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THE COMING GREAT DECEPTION—PART 36: If Artificial Structures Are Found on Another Planet (Xenoarchaeology), Will You Lose Your Religion?

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“Many of the impressive [earliest civilization] buildings are made up of huge stones, with very little evidence testifying to how the ancient people fitted them into place. Such megalithic stones can be found all over, from the pyramids of Egypt to the stone circles of Britain to the Moai of Easter Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Many unexplainable examples found in Peru have odd polygon shapes fitted precisely together like puzzle pieces with no mortar in between. Still more interestingly, many underwater cities have been discovered with the same megalithic construction.”—Don Landis, The Genius of Ancient Man

In 2000, a movie directed by Brian De Palma titled Mission to Mars was released to theaters. It was based on an original screenplay by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, and Graham Yost, which depicted a NASA commander (Luke Graham, played by actor Don Cheadle) who, together with a crew of four astronauts, lands on the red planet. While exploring parts of the infamous “Cydonia” region, the “truth” about the Face on Mars as a genuine artificial structure is discovered together with remnants of advanced alien technology.

At the time the movie was in theaters, De Palma said he had set the narrative in the year 2020, “because that’s the date the experts predict we should have a manned landing on Mars.”[i]

The film inferred that when we do set foot on Mars, the remains of pyramids, city structures, and past alien presence could be made near the sphinx-like “face” and anomalous shapes photographed by the Viking Mars probe. A staple doctrine among many ufologists is that such a discovery on any exoplanet would confirm that the hero myths of antediluvian history, as well as the sudden appearance of man, himself, were the direct result of ancient, intelligent, extraterrestrial activity. The Great Sphinx in Giza, pyramidal structures around the world, and legends of early cultures would be seen as but trace evidence of this encounter, they believe, when ET astronauts arrived in our galaxy and on our planet a long time ago and genetically upgraded Homo sapiens from primates like apes. Such theorists also claim primitive men would have considered these spacefarers gods and would have recorded their arrival, experiments, and departure in steles and stone tablets as a supernatural encounter between gods and men. Having engineering help from the flying geniuses, the same men likely would have modeled the temples and holy sites they built on Earth in dedication to those “deities” based on designs they had been led to believe reflected similar configurations on the home planets of their creators; thus, pyramids, monuments, mounds, and sphinx-like formations not only dot the ancient Earth, but similar buildings could be (or have been) found on Mars or elsewhere and would be “the loaded gun” that New Age ufologists have been waiting for.

Admittedly, all around the world there are very old and mysterious constructions that do seem to defy explanation. These include gigantic edifices built from the largest stones ever cut and put into place and that seem to indicate manufacturing skills well beyond what we know of primeval man. One example of such a herculean slab weighs nearly four hundred tons, which was transported to Tiahuanaco, twelve miles south of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, South America, from a quarry over two hundred miles away. A second example of an even larger stone, weighing a record-setting 2 million pounds, can be found at the southern entrance of Baalbeck, a city in eastern Lebanon famous for its magnificent temple ruins.

Some Christians agree that these colossal materials and structures do, indeed, attest to a time when superhuman intelligence was upon Earth and that, in fact, the builders of some magnificent arrangements really did originate from the heavens. It occurred while biblical Adam was still alive when powerful angels known as Watchers “descended ⌈in the days⌉ of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon”[ii] (brackets in original). The Encyclopedia Britannica says this port of entry at “Hermon” means a “Forbidden Place.”[iii] It is named as such ostensibly because the extraterrestrial beings that landed there are those that used women to birth the original giants called Anakim and Nephilim (and other abnormal creations) in the Days of Noah. God destroyed the first wave of these monstrosities in the Flood, but Moses records that the same type of beings reappeared again after the waters seceded (Genesis 6:4). These formidable, gigantic beings were attributed in ancient records as the builders of some of the most famous megalithic monuments, including the Great Pyramid and the Tower of Babel. J. R. Church once wrote that the structures these builders erected may also have been for metaphysical purposes, serving as a “gate” or doorway through which powerful beings could come. In the January 2007 Prophecy in the News magazine, he stated: “Perhaps the original group of Nephilim were scouts for a much larger force of demonic angels who, under the leadership of Satan, came to earth after the Flood. It seems to me that the Tower of Babel (meaning ‘Gate to God’) may have been built in an effort to contact these dark forces and forge a defense against the threat of another judgment.”[iv] Also connected to these sites are the ashes of both human and animal sacrifices that were made to the old gods or “Baals” of antiquity. Reginald C. Haupt Jr. participated in an archaeological expedition to Mt. Hermon and describes the ashes of sacrifices his group found there. In his book, The Gods of the Lodge, he wrote:

