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A Few Comments About Mars, Insects, & NASA



This slide presentation is my response to the not unexpected negative press generated, in my now infamous poster presented at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) on November 19, 2019, in St. Louis, MO.
A Few Comments About
Mars, Insects,
William S. Romoser, Ph.D.
To the media persons who presented fair, open reporting and assessment of the research on
the poster, I want to express my sincere, heartfelt appreciaton. "
This slide presentation is my response to the not unexpected negative press generated, in
my now infamous poster presented at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of
America (ESA) on November 19, 2019, in St. Louis, MO."
You might want to read my poster carefully if you haven’t already."
Ohio University has removed the news release about my research (poster).
I have been studying NASA/JPL photos for the past 5 years or so."
Having found what I perceived as evidence of insect- and reptile-like organic forms apparent in the NASA/JPL
photos, I prepared the poster alluded to in the preceding slide."
I have been a member of the ESA for 55 years. "
I was very pleased and impressed that the ESA program committee chose to accept my poster for presentation
despite the obvious controversial nature of its content."
The poster was presented on Nov. 19th and I had the impression that it went well. There was interest, skepticism,
discussion, debate, good humor and the feeling that science was operating as it should in an open forum."
Shortly before my poster presentation, I read the piece by Levin, G.V. 2019. I’m Convinced We Found Evidence of
Life on Mars in the 1970s. Scientific American, Oct. 10, 2019, and an article about
finding oxygen on Mars(
explain). Accordingly, I felt an urgency to get my material out to a broader audience than the ESA, so I contacted
Ohio University (OU; Athens, Ohio) , an institution I served for 45 years before fully retiring in 2010.
I requested that the media department at OU send a news release to Eurekalert describing
my findings. They graciously agreed to do so."
Then the responses to the OU News Release began to appear online."
Some media outlets simply reproduced much of the information in the poster without
comment, basically reporting the findings."
However others included editorial comments from outside “experts” which some of which
were clearly negative. And some were so trivial and o-topic that they don’t merit a
NASAs response was, not surprisingly, a complete, ocial, rejection of my assertations.
The response on (
life.html) was unnecessarily negative, but raised issues that should be addressed."
In the following few slides I consider the key criticisms leveled against my research."
The operation of pareidolia"
The lack of scale"
To fully appreciate the photos in my poster and elsewhere, you do need to study them
carefully. If they were all that obvious, the insect on mars story would be old news. I
understand the term and see it in two ways: (1) it describes a phenomenon that entails
basically seeing what isn’t there; (2) it is a catch-all term used to be dismissive of ones
interpretation of an image. I believe #2 is in play relative to this criticism of my research. "
As one would expect any scientist to be, I was skeptical at the beginning, however, stable
recurring patterns became more and more evident, that is redundancy in form was clearly
and consistently recognizable. I assure you I know what an insect looks like! And I really
don’t purport to prove anything, but rather follow the evidence where it takes me."
Photos may not be the ideal way to gather information about Mars, but they have been the
only sources available to me. And they do contain images that are insect- and reptile-like. I
would welcome a live, or perhaps better, a well-preserved specimen to examine in person, I
Many critics raised the issue of scale, but please keep in mind that the issue here is “are
there or are there not fossils and extant form of higher organisms, namely metazoans. "
I too am concerned about scale and it will need to be dealt with in future work. However,
relative to my research, a very interesting NASA/JPL photo presented itself and not only
sported scale lines, but as I now realize displayed a lot of other very useful information as
you will see. As good fortune would have it, one of the insect-like forms I chose to use in my
poster was in that very photograph. "
But the issue here is: Are biological “insect-like” and “reptile-like” fossils and alive present on
Mischaracterizations of My Research
Re: Statements that my data “prove” that there is life on Mars."
This is one example of such statements: “Regarding Romoser's work and assertion that there is proof of life on Mars,
NASA ocials responded to with the following statement:%"
"The collective general opinion of the large majority of the scientific community is that current conditions on the surface
of Mars are not suitable for liquid water or complex life. As part of its astrobiology objectives, one of NASA's key goals
is the search for life in the universe and the Mars 2020 rover, launching next summer, is our next stage in exploring the
potential of past life on the Red Planet.”%"
First of all, I did not assert that “there is proof of life on Mars” on the poster or in person. Unfortunately the news release
included a categorical statement that I would not ever intend to make, and that is “There has been and still is life on
Mars”. “There is and has been life on Mars” has been my overall hypothesis and it was presented as such in the poster.
Then under “Conclusions” the subheading of which was: “Evidence presented here supports the following”, that is
supports my hypothesis. No statement of proof. "
It is interesting to note that NASA claims to have a handle on the opinions of “the large majority of the scientific
And, ironicallly NASA itself has reported the presence of liquid water, for example:
nasa-confirms-evidence-that-liquid-water-flows-on-today-s-mars). "
I believe my data are supportive of the hypothesis that conditions on Mars are, in fact, suitable for complex life. "
One could turn the logic around and say that my evidence supporting the possible presence of life on Mars is consistent
with the presence of an atmosphere that supports living forms.
NASA & Obfuscation
Why is it so hard to see life forms in NASA photographs?"
This brings up the topic of obfuscation. "
The photos being made available to the public by NASA are literally teeming with what are
clearly obfuscations."
Obfuscation is “the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.”
On the face of it this photo (enlarged in
the next slide) seems pretty good and it
contains scales."
But if you look closely, there are many
irregular black spots and a very
artificial appearing interface.
This photo is enlarged in the next slide
Let’s examine examples of obfuscation in this NASA photo.
First the row of red arrows follows an almost flawless
interface between what resembles a lake, at least an nearly
uniformly covered space. That nearly flawless interface
strikes me as unusual at best. How would that happen
Notice the black spots all over the place. One might assume
these are shadows, but there is no indication whatsoever
that they are. NASA does use shadowing in what would be
logical places to obfuscate, but these spots are stand alone."
What are they obfuscating? To answer this question relative
to one black blob, look at the two spots indicated by red
arrows connected to inserts. These inserts have been
extracted from the larger photo and the brightness and
exposure have been ramped up."
This is one of the insect-like creatures I used in the anatomy
section of my poster. Using the upper, vertical, scale, it is at
least 50 centimeters in length, probably an underestimation
since the head seems to be turned toward the camera."
It looks to me like this insect-like form has been purposely
covered up, that is obfuscated. Makes one wonder about all
the other dark spots?"
Please take special note of the structure labelled “pod”. It is
more than 50 centimeters in length.
This photo is enlarged in the next slide
More to come!
Allowable poster dimensions and the necessity to avoid crowding limited the number of
images I could include in the poster presented at the Entomological Society of America
meeting in St. Louis. "
I will be posting very soon a report entitled “More Evidence of Life on Mars” where I will have
more space to utilize."
The following two slides will be included in the upcoming presentation.
Example of an insect-like
creature on Mars
Wing blur
Wing base
Thorax Abdomen
Metathoracic leg
area Prothoracic
leg Mesothoracic
Evidence of Life on Mars
William S. Romoser, Ph.D."
Emeritus Professor
Coming soon!

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