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              The Face on Mars                 
              & Secrets of the Golden Section                                                              

I used to be rather skeptical about the famous humanoid 'Face on Mars' being artificial. My feelings changed, when I noticed that the face seems set in a nicely symmetric frame, oval on the outside, and rectangular on the inside.
The raw image - 10 Mb -

There never was any urgency to checking up on claims of geometrical order in its layout, although I was planning to do so one day in the future; and if not for the uncanny resemblances between the face on Mars found by Dr. Tom Van Flandern, which is known as the 'Crowned Head', or the 'Space King', and my own grad picture, I'd  have kept my scholarly pursuits down to Earth. The low resolution of Martian photos is infuriating when exact measurements are called for, but it is good enough to make the "Space King" appear like a photographic or airbrushed portrait.
How could I ignore such divine guidance and not look at the geometry of Cydonia's Face on Mars?
In art, some famous faces are set within golden rectangles - Mona Lisa, for example.
The Golden Section in art is a discipline unto itself. Let's just say that in general, whenever we deal with the Golden Section in art, it is the artist's deliberate creation, and a measured effort. It stands to reason that when ancient works exhibit equivalent or even higher degree of organisation by the Golden Section, it is due to deliberate creation. Nature never emulates humans, nor is it ever partial. We are human, and we are being partial to the Golden Section. So is the Face on Mars, it seems.

Orientation of the Face

How should we go about hanging the oval Face on a wall?  Its outer perimeter is mostly directionless, probably made of detritus; however, there is a big rectangle within. The two lines emanating from the top left corner of the rectangle are especially noteworthy by how they form a visually perfect right angle. If this rectangle were a canvas, its sides would automatically set the horizontal, and the vertical orientations.

                       diagram 1

This right angle, whose lines propagate far into the face, sets the main directions. It was the best directional clue I could find.  Others like doctor Carlotto solved the problem of orientation differently (more on that later).

The Bounding Rectangle of the Face on Mars

The axes seem correctly chosen, for this way the Face on Mars fits into a bounding rectangle like the one below. Its idea is simple and pretty: It is a
stack of three golden rectangles - one horizontal, and two vertical.

                diagram 2   three golden rectangles        

Second Instance of Stacked Golden rectangles

If we shorten the bounding rectangle of the face by one level to the top line of the rectangle inside the oval frame, it is the same as if we removed the top two rectangles from the original stack of three, and then doubled the remaining horizontal rectangle.
The idea of this rectangle is two golden rectangles stacked horizontally.

beatiful solution - the rectangle of the face is made of three golden rectangles
diagram 3

In other words, if we run exploratory straight lines as implied by the Face,
the resulting grid forms rectangles in an exact geometrical relationship,
invoking the Golden Section.

The shortened bounding rectangle:   3 outer perimeter lines, 1 second perimeter line
diagram 4                           

More Golden Rectangles

§  The rectangle based on the prominent right angle, and extending to the base
    of the Face - is a golden rectangle  ( 3 second perimeter lines, 1 outer perimeter line).

§ Each vertical line of the second perimeter slices a golden rectangle off the big
  bounding rectangle of the face.

The base and  the top of the Face end in beautiful arcs, and the centers of these arcs
seem to be on the long axis of symmetry of the Face.
diagram 5                  The Face on Mars has a  system of golden rectangles
All in all, these are extraordinary findings. The Face on Mars is a fascinating geometric
composition on the Golden Section, entirely in the spirit of golden section based works
of art, or architecture. It looks artificial; however, it's not so complex that it could not
be natural. 

Versions of the Face on Mars

The Picasso Version

I began my explorations on the Face using
MGS 70A13, a high resolution image of the Face taken on April 5, 1998.

                     Picasso Face
diagram 6
I thought that I should disclose my initial findings on a relevant internet discussion
group. In fact, this brought on a surprising response from Mac Tonnies - a well
known expert on the Face, and other Martian mysteries - my version of the image
known as the Picasso face due to serious distortion from its orthorectification
by the
MSSS (Malin Space Science Systems) on behalf of NASA.
So, my first visit to NASA's website had somehow steered me into downloading
the wrong face - the Picasso face- with the lure of high resolution. Back I went until
I found and downloaded
the up-to-date, and state-of-art orthorectified image of the
Face by MSSS -
the MGS E03-00824, taken on April 8th, 2001. This image is my
present basis for analysis.

