Updated June 20, 2008

Cydonia Anomalies Archive Image Map

'That is the beginning of knowledge - the discovery of something we do not understand'

Leto Atreides II-DUNE


A method to help MRO in public targeting requests


If you’ve been here before and want to get right to the Map or have already read the history behind the Cydonia controversy then click here to get to the current version of the smaller browse version 3.3 MB of the CAAIM map.

or to load the current higher res gif version 12.5 MB of the CAAIM map Note that the 12.5 MB may not display in some browsers, right click and save the gif to your HD, any imaging program will open it.




As a favor for someone else I was asked to annotate one of Keith Laney's Color ESA images with the names of all the 'major' features in Cydonia.


I'm not aware that this has been done on this massive scale before, nor have I seen any large Cydonia area...in color...at pretty good resolution for ESA...and an image THIS clean to look at and then figure out where each 'major' feature is and then to go ahead and label...or name...it.


So...I have begun on this ESA image colored by Keith.  For interesting features and for helping me or others in remembering or pointing out previously 'named features' I might have left out I added Q's-#'s  for help in navigation and discussion for naming features in 'Downtown Cydonia'.


Now why name these features?  And why only Cydonia?


Well humans, and scientists are human, have been naming features since we first looked up at the sky.


Since humans began exploring our solar system with robotic spacecraft there is no area that has proven to be more ‘controversial’ between mainstream scientists and the other scientists who were not dependant on government contracts and also ‘laymen amateurs’.  Some of these others, who found the ‘mainstream scientists’ explanations just not CORRECTLY describing or properly explaining the data we have, had their own PhDs themselves and spoke out, and often.  Some ‘laymen amateurs’ were doing better imaging and enhancement work than some of the principle scientists on some missions.


This ‘Cydonia’ thing became controversial when in 1976 the Viking Orbiter Probe #1 on its 35th orbit, orbited over the Cydonia region and took an image of the area…image frame number 35A72.  Gerry Soffen who was the Viking Project scientist went in front of the press corps of near a thousand people with the image and the word “HEAD” written on its bottom footer area.  Soffen stated “Isn’t it peculiar what tricks of lighting and shadows can do.  When we took a picture a few hours later it all went away; it was just a trick, just the way the light fell on it.”[i]  Not one of the more than a thousand news corps people from all over Earth questioned Mr. Soffen on his explanation, asked about when the second image was taken, could they produce the second image so they could see for themselves it was “a trick of light and shadow”.  As the press passed around the image with the ‘HEAD’ someone in the reporter crew laughing out loud said that “the head is to tell us where to land.” To which many also laughed.  Sadly this was a precursor to what we now refer to as “mainstream media” who give us sound bites, make news into infotainment and don’t delve too deeply into subjects they aren’t supposed to.  Also many simply do not do the research necessary to properly report on the subject matter they are supposed to be covering so one could ask pertinent and probing questions to elicit the truth.  Which is what we expect from the ‘news’.  We also used to expect honesty from government, sadly both have become arcane and outdated and no longer believed in by many people.


It wasn’t until three years later that two researchers really began exploring Soffen’s “trick of light and shadow” theory.  Vincent DiPietro was an electrical engineer who saw the FACE in a magazine 6 months after Viking Orbiter One took it and it was released and first he dismissed it as a ‘hoax’…however two and half years later he was going through the Viking Image Archives photographs at the National Space Science Data Center, Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt Maryland…flipping through the images and came across the FACE again…image 35A72. 


This time he realized it couldn’t be a ‘hoax’ because here it was in the NASA archives…and he was holding the photograph in his hands.  He got a copy of the image to take with him and looked for any other data about the image.  There was none.  No other reference to the ‘later’ picture.  No other ‘data references’ about it at all.  It was later learned there couldn’t have been a “later picture a few hours later” because 35A72 was taken about 6 PM local Mars time and a few hours later would have put Cydonia behind the sunlight…hence no image could have been acquired with the Visible light TV camera on board.  There was an Infrared Camera on board also, but to date no image from that camera of the Cydonia area has been found and brought forth to my knowledge.  Though the images are archived in the PDS…just not searchable with longitude and latitude areas from within the PDS itself.  The VIS images are and you can do so here:


  or here


but…the Viking IR camera data is NOT searchable with visible representations of the IR data is by long and latitude there.  So even when the orbiter was over the Cydonia area and it was dark…as of now…we don’t know what the Viking IR data took from that area looks like.   We do however know what the visible IR data from the Odyssey THEMIS IR data looks like and is also searchable.


