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am 28. Juni 2000
The search for life on Mars has fascinated generations of astronomers and stargazers etc. The announcement that NASA scientists may have located evidence of liquid water on the surface of the red planet is only the latest chapter in the exploration of Mars. As much as the public craves proof of little green men, the focus of the scientific search has been to uncover evidence of the conditions necessary for life. NASA researchers described their approach as "follow the water". Water is critical for the development of life and if the presence of liquid water - at or near the surface of Mars - can be confirmed, scientists will be steps closer to piecing the life-on-Mars puzzle.
Mars is the fourth major planet from the Sun, named after the Roman god of war because of its reddish colour. Mars has an elliptical orbit, and so its distance from the Earth varies considerably. Its mean distance from the Sun is 228 million km, about half as far again as is the Earth. A Martian day, or sol, is 24.6 Earth hours, and the Martian year is approximately 687 Earth days. The planet has two small satellites, Phobos and Deimos. Like the Earth, Mars has seasons because of an oblique axis of rotation and the presence of an atmosphere. It is, however, much colder: the mean surface atmospheric temperature is only -23o C. Mars is a small planet, having a mean diameter of 6,790 km, approximately half that of the Earth. Also, its density, 3.933 grams per cubic centimetre, is lower than that of Earth. Mars' thin atmosphere is composed predominantly of carbon dioxide, with some nitrogen and argon. Traces of water vapour have also been detected. The perennial part of the ice caps consists of water ice and the seasonal parts of frozen carbon dioxide.
Water is a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid, and solid states. Water is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds. It is vital to life, participating in virtually every process that occurs in plants and animals. Water is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless liquid at room temperature. It's able to dissolve many other substances. The versatility of water as a solvent is essential to living organisms.
In this book, Hancock states that there's an intriguing possibility that ancient Martian has been communicating with our ancestors and points out that there maybe a connection bewteen the remarkable structures of Egypt, say for example, sphinxs and those of Mars. And if we prove that there once has been water on Mars, will Earth have the same fate, or else we can protect the Earth from extinction? The book is written in a precise and neat way. Very interesting and exiciting.
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am 16. Mai 2000
While the chance for finding intelligent life in the universe is extrememly unlikely (See "Rare Earth" and "Nature's Destiny") the "objects" on Mars always have intriqued me. Hancock does a good review of Mars exploration and what we know of Mars. He also shows us some of the political mess that often runs NASA (See "Deep Time" for another good story on NASA bureacracy concerning the Cassini probe). He scours all previous works on the Cydonia images and pulls it all together, no need to read the older books. The latest MGS photos have caused more problems, than answering questions. NASA photo mishandling and new objects found and questionable photo processing have driven this controversy further.
Mars was once wet, and it wouldn't be surprising to find fossils of primitive life, or maybe life there now. Intelligent life is unlikely, but perhaps not impossible. NASA should end its hypocracy, and dedicate some time with these probes to studying the Cydonia region, to answer the lingering questions.
The only odd thing proposed in this book, is the continuing search for some "lost civilization." Many cultures share the story of a massive flood in the Middle East having disasterous effects on mankind, which has shown to be rooted in reality (See the book "Noah's Flood). But what evidence of some super-advanced civilization before then?
Are similar monument designs around the world inherited from some super race or Martians, or the logical ends of ancient peoples whom relied on the same stars and math for calendars and agriculture?
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am 4. Juli 2000
Hancock weaves accepted science, controversial science and speculation into a compelling, entertaining narrative. Even though some readers will find Hancock's case to lack credibility due to his discussion of the Cydonia 'monuments' on Mars, his eventual conclusion rests on sound, accepted science: that human civilization is in grave, imminent danger from a massive comet fragment lurking in the Taurid meteor stream. Thanks to exhaustive footnotes, the validity of Hancock's evidence is easy to verify.
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Mr. Hancock's previous works have been well researched and notably well written. It was therfore a surprise and a disappointment to work my way through The Mars Mystery.
This is really a book in two parts. The first chapters are a rather good summary of the debate about the Cydonian features. The notable players are referenced in a fair summation of the controversy to date. If you haven't read Hoagland or DiPietro's work, you'll find this fascinating.
Apparently this was written in anticipation of a walloping confirmation from the Mars Global Surveyor. Both time and circumstances then conspired against Gordon. NO BIG NEWS.
He must have waited for new photos and confirmation. None came. As the publication date pushed back weeks, then months, the pressure to print must have been serious. It is here that the book diverges.
In search of a salable finish, Gordon takes off on the more current(marketable?)issue of comets. They distroyed Mars, they could distroy us. This is the secret connection between Earth and the Red Planet? This is an interesting, but clearly tangential topic from Cydonia. But then the seasonal movies are Deep Impact and Armageddon.
Sadly, the chapters authored by Gordon on this topic are the most fragmented in the book. The serial structure is redundent and uneven. He's working on this piecemeal and it shows.
In all, the first book(on Cydonia) failed for lack of closure. The second (on THE COMET THREAT) is desperation.
Gordon Handcock is too good a writer and researcher to blow up on deadline.
