising the "City Square,"
which in the 1976 Viking photo appear highly regular, are seen in the much
clearer MGS image to be non-uniform in shape and non-symmetrical in placement.
Similarly, the large "Main Pyramid" has the appearance of a small mountain,
not a large building.
Many voices echoed this assessment. Typical was a statement issued by David
Watanabe of exoScience UFO (http://exosci.com/ufo/), who wrote, "I think all
can agree that the images returned by MGS show no signs of artificiality.
These formations are, as far as we can tell through visual observation, quite
McDaniel, however, did note several odd smaller features on the Pyramid that
seem more angular and symmetrical than expected of natural formations. "There
is a peculiar feature at the NE corner of the [Pyramid] that should demand
geological investigation. This is a cluster of two or perhaps three nearly
rectangular outlines that may be enclosures of some sort," McDaniel said.
Another nearby object has the distinct appearance of a nearly perfect square
inside a very circular crater.
Meanwhile, other Cydonia researchers were not at all ready to admit
disappointment. Richard Hoagland, who had earlier accused NASA of withholding
data when the agency released the first MGS image of the "Face," now says that
the structures in the third image offer impressive evidence of artificiality.
"Early enhancement of MGS image 25803 reveals multi-layered 'room-sized' cells
underneath the long-eroded surface of the 'Main Pyramid,'" Hoagland states at
his website [http://www.enterprisemission.com/images/mars/]. Furthermore, he
theorized, "The latest MGS image reveals the center of the Cydonia Complex --
the 'City Square' -- to be a series of four high-tech, glass-like pyramids...
heavily in ruins."
While no other Cydonia researcher seems ready to join Hoagland in this degree
of enthusiastic speculation on the City features, physicist Tom Van Flandern
issued a statement last week in which he stated that the new MGS image of the
"Face" -- disappointing to many -- has convinced him beyond reasonable doubt
that that structure is artificial.
Thus, the debate goes on. Certainly the MGS images did not deliver the kind of
evidence that Cydonia researchers had hope for, and many had expected. On the
other hand, neither did those images entirely dismiss the theory of artificial
structures at Cydonia. Indeed, further scrutiny may tend to bolster the hopes
of the more cautious researchers such as McDaniel and Dr. Mark Carlotto.
That -- and whatever new evidence may come in 1999 -- remains to be seen.
April 16, 1998
CYDONIA DISAPPOINTS, BUT CONTROVERSY CONTINUES
New Mars Images Raise More Questions Than Answers
By Michael Lindemann
With two of NASA's three promised Mars Global Surveyor images of the
controversial Cydonia landforms on Mars now delivered, hopes for proof of
artificial structures on the Red Planet have somewhat dimmed.
Referring to the new image of the famous "Face on Mars," some NASA scientists
took an "I told you so" attitude.
"Anyone who has flown in an airplane will recognize that this (Face) is
natural," MGS chief scientist Arden L. Albee of the California Institute of
Technology told the Washington Post. "There will always be a few die-hards,
but I think the American people will look at this and wonder what all the fuss
"It's a butte, a mesa, a knob," said Michael Ravine, advanced projects manager
at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, which operates Surveyor's camera.
"Nothing jumps out at me and screams, 'This must have been built by the forces
But if anyone thought the new images would quickly settle the issue once and
for all, they are gravely mistaken. The controversy rages on. The new Cydonia
images are at best ambiguous and leave many questions unanswered.
Independent Cydonia researchers were quick to point out that the raw images
posted to NASA's website from the Mars Global Surveyor -- an image of the
famous "Face" on April 5, and an image of part of the "City" on April 14 --
left much to be desired. In both cases, contrast was low, requiring
considerable enhancement to bring up recognizable features. In both cases,
resolution was also lower than expected, although at least ten times better
than the resolution of the famous 1976 Viking shots that started the Cydonia
In the case of the Face, important details of the structure were obscured,
leaving unanswered the longstanding question of whether the Face has
symmetrical features on both left and right sides. Part of the problem was
camera angle. But MGS camera operator Michael Malin also pointed out that the
Cydonia region was partly covered by haze, reducing available light. "The area
imaged was relatively clear," Malin said, but "the lack of surface definition
in many nearby areas, and the low contrast of the raw high resolution image,
suggests haze or fog over much of the area."
