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« How many embedded news reporters are in Iraq? | Main | An Iraq pull-out deadline might be helpful, if it could be kept secret »

September 27, 2006


jj mollo

This whole thing was really debunked from earlier missions. Gary Posner published an article in 2000 in the Skeptical Inquirer, mainly lambasting the originator of what Posner calls a hoax. He also has a "correction" of the original Mars Face claiming that it was being viewed upside down.

Frank Warner

The interesting thing about the Tampa Bay photos of "Face on Mars" is that, as the picture clarity increases, the face washes away, but the overall shape of the mound is revealed as remarkably symmetrical.

I wouldn't call most of the speculation about the Mars face a hoax. I doubt anyone seriously thought, Wow, a face sculpture on Mars! OK, maybe a few did.

But we all know (and knew) that, of the zillions of craters and mountains on Mars, a few are going to look like something familiar in the right (or wrong) light.

jj mollo

That's exactly right! People can find patterns in random structures. It's what we do. Not everyone realizes that, however. The one guy mentioned, Richard Hoagland, was really trying to sell it as an indicator of advanced alien civilization. In the past he has also tried to take credit for Carl Sagan's message from humanity plaque that was sent aboard Pioneer 10.

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