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Posts Tagged ‘Curiosity Rover’

pyramid on Mars

Click image to Enlarge. Click here for NASA Image Source

On May 7, NASA’s Curiosity Rover photographed what clearly appears to be a pyramid on Mars. The pyramid is estimated to be the size of a small car or the capstone of a much larger pyramid buried beneath the Martian sand. The straight-line geometry and symmetry of the pyramid points to it being artificially created rather than a mere geological formation. The pyramid is among the clearest photographic evidence collected so far that artificial structures exist on Mars built by an earlier civilization.

The image was taken by the Curiosity Rover’s Right Mastcam on Sol 978 (May 7). Despite the startling symmetry of the pyramid, none of the Curiosity Rover’s subsequent photos taken at 20 to 30 sec intervals in the following few minutes and the subsequent photos hours later, included the object. It appears that the NASA operators of Curiosity deliberately chose not to take another photo or zoom in on the pyramid. If they however did so, none of these subsequent photos were released to the general public.

A Youtube video of the pyramid compares it to human-made pyramids that are similar in size to what was photographed by the Curiosity Rover. There is good reason to suspect, however, that the actual size of the Mars pyramid is much larger given the amount of debris and sand around it.

 

The Curiosity Rover image follows upon other photographs of the Mars surface that clearly show artificially created objects. A Mars Global Surveyor image from March-August 2000 showed what appears to be a base or flying saucer shaped object perched on the edge of a cliff. The image can be found on the Malin Space Science Systems website which designed the camera used by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter.

The Mars Global Surveyor object is symmetrical with what appear to be observation windows. The structure does not appear to be damaged at all, and shows no telltale signs of atmospheric wear and tear. The object has a smooth contour with polished edges. This suggests the structure is currently in use. Its position overlooking a canyon raises the strong possibility that it is an observation post belonging to or attached to a nearby base.

It’s not just artificial structures that have been photographed on Mars by NASA rovers or orbiters. According to a whistleblower called “Jackie”, whose job in 1979 was to monitor NASA’s telemetry equipment with the Viking Mission, she and her colleagues saw on video monitors two men in environmental suits casually walk up to one of the two Viking Landers on Mars. Jackie and her colleagues couldn’t believe their eyes and quickly ran upstairs to the main NASA telemetry room to check if the main video feeds showed the same thing. They were locked out! NASA was covering up video evidence of men walking around on Mars from its own employees!

What Jackie and her NASA colleagues saw that day was video evidence of a highly classified space program with astronauts, and one or more nearby bases on Mars. This suggests that what the Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter photographed in 2000 may well have been an observation post belonging to a secret Martian base.

All this helps to confirm that life presently exists on Mars, and did so in the ancient past. Artificial structures such as pyramids were likely built all over Mars; and, like those found on Earth, could have been very large. The Curiosity Rover may have only photographed the tip of a pyramid most of which is buried beneath the Mars surface. What we know from the 2000 Global Survey photo, Jackie’s testimony and Curiosity Rover images, is that NASA photographs are only the proverbial tip of the pyramid when it comes to evidence of artificial structures and past civilizations on Mars.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Credit: NASA/JPL

Credit: NASA/JPL

Yesterday was a good day for those proposing that extraterrestrial life currently exists on Mars. In a Dec. 16 paper published in the journal Science, NASA says that significant methane levels were detected by the Curiosity Rover over a two month period suggesting that “Mars is episodically producing methane from an … unknown source.” The “unknown source”, as a number of mainstream media articles were quick to point out given what is known about the creation of methane, may be extraterrestrial life, The New York Times published an article titled, “’A Great Moment’: Rover finds Clue that Mars May Harbor Life,” The Guardian wrote “Methane ‘spikes’ fuel speculation of life on Mars.”  ScientificAmerican used as its subtitle: “New results suggest evidence for extraterrestrial life could be near at hand.”  This is not the first time that NASA has released scientific data pointing to life on Mars. On previous occasions, NASA scientists argued over the results. Judging from the number of authors to the Dec. 16 paper, there appears to be rare unanimity. Are we on the verge of a major NASA announcement that reveals life has been found on Mars?

The New York Times pointed out that NASA’s announcement is a major reversal on the position it reached only a year earlier :

“the new findings … are a 180-degree flip from a year ago, when mission scientists said that Curiosity had found no signs of methane,”

The Curiosity Rover also found carbon-based organic molecules the significance of which the New York Times explained from comments given at a News Conference by NASA scientists at the American Geophysical Union:

The scientists also reported that for the first time, they had confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them.

