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[escepticos] Cydonia. Los monumentos de Marte.

Esto es una especie de catecismo con preguntas y respuestas sobre el
monumental negocio de Richard Hoagland.

El movimiento pro-Cydonia se apoya en defectos de la propia NASA como por
ejemplo el hecho de que tiene capacidad legal para clasificar como secreta
la documentación, información e imágenes que obtiene en sus ensayos y viajes
espaciales según le permite la Orden Ejecutiva presidencial 12958 y así lo
ha hecho al menos en varias ocasiones, con lo que en la actualidad existe
información sobre la exploración espacial que es secreta.

Esta información se ha hecho pública recientemente en Estados Unidos gracias
a la presión de grupos cívicos que vigilan la actuación de la agencia
espacial en relación con su falta de transparencia y con respecto a los
criterios que emplea para marcar prioridades.

Según la NASA solo dos personas dentro de la agencia tienen capacidad para
declarar secreta la información, el administrador, Dan Goldin (Nueva York,
1940) , máximo responsable del organismo, y Mark Borsi, que ejerce las
funciones equivalentes a las de un director general.

Como consecuencia de la situación de secretismo tenemos textos como este:

Cydonian Imperative Frequently Asked Questions

by Mac Tonnies

Already there appears to be some online dissent about what,
exactly, the "Cydonian Imperative" is all about.  I offer the
following FAQ (premature as it might be) as an appendix to my
earlier posts on the CI's raison d'etre.

Q.: Isn't the Face old news?  Didn't the new picture prove it to
be natural formation?

A.: The Face, along with a number of other anomalous features,
have been essentially "old news," as far as mainstream science
will have it, for 20 years.  The original two photos of the Face
were taken in 1976.  Together, they effectively dispelled the
official explanation that the formation was a "trick of light
and shadow."  Despite very good digital enhancement showing that
such a "trick" was not possible, this remained NASA's

In April of 1998, the Face was imaged again by the Mars Global
Surveyor during an aerobraking hiatus, causing quite a stir in
the fringe science community.  Unfortunately for those
interested in getting to the bottom of the Face's origin, the
initial image released to the news media was basically one step
away from a "raw" image, showing no depth or tonal variety.  In
short, it looked like nothing in particular to those without
access to the Viking data with which to compare.  [A brief
history of the Face controversy has already been posted, and is
available on request.]

Media interest in the Face was thus dead on arrival.  Taking
advantage of an ill-informed public, NASA was able to flaunt the
fiction that the Face was "conclusively proven" to be a natural
landform while simultaneously claiming a neutral stance on the
matter.  Over the next year, NASA administrator Dan Goldin
unofficially withdrew his promise to reimage the Face (and other
formations) at every convenient opportunity.

Q.: Isn't this all just a self-indulgent waste of time for
people directed at people who want to believe we're not alone?

A.: On the contrary, the Cydonian Imperative seeks the
opportunity to arrive at the truth, whatever that might be.  The
apathetic climate exhibited by NASA, JPL and Malin Space Science
Systems may quite possibly constitute the defining intellectual
catastrophe of the 20th century.  In the meantime, Cydonian
artificiality remains an open question; "belief" does not enter
the picture.

Q.: What evidence will please you?  Suppose NASA takes a million
pictures of Cydonia and scientists of the ultra-skeptical
variety and scientists of the open-to-possibilities variety are
able to agree that the Face was a false alarm?

A.: At that point, the Cydonian Imperative will have served its
purpose.  But before those images are taken, we must construct a
stringent and uncompromising epistimology.  Discerning the
presence of nonhuman artifacts on other planets is an utterly
unique venture.  This is (pardon the pun) alien territory, and
it is undoubtedly this same refusal to face the unknown that has
helped to strengthen the apathy we now see.

Q.: Who made all of this stuff on Mars, anyway, supposing it's

A.: The Cydonian Imperative does not claim to know, unlike some
individuals and groups involved in Cydonia research.  The CI
does not condemn speculation, but frowns upon those who proclaim
the mystery "solved."  Again, this is an open inquiry, not an
arena for our desires.

For the sake of argument, however, here are the three
interpretations of the Cydonian anomalies (assuming

1.) They were made by an intelligent race indigenous to Mars
(for whatever purpose).

2.) They were made by a star-faring civilization who happened to
pay Mars a visit quite a long time ago.

3.) They were made by members of an undiscovered,
technologically advanced terrestrial culture who visited Mars in
the past.

There is also, of course, the "null hypothesis," which holds
that the features at Cydonia and elsewhere on Mars and natural
formations indicating anomalous geology.

Q.: Is there a NASA coverup?

A.: The CI doesn't subscribe to any of the popular "coverup"
theories available online and in the fringe press.  Certainly,
NASA and Malin have misrepresented themselves and have behaved
irresponsibly, but I would be very surprised to learn that there
is some sinister "coverup" at work.

Granted, it's tempting to believe that the reason we have yet to
make sense of Cydonia is because of some round-table of evil
technocrats, but there is no substantial reason to think this is
actually the case.

Q.: Will people panic if it is disclosed that the Face and
pyramids are artificial, like in "Independence Day"?

A.: This query is actually beyond the scope of this FAQ, but the
answer is a confident "no."  This is not the same situation as
presented in "Independence Day" or other movies depicting alien
intelligence as something brutal and malevolent.  For one thing,
if the Cydonian formations are artificial, they appear very,
very old and present no immediate "threat" to us.  In the event
of disclosure, we would be forced to redefine our planetary
self-hood.  Quite possibly some, notably members of certain
religious groups, might react in an unproductive matter.

This has been an area of much concern.  The Brookings Institute
prepared a paper for NASA regarding the potential discovery of
extraterrestrial artifacts, advising (lamentably) secrecy
measures.  The authors of the Brookings paper viewed indirect
contact with nonhuman intelligence a significant threat to
societal well-being.

