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on 30 June 2004
A rather strange thing occurred during the Viking missions to Mars in late 1976, among the thousands of photographs taken of the surface of this dead cold planet, one stood out for its unique and haunting properties. This picture became one of the most famous images in the world and rekindled the general interest in the red planet. The one picture alone, which could answer the question of, "Are we alone?" That picture was none other than the face on Mars.
Richard Hoagland, the author of this book, was at the time a NASA employee who became intrigued with the face and as he was to discover later, the whole eerie artificiality of the site known as Cydonia.
Natural phenomenon or artificial construction? The face has led to much speculation, however as this book points out there is more to Cydonia than the face alone. There are a growing amount of strange objects on Mars that seem to display signs of planning and construction.
The deeper you delve into the subject the more you begin to believe, at some point in Mars history, sentient life must of existed, "How long ago?" "What happen to them?" and "Who were they?" We'll probably never know.
This is a serious work, at over 400 pages long it is not for the causal or light reader, but if you stick with it, it becomes a fantastic read as to how NASA work and you do begin to question why more is not being made of this discovery. What do they have to hide?
Mars although the theme of the book is not alone in being scrutinised. Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune also have some strange secrets to reveal. Our closest companion the Moon also gets a mention and that reveals the biggest surprise of all.....
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on 8 October 2015
Fundamental book to understand the independent research and the hypothesis which spread from these scientific research. The book covers several years of development of the hypothesis, the ideas, the data from NASA, and the strange attitudes that NASA has towards the very data they put out.
If you are looking for the last findings on the ancient civilization of Mars that is not the book you are looking for, but if you want to find out how the history of this exo-archaeology enterprise started and took shape, then this book is a cornerstone, it is just fundamental, and though a bit out dated in some passages, you can only admire the tenacity of Richard Hoagland and other researchers, who we now can perceive, were right all along, for those of us who are paying close attention to the photos of the rovers, and the whole discussion on the subject, we understand that most claims of these researchers are every day closer to be completely vindicated. One will understand the difficulties of this research once one delves deeper into the literature of this fascinating subject, and understands why NASA does not have interest to be open about inteligent life in an other planet, specially one so close to ours, and that seems to bear so much similarity, to the point to suggest that they may have been the ones that prepared the grounds to our very civilization.
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on 5 June 2010
Hoagland's opus It may all be just so much hokum. Or not -and if not .....

I have read with attention Hoagland's two books. Previously unaware of his contentions I found the ideas both intriguing and, for obvious reasons, hard to believe. If they are true he has done a great service to public understanding ; if untrue, well a lot of time and energy has been misapplied. Unfortunately, rather like the authors of The Hiram Key whom he cites, he has a tendency to adduce just about everything weird and wonderful as grist to the mill. Much of his and their material is sheer speculation and unwarranted inference. It would have made for shorter books and been simpler, and more sensible to restrict his observations and claims to the more than sufficient material open to possible verification (or otherwise).

For as far as I can see, IF his account is a true reflection of what he and others observed and heard in relation to NASA and all its works, the more concrete elements of his arguments are more than sufficient to raise reasonable doubts in rational people about the meaning and veracity of much of what that organisation has put into the public sphere.

' The number of Mars and Moon images which (IF authentic) are fascinating and appear, on the face of it, to merit investigation and explanation. Notably the towers, dome-like appearances, those corrugated tubes, possible pyramids and of course the famous Face.
' The "robot's head" on the moon is particularly intriguing, but it is SO unlikely that one has to wonder if a particularly skilful photo re-toucher has carefully inserted a picture of C3-PO?

' The many instances regarding NASA data and behaviour, which he usually presents in a seemingly measured way, as if with a pained expression of polite disbelief.
[Hoagland seems to be one of the few immune to the anticipated syndrome ATTRIBUTED to the Brookings report. (Which DOES consider the possible merit of concealing any discoveries...)]

