Missions to Mars

Will they make it? Will they survive? Some won't!

In 1988 the Russians launched their Phobos II probe to Mars. One of its missions was to photograph Phobos, the smallest of Mars' satellites. In one of the photos transmitted back to Earth, an anomalous light is shown to left of the tiny moon.

Russian astronomer Paul Stonehill states that the light, or UFO, then turned toward Phobos II and destroyed it. No further signals were received from the probe.

In October, 1992, America launched its Observer spacecraft to Mars on a comprehensive photographic mission to map the surface of that planet as a prelude to a manned exploration in the near future. One of the features NASA has agreed to photograph is an apparently symmetrical object known as "The Face on Mars" near the Cydonia region, which appears to have been carved by sentient beings. It is about one mile long and one mile wide. Computer enhancements of the object and other nearby features indicate that they may not be naturally formed.

Although Mars' atmosphere is 150 times less dense than Earth's, scientists believe enough elements are available to have supported microbes and they plan to search for them in the perma-frost at the poles. Microbes frozen for thousands or millions of years have been recovered on Earth and made to live again. Scientists hope to recover similar suspended life on Mars and re-establish them elsewhere. If that fails, they have sophisticated plans to introduce microscopic plant life from Earth to the surface of Mars and begin a cycle of life that may lead to the building of an atmosphere, higher plants and even animal life as a purely naturally occurring evolutionary process.

Once introduced to a fertile environment, scientists are convinced micro-organisms and microscopic plant life will create their own atmosphere, just as they did on Earth millions of years ago. Once higher plants are established, animals should follow naturally.

Of course, colonists will have to be sent to Mars to oversee and occasionally prod this life-building process. If successful, Earth's future generations--your grandchildren and mine--will become the "Martians," the offworld harvesters and animal husbanders of that far planet.

But one wonders if Mars (and other worlds) have not already been claimed by the same beings who apparently visit Earth from time to time. If a UFO can destroy a Russian probe, as Paul Stonehill contends, they could as easily destroy a spaceship laden with microscopic life or Earthers planning to settle the Plains of Cydonia.

One answer to this question of ownership might be revealed when close-up photographs show what the "Face" really is. If it is an artifact created by a dead civilization, we should erect a fence around it and leave it alone. If it was carved by more recent visitors, we may have to fight vigorously for landing rights on Mars.

The Observer spacecraft should reach Mars, if all goes as planned, in January of 1993. The data returned from that probe will establish the criteria of Earth scientists for the next several decades.

The U.S. government and NASA have rekindled their interest in extraterrestrial life with SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). The largest radio telescopes on Earth are turned to the heavens to seek out the faintest random or planned signals directed toward this solar system. Scientists expect to garner more information in the first 30 seconds than have been recorded in the past 30 years.

At the same time, interest has been renewed in formerly scrapped plans for nuclear engines to power a future generation of spaceships to Mars and beyond. Nuclear engines are not a new concept in spacecraft engines. American scientists and engineers tested them at Jackass Flats in Nevada and were close to producing a usable engine before the Space Shuttle concept forced cancellation of the project.

Nuclear powered spacecraft will be assembled in space, well away from Earth, and will provide an almost limitless source of energy for the future journey to Mars and deep space. The journey to Mars will require about three months out, a stay of 600 days (to allow Mars and Earth to reach their closest points to each other in their orbits of the sun) and a return journey of three more months. In all, the first international team of scientists will be gone for nearly two and one-half years. Everything they will need for the trip will either go with them or precede them in a supply ship which will be waiting in orbit around Mars. If the owners decide it's okay, of course.

Now, all this expensive exploration isn't going to happen in the next year or so. It is tentatively planned for the second decade of the 21st Century when your infant son or daughter, or your grandson or granddaughter is 23 or 24 years old.

There are a number of people who believe earthlings are not only planning a journey to Mars, but are actually returning to Mars after countless centuries of having been absent while colonizing planet Earth. They contend the Earth colonies survived some cosmic cataclysm while our original Martian ancestors did not and that we are now going back to reclaim our original planet. Proof or disproof of that will begin to unfold by January, 1993.

