Is This An Artificial Construct On Mars??
An Examination of MGS imaging data for MOC Image M15-01228

Is this an artifice or a "trick of light and shadow..."??
Or a sand dune?? (The official JPL explanation)....

In this effort we will attempt to assess the validity of imaging data relating to the purported entrance to the "Martian Glass Tunnel System" which was posted on Johnny Danger's Dangerous Mars Site. As other credible researchers have speculated profusely on the nature of these "tunnel like\tubular anomalies" we will not reiterate their notions or add to the confusion with additional conjecture (however, some degree of speculation is inevitable due to the subject matter).

Our intent is to examine the MGS ancillary data related to the imaging of this area on Mars as utilizing several proven, reliable image analysis techniques in an attempt to discern the true nature of this unusual image and several geographically adjacent anomalies found in the vicinity.

The original source for the image under analysis is MOC image M1501228.

I will further preface this analysis with this disclaimer. I am a layperson who has, as a hobby, taken an interest in Martian anomalies. It has been very educational as well as entertaining. I am not a professional scientist, collegiate researcher or imaging expert. I will not benefit from any financial gain from the dissemination of this information. That being said, I've done my best to utilize the God given natural ability and talent I've been blessed with to understand and analyze this data in a thorough and impartial manner (with an enormous amount of help from others for which I cannot adequately express my appreciation.)

Any errors or omissions are the results of this authors unfamiliarity with this "rocket science" and are not a deliberate attempt at duplicity.

I merely seek the truth and a better understanding of the universe we exist in.

The Official JPL Explanation

David C. Pieri, Ph.D. Earth and Space Sciences Division of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has postulated that the "Martian Glass Tunnel Anomalies" are nothing more than simple Martian dune trains. I am not acquainted with Dr. Pieri and have no intention of impugning his reputation. He is after all a respected planetary scientist with years of experience in the field, and I am merely an individual with an interest in these subjects. Dr. Pieri makes an excellent point that the interpretation of satellite imagery can be ambiguous, especially for those individuals untrained in remote sensing applications.

We believe that Dr. Pieri's judgment of these anomalies, based on only one image which was posted on Richard C. Hoagland's Enterprise Mission website, may have been premature. Additional data in the form of images from the Mars Global Surveyor has been located and would seem to support the hypothesis that these unusual features are something far more interesting and enigmatic than a mere sand dune.

You may wish to read our earlier analysis of MOC image M1501228d ( which addresses the apparent dichotomy between "Martian Dune Trains" and "Martian Glass Tunnel Anomalies". First let's revisit an image from our last installment. Shown here is an actual Martian dune train image from the Malin Space Science Systems image repository. A link to the original image is provided below.

Image of Martian Dune Train

The Anomalous Image

Image courtesy of J. Danger
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

In this composite image we have taken the portion of MOC image m1501228a that is immediately adjacent to MOC image m1501228b and created a single image in hopes that it will help further our analysis and as well as to simply see the "big picture". (Mr. Danger undoubtedly thought that the flat spot on the top of the humanoid head was an area for the convenient storage of a six pack of his favorite beverage! Not so, Mr. Danger!:) Just above "Grand Central" in MOC Image M1501228a one can spot an additional incongruity in the appearance of an unusual object that we will visit further along in this piece.

Mr. Danger's "Grand Central Station of Mars" image can be seen immediately below.

Image crop of MOC m1501228b
Image Courtesy of Kevin Klettke and Eric C. Lausch
Colorization by Keith Laney
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

Spacecraft Data Table

Mars Global Surveyor Parameter Descriptions

Rather than hyperlink to or append these parameter definitions I have chosen to post these here to illustrate the daunting task faced by the layperson when attempting to foray into the bailiwick of "rocket scientists". Thanks to all those folks whose infinite patience with my seemingly endless questions enabled this analysis to be realized.

Distance from Target Center - distance from s/c to target body center in km

Emission Angle - emission angle at center of image. The emission angle provides the value of the angle between the surface normal vector at the intercept point and a vector from the intercept point to the spacecraft. The emission angle varies from 0 degrees when the spacecraft is viewing the subspacecraft point (nadir viewing) to 90 degrees when the intercept is tangent to the surface of the target body. Thus, higher values of emission angle indicate more oblique viewing of the target.

Gain - gain mode is the operating mode of the camera that defines the sensitivity of the instrument.

Image Description - Mission-generated text description of the nominal intent of the observation.

