Updated - 09/03/03

The Light Finally Dawns at Cydonia ….
By Richard C. Hoagland
© 2003 The Enterprise Mission

This startling new image of the well-known "Face on Mars" (above) may ultimately be regarded as one of the most important photographs of the entire Space Program. For, after almost 30 years of acrid controversy and debate, a "whole new side" to this perplexing Martian mystery - and the profound social and scientific questions it continues to present - has now literally dawned ….

The image above is an enhanced, color close-up created by Keith Laney and the Enterprise Mission - from a combination of three 2001 Mars Odyssey VIS frames (of the five simultaneously taken by the Odyssey VIS camera system). The official image release is JPL/ASU V0 3814003 (below). The five frames - from the near "IR" end of the visible spectrum, to the "violet" -- were acquired by the Odyssey spacecraft as it flew over the Cydonia region on October 24, 2002 -- precisely one year (Greenwich time) after Odyssey arrived in Martian orbit.

What makes this color close-up so remarkable is that, for the first time in over a generation, a NASA spacecraft acquired multi-spectral images of "the Face" as seen in morning light - with the illumination coming from the East. What this unique sun angle has now revealed - a Cydonia view that researchers had yearned for, but never before had the opportunity to analyze -- is nothing less than revolutionary ….

For, even casual examination of the Face as seen in this "new light" (above, top) reveals two new pieces of vital information: 1) that the eastern side, under even this pre-dawn illumination -- for whatever reason -- is incredibly reflective; and 2) that, in lowered contrast images (below) the source of this anomalously "high albedo" is an inexplicable series (in the natural model) of highly geometric "panels!"

Even those of us who, for some time now, have interpreted the weight of evidence in favor of an artificial origin for this unique Cydonia construct, this new data is unexpected - nay, startling -- confirmation of our previous analysis.

The key parameter that makes this new image so remarkable, is "when" it was acquired.

If you carefully examine the "data block" for image V0 3814003 on the Arizona State University (ASU) THEMIS website (above), you can immediately ascertain that it was taken by the Odyssey camera "at 4:39 AM," local Martian time. Further reading of the table reveals that the "phase angle" - that is, the geometric relationship between the Sun, the Martian surface directly underneath the spacecraft just east of the Face, and Odyssey itself - was "90.3 degrees." Since "90 degrees" (for a spacecraft directly overhead) would indicate the Sun was literally on the eastern horizon, the slightly greater angle reveals that actually the sun was 0.3 degrees below the horizon when the image was acquired (and even slightly lower at the location of Face itself).

The last line in the table, "Description: Cydonia - face at night" confirms this geometry: technically, then, this "Odyssey dawn image" was actually acquired just before sunrise … with the Sun still hidden below the Cydonia horizon (below).

This simple, inarguable geometry makes the astonishing high brightness of the Face's eastern side - and before the Sun has risen - extraordinary …. And this, in turn, leads directly to the pivotal question: just what could make "an average Martian mesa" (to quote Carl Sagan, from his infamous Parade Magazine "Cydonia hit piece" many years ago) so incredibly reflective … even in the semi-dark, pre-dawn twilight of Cydonia?

* * *

A side-by-side comparison (below) reveals the true incongruity of such a brilliant-surfaced object. The official NASA version of the Face from V03814003 (left) is totally "washed out" on the illuminated (eastern side) - even though the image was shot before the sun had risen!; while, in the Enterprise rendition (right), after considerable effort to lower brightness levels, some surface details can just be seen beneath the glare.

Again, for this over saturation of the THEMIS imaging CCDs to have occurred, and under these really dim lighting conditions, "something" about the innate reflectivity of this Martian surface feature -- at this geometry -- must truly be "anomalous." To learn

just how "anomalous," one only need look to spacecraft surface images of pre-dawn Martian twilight, captured by other unmanned missions … for instance, the unmanned Viking Landers in 1976 (below) or Pathfinder, in 1997.

In this Viking 1 post-sunset surface view (above), prepared by former USGS graphic artist Don Davis, note how the sky remains bright well after the sun sets on Mars (sunset, of course, is merely the opposite condition to sunrise; therefore a post sunset image is optically equivalent to a pre-dawn image at the same location and time) The bluish "afterglow" several degrees above the sunset point on Mars is due to the unique "forward scattering" properties of the much thinner Martian atmosphere, which is filled with varying amounts of finely-divided dust (in the official model) - preferentially scattering blue light forward toward the camera ….

