Remnants of  a Future Past

 Authored by Keith Laney
 Richard C. Hoagland, contributor

(I'm bypassing normal page format here for an unobstructed widescreen view)

Many have waited more than nine years to gaze upon this most distant of sol's children, I've waited all my life.

Though stripped of its rightful title within the pantheon of classical planets, among these it nonetheless holds the crown as undisputed king of anomaly.

From the erratic Neptune crossing 17 degree off ecliptic orbit, and its barycentric dance with Charon, to its unusual coloring, atmosphere and heart-shaped ocean of
hydrocarbon ices, this little ball of oddity with the "science fiction surface, more important than Mars" has captivated the attention of scientists and the public worldwide.
It has definitely captured the attention of this investigator of planetary imaging anomaly, and not just for what it is, but for what was noticed once we got a good look at it.

We should all applaud and support the New Horizons mission and science teams as they wrest important facts and never before imagined discoveries from the precious data captured as the 
spacecraft shot by Pluto, data which is now being slowly received here on earth as New Horizons continues its amazing journey on out there, further. They are scientists, I am an anomalist.
I'll learn of their science, can they learn from my anomalies? Maybe so, maybe no. Regardless, I will do my best to show what is seen when I gaze upon this unexplored land of high strangeness
viewing through eyes and imagery skills trained for nearly 20 years to pick out odd and rare planetary objects and things that have made the best of us sit back and go "hmmm...could it be?"

If you've arrived here after first visiting my Pluto  page, you will already know that this enchanting world is both intriguing and stunningly beautiful.
If you've reached it after visiting my Pluto's Boneyard page, you probably already know as well that it may in fact harbor something.. wonderful.

Perhaps Dave can say it better

That said, there are some incredibly strange anomalous surface features situated along the boundary between the dark of Cthulhu Regio and the light of Sputnik Planum
 at locations named (unofficially at present) the Hillary and Norgay Montes, where the thinning Sputnik Planum ice sea meets the so-called "Ice Mountains of Pluto"

In the days following the fly-by every release of images was awaited with eager anticipation, and then in short order of time the New Horizons team began providing us with
what I believe so far may just be the images of the century, a culminating event for a hundred years of fascinated curiosity surrounding this great unknown in 'our' backyard.
Two particular images caught my attention. Though these images were a bit compressed, and better copies of them plus much more are promised over the near future as they are 
received. I found them nevertheless fairly adequate for further study and enhancement. Having long been accustomed to making the most of space imagery that had been done
 likewise, this was no insurmountable obstacle, in fact, not much of an obstacle at all. As well, modern commercial digital imaging software is simply amazing in capable hands

You can find both these images in a decent format and fairly well preprocessed below if you so wish to have your own original copies.
Hillary Montes  |  Norgay Montes  You may also want to have my large web version enhancement of both images together here

It is in these two areas I first noticed that the so-called ice mountains had some pretty blatant anomalous geometry going on within. I find them eerily reminiscent of similar features
located in another well known area of anomalous study (Cydonia, Mars) only these seem to be in a much better state of preservation. The two areas are replete with stacked tetrahedrons
and titanic pyramidal massifs in various states of collapse, some missing their entire tops exposing details within; some only missing portions. On closer review it became apparent to me
these just might be something we'd theorized about for some time: ruined arcologies. Arcologies are gigantic self contained ecosystems/habitats, built to contain everything needed for
beings to live- inside. This is absolutely the way to go if you are planning on maintaining a living population in a harsh environment such as space, or on an extraterrestrial celestial body.
These type structures have long been written into science fiction. Artists and architects created them in ornate engineered drawings, even built them here on Earth. Of course, our technological
 ability to do the same surely pales beside the level needed to build and maintain such structures on other planets, nevertheless, before long we may indeed construct them ourselves on the Moon.

If that is in fact what these were, I will be the first to admit that this is almost unbelievably incredible. We of course have seen possible evidence of similar types of structures on the
Moon and on Mars. Regrettably, both those bodies have been literally beaten to a jumbled mess over eons, and though most items of this nature postulated to be found on them are
on this scale, and in these shapes, they're just not in any state of condition to be readily recognizable as these appear to be. I assure you we've never seen their like, and in such splendid 
conditions. Imagine the freeze dried and preserved record of an extremely advanced civilization sitting there abiding time after perhaps a cosmic cataclysm or stellar war, slowly crumbling
due to the ravages of time and Pluto's harsh climate as well as internally deteriorating forces eating them away from within. The stories such structures could tell, technology that could be
retrieved; the possibilities are simply mind boggling, the implications civilization altering, but most important to me would be this question: Who built these, and what became of them?

