The Face Gets a Face Lift
 -- Courtesy Michael Malin?

On the last day of January, 2001, Malin Space Science Systems principal investigator Michael Malin made his latest contribution to the cause of disclosure by producing a new close up image of the Western half of the Face on Mars. Despite the fact that this is simply a higher resolution image of the same side that we have seen clearly since the original Viking data of the mid 1970's, it does lay to rest arguments with regard to the actual definition and placement of certain features, and also advances the cause of arguments for its artificiality. In the same image batch, Malin also for the first time released an image of the Cliff, another curious feature of the Cydonia region.

face-lift-hires.jpg (100973 bytes)
Click on Thumbnail for Full Scale Image

What the new images show is powerful enough, but more importantly -- after almost two years of official silence on "the face" -- Malin seems to be giving the cause of Face advocates everywhere a major political boost -- by first taking, and then releasing, this new image. The 2001 Face image itself, acquired a few days ago (according to MSSS), is among the last -- the very last -- to be taken by the MOC (Mars Orbiter Camera) during the "normal" science phase of the mission. Of course, as with all of the other Cydonia imaging opportunities during the operational life of the MGS save the first three, Malin has continued to violate the stated NASA policy on imaging the Face and other Cydonia anomalies. According to that policy (which he agreed to), Malin should have revealed the upcoming opportunity and stated when he intended to release the seven latest Cydonia images unceremoniously "dumped" to the Internet without any advance warning. Instead, as with the previous nine images! he released last year under pressure from Congress (and had withheld in some cases more than a year), he simply posted the new images on the MSSS web site with no forewarning.

The problem with this is that it is very difficult to determine when the image was actually taken, since the normal ancillary data was not linked to the page. A search has revealed no connection to the larger, uncategorized MGS dump that was placed on the Internet last year, in which case it will take some really clever detective work (or a "leak" from MSSS) to determine exactly when the new Face image was taken.

That stated, we have no reason at this time (other than Malin's previously sneaky behavior) to suspect that the image is anything other than what Malin says it is -- a recent shot of the Face. If in fact that is what it is, then we are truly looking at something quite extraordinary. 

Despite the fact that this is undeniably the best (though partial) view of the Face yet, there are problems. The stated resolution of the image (1.7 meters per pixel) is not exactly the whole story. As with the previous MGS view of the Face, there is a large amount of noise in the image, suggesting that the full range of contrast was not made available to the MOC. Since actual image resolution is a function of both spatial resolution and contrast range, that actual image resolution is more like 5-6 meters per pixel. This same problem on the previous MGS image had the effect of reducing the actual resolution to around 14 meters per pixel as opposed to the stated resolution of around 5 meters per pixel.

What all this induced noise does is make it more difficult to discern the fine structure of a given Facial feature. And the basically overhead sun angle also has the (designed?) effect of washing out details. That said, this new image is still remarkably revealing.

More than nine years ago, former NASA imaging specialist Vince DiPietro proposed that his new analysis of the Viking Face images showed the presence of not only what appeared to be an "eye socket," but also evidence of a "pupil" of the right size and shape to be a representation of such human features. Despite the fact that other researchers using different imaging techniques found the same feature, his prediction was ridiculed at that time by individuals both inside and outside of NASA, and his "bit-slice" imaging technique was roundly criticized.

Now, it seems, DiPietro will have the last laugh.

The first thing you notice about this new image, M16-00184 --a narrow swath cutting across the center forehead region of the Face and down across the right eye socket to the corner of the mouth -- is that what appeared to be an actual "eye socket" and "pupil" in the earlier Viking and MGS images are, in fact, just that. Unbelievably for our critics, the "eye socket" is perfectly shaped and positioned to represent a human eye, and even though the outlines of the socket are somewhat faded from the sun angle and lack of contrast, it takes very little imagination (or enhancement) to determine just what the original shape truly was.

