Reconnaissance Orbiter ... and
Lost Cities of Barsoom" ....
By Richard C. Hoagland
© 2006 The Enterprise Mission
I was a kid growing up in Maryland in the 1950's, one day I stumbled across
an old book in the library with the distinctive title, "A Princess
of Mars." It was written (so the title page revealed) by an author
with an equally unusual-sounding name -- "Edgar Rice Burroughs"
... in a year that seemed to a wide-eyed ten-year old almost as ancient
as the Pyramids themselves: 1917!
I flipped through the first few pages ... and was immediately captivated
by the lavish illustrations and highly evocative descriptions ... of an
exotic, distant land (world?) that (for some strange reason) Burroughs
insisted on calling throughout the book (despite the title on the dust
Miraculously, I was allowed to check this first-edition out on my own
(even though it wasn't in the "juvenile" section of
the library ... and, in addition, was extremely valuable), and actually
take it home. Then, like John Carter -- the hero in Burrough's extraordinary
tale -- almost at once, I found myself on Mars--
strange references to "thoats," the "Great Toonoolian Marshes,"
"Siths" and "the Princess of Helium," Burroughs (and
his son -- who did the illustrations) literally painted a stark, haunting
image of "a dying desert world," populated by warring factions
of alien "Red, White and Green Martians," all fighting over
the few remaining reservoirs of water ... surrounded by equally alien
(and sometimes dramatically aggressive -- below) fauna and flora of an
alien land ....
world where past glories and untold ancient wonders still lurked -- invisible,
but tantalizingly close-by -- "beneath Barsoom's desert sands"
I was not the only one to first encounter "thoats" at an impressionable
age; Dr. Michael Malin, developer and Principal Investigator for the Mars
Orbiter Camera (MOC), which has taken almost 200,000 images of Mars aboard
NASA's unmanned Mars Surveyor spacecraft, as well as the Mars
Color Imager (MARCI) and Color Context Imager (CTX), on-board NASA's latest
Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (MRO), also apparently had a "memorable
experience" with Burroughs sometime in his past--
Dr. Malin's "Malin Space Science Systems" official website address
is none other than:
first striking Mars mosaic, taken with another instrument aboard
the spacecraft (the
"HiRISE" camera) -- released
early Friday (March 24, 2006) by NASA and the
University of Arizona's "HIRISE Team" -- brought all the
mystery and magic of Barsoom rushing back.
even casual inspection of the 30.9 mile by 11.7 mile, ultra-high-resolution
(~8 feet per pixel!), 190.5 MB TIF version (!) of this
spectacular "test" image [centered at 34 S. -- 305 E. (also
available through JPL's
Planetary PhotoJournal -- below)] revealed, in unparalleled geometric
clarity, nothing less than--
"Lost Cities of Barsoom!"
of high-resolution close-ups -- enlarged from this first MRO mosaic (below)
-- demonstrate multiple areas (in the original 361-square-mile-image)
that exhibit striking, rectilinear, geometries and obvious orthogonal
alignments -- providing compelling new evidence of non-geological,
artificial ruins (!) lurking just beneath the surface of this
desert Martian landscape ... revealed lying in the bottoms of
several ancient craters ....
this stunning "Martian ruin" (below, right) is compared to similar
structures here on Earth -- as in this 1936 aerial photograph of a long-abandoned
hundred-year-old Sasanian Palace" in Iran (below, left) -- the
eerie geometric similarity is instantly apparent.
HiRISE 20-inch telescope/CCD camera system -- even from an altitude of
more than 1500 miles -- clearly has resolved remarkable, intricate,
architectural details (below) of this impact-excavated subterranean
"Martian complex" ....
areas of this detailed MRO mosaic (below) exhibit even more extensive
evidence of ancient, still partially-buried architectural remains.
(below) is a close-up of the area outlined in white above. The scale (derived
from the original, extremely large MRO mosaic) is "586 feet per inch"
(~8 feet per pixel). Note the clearly rectangular (and even cubical) features
regularly patterning the entire right-hand side.
sectional enlargement of this section of the image (below), reveals even
more clearly these striking structural details -- some appearing as "ghostly"
rectangular outlines, still mantled with their eroding overburden of reddish
half-buried "cubical" structures are slowly being uncovered,
as those on the right have been revealed, by Martian winds steadily eroding
away the remaining massive sediments ... apparently deposited a long time
ago by some unknown "massive influx" of material. Whether this
debris was airborn (volcanic dust), or water-born (carried in a massive
flood) is currently unknown ....