Incidence Angle - incidence angle at center of image. The incidence angle provides a measure of the lighting condition at the intercept point. Incidence angle is the angle between the local vertical a the intercept point (surface) and a vector from the intercept point to the sun. The incidence angle varies from 0 degrees when the intercept point coincides with the subsolar point to 90 degrees when the intercept point is at the terminator (i.e., in the shadowed or dark portion of the target body). Thus, higher values of incidence angles indicate the existence of a greater number of surface shadows.

Latitude - center areographic latitude

Longitude - center longitude

North Azimuth - The angle in degrees clockwise from the reference axis of the image (a line from the center to the right edge of the image) to the direction to the north pole of the target body. If the ORIENTATION parameter is 'MIRRORED', the image should be flipped prior to applying this angle."

Offset - offset mode is the operating mode of the camera which specifies the additive component of the signal.

Orientation - Because of the MOC's line-scan nature, depending on the orientation and sense of rotation of the spacecraft and the optical inversion properties of the camera system involved, MOC images can either be normal or flipped left-to-right (independent of whether the image is north up or south up.) This flag will be 'MIRRORED' if the image should be flipped left-to-right, and 'TRUE' if it is already in normal form. For those images having a value of 'MIRRORED', the JPEG images have been flipped left to right."

Phase Angle - phase angle at center of image. The phase angle provides a measure of the relationship between the instrument viewing position and incident illumination (such as solar light). Phase angle is measured at the target. It is the angle between a vector to the illumination source and a vector to the instrument. If not specified, the target is assumed to be at the center of the instrument field of view. If illumination is from behind the instrument, phase angle will be small.

Spacecraft Altitude - distance from s/c to closest point on surface in km

Interpreting the data for MOC Image m1501228b

While all the pertinent data is important to interpretation of MGS images, we are most interested in the parameters for Resolution, Incidence Angle, Emission Angle, Slant Range and Spacecraft Altitude.

The incidence angle (42.87) is the angle of the sun from directly overhead. The complement (about 47 degrees) is the elevation angle above the horizon. The azimuth is 298.93, which means that the sun is about 29 degrees to the right of the top of the image.

Basically, the image is illuminated from the upper right.
This is helpful because it allows one to reasonably extrapolate or interpret the formation of shadows for a three dimensional construct this scope.

Now let's look at Emission angle, Slant range and Spacecraft altitude as a single entity. The Emission angle is 0.17 degrees and is (I assume-correct me if I'm wrong here) a function of Slant angle and Spacecraft altitude.
As the Slant angle and Spacecraft altitude are both listed as 408.92 Km the spacecraft was directly overhead at the time of imaging. (Another assumption-the small emission angle is the product of rounding errors or truncated decimal values of the aforementioned parameters-thus it's not equal to zero.)
This virtually eliminates the possibility of pixel stretching or optical illusions incurred by imaging done at an oblique angles.

Resolution and it's pertinence is discussed below in the physical dimensions section.

Clearly, under the given imaging conditions, one can virtually eliminate the the possibility that this is a "trick of light and shadow" (TOLAS).

In layman's terms, "What you see is what you get".

Physical dimensions

Bear in mind that these numbers are not a direct corollary to actual dimensions as in a 2D image. There are components of height, width and breadth that cannot be easily delineated from one another without applying precise trigonometric functions to an accurate topographical survey. Still , they are indicative of the enormous mega-scale of this anomaly.

The resolution for this image is 4.47 meters\pixel. By utilizing any number of commercially available imaging programs we can count the number of pixels in height and width of a particular feature and multiply that number by 4.47 to estimate the approximate size in meters of the feature being analyzed.

At a scale of 4.47 meters\pixel a quick pixel count in Photoshop yields a height of approxomately 74 pixels (top of Forehead) by a width of approximately 41 pixels (width of humanoid head). This tranlates to approximately 331m high by 183m wide (1085 feet by 600 feet).

The overall distance from the "water" to the top of the head is approximately 1920 feet. The entire anomaly (humanoid and fish sculpture) is approximately 131 pixels high by 88 pixels wide or 585m by 393m (1920ft by 1289ft).

That would make this edifice around three eighths of a mile high! A construct far larger than either Mt. Rushmore and Crazyhorse in South Dakota or Stone Mountain in Georgia.