In the excavations of Baalbek, renamed Heliopolis by the Greeks, temples were uncovered honoring Baal and Bachus. The same is true of the site at Sidon. The Temple there is named the Temple of Baal of Sidon. But by far, of greater importance was the temple of Baal found on Mt. Hermon. Perhaps it would be more meaningful to you if I [Reginald Haupt] quote direct from my source. In the 1982 edition of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible (Fourth Improved Edition), the archaeological supplement was provided by G. Fredrick Owen, D.D., Ed.D. Dr. Owen wrote on page 376 of his supplement the following: “Mount Hermon, the ‘chief’ of the mountains of Palestine is five miles wide and twenty miles long. It has three peaks, the tallest of which is 9,166 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. For centuries before Abraham’s time, the mountain had been venerated in connection with Baal.

“Baal worship was the leading religion of Canaan. On most of the high peaks of the country were shrines known as ‘high places,’ the higher the holier. Here groves were planted and shrines erected for worship. Since Mount Hermon towered above all the other mountains in the region, it was the chief high place, the shrine of shrines. Canaanites looked to Mount Hermon much as the Moslems face Mecca when they pray.

“During the summer of 1934, Dr. Stewart Crawford and this writer [Reginald Haupt] led a small expedition, in which we studied the ancient Baal shrines surrounding Mount Hermon. We located many ruins and in each case the shrine was so oriented that when the priests and the devotees were at the altar, they faced the chief Baal sanctuary, or Quibla, located on the highest of the three peaks of Hermon.

“We then ascended the mountain and found the ruined temple of Baal, constructed of Herodian masonry, which dated it to just previous to and during the early Christian era. In a low place near the northwest corner of the temple, we excavated and found loads of ash and burnt bone, which had been dumped there as a refuse from sacrifices.”[v]

Mythology involving Watchers, fallen angels, and giants as builders of some of these mysterious sites is repeated in legends around the world. These stories are consistent with Sumerian and Hebrew accounts of the Great Flood and of the subsequent destruction of giant Nephilim whose history of human sacrifices parallel those found on Mt. Hermon.

A most dynamic question then arises concerning whether those megalithic builders known as Watchers would have also built similar structures on other planets, which perhaps were under their jurisdiction before the great war between God and Lucifer. This could be echoed in places like Ezekiel chapter 28, where the proud angel is called “the anointed cherub that covereth [Lucifer]” who was upon the holy mountain of God and who “walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire” (v. 14, emphasis added). Because of the fallen angel’s sins, God declared, “I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire” (v. 16, emphasis added). These “stones of fire” are believed by some scholars to represent the planetary belt, and it is not unreasonable to imagine that Lucifer and his angels once held command over certain of the planetoids. These worlds may have had artificial structures built on them—maybe even pyramidal or sphinx-like in shape—somehow related to the presence of those mighty angels, the ruins of which could be rediscovered someday. In the book of Job, where the prophet details how God destroyed the literal dwelling places of the angels who made insurrection against Him (Job 26:11–13), it specifically mentions the destruction of Rahab, a planetary body also known as “Pride,” from which God drove “the fugitive snake.”

