The so-called "face" on Mars as photographed in 1976 by the Viking 1 spacecraft (left), followed by the view (with more than 10x greater resolution) from the Mars Global Surveyor (April 5, 1998). The 3rd image is a "reversed negative" of the Global Surveyor photo (simulating the 1976 Viking photo's lighting conditions), which seems to more closely resemble the face of a lion than a human. The 4th image is NASA's high-resolution photo taken on April 8, 2001, and the 5th a 2006 high-resolution photo from the ESA's Mars Express (also see the corresponding 3-D "flight simulator" animation). The far-right image is the first high-resolution photo of the "face" taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on April 4, 2007. Note how, as the resolution increases, the "face" becomes less recognizable.
On the night of May 25/26, 2001, on the Coast to Coast A.M. radio program, Richard Hoagland (see below) noted that a Mars mission planned for 2005 will carry "a camera which is going to give us a few-inch resolution -- not five feet, but about a foot resolution. You'll see the structure and the girders and the cubicles of which this thing was made." Well, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has arrived and is snapping the most dazzling photos ever of the Red Planet. When the "Face" gets photographed, we'll post it here, but don't hold your breath hoping to see any "girders and cubicles."
And in June 1999, the Mars Global Surveyor photographed a "heart" that was no-doubt sculpted by the very same, terribly lovelorn, alien.
Visit the Enterprise Mission website of Richard Hoagland (right), author of the 1987 "Monuments of Mars" book that started the "face" craze. While there, be sure to view this page, paying special attention to the graphics labeled "Cydonia Geometry Relationship Model" (there is a small color version at top of page, and a large B&W version half-way down the page -- click on either one to enlarge). Within the terrain shown in the model, see if you can spot the following additional "monuments" that Hoagland et al. have apparently overlooked (the "real" face is obscured at the 11:30 position):
Further down the same page, take note of the "City" of Cydonia with its "city square," "pyramid," "fortress," etc. Then visit the April 1998 ABCNews.com website's discussion of the alleged city. And also take a look at NASA's July 1999 high-resolution re-photography of the purported city.
Gary Posner's 5,200-word article,
Cover story of the Nov/Dec 2000 Skeptical Inquirer
WASHINGTON -- June 17, 1999:
Scientists discovered a valentine
from Mars when a camera on the
Mars Global Surveyor shot a
heart-shaped pit, formed when a
straight-walled trough collapsed.
The pit is about 1.4 miles at its
widest. The photo was taken by the
Mars Orbiter Camera on the Mars Global
Surveyor. [Courtesy NASA / Reuters]
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