' Notably :
' The interference with image colours
' Interference with images themselves ; their degradation or suspicious retouching (i.e. if present in the publicly shown versions and not in the originals).
' The seemingly large number of "missing" photographs and other data.
' Not to mention the occasions when, ALLEGEDLY, whole spacecraft so conveniently went missing.
' However if one or more probes did go "black" who would have the opportunity to do this as well as the trained personnel and the rather complex and expensive communication equipment and software necessary? And how could a black probe be operated via parallel channels without the official system noticing? Hoagland does not speculate here (I wonder why) but an all too obvious candidate would presumably be the Pentagon?
' The actual destruction (disappearance?) of rafts of data and images.
' Obfuscating stories that don't hold up.
' The destruction of a supposed Mars fossil - seen in a lander image.
' The curious comportment reported of some of the astronauts on public occasions.
' In particular the famously Delphic remarks by Armstrong
' HOWEVER : Perhaps there were (many) other occasions when their comportment was normal and as to be expected?
' The seeming indifference of official NASA to any interest in some rather interesting pictures or interest in resolving these speculations one way or the other.
' The discomfited responses of officials on some occasions ; not to mention the very strange contract of Dr Malin ; and his very strange behaviour.

One has to ask a lot of questions :

' Many of the pictures available in his books or on web sites are vague and fuzzy and thus very difficult for the man in the street to interpret in the way Hoagland does. The lack of clarity of detail is tantalising and therefore not always convincing. However there is a definite residue of images where the detail is sufficiently distinct as to provide grounds for there being a case to be answered. (Regarding the Face, the right side seems to me to be partly collapsed or otherwise damaged rather than representing a feline aspect?).
' If the moon does have large areas covered with "glass domes", whole or incomplete with just the supports remaining, how come the Apollo landers got down safely?
' Why are the domes so gigantic? Enormous volumes to have to fill with air ; all at risk if punctured by a meteorite (unless the technology included a rapid and automatic self-repair capability!).
' Such large structures require a large amount of material. Have any putative quarries been located?
' Not clear at all how the "domes" are constructed. The references to hard to discern "rebar", "flying buttresses", "spars", are not themselves much of a guide. The only attempt at an architectural reconstruction (fig 4.43 - the moon book) is not very convincing as a useful structure. A cluttered cube of piled up material, serving what purpose?. If the whole gigantic interior was filled with such a configuration what on earth was the space for? The cube is hardly a "dome" as such and it's hard to see it as part of the classic idea of a soaring geodesic type structure with a clear covering.
' And anyway, why so darned big? Generally beings build on a scale to suit their own dimensions and practical needs. Sometimes of course as big as technology allows - either for the habitable space afforded on a limited site (a skyscraper) or for pure prestige (the Egyptian monuments), or for defence (China's Great Wall).
The purported buildings on Mars and the Moon are truly huge; and if real, presumably so because the capability existed ; but it would be nice to know the why as well as the how.
(Possibly to provide enough volume to permit some degree of weather?).
' If NASA is being truly so very "economical with the truth" and only a small number of officials are actually implicated in the obfuscation; then why is there apparently no important reaction from among the much greater number of good guys who are presumably in a position to detect something like this going on? They presumably read and listen to Hoagland and others and Americans are not usually shy in coming forward to spill the beans on official shenanigans. Something is hinted at by Hoagland but this is not developed.
' TIME DISCREPANCIES :: Hoagland is not always consistent in his speculations about the age attributed to the various things he says he sees. If the Mars/Moon mysteries date back half a million years (to their presumed demise) how come he imagines their active influence on Sumer and Egypt as recently as 5,000 years ago, or even the 10,500 or 15,000 he mentions at one point. It's very hard to believe in a meaningful oral transmission over such a long period as is implied.

There has indeed been much speculation about the true age of the Sphinx and other Egyptian monuments ; 10,000 years would seem possible but surely not 500,000?
I seem to recall in one section, about the moon, hundreds of millions being bandied about .... Surely all this just doesn't compute. Over the last century or so excavations and study of ancient documents has shown some remarkable correspondences between the Bible or Homer and what has been found in the ground. But to extend this to references to contact between Egypt and Mars (or other alien contacts) is without demonstrable foundation.