Vincent took his Visible image back home and eventually contacted his friend and colleague Greg Molenaar and they formed a collaborative effort to enhance the image and improve its overall image quality through computer enhancement.  After trying to enhance the image from the tape made when the orbiter was in operation they concluded that only a more advanced form of computer enhancement could be done and they invented the Starburst Pixel Interleaving Technique (SPIT).  When applied to the scanned in photograph copy of the image it brought out much more detail in the image and made in cleaner.  They discovered that the FACE did indeed more resemble a FACE and was likely not what Soffen had said it was “a trick of light and shadow”.  Both of them went back to the archives and searched the ENTIRE Viking Visible 60,000 data sets frame by frame orbit by orbit…and found one more image of the area at about the same resolution…it was ‘misfiled’ in the archives and not where its’ number said it should be.  They found a second image of the FACE in image 70A13 and the FACE was still there with lighting coming from a 20-degree different angle than the first image.  They applied their new computer enhancement technique to the second image and even more detail emerged since the sun was higher in the sky and the eastern half was more lighted.  In looking at the two images they also noticed a large pyramid shaped feature only 10 miles from the FACE.  Both men considered all the possible meteorological and geological events that might have shaped these two objects they concluded that neither tectonic nor wind could have accounted for the creation of these features. [ii]


It wasn’t until June 1980 that they were invited to speak at the prestigious American Astronomical Society’s June Meeting after only a few people showed up at a previous news conference they had held in  Lanham Maryland.  Once invited they got requests from everywhere for copies of their work.  At the conference itself he answered a question after the conference about the possibilities of wind carving these features and replied “the non-uniformity  of alignment between adjacent pyramids  and the bisymmetry of the face leave no doubt that nature was totally responsible.” [iii]


DiPietro and Molenaar spent considerable money and effort in publishing a four-color report of their findings and sent them to as many geologists who they could convince to take a look at it.  Nothing came of that effort because to a geologist the Face was considered something attributed to LIFE and the geological community was  currently pushing for a geological mapping mission to Venus.  In addition there has always been competition for NASA dollars between the geologists and life scientists.  Even today there is intense competition between robotic mission scientists and human space flight.  Also, even to today, the United States Geological Survey Map of the Cydonia area mentions that ALL the features in the Cydonia are of “enigmatic origin”.  The map can be found here:



The cut out from the map stating this is here:

This is the ONLY area on the map designated ‘enigmatic origins’.


It wasn’t until another three years passed until June 1983 when Richard C. Hoagland became involved once more with the Viking mission.  He realized he had discovered something the other two had not noticed…The City. 


Contacting them about their image enhancement technique for use on a Voyager image of the Saturn’s Rings which had a powerful radio beacon emitting from one of the ring bands.  He wanted their image processing technique used on the Voyager images to see if he could better determine an orbital satellite within the rings.  DiPietro and Molenaar not only sent Richard Hoagland several copies of their book, but also photographs of their image enhancements of the two Cydonia Viking images, and also sent copies of the original images processed from the National Space Science Data Center.


It was on a mosaic of the two images from the NSSDC center into one photograph made by them that Hoagland found his “City”.  Then Hoagland began to find ‘lines’ between the City and the Face.  He found too many occurrences where things lined up with the City to call all of this was made by natural processes.  It was when he was thinking of the significance of the entire area, and the WHY was it built, that he thought of ancient Egypt; and how those monuments were all aligned to the stars, planets and other places and to each other.  From there he used a piece of clear plastic and started drawing lines after doing many calculations about the orbits of the Sun, Earth and Mars along with their axial tilts.   He discovered many significant and ‘holy’ geometric angles across the Cydonia area he had in front of him.


Hoagland then set out to organize what became the Independent Mars Investigation Group; which got a grant and the permission to use their computers for an early internet message board from SRI International a northern California ‘Think Tank’.  He called the message board “The Martian Chronicles”.


What emerged eventually from a collaboration of a great number of people became this image with all those angles and lines laid out.  In the intervening years to come many people would join the “The Martian Chronicles” and contribute to this model.  There are a whole lot of people who have been involved in this including an organization for Search for Planetary SETI  Research, or SPSR.  Their home page is also listed below at the end.