Image courtesy of Kevin Klettke and Eric C. Lausch
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

The roof of the "tunnel" entrance to the right of the opening is approximately 50 pixels (733feet) across at the leftmost arrow location. If this is indeed the "roof" of a structure the area enclosed is enormous. The ribs of the tube at the two locations shown in this crop are 38 (557 ft)and 32 (469 ft) pixels respectively (left to right) at the arrow locations.

Image Courtesy of Kevin Klettke and Eric C. Lausch
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

If, as postulated by JPL, these ribs are the crests of a Martian dune train, I would be curious to know what mechanism or geological process causes a sand dune to run 500 feet straight up a vertical cliff? And how, if composed of sand, are we able to peer above them into the darkness of the defile at the leftmost arrow and behind as well as between them at second and third arrows? It is beyond comprehension how anyone conducting an impartial investigation could come to the conclusion that this structure is a simple dune train!

What possible reason could JPL and NASA have to dismiss such glaring anomalies out of hand with an inadequate explanation such as the one publicly given by a representative of JPL?

This author, for one, cannot fathom the reasoning behind such a lack of scientific curiousity.

After reviewing all the facts and data in regards to Mars anomalies we can reach no other conclusion than that these organizations for some reason do not examine the claims of Martian anomalies in a disciplined scientific manner when these unusual artifacts are presented by individuals outside of the planetary science community. It seems almost to be a threat response-fight or flight-when someone who is not a member of their exclusive club plays a trump card that they cannot counter. What possible impetus drives these organizations to dismiss out of hand or ignore the queries of the American taxpayer, who in effect, pays their salaries?

It defies the very nature of noble ethics, good will and common sense that this nation and it's space agency were founded upon.

Comparison to a terrestrial analogue

Below you will see an image of Mt. Rushmore which I have cropped and made into a greyscale (B&W image). The lighting conditions are similar to those found in MOC image m1501228b (the closest I could find), with the sunlight illuminating the structure from the upper right. Although our Martian anomaly is physically quite larger than our terrestrial counterpart, the analogy is still viable and surprisingly intriguing.

Mt. Rushmore

Terrestrial effigy compared to Martain effigy
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

In this image we compare the sculpted head of George Washington at Mt. Rushmore with this highly unusual Martian artifact. Keep in mind the sun in both images is to the upper right. We see in this comparison that the shadowing is consistent on both sculptures. Note the similarities of shadowing on the left side of the nose and the left forehead continuing down the length of the jaw line. Make special note of the shading at the right eye socket. The shape cast by the shadows is almost identical in both cases.

Everything we see here is reasonably consistent with an incidence angle of 42.87 degrees as noted in the MGS Data table, illuminating these edifices from the upper right of the images.

Below, we offer an additional image for comparison. Superimposed on the craggy shelf which overhangs the tube entrance are the four biggest guys in rock. Although woefully out of scale (the Rushmore faces are approximately 60 feet high), it helps define perspective on these huge carvings as the viewer becomes removed in distance from them. (I simply could not resist doing this!) This author sees a striking similarity between this image from Mars and what sculptor Gutzon Borglum intended to create when he began drilling into the 5,725-foot mountain in 1927. Perhaps we should start calling them the the four biggest Earth guys in rock!

Image Enhancements by Kevin Klettke and Eric C. Lausch
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions


Colorization is simply a method of highlighting details in an image with some color in order to make them more discernible. Sort of like separating the wheat from the chaff.

Image Enhancements by Kevin Klettke and Eric C. Lausch
Colorization by Keith Laney
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

Here we offer two different colorizations of the image crop of MOC m1501228b. They are simply another tool for illustrating this unusual feature, shown side by side with a greyscale companion for comparison. I was quite surprised to see how prominent the lips are in the image below. They have not been added or drawn in in any way. They simply became much more visible when color was added and opacity was manipulated. By scrutinizing the greyscale image one can see that there are actually lips to be seen, barely visble to the naked eye!

Colorization by Keith Laney
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

Photoclinometry (Shape from Shading Anaysis)

Shape-from-shading (also known as photoclinometry) is a method for determining the shape of a surface from its image. For a surface of constant albedo, the brightness at a point (x,y) in the image is related to the gradients (p,q) by the following expression

i(x,y) = a R[p(x,y),q(x,y)]

where R is the reflectance map, p = dz/dx and q = dz/dy are the partial derivatives of the surface in the x- and y-directions, and a is a constant that depends on the albedo, the gain of the imaging system and other factors. The above expression also assumes that any additive offsets, e.g., due to atmospheric scattering, have been removed.

