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Nommos Prime (Dogon)
2/15/2006 7:43:10 PM

The Mission B-1 Landing Site Selection of the Viking 2 Lander

(The Mission B-1 Landing Site Selection of the Viking 2 Lander)

From the research I have done, I understand that there were 8 separate groups which had input into the final decision of the landing site selection for the Viking 2 Lander. They were, in order of importance and input (with 1 being the most influential down to 8 being the least);

(1) Viking Project Office, Langley Virginia (headed by Jim Martin)
(2) Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters (headed by John Naugle)
(3) Landing Site Steering Committee (aka Landing Site Selection (LSS) Committee)
(4) Science Steering Group
(5) Landing Site Working Group
(6) United States Geological Survey, Astrogeological Studies Branch, Flagstaff Arizona (headed by Hal Masursky, Senior Geologist)
(7) Martin Marietta Corporation (Denver Division)
(8) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

The Viking landing sites were selected from Mariner 9 images of the landing sites and earth-based data (radar-mapping). Data analysis experts that had previously worked on Apollo knew that NO pictures of a potential landing site meant immediate exclusion from consideration. As a result, Mariner 9 began its “extended mission” on 4 June 1972 to complete the mapping of Mars AND, on the recommendation of the Landing Site Working Group, to photograph ALL 35 potential landing sites for the Viking Landers. 1 potential landing site was CYDONIA, according to NASA’s own public records.
By July 15 1972 Mariner 9 had taken 3 narrow-angle high-resolution Camera B frames and 1 wide-angle Camera A frame of Cydonia (which was designated number 16 of 35 potential landing sites, and located at 44.3 degrees N, 10 degrees). The B-frame images obtained covered the entire potential landing ellipse, had a resolution of 60 metres and covered an area 16.4 x 20.8 kilometres. The A-frame image had a resolution of 800 metres and covered an area 164 x 108 kilometres.
By 28 September 1972 all the potential landing sites for the Viking Landers had been examined IN DETAIL by the Landing Site Working Group. Ten potential landing sites were selected. Cydonia was not one of these sites.

In October 1972 Hal Masursky and William Baum of the Planetary Research Center at Lowell Observatory recommended changes in the 10 selected potential landing sites. By December 1972 Mariner 9 had imaged all of Mars and mapped the entire planet. The biologists wanted to find water, so Cydonia became a target once more, primarily due to the belief that fossilised water could be found there. It was theorised that if the pressure was 7.8 millibars or higher, and if the temperature rose above freezing point, then liquid water would be found at Cydonia.
In February 1973 the Landing Site Steering Committee met at Langley, Virginia. Carl Sagan was there and believed that the landing sites should be selected based on radar imaging (which showed irregularities on the 10-cm scale) rather than photographic images. Hal Masursky considered Cydonia to be the optimal landing site for Viking 2, due to its low smooth plains and because, according to the available data, there was a great chance of finding atmospheric water at the site.
In a Memo dated 20 February 1973 John Naugle reported to NASA Administrator James Fletcher about the “presence of water issue” that:

“It appears that the regions most recently studied by the Viking Landing Site Working Group may not be good sites from the point of view of availability of liquid water because of low temperatures, even though large amounts of water ice are known to exist.”

(Remember that NASA denied water ice existed for over two decades!)

On 22 February 1973 James Fletcher returned the Memo to John Naugle with a handwritten message in the margin that said:

“John N-
I have two questions.
(1) Does Lederberg (& his committee) agree that the chances of life are best at 73degrees?
(2) Does liquid water have to exist now or could it have existed once, for life “signatures” to be detected?
From my own point of view, the main reason to consider polar landings was to increase the probability of finding life, not to study vastly different geological regions.

JCF”

On 2 April 1973 the Landing Site Working Group recommended potential landing sites 16 and 17 as the Mission B (Viking 2 Lander) landing sites. The Science Steering Group MADE THE DECISION that potential landing site number 16 (44.3 degrees N, 10 degrees) as the Mission B-1 primary site and potential landing site number 17 (44.2 degrees N, 110 degrees) as the Mission B-2 backup site. The Viking landing site destinations were announced to the public on 7 May 1973.
Hal Masursky asked David Scott to make a special hazard map for the B-1 site from the available Mariner 9 photographs of the Cydonia region. After sighting this map, Masursky become nervous. He directed that pictures of the B-1 site be taken on periapsis 9 (orbit number 9).
On 28 June 1976 The Viking 1 Orbiter’s cameras took their first photos of the Viking 2 Lander’s B-1 primary landing site at Cydonia from a height of 2050 kilometres above the Martian surface. Two photographs taken on 28 June 1976 were released to the public (the first was taken at 43degrees N latitude, 7.6degrees longitude, the second was taken at 42.4 degrees N latitude, 7.3 degrees longitude). On 25 July 1976 Jim Martin told the press and public that the Viking 1 Orbiter’s mission objectives had changed and that:

“We’re going into an orbit which will allow us to spend some time observing three possible north latitudes. Two of them are known as B-1 and B-2. …We’ve spent a fair amount of energy looking for landing sites in B-1; so far we haven’t seen anything I would like to put an ellipse in.”

