True Mars

Different Sources Have Different Stories As to What’s Really on the Red Planet


Where is the Mars of our dreams, our imaginings—the dusty red planet laced by canals, and home of ancient civilizations? There is the Mars presented by NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)—an almost airless, cratered world, utterly lifeless and resembling our own Moon. Then there is the actual Mars, the true Mars, which, as we shall see, is perhaps closer to our dreams than to the representations of NASA and JPL.

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, half again as far out as Earth, and receiving, on average, only 43 percent as much sunlight as Earth, making it much colder. Its year is equal to 1.88 Earth years. The planet’s equatorial radius is only 3,396.2 kilometers; its mass is only .107 of Earth’s; and its gravity is .376 Earth gravities—an astronaut, if unencumbered by a heavy pressure suit, could jump almost three times as high on Mars. The Martian day is about the same length as ours: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds. Its small moons, Phobos and Deimos, discovered in 1877, by astronomer Asaph Hall, are in west-to-east circular orbits but resemble asteroids; and, due to their (over the long term) unstable orbits, appear to be captured objects rather than moons formed at the same time as the planet. But, if so, it is an amazing coincidence for them to be in these particular orbits. Mars’ atmosphere, measured by Earth-based astronomers as well as by NASA, probably is mostly carbon dioxide (officially 95.32%). Mars has, in Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in our Solar System, and in Valles Marineris the longest and deepest canyon, some 4,000 kilometers long and up to seven kilometers deep. The vast impact crater in the north, the Borealis Basin, may once have been an ocean.

Almost as soon as planets were discovered to be sizable worlds, people began to speculate about the possibility they might harbor life and perhaps intelligent beings. Mars came to be seen as a cold, desert world; but, still, afternoon temperatures in the warmer regions could reach over 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the density of the air was unknown. There appeared to be an atmosphere, but astronomers believed it to be thinner than ours, perhaps like the air on high terrestrial mountains. If so, perhaps life was possible, and astronomers observed seasonal color changes—a wave of darkening proceeding from the poles in the summers and receding in the fall—and many observers believed they could see a greenish tint to it, so it could well be vegetation. Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli saw long lines which he labeled canali, Italian for “channels,” and soon astronomers speculated that they might be artificial irrigation canals, or the belts of vegetation surrounding them, carrying melt water from the polar caps.

Then, in the 1970s, NASA and JPL began sending a series of orbiters and even landers to Mars, giving us high resolution pictures of the planet and its moons and revealing a heavily cratered world. But alas, scientists soon announced that the canals did not exist. The atmospheric pressure, incredibly, was less than one percent of our own; and, indeed, they said, no life was detected by the Viking Lander experiments. As we shall see, however, there is evidence that we may have been deceived about the atmosphere, the presence of indigenous life forms, and perhaps evidence for a civilization that thrived there in the remote past and may still be present. In fact, judging by unexplained structures on our own Moon and elsewhere in our Solar System, a case can be made that there could have been (and perhaps still is) a vast space-faring civilization.

Consider the following: first, there appears to be a suspicious pattern in the facts that NASA/JPL has alleged concerning the density of the Martian atmosphere. It is the pattern that we believe is significant here. Part of our evidence is the claimed color of the Martian sky as seen from the various landers. Some pictures released to the public have shown the sky to be a light blue, like the Earth’s as seen from near sea level. Most experts had expected a very dark blue, like our sky as seen from a high mountain or an aircraft, up where the air is thinner than at sea level. Other pictures show the Martian sky as pink; NASA claimed that this is due to substantial amounts of red dust suspended in the air even when there is no wind. But it defies common sense that a near vacuum could suspend that much dust, even given Mars’ lower gravity. Pictures taken from balloons 20 miles above our own world, where the air is as thin as NASA claims it is on Mars, show a black sky. In some of the pictures showing a pink sky on Mars, an American flag or a color wheel printed on the lander is visible, giving us a useful color reference.

