SHIP OR CRATER?
When searching for anomalies on a landscape, one of the most difficult things to do is understand the contour of an area from an overhead satellite view.
It is very easy to comprehend areas as being ridges which are actually valleys, and vice versa. Craters often look like mounds, and mounds look like craters. I call this phenomenon "contour reversal." Our minds read the entire area as just the opposite of what it is.
In one of my web pages, I show areas which have turtle-like shapes. One of the shapes I show is "the ship" discovered by Richard Hoagland and the Enterprise Mission.
Once the mind comprehends this as a convex-shaped object, it is very difficult to see the possibility that it may be a depression.
There are several reasons I think why this area is difficult to perceive as a depression. One reason, is that it is located in the middle of a ridge. If it is a depression - such as a crater formation, our eyes would expect the ridge to be continuous. We would not expect the crater to extend over the ridge. So, we perceive anything that extends wider than the ridge to be a solid object overhanging the ridge. Yet, a crater impact on a ridge, would appear to do just that - as the crater impact would push the land remaining down to a lower level.
Anomalist researcher Mac Tonnies made the case that the main feature shown here may be concave (and not convex) based on themis data returns. For further details and the arguments he makes toward this conclusion, take a look at his site at the links below.
Although I originally disagreed with his opinion, I think now that he may be right.
The themis image can be read as a crater like shelf along the ridge. The bright white area at the back of this image can easily be interpreted as a raised area, making the rest of the area a depression.
I originally maintained that the original MOC was a higher resolution image, and so we should defer to the interpretation most of us garned from it.
However, when we rotate the image, and try to understand the area in the light most favorable to more ordinary geology, it yields an interesting result.
In the image below the MOC image has been rotated to a more favorable angle to the depression interpretation. What we perceive from this angle, is an ordinary crater like depression - with a mound of soil built up in the portion furthest from us. The image below is not a true DEM (digital elevation model), by the way, but only a projection of what we might get from true DEM data.
Here is another projected view:
As we rotate this image, we see that the confusing thing about it, is that it is more than just a depression or mound. There is a small mound within the crater that can be throwing the light in ways that are extremely difficult to interpret from an overhead view.
So, what we may have is partly mound, partly crater. The yellow highlighted area above shows the part which is likely raised, and the blue area shows the area of the depression.
While this is not conclusive, it does appear that the most likely interpretation of this area is that it is a crater depression with a raised area or mound within it - which happens to be located in the near center of a ridge.
MGS/MOC: (MOC AB1-08505)
Themis image: V15443001
Raw Images Courtesy of NASA and ESA. Special thanks to EVERYONE who has contributed in the search for Mars anomalies. Also thanks to Google, Picasa, ImageShack, and Photobucket.