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Why Some Scientists Worried About Interest in Aliens and the “Face” on Mars


1976 was a historic year for Americans. A contentious U.S. election was underway between incumbent Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, his Democratic challenger. It was also the year of the bicentennial, as the United States celebrated two centuries since its founding. And like NASA had done less than a decade before by putting men on the moon, in September of that year the space agency would seek to make history again, as the Viking 2 mission went speeding toward the Red Planet in an attempt to place an unmanned lander on Martian soil.

In the humid summer months preceding the successful Viking 2 mission, its predecessor, Viking 1, had already been in orbit around Mars, sending back a constant stream of photographs which NASA scientists planned to use to help them locate a suitable landing site for Viking 2. On July 25th, the usual batch of images were being received and processed, when a peculiar geological feature of the planet began to reveal itself.

One of the photos depicted a sloping prominence, befitted with a number of depressions and rock formations that, casting hard shadows and observed under the sharp contrast of Viking 1’s photography, bore an obvious likeness to a human face.

Some thought little of it, chalking the ghostly visage staring back at the orbiting Viking 1’s cameras as being merely an instance of pareidolia—the natural tendency of the human eye to assemble familiar shapes and images from random features in nature.

Most who observed the area depicted in the photograph probably thought this, in fact. Although it is hard to imagine that there weren’t some, at least—or perhaps even several—who hadn’t cautiously entertained the other possibility: what if there had been a civilization on Mars at one time? And if so, what if this gloomy face befitted upon an odd, polygonal mountain in the Cydonia region, might actually be some remnant of that civilization?

It wasn’t long before NASA determined that the “face” on Mars was, in fact, a natural formation. In their own words, upon releasing the image publicly just days later, the space agency described a “huge rock formation in the center… which resembled a human head.”

The famous photograph from Viking 2 in 1976, which spurred debate over a “Face on Mars” (Credit: NASA).

The image was, of course, enough to get people talking, whether or not they believed NASA’s determination about the photograph. Many found it impossible to believe that the likeness of the curious features in the photograph to a human face could be pure coincidence. The hope for discovery of life on Mars had already been a source of great anticipation: now an eager public was nearly sold on the idea, but instead of microbes, hoped that within the coming months there would be irrefutable evidence of life on the planet in the form of archaeological traces of a civilization that once lived there.

Interestingly, some scientists were concerned about the emphasis being placed on the search for life on Mars. “There is also a fear that if too much emphasis is placed on the possibility of life and none is then found, as still seems likely, the public will consider the mission a futile failure,” a New York Times article reported on July 22, 1976, just three days before the photos of Cydonia returned to Earth depicting what many believed to be a face.

However, if the famous “face on Mars” had indeed been such, it would raise a number of hard questions. Chief among them is: how could a feature like this—if artificial, as many claimed—have lasted for the untold amounts of time that passed before Viking 1 arrived… especially considering how much it appears to have weathered in the few decades since that time?

While the 1976 photographs remain the most famous ones of the region depicting an alleged face, NASA has released numerous additional photos of the location over the years, captured during ensuing missions (which is interesting in itself, since it shows that there was at least a modicum of interest in the unusual collection of features). However, as we can see in the photos below, NASA’s infamous face didn’t appear to age very well:

By 1996, the “face” looked a lot more like a pile of rocks (Credit: NASA).

Arguably, the more perplexing element to the region where the Martian “face” appears is not the rocky places that form what many liken to eyes, a nose, and a mouth, but the odd, almost geometric shape of the outcrop itself. According to, “The rocky outcropping that creates the illusion is approximately a mile across and bears a resemblance to buttes or mesas from the American West. It likely formed from a combination of landslides and collected debris.”

Additionally, the differences between the 1976 and 1998 photos are actually greater than those between the first photos, and some of the most recent, in which the face-like details appear to have returned, although only slightly: 


Perhaps what is most fascinating about all of this is people’s desire to look for unusual things on barren, alien worlds. Rather than aliens, or simply a desire to believe in them, people’s interpretations of Martian “anomalies” seems to say an awful lot about us.

I’m reminded of a story my grandmother told me once as a child. Often at night, she and her siblings would become very frightened by the sound of loud crashes that came from the back of their family home. Occurring only at night, they would emanate from the back of the home, the portion facing the forest at the edge of their property. Naturally, they began to believe that an animal—or perhaps something else—had been appearing and pounding on the house at night. Several years later, she laughed about how she finally learned that the thick slabs of pine in the walls would creak and pop as they cooled at night, no monsters necessary.

