The Mounds of Cydonia - A Case Study for Planetary SETI

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H.W. Crater (2007), JBIS, 60, 9-20

Refcode: 2007.60.9
Keywords: Mounds, Cydonia, planetary SETI, geometry, prime numbers

The Society for Planetary SETI Research (SPSR) has as its aim the study of features on planetary surfaces, to evaluate possible signs of ET activity in the form of landscape modifications or other alterations not easily attributable to natural geological formation. This paper displays one such study, based in part on a previous one which showed that a group of twelve mound-like formations in the Cydonia area of Mars, of relatively small and nearly uniform size, have relative positions that repeatedly display symmetries well beyond chance. It focuses primarily on five of those mounds, showing that they display some unusual and precise geometrical features highlighted by close connections to sequences of prime numbers. This paper also reviews the related statistical anomaly found in the relative placement of these mounds and discusses some recent critiques of that work. Previous work showed that the frequency of appearance of related right and isosceles triangles in the mound distribution cluster sharply in density about a certain value of the angle defining those related triangles. In order to assess the role of the special angle itself as a possible source in the sharp clustering in the density of appearances of these triangles, this paper reports a new statistical study that confirms the extent to which the favored and redundant geometry implied by that angle has a self-duplication property. It involves an examination of each of 1 million randomly generated sets of 12 mounds with the same analysis techniques used for the actual Cydonia mounds. It is found that this property can account for only a small portion of the statistical anomaly found in the earlier work. Proposed further work includes an examination of a clear distinction between the 5 and 12 mound configurations and its possible relation to mound shapes using recent MGS high resolution images. Finally a discussion is given of a repeated connection between the triangles that appear in the ideal geometry of the 5 mound configuration and the basic quantum mechanics of spin angular momentum.

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