In fact, Curt Jonach, of the "Electric Warrior" web site, has done a very presentable job of highlighting the clearly present and obviously genuine contours of the socket as they might have appeared in their heyday. Normally, these kind of interpretations are dismissed as just that, an interpretation, but in this case absolutely no "fudging" or additions are required. He simply emphasized lines that are flatly present on the structure. And the presence of the "pupil," so controversial previously, can now be placed alongside most of the other predictions of the various independent Cydonia researchers as proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

In short, it's an Eyeball fellas. Get used to it.

Not only that, but the "Pupil," in contrast to the the way it appeared in the Mark Carlotto and Mark Kelly enhancements, is lined up quite well with the "teardrop" and the corner of the mouth, exactly as we would expect it to be if it were meant to represent a human Face. The problem with the original MGS image was the fact that it was taken at such a low oblique angle, making a proper ortho-rectification virtually impossible. To their credit, both Kelly and Carlotto did a commendable job working with such a poor piece of data as the original MGS image. Comparisons with the Viking data are more favorable and show that the notion that the Face was meant to represent a human visage was anything but far fetched. 

face-lift-high-sun.jpg (38518 bytes)
Click on thumbnail for larger version

In fact, thanks to this new image, we can now go along way toward correcting the false impression made by not only the infamous "Catbox" image, but by the well intentioned Kelly and Carlotto rectifications. By simply overlaying the new swath on the Kelly rectification, we can create a patchwork that nevertheless is a far more accurate representation of what the Face really looks like.

By this process, not only are features obvious on the "macro" scale -- the Eyeball and Pupil, the corner of the mouth (which is shaped exactly like the corner of a human mouth), the nose with symmetrical nostrils, symmetrical, right angular markings on the headdress and a new, never before seen "centerline" on the forehead at the exact lateral center of the Face --  but we are also beginning to see (in spite of the noise) some incredible details in the fine structure of the Face as well.

face-lift-honey.jpg (93685 bytes)

Around the eye socket are a set of very regular, geometric shapes that can only be described as a sort of honeycomb cellular structure on the Face itself. Now it just so happens that this very anomalous and decidedly artificial pattern is exactly what Enterprise principal investigator Richard C. Hoagland predicted (in The Monuments of Mars) we would find on the Face when we eventually got a good enough look: that the face was NOT just a "Mt. Rushmore-type" recarving of an ancient Martian mesa, but a three-dimensional architectural, "high-tech" construct. That, with high enough resolution, it would begin to reveal precisely those necessary (though now badly eroded) architectural details of which it truly is composed. That same prediction was bolstered by the earlier MGS image when Hoagland subjected it to a special imaging process.That this model is now confirmed by a far better quality image is both gratifying ... and archaeologically significant.]

face-lift-tear.jpg (76783 bytes)

In addition, this new image has afforded us the best view yet of the "teardrop," a key figure in the alignment model put forth by Hoagland and Torun over a decade ago. As you can see in the image above, there are distinct, patterned structural details on this object, well beyond the familiar "limits of resolution" argument. There is no question that this mound displays characteristics of architecture, as opposed to geology, and that this is not an illusion caused by the imaging process.

All of which is quite curious, given not only Malin's ongoing hostility to the idea of merely testing the artificiality hypothesis, but his vice like grip on the equipment needed to take better images. Surely, he was under no obligation or public external pressure to take another image of the Face, and surely he can see what is clear to us and everyone viewing it -- it's a Face after all. Indeed, Malin's hostility to the whole concept is so intense that he has taken to selling mugs on his web site featuring the distorted, unrectified "TJP" enhancement and inscribed with the juvenile slogan "In Your Face!"

Why would anyone so averse to the simple idea that the Face might be artificial even bother to take another picture when he didn't have to? Unless of course, over his objections, he did have to ...