At the 27 July 1976 Landing Site Working Group meeting Hal Masursky said that he had found a number of suitable landing spots at the B-1 site.
On 17 August 1976 the Landing Site Steering Committee (which was made up of a group of “independent scientists” whose job was to advise Jim Martin) met and secretly decided to drop Cydonia as the primary landing site for the Viking 2 Lander. At this closed meeting 6 new sets of pictures taken of Cydonia were produced and shown to the Committee. The Landing Site Working Group would never see these photos. Later that day, at the 42nd meeting of the Landing Site Working Group, Hal Masursky was informed of this decision. Hal Masursky screamed in protest that Jim Martin and the Landing Site Steering Committee had not:

“…even looked at the rest of the pictures in the B-2 area.”

After storming out of the 42nd meeting which lasted a mere 15 minutes (the 41 previous meetings had each lasted for many hours), Hal Masursky was confused and upset. Asked about the decision made in the lightning meeting, Hal Masursky answered like a shell-shocked war veteran:

“We had committed the project to landing at B-3 where we had zero data.”

A new landing site had been selected for the Viking 2 Lander. It was designated B-3 and was situated at Utopia Plantia (47.9degrees N, 225.9degrees). At the time of the meeting, the few pictures available of the B-3 landing site were terrible. They were Mariner 9 images (A frames) obtained in low resolution. Hal Masursky was TOLD by one of the members of the Landing Site Steering Committee before the 21 August 1976 meeting of the Landing Site Working Group that:

“Viking 2 Lander must land somewhere at B-3. Period.”

A special meeting of the Landing Site Steering Committee was held on 22 August 1976 and Hal Masursky was asked to attend. Amongst those present at this meeting were Jim Martin, Carl Sagan, Hugh Keiffer, Tom Young, Gentry Lee and a number of unidentified participants. Photos of the various landing site selections obtained from the Viking 2 Orbiter’s camera on periapsis 20 were shown. At the meeting Jim Martin was asked by Hal Masursky about the new landing site selection and how it was not as safe as the original Cydonia B-1 site:

“Do you call 155 foot high sand dunes a better landing area?”

To which Jim Martin replied:

“Well let me say that there was not unanimity in the selection of this landing site. My job is much easier when everybody gets up and says let’s go this direction. Well, here we had a case where people were wanting to go in a couple of different directions. I still believe that from my own knowledge of sand dunes, that we can land on essentially any sand dune in the United States. I think it is very intolerant to big rocks. So I would trade sand dunes for big rocks any day.”

On 30 August 1976 the final coordinates of Viking Lander 2’s landing site were chosen. It was to land at the eastern end of Utopia Planitia, at 47.89degrees N, 225.86degrees.
On 3 September 1976 the Viking 2 Lander touched down at approximately this location on the Martian surface.

Sebastian Wood
Independent Researcher

Postscript: I have plenty more to add to my article. Included are the events that transpired after the selection of the landing sites and the public announcement of them in 1973 and the first photos returned by the Viking 1 Orbiter. Many strange meetings were held. The Russians came into the “game” with their Mars orbiters and landers (which most people regarded as failures). In fact, Mars 4 was the first lander to achieve a soft-landing on Mars way back in 1973.

Postscript for Masursky (after the Viking 2 Landing)
Masursky also worked on polar axis shift measurements of Mars and seemed to have become obsessed with Cydonia, after it was scrapped as the Viking 2 Landing Site. He had “hidden” a diagram in his 1977 piece “Classification and Time of Formation of Martian channels based on Viking data”. The diagram related to future Mars/Earth Polar Axis shifts. This was his protest, his Cydonian “clue” to the scientific community. Now, I understand from reading Hoagland’s “Monuments Of Mars” that he was friends with Masursky, and that he first said there was water on Mars after sighting Mariner 9 images, and that subsequently he changed his tune. Hoagland is wrong on this key issue, Masursky always claimed that liquid water existed to this day on Mars. In fact, I understand that at a 1985 “SDI” (Star Wars) conference that Masursky was still pushing the Cydonia issue, even to the extent that Sagan collaborated with him to promote a joint US/Soviet manned mission to Mars to explore specifically, Cydonia.

 replies will be listed below this message edit

subject: The Mission B-1 Landing Site Selection of the Viking 2 Lander


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Nommos Prime (Dogon)
2/17/2006 9:37:24 PM

The "Masursky Pyramid" (Named by ME, in Memory of the late MASURSKY - because I found it);
http://www.marstoday.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=9431
(Bottom, left-hand corner).

