Will Mars Odyssey Finally Let
The "Cat Out of The Bag?"

In the next few weeks, NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft, named for Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick's ground breaking and not-so-fictional cinematic tale "2001 -- A Space Odyssey," will commence the transfer of data back to Earth from its suite of instruments. According to NASA's Steve Saunders, one of the early targets will be Cydonia's Face on Mars, in the first month or so. This is intriguing (if not absolutely astonishing!) because not only is NASA choosing to now give priority to a target it has previously dismissed as "unremarkable," but the type of instruments being put to the job will, for the first time in this quarter-century-long controversy, reveal the fundamental material composition of this ancient monument.

Although Odyssey contains a visible light camera, it will have a resolution of only about 18 meters per pixel, better than the Viking era camera but not as good as Mars Global Surveyor's 1.5 MPP optimum resolution. The most exciting aspect of the Visible Light Camera however is that it will take images in 5 visible (obviously) spectral bands, meaning that we will get color images of the Face for the first time! It will represent a major upgrade over the TES camera in the Mars Global Surveyor (see below).

The camera is part of a more complex device called the Thermal Emission Imaging System, or (THEMIS). THEMIS is actually three instruments in one; the visible light camera, a thermal imager, and a multi-spectral imager -- or infrared camera. The infrared camera can scan the planet's surface at 100 MPP resolution, but with a sensitivity of one degree difference in temperature.  The same infrared instrument, by scanning in nine different region of the IR spectrum, will allow determination of the surface composition of the objects that it scans ... at that same 100 meter/pixel resolution. (Some web sites have stated that the Gamma Ray Spectrometer will reveal the most detail about the Face, but this is not correct. The GRS has a resolution of only 300 kilometers per pixel, substantially worse than the THEMIS).

While 100 MPP is not great resolution, it is still half the original two Viking "high-resolution" images of the Face.  This should be more than sufficient to help clarify which model of the Face's composition is more accurate. The total image will actually be several hundred "pixels" square, allowing us to make precise comparisons of temperature and material composition variations over the entire surface area of the Face, at the resolution of a football field ... on a structure over a square mile in total area!

This is important because there are currently two competing ideas on what the Face actually is. For more than ten years, on video and in print, the Enterprise Mission has maintained and predicted that the Face is actually two faces in one, a hominid left half, and a feline right half. This dual message, which we have outlined in detail before, argues that while the platform the Face is sculpted on is clearly symmetrical, the facial features themselves are not.

The alternative, that the Face is actually meant to be a symmetrical human visage, has been championed by Mark Carlotto, Tom Van Flandern, and numerous other "serious" Cydonia researchers. Obviously, this notion took a huge hit with the release of the new 2001 Face image. Since that time, many of the "human face" advocates have been scrambling to put their theory back together again, with Van Flandern resorting to the ad-hoc argument that the Cliff side of the Face must have been "melted", and Carlotto claiming that the Face is symmetrical, not just in platform but in features, but that the Cliff (right-hand) side's otherwise symmetrical human features are currently disguised by their burial in deep, wind drifted sand.

Inadvertently, this latter model has given us an ideal opportunity to once again put to the test which theory is correct. With its thermal heat imager, the THEMIS will be able to measure the temperature variations as the Face "cools" during the Martian night. If the Face is a "rock sculpture", and pretty much looks as it was intended to look by the builders, then there will be very little variation in the heat loss over the entire plan form of the object. Since sand covering the Cliff side of the Face would act as an insulator, any covered rocky surfaces would absorb considerably less energy during the heat of the Martian day, and would subsequently be considerably cooler than the City side. So an asymmetrical cooling pattern would support the idea that certain features were buried under deposits of sand or debris, and a symmetrical cooling pattern would support our contention that Face "is what it is" -- a sculpture with two distinct halves: one feline, one hominid.  In fact, if the "dual" model is correct and the City (hominid) side is more eroded than the Cliff (feline) side (as we contend), then there may even be a lower temperature for the City half ... exactly opposite Mark Carlotto's expectation!  It all depends on the honesty of NASA's Odyssey Cydonia temperature data publication.

