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"Still, we cannot deny that the act of placing a
tetrahedral object on Mars at latitude 19.5 contains all the necessary
numbers & symbolism to qualify as a "message received" signal in response to
the geometry of Cydonia. Moreover, such a game of mathematics & symbolism is
precisely what we would expect if NASA were being influenced by the type of
occult conspiracy that Hoagland, for one, is always trying to espouse."
- Graham Hancock, "The Mars Mystery -- The Secret Connection Between Earth and the Red Planet"
When Mars Pathfinder bounced to a halt on its innovative airbags after it's unprecedented straight in, meteor-like decent to the Martian surface on July 4th, 1997, most of us were convinced - watching its initial panoramas -- that we were simply looking at another boring Martian desert filled with rocks -- just like the scenes relayed from the previous Viking Lander missions some twenty years earlier. Overshadowed by Enterprise principal investigator Richard C. Hoagland's highly advertised political prediction -- that the Pathfinder Lander would be diverted to Cydonia, instead of arriving at its announced touchdown point a thousand miles away -- many of us in the "anomalist community" were initially distracted from viewing those first Pathfinder images in any great detail.
we had yet to begin a formal collaboration on our now highly successful "reverse engineered" model of NASA's extraordinary (and now extraordinarily well documented) "Egyptian ritual obsession." Hoagland's high-profile mistake on Pathfinder, after years of additional analysis, is understandable in retrospect -- given the (deliberate?) "mixed messages" carefully promoted at the time around JPL's actual Pathfinder landing (see below).
One of the things that threw Hoagland was the sky above that landing site: looked at before the actual July 4th arrival, it did not correspond at all to the stellar pattern he'd found throughout NASA's previous manned and unmanned missions; at the announced time of Pathfinder's projected landing, the key "ritual star," Sirius, and the critical "Belt stars of Orion," would not be in their expected "ritual positions" (19.5° or 33°) above or below the horizon; or, on the horizon or meridian. By sharp contrast, the sky at Cydonia did fit - not for July 4th, but for the "perfect" ritual date, July 20th. (It wasn't until about a year later that continuing analysis revealed previous "commemoration" patterns - alignments "celebrated" for one landing site on a particularly auspicious date, but conducted at another landing site or "temple" -- on many prior missions.)
The "Twin Peaks" seemed have the definite geometric shapes of pyramids -- but highly eroded pyramids (especially the North Peak) -- which apparently had had some of their casing literally ripped off in that same massive flood that had devastated the entire area countless millennia before. The debris field in the foreground, which had initially captured Hoagland and Nicks' attention, consisted of a myriad of objects possessing multiple sharp "points" and edges. They could not therefore be merely "water eroded (or water tumbled) rocks." They obviously had to be made of much harder materials - potentially artificial objects and even metallic machinery, ripped from the exposed interiors of the not-so-distant, exposed-"arcologies" - including, probably, remnants of the technology that actually built them!
All of which was quite fascinating ... and ultimately irresolvable. For, without better resolution images from future rover missions, or cleaned up versions of the Pathfinder originals (as opposed to the degraded and obviously "sanitized" versions placed by NASA on the Web), there was really not much more that we could do to prove the artificial nature of the region.
Using a technique called "Super Resolution Surface Modeling," in the several years since Pathfinder, NASA scientists have been able to take multiple images of the Pathfinder landing site and enhance them well beyond their original resolving capability. Recently the official NASA image archive for these "super resolution" images. After downloading a few, it quickly became apparent that something - completely unnoticed at the time, and even more interesting (if that's possible) than the potential nearby artifacts analyzed by Nicks and Hoagland -- might have been imaged on the Martian landscape … between South Peak and Pathfinder itself
What had been merely a huge "blocky shape" on the original scenes, suddenly emerged as "recognizable" on the new, highly processed images. I did a "double take" on the shape.
... A Sphinx!
Given Hoagland's now strikingly confirmed "leonine" dual Face image lying at Cydonia, my mouth basically dropped open when I saw this other, "eerily familiar shape" crouching there in front of Pathfinder's "South Peak Pyramid." It struck me as not only of the right size and form for nothing less than a Great Martian Sphinx (!) -- but it was in the right position as well (out in front of the background Pyramid!). It lay some distance from the Pathfinder Lander, at the edge of the previously mapped debris field … near the base of South Peak. And -- like its counterpart on Earth -- also faced East … directly toward the Martian equinoctial sunrise. There were even a couple of what appeared to be "vertically-faced buildings" to the left of this potential "Martian Sphinx"; they could easily be viewed as "a temple," or a distant entrance to the background Pyramid Arcology itself.