Sometimes, ridiculous and incredible things, which are considered as possibilities. The realm of science fiction turns to fact.

Facts are not just theories or assumptions but are based on solid evidence and only then accepted as truth. But before it turns to truth, it goes through the regions of mysteries — strange ideas that at first the mind does not accept nor has any explanations for. Now that, dear friends, is a dark mystery! And what can be a darker mystery than the unknown reaches of outer space.

But technology helps us explore and delve deeper and deeper, opening up yet more doors to the strange but beautiful cosmos. Mars has always been everyone’s favourite and most talked about planet in outer space. And for good reasons as it holds many intriguing and fascinating clues to understanding our Solar System. But it seems Mars has a tiny competitor as far as being mysterious goes, namely ‘Phobos’ meaning ‘fear’. It is just 15 miles across and orbits Mars very closely — a bit too close for comfort.

First discovered in 1877, by Asaph Hall, there is much speculation and interest as far as this inner moon of Mars is concerned. The first person to suspect something extremely odd about Phobos was Russian astrophysicist Iosif Samuilovich Shklovsky, who noticed the very odd orbit of this moon and said that it seemed that due to the unique orbit, the Mars moon must either be hollow from inside or as some researchers say, artificial meaning not a natural moon that orbits its home planet, but rather a captured satellite-turned-spaceship.

Now how bizarre is that? But hey, this is a very accepted notion amongst many people who are serious professionals and who have based this idea on the scientific evidence and calculations obtained by probes sent to explore outer space. And these probes seemed to have mysteriously malfunctioned and were lost. Later on it was noted that even though the moon was not entirely hollow, it did have considerably large porous surface features and openings that were quite interesting compared to the size of the moon itself.

Space enthusiasts were wondering why all the probes sent by Russia to investigate malfunctioned and got destroyed for no apparent reason, just like the Phobos Grunt probe. Could the Russian scientist be correct? Were the Phobos hollowed out spaces the compartments of a “Titanic spaceship”?

Interestingly, Dr Fred Singer who was special adviser to American President Eisenhower on space developments was also of the opinion that Phobos was perhaps an ancient spaceship possibly launched by some star trekkers long ago. The reason being that such a percentage of hollow opening inside the Martian moon meant that it could not be natural but possibly a captured asteroid which was then turned into a spaceship. Moreover, its orbit was not at all like a natural satellite that revolves around its host planet.

No understanding of the path of its orbit which was totally out after mathematical and computer simulations made any sense, besides the tiny body keeps changing its speed which is really baffling. It is believed that there are experts in Nasa itself who think this strange fantastic moon is not really a moon but some kind of unnatural object. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin had the same opinion and pushed for a mission by Nasa to this Mars moon.

Moreover, with the help of latest technology, images which were taken by the European Space Agency by Mars Express, in March 2010, of Phobos have been magnified and technically calculated by radar readings as having not just hollow, but geometrically shaped inner chambers inside the tiny object. Meaning that they are not just cave-like uneven walls and openings but with smooth surfaces and surroundings, indicating, may we say, compartments or command centres of a spaceship?

It all sounds so Star Trek-like but this is what some experts really believe. But on the other hand there are some who do not agree with such a far-fetched idea. How on Earth — oops sorry! — Mars did all this happen.

Some interstellar travellers decided to visit or maybe settle or maybe attack the once green planet Mars, got a ride on a passing tiny asteroid and used it as their spaceship? Well, theoretically, this is agreed by all scientists that it can be done with advanced space technology, the notion is not impossible but to accept such a fantastic scenario is indeed a ‘Starry Tale’.

And then where did these space travellers go? Did they get a ride on their mother ship back home or somewhere else? Or did they win the battle and had a cushy life living on water reservoirs underground? As to the conclusion to this mystery, we