On June 20, 2015, NASA conducted a Mars Science Laboratory mission which sparked controversy due to images received from the Curiosity rover. The photos were of Gale Crater on the planet Mars. According to raw footage taken, there were bright orb-like shapes gravitating towards Mars’ surface. The images reappeared 31 seconds later and closer to the navigational camera. In the second photo, the flashes also seemed to descend towards the surface.
The two images were merely seconds apart, but showed that the odd-looking brightness had, without a doubt, moved. Though the raw footage is grainy, the objects in question, in both photos, are quite clear to see and contrast. To some, these Mars Curiosity pictures are the fruit of NASA’s real mission, and are priceless proof of an alien life form.
As a result of the uncut footage, speculation began to spread worldwide regarding the possibility of life on Mars. Mankind is historically known for such speculation on the existence of alien life forms, however, the raw unedited film really sparked new interest in the rover Curiosity’s Mars mission, supported by NASA.
The controversy got so inflated that even the dates of when these orbs were photographed has been in question. Though log reports indicate the mission sent the images through on June 23, the raw images from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) clearly show the date as June 20. This led government skeptics into a frenzy of mistrust as they stated their belief that this is just another cover-up by JPL and similar agencies regarding alien life and UFO sightings.
In an effort to decrease the recent hype, NASA’s Justin Maki reportedly emailed the Huffington Post an interesting justification for the questionable moving lights captured. He was reported to have stated, “So are we looking at pictures of a UFO headed for a landing near the Curiosity rover? Most probably not, this is a hot pixel that has been around since we started using the Right Navcam.”
Maki is quite knowledgeable about such things, as he is the leader of the team that created and operates the rover’s navigational camera. He later released a statement saying that in one week, they receive thousands of captures from the rover, and similar lights are captured almost once a week.
This has been documented in such a pattern in the past. For example, on April 3, 2015, another mission’s sightings, recorded by JPL rover Curiosity, showed nearly identical features.
Maki, explained that these lights could have been a result of “surface tricks.” He shrugged the questionable orbs off as “cosmic sun-ray hits,” or even glints from the sun on the surface of Mars. These all seem like legitimate explanations, but unfortunately, like the skeptics, Maki is just suggesting reasonable theories.
However, there were claims of a human-like shadow captured during NASA’s Curiosity mission to Mars in January. Again, the skeptics attacked by arming their groups with theories of humans living on Mars, or even stating that the shadows were proof that aliens inhabit Mars and are interfering with the equipment.
Another popular theory for the mysterious shadow-like figure is that JPL was not recording sightings of Mars at all, but of Earth, and a human maintaining the rover was snapped unawares. The theory is that the footage was captured somewhere on Earth.
No matter the status quo on the topic, or the stance on alien life in outer space or on other planets, the reported findings definitely raise some controversial questions. Though many ideas, both skeptical and rational, contain pretty convincing theories, the truth is out there, so to speak. The people will never have an concrete resolution with today’s technology, but advancements with JPL and similar companies give them all hope.
No matter one’s stance on the alien nation, or UFO sightings, images like these do make many question their beliefs. NASA has many missions that spark controversy, but the Mars rover Curiosity’s pattern of images has really sparked debate among people on Earth.
By Crystle Zamagni
Edited by Jennifer Pfalz
HNGN.com: Did Mars Curiosity Capture Controversial Images of a UFO?
UFO Sightings Daily: Human Shadow Seen On Mars In Rover Photo, NASA Source!
The Huffington Post: Mars ‘UFO’ Controversy Ignited By Curiosity Rover Images
Photo Courtesy of Baltasar Vischi’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License