If there is anything at all to be discovered up there it is better to avoid such profitless speculation until closer examination shows what, if anything, there actually is to argue about. Earthbound archaeology has problems enough to define dates for things we are familiar with here. It seems daft to go out on a limb for things hundreds of thousands or millions of miles away and at the moment beyond proper investigation. At least until better photographs are published or one of the rovers is actually programmed to do a close up investigation. (Perhaps a rover can soon reach the "South Peak Sphinx". That Mars photo is really tantalising ; as was that of the "mermaid" rock - until it was said the small scale showed it to be hardly more than a pebble ....).

' In discussing the Cydonia pictures (Mars) Hoagland seems to offer considerable confusion :
The infra-red images would appear to show rectilinear divisions, such as on Earth might indicate the possible outlines of the foundations of a city. If the supposed traces are not an artefact of the imaging process and IF they are at a depth capable of I-R detection : fine ; the evidence does seem on the face of it to be rather suggestive. Especially when taken together with other images cited.
BUT at one point, developing another argument, Hoagland appears to claim that Cydonia has a dust layer over ice which in places is extremely deep ("thousands of feet in places") and seemingly supposing that the I-R penetrates all this to reach the "ruins" below.

Well, I know nothing about I-R imaging but how deep is it supposed to be where the "ruins" are? AND if very deep, how is it that enough sunshine can penetrate so far as to allow a thermal image to be observed? NOT to mention the unlikely probability that the ice is crystal clear all the way down, being more likely to be muddy, fractured or otherwise occluded?

Oddities :

I am inclined to agree with the publisher that Hoagland's case would be more "respectable" if he had avoided bringing into his assertions so many extraneous subjects unnecessary to his basic thesis.

' I already mentioned reference to "The Hiram Key". An interesting series of conjectures (I was given my copy by a Mason) but the Masonic Order is highly unlikely to publish anything in support of all the speculation and tenuous linkage of "evidence" contained in the book. Its value to Hoagland's thesis is thus rather minuscule.
' Similarly, drawing attention to the supposed secret society associations of groups within NASA is not susceptible of substantiating anything in particular.
' The chapter on Torsion Fields is superfluous at best, tendentious at worst. From what little I can glean this stuff is not well understood anywhere and supposed experiments and theories are mostly unconfirmed or without peer verification.
Hoagland presents himself as having made big contributions to hyper-dimensional physics but offers no references which might show his work on the subject. There is indeed a lot going on in this field but it is all very abstruse and involves extreme mathematics. (see some rather obscure references on the net to, e.g., Heim's physics).

' And all that tetrahedral geometry seems like so much Kabbalistic numerology. In any case it is unnecessary to adduce any of this as it adds nothing to the arguments :
As the TV man said to the NASA official : why don't you just go and get better pictures and prove these guys wrong? If wrong, there's no discussion. If right then there's probably enough to study and work on for ages to come.

' The Kennedy assassination! Oh dear, guaranteed to distract from anyone's bona fides. If there was a conspiracy we'll likely never have believable proof until maybe someone makes a deathbed confession.
It's just speculation to the fourth power to relate this incident to Hoagland's main theme.


ALL IN ALL and despite these unfortunate distractions it would seem there may be a case to answer. One strange discrepancy might be just that; two a coincidence, but so many strangenesses together do seem sufficiently suspicious to warrant a modicum of serious attention to try and resolve the matter one way or the other. If Hoagland's analysis of official behaviour is correct, in the absence of sufficient public pressure they may stall for many years yet but I hope not. The human race is sufficiently attuned now to this subject in a way it wasn't fifty years ago. Somehow Hoagland wisely kept off the general theme of UFOs and Roswell - nearly as dubious as ghosts and Adamski. However if this Mars/Moon thing turns out to have any substance at all then the next legitimate question is : what happened to the beings involved - and where are they now?