There are reports that alien encounters are followed by medical examinations during which sperm samples are taken from males or artificial insemination is inflicted upon female abductees. Why they would do that is anyone's guess, but the consensus of opinion is that the aliens are trying to develop a crossbred being who can exist both in space aboard their craft or on this planet as a new generation of hybrid earthlings. If these reports are true it would appear the aliens plan to eventually settle here, whether we like it or not.

All these things--sightings, encounters, contacts, abductions--taken separately seem to be hokum; considered as a whole, they begin to make sense. But one of the greatest obstacles to solving the mysteries surrounding UFOs and TLOs and their inhabitants and motives is that we tend to examine a 100th century phenomena with 20th century technology and a 15th century mentality. We are trying to examine the UFO phenomena with ideas and instruments as obsolete as those used by Columbus when he set out to discover the new world in 1492.

Until we learn the secrets of the propulsion systems used on alien spacecraft; until we learn how they traverse such great distances with ease; until we discover from whence they have come and why they are here; until we begin to think in terms of something other than brute force and miles per hour, we will be no closer to duplicating the alien ships and the feats of their pilots than 15th century navigators were when hoping for fair winds and full sails to carry them across 1200 miles of blue water 500 years ago.

We have to forget everything we've learned and study the UFO phenomena as a totally new and different concept.

Fossil fuels, without question, are the worst sources of energy ever conceived. Their combustion is dependent upon consuming vast amounts of oxygen, which robs humans of the very gas they require to survive. Residues produced by burning fossil fuels pollute the atmosphere and destroy both plant and animal life. These residues affect the environment in ways we are just now beginning to understand.

Nuclear fuels are no better and, in many ways, are even worse. Radioactive wastes from nuclear furnaces will affect life on this planet for millions of years. If enough radioactive waste is dumped in landfills, caves and oceans, we may soon find our tiny island is completely uninhabitable. If we are to survive to see our children and grandchildren harvesting Martian wheat, we need to turn our attention to more suitable sources of energy.

Humankind did not set out to purposefully destroy this planet with deadly residue. That fossil fuels were discovered at all was probably an accident. Only the exploitation of fossil fuels was planned. But somewhere, someday, some clever engineer is going to discover a way to provide power to the entire world without all the perils apparent in fossil and nuclear fuels.

Until now we have been rather like ants climbing a great redwood tree. We know we are climbing although we cannot see the top, our destination. We are so small and the tree so large that it will require several generations to make it to the top of the tree.

A hundred years ago, more or less, one of our ancestors reached a lower branch of the tree and, thinking they were on the main trunk, continued onward, unaware they were going in the wrong direction, unaware every step was taking them farther and farther away from what they once saw as their original destination.

Now we have to backtrack, to unthink what we have done, and find the main trunk of the tree again. We have to unthink fossil fuels. We have to unthink nuclear reactors. We have to unthink water-driven dynamos that are destroying our rivers and lakes to produce a few kilowatts of electricity.

If UFOs are real, if they have come from the far fields of space, they have done so by virtue of some power source that is inexhaustible and does not threaten to kill their pilots every time they take a breath. We desperately need to discover what that power source is before we are in grave danger of perishing.

Nuclear engines can only provide a temporary and dangerous source of energy for future spacecraft. Crew members will most certainly encounter serious health risks. The fragile Martian environment can only suffer from repeated exposure to nuclear wastes and exhaust emissions as more ships land to supply the colonies and blast off to return to Earth. This is not the legacy we want to leave to future generations of earthlings.

Until we cast out the medieval notion that we have the right to plunder the resources of all we see and touch; until we rethink the idea that we have the right to exploit any person, nation or planet for profit, we had better stay where we are and not seriously consider staking claim to a world that doesn't belong to us.

Perhaps the aliens who are performing genetic experiments with humans have more than curiosity in mind. Future crossbred children may see more than we can see, know more than we can now possibly imagine. If they are to inherit the Earth and planets orbiting our sun; if they will ultimately be the keepers of future worlds, then they would want to insure that all generations to follow would receive the very best, rather than the very worst, their ancestors envisioned.

One or more of these "Star Children" may create the perfect power source, the ultimate engine, the great gleaming starship a decade or two from now. If we're lucky and if they survive the system, they and their schoolmates, their husbands and wives and children, will leap away from island Earth to build new cities on new planets in galaxies we can only imagine in our dreams.

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