NASA’s announcement is good news for scientists that have claimed that previous scientific data from Mars suggested that life exists there in the form of microbes. The most famous was the “Labeled Release” experiment from the 1976 Viking mission that obtained positive results for evidence of Martian life. The experiment’s designer, Dr Gilbert Levin, thought the results clearly indicated Martian life, but he was not supported by the NASA administration. In a 2012 reassessment of Gilbert’s experiment, he was finally supported by an independent team of scientists who concluded:

The only extraterrestrial life detection experiments ever conducted were the three which were components of the 1976 Viking Mission to Mars. Of these, only the Labeled Release experiment obtained a clearly positive response…. We have applied complexity analysis to the Viking LR data….We conclude that the complexity pattern seen in active experiments strongly suggests biology while the different pattern in the control responses is more likely to be non-biological….These analyses support the interpretation that the Viking LR experiment did detect extant microbial life on Mars.

More controversial are the claims by Richard Hoover, a former NASA senior scientist who claims that in 2004, the Mars Rover, Opportunity photographed what clearly looked like the fossilized remains of a crinoid, a marine animal that looks like a sea lily. Hoover showed it to colleagues who immediately recognized the object as a crinoid. However, rather than examine the exciting possibility that Opportunity had photographed the fossilized remains of a living organism, Hoover said that less than four hours after taking the photo, Opportunity’s rock abrasion tool ground the area where the possible fossil lay into dust. He asked David McKay, the former chief astrobiologist at the Johnson Space Center, why this had been done. The response Hoover received was less than satisfactory.

Gilbert’s and Hoover’s experiences suggest that there are those at a senior level in the NASA administration that have in the past deliberately prevented evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars being accepted, and even destroyed. This makes NASA’s reversal of its previous conclusions of methane levels on Mars significant, as is the emphasis that the New York Times gives to NASA’s recent backtracking. Has NASA changed its policy on releasing evidence of life of Mars?

Possible support for a recent policy shift can be construed from no less than NASA administrator Charles Bolden who made a surprising statement about life on Mars in an Oct. 9 interview in London:

People always ask the question ‘Why Mars?’ Several reasons: One, Mars is very Earth-like, or least used to be Earth-like. It is a planet, a sister planet to Earth. It is the most likely planet in our solar system, um, that had life at one time… may have life now, and we feel can definitely sustain life.

Was this merely a coincidence, or was Bolden preparing the world public for some surprising future announcement regarding life on Mars? NASA may be simply driven by new scientific data gained by the Curiosity Rover as the Dec. 16 Science article suggests. Alternatively, it may be that there has been a recent policy shift in the higher echelons of NASA, and it is poised to release data finally confirming that life, at least in the form of primitive microbes, does currently exist on Mars.

 © Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Further Reading

Martian skull

Is this an elongated skull on Mars and is it connected to ancient Egypt? Source: UFOvni2012

A photograph taken by the Mars Curiosity Rover shows what appears to be an elongated skull on the Martian surface. According to an October 18, 2014, report by UFO Sightings Daily, the curious object is an elongated head similar to those found in ancient Egypt. In a Youtube video, the Martian skull like object is compared to elongated human skulls found in various Egyptian murals and the similarity is striking.

Around the same time the skull like object began to be discussed on the internet, NASA administrator Charles Bolden made a surprising statement about life on Mars in an October 9 interview in London:

People always ask the question ‘Why Mars?’ Several reasons: One, Mars is very Earth-like, or least used to be Earth-like. It is a planet, a sister planet to Earth. It is the most likely planet in our solar system, um, that had life at one time… may have life now, and we feel can definitely sustain life.

Was this merely a coincidence, or was Bolden preparing the world public for some surprising future announcement regarding life on Mars? Perhaps Martian life once existed, and it was connected to ancient Egypt?

The photograph was taken by Curiosity Rover on September 14, 2014 and was the focus of a video posted a month later. In the video, comparisons with various elongated human skulls depicted in Egyptian murals and statues, the suggestion is that the object is a human skull. If so, then the elongated skull may be evidence of a tangible connection between ancient Egypt and Mars. Both Earth and Mars at one time in their history possessed a human population with elongated skulls that were part of their respective planetary leaders.

