UFOs Ancient Civilizations Crop Circles Pyramids

The Face on Mars

from: "Face and Nearby Objects on Mars"
by Mark J. Carlotto, Ph. D.
The picture on the left is from frame 35A72. It has been digitally restored with minimal contrast alteration. The picture on the right is from frame 70A13. This image more clearly shows the right shadowed side of the face. Of particular interest are crossed lines in the forehead area and fine structure in the mouth that look like teeth. Since they are in both images and are not aligned with the scan lines it is likely that they correspond to real features on the Face that are near or slightly below the resolution limit of the sensor.
Viking image 35A72 Viking image 70A13
Viking image 35A72 - Colorized Viking image 70A13 - Colorized

The famous Face on Mars, as received by NASA, in the original 1976 Viking images 35A72 (left) and 70A13 (right)
with the originals (top), restored by Mark J. Carlotto - and our corresponding false-colorized versions (bottom)
as it is easier for the human eye to discern monochromatic details in shades of red, rather than shades of gray
35A72 was the original image, that made a brief, light-hearted media-ripple on the day the image was received
and rediscovered years later by Goddard Spaceflight Center engineers Vincent DiPietro and Gregory Molenaar
70A13, the "later image" that showed the Face to be "just a trick of light and shadow," shows even more detail
the sun being at about a 20 higher angle, taken a little over an hour earlier in the afternoon. on a later day

Viking image 70A13
Viking image 70A13 - artificially colorized orange for contrast to better make out details
Light and Shadow
On July 25, 1976, when the frame 35A72, the original image of the Face on Mars, was discovered by Viking engineers, their hearts stopped. After they collected themselves, like most of us would, they made sure it was to be the first order of the day, (even if it turns out to be an optical illusion, this is something very interesting and one of the things that we scientists plan to be spending a lot of time and effort on). Thus, much like Roswell, some thirty years earlier, the press got wind of it before officials could stop it.

This isn't some copy boy with too much coffee in him. These are the guys who you would ask to verify such things. It was their job to analyze the images for NASA - and they were the most qualified in their field. They developed the technology to determine if this was real; and in their opinioin, it was.

A photo already having been released, along with the expected speculation, JPL then made a somewhat successful last ditch attempt at spin control: "The picture shows eroded mesa-like landforms. The huge rock formation ... which resembles a human head, is formed by shadows giving the illusions of eyes, nose, and a mouth."

As if it never entered their minds for a minute that the objects in question could possibly be artificial, an official spokesman for JPL also said in a press conference that day, that a "later image" of the site showed the formation to be merely "a trick of light and shadow" - and the story ended up being no more than somewhat interesting fluff, a lighter sidebar to contrast the "hard science" in NASA's latest triumph, and only a slight distraction away from all the hard data received by Man's first mission to Mars. But, as it turns out, The Face is real.

New Attention
Only a small number of the Viking aerial images were decoded from the raw data into pictures - and even fewer were made public. The rest were supposedly filed away for future reference, and mostly forgotten about - until 1977, a year after the image was received, when frame 35A72 was rediscovered by two engineers at the Goddard Spaceflight Center, Vincent DiPietro (below left) and Gregory Molenaar. Until that very moment, these gentlemen were considered highly esteemed NASA scientists, and are today among the main figureheads in the serious, if rogue, scientific investigation of the Cydonia complex. They had not heard the story of the Face on Mars - practically no one had, or it had been long forgotten. But they were under the impression that they would be taken seriously, if their methods were sound, no matter what their conclusions. Besides, it seemed somewhat important. They were in for the ride of their lives.

After becoming somewhat educated in the saga that was Cydonia, and sometimes first hand, a search for any supposedly more revealing photos proved fruitless. But they did discover another perhaps more interesting snapshot of the region, frame 70A13 (above), the only other known Viking image of the Face on Mars. It was taken roughly 35 orbits after 35A72, at a higher sun angle, and shows even more convincing details of the Face.

