6.8 – ALIENS & THE RED PLANET (2.21.14)

EVIDENCE OF LIFE [9b]

Cape Canaveral, Florida. August 20, 1975. The United States launches a Titan rocket carrying the Viking spacecraft. Viking is embarking on a of the most prominent sights in the night sky Mars. If all goes well, in 11 months, the unmanned probe will touch down on the Martian surface and search for evidence of life. Mainstream scientists say Mars is most likely a dead planet because of its incredible temperature swings and high levels of solar radiation. So, why is NASA spending a billion dollars to explore it?

“The night sky is an astounding thing. And to the naked eye, the red planet could be seen with its special color. After all, it’s the biggest thing you see up there past the moon. So, it’s been a special object of fascination and reverence because religious systems often were associated with the planets and the stars, the sky in general. Speculations about what’s there, is intelligent life there, are the gods there? That’s gone on for a long time.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

“Our dream for life on Mars probably goes back to the ancient times when we were just doing naked eye observation. It’s the planet that really stands out, that we now know is very close to Earth in terms of physical conditions. Even though Venus is much more like Earth in size and gravity, it’s a hellhole in the solar system. But Mars, Mars is out there within our grasp.”

– Robert H. Frisbee, Ph.D.
(Propulsion Systems Engineer, NASA JPL, Ret.)

Among the first to record this fiery red ball in the night sky were ancient Egyptian astronomers. In 1534 BC, they placed Mars on humanity’s first chart of the known cosmos – the Senenmut star map. Two and a half centuries later, the Egyptians painted the planet Mars on the ceiling of the tomb of Seti I. But while the Egyptians honored Mars, many other ancient cultures feared it because they associated the red planet with death, destruction, and war. According to some anthropologists, this is because the planet glows red like the color of blood spilled on the battlefield.

“The association of the red planet with the gods of war goes way back. In ancient Babylon, Mars was named after Nergal, the god of fire, death, and destruction, essentially a god of war. The Greeks named Mars after Ares, their god of war. The Romans, “Mars,” that is their god of war. Rome was a warrior culture, so this martial emphasis, all connected to the red planet, is accounting for the great armies that conquered the known world; a very successful story and very much aligned with the planet Mars.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

In 42 BC, the Roman forces of Augustus waged the Battle of Philippi against Marcus Brutus, as Augustus tried to avenge the assassination of his adopted father, Julius Caesar.

“Augustus pledged to the god of war, Mars, that if he won this battle, he would build a great temple for him. So, he won the battle, became Caesar Augustus, one of the greatest of the Roman emperors, and he created the temple of Mars, and whenever Rome would declare war, the temple doors would be thrown open.”

John Brandenburg, Ph.D.
(Plasma Physicist, Orbital Technologies),
(Author, Life and Death on Mars)

“It was called the temple to Mars the Avenger. Famously, we say the “gates of” “war” nowadays, right? And it was the gates of Mars’ temple that were opened or closed depending upon whether there was a war going on.”

Richard Rader, Ph.D.
(Lecturer, UCLA Dept of Classics/UCSB Dept of Classics),
(Author, Theology and Existentialism in Aeschylus)

“From India to Rome, all of the ancient societies had a reverence for Mars, a great closeness to Mars. Very important in their pantheon, very important in the imagination of the people that some kind of connection with that red planet be maintained.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

But while many ancient societies felt a bond with Mars, most did not identify it as a planet like Earth. The ancients thought planets were as uninhabitable as the Sun.

“They saw them as wandering stars. In fact, the word “planet” means in Greek “wandering star,” planeta. You have the fixed stars, the constellations, but then you have these stars wandering about. They seem to follow the sun because they appear to move against the background of the fixed stars the same way the Sun does.”

– Robert Bauval (Egyptologist),
(Author, The Egypt Code),
(Author, Secret Chamber Revisited),
(Co-Author, Black Genesis)

It wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries, when astronomers finally had telescopes powerful enough to make out features on the surface of Mars, that we started to imagine life on the red planet as a real possibility.

“By the 1860s, an Italian astronomer by the name of Angelo Secchi thought he saw straight lines crisscrossing the surface of our little ruddy buddy up there, Mars. And he called them “canali.” The idea was picked up by an American astronomer by the name of Percival Lowell. And Percival Lowell built his own observatory down in Flagstaff, Arizona. He spent a lot of time looking through a telescope at Mars. And he wrote books about this. He was articulate. He was clever and he convinced a lot of the public and some of the scientific establishment that there really was a civilization on Mars busy digging up their planet because they needed to irrigate their crops.”

