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by brin
Rated: 13+ · Other · Satire · #1966904
One conspiracy theory explained.
The Face on Mars

In July of 1976 the Viking Orbiter took a number of pictures of the surface of Mars, one of which had the appearance of a human or Sphinx like face.
In certain circles an immediate outcry was raised: We have the proof at last! This image proves that civilizations once lived on Mars and built this structure as a signal to us so that we would know of their ancient existence!
When NASA and other scientific agencies have did their best to explain that the rock formation was merely a coincidence of geography on the planet’s surface, conspiracy buffs immediately claimed that there was a cover-up in progress.
While I would be the last one to say that “The face” is absolutely, positively no way true, I can only speculate on the actual circumstances which would have led up to the construction of the “Signal face” by those aliens such a long, long time ago.
Perhaps it came about something like this:
It’s a warm (-20 degrees) day on Mars and George (I don’t know what Martian names were like so for purposes of simplicity I’ll just give them earthly type names) is sitting on a pink rock, looking up at the sky and contemplating the future of his race when Henry comes strolling by.
“You know” George says to his friend “We won’t always be here and I think it would be a really neat idea if we could leave something for alien races to find thousands of years from now so that they’ll know we were here”
“Huh?” Henry replies.
“You know, a legacy. Maybe a monument of some sort. Yeah, a Monument, that would be great, really neato!”
“Uh, a monument? What kind of a monument?” Henry asks.
“Oh, something big, really big. Something a bit subtle but really big, just the same.”
Henry shuffles his feet and says nothing.
“I know!” exclaims George after a moment “We’ll build this huge face out of that hill over there. We’ll carve it up so that ten thousand years from now, if aliens send an orbiter to circle around Mars, and if it takes pictures at just the right time of day, it’ll see the face we carved for them!”
“The right time of day?” Henry asks.
“Well, you can’t just build something that’s obvious, you know. If we did, then anyone would know what it was and we only want to send messages to really intelligent life.”
“Oh, I see” replies Henry “How long will it take? To build it, I mean?”
“Years and years I suppose, but only if we can get thousands of us started on it right away.”
“Let me see if I’ve got this right” Henry asks, rubbing his chins “You want thousands and thousands of us to work years and years on that hill over there so that thousands of years from now an alien may send a satellite over and see the face we made…”
“If they do it at the right time of day…” George interrupts.
“At the right time of day” Henry continues “So that they’ll know we were here ten thousand years ago?”
“You’ve got it!” George exclaims, clapping his hands together gleefully.
“Great idea, George. I’ll go get the boys.” Henry says as he shuffles off towards town.
Oh, I don’t know. I suppose it could be a face or some sort of an alien message. It just seems like a lot of trouble to go through to me.
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