As we have argued since the beginning of last year, we are apparently in some kind of "Special Time"; a time when events, some of which we have documented in our ongoing "End of Days" series, are going to be rapidly overtaking us and forcing all of us to deal with some uncomfortable realities quite soon ... There have been (as we have predicted) a series of revelations recently coming out of Malin's company and NASA, about the true nature and history of Mars (all that recent "water stuff"). Obviously, eventually revealing the true nature of the Face would be part and parcel to this carefully calculated "unfolding" process. We assume that this latest 2001 Face picture (for which some of us have been quietly pressuring NASA for almost two years!) was released now for only one reason -- because it IS 2001! However, as the veil is lifted on this and other "Martian truths," we predict we will be fed additional doses of careful "timed-release aspirin." We will not get our answers all at once, but rather in a gradual, steady flow (as recommended by Brookings) -- so that this process does not upset the course of our daily lives too much. Obviously, Malin's masters at JPL have learned from the Clinton Administration that you are better off releasing damaging information in small doses, bit by bit, so you only have to deal with a few small problems rather than one big one that gets LOTS of (premature?) attention.

That is why the first (released) clear overhead image of the Face is of the same side that we have already seen three times before. That is why we still don't have a clear shot of the Eastern half of the Face. Because if we did, this would all be over. We'd be popping champagne corks and making appearances on the national news to explain what it meant. 

Eventually, we will get what we want. The disclosure course has been set, and we are marching irrevocably toward an eventual admission (at least by not objecting) of what all of us with common sense (and eyes) know is "down there" at Cydonia. But the problem, as we will show at the conclusion of "End of Days," is that we don't have time to pursue this at a leisurely pace. We need to force the issue now. We can do that by expressing our political power.

If we push hard enough, "they" apparently have to give us what we want; that truth somehow seems built into this entire "ritual" process (the fact that, after "only" two years, we finally got a really good partial overhead image of the Face we'd been demanding, is proof of that). Now that MGS has just completed its normal science phase, Malin admits himself that he is now "free" to make targeted observations at his convenience. What we must do collectively is to persuade JPL and NASA that they would be better off targeting the Face again, sooner rather than later, by using the momentum generated by this new image (which we seem to have been given for precisely that purpose!). If we could obtain a view in similar resolution of the Eastern half of the Face, or a slightly lower resolution overhead view of the entire structure, then the war would be won. We must demand more than simply a better picture of the Face, because that is what Malin has given us -- he just did it in such a way that even though we can advance our chess piece a bit, we still can't win the game. And, quite clearly now, this is NOT about "good science" or "advancing knowledge of the Human Race": it IS a "game" ... even if we still don't fully understand the rules.

And finally, to paraphrase a recent political slogan -- it's time for him to go. In your letters and e-mails to Congress and NASA, it is high time that we demand that control of the MOC be wrested back from Dr. Malin, back to a publicly-accountable NASA. He has already received far more benefit from the "imaging embargo period" (written in his JPL contract) than the taxpayers should be expected to continue to pay for. It is high time that we took control of "our" instrument, and used it to answer the questions that we -- the rightful owners of it -- want answered. There are several dozen Martian targets that we would like very much to get a closer look at before the operational life of our spacecraft is over. It will almost certainly not happen if Malin has anything to say about it. It is time for this arrogant man, who continues to wield power that he has not earned and does not deserve, to step aside for the sake of the truth. Because in the end, that is the only way that it will happen: if this broken democratic process is fundamentally restored.

And, perhaps, that's one of the chief benefits of this whole exercise ... So, let's get on with it.

SAN DIEGO, CA 92191-0148
TELEPHONE: (858) 552-2650, EXT. 500

President George W. Bush
Capitol Hill 202-224-3132 (Ask for Senators Fax Number)
White House 202-456-2461 
John McCain 202-228-2862 Email:
NASA (Dan Goldin) 202-358-2810
ABC (Ted Koppel) 202-222-7976
ABC (Ted Koppel) 202-222-7680 
CNN 404-681-3578 
FOX NEWS (Patrick Riley)
MSNBC (Alan Boyle)