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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 26

SPSR Issues MGS Cydonia Report To NASA

From: JJ Mercieca <mufor@maltanet.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 10:26:47 +0200
Fwd Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 10:16:43 -0400
Subject: SPSR Issues MGS Cydonia Report To NASA

From: http://www.mcdanielreport.com/nasarpt.htm

SPSR Issues Report to NASA

Analyses of MGS images by Carlotto, DiPietro, Brandenburg,
Moore, and Erjavec provided to NASA officials

Copyright =A9 1996 by Stanley V. McDaniel

This update July 25, 1998

EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is the summary report sent to NASA
officials yesterday by Dr. Horace W. Crater, president of the
Society for Planetary SETI Research (SPSR). Included with the
summary report were papers written by SPSR scientists, some of
which were presented at the American Geophysical Union
conference in Boston on May 28. It should be noted here that no
significant, detailed analysis of the MGS images has been
undertaken by NASA in relation to the Viking data and the
predictions and expectations connected with the hypothesis of
possible artificiality. As far as we know the work done by SPSR
scientists constitutes the only careful study of the images in
relation to the Viking data, using state-of-the-art techniques.

While NASA has held to its policy of "no comment" on the images,
several scientists associated with NASA stated prematurely on
the basis of subjective impressions that the MGS images had
conclusively established that the "Face" is a natural object. It
is a given that these scientists, who are as a whole unfamiliar
with the research that has been carried out on the Viking images
over the past twenty years and have little basis on which to
render a judgment, hardly know what may or may not be
significant with regard to artificiality in the new images. We
deplore the lack of scientific integrity shown by these
individuals on a matter of such importance. As the report states
below, the question is far from settled and the issue of
artificiality remains open.


Society for Planetary SETI Research


Preliminary Report

July 25, 1998

Prepared by Dr. Horace W. Crater, President SPSR On behalf of
the SPSR research team


During the month of April, 1998, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
obtained three new images of objects in the Cydonia region of
Mars. These three images included one of the "Face" and two of
the area that has been referred to as the "City." Premature
announcements by a few scientists, accompanied by a very early,
poorly processed picture of the Face, were widely disseminated
by the news media as final "proof" that nothing on Mars can be
considered possibly artificial. SPSR regrets these early
announcements, which were made prior to any significant study of
the images. In the weeks since image acquisition, SPSR
researchers have made a preliminary assessment of the impact
these new images may or may not have on the question of possible
artificiality, as well as the question of possible geological
anomaly. Our general finding is that while there are certainly
some negatives with regard to the artificiality hypothesis,
there are also some positive results.

General Observations

In the Viking images the eastern portion was mostly in darkness,
and it was hoped that the new image would resolve questions
regarding symmetry and detail on the eastern side of the "Face."
Unfortunately the one image of the Face that was obtained was
taken at a low angle of approximately 45 degrees from the
western side of the object. The eastern side, though
illuminated, is so severely truncated by the camera perspective
that even with the best efforts at orthorectification,
insufficient data is present to resolve these important issues.

Similarly, the two images of the "City" that were obtained
missed the most important object, secondary only to the Face,
which is the "Fortress." This object, along with the Face, had
produced one of the three most significant non-fractal
responses, and is visually unique in the landscape, exhibiting
what appear to be regular "walls" enclosing a central area. SPSR
scientists have never subscribed to the theory, advanced by
speculative individuals, that the "City" objects were pyramids,
or that the "City Square" is so anomalous as to be a major
object of concern. On the other hand, the "Fortress" remained an
object of great interest. Unfortunately these two images
captured only the "City Square" and portions of what some have
called "pyramids." Thus the questions regarding the "Fortress"
remain unanswered.

Although on the whole the so-called "pyramids" shown in the two
MGS "City" images do not appear obviously unusual, there are
some characteristics at or near the large feature known
generally as the "Main Pyramid" (the largest of the "City"
formations) that appear to require further investigation. These
are (a) apparent regular terracing in the form of two
rectangular ledges on the north side of the object, (b) a
circular depression with a peculiar rectangular "cut" extending
from it, located just north of the object, and (c) a crater on
the edge of the circular depression that has been interpreted by
SPSR geologist Harry Moore as possibly showing evidence of ice
on the crater floor.

Summary of Results to Date

Study of the new images by SPSR has focused on three main areas:
examination of the Face image, examination of the smaller
objects referred to as "mounds," whose geometric distribution
has been the subject of Dr. Horace Crater's research, and
unusual features possibly representing geological anomaly. Our
preliminary analyses have been recently presented at the meeting
of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in Boston on May 28th,
1998. In addition several other SPSR members have produced
materials related to the imaging and erosion of the Face based
on the MGS images.

1. Examination of the Face Image

A. Overall Morphology

Dr. Mark J. Carlotto and Dr. John E. Brandenburg have done
independent analyses of the MGS Face image, including the best
possible effort at orthorectification of the image. Dr. Carlotto
states that within 1-8%, the features on the Face previously
referred to as the "helmet," forehead, middle brow, nose ridge,
mouth area, lips, and chin are placed symmetrically with respect
to the centerline of the formation. Given the low camera angle,
which renders orthorectification difficult, this result is
positive with respect to the artificiality hypothesis and
supports the SPSR prediction that the Face has the general
three-dimensional form as was suggested by the Viking images.

