Welcome to the anomaly hunter’s Parrotopia: Geoglyphs on Mars

First, it was an elephant seen on Mars, now anomaly hunters have spotted a 1.5 mile long, 1/2 mile wide and 750 feet tall parrot. Did these researchers fall and hit their heads? Does this journal publish stuff wil-y nilly? Dare we call it parrotdolia? Read on about the Parrotopia.

Is This a Parrot on Mars?

Do you see a parrot in this picture?

A new paper claims this is not a Rorschach test for the extraterrestrially challenged, but an anatomically correct, three-dimensional rendering of a parrot on Mars that is too accurate for chance.

So concludes an independent team of two geologists, three veterinarians and a sculptor — who spent six years hashing out the details of three images from NASA’s now-defunct Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft taken between April 2000 and December 2005.

What is generically described by NASA as “repeat layered material and rectilinear ridges” in its description of Mars Global Surveyor photo No. S13/01480, actually includes an “avian-shaped formation that exhibits a unique set of proportional features,” says independent researchers Michael Dale, George Haas, James Miller, William Saunders and veterinarians A.J. Cole, Joseph Friedlander and Susan Orosz, in a paper in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

The researchers say there are “no known geologic mechanisms that are capable of creating the anatomical accuracies presented in this formation,” and that the “natural creation of a formation with 17 points of anatomical correctness seems to go well beyond the probability of chance.”

Tip: @SkeptInquiry on Twitter

There are some stories that just make your jaw drop. This was one. A PARROT? *Looks around* This is a joke, right? I have to admit, I jumped to a pile of conclusions – authors were crazy, journal was crazy, etc. But, the article linked above had some weird things trigger in my head so I looked deeper. That is, I Googled the authors and, whoa, Discovery.com, you missed the boat on the background story here! This stuff gets deep. Put on your waders…

This is the beginning of the published paper:

On March 7, 2002, independent researcher Wilmer Faust presented an odd hillock formation captured in MGS (Mars Global Surveyor) image M1402185 (MOC narrow-angle image M14-02185, 2001) to the fi rst four authors of this paper (Figure 1). The rectangular areas along the upper edge of the hillock on a south-facing slope along the Northwest rim of the huge Argyre Basin interested him most. Faust noted compartmentalized structural features throughout the area’s topography as well as a formation of entirely different geometry, suggestive of a gigantic profile of a bird. The avian-shaped formation has recognizable features in the appropriate size, shape, and anatomical orientation that include a head, beak, and body. Additional anatomical components include an eye, leg, foot, toes, wing, and feathers.

The entire paper is available here (PDF) hosted by The Society for Planetary Research SPSR of which the authors are members.

There is so much more to this story than Discovery reported…

There is this website, Parrotopia, that gives you more than you want to know about the “research” of this topic. According to the timeline, the research has been going on for years. Several people had viewed the work and rejected it as a natural formation. The paper was rejected multiple times by JSE and others.

The background of this story involves anomaly hunting in the extreme. In fact, Wil Faust, was a self-styled anomaly hunter. He LOOKED for such things. And, of course, you can always find evidence to fit your preconceived ideas.

Here is the Mars image:

And here is the image of a parrot:

You can see how one can get sucked into such an association.

This is background about Wil from the Parrotopia site:

Since 2002 when the MGS camera acquired an image of the Argyre basin the parrot geoglyph has been an ongoing topic of interest. Much research was done with the area and many contributed. There are numerous discussion forums that examined the parrot and my site in particular, Anomalyhunters.com (now archived) undertook the effort to compile an ongoing discussion into a group presentation.

Oddly enough, Wil did not directly discover the Parrot. He was attracted to the symmetrical layout of the entire area. He recounted to me how he was sitting at his computer, and his own parrot upon its’ perch was making a great amount of noise. “He was really squawking…” Wil told me. “I kept looking at him and asking what was wrong.” “He kept bobbing his head at the monitor and finally I saw what he saw… a Parrot.” So the parrot is not immediately obvious to everyone, but once recognized it is so complete and striking in its’ appearance that it gives one reason to ask questions.

Wil Faust passed away before realizing his goals with regards to the Argyre Basin, that being a study of the city plan that presents itself in the image, the effects of the movement of water that was evident in the MOLA data from NASA and of the geometry that would be present in any intelligently designed area.

And, not only did they just see a parrot, there was much more… 

We know there are cellular structures that appear to be the ruins of a small city. We know there is a head in profile looking down on the city. Our conclusion was and is that this area was a harbor. That the parrot was a marker that could be seen from space, as well as the head. The concept of markers is evident all over the earth and we see it on Mars as well. The Cydonia area being the other prime example.