The major thing to note in this image is the Lander wind cover on the Viking nuclear power generator (light ellipse -- far right): notice that it is just barely visible in this twilight Mars illumination … even though the lighting geometry is ideal for so-called "specular reflection" (the light above the setting sun should be bouncing directly toward the camera) and … the cover itself is painted brilliant white!

Yet, as can be seen, under this illumination this white wind cover is barely noticeable!

Why, under identical lighting (below), is the Face- even allowing for the obviously increased gain settings in the Odyssey camera (to bring out the darker western side) -- so incredibly bright? And why is that inexplicably reflective eastern surface also arrayed in those stark … startlingly geometric … patterns?

Another pre-dawn image (below), this one from Mars Pathfinder, reinforces this enigma: an obviously almost un-illuminated landscape, lit only by the sky, clearly incapable of presenting such dramatic surface differences as seen in the Odyssey Cydonia image ….

But it's a Viking 2 sunrise shot that best illustrates this major new Cydonia mystery.
As you can see (above), even with the sun actually on the horizon, the overall illumination of the surface landscape in this Viking 2 dawn image is extremely dark -- a combination of dust absorption of sunlight at the horizon, and an extremely thin Martian atmosphere.

With the gamma of the same image significantly increased (above) - equivalent to the gain employed in the Odyssey VIS camera for the pre-dawn Cydonia image -- the surface rocks and other features become more visible. But, as is readily apparent, with the exception of two small foreground objects at the lower right, brightness extremes presented by the Face are simply not present on the reddish rocks and boulders strewn across this Martian landscape - even when directly illuminated by the rising sun!

The exceptions (below) are in themselves most interesting. It is apparent that their bright sunward-facing surfaces are from polished, mirror-like reflections - probably caused by wind blown sand abrading over time metallic crystal surfaces (or, at least "something" metallic …).

The problem with applying this natural explanation to the Face is simply this:

The specular reflections from these close-in features viewed by the Viking 2 camera are on the order of "a few square inches"; the surface area of specular reflections from the Face's eastern side measures several miles in area …

* * *

For the inevitable critics of the preceding image processing and Face analyses, it is imperative for everyone to realize that these spectacular results have been achieved by merely decreasing the brightness of Odyssey image V03814003, and then applying a 3X pixel over sampling (to smooth out "jaggies"). No other "image processing" techniques have been applied.

Yet, the striking results - both in revealing the highly anomalous brightness of this feature, as well as its inexplicable geometric nature -- are easily illustrated by the following series of images (below). Here we have applied "decreasing gamma adjustments" in six stages to the same published ASU/JPL "dawn" image - essentially, just "turning down the brightness." As can be seen, by the time the brightness has been decreased to approximately 10% of the official published image value, the astonishing 3-D geometry of the Face's eastern side (below) is easily and overwhelmingly apparent.

Given that we do not have access to the absolute photometric transfer functions of the Odyssey VIS camera, this technique can also be used to put some crude upper limits on the absolute reflectivity of this amazing object.

If we equate the surface brightness of the soils around the Face with NASA's published estimates of the average albedo (reflectivity) of the Cydonia region (about 20 percent -- according to a pre-Pathfinder NASA Conference), we can then approximate the relative reflectivity of the Face in this new image, based on when the surface "disappears" in our brightness reduction animation (below).

Keeping firmly in mind that these are only "ballpark estimates," the Face via this technique turns out to be reflecting - straight up -- an amazing 99.9% of the surface illumination falling on it, compared to the ground's average of about 20%! Since no rocky surface can possibly have this degree of right-angle, natural reflectivity -- the Face's eastern side MUST BE acting like a set of coherent, artificial mirrors!

Further, the multi-colored, "prismatic" appearance of these striking 3-D "panels" (close-up-below) raises the serious possibility of semi-transparent, glass-like refractions in this material -- from whatever is making up this structure. This, in addition to the previously discussed, front surface, mirror-like reflections …. This, in turn, is totally consistent with the possibility of a highly anomalous artificial surface to the Face's construction … which we published over ten years ago.