Furthermore, it is not only dust that is suspended. Earth-based astronomers, orbiters, and landers have all found substantial clouds of water vapor or ice crystals, which appear to be much, much more substantial than the few wispy clouds found on Earth 20 miles up. Bear in mind that these clouds are high above the Martian surface, in a region where the air is even thinner. In fact, there is water vapor in much of the Martian atmosphere, proven by the frost seen in some lander pictures. The European Space Agency has stated publicly that their measurements show that the Martian atmosphere is super saturated with water vapor. Aside from what this tells us about the presence of water on Mars, super saturation can occur only if there are no dust particles to help rain droplets or snowflakes begin to form; all this, it can be argued, contradicts NASA’s claim that the sky is pink because of dust.

Liquid water cannot exist in the near vacuum said to be found on Mars. It boils at only a few degrees above freezing. Yet one orbiter picture shows what looks exactly like a water-filled reservoir on Mars, in proximity to what appears to be a hillside tunnel just above the waterline. In fact, there are a number of orbiter images showing what seem to be melt-water ponds. In at least one of these, the bottom is clearly visible in the shallows near shore, fading to invisibility further out in deeper water, just like lakes seen from the air here on Earth. Small icebergs appear to be floating on the water. Since the warm water rises, it has to be at least a few degrees warmer on the surface than at the bottom—easily warm enough to boil away if the atmospheric density was really less than a percent of Earth’s.

As for the wave of darkening occurring seasonally, which many astronomers suspected was caused by vegetation, NASA has explained that away as, essentially, dust blowing back and forth. But NASA’s own Hubble Telescope clearly shows the dark areas as green in color, as do some orbiter images. Orbiter photos taken over a span of years show streaks of dark soil, caused by seasonal melt water, surrounded by green areas almost certainly indicating vegetation. Every time summer came, the melt water appeared, followed closely by the green, which would fade away as winter approached. So here we have evidence of a relatively dense atmosphere, water, and life. And then there are the famous Martian “trees,” explained away by NASA as star-shaped dunes or the effects of frost. But the objects do not in any way resemble frost or dunes. For one thing, they are much darker than the surrounding soil. Some of the Martian trees are hundreds of yards in diameter; one group resembles a complete forest, thinning out at its margins. A Mars Global Surveyor picture shows objects that look like plants, and lines of oval, whitish objects with darker projections or spots that resemble a migrating herd of bizarre animals. A Mars Express color picture of the Gusev Crater shows a large, green patch. Any one piece of such evidence might be discounted, but what we have here is a pattern, and that pattern seems to show the presence of indigenous life.

In a discussion of the evidence for a civilization on Mars, we must begin with the Cydonia region and its famous “face.” Is it an immense carving, possibly a huge building shaped like a statue, as Richard Hoagland and others believe; or is it an oddly shaped mesa, as claimed by NASA/JPL? NASA finally released higher resolution pictures some years ago, showing, not a face but an oddly rectangular mesa, with right angles and long, parallel straight lines—all features very rare in nature. Since we will discuss similar lines and angles elsewhere on Mars, now is a good time to point out that rock layers typically laid down on Earth by sedimentation can then be tilted by tectonic forces; so, from an aircraft (Utah has many examples), parallel straight lines can be seen. However, it is almost impossible for nature to produce other straight lines at right angles to the bedding planes. Hoagland and others accuse NASA of photographing the structure when the angle of sunlight would reveal the least detail, and it is certainly true that some of the orbiters could take much closer pictures, with even higher resolution, but none have been taken, or at least not made public. Whether the face is artificial or not, it draws attention to the region, an area of a few miles on a side containing not only the face (or mesa) but also a dome; a long, straight wall; a kind of triangular enclosure; and several mountains shaped like multisided pyramids. No one of these structures proves anything, but the fact that one area has a variety of suspicious looking formations, of several completely different types, is intriguing. If there were only the pyramids, for example, or only rectangular looking mesas, it might be possible to believe that they were formed by natural forces. But how could nature produce such a variety in one small area?

