Detail from a panorama taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on sol 1,366-1,369 (November 6-9, 2007). Credit: NASA / JPL / Cornell

Mars

The Return of (Little) Bigfoot on Mars

31 Dec , 2008 by

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Some urban legends just won’t die, and sometimes, unfortunately, they are given new life. We’ve already discussed and dismissed the rock on Mars that looks like a Bigfoot – a teeny, tiny little Bigfoot (Jan. 25, 2008). And now it’s back. And it’s completely ridiculous. Amazingly, this guy thinks a publication like National Geographic will take him seriously. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

“A lawyer in the United States has written the National Geographic Society, asking it to publish in National Geographic his discovery that a photograph taken and beamed back to Earth by NASA’s Mars Rover Spirit contains evidence of life on Mars. In his letter, Andrew D. Basiago, 47, wrote that his analysis of the NASA photograph of the Red Planet captioned PIA10214 has revealed images of human and animal life forms, as well as statues and other structures built by advanced, intelligent beings. “This image is the most significant photograph ever taken by human beings from Earth,” Basiago wrote.

If you take the time to download and look at this “expose” you’ll see what Basiago does is take a large panoramic image from the Spirit rover (the original large panorama can be found here) which is a very high resolution image, and crop out small portions and zoom in so incredibly close that the images become blurry. He then claims these blurry images of rocks on Mars are things like humanoids, animals, statues and other objects.

For example, in this image, this is what Basiago claims he sees:
Small crop from Spirit's West Valley panorama.
“Throughout the photograph, the beings with bald, bulbous heads can be seen interacting with a variety of species. On a hillside beneath the mountain ridge in the far upper right quadrant, two of them sit in the Lotus position surrounded by animal species which resemble the penguin and ibis-like figures found in Egyptian hieroglyphics.”

Seriously?

Or this one:

Blown up small piece of West Valley Panorama

Blown up small piece of West Valley Panorama

“At the back of The Rock Garden is a large statue or skeleton of a humanoid with a pointy head and large, elephantine ears (right). His skull, arms, and hands are evident on the surface. He is reaching out from the depths of Mars with his hands. This skull may be the fossilized head of a giant primate in Martian history or simply the statue of a demon.”

This entire 41-page treatise is chock full of blurry, blown-up and stretched crops of incredibly small pieces of the large image, complete with incredible tales of humanoids in body suits and plesiosaurs co-existing together, along with features like Egyptian-like hieroglyphics and a sarcophagus.

The “Bigfoot on Mars” rock is actually just a few inches high and a few yards from the camera. The other rocks are in about the same location, although some are farther, some closer – it’s a big panorama. The thing about the color images from Mars is that each color image consists of three photos, taken with different filters to create the color. The three images are taken at different times, which means if something is moving, the image won’t be crisp and clear, as the original large panoramic image is. Emily Lakdawalla explains it very well at the Planetary Blog. She explains that Spirit took several images of the same location, showing the same rock over three different days, and it never moved.

Here’s all the pictures Emily found and put together:
Spirit's many views of "Bigfoot" Credit: NASA / JPL / Cornell / Emily Lakdawalla

Phil Plait discusses the Bigfoot here and here.

Basiago is listed as having five different academic degrees, but he’s obviously gone off the deep end.

As in a previous article where Universe Today talked with Jim Bell, the lead scientist for the panoramic cameras on the rover, Bell said it would be incredible if the rovers really had found something like a wooden plank on Mars. If there really were some sort of life forms on Mars, the scientists would be shouting from the rooftops. NASA is not hiding anything: all the rover images are freely available for anyone to examine.

This latest claim of living beings on Mars has no scientific evidence to back it up; its just the “views” of one person.

Sources: Exopolitics.com , prweb


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Barney Holmes
Guest
Barney Holmes
January 1, 2009 5:28 AM
I personally believe that it is not the place for the planetary imaging community to judge these claims. The promoters should be patiently handled. Giving them the facts and informing them of the current understanding we have of such features. In a civil society it is not acceptable to use the words … “crazy”, “wacky” and “off the deep end”. It is what we call libel in this country (UK) and is potentially a legal issue, although I doubt anyone would take it up. If the community here has such a problem with such claims then why publish news items about them at all ? To me it seems like an excuse to bash individuals who are, if… Read more »
Sirius_Alpha
Member
Sirius_Alpha
January 1, 2009 6:48 AM

Tacitus is 100% correct imho.

p_ward_ramdohr
Member
p_ward_ramdohr
January 1, 2009 2:37 AM

What a crackpot!
Thanks for the links. I am still laughing about what that crackpot had to say about himself:
“scholar… mensa member… etc”
I love these funny stories!

tacitus
Member
January 1, 2009 3:40 AM

Highly reminiscent of Richard Hoagland’s claims that the Pathfinder images were strewn with the debris of machines and other technological equipment that had been swept away in a massive flood.