Postscript :
Oddly enough the notion of a relationship between Mars and ancient Egypt is not an original idea. In the fifties BBC Radio broadcast a series of space fiction dramas by the writer Charles Chiltern. In one of these, "Space Force" (rebroadcast in September 2008), the heroes' ship involved in the first ever expeditions to the Red Planet is infiltrated by stowaway Egyptian priests intent on returning to their brotherhood on Mars ; housed in a giant .....pyramid, of course. Maybe Hoagland heard the series (on PBS?)and "saw the light"?
(See also Dunn's thought-provoking book about his technical assessment of the Great Pyramid).

Philip Minchom
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on 28 December 2010
For years now, Richard Hoagland has been pouring forth a stream of conspiracy theories about how NASA, the US government, UNESCO, the RSPCA, the Church of England, the Dalai Lama, Ken Dodd and anyone else he can think of, is hiding the truth about Outer Space - i.e., that WE ARE NOT ALONE.
This book is his Magnum Opus. In it he claims to have scrutinised photoes taken by the Viking missions to Mars which, he assures us, show evidence of an ancient civilisation - namely big faces and pyramids either carved into rock formations, or built especially for us to see. He is very careful to show how, by DIGITALLY ENHANCING the pictures (the originals of which are often very fuzzy), the true nature of these monuments can be properly seen. In other works (which I haven't read, I hasten to add), he claims that the ancient Egyptians were in cahoots with extra-terrestrials to build the pyramids; that there are giant transparent domes on the Moon; life under the surface of at least one of the Jovian satellites, and other manifestations of the existence of ancient civilisations which the guvment wants to hide from us. They do this, apparently, by DIGITALLY ENHANCING pictures so we can't see their true nature (pot kettle black, anyone???).

His latest wheeze is that, earlier on this year (2010), a Russian Missile was detonated over Norway by Dark Forces (i.e. the Nazis) to stop Man's exploration of space (funny how they missed the Viking Missions, the ISS, the Cassini and Hubble telescopes, countless communications satellites and all those other ventures that have been largely successful). Apparently President Obama cancelled "Project Constellation" because those same Nazis (officers who escaped into space after WW11) would thwart any US attempt to land on or explore the Moon - just like they stymied all those Apollo missions. The Rotters. Funny how they managed to escape into space but couldn't finish their atomic bomb or, for that matter, stop us and the Russians from defeating them. The devilish swine - they lost the war deliberately, to confuse us. My God, is there no end to their treachery?

The pictures in Hoagland's book show various portions of the surface of Mars, tweaked to make it look as if perfectly random rock formations have in fact been carved by - all together now, one two three - an ANCIENT CIVILISATION. The text invents, fabricates, falsifies and twists a whole stream of figures, diagrams, formulae and concepts designed to convince the reader that all these fantasies are somehow based in fact. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a fantasist, pure and simple.

What is it with these people who harp on about extra-terrestrial Ancient Civilisations? Has it ever occurred to them that maybe WE are the Ancient Civilisation that, one day, will be discovered by species yet to evolve? Hoagland (who has manufactured all sorts of bogus claims to have been a consultant to NASA and the Curator of a Science museum, none of which is true) is clearly obsessed with generating images and ideas that gain him attention and credibility. The more time goes on the more outlandish his claims become.

I'm far from being someone who automatically believes everything the authorities tell us (look at Galileo), but there is a difference between on the one hand being sceptical of the authorities and, on the other, believing everything else that you hear. Paradoxically, this book IS worth reading, if only to see how far someone will go to try and get you to believe that 2+2=17. Read it if you like -it's not at all badly written - enjoy it, and have a good laugh. Just keep your tongue in your cheek - someone's got to; Hoagland doesn't.
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on 18 August 2011
This book was purchased for my husband and since he started reading it, I usually hear him from behind the book!!
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on 20 May 2009
I can't help thinking that anyone who resorts to a quote from a fictional character to puff their book has a product that is somehow lacking in appeal to real people.
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