Vincent DiPietro
Vincent DiPietro
In 1979, lacking any further evidence one way or another, as high resolutions of the surface were another two decades off, DiPietro and Molenaar - specialists in the fields of computer image analysis on contract to NASA - working on their own, and in secret, developed the Starburst Pixel Interleaving Technique (or SPIT, for short, as in "spitting image"). The image of the face from the Viking frame was a mere 64 pixels square. Basically what they did was divide each pixel into nine subsections, and program their computer to glean the true shade from the data collected about its neighbors. They put both images "through the spitter." What they found was not that the appearance of a face was a chance coincidence or optical illusion, but that it looked even more like a face, bringing out even more startling details. Even this new evidence was scoffed or ignored by their superiors and colleagues at NASA. It seemed like no matter what proof they came up with, the science was falling on deaf ears.

In 1980, after three long years of futility and frustration through proper NASA channels, they took their message to the people and published their findings in their book "Unusual Mars Surface Features" with physicist John Brandenburg - and later presented their work at the 156th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Going public brought the seriousness of the issue to the attention of many potential allies in the struggle for truth - among them, science writer Richard Hoagland, at the first Case for Mars Conference in July of 1981, who was himself present at the original output of NASA disinformation on the Viking 1 face frame in 1976. Hoagland, after viewing further image enhancements of the region, two years later in 1983, would go on to discover other interesting features, dubbed "The City" and "The Fortress" - which are now considered to be among the more important monuments in the immediate vicinity of The Face. He also determined that the City, Face and Cliff appear to be aligned with the Martian summer solstice of Cydonia several hundred thousand years ago!

From: The Case for the Face - by McDaniel, Paxon, et al - p. 283-286
In the fall [of 1984], a meeting takes place between Rautenberg [an early Mars research project supporter], Sagan, international space policy consultant David Webb, and Louis Friedman, Executive Director of the Planetary Society. Friedman, shown images of the Face, is reported to have covered his eyes and refused to look. In an aside, Sagan confides to Webb, "These are very interesting, but if anyone asks me I will deny that the meeting took place."

....At the National Academy of Sciences meeting in Washington DC in January [of 1985], Sagan discusses the Mars anomalies with Hoagland. Sagan makes an offer to review the material on the subject that Hoagland will send him, and finishes by saying perhaps they will be "exchanging papers in the literature."

Instead of "papers in the literature," a series of newspaper articles critical of the Independent Mars Investigation are published during the spring. The University of California withdraws its sponsorship of Mars Investigation Group formed by Rautenberg. On June 2, a popularized article by Carl Sagan entitled "The Man in the Moon" is published in Parade Magazine. The article includes a version of Viking frame 70A13 which has been colorized in a manner that obscures the crucial shadows. Sagan identifies this image as showing that the "Face" is actually just an ordinary hill. He is harshly critical of the investigators, putting them in the same category as "flying saucer zealots," but mentioning none of them by name.

At the Washington DC "Steps to Mars" conference in mid July, interviews with Sagan and others indicate a growing resistance in the planetary science community toward investigation of the Mars anomalies.

