• Frequently Asked Questions


Mars Archaeology Archive FAQ

Q: What is the purpose of the Mars Archaeology Archive?

MAA: To increase credibility for the hypothesis that a civilization once existed on the planet Mars. To this end, we aim to bring together all the best quality space agency images of Mars that show possible archaeological evidence of such a civilization.

Q: Who will be interested in the archive and what will it offer?

MAA: All the images and analysis in the archive will be openly available for researchers, scientists and the public to study online. Official links to the original images are listed to establish authenticity, while named credit is also given to the discoverers of this evidence.

Q: To stay up-to-date with what’s going on at the Mars Archaeology Archive, is there something people can sign up to?

MAA: Yes. If you want to receive regular updates of any new images added to the archive, you can sign up for the Newsletter.

Q: Are researchers and anomaly hunters invited to send in their discoveries?

MAA: For the present time, we are busy searching through the many finds accumulated over the years by independent researchers, so we can add to and build the archive. When this has been done to a reasonable degree, we will then think about whether a public submission process would improve the archive.

Q: What kind of evidence do you accept for the archive? How good must the pictures be?

MAA: The archive is interested in objects that have a structural, mechanical and artificial look. We believe that such objects offer the best chance of identifying genuine archaeological evidence on Mars. We are talking about objects that could well be remnant bits of machinery and technology, or eroded ruins of buildings, and therefore requires a very clear geometrical character to the object that most people can see and recognize.


There are many images that show potential artefacts, but because of certain variables we decide not to include them. Above all, we try to focus on evidence that we feel maintains the integrity and purpose of the archive, which is to produce a strong and consistent case file of robust images.

Q: Do you not think that your criteria are too strict?  That it’s actually quite rare to find clear images of possible archaeological evidence?

MAA: The purpose of the archive is to build a solid case file of evidence for the existence of archaeological evidence on Mars. Therefore, the criteria MUST be strict. A quick look through the archive will show you that several very clear objects have already been found. We don’t want to fill the archive with vague pictures that weaken the impact.

In our opinion, there are just far too many poor quality, vague, blurry, distorted images circulated that do absolutely nothing to advance the argument that a civilization may have once existed on Mars. In fact, they often harm the argument and give ammunition to the media and wider science community to ridicule the hypothesis. Far better we think to just find one excellent picture every few months, than overwhelm people every week with a myriad of poor pictures of low quality and that are far too open to misinterpretation.

Q: What about images of possible carvings and artwork?

MAA: If a civilization did indeed exist on Mars, then remains of carvings, statues etc. will probably be found somewhere. However, it will be more difficult to distinguish eroded artwork from geology unless a spectacular piece was discovered in prime condition, which is unlikely. So for this reason we are presently not assessing such images, although that may change in the future if outstanding evidence emerges.

Q: What about images that show possible animals, creatures or beings?

MAA: It is our view that it is virtually impossible to distinguish a rock from a possible creature on a 2D image, especially as we have no idea what Martian life may look like. For example, what if life on Mars had evolved to appear as ‘rock’ to protect itself from the UV and cosmic radiation that bathes the Martian surface? If that were the case, then we would have no chance at all to identify it in a single frame picture. We presently accept that the science we have been told is correct. This means that mainly due to the radiation, the CO2 atmosphere, and the toxic soil, nothing similar to life on Earth can exist on the Martian surface.

Q: What about images of potential fossils?

MAA: These are a very realistic possibility, even probability, that we expect science will confirm sooner or later on Mars. We will be adding a fossil archive in due course.

Q: What can researchers do to improve their chances of identifying potential archaeological artefacts in the Mars images?


1. Above all, be more critical in everything you do - and be realistic. Finding archaeological evidence on our own planet takes time, patience and tenacity, and usually involves digging into the soil and physically examining potential artefacts - something you are of course unable to do, as you have only a digital image from Mars with which to assess any potential artificial object. For this reason, you must accept that from the outset you have a significant difficulty before you in identifying such objects correctly, and thus must apply rigorous scrutiny in all of your observations and research.

2. Be aware that looking at images for many hours will play tricks on your eyes.

3. Get an accurate sense of scale of what you are looking at. You must know how big it is before you can hope to examine it properly and sensibly.

4. Never make a judgment based on somebody else’s processed image.

5. Make sure you study the official and original space agency image yourself. Do this by getting the URL and going to the correct Martian day/sol at the Raw image database.

6. If you think you've seen a potential artefact in a Mars image, look at all the images of the day and see where yours fits amongst all the other images in sequence, to get a sense of perspective. With a bit of luck you may also glimpse the wheel or part of the rover in the sequence, which will help you calculate the size of your object.

7. Zoom in and examine the pixels – are they so stretched that they are responsible for creating the geometrical “lines” you are seeing in the object?

8. Examine the dark bits. Are they really shadows? Work out where the sun is coming from and compare shadows nearby.

9. Are you looking at ONE interesting object, or are there possibly two or more rocks, one behind the other, giving the illusion of your 'one' anomaly?

10. View the object in black and white as well as in colour.

11. There are many factors to consider, not least of course geology. Examine the nature of the geology where your object sits. Is the object you have found really, unique and artificial, or could it just be a geometrically shaped fragment that has possibly broken off from one of those sedimentary layers commonly seen on Mars?

12. Familiarize yourself with geological alternatives such as eroded sediments and layers, ventifacts (wind carved rocks). Google images of these and broaden your knowledge base. 

13. If you are prepared to challenge your assessment of the object rigorously, then you will be more likely to find something real. It is our observation that people who are not prepared to be critical of their own discoveries, and who don’t want to hear alternative arguments, are likely to be more concerned with their few minutes of internet fame, than whether the object they found is potential Martian archaeology.

Q: Is the Mars Archaeology Archive just another conspiracy website?

MAA: We are presenting evidence here, ALL of which may be proven or disproven by new data. We would argue therefore that a typical conspiracy site would not offer alternative explanations and challenge their own data, but would instead just present material that promotes the conspiracy.

However, there is no doubt that the nature of the question posed by the evidence in this archive is certainly controversial, and calls into question whether we have been told all the truth concerning our activities in space and particularly on Mars. We are suggesting that the science of archaeology should be at the top of the list of science mission priorities for the planet Mars, not the position where it currently is, with zero resources expended.

Our position therefore infers that NASA and the other space agencies, who in our opinion must be aware of this evidence, are deliberately avoiding archaeological research on Mars so as not to bring this subject to the world’s attention. Or that they are indeed doing the research, but in secret and not for public viewing.

So yes, this website suggests there may be a conspiracy to withhold the truth from the public.  The consequences of finding evidence of an ancient civilization on Mars would be huge for humanity, and if there was a policy in place to keep such knowledge quiet, then disturbing questions would indeed need to be asked of our governments and space agencies.

But of course what it all comes down to is this:

"Are we asking a legitimate question here that demands a serious answer, or are we deluding ourselves?"

I'm sure time will be the judge. In the meantime, people may choose to make up their own minds by studying the images presented here in this archive. Or, simply accept the official space agency view that Mars has never been inhabited, and that only 'rocks' appear in all of their pictures of the Red Planet.

I leave this matter to your own good judgement.

M. J. Craig

Author of "Secret Mars"/Founder of Mars Archaeology Archive