The Face on Mars
A popular term for Plate #035A72, a specific image taken in 1976 by NASA’s Viking 1 spacecraft of a geographic region of Mars that scientists had called Cydonia. According to some, 35A72 bears a striking resemblance to a human face (at 12 o’clock in image 35A72) , complete with headdress, which triggered speculation that it was a monument built by an ancient civilisation.
One fruitcake, Richard C Hoagland, went on to claim that he had discovered evidence of structures and relics which put the age of the postulated city at 500,000 years old (give or take a week). NASA–per Hoagland–was clueless about the magnitude of his discoveries and conclusions. Dr. David Morrison, Chief of the Space Science Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center, said Hoagland was largely “self-educated” in science (translation, a self-taught fruitcake). Morrison knew of no one in the scientific community, or with the NASA Mars Science Working Group…who ascribed any credibility to Hoagland or his weird ideas about Mars.