I see some of you are speculating heavily about both the anomaly and the geology it rests in. Who can resist! Not me! So, here I go to.
Don't forget that this is probably an old sea bed. The cracks are not the work of a typical river carving the land out and that's why they don't look like it. That implies strong water flow and I don't think that's what went on here. But water is still the key. If any of you have ever seen it, this looks similiar to shallow tidal water (gentle as in the south, not fast and deep like the north) mud flats but here the soil has more of a granular pourous texture as opposed to fine silt. Fine silt usually means decaying vegitation but any vegitation here probably died out long before the water actually got super low.
There isn't a tide action here but the gradual slow drying up of the sea bed until finally the water is down to soil level. Small gentle drain riverlets form as the water gentley seeks the lowest topography. Erosion is present but across broader areas and gentle in its effect. Look at the full image strip and go to the center area on the right, you will see another similar but much less severe cracking and more of these anomalous structures just showing at surface level but which appear in worse shape.
If you look close, you can see the very light soil erosion action going from the anomaly center right down to and joining the main anomaly area no doubt following the path of the anomaly structure underneath that we can't see at top soil level. As the water dries up more and more falling below surface ground level, it forms void pockets in the earth. The top soil collapses or settles into these voids forming the cracks or river bed looking areas. The cracks are nothing more than sink holes but aligned with the anomalous structures making them elongated and appearing crack like or river bed like. The lowest point is where the greatest sink collapsing process takes place and the location of the last of the exposed water before it goes even deeper.
If this scenario is true, then these anomalous structures are probably nothing more than giant water collection and transfer systems. Not as glamorous as ancient tourists walking down a translucent tunnel on the bottom of an ancient sea but still hot with intelligent life implications. Here water is always the key. It is precious and it is life. The surface of the structures may be a membrane technology that allows fresh water entry but not solids similar to our desal plants who also work on the principle of extracting fresh water from salt water by passing the water through membranes that will not allow the passage of the fine salt particles.
Notice how thick in number the anomalous structures are in the main big hole area and also how they appear a bit careless and not quite as orderly as one might expect. That is probably because these were efficient but utilitarian devices that may have been placed in and around this lowest place sump that the last water had drained down into at a later time than the structures seen center right in the strip. The placement of these tubes may have been dictated at the time by the builder's perception of the best location to access the last of the water. As the water and its level shifted over time, more tubes were attached to follow it resulting in a sort of irregular patchwork of these things in the final water resting place.
Also, have you ever seen slow motion film of a water droplet hitting water or mud? If so, did you note that thin tall cone of water or mud that rose from the impact point before collapsing? Now take a look at the largest meteor crater in the same area as the main anomalies and just to the right of them. Note that it appears to be centered in a ring and that most of the top of it looks more like a chimny than a standard crater even though it's a fairly sizeable hit. Note how tall and thin the walls are. This is not usual but can still be explained by natural geology at work.
The meteor probably impacted in a thick mud slurry forming this type of crater. The thinness of the crater chimney like walls may be explained by this mud slurry that quickly creted as the walls dried out rapidly in the thin dry Martian air. Wind or sand erosion of the soft granular sediment composition of the exterior crater walls over time may be a factor to. The crater may actually not be that old relative others. That may also be true as well of the anomalous structures in the big main hole relative to others center right in the strip on slightly higher ground.
It might even be that these are still functioning to some partial extent and that explains why some are still in very good condition. Big implictions here! We are talking intelligent life and WATER. Water may still exist deep down in this main sump hole and, if so, what does that say about the builders? Are there still survivors?
Well, you know opinions are like ________, everbody's got one. We can't know conclusively what these anomalies are yet, but it's still mighty interesting to use your reasoning on it. Some would like to characterize this as flights of fancy, imagination, or wild speculation. However, that says more about their own fears than it does about the anomaly and its implications. We do have enough facts here to warrant at least using our powers of rational reasoning on it. If the conclusions are threatening to some, relax and take a break.