And, when an elaborate effort is made to equalize the much darker, western half of the structure with the brilliant eastern-side (below) - again, by only adjusting proper image brightness and contrast from east to west - the three-dimensional, internal scattering nature of the Face comes "shining through" … obviously, exactly as someone on the Odyssey team intended, and as we scientifically predicted over a decade ago.

Beginning in the 1992 Edition of "The Monuments of Mars," we strongly suggested that the Face was NOT merely "a mesa-carved 'Mount Rushmore' … lying on a level Martian plain" -- but something "far more interesting."

Mark Carlotto and Mike Stein's unprecedented computerized fractal work on the original Viking images had strongly indicated by 1990 that "something" about the Face was decidedly "non-fractal" -- i.e. in one interpretation, it is composed of artificial surface materials (see below), which are successfully resisting the relentless efforts of the Martian climate to turn them back to dust. The bright "Face highlight" of the non-fractal Face image (left) indicates how much it departs from its far more fractal surroundings ….

A numerical analysis (below) further points out this dramatic "fractal model fit error" of the Face's pixels, compared to the total image area - i.e. its unique surface signature, indicating potential "artificiality" -- even more effectively.

Here's what we said in1992: that Carlotto's newly published "non-fractal Face results" were likely due to a "sophisticated placement of shadow-casting [artificial] pyramidal substructures on [the] underlying mesa .… "

In other words, that major portions of the Face were composed of "artificial objects … now showing (through erosion) countless exposed elements of their internal geometric (thus, non-fractal - compared to their Cydonia surroundings) structure …." This was in direct opposition to the prevailing opinion of all other researchers at the time (those who took seriously the tenant that the Face is indeed "an artificial structure") -- who believed (and still do!) that the Face was carved … in other words, "Mt. Rushmore."

In my opinion, to the contrary: Carlotto's provocative fractal results strongly indicate that the Face (or at least large portions of it …) has been built.

But, even further, I began at that moment to also seriously consider an even more extraordinary proposition:

That the Face was, in fact, two "faces," specifically engineered (again, not "carved") as a massive, constructed work of art -- designed (for some reason on Mars) to reflect two distinctly different terrestrial species … hominid and feline.

When the MGS "full Face image" was grudgingly released by Michael Malin in late May of 2001 (below) -- and the feline eastern half overwhelmingly confirmed (even to observers who knew nothing about our ten-year-old prediction) --we wrote on Enterprise:

"In response to this long-awaited image, a few in the independent research community have even responded by declaring that the Eastern half, or Cliff side, is 'more eroded' than the City side. Or, they have described the previously shaded side as 'more irregular' - anything, apparently … to keep from admitting that it's feline.

"In truth, it is simply wrong that the Eastern (Cliff) half is 'more eroded' than the Western (City) half (above). It is equally wrong that that side (the right) is also more 'irregular.' These are clearly coping mechanisms put forth by those that expected to see a symmetrical 'human' face. The reality is that the Eastern half is simply less familiar than the more commonly seen Western (Viking) half. And, since it is decidedly feline, it is less consistent with many of the hopes and expectations of seeing a familiar, friendly human visage staring back at us from the Cydonia Martian plain. In reality, the Eastern half is significantly less eroded and appears to have more of the original 'casing' on it then the more weathered Western half (above). What the problem really comes down to is that the Cliff side confirms our model -- that that side is feline -- and not 'theirs' (that the Face would be symmetrical, and human) -- and that is a new scientific and political reality that many long-time researchers (and even casual observers) of this decades-long puzzle are having difficulty coping with right now."

Remarkably, the latest multi-spectral Odyssey "dawn" Cydonia image -- V03814003 -- now further supports precisely such a model--

By revealing an inexplicable, "honeycomb-like" pattern on the Face -- visible as a series of "brilliantly reflective, geometric patches"… but only on the eastern side.

This is now totally consistent with our previous analysis: that the eastern half has (by virtue of being shielded by the western side, which has taken the brunt of the sand and wind erosion) preserved a far less-eroded, highly reflective surface of the original Monument. Further, this new pre-dawn data totally eliminates several competing hypotheses put forward in 2001 to "explain" the striking visual asymmetry when the MGS "full Face image" was first released - including, those that speculated that "deep sand dunes" were covering the eastern aspects of the Monument!

