Just a few days ago I was asked about my research into the planet Mars. As you may know, I have a deep interest in all of the various mysteries and anomalies that can be found on the Red Planet. And, there's no doubt there are plenty of them. Now, many might say - and justifiably in some cases - that all of those aforementioned anomalies fall into the category of pareidolia. It's described as follows by EarthSky: "Maybe you’ve seen the proverbial bunny in the clouds on a warm summer day, or the face of a clown in a mud splatter on the side of your car? Seeing familiar objects or patterns in otherwise random or unrelated objects or patterns is called pareidolia. It’s a form of apophenia, which is a more general term for the human tendency to seek patterns in random information. Everyone experiences it from time to time. Seeing the famous man in the moon or the canals on Mars are classic examples from astronomy." In a moment, we'll take a look at a certain "thing" that I don't believe is down to pareidolia. Of course, many reading this article may disagree with me - and vehemently so, too. But, that's how it goes. It's called "debate."
Certainly, if you look at multiple photos of the surface of Mars you'll find something that looks like this or that looks like that. But, it's just a random piece of rock. So, in other words, I don't go around thinking every presumed anomaly is exactly that. That said, however, there are some that really make me wonder. One particularly. And that's the one I'm going to focus on today. It's referred to as "The Crowned Face." In some respects it mirrors the highly controversial "Face on Mars" that caused so much debate and argument in the 1970s and 1980s. In a photo of the Crowned Face, it seems to show a large face, with a pointed chin, a pair of eyes and a nose. Also, what appears to be crown-like headgear - hence the name that has been attached to it. Not only that, the eyes really do look like eyes. There also appears to be lips and a nose with nostrils, too. We should not dismiss the fact that if we turn the photo on its side - or upside down - it looks like something else, entirely. But, it still makes me think. And there's that crown-like headgear, too. Collectively, it looks decidedly eerie.
(NASA) This photo of the Crowned Face is public domain in the U.S. The picture was taken by NASA. The space agency has specifically said that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted." In this case, the photo of the Crowned Face is free to use.
Whether or not you believe that the Crowned Face phenomenon was created by nature, by ancient Martians, or by advanced beings in times long gone, it's still a subject that has a devoted following. Greg Orme's excellent paper - "Possible Alien Artifacts in the King's Valley, Libya Montes, Mars" - makes for fascinating reading. In part, Greg's paper says: "While the Crowned Face is best known, there are many other unusual formations in the King’s Valley. In some areas it is difficult to find any part of the valley wall without a face of some kind on it. This paper shows some of these other features, artificiality is not proven with all of them as with the Crowned Face, but their proximity to each other makes them hard to explain. Other valleys in Libya Montes have no possible artifacts in them, these are all concentrated within five kilometers in one valley."
Pareidolia? The remains of an ancient civilization? Shades of the final moments of the 1968 movie, Planet of the Apes? I don't know. In fact, none of us do. But, I do think that the whole thing warrants ongoing study.