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Sometimes a Face is Just a Face

ďSince my interest in UFO's, which goes back like 20 years, I've met a lot of loonies. You probably think I'm one anyway, but I don't care anymore." ~ Dave Davies

We live in topsy turvy world, most defiantly since Bush Jr. took over the realm. Up is down. Not only is up down, but those few who notice that is not the case at all are denounced with a startling swiftness as traitors. The same topsy turvy yes -it- is- no- it- isnít atmosphere exists in UFO Land. Itís always been so in UFO studies (and to be expected, given the Trickster like behavior of the phenomenon itself) but things seem to be more blatant and more decisive than ever. I donít know if my observation is accurate, but it seems that way to me. Maybe itís because just about everything in these times, within and without UFO circles, seem so damn surreal, that any peculiarities in UFO Land seem to pop out so glaringly.

All this brings me to The ĎFaceí on Mars, brought to earthís attention by Richard Hoagland. From the beginning, the Face seemed to me to be exactly that: a Face. An artificial structure. Impossible, amazing, incredible to many, but there it is. For crying out loud, itís right there in front of you! Images taken, including the most recent, always come with the official insistence that it is now proof that will forever put the Face to rest. That is, that there is no Face. There never was any Face, and never could have been any face, since the idea of an artificial structure on Mars is ridiculous. So of course, no Face.

Hoagland hasnít helped much, and lately heís been treated very shabbily by not only the expected critics -- debunkers, skeptoids and Pelicans -- but a lot of UFO researchers as well. I agree, Hoagland is extremely verbose, he huffs and puffs his way in, and he makes astounding connections at astounding speeds that are so bewildering, that, even if accurate or highly interesting, you just canít keep up to care. And, like many UFO researchers, his alleged shady history regarding credentials and professional work history make him suspect in some ways.

But letís give Hoagland a break. Heís one of the few whoíve tirelessly worked to bring the Face to the worldís attention. If youíve believed that the Face is indeed exactly what it looks like, and have worked tirelessly for decades to get the information to the people, youíd be pretty wound up too. The obsession Hoagland has carried with him for so long has put him over the edge. Okay. While Hoagland (and it always feels a bit cheesy pontificating about others -- except skeptoid Pelicanists -- without knowing them personally or at least having some sort of personal exchange with them) seems to have a huge ego, doesnít stop talking, and has presented himself at times as what he is not, we shouldnít be so ungrateful as to completely reject him.

It seems some UFO researchers are too quick to want to banish others when theyíre offended. One truism about UFO Land is that a lot of us turn on each other at the first opportunity. We seem to enjoy eating our own.

Meanwhile, the Face is still there, regardless of Richard Hoagland, the person. I mean, it just is. Itís not a matter of simulacra, or pareidolia. Hell, I donít want to see a gigantic face up there. Jesus Christ no! Itís a bit creepy to think ancient Martians built that thing. (In fact, Wikipedia, the skeptical on-line dictionary, gives us the Face on Mars as a linked example from its pareidolia page.) Or, that we did in another lifetime. Or, what we call jesus/god/whatever did and thatís what we bow down to today. Whatever; the mythology doesn't matter. Well, it matters, in that we can find a lot of clues in these various mythologies to the Face. As Hoagland has told us for so many years. (I think.)

It gets down to a simplistic choice: either you accept the possibility that some kind of beings built that face -- thatís itís an artificial structure -- or, itís a purely natural phenomena. I find it more astounding to believe that a perfectly natural phenomena can make a giant face!

As Freud is said to have remarked: ďsometimes a cigar is just a cigar." All the recent controversy aside about computer images and enhancements and light and shadow and technology and cameras and rotations and angles -- the Face is still a Face. Itís still there. Itís been there. It doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Like flying saucers: after awhile, the subject of UFOs gets down to this: if it isnít ours, if it isnít natural phenomena (birds, swamp gas, temperature inversions, and so on) then whatís left? One of two possibilities: aliens from space, or some sort of inter dimensional Trickster like earth bound entities playing mind games with us. While both are amazing possibilities, in some ways, the choices are moot. Itís still something else entirely that we have to deal with. Something thatís been present for all of humanityís history, and we still deny it exists. We try to find ways to explain its seeming prescence: psyhcological reasons, ignorance, superstion, desire, spiritual immaturity, lacking a scientific background, mental illness, too much sci-fi on TV. Well, you all know the drill by now. Weíll do our damnest to explain why it couldnít be, even when itís staring right at us.

Like the Face on Mars.

P.S. to readers of my UFO Bits blog. I've changed the name of my blog to The Orange Orb. It's the orange orb sighting I had many years ago (complete with missing time and other high strangeness events) that caused me to explore UFOs. I'm still at it, as you can see. At the time, I thought UFO Bits was a silly blog title, but couldn't think of anything better. Why I didn't think of the Orange Orb in the first place, since that's what started it all, I don't know. Please visit the new name, and new look, and cast your vote!

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