Human beings have been fascinated by Mars since antiquity. Now, we’re working toward landing on it. However, conspiracy theorists and fringe thinkers will tell you that we’ve already been to Mars, at the very least. These crazy-sounding but interesting stories won’t go away until we finally set foot on the red planet. In the meantime, here are 10 “out of this world” theories about our celestial next-door neighbor.
10. Is Phobos Really A Space Station?
When the European Space Agency stated that one of Mars’s moons, Phobos, appeared to be hollow, it mirrored the findings of Russian astrophysicist Dr. Iosif Shklovsky from the late 1960s. Not only did Shklovsky believe that Phobos was hollow, but taking its unusual and uneven orbit into account, he believed there was a real possibility that it was artificial.
Over the years, many ufologists, alien enthusiasts, and even ancient astronaut theorists have latched on to Shklovsky’s findings. One of the main theories to come out of this fringe group of thinkers is that Phobos was placed in orbit and is in fact an ancient space station of sorts, possibly used as a jumping off point for space missions or as an early warning device for things like asteroids.
More mainstream thinking surmises that the “hollowness” could simply be water or other liquid trapped within the Martian moon. Another possibility is that when Phobos was formed from multiple large asteroid fragments, natural voids were formed within the structure. Phobos is more akin to a floating pile of rocks, as opposed to a real-life, potato-shaped Death Star.
There have been numerous attempts to send probes to Phobos, but strangely, all have encountered various systems failures, which have ultimately resulted in their missions not being completed. To some, this isn’t coincidence, and it not only suggests that Phobos is some kind of orbiting artificial structure, but that it is still active.
9. The Sphinx And Pyramids Of Mars
Not only does a sphinx allegedly sit on the surface of Mars, but it sits right in front of what some say are pyramids.
Although mainstream researchers and experts state that the pyramids are just naturally formed mountains, some believed that the precise measurements and perceived dimensions of the structures makes them exactly that—structures! The possibility that they are volcanoes is also highly unlikely, as the only known volcanic region of Mars is in the Tharsis Region, which is 3,200 kilometers (2,000 mi) away from the pyramids’ location in Cydonia.
So, if there really are a sphinx and pyramids on Mars, are they connected in any way to the Sphinx in Egypt and the Giza pyramids? As you might have guessed, some people very much believe so. They argue that Cairo’s name in Arabic, al-Qahirah, directly translates to either “The Victorious,” or perhaps more interestingly, “The Place of Mars.” It’s also claimed that the Sphinx at Giza was once painted red. As a final piece of “evidence,” it is noted that there appears to be increased amounts of rock in the area in front of the alleged pyramids. Are they merely natural stones and boulders? Or are they perhaps rubble from the collapsed buildings of an ancient civilization?
Some have even studied aerial shots of Cydonia and believe that they’ve not only spotted a third pyramid, but that the three pyramids on Mars appear to match the layout of the Pyramids of Giza. NASA states that since parts of the pictures are blurred, people experience pareidolia, seeing defined objects in what are actually nothing but random patterns and shapes.
8. Project Redsun—The Secret Manned Mission To Mars
According to a story that first appeared in 2011, there was a secret mission in the 1970s to set up a base there.
Following Apollo 17, the last manned moon mission, NASA allegedly began to conduct secret space missions. One of them, Project Redsun, was said to be a joint US and Soviet mission to ultimately begin the colonization of Mars. A first group was said to have arrived at the red planet in late 1971, in what was essentially an information-gathering mission. The second mission was claimed to have launched in August 1973 aboard the ISVColumbus and to have featured two US astronauts, Commander Elliot See and pilot William Rutledge, and a Russian cosmonaut, Vladimir Ilyushin.
An purportedly leaked video appeared on YouTube, alleged to be a NASA training video containing 16-milimeter film of Project Redsun. There is obvious debate as to its authenticity; a vast majority of people believe it to be a hoax—albeit a very good hoax, to say the least.
The story was reported on by Italian UFO researcher Luca Scantamburlo, and his whistle-blower appeared to be Rutledge, the pilot of the 1973 Redsun mission. Rutledge also spoke of several other top secret projects, including one that discovered an alien base on the moon. Rutledge stated regarding the information he had supposedly leaked:
I’m the whistle-blower. What can NASA or the USAF do now? Blocking or suing me would be an acknowledgement. They can speak of hoax or fiction.
7. NASA Employee Witnesses Men Walking On Mars In 1979
In 2014, a woman, who identified herself only as Jackie, called the radio show Coast To Coast AM. She claimed that men walked on Mars in 1979, and what’s more, she had witnessed it.
Jackie claimed that her job was to download telemetry data and that she was part of NASA’s “downstairs team.” While she was doing her job, she claimed to have witnessed men walking on Mars via NASA’s live feed. She stated they were both dressed in space suits, although they were not the “bulky” type that we would expect to see. According to Jackie, they came walking over the horizon and toward the Viking Explorer.
Jackie also claimed that six other NASA employees witnessed the incident with her. When they rushed upstairs to speak to the people directly in charge of the mission, they found that the door had been locked and that paper had been taped over the door windows to block their view of anything that might be happening in the room.
So far, none of the other alleged six employees have come forward to corroborate Jackie’s claims.
6. Gilbert Levin’s Suppressed Life On Mars Test
According to Gilbert Levin, he proved that there was life on Mars back in 1976, and he has been trying to prove that he proved it ever since.
An experiment called “Labeled Release” was performed by the first Viking rover that landed on the red planet. Levin claims that using methods that were preapproved and accepted by NASA, his experiment positively identified organic life in soil samples taken shortly after touchdown. However, because two other experiments done at the same time didn’t match his positive result, Labeled Release was essentially buried.
