Face it! Cydonia region of Mars Exposed

Stuart Robbins of the Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast has put together a great new video that, well, exposes some bogus claims in astronomy. This one is going to get Richard Hoagland a bit angered as he covers the speculation from the Cydonia region of Mars – you know, the face.

Richard C. Hoagland made this famous decades ago and it still is believed by a number of people. Hoagland has a whole page to himself on the Bad Astronomy Blog. He’s a menace to astronomy.

Robbins video was uploaded today and we are proud to point you to it. Give it some thumbs up.

Explores claims made by “Mars anomalists” that the Cydonia region of Mars (the region with the “Face on Mars”) was constructed, designed, or arranged by intelligent aliens. The movie takes you through the context of the claim, some of the math behind it, an exploration of the “null hypothesis” (what the results would be if it were purely random), and draws conclusions based on the latest orbital imagery of Mars. This is talked about in more detail, including more complete explanations of the mathematical simulations and arguments, in the companion podcast episode here.

This is as solid a debunking of bunk as you can get by a person who actually knows what he’s talking about.

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 7.01.47 PM

Unmasking the Face on Mars – NASA Science.

A Skeptical Look at Richard C. Hoagland.

Your move, Hoagland. Better yet, shut it down already. But we all know that facts hardly ever kill  let alone dent belief. Yet, there is many who were not around during the time the Face on Mars was popular paranormal fare. But the choice is yours now to examine the more advanced information and well-supported opinion of experts, or to buy into nonsense. There will always be those who revel in the nonsense.

  16 comments for “Face it! Cydonia region of Mars Exposed

  1. busterggi
    May 31, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Stuart’s podcast is one of my favorites – he deserves more exposure for his work.

  2. Chris Howard
    June 1, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    At one point I think I remember he, or one of his minions, claiming that NASA targeted the “face” with nuclear weapons in an attempt to destroy the “evidence”.

    They claim that that is the reason why it no longer looks like a face.

    It never ceases to amaze me just how bizzare, and convoluted, people’s explinations will get in order to make objective reality jive with what we want to believe.

  3. Susan
    June 1, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    My mind melted down under all that math. 🙁 No matter how many try to explain away the anomalies on Mars, I still believe there is a face there. I also think that Mars was once populated with life. For me it’s fun to believe. You are not going to burst my bubble. LOL!!

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy
    June 1, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    “If your Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy.”
    — Quoted in Donna Kossy’s Kooks Magazine

    I’ve heard Hoagland back when I was getting my weirdness fix from Art Bell on late-night radio. Guy’s a flake, but I found one of his flake theories — that Saturn’s moon Iapetus was really an ancient alien artifact/giant ship — interesting. Iapetus is one WEIRD moon, and I’d like to see it investigated further.

    I also noticed in that Hoagland piece on Iapetus that he seems to be obsessed with overlaying geometric patterns (such as all those Stonehenge-style alignments on the Face on Mars or a dodecahedron on Iapetus) to prove his conjectures.

    P.S. That mesa in Cydonia that started all the brouhaha? I propose “Face-on-Mars Mountain” or “Mount Hoagland” as its official name.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy
    June 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Hoagland has shown an obsession with geometric alignments before (in his “Saturn’s moon Iapetus is an alien spaceship” flake theory). I suspect its the same OCD dynamic as trying to create a perfectly-parsed closed-system of Life, the Universe, and Everything where EVERYTHING is figured out in detail. (I recently came through some Christian watchdog blogs where obsessive 16th Century Reformer John Calvin’s Institutes was described this way, and examples of his Hyper-Calvinist fanboys today — Systematic Theology where the Perfect System crowds out the God it’s supposed to be about.)

  6. June 1, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    That’s the thing, Susan. You can believe whatever you like but when it becomes a public platform, then proper skepticism needs to be very loud.

  7. June 1, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Thank you, busterggi. That’s partly why I’m expanding into video. Already, this movie on YouTube has gotten about as many hits as my podcast episodes do in a week*, and then those taper off. Meanwhile, the lunar ziggurat movie I posted two years ago has gotten over 7x a standard podcast episode. Apparently movies are the way to go … too bad they take MUCH longer to put together.

    *Granted, I’ve been trying to push this a bit, e-mailing DN to ask Sharon if she’d post it (and let me publicly THANK YOU SHARON for posting), Phil Plait tweeted it, and I have a few more folks to contact to help.

  8. June 1, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Unfortunately, Mr. Hoagland and others used a lot of math to make their claim. I tried to make it as easy as possible, but in the end, a math claim has to be addressed with math. I did release a companion podcast episode that tries to get into the math a bit more gently and explain it more than I could in a 15:45-min. movie — podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_111.php for that.

    What I hoped people would get out of it – even if they didn’t understand all the math – is that they found just as much evidence for intelligence as if it were completely natural. They chose to display all the “hits” and not the “misses” which makes it seem remarkable, when it’s not. As for the Face-like feature, that’s a completely different topic, and one I hope to address in another movie. In the meantime, I did do a two-part podcast short series on it, with pretty much ZERO math: http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_059.php and http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_060.php

  9. June 1, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    I don’t think it was Richard who actually made this claim, though it is out there among conspiracy people. It would have required a secret interplanetary launch, more accurate targeting of an area on an interplanetary object than we had in 2012 – the last time we landed a spacecraft on Mars (20×7 km landing ellipse, Face is around 1-2 km on a side), and all the images after it was bombed that we have of it to be fake.

    HUG– See http://podcast.sjrdesign.net/shownotes_072.php

  10. Bill T.
    June 2, 2014 at 10:28 AM


    Seeing as how you don’t need objective evidence to see the truth in claims, I’m selling wealth enhancing rocks.

    Only $100 each.

  11. ZombyWoof
    June 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    I listen to Exposing PseudoAstronomy weekly.

  12. Harrow
    June 2, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    I notice that you carefully refrain from specifying just whose wealth will be enhanced.

  13. Bill T.
    June 3, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Harrow! Shhh!

  14. Blargh
    June 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Excellent work! Halfway through I wondered if you were going to take it all the way and compare their figures against figures from shapes with randomly generated vertices. I was not disappointed. 🙂

  15. Mark Scurry
    June 3, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Makes me ashamed to admit Sharon once upon a time I used to read stuff like this. I like to think my brain was just jiggling around before it (only recently) fell into place. Thanks for the article.

  16. Susan
    June 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Hahaha. I’ll take a dozen. Bigfoot says to put him down for a dozen too. 😉

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