Phobos has been known to be non-solid since the early days of the space age under Eisenhower. Richard Hoagland has been claiming it is artificial for several years, even prior to the Univ. of Az. HIRISE (color) images. But the HIRISE images leave no doubt:
Real moons are supposed to be made of dirt, rocks, and green cheese, they are not supposed to reflect light all over creation like that. Phobos is clearly made of metallic strakes.
hat appears to be just the HIRISE image with the color choked down to blue. Doesn’t xactly look like a natural formation, does it?
As far as trying to relate this one to the thesis of Como in Collision, we’re in the realm of almost pure conjecture here. How anybody built such a thing and how it might relate to the question of Cro Magnon man is a pure guessing game.
It seems sufficiently clear that Phobos is in fact artificial. Beyond that however, you quickly get into areas of conjecture, but one observation which does not strike me as conjecture is this:
Whatever Phobos is or was, it could not be built under present conditions. If you built something that size on the surface of the planet (Mars), you’d never get it into orbit. Conversely, to try to build it in space, you’d need an army of millions of laborers with space suits on and you’d need to somehow or other feed them and tend to their needs in space, which is also impossible.
On the other hand, given the kinds of scenarios which you read in C in C, as well as in the writings of Dwardu Cardona, David Talbott, Al DeGrazia and others, the problems would be less overwhelming. You’d be talking about building the thing at the sub-Saturn point on Mars in near zero gravity, and yhou’d be talking about an atmosphere which may have been system-wide as per DeGrazia, rather than individual planet by planet, You’d still need a gigantic labor force, but they probably would not need space suits.
At least that’s the version of it which doesn’t involve magic… Other versions I’ve heard appear to require civilizations somehow or other harnessing the power of planets and stars themselves to build such a structure.
This idea is conjecture. You’d expect the exterior of any sort of a space vehicle or a space station to be smooth and, from the HIRISE images we see above, that clearly is not the case. The surface of Phobos appears to be made of metallic strakes and you might actually compare it to the tread pattern of a modern car tire.
A vehicle for traveling cosmic distances would have to be protected from radiation as well as meteorites and space debris. Troy has expressed the idea that the cheapest way for us to do that would be to send such a vehicle into the neighborhood of Saturn to pick up a sufficiently deep outer layer of ice and then bring it back here. It might be difficult getting ice to stick to a smooth surface, at least at first…
Could the tire-tread pattern on Phobos be meant to provide a foothold for ice? People living on Mars at the time would not have had to send it very far to pick up Saturnian ice…
As noted in Cosmos in Collision’s part 2, brown dwarfs are copious carriers of water. Saturn’s current ice-rich ring system is largely a result of its relatively recent flare-up upon entry into the solar system. Prior to that, Saturn’s water/ice would have been a constituent of its atmosphere.
The idea of harvesting ice from Saturn’s current ring formations is based on three concepts:
1. The outer rings of Saturn are mostly an icy vapour – i.e. ice crystals.
2. A space probe that can generate an electric field around itself will attract ice crystals to it where they will accumulate via the process called ‘sintering’ – a kind of electric version of rolling a snowball. As long as the electric field is increased, the sintering process will continue to accumulate ice crystals. We see a limited example of this phenomenon on power lines during ice storms.
3. A spherical shell of ice that is five metres thick will provide the same radiation protection in space that Earth’s atmosphere provides at about 5,500 metres (18,000 feet). This is the only fool-proof, 100% guaranteed protection against space radiation at our present technological levels.
Because it is too expensive to launch the required volume of water from Earth into space to create this type of protective shell, electrically harvesting the ice crystals from Saturn’s outer rings appears to be more feasible, though there would be a huge time investment in completing the process. Once a ball or multiple balls of ice are returned from Saturn into high earth orbit, a hole would have been excavated in the ball’s interior through the provision of hydrogen/oxygen fuel to the return rocket engine. Thus a readymade hollow sphere of ice is achieved and can be fitted internally with whatever living quarters are needed for human habitation.
Taking the above into account, my first thoughts are that Phobos is a large enough structure already to adequately protect any inhabitants within its interior, so it would not need to accumulate ice. How such a structure could have been built is beyond me, unless it was developed from an existing natural body.
Hoagland and a few others are claiming that the civilization which built this thing had to have somehow harnessed the power at least of a planet and possibly the sun itself. Granted I’d not have any clue as to how to argue against such a case, but I can think of at least one other possibility.
Assuming you wanted to go with Occam’s principle and also with the idea that the thing was built with ordinary welding tools and rivet guns and what not, then you need to inquire as to the nature of the work force which might have been available for such a project…
Consider Tom Van Flandern’s website and the slide show he prepared for his 2001 press release, and the several human face images which appear amongst those slides:
That would lead you to think that Mars had been inhabited by humans.
And yet, from what we know from Cosmos in Collision and the discussion on eyes for bright and dark worlds, we should assume that if there was any indigenous population of Mars, it would have amounted to hominids and not humans..
What I’m thinking is that, beyond some point, there may have been a human overlord class, and a work-force of guys who weighed 300 – 500 lbs (in our gravity…) and were 5 – 12 times stronger than we are through the arms and shoulders.
(Vendramini’s Neanderthal, fur removed for illustration purposes)
Kind of like what heavyweight opponents were facing in 85 – 88 or thereabouts, i.e. Mike Tyson’s body and Cus D’Amato’s mind…
If the thing was meant to travel through space rather than serve as a space station, then they might still have wanted a protective layer of ice against bolides and/or space debris, which they’d be running into at whatever speed the thing traveled at.
There is also the possibility that the thing represents some sort of a prototype which they might have built merely to determine what was possible while the real escape vehicle(s) is/are out there somewhere less than a light-year out and still heading outwards. One of the things you’d want to explain is why the thing is still here rather than gone.
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