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Mars is legendary, haunting, intriguing to the mind of man for as long as there has been a mankind. A living and tangible god of the ancients, the warrior king, inspiring myth throughout time, tirelessly crossing the skies like the celestial bloodstone its namesake aspect implies.
What is it about this world that has so enthralled those throughout history who have gazed upon it and wondered? Beyond the nuts and bolts (moreover rocks and flows) discoveries of the sciences, the attracting force drawing us there is a bit beyond our present comprehension. His ghost call to us is just beyond our hearing, but not beyond our perception. The happenings on his surface over history and currently are just beyond our present knowledge, but not beyond our understanding. What it is not beyond reach of is our technology, but more especially our observational prowess and curiosity; the innate ability to divine order from chaos. This is the force which has fueled all discovery, and there is no more excellent a place to apply it than another entire planet, one that may have had an earth-like prehistory.
To understand this whole other world fully we must first be prepared to drop many preconceptions and simply observe it for what it seems to be. Within are things wondrous to see, magnificent to ponder, and though utterly foreign to us here, normal there. Preconceptions in this manner might cause one to miss what they otherwise might have noticed or dismiss something simply because according to our own known limitations it just couldn't be.
Mars is of legendary status, and as such it is subject to holding secrets unfathomed. Secrets which will reveal truths beyond our belief. Luckily for us these are secrets that are steadfastly being rolled out right in front of our eyes. All it takes is a will to identify them, to have some idea about what to look for, the ability to sift the signal from the noise, and a little knowledgeable skill in remote sensing.
Search from Above
Aerial identification of archaeological remnants generally consists of the visual discernment and qualification of possible evidence and remains of past human (sic) activity which can be seen remotely from the sky or orbit. In addition to ancient cities, fortifications, monoliths, geoglyphs, buildings, earthen mounds, walls, and banks which are generally self apparent, partly and severely eroded remains of past structures can also be identified remotely. Such features are often elusive from the ground while being apparent from above, displaying the outlines of what used to be, otherwise unnoticed and waiting for discovery. More elusive still are the remains of long buried archaeological sites. In certain conditions such as in deserts, these are best and most conveniently identified when viewed from above and at a distance. Remnants vary widely in form but all retain certain regular linear features characteristic of intelligent manipulation.
Could we apply this practice to our planetary brother? Almost by default one would not ordinarily put the two together, aerial archaeology and Mars, though at present we do have the tools, experience, and data enough to do so in some detail. What to me most seems lacking is the motive for doing so. Some would think it outright foolery and many would question why anyone would bother at all, given how Mars is supposedly a "Lifeless, impossibly arid wasteland". These same should take into consideration that Mars was not always as it is now, and what we actually know about the planet is very limited. In the same light, what we positively know about our own world and of human history beyond a few thousand years is but a tiny fraction of what there is yet to be discovered.
Difficult as it may be assigning any sort of history or age to such archaeological evidence as we find defining human civilizations which are known only by their remains on earth, the task is doubly difficult on Mars, triply as unbelievable, and four-fold incredible in implication. Impossible? By no means, not at this stage of our exploration. There is still quite a bit of room for the unbelievably incredible to jump right up and be found.
It is not at all an impossibility that Mars was once and for a good part of it's existence a verdant, flourishing world. This possibility would also include the small probability that it may have once fostered an intelligent species capable of large scale construction, thus leaving through time the "fingerprints" of civilization's remnants. If this even minute possibility is a reality, these remnants would by all means be identifiable upon examining the photographic and other data received from the excellent probes we presently have in place. For years our various orbiting satellites have been steadfastly revealing a remarkable world of both utterly alien and recognizably familiar terrains. They have also challenged much that has been acceptably surmised, sometimes completely overturning past knowns, theories, and notions. This is a trend that will continue as our explorations further unfold what Mars was, is, and will be.
Reflections on Possibility
Impossibility is by no means an immutable condition.
Possible archaeological remains on Mars have been noted and hotly debated for decades now, even further back if you wish to include the visual claims of Lowell, but especially since Viking's first coverage of the Cydonia monolithic area was first noticed back in 1976. Thus was born the "Face on Mars" controversy which continues ever presently via multiple high resolution images captured by Mars Global Surveyor.
There appears to many of the independent investigators and followers of this controversy to be a conscious effort by the providers of this data to both de-fuse and diffuse the importance of this most definitely anomalous area's investigation. Many reputable scientists too quickly, almost prejudicially, and without definitive evidences insist the Cydonian features are wholly the products of natural geology, erosion and tricks of light and shadow. One might wonder if they ever really observed any of it. I prefer to take an open minded yet detailed look at this subject through the data, ever a process of parameter altering discovery.
Despite any claims of any agency in control obscuring our data, I've always managed to easily find whatever it was I was looking for, often times more than that, and it is a fact that Cydonia and other intriguing areas have been and will continue to be imaged. After personally investigating the area through my practice as both a qualified satellite imaging processor and years experienced Mars remote sensing explorer, I've come to my own preliminary conclusions.
I must state in all the honesty of my strictly observationally formed opinion that the concentration of both geometric and anthropomorphic features in such close proximity far outweighs the probability of their chance occurrence by purely natural forces. The extremely rough textures of the patterned lands local to them as revealed by high resolution MOC imagery are more easily likened to demolished, age eroded suburbs than any geological features either there or here. These features, if noted on Earth in similar manner, would bring scores of attention and certainly call for extensive exploration. If this is all geology it's not like anything we've ever seen. Natural forces mimicking the trappings of civilization's remnants in some cosmic creation dance perhaps?
Pareidolia, or as the skeptics define it, the erroneous or fanciful perception of a pattern or meaning in something that is actually ambiguous or random may apply well in some singular cases, but fails in describing the multiplicity which is evident here. It is also not applicable to the refutation of remnants that may be archaeological in nature. The very word itself seems to be invented by skeptics to define a state they would like all to imagine anyone being in who sees more than what is acceptable to their own version of scientific norms. Look it up in your Merriam-Webster's, your Funk and Wagnall's, your Cambridge dictionaries... it's not there. For all intents and purposes the term pareidolia is pareidoliac in nature, being an erroneous and fanciful perception of an inconclusive condition with an ambiguous meaning.
Although the much publicized Face does appear to be what it's reputed not to be, or at the least does look somewhat like a face, there are many other anomalies of note scattered over the locality. These include what for all appearances is a huge five sided pyramidal massif sitting atop a diamond shaped base, and an area known as the "city" where there is a set of faceted massifs arranged pentagonally around curiously linear center features. The patterned ruinous areas referred to above as "demolished suburbs" are well preserved in some local areas, lending themselves to a linear and regular appearance as often seen in archaeological remnants, but on a scale unseen, unimagined, therefore unknown so far.
If this possibility for artificiality would exist it would in no way be limited to occurring singularly at that location, as indeed it has not been. For years now in observation of the photographic data I have been struck by a number of surface features from many varied locations. The evidences combine to weigh strongly towards an artificial origin possibility for some anomalous features, which is the side I will open mindedly take where applicable with justifiable room to be wrong, whether about some or all of it. There is also that chance however small to be absolutely correct.
I invite those that may be able to either accurately verify or refute any of my suppositions to do so. Regardless of outcome, we will explore Mars, thoroughly, with ever opening minds and better eyes. We will learn abundantly, and I'll be there, a part of it all. I hope you will be joining also.
- Keith Laney
"On a satellite I ride, nothing down below can hide"
Keith Laney Productions™ © 2002-2013
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