This also brings up a second hypothetical question: If edifices on Earth were built to mirror those on these angel planets, what was their purpose? Could it have been to somehow create a binding or “unholy symmetry” between the fallen angels and man’s sphere? We find indications of such a scheme all over the ancient world, where structures, circular mazes, altars, and mounds related to the Watchers and their giant offspring served the purpose of making contact with and homage to those beings. For instance, in the Golan Heights, there is a huge, Stonehenge-like monument that archaeologists believe to be as many as five thousand years old. It is called Gilgal Rephaim or “The Circle of the Rephaim” (the Rephaim are studied elsewhere in this series as offspring of the Watchers who were associated throughout the ancient world with deceased Nephilim, demons, ghosts, hauntings, the “shades of the dead,” and spirits in Sheol). One feature of the Gilgal Rephaim circle is “the meaning of two large openings, somewhat like doorways, one facing northeast, the other southeast,” notes Israeli journalist Barry Chamish.[vi] “In 1968 Professor Yonathan Mizrahi of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and Professor Anthony Aveni of Colgate University discovered that in 3000 BCE, the first rays of the summer solstice would have appeared directly through the northeast opening as seen from the central tumulus. At the same time, the southeast opening provided a direct view of Sirius.”[vii] Thus, one function of the Gilgal Rephaim circles, as with similar sites, appears to have been the desire to create a connection between Earth with certain astronomical locations (in this case, the star Sirius). This particular cosmological site (Sirius) was considered by ancient Egyptians as the heavenly whereabouts of the goddess Isis and by Freemasons as the home of Lucifer. Such a nexus between this planet and the mythological home of Lucifer is suggestive, including the idea that discovery of artificial structures on a planet in that region bearing eerie similarity to buildings on Earth could be made someday. If they were, could this play a role in the great deception spoken of in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2? Wouldn’t people be quick to point to Mars and then to the Egyptian desert and say, “See! Here’s proof! We came from aliens! The Bible is a hoax!” Such an extraordinary finding would undoubtedly challenge a great deal of our Earth-centric theology and contribute strongly to the delusion of the masses.

Even science communities in recent years have speculated that artificial structures may just be waiting to be discovered on other planets. In fact, teams of astronomers have of late argued that the best way to find extraterrestrial intelligence—either dead and gone or still alive—would be to search for their “signposts” in the form of megastructures that may stand out as unnatural on other worlds or artificial satellites in orbit around ET planets called “Dyson Spheres.”[viii] (A Dyson Sphere is a hypothetical structure originally described by theoretical physicist and mathematician, Freeman Dyson, who speculated that extraterrestrial societies that survived long enough would eventually build massive starlight or solar collectors to harness their energy. Searching for such artificial structures might lead to the detection of advanced alien life, he believed.) Still others think discovery of artificiality has already been made on at least one other planet and massively covered up by a league of nations, being held back until a specific time of “Official Disclosure.” This find was made right where Mission to Mars director Brian De Palma suggested it would be—Cydonia.

Before he died of cancer in 2009, we were privileged to interview Dr. Tom Van Flandern, who held a PhD in astronomy, specializing in celestial mechanics (the theory of orbits), from Yale University. He had spent twenty-one years (1963–1983) at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where he became the chief of the Celestial Mechanics Branch of the Nautical Almanac Office. For the last decade of his life, Professor Flandern was a research associate at the University of Maryland Physics Department in College Park, MD, and a consultant to the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, MD, working on improving the accuracy of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The American Spectator, Salon magazine, and others often quoted him regarding his challenges to Einstein’s theory of relativity, but it was his outspoken belief that artificial structures dotted the Martian landscape and were being obfuscated by NASA and other national powers that caught our attention. In an excerpt from our 2007 interview, we asked:

HORN: On your website, there is a page where high-resolution spacecraft photos of Mars appear to show artificial structures. Tell us about these.

VAN FLANDERN: The biggest surprise of the space program to date has been the finding of several categories of anomalies on the surface of Mars that, if seen on Earth, would certainly be attributed to human activity. These include an abundance of special shapes not normally found in nature, such as closed triangles and pyramids; vehicle-like tracks and trails across otherwise featureless desert terrain; mostly underground networks of huge “glassy tubes” apparently extending for hundreds of miles, visible in places where the surface is cracked, and seeming to connect interesting surface places; odd patterns and symbols; and an abundance of large-scale “artistic” imagery such as the five known faces on Mars and some geoglyphs reminiscent of those on the plains of Nazca in Peru.

HORN: What stands out to you the most as special shapes on Mars that do not normally arise in nature?

VAN FLANDERN: Closed triangles with sharp vertices and straight sides are not normally seen in nature. 3, 4, and 5-sided pyramids are also rare. Yet many of these are found on Mars, but not on any other planet or moon yet examined in similar detail. On the Elysium plains of Mars there may be an entire field of pyramid-shaped objects laid out in linear arrays.