In the case of the City, the MGS camera missed the intended target zone known
as "City Square" and instead caught ambiguous mounds and hill-like features
about 1.5 kilometers to the west.
Still, those who hoped the Cydonia landforms would prove intelligent activity
on Mars had to admit that the surface features shown in the new images might
very well be the result of natural geology and erosion.
"In the 1976 Viking images, the impression of a face was unmistakable. But
illuminated from below, the Face seems less remarkable," said Dr. Mark
Carlotto in his preliminary analysis of the April 5 MGS image.
Carlotto, one of the leading proponents of the theory that the Cydonia
landforms are artificial, pointed out that some features in the new Face image
still suggest artificiality, notably a very uniform "beveled edge" previously
referred to as a "head-piece" or "helmet" encircling the Face, and what
appears to be a flat, well-defined platform on which the raised features of
the Face are positioned.
"But it is apparent that the Face, if it is in fact a Face, is severely
eroded... Perhaps [it] can be explained geologically," Carlotto said.
Unlike Carlotto, Cydonia analyst Tom Van Flandern took a decidedly upbeat
stance. "The humanoid facial features that first drew attention to this area
are confirmed by this [new] photo despite poor lighting and poor viewing
angle," Van Flandern wrote. "One feature, the headdress, is so much a
symmetrical combination of right-angle linear and rounded features as to
suggest artificiality strongly.... Other new features are so uncommon that
they raise more questions than they answer. Nothing yet seen on our Moon or
any other solar system surface besides Earth suggests artificiality to a
Professor Stanley V. McDaniel, co-founder and spokesman for The Society for
Planetary SETI Research (SPSR), joined with other SPSR members on April 7 to
issue a press release concerning their initial impressions of the new Face
image. McDaniel, whose now-famous 1993 "McDaniel Report" accused NASA of
purposely ignoring the potential importance of Cydonia, offered some
perspective on the scientific process of evaluating the new images.
"We've been studying the Cydonian region of Mars for two decades," he said.
"It has taken us that long to produce the statistical studies and image
analysis that allow us to conclude there's a high probability that some of the
Cydonia features may be nonrandom or even artificial. We're thrilled that NASA
and JPL have worked so hard to produce these images.
"Science takes time, so we'll be analyzing... the Mars Global Surveyor images
of Cydonia with great care to discover whether they confirm or disconfirm our
"With the arrival of new images from the Global Surveyor, there will... be a
temptation to make premature conclusions. No one image of the Face will end
the controversy because of the two-dozen or so other anomalous formations in
the region which form the basis of many of our statistical conclusions,"
Prior to the arrival of the new MGS images, McDaniel and other SPSR
scientists, including Dr. Mark Carlotto and Dr. Horace Crater, had confidently
stated that the odds were thousands-to-one in favor of artificial structures
Richard Hoagland, perhaps the most outspoken of all Cydonia researchers,
wasted no time accusing NASA of obscuring the truth. "Two-thirds of the data
is missing" from the image of the Face, Hoagland said, referring to the low
contrast in the MGS raw data, which appears to deliver only about 80 out of a
possible 256 shades of gray. The picture is "crap" and "useless," according to
But most other analysts seem ready to accept the MGS images as straightfoward
and unretouched, an honest attempt by NASA to fulfill its public promise to
reimage Cydonia, for better or worse.
Glenn E. Cunningham of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, manager of the Global
Surveyor project, emphasized that NASA had purposely posted the raw data as
fast as possible, even though to an untrained eye that data might look very
"There've been charges of conspiracy and manipulating the data and we want to
make it very clear to everybody that no such activity goes on here,"
As for NASA's official attitude on the face, he added, "We're taking a neutral
With the Face still ambiguous, hopes shifted to other features in the nearby
"City," features that Carlotto and others have said are actually of greater
interest than the Face. Notable among these features is the so-called "City
Square," a formation of four small mounds arranged in what appears to be a
perfect square, clearly visible in the 1976 Viking image. A large "Main
Pyramid" north of the square, and the so-called "Fortress" just east of the
main pyramid, are also of great interest.
