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7 memorable UFO-inspired images from NASA and beyond

By: Katherine Butler on Aug. 7, 2012, 6:39 p.m.
UFO, space

Photo: NASA

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The face of Mars

In 1976, NASA’s Viking 1 spacecraft circled Mars, photographing the surface of the Red Planet. When the images were released, there was a lot of excitement about what appeared to be the mark of a human face chiseled into the landscape. Soon speculation about an ancient, advanced civilization on Mars ran rampant, driven by the image of a human head that looked something like an Egyptian pharaoh. In 1998, images from the Mars Global Surveyor debunked the myth of the man on Mars. Subsequent images of the “head” showed it was simply a natural landform that seemed human-like due to shade and angles of photography.