February 15th, 2019

Archaeology On Mars – From The Fantastical To The Real

Rover and Pyramids on Mars GETTY

NASA’s Martian rover Opportunity breathed its last digital gasp this week. What was a busy scurrying robot picking over and investigating the Martian landscape is now a slowly decaying pile of metal and circuitry. That is to say, Opportunity has entered my world, the world of abandoned things that is archaeology.

Humans have been dreaming about Martian archaeology for well over a century now. When the Italian Astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli described seeing canali on the surface of the red planet in 1877, many in the English-speaking world began to speculate that Schiaparelli was referring to artificially constructed canals. Percival Lowell became the largest champion of this interpretation. In his 1895 book “Mars,” Lowell claimed that the canals of Mars had been built by a desperate alien race seeking to salvage what water they could from the planet’s melting ice caps.

Yet all along this journey, the Martian landscape has become populated by actual human-made objects. Fourteen separate missions from four different space agencies have littered the surface of the Mars with not only landers and rovers, but heat shields, parachutes, and an untold number of broken bits. As an archaeologist, I love broken bits.

The things that people make and leave behind tell a different story then written history. A physical examination of landing sites on Mars would reveal critical details about why some landers arrived safely while others crashed to never be heard from again. Even the crashed landers tell a story of human triumph and ingenuity. One day, an astronaut will walk up to the original Viking 1 lander and marvel at the accomplishments of their ancestors. The material heritage we are currently scattering across the Martian surface will stand for centuries to come as a symbol of what we as human beings can do.

August 3rd, 2015

Why Your Brain Thinks This Picture Shows a Giant, Martian Crab Monster TIME


It’s definitely not a giant crab lurking in a cave. In fact, it’s just one more example of the sometimes whimsical, always spooky phenomenon known as pareidolia, or the tendency of the brain to see familiar shapes—especially faces—emerging from random patterns.

In fairness to the folks freaked out by the current image, a crab is not a face and the brain has to work a little harder to force that image out of the background shapes, but it does the job all the same—just as it will interpret a branch in the underbrush as a snake or a shadow in the closet as a monster. Your pattern recognition regions are not the smartest part of your brain, but they’re not designed to be. They only have to be right once, and on the off chance you ever do run across a bear in the woods or a crab monster on Mars, you’ll have your fusiform gyri to thank for keeping you alive.

July 31st, 2010

Extreme Close-Up of the Face on Mars Universe Today

The ‘face’ on Mars, a popular landform in Cydonia Region on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Here’s a picture you probably won’t see in the tabloid racks while waiting in line at the grocery store. This is the famous “Face on Mars,” and is the closest image ever of this landform, taken by the best Mars camera ever, HiRISE on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. And it certainly looks like …. the top of mesa, which is exactly what it is. This feature in the Cydonia region of Mars is most likely a lava dome that has created an isolated mesa or butte-like structure, i.e., a hill. Compare this image to the original image from the Viking orbiter from 1976 image, below, which created such a furor, including a whole new culture of conspiracy theories, books, late-night radio talk show discussion and even a full-length feature film. Alas, its just a hill.

May 3rd, 2010

The Phobos Monolith The Economic Voice

We have all seen the famous humanoid face-shaped rock from mars but we know it’s not real, these images and shapes are caused by natural erosion due to the weather patterns and, if you look hard enough and long enough, you will find whatever your mind wants to find, from human faces to pyramids.
I myself am not a lunatic, neither do I believe in conspiracy theories, I believe in mathematics and science but I still have an open mind. Something though caught my attention yesterday, whilst watching an interview from last year with Buzz Aldrin. He spoke about space travel and the reasons we should be going back to the moon and even landing on asteroids. I know it was probably a lot of spin to get people talking about and therefore funding space travel, but what he said next definitely got my attention. He spoke about the moons of Mars, saying that on the moon Phobos there is a monolith and that when people see this they will start asking questions about it, some will say God put it there and others will say the universe put it there. These were his words and there is a definite glint in his eye when he speaks about the monolith.

October 15th, 2009

New Mars Pyramid Found

A new Mars Pyramid has been found in a European Space Agency Photo by Richard Heene, Science Detective.
To find the photo, go to: . Click Mars Facts and Images, click Mars Express images, go to page 27, click “Crater Hale in perspective, looking west”.
The European Space Agency has leaked evidence clearly showing civilization on planet Mars.This video will show you the evidence,as well as how you can download it and judge for yourself.
Also this Video shows a new Head Monument that has been recently identified on the Martian surface.

August 18th, 2009

A “New Cydonia” of ancient extraterrestrial monuments found on Mars Seattle Exopolitics Examiner

A major, new complex of massive, ancient terra-forms has been found in the Reull Vallis of Mars. The monuments were photographed by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) onboard the Mars Orbiter Express of the European Space Agency (ESA) on January 15, 2004 from a height of 170 miles above the surface of Mars.
The Reull Vallis site includes at least nine striking statues of human and animal faces clearly visible from space, including very large ground drawings featuring the profiles of primates and canines. Like the long-heralded Cydonia site, this intriguing new site also contains a large, pyramid-shaped landform that can be seen at the right bottom of the ESA photograph, where the channel of the Ruell Vallis turns and flows to the south.

January 25th, 2008

Female Figure on Mars Just a Rock

The idea that there may be life on Mars has been around for centuries, but the theory got a dubious boost from recently released photos of the surface of Mars (taken by the NASA robot Spirit) apparently showing a human-like figure. Several Internet sites have glommed onto the image and suggested the figure could be alive.
But what is it? Just a rock, astronomers say

September 23rd, 2006

Mars Face Makeover: Controversial Formation Observed from New Angles

NASA started it all back in 1976 with an image of an interesting mountain on Mars and a caption that described it as appearing to have eyes and nostrils.
Thirty years later, the Face on Mars still inspires myths and conspiracy theories.
New images from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter will confirm for many that the features are natural, while no doubt offering tantalizing “clues” to others of an ancient intelligent civilization at work.
The spacecraft’s High Resolution Stereo Camera provides data the researchers turn into colorized perspective views, which simulate the scene as though you were flying high over the region in an aircraft. The data was obtained in July and the images released today.

September 13th, 2004

Author to speak about Mars at Lakewood [NJ] library Tri-Town News

Author George J. Haas will speak at the Lakewood branch of the Ocean County Library, 301 Lexington Ave., on Sept. 13, 2004 at 7 p.m. Haas is the author of

August 4th, 2004

Mars Gone Wild Wired Magazine

Millions of amateur astronomers are poring over pictures of the Red Planet. Experience the thrill of discovery – or self-delusion – for yourself!

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