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No. 60: Nov-Dec 1988

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A NEW FACE ON MARS?

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