We can easily spot the distortion, when comparing the above Picasso version to
the others based on MGS E03-00824. One thing though, while grossly distorted
on the inside, the
MGS 70A13 image is fairly accurate on the outside. That is why
my original solution for its overall shape remains unchanged. The bounding rectangle
is a stack of three golden rectangles, and when trimmed to the long straight line above
the forehead, it becomes a stack of two golden rectangles, the same as before. Still,
the inner symmetry is lost. For instance, the broken cyan line in the diagram along
with the corresponding terrain should be, where the broken green line is.

What Mac Tonnies says about the Picasso on his website:

"In an attempt to orthorectify the Face, image processor T.J. Parker misleadingly warped
the Face's centerline to the right, as illustrated by the improperly placed "nostrils"

The "Picasso Face" has become NASA's "final word" on the subject despite the fact that
its asymmetry has been proven to be the result of improper orthorectification, and appears
in many publications seeking to dismiss the Face as a potential artifact."

The above may all be true in relation to Parker's so called 'Picasso' version,
but that version is no longer NASA's 'final word'. 

Dr. Carlotto's Rival Orthorectification of the Face

Interestingly, Mac Tonnies and many others maintain the view that the most correct
orthorectification of the face is the one done by Dr. Carlotto.  In contrast, Dr. Tom
Flanders, or Lan Fleming say the same about the MSSS version of the same April 2001
MGS image.

There Can Only be One

Apparently, we have two correct version, because both versions are widely accepted
by the community of those interested in the Face. I wonder how many realize that the
two versions are vastly different. For instance, MSSS's platform of the Face is quite a
bit more elongated.
At this point in our deliberation things get really interesting. Which of the two versions
is correctly orthorectified, if any at all? And what is all this ado about?

In 1998, Carlotto and Brandenburg had analyzed the high resolution orthorectified 
MGS image of the Face from April 5, 1998, and found it highly symmetrical, despite
high erosion on the right side of the platform.
Carlotto later did his own orthorectification of the
image of the face from April 2001.
He then concluded: In analyzing MGS image E03-00824 we have found the Face
to possess a very high degree of symmetry in two
directions and to contain subtle
indications of an underlying geometrical plan based
on rectangles having a long
to short side ratio of 4/3.
These new findings render
previous criticisms concerning artificiality moot; i.e.,
that the Face cannot be a face
and thus cannot be artificial because it doesn't look
like a face. That our constructions
seem to sugggest a simple yet elegant geometry
at a high level of confidence is
difficult to explain as the result of some unknown
naturally occuring random
process on Mars. The hypothesis that the Face on Mars
is a highly symmetrical
artificial object that appears as it does today due to effects
of erosion and
dilapidation is simpler and more plausible than the hypothesis that
it is a natural landform.

Seriousness of the Issue

Inclusion of scientific geometry in extraordinary architecture on Mars? Surely,
this issue deserves closer attention? Yet, attention it does not get. Why?
It occurs to me that scientific community may be well aware of the discrepance
between the MSSS and the Carlotto versions regarding the shape of the Face.
Should the MSSS version be more accurate then Carlotto's scientific geometry
would by default fall on its face! I am afraid, that is why this matter is not taken
more seriously. Scientists are too busy laughing. Even if the symmetry remains,
it loses its luster. No one realizes that the NASA version also inheres architecture
based upon the science of geometry.

My Vantage Point

Suppose that NASA's MSSS version is the correct one, and Carlotto's is for some
reason distorted. Why did Carlotto not do a routine check on the NASA version?
Was he not curious about what properties its symmetry might have? It would have
led him straight to the system of golden rectangles I had found there.
Let me point out that the Golden Rectangle is far more interesting than the 3/4 rectangle,
as the subject of any prehistoric code.
From my unique vantage point, the real geometrical message behind the Face on Mars
has been deftly withheld from unsuspecting public view amidst antics and fanfare.
Seeking to dismiss the Face as a potential artifact',  - remember the words?
Regarding the role of Dr. Carlotto in this case, there are some inconsistencies. Number
One is the lack of Carlotto's recognition of the golden rectangle system in the NASA
version. Yet, he easily recognized a comparable system in his own edition of the Face.

