Is this an artificial construct on Mars?

Unusual craters in the vicinity

Image Enhancements by Eric C. Lausch © 2001 Danger Zone! Productions

This image illustrates the unusual nature of the craters found adjacent to these "glass tunnel" anomalies. Rather than behaving like your average run of the mill crater which should be shadowed on the sun ward side, the odd-looking "craters" found adjacent to these "glass tunnel" anomalies appear to have their bright sides facing the sun.

In layman's terms, "These craters appear to be convex rather than concave like your normal well behaved crater should be."

A group of researcher's headed by Nadine Barlow of the Department of Physics at the University of Central Florida in Orlando is researching the morphology of unusual craters on the surface of Mars. recently ran an article describing the groups efforts.

"Barlow led a study team looking into sub-surface ice and water reservoirs. Her colleagues on the work are John Koroshetz of Laser Energetics in Oviedo, Florida, and James Dohm of the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The group reported they have taken hard looks at the smooth plains of Solis Planum, an area peppered with impact craters and material excavated from those craters. Their work focuses on looking at the morphology of craters -- shapes and forms -- and the deposits, or ejecta, spewed out from craters during their creation. Crater size and the ejecta patterns are considered signposts for what lies beneath -- in this case possible subsurface water, in both icy and liquid form.

Crater counts

The team reported that they culled through Mars surface images taken in the 1970s by two Viking Orbiters. Using those photos, the locations and diameters of hundreds of craters were mapped and cataloged. To shore up their case for a reservoir, laser data taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft of nearly 1,000 craters of varying diameters and depths was reviewed. Doing so, the team double-checked the methodology they used to grasp depth-diameter relationships for Martian craters. Results of the research show smaller than average onset diameters of single layer craters in Solis and Thaumasia Planae, strongly suggesting a near-surface ice reservoir in this area.

Geologic and tectonic history

The geologic and tectonic history of the Tharsis region -- the area in which the suspected reservoir sits -- provides a possible explanation for the localized concentration of ice and water, the team reported. Long-term activity in this region would have tilted the water table, pooling the material in the topographic low of Solis Planum. "Heat associated with Tharsis may have maintained deep volatiles as liquid for a longer time period than elsewhere in the Martian equatorial region," the team reported. This unusual near-surface ice-reservoir may be easily accessible given its depth of around 360 feet (110 meters). "The next stage of this study will be to look at reasonable values of porosity and water concentrations to gain a better understanding of how much ice and water may actually be contained within this reservoir," Barlow said.

Underground water influencing crater morphology-Johnny Danger's going to have a field day with this one!

One possible explanation for the inappropriate lighting on the wrong sides of these craters may be rime ice. The Encyclopedia Britannia defines rime ice as:

rime: white, opaque, granular deposit of ice crystals formed on objects that are at a temperature below the freezing point. Rime occurs when super cooled water droplets (at a temperature lower than 0 degrees C [32 F]) in fog come in contact with a surface that is also at a temperature below freezing; the droplets are so small that they freeze almost immediately upon contact with the object. Rime is common on windward upper slopes of mountains that are enveloped by super cooled clouds. These rime deposits take the form of long plumes of ice oriented into the direction of the wind and are called "frozen fog deposits," or "frost feathers."

Rime is composed of small ice particles with air pockets between them; this structure causes its typical white appearance and granular structure. Because of the rapid freezing of each individual super cooled droplet, there is relatively poor cohesion between the neighboring ice particles, and the deposits may easily be shattered or removed from objects they form on. Thus, rime is not normally a serious problem when it forms on the wings or other surfaces of aircraft.

While rime ice is an explanation that would most likely please the folks at JPL, stereo and 3D image analysis leads this author to a different conclusion.

Image crops from M1501228d and M1501228a
Image Enhancements by Eric C. Lausch © 2001 Danger Zone! Productions

Above are crops from M1501228d and M1501228a respectively. Of all the anomalous craters in Johnny Danger's crater image these two seem to belong to a particular "class" of phenomena. What that phenomena is one can only speculate. But they appear to be related and they are highly unusual.

As we previously noted, the illumination or sun angle is from the upper right and what see in this image supports that contention as well as raising a number of interesting questions. Both craters appear to have large spherical objects contained within their respective boundaries. On the left side (M1501228d)this sphere appears as if it is rising from beneath the surface of Mars like some gigantic egg or puffball. One can clearly see the crennelated edge of the crater's overhanging lip and the associated shadows cast by it. On the right side (M1501228a)we would seem to see a similar object, raised somewhat further above the crater floor. Note the illuminated upper right side and shadowed lower left side. This is indicative of a raised spherical structure. Craters with domes in them. Enormous domes!

A width of 38 pixels at 4.47m per pixel yields a diameter of 169.86 meters or 557.28 feet! The magnitude of scale becomes apparent for those of you who have visited the dome at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center which spans a mere 265 feet in diameter!

Comparison of anomalous crater domes from M1501228d and M1501228a
Graphic by Chris Joseph © 2001 Christopher Joseph and Danger Zone! Productions

While not statistically significant due to the small sampling size of two, I find it strangely compelling that these "domes" are exactly the same size and have the same apparent surface textures.

Not approximately the same size- exactly the same size (as can reasonably be determined by photographic analysis)!

This something that does not normally occur in a geological sense. No two boulders are exactly the same size or mass and have such perfect concentricity.

Spherical boulders on the New Zealand Coast

Likewise in nature-no two water droplets freeze to produce identical hailstones-like snowflakes, they all have unique characteristics. No two puffballs grow to the exact same dimensions. The list goes on and on.

Only items designed, engineered and fabricated by technological means can be reproduced with such exacting similarity.

