Sep 17, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Nuclear War in Ancient Times: Mars, Earth and Massive Destruction

Now and again intriguing and thought provoking accounts of ancient nuclear war surface - and, sometimes, not just from our own world. And, as someone who has a big interest in this issue, I thought I would share with you my thoughts on this particularly controversial matter. On the matter of theoretical ancient nuclear war on Mars in an era long ago, one of the most important statements of all comes from Vince DiPietro - who, with Gregory Molenaar, pretty much began the Face on Mars-based research all on their own, back in the 1970s. His words were driven by Dr. John Brandenburg, a man who we will come to imminently. DiPietro said, in a 1998 paper titled “Mars: The Planet of Mysteries,” that: “The element Xenon 129, the second generation of a radioactive component produced when nuclear fission occurs, is found in abundance in the Martian atmosphere. Nuclear fission, such as that from a reactor or bomb, produces Iodine 129 with a half life of 17 million years, releasing beta particles and Xenon 129. The latter element is stable and lasts forever. Has nuclear fission taken place on Mars?” It’s an incredibly important question that needs answering, as it gets to the heart of the possibility that the Martians may have all but destroyed themselves while we were still living in caves and racing around and looking for the occasional wooly mammoth to dine upon.

As Dr. Brandenburg’s bio reveals: “John E. Brandenburg is a theoretical plasma physicist who was born in Rochester Minnesota, and grew up in Medford Oregon. He obtained his BA in Physics, with a Mathematics minor, from Southern Oregon University in 1975 and obtained his MS in 1977 and PhD in Plasma Physics both from University of California at Davis in 1981. He presently is working as a consultant at Morningstar Applied Physics LLC and a part-time instructor of Astronomy, Physics and Mathematics at Madison College and other learning institutions in Madison Wisconsin. Before this, he worked at Orbital Technologies in Madison Wisconsin, as Senior Propulsion Scientist, working on space plasma technologies, nuclear fusion, and advanced space propulsion.” Most impressive, indeed.

And, Brandenburg is at the forefront of the research to determine if a Martian race – or races, even – exterminated itself in a nuclear holocaust in times log gone. In 2014, the world’s media provided significant coverage to the important work of Dr. Brandenburg. It was on November 21 of that year that the U.K.’s popular newspaper, the Daily Mail, ran an article that was all but certain to turn heads. The title was: “Ancient Martian civilization was wiped out by nuclear bomb-wielding aliens - and they could attack Earth next, claims physicist.” Jonathan O’Callaghan, the journalist who wrote the feature for the Daily Mail, said: “If you’re planning to go to the 2014 Annual Fall Meeting of the American Physical Society in Illinois this Saturday, you might be in for a bit of a surprise with the final talk of the day. Because that’s when plasma physicist Dr. John Brandenburg will present his theory that an ancient civilization on Mars was wiped out by a nuclear attack from another alien race. In his bizarre theory, Dr. Brandenburg says ancient Martians known as Cydonians and Utopians were massacred in the attack - and evidence of the genocide can still be seen today.” 

Brandenburg himself provided us these words: “The Martian surface is covered with a thin layer of radioactive substances including uranium, thorium and radioactive potassium - and this pattern radiates from a hot spot on Mars. A nuclear explosion could have sent debris all around the planet…Taken together, the data requires that the hypothesis of Mars as the site of an ancient planetary nuclear massacre, must now be considered.” Mac Tonnies had his suspicions that planet-wide altercations of the nuclear kind may have been at the heart of the puzzle of what happened to Mars. He said: “The D&M Pyramid] is swollen and cracked, as if once molten. Despite this, no signs of volcanism are apparent. An unknown dark, sooty material has settled into fine-scale fractures, with a thick concentration near what researchers have referred to as a ‘domed uplift,’ thought by some to represent an ancient internal explosion [Italics mine].” He also felt that it was important enough to highlight “early speculation by Richard Hoagland and John Brandenburg [who] raised the possibility that the domed uplift…is the result of ‘explosive penetration.”

The story, for Tonnies, was far from being over. He posed a thought-provoking question that really caused controversy: “Could the D&M Pyramid have been deliberately destroyed from within by some ancient act of sabotage or act of war?” Tonnies provided a potential answer to his question: “Brandenburg, a plasma physicist and coauthor, with Monica Rix Paxson, of Dead Mars, Dying Earth, estimates that a one-ton kiloton nuclear explosion [italics mine] could account for the damage visibly seen…assuming the deforming event was of an artificial nature.” “Unlike other formations in Cydonia,” Tonnies carried on to me, “the D&M shows evidence of having been melted [italics mine]. The terrain around the apparent fifth buttress is chaotic and spotted with enigmatic dark areas…Additionally, Mark Carlotto has noted that there appears to be a dark material oozing out of the area associated with the domed uplift. This is consistent with an internal explosion.” 