.... [In 1993] Don Ecker, the director of research for UFO Magazine, locates a report on the peaceful uses of outer space, developed for NASA by the Brookings Institution in 1960. The report includes the suggestion that scientists may consider suppressing the discovery of extraterrestrial life or artifacts in order to avoid hypothetical public unrest.
Official groups were formed to look into the matter further, such as the Independent Mars Investigation, the IMI - and MIG, the Mars Investigation Group - but wherever possible, funding was eventually cut due to the controversial nature of their findings and their general refusal to let the issue be quietly swept under the rug. Many of the individuals involved have suffered serious personal, professional, and even physical hardships because of their interest in these strange geographical anomalies, obviously artificial in nature, on the surface of another planet - the ramifications of which would completely rewrite history, and call into question much of what we consider to be status quo, not the least of which being: the dismissal of scientific evidence, and the people who discover them, based on mere political convenience.
Since then, many more learned individuals from all relevant realms of science have dared to investigate what little information there is available about the site, and concluded that Cydonia merits at least further study. In their research, they came across scores of colleagues who were making many interesting discoveries along the same lines. Among the few who are not afraid to release their findings because of the seriousness of their implications is computer scientist Mark J. Carlotto PhD, who published "The Martian Enigmas" in 1991, and is perhaps most famous for his "Shape From Shading" technique (different from that of DiPietro and Molenaar) in which his landmark three dimensional renderings of Cydonia were developed. Image processing engineer Ananda Sirisena wrote an article for the British professional magazine Image Processing, entitled "Intelligent Faces on Mars?" in 1992. A Secondary Face, a four sided pyramid, three curious mounds arranged in a right triangle - and a curious feature known as the Sirisena Quadrangle, featuring a cave and what resembles a jetty or harbor are among his discoveries, in an area just northwest of the Cydonia Complex, as shown in Viking frames 70A11 and 561A25. In 1993, Stanley McDaniel releases a scientific paper on the subject, "The McDaniel Report" - subtitled: "The failure of executive, congressional and scientific responsibility in investigating possible evidence of artificial structures on the surface of Mars, and in setting priorities for NASA's Mars exploration program."
Stanley McDaniel
Stanley McDaniel
From: The McDaniel Report © 1993, Stanley McDaniel
NASA's Scientific Failure

Since 1979, a number of highly qualified independent investigators have engaged in an extensive analysis of photographs taken by the 1976 Viking Mars mission. These photographs appear to be evidence that some landforms in the Martian region called Cydonia may be artificial.

A comprehensive independent analysis of the data supporting this hypothesis, using established criteria for scientific methodology, shows that the methods of research pursued by the independent investigators are basically sound. There is a reasonable doubt as to the natural origin of the Cydonian objects. Reputable scientists in several fields, including physics, astronomy, and geology, have expressed their confidence in the overall integrity of this report and have called for further investigation of these landforms by NASA.

However, during the seventeen years since the controversial landforms were discovered, NASA has maintained steadfastly that there is "no credible evidence" that any of the landforms may be artificial. A close look at NASA's arguments reveals that NASA's "evaluation" has consisted largely of initial impressions from unenhanced photographs, heavily weighted by faulty reasoning. NASA has failed to apply any special methods of analysis; it has relied upon flawed reports; it has failed to attempt verification of the enhancements and measurements made by others; and it has focussed exclusively on imappropriate methodology which ignores the importance of context/ There remains no scientific basis for NASA's position regarding the landforms.

Finally, NASA has based its evaluation almost exclusively on the alleged existence of disconfirming photographs which it has never identified, and has recently admitted it is unable to identify.

Instead of carrying out legitimate scientific inquiry, NASA has regularly sent false and misleading statements regarding the landforms to members of Congress and their constituents. NASA has condoned efforts to unfairly ridicule and discredit independent researchers, and has insisted that there is a "scientific consensus" that the landforms are natural - despite the fact that the only real scientific study of the landforms indicates a clear possibility that they are artificial.

Carlotto 3D image of Cydonia
3D Projection of Face and nearby
pyramid complex at Cydonia
by Mark J. Carlotto, Ph. D.
Image Enhancement
The original Viking images were transmitted as mathematical data, between absolute light and dark on the 256 grayscale - with each pixel assigned a value based on an average tone for an area of approximately 50 square meters, as seen from an altitude of about 1800 kilometers. Therefore, only very large objects, of at least twenty five feet in width, can possibly stand out as the smallest speck. This was considered to be sufficient for the purposes of the mission then - which was to gain a better understanding of Martian topography in general, and also find a suitable landing site for Viking 2.

This famous and highly controversial three dimensional image of Cydonia (right) was generated by computer scientist and Cydonia investigator Mark J. Carlotto PhD, using the "Shape from Shading" extrapolation technique he developed for the project. Here, Cydonia is tilted to scale for a high southwesterly view, using perspective data interpreted from image analysis, and shaded a dark Martian orange to make the three dimensional effect more obvious. Because this is technically an artificial image, the obvious artificial nature of the objects shown here has been called into question, but mostly ignored by mainstream science - although this technique has been proven successful on terrestrial objects, and is often utilized for other purposes.