I am the person posting as Ski42 at Valerie Bedewitz's "The Courtyard" forum and I'm located here in north central Florida. The initial story titled "The Real SMOKING GUN as to Life on Mars!" and its accompanying Malin MGS #M04-00291 anomaly image links as breaking news are 100% mine. I have been on a one man (until now) campaign since 6/8/2000 and I am the one who broke this story and the image and links into the news services and wires around the world even though those here in the USA have of course been reluctant to pick it up for reasons you are no doubt well aware of.
I have been admittedly negligent in not contacting you much earlier. This has been rightfully pointed out to me by Lightbender (Larry) who advises me that you and he are friends and it is he who brought my piece to your initial attention. He has been erging me to hurry up and get in touch with you. So, here I am and my apologies for the tactical error in not contacting you right off. Now the question is what do you need from me if anything? Much of my comments on the image and the story and my efforts have been posted at The Courtyard including finally my own personal speculation of what the anomaly structures might be in a side thread, not the main forum. Larry can point you to it. Have you been following my posts? If so, I don't want to waste time duplicating the information in them here. Just tell me how you think I can fit into any picture that will give maximum exposure of this to John Q. Public and I will be glad to cooperate.
One warning, I am in this for truth and change and I am relentlessly obdurant about it as I'm sure that NASA/JPL insiders have already realized. My advantage was that I am fairly articulate and came unexpectedly out of the woodwork from nowhere. But, I'm not into this for ego gratification and I'm no media hound or attention chaser. You can count on me to cooperate in any way you feel would be valuable but I value my privacy considerably. So, a balance must be struck and I expect you to keep my true identity private unless we agree otherwise.
Just send me a email as to your thoughts and needs. My response timing is often inconsistent because of the demands on my time in my personal life, so I trust you will understand. But, other than that, you can count on me to cooperate and respond as your needs require.
The real SMOKING GUN as to life on Mars!
By Joseph P. Skipper <firstname.lastname@example.org> (Ski42)
Wednesday, June 21 2000, at 1:48 p.m.
While some waste time debating microbe presence in a meteorite, here's the real SMOKING GUN as to life on Mars. View it at "http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/images/M0400291.html" or click below. This anomaly was recently discovered in a batch of some 27,500 new images Malin suddenly dumped on the Web as a result of a pressure campaign following recent NASA/JPL negative revelations. It is enigmatic in the extreme and of high strangeness. But, it is the official NASA/JPL Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) image posted by Malin who designed and operates the onboard camera systems as well as receives and processes the image data, so authenticity is unquestionable.
At the above link, note that the anomaly is actually down inside the great crack in the lower left of the "MOC narrow-angle image M04-00291" strip. Click on the second box below the image strip titled "View full-size image, processed, in sinusoidal projection..." which will produce the full size image. Since it is full size and best quality, it will be slow to load, so be patient. Once loaded, scroll all the way down to the bottom and the anomalous structures will instantly standout. They are large and can't be missed.
Note that there are actually multiple anomalous structures here. Most are very large but another there just visible is also smaller. Note that these structures are actually in excellent condition where other antiquity anomalies on Mars are heavily eroded allowing endless debate as to what they truly are, natural or constructs. Note their general uniformity and the uniform spacing of the bands or ridges. Note how one structure here clearly attaches to another and note the shiny round terminating end at the junction point clearly defining it as a constructed hard object as opposed to a natural geological formation of some kind. Note how at least one or more bands/ridges span around both structures tying them together at the junction point clearly demonstrating construction technique. Note the apparent translucent composition of these structures and how entirely alien they clearly are to the geology and topography they are embedded in. There can be no question that these are constructs of some kind. But, made by what or who and for what purpose?
Now, search around in the topography in the regions of the image strip above the main anomaly. Pay close attention to other minor crack areas. Look closely and you will see the tips of what appear to be several more of these same structure's tops just barely visible in the soil surface. Clearly, this broad area is networked with these things underground. Note that cracking is aligned with the structures just as the great crack is aligned with the more exposed main anomaly structures. In fact, this is so consistent that it appears that these structure's buried presence may have weakened the earth where they are located contributing to the cracking. By the way, this anomaly identifies and puts an end to the debate of what the anomaly labeled the "Combs" is that appeared in earlier released MGS images. The uniform lines in the "Combs" are no doubt the tops of the same bands/ridges of structures like those seen here just barely visible in the Martian top soil.
