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Martian moon may be hollow, cranks say

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • December 10, 2012 - 12:12 PM

Nothing to say here about the snow, except that it’s quite pretty. It was gorgeous yesterday, and today with the clear hard blue sky, the world has a crispness that makes those Maxfield Parrish pictures of winter look like Monet seen through Vaseline-covered glasses. Hope everyone got out of the driveway this morning, if you drove; finding a wall of snow boulders left by the plows is always disconcerting. Especially since the boulders didn’t exist a day before. How snow spontaneously generates boulders is one of those things beyond my ken, but I’m not a science guy. As we’ll soon find out.

SCIENCE! My Zite app knows I like UFO stories, so it kicks up all kind of breathless nonsense. This is a perfect example of the sort of thing that passes for SCOOPS and BREAKING NEWS in the world of UFOlogy:

ESA, the prestigious European Space Agency which is the equivalent of NASA, has confirmed what has long been rumored: Mars’ moon Phobos is hollow but also, it is likely artificial!  Here it is: Proof of intelligent life beyond Earth!

 The ESA study which has appeared in Geophysical Research Letters states that Phobos is not a captured asteroid; this old explanation for Phobos’ many anomalies was accepted by science for many years.

It’s never a good sign when the link to the study is the generic landing page - almost as if they want to leach some authority from the group without giving the specific page that mocks their claims. Nothing about Phobos is on the list of most-read stories. Instead you have this: 

Climatic impact of the millennium eruption of Changbaishan volcano in China: New insights from high-precision radiocarbon wiggle-match dating

 Well. Wiggle-match? You mean the method that uses the non-linear relationship between 14C age and calendar age to match the shape of a series of closely sequentially spaced 14C dates with the 14C calibration curve? I think that goes without saying. The page does have a story about Mars:

The hydrosphere of Mars has remained mostly concealed within the subsurface for the past ∼3.5 Gyr. Localized rupturing of the permafrost-capped crust led to voluminous groundwater discharges that carved some of the largest known channels in the solar system.

They’re not kidding. They’re immense.

  

That’s a hundred miles wide. It takes a lot of water moving very fast for a long time to do that. But back to Phobos, if you don’t mind.

Here are some mind boggling possibilities as to why some alien race or perhaps humans of the future, placed Phobos in Mars orbit:

 1.  As a huge spaceship possibly built as an orbiting station and observatory.

 2.  As a starship, multi-generational, that arrived from another star system and was parked by Mars.

Here the article references one of the most authoritative sources on the matter of hollow celestial objects that are actually spacecraft:

 

Yes, the article mentions "The World is Hollow, and I Have Touced the Sky," a Star Trek episode. As for that guy, he’s Jon Lormer, imdb notes that he has quite an honor:

lPayed two different, completely unrelated Star Trek characters who were murdered by the despotic computers that oversaw their societies for trying to reveal key information to Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy: Tamar in "Return of the Archons" and an unnamed old man in "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky".

That doesn’t exactly narrow it down, but it’s helpful. Anyway, back to the possible reasons Phobos is hollow:

3. It was being built in Mars orbit for travel between star systems but was never completed. Was it built by Martians before they/we had to immigrate to Earth? Will it be built by humans of the future and somehow fell backward in time through some experiment gone amok?

You can put me down for “no” on both.

4. It is a functional (or non-functional) humongous planet-killing space bomb, the remains of some interplanetary space conflict of eons passed? This possibility has been seriously placed on the table by researchers.  What if it still functions? For more on this concept, enjoy original Star Trek’s “The Doomsday Machine.”

Oh, come on. Maybe it’s this guy’s kidney stone!

 

 

It’s possible! Researchers have placed that on the table! Oh, there’s more:

Earth probes sent to Mars and Phobos have had strange things happen to them. For example, the Russian Mars mission Phobos-Grunt made a surprise transmission in November, 2011, which stated, "I’m alive!” Phobos-Grunt had been dead for many months.

In the world of UFology, that last sentence constitutes proof.

Now, the stuff that really ruins all the delicious talk of conspiracy and aliens and the like: facts. Phobos-Grunt was launched on November 9th 2011, and never made it out of earth orbit. It burned up on re-entry almost a year ago.

Another probe was destroyed right as it photographed a huge UFO by Phobos. I have read of this event and now cannot find reference to it.

In the world of UFology, that last sentence constitutes proof. Even though I found references to the event all over the place, like here

As for the ESA’s report on a hollow Phobos:

 

Other than that, the story checks out completely. Hey, it could be true, but all these “aliens don’t want us to explore Mars” stories look a bit silly after we’ve dropped another car on the surface. Doesn’t mean that Phobos isn’t a hollow planet-killing doomsday machine, of course. One can always hope.

 

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