The Mars face.

Link to Staff Report

I see Richard Hoagland hasn’t given up. SIGH If only he’d use his powers for good instead of evil… I mean, the man is more full of shit than the New York City sewers.

If you want to have a laugh, go to his website and read the “stunning” story that proof of intelligent life on Mars was revealed in a 1955 View-Master version of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. I am not making this up.

[Edited by C K Dexter Haven on 12-13-2000 at 03:12 AM]

Awww, David, you are such a party-pooper.

Here is the real, actual, true Straight Dope concerning the Face on Mars. Read it and weep, you Unbeliever. :smiley:

I suppose next somebody’s going to try to tell me that Mountain Dew won’t really shrink the Better Half’s nads…

That Happy Face one is pretty darn weird. Even with a better photo taken in 1999, you can clearly see it is a happy face.


It’s not just weird, it’s a sign!

My nephew has proven conclusively that the “face” in the Cydonia region is actually the face of a cat. His pencilled enhancements clearly show the face of a contented, purring cat at centre; the word “CAT” to the northwest (a stretch); and the word “MEOW” to the south. (He used an image taken from a slightly different angle, but it’s substantially the same as the one at

(Note that by “northwest” and “south”, I don’t necessarily mean the actual Martian directions, but the directions of the image, “north” being toward the top.)

At Dave’s request, I have edited this to fix his link.-- Dex

[Edited by C K Dexter Haven on 12-13-2000 at 03:06 AM]

Hoagland’s website is one of the silliest things I have ever seen. Their attack on CSICOP is comical to say the least. They compare the Skeptical Inquirer with the Spanish Inquisition, Nazi’s, and religious zealots. It is quite obvious that Mr. Hoagland has little - if any - understanding of “burden of proof”. What is his educational background? Does he have any scientific credentials outside of his so-called “NASA consulting”? I am quite comfortable with the observation by Richard Leiby in the Washington Post: “Hoagland, 50, is, basically, a kook.”

Here’s the original Mailbag column -

You know, one of the saddest things about the “face” spectacles is that these people are so insistent on this or that being a face, they don’t even consider any other possibilities.

Take the original Mars face, for example. With the enhancements we can see that it’s not a face, but in fact a giant toe. Presumably this alien race had plenty of soccer fans. :slight_smile:

The tree image looks a lot like a bowling ball, but it could also be most of the Westinghouse logo. That’d actually make more sense, because telephone poles are made out of wood, and wood is a fuel, which is required to power a generator. Or something.

And under “more faces”, there’s a broken spatula next to a tiny motor scooter, an equally diminuitive rhinoceros (or maybe a pistol), a somewhat misshapen fire hydrant, a partially-eaten waffle inside a doughnut (Wow, soccer fans and restauranteurs :D), and a rather abstract rendering of Japan. Or a close parenthesis. Sheesh, a snake, I dunno. (The happy face crater really does look like a happy face, however, see for yourself.)

Say, this is kinda fun. What the hell, let’s do this with CONSTELLATIONS as well! I mean, who says that the Little Dipper isn’t really a baseball cap? Or Scorpio isn’t a coat hanger? Or Orion isn’t a lava lamp? Or a cheerleader with a baton? Or…all right, I’ll stop now.

(But seriously wouldn’t a bowling ball makes sense? Because bowling’s a popular activity, especially in smaller towns, and both the pins and lanes are made of wood, and…)

I notice that Hoagland’s website ( invokes Star Trek a great deal and even uses copyrighted images of the starship Enterprise throughout. I wonder if Paramount’s legal department is aware of it…?

Someone coined a term for Hoagland’s stuff - Hoagwash. I find that very appropos.


Hel-LO! It’s a giant three-pronged power outlet! See, it’s been developing over time, and in about three more years it’ll be ready for giant three-pronged plugs.

I’m surprised that SDSAB David failed to comprehend that the face on Mars was a carefully sculpted weathered outcropping of rock intended to look like a face from a precise distance and at a given level of enhancement. The creators obviously disguised the face as a weathered outcropping to lead the false believers astray, so that only those who truly understand the significance of the face will reap the benefits of their belief.

Others refer to him as Hoaxland as well.

Dave - I never noticed that, thank you. Of course, that only makes the connection to electrical power even more obvious. I would be extremely surprised if that tree didn’t eventually become a utility pole. (Okay, not extemely surprised, but definitely at least somewhat surprised.)

:slight_smile: Except that Martian faces are upside down, so it’s actually a Angry Face! :mad: