by Tom Mellett

(First published in the
Journal for Anthroposophy,
Number 57 Fall 1993 issue, pp. 80-85)

       Is there tangible physical evidence of a former civilization on the planet Mars, one that may be at least 200,000 years old with intimate connections to the evolution of the human race on earth? The author and astronomer, Richard C. Hoagland, once a consultant to NASA but now its most irritating gadfly thinks so, and he has the NASA photographs to prove it in a book he has written called: The Monuments of Mars. A City on the Edge of Forever1  In addition, Mr. Hoagland has made available a videotape of his lecture delivered to delegates and friends at the United Nations in New York City on February 27, 1992, entitled: Hoagland's Mars: The Terrestrial Connection, where he focuses on the amazing geosophical significance of these alleged artifacts --- "geosophical" because they display intimate correspondences with known earthly artifacts such as the Sphinx in Egypt, Stonehenge, Silbury & Avebury mounds in England and the Mayan temple ruins in central Mexico. In decoding the "message of Cydonia," Hoagland and his "Mars Mission" group have discovered the same geosophical principle of the tetrahedron as a formative planetary force as Rudolf Steiner spoke about seven decades ago in explaining the origin of volcanoes.

       The saga begins in the early 1980s when two NASA image interpreters named Di Pietro and Molenaar were busy cataloguing the exhaustive treasury of photographs of the surface of the planet Mars which were taken in 1977 by the Viking mission satellite orbiting the red planet. in a specific region of the Northern hemisphere of Mars, called the Cydonia region, the two technicians spotted what came to be known as the "Face on Mars," an apparent one square mile mesa carved into the shape of a human face, yes, a human face looking straight up from the Martian surface into the sky and of course directly into any camera that might be pointed at it from Martian orbit. But there was more! About ten earth miles southwest off the face was a rather regular five-sided pyramidal mesa whose edges and inner geometry seemed a bit too straight and sharply chiseled to have been formed by normal random weathering and erosion patterns. Another ten miles to the northwest, thus completing a very regular equilateral triangle on the surface, was a series of pyramidal structures and a kind of plaza in the middle which Hoagland called "The City." Then there was the nearby "tholus," or dome with a spiral "road" sweeping down from its summit. Other seemingly artificial structures were scrutinized and when Richard Hoagland, a consultant at NASA on extra-terrestrial communication was shown the photographs, he realized that he had to be looking at the remnants of a former civilization on the planet Mars, later estimated by geologists to be at least 200,000 years old!

       Of course, the public attitude of NASA management toward this striking phenomenon was complete denial, with a strong implication that Hoagland and his cohorts, though very sincere, were pathetically deluded victims of their own self-generated collective hallucinations. However, many of the rank and file NASA workers believed in the integrity and validity of Hoagland's research to the extent that they invited him to address a meeting of NASA employees to present his findings. 2  Discovering evidence of a possible lost civilization is accomplishment enough, but Hoagland and his Mars Mission group have gone far beyond the status of mere discoverers; rather, their entire mission now is to decipher the meaning of the "message of Cydonia," a message which, expressed in overwhelmingly redundant geometric, trigonometric and mathematical terms, is entirely geosophical in nature. For the message does not express some alien intelligence on Mars but rather an intelligence entirely connected with the earth, so much so that Hoagland speculates that this ancient civilization on Mars may actually be the progenitors of our own human race!

       In the absence of accompanying photographs and diagrams of the Cydonia region, it is difficult to demonstrate the intricacies of the geosophical relationships, but a few can be noted. When Hoagland and his group drew straight lines connecting the various features such as the face to the D&M pyramid (named for Di Pietro and Molenaar) and then studied the internal angular relationships in the pyramid, they found some intriguing and redundant trigonometrical relationships, especially between the mathematical constants “p” (PI) @ (3.141592654. . .), the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter) and "e" @ 2.718281828. . ., the base of natural logarithms). In geosophical terms, "p" represents the completion or perfection of a cycle. It stands outside of time and space, while e represents exponential growth and decay, especially in living organisms. e manifests itself in time, but outside of space. Finally, a third constant called "F" (PHI) @ (1.618033989 . . . ) which the Greeks called the "Golden Ratio," or "Golden Mean" represents growth and decay in both time and space.

