Face on Mars

Face on Mars  : is a theory of a face on mars, constructed by some unknown civilisation.  This idea has been a subject of debate and wonder for almost 25 years.  In 1976 the Viking Orbiter sent back an image from the Cydonia region of Mars.  Some scientists were intrigued by a certain formation that seemed to strongly resemble a human face.  However because the red planet had such a vast array of features to be examined "The Face on Mars" was largely accepted by most scientists as a trick of the light or merely wishful thinking.  There was no direct evidence to suggest that sentient beings had existed on Mars, hence no real reason to think that the "Face" was anything more that a natural formation.

The whole idea of a face on Mars might have completely been forgotten altogether, had it not been for its rediscovery by two engineers at the Goddard Spaceflight Centre; Gregory Molenaar and Vincent DiPietro, from later Viking pictures.  Once released to the general public the picture became an overnight sensation, despite assurances from NASA that the image was not a "real" face.  However the symmetrical nature of the formation and its uncanny resemblance to the human face, led some to believe that this had to be more than just a simple rock formation. 

A few researchers began to examine the "face" more closely. Stanley V. McDaniel (a Professor of Philosophy at Sonoma State University in northern California) and Mark J. Carlotto (an electrical engineer and experienced digital image processor) began to clean up the original NASA images using digital technology.  Some of the more advanced images suggested even more human-like features in the Face. It appeared as if it were wearing some kind of headpiece or helmet. It also appeared as if teeth were present in the mouth and irises within the eyes. More intriguing three-dimensional views which sprang from further digital enhancement led many to believe that this was not a trick of the light and surely was evidence of a civilisation on another planet. 

There have been other discoveries near the Face on the Cydonia plateau which also looked as if they might be artificial.  These include an odd collection of features like pyramids and dubbed "the city" by advocates.  Some even believe that the pyramids on earth were built by aliens, and as such gave even more credence to the idea of a civilisation on Mars. Many of the Viking and aerial photographs of the Cydonia pyramids appear to be very similar in structure to those found on earth and some even liken the image of the Face to the Egyptian Sphinx. This could have far reaching implications for the theory of the origin of man.  Was some ancient race of beings present on both Earth and Mars? Did the same race seed both planets with intelligent life?  The possibilities seemed fantastic.  However there is probably a much more mundane explanation.  The human brain is in a sense programmed to recognise faces and it will often attempt to construct the image of a face from many random features.  This is why we can often appear to see faces in all sorts of unlikely situations, for example in stains on walls, blots on paper and faces from the bark of trees. It is true that the Face does certainly resemble a face but even its sheer size makes it an unlikely candidate for being an artificial construction.  It measures roughly 1.5 miles (7,920 feet) long, 1.2 miles (6,336 feet) wide and is approximately .3 miles (1,584 feet) tall. By comparison, the base of the Great Pyramid at Giza measures just 756 feet on a side.

In the spring of 1998, a new orbiter - the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) - would reach the Red Planet and resume mapping the surface with far better, more high-resolution equipment than Viking had carried. Unfortunately for great believers in the Face and the pyramids the subsequent photos revealed nothing more than a lumpy outcropping in which one would be hard-pressed to see the likeness of a human face. Likewise, other anomalous structures like the pyramids and "the city" still looked interesting, but hardly artificial.

The surface of Mars continues to be mapped by MGS and has returned many beautiful pictures of this fascinating planet. Many more images have been placed on the Internet at the Malin Space Sciences Systems site. Here you can find photos of Mars' craters, chasms, volcanoes, sand dunes, whirling dust devils and the polar ice caps. There are also the latest images of Cydonia and the "Face."

In April, 1998, MGS re-photographed segments of the Cydonia region, including at least one of the pyramids and the face.

The images on this site were taking from publicly available sources, and to the best of my knowledge the images are in the public domain. If you do own the copyright to any of the images contained on this site, and can provide proof that you own the image/images, it/they will be withdrawn if desired.  However permission is asked to continue using any image/images which you may own. Thanks

Useful Links

Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)

Malin Space Sciences Systems 



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