Another terrestrial comparison (below) emphasizes the totally
"un-natural" appearance of this Martian geometric network ...
and what it actually, strikingly resembles.
close-up from the same MRO mosaic (rotated 50 degrees, clockwise -- below)
demonstrates that not all "quasi-circular features" on Mars
are simple "impact craters."
remarkably preserved example exhibits organized, interior geometric
detail characteristic of a massive, designed building ... surrounded
by six, geometrically aligned, surviving elevated "walls"
-- minus a possible roof! The massive former structure is attended by
an array of additional, still partially-buried rectilinear features just
of the circular building is about 600 feet ... the size of a typical terrestrial
football stadium. The surrounding rectilinear features are the size of
average city buildings on Earth ....
is coming from the right ....
examples of solitary, massive buildings with significant portions still
identifiable --and, surrounded by arrays of partially-buried, smaller,
carefully aligned structures -- can be found elsewhere in this remarkable
MRO mosaic (below).
enlargement (below) of the ruins found in this small canyon (processed
by Keith Laney -- with sunlight coming from the upper right) reveals
a variety of additional geometric forms ... including, organized features
clearly representing surviving portions of more single, massive structures
... some also hundreds of feet across (below).
processed close-up of one of these objects (below -- rotated clockwise
50 degrees) reveals a series of flat planar facets, sharp 3-D angles and
a "glass-like" translucence to its surface and interior
... all in one ~600-foot-wide geometric object ... and all, decidedly
is coming from the right in this image.
east of the previous close-up lies THIS highly geometric ruin (below),
revealed lying almost intact in the bottom of a ~2000-foot-wide collapse
feature (NOT an impact crater!), within this ancient canyon wall ....
the fact that similar-scale, geometrically-spaced objects appear to lie
on the ground surface all around this wide depression. Yet, revealed by
the collapse, this "complex" at the bottom obviously lies
several hundred feet below this surrounding surface ... indicating
that, either an entire, single massive structure fell almost undamaged
into a "hole" which opened up in the surface (unlikely) ....
This section of
our "buried Martian city" also extends downward ...
at least several hundred feet!
observed "surface depression" is the result of the surface collapse
of a former "dome-shaped roof" over the interior
architecture -- a ~1000-foot-wide "buried Martian arcology"
-- revealing the geometric organization of its former interior "sub-structures"
(close-up, below) ....
far away, another magnified close-up (also taken from the original MRO
mosaic, and also rotated ~50 degrees, clockwise -- below) reveals another
startlingly geometric "complex" of carefully aligned objects,
apparent "plaza's" ... contained inside startlingly rectangular
"walls" ... and more neatly aligned rectilinear "architecture."
is from the right.
look at this mosaic in detail, the one-time intelligent organization
of all these features is still evident despite the untold millions of
years that have ensued since whatever planetary catastrophe occurred obviously
destroyed this major Martian "city" ... then, completely buried
in, the highly regular geometry of this central, rectangular "complex"
(below) really stands out -- almost as if it was designed as some kind
of "double stadium." And, the strange, bright object at the
far end -- curiously aligned symmetrically with respect to the
"east/west" central axis of entire "complex" -- almost
seems as if it were deliberately placed there ... for optimum
(below), oversampled by 4X, is this same curious-looking object.
about 300 feet from top to bottom, and seems to be composed of highly
angular sub-features, multiple right angles, and to possess it's own intriguing
what we'd see if MRO took another mosaic of this region in six
months -- once it's positioned in it's final 2-hour, ~180-mile high science
orbit -- images almost ten times closer than this one!
miles away, "downstream" in another section of the mosaic (below)
-- in the sediments forming the flat bottom of the ancient "outflow
ghostly square outline of another "several-hundred-foot-wide
structure" -- this one complete with sweeping "butresses"
and two geometric lines of standing "walls" (below) -- pokes
up through the eroding sands in this 50-degree, clockwise rotation from
the larger image above ....
sunlight is coming from the right.
with miminal experience in aerial archaeology -- let alone, a
background in analyzing ruins on another planet via satellite
(!) -- it may be a bit difficult to see some of the more subtle
features in these images ... to say nothing of coming to grips with the
inherent unbelievability ... after all the NASA propaganda ... of viewing
actual ancient ruins on the planet Mars!
needed is a solid scientific basis for comparison.
comparison (another example, below) -- acquired as a set of 1930's aerial
photographs over a similar dessicated landscape here on Earth -- presents
a standard archaeological example of another partially-buried terrestrial
ruin in Iran, for which there is NO SCIENTIFIC DOUBT as to it's "artificiality"
... to be compared directly to what we've found on Mars.
the astonishing scientific similarity ....
of recognizing the hallmarks of "intelligence" via such "remote
sensing" technology, the rules are simple: look for the geometry
... repeating, rectangular geometry ... and, features arrayed
in straight lines (especially those straight line features simultaneously
arrayed at right angles to each other ...).
of such repeating "Euclidian geometry," above a certain scale
... on ANY planet ... is THE major, essentially fool-proof signature--
intelligence "was there" ....
the late Carl Sagan noted so succinctly in "Cosmos"
many years ago ....