-Dr. Mark Carlotto

SFS article-

However, We would be remiss not to elucidate on the limitations of photoclinometry:
In an e-mail to Chris Joseph, who had inquired about photoclinometry and MOLA, Lori Fenton, a grad student at CalTech describes the shortcomings of photoclinomtery.

"The worst problem with photoclinometry is that you can never tell by looking at an image, particularly on Mars where you can't go there and find out what you're really imaging, whether the shading effects are due to topography or change in albedo. Anything from compositional to textural changes can cause a change in albedo, and most photoclinometry programs assume that the albedo is constant across the image. Unfortunately there's no good way to figure out what the true pattern of albedo really is, and so you're stuck assuming that it is constant, but you have to keep this in mind when you solve for topography.

A slope that is dark because it is covered in dark volcanic ash will appear to tilt away from the sun, because photoclinometry will assume that all dark surfaces tilt away from the sun. When I did photoclinometry I used a surface that was covered in white seasonal frost, so the surface was likely more or less all the same albedo, and in addition I used other topographic techniques to compare with what I found. So my advice on how to separate albedo from topography is to add in other topographic data -- either from stereogrammetry or from MOLA. MOLA is the easiest way to go since you can just plot up the data -- and where MOLA disagrees with your photoclinometry work, you know you've got a change in surface albedo.

Atmospheric effects are difficult to account for, but they can seriously change your results. A uniform haze in the atmosphere will make the topography seem more subdued. Again, there's no really good way to account for this except by comparing your results with a MOLA profile, since MOLA mostly hits the ground rather than clouds."

-Lori Fenton, Caltech

Dr. Carlotto has commented in the past that the change in albedo on the tubes has made them a poor candidate for SFS due to the very reasons that Ms. Fenton discusses in her photoclinometry papers.
However, the roof of this edifice appears to be of a uniform albedo, not alternating area of bright and dark as we've observed in other images of these anomalies where the bright "ribs" alternate with the darker tube walls.

The Martian Mega- Split Faced Glyph also is fairly consistent in albedo. (If carved or constructed it stands to reason the material composition at least on the exterior would be uniform and have a fairly uniform albedo). The main changes are at the eye sockets, the left side of the head and the mouth of the fish due to the lighting angle and subsequent shadowing. Our unofficial opinion as a lay person is that this image is a pretty good candidate for photoclinometry!

Our first two SFS offerings were processed using software known as the "Mars 3D Launcher". (It also does MOLA datasets IF they are available.....)

Shape from Shading analysis by Keith Laney
© 2001 Keith Laney and Dangerzone Productions

In our estimation, these images are visually compelling evidence that this highly anomalous object on the planet Mars is no mere sand dune as postulated by JPL. This appears to be an intelligently designed edifice. And a strikingly beautiful one at that. Whether sculpted from native Martian rock or produced by some organic technology unbeknownst to our ilk, it fills me with wonder and curiousity.

Perhaps this is the kind of awe ancient sojourners felt when gazing upon the Collossus of Rhodes or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon for the first time.

Shape from Shading analysis by Keith Laney
© 2001 Keith Laney and Dangerzone Productions

The next SFS image was rendered as a texture map using Bryce3D software. Here we see additional confirmation of the three dimensional nature of this structure by a different imaging method. While it does seem to corroborate the split-faced glyph there are two things which I find utterly fascinating about this image.
The first is the roof of the enclosure. At this perspective you are basically viewing it at an oblique angle. From this vantage point the structure seems to fulfill the form, fit and function that one would expect in such an application, analogous to what one would see at a sports colliseum or other large venue.

The relatively flat center section of the roof bounded by the curvatures of the front and rear of the roof would seem to this author is indicative of a fundamentally structural, designed element similar to that found in terrestrial architecture. The escarpment which overhangs the roof is also clearly discernable.

The really amazing thing in this image is the tunnels themselves. Just to the left of the humanoid sculpture one can plainly see the curvature of the tube running in a generally north-south direction away from this terminal under the surface of Mars. Moving from left to right there appears to a series of these tubes parallel to the first all leaving this main nexus in a perpendicular alignment. These are not readily discernible in the 2 dimensional image.

Shape from Shading analysis and texture mapping By Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Dangerzone Productions

MOLA DATA Interpretation
(Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter)

After a valiant (and frustrating) effort at ferreting out the MOLA data archived in a morass of web databases known as the the Planetary Image Atlas, we were dissapointed to find out that this data is not available. MOLA data for MOC image m1501228 is presently (conveniently) undergoing a peer review process and one assumes it will be available for dissemination upon completion of the peer review process. We remain hopeful that this information will be made available to the American taxpayer and the world scientific community at the earliest possible date.