Another "goody" from the past - but I didn't find "these";
"Monolith Graveyard" on Phobos;
http://www.anomalies.net/ufo/mars/graveyard/grave_yard.html

Nommos Prime (Dogon)
2/17/2006 10:01:55 PM

MPL FOUND BY NIMA (2001)
Quote taken from the;
"Director of Central intelligence Annual Report - 2001";
http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/Ann_Rpt_2001/snp.html
"In supporting other national needs, NIMA was successful in finding the missing NASA MARS Polar Lander (MPL) on Mars. NASA requested NIMA's involvement after communications with the MPL could not be re-established following its entry into the Martian atmosphere. NIMA's painstaking analysis of the MPL landing area, covering 667 kilometers, resulted in the MPL being found."

MPL Found (INTACT) on Mars (way back in 2001).

Nommos Prime (Dogon)
2/19/2006 11:44:08 PM

The Loneliness Of Masursky

I write the below in an attempt to point out how ONE MAN was ultimately responsible for the release of the Cydonian anomalies to the Public. Many other Researchers have profited from the late Masursky’s courageous work. I write the following to “set the record straight”…

Brief Background (Expanding on - and making clearer - some of the Research in my Abstract Posted above):
Cydonia was initially designated Potential Landing Site Number 16 of 35 for Viking 2 Lander. By July 15 1972 Mariner 9 had taken 3 narrow-angle high-resolution Camera B frames and 1 wide-angle Camera A frame of Cydonia.
By 28 September 1972 all the potential landing sites for the Viking Landers had been examined IN DETAIL by the Landing Site Working Group. Cydonia is “dropped” as a Potential Landing Site for Viking 2 Lander, BECAUSE of the Group sighting the “Face”. Viking Project Office directs that Cydonia be DROPPED as a Potential Landing Site because the Landing Site Working Group has started “asking questions”. All in the Landing Site Working Group are told to be silent on what they have seen.
A week or so later Hal Masursky recommends “a backflip” to Naugle (in a private handwritten communication) to include Cydonia once more. He cites the reason of “fossilised water” being possibly found there. This is true and accurate, but SECONDARY to Masursky’s recommendation…
By early 1973 Sagan is recruited and becomes a “Pawn” of Jimmy Martin and his Viking Project CIA “cronies”. Sagan attends the February 1973 Landing Site Steering Committee Meeting which is held in Langley, Virginia. He tells Masursky that the Viking 2 Lander landing sites should be selected based on radar imaging (which showed irregularities on the 10-cm scale) RATHER than photographic images. Hal Masursky again fights the influence from “the Top”, citing that atmospheric water will be found at the Cydonian site.
Masursky won’t back down, and as he has more influence with the “Science Steering Group”, he continues with the “water-angle” and convinces the Science Steering Group to back his selection of Cydonia as the PRIME LANDING SITE for Viking 2 Lander. Masursky succeeds, Sagan fails in his “sabotage-attempt”, and on 2 April 1973 the Science Steering Group makes the decision (on Masursky and his Group’s “recommendation”) to commit to LAND Viking 2 Lander at Cydonia. The Cydonia area is thus designated “B-1” or the PRIME LANDING SITE for the Viking 2 Lander, and the coordinates are announced to the Public on 7 May 1973 as 44.3 degrees N, 10 degrees.
(For further elaboration on the 3 years between this announcement and when the 35A72 Face is shown to the world, refer to my original article, 1989 – Paper form).
Suffice to say, Masursky watched and waited, meticulously planning how to “trick the tricksters”, by obtaining further photographic evidence of Cydonia before it can be censored by Jimmy at Langley. By the time 1976 comes around, he is “one step ahead of the CIA”…

