The Ice Storm:
How a Little Blind Squirrel Got Some Glasses
By Mike Bara
© 2005 The Enterprise Mission
Earlier this week, news broke concerning a new paper to be presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas, on March 18, 2005. The paper, first previewed in an online version of New Scientist magazine, shows that equatorial hydrogen deposits (first identified by Mars Odyssey 2001) are most likely not merely hydrogen, but rather a massive amount of sub-surface ice -- the remnants of a massive equatorial sea. The paper, published by a team of scientists led by John Murray at the Open University (UK), also concludes that this ocean must be protected by a thin layer of volcanic dust.
The paper shows (rather conclusively, from recent Mars Express HRSC images) that large plate like formations in the Elysium region of Mars are not volcanic – as was always assumed from previous NASA missions -- but rather must result from the current presence of water ice. As New Scientist put it:
“In their paper, the researchers trace a possible history for the underground ice. It begins with huge masses of ice floating in water on Mars. The ice was later covered with volcanic ash, preventing it from sublimating away into the thin atmosphere. Then, the ice broke up and drifted before the remaining liquid water froze. All of the ice not protected by ash sublimated away, leaving the pack ice plates behind ….”
Fractured plate-like features on Mars (left) and in Antarctica (right).
Our sharper readers will recall that both of these ideas were first presented here on the Enterprise Mission website, and that they come from two different, but clearly connected research initiatives. Our own Mars Tidal Model predicted four years ago just such a placement of subsurface Martian ice packs, which in our model would preferentially cluster around the Tharsis and Arabia bulges. What is most significant about the papers’ equatorial ice “discovery” is not merely that it is at the equator … but rather that it resides smack in the middle of our previously theorized Mars tidal oceans (below).
As you can see from the image, the location of the newly-recognized “plates” (white dot) is precisely where the Tidal Model predicts – near the peak of the red “tidal ocean” curve -- at the basin of an outflow channel off the Tharsis rise. Notice that it also is in the middle of a cluster of current water “seeps” (dots and vertical blue bars), as mapped by Effrain Palermo and Jill England. This placement lends further support to our contention that the seeps are current liquid water -- not “dust slides,” as NASA has flatly asserted for years.
The significance of this new “frozen ocean” placement cannot be overstated.
Even if the ice plates had been in the equatorial region, had they not been in the Tharsis or Arabia bulges (or their outflow channels), the Tidal Model would have been dealt a blow, if not seriously falsified. The fact that these newly identified ice plates are precisely where we predicted water would be found almost four years ago, is a tremendous boost to our model -- because only the Mars Tidal Model specifically requires this placement of water and/or ice in longitude and latitude.
In any of the conventional models, all remaining water on Mars must be almost exclusively frozen at the poles.
But the new Murray et al. paper goes well beyond that. The team makes it clear that they believe the patterns are consistent with current water ice, and that the observed features are not fossil signatures of ice flows that no longer exist. This is significant for two reasons. First, it implies that the ice itself is relatively young -- on the order of 5 million years (according to their paper) -- and that there must also be some kind of “protective layer” that has kept the ice from sublimating to the poles completely, as it would if these were truly archaic features (i.e. billions of years old).
Naturally, the 5MYA figure is arrived at by the “science” of crater counting. This assumes that there was massive bombardment in the early days of the solar system, when there were numerous bodies left over from the (additionally assumed) nebular accretion of the solar system. As we point out in the Tidal Model paper however, this theory does not take into account the possibility of a more recent “catastrophic sculpting event” -- like the explosion of Planet V as outlined in the Tidal Model. This event, assuming it occurred, renders the science of crater counting worthless for dating geological features. Given this, and the numerous other confirmations of our model, we believe it is safe to dismiss the 5 million years ago date, although how ice could flow in liquid water on Mars only five million years ago raises even bigger problems for conventional Mars-ologists then for the Tidal Model.
The other issue of interest is that aforementioned “protective layer.” The science team has correctly realized that these massive reserves of ice would have long ago dried up if they were exposed to the currently extremely dry Martian atmosphere. To solve this problem, the team has theorized that a layer of volcanic dust -- probably only a few centimeters thick -- covers the ice, thus preserving it from the harsh, dry Martian climate.
Again, careful observers will note that this is exactly as Enterprise and Hoagland asserted was the protective mechanism for another even more controversial discovery – the ice-encrusted ruins lying beneath the surface of Cydonia (below).
In our (repeatedly confirmed) analysis of the Cydonia IR images from 2002, we were criticized by claims that the IR signals “could not possibly penetrate as deeply” as the structures on the Odyssey images implied.
Our model was that the ruins under Cydonia are encased in a thick sheet of ice -- a product of the massive flooding which took place after the events described in the Tidal Model paper. Although the features could not be easily seen (with a few exceptions) from visible light images, we attributed this to the presence of a few centimeters of light ash (“poof dust” as Hoagland described it on Coast-to-Coast AM at the time) overlaying the deep ice casing. This, now, is exactly the same model asserted by the science team for the “frozen mars ocean,” led by John Murray. If Murray and Hoagland are correct, then there are likely huge tracts of the Martian landscape which are covering other ice flows, elsewhere along the equator, below this covering of “poof dust.”
And, based on the Tidal Model, we can now tell Murray’s team exactly where to look!
Obviously, we do differ with Murray’s team in one other key area. There is no evidence of “recent” volcanic activity on Mars, certainly not as recent as five million years BP. We believe the “ash” came not from Mars’ formerly active volcanoes, but rather from the remnants of Planet V … settling over the high Martian plains after Planet V’s almost incomprehensible destruction. Our model can also neatly account for the presence of large quantities of Olivine preferentially below the geographic “line of dichotomy” on Mars, while the “recent volcanic eruption” model cannot.
