Oct 12, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Planet of the Apes: A Parallel to the Mysteries on Mars

As someone who has written extensively about the planet Mars and its mysteries, I get a lot of people approach me on the subject. So, I thought that, today, I would give you my views on the controversy. While there is no doubt there are mountains of questions and unresolved issues concerning the Red Planet, the likelihood is that we will likely never know all of the answers to those questions until we make a manned journey to Mars and construct permanent facilities to allow for studies of Mars on a 24/7 basis. Certainly, more than a few probes sent to Mars have done exactly that over the years and decades. Having a wholly human-driven perspective on matters of Martian mysteries, however, is vital. How long that might take is, right now, something that we cannot ascertain. After all, as I write these words there is no meaningful U.S. manned space program in existence. For many, that might be seen as a big problem. On the other hand, it doesn’t really matter which nation sends a crew to Mars first: just that someone does. And when that happens, we will hopefully know if there was once intelligent life on Mars; highly intelligent life, too. Perhaps, with bases on Mars we will be able to confirm that yes, there once was a culture on the Red Planet that flourished, but that finally came to an end. On the other hand, maybe some of the answers will lead us down the roads marked “Pareidolia.” Such a scenario is not at all impossible. And, if that is where the answers lay, well, that will say far more about us as a species, and our yearnings (subconscious or otherwise) to find evidence that we are not all alone in the Universe. With that all said, let’s now see where things are presently at.

(Nick Redfern)

It must be said that Mars hardly has a pleasant environment, but it does at least have a step ahead of not just Mercury, but Venus too; a planet that is so hot, lead will melt on its surface. Never mind running water, Venus is almost completely lacking in water vapor. Current estimates show that the atmosphere of Venus consists of a minute 0.002% water vapor. Does all of this make Mars the most likely place where we might find life? Yes, it does. We should also keep in mind the matter of those strange and amazing “banyan trees” that sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke championed as evidence of plant life on Mars. Clarke provided a solid reason as to why he was right in his belief. NASA, however, had its very much down to earth explanation, as we’ve seen. Clarke is gone, but the debate on the banyan trees has certainly not. Now, to something else.

We’ll turn, now, to the matter of comic-book legend Jack Kirby and the acclaimed author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift. The stories of both men - specifically as they relate to Mars - suggest that the two had secret knowledge concerning both the planet and its distant past. In terms of Swift, the controversy revolved around Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos. As for Kirby, the topic was focused on his 1950s-era comic-book story, “The Face on Mars,” as well as a similar story, “The Great Stone Face.” Did both men know of ancient, hidden information concerning Mars and its civilization? Maybe they did. And, thanks to the provisions of the U.S. government’s Freedom of Information Act, we now know that in 1984 the CIA secretly remote-viewed Mars and secured extraordinary data of the planet, of its “people” and of its long-gone civilization. Threads that are a vital part of the Martian mysteries? Or, on the other hand, was all of this just a case of coincidence piling upon coincidence? That’s the frustrating trend that permeates throughout this article: that we have some truly tantalizing data, but nothing that can be seen as 100 percent solid. As the author myself, I have to admit that. When it comes to Kirby and Swift, the true-believers will continue to believe, while the debunkers will continue to debunk. And, in the process, neither camp, so far, has achieved a damned thing.  

(NASA) The "other" Face on Mars

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. 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.

Then, there are the really controversy-filled issues, such as that image of a cat-like (or an Anubis-like) animal on Mars that Mike Bara has highlighted in his work; the “Marshenge;” Nikola’s suspicions that he had contact with Martians; the monoliths on both Mars and Phobos; the weird saga of "Mr. Axelrod" and his apparently pressing, in 1975, to have the Moon remote-viewed, something that the CIA did a handful of years later, but in relation to Mars; the alleged connections between ancient nuclear war (on both Mars and Earth); and the presence (for some, at least) of the Anunnaki in all of this. Each and every one of them is just about guaranteed to amaze us and provoke debate. And, let us be clear: to entertain people, too. Once again, we’re in that domain where fact, fiction, speculation, conspiracy-theorizing, and the important work of NASA, are all rolled into one – and sometimes in chaotic fashion. That does not, however, exclude the possibility that what we are seeing on the photos coming back from Mars are exactly what many investigators of the Martian mysteries believe them to be: evidence of a Martian culture way back in the fog of time. There is also the matter of conspiracies relative to Mars. 

The fact that in 1984 the CIA chose to secretly remote-view Mars in the period of 1,000,000 BC, strongly suggests that someone – or some group / think-tank – within the agency had a deep interest in not just Mars’ distant past, but its civilization, its citizens, and it’s ultimate, violent collapse. Why? Well, that question alone most certainly does provoke thoughts and images of conspiracy and cover-up. Of what? We don’t know. On the other hand, I find it difficult to believe that there is a huge, all-encompassing, secret program hidden deep specifically within NASA, the role of which is to hide the truth of a mighty, Martian empire that once ruled the Red Planet. Why do I doubt? It’s quite simple. It goes like this: The only reason why we know that there appear to be strange things on Mars is because NASA has made the specific, relevant photographic evidence freely available to us! Whose technology photographed the Face on Mars, the D&M Pyramid, the Stonehenge-like “Marshenge,” the monoliths on Mars and Phobos, and the Sphinx? I’ll tell you: it was NASA’s technology, not that of crusading UFO researchers. And, it was NASA who placed those same images into the public domain and with easy access and at multiple websites. One cannot have it both ways: either NASA is hiding something or it isn’t. Unless, that is, you take the view that the release of all of these pictures is part of a bigger program to slowly, and carefully, reveal “the truth” to us, one and all. Admittedly, that could be exactly what’s going on; it will, however, require harder evidence than we have right now to say that disclosure is looming large on the horizon.