And Cydonia is not alone. It is part of a larger pattern—always the patterns. Consider the tubes. The tubes, photographed at a number of locations, are hundreds of yards in diameter and are partly buried and partly on the surface, or at least in deep, open trenches. The visible portions can be up to several miles in length, and they appear to be transparent, or at least translucent; and sunlight can often be seen reflecting brilliantly from the surface. Of course, NASA/JPL have offered their standard “explanations”: it’s all a kind of optical illusion, and we’re just looking at natural ravines that somehow appear to be shiny, translucent tubes. One tube system is bordered by a strip of something with rectangular holes or structures on it. Other tubes have been photographed at other locations. Are they some kind of colossal life form? That seems unlikely, but we mustn’t rule out any possibility. Are they a transport system, or perhaps a habitat of some kind? They might even be irrigation conduits. Cydonia, the tubes, the rectangular forms, and the artificial-looking reservoir mentioned above are not alone. Even the face at Cydonia is not alone. Another orbiter picture shows a statue of a face with a crown, with eyes, nose, and mouth clearly visible, and another, the “Nefertiti” statue, which looks exactly like the profile of a woman’s head, wearing an Egyptian-looking hat. Both of these are actually much clearer and more detailed than the Cydonia face and hint at some connection with our own past.

All across Mars, orbiters have photographed a multitude of structures that at least look artificial, so many that it would take a book-length work to describe them all, including an image showing miles-long parallel straight tracks of evenly spaced rectangular holes or structures, crossing craters. A Viking orbiter photo of the Kaiser Crater shows a bright object resembling a lighted dome, a structure with what appear to be enormous pipes parallel to the ground, and rows of “trees.” Then there is the famous “Inca City,” a curved area with mostly roofless, rectangular rooms. All across Mars you will find many, many other examples of parallel straight lines, right angles, domes, and tracks, all of them at least appearing to be artificial, and very, very difficult to explain away.

Then there are the lander pictures of anomalous objects, some looking like fossils and some like machine parts. One shows an object that looks like a seashell of some sort rather than a natural rock. Another shows a collection of objects that looks like complex, discarded machine parts. A NASA Rover picture shows a “rock” looking like a machine with evenly spaced holes on one end, surrounding what looks like a rotor shaft. Any one of these photographs might be dismissed as proving nothing; even collectively they do not, by themselves, prove the existence of artifacts on Mars. But they are very, very difficult to explain away as natural formations; and, as I keep stressing, they are part of a larger pattern.

The mysterious Martian moons are part of this pattern. Phobos, in particular, has been photographed from very close, and it is covered by roughly parallel trenches or cracks. These do not necessarily look artificial, but no one has been able to explain them. Some areas on Phobos have rectangular structures that do look artificial, and then there is the mysterious monolith, a very evenly shaped “rock” on the surface. There is a story, often told and never conclusively proven or disproved, that when the Soviet Phobos Two craft entered Mars orbit in January, 1989, and then approached Phobos, its signals abruptly ended. Supposedly, its last picture was of either an immense, long, pointed, elliptical shadow on the Martian surface or of an actual object between the Soviet craft and the Martian surface. Former Soviet Colonel Dr. Marina Popovich showed the picture publicly.

The debunkers can debunk all they want, and dismiss each piece of evidence as a hoax, a misinterpretation of a natural object, or an optical illusion. That, after all, is what they (at least some of them, I suspect) are paid to do. But the pattern is overwhelming, and Mars itself appears to be part of an even larger pattern, including anomalies on our own Moon, at least two asteroids, and the rings of Saturn. Could it be that in the ancient past of our own solar system, there was an immense space-faring civilization; might it still exist in some form; and could there be some kind of continuing connection to our own ruling elites? Nothing is ruled out, but don’t expect any clear answers from NASA.

By William B. Stoecker

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