Just as the story from Arthur C. Clarke’s imagination of the monolith through which aliens were able to influence the development of mankind, the mysterious object photographed on the equally mysterious moon of Phobos has been steadily raising questions about the strange moon ever since it was discovered.
The most famous feature ever photographed and sent back to Earth was the alleged “face on mars” which depicted a vaguely apelike humanoid face with recessed eyes and a protruding mouth. Today this image is largely refuted as merely a trick of the light. What many do say is an incredible discovery passes around the red planet once every seven hours. The moon of Phobos itself is an incredible mystery, with space probes visiting it and subsequently disappearing or being destroyed under mysterious circumstances several times over the past few years after sending back shocking photographs. And now evidence suggests that the moon Phobos may not be merely a solid object, but rather made up of a more spongy material that explains its seemingly unnatural orbital pattern. But one of the few photographs taken of the moon Phobos’ surface and sent back to Earth depicted an object that can only be described as a ‘monolith.’ The term was coined by the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin as he released the information during a CSPAN interview. It was first discovered by Efrain Palermo, who studied the photographs sent back from the Mars probe. An independent contractor, Lan Fleming, confirmed that the object, whatever it was, certainly was not a trick of the light.
Phobos, which means ‘fear’ in Latin, certainly has been a source for apprehension when it comes to funding. Probes sent to this distant moon often meet an untimely end before useful data can be acquired. And what data is sent back is often the source of great controversy. The Russian probes ‘Phobos 1′ and Phobos 2’ both met untimely ends during a mission that was intended to survey the surface. Phobos 1 lost power due to a computer error. Phobos 2 got closer, but encountered a strange object which it photographed extensively before it was destroyed. The object photographed was disc-shaped and according to photographic experts, moving very fast. Other photographs were also released of a long strand or flat object of incredible size.
And the mysterious incidents have only fueled the fire of curiosity as several space agencies are looking to explore the moon. Both Canada and Russia currently have plans to launch a space probe to investigate the potato shaped moon once again, but it’s unknown if they will have any more success than previous endeavors. And what of the monolith? Some say it could be nothing more than strangely shaped ejecta from Mars or another asteroid that slammed into the planet’s surface and remained there for quite some time. Still others say it may be evidence of intelligent life on the moon, or a structure left behind from a long lost civilization. If the monolith did turn out to be of artificial origin, as many say its shape suggests, then it’s hard to imagine greater motivation to return.