In addition, Dr. Carlotto's earlier prediction, based on
photoclinometric analysis of the two Viking images, of how the
shadowing on the Face would appear in the expected MGS orbit,
was correct. As a result we conclude that the algorithms used by
Dr. Carlotto to derive shape-from shading results for the Viking
images were accurate, and that the object does in fact have the
overall three dimensional morphology predicted from the Viking

Dr. John E. Brandenburg, using independent geometrically
controlled orthorectification, supports Dr. Carlotto's finding.
Just like Dr. Carlotto he uses the Viking data base to constrain
othorectification. His analysis, using mathematical techniques
based on the theory of surfaces, results in an approximation of
how the MGS resolved object would appear as if imaged from
above. In addition his analysis shows that despite the general
inadequacy of the data on the eastern side of the object, what
appears to be the second (eastern) eye socket is more
symmetrically placed than the non-rectified image would seem to

B. Elements of Detail

Dr. Brandenburg has found evidence for what appears to be a
possible ornamentation on the "helmet" or upper portion of the
surrounding symmetrical berm. This element of detail, called a
possible ornamentation because of its symmetry, was predicted by
the Viking images [2] and is consistent with the predictions of
Dr. James F. Strange at the university of South Florida that
there could be culturally meaningful detail in higher resolution
images of the object.[3] Dr. Brandenburg also found that not
only is this feature itself very nearly symmetrical but also in
his orthorectified image it is symmetrically placed on the Face
mesa, confirming hints of this symmetry in the Viking data.
(Note however, that Dr. Carlotto's rectification does not
display this symmetrical placement).

There is also evidence for a "pupil" in the western eye socket,
which had been predicted by Mr. Vincent DiPietro on the basis of
the Viking images.[4] Dr. Carlotto states, however that it is
unclear whether this is an illusion created by a shadow or an
actual circular feature. An unexpected finding in the new image
is the presence of a more pronounced feature corresponding to a
"nose" which is in the appropriate location, has the appropriate
shape, and most surprisingly appears to have symmetrical
circular indentations suggestive of nostrils. Both of the
independently derived orthorectifications display this symmetry.

These and other elements of detail continue to support the
possibility that the object is an admittedly highly eroded, but
generally symmetric and three-dimensional, face-like anomaly.
There is little in the new image that is inconsistent with
expectation. On the contrary, the new image strongly supports
the morphology suggested by the Viking images. In particular we
call attention to the surrounding berm, which has been called
the "headpiece" or "helmet." This feature is remarkably
symmetrical and appears to have no immediately obvious
geological explanation. There is evidence of water erosion on
the berm that is suggestive of a former body of water
surrounding the object (see the paper by Mr. James Erjavec)

C. Negative Evidence

On the negative side, the evidence for "teeth" predicted from
the Viking images by Dr. Carlotto appears to be very weak if not
non-existent. Additionally, many of the individual features
considered in isolation from one another appear to be heavily
eroded natural formations. Against these apparent negative
results, we note that it is the overall placement of individual
features, consistent with a facial interpretation, that
continues to lend support to the hypothesis of possible
artificiality. SPSR member Ananda Sirisena has shown that the
sun angle in the MGS image could play a major part in obscuring
possible teeth-like features in the mouth area. SPSR researcher
Lan Fleming has investigated the question of whether the "eye"
and "mouth" features in the Viking images were shadows caused by
chance combination of solar illumination angle in those images
and the placement of ridges on the Face mesa not visible in the
Viking images. By studying both sets of images he concludes that
the features were created by either depression or enclosures of
significant depth relative to their width and not by fortuitous
ridge shadows. The MGS image supports the conclusion, advanced
previously by SPSR, that the "trick of light and shadow" theory
advanced by some to account for the facial appearance of the
object is not valid.

D. Analysis of the Image Quality

In a detailed account, Mr. Vincent DiPietro has analyzed the
image processing procedures used for the MGS images. It is his
conclusion that the quality of the single MGS Face image is poor
and not optimal for determination of detail. In particular,
DiPietro concludes that the minimal grey scale in the image
produces an effective reduction in the desired camera
resolution, by obscuring differences between pixels. We believe
that this evaluation of the image quality has been in effect
supported by recent statements from Dr. Michael C. Malin of
Malin Space Science Systems regarding the non-optimal quality of
the image.

2. The Small Mound Distribution

The analysis done previously by Dr. Horace W. Crater on the
geometric relationships of the small features referred to as
"mounds" remains unchanged by these new images. Only four of the
twelve mounds appear on the MGS "City" image, and only one of
them is part of the highly anomalous pentad (five-mound) feature
discovered earlier. The four mounds in the new image do have
angular placements consistent with those found on the earlier
Viking images, but since 12 mounds appeared in the Viking images
these four do not by themselves contribute significantly to the
geometrical anomaly we have found.