Although not directly endorsing Levin, Chris McKay, an employee of the NASA Ames Research Center, stated that the two other tests that NASA carried could very well be flawed. He noted that a test carried out in the Atacama Desert in Chile using exactly the same equipment showed that there were no organic molecules present, even though it’s known that the soil there does contain organic life.
5.Panspermia—We Originally Came From Mars
In 2013, two different scientists appeared to “endorse” the controversial theory of panspermia—that life arrived on Earth (in this case from Mars) in molecular form within an asteroid, which ultimately seeded our planet. Both Steve Benner, who is a leading origins-of-life chemist, and Christopher Adcock, aleading author on the subject, agreed that this was, to them, very likely.
The theory itself dates back to the fifth century BC, when Greek philosopher Anaxagoras made reference to it, albeit on a much smaller scale, in his writings. The theory has been passed around over the centuries, and as our horizons have grown, so it would seem has the panspermia theory. When Asteroids found in 1984 and 1996 both appeared to show organic molecules, the theory gained again in popularity.
Most scientists now agree that Mars was a vastly different planet billions of years ago. It would have had an atmosphere and oceans of liquid water, and in all probability, it was very much able to support life. Only by sending manned missions to Mars will any definitive proof either way be within our reach.
4. Nuclear War On Mars?
In 2014, propulsion scientist John Brandenburg stated that Mars had suffered from at least two large nuclear explosions during its lifetime. Brandenburg sited the large amount of Xenon-129 in its atmosphere as well as excessive amounts of uranium and thorium in its soil as proof of his theory. What’s more, he doesn’t believe that these explosions occurred naturally, as most mainstream scientists would.
Three years earlier in 2011, Brandenburg stated that the regions of Cydonia and Utopia on Mars bore all the hallmarks of an advanced ancient humanoid civilization and that it was only at these sites where there was evidence of any kind of disaster happening. Although he originally claimed that these nuclear disasters most likely occurred naturally, something about their location troubled him.
By 2014, driven by the strange coincidence that the only two places where he believed there to be evidence of nuclear disaster were also the only two areas that showed even the slightest sign of a past society, Brandenburg believed the explosions were not natural, but rather planned and purposeful. He stated that he had evidence which was “consistent with mixed fusion-fission explosions” and which suggested that a nuclear bomb had been used. Going further still, Brandenburg concluded that it’s more than reasonable to suggest that the attacks were launched by an alien race, whether organic AI.
Needless to say, Brandenburg’s ideas are popular with conspiracy theorists, but he has no backing from any leading or mainstream scientists.
3. Stargate ‘Found’ On Mars
In September 2015, UFO researchers, while analyzing photographs of the Martian surface, came across what they believed to be a stargate, half-buried in the ground. The object’s extremely straight lines apparently drew people’s attention to it. There also appeared to be the remnants of a roof that had been damaged long ago. In the middle of the straight-lined structure appeared to be a circular opening.
Although these wild theories are in line with other theories of advanced ancient civilizations on Mars, in this particular case, there is absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever to back up the theory. Even if the object was proven to be artificial, which would still be a huge discovery, there is nothing to suggest that it would be a portal of any kind. Although some ancient writings do speak of such things existing between our planet and Mars, these interpretations are much debated themselves.
NASA doesn’t seem to have anything to say on this particular “sighting,” but some conspiracy theorists suggest that they’re very aware of the ancient technology, which is why they are very much in favor of getting to Mars sooner rather than later.
2. The Face And The Ancient Cydonian City
Perhaps the first great mystery of Mars in the modern age was the alleged “Face on Mars” that was first seen by the world in 1976, one of the many photographs taken during the Viking mission. When it was first viewed, most people agreed that they could see a face staring back at them from the Martian surface. Further studies have officially stated that this was nothing more than a trick of light, and photographs of the same area in 1998 and 2001 seem to confirm this.
However, conspiracy theorists argue that the follow up pictures were intentionally taken from different angles so as to produce a different view. They also contend the structure itself is far too precise to be natural.
Perhaps more controversially, they state that there are “obvious” remains of an ancient city in the vicinity of the Face, including the aforementioned pyramids. They believe that the unusual amount of “structures” found here suggest the remains of destroyed buildings from a society that must have existed thousands of years ago. They also note the seemingly precise and planned layout of the city.
Researchers contend that before the last pole shift on Mars, both the city and the Face would have sat right on the Martian equator, something they believe was obvious planning. Authors Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval and John Grigsby examined the alleged Martian city in some detail in their book The Mars Mystery—A Tale Of The End Of Two Worlds. Their particular findings seeming to support that the structures are indeed the remains of an ancient civilization.
1. The Many Random ‘Objects’ Seen On Mars
From the Viking mission to the present day, people on Earth have had the opportunity to view thousands of images of the Martian terrain. While most see a desolate planet, a world of sand and rocks, some have picked out some very bizarre sights that are interesting, at the very least.
In 2015, a photograph was singled out that allegedly showed a ruined pillar or column and what appeared to be petroglyphs more reminiscent of ancient Egypt. In the summer of the same year, a photograph flooded social media that was said to show an alien woman on the mountains of Mars. Years earlier, a more famous photograph was said to have captured a woman walking along the surface of the red planet.
There have been numerous alleged pictures that are said to contain the remains of human bones and even skulls laying on the surface of Mars, while others have claimed to have spotted Martian animals such as lizards and even rats. Perhaps the most famous of these did its Internet rounds in 2015, when an eagle-eyed enthusiast claimed to have spotted a Martian crab on the planet.
Officially, all of these sightings are simple tricks of the light, but researchers and conspiracy theorists believe the camera doesn’t lie and contend that there are more to the images than we are being told. No doubt the “sightings” will continue until we finally manage to get a manned mission onto Martian soil.