Look at this direct comparison (below): between the MGS 2001 black and white image of the Face, and the latest Odyssey pre-dawn color view. As can be seen, "something" about that eastern surface is creating an intensely mirror-like reflection of the pre-dawn Martian lighting - and in a distinctly geometric pattern. Could this merely be some type of inherently bright "scattering" material … like snow?

That "snow" is not a likely explanation for this striking optical appearance, can be seen by in this crucial terrestrial comparison (below).

The object on the left is "Shiprock Butte," a literal sunrise shot of an awesome, wind-eroded surface feature in northwestern New Mexico, considered an analog in the "mainstream" view to the "wind-sculpted natural geology of the Face on Mars." The object on the right is the new Odyssey "pre-dawn" composite image of the Face -- its brilliant eastern side (again, in the dim pre-dawn Martian lighting), clearly overexposed.

Note that Shiprock has some snow on it, both on the sunward facing side and in the shadows. However, even under direct sunrise illumination here on Earth (1.5 times closer to the Sun, thus 2.25 times brighter), the light scattering from the Shiprock snowy surface (left) cannot begin to match Odyssey's pre-dawn reflections from the Face (right)!

According to the Canadian Meteorological Centre, fresh snow has an albedo of about 83 %. Old "aging" snow only scatters about 50% of sunlight falling on it. Since we've now quantitatively estimated the eastern side brightness of the Face (above) at over 99% (!), this effectively rules out any natural "high albedo, lambert-type (all-direction) scattering surfaces" - caused by snow or ice (water, or even frozen C02) -- as an explanation for the severely overexposed Face's eastern half. And, if "snow" was present on the Face when the image was acquired (hardly likely, given the official Martian northern hemisphere date of image acquisition - northern summer), why didn't this same snow fall on the shadowed side in the Odyssey view … or on the other, nearby mesas … as it has at Shiprock?

Further, as can be seen in this computer-generated "ray trace" rendering (courtesy of Barry Swan, below) - a flat, mirror-like set of parallel reflecting surfaces can reproduce precisely such highly overexposed recordings of the Face's eastern surface, compared to non-specular surroundings … at key geometric angles.

In other words, the evidence just presented strongly indicates that "something" about the protected eastern Face's surface (the "feline" half …) -- captured by Odyssey in an instant of precise pre-dawn sun/spacecraft illumination geometry - is capable of producing mirror-like reflections … bounced 250 miles straight up … even before the sun had risen over the Cydonia horizon!

This explanation is reinforced by a comparison of the Face with its closest "next door neighbor," a mesa located just to the southeast (below, right). As can be seen, while the Face's eastern flank again is totally overexposed in the Odyssey view, the mesa right next door is barely lit! Yet, the source of illumination for both objects is exactly the same … the pre-dawn brightening several degrees above the Cydonia horizon.


By the process of elimination, we are inexorably forced to conclude that only some kind of manufactured, highly "directional" glass and metal surface on the Face -- whereby the angles of all the surviving reflecting elements, despite the curving underlying structure, are aligned -- could redirect the horizon sky glow coherently, vertically, at such a specific angle … and thus produce these startling optical phenomenon seen in Odyssey's VIS camera!

There is the one other equally artificial, but even more startling alternative ….

In this Mars Surveyor image of the Face (above, left), compared to the same area from Odyssey (above, right), note the distinct, glowing, three-dimensional quality of the eastern geometry seen in the Odyssey view. Then, note hints of a similar rectilinear structure on the Face's surface in the white light image, at opposite lighting and higher resolution. This key similarity - but at two totally different scales -- suggests that the brilliant reflecting elements seen in the Odyssey, 20-meter color version may in fact be larger scale, more massive interior structures - captured underneath the visible light features seen in the MGS 5-meter view.

This would have been possible because of the unique illumination angle of this image…pre-dawn sunlight, shining almost horizontally through a high-tech, now porous (glass?), still eroding eastern surface covering -- to be photographed by Odyssey, looking straight down at a 90-degreen angle. A good analogy would be the view through a fine-mesh window screen at twilight, into a well-lit room -- where the mesh is literally too small to be seen against the massive illuminated pieces in the room ….

The overall effect in this Odyssey view would have been identical to an internal lighting system - producing an imaging effect almost like an x-ray … making visible for the first time the internal architectural structure of the Face on Mars!

