IN THE YEAR 2001, AMERICAN SCIENTISTS AT THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE WERE LECTURED BY ARTHUR C. CLARK. THE WORLD'S LEADING SPACE VISIONARY HAD SNATCHED A PREVIEW OF THE SURVEYOR PHOTOS.
Arthur C Clarke:
I've seen images on Mars which convince me Mars is teeming with life. I'm quite serious when I say have had a pretty good look at these new Mars images. Some of them are actually moving and changing with the seasons, which does suggest at least vegetation. Some of these images show what seem to be unmistakable large areas of vegetation, like Banyan trees, hundreds of feet across.
THE SMITHSONIAN WAS SHOWN THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY PHOTOS EVER TAKEN OF THE RED PLANET. THEY SHOW CLUSTERS OF BRANCHED SHAPES UP TO 800 FEET ACROSS AND 80 FEET HIGH, RISING FROM THE SUMMER MELT ZONE OF THE MARTIAN SOUTH POLE.
Arthur has shown me those pictures of pink trees for a long time.
Charles Cockell, BAS:
Trees would have a very hard time on the surface of Mars, very high ultraviolet radiation, very little liquid water, very very cold.
Arthur himself is absolutely convinced, and who knows. Arthur's predictions in the past have turned out to be correct.
THE FORMS, NICKNAMED CLARKE TREES, HAVE BEEN SPOTTED IN AT LEAST FOUR POLAR VALLEYS. THEY PROVIDE ONE OF THE ENIGMAS THROWN UP BY THE IMAGES FROM MARS. MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR PHOTOS SHOWED TRANSLUCENT STRUCTURES RESEMBLING GIANT WORMS 40 FEET ACROSS. BUT MOSTLY, THE PLANET THOUGHT TO BE DRY SHOWED SIGNS OF WATER. AND PLENTY OF IT.
Rosemary Grymes, NASA:
Mars global surveyor demonstrated that there is a very good chance that there is water on Mars, in the form of ice on both poles, and in substantial concentrations within three metres of the surface in other areas.