Planetary Image Atlas webpage denoting MOLA Data in peer review (as shown in red lettering).

We were quite dissapointed at the lack of availability of the pertinent MOLA data as it is required for comparison to the photoclinometry analysis. We will process and post the results of this data when it becomes available.
An e-mail note to web curator for the archive requesting an ECD for peer review completion has at the time of this writing produced no response.
How ironic that the very data needed to corroborate the photoclinometry results is being not made available to the American taxpayer who funds these projects.
Apparently there is documentation that shows this is not the first time that NASA\JPL\MSSS have played less than scrupulous games with MOLA data.

Mr. Danger is of the opinion that his posting of this image is the cause for the data not being available. The image and MOLA data were obtained in May, 2000. While this does seem like an inordinantly long period for peer review I'd chalk it up to the inefficiency of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to accomplish their tasks in a timely manner.

The recent debacles of the past few years at JPL even spawned a series of articles on which portray JPL as a poorly managed leaking ship adrift in an ocean of organizational chaos. While we doubt a conspiracy is being promulgated we would appreciate a timely response and clear answer as to when this data will become available to the American public whose daily toil finances ventures such as this.

Stereo pairings

The way these work is the left picture is on the right, and right on left... they are actually "taken" about 5 degrees off from each other, and provide the parallax (view) you need to see 3 dimensions. Relax your focus and let your eyes cross until it looks like there are three images. The one in the center should be 3D, like Tom Corbett on ViewMaster. It is essentially the same process used to make 3D images with those red and blue glasses that came with 3D comic books when we were kids, except that it uses no color (thus requiring no 3D glasses). (I actually physically cross my eyes to view these. It works quite well and they haven't gotten stuck that way-yet!)

The following was created by making a Bryce2/3D/4 scene into true 3D Stereo image. Images that will appear to float inches in front of (or behind) your monitor screen! In fact the basic technique can be applied to any images that consist of seperate left and right eye views; be they photographs, drawings or computer generated imagery. These are real 3D stereo images (anaglyphs). When the two images are then merged into a single image, the left eye will see only the right image and the right eye the left image. Because of the offset between the left/right images the brain interpets the 'depth' giving the viewer the impression of a true 3D image.

A tutorial on the process can be found at

Stereo Pairing By Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Dangerzone Productions

Reflections on liquid water

Quoting a recent article from Spaceflight Now:

"In a paper published in a recent issue of the journal Nature, University of Arizona hydrologist Victor Baker concludes that, rather than being cold and dry for most of the last 3.9 billion years, liquid water and ice has shaped the surface of Mars within the last 10 million years.
Baker points to several lines of evidence in support of his claim. For example, MGS images of the planet's northern plains and southern highlands shows regions relatively free of craters, implying they were altered in the recent past. These regions also have a polygonal terrain that is similar to what is seen in permafrost regions on Earth.

Baker thinks that Mars may go through cycles of extended cold, dry periods punctuated by warmer, wetter spells. While the cold periods can last hundreds of millions of years, the warmer periods may last just a few tens of thousands of years. Moreover, Baker believes that there may be cold interludes within those brief warmer periods, and that Mars today may be in such a brief cold period.

"We don't know the answer to that yet -- that's very speculative," he said. "But if it's true, it would have major implications for sending people to Mars, because it may mean that water is more available than otherwise thought."

The warm periods are triggered, Baker believes, by a period of massive volcanic activity. The heat from that activity melts ice trapped below the surface, possibly enough to form a temporary ocean in the planet's northern region. A greenhouse effect created by carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere through the volcanic activity warms the atmosphere and allows water to remain in liquid form at the surface."

The south polar ice cap has been shrinking steadily during the mapping phase of the MGS mission.
This same TES (Thermal Emission Spectrometer) data shows that from 45íS and 60íS latitude "Zonally averaged daytime bolometer brightness temperatures" of 23íC at 45íS! That's right! A balmy 73 degrees Farenheit! (Might as well be Miami in January!)

In layman's terms, "Warm enough for liquid water to be found on the surface of Mars!"

(Shucks folks - that's warm enough to take a dip!)
A tantalizing speculation is that when the dust from this Mega-storm settles an open sea might be found at the location of the former northern polar cap!
It's probably not likely but it's an interesting notion.