One last item on the Face:

This pre-dawn Odyssey image finally allows a direct comparison of key morphological predictions re the eastern side, against the actual lit view … which up 'til now have been based totally on images illuminated from the west. Kynthia, the Enterprise art director for many years, has spent considerable time and effort painstakingly sculpting (in clay - remember that?!), as well as with computer-generated models, what the eastern "feline" side should look like … when we finally had Odyssey's new view.

Below is a direct comparison.

* * *

Back to the surroundings of the Face.

If you examine a bit more closely features in the immediate vicinity in this unique Odyssey view, more fascinating "optical anomalies" begin to make themselves apparent. Again, take that "average mesa" to the southeast of the Face (immediate right, below). In this darkened, more realistic rendition of a portion of image V03814003, it is now evident that it too is not behaving exactly like "an average Martian mesa."

First of all, its dramatic brightness difference, compared to the Face's "right next door," is NOT because of any major differences in height. As can be seen again in the Mars Pathfinder post-sunset imagery (below), after sunset (or before sunrise), the primary landscape lighting comes from a large area of the sky -- several degrees above the point where the sun has actually set (or will rise). Thus, the sky illumination of both features in V03814003 - regardless of their intrinsic height - is essentially the same.

So, how to account for their dramatic differences in brightness … if not color … in image V03814003?

In this rotated, close-up, low brightness view (below), the "next door feature's" major characteristic in this pre-dawn lighting turns out to be an amazing, regular geometric "checkerboard" of multi colors! Close examination reveals different axes and different levels to these colors - as if we're looking down through multiple layers of some transparent, actively prismatic substance. The unmistakable "bluish" tints on the southeast (facing the pre-dawn sky) are a further signature of internal scattering of the predominant color of the pre-dawn sky itself ….

The only known material that is a) transparent, and b) can create such prismatic coloration, as well as "a bluish, scattering of sky light" … is glass - a most unlikely substance, I think you would agree, to be found on "a naturally eroded mesa at Cydonia...."

The overall impression of this feature in this extraordinary Odyssey image is that of a huge, glass ruin - once composed of many floors and rooms (look carefully, above), and many different axes of symmetrical construction … now reduced to just a n echo of its former self.

There is also, in this un-rotated, lightened version of the same feature (below), a remarkable array of additional, also distinctly "bluish" geometric patterns evident all across the entire upper surface … some even arranged in precise, concentric circles. These patterns clearly outline the formerly highly symmetric nature of this construct! For example, a "straight line axis" -- connecting two of these "concentric circles" at each end -- dominates the overall morphology. This axis is at a 45-degree angle to the image frame and, significantly, is also precisely parallel to the Platform edges of the Face, just northwest ….

This stunning object - seen literally in this new light -- is also clearly NOT "just another average mesa!"

That this internal-scattering material is likely glass -- the remaining remnants of what must have been a dazzling array of superstructures once built all across this "mesa" -- is evident in the unique nature of its appearance; unlike the Face's "blinding reflections," these geometric patterns are somewhat "more subtle reds and blues, laid over a darker, underlying matrix"… strong indication that only the pre-dawn lighting at this angle is capable of making them apparent against the darker surface underneath (via right-angle internal scattering, as opposed to surface reflections) from Odyssey's 90-degree perspective overhead ….

This critical spacecraft/sun geometry also explains why, in the higher phase Viking western lighting images, these features were not an outstanding "fractal anomaly" in Carlotto and Stein's original analysis; at those higher sun angles, and at Viking's resolution (one half Odyssey's), the surviving, delicate and essentially transparent glass geometry seen beautifully here is essentially invisible!

To the east of this remarkable feature lays another, also completely nondescript Martian "knob" seen in the original Viking views (below). Again, at this unique pre-dawn Odyssey lighting, its true, exquisitely anomalous nature finally is revealed--

As a stunning set of "right-angle glowing features and internal rectilinear geometries," apparently created by a massive array of partially surviving shattered glass cubes! These incredibly geometric features, as can be seen (above), are scattering the blue sky light even more intensely … before another Cydonia dawn ….

Finally, examination of this remarkable pre-dawn Odyssey frame reveals a possible solution to another long-standing mystery about Cydonia (below): the true nature of the "D&M."

Discovered on the original 1976 Viking images, this singular five-sided feature (above), located just a few miles southwest of the Face, has come to represent - -perhaps even more than the celebrated "Face" itself - the continuing, haunting enigma of Cydonia …. Properly termed the "mathematical Rosetta Stone," because of its unique and telling internal mathematical relationships, the physical nature of this object remains a major Martian mystery.

