NASA Photos Show ESA Mars Lander May Have Exploded On Impact: Conspiracy Theorist Says NASA Shot It Down

Just a day after a known UFO enthusiast accused NASA of somehow sabotaging and bringing down the European Space Agency’s Mars lander, NASA revealed photos of the landing site that have scientists speculating that the probe may have crashed and exploded. In fact, the ESA now believes that the craft fell from as high as two miles, beginning an unchecked descent to the surface of Mars around the time the agency lost contact with it.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took photos of the area where the ExoMars lander was to make planetfall. All that could be seen was a black spot on the Red Planet’s surface, leading ESA scientists to think the worst: Schiaparelli (the name of the craft) crashed on Mars Wednesday, October 19 and exploded on impact.

The ESA said that it had experienced problems with the spacecraft after it entered Mars’ atmosphere. The agency lost contact with the probe roughly 50 seconds prior to its projected landing.

As Space.com noted, the Mars lander’s parachute deployed too early, causing problems with the descent and allowing the craft to fall somewhat unabated to the planet’s surface.

Mars planetary landscape showing thin atmosphere
NASA photos show a black spot on the surface of Mars where the ExoMars lander was projected to make planetfall, prompting the ESA to speculate the craft had exploded on impact. [Image by Helen_Field/iStock/Getty Images]

But not everyone is buying the official line (even at its most preliminary). After the ESA had lost contact with the ExoMars lander and prior to the release of the NASA photos, the agency acknowledged that the craft may have crashed.

UFO researcher Scott C. Waring, known for his blog UFO Sightings Daily, accused the American space agency of a “crime against humanity” — of somehow sabotaging and disabling the ExoMars spacecraft. Waring wrote on his site that NASA had done it before and would do anything to ensure that no other country or agency would be able to discover life on Mars before it did.

According to Waring, “NASA destroyed the Phobos Russian Probe back in March 25, 1989 and NASA also destroyed the Russian Mars (Nov 2011) lander while it was still in Earth orbit…lost communication I might add…over America. Now there is no way NASA will permit any other country to get the first dibs on discovering life on Mars! No way, no how. How many other Mars exploration missions has NASA destroyed sent by other countries. This is a Crime Against Humanity, and should be heard by the United Nations.”

Waring’s mention of the Russian probes that were lost on Mars only touched the surface of the number of craft lost by several nations on the Red Planet. The Daily Mail has listed a series of spacecraft failures dating back to the early 1960s that included various probes from the Soviet Union, China, Japan, the ESA, and even NASA. Some failed after reaching Mars, some, like NASA’s Mariner 8, never made it off planet Earth. (Mariner 8 fell into the Atlantic Ocean.)

Mars in shadow rendered in 3D
The ESA lander crash on Mars is just the latest of a long list of spacecraft failures associated with the planet's "curse." [Image by inhauscreative/iStock/Getty Images]

Nigel Watson, the author of the UFO Investigations Manual, told the Daily Mail, “There does seem to be a Mars Curse, as two-thirds of missions to this planet have failed. Even Nasa scientists jokingly call it the great ‘Galactic Ghoul.’ Though this is more due to the difficulty of landing on the Martian surface than alien space activity or sabotage by rival nations.”

But Waring wasn’t done with his allegations against NASA.

“Today [October 20] however I read in the news from the BBC that the ESA (European Space Administration) has lost total communication with the Mars lander right before it was about to land on Mars. Oh…I wonder how that happened…cough…cough…sarcasm here.

“NASA did it again, but this time they somehow sabotaged our European neighbors, our allies, our friends. But when it comes to which country will announce that they found life first and make it into the history books forever…NASA has a choke hold on the world.”

Regardless of Waring’s descent into conspiracy theory, it is true that part of the ExoMars lander’s mission was to search for alien life.

According to the New York Times, the ESA announced on Thursday that it still regarded Schiaparelli’s mission as a success, given the volume of information the Mars probe had gathered prior to its suspected crash. But as the lander was only part of the overall mission, which is to serve as back-up to the forthcoming 2020 rover mission, the ExoMars mission, which still has a very much intact and operational orbiter circling the Red Planet, continues.

[Featured Image by Daniela Magiuca/iStock/Getty Images]