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Potato Bugs on Mars: Eight Years of Denial?

In 1993, N.A.S.A. launched the Galaxy VII spacecraft from Cape Canaveral toward the planet Mars. What the Galaxy probe found on its first day on the Red Planet is nothing short of astonishing...

Utilizing space technology, the hyper-enlarged area of this Mars photo reveals what could only be a potato bug. Why didn’t National Geographic run this Mars photo??
Three days and 4.1 million miles after blast-off, the unmanned Galaxy VII reached its final destination: the orbit of Mars. From orbit, the craft dropped a probe, Rover VII, on the surface of Mars. The four-wheeled probe was equipped with a 35mm Canon Rebel EOS camera (for landscape photos); a Sony Hi8 video camera (for landscape video); a Panasonic variable-speed microcassette audio tape recorder (for noises); extra film, tapes and double-A batteries; a scooper for sand and small Mars rocks; and antennae to pick up the remote control signals from Earth.

What the Rover VII probe found on that first day on the Red Planet is nothing short of astonishing.

“Initially, we found the planet Mars to be a lot like our own planet Moon, only bigger and red,” shrugs Dr. Edgar Turner (ret.), a key senior assistant supervisor of N.A.S.A.’s (National Association of Space and Aerodynamics) Galaxy team. Turner, seven years retired from the space program and currently between retail jobs, spoke with us from his apartment in Castaic, California.

From point of touchdown, the team on Earth had activated the probe’s video camera for some slow-pan establishing shots of the planet’s surface. “There’s just a shitload of rocks and craters up there,” continues Turner, “and it’s like, all dry... But closer inspection revealed something moving near one of the rocks.”

Via remote control on Earth, Turner and his team maneuvered the four-wheeled Mars vehicle toward the movement. “Once we got closer, we clicked on the Hi-8 video camera again, but immediately realized that the camera’s battery was really low on its charge after all that space crossing.”

Plan B was to snap a few still shots with the 35mm camera.

Dr. Edgar Turner
“We had just one shot left on a 24-exposure roll of Kodak 200 print film,” says Turner, “so we had to make it count. Whatever it was that was moving might spook and split while we changed rolls of film via remote. That one shot was really our only chance.”

That very photo, shown above, clearly shows something resembling a potato bug near one of the Mars rocks. Utilizing N.A.S.A.’s space technology, the photo was hyper-enlarged near the spot where the potato bug stands. obtained the only known print of the Mars potato bug from Turner, who had it attached to his fridge with a Garfield magnet.

“Yeah, it’s clearly a potato bug,” says Irv Bostich, a friend of Turner’s from Castaic.

“My best guess is that potato bugs are extra-terrestrial,” reckons Turner. “How else did they get there? How did they get here?” has placed numerous phone calls and sent scores of e-mails to N.A.S.A. To date, they won’t return our calls or return our e-mails. In other words: denial.

So many questions, yet still no answers... Why won’t N.A.S.A. release the Mars potato bug photo to National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, or any of the other science magazines? Why have there been so many hits on this very webpage (57,309 and climbing) – many of which are directly traceable back to N.A.S.A. offices and web users? Why did a top military official at the Pentagon order over 2,000 potato bugs for “scientific study?” Why do satellite photos of Area 51 clearly show potato trees growing next to some of the buildings? Why are there no personnel records for Dr. Edgar Turner at N.A.S.A.; no college records for him at the Phoenix Institute of Technology, where he earned his PhD in space science? (Have these records been destroyed?) And what happened to the original potato bug scene that was shot and later cut out of Steven Spielberg’s movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind?” Did Spielberg’s vision hew too close to the truth?

Time will tell.

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