(NASA) "Marshenge" from above

Although I don’t see NASA engaged in a huge cover-up of the Martian structures, what I do see is a mistake on its part. That mistake has been to ignore and summarily dismiss the many undeniable oddities away as the results of nothing but pareidolia. The purpose behind all of this lack of interest or involvement by the space agency? Probably NASA’s fear of its reputation being besmirched, and the risk of its staff relegated by the media and much of the scientific community to “UFO / alien hunters.” A great deal more, by now, could have been achieved by NASA to either bring the whole controversy to rest in a down-to-earth fashion, or to admit that certain phenomena on Mars deserve to be scrutinized to a greater degree – even if doing so might provoke risible comments and criticisms directed at NASA. If it looks like and sounds like I’m fence-sitting here, I’m actually not. My personal view on all of this goes as follows: I believe that at least some of the Martian curiosities filmed and photographed by NASA probably are evidence that we are not alone in the Universe. In fact, we may have had alien cousins who were, in terms of distance, astonishingly close to us way back when – and who finally landed and possibly even intervened. Possibly they’re still are, if one buys into the theories concerning Mac Tonnies’ cryptoterrestrials. Now, moving onto the end…in more ways than one…

Not at all unlike what we see in the final moments of the 1968 movie, Planet of the Apes, the Martian landscape appears, to me, to be littered with evidence of what was once at least one or several sprawling cities, but all now rendered pulverized and flattened. And a civilization collapsed. In the movie, such a city would turn out to be New York, as the presence of a ruined and pummeled Statue of Liberty makes abundantly and graphically clear. That’s when Charlton Heston’s astronaut character, “Taylor,” learns to his sudden horror that he is not on a faraway world, after all, but on Earth, thousands of years after a nuclear war has all but decimated our world and its people. There’s another parallel with that classic movie, too: one of the primary characters in Planet of the Apes is Dr. Zaius, the Minister of Science. He has spent much of his life terrified by the possible revealing of the true history of the ape planet. Namely, that we, the human race, came first and that, in terms of technology, we were once far ahead of the apes’ society. Zaius’s fear is that opening the equivalent of Pandora’s Box will cause chaos in the world of the apes. So, he takes the only option he thinks is viable: Zaius buries everything, just in case, even if he’s not fully sure of what went on before his civilization emerged. 

(NASA) The "Banyan Trees" of Mars

I sometimes ponder on the possibility that some of NASA’s staff, not unlike Dr. Zaius, might be fearful of what the ramifications could be if history is changed by the opening of that aforementioned box. So, rather like the person who wakes up one morning and finds a lump under one of their armpits, and who refuses to go to the doctor for fear of what they might learn, the truth is ignored, with a hope that it will go away. But, it doesn’t go away. It just piles up more and more. Maybe, that’s how things are with NASA: a case of “If we forget about the Face on Mars we won’t have to deal with it.” But, it’s clearly not going away. Nor are the many other anomalies that are scattered across the Red Planet. 

As a species, we are woefully unaware, and largely ignorant, of a series of incredibly ancient events that revolved around a nightmarish, irreversibly-collapsing Mars. And, of death on an almost incomprehensible scale for the Martians, most of them killed before they could flee their world for ours. When? Without doubt millennia ago – probably even way back further than that. Tying to place together a definitive, smooth timeline for when the Martians lived and died, when the Anunnaki chose to interfere in matters, when a war on Mars may have spilled over to the Earth – hence the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah – and when so much damage was done to the D&M Pyramid and the Face on Mars is without doubt impossible. At best, the timeline is absolutely chaotic in the extreme. As for that ignorance and unawareness I refer to above, in my view it’s solely due to the passage of time, to the distortion of incredible history to fanciful mythology, and to legend mutated into something that largely most people write-off as being just too good to be true. 

When it comes to the scientific community, it is almost exclusively unwilling to address the mysteries of Mars in a fashion that just might have a potentially adverse bearing on their lofty, much-cherished reputations. Some, I suspect, are fearful of what they might find if they dare to go looking too closely: what we might call a skewed case of deliberate self-censorship. That point is something that also harks back to Planet of the Apes. As the movie comes to its chilling, unforgettable ending, Dr. Zaius cautions Charlton Heston’s character, Taylor, with these words: “Don't look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find.” Notably, there is evidence to support this particular angle of stumbling on something disturbing in the extreme and that will be life-changing for all of us and related to life on Mars. And that's how I see it. For now, at least.

Note: NASA is an arm of the U.S. Government. That puts NASA's photos 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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