(Investigator 5, 1989 March)

American scientist Dr. James Hurtak believes a civilization existed on Mars long ago.

Among 54,000 photographs by the Viking 1 Mars probe in 1976 was a photo of a 3km wide, right side of a face in the landscape.

In 1986 Hurtak visited Australia to promote the book The Face On Mars written by himself and Brian Crowley. Hurtak stated: "Billions of years ago Mars had a similar climate to what we experience an earth and therefore the possibility of a former civilisation cannot be discounted."

The "face", claim the authors, was constructed by that former civilisation and is proof that it existed.

Co-author Crowley considered a number of "pyramids", 11km south west of the "face", to be evidence for an ancient race of Martian pyramid builders. Hurtak, who claims to have seven Ph.Ds, regards this idea as rubbish.

People magazine (1986 November 3) says that the "face" is: "now causing even conservative scientists to question the assumption that man is alone in the universe." Also computer image enhancement showed: "There was a distinct chin and hairline closely resembling an ancient Egyptian headdress. And the site of the immense head did not seem to have been randomly chosen."

A skeptic reader of Investigator said: "The Martian face is a natural phenomenon. Chance resemblances to humans or to human artifacts are plentiful in nature if we look long enough. I once toured caves on Kangaroo Island and the ranger in charge of the tour pointed to dozens of unusual rock formations that resembled things we know."

The journal Discover (1985 June p. 94) has a photo of part of an island in Leaf River in northern Quebec, Canada. The southern tip of the island, now officially named Pointe Bernard Shaw, resembles the face of George Bernard Shaw! (However, it’s a natural phenomenon and not something built by aliens to commemorate Shaw!)

A month prior to Dr. Hurtak's visit to Australia the Sunday Mail ran a two-page article about the "Riddle Of The Face On Mars" (August17). The article had provocative phrases such as "pictures amaze scientists", "time travellers", "haunting secrets", "signs of holocaust".

The Sunday Mail (September 14) published a letter by skeptic and psychologist Lawrence Eddie:

"I found the article 'Riddle on the Face of Mars' (17/8/86) full of rather silly claims.

NASA scientists are not 'haunted' by those photos. Of the hundreds who have studied these photos, only two believe that there is any ‘face’ on the planet’s surface...

Patterns are quite common in nature. They can be seen in the bark of trees and on mountains, and occur because of the tendency of the human brain to transform random patterns into recognisable objects.

Conditions on Mars make it unlikely that had there been a Martian race they would have had human features and worn Egyptian headdresses. If you examine the shadows cast by the 'face', you will see it is obviously part of a mountain peak and the ‘mouth’ is a rift.

Mars has never been a 'planet of war'. It was associated with the Roman god Mars simply because it appeared to have a red colour, a colour associated with bloodshed and war.

The entire thing is a money-spinning hoax, which will probably make a lot of money from a gullible public."


In addition to the particular Martian "face" that people are fussing over, there are other faces in the Martian landscape.

One such further face is the "Happy Face" – 7km wide. It's actually a crater. Fractures caused by the impact of a meteor formed the "eyes" and "mouth".

Or did the Martians construct this giant Happy Face with pick and shovel to show us how friendly they are??

Magazines designed to tickle the imagination continue to publish sensationalist claims. Australasian Post (1988 November 26, p.17) stated: "Today most results point to the theory that the face is not a natural phenomenon."

INVESTIGATOR claims that the Martian "face" IS a "natural phenomenon".

Viking 1 took 54,000 photographs of the Martian surface. Several of the photos show markings resembling human faces and pyramids. But they're only chance resemblances.

On present evidence the conclusion that ancient Martians built a big face and pyramids is "rather silly".