Thursday, January 24, 2008

Have we photographed a Martian?

An extraordinary imaged snapped by NASA's Spirit rover on Mars has set the Internet abuzz with theories as to what it really shows. Undoubtedly it is perplexing picture, though it took an eagle-eyed Internet blogger to spot the tiny detail. Blown up, what you see looks exactly like a person striding across the Martian surface, but is that really what it shows, or is it just a trick of light, shadow and perspective. For my two cents, clearly it looks nothing like the Martians that H.G. Wells wrote about, so it can't be the real deal. Others have speculated it's bigfoot (on vacation?) or Osama Bin Laden. NASA is said to be puzzled, but apparently no one from NASA has actually commented, and I don't imagine they will. There is a dedicated band of armchair explorers who have irked NASA over the years by picking out tiny details from Martian photographs, everything from signs of standing water, to vegetation and details of old masonry and statues. Perhaps that's what this is, an old statue from a long dead Martian civilisation. It's a lovely thought, but alas I think this will turn out to be a red heron. It seems highly unlikely that two legged upright beings are somehow surviving on Mars, unless of course it's not a Martian. Could it be an American astronaut sent there in some ultra secret black budget anti gravity spacecraft, or even an alien from another star system out for a stroll, having parked his flying saucer over the next ridge? See, even I'm at it now.

You can see the full image at this site, but here's a close up for you.