We will also get a chance from Odyssey's THEMIS measurements to consider Van Flandern's "melting", or collapse, assertions. As we have noted in earlier articles, some features on the Face could possibly be attributed to internal collapse of a hollowed out structure, one that will likely be made of various metals and metal alloys. THEMIS will be able to determine just what minerals the Face is composed of (within certain limits), and we expect those results -- assuming they are honest -- to be quite "anomalous" compared to any natural models.  For one thing, the material composition on the Cliff side should be more or less uniform in our "dual species model."  This is because that side is far less eroded, being protected from the wind.  The left or City side, on the other hand, having its casing considerably eroded and exposed, should reveal the variegated structural composition of the interior  -- producing many strange and unpredictable composition readings

Fractal analysis result marking the Face as the most anomalous object in a 15,000 sq. mile area.

We already know, from Carlotto's fractal analysis over a decade and a half ago, that the Face doesn't fit -- does not belong "down there" on the surface of Mars. What these new studies will do is enable us to understand more precisely just what in fact the Face really is, and which model is the better one to move forward on.

All of this is also coming at a significant time -- at the beginning of a new Administration. NASA officially wrote the Face off (after unofficially trying to suppress all scientific interest in the subject for two decades) with their blatantly fraudulent and highly political "hit piece" in the wake of last years full-face MGS image release.  Yet, in an abrupt "about Face," they are now publicly advertising that the Face is "an early targeting priority."  What gives?!

This seeming dichotomy makes sense when you consider the political -- rather than the scientific -- climate around Mars today. While radical ideas like the possibility of artificial structures on Mars and even our own well considered (and substantially verified) Mars Tidal Model are rejected out-of-hand by the NASA funded "scientific establishment," quiet, high level political interest in these ideas remains at an all time high -- even in the wake of the "9-11" attacks. We have it on good word that it was a high level White House figure that demanded that NASA take the April 2001 full-face Face image in the first place, and this is consistent with the earlier well documented interest of the Bush family in our work.

NASA, clearly reluctant to go along with the demand, took the image, then withheld it for two months while they wrote a highly negative "hit piece" on the subject and created a fraudulent "MOLA image" to reinforce their fallacious arguments. Maybe it's coincidence, but within a few months of the publication of our response, NASA Administrator Dan (silence is) Goldin suddenly decided that "retirement looks like a good option." President Bush has subsequently replaced him with Sean O'Keefe. O'Keefe has close ties to the Bush family and Vice-President Dick Cheney, and can be counted on to carry out the wishes of these two senior Administration officials in his new NASA post.

We strongly suspect it is this change in leadership which has led to the change in attitude that will make the Face an early target of the Odyssey suite of instruments, along with the promise of an "immediate" release of the data. And perhaps these results will be used to advance the agenda that the Bush administration is clearly laying out. Just a few days ago the President announced that he had budgeted about $1 billion dollars for the development in the very short term (five years) of orbiting nuclear reactors that could be used to power electrical ion engines, or other propulsive technologies that will dramatically cut travel times (or dramatically increase payloads) to distant worlds -- like Mars.

And -- back to that timing thing, again -- around this Mars mission, of all of them, NASA has made a big deal about a unique concert and CD, commissioned "in honor of the Mars Odyssey Mission."  The concert, by Vangelis, performed at the Temple of Zeus in Greece on June 28th, 2001, is aptly named "Mythodea" -- an obvious reference to the role of "Mars" in our terrestrial myths.  Shades of Hoagland's own case for a "Terrestrial Connection" in his recently updated 2001 Edition of "The Monuments of Mars."  Never before in its history has NASA celebrated a concert in honor to a planetary mission.  So, what makes Mars Odyssey so special ...?  Maybe, because it has finally been decided that this will be the Mission which will actually confirm the presence of ancient Martian civilization ... with profound terrestrial implications ... at Cydonia, on Mars.

So we are hopeful that we are about to enter a new era where radical ideas are simply tested, openly and honestly, rather than being squashed under the weight of a self-serving and protectionist "scientific establishment." Maybe, just maybe, somebody has decided it's time to admit we've been "a little bit pregnant" for a long time.