Mars has fascinated people for generations and has been the subject of more stories and speculation than any other planet. It holds the special appeal of being so close and so Earth-like — it is a prime candidate for finding extraterrestrial life.
The idea that alien civilizations might exist on Mars got a huge boost when astronomer Percival Lowell (1855-1916) made a map of Mars which included numerous straight lines which he called canals. Lowell believed that these canals were designed by intelligent beings to irrigate the barren deserts of Mars. Lowell's theories were published in three books: Mars (1895), Mars and Its Canals (1906), and Mars As the Abode of Life (1908).
It turned out that Lowell was wrong and there are no such straight lines, but the idea of Martian civilizations continued to thrive.
Once spacecraft began visiting the red planet, public interest was fuelled and the desire to find alien life intensified. Although data from Mars showed no evidence of living organisms, a number of theories emerged about Martian life.
One of the most well-known personalities in the field of Martian conspiracy theories is Richard C. Hoagland, producer of the Enterprise Mission website and occasional guest on the popular Cost to Coast radio show in the USA. Amongst other things, Mr. Hoagland claims that there is proof of life on Mars which is being withheld from the public.
In 1976 a NASA robotic spacecraft took a picture of the surface of Mars which appeared to be a face. Much debate ensued and a conspiracy theory was born when NASA scientists declared that the face was a natural feature.
A history and explanation of the face photo, and the accompanying conspiracy theory, can be seen at www.dave.co.nz/space/mars/face.html
|© Copyright:||Dave Owen 2005|
|Cost to Coast||BadAstronomy.com|
|The Face on Mars|