"The first indication of intelligent life on Earth
lies in the geometric regularity of its constructions ...."
is, by no means, an "exhaustive" listing or analysis of the
areas -- or the number -- of "anomalous geometric artifacts"
present in just this first MRO HiRISE "test" image!
For a more comprehensive
survey (and, with thumbnails ...) -- carried out independently
by another researcher, also a member of the Enterprise
Conference Team -- go here:
-- organized by catagory and location on this 30.9 by 11.7 mile HiRISE
190.5 Megabyte image -- is a far more complete survey of the "wonders"
to be found in just this one small region ....
any "wonder" now that many have begun to question seriously
... exactly "why" and "for whom" ... is this (already
astonishing) "reconnaissance of Mars" REALLY being carried out
* * *
does this leave us?
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's first released image mosaic --
centered just northwest of the great "Argyre Impact Basin"--
an ancient river channel called "Ogygis
Rupes" (below) -- we not only have more than ample new confirmation
of intelligently-designed artifacts on Mars ... we see these latest examples
spread across a very large area on Mars, encompassing at least several
hundred square miles (!) -- indicative of another, one-time city-sized
complex ... suddeny destroyed by
some immense catastrophe ... only to be excavated once again by the
inexorable forces of entropy and Time .....
countless earlier examples of equally astonishing "half-buried artificial
structures on the Red Planet," captured by every previous NASA
unmanned spacecraft -- such as this remarkable find (below, right),
imaged by Mars Global Surveyor a few years ago ... of
another striking, obviously sand-covered artificial ruin on Mars,
located at 28.38° N., 332.54° W., in a region called (appropriately)
also find a more clandestine record of completely independent but strikingly
similar Soviet confirmation of "ET Martian ruins."
example of Soviet contributions in this area came with the ill-fated Phobos
2 Mars Mission, in 1989.
2 -- before it was mysteriously "lost" (after only 90 days in
Mars orbit) -- transmitted
striking infrared images (below) of additional, highly geometric,
also half-buried Martian features ,,, eerily similar (but
in a totally different region -- Hydroates Chaos ...) to our latest "buried
Martian city" (northwest of the Argyre Impact Basin).
when NASA's Mars Odyssey Mission released its first
nighttime IR "test" images -- exactly 13 years (to the day!)
after Phobos 2 acquired its own anomalous IR of its "buried Martian
city" -- the Odyssey data also
revealed an astonishing set of incredibly geometric, half-buried
Martian landforms ... in a region "right next door" to the
Soviet Phobos 2 images -- in "Hydaspsis Chaos" (2° North/
29° West -- below).
NASA/JPL tried to pass these astonishing, clearly artificial
structures off as merely typical "Martian mesas," the undeniable,
incredibly redundant geometric nature of the objects (both inside
and out -- note the "double, triple, and even quadruple,
parallel walls!"), and their obvious, carefully designed architectural
layout in relation to each other ... argued compellingly for a totally
different scenario ....
with a partially-buried ruin in Iran (below, left) reveals an astonishing
similarity between this Earthly, man-made structure ... with it's periodic
"walled fortifications" -- and its vastly larger, but identically
"walled" counterparts ... on Mars!
is NASA the only space agency to have acquired solid evidence, from a
variety of missions and their instruments, of "buried Martian cities"
well after the "collapse" of the old Soviet Union, the lead
Russian designer of unmanned spacecraft bound for Mars and Venus (including
Phobos 2) -- V.G. Perminov -- in collaboration with NASA Headquarters's
own History Office, in Washington D.C. -- had translated a very personal
(if all-too-brief) memoir of the Soviet's many attempts to send "his"
spacecraft to the Red Planet ... titled:
Difficult Road to Mars: A Brief History of Mars Exploration in the Soviet
in his own Introduction to "Difficult Road ..." Perminov makes
some eerily "predictive" comments ....
The first stage of Mars exploration is finished. Surprisingly, vegetation,
canals, and traces of intelligent life have not been found. However,
dried-up courses of waterways have been observed. What happened?
Why did water disappear? Did primitive or intelligent life
exist in the past, or does it exist now on Mars?
we cannot answer these questions. It now seems like Mars is a lifeless
desert. On the other hand, we know that in Earth's deserts,
archeologists dig up cities that flourished in the past but
were neglected by ancient people, and they are now covered with
"In 1971, the largest dust storm ever registered by astronomers
covered the whole Martian surface. For a few months, hundreds of
millions of tons of dust were suspended in the Martian atmosphere.
As a result, one could not observe the Martian surface. Nevertheless,
one cannot rule out that cities covered by sand may exist in
the Martian deserts. That would be evidence of an ancient
Martian civilization that disappeared or moved to other planets
[emphasis added] ...."