If Baker is right Mars could be entering into one of it's warm phases at this very moment.

Other data shows us that the temperature on Mars is downright balmy at the surface but cools rapidly just a few feet above it. Thus it is plausible that we could be seeing liquid water in this image from the low lying northern plains of Mars.

Image Courtesyof Kevin Klettke and Eric C. Lausch
Colorization by Keith Laney
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

As we know this image was taken at 1300 Mars time, early afternoon with an incidence angle of 42.87 degrees as noted in the MGS Data table, illuminating these edifices from the upper right of the images it is conceivable that the lighter area directly in front of the "tunnel" entrance is indeed light being reflected off the "roof" if the tunnel enclosure onto a large pool of liquid water on the surface of Mars.
And as I'm sure we all remember from high school physics class, "the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection".
Since we know the position of the sun is to the upper right this basic property of optical theory would seem to support the contention that these are indeed reflections from the lightly colored surface of the "tunnel" enclosures roof.

But once again we must reiterate that lacking precise topographical survey information the best we can hope to do is extrapolate from the available data.

Unusual craters in the vicinity

Image courtesy of Eric C. Lausch
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

This image illustrates the unusual nature of the craters found adjacent to these "glass tunnel" anomalies. Rather than behaving like your average run of the mill crater which should be shadowed on the sunward side, the odd-looking "craters" found adjacent to these "glass tunnel" anomalies appear to have their bright sides facing the sun.

In layman's terms, "These craters appear to be convex rather than concave like your normal well behaved crater should be."

A group of researcher's headed by Nadine Barlow of the Department of Physics at the University of Central Florida in Orlando is researching the morphology of unusual craters on the surface of Mars. recently ran an article describing the groups efforts:

"Barlow led a study team looking into sub-surface ice and water reservoirs. Her colleagues on the work are John Koroshetz of Laser Energetics in Oviedo, Florida, and James Dohm of the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
The group reported they have taken hard looks at the smooth plains of Solis Planum, an area peppered with impact craters and material excavated from those craters. Their work focuses on looking at the morphology of craters -- shapes and forms -- and the deposits, or ejecta, spewed out from craters during their creation.
Crater size and the ejecta patterns are considered signposts for what lies beneath -- in this case possible subsurface water, in both icy and liquid form.

Crater counts: The team reported that they culled through Mars surface images taken in the 1970s by two Viking Orbiters. Using those photos, the locations and diameters of hundreds of craters were mapped and cataloged.
To shore up their case for a reservoir, laser data taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft of nearly 1,000 craters of varying diameters and depths was reviewed. Doing so, the team double-checked the methodology they used to grasp depth-diameter relationships for Martian craters.
Results of the research show smaller than average onset diameters of single layer craters in Solis and Thaumasia Planae, strongly suggesting a near-surface ice reservoir in this area.

Geologic and tectonic history : The geologic and tectonic history of the Tharsis region -- the area in which the suspected reservoir sits -- provides a possible explanation for the localized concentration of ice and water, the team reported. Long-term activity in this region would have tilted the water table, pooling the material in the topographic low of Solis Planum.
"Heat associated with Tharsis may have maintained deep volatiles as liquid for a longer time period than elsewhere in the Martian equatorial region," the team reported. This unusual near-surface ice-reservoir may be easily accessible given its depth of around 360 feet (110 meters). "The next stage of this study will be to look at reasonable values of porosity and water concentrations to gain a better understanding of how much ice and water may actually be contained within this reservoir," Barlow said.

(Underground water influencing crater morphology-Johnny Danger's going to have a field day with this one! : )

One possible explanation for the innappropriate lighting on the wrong sides of these craters may be rime ice.
The Encyclopedia Brittanica defines rime ice as:

rime: white, opaque, granular deposit of ice crystals formed on objects that are at a temperature below the freezing point.

Rime occurs when supercooled water droplets (at a temperature lower than 0╝ C [32╝ F]) in fog come in contact with a surface that is also at a temperature below freezing; the droplets are so small that they freeze almost immediately upon contact with the object. Rime is common on windward upper slopes of mountains that are enveloped by supercooled clouds. These rime deposits take the form of long plumes of ice oriented into the direction of the wind and are called "frozen fog deposits," or "frost feathers."

Rime is composed of small ice particles with air pockets between them; this structure causes its typical white appearance and granular structure.
Because of the rapid freezing of each individual supercooled droplet, there is relatively poor cohesion between the neighbouring ice particles, and the deposits may easily be shattered or removed from objects they form on.
Thus, rime is not normally a serious problem when it forms on the wings or other surfaces of aircraft.

