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"Mission to Mars":
The NASA/Touchstone Version of
"The Monuments of Mars?"

© 2000 The Enterprise Mission

Almost a quarter of a century ago, an unmanned NASA robot -- Viking 1 -- looked down on Mars from a high orbit. And in a northern Martian desert called "Cydonia" it photographed a remarkable collection of astonishingly artificial-looking objects …

Including, a mile-long humanoid "face" … aligned with an equally out-of-place, highly geometric grouping of massive "Martian pyramids!"

Thus began a generation-long, intense (some would even say "bitter") political and scientific controversy. Long-standing, vehement government denials (NASA) that Viking had spotted "anything unusual" ... confronted and opposed by an equally vigorous series of independent scientific studies attesting to the extraordinary scientific nature of "the Face":

As the centerpiece of a long-vanished, "Martian" extraterrestrial civilization.

The head of one of those independent Cydonia research efforts for almost twenty years, former NASA consultant and Angstrom Medal of Science Award Winner, Richard C. Hoagland, has authored an extensive history of this generation-long scientific controversy. In "The Monuments of Mars" (North Atlantic, Berkeley, 4th Edition, 1996) Hoagland details both the painstaking scientific research conducted by himself and a score of other scientists on the strange features discovered at Cydonia, as well as the bizarre quarter-of-a-century official NASA effort to categorically deny any of this science.

Now, over a generation after it was initially discovered … and then repeatedly, deliberately denied … a 120 million-dollar feature film from Touchstone Pictures (Disney Corporation) – titled "Mission to Mars: Let There Be Life" – will finally confront (and with NASA’s backing, no less!) the overwhelming controversies of "the Face" …


Including, the true Origins of Humanity itself … the ultimate Meaning -- and a key reason for Hoagland’s 17-year-old unceasing odyssey -- behind "the Monuments of Mars."

Click to go there ...

The plot of Disney’s forthcoming big budget "Mission to Mars" (Release Date: March 10, 2000) is easily recognized as "half Ray Bradbury," half "NASA ‘Cydonia spin.’"

To whit: a manned Mars mission departs for the Red Planet … only to disappear (sounds a little like NASA’s current real-world history, doesn’t it?). So, a second "Mars Recovery Mission" is hurriedly dispatched. Objective: determine what happened to the first Expedition … and, if possible, rescue any surviving crew.


With the arrival on Mars of the Second Expedition … all hell breaks loose.

Presented through a tour de force of "unprecedented Hollywood special effects" (according to Touchstone’s publicists), the lavish visuals embedded in the Mars film have been specifically designed to "intensely illustrate" the "ancient alien science and technology awakened by NASA’s unwanted presence on the planet" ...

NASA backing (control?) of this major wide screen effort is overwhelmingly apparent – from the Touchstone Pictures official "Mission to Mars" Website (which remarkably, given the decades of independent science and public controversy surrounding the overall Cydonia Question, lists only other NASA "Mars links" on the subject), to the NASA "Mars scientists" officially hired for the project.

Nowhere, in any of the Touchstone (or NASA) publicity covering this unique film – after more than twenty years of outright denial, a sudden, government-supported introduction to the stunning possibilities of "Martian neighbors" -- will one find the astonishing, real story behind this "fictional" manned Mission … the amazing, "secret" connection of this specific picture to over twenty years of real "Cydonia research"—

Through the film’s uniquely qualified Director.


The major Hollywood personality recruited to oversee this unprecedented film – nothing less than a NASA-supported "fictional confirmation of Cydonia!" -- was award-winning veteran, Brian DePalma.

DePalma, in addition to his credits on a score of other major films, went into this project with a (required?) "special insight" into the singular possibilities inherent in an "alien science" … discovered "on location" on the Planet Mars:

His own brother -- Dr. Bruce DePalma -- a very unorthodox (if brilliant) former MIT engineer and physicist.

For Richard Hoagland -- working quietly on the science and engineering implications of his Cydonia discoveries for almost ten years -- collaborated heavily along the way (with, among others) one "Dr. Bruce DePalma"--

Yes, the same brother … of this very picture’s esteemed Hollywood Director!

Their last joint "appearance" (before Dr. DePalma’s unexpected death in 1998) was in 1996. The occasion was the highly popular national radio show, "Coast-to-Coast," hosted by Art Bell. At that time, Hoagland evoked DePalma’ previous twenty years of exotic physics and engineering experiments to explain the sudden and (still) mysterious loss of the highly-publicized "tethered satellite experiment" by a NASA shuttle crew.

When initially brought together in 1989, Hoagland and his colleagues had just published the outlines of something termed "Hyper-dimensional Physics" – decoded through the hyperdimensional geometry of the ruins specifically grouped around "the Face." When placed alongside DePalma’s previous laboratory data, the "HD Model" seemed for the first time to be able to explain several of the otherwise inexplicable and astonishing laboratory results independently documented by DePalma … going back some ten years before Cydonia was even photographed!