In this author's opinion the geographically adjacent locations of the "Glass Tunnel" anomalies and "Crater Dome" anomalies is more than mere coincidence. I feel they are related in some manner.

I find it ironic that the planetary science community is apparently not interested in further investigation of items of such monumental proportion and unusual characteristics.

Although this is not the proper forum for speculation of this nature- we would be remiss not to mention the possibility that this could be the product of some technology rather than a naturally occurring entity.

If the "Glass Tunnels" are indeed for water recirculation as some (including myself) have speculated perhaps this is some type of filtration\purification facility.

Or perhaps a domed arcology. One that would fill Buckminster Fuller with envy. The most efficient geometric shape is a sphere as it uses the smallest surface area to enclose a given space. (I find it interesting to note that the basic structural unit of most Earthly geodesic domes is the tetrahedron.) As geodesic domes require no internal columns for support, these self-supporting structures make an excellent choice for venues requiring unobstructed interior space.

Another interesting correlation to the arcology model is that domes can actually "weigh less" than the materials used to construct them due to the air mass inside the dome! When the inside air mass temperature is greater than the outside ambient air temperature a net lifting effect analogous to a hot air balloon is created. While not noticeable in house sized domes, as the spheres diameter increases this effect is increased geometrically becoming quite noticeable in large venues such as a professional sports facility. Theoretically a sphere of little more than of a half mile in diameter would be able to float in the air with only a 1 degree Fahrenheit difference in temperature in Earth normal gravity!

At a little over one tenth of a mile in diameter in Mars 40% Earth gravity our "crater dome" anomalies would experience a pronounced lifting effect. It would seem a reasonable hypothesis to conclude that this effect may be the cause for the difference in elevation between our two "crater dome" anomalies, if one can verify that they are indeed hollow and that there is sufficient temperature differential to create this lifting effect. As for the reasons behind this possible temperature variation one can only speculate.

But such speculation is best left to the likes of Johnny Danger and his cohorts.

The rest of us will just have to wait until the ESA Mars probe targets it's ground penetrating radar and infra red camera at these unusual features on the surface of Mars.

3D and Stereo Analysis of the "Crater Dome" Anomalies

3D rendering of crop from M1501228a by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Danger Zone! Productions

As this first "crater dome" anomaly has been discussed thoroughly in other venues we will not expend great effort to discuss it's unusual nature. As a stand alone item it is highly unusual but not much can be gleaned from it's discovery other than to say, "my, that's odd..."

3D Stereo pair analysis of crop from M1501228a by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph

However, with the revelation of a second apparently identical "crater dome" anomaly one can begin to classify these anomalies as belonging to a particular class or order of objects. The geographically adjacent location of these domes in regards to the "glass tunnels" of Mars tends to lend credence to the theory that what we are observing is part of an complex interdependent system. A underground network of interconnected tunnels connecting to various points on the surface of Mars.

3D rendering by of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Danger Zone! Productions

3D Stereo pair of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Danger Zone! Productions

I find the these next two images particularly compelling. These 3D stereo views allow us to discern that which is not patently obvious in our 2D images-the curvature and gently rolling contours of the tunnels as they traverse northern lowlands of Mars.

3D Stereo Pairing of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and 2001 Danger Zone! Productions

Here one can clearly see one of the "tunnels" terminating into our second "crater dome" anomaly while another branch heads off at a 90 degree angle to the first tunnel.

3D Stereo Pairing of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and 2001 Danger Zone! Productions

A look at the "Big Picture"

I realize that we have digressed somewhat from our original mission statement, namely analyzing the MGS ancillary data in hopes of determining the validity of Johnny Danger's claims to an artificial construct on the surface of Mars. However, I believe the our little side trip was time well spent if one really wants to see the "Big Picture". While lacking the corresponding MOLA data I do feel we have done a credible job of building a case for what we see in this highly unusual image being an artificially constructed edifice on the surface of Mars.

At the very least this area of Mars deserves further scrutiny by NASA and the ESA on future Mars missions if for no other reason than to further our knowledge of planetary science. With additional imaging, both conventional and infra-red, ground penetrating radar analysis and spectrometer data we can move this discussion into the realm of hard science. Without additional data of this nature, one can only judge what one sees based on a single highly anomalous image and decide for one's own self what this image represents.

This is why we must remain proactive and support efforts to lobby our elected officials and taxpayer funded scientific organizations by groups such as FACETS.

To not actively support and participate in such endeavors is in effect abandoning the quest for a better understanding of the nature of our universe. And, if after attempting to garner a better understanding of such mysteries via inquiries directed to our taxpayer funded governmental organizations you reach the same conclusions that I and many others have arrived at, namely that there is a fundamental problem with the quality of science being conducted in regards to possible alien artifacts in our solar system, you may also wish to investigate other similar anomalies on your own, as we have attempted to do with the article you've just read. We heartily encourage you to do so.

Be proactive. Make a difference.

The founding fathers of this great nation chose to pursue a similar course of action with regards to the issues of their time and our efforts are a direct result of their patriotism and wisdom. Like voting, if you don't participate, then you have no right to complain about such issues.

If this is an intelligently wrought structure it's origins may be relegated to the depths of antiquity, forever lost along with it's knowledge and secrets and reasoning for undertaking such an endeavor. Or perhaps not.

Is it possible or even likely that whomever built this structure was some type of precursor to our own society and civilization? All myths have some basis in fact from which these legends grew.

Ancient Sumerian legend tells of the god Oannes, "Half human, half-fish, Oannes came from the firmament to give men culture and learning. The firmament of Sumerian mythology consisted of both the oceans and the heavens In addition to the firmament, there was the solid earth and the underworld."

Seems to fit pretty nicely, eh?

How we will explore Mars - An innovative approach by Dr. Robert Zubrin, founder of The Mars Society


Back to ViewZone