Moreover, as I see it,  Carlotto's bounding rectangle exceeds the physical limit of the
Face at the top by just a little bit. And why not? After all, Carlotto tries to fit in an idea
he got from the Face itself. It is natural that he tries to make the two fit as best he can.
I haven't done anything different. There was an a priori assumption I had about the
geometry of the Face, what it should be, if it was to amount to anything, and I did my
best to fit that idea to the actual Face.  Yes, as luck would have it, my efforts resulted
in a closer fit than Carlotto's.

  orthorectified version of Face on Mars by Malin Laboratories, the regular image processor lab for NASA 
diagram 7                                                                    diagram 8
NASA's latest version is on the left, Dr. Carlotto's version is on the right. It is
apparent that Carlotto did not avail himself of the clearly rectangular features
at the top left of the big shield to establish his bearings like we have done.
Everything remains largely the same in both versions, but the Carlotto version is
shortened along the long axis.

Checking Out the System in Carlotto's Version

Dr. Carlotto found a different system, one in which golden rectangles, or
Golden Section in general, play no role. In contrast, we have at least one big
golden rectangle in view below. This layout of the Face is actually also interesting,
its main shape is a composition of a golden rectangle combined with a square:

                     proper orientation for the Face on  Mars
diagram 9
The golden rectangle is defined by:
                                           the height of the bounding rectangle
                                           & the width of the inner rectangle

The square is defined by:
                                       the width of the bounding rectangle
                                       & the height of the innerl bounding rectangle
Consistently and comprehensively, all four lines of each rectangle are put to use. 
But, in the other version, the golden rectangle whose width is defined by the width
of the inner rectangle then also has the height of the inner rectangle.
This arrangement lets us accurately illustrate and quantify the differences in length
to width ratio between the two main orthorectified versions. Somehow Carlotto
took an even step within the geometric grid of the Face as we have it. In other
words, Carlotto made systematic adjustments to the image (or is it the other way

In our version of Dr. Carlotto's orthorectified image (above), the crosshairs center
upon much the same point - directly in the centre of what looks like a small crater.
Yet, the discrepancy in orientation between the two sets of axes is big, 4.05 degrees.

In Favor of the NASA Version - The Corner, and the Gable

I found an array of golden rectangles from the NASA version, but not in the Carlotto version.

diagram 10
Indeed, the right angled corner, which sets our orientation is facing on the short side a corner,
which looks sort of like a gable on a haunted Martian house (general view above, detail below).
The inside of the corner even serves to position another line of the second bounding rectangle.
In Carlotto's interpretation, this corner plays no special role.

diagram 11
What is the significance of this gable to the subject of golden rectangles?

The inside top corner of the gable is part of the golden grid. The gable is rectangular
at the top, and is oriented to the diagonals of the golden rectangles in this system.
One line of the gable is the same as the main diagonal of the system, and one major line
of the grid is the gable's vertical axis.
This gable supports golden rectangles, as the subject matter in the design.

Testing Dr. Carlotto's Orientation

Carlotto's orientation of the Face on Mars
diagram 12
Since Dr. Carlotto has marked his central axes into the image above, we can
compare his and our bounding rectangles, and verify his claim that the width
to height ratio of the Face is  3:4.  In our measuring we get the ratio of 0.762,
which is very close to being 3:4, so Carlotto was correct in this aspect.
To get symmetrical boundaries to the sides of the long central axis, we must
use the inside edge of the upper bounding line, and the outside edge of the
bottom bounding line.
Note, how Carlotto's bounding line diverges from the landmark's bottom

Poor Fit

The below diagram illustrates the imperfect fit of Carlotto's bounding rectangle
over the top of the Face using his own centre of symmetry. Note the big gap
between the face and the bounding rectangle. In contrast, there is no such gap
between the golden rectangle and the Face in my solution.

diagram 13

Faces on Mars - Is the King a Pawn?

From: Mac Tonnies
To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2003 14:33:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Mars Photos From Dr. Tom Van Flandern

What a chain of coincidences  - The King and I !
I got to UFO UpDates, because I was letting MUFON know about my solution to
the Abydos Helicopter enigma involving golden rectangles. Soon after, on July the 4th,
there was a most interesting post by Mac Tonnies, whose headers are given above.
Mac Tonnies says that Van Flandern had dreamed up some novel art on Mars:)
The human tendency to see faces in everything is in the sphere of my scientific
curiosity, and both Mac Tonnies' and Van Flandern's sites are well worth visiting.