Those highly significant experimental results ranged from DePalma’s creation of a rotating energy device (the "N-Machine"), that (like stars and planets) apparently taps into the seemingly "unlimited energy potential" of free space … to gravity-defying, rapidly spinning and precessing, massive systems. The latter is best exemplified by DePalma’s disconcerting discovery in the early 70’s that – in opposition to all ideas in current physics -- a rapidly spinning system (see graphic) flies higher and farther against gravity than a non-spinning system!

These extraordinary experiments in fundamental physics even included observation of exotic biological effects experienced by living organisms directly exposed to those mysterious "rotational energetic processes."

Ultimately, much of DePalma’s most remarkable experimental data, after detailed comparison with the theoretical predictions (produced from the geometric decoding of "the Message of Cydonia") were found to elegantly conform to Hoagland’s "Hyperdimensional Model." These impressive confirmations were not only included in later editions of Hoagland’s best selling history of the Cydonia investigations ("The Monuments of Mars"), it was a highlight of his many invited addresses to NASA over the years … and even at the UN!

Yet, equally remarkable, neither Hoagland (nor any other member of The Enterprise Mission team -- either officially or unofficially) was ever approached during

"Mission to Mars" development, to input their considerable "Cydonia experience" (let alone Hoagland’s unique scientific relationship with Dr. Bruce DePalma …) on any aspect of the "alien science" of the soon-to-be-released (NASA?) Touchstone film.

Despite this glaring "oversight," the special effects lavishly (and expensively) embodied in this NASA-version of "what’s ultimately waiting for us at Cydonia," amazingly enough, still manage to incorporate all the major implications of Hoagland’s "Hyperdimensional Physics" in the final film … with stunning visual results.

A most remarkable "coincidence."

Another "sheer coincidence" is to be found in the movie’s final, quite dramatic ending.

We’re not giving anything away, because several striking images from this "2001-type ending" (as Touchstone actually bills it!) have already been shown around the world (in a SuperBowl TV ad, which ran at half-time). Particularly evocative is an "alien … Martian face" seen suddenly emerging from the reddish Martian sands … clearly and irrevocably linking this film to NASA’s well-documented schizophrenic treatment of Cydonia for more than twenty years …

There is only one small problem—

For some reason, DePalma deliberately chose to completely ignore those twenty years of scientific analysis of the Cydonia Face itself – which unmistakably shows a hominid/feline lineage (with all its implications – see graphic) -- and instead, substituted his (NASA’s?) own, completely fabricated version of this intensely controversial object … which to many viewers, looked remarkably like a so-called "Grey alien," direct from the darkest side of the contemporary UFO experience. This impression is supported by some "publicity stills" just posted on the official "Mission to Mars" Website, one of which shows another "Grey" … in a crewman’s Spacesuit Arm Display!



A hint of NASA’s "projection" of further extraterrestrial events to come?

By now it should be crystal clear that Touchstone’s forthcoming "Mission to Mars," according to DePalma, is nothing more or less than NASA’s long-awaited "answer" to the sticky questions of Cydonia itself. For those who are tired of government "spin" on all the major issues of our time, in this case there are clear alternatives.

Hoagland’s own best seller (The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever, North Atlantic, Berkeley, 4th Edition, 1996) tells a VERY different story of the implications of finding life on Mars from this Hollywood portrayal. The discussion of the real "science of Cydonia" has been extended through Hoagland’s scores of network interviews over the years, as well as through a series of professionally produced "Enterprise Mission" videos (the "Hoagland’s Mars" series) – documenting Hoagland’s various officially invited presentations to brief both the NASA rank and file, major universities, and even a gathering of delegates, press and members of the public at the United Nations.

As stated earlier, NASA’s own quarter-of-a-century position on Cydonia research, as well as those of its planetary scientists, has been uniformly caustic; especially dismissive on the subject was the well-known NASA "spokesman" on the theme of extraterrestrial life, the late Carl Sagan. In his own repeated public dismissals of Cydonia, Dr. Sagan’s well-known scorn ranged from once comparing the appearance of "the Face" to the random appearance of "Jesus Christ on a tortilla chip …" to more "technical" statistical denials:

"Why not one postage-stamp sized mesa – out of the 150 million square kilometers of Mars – that looks a little odd ..?"

Yet privately, Sagan had a long and highly personal relationship with Cydonia and its researchers: among other things, over the years this involved several private briefings from Hoagland himself and various members of his research team, including one where Carl personally implored Hoagland to "keep up the good work." This, while simultaneously … publicly … proclaiming a very different view …


It was Sagan, just days after the release of the original Viking "Face" image in 1976, frame 35A72, who pushed to have the Viking 2 landing site switched from Cydonia -- on the grounds that it was a "rocky Northern latitude." The Viking Team subsequently put the Lander down at an even rockier and more northerly latitude -- but well away from Cydonia itself!

