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No. 116: Mar-Apr 1998

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Plant Life On Mars?

"Strong evidence that plant life exists on Mars was advanced today by Earl C. Slipher, American astronomer, after observation of the planet, which is closer to the earth this month than at any time since 1924.


"His theory is founded on an apparent change in the planet's surface, regarded as his most important discovery.
"The huge dark spot (Solis Lacus) or the Great Eye of Mars, seems to have assumed a shape not observed for fifty years, if ever before. Mr. Slipher indicated that this was strong evidence that plant life existed on the planet, and suggested that the change was due to fresh vegetation over an area roughly the size of the United States."

(Anonymous; "Evidence of Plant Life on the Planet Mars Is Announced by an American Astronomer," New York Times, July 21, 1939. Cr. M. Piechota.)

Comment. What a difference 59 years make! Could those tiny structures in ALH 84001 be fossilized pollen grains?

From Science Frontiers #116, MAR-APR 1998. 1998-2000 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