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The Real Deathstar!
The Real Deathstar!
Or, Richard Hoagland
Would Beg to Differ
By Thomas Horn
Senior RNU News Reporter

Radio astronomer Paulo Freire believes he's solved two of the oddities on Saturn's moon Iapetus--its dark side and the puzzling ridge at its equator. Richard Hoagland sees it differently. Very, very differently. – (Raiders News Update) - Italian astronomer and engineer Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered Saturn's moon Iapetus [eye-AP-i-tus] in 1672, though it was not named "Iapetus" at the time. Sir John Herschel gave the moon the mythological name in 1847, after one of the Titans mentioned by Homer in the Iliad.

In Greek mythology Iapetus was the son of Uranus and Gaia, and father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Menoetius. Because Atlas was one of the "fathers of mankind", Iapetus was understood in myth to be a progenitor of man, of Homo Sapiens, a creator god, winking at man as his light dimmed then brightened every 40 days.

Using his small refracting telescope, Giovanni somehow correctly deciphered the disappearing and reappearing act of Iapetus. One hemisphere of the moon is darker than the other and therefore makes it appear to vanish then reappear as it revolves Saturn.

A second puzzling characteristic, not discovered until NASA's Cassini spacecraft flew by recently, is a ridge 1300 kilometres (808 miles) long and 20 kilometres (12 miles) high stretching over one third of the moon's equator. No other moon in the solar system has been found with such a stunning feature... literally a 60,000 foot high wall.

This is the wall that caused Richard C. Hoagland, bestselling author of The Monuments on Mars to say, "[this] forces serious reconsideration of a range of staggering possibilities … that some will most certainly find … upsetting: That, it could really be a “wall” … a vast, planet spanning, artificial construct!!"

Hoagland believes Iapetus could even be "...a very ancient spaceship … placed in orbit around Saturn for 'some reason' … a long, long time ago."

In The Search for Life in the Universe, Tobias Owen, the man at NASA who discovered the face on Mars, and Donald Goldsmith wrote that, "This unusual moon [Iapetus] is the only object in the Solar System which we might seriously regard as an alien signpost - a natural object deliberately modified by an advanced civilization to attract our attention...."

Hoagland goes one step further, saying, " that Cassini has revealed to us unquestionably the greatest linear feature in the solar system, such scientific speculations take on added urgency... because... no viable geological model [exists] to explain a sixty thousand-foot-high, sixty thousand-foot-wide, four million-foot-long 'wall' … spanning an entire planetary hemisphere … let alone, located in the precise plane of its equator!"

As a former NASA consultant and science advisor to Walter Cronkite and CBS News, Hoagland has, for the past two decades, worked with a team of scientists to prove that there are intelligently-designed artifacts on Mars and other celestial bodies. His work cites data from American and Soviet lunar missions as well as recent satellite imaging of anomalous figures including those on Iapetus as proof of historical ET, which he adds has been covered up by government, science and military officials.

Dr. S. Fred Singer, special advisor to President Eisenhower on space development, believed something very similar about the Mars moon, Phobos. Soviet astrophysicist Shklovsky agreed, as did Raymond H. Wilson Jr., Chief of Applied Mathematics at NASA. Raymond even stated in 1963 that the Phobos moon could be "...a colossal base orbiting Mars."

Recently, cuspid-like formations found on Phobos have been viewed as proof that Fred Singer and Co. might have been right all along. Efrain Palermo and Lan Fleming have investigated highly curious objects including a sharp-edged anomaly called the "Phobos Monolith", which some say is a true construct of unknown origin and functionality.

But not so fast, says Paulo Freire. The ridge and the dark coating on Iapetus are on the same side of the moon, so they're probably linked. In the article, Have we cracked Saturn's walnut? Govert Schilling describes how Freire believes both features formed when the moon collided with the edge of one of Saturn's rings a long time ago.

"According to Freire, debris from the ring smashed into a narrow region along the moon's equator, piling up to create the ridge. Consistent with his claim that the moon only grazed the ring is the fact that the ridge does not extend over the entire hemisphere. If the moon had fully entered the ring, a ridge would have formed over a 180-degree arc of the equator, he argues.

"Freire also contends that the energy from the impact evaporated the icy parts of the ring's debris, producing a local atmosphere consisting mainly of water vapour. On a moon otherwise devoid of any atmosphere, the vapour rapidly spread towards the north and south poles, creating a temporary wind. This wind deposited debris over the leading face of the moon, creating its enigmatic dark side. The dark coating appears to get thinner the closer it gets to the poles, which supports this idea (

"But Larry Esposito, a specialist on planetary rings at the University of Colorado in Boulder, points to a major flaw in Freire's idea. Today, Iapetus's orbit is far outside Saturn's rings and not even in the same plane as they are, making it unlikely that Iapetus ever collided with a ring, he says."

On September 10, 2007 Cassini will make its final encounter with Iapetus. Maybe then we'll know the answer to this riddle, especially if we can get the Titan god's tower on the Saturn moon to respond to our signals.

Oh, did I fail to mention the tower we found? Here's a pic from Hoagland. Click for a larger image.


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