In much the same way that some people interpret random, natural events as evidence of “supernatural” happenings, people seem to both enjoy, and at times even display a need to look for structured things in environments where none should exist. In years since, similar “anomalies” have continued to appear on Mars, which range from odd structures and other alleged “manmade” features, to sightings of Bigfoot.

So let’s face it: that famous “face on Mars” was never really a face at all. Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t other “faces” that have been spotted on the Red Planet… 



Fact or fiction

Plesiosaurus Cub? In Thailand, a very strange creature was photographed in water

A few days ago a video appeared on the Internet with a very unusual creature (see below), filmed somewhere off the coast of Thailand and was looking very similar to Plesiosaurus.

People watched the creature literally for several seconds, while the boat sailed past him.

The animal stayed on the surface of the water, sticking out of the water a small brown head on a long neck.

The creature is small in appearance and at first, glance looks like a sea turtle. However, in slow motion, it becomes clear that not a single turtle has such a head with huge eyes and such a long neck.

The mysterious creature that looks like Plesiosaurus

Also, the body shape of the creature, although it is as streamlined as the body of a sea turtle, is not at all like a shell.

There is still no detailed information about the video posted on the network, it is not known, when it was shot, or in any particular place.

The opinions of users were divided into those who consider the video a fake (and the creature in the water is a mechanical doll), those who think that it was some kind of unknown sea turtle (or mutant tortoise), and those who believe that the creature is The video is very similar to a small ancient marine dinosaur, most likely a plesiosaur. It is possible that this is his cub.

“It looks like a turtle with a seal head and long fins. Without a clue what it is,” comments one user.

“But it seemed to me like an elongated body of an octopus,” someone else wrote.


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The Moon is an artificial object. And that’s why

Over the years, it has been observed that the Earth’s moon satellite has some strange features and people always argue if the Moon is an artificial object.

The moon is the fifth-largest natural satellite of the solar system, and the official theory says that it was formed from the collision of a young Earth with a very large celestial body, the size of Mars.

Below are the most basic theses, according to which the Moon is an artificial object, probably created by aliens. In fact, there are a lot of such theses, but our goal is to fit into a capacious article, where all the main things will be put into shelves without extra water.

Moon is an artificial object

One of the very first anomalies seen by astronomers behind the moon is that it moves in the wrong orbit for its size and current estimated density.

Also, according to astronomers, inside the moon has a lower density than outside, which leads to the assumption that there are large voids inside the moon.

Some even claimed that when large meteorites fall on the moon, it makes a sound similar to a rumble of a bell, which also goes in favor of the theory of the presence of voids inside the moon.

On the moon, seismic surface vibrations, the so-called moonquakes, were repeatedly recorded. Their maximum power reached 5.5 points on the Richter scale. This is not much for the Earth, but for the Moon – considered a “dead” object without volcanic activity, this is an anomaly.

It is officially believed that moonquakes are mainly caused by the tidal action of the Earth and, to a lesser extent, by the stress of the lunar surface and falling meteorites.

The moon is possibly older than not only the earth but also the sun. The age of the Earth is estimated at a maximum of 4.5 billion years, the Sun – also at 4.5 billion, while some scientists estimate the age of the lunar rock at 5 billion years (officially its age is also 4.5 billion, like that of the Earth and the Sun). The chemical composition of the lunar dust is different from the lunar rocks themselves.

Another oddity of the moon is craters. First of all, there are an incredible amount and they can be very large. But not one of them penetrated deep into the bowels of the moon as if there was hidden under the stones extremely hard metal plating.

All these meteorites left behind only very shallow craters. Even a huge meteorite, which left behind a crater with a diameter of 300 km (Baia crater), penetrated the moon only 4 km.

Moon is an artificial object

Some craters are recognized to have arisen due to volcanic activity, but there is no evidence that the moon was even once so hot as to create volcanic eruptions. None of the currently observed moonquakes can leave such craters.

The moon is the only natural satellite in the solar system with an almost perfectly circular orbit.

Well, the most obvious thesis. How can it naturally coincide in such a way that the Moon during the eclipses of the tuft in the tuft covers the Sun?

This also requires a certain precisely calibrated orbit with a certain inclination of rotation and with a precisely calibrated diameter of the body itself.

Moon is an artificial object

In addition, the Moon regularly changed color throughout the entire history of observations. And this is difficult to explain with fogs, changes in the Earth’s atmosphere or something else, since different colors were visible not only visually, but also through telescopes.

Even in photographs from moon rovers, you can see not only the familiar gray surface but also richly brown. Although such images are much smaller than gray.