Whatever the origin of the mysterious object, it is unlikely that the Curiosity Rover will investigate it more closely due to the standard response by NASA that such fossil like bone fragments are just rocks. For example, in its response to a Mars Rover image of what appeared to be a thigh bone found on Mars, NASA responded that it was nothing more than rock. Former NASA employees, such as Richard Hoover, however disagree. Hoover claims that NASA administrators go to great lengths to cover up the possibility of Martian life, and in one case directed one of the Rover missions to actually destroy evidence of a Martian fossil.

Perhaps NASA’s standard response is right, and the skull looking object captured by Curiosity Rover is just a rock. Alternatively, the object may be the elongated skull of a humanoid species that had a historical connection to ancient Egypt. Was NASA Administrator Bolden’s October 9 claim of past Martian life purely coincidental in timing, or the start of NASA releasing more of what it really knows about life on Mars?

© Copyright 2014. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

Further Reading

NASA Source Image of thigh bone

On August 14, the Mars Curiosity Rover photographed an object that appears to be a thigh bone on the Martian surface. When the photo was released by NASA’s JPL affiliate a few days later, initial observers claimed that the object was a fossilized bone fragment. The first thigh fossil claims on August 20 generated much media attention and public controversy with coverage by major media outlets such as the Huffington Post and Britain’s Daily Mirror In an unusually quick response, NASA replied to the growing controversy on August 21 by claiming that the object was little more than a rock. Today, Science.com released a story backing NASA’s claim that the photo is nothing more than a rock. Not so according to a growing number of independent researchers that have uncovered past Curiosity Rover images of what appear to be different life forms on the Mars surface.

The image was taken by Curiosity Rover’s Mastcam which provides high resolution panoramic color images of the Mars environment. ­­ Among the first observers of the thigh looking object was the popular website UFO Blogger that released a post on August 20 claiming:

After fossilized spine and finger now NASA Curiosity on August 14, 2014 photographed fossilized thigh bone-like object on Mars.

As major media sources began giving UFO Blogger claims wide coverage, NASA quickly released a statement on August 21 dismissing the notion that the object is a thigh bone:

No bones about it! Seen by Mars rover Curiosity using its MastCam, this Mars rock may look like a femur thigh bone. Mission science team members think its shape is likely sculpted by erosion, either wind or water. If life ever existed on Mars, scientists expect that it would be small simple life forms called microbes. Mars likely never had enough oxygen in its atmosphere and elsewhere to support more complex organisms. Thus, large fossils are not likely.

While Space.com and other major media outlets appear satisfied by NASA’s explanation, independent researchers disagree. In fact, past Mars Rover images show what clearly appear to be animals roving the Mars surface.

In August February 2013, for example, a Curiosity Rover photo showed what appeared to be a duck on Mars. Another Rover Curiosity image taken in February 2013, showed what looked like a lizard on the Mars surface. In yet another photo from Curiosity Rover captured on September 2012, a squirrel appears to be on Mars. Finally, in a series of five images captured by the Spirit Rover in 2009, an object clearly appears to have moved; curiously, NASA experts refused to comment.

NASA’s explanation that all the above images are merely rocks appearing to be animals or fossils generates heated controversy not only in the general public, but among NASA scientists themselves. Richard Hoover worked for NASA as an astrobiologist for 46 years, and claims that in 2004, the Mars Rover, Opportunity photographed what clearly looked like the fossilized remains of a crinoid, a marine animal that looks like a sea lily. Hoover showed it to colleagues who immediately recognized the object as a crinoid. However, rather than examine the exciting possibility that Opportunity had photographed the fossilized remains of a living organism, Hoover said that less than four hours after taking the photo, Opportunity’s rock abrasion tool ground the area where the possible fossil lay into dust. He asked David McKay, the former chief astrobiologist at the Johnson Space Center, why this had been done. According to Hoover, the answer he received was less than satisfactory. Hoover’s conclusion was that senior NASA scientists were actively destroying evidence of Martian fossils.

