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No. 79: Jan-Feb 1992

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A Martian Riddle

J. Channon's sketch of the 'Face on Mars'
Adaptation of J. Channon's sketch of the "Face on Mars" emphasizing its similarities to the Sphinx. (From: Pozos, Randolfo Raphael; The Face on Mars, Chicago, 1986, p.50)
Once again we return to cold, desertlike Mars, which still clings to a thin, oxygen-less atmosphere and where, some say, the artifacts of a long-dead intelligent race may be seen.

A livable Mars in past eons is not a physical impossibility. Some scientists argue that Martian geological and geochemical data:

"...are consistent with past conditions on Mars that were favorable to earth-like life forms: Abundant liquid water and an atmosphere that was dense and warm, and possibly rich in oxygen."

That life -- intelligent life -- once thrived on Mars is suggested by photos taken of the Martian surface by Viking spacecraft:

"Images of the surface of Mars showing, at several sites what appear to be three carved humanoid faces, of kilometer scale, and having similar anatomical and ornamental details between all three. Appearing with these objects are numerous other objects and suface features that resemble Earth-like archaeological ruins, of a Bronze Age culture, with no evidence of advanced technology or civilization."

The Martian faces, pyramids, and cities are the foundation of the Cydonian Hypothesis:

"That Mars once lived as the Earth now lives, and that it was once the home of an indigenous humanoid intelligence."

(Brandenburg, John E., et al; "The Cydonian Hypothesis," Journal of Scientific Exploration, 5:1, 1991. This journal is published by the Society for Scientific Exploration.)

From Science Frontiers #79, JAN-FEB 1992. 1992-2000 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