Further Expansion:
Sagan, Masursky, Owen, Soffen, Martin – ALL the initial “main players” were involved with the Landing Site Selection of the Viking 2 Lander.
Briefly, Masursky "fed" Owen 35A72, and Owen "finds" the “Face” (ala Roswell Crash admission), BEFORE Soffen had a chance to CENSOR it. In other words - it WAS NOT meant "to see the light of day"...
Masursky knew EXACTLY what he was doing, he was releasing a photograph of Viking 2 Lander’s Landing Site to the public – albeit in a way that would haunt NASA up until this very day. Masursky received a severe scolding from Soffen and Martin (Viking Project Leader) for releasing this photo to the World. The hasty “cover-up” was as shithouse as the Roswell COVER-UP. Soffen tried to make it all go away, by saying that it was a trick of light. This tactic of propaganda and disinformation can only be compared to the Roswell crashed Craft becoming a “Weather Balloon”, overnight. That people bought this story at the time (including Hoagland) still staggers me…
Refer;
http://www.stardrive.org/cydonia.shtml
“"Isn't it peculiar what tricks of lighting and shadow can do?" He added, "When we took a picture a few hours later it all went away; it was just a trick, just the way the light fell on it." Member of the press, Richard Hoagland, was present and accepted Soffen's explanation, just like all the rest of the press [Hoagland].

Soffen's explanation, however, was false. What he said was actually an impossibility because a few hours after the picture was taken, the Cydonia part of Mars, where the "Face" resides, was in shadow and no picture could be taken. [Hoagland]”

Continuing, from;
http://www.stardrive.org/cydonia.shtml
“July 25, 1976 (the 35th day of imaging by Viking 1 Orbiter): Toby Owen, an imaging team member, looks for a safe landing spot for Viking 2 (which reaches Mars on August 7). He comes across 35A72 received earlier that day. He sees what obviously looks like a human head and exclaims, "Oh my God, look at this!" [Hoagland]

I (still) take ISSUE with the dates above regarding when the image 35A72 was RECEIVED on Earth. The 35A72 image (and MANY others of the Cydonian Viking 2 Lander Site) were taken on 28 June 1976 (the 8th day of Mars Orbit!). The images were PLANNED and did not take ONE MONTH to reach Earth or to be processed. I have been constantly amazed at how the more “famous” Mars researchers have either ignored, glossed over or simply missed this fact. The reason that Owen “found the image” was that the images of "B-1" (Cydonia) were taken on Periapsis 9 (EARLIER than was scheduled). This was SOLELY due to Masursky’s “sneaky” and well-thought out “bypass” of “Imaging Targets”. He had planned this in 1973 and waited patiently for 3 years for the opportunity. Masursky “fed” 35A72 to Owen! It was not luck that Owen found 35A72…
Refer (from my Abstract);
“Hal Masursky asked David Scott to make a special hazard map for the B-1 site from the available Mariner 9 photographs of the Cydonia region. After sighting this map, Masursky become nervous. He directed that pictures of the B-1 site be taken on periapsis 9 (orbit number 9).

On 28 June 1976 The Viking 1 Orbiter’s cameras took their first (insert – “OFFICIAL”) photos of the Viking 2 Lander’s B-1 primary landing site at Cydonia from a height of 2050 kilometres above the Martian surface. Two photographs taken on 28 June 1976 were released to the public (the first was taken at 43degrees N latitude, 7.6degrees longitude, the second was taken at 42.4 degrees N latitude, 7.3 degrees longitude).”

These images were inadvertently “cyphoned off” to the LSS Team (as a result of Masursky’s 3 years of pre-planning for this moment), instead of going straight to the Jimmy Martin’s Viking Project Office in LANGLEY, VIRGINIA!

Now PAY ATTENTION people, for here is the coincidence to end all coincidences.
The “Face” Photo is shown to the World on 25 July 1976. As of this date Cydonia (where the “Face” is, is STILL the Landing Site for Viking 2 Lander, this has also already been announced to the World!) On THIS VERY SAME DAY Jimmy Martin’s “Spin-Machine” goes into overdrive…
BEHOLD!
From my Abstract once more;
"On 25 July 1976 Jim Martin told the press and public that the Viking 1 Orbiter’s mission objectives had changed and that:

“We’re going into an orbit which will allow us to spend some time observing three possible north latitudes. Two of them are known as B-1 and B-2. …We’ve spent a fair amount of energy looking for landing sites in B-1; so far we haven’t seen anything I would like to put an ellipse in.”

Note that B-1 is CYDONIA and that Jimmy TELLS the World that they have already "spent a fair amount of energy looking for landing sites in B-1", and that they are going into a subsequent Orbit to continue taking IMAGES and searching for a Landing Ellipse in B-1 and B-2! As I have established (way, way back in 1989). B-1 was Cydonia! Nobody else seems to notice Jimmy's comments made on 25 July 1976, they are all to caught up in the "Face" photo...
(My mental anguish overflows once more that researchers somehow MISS these facts!)

R.I.P. Masursky

VERY IMPORTANT EDITS done by me on 24 June 2005.
I stand by the Entirety of this Abstract.


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