We'll save that question for later hypothesis, for now I'd like to show you how I see these features as not mere ice mountains, but something far more incredible.

Because this is a "science fiction surface" I am going to use several wonderful science fiction art arcology images and compare them in various ways to what is on Pluto's surface.
First we'll go over some areas on the Norgay Montes image. All these image details are annotated on the maps here. These are remnants of a future past.

  You may recall image #1 from Pluto's Boneyard

on which there is what appears to be a segmented and stepped platform with corner supports and geometric arrangement of elements along its top levels. This
 object would be ~ 1- 1.5 mile tall, and covers about 6 sq. miles of surface, conservatively. I find it amazing that from so far out in space, this can be seen quite easily.

To give a little bit better idea of what we might be seeing, I'm displaying an artistic rendering of a similar arcology from the game Sim City 5 with Pluto themed coloring,
which I then de-resed and degraded a bit to add age. I then took the above image, added mapped color from the RALPH instrument, then laid them each in sequence

Looks almost like an age progression series of the same object, quite uncanny.


Not far from here lies the area I've detailed as image # 2 in Pluto's Boneyard

This one's really remarkable, stacked right angles sticking up with the exostructure collapsed except for the intact portion on the left. Maybe the large hole near center is a clue
 I've color mapped image #2, but no way can I simulate the devastation on it. Still, we can guess at how it may have once looked via this arcology from the game Final Fantasy.


 Not a far stretch to visualize an arcology much like the one on the right, frozen over, age battered, impacted and mostly fallen apart, the remains of its internal structure both revealed and covered by the wreckage

On the next couple details we'll try looking at some aspects of this from another angle. So far we've been seeing these from the outside, let's do a little creative wondering about
what might be inside. One can only wonder what exotic secrets and technology will await the first explorers to brave this surface, and what dangers as well. A giant leap indeed.
I feel it imperative to also approach these objects with a sense of respectful reverence;
for if they are what we think they are many people died here, tragically, catastrophically.


This is image #3 from Pluto's Boneyard

Another most remarkable structure. This one is an extremely large truncated pyramidal, and it is obviously missing its top. There's a pretty good amount of
detail above this hole, almost as if monstrous girders or supports are hanging down into the structure. It appears to as well have taken a couple impacts

Anyone who's ever been into the RPG Shadowrun might see a similarity to the above from Renraku Arcology, imagine it finally crushed.

I wonder if this one failed suddenly, or did it fall victim to its own internal corrosion dynamics assisted by the impacts, slowly deteriorating over time?

For a visual of this concept let's turn to the work of the greatly talented Steve Burg, because he gets it like few others can.

"The lifeless city still stands, slowly deteriorating over centuries. The immense dome is host to its own internal weather
system, and rainfall high above drains down through the ruins, forming the waterfalls seen here." -Steve Burg

Bravo Steve, magnificent. You've captured the feeling I got when I peered into the image #3 structure and wondered what it might have looked like as it aged.

Interesting little concept we have going on here isn't it? Comparing "science fiction surface" to actual science fiction.


Let's try this again with image #4 from Pluto's Boneyard

Once again, another large domed structure with a hole in it. If this is an arcology, I'd say it has been pretty well preserved,
with most of its protective covering intact. Take note of this one, it has a special place in another curious assemblage later

I could easily see how the above might have looked like this inside at one time

What I've shown so far is amazing, the implications if this notion is even the least bit correct are even more so.

The Norgay Montes area was on Pluto's limb at the time we took the image, resulting in an oblique. This allowed us to view the items within from a slanted angle.
That angle lends depth to the images and allowed the great comparative views on the various art to which I've correlated them. We'll now switch to the image of the
Hillary Montes, which were closer to the spacecraft due to their position on the planet, and at less of an angle, but before we do that first let's take one last look at a
area not featured in the details on my Pluto's Boneyard page
compared to a model arcology. The model is by the late great Paolo Soleri, founder of Arcology

I have to wonder, what well of inventiveness are these talented folks dipping out of? From whence did these visions spring?
 Intelligent intuition, genetic memory, spiritual whispering and the overflowing cup of cosmic creative inspiration I'd venture.

Let's continue this on the next page

Record of Past Unknowns


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