The Soviet scientists Vasin and Shcherbakov were the first to express the theory of the alien moon ship back in the 1960s. In their opinion, a certain civilization created the moon from a planetoid, hollowing it out from the inside and strengthening it with metal frames.

In addition to all of the above, the strange glow regularly observed on the Moon, fixed UFO flights and other anomalies that are always discarded by scientists as fakes speak in favor of this version.

Moon is an artificial object

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Fact or fiction

Space Alien Message, WOW!: Genuine or a Fluke?

The 1977 Wow! signal, an inexplicable radio transmission received in Ohio State University’s observatory, might have come from extraterrestrials.

There’s a color copy scan of the original computer printout of the Wow! signal, taken several years after its arrival, by, the Ohio State University Radio Observatory and the North American AstroPhysical Observatory, NAAPO.

It has numbers and letters and “Wow!,” written by volunteer astronomer Jerry Ehman, in cursive handwriting. The National Geographic Channel and the Puerto Rican Arecibo Observatory are working together to try to contact the message’s writers.

WOW! Message Discovered

Jerry Ehman was a volunteer researcher for Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio observatory which was closed and dismantled in 1997. He inspected data from the telescope’s scan of the sky for August 15th.

Then, information was run through an IBM 1130 mainframe computer, printed on perforated paper and examined by hand. Ehman noticed something amazing – 140 characters and a vertical column with the alphanumerical sequence “6EQUJ5” that happened at 10:16 PM, EST. He circled it and wrote “Wow!” in the margin, using a red pen.

His exhilaration over the piece of esoteric information was from Big Ear’s mission, searching space for radio signals that might be originated by aliens, if they were trying to contact intelligent life somewhere in the universe.

Ehman saw that this signal came from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and looked like it could be an alien message. Observatory director John Krauss and his assistant Bob Dixon, who examined the data, were also astonished by it.

What was WOW!?

More than thirty years later, the Wow Signal, as SETI institute researchers dubbed it, is the first and best potential evidence of communication from aliens and one of science’s most baffling mysteries. The institute’s mission is to “explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.”

Ehman and his colleagues worked to rule out other explanations, including satellites, aircraft or Earth’s ground-based transmitters; however researchers haven’t been able to prove that it’s a message from space. Ehman told the Columbus Dispatch in 2010, “It’s an open question.”

Theories about Alien Communication

Cornell physicists Philip Morrison and Guiseppe Cocconi tried to figure out how a distant alien civilization, if one existed, could try to contact others in the universe, in the early 1960s. They theorized that aliens would use a radio signal because the transmissions require moderately little energy to generate and can travel vast distances across space.

They presumed that aliens would be intelligent enough to choose a message that other intelligent beings might understand, even if they had a different language. Chemicals emit distinctive electromagnetic frequencies which is how astronomers determine the structure of distant planets and stars from their light.

Hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, emits a signal with a frequency of 1420 megahertz, so they thought that aliens could send out a signal that mimicked it.

WOW! Difficult to Explain

The signal Ehman saw was the first one that appeared to almost precisely fit the description. Every digit on the printout represented the strength of a radio signal, from zero to 35, with intensities over nine represented by letters.

Most of the signals were ones and twos. One, as signified by the letter “U” in the middle of the message, was extremely powerful, about thirty times greater than the usual noise of deep space. It was the loudest, longest signal that Big Ear would pick up. The signal was narrowly focused and very close to 1420 megahertz, the frequency of hydrogen.

The message was complex to explain. Scientists were bewildered when they traced the signal to a location northwest of the globular cluster M55, a place where there apparently was neither star nor planet. In 1997, SETI researcher Paul Shuch told New Scientist magazine that, if the signal came from aliens, it would have required some remarkably advanced equipment.

Supposing that the extraterrestrial beacon was the size of the largest radio telescopes on Earth, the aliens would have needed a 2.2 gigawatt transmitter, infinitely more powerful than any existing terrestrial radio station.

The most perplexing thing about the Wow signal was that it lasted about 72 seconds and never was detected again, although, in the twenty ensuing years, scientists conducted over one hundred studies of the same area of sky.

They wondered if aliens were trying to contact humans, wouldn’t they keep repeating their message. In the early 2000s, researchers tried to detect a message, using a 26-meter radio telescope in Hobart, Tasmania that was smaller than Big Ear, but more technologically advanced.

In 2003, the Astrobiology Magazine reported that, despite their ability to detect signals only five percent as strong as the Wow Signal, they found nothing that resembled it.

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