The Mysterious Structures That May Upstage NASAs Evidence of Martian Life
by Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock
(August 17-19, 1996 from the Daily Mail - London)
The "Face on Mars" was identified on Viking frame 35A72 by Dr. Tobias Owen, who is now professor of astronomy at the University of Hawaii. The same frame, covering approximately 34 by 31 miles - also shows many other features that could be artificial. These cluster around latitude 40 degrees north in the region of Mars known to astronomers as Cydonia, and were photographed from an altitude of more than 1,000 miles with relatively poor resolution. A casual glance reveals only a jumble of hills, craters and escarpments. Gradually, however, as though a veil is being lifted, the blurred scene begins to feel organized and structured - too intelligent to be the result of random natural processes. Although the scale is grander, it looks the way some archaeological sites on Earth might look if photographed from 1,000 miles up. The more closely you examine it, the more it is apparent that it really could be an ensemble of enormous ruined monuments on the surface of Mars.
For a long while after the 1976 Viking photographs, NASA and other scientific authorities continued to disseminate what one researcher calls "the bogus claim that the 'Face' is a trick of light and shadow". This notion began to be challenged seriously only when Vincent Di Pietro, a computer scientist and former NASA consultant, discovered another image of the "Face" on frame 70A13. This second image, which had been acquired 35 Martian days later than the first one and under different lighting conditions, made possible comparative views and detailed measurements of the "Face." Complete with its distinctive sphinx-like headdress, it is now known to be almost 1.6 miles long from crown to chin, 1.2 miles wide and just under 2,000 ft.. high. Image analysts say the bilateral symmetry of the "Face," which has a natural, almost human appearance, is most unlikely to have come about by chance. This impression is confirmed by other characteristics that have subsequently been identified under computer enhancement. These include 'teeth' in the mouth, bilaterally crossed lines above the eyes, and regular lateral stripes on the headpiece - suggestive, to some researchers at least, of the headdress of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. According to Dr. Mark Carlotto, an expert in image processing, all "these features appear in both the Viking images, and are coherent shapes structurally integral to the object. Thus they could not have been caused by random interference or artifacts of the image restoration and enhancement process."