Beginning with the geomorphologically anomalous five-sided form presented here from Viking (above), additional Odyssey B&W imagery last year revealed another geometric aspect to this fascinating feature's profound internal symmetry (below).

But, mysteriously, even though the Mars Surveyor spacecraft has been in orbit for over six years, Michael Malin (Principal Investigator of the MOC camera aboard the MGS) has yet to release a full-on, high-resolution (>5meters) image of this extraordinary, obviously highly symmetrical Cydonia structure. Without such detailed close-ups, fundamental questions regarding the true nature of this object will remain unanswered ….

It was with some interest, then, that we realized that in the bottom left portion of this Odyssey "dawn" image, the "northeast quadrant" of the D&M had, in fact, been imaged … at ~20 meter resolution (roughly twice that of Viking) -- and in color. Perhaps even more important, whereas all previous D&M images (Viking and Odyssey) have been taken with the sun coming from the left, in this image the Pyramid is clearly illuminated from the right - the direction of the not-yet-risen-sun.

It is immediately apparent in this image that the D&M - named by the author after the two original Goddard contract imaging specialists who found it on the Viking imagery, Vince DiPietro and Greg Molenaar --- is as reflective at this viewing angle as the Face itself!

Significantly, the "mesa in the middle" (below), is scattering just about what would be expected in this lighting, while the Face (top) and D&M (below, left) are distinctly far too bright …. Again, differences in height or surface slopes should make no difference here … as the source of illumination is a large, diffuse area in the Martian eastern sky many degrees above the Cydonia horizon (see again, Viking and Pathfinder surface images, above).

Clearly, whatever material is making the Face literally "glow" in this pre-dawn light, is also having the same effect upon the mysterious "D&M" ….

In this close-up Enterprise enhancement (below), this overwhelming glare has been substantially reduced … allowing details of the "protected" northeast side for the first

time to emerge. And, in this comparison (below, far right), a veritable "honeycomb" of highly rectilinear, room-like features finally are exposed.

Again, this new view now provides startling confirmation of a hypothesis initially framed in the first edition of "Monuments," now almost 20 years ago: namely, that the D&M is literally hollow - created as a vast, compartmentalized "super condominium" … a true "arcology" on Mars. The ordered geometry - together with the anomalous reflectivity --

seen here, only reinforce that original view ….


* * *


This short recitation of optical Cydonia anomalies now hints at a dramatic escalation of our original "Intelligence Hypothesis":

Namely, that all of the nearby features to the Face were either artificially modified, or had some kind of artificial structures built upon them … in the epoch during which the Face itself was first created. That their individual light-scattering properties are also now strikingly "anomalous" is unmistakable. One can only wonder what a similar pre-dawn image, secured by Odyssey … in color … would reveal about my other original discovery … The City of Pyramids itself.

Obviously, this new Odyssey data has opened up new, fundamental questions about the extant and nature of "artificial construction at Cydonia" … and the ultimate nature of what eventual rover missions - or a manned landing itself! -- will one day come to find


* * *


So, how do we go about testing this, admittedly, increasingly extraordinary data?

Ideally, one of the two MER rovers currently enroute to Mars (below) could be landed at Cydonia. By virtue of their onboard color CCD stereo cameras, and the sophisticated analytical x-ray and gamma ray equipment that they carry, we'd then know in short order if these anomalous optical features seen from orbit are backed up by true physical anomalies measured on the ground … including, the unmistakable signatures of manufactured, high-tech ruins ….

But, alas, that's not going to happen - in the short run.

NASA seems determined to follow their step-by-step, "drip by drip" planned escalation of the interesting discoveries at Mars ... with the "discovery" during the MER missions of present water just beneath the soil … the next step on their "timed-release aspirin" political science agenda, and the "countdown" to 2012 …..

But, NASA is not the only "player" in the game this time."

In December/January, besides the two NASA rovers, three other spacecraft (one piggy-backing on the other) are scheduled to arrive at Mars. These five missions make up a veritable "fleet" of robots currently enroute (below), operated by three separate national interests this time: Japan, the United States and Europe

Since two of them - the Japanese "Nozomi" mission, and Europe's "Mars Express" - are NOT being operated under NASA management, there's at least a glimmer of hope (ironic - since that's what "Nozomi" means in Japanese -- Hope!) that one of these three foreign spacecraft might actually, independently, add significant new information to the "artificial structures on Mars" question. But -- only if they secure some specifically targeted, carefully timed new observations of previously known ruins - and then only if they're "allowed" to make the information public ….