While rime ice is an explanation that would most likely please the folks at JPL, stereo and 3D image analysis leads this author to a different conclusion.

Domes in craters from M1501228d and M1501228a
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

Above are crops from M1501228d and M1501228a respectively. Of all the anomalous craters in Johnny Danger's crater image these two seem to belong to a particular "class" of phenomena. What that phenomena is one can only speculate. But they appear to be related and they are highly unusual.

As we previously noted, the illumination or sun angle is from the upper right and what see in this image supports that contention as well as raising a number of interesting questions.

Both craters appear to have large spherical objects contained within their respective boundaries. On the left side (M1501228d) this sphere appears as if it is rising from beneath the surface of Mars like some gigantic egg or puffball. One can clearly see the crennelated edge of the crater's overhanging lip and the associated shadows cast by it.

On the right side (M1501228a) we would seem to see a similar object, raised somewhat further above the crater floor. Note the illuminated upper right side and shadowed lower left side. This is indicative of a raised spherical structure.

Craters with a domes in them. Enormous domes!! A width of 38 pixels at 4.47m per pixel yeids a diameter of 169.86 meters or 557.28 feet!!
The magnitude of scale becomes apparent for those of you who've visited the dome at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center which spans a mere 265 feet in diameter!

Comparison of crater domes from M1501228d and M1501228a
Graphic by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Dangerzone Productions

While not statistically significant due to the small sampling size of two, I find it strangely compelling that these "domes" are exactly the same size and have the same apparent surface textures. Not approximately the same size- exactly the same size (as can reasonably be determined by photographic analysis)! This something that does not normally occur in a geological sense. No two boulders are exactly the same size or mass and have such perfect concentricity.

Spherical boulders on the New Zealand Coast

Likewise in nature-no two water droplets freeze to produce identical hailstones-like snowflakes, they all have unique characteristics. No two puffballs grow to the exact same dimensions. The list goes on and on......

Only items designed, engineered and fabricated by technological means can be reproduced with such exacting similarity.

In this author's opinion the the geographically adjacent locations of the "Glass Tunnel" anomalies and "Crater Dome" anomalies is more than mere coincidence and must be related in some manner. It is ironic that the planetary science community is apparently not interested in further investigation of items of such monumental proportion and unusual characteristics.

Although this is not the proper forum for speculation of this nature- we would be remiss not to mention the possibility that this could be the product of some technology rather than a naturally occurring entity. If the the "Glass Tunnels" are indeed for water recirculation as some (including myself) have speculated then perhaps this is some type of filtration\purification facility or possibly a domed arcology that would fill Buckminster Fuller with wonder.

The most efficient geometric shape is a sphere as it uses the smallest surface area to enclose a given space. It is interesting to note that the basic structural unit of most Earthly geodesic domes is the tetrahedron. As geodesic domes require no internal columns for support, these self-supporting structures make an excellent choice for venues reqiuring unobstructed interior space.

Another interesting correlation to the arcology model is that domes can actually "weigh less" than the materials used to construct them due to the air mass inside the dome! When the inside air mass temperature is greater than the outside ambient air temperature a net lifting effect analogous to a hot air balloon is created.
While not noticeable in house sized domes, as the spheres diameter increases this effect is increased geometrically becoming quite noticeable in large venues such as a professional sports facility. Theoretically a sphere of little more than of a half mile in diameter would be able to float in the air with only a 1 degree Farenheit difference in temperature in Earth normal gravity!

At a little over one tenth of a mile in diameter in Mars 40% of Earth gravity our "crater dome" anomalies would experience a pronounced lifting effect.
It would seem a reasonable hypothesis to conclude that this effect may be the cause for the difference in elevation between our two "crater dome" anomalies, if one can verify that they are indeed hollow and that there is sufficient temperature differential to create this lifting effect. As for the reasons behind this possible temperature variation one can only speculate.
The possibilities range from geothermal activity to Martian machinery.

But such speculation is best left to the likes of Johnny Danger and his cohorts. The rest of us will just have to wait until the ESA Mars probe targets it's ground penetrating radar and infrared camera at these unusual features on the surface of Mars.

3D and Stereo Analysis of the "Crater Dome" Anomalies

(note: Remember to cross your eyes!)