This particular anomaly is the first most striking that comes from the new MGS data dump. There will no doubt be more to follow. Hoagland (Richard C.) appears to be the discoverer. Although he posted this find back on 6/7/2000 at his web site, it is tucked away sort of partially hidden among other less obvious finds and he's not bringing it to public attention in a very aggressive way at all considering the magnitude of this find's clear importance as to the question of life on Mars. It may be that he's just too busy with continuing research in this huge new data dump hoping to produce even more obvious discoveries.
The general public needs to see this NOW. This anomaly is striking and it may even be a bit shocking to some because of its obvious speculative implications. The good thing for the visual media is that the image is so clear and obviously anomalous and so alien to the geology surrounding it that no experts are needed to tell the average viewer whether it is something they should consider anomalous or not. It speaks for itself as no expert ever could and no Mars image before it ever could including the "Face." The average viewer is going to move quickly from an anomalous awareness to asking who or what made that thing? And, that is the whole point.
Now Hoagland's comments at his web site at "http://www.enterprisemission.com/samp5.htm" where portions of this same image are posted, identify this area as an ancient seabed. If it is an ancient seabed and if these structures are as ancient as that old seabed despite their obvious excellent condition, then it may be that these networked structures originally lay exposed in water on the floor of an ancient shallow sea. When Mars experienced her great upheavals, the stirred up sediment settled back down covering these things explaining why they are now lightly buried (and protected) in old dried seabed bottom sediment.
Alternately, wind action could also explain this except that the topography surface in this area shows little surface evidence of it. However, if this is a large shallow depression, winds carrying sediments over nearby higher ground might have deposited their sediment loads in the depression either when water was still there or after it was gone or both. I have not studied the wider topography, so I could not speculate further on that. When you're looking around the areas where these anomalies appear, note that the small to medium meteor impact strike holes are deep vertical pits with sharply defined edges rather than the usual blasted out tapered crater holes with the ever present ejecta characteristic of hard surfaces. This tends to support the deep soft sediment concept that has not hardened or creted except possibly for a thin surface skin.
These structures are clearly not natural geology and clearly something made them. Could it be the remains of some kind of gigantic plant system (like roots) or some worm or sea creature or their burrow secretions? If so, this makes it even more anomalous because all life we know of is organic and what organic remains could last so long and continue to be in such excellent condition or still have the hard shiny texture we clearly see or the translucent quality? No life remains we know of could explain this. If it is the remains or secreted construct of some great creature or many cooperative creatures, then we have a entirely new ball game in the life study department and must start reconsidering things. Not at all impossible, but not exactly probable either.
Frankly, in general shape, these things remind one more of exposed originally underwater or underground water/people/vehicle(?) transportation tunnel skeletons we might be familiar with if money was no object, resources plentiful, and we set out to design and build the toughest tunnel we possibly could here on Earth. Therefore, it is natural to speculate that it is more likely this is something made by intelligent life.
Note that the great ground cracking forces have apparently not damaged the structures (that we can see) and their exterior seems to be in excellent condition. That implies a combination of tremendous strength, toughness, and wear resistance (& probably flexibility to) on a scale hard for us to conceive of. The structure's uniformity, shiny surface, and even uniformly spaced bands/ridges tend to confirm the design concept. The translucent property of the material may just be a byproduct of the materials used to achieve the toughness. But, being translucent can also imply the ability to allow light passage into the interior. If light passage is by design intent, this brings up the concept of vision. What does that concept say to you .......? Can you imagine these things laying exposed in antiquity on the floor of a shallow sea providing natural light into the interior of sufficient visibility for .......?
This image is thought provoking in the extreme. If the average person gets exposed to this on a large scale, the fact that it is so obviously anomalous can not be avoided and a whole new outlook on Mars and space travel may eventually result. Therefore, if you have any ideas of where and/or how to post this for maximum exposure and maximum involvement by others, feel free to have your way with it. Any help in getting this spread out and in front of people will be much appreciated.