- Mars May have Orbiting Space Base, says White House
- March 1960 - The Martian
moon Phobos, generally accepted as a celestial body, actually may be an
artificial satellite launched long ago by an advanced Martian race,
to Dr. S. Fred Singer, special advisor to President Eisenhower on space
developments. No mention was made of the other Mars moon, Deimos.
- In his published opinion, Dr. Singer backed a claim first
made by the Soviet astrophysicist Shklovsky. The Russian scientist's
that Phobos was a hollow, artificial satellite, proving the existence of
a Martian civilization, set off heated arguments among astronomers.
based his decision on a long study of Phobos' peculiar orbit, which other
astronomers have noted. The Russian claim has calculations and those of
earlier astronomers prove Phobos cannot possibly be an ordinary
- Though Dr. Singer said the figures still had to be
his Phobos statement in the February Astronautics, rejected other
- "I would be very disappointed if it turns out to
be solid," said the White House advisor. If the figures were correct,
he stated, then Phobos undoubtedly is a hollow, artificial satellite. If
it is, he said, its purpose would probably be to sweep up radiation in
the Mars' atmosphere, so that Martians could safely operate around their
planet. Dr. Singer also pointed out that Phobos would make an ideal space
base, both for Martians and earthlings.
- **** In light of this
there was an interesting assessment of Mars given during a space briefing
presented during an Eisenhower cabinet meeting. The briefing, by Eisenhower
Science Advisor Dr. James Killian, was given March 14, 1958 -- "Mars
- Much more exciting. Conditions more similar to earth -- Undoubtedly some
form of life, although probably not ones which we would
- In 1963, Raymond H. Wilson Jr., Chief of Applied
at NASA, joined Shklovsky and Dr. Singer in their Martian conclusions.
He stated that "Phobos might be a colossal base orbiting Mars."
He also stated that NASA itself was considering the possibility, and was
planning for special probes that would answer the question.
- Dr Iosif Shklovsky based his conclusion on calculations
that had been done by the U.S. Naval Observatory (rumored in the 1980s
to have been the home of the elusive MJ-12 group). Shklovsky stated Phobos
was being "slowed by electromagnetic drag and tidal friction more
than was possible was an actual solid moon."
- Shklovsky is also famous for having written a 1966 book
on SETI called Intelligent Life in the Universe. A famous astronomer by
the name of Carl Sagan was asked to edit the book. When he had finished
adding all his viewpoints the book had doubled in length and he became
a co-authored with Shklovsky. Their views on extra-terrestrial life still
remained at odds. During the Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects -
Hearing before the Committee on Science and Astronautics, Sagan was asked
by Congressman Roush if Shklovsky shared his views. Sagan replied:
- "I think he shares my restraint. I think both of
us would say we think this is an extremely important subject, that we are
on the frontier of being able to find out, but that neither of us knows
whether there is or isn't life out there. Let me say if it turns out there
isn't life on Mars, that is almost as interesting as if we find there is
life on Mars, because then we have to ask, what happened different on Mars
than on the Earth, so that life arose here and not there. That will surely
give us a very profound entry into the question of follow-up of evolution
and the cosmic context."