alien certificate of authenticity for my discoveries?   my maturity photo at 18
While looking at the above 'non-existent' face from Van Flandern's site, I realized that
I have already seen it somewhere. Indeed, it apppears that my high-school grad picture
passes the grade as a close replica of the non-existent face on Mars, known as the Space
King, or the Crowned Face. 
I have tested my impression by involving a number of friends in a ruse. Told that using
Photoshop,  I have transported the face on the right to the photo on the left, they were
asked, if they could still tell that the face originated from the face on the right.
Most had claimed that they did indeed recognize the fact. "Wait, isn't that you? 
My grad pic resembles the face on Mars more than it resembles my old self..
Seeing my grad picture on Mars gave me a priori expectations of golden rectangles in
the Face on Mars - this would be a natural progression to a series of coincidences as is
usual in the cases of divine guidance
. Golden rectangles tend to be artificial, could I find
golden rectangles in the Face on Mars?
And if I could - could I go back to the face which is so much like my grad picture, and
expect that the rectangle above its forehead should fit a golden rectangle?
Supposing that all that came to pass, could I meet the deadline of producing this revised
article for the day, when Mars comes the closest to Earth in 60,000 years?
That is today, August 27th, 2003. The coincidences culminate in the public getting a
better view into the mystery of the Face on Mars.

Author's qualifications and entitlement to discussing the Face on Mars

Some people will question me: Who are you to claim a rival geometrical solution to
the Face on Mars? Are you a Phd. like Dr. Carlotto?  Well, no, folks. But, tell me:
Does Dr. Carlotto have a facsimile of his grad picture on Mars like I do?  :)

Faces in the King's Face

The King's left eye is at the same time the right eye of another face with
a cross between the eyes. You can't miss it. Actually, there are two crosses,
an upright white cross between the eyes, and the dark cross, where the latter
almost looks like a shadow cast by the former.

a face associated with the Space King face    x           

The female profile below is also an element of the same area.


The area is shown upside down in image M0303483.gif

More golden rectangles in strange places

golden rectangles and the head of La Marche figuren

Expect some updates to this article.

July 13, 2003  © Jiri Mruzek   Vancouver, BC, Canada

JiriMruzek  yahoo dotcom


'Even given accurate data, however, most science does not depend solely on planimetric measurements, even when using photographs. There are many other attributes used to examine features, especially those suspected of being artificial, and the martian features do not display such attributes. No one in the planetary science community (at least to my knowledge) would waste their time doing "a scientific study" of the nature advocated by those who believe that the "Face on Mars" is artificial.'

--- In, Mac Tonnies <macbot@y...> wrote:
> --- David Jinks <dsphinx1@h...> wrote:
> > This brings up the real issue: what criteria do we
> > use to test the competing
> > theories (natural versus artificial)? In other
> > words, if we're operating on
> > the assumption of natural origin, what tests do we
> > use to determine what
> > makes a feature "so unusual as to make a natural
> > explanation questionable"?
> I think nonfractality has to count as a significant
> test, as it's computerized and can't be attributed to
> people "seeing what they want to see."  I find it
> fascinating that the Face--which looks weird to
> humans--also looks out of place to an impartial algorithm.

Nature never singles out an aspect of itself  - such as theories of
the PHI-ratio (Golden Section, Sweet Sixteen, etc.) in human terms -
and impose it as visible order upon what is basically neutral chaos
(with respect to the specific math). Nature works in other ways.
Nature does not question itself, and it does not describe itself in
human terms.
If you can isolate intelligent designs from a given medium, be it
prehistoric art, or structures on Mars, then that design had to be
implemented by intelligent beings.
What is the minimum requirement for a design to pass testing for
intelligence? It has to have a working idea, and it should be
self-defining, and convergent upon some conclusion, an apparent goal,
or function. For instance, take the 14,000 years old, yet streamlined
and elegant exercise on invoking the so called Osiris Numbers
(Santillana, and Deschend - "The Hamlet's Mill"- published in 1968, I
think). In this (the oldest such known) instance, the precessional
code yields values on three levels of accuracy, at once. The highest
level is equal to our own, one at which we arrived utilizing space
We tend to be familiar with 25,920 years as being one complete turn of
the Zodiac, but few of us know the more accurate values. You can see
this 14,000 years old exercise at:
You have seen perfection, ladies and gentlemen. The point of the whole
exercise was to emphasise that the accurate modern value given is as
deliberate as the rest of the exercise.
What revelations these are. We have what is in effect a self-decompressing file,
making abstract sense. We learn a train of thought. We are in someone's head,
without knowing whose:)

Human figures on the D&M Pyramid

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