Many people have tried repeatedly to get papers published on these matters, and most journals say the subject is not even considered.  Some journals have broken with the mainstream ones and some peer reviewed papers have been published.  But for the most part, this remains a taboo topic for mainstream science and mainstream media.  It shouldn’t be and it needs to be changed and lobbied for serious open discussion and further study.   The following graphic was worked out with the help of SPSR member Erol Torun who was a cartographer and physical scientist at the Defense Mapping Agency in Washington DC who first was interested in proving Hoagland’s geometry work wrong.   Instead he found other 'holy' geometric relationships to add to Hoagland's and the resulting map and table resulted.





Which lead Hoagland to his Hyperdimensional Physics Model of a tetrahedron placed within a spinning sphere, with one point on either pole, such as Planets and Suns.  The three remaining points hit the sphere at the latitude of 19.5, exactly where Jupiter's Red Spot is, Earth's Hawaiian Volcanoes, Mars' Olympus Mons the largest volcano in the solar system, Neptune's Blue Spot, and several other 'energy' phenomenon on other planets and moons in our solar system.  While Hoagland was doing his research, SPSR was also doing their own in an individual style, and some of their members, as I said, DID indeed have peer reviewed papers published on the Artificiality of the Cydonia Monuments.


Those papers and other references about ALL the ‘main’ Cydonia Anomalies can be accessed at their site listed below, along with their books.  Hoagland’s work can be found at his site and in his books available from his site also listed below.

It should also be noted that MANY 'independent amateurs' were doing their own work with the main 'Cydonia Monuments' and found their own Earth-Mars connections to these enigmatic Cydonian objects.  Keith Laney, mentioned in the beginning did the color on the ESA image for our map, was the first to point out the similarity between the D & M Pyramid (named after DiPietro and Molenaar) and the United States Department of Defense's home at the Pentagon.  Take a look at the amazing similarity as the two are presented separately then in final 3rd image layered over one another :

Another link below I would like people to visit is a 13 page Web Essay which provides a great over-all general introduction to this “Cydonia Controversy” in a better detailed manner than this quick introduction can.  This has been investigated by many people though many years and continues to this day because of NASA, mainstream media, mainstream scientists refuses to even consider the possibility of a “Human Face” on the Cydonia plain of Mars.  It would change everyone’s “World View” 


These folks fail to see that 'belief' in coincidences and easy explanations such as 'tricks of light and shadow' have had on their own view of ‘science’ and ‘news’; which now has become the prevalent superstition of science and news reporting methodology.  And that makes them just as religious in their own disbelief as they espouse others are in their interpretations of facts and evidence that support and prove conclusions and theories that are not part of the 'accepted' world view.  If we were in the 1200's these same folks would still be espousing all the below as being true; that humanity is:


1.       All alone

2.       On a flat Earth

3.       At the center of the Universe

4.       As it revolves around us

5.       Riding on the back of a giant turtle


You and I know these 'law of fives' to be totally untrue; but they use the same arguments the religious leaders of the time made, hence they have their own religion they disbelieve in.


Dr. Sagan stated that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

 Well also true is that extraordinary evidence requires extraordinary investigation, and an extraordinary investigation requires an extraordinary review and discussion process that is publicly open and honest.  The most extraordinary piece of evidence that humanity has never been alone in the Universe is laying there uninvestigated by an unbiased, un-politicized science field and an unbiased un-politicized and free news media.


I hope you have enjoyed this VERY short introduction to Cydonia.  Jason Jrakman has a 13 page Web Essay which is perhaps the best general and detail time line of events I have seen on the WWW.  You should begin there if you have never heard of Cydonia or it’s Face and the other anomalous objects in that area of Mars.  It is located below this information about HOW to participate in naming the different features of the Cydonia Anomalies Archive Image Map.


