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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Mar > Mar 10

CI: New Perspectives On The 'Centipede'

From: Mac Tonnies <macbot.nul>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 21:47:37 -0800 (PST)
Fwd Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 09:46:53 -0500
Subject: CI: New Perspectives On The 'Centipede'

Cydonian Imperative

New Perspectives on the "Centipede"

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

[Paleontologist Ray Stanford has give me permission to post the
following skeptical commentary on the "centipede fossil" (see
above). Meanwhile, Richard Hoagland has posted a feature-length
piece on the curious formation (The Curious Case of the NASA
Crinoid Cover-Up) that leans toward a biological origin. --M.T.]

After many years of studying fossils and looking over hundreds
of thousands of pieces of sedimentary substrate to determine
whether they contain any fossils or not, and from working
closely with some of the world's most respected paleontologists
(researchers into ancient life forms) and paleoichnologists
(researchers into the ground traces left by ancient life forms),
and with all due respect because I know that to the
inexperienced eye the "centipede" may look like a fossil, I can
tell you that I see nothing in the image that appears to be
either an animal or plant fossil or even a fossilized trace of

At this point I should also add that if it showed me any
possibility of being a fossil, I would be delighted and not
write this. If anyone doubts that, look at what I wrote about
the "concretions" (NASA/JPL's term) probably being evidence of
bacterial life. I am in no way a 'goat' about the possibility of
life (either past or present) on Mars. The trouble is, the
"centipede" image shows merely cracks radial to a vaguely
crescent-shaped cavity. I could offer several hypotheses
accounting for the crack pattern (and the cavity), but none
require any organism to have been involved. Furthermore, there
is absolutely nothing in the image that appears diagnostic of
fossilization of any kind, whatsoever.

Personally, it would greatly surprise me if there are not fairly
abundant fossils on Mars, since there was abundant water even on
the surface at one time, but I recommend great caution in what
we call a fossil, lest we "cry wolf" so much as to be unheeded
when a real "wolf" shows up.

On a related topic: I still have a clipping of an article that
came out the day before those first, very low-resolution images
of Mars were sent back to earth in 1965. Anyhow, it stated that
any images from Mars might be delayed being shown publicly for a
certain period of time, due to possible concerns related to
national security! (Huh?!!!) Because of that, I've always
wondered what JPL-NASA might decide to hide from the public. Is
such a "national security" policy is still in effect?

Would we be told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth? There is cause to wonder. We might justifiably ask what
about Mars could be considered, if released, a risk to national
security, whether in 1965 or in 2004. :)


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