In the wake of Odyssey's new revelations on Cydonia, obviously, high on our list will be requests of both the Europeans and the Japanese for new, pre-dawn (or, immediate post-sunset) orbital observations of Cydonia with the state-of the art, high-resolution color CCD cameras that both the Japanese and ESA (European Space Agency) missions carry. Though the Japanese (Nozomi) mission will possess a three color CCD camera called MIC ("Mars Imaging Camera"), its capabilities are limited by the overall mission design - which constrains its latitude of coverage of Mars and pixel resolution … the latter to about 60 meters, and only at the equator. Therefore, the ESA "Mars Express" mission is probably our best shot.

Mars Express is designed to take up residence around Mars in late December, 2003 (Christmas night!), in an approximately 7000 by 161-mile, 7.5 hour, polar elliptical orbit (below). For roughly 40 minutes each revolution, centered around periapsis (the

spacecraft's closest point to Mars), the on-board HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera) system will take images - in color, stereo and at very high resolution … down to ~2-meters per pixel. The rest of the orbit will be devoted to relaying this imaging data back to Earth, and conducting other on-board observations.

It is the stereo and color capability of the HSRC which interests us here the most.

If what we see in the Odyssey "dawn image" is truly "specular reflection" - i.e. coherent flashes of light from mirror-like, artificial structures on (or underneath) the surface of the Face -- then the brightness of the Face's eastern side will vary dramatically in only a few seconds, as Mars Express flies into and out of these "beamed" reflections.

By timing it's flyover at the same pre-dawn geometry as the Odyssey image, and comparing the position, brightness, and color changes of the reflection features in its successive stereo HRSC scans, the physical location of the reflecting elements - either on the Face's surface, or underneath -- can be firmly determined by the Mars Express mission. In addition, examination of the neighboring "mesas" - also in stereo and color - will allow determination of their relative compositions and/or physical surface differences, in comparison to the Face.

In short, the capability to finally secure "smoking gun data," regarding the entire Cydonia question, lies within the capability of ESA's new Mars mission. The question is: do they have the political will and interest - against the apparent continuing "cover-up" agenda of NASA and the United States -- to honestly pursue it? And, again, will they be allowed …?

That's where you come in.

If enough readers of this paper, and followers of this continuing Investigation, demand that the Principal Investigator of Mars Express' HRSC -- Dr. Gerhard Neukum, of the Freie Universität Berlin --use the HRSC's exquisite stereo and color capability to secure this vital information … it can be made to happen.


Simply by sending Dr. Neukum (below) a heartfelt e-mail or letter -- outlining the scientific objectives of the new Mars Express Cydonia imaging his instrument can uniquely acquire; by explaining the extraordinary implications if artificial structures are scientifically confirmed on the planet Mars … and-

By reemphasizing the extraordinary, profoundly puzzling Odyssey pre-dawn Cydonia observations described here.

Here's his address and e-mail:

Prof. Dr Gerhard Neukum, Mars Express
HRSC Principal Investigator

Freie Universität Berlin, Earth Sciences Dept., Germany
Tel: +49 30 8387 0579 (secretary: -575)
Email: gneukum@zedat.fu-berlin.de

One last point:

The Aug. 15,2003 issue of Science, probably (next to Nature) the most prestigious science journal in the world, ran an editorial entitled "One Nuclear Leap To Mars." In it the editorial writer discussed the possibility of finding "something bizarre on Mars that would trigger a manned Mars expedition." The last paragraph in particular is the most telling: the writer concludes by saying "perhaps one of the spacecraft now on the way to the Red Planet - one of the two NASA rovers, the Japanese Nozomi Mission, or Mar Express and its associated Beagle 2 -- will [not 'may'] discover something compelling or bizarre … that would shake people into thinking 'We need to go now.'" The last quote being from astrogeologist Jim Rice, of Arizona State University."

And, Arizona State, of course, is the institution which took the extraordinary THEMIS image of this amazing object in the Cydonia pre-dawn ….

Stay tuned.