Needless to say, the CI advocates a serious rethinking of the
Brookings results.

Q.: Is the Cydonian Imperative the only organization around
concerned with Cydonia?

A.: Not by a long shot!  Scientifically, the CI takes its cue
from the ongoing work of SPSR (Society for Planetary SETI
Research), founded by Drs. Stanley V. McDaniel, Horace Crater,
and Mark Carlotto.  McDaniel's website has disappeared, leaving
Carlotto's as the (in my personal opinion) best online Cydonia
reference.  It can be reached at

Q.: Where can I learn more online?

A.: The Cydonian Imperative Newsletter is free upon request.  It
can also be found on the mailing list maintained by Malta UFO
Research (www.mufor.org/ares).  The CI does not necessarily
endorse any of the many viewpoints available.

Some of the best material available is in book form.  _The Case
for the Face_, co-edited by Stanley McDaniel and including a
variety of informed viewpoints, is recommended along with the
second edition of Mark Carlotto's _The Martian Enigmas_, which
is a feast for the eyes and well as the intellect.  Purchasing
these books through MUFOR's website helps ensure the continued
operation of their Cydonia mailing list.

Lastly, the CI is defined more by its attitude than its
structure.  This isn't a "club" of any sort, but a nicely
packaged ideaology.

Q. Before the Mars Global Surveyor took its three photos of the Cydonia
region, many Cydonia researchers had expressed reasonable confidence
that the mystery would be solved.  It obviously hasn't.  Why not?  Doesn't
this prove the Null Hypothesis was correct all along?

A. The results of MGS image analysis have been mixed.  On one hand,
certain fine-scale structural details on the Face have either been
confirmed or established.  Likewise, the Main City Pyramid is shown
to be a real pyramid-shaped formation, not the product of wishful
thinking based on low-resolution Viking data.  Some of the Mound
features as described by Stanley McDaniel, Horace Crater and others
have been shown to have internal geometric shape consistent with
artificial structures (besides conforming to an apparent mathematical
scheme when viewed from above).

The NW City Formation, on the other hand, does not appear to be artificial.
It looks like a craggy mountain, with surface detail that appears
geological in nature (whereas the Main City Pyramid boasts several
linear terraces and outcroppings that await explanation).

Features yet to be imaged in their entirety include the Fort, Cliff, Tholus
and D&M Pyramid.  These formations promise to tell us interesting things
about Mars, whether geological or archeaological in nature.

The MGS' pictures haven't killed the issue of possible artificiality, but
they have presented us with an opportunity to hone our existing
epistemology, which will be useful when new pictures are finally
available.  Critics who complain that the "Null Hypothesis" is triumphant
since the Artificiality Hypothesis wasn't "proven" by the MGS are obviously
either not familiar with how science works or else have an aversion to the
implications of future research.  In the case of certain elitist "skeptical"
organizations, this may be due to a combination of both, compounded by
the endless temptation to "go with the flow."

Q. Why hasn't NASA taken more pictures of the region as promised?
Didn't administrator Dan Goldin make a public pledge to reimage Cydonia
until everyone was satisfied?

Goldin indeed made this statement; it is a matter of record.  It is also a
matter of record that the MGS has overflown Cydonia at least twice since
April 1998 without taking the promised photos (which would have been,
sadly, of much better quality than the now-infamous image of the Face).
Malin Space Science Systems continues to avoid the topic, and NASA
refuses further dialogue with scientists involved with Cydonia research
with a zeal that can only be described as disconcerting.

The reasons for this are unclear.  There is good evidence that the first
two images of the Face released by JPL were presented in substandard
and misleading formats as part of a conscious attempt to kill interest
in the issue.  If so, this attempt was quite effective.

There is absolutely no evidence of NASA hiding images from the public;
the coverup, if such it can be called, seems to arise from a certain a
certainty that the Face, etc. are natural formations, and that attempts to
discover otherwise would by nature be wastes of time.  In this way, Goldin
can make the false claim that "everyone is satisfied" (i.e. JPL, an
organization of literal rocket scientists who surely know a "pile of rocks"
from an ancient sculpture).

Why Malin Space Science Systems, NASA's camera contractor, refuses to
photograph Cydonia even on opportunities when doing so would be
relatively easy is probably a symptom of the same flawed reasoning.

Q. What's the hurry, then?  Supposing we discover that there really is an
extinct civilization on Mars, does it particularly matter how quickly this
information is imparted?

A. We argue that a responsible scientific dialogue between NASA and
qualified anomaly researchers be implemented as quickly as possible.

Documents such as the Brookings Report, which advises NASA re. the
potential discovery of alien artifacts in our solar system, are founded
on the "War of the Worlds" mentality: faced with the presence of a
nonhuman (and superior) intelligence, humanity will suffer a debilitating
existential shock.  The Brookings Report, in particular, advises NASA
to handle the evidence in secret in order to avoid or allay a social

There is little doubt that we would indeed be in for something of a shock
if alien structures were discovered on Mars.  But by opening a reasoned
dialogue about the subject now, we will be that much more prepared to
deal with the proposed "proof" when it comes (assuming the validity of
the AH).  Cydonia has been jeered at long enough.  What is needed is a
forum in which skeptics and advocates of the Artificiality Hypothesis
can put their evidence into the public domain in a responsible manner.

The Internet has provided an interesting venue for the type of exchange
outlined above.  Unfortunately, it us ruled almost entirely by amateurs
whose mission is to either deride the issue sans evidence or embrace the
notion of Martian intelligence with equal disregard for scientific method.
Neither school is getting us anywhere.

I recommend that NASA follows through with its stated plans to reimage
the region, providing a more solid base on which to build our theories and