NASA, unfortunately, is not Starfleet and neither is JPL, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which runs many of their robot probes, for that matter. Their overarching mission is not "to seek out new life and new civilizations" no matter how much we may yearn for it to be. Nor how much they would like us to believe that they embody such a mission.
Though many of their employees and supporters may sincerely hold on to the noble aspirations of the peaceful exploration of space, the institutions themselves have demonstrated a persistent, curious reluctance to actually examine certain things. Over the years, this has been particularly evident in regards to our nearest planetary neighbor, but recent events on the Red Planet have revealed a far more dismaying agenda. NASA and JPL have betrayed the quest and now their own photos reveal it.
For the robot rover ironically called "Opportunity" has been shamefully used to grind possible evidence of life into the Martian dust at Meridiani Planum.
Opportunity's landing site, showing the position of the anomalous object.
The right end of the rocky outcrop Opportunity was first sent toward was directly above it.
This funny little thing, looking vaguely like rabbit ears or a skull with horns, was by far the most interesting item at Opportunity's landing site. As these excerpts from the panoramic view shown, it was directly situated in front of the rover below the right end of an long, exposed formation of rocks, the furthest right of which was called "Snout".
The now-destroyed anomaly, slightly enlarged and enhanced.
This was a real object, estimated at about the size of a man's fist. It was not bad data, as it also appears on several of the black and white frames in both left and right camera views, and cast a shadow like the stones nearby. Nor was it probably an artifact brought along from Earth. There are several tiny scraps scattered about the landing site, and from their colors, they seem to be nothing more than debris from the landing. This peculiar object, appearing rather like a delicate flower, was quite different. And as fragile as a flower it proved to be.
Another small object in the view; from the bluish edges, probably just a scrap of debris from the landing.
Opportunity was directed towards those rocks. The rover's handlers seemingly paid no attention whatsover to the object, although it was directly in the way.
Here are the views from the fore and aft hazard cameras once it had arrived there:
Front hazcam view
Rear hazcam view
Enlarged and enhanced image of the tracks, showing how the rover detoured and maneuvered to crush the object, and then continued straight towards the rocks. All that remains of the "rabbit ears" is the white residue in the treadmarks.
And this is the official explanation from JPL:
On sol 13, Friday, February 6, Opportunity drove to the right side of the crater outcrop to "sniff out" the rock named Snout with its science instruments. After a smooth 1.6-meter (5.2-foot) drive, Opportunity slipped a bit in the soft soil while climbing up a slope and stopped a little short of Snout (30 to 40 centimeters).
Oh, it was just a bad coincidence then, that the rover skidded right over the most interesting object in view here or at any other landing site. Tough break, but accidents do happen, and it must be hard dealing with a slide when steering from another planet. Maybe they're just the worst rover drivers in the solar system. More on the slippage story here.
However, it looks to me like Opportunity veered sharply left over to the object, ran over it, backed up, and rolled over it again, before resuming its merry way on its original track. And notice, there's no skid marks. How could the rover slip without leaving skid marks?
And where are the pictures from this encounter? Even if it was space junk, why wouldn't JPL want a closer look at the object, seeing that it was right in the way and could present an obstacle?
Here's a shot from the Left Front Hazcam, as the rover rolled back to the right to make sure they "got" it. Notice the white patch.
It is that decided lack of photos from the navigation cameras from Martian day (or "Sol") 7 through 11, while the panoramic images released during that period are intently looking at the dirt off to the side, which confirms this was no accident. It was what JPL meant to do, whether on orders from higher up, or according to some strange agenda of their own.
But don't take my word for it; see for yourself.
Whatever the object was, we'll never know. There has been speculation that it was anything from a fulgerite (fused sand resulting from a lightning strike), some kind of fossil, even a living plant. There are a few shards of debris from the spacecraft scattered about the site, but this was not colored as they are. Though lighter, its hues resembled those of its environment, as if it had grown there.
Also, there was an organic, almost fractally feel to its shape, like the spiral repetition patterns found in rams' horns or the shells of a nautilus.
Of course, this has been greeted in the media with the same scorn reserved for UFOs and fallen celebrities. The "Martian bunny" has been laughed off as one of those silly things overly-excited simpletons see that has a logical explanation. "Obviously it's something from the spacecraft," pontificated Jeff Johnson, rover scientist, claiming it was the same color as the airbags.
JPL even released a small movie showing one of the "ears" twitching in the Martian breeze, naturally. Then, they say, it blew away.
Martian breeze? Mars does have breezes, and the sands of the landing site obviously have been shaped by the wind. But with the atmospheric pressure so low, the air must move far faster than it does on Earth to apply the same force. How fast was it moving? Another thing we'll never know for Opportunity carries no meteorological equipment. Some pictures do appear to show dust particles that have moved, however, so it is possible.
Where did the bunny go? Johnson tracked it, he says, in several frames, first further up the slope and then spotting it beneath the rover.
Perhaps if that is the object. And if it didn't move by itself. It would be terribly ironic, after all, if it was some poor Martian creature fleeing for its very life from the alien invader...
Looking back over the episode, I admit I jumped to conclusions. Perhaps I was too hasty to call this an "outrageous, blatant, and anti-scientific destruction [that] is an indictment of NASA's deceptions of the American taxpayers and indeed, the human race."
Or perhaps not. I've heard far too many facile explanations from "experts". And indeed, there is a lot of arrogance among that priesthood of rocket scientists, an assurance of the possession of Truth that at times rivals religious fundamentalists.