       Hoagland kept finding expressions of the (e/"p") ratio, a number equal to 0.865255979.... When NASA mapped the surface of Mars and laid down a grid of coordinates for latitude and longitude, it turned out that the inverse tangent of the above (e/"p") number was 40.868° (or 40° 52' 04") the exact latitude of the apex of the D&M pyramid! Thus the very latitude of the Cydonia complex on Mars was expressed in the geometry of the features contained therein. More importantly, this ratio was also connected with a certain angle of 19.47°, which expresses the latitude of a tetrahedron when it is inscribed into a surrounding sphere provided one vertex of the tetrahedron stands on the north or south pole of the sphere. (NOTE: students of sacred geometry may recognize the particular right triangle with these trigonometrical relationships formed within the inscribed tetrahedron.)

           sine 19.47° = 1/3
       cosine 19.47° = (2/3) SQRT(2)
     tangent 19.47° = (1/4) SQRT(2)

       Hoagland started looking at the other planets of the solar system and noticed that there was some kind of upwelling of energy from the interior of the planetary body at this latitude north or south. On earth, it is the Hawaiian volcano vent, the most powerful in the world. On Mars, it is that planet's strongest volcano. On Jupiter, it is the swirling vortex of the Big Red Spot. Other energy patterns can be seen on Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.

       What is most amazing about this discovery of Hoagland's is its correlation with Rudolf Steiner's explanation of volcanoes as given in Lecture 10 of the cycle Evolution of the Earth and Man (GA 354). On September 18, 1924, one of the workmen at the Goetheanum asked Rudolf Steiner about the origin of volcanoes. As with his answers to so many questions, Steiner began by "clearing the decks" of hidden materialistic assumptions that block a true understanding of the matter. In this case, he immediately challenged the assumption, still taught in science textbooks today, that the earth globe was formed from inside-out as a concentration of swirling vapors and cosmic gas which condensed as it grew bigger to form a molten mineral mass which then finally cooled off at a large enough distance from the center to create the solid crusty mantle of the earth. In this scenario, volcanoes are explained as the periodic eruptions of this hot molten core through the cracks in the earth's mantle. However, Steiner emphatically rejects this process. Instead, he says we must first give up the idea of the earth formed as a sphere like a blown up balloon and then turn our thinking to what the earth truly is in cosmic space --- a giant tetrahedron! He then proceeds to explain that the earth was formed in somewhat the same way as schoolchildren build a tetrahedron out of construction paper, by throwing or pushing together 4 equilateral triangles and gluing the edges to make the solid pyramidal form. In opposition to this earth-creating force was the cosmic force trying to bulge the earth out into a sphere. As a result the land masses of the earth retain the tetrahedral form, while the earth itself rounds off into a sphere.

       Steiner then draws a map (see Lecture 10, page 194) showing a tetrahedron with a vertex at the South pole, another vertex at the Colima volcano in central Mexico (latitude 19.6° !) a 3rd vertex in the Caucasus near Mount Ararat in Turkey and the 4th vertex over in Japan. Volcanoes form along these edges because the four triangles have not been thrown together with complete accuracy so that volcanoes can spew out along the weak or open areas of this "seam." Although Steiner's tetrahedron is tilted a bit compared to Hoagland's, nonetheless the principle still holds because there are a number of interpenetrating tetrahedra which can be better understood when one generates the other four Platonic solids: octahedron, cube, icosahedron and dodecahedron from the fundamental tetrahedron. At the very end of the lecture, Steiner expresses a fundamental principle of geosophy in connecting geometrical forms with the formation of the human body.