Was Perminov merely
"speculating" re what he'd hoped to find on Mars ....
Was he, in fact, subtly
revealing what the Soviet's had already -- and also secretly
-- confirmed ... ?
Lost Cities of Barsoom!!"
And then published
in, of all places--
NASA/Russian monograph -- detailing the star-crossed history of repeated
Soviet efforts to reach Mars ... if not the reason why?!
Stay tuned ....
HiRISE engineering "test color strip" of Mars -- acquired March
24th just prior to the beginning of MRO's next six months of aerobraking
into its final "science orbit"-- has now been released by the
Team at the University of Arizona, JPL
Tiff (uncompressed -- 85 Meg!) version of this same image, for detailed
study and enlargement, is also available at NASA's
image is of a restricted, central section of the original B&W, full
engineering MRO mosaic (below) -- the latter released to the media and
general public by NASA March 24th.
image was created by the acquisition of multi-spectral infrared and blue-green
color data, combined with the originally released red filtered mosaic
(in B&W -- above) -- detected over the central section of the larger
image via three sets of specifically "filtered CCD picture element
detectors." When these three separate, overlapping images are recombined
through appropiate filters, the result is a full-color "central color
strip" -- inset into the larger "red filter" (presented
in B&W) mosaic ... (below).
image is NOT "natural color" (as the human eye would see Mars,
looking down from orbit), but is a "false color view" ... shifted
towards the infrared. It is designed to detect subtle surface mineral
and compostion differences, revealed as different color shadings.
the final Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Science Orbit is achieved
(sometime in September/October), another high-powered instrument on-board
-- the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging
Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) -- would be able to map the same features
(imaged here -- above) in 544 much narrower-spectrum "colors"
(!) -- allowing unique mineral identification of the composition
of the curiously "colored" patches seen in this false-color
resolution of CRISM at that point will be ~18 meters-per-pixel (~60 feet)
-- about the size of a small house! -- compared to the ~8-foot-per-pixel
resolution of the present color HiRISE image (in its intended final orbit,
the pixel resolution of HIRISE will be about "11 inches
of specific features on this landscape, what would future CRISM observations
reveal about this (by now) familiar cluster of "highly regular,
geometric-spaced objects" from the initial MRO mosaic ... exposed
at the bottom of an ancient impact crater (below)?
version of these enigmatic structures from the color HiRISE image (below),
reveals tantalizing hints of what's to come.
is the highly ordered geometry still present (complete with the
delicate rectilinear detail seen between the structures, also
visible in the B&W version ...), the color of these clearly organized
objects is "greenish" ... at distinct variance with the more
neutral "grayish," windblown sands seen between the
structures and around the crater itself.
about these "geometric objects'" composition -- in this false
color HIRISE image -- is revealing a "greenish cast" ... which,
significantly, is NOT present in the windblown materials in which they're
still partially buried!
hyperspectral set of observations in the Fall could, in principle, determine
exactly what that "greenish stuff" could be -- its
composition -- and if, in fact, that composition is consistent with "naturally
expected" desert Martian minerals for this region ....
these objects are indeed made of something more "exotic."
back to the larger color frame (below) -- just to the northeast of this
anomalous collection of geometric "stuff" in the crater floor
-- there appear to be two curious "greenish triangles" that
immediately stand out as also "unusual" in this false color
to be a raised feature -- a roughly trianglular-shaped mesa. The other
is clearly a shallow depression in the desert ... with another collection
of semi-organized features on its floor ....
closer view (below) reveals tantalizing hints that we may be
seeing more remains of ruins--
For, the green "triangular
mesa" contains a perfect right angle "base" on the upper
right (northeast) corner, as well as eroded geometry on top that eerily
echoes this same rectilinear pattern. This northeast/southwest
alignment is also shared by the collection of much smaller objects on
the floor of the near-by "green triangular depression."
Most striking, indeed,
is the definite green color of both these features ....
The same "green"--
Which revealed itself
in the rectilinear collection of apparent structures in the nearby
If these are, indeed,
artificial remains of ancient buildings and more massive Martian
structures, eroding out of the desert sands that had somehow originally
buried them a long, long time ago ... were both sets of objects originally
made from the same artificial alloy, or material ... which is
now being detected as "greenish stuff" in this false color,
And, could future
high-resolution CRISM observations of these same features confirm
such a possible scenario ...?
The answer's "Yes!"
Again -- as with the
B&W MRO mosaic released earlier -- we have only "scratched the
surface" of the details of this extraordinary HIRISE color image.
There is more ....
the Enterprise Conference – and Explore the Implications of This Remarkable
New Discovery with Other Members of the “Enterprise Crew” ….