If animals do roam the Martian surface, as Mars Rover photographs suggest, then bone fossils and bone fragments will also likely be detected on the Mars surface as Hoover claims. Photographic and whistleblower evidence suggest that NASA’s explanations that Mars Rover images are nothing more than rocks, appear to be obfuscations designed to mislead the general public about the true composition of the Mars atmosphere and of life on Mars.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 613 (2014-04-28 04:48:22 UTC). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 613 (2014-04-28 04:48:22 UTC).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The latest images released by Mars Curiosity Rover show what appears to be a very large cylindrical shaped UFO traveling in the Martian night sky. The UFO appears in a sequence of five images over a ten minute period with the time stamp of April 28, 2014. The images were uploaded on April 30 by NASA, and immediately aroused the attention of UFO researchers monitoring the Curiosity Rover camera feeds which are regularly released on a website owned by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located at the California Institute of Technology. Scott Waring from UFO Sightings Daily today wrote that the images are not a result of time lapse photography and appear to show a huge self-propelled craft traveling in a uniform direction. While he considers the possibility that the images are a result of a small moon or asteroid, the shape suggests otherwise. One cause for concern is that NASA only released thumbnail sized versions of the images rather than the full resolution versions which is customary. This may be because NASA is trying to minimize the significance of the UFO images which may be clear evidence of an intelligently controlled space craft flying over Mars.

The first researcher to identify the cylindrical UFO was Waring who in his May 1 blog post dismissed the idea that the object was due to time lapse:

The shape of the UFO is just as we see it, long cigar shaped. At first a person will assume the exposure (shutter) was open allowing the photo to record for a few seconds, but no. The shutter speed is normal. This object was moving slow, which is proven by the time stamps on the photos on the NASA site. That means since it was moving slowly, the shape we see before us is the correct shape of the object.

One possible explanation is that the object is of one of Mars’ two moons, Phobos or Deimos. They are respectively 22 and 13 kilometers in diameter, and have respective orbits of 9,400 and 23,460 kilometers. They are thought to be captured asteroids and are irregular in shape. This is significant since as Waring points out, the objects in the Curiosity Rover image is not irregular:

Then again, could this be a moon or micro moon orbiting Mars? Yes, it could be possible, however a moon of this shape would have a high probability of flipping end over end. This object has slow, balanced movement like a ship in water…having the appearance of an object that is self propelled.

The object could also be one of the known terrestrial spacecraft orbiting Mars. Currently both NASA and the European Space Agency have orbiters flying around Mars. The European Space Agency placed the Mars Express in orbit in early 2004, and NASA currently has two orbiters, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2006) and the Mars Science Laboratory (2011). Yet none of the Mars orbiters are cylindrical in shape or very large. If time lapse photography was not used in generating the NASA JPL images showing cylindrical UFO, then that would rule out any of the Mars orbiters.

 

 

What is of great concern is that NASA’s JPL only released thumbnail sized versions of the UFO images. Normally, JPL provides full sized versions, along with thumbnail versions. In the case of the sequence of five images showing the cylindrical UFO, along with a companion image that shows the night sky just after the UFO disappears over the horizon, these are only 192×256 pixels in size. The first of this sequence of six images has the time stamp of 2014-04-28 04:48:22 UTC. The image appearing just before the sequence of six has a timestamp of 2014-04-28 04:47:55 UTC and was released in the full version of 1024×1024 pixels. That means that the Curiosity Rover image taken just 27 seconds before the sequence of UFO pictures, was released in full size, rather than thumbnail size. The full scale image versions have yet to be released and are being studied by NASA. Why? This only fuels speculation that the sequence of five Curiosity Rover images did capture an intelligently guided cylindrical shaped UFO of tremendous size flying over Mars.

© Copyright 2014. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.

 

Building on Mars

Zoom of NASA Curiosity Rover photo showing apparent buildings on Mars. Source: NASA JPL

NASA’s Curiosity Rover has again transmitted intriguing pictures from the surface of Mars. On April 9, a photo was discovered that appears to show a set of buildings on top of a hill. On Earth, such building locations typically indicate strategic planning to give optimal views of the countryside to protect the inhabitants from attack. Did the Curiosity Rover photograph buildings on Mars that make up a base of unknown origin? If so, the buildings appear to have been constructed for strategic purposes in a Martian terrain that is hospitable to surface life contrary to what NASA has informed the public about Mars atmosphere.

The photo was uploaded in a YouTube video by an anonymous user, Streetcap1. The source for the photo is NASA’s JPL website. It would be a simple matter for the Curiosity Rover to travel to investigate the strange structures. Yet this is very unlikely according to UFO Sightings Scott Waring who wrote in a blog post today:

This discovery was made by Streetcap1 of Youtube. He found some structures on a hill in one of the Mars Curiosity rover photos. Look at the above photo and pay special attention to the white shiny walls on top of the hill. The walls are white on one side due to reflection and dark shadowy on the other side due to the suns angle. Is NASA trying to move the rover away from these obstacles to prevent the public from learning about life on Mars? SCW

According to NASA, Mars atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide with only a trace amount of oxygen 0.13% – not enough to sustain life on Mars. Yet a series of Curiosity Rover photos have shown what appear to be small animals such as squirrels, lizards and ducks on Mars. If the Rover images do show such animals surviving on the Martian surface, then Waring is correct that NASA is actively preventing “the public from learning about life on Mars.”

