The Return of (Little) Bigfoot on Mars

by Nancy Atkinson on December 31, 2008

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

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

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

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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