Because of the very nature of the features and the past NASA policy and other Principle Investigator’s responses to Cydonia we have decided to make and mark the Cydonia Anomalies Archive Image Map, CAAIM.  The newest orbiter around Mars is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MRO, and has a variety of instruments on board.  We are viewing Mars through this orbiter at an unprecedented resolution in ALL bands, both visible light, infrared, color, and others.  For a full view of what the MRO can do, you can visit here:



The MRO team plans to open targeting requests to the General Public at some point:



That means WE are going to be able to ask which section of Cydonia we want some of the highest resolution data available, and get into discussions about what that data might mean.  For that reason a MAP of the area would help us immeasurably in directing the MRO team to target the CORRECT feature we are requesting; if we could show not only the whole CAAIM but also clip a piece of the map of our area of interest and post that in a WWW repository for not only the MRO folks to see, but for everyone else involved to get a chance to participate in this as well.  THAT is the REAL reason for the Cydonia Anomalies Archive Image Map project…to help facilitate ANYONE requesting an image of a particular spot in Cydonia, to better communicate that request to the MRO team so that the correct spot is targeted.


Thank you for coming and I hope you get involved in our naming the Cydonia features effort.  We are hoping that the naming will somehow be related with the 15 book Epic Saga of Dune.  The first six books were written by Frank Hebert; and later after his death the others were written from papers found in a bank vault by his son Brian Hebert.  Brian formed a collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson and continued the Saga all the way back to the beginning with The Butlerian Jihad and is bringing the Saga to an end this August 2007 with The Sandworms of Dune. 


While we would like to keep the “DUNE” theme…however we know there are other Martian fans out there with ties or roots in other epic literature like Burroughs’ tales of Barsoom, The Chessmen of Mars, The Gods of Mars;  Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993) and Blue Mars (1996); also many other authors’ works.   We would also like to welcome ANY 'Mars' fan to contribute to naming the nearly 600 features left to name on the CAAIM.   We have three more web links that are important to help contribute names to this map.


 First it is the Hidden Mission BBS of Keith Laney who has his own website listed further below, but the BBS itself is here:


The second is the Hidden Mission BBS Thread which is the ‘Official’ repository for name suggestions and acceptances. 

And the CAAIM thread is located at this direct link:


 Registration is free, and like many folks I know you have little time to keep up with the forums you already subscribe to.  If you’re like me I am able to only follow certain threads in each forum because of time limitations, or even interests.   

The place where you can freely upload image clips from the CAAIM is at this Yahoo Cydonia Smoking Room group in the Photos Section and the CAAIM Album:


We have nearly 100 MB of storage space for clips for you to upload…however they MUST BE Jpg.  Ms Paint can copy a section of the CAAIM and save as a jpg to your local hard drive.  From the Cydonia Smoking Room, as a member, you can upload the jpgs into the CAAIM  album along with the proposed name.  Make sure you make a post in the Keith Laney’s Hidden Mission BBS Cydonia Anomalies Archive Image Map thread about the name and that you have posted a clip into the photo album.  We wish to thank you for your interest and participation as we get ready for the Public Targeting Requests from the great folks on the MRO team.

These three BBSs should become part of your forum experience, even if only for the purpose of the CAAIM naming project.

We thank you for reading and becoming interested in the “Cydonia Controversy” because in the end, only through a political interest by people requesting images from this area can we send a message that we want NASA, the scientific community and mainstream media, to pay attention to this topic with an OPEN and real unbiased investigation.


A Very Good Beginning is A Web Essay by Jason Jrakman here:


 Like Jason I advise you to go through all 13 pages of his web essay above.  It is the BEST timeline of events I have seen on the web.


Other sites of contributors and researchers to this “Cydonia Controversy”

Richard Hoagland






Lan Fleming



Erol Torun



Dr. Tom VanFlandern



John Levasseur



Alexey V. Arkhipov



Monica Rix Paxson & Steve Corrick



Mac Tonnies



Stanley McDaniel



Jim Erjavec



Greg Orme



Keith Laney


Keith Laney did all the jpg browse images for the MER Rover Landing site selection:



Lastly there is my own website CommonSenseCentral



Thank you for patience and attention and participation.


Robert H. Williams





to load an un-annotated 3.3 MB jpg browse version of the CAAIM map

to load an un-annotated 12.5 MB gif  version of the CAAIM map

Note that the 12.5 MB may not display in some browsers, right click and save the gif to your HD, any imaging program will open it.

[i] The Monuments of Mars-A City on the Edge of Forever 5th edition by Richard C. Hoagland pg 5

[ii] DiPietro V., Molenaar, G., Unusual Martian Surface Features. Mars Research, Third Edition, Glendale, Maryland, 1982.

[iii] Op. cit.

Reference text file of names used:  CAAIM naming sequence   -updated June 20, 2008




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page last edited:

08/11/2008 09:56:06 PM



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