The latest Curiosity Rover photo follows another released on April 3 that appeared to show an artificial light on the Mars surface. Media interest grew quickly forcing NASA scientists to publicly explain it. NASA’s explanation of a “vent-hole light leak” or a “glinty rock” was widely ridiculed.

On April 8, testimony was released by a whistleblower who alleges that a military base exists on Mars with the goal of protecting five human colonies from indigenous Martian life. He claims to have served on the military base for 17 years. Fantastic as such claims seem given what is officially known about Mars atmosphere, the latest Curiosity Rover photo showing what appear to be buildings, does make claims of secret military and civilian bases on Mars plausible. Further Curiosity Rover images showing small animal life forms along with strange lights on the Martian surface serve as further evidence of life existing on Mars surface, and of NASA actively covering this up.

© Copyright 2014. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.

Light on Mars-650px
A photograph just released from the Mars Curiosity Rover reveals a strange nearby light that appears artificial. The image was part of a batch just uploaded from the Mars Curiosity Rover that were originally recorded on April 3, 2014 by the Right Navigation Camera. The image with the time stamp of 10:00:34 UTC shows an unusual light on the Martian surface only a mile or so away. The light does not appear to be related to the sun or any natural atmospheric phenomenon such as dust storms that have been known to produce lightning on Mars. The light is too distant to clearly identify but appears to be coming from underground suggesting an artificial light source located beneath the Martian surface.

The Curiosity Rover image was uploaded by NASA on April 3, 2014, and was seen by Youtube user Streetcap who posted a video today revealing the strange Martian light.There is no nearby atmospheric activity such as a dust storm that the image or other images in the same batch from the Curiosity Rover reveal. Dust storms can produce lightning as was observed in imagery taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera in June 2006 that was the first confirmation of lightning on Mars.

Another possible explanation is underground lightning which happens on Earth due to the rotation of molten metal beneath the Earth’s crust which creates rotating electric fields vital for creating a powerful magnetosphere. Mars, however, has no inner crustal dynamo comparable to Earth, and its magnetosphere is a fraction of Earth’s. It is therefore unlikely that underground lightning is a naturally occurring phenomenon on Mars. The light emission in the Curiosity Rover image is not likely a result of underground lightning.

Another explanation may be lensflare which is caused by a light source just outside of the image field being captured on camera. The most common source of lensflare is the setting or rising sun. However the light in the Curiosity Mars Rover does not appear to be a lensfIare caused by the sun given the lack of shadows in the nearby terrain. If the light source was from the Curiosity itself, then that would have been observed in the Mars images.

If both dust storm and underground lightning is ruled out, together with lens flare, then it raises the possibility that the light is an emission from some artificial underground source. Consequently, the light anomaly recorded by the Curiosity Rover may be evidence of an underground base on Mars.

© Copyright 2013. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.

Further Reading

Curiosity photo showing lizard on Mars. Click image for original NASA photo. Credit: UFOsightingsdaily.com

Curiosity photo showing lizard on Mars. Click image for original NASA photo. Credit: UFOsightingsdaily.com

A photo from the Mars Curiosity Rover reveals what appears to be a small animal or lizard on Mars. The photo was taken on February 20, 2013 by Curiosity’s MASTCAM and a high resolution copy is available on NASA’s JPL/Caltech website. The image was originally discovered by a Japanese researcher in March and uploaded to Youtube on May 14. The small figure appears to have a tail, four legs and has the characteristics of a lizard. If the object is indeed a lizard, then the photo from NASA’s own Curiosity mission not only reveals that life exists on Mars, but is also evidence that NASA is ignoring direct evidence of life.

Here is what Scott Waring from UFO Sightings had to say about the Lizard looking creature:

This odd creature was discovered on Mars by a person in Japan in March. This animal was not the first to be discovered in NASA photos but is in a long line of strange creatures. Remember the last one we reported that was very similar to a squirrel … Well this one also seems to resemble a rodent but also may be a lizard. With water existing on Mars in small amounts, its possible to find such desert animals wandering around…although very rare mind you.Then again, is NASA placing animals from tiny cryogenic chambers inside the rover onto the surface of Mars to conduct tests?

