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No. 60: Nov-Dec 1988

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The face on Mars does not seem to go away! Could it, after all, really be artificial? M. Carlotto, writing in Applied Optics, presents the results of his analysis of the photos of this engimatic "face."

"The image enhancement results indicate that a second eye socket may be present on the right, shadowed side of the face; fine structure in the mouth suggests teeth are apparent."

"Teeth?" This Martian face is becoming too human-like to be an accident of nature! Carlotto also tersely summarizes his impression of the face's features.

"...results to date suggest that they may not be natural."

(Hecht, Jeff; "Computer Does a Double-Take on the Face of Mars," New Scientist, p. 39, July 7, 1988. Also see: Applied Optics, 27:1926, 1988.)

In a more light-hearted manner, P. Jones asserts that a second Martian face exists, and that somehow scientists have managed to keep it under wraps. A photo of the second face appears in the August 25, 1988, issue of New Scientist. Jones remarks on the second face as follows:

"If faces are what you are looking for, it's reasonably convincing, perhaps more convincing than its better-known sibling. It has symmetry, two eyes, a nose, a mouth, a chin; it even has a comical shadow to provide a beard, if you happen to like beards."

(Jones, Pat; "Mars Reveals Its Second Face," New Scientist, p. 62, August 25, 1988.)

Comment. What can one make of all this? Two faces might just mean that Nature on Mars is a prolific a face-maker as she is here in earth. But, as always, we could be treating this subject too lightly.

From Science Frontiers #60, NOV-DEC 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987