UFO and alien hunters claim to have found trees growing on Mars. They also claim they have NASA images to prove it. The “trees” allegedly growing on Mars were found in a NASA photo taken by the agency’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in 2010.
Several alien and UFO hunters had announced the discovery of “trees” growing on Mars when NASA published the HiRISE photo in 2010. But NASA scientists dismissed the suggestion, saying that what appeared to be “trees” growing on Mars was due to an optical illusion. According to NASA scientists, the “trees” were dark trails of debris caused by landslides that occur when dry ice coating the surface of the Martian terrain melts in spring.
But alien hunters insisted that the visual evidence in the image was unmistakable and that NASA’s attempt to explain it away was unconvincing. UFO hunters accused NASA of trying to cover-up evidence of plant life on Mars and alleged the agency was sticking to an established policy of hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life.
The HiRISE photo (scroll down to see image), which may also be viewed here on NASA’s website, shows a sand dune region of the northern parts of Mars near the planet’s north pole.
The image was taken by the HiRISE camera onboard the MRO in orbit around the planet in 2010. It appears to show snow-covered hilly Martian landscape with neat rows of conifer-like trees growing in clumps on top and on the sides of the hills. The red-tinged ice-covered terrain appears to have icy rivulets and patches that show no red tinge.
The image generated debate among online space anomaly hunters when NASA published it in 2010.
In the latest post to his blog UFO Sightings Daily, Scott Waring comments on the photo, asserting once again that it gives smoking gun evidence of trees growing on Mars. He lamented the fact that although alien hunters who first discovered the “trees” growing on Mars presented the evidence in May 2010, NASA was able to bury the truth because people preferred the agency’s misleading explanation.
“This is a subject that has been long ignored for a long time,” Waring writes. “Many UFO researchers found trees on Mars about 5-6 years back, but nothing ever came of it.”
The UFO blogger observes that the “trees” are similar to cactus found here on Earth.
“The trees are standing up and break off into smaller branches, very similar to cactus here on Earth,” he writes and concludes the image is “absolute proof” of plant life on Mars.
An anomaly hunter commented on YouTube that the landscape was very similar to Siberian Tundra.
“There are almost identical geographic formations in the tundra of Siberia,” he wrote.
Others argued that the photo shows an “ancient forest of petrified trees” and proves that life and civilization existed on Mars in the past before it got wiped out.
“The trees are standing up and break off into smaller branches, very similar to cactus here on Earth.”
But NASA scientists explained in detail that the snow-covered hilly terrain consists of sand dunes covered with a thin layer of dry ice — frozen carbon dioxide — and that the “trees” were actually dark trails of debris formed by sand dislodged from the top of the dunes when dry ice coating the surface melted at the onset of Martian spring.
“The streaks are sand, dislodged as ice evaporates, which slide down the dune. At this time of the Martian year the whole scene is covered by CO2 frost,” NASA scientist Candy Hansen explained.
“The color of the ice surrounding adjacent streaks of material suggests that dust has settled on the ice at the bottom after similar events,” the scientist added.
Some skeptics supported NASA, pointing out that the appearance of upright or free-standing trees was an illusion given that the MRO snapped the image from far above.
But alien hunters, including Waring, rejected the explanation given by NASA scientists and accused the agency of denying glaring evidence of plant life on Mars.
According to UFO conspiracy theorists, it is clear from the images that the dark structures on the Martian surface are not streaks of sand or debris cascading down the side of dunes but upright structures that have an eerily tree-like appearance.
The fact that some of the tree-like structures are located on top of the hills and not at the foot or on the side of the hills disproves the suggestion that they are streaks of debris cascading or sliding down from the top of the hills.
“We are doing a truth bomb on NASA. Please go to this video and give them thumbs down. NASA is a liar,” one conspiracy theorist wrote.
Several other conspiracy theorists accused NASA of covering up the truth about life on Mars.
“NASA discovered water in Mars in 2006 but they announced this year… I don’t know why they waited for so long, there’s something fishy about this…”
“The U.S. [government] always covers things up… the truth must be told. It is so important, we need truth.”
“They fear we might suffer a stroke if they tell us the truth.”
The MRO mission was managed by the California Institute of Technology. The spacecraft, constructed by Lockheed Martin in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), at a cost of US$720 million, was launched into space on August 12, 2005.
It reached Mars orbit on March 10, 2006.
The primary purpose of the MRO mission to Mars was to search for evidence of water on the planet as an indication that life may have flourished on the Red Planet.
The HiRISE camera onboard the MRO photographed large areas of Mars and sent back high-resolution images that allowed scientists to study the surface of the planet in detail for the first time.
The camera, equipped with a telescopic lens, takes images at the same visible wavelength as the human eye. It is also able to operate at near-infrared wavelengths, allowing scientists to study the mineral composition of the Red Planet.
[Image via NASA]