July 8, 1988 SOME SEE GLIMPSE OF LIFE IN 'FACE' OF MARS AP and UPI WASHINGTON - Unusual fo
July 8, 1988
SOME SEE GLIMPSE OF LIFE IN 'FACE' OF MARS
AP and UPI
WASHINGTON - Unusual formations on the surface of Mars - including a
mile-long rock shaped like a human face - may have been carved by a lost
civilization, four scientists said yesterday.
The scientists, including a former astronaut, said at a news conference
that the chances are better than 50-50 that the structures were made by
The scientists said that a photograph taken of the Martian surface in
1976 by NASA's Viking spacecraft clearly shows a face that could have been
carved out of a Martian mountain a half-million years ago.
The sphinx-like image that stares outward from the planet may be part of
a complex of buildings, as evidenced by other unusual formations nearby, the
Brian T. O'Leary, a former astronaut and an expert on Mars, said there
is sufficient uncertainty about the origin of the rock face that it should
be a major target for future spacecraft sent to Mars.
O'Leary said last January he asked Soviet space scientists who were
preparing to send probes to Mars to examine the area where the face appears.
He said the Soviets were interested, but replied that their spacecraft was
not technically designed to study the Cydonia region of Mars, where the
sight is located.
The Soviets launched a probe toward Mars yesterday and plan to launch a
second one later this month.
The news conference yesterday was prompted by a recent study of the
Viking photographs conducted by Mark Carlotto, an optical engineering
In an article published in Applied Optics, Carlotto said that a computer
enhancement of the Viking photographs shows that the face and various other
nearby features appear to have been carved by "intelligent design."
Yesterday, Carlotto told reporters that a sophisticated statistical study of
the shapes clearly shows that "the face is not natural."
Richard Hoagland, founder of a private organization of scientists called
"The Mars Project," said that in addition to the face there is "a complex of
unusual objects" at the Cydonia site. The complex includes a five-sided
mountain that resembles a pyramid and a massif he believes could have been
part of an astronomical marker.
Hoagland said that a line drawn from the center of the city, across the
face to the massif, or cliff, would line up exactly with the Sun at the
moment of Mars' summer solstice, as it would have occured 500,000 years ago
- an alignment it is extremely unlikely could occur naturally.
(Source: The San Diego Union - July 8, 1988)
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