Published: January 1, 2013


MARS - What will certainly become known as the "Big Foot Mound on Mars" was discovered by "enmbf," a member of Keith Laney's website, "The Hidden Mission." The photograph was taken on May 5, 2008 by the HIRISE camera (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment), which is a camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The HIRISE camera takes very high resolution photographs of small strips of the Martian surface. It is the most powerful satellite camera ever sent to another planet. The camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation under the direction of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

The HIRISE camera is referred to as "the people's camera," because private individuals are permitted to make targeting requests of areas of geological interest on the planet.

In this case, the subject area had been targeted by the HIRISE team at the request of Keith Laney, a top space imaging expert, and the host of "The Hidden Mission" website. The fretted appearance of the ground near ancient river valleys, makes areas like this interesting to geologists studying fluvial processes, (ground changes caused by the flow of water), as well as to those of us who are interested in searching for possible anomalies. Landforms in this area were likely shaped in large part by geological forces such as ancient water flow, melting surface ice, and wind erosion. Scientists can make use of data from a study of such areas in order to understand whether the conditions on Mars may have made it habitable at one time.

Planetary anomaly researchers however, are widely aware of the fact that intelligently directed mound formation was prevalent in the history of the Earth, so these forms can not be wholly neglected in the search for signs of an ancient civilization. Notably, the native tribes of the American continent produced thousands of mounds, many of which were simple, circle-shaped mounds, but also included mounds formed in shapes depicting animals. All but a very few of the American mounds have been erased from the landscape over time, mostly as a result of agriculture. Mounds were a place where local tribes would gather in time of celebration, and where they would often rally, if attacked by outside forces. The native, tribally-organized people constructed these mounds at great expense, in both time and effort, carrying thousands of baskets-full of the local earthen material to the designated location.

On Mars, we find that the ground is frozen in place. In addition, any form submerged for a time in water, will often form a concretion layer, which may aid in the preservation of an ancient landform. Even the dunes on Mars show little to no change from season to season, giving hope that perhaps, with a bit of luck, some ancient form on Mars might have been at least partially preserved.

The resemblance of this mound to "Big Foot" will likely be a matter of amusement to the general public. However, this mound deserves attention as a potential intentionally altered landform. The nose and eyes carry excellent sculptural detail, indicating, as one possibility, that it may have been artificially produced.

On the "Big Foot" massif, there are a number of what appear to be large rectilinear blocks just under the part of the landform which resembles the nose. Rectilinear blocks often form from natural geological processes, such as by fracturing. However, they seem somewhat out of character for this otherwise smoothly-shaped, and mostly boulder-free landform.

Like the Cydonia face, this mound exhibits extremely bright surface areas contrasted against much darker, heavily shadowed areas, which act together to create a face-like effect. While this effect will certainly occur at random, light and shadow is a basic and essential ingredient to producing artforms which may be more easily visualized over great distances. The greater the contrast, the more easily features are seen.

The human mind automatically searches for faces, and will naturally find faces, even in random settings. However, this natural brain mechanism, also serves to reinforce the decision to use faces in an altered landform, or in any artform, as artforms are produced for the purpose of being noticed.

Faces randomly formed by geology will definitely be found for anyone willing to search.  However, faces found in mounds carry more promise, as the face must appear in whole form within a delimited, non-random area.

There is also another characteristic about this massif which is similar to the more famous face photographed at Cydonia. The damaged or unformed portion of the face appears to be "pasted-on terrain," which is similar in appearance to the "pasted-on terrain" that is also found in the damaged or unformed portion of the Cydonia face. Pasted-on terrain is often the result of large scale geological processes, such as episodic flooding, but can also be the result of the process of intentionally dumping new material onto a form yet to be molded, much as adding a lump of clay to work into a clay sculpture in progress.

Of note, the mineral composition of the Cydonia face massif, including that pasted-on terrain has been deemed enigmatic by NASA observers, though the details of why those minerals are considered enigmatic has yet to be revealed to the public at large. The mystery of how the pasted-on terrain was lifted onto the large massif at Cydonia, and the possible origin of the enigmatic material that compose it still remains unexplained.

The Cydonia face, located at 40.75 degrees north latitude and 9.46 degrees west longitude, measures about 2 kilometers long (about 1.2 miles). This mound near Reull Vallis however, is only about one-sixth as large, at around 368 meters long by 207 meters wide.

The subject mound is located between very high jagged mountains to the north, and the large Reull Vallis ancient river bed to the south. The HIRISE image is centered at 38.723 degrees South latitude, and 97.904 East longitude.

[image]              The image of the Cydonia face shown above is the result
                 of a combination of the Viking image (which holds the
                 best light angles and information that seem to show a
                 face), and added details from a later nadir image of the
                 Cydonia face taken by HIRISE.

Photobucket                      "Pasted-on terrain" shown on the Cydonia Face,
                        appears much like a patch added to damaged

The official images of the Big Foot Mound on Mars are available to the public at the following link:t
Image Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona; ESA; NASA/JPL; and
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Keith Laney's website, "The Hidden Mission," is located at

Special thank you also to "chiching" of the forum for his many contributions to this article.

Copyright © 2013.  All rights reserved.


Photobucket           The new face-like mound discovered near Reull Vallis is
            compared to a Big Foot image.

[image]           The mound is shown here in low contrast.  Even so, the deep set
           eye sockets still appear almost black.

[image]           The Big Foot mound is located in an area of "fretted terrain."

[image]            The Big Foot mound is shown here in higher contrast to
           demonstrate its best features.

[image]           The "Big Foot" mound is shown here in a larger context image.

[image]           The "Big Foot" mound appears in the upper left part of the
           image.  The "fretted terrain," easily visible around the mound,
           was likely created by water flow, melting ice, and wind erosion.

  [image]            Just under the "nose," large rectangular blocks appear. 
           Rectangular blocks are rare in this particular region.

Photobucket        The sculptural face-like details of the "Big Foot mound" end 
          abruptly at the exact point where m
aterial similar to "pasted-on   
          terrain" begins.


Photobucket        The comparison image used in this article is from Jack's Links.
            "Messin' with Sasquatch."

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