The Martian squirrel photo that Waring is referring to is discussed here. Again, another photo from NASA’s Curiosity mission that appears to show an animal on Mars – yet NASA remains silent. Why? Is it, as Waring believes, because NASA is secretly conducting biological tests with terrestrial animals secretly transported there?


The official answer from NASA/JPL is that the Curiosity Mission is designed to find evidence of the conditions for past life on Mars in rocks and soil – e.g., water and chemical compounds necessary for life. Any evidence of current life on Mars is outside the mission parameters of the Curiosity mission. This in itself is noteworthy given evidence that the 1976 Viking Mission conducted tests for life on Mars and the original results were positive, and then deemed inconclusive. The ensuing controversy has not abated with new scientific analysis upholding the original positive results that life was found on Mars.

Also, Dr Thomas Van Flandern former Chief Astronomer for the United States Naval Observatory released his own research findings about photos from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft that there was current vegetation on Mars in the form of shrubs, and trees. In an April 5, 2001 Press Conference at the National Press Club, Washington DC., he presented his evidence of vegetation on Mars along with his analysis of evidence of artificial structures. Van Flandern also revealed the strong opposition to him publishing his findings in peer reviewed scientific journals – a clear way to minimize the ground breaking results that there was photographic evidence of life on Mars. Despite Van Flandern’s professional standing in the astronomical community, NASA and the scientific community ignored his pioneering research revealing vegetation on Mars.

Despite ongoing controversy of the 1976 Viking experiments and Van Flandern’s analysis of photos revealing vegetation on Mars, NASA decided not to include scientific equipment for testing or analyzing data suggesting current life on Mars. Consequently, the Curiosity mission is not designed to analyze any evidence of current life on Mars. As a result, any photographic images of life roving the Martian surface is either ignored, or is dismissed as an anomaly by NASA.

What is the general public to conclude about NASA’s Curiosity Mars mission and lack of equipment for discerning current life on Mars? As the anomalies pile up, we see more and more photographic evidence of what clearly appears to be life on Mars, yet NASA continues to remain silent or obfuscates the obvious. Is the latest photo from Mars Curiosity evidence of life on Mars, or evidence that NASA is secretly conducting biological experiments on the Martian surface?

© Copyright 2013. Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Exopolitics.org

This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists. Permission is granted to include an extract (e.g., introductory paragraph) of this article on website or email lists with a link to the original.

Further Reading

Yesterday, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) took the extraordinary step of dampening speculation over comments made by one of the leaders of the Mars Curiosity Mission. Just before Thanksgiving, on November 20, John Grotzinger, principal investigator of the Surface At Mars instrument on the Curiosity Rover, was quoted on NPR radio that a discovery had been made that would be “one for the history books.”  Many scientific observers took that to mean that he was about to announce that Curiosity had discovered organic compounds on Mars – the building blocks of life. In an interview with US News, JPL spokesperson Veronica McGregor says that Grotinsky had been “misinterpreted”. She said that there were definitely nothing significant about organic compounds in the results to be announced at a scientific conference next week being hosted by the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Rather than an earthshaking announcement, it appears that Grotzinger will be presenting much more mundane data and results about the Curiosity Mission – its working fine after a long flight from Earth! Did Grozinger simply overreach himself in commenting about the data and results from a soil analysis by the Curiosity Rover, or is he being muzzled by more senior NASA figures over what was exactly found on Mars?

Here is what McGregor said about Grotzinger interview on NPR radio that has created much media interest and internet speculation over the last week:

He was extremely excited and continues to be extremely excited that we had the first data coming back from our first sample and the machine is operating beautifully… This was the science team's equivalent of the landing moment. It was a key moment after years of work.

McGregor is saying that Grotzinger was merely excited that the Mars SAM instrument was working fine after the long trip to Mars, and that it was sending back good data. That was the history making element that Grotzinger was referring to, according to McGregor:

I think there was a misinterpretation of what he said. This is a scientist who was so excited his instrument was sending back data … John was extremely excited about having the first data back from SAM…. It’s very interesting data and the scientists are chewing on this—he does believe this mission will be one for the history books. But knowing these rumors [of organic compounds on Mars] were floating out there and knowing we didn’t yet have the results, we wanted to let people know that they’re definitely not in these initial samples…

Yet in the NPR interview Grotzinger focused on the data itself as being history in the making, not the transmission of the data. This is what he actually said to the NPR interviewer:

We're getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting. The science team is busily chewing away on it as it comes down…. This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good.