HORN: Describe the objects on Mars you called “glassy tubes.”

VAN FLANDERN: From an examination of hundreds of these objects, we know that they are tube-like shapes typically 50–100 meters in diameter. White bands wrap around the tube about every ten meters along its entire length. The material between bands is translucent, and we can faintly see the white bands on the underside through the tube. When direct sunlight is available, it reflects from the tube in a mirror-like way instead of just scattering the light. Where a boulder has damaged a tube, we often see a collapsed tube section, where broken white bands lie flat on the surface, and sharp, spine-like portions of broken bands jut out from an intact-but-torn tube section. Tubes are visible mainly in fissures or where a flood has eroded away the topsoil. In some places, they can be traced underground in infrared images that can detect such things if they are not too far below the surface. Some tubes cross one another (one above, one below) in perpendicular intersections, while others have junctions where one tube becomes two or vice versa. In a few places, many tubes come together in patterns suggestive of “terminals” for train stations.

HORN: What else is seen that might be of special interest?

VAN FLANDERN: In certain places on Mars, especially near the location of the former equator of the planet, we see “artistic imagery”, sometimes in abundance, although not always with distinct clarity. Moreover, the shapes seen are not random, but depict familiar terrestrial images in organized groupings. For example, in one region of Mars named “Cydonia”, we see an apparent mosaic scene showing impressions of sky, land, and water, with animal shapes organized in appropriate sections of the mosaic. Amphibious creatures are in the water area, animals on the land area, and aviary creatures in the air area. However, millions of years of dust storms and erosion have left many of the images more impressionistic than life-like. Had the images been as distinct as the words I must use to describe them, the shock waves from this discovery would have already traveled around the world.



HORN: What distinguishes the many artistic faces and other familiar shapes on Mars from faces and shapes seen in clouds and natural landscapes here on Earth?

VAN FLANDERN: It is possible to see even very detailed shapes in random, noisy backgrounds. But some of the Martian shapes appear against flat, featureless backgrounds. The context and relationship appropriateness is additional evidence these are not products of geology or random processes. But the most compelling proof, to a scientist at least, is the fulfillment of what we call a priori predictions. For example, if you are dealt a 13-card hand and get all 13 spades, you might wonder if that was an accident or the result of a fixed deck because the odds against that happening by chance are 635-billion-to-one. Yet every specific randomized deal of 13 unique cards had the same odds against happening by chance. So unlikely events, like unlikely card hands, can and do happen by chance. Yet if I predicted that on the next deal, your hand would contain 13 spades, and it did, you could be sure at odds of 635-billion-to-one that was not a lucky guess but the result of a controlled process. That’s how the a priori principle works—through the power of predictions.

When the Viking spacecraft saw an apparent face on Mars in the Cydonia region, that was interesting but could easily have been a “trick of light and shadow”. So scientists formulated tests to tell whether the object was natural (a product of geology and illusion) or artificial (a product of intelligences). The first eight such tests initially gave a split decision, 5 to 3 in favor of artificiality. Two of those tests were based on the fact that the Cydonia face-object cannot be seen from the ground but must be viewed from above, for example from an orbiting space station. So if artificial, it would logically be built on the equator of Mars and built upright. But the Cydonia face was far from the equator (latitude 41 degrees north) and was tilted from upright by an angle of about 35 degrees. Those statistics favored a natural origin. Then in 1996 we took a look at the pole shift of Mars to see where the face-like object was before the pole shift. The answer was exactly on the old equator and upright to within two degrees! The odds against that happening by chance were roughly 1000-to-one. So if the builders were active before the cataclysm that tipped the pole of Mars (the explosion of the other moon 3.2 million years ago), then both these tests indicated an artificial origin. By the end of that year, all eight tests favored an artificial origin over a natural one.

As compelling as this conclusion was to any mind open to either possibility, it still needed confirmation. So in 1997, the Society for Planetary SETI Research (SPSR), an association of about 30 independent scientists, sent a few representatives to NASA to request priority imaging of the Cydonia face-like object by the high-resolution camera on the newly-arrived Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. SPSR then set down criteria for distinguishing artificial from natural well before any results were known. In brief, if and only if the object was artificial, the impression of a humanoid eye, nose, and mouth in the original images should be supplemented by secondary facial features in any detailed new image. These specifically included an eyebrow over the eye socket, an iris inside the eye socket, nostrils at the large end of a tapered nose, and evidence of lips in the mouth feature. Specifics were set down for the qualifying size, shape, location, and orientation of these features on the mesa. Moreover, the test required that no qualifying features appear in the background so that our minds could form apparent facial features from randomness, as our minds are prone to do.