“Knowledge of the earth is related to knowledge of man. Man imitates the universe in his own form. He copies the universe in his head, and so the head is round above like the round universe. Below where the jaws begin there are quite remarkable structures: they come from the triangular earth. In the jaw formation you find triangles everywhere; they come from below, from the triangular earth ....” (pp. 206-207)

       In addition to providing this striking confirmation of Rudolf Steiner's, the Face on Mars has also come to be known as the "Sphinx on Mars" because of its intimate relationship to this ancient monument on earth. We know that the Egyptian Sphinx expresses a combination of lion and man, the feline and the hominid. Hoagland found that by reflecting in mirror images the right and left sides of the Face on Mars, one image was produced that was more ape-like in nature while the other image produced looked just like the face of a lion. I can still hear the gasps of the audience in the United Nations lecture when Hoagland presented this image on the screen. In addition, the latitude of the Sphinx on earth is very significant. Earlier, I had shown that the inverse tangent of the mysterious (e/p) ratio yielded the exact latitude of the Cydonia Complex in the Northern hemisphere of Mars. If one now calculates the inverse cosine of that same (e/p) ratio, the result is 30°05' which is the latitude of the Sphinx on earth. Finally, there is a growing body of geological evidence that the Sphinx on earth was not built as believed only 5,000 years ago; rather it has to be at least 10,000 years old and possibly much older.

       Those interested in Stonehenge and the crop circle formations in that area will be amazed to find out that if one takes a map of the Stonehenge area, including the Avebury hill and the Silbury mound, and compares it to a map of the features in Cydonia on Mars, when the scales of both maps are adjusted, there is a very exact overlay of the features, prompting Hoagland to wonder if the ancient Druids who built Stonehenge somehow knew about the Cydonia complex on Mars and reproduced a model of that Mars region on planet earth. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the appearance of the crop circles in the wheat fields around the Stonehenge area in England began in the late 1970s, corresponding with the time when the Viking mission first sent back the photographs of the surface of Mars. incidentally, there was a crop circle that expressed many of the same geometrical relationships that Hoagland and his group found in the Cydonia Complex.

       There are many more correlations to make and facts to uncover which really require one to read the book and look at the videos. Another intriguing aspect of this whole affair is the curious and ambiguous position of NASA towards Hoagland's discoveries. Although NASA publicly dismisses Hoagland's claims, NASA acts as though they really believe the artifacts are there, but they want to keep the knowledge away from the public. The recent Mars Observer Mission was supposed to re-photograph the red planet in late 1993 with a camera that had 50 times better resolution than the Viking cameras of 1977. Of course NASA says that all contact has been lost with the Observer as of August 24, 1993. But has it really? Hoagland believes that NASA may be telling the public that the satellite is lost, but that in reality, the mission is going on as scheduled, only the transmission of pictures back to earth will be a hermetically sealed secret to which only NASA would be privy.

       For an in depth study of the strange politics of NASA in this regard, read the relevant chapters in Hoagland's book as well as in the McDaniel Papers, written by Stan McDaniel, a professor of philosophy at Sonoma State University in California. 3 

       As an American anthroposophist, I am of many minds about this Cydonia phenomenon. Regardless of what one thinks about the existence of these artifacts or not, it nonetheless remains clear that Rudolf Steiner spoke of the mission of America as that concerning both mechanistic occultism and cosmogony --- both aimed at finding ourselves at home as citizens of the entire cosmos and not just planet earth. In the light of that mission I feel that all anthroposophists who can should investigate further the so-called "Sphinx on Mars." The riddle is a lot more complicated and more comprehensive than the ancient riddle was for Oedipus since the answer to this modern Consciousness Soul riddle involves more than the individual human being between birth and death. It involves now the entire human race, its origin and its future. 4 

[click on number to return to the text]

1  Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 1992. See my short review of this book in the Spring 1993 issue of the Rudolf Steiner Library Newsletter.

2  A videotape of this lecture is also available.

3  Published by North Atlantic Books Berkeley, California, 1992

4  Richard C. Hoagland can be reached at 122 Dodd Street, Weehawken, New Jersey 07097. (201) 863-2005. Copies of the videotapes mentioned in this article are available from Mr. Hoagland.

NOTE: Richard Hoagland now lives in New Mexico so the above address, written in 1993, is out of date. For the latest news about the Face on Mars as well as many other cosmogony-related issues, please go to Richard Hoagland's website called the "Enterprise Mission" at:

Jaerna Bridge - Järnabron