Bruce Rux, who is the author of Architects of the Underworld, a fascinating book that is filled with Mars-based mysteries, gives us these words: “…the substantial apparent impact damage on many of Mars’ surface structures, would lend credence to the biblical ‘war in the heavens.’ These include an extremely dramatic hole, one thousand feet in diameter, in Cydonia’s D&M Pyramid, with structural and surface damage and debris, looking very much like it was caused by explosive penetration.” In addition, Rux suggests that the huge pyramid displays evidence of  “clear impacts on the pyramid, with ejecta, high toward the top and lower down on  the flank of its eastern face; the violence of the higher impact had thrown debris clearly over onto the western face.” 

Certainly, there were equally apocalyptical – but very different - theories for what may have caused the wipeout of the Martian civilization (or civilizations), as Mac Tonnies acknowledged to me years ago: “Astronomer Tom Van Flandern has proposed that Mars was once the moon of a tenth planet that literally exploded in the distant past. If so, then the explosion would have had severe effects on Mars, probably rendering it uninhabitable. That’s once rather apocalyptic scenario. Another is that Mars’ atmosphere was destroyed by the impact that produced the immense Hellas Basin. Both ideas are fairly heretical by current standards; mainstream planetary science is much more comfortable with Mars dying a slow, prolonged death. Pyrotechnic collisions simply aren’t intellectually fashionable - despite evidence that such things are much more commonplace than we’d prefer.” 

 Did a Martian civilization all but destroy itself in a terrible, planet-wide nuclear war in the distant past, as John Brandenburg has skillfully and logically suggested? If that was the case, it’s not at all implausible that the Martians might have fled their world for ours, possibly, even created some form of home for themselves on the Moon, too. It may very well also be the case that the warlike Martians, after settling on the Earth, they then went on to sca our very own landscape in just the way that they did to their world – albeit not on a planet-wide scale, thankfully. We’re talking about tactical nuclear weapons and the obliteration of entire cities and their people. We may never know for sure what, or who, it was that provoked nuclear exchanges on our world millennia ago; what we can say, however, is that evidence most assuredly does exist to show that apocalyptic-like events did occur at some point.

If a group of Martians really did create havoc and destruction on our planet, then the chances are that we will never be able to prove it. Much of what we have is speculative. And, unfortunately, that's not enough But, at least, we're getting there. After all, we are talking about periods in the Earth’s history when human civilization was still in a primitive state and, as a result, we are left with very little to nothing in the way of priceless and precious documentation chronicling such calamities. In terms of events that occurred relatively recently in our history, however, we are on far more solid ground. We’ll begin with the Holy Bible’s Old Testament saga of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now, that really does sound like an ancient series of events that involved tactical nukes,

Although we certainly don’t have a solid date for when the two cities were vaporized in the blink of an eye, the consensus is that the destruction occurred at some point around 2,000 BC. It’s a story that appears in the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Old Testament. This is important since it provides us with no less than three sources for the story – something that certainly helps us when it comes to the matter of corroboration. As to where Sodom and Gomorrah were located, it’s believed that they were constructed on the edges of the River Jordan. While the tale of the obliteration of the two cities is very well known, far less well known is the fact that the overlords of Sodom and Gomorrah made an alliance with the rulers of other cities in the area – cities that were also wiped off the face of the map. They were Zeboim, Admah, and Zoar. According to the legends, it was only the people of Zoar who were not annihilated on the spot. So the story goes, the massive destruction was provoked by what was termed the War of Nine Kings. The old texts reveal that for decades a powerful king in the area, Chedorlaomer, ruled ruthlessly throughout the land, something that led to a conflict between what were known as the Four Southern Kings and the Seven Northern Kings. The Old Testament, specifically Genesis 14, tells of the ominous countdown that led to destruction and death on a massive scale.  

Moving on slightly, what of the strange “objects,” “artifacts” and other extraordinary “things” on the surface of Mars that have been photographed and filmed by a variety of NASA’s rovers and probes? This is where things become even more and more controversial. There can be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that it was the discovery of the “Face on Mars” back in the 1970s that energized the interest and controversy that surrounded (and that still continues to surround) the possibility that Mars may have been a world not too dissimilar to ours, even a world inhabited by beings who resembled us to a staggering degree; aside, that is, from their alleged immense height. 

Add to that the D&M Pyramid and the “Sphinx” that Mike Bara champions, and what we have is not just a possibility that the architecture of the Martians resembled much of ours, but a theoretical connection to Egypt millennia ago – a sensational scenario worthy of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens show. Again, it’s a collective body of data that tantalizes us, and it provokes images of Martians visiting (or fleeing to) the Earth to start a new life for themselves; this latter point speculated on by Mac Tonnies. He offered that a small, impoverished body of Martians not only arrived on our world in the past and, possibly, were responsible for our beliefs in a god or in multiple gods among us, but who may still be with us today – in deep stealth, of course. Again, the scenario is fascinating, but it’s inconclusive, mainly because we are presently unable to venture to Mars and tread the landscape where these anomalies can be found. But, just maybe, one day we will - and with humans, rather than just with robot devices. When those days come, perhaps we'll get not jsut a few answers, but just about everyone of them. We can hope.

NOTE: Both of the two photos in this article were taken by NASA.

As NASA is an arm of the U.S. Government, they are in the public domain.

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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