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am 7. Juli 1998
Graham Hancock's newest book, which I had eagerly anticipated since reading (and re-reading) both of his previous books on (supposedly) similar topics (Fingerprints of the Gods, Message of the Sphinx), was somewhat of a disappointment. His two previous works in this area, although heavily "discredited" on the web, here and elsewhere, as reaching too far, I found to be the most well researched and "hmmmm..."-oriented on the subject of a civliization pre-dating currently accepted theories (which is the extent all conventionally accepted "truths" of the history of the human race are, as there is no soild proof, only compelling eveidence, which Hancock presents...) as to the origin of ancient structures on our planet, the time frame of their creation and of the culture of the creators/builders, itself a topic hardly even considered by most "experts" (i.e. professors, archaeologists, historians, etc..this is dealt with in "Fingerprints" extensively). One thing I always liked about Hancock was his un-reliance on "aliens"; he tried to fit in the pieces of the puzzle with a new perspective of the evidence at hand, "right" or "wrong", the same evidence used by the "experts", interpreted through a new filter. Yet with "his" new book (a look at the authorship in the author's note shows that his research assistant wrote many of the chapters) seems less involved with a connection between Earth and Mars as far as ancient civilizations than you would expect...it deals more with the possibility that Mars had been ravaged by comet or asteriod collisions in its history, and that Earth may have suffered and may soon see a re-occurring threat of this type of disaster. This in itself is an interesting and intruiging possibility, well documented and handled by Hancock et. al., but the "secret" connection doesn't hold up. For those of you who have read his previous works, trust me there is the the slightest, alth! ough interesting, connection between ancient structures and civilizations and Mars in this book, but it is definitely not the book I had expected from Mr. Hancock. A far more interesting work in this area is "The Monuments of Mars" by Richard Hoagland. In fact it seems from postings and websites (for what they are worth) that Mr. Hancock was asked to write this book, and put what he had been working on hold, by his publishers due to the recent interest in the "life on Mars" news stories. At any rate, although still an interesting and informative read (as usual), "Mars Mystery" didn't live up to the standard the author himself set with his previous works, although far beyond most books in this area. Anyone who is new to Hancock should definitely start with "Fingerprints of the Gods", and those of you familiar with his work, keep a grain of salt nearby....
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am 18. Februar 1999
Another great book by Hancock that sheds light on the age old architectural mysteries on earth and possible connections to Mars. This book provides great update on Monuments On Mars by Richard Hoagland and may be a link to the Sitchin's 12th planet theory based on the Sumerian tablets translations. Is it possible that the huge decaying astroid talked about in this book is the same Sumerian 12th planet? Scientists believe that this huge astroid's orbit brings it into the inner solar system every serveral thousand years which the bombardment of the planets by its smaller fragments cause catasrophies such as the one that turned Mars into a dead planet with the huge scar known as the line of dichatomy in Mars equatorial region.It is interesting to see that a government organizatin such as NASA funded by taxpayers money goes out of its way not to photograph these regions with high-resolution camera's aboard the Mars Global Surveyor to resolve the controversies surrounding Cydonia. This book is a great book. My only problem was that in the second part it was getting into too much esoteric subjects of astronomy that are hard for laymen to follow.
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am 16. Juni 1998
With much attention to detail, Graham Hancock brings to the forefront a number of intriguing mysteries surrounding the planet Mars. The research used to develop his arguments for intelligent design of Martian artifacts is based on the scholarship of many prominent scientists; a sure sign that credible evidence is being sought and applied. Mr. Hancock takes the reader on a journey which fascinates the mind; being careful to point out the facts, at times even offering the contrary opinion so that his audience can reach an objective conclusion. This style is refreshing, given the extremist attitudes that perpetually separate "new science" from "tradtional science". The only criticism I offer, (and it's constructive!) is that better explanation be given concerning mathematical concepts. For example, how many of us really understand "tetrahedral geometry?" While I realize it is difficult to make math professors out of the layman, I believe that more illustrations, charts, graphs, etc. could have accompanied and clarified the text.
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am 18. Dezember 1999
Like so many other Hancock readers, I have read all of his previously written books, but note in other reviews, the absence of any mention about what I consider to be his most profound and factual writing, "Lords of Poverty."
Mr. Hancock continues to intrigue me with all of the "possibilities" of this present work. I am now even more inclined to give credence to his research because of "Lords of Poverty" which, although written ten years ago, has proven to be right on target!
I must say that as I read "Mars Mystery..." I found myself surfing the Web trying to access his bibleographies in an attempt to better understand exactly what he was talking about. In every respect, however, the book is an adventure in learning and an expansion of one's intellectual peripheries.
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am 21. Dezember 1998
This book was exactly what I had expected after seeing an interview with Hancock on the Tom Snyder television program. Hancock is asking some interesting questions, and has some interesting theories, but one must read this book with a serious grain of salt. Yet, keeping an open mind can also make reading this book fun. Sometimes it's enjoyable to say "what if."
The aramageddon astaroid section was a little tiresome, while i have to admit the projections made concerning the after-effects of a direct hit by an asteroid or comet scared this reader.
This book is outside of the previaling orthodoxy, so in some respects Hancock has appealed to the conspiracy theorist in this reader, but in the end his arguments just sound sensationalistic. Sorry Graham. Better luck next time.
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am 31. Dezember 1998
The solar system is a shooting gallery, with objects in constant motion, sometimes meeting in space with catastrophic results. We've only recently begun to realize how vulnerable our seemingly stable existence is on this planet. With his journalistic skill of extrapolation, Hancock takes our knowledge of Martian topography and presents a fresh theory of how the planet died, and why that has a profound message for all of us on Earth today. The book does have a rushed feel to it, as if it needed to get into print while Pathfinder was still in the news. But it's still a worthwhile read, especially as our stale scientific paradigms are falling apart on a daily basis. Other reviewers seem to have a problem with informed conjecture, don't let them keep you from forming your own opinion.
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