He identified bolts, wheels, girders, the remains of ruined buildings, and lots of other stuff that was all just too far away for the camera to get a clear picture (of course). I believe he even campaigned to have the little rover drive over to take a closer look.

tacitus
Member
January 1, 2009 5:42 AM
In a civil society it is not acceptable to use the words … “crazy”, “wacky” and “off the deep end”. It is what we call libel in this country (UK) and is potentially a legal issue, although I doubt anyone would take it up. Nonsense. It’s calling a spade, a spade. It’s not libelous to call a crazy person crazy, even in the UK, otherwise nutjobs like David Icke would be multimillionaires by now, and tabloids like The Sun and The Daily Mirror would have been out of business years ago. People like Basiago are immune to reason — there is simply no point in reasoning with them since they have already made up their minds that NASA… Read more »
Jorge
Guest
January 1, 2009 7:41 AM

Hehehehe…

This fellow shouldn’t look at Mars images while doing acid, IMNSHO. That can’t be good for him. grin

Bjarne
Guest
Bjarne
January 1, 2009 8:06 AM

Barney Holmes. An idiot is just that! An IDIOT! Clowns like him can NOT be reasoned with in any way, shape or form! As Tactius and Thomas agrees with: “These types of people are immune to reason” is SO true! I know, since I know of people here that way. They are right and that’s that. And screw that facts.

Jorge, I think the guy’s on some reeeeeallly bad crack. Not acid and needs to smack his dealer up the head! 8)

Bigfoot on Mars! HA! What’s next? Cassini finding the “Golden Arches” on Europa?? *Snort*

Bjarne
Guest
Bjarne
January 1, 2009 8:06 AM

Oops that should be t-h-e not “that”. Sorry.

Gwydion
Guest
Gwydion
January 1, 2009 8:10 AM

DUUUUUUUDE I TOTALLY SEE IT. DUUUUUUDE.

Brad Wooden
Guest
Brad Wooden
January 1, 2009 4:37 PM
What do they mean, “The figures were quickly dismissed as a natural rock formation resulting from erosion by wind, water, and time.” ? I thought science at the level of NASA and JPL was more of a committee process under panels of review, open mindedness and putting off such absurdly hasty blandishments of over-generalization, pat answers, fudging etc. Who “dismissed”, and dismissal based on what evidence? That figure is a stark iconoclasm amidst its landscape, deposit or rocky outcrop. Why is it so iconoclastic? NASA isn’t going to dangle these little treats in front of the public’s nose just so it can swat us with its authoritarian police-state arrogance for the thrill of that–and that alone. Howdy don’t… Read more »
hagnat
Guest
hagnat
January 1, 2009 9:46 AM

”(the original large panorama can be found here)”

ok, two questions about this pic:
1) am i the only one who can’t find the ‘tiny bigfoot’ unless when pointed out
2) what is that blue watery formation at the right side of the image ? its blue and it seems to be liquid… (notice the way the wind makes it undulate like liquid and unlike any other feature of the landscape)

Nancy Atkinson
Guest
January 1, 2009 10:09 AM

Barney- Your point is well taken, and after re-reading what I wrote last night, I’ve changed some of the wording slightly to eliminate some words like crazy, etc., since I’m a writer and not a psychoanalyst. I do reserve the right to have an opinion, however.

Wendell Dryden
Guest
January 1, 2009 10:53 AM
Barney’s wrong – this article is more than “an excuse to bash individuals.” It is a chance to reexamine basis principles. I think its worth revisiting questionable claims now and again just to identify the weak reasoning or analysis that supports them. Sometimes, talking about “poor science” helps us understand the principles behind better science. The only questionable line in the piece is this: “Basiago is listed as having five different academic degrees, but he’s obviously gone off the deep end.” Maybe it’s the word “obviously”, with all its overtones of perceptual certainly – kind of like using all-caps to inflate a claim (e.g. “Clowns like him can NOT be reasoned with”) – that sits badly? Anyway… decent… Read more »
Lenard Lindstrom
Member
Lenard Lindstrom
January 1, 2009 12:23 PM

I am amused that revolutionary thinkers like Basiago use JPEG images as their source material. For those unfamiliar with computer images a JPEG image reduces storage space at the expense of picture sharpness. The details become meaningless before you have enlarged it enough to see individual pixels (picture elements).

Silver Thread
Member
Silver Thread
January 1, 2009 12:31 PM

You make the mistake of assuming we live in an entirely Civil Society. I still cling with some tenacity to the savagery of my progenitors. I will gladly treat another civilly when they demonstrate an ability to act civil.

Frank Glover
Guest
Frank Glover
January 1, 2009 12:36 PM

“I believe he even campaigned to have the little rover drive over to take a closer look.”

Hmm…didn’t the movie version of ‘My Favorite Martian’ start something like this?

killercop
Member
killercop
January 1, 2009 1:08 PM

He has smoked to much crack.
His pictures are nothing but blurred images.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
January 1, 2009 2:32 PM

I agree, using jpg as reference is stupid since depending on the compression level you will have compression artifacts that would look like symetrical.

Also his lack of understanding that the images are taken in black and white with a different filter in front of it, would clearly have proven whatever it is, it is very static and not moving at all.

edunuke
Guest
edunuke
January 1, 2009 4:07 PM

ridiculous.
I was thinking of writing something just to make fun of him but then I realized:

This has written “help me” all over. He is crying for help, psycologically or even medically.

It maybe signs of late-developed untreated Schizophrenia.

D.R.R.
Guest
D.R.R.
January 1, 2009 4:22 PM

IT SEEMS LIKE BASIAGO HAD A DECEMBER 1908 MINDSET RATHER THAN A DECEMBER 2008 ONE–BACK IN 1908 I’D UNDERSTAND BUT NOW WE KNOW BETTER BACK THEN THANKS TO MODERN SCIENCE. HOWEVER BACK THEN OUR LIMITED SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE KEPT OUR FOREFATHERS IN THE DARK AS TO HOW REALLY HOSTILE TO LIFE THE UNIVERSE OUTSIDE OF EARTH REALLY IS.

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