To give you something of an idea as to their immense size, the faded crater in the center is approximately two miles in diameter - the City and Fortress (lower left) are more than ten miles away from the Face (upper right), as is the D&M Pyramid (lower right), named for its discoverers, DiPietro and Molenaar. These are massive objects - on an otherwise relatively flat plain, and obviously arranged in some intelligent pattern, reminiscent of the great pyramids in Egypt and Mexico. Also like many ancient pyramid sites on Earth, it was constructed near an ocean shoreline - and if you were on the surface of Mars, they would be visible from many miles away. As conspicuous as a modern city skyline, or the giant towering mesas of the American Southwest, an observer on Mars approaching Cydonia would feel very small by comparison.

Even before rigid conservative tests were performed on the features, it is clear that no known pattern of wind erosion can possibly account for the stark geometric shapes jutting out of the flat Martian terrain. The Face proved to be even more artificial by fractal analysis than control photographs of the Pentagon, an international airport, and a military base with straight roads and many orderly rows of rectangular buildings. When the requirements were turned up well beyond the realm of any possible speculation, the mound still showed up a very light blurry blip on the screen, amid a now completely darkened background. Innumerable tests were performed on the original and subsequent interpolated photographs - and tests upon the tests, and tests upon the test results. Horace Crater, physics professor at the University of Tennessee Space Institute and President of the Society for Planetary SETI Research (SPSR), has this to say about the painstaking investigation Cydonia: "The striking thing about these tests is that not a single one has turned up negative results. Instead of weakening the hypothesis, the tests, one by one, added to the probability that The Face may be an ET artifact."

MGS composite

Composite of Multiple Viking frames
allows a more wide angle perspective
of the entire Cydonia Complex region.
- from: Malin Space Science Systems

MGS close up of the City

MGS high resolution close up of the City (above)
MGS wide angle image in color, and 3D (below)

MGS wide pan - color
MGS wide pan - 3D

From: New Frontiers in Science - Vol. 1, No. 3 (Spring 2002) - by Mark Carlotto
An analysis of a recent THEMIS multispectral image (20020724A.gif) acquired by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft over Cydonia provides further evidence that an ocean once existed to the north, and that the features known as the City and Face are located along what was once its shoreline. It is shown that there are three spectrally distinct regions that are spatially correlated with MOLA-derived elevation data. One region is correlated with the higher terrain to the south, another with the low-lying plains to the north, and a third with a transition zone between the two. From its topography, relationships to the terrain to the north and south, spectral characteristics, and morphology of its features, it is conjectured that this transition zone was once the shoreline. The City, Face, and D&M Pyramid all lie in this zone. As either shoreline features, or even possibly islands, their proximity to water provides a possible explanation for how these once-symmetrical structures could have been transformed into their present, collapsed and highly eroded, state.
Many apparently artificial, geometrical features are evident in the lower, southern half of the wider angle image (above left). Starting in the middle (just south of The City, and what might have been a natural bay developed into a harbor): a 120 angle, straight edged dropoff and a rougher but mirrored rise to the south, form a parallelogram mesa, approximately 10 miles wide, edge to edge, that was perhaps once a Waterfront Plaza (just west of what appears to be a new crater). And, southwest of that, an almost tetraheydral looking feature that could possibly be an additional pyramidial strusture (compare to the D&M Pyramid, lower center, right image). In the lower quarter, two parallel slash marks, over a mile apart (like an equals sign) forming a kind of avenue between them; each about three miles long and a quarter to half-mile wide. Just below that, a very natural looking bay, with an inlet off to the east; and, to the south of that, very natural looking "foothills" with assorted curious straight-edged and slightly rounded features which may prove to be artificial upon further analysis.

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