Seth Shostak, Ph.D. (Senior Astronomer, SETI Inst.)

But why has Mars fascinated humankind throughout history? Is it simply due to the planet’s proximity to Earth and its striking red color in the night sky? Or is it possible as Ancient Astronaut Theorists contend that Mars really was at one time inhabited by intelligent life?

The Cydonia region of Mars, July 20, 1976. An alien spacecraft sent from Earth touches down on the red planet. After a ten-month journey, Viking I has reached its destination. To NASA scientists, it’s a momentous event. For the first time in its history, the United States has a probe on another planet.

“Viking was the first spacecraft to actually attempt a soft landing on Mars, and give us an actual feel, a taste for what the conditions were on the surface. We looked out at those pictures of the surface, and they looked so much like the Pacific deserts here, like Death Valley. We all half expected to see a miner and his burro come walking up over the nearest rise.”

– Robert H. Frisbee, Ph.D.
(Propulsion Systems Engineer, NASA JPL, Ret.)

Scientists knew that finding definitive signs of life on Mars was a long shot. But when the Viking lander performed four tests on the Martian soil looking for microbial life, it returned surprising and controversial results. Dr. Gil Levin designed one of the tests that the Viking probe performed.

“Microorganisms breathe just like you or I or anything else, and then they give off carbon dioxide. So, we got a tiny sample, a thimbleful of the soil, put into a little container. It was monitored for seven days continuously to see if there are any bubbles forming in the tube. Surprisingly, the tests came up positive for life by the criteria that had been approved by NASA.”

Gil Levin, Ph.D. (NASA / Viking Scientist)

However, the result of another important test one looking for organic matter on the Martian surface was negative. But Dr. Levin says the other test wasn’t nearly as sensitive as his experiment. It needed three million bacteria in a thimbleful of Martian soil to find signs of life, while Dr. Levin’s test only required 30 bacteria.

“So, there was a vast discrepancy in the sensitivity of the two experiments, and I immediately said, “Well, you know, they both could be” right. We detected life, but maybe there aren’t enough bacteria per unit of soil for the organic analysis instrument to find.” But NASA was very cautious, and they opted to say no organic matter. There goes the ball game. No life.”

Gil Levin, Ph.D. (NASA / Viking Scientist)

Dr. Levin has fought NASA for almost 40 years on whether the Viking probe found evidence of life on Mars. If he was right about the results of his test, this would be the first proof accepted by mainstream science that life exists outside our planet, but Ancient Astronaut Theorists say an even more profound discovery regarding the red planet has been uncovered right here on Earth mysterious relics that may reveal an actual visitation of beings from Mars.

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References:

[1a] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: Season 6, vol 1. [DVD Back Cover]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[1b] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: Season 6, vol. 2. [DVD Back Cover]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[2] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.1 – Aliens & Forbidden Islands. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: November 29, 2013, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[3] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.2 – Aliens & the Lost Ark. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: December 6, 2013, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[4] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.3 – Aliens & Mysterious Mountains. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: December 13, 2013, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[5] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.4 – Aliens & Stargates. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: January 24, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[6] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.5 – Aliens in America. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: January 31, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[7] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.6 – The Star Children. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: February 7, 2013, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[8] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.7 – Treasures of the Gods. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: February 14, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[9] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: February 21, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[9a] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet. [DVD Footage: Introduction]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[9b] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet. [DVD Footage: Evidence of Life]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[9c] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet. [DVD Footage: Life & Death on Mars]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[9d] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet. [DVD Footage: Enuma Elish]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[9e] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet. [DVD Footage: Man-Made Structures]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[9f] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.8 – Aliens & the Red Planet. [DVD Footage: The Brookings Report]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[10] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.9 – The Shamans. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: February 28, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[11] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.10 – Aliens & Insects. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: March 7, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[12] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.11 – Alien Breeders. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: March 14, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[13] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.12 – Alien Transports. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: June 13, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[14] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.13 – Mysterious Structures. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: June 20, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[15] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.14 – Mysterious Devices. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: June 27, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[16] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.15 – Faces of the Gods. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: July 11, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[17] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.16 – The Reptilians. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: July 25, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[18] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.17 – The Tesla Experiment. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 1, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[19] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.18 – The God Particle. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 8, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[20] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.19 – Alien Encounters. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 15, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[21] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.20 – Aliens & Superheroes. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 22, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

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Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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