Jun 14, 2018 I Micah Hanks

Spaceships on the Moon: Lunar Anomalies, the Phobos Monolith, and Pareidolia

"You will be part of the five proud branches of the United States Armed Forces... Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Coast Guard." These were the words of U.S. President Donald Trump back in May, during a ceremony at the Whitehouse honoring the Army Black Knights college football team. Up to this point, his comments were fairly pedestrian... but of course, that's just about when things took a turn for the stars.

"We're actually thinking of a sixth [branch]" Trump continued, "and that would be the Space Force. Does that make sense?"

Well, for the most part. Wait, was he serious?

"This is perhaps because we're getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons, and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force."

The question remains as to who the "we" he was referring to might have been... although in truth, rumors are already floating around on the web suggesting that Trump actually got his "Space Force" off the ground after all... and one of its clandestine vessels might be parked on the moon.

At least that was the view being expressed by those commenting on one Scottish man's popular YouTube channel, where he shows footage that he believes to be proof of a mysterious "triangular" object on the lunar surface.

The National recently reported that "A Scottish UFO researcher’s video of a mysterious triangle on the surface of the moon has gone viral on the internet.

"Uploaded to his Streetcap1 channel on YouTube, George Graham’s video had attracted well over 12,000 views by last night, just a few hours after it was first shown."

Taking a look at the the YouTuber's channel, with all due respect, it appears to be more of the usual humdrum: people talking about mysterious shapes and odd rock formations on the lunar surface, and whether some of them could be UFO craft and the like. To some, they look like rocks scattered about on the moon... to others, they could be evidence of alien life. 

As for a "Triangle TR-3B" parked on the moon, and whether or not it's part of Trump's so-called "Space Force," well... let's just say we aren't convinced. But perhaps the saddest part of all this is that over the years, there have been a number of serious scientists who have spent time (even while on the clock working for NASA) studying anomalies that appear on not just our moon, but on moons orbiting other planets in our solar system, such as the Martian moon Phobos. 

phobos 640x471
Enhanced NASA image of Phobos from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Among these was Lan Fleming, an imaging expert who processed scores of photos and footage collected by various NASA missions over the years (see here for his full educational background). Fleming was subcontracted to the Johnson Space Flight Center during the 1990s, and became known for taking an interest in the various unusual features that turned up occasionally on Earth's moon and other orbital bodies throughout the solar system of which visual data obtained.

Sometime after the Mars Global Surveyor probe photographed the Martian moon Phobos in 1998, Fleming was contacted by a visual artist and writer named Efrain Palermo, who had been referred to Fleming by Dr. Mark Carlotto, an imaging expert who had previously lent his expertise to study of the Cydonia region on Mars. Palermo had discovered an unusual feature on Phobos, which appeared to be a large structure or other feature that cast an unusually long shadow. Fleming had noticed it too while reviewing various footage from the Mars Global Surveyor; however, he had initially interpreted the long shadow was merely due to a low sun angle relative to the position of Phobos in its orbit around Mars.

The famous (corrected) image of Phobos' monolith.

Further communication between the two led to the discovery that some of the features on the surface of Phobos had been distorted in the images Palermo and Fleming had been analyzing, which gave the appearance of unusually long shadows. Nonetheless, after corrections were made (and these "orthorectified" images were compared with the unaltered originals from NASA), it became evident that the shadow of Palermo's mysterious "monolith" was indeed very long.

Fleming noted the following of the strange object:

There seems to be no good reason to put the word "monolith" in quotes to describe this object. Efrain's interpretation is absolutely correct. At the very least, this object is a monolithic block of stone, although it's high reflectivity may indicate that it is composed of something else. But how likely is it that it's artificial? That depends in part on how tall the object is relative to the width of its base. A block of stone several times longer than its height created from the impact of some large meteoroid would be unlikely to land on its narrow end and remain upright.

Palermo even produced images of what he estimated the rough shape and size of the object to be (which can be seen here). Fleming concluded that "Unfortunately, the Mars Global Surveyor, now in a low mapping orbit around Mars, will never have another close encounter with Phobos. That will have to remain the task of some future spacecraft." He added (somewhat cryptically), "Given NASA's history of avoiding any intentional examination of anomalous objects, it will probably have to happen by accident. But Phobos is a very small world, so if other spacecraft have close encounters with Phobos in the future, there is a fair chance we eventually will see this monolith again."

The Phobos "monolith" (yes, we're still using the quotation marks, despite Fleming's reasonable objection to it) is but one of many genuine anomalies in our solar system that should warrant further attention. It is our contention, at very least, that such "Phobian" mysteries, as well as other notable oddities on our own moon (click here to see my article on one of these), should certainly warrant more consideration than the usual tripe that appears in tabloids these days.

When science can be applied to such mysteries, only then should they be deemed "anomalies; anything else is purely pareidolia, and is tantamount to lazy afternoon cloud-gazing.

Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!