Regarding the previous geometric analysis of the mound
distribution, we note that a few JPL scientists have been
reported in the press as stating that such analyses are
meaningless because of the curvature of the planet's surface and
because of the uncertainty of coordinate location of objects on
Mars. Neither of these objections are relevant to Dr. Crater's
study, since his measurements are of relative placements, and at
the distances between the mounds, surface curvature is a
negligible factor. We stress that the mound placement anomaly is
firmly established by carefully controlled statistical tests,
and corroborated by an independent assessment based on an
archaeological technique. Thus regardless of any assessment of
other suspect objects, the mound distribution alone still stands
as an anomalous phenomena deserving of further investigation.

On the negative side, the few mounds that are visible in the new
images do not show any strong similarity of form or any clear
internal symmetry. (An exception is mound G whose boundary
displays bilateral symmetry). Taken separately they might not
stand out as other than natural objects. Nevertheless the fact
that we have only about four out of 12-16 mounds accounted for,
and that the most anomalous formation -- the five mounds of the
pentad to the south of the City area -- was not imaged, the
question of the cause for their distribution is not settled.

3. Anomalous Geological Features

SPSR geologist Harry Moore has identified what may be surface
ice at the bottom of one of the craters in image number three of
the Cydonia region near the so-called "Main Pyramid." We believe
this discovery could be of considerable importance, and that one
or more follow-up images of the crater should be taken,
preferably at different sun angles. Another SPSR geologist Mr.
James Erjavec has studied the evidence for water and sedementary
deposits on and around the Face mesa. Professor Stanley V.
McDaniel of SPSR, along with others, has pointed out possibly
anomalous terrace-like features at the north end of the "Main
Pyramid" and an anomalous depression located just north of that

Conclusion and Recommendations

The question of possible artificiality remains open. While at a
cursory glance, using poorly processed and unrectified images,
the Face may give the impression of an entirely natural feature,
close analysis shows that there are a number of consistencies
with the morphology predicted from the Viking images. There
remains overall symmetry, possible decorative ornamentation, and
other features placed in a manner consistent with a highly
eroded artificially constructed object. This, in combination
with the lack of data for the east side due to the camera
perspective, means that we do not yet have sufficient
information to invalidate the hypothesis of possible
artificiality or to establish the validity of that hypothesis
with regard to the Face. The lack of an image for the "Fortress"
and/or one of the two other major suspect formations (The "D&M"
object or the "Cliff") also leaves a significant data vacuum
that can only be filled by new MGS images of those objects.
Finally, the strong statistical anomaly of the small mound
distribution, corroborated by independent analyses, remains

We therefore strongly recommend, in view of Administrator
Goldin's strong public statements that Cydonia will be imaged
until a satisfactory resolution of the issues is obtained, that
NASA follow through on the policy given in our meeting with Dr.
Carl Pilcher, which was that the suspect area would be imaged
with the high resolution camera on every camera pass over that
area during the mapping mission of 1999-2000. With regard to the
Face, ideally what is needed are two overhead views with the sun
from the east in one and from the west in the other so that a
stereo graphic view can be constructed. However, we understand
that due to the constraints of the spacecraft orientation during
the mapping mission this may not be possible. However, if
camera strips are taken on every pass over the suspect area,
particularly using the intermediate resolution capability by
means of pixel averaging (long strips at approximately 11 meter
resolution), a large store of invaluable data could be obtained.
We are confident that the assurances we received from Dr.
Pilcher will be honored. We look forward to receiving adequate
data on which to make a final determination regarding the status
of the Cydonia objects.

Enclosures: papers, narratives and image discussions by SPSR

a) Analysis of Global Surveyor Imagery of the Face on Mars.. Dr.
Mark Carlotto

b) Anomalously Distributed Mound Features on the Martian Cydonia
Plain.. Dr. Horace W. Crater and Dr. Stanley V. McDaniel

c) The New Mars Synthesis and the Cydonian Hypothesis: Models
Confront New Data.. Dr. John E. Brandenburg and Mr. Vincent

d) Evaluation of the "Eye" and "Mouth" Features of the Face
Mesa.. Mr. Lan Fleming

e) On the Question of "Teeth" in the Mouth Area of the Face
Mesa.. Mr. Ananda Sirisena

f) Discussion of the Image Process Analysis of the MGS Image..
Mr Vincent DiPietro

g) Anomalous Features "Ice in Craters"... Mr Harry Moore

h) Evidence of Water and Sedimentary Deposits in and Around
Cydonia ... Mr. James Erjavec..


1. See The Case for the Face, Adventures Unlimited Press (1998),
pp. 60 - 65.

2. Carlotto, Mark J., "Enhancing the Subtle Details in the
Face." Ibid., page 53.

3. Strange, James F., "Predicting the Details: What We Will See
at Cydonia." Ibid., page 183.

4. DiPietro, Vincent, "Mars, the Planet of Mysteries," Ibid.,
page 25.