Discover more from Secret Mars
Technological Debris in Gale Crater, Mars
I’m not a geologist, so my limited understanding is born from looking at countless Mars images and becoming somewhat familiar with the common rock types, shale and erosion patterns replicated during every day and every mile on Mars traversed by the Rovers - mysterious geometrical lines and intersections once interpreted by the uninitiated as possible wall foundations and roads, now mundanely explained by mineral veins and ice fracturing.
Still, there exists the fine line between conventional explanation and the mysterious “What if?...” scenario. The blue rocks that appear in the following pages for me, now fall into that category. Yes, I acknowledge these rocks are most likely the result of volcanism or a large meteorite exploding and fragments impacting the surface – but there are a number of odd pieces that reasonably suggest something else may have been at play here.
My general impression is that the fragments which now lay strewn over a Martian hillside in Gale Crater, were once subject to intense heat before being blown apart, shredded and scattered into their present positions.
To aid this kind of image analysis, there are several Mars enthusiasts who do outstanding work in creating panorama's from a group of still images. What they do is take a batch of images for one Martian day - in this case Sol 2635 - and then, by using software, stitch them all together to form one large, seamless image, which is what we will be looking at today. All the following images are taken from such a 'Gigapan' made by Neville T. Thompson.
Importantly, what Neville has also done, is to present a coloured image that removes the unhelpful sepia tone that saturates most Mars imagery, replacing it with a filter that shows us what this location on Mars would look like under ‘Earth light’ conditions.
So, when looking at this landscape, the first thing we notice are these blue-grey rocks and boulders scattered over the ground. It's a natural thing for the eye to do, to first focus on these larger objects, even though they look pretty natural and random in this setting and we should have no reason to suspect they might be anything unusual.
However, when we zoom in to the closest of these boulders, labelled "Target Location A" (Fig. 3, A1), we quickly notice an interesting pitted, cellular, and geometric structure on the surface of this rock (Fig. 3, A3). An imaginative mind might see hieroglyphic-type characters here, and perhaps even a suggestion of a technological layout akin to a circuit board.
The nature of this 'pitting' however appears to be of a vesicular nature, as seen on some volcanic rock types. Such cavities on the surface of the rock are caused by gas bubbles that appear after the rock has cooled and solidified. Dissolved gas bubbles however, are unlikely to form regular, squarish features and fissures. Conceivably, the pattern might also have resulted from countless millennia of erosion and cracking from freezing temperatures, the geometric patterns due to possible crystalline formation in the rock. Or, these characteristics were generated by intense heat from atmospheric entry, if this is actually a remnant piece of a large meteorite.
An odd-shaped fragment sits very close to this blue-grey rock (Fig. 5). It could well have been either a part of the rock that has broken off, or is an eroded piece from another rock. Just as likely, this whole area may be composed of similar rocks - some intact, some almost eroded to nothing - and with countless smaller pieces that are partially coated with ochre coloured dust, as this one is.
Again we have the same geometric pattern we saw in the large blue-grey rock, suggesting they share a common origin. But there are two or three details on it that may justify asking the question that interests us the most here, which is:
"Could there be an artificial origin to this fragment?"
Without doubt if you were to come across such an object while walking through a wasteland of unremarkable rocks, it would automatically suggest something part-rusted and metallic, especially with its angular appearance and square/rectangular features and slots (Fig. 6).
At this point, with the question of a potential artefact now in our minds, we will have to go and look for some corroboration - to see if there is anything else in the vicinity that might support, or refute this possibility.
The competing argument is thus:
1. Geometric pattern, originating from a natural rock formation.
2. Geometric pattern originating from an artificial mechanical object.
To the north of the large blue-grey boulder, we find a group of five similar coloured rocks (Target Location B) that also have a pitted, vesicular external surface (Fig. 7).
Some of these however, appear more degraded, or damaged, and a closer look reveals some very interesting interior detail.
Is the material makeup of these rocks indeed porous, or like cinder, and does this honey-comb consistency form after eons of exposure to the Martian weather? For want of an on site inspection, we can only try to infer a cause. In Fig. 8, we can see again the cellular, interwoven, mechanistic pattern, with this time a preponderance of intricate, nodular, equally-spaced protrusions (B1-B4).
Parallel and right-angled details show clearly in Fig. 9, revealing multiple diverse patterns. We might expect that a geological cause would show a more consistent pattern.
At this point, the abundance of intricate, curved and geometrical elements embedded within these objects, should I think provoke us to ask if there may be an artificial element to these patterns, and to ask if indeed these are just rocks, or maybe something else? Or that maybe rocks and something technological, met in collision.
A Blast from the Past?
Plasma physicist John E. Brandenburg, PhD, theorised that Mars was host to atmospheric thermonuclear detonations in the ancient past, and of such destructive intensity, that vast regions were utterly destroyed, incinerated, fused and melted.
Did Mars therefore once have technological installations, vehicles and craft that were obliterated in war? And are there still remnants of this devastation littered across the surface in the form of artefacts and machinery shredded and disintegrated? And could it possibly be the case therefore, that what appears to be eroded, blue-grey vesicular rocks characterised by odd, geometric-shaped interiors, are in fact, the destroyed remains of some ancient Martian technology, perhaps even downed aircraft?
It is a contentious and difficult proposition to engage with and to provide evidence to support, for sure. But by applying reason, objectivity and rational assessment, we may well uncover some remarkable and disturbing truths concerning the Red Planet. Or not.
This analysis of probable rocks on a Martian landscape on Sol 2635, does not prove that Mars had a technological and catastrophic past. A geologist could dismiss the possibility in a second with a convincing photo of such a rock type, and I would really hope that they do, to support the integrity of my research.
I have forwarded pictures of these rocks to a geologist, and await a response. I have also done some due diligence myself, searching for rock types and meteorites that display similar patterns to those in Gale Crater. But while a couple come close, nothing so far jumps out as conclusive (Fig. 12). Maybe I just don’t know enough about geology to ask the right questions yet, something I fully accept.
P.S. The geologist kindly replied: "These samples look like they could be pieces of vesicular basalt... the 'geometric patterns' may be the vesicles (holes in the rock created during the escape of gasses). In this case it is possible the vesicles form while the rock is cooling but not yet solid. If it is moving as lava flows do on Hawaii, sometimes the vesicles become deformed. This is a possible explanation."
© 2023 M. J. Craig
Secret Mars is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.