Much later in this schizophrenic public/private Cydonia involvement, Sagan authored what has come to be viewed as the definitive "Cydonia hit piece." In this now infamous article, appearing in PARADE Magazine in 1985 and titled, "The Man in the Moon," Sagan not only sarcastically compared "the Face" to that infamous tortilla chip (as well as to a "Richard Nixon eggplant!"), he published artificially "colorized" versions of the object -- to bolster his contention that "in a separate spacecraft photo with different lighting, it seems to be an irregular hill …"

Sonoma State University ethicist, epistemologist, historian of science and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, Dr. Stanley McDaniel, took Sagan sharply to task for this grossly unfair article in 1993. In an exhaustive published document titled, "The McDaniel Report: On the Failure of Executive, Congressional and Scientific Responsibility in Investigating Possible Evidence of Artificial Structures on the Surface of Mars and in Setting Mission Priorities for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program," McDaniel showed not only the clear scientific errors of all of NASA’s years-long "objections" to Cydonia, but of the high-profile Sagan "hit piece" as well. In that section of his work, McDaniel methodically exposed the deliberately deceptive tactics used by Sagan to advance his cavalier "dismissals" of the Face, which included creation of deliberately misleading images, labeling these outright "propaganda methods." Wrote McDaniel:

"In my view, Dr. Sagan’s article, given the circumstances, so grossly offends the ethics of science reporting that it deserves far more stringent adjectives than I have used here [emphasis added] … The fact that Dr. Sagan resorts to the array of fallacious arguments found in this [PARADE] article, and avoids addressing the actual [Cydonia] research, very strongly suggests a recognition that the case being developed for the possible artificiality of the Face was already – as early as 1984 – impressive enough to withstand responsible forms of criticism ... It would appear that Dr. Sagan may have considered it of considerable importance to divert public interest away from the Face on Mars – great enough for him to run the risk that the fallacies and diversions in his article might eventually be exposed …"

Then, near the end of his life, Sagan underwent his final public change on the subject of Cydonia: in a 180-degree turn from the PARADE article, he went out of his way to separate the "Cydonia investigation" from the other, "pseudo-science" targets of his last published work, "The Demon Haunted World." In this final written statement of his life, Carl Sagan deftly contradicted all his previous "official" positions on Cydonia: pointing out that the Cydonia investigation, as distinguished from most "extraordinary claims," stood apart -- by having the one essential precept of "good science" … it could actually be tested. He concluded his "about face" by arguing that, as a clear "scientific problem," Cydonia deserved to be fairly tested in the coming years … via a veritable fleet of new missions then heading back to Mars …

Which, curiously, is precisely when NASA (and Russian) missions to the Red Planet literally began to disappear …

With this as background, on the occasion of Sagan’s tragic and untimely death in late 1996, the A&E Television Network aired that very night a previously produced (with Sagan’s input) "authorized Biography." And there – right in the middle of the description of Dr. Sagan’s extensive research work on Viking’s 1976 Mars Mission – from an obscure CBS tape (shot at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory the night Viking successfully landed on the planet Mars), suddenly appeared a much younger Hoagland, center screen …


Was this a deliberate "message" – carefully inserted into the middle of Sagan’s authorized biography … by none other than Carl Sagan? From its placement in that program, it was obviously intended only to be seen on Sagan’s death …

Now, in light of NASA’s own highly questionable "sudden turn around" on the subject of Cydonia -- it’s documented, official backing of this soon-to-be-highly- controversial major film finally dealing with the taboo "Face on Mars" … but without Hoagland -- the real reasons underlying Sagan’s unmistakable (if oblique) "last reference to Cydonia" is even more fascinating. Considering the complete non sequitur represented by the otherwise unidentified insertion of Hoagland at that precise moment in his own

life-story, there seems to be no other reasonable explanation for this bizarre event … than the fact that Sagan specifically wanted to draw attention to the importance of the real quarter-century of Cydonia research, on the occasion of his death …

Led by Richard Hoagland!

Finally, there is Hoagland’s own proposed "feature film" on the subject of Cydonia, written in collaboration with Paul Davids. Currently making the rounds of several major studios, the script presents a VERY different view (than the DePalma version) of NASA’s less-than-forthright actions vis a vis "the Face on Mars" for over twenty years …

One thing is certain: the time to ask "what’s truly waiting at Cydonia ?" has finally come. This seems to be "The Year!" For the answers, just--

Stay tuned …

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Copyright © 1996 - 2013   Richard C. Hoagland+ All Rights Reserved