Over the years, many critics of the Tidal Model have claimed that we were just lucky with our “guesses” on many aspects of the model. That, even “the proverbial blind squirrel finds a nut now and then ….”
Given that this is now six specific predictions of the model that have been confirmed (to varying degrees) maybe it’s time for our critics to realize that this squirrel has found a few too many nuts to be blind ….
And maybe it’s time to once again consider what else might be lurking under all that ice … not just in Elysium, but in Cydonia.
* * *
Just minutes before Richard C. Hoagland is to go live on Coast-to-Coast AM to bring out this story to the world, another fascinating, corroborating study came to our attention:
As just reported in New Scientist magazine, there is an unexpected increase in the amount of methane in the atmosphere of Mars. Organic life is, of course, the most common and perhaps the only source that could account for this type of development, as our long-term readers will understand. Now, in this latest article, a direct connection is being made between this (to the mainstream, at least) embarrassing increase in atmospheric methane content ... and the presence of oceans beneath the Martian ice!
Oh the times, they are a-changin' ....
... and the ever-so-stingy faucet of Disclosure groans ... as another "drip" cuts loose, and plummets to the rocky ground ...
...to one day be soaked into the Ocean ...
* * *
from Enterprise Mission associate:
The weight of data for active life on Mars, today, continues to increase ... by studying two breakthrough discoveries about life on Earth that were both just announced this week.
Firstly (and most importantly) bacteria in the Earth's permafrosts have now been discovered ... bacteria that can still actively function at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees centigrade!
Consider this excerpt from the article:
Scientists found that bacteria taken from the Alaskan tundra soil release gases during energy production whilst apparently in a frozen state.
This runs contrary to textbook biology, which dictates the need for freely available water to allow these single-celled life forms to function ...
...the discovery of bacteria, thought to be frozen solid at such extreme temperatures, raises many interesting questions about the survival mechanisms used in these harsh conditions ...
Knut Stamnes, Professor of atmospheric physics at Stevens, believes that as the permafrost thaws the greatest threat comes from methane.
"Methane is more important than CO2 in producing greenhouse gases because the atmosphere is relatively saturated with CO2 but not with methane yet. This is a new area for exploration." said Professor Stamnes.
Life forms on other planets
In fact, methane gas was recently found by the European Space Agency (ESA) Mars Express mission in the lower atmosphere of the Red Planet and has been associated with ground ice, fuelling speculation about a biological source of the methane.
Permafrost covers about one fifth of the world's land surface
Professor Dawn Sumner, associate professor of geology at the University of California-Davis, advises the US space agency (NASA) Mars Exploration and Analysis Group.
She believes that the 2007 Phoenix Lander mission to Mars will have increased access to potentially habitable zones and that if life does exist, it is likely to be found in ice first.
"Panikov's results could extend our concept of possible habitable zones to colder temperatures than previously envisioned," said Professor Sumner.
"If low temperature life does exist on another planet, we are likely to find it in ice first because we have identified many very cold, icy environments, but very few environments with liquid water, especially ones that are accessible to robotic missions."
Why does this matter? Simply this. It has always been assumed that bacteria need water to survive ... but in permafrost, (i.e. "permanently frozen" soil,) there is no liquid water at all ... only ice. We now know that these permafrost microbes don't need liquid water at all, but can get by quite happily in totally frozen soil!
Scientists are concerned about these bacteria because their waste products (such as methane) could be making a more substantial contribution to "global warming" than previously thought. (Never mind that "global warming" is happening throughout the entire Solar System ... just blame the little guys.)
Up until now, our scientifically-informed assumptions about bacterial life on Mars have relied on the existence of Martian brine, i.e. liquid salt water, to explain how life could thrive in more than just a few spots ... around "properly" heated thermal springs.
With this recent discovery, we now have a scientific criteria to establish that life could be flourishing now, throughout great swaths of the Martian permafrost! It also means that there is no practical objection to Martian methane, formaldehyde (and ammonia?) being produced in quantity ... by current life on Mars.
* * *
The second new breakthrough relates to the Earth ... and just how deep the biosphere on Earth actually goes down. The European Space Agency, ESA, recently discovered that fully 60 to 70 percent of all bacteria on Earth live deep beneath the surface, in conditions only recently thought to be completely inhospitable to life!
Here is an excerpt from the article itself:
Scientists suggest between 60 to 70% of all bacteria live deep beneath the surface of the Earth, far from the Sun's life-giving rays ...
Far from believing life began in the depths, traditional wisdom dictated it could not exist there at all.
"There was a classic publication in the 1950s that said life stopped a few metres below the sediment surface," said Dr Parkes. "And now we find organisms in excess of 800m deep."
Scientists had good reason to assume life could not live far beneath the Earth's surface. Life needs energy, and there was no obvious source of it.
"The normal view of life on Earth is that the majority of life is on the surface, fuelled by sunlight," Dr Parkes explained. "And you don't expect a large population - even bacteria - to survive away from that source.
"But we are finding that there are a lot of geological sources of energy below the surface. For example, there are a lot of processes that produce hydrogen, which is a good source of energy for bacteria."
Are all these new disclosures simply random events, as the scientific community finally begins catching up to what we have been saying here at Enterprise Mission for over 20 years now? Or, is the public being slowly, carefully prepared for something ... far more important ... in the future?
Who holds the handle upon the mighty Faucet of Disclosure? And ... do we even need water to be flowing out of it for humanity to suddenly awaken to the reality of life on other worlds?
You decide. A tsunami of a different sort may well be bursting at the seams, even now ... a tidal wave of Truth.