PROTOCOLS : A collection of essays beginning with the series:
SPACE AS AN OCEAN
LESSONS FROM THE AGE OF EUROPEAN MARINE EXPLORATION FOR THE SPACE AGE.
A REMINDER FROM MARS ABOUT THE LESSONS FROM THE COLOMBIAN EXCHANGE
Recent pictures from the Mars rover have been enlarged and zoomed by private organizations because they felt that their photographic analysts saw something that NASA missed. Below is the basic NASA image of the area. In this area photo analyst spotted something quite unusual.
The photos below purport to be an enlargement of an object of interest captured in the area depicted in the NASA image above. The photo on your right indicates by an arrow the direction of the object that caught the private analysts eye. The photo on your left is claimed to be an enlargement that reveals the object of interest photographed by the Mars Rover CURISIOTY.
Below the first two photographs is a less detailed enlargement that purports to show more of the area surrounding the shape that has come to be called "The Mars Rat" .
The enlargements are credited to UFO SIGHTINGS DAILY. We assume two thing about the photos other than the NASA attributed one. First whoever originally published these photos is reported to claim they are simply enlargements of details in an official NASA photo. If so we presume these photos are in the public domain, we attribute UFO DAILY with first publication.
We consider an enlargement of a portion of an official government photo to be as much a part of the public domain as the entire photo. Particularly, given the arrow, anyone with the right equipment and know how should be able to enlarge the same area with the same results. Our point in writing about this is not to attempt to prove or disprove the photograph, or to analyze what that shape is. Our point is to illustrate why we are developing the book PROTOCOLS in the first place.
We really expected that our skimpy biological protocols for space exploration would first run into problems with microbes. We weren't expecting to be dealing with a possible rat sized organism so soon. The last time two widely separated worlds were joined by man we went short on the biological protocols and started something called the "Colombian Exchange". We've written about the Colombian Exchange before it was and is still an ongoing mixed bag. New Food Stuffs, medicinal plants, and useful domestic animals were exchanged between the Old and New World and continue to be exchanged. But we also exchanged microbes that nearly wiped out entire human populations, the Norwegian Rat and the cock roach became world citizens. The exchange continues to this day with the fire ant and the Formosan termite eating their way through the Southern United States. The Zebra mussel, a non native species is clogging water intakes and out falls all over the United States and boaters in the Midwest have actually had their outboard runabouts damaged by by jumping over sized Asian Carp, some of which have broken windshields and even hit people in small boats. Who hasn't heard of Kudzu the vine that ate Mississippi?
As we have observed before we went to the moon and brought soil samples and lost one in the Ocean, the cradle of life on this planet before we ever confirmed the sterile nature of lunar soil. Of course we still haven't really confirmed the sterile nature of lunar soil, only that from the tiny areas we have actually visited. Since that long ago visit to the moon, biologists on earth have discovered new life forms at crushing ocean depths, in colder temperatures than ever thought possible of sustaining life, in total darkness, in acid environments, and super heated environments. Can we really be sure the solar system that we are exploring now is a dust bin? Now the Mars Rover CURIOSITY has apparently photographed something that may or may not be a life form a lot more complex than a microbe. Yes Mars has a very thin atmosphere and a daunting temperature regime. But it does have an atmosphere and some water. We really don't think it is necessary to speculate on the so called "Mars Rat" as a reality or a trick of the shadows. We are in do danger of biological contamination from television transmissions. But we are already talking about bringing back soil samples. The discussions around the photographs have led some biologists to speculate that some types of high desert small creatures might have evolved and survived on Mars, that doesn't make it probable but it is possible and possible is enough to warrant quarantine protocols for returning space craft. This is the very reason we are writing PROTOCOLS, to wake the people and through them our presently ineffective government to the need for stronger biological protocols and advance planning for first contact, be that first contact with microbes, or intelligent bipeds tall enough to look us in the eye, or anything in between.
Editor's Note: The complete collection of previously published essays on Space as an Ocean and the Protocols E-book in progress can be viewed in our Maritime Literature Section. Click on Maritime Literature and scroll down past the book reviews.