George Haas, one of the authors and a sculptor founded The Cydonia Institute in 1991, an organization to investigate artificial structures on Mars. Red flags all over the place:

Haas is experienced in comparing aesthetically designed structures on planet Mars with the iconographic art of ancient Mesoamerican cultures, starting with the man-like Face on Mars.

For two decades, Haas studied the art of native North American and South American cultures and is a member of the Pre-Columbian Societies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Haas alluded to a possible correlation between the geoglyphs on Mars and the ancient Mayan city of Maxam, which was the capital of the Classic Maya kingdom of Saal.

As you can guess, The Cydonia Institute was very receptive to Faust’s finding.

Here are their conclusions from the paper from Haas, et al.:

The formation at Argyre Basin appears to be the result of a composite structure of unrelated geological materials that have been transformed into a sculptural relief that express the prominent features of an avian creature when observed from above.

The authors of the parrot paper have concluded that this was not natural, that this landform was a geoglyph, like the earthworks found related to ancient cultures here on Earth. I have no clue how they could have done that other than going to Mars and observing the formation in person. One cannot know every possible natural mechanism that could have been at play. We have geological anomalies here on earth we can’t quite figure out, to make such an outlandish claim for a landform on Mars from ONE PHOTOGRAPH is scientifically obscene. After their conclusions, and their revealed misunderstanding of “randomness of mere chance” they have a moment of clarity:

…the current dataset is not of sufficient resolution to warrant a conclusive analysis, and additional high-resolution images of this feature are needed.

Yet, conclusive, they have been. They asked NASA to take higher res pictures of the same area.

In no way are these anomalies on Mars any more than natural formations whereby people have projected their visual interpretations. Once you orient the picture – as a face or an elephant or a parrot, it’s almost impossible to unsee it. Then, some people fail to accept it is our perception and amusing coincidence but can not HELP but see an intelligent hand at play. Consequently…they believe in some sort of Mars civilization. Oh, dear. People REALLY DO BELIEVE this stuff. My brain hurts now.

For more on how anomaly hunters see Mars as intelligently structured, go here: MARS PARROTOPIA REVISITED
But, be forewarned. I still have not been able to lift my jaw off the floor.

  9 comments for “Welcome to the anomaly hunter’s Parrotopia: Geoglyphs on Mars

  1. Chew
    April 12, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    “natural creation of a formation with 17 points of anatomical correctness seems to go well beyond the probability of chance.”

    Sure if you ignore the malformed claws, the layer upon layer of wings (I stopped counting when I got to 10), complete lack of a wrist and elbow, a dodo’s beak instead of a parrot’s beak, a top beak that doesn’t overlap the lower beak, legs that come out of its ass instead of its torso, OK I should stop now.

    Nowhere in their paper do they attempt to calculate the probability of it occurring by chance so how could they possibly conclude that? At least they qualified it with “seems”.

  2. F89
    April 12, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I didn’t even think it looked like a parrot until I saw the comparison picture. Then of course I saw it readily, because my mind “filled in” the eshape on the Mars photo.

    Why a civilization on another planet would just happen to have a huge monument of a an Earth creature is at best intresting SF-but that is “explained’ by the Myan connection. Sigh.

  3. April 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Exactly. WHY a parrot? *sigh*

  4. LREKing
    April 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    “natural creation of a formation with 17 points of anatomical correctness seems to go well beyond the probability of chance.”

    But someone building a giant 3-D model of a parrot on Mars…that seems much more likely, right?

  5. Bob Young
    April 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    I knew Bill Faust quite well, he was a city planner and
    amateur astronomer here in Harrisburg, PA. Bill also was
    a longtime UFO believer. I had many discussions with him about this. It apparently stemmed from a sighting he had back in the 60s, which sounded like a classic satellite pass. What he found odd was a jerkiness, which was almost certainly autokinetic motion of the eye muscles, probably the most commonly reported mostion reported for “distant night light” saucers. I asked another person who was present about the incident and his response was, “I think it was a plane.” Bill was a good friend, with an open mind, but in this he was simply off in blue yonder. Some years ago we came across each other on one of these Mars websites. Until then, I hadn’t known he was still into this stuff. Apparently he used the on-line moniker “Will” for this stuff. To somewhat screen his real identity or maybe just for professional reasons? In 45 years I never heard him or anybody else use this name. Youngbob2@paonline.com

  6. April 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Bob, I seriously thought about contacting you to see if you knew him. I was surprised when I saw he was from around these parts. Figured you might have. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Paul Ruggeri
    April 19, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Is it a Norwegian Blue? Looks dead to me, on its back and all…

  8. Angus MacTavish
    April 19, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    He’s not dead, he’s pining for the fjords.

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