When the spacecraft images were returned to Earth in April 1998, every prediction was fulfilled. This was like predicting a deal of 13 spades in advance, except that the combined odds against this happening by chance at Cydonia were 1000-billion-billion-to-one. That left no doubt in the minds of scientists familiar with the a priori principle that the Cydonia Face had to be an artificial structure.

HORN: Can you give another example of ruling out a natural origin for some of these artistic features?

VAN FLANDERN: Yes. One of the animal shapes elsewhere on Mars resembled a puma, but it wasn’t detailed enough to be persuasive and the edge of the spacecraft photograph left the hindquarters cut off and unseen. So the scientist who found the image, J. P. Levasseur, predicted that the image was artificial if and only if the missing hindquarters completed an animal hind-section and legs and contained a puma-like tail extending from the right place on the hindquarters. Anything else from an unlimited number of possibilities would indicate a natural origin. A few years later, the spacecraft (by request) took another image that included the hindquarters area, and showed the completion of an animal hindquarters and hind legs and a marvelous tail of the right proportions extending from just the right place.

HORN: So what is the connection between possible artifacts on Mars and the exploded planet hypothesis you discuss on your website?

VAN FLANDERN: The explosion of the “water-world” body Mars was orbiting until 3.2 million years ago produced the most recent pole shift on Mars that moved the Cydonia Face from the equator to its present location, tilting it by 35 degrees. This tells us that the builders of these amazing surface features predated the explosion, and that their civilization was probably terminated by that explosion.

Moreover, we see no evidence of a primary civilization on Mars, making the exploded water world the most likely location for that civilization. Indeed, that speculation makes sense on several levels. For example, if we project our own civilization ahead a few thousand years, trips to our Moon will by then be routine for tourists. The first thing such tourists will wish to do is board an orbiting space station to get a close-up overview of the entire Moon. It will then be a natural step for the many activities on the lunar surface—telescopes, mining operations, laboratories, communication centers, and all manner of commercial operations—to attract tourists and tourist dollars by building surface exhibits that can be seen from the orbiting space station. So we can reasonably project that the future of our Moon will be not unlike what we are seeing today on Mars—surface exhibits that can be best viewed from an orbiting space station. However, if that was the function of the artistic Mars images, that would imply Mars was the civilization’s moon, not its home world. And the latter was lost by explosion 3.2 million years ago—a date that is reliably determined from the orbital period of new comet orbits [one cannot help wonder if this “exploded” planet “3.2 million years ago” in close proximity to Mars was not the “Rahab” (also known as “Pride”) of Job 26 from which God drove “the fugitive snake”].[ix]

UP NEXT: Did Disney Almost Let the Cat Out of the Bag?

[i] Thomas Horn, Nephilim Stargates: The Year 2012 and the Return of the Watchers (Crane, MO: Anomalos), 154.

[ii] The Researchers Library of Ancient Texts, Volume 1, The Apocrypha (Crane, MO: Defender, 2011), Book of Enoch, chapter 6, verse 6, page 3.

[iii] J. R. Church, “Mount Hermon: Gate of the Fallen Angels,” May 1, 2011,

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Reginald C. Haupt, Jr., The Gods of the Lodge (Austin, TX: Victory, 1990), 126.

[vi] Barry Chamish, “Did Biblical Giants Build the Circle of the Refaim?” Christian Churches of God/Bible Prophecy Research, May 30, 1998,

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] Ross Andersen, “The Best Way to Find Aliens: Look for Their Solar Power Plants,” The Atlantic, October 4, 2012,

[ix] Dr. Tom Van Flandern (PhD in astronomy, specializing in celestial mechanics from Yale University; twenty-one years at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where he became the chief of the Celestial Mechanics Branch of the Nautical Almanac Office), in discussion over personal email communication with the author, Thomas R. Horn, in 2007.

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