by Efrain Palermo


from PalermoProject Website









The Discovery


While studying the above Phobos image (a composite of sp255103 frames A through O) my eye caught something sticking up out of the surface (inside blue square), it was difficult to make out at the browser size so I downloaded it into Photoshop and zoomed into that area, and there it was, an apparent cylindrical shaped object casting a longish shadow and having a slanted roof.

See animation below for zoom in close up.





I searched the net to see if anyone else had already seen this and to see what they thought about it, but my searches came up empty on this Phobos mystery.


One of my searches however led me to Dr. Mark Carlotto who had done ground breaking imaging work on the Cydonia region.

At first he didn't think much of it but after continued correspondence on it and the realization that the sun angle was not low on the horizon (which would explain the elongated shadow) he conceded that there was something strange on Phobos.


He referred me to Lan Fleming a NASA imaging specialist who has interest in Mars and other solar system anomalies.


Lan looked at it and upon further examination and study concluded as did I, that this was a physical anomaly on the surface of Phobos.




The original NASA MOC image was distorted slightly

due to how the camera operates, so the craters appeared 'oval'
The above image shows the image 'corrected' using the upper right crater as a benchmark,

making it round which adjusted the entire image at the same time.
Even with this adjustment it is still a compelling feature.


A Physical Mock-Up of the Monolith





It is very easy to be tricked by light and shadows, as an artist one learns to manipulate a flat, 2D reality into a 3D illusion.


As an artist and sculptor I like to see and feel in 3D. I felt that if I could recreate the Monolith in 3D and apply the same angle and lighting conditions, that I could bring out the intrinsic form and shape in question.

I created my 'diorama' on a shallow box covered with sand and small angular rocks which I then spray painted with a flat gray primer paint. I created the 'monolith' with a block of wood and set it at an angle that would approximate the Phobos monolith.


I set the light (sun) at an approx. angle close to the sun angle in the MOC image. (See images below).







Compare the diorama to the MOC image. It's close, enough to speculate that this is an artifact sticking up out of the surface.




A Monolith or Pyramid?


Image drawn by Andy Romano


My interpretation of this structure on Phobos is that it is a building shaped artifact casting a long shadow from a relatively high sun angle, if it was a low sun angle, then any medium sized protrusion would cast a long shadow that's not proportionate to it's height.


Lan Fleming did an extensive study of the sun and shadows on the web site pages he devoted to this Phobos Monolith.


There have been other interpretations, most notably that it is an angular shaped rock placed in such a way that it casts a long shadow. In the image above drawn by Andy Romano and sent to me in November 2000, he theorized a pyramid shaped rock whose shadow dipped into a depression and thereby elongating it's shadow.

Recently Christopher A. Joseph rendered a 3D image of the 'Monolith' in Bryce and also came up with a pyramid shape. (See images below. Chris also created left and right 3D images, click here to go to that page).

These are very plausible explanations. A pyramid on Phobos would be as anomalous as a tall monolith.


Mac Tonnies in his Cydonia Imperative, also pointed out that this could not be a remnant of the Stickney Crater impact as such a large mass would have escaped Phobos feeble gravity.






There is no weather on Phobos so this could not be caused by erosion factors.


Other Phobos Anomalies


The Phobos monolith (in the upper right corner of the image above) has a pointed roof (or pyramid corner) which points towards another anomalous object I call the 'Baby Monolith'.





It's a block shaped object which appears to have a squarish roof top and whose shadow indicates it rises above the ground.


The resolution of the images is 1.80 meters per pixel. The baby Monolith is about 30 feet high by 30 wide and 54 feet long. I haven't the foggiest idea what the relationship is between the two objects. It could be a geologic coincidence or some other esoteric purpose.

The smaller block is in the line of sight of the main monolith, I wonder what it would look like standing on the roof of the baby monolith looking at the bigger one?




Phobos Cuspids

Phobos has cone shaped rocks (cuspids) throughout Phobos imaged in sp255103.


The image in the upper left hand corner in the panel of images above shows a particularly pointed object. What's curious is that there is no weathering/erosion process to create this feature.






The image on the lower leftmost panel shows what I call the 'Crater Statue" (blowup above).