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CI: Symbolic Interpretation of Face

From: Mac Tonnies <macbot@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 22:30:44 -0700 (PDT)
Fwd Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 03:08:37 -0400
Subject: CI: Symbolic Interpretation of Face

Cydonian Imperative

See: http://mactonnies.com/cydonia.html

A Symbolic Interpretation of the "Hominid/Feline" Face
by Mac Tonnies

1.) Facial Asymmetry

Two dominant (and mutually exclusive) theories have been put
forth to account for the Face on Mars' asymmetry, as seen in the
2001 Mars Global Surveyor image.

Richard Hoagland is a major advocate of the "feline" hypothesis,
in which the eastern (Cliff-facing) side of the Face mesa
represents a lion or similar animal. Although this explanation
may sound dangerously post facto, it must be remembered that
Hoagland made his observation ten years ago based on relatively
poor-quality Viking data.

I contend that the Face's eastern half indeed looks cat-like
(intentionally so or not). I tested the notion by presenting
"blind" viewers with a mirrored photograph of the Face's alleged
"feline" side. In the words of one participant, unaware that he
was looking at a formation on the surface of another planet, "It
looks like a lion."


The Face "mirrored" to produce "humanoid" and "feline" aspects.
Image courtesy Chris Joseph.

On the other hand, the "feline" resemblance may be fortuitous.
Mark Carlotto has made a provocative case explaining the
"distorted" eastern portion as the result of wasting and sand
accumulation; until ground-penetrating radar reveals whether
Carlotto's proposed accumulation is just that--or a deliberate
protective "casing," as argued by Hoagland and geologist Ron
Nicks--the two-sided Face will remain controversial among
advocates of the Artificiality Hypothesis.

If it turns out that the bifurcated Face is intentional
(assuming for argument's sake that the Face tests positively for
artificiality), what is the message being conveyed? It's
doubtful a civilization would construct a mile-long face without
a compelling cultural reason. Therefore, the symbolic aspect of
the "hominid/feline" Face is presumably far from trivial, and
may be a true "message" from an extraterrestrial intelligence.

2.) Aesthetic/Symbolic Implications

But what are "hominids" and "cats" doing on Mars? What, exactly,
is being represented?

In the "Dawn of Man" sequence in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A
Space Odyssey," a tribe of luckless protohumans is depicted
living alongside predatory panthers. The protohumans' social
evolution is catalyzed when an alien "monolith" appears,"
inspiring the use of tools and weapons. The hunted become the
hunters. (Humankind's ascent as a tool-using species is
dramatized by the famous scene in which a bone, thrown skyward
by a triumphant ape-man, is juxtaposed with a space station
placidly orbiting the Earth hundreds of thousands of years


The western side of the Face resembles a human ancestor such as
homo erectus.

Perhaps the Darwinian saga of "2001" is retold by the hybrid
Martian Face. The fusion of humanoid and feline forms results in
an aesthetic friction between prey and predator; the Face might
represent the advent of intelligence on Earth by drawing forth
images from our evolutionary past.

As an enfolded metaphor, the Face is a subtle but effective
attempt to memorialize our species' origins. If our ancestors
hadn't responded to the threat posed by carnivores, it's
doubtful that intelligence as we know it would have arisen; by
remaining evolutionary spectators, early humans would probably
have gone extinct. By taking an active role in ensuring their
survival, early humans ensured that the challenges posed by
predators (symbolized by the Face's lionesque half) became
catalysts for evolutionary change.

That a human-built space probe took a picture of the Face on
Mars is itself proof of our species' tenacity and
adaptability...as well as a mute reminder that our status as
Earth's dominant species is as fragile now as it was millennia
ago, on the shores of the African savannah.

Humanity has only recently acquired the technology to
exterminate itself; the "message" of the Face--assuming it has
one--comes at an important (and perhaps crucial) juncture.


A Mayan example of human/cat split-imagery. Image courtesy The
Cydonia Institute.

If the feline interpretation of the Face is correct, how did
"humanoid"and "feline" forms come to be on Mars? Is the Face
evidence that our evolution was observed (or even orchestrated)
by others...? Is homo sapiens the trophy in some bizarre
interplanetary pantheon?

These are questions best dealt with in the arena of cultural
anthropology. Until our definition of SETI is expanded to
include the study of possible artifacts on our solar system,
answers will remain forever elusive.


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