From Planet Mars (A.K.A. Barsoom), Comes "The Face on Mars"... Is it John Carter?
Have you noticed an intense red star rising in the east on recent evenings? That is no star. That is Mars. The red planet is having a close encounter with Earth this week. At closest approach on Tuesday evening, Dec. 18th, 2007 the two worlds will lie only 55 million miles apart. Mars will not be this near the Earth again until the year 2016. This information comes to us courtesy of Space Weather. Are you ready for the view? Train your best optics on the bright red "star" rising in the east after sunset: sky map.
According to Astronomy Picture of the Day, very good telescopic views of Mars can be expected in the coming days as the Red Planet nears opposition on December 24th. Of course, opposition means opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky - an arrangement that occurs every 26 months for Mars. Taking advantage of the shorter travel distance near opposition, NASA launched the Phoenix lander to Mars in August, 2007. It is scheduled to arrive in May 2008.
It has been over 31 years since Mars last intruded on the mass consciousness of Planet Earth. For those of us who were present in body at that time, we received a press release from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on July 31, 1976.
In part, it said: “This picture is one of many taken in the northern latitudes of Mars by the Viking 1 Orbiter in search of a landing site for Viking 2. The picture shows eroded mesa-like landforms. The huge rock formation in the center, which resembles a human head, is formed by shadows giving the illusion of eyes, nose and mouth.”
The Formation, later called the "Face on Mars” (FOM) appeared frequently on the covers of supermarket tabloids for several years thereafter. More recently, in 2001 and 2003, very high resolution photos of the FOM revealed that it was “a naturally eroded mesa”, or so we were told.
Once again, “science” had “disproved” evidence of intelligent life in the cosmos. “Thank God”, said many who believe that there is higher intelligence in the universe, but are too afraid to believe that they, themselves, may be witness to such intelligence or its construction activities.
If I remember correctly, one cannot “prove a negative”, yet astronomers and scientists all over the world take great pride in telling us that the high resolution photos of the FOM “prove” that it is a “natural phenomenon”, caused by uplifting and erosion. Many of our scientists offer us a negative proof by saying "a supernatural force does not exist, because there is no proof that it does exist".
If you see a wider smile on the FOM in the future, it is simply divine intelligence laughing, as it allows earth’s scientists to feel secure in not having discovered that which they endlessly seek – evidence that intelligent life exists beyond the confines of Planet Earth. As the Veil thins, perhaps we shall see that extraterrestrial intelligence not only exists, but that it also has a sense of humor.
March 2012, Author's note: Since release of the Disney Movie, "John Carter", A.K.A. "A Princess of Mars", there is a renewed interest in helium. In the movie, there is a city named "Helium" on the planet "Barsoom", A.K.A. Planet Mars. When Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the story a century ago, no one knew if there was intelligent life on Mars, let alone an atmosphere that included helium. Although we now know a lot more about Mars, we have learned little about proper use and conservation of our helium reserves here on Earth.