By Dave Jewett
What seemed initially like an astounding discovery on the surface of Mars - a giant rock image of a face staring up into space - was quickly explained away by NASA as just a trick of light and shadow."
That was in 1976, after the Viking Mission, taking photos of the Martian surface's Cydonia region, provided a photo of the "Face." But aerospace consultant and author Richard C. Hoagland, who will speak in Portland Sunday- has never been satisfied with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration explanation. He has spent the ensuing years investigating Cydonia and its "Face." and believes we may have stumbled across extra-terrestrial artifacts of monumental importance.
In lectures and a new videotape, he says he and others working on the same space puzzle have made some amazing discoveries about the 'Face." including what he sees as the careful arrangement of other nearby formations The entire complex. which some are calling the "Monuments of Mars," provides mathematical cues, Hoagland believes. The clues include key mathematical constants that have been identified between and among the various 'monuments.' he says. He believes the clues may point toward a previously undiscovered energy-producing process.
This may sound like a pipe dream, but Hoagland is completely serious, and has spent the last ensuing years working out his theories. and seeking to enlist the help of NASA and others in furthering the research. He particularly wants to be sure that NASA will target the same Cydonia surface area of Mars for further photography on the next space mission to Mars.
For a time, NASA seemed intrigued by Hoagland's theories, and even had him speak before hundreds of NASA scientists and engineers at the Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington. D.C., and later for two lectures at the Lewis Research Center, NASA's primary energy and power research facility in Cleveland.
Hoagland says NASA also interviewed him for a TV documentary that was to be produced for pubic broadcasting stations, and was to air last January. He says NASA pulled the program at the last moment, without any explanation to this day.
As a result, Hoagland has produced his own videotape, "Hoagland's Mars: The NASA-Cydonia Briefings." It consists of one of his lectures at the Lewis Research Center, and includes computer enhanced images of the objects in the Cydonia region of Mars, plus a small foldout map.
The video concludes with Hoagland asking viewers to contact their representatives in Congress to demand that Cydonia be rephotographed in the scheduled 1992 Martian Observer Mission, and that the images then be immediately released to the public to confirm deny his theories.
Hoagland, who comes across on the tape as a careful and serious researcher, has an impressive resume. He has been a science adviser to Walter Cronkite, consultant to CNN', curator of the Museum of Science in Springfield, Mass., and assistant director of the Gengras Science Center and Planetarium in West Hartford, Conn. He also was coordinator of special Projects at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He s one of the scheduled guests for the "AM Northwest" show at 9 a m. Friday on KATU-TV, Channel 2. Sunday, he gives a public speech before the Portland UFO Group from 2 to 5 p.m. at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham. A Vancouver member of the group, Mike Dobbs, extended the invitation to Hoagland. The group doesn't charge admission but will be asking for a $1 donation to help defray expenses.
CR: M Dobbs