Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Not Ruins on Mars!

A couple years back, Richard C. Hoagland sent me an image that at first astounded me. It sure looked like one of the Mars rovers had come up to a hillside that had three equally spaced structures on it. But after five minutes, we realized it was just an optical illusion. The image is from the Rover's Rock Abrasion Tool (the same one JPL used to grind a fossilized Martian plant to dust in 2004). The RAT has a special zoom lens on it for close work (they have to get a good look at the evidence of Martian life they are about to grind up).

The point is, the RAT camera has a fish-eye lens, which is why the horizion is distorted. What looks to be a smooth sandy hillside is actually the inside of the RAT camera's protective hood, and the three equally spaced "structures" are just tiny fittings or nutplates on the inside of the camera shroud. It's easy to be fooled, but sadly, it's not the smoking gun.

BTW, if you want to read more about the Martian crinoid fossil, check out chapter 11 of our book, Dark Mission-The Secret History of NASA.


  1. The smoking gun will be...

    ...a bug-eyed Alien looking
    directly into the camera!


    Hathor -- laughing hysterically...


  2. Marsandro... u on Facebook?

    If so... send me a friend request. (max kiejzik)

    Saw your posts at I'd like to chat about that. (otherwise, email me:

    And gee, Mike, whenever did you find the time to put up 2 whole posts to your blog?!


    For any one who has been following, since Mike is too busy to mention it... there's a really cool update I posted to The Dragon on 02/12/10.


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