Yet in the case of NASA, there are excellent reasons to automatically assume the worst. For the acquisition of knowledge about the cosmos has never been its highest priority. And there have been signs from its very beginning that the space program was just a pawn in a larger game.
But what game, and why?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act which established the space agency subordinated its activities to the requirements of national security, with all its apparatus of secrecy. This was vividly demonstrated in the earliest days: the cover story for Francis Gary Powers' U2 that was shot down over Russia was that it was a NASA research jet that had flown off-course.
The military influence continued behind the scenes throughout the Space Race and beyond. The astronauts were virtually all military or former military test pilots until the Shuttle program, and there is still a very large military component in the corps. Many Shuttle launches carried classified cargos; the military still has its own launch facilities and mission control center. And NASA has not only the power but the obligation to withold any information, including photographs, that might compromise national security.
The thought that something on Mars could threaten our national security is indeed disquieting. But for decades, the space agency has consistently behaved as if it wanted to decrease interest in all things Martian, rather than rouse the public into demanding a Mars shot.
Not as one might expect from an agency whose funding relies so heavily on popular interest. Why not, for example, play up the Face and all the other strange things? Hey, if a little exaggeration about Iraq could get a war the government wants going, why stop there?
They could play it safe and not claim anything extraordinary. Just harping on the many mysteries surrounding the Red Planet should be enough to ignite the people. The point is that the government has enough resources to move the citizens of this country to demand manned missions if it wanted to. Yet Administration proposals over the decades to revive the space program have foundered in indifference due to lack of support. That of the current President Bush has been no more enthusiastically received than his father's. Why?
Another strange pattern has involved the numerous mysterious mission failures. As is well-known, roughly two-thirds of the probes sent to Mars fail or disappear or at least, the world is told they have. Mars Observer, the Polar Lander, and now Europe's Beagle II are the latest to have vanished under strange circumstances and some ridiculous excuses have been made. Mars Polar Lander, for example, was purportedly lost because of a confusion between English and metric units. And when NIMA, a Defense Department agency tasked with examining maps, believed they had spotted not just the Polar Lander but its heat shield and parachute, NASA curtly informed them they were mistaken, blaming it all on bad data.
Once at Mars, things have gotten even weirder. The Viking landers in 1976 all but proved the existence of life in the soil, yet these results were written off as a strange chemical reaction. The more recent claims of microscopic fossils in a Martian meteorite were just as quickly denigrated. Bad data abounds, apparently.
Most curious are the strange actions of Malin Space Science Systems with their exclusive pictures from Mars Global Observer. Unresponsive to requests to image the Face and other interesting features at Cydonia until pressured by Congress, they have released degraded pictures (such as the infamous "catbox" image of the Face). Despite promises to announce further imaging of the region, they have instead secretly examined the area without any announcement whatsover.
Also without fanfare they have released photos of things that look like forests, pond scum, even archeological remains. All without explanation or even comment. They only admitted there might possibly be flowing water on Mars when the evidence of seepage down the sides of craters and ravines became overwhelming, even to amateurs.
They seem to even want to obscure the true colors of Mars. There is evidence even from as far back as Viking that pictures of Mars were adjusted to show a pinkish, alien sky, while the Hubble telescope showed a blue-rimmed world, and even JPL's pictures used as a backdrop to their own briefings show an azure heaven.
Malin does not release color photos, but rather publishes greyscale renditions of each color band. Until recently, it has been up to skilled outsiders like Keith Laney to assemble them, showing a stunningly beautiful world. That has changed with the arrival of the European Space Agency's Mars Express, which shows not only rich reds and orange soils, but intriguing areas of blue and green.
So the inevitable but puzzling conclusion must be that NASA does not want to admit that there is life on Mars.
A clue to the secret dimensions behind JPL came from an unexpected source, Daniel Goldin, former head of the Space Agency, publicly thanked Admiral Bobby Ray Inman of the National Security Agency for the "oversight" given JPL. Why would the spooks even be interested in space probes to distant planets, much less have to exercise some kind of supervision? What sort of national security considerations could possibly be involved?
Or could it have to do with secret societies? As documented on another page on this site, NASA has its share of Masons, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory itself was co-founded by a ceremonial magician who performed sex magick with L. Ron Hubbard!
Be that as it may, but still the question remains: WHY?
Could it be that the Space Agency is really nothing more than a public relations effort? If the Cabal has its own fleet of flying saucers, as the evidence collected by the Disclosure Project suggests, that could be all it's good for.
Mars could already be occupied maybe even by humans, according to the theory known as "Alternative 3". Or if there is some truth to the Majestic documents, there might be alien colonists there right now. Percival Lowell could've been right all along...
Who knows? Some few in NASA and JPL, it seems, and they're not telling.
And still it continues. Recently the Opportunity rover on Mars ran right over something that looks remarkably like an old, weathered plank or railroad tie. And in the Navcam's full view, there are similar features strewn about in the distance behind it. If one ran across such a scene in some desert on Earth, one could reasonably expect to turn around and find an old prospector's shack or something similar falling to pieces.
And as with most anomalies, the august priests of orthodox science at NASA and JPL maintain their dignified silence.
JPL's Mars Rover Site
Panoramic view (large 8,735 Kb)
Index of raw photos from Opportunity
Front hazcam views Sol 12
Back hazcam view Sol 12
Space.com: Opportunity Slips into High Gear
NASA Hides, Destroys Possible Evidence Of Life On Mars
The Enterprise Mission:
True Colors of Gusev Crater
Revealing the True Colors of NASA
Who's Really Running NASA?
Malin Finds New Images of Cydonia
The Strange Case of Mars Polar Lander