What’s clear from Grotzinger’s own comments is that the data itself is “one for the history books,” not the Curiosity mission or the scientific process by which the data is being transmitted.


In claiming that Grotzinger’s comments were being misinterpreted and that he meant that it was the “mission”, not the “data” that was one for the history books, McGregor is being disingenuous. Did Grotzinger simply misspeak, setting off much speculation about the data results from one of the Mars Curiosity soil analysis experiments? Or is Grotzinger and his data being muzzled by NASA? One thing now appears certain. Nothing extraordinary will be announced at next week’s American Geophyiscal Union conference in San Francisco where Grotzinger will announce the results of a soil analysis by the SAM Rover instrument. Maybe there was nothing extraordinary to be announced all along; or, perhaps, NASA is muzzling something extraordinary that Curiosity has discovered on Mars.

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© Copyright 2012. Michael E. Salla. Exopolitics.org

Permission is granted to include extracts of this article on websites and email lists with a link to the original. This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists without author's permission.

Further Reading

NASA is about to make a big announcement from its Curiosity Rover Mars mission according to John Grotzinger, its principal investigator. Will it be a giant leap forward in the search for life on Mars? Speculation began soon after Grotzinger gave an interview on NPR public radio on November 20 where he said: "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good."    In the NPR interview, Grotzinger said it would be several weeks before his team would announce their finding. A clue as to what was discovered is that the data comes from Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument – basically an onboard chemistry lab that is capable of identifying organic compounds – the carbon-containing building blocks of life as we know it. While organic compounds do not necessarily mean that life exists/existed on Mars, they are a vital ingredient in the formation of life. NASA’s big upcoming announcement is most likely to be that it has discovered organic compounds on Mars – possibly, the fossilized remains of ancient Martian microbes.

NASA has been here before. In August 1996, David McKay and a team of NASA scientists published their analysis of a Martian meteorite discovered in Antarctica. The meteorite was found to have carbon compounds that looked very much like fossil remains of ancient Martian microbes. Here is how Mackay explained their findings:

The carbonate globules are similar in texture and size to some terrestrial bacterially induced carbonate precipitates. Although inorganic formation is possible, formation of the globules by biogenic processes could explain many of the observed features, including the PAHs [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons]. The PAHs, the carbonate globules, and their associated secondary mineral phases and textures could thus be fossil remains of a past martian biota.

The announcement was big news at the time, and led to President Clinton making a statement:

It is well worth contemplating how we reached this moment of discovery. More than 4 billion years ago this piece of rock was formed as a part of the original crust of Mars. After billions of years it broke from the surface and began a 16 million year journey through space that would end here on Earth. It arrived in a meteor shower 13,000 years ago. And in 1984 an American scientist on an annual U.S. government mission to search for meteors on Antarctica picked it up and took it to be studied. Appropriately, it was the first rock to be picked up that year — rock number 84001. Today, rock 84001 speaks to us across all those billions of years and millions of miles. It speaks of the possibility of life. If this discovery is confirmed, it will surely be one of the most stunning insights into our universe that science has ever uncovered. Its implications are as far-reaching and awe-inspiring as can be imagined. Even as it promises answers to some of our oldest questions, it poses still others even more fundamental.

The 1996 discovery then got bogged down in scientific debate over whether or not the meteorite was polluted by Earth microbes. Critics claimed NASA scientists had not sufficiently accounted for this possibility. Not so according to a new 2009 study by NASA scientists, including McKay, from the Johnson Space Center that upheld the earlier findings and concluded: “None of the original features supporting our hypothesis for ALH84001 has either been discredited or has been positively ascribed to non-biologic explanations."

The continuing debate over the 1996 Mars meteorite has led to Grotzinger and his team taking a cautious approach to announcing the results of their analysis of the data sent back by Curiosity’s SAM instrument. If, as Grotnzinger suggests, the results are upheld, we will soon hear that organic compounds have been found on Mars. More importantly, they might be the fossil remnants of ancient microbiological life. You can then expect President Obama following in the footsteps of President Clinton, and make his own public announcement concerning the implications of ancient life on Mars.

© Copyright 2012. Michael E. Salla. Exopolitics.org

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