On June 27, 1999, at 10:53 universal time, the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft managed to re-image a portion of the "City" in the Cydonia region of Mars. The image was held by JPL and MSSS (Malin Space Science Systems) for some 12 days before being released to the internet. This was of course preceded by the release of a "heart shaped crater" image a few weeks before, presumably to soften any unwelcome heating up of the debate over the artificiality of the Cydonia monuments. 

As with the previous Cydonia images taken last April, there was considerably less detail (roughly 50%) than would normally be expected in an image from MGS, given the capabilities of the spacecraft's camera. MSSS explains this with the now familiar refrain;


"To conserve data in order to account for downtrack position uncertainties, only 1/2 of the MOC sensor was used to acquire this picture (allowing the image to be twice the length): it covers an area that is 1.5 km (0.9 mi) wide."

This is essentially the same claim that MSSS made following the release of the highly downgraded Cydonia images last year. The fallacy of this explanation is that "downtrack," the longitudinal path the spacecraft follows in a roughly polar orbit, is extremely easy to predict. 

"Downtrack" is the path back along the spacecraft orbit, represented by the black arrow. "Crosstrack" is the lateral scanning normal to the spacecraft's vertical axis (represented by the green). Of the two, crosstrack is by far the most difficult to account for when targeting a specific object because of uncertainties in the mapping grid developed by the Rand Corporation.

However, even in a worse case scenario, the crosstrack error is about 0.15 miles, or one thirty eighth of the width of the City itself. The downtrack error margin is significantly less than even that small distance.

In the words of Stanley Mcdaniel's "Mcdaniel Report", hitting a specific target in the city is "About as difficult ... as hitting a door with a baseball from a distance of about 1 foot".

In keeping with the pattern of the April images, Malin used this exquisite targeting capability to miss just about anything really interesting at Cydonia. The new image cuts a swath very close to the area represented by the green lines in this overlay of MOC 25803 from the April Cydonia images. While it covers a portion of the "Main Pyramid" already imaged, the new picture does not give us another view of the "room size cells" first noticed on the April pass. Malin also continues to avoid the western side of the "Fortress" like the plague, even failing to give us another view of interesting features like the "corkscrew crater" (left) along the eastern portion of that enigmatic structure. He also neatly clipped the image to prevent any further views of the anomalous row of parallel features along the southern base of the "Main Pyramid." These bright stripes, first noted by Enterprise principal investigator Richard Hoagland and astronomer Tom Van Flandern, are geologically unusual and nearly identical to a similar set of stripes visible next to a massive tetrahedral ruin just south of the "Face" in the first MGS Cydonia image released last year. Structurally, they appear to be analogous to rebar, a sort of support mesh underpinning the "Main Pyramid" as a lattice work on which the object's major facets could be built. Since a better view would go a long way to determining if the actual base of the Main Pyramid is natural or artificial, it would have been nice to get clearer image. Too bad Malin was unable to hit that "door."

Parallel features first noted by Richard Hoagland and Tom Van Flandern.
Note also the odd geometric patch in the lower right.

All of this brinkmanship is fully expected by this point from MSSS. We seriously doubt that we will get any more images of the Face or any of the other objects we are interested in at Cydonia. This crafty game of avoiding the issue and downgrading the images is just More Of the Same as far as we are concerned.

Still, there are some areas of interest revealed in the new image. The "grid" first observed on the "Main Pyramid" seems to be there, as is an odd looking smaller pyramidal structure along the main facet of the "Main Pyramid." This smaller object is similar to the " Corner Pyramid" first noticed last year (Bara) near the base of the "Western Pyramid" in the "City." A full analysis of what useful new information can be gleaned from this image will be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, one thing we can track, and which can still provide us with fruitful research data, is the ongoing NASA/JPL obsession with the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. Malin did not disappoint us in that regard.

In this model we have developed, the logical first place to check on the stellar position of Isis, Osiris, and the other gods is over the site of the event itself. In this case, since the "event" was the re-imaging of Cydonia, our logical starting point would be at this most interesting of Martian real estate. Had you been standing in the "City Square" just south of the "Main Pyramid" when MOC2-142 was taken, you could have looked south/southwest (between the D&M and the "massive tetrahedral ruin") and seen Isis (Sirius) dead on the horizon, symbolizing the transition zone between this dimension and the next. (In our model, only 5 positions are acceptable as "significant." 19.5 above and below the horizon, 33 above and below the horizon, and the horizon itself. It should be noted that in this model, 95% of the 360 sky is therefore "out of bounds." Hoagland also considers the prime meridian, the North/South line which runs from zenith to nadir, as significant. While I wholeheartedly acknowledge the importance of the meridian in the ancient Egyptian astrological system, I exclude it from my analysis for simplicity's sake -- MB).

As we cycled through the "temples," the Viking 1 and 2 landing sites, the Apollo 11 and 12 landing sites, and Giza and Phoenix on the Earth, we found more significant alignments.

At Viking 1, site of the first successful US landing on the Red planet, we discovered Regulus, the "Heart of the Lion," also on the horizon. In the Egyptian pantheon of gods, Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, avenger of his father, was represented by the constellation Leo and also the Sphinx. Mars itself was also associated with Horus, as they shared a name; "Hor-Dshr," literally "Horus the Red." 

At the Apollo 12 landing site, the site of the second manned landing and in many ways the "anchor" of this ritualistic system, we discover Isis (Sirius) at the "Masonic" altitude of 33.

What is again important to remind the readers is that as with the Grissom capsule "resurrection," these alignments, especially the Martian ones, are contextually significant. We did not for instance find Regulus at the Lunar site, we found it at a Martian "temple." And again, the same few gods (Isis, Osiris, Horus) keep showing up when events associated with NASA take place.

In addition, there was a secondary "hit" of interest. While we do not consider Cape Canaveral to be "temple" -- at least, not a "primary" one -- we did find another interesting alignment there. Sirius was at 19.5 below the horizon. Normally, we only look at the Cape when there is a launch event happening, so we include this as interesting tid-bit only.

So the pattern keeps repeating. We keep getting downgraded images of Cydonia coordinated by the positions of the stars rather than scientific considerations. It is our intent here to break the pattern on at least one of these counts.

We now have information that two more Cydonia imaging opportunities are coming up in August and November. We hold out little hope of getting any clear pictures of the Face or Fort, based on the total lack of cooperation from MSSS and Malin's previous forgery of Viking images of the Face. However, we are hopeful that a carefully timed campaign to put public pressure on MSSS and NASA may be helpful. It is not enough to simply get images from MSSS after 12 days of embargo. On these two upcoming passes, we must demand that the images be uploaded in raw form to the internet immediately after retrieval. We must insist that we get full resolution images. Even if we force Malin's hand and wind up with another mysterious spacecraft malfunction or "bad weather" obscuring the site, at least that will confirm a portion of our model too. We will need you to help by faxing or writing to the following numbers:

NASA (Dan Goldin) 202-358-2810 
ABC (Ted Koppel) 202-222-7976 
ABC (Ted Koppel) 202-222-7680 
CNN 404-681-3578

Stay Tuned ...