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Conspiracists have clamoured to suggest there's life on Mars after a grainy image appearing to show a doorway in a rockface on the planet taken by NASA appeared online.
NASA released the picture taken by NASA Curiosity rover which appears to show a cleanly-cut hole in the rockface.
Snapped by the explorer’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 3466 (7 May), there has been no official NASA explanation of the sighting.
However, that hasn’t stopped debate online about just what it shows.
One social media user described the scene as “a formation on Mars which appears to be a portal and a wall nearby that looks artificial,” while another concluded “swear to God, there's at least 5 Martians camouflaged in there.”
However, others were more practical, with one Reddit user stating “it’s obviously not a little door, it’s just a flat piece of broken rock.”
The finding comes at a time that the U.S. Congress is to hold an open hearing next Tuesday about UFOs for the first time in over 50 years.
The US House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will tackle the subject.
Panel chair, Rep. André Carson, stated: “The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence to seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks — especially those we do not fully understand.”
The US government released a report on documented cases of so-called ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’ (UAP) in Summer 2021.
In it, the Director of National Intelligence examined 144 cases of UFOs, but could explain only one.
The debate has reached Snopes.com, an internet reference source for researching urban legends, folklore, myths, rumours, and misinformation.
It said the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) told them that it actually was a “very, very, very zoomed in shot of a tiny crevice in a rock.”
It added: “The team’s scientists underlined just how small [the crevice] is: roughly 30 centimetres wide and 45 centimetres across (11 by 17 inches).“
They concluded by saying: "While we can’t say for certain whether Martians indeed used itty-bitty, little doors, NASA was sure that the “door” in this instance was just a small rock crevice."
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