"Being more geometrical in shape, these objects, if they are artificial, may
have retained enough of their architecture to be recognizable, even in a
degraded condition," Carlotto says.
Mars Global Surveyor was to have targeted the City Square on its second
imaging attempt on April 14. Had it been properly aimed, the new image would
probably have captured the Square, the Main Pyramid and at least part of the
Fort. However, MGS missed its target by about 1.5 kilometers. The features it
did capture are of marginal interest and, on first inspection, seem unlikely
to demonstrate artificiality.
Remaining hopes now shift to the next imaging attempt, scheduled for April 23.
As of this writing, available information suggests that MGS will once again
target the City with the intent of capturing more provocative features.
It is not clear that MGS will produce any more high-resolution images of the
Cydonia region after the current three imaging attempts this month. However,
according to a statement from CNN science correspondent John Holloman,
reported by Jeff Rense on his nationally syndicated program "Sightings on the
Radio," NASA chief administrator Daniel Goldin has offered new assurances that
the Cydonia region will be photographed repeatedly, "until the people are
Summarizing the current situation, Professor McDaniel says, "While we are both
pleased and perplexed with the long awaited new data from Cydonia, we
encourage the entire scientific community to join with the SPSR in using
standard scientific analytical techniques before announcing conclusions about
the area's possible artificial nature. With the release of new images by JPL,
SPSR plans to conduct an intensive multi-disciplinary analysis of the data in
order to understand what, if anything, might have once occurred at Cydonia. It
is the intention of SPSR to make these results available to the media in a
timely, accurate, and responsible manner."
CNI News will report the latest results from the upcoming third MGS imaging
attempt and the ongoing analysis of the new images in our May 1 edition.
For updated image enhancements and further analysis, see:
===+++===+++===+++===+++===+++===+++===+++===Note from Dave:
Richard and his supporters have finally prevailed on NASA to take anotherlook at the Cydonia Region.
I think common sense and logic finally sunk in, not to mention the pressureMr. Goldin felt, which is evident in his comments below.
The logic says why spend millions looking for microbobes if there is even a remote possibility a couple of high resolution photos might show clear evidence of artificial structures.
Logic also says either way it's a win - win situation for NASA. If the photos show nothing is there it will get Hoagland's camp, which now includes Hancock, Buval and others,off their back.
This is the only course NASA could and should follow in my opinion.
AUFORA News Update
Sunday, December 1st, 1996
GOLDIN COMMENTS ON MARS FACE
Dan Goldin, NASA Administrator at The Freedom Foundation
The Freedom Forum
New York City Conference Center
Science, Space and Technology Panel
(November 19, 1996)
I'd like to go at this just a little bit and say I want to argue alittle bit with you Leon.
There are people that have a different set ofunderstandings and beliefs, and let me pick on one subject.
There are some people who believe that there is a Face on Mars.
There were pictures taken from some Viking spacecraft, and if youlook at the right kind of shadows you could imagine that there is aFace on Mars.
Now there's two ways that NASA could approach this: one, we couldsay:
"You don't know what you're talking about; we know that there couldn't be acivilization on Mars, and therefore we'll never take a picture of that spot."
But, there are taxpayers who believe this. So one of the things we are going todo on our next mission is when the spacecraft goes over that spot, if we havethe right pointing, we'll try and take a picture, and scientifically show whatwe have found.
And I think we have to be somewhat sensitive, especially whenwe're dealing with government money, to recognize some of the issues that thepublic has.
Now in the past, NASA has been severely criticized every time peoplewould come with ideas; immediately we had a tendency to say no. And sometimes wehave to be a little bit more open with it.
Now, I'm not going into wild and crazy things; but it's very easy for scientiststo dismiss out of hand things that the general public believes in, and to say: "This is wild. This is crazy. We're not going to talk to you.
" Or you could also say: "Let me consider what you're saying, and let me give you some data so you could draw your own conclusions, and not tell you the answer."
(end of transcript)