Video of a “Crumbled Flying Saucer on Mars” Is Very Popular

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Have you seen the image of what appears to be a flying saucer that slid across Mars’ surface before being embedded in a mound of dirt? Have you not? Look at it here while we point out that it has been making the rounds for the past few days under headlines such as “Pretty Convincing Footage Of A UFO Crash On Mars,” “Mars orbiter image shows a crashed flying saucer… or something else entirely,” and “Could this be a Crashed Disc-Shaped Object Spotted Near Ceti Mensa on Mars?” This final example comes from a YouTube video by system administrator and website developer Jean Ward, whose interests include “Mars anomaly hunting.” His online prominence came from this pastime after he shared his interpretation of a photograph acquired by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2006.

Find the wrecked flying saucer in the original image?
Spectacular strata on the floor of Candor Chasma, a sizable canyon in the Valles Marineris system, are seen in this photograph.

The image was captured on December 29, 2006, by the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (You can see several variations of it here, one of which has an arrow pointing to the position of the “saucer”). Because of the intricate swirls of sand- and dust-sized particles that are located about 4 kilometers below the lip of one of the deepest canyons on Mars, NASA named it the “Swirls of Rock in Candor Chasma.” For NASA, it was more than astounding, but Jean Ward is one of those individuals with the time, interest, and magnifying software, and when he began digitally examining the swirls of Candor Chasma, he discovered what he thinks resembled a crashed flying saucer.

The anomaly appears to be the result of a disc-shaped object striking Mars’ surface at an extremely low angle and leaving a trench in its wake. The disc-shaped object has a diameter of around 12 to 15 meters.

Alternatives: Is this an unfinished Project Ice-Worm building or might it be a ramp leading into an underground entrance? Or do we perceive a peculiar arc-shaped dune?

In order to view the original image, Ward is nice enough to give a link to the HiRiSE website and instructions. In addition, he offers his guesses as to what it may be. The U.S. Army’s Project Iceworm in Greenland in the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, may have been a ramp or part of a tunnel for moving about nuclear weapons, contrary to what the Internet, which favors the crashed flying saucer theory, believes.

As always, I can only hypothesize as to what these things could be until we get a close-up look at them.

Or … it could be an unusual dune. As always, anomalies are in the eye of the beholder, and if the beholder is a pareidoliac – one who sees faces in tortillas or on the surface of Mars – then it’s easy to see a crashed flying saucer. Most of us have a touch of pareidolia and a bit of wishful thinking, which explains why this ‘flying saucer’ photo won’t go away soon. Ward doesn’t say how close the Candor Chasma is to the Perseverance rover and its Ingenuity helicopter, but that would be an excellent road trip for the little chopper that could … and is still flying. After all, the Chinese space program is sending its lunar rover to inspect what appears to be a hut on the Moon.

The betting money right now is on a natural anomaly, but the really long odds are on whether NASA takes up the challenge and gets “up close and personal” to it. You’re probably better off buying a lottery ticket.

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