Dec 07, 2020 I Nick Redfern

A Mysterious Monolith and an Equally Mysterious Moon

With mysterious monoliths being in the news so much lately, I thought I would turn my attention away from the Earth and take a trip to Mars, so to speak. It was back in 1968 when the science-fiction blockbuster, 2001: A Space Odyssey – the work of producer and director, Stanley Kubrick – hit cinemas all around the world and raked in close to $200 Million. In the opening segment of the movie we see a tribe of primitive, early "ape-men" fighting for survival in the harsh landscape of what is now the continent of Africa – albeit in the film it plays out millions of years ago. One day the tribe awakes to find that overnight a strange, black-colored monolith has appeared in their very midst. In no time at all, the intelligence levels of the creatures are increased by, it appears, the monolith itself. The implication is that something of an extraterrestrial nature has kick-started human civilization into what will eventually be high gear. As amazing and as unbelievable as it may sound, a monolith has been photographed on the surface of Phobos. A case of fact eerily mirroring fiction? Well, that very much depends on one's own opinion.

We have a man named Efrain Palermo to thank for bringing this incredible matter to light. As someone with a deep interest in Mars and its moons, he decided to make an extensive review of the many pictures that NASA had secured from its Mars Global Surveyor in 1998. Palermo was amazed by what he found. He said that while studying one particular image from Phobos "…my eye caught something sticking up out of the surface." As to what that "something" was, Palermo added: "I downloaded it into Photoshop and zoomed into that area, and there it was, an apparent cylindrical shaped object casting a longish shadow and having a slanted roof." Dr. Mark Carlotto, the author of The Martian Enigmas, and someone who has undertaken groundbreaking research into the controversies surrounding the Face on Mars and the Cydonia region, took an interest in the apparent monolith. Palermo explains that Carlotto "…referred me to Lan Fleming a NASA imaging specialist who has interest in Mars and other solar system anomalies. Lan looked at it and upon further examination and study concluded as did I, that this was a physical anomaly on the surface of Phobos." That’s putting it mildly.

Fleming worked at the Johnson Space Center and took a deep interest in the monolith, even going so far as to suggest that the monolith was not a random piece of oddly formed rock. Closer and clearer imagery analysis demonstrated that the monolith actually had a somewhat-Pyramid-like shape, and not that of a typical monolith. The point, however, was that the monolith still appeared to be the creation of some form of intelligence. Phobos lacks an atmosphere; thus there cannot be any kind of natural erosion on Phobos that might otherwise allow for the transformation of a regular rock into something radically different. And, something undeniably recognizable to us, too.

Fleming made this statement: "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 its 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." Not only that: Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the surface of the Moon, said: "We should visit the moons of Mars. There’s a monolith there; a very unusual structure on this little potato shaped object that goes around Mars once every seven hours. When people find out about that they are going to say, 'Who put that there? Who put that there?' Well, the universe put it there, or if you choose God put it there."  Or, perhaps, it was all down to the Martians.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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