The Man on Mars
Lowther, William, Daily Mail (London)
Byline: WILLIAM LOWTHER
IS this dramatic proof that there has been life on Mars?
A leading astronomer claims a 'face' on rocks on the red planet is strong evidence that an advanced civilisa-tion, similar to man, once lived there.
Dr Tom Van Flandern believes it was not created naturally, but must have been made by people who carved it in their own likeness - like the carvings of U.S. presidents on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
'If we are right, this is a bombshell finding, ' he said. 'It could be one of the most important discoveries in the history of human civilisation.' The photograph is one of several new ones of the planet released by the American space agency NASA.
Dr Van Flandern thinks others appearing to show tunnels, pyramids, and some form of written message, all support his beliefs.
The images - picked out from 67,000 photos taken by the Mars Global Surveyor - are all from a region known as Syrtis Major.
That's about 3,000 miles from another rock formation photographed by the Viking 1 Orbiter in 1976 which resembled the Egyptian Sphinx. 'We have analysed these photographs very thoroughly and using reliable parameters we can say the objects they show are likely to be of artificial origin,' Dr Van Flandern insisted.
'In some cases, we see what appear to be symbols or writing carved into the rock.
'We have asked NASA to re-photograph this area and give it priority.' He has a PhD in astronomy from Yale and is former head of celestial mechanics at the U.S. Naval Observatory.
He now runs the Washington-based Meta Research to investigate 'celestial anomalies'. While his interpretation of the photographs is clearly controversial, NASA has enough respect for his background not to dismiss his 'findings' out of hand.
But a senior NASA source said last night: 'There has never been intelligent life on Mars.
'It is quite true the photographs appear to show a human face and other interesting phenomena. …