Are there Chinchillas on Mars?
Updated June 3, 2013
A PHOTO FROM MARS - Is this photo proof that there is life on Mars? What do you see, a squirrel or a rock? Note the light fur around the eye and shadows under the head and the contours of the body. After spending untold billions to find evidence of life and water on Mars, why is NASA not excited about this photo from Mars? Why is the son of one of the managers of the Mars mission asking me to remove this posting?
Your "Chinchilla on Mars" posting is a needless, pointless, frivolous distraction that will damage your credibility... The "chinchilla" is a rock that has features somewhat reminiscent of a chinchilla... Please remove the posting, or at least mitigate it by saying that it is probably a rock.
- Robert D. Pickar, San Pedro, California
(NB! Pickar's father, Kenneth A. Pickar, is a professor at Caltech, the private institution that runs the Mars mission, and is on the President's Advisory Board for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the agency which is managing the mission.)
Kenneth Arnold Pickar of Caltech
Pickar, who has close ties to Israel and worked at the Technion in the 1970s, is on the President's Advisory Board of JPL, the agency running the Mars mission.
A slide from Ken Pickar's 2010 presentation on Caltech and the Mars mission. The terrestrial rodent found in the "Mars photo" raises the obvious question: Is the Mars mission really on Mars, or is it a massive scam?
The most popular science story on FoxNews.com on May 29 was an article entitled "'Mars rat' spied by NASA's Curiosity rover." The Fox News article is about a photograph taken on September 28, 2012, by NASA's rover that is supposedly roaming around on the surface of Mars. The photograph clearly shows what appears to be chinchilla-like rodent between a couple rocks. The people who are running the mission to Mars should be ecstatic about finding evidence of life on the Red Planet. Instead of telling the world about the discovery of a rodent on Mars, NASA and the JPL are clearly trying to avoid discussing this photo. This raises the question, is the NASA rover really on Mars or is it simply roaming around the Atacama Desert in Chile, or some other Mars-like terrain on planet Earth? Having spent untold billions of taxpayer dollars on its mission to Mars, is NASA duping us about the whole thing? Just where did this chinchilla come from?
There are plenty of deserts, like this one in Nevada, that resemble the barren and rocky terrain seen in the Mars mission. Is the Mars mission a billion-dollar hoax?
After getting a comment asking me to remove the posting, I looked more closely into the nature of the rodent seen in the photograph. The person who asked me to remove the posting is Robert D. Pickar of San Pedro. His father, Kenneth Arnold Pickar of Rolling Hills (a gated enclave of Palos Verdes), is a visiting professor at Caltech. Caltech runs the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is managing the Mars mission. Kenneth Pickar, who has been at Caltech since 1998, is on the President's Advisory Board for the JPL.
The JPL is a Federally funded research and development center managed and operated by Caltech under a contract from NASA. In fiscal year 2012, the JPL's budget was nearly $1.5 billion (On average, Caltech, a tiny private institution in Pasadena, receives about $1.74 billion per year, more than $783,000 per student from the U.S. taxpayer.) If the highly-paid people who run the Mars mission are so concerned about my chinchilla posting I had better make sure I have my rodents straight.
While I agree with the criticism that the animal may not be a chinchilla, it certainly does not look like a rock. The little fellow looks furry and has eyes and ears and a tail. It actually looks more like a white-tailed antelope squirrel than a chinchilla. The white-tailed antelope squirrel is a species of rodents commonly found in the deserts of California and Nevada. The first photograph below is from the Mars mission.
EXTRATERRESTRIAL RODENT - The desert rodent seen in the Mars photo, which I originally called a chinchilla, actually looks more like a white-tailed antelope squirrel, native to the deserts of California. (Note the painted blue rocks.)
The white-tailed antelope squirrel carries his tail up on his back, which is what the rodent in the photo seems to be doing. Is the Caltech mission to Mars actually happening in a desert in the American Southwest?
Kenneth Pickar's CV, 2005
Kenneth Pickar's presentation on Caltech and its mission to Mars, Monash University, Australia, 2010
"'Mars rat' spied by NASA's Curiosity rover," FoxNews.com, May 29, 2013
Original full size photo, NASA, September 28, 2012
White-tailed Antelope Squirrel, sibr.com, May 31, 2013