A photo from the Mars Opportunity rover has captured an image that looks all too familiar: A figure riding a vehicle of some kind. In a video posted by Paranormal Crucible to YouTube on Nov. 8, the photographed image is presented enhanced but the general shape is undeniable. Still, can we accept that what we think we see really is what rides the Martian surface?
The video, which was passed along by UFO Sightings Hotspot, shows what appears to be a dark figure, humanoid (somewhat) in shape, sitting on or astride a wheeled vehicle. The good people at Paranormal Crucible point out shadowy outlines that could very well be wheels and a glinting spot that could possibly be a headlight. There’s even shading that suggests that on what could be a head rests a pair of goggles.
But then Paranormal Crucible suggests that the humanoid figure, if not alien, could be part of a secret military force from Earth already on Mars. Where this theory derives is unclear, but since it is proposed in the Mars video with such confidence, it must be one that is part of the Martian lore usually relegated to conspiracy theories. Officially, the only emissaries from Earth to have landed on Mars have been machines.
Still, photos of the surface of Mars have given scientists and laymen alike plenty to talk about over the years. With thousands of people scouring the plethora of images sent back from the orbiters and rovers, the number of familiar objects and potential artifacts — both alien and human — are sure to multiply substantially.
Just in the past few weeks, several Mars photos have produced quite a number of anthropoidal objects that have captured the imagination of not only those who earnestly search for signs of alien life but also people around the world who hunger for such news and information. Although many of the shapes and images offered can be interpreted in various ways (not simply as the artifacts suggested or even some other object but also as nothing more than a rock or set of rocks), it should be noted that most are the products of erosive forces and tricks of light (shadow-play) upon a variety of surfaces. Much of what is presented can be and is explained away as pareidolia, that cognitive ability of the human brain that takes objects and shapes and arranges them into something familiar, like animal shapes in passing clouds.
Among the human-like objects found in Mars photos recently have been what looks like a Moai head — of Easter Island fame — half buried in the Martian sand, a detached head of a statue, a statue of a humanoid figure carved into a hillside, and a petroglyph that looks every bit like a human stick figure. Finding human-like figures on Mars has become something of a regularity, given that one of the earliest strange sightings on Mars via rover photos was that of a small rock formation that became known as the Martian Bigfoot. And there is always the famous “Face of Mars,” which was photographed by NASA’s Viking 1 long before a rover set down on the Red Planet.
So, has Paranormal Crucible uncovered evidence of a carefully guarded secret? Is there a human riding a Martian ATV (or some other vehicle) captured in the Opportunity photo (the original of which can be seen here)? Or is an alien keeping tabs on Opportunity? Or could it be just another rock outcropping along a shadowy crater rim or hillock? Is this an example of seeing what we hope or want to see, a bit of willful pareidolia, or is there really something there?