3D rendering of crop from M1501228a by Chris Joseph

As this first "crater dome" anomaly has been discussed thoroughly in other venues we will not expend great effort to discuss it's unusual nature.
As a stand alone item it is highly unusual but not much can be gleaned from it's discovery other than to say, "my, that's odd..."

3D Stereo pair analysis of crop from M1501228a by Chris Joseph

However, with the revelation of a second apparently identical "crater dome" anomaly one can begin to classify these anomalies as belonging to a particular class or order of objects. The geographically adjacent location of these domes in regards to the "glass tunnels" of Mars tends to lend credence to the theory that what we are observing is part of an complex interdepenent system. A underground network of interconnected tunnels connecting to various points on the surface of Mars.

3D rendering by of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Dangerzone Productions

3D Stereo pair of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and Dangerzone Productions

These next two images are paticularly compelling. These 3D stereo views allow us to discern that which is not patently obvious in our 2D images-the curvature and gently rolling contours of the tunnels as they traverse northern lowlands of Mars.

3D Stereo Pairing of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Christopher Joseph and 2001 Dangerzone Productions

Here one can clearly see one of the "tunnels" terminating into our second "crater dome" anomaly while another branch heads off at a 90 degree angle to the first tunnel.

3D Stereo Pairing of crop from M1501228d by Chris Joseph
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

A look at the "Big Picture"

Click here to see the annotated image strip for MOC M15-01228

Crop from annotated image strip of MOC Image M1501228

Image courtesy of Kevin Klettke and Johnny Danger
© 2001 Dangerzone Productions

If this is an intelligently wrought structure it's origins may be relegated to the depths of antiquity, forever lost along it's secrets and the cultural reasoning for undertaking such an endeavor. Or perhaps not.

Is it possible or even likely that whomever built these structures was some type of precursor to our own society and civilization?
All myths have some basis in fact from which these legends grew.

Ancient Sumerian legend tells of the god Oannes:
Half human, half-fish, Oannes "came from the firmament to give men culture and learning".
The firmament of Sumerian mythology consisted of both the oceans and the heavens
In addition to the firmament, there was the solid earth and the underworld.

Seems to fit pretty nicely, eh?

Author's note:

I realize that we have digressed somewhat from our original mission statement, namely analyzing the MGS ancillary data in hopes of determining the vailidity of Johnny Danger's claims to an artificial construct on the surface of Mars. However, I believe the our little side trip was time well spent if one really wants to see the "Big Picture". While lacking the corresponding MOLA data I do feel we have done a credible job of building a case for what we see in this highly unusual image being an artificially constructed edifice on the surface of Mars.

At the very least this area of Mars deserves further scrutiny by NASA and the ESA on future Mars missions if for no other reason than to further our knowledge of planetary science. With additional imaging, both coventional and infra-red, ground penetrating radar analysis and spectrometer data we can move this discussion into the realm of hard science. Without additional data of this nature, one can only judge what one sees based on a single highly anomalous image and decide for one's own self what this image represents.

This is why we must remain proactive and support efforts to lobby our elected officials and taxpayer funded scientifc organizations by organizations such as FACETS.

To not actively support and participate in such endeavors is in effect abandoning the quest for a better understanding of the nature of our universe.
And, if after attemping to garner a better understanding of such mysteries via inquiries directed to our taxpayer funded governmental organizations you reach the same conclusions that I and many others have arrived at, namely that there is a fundamental problem with the quality of science being conducted in regards to possible alien artifacts in our solar system, you may also wish to investigate other similar anomalies on your own, as we have attempted to do with the article you've just read. We heartily encourage you to actively participate in these investigations.

Be proactive. Make a difference.

The founding fathers of this great nation chose to pursue a similar course of action with regards to the issues of their time and our efforts are a direct result of their patriotism and wisdom. Like voting, if you don't participate, then you have no right to complain about such issues.

Eric C. Lausch

Auburn, Washington, USA, Earth 8\29\2001

Special thanks to the many folks who contributed to this article and especially to the staff of Danger Team Image Labs:

Kevin Klettke
Al Reaud
Keith Laney
Chris Joseph

J. Danger

I'm glad you're on our team!

This article is dedicated to my old friend Larry Thornton, the man who first introduced me to the mysteries of Mars.
(And then proceeded to lecture me that if I wanted answers I'd better look for them myself as none were forthcoming from our governmental science organizations!) Thanks Larry.

Constructive comments and/or suggestions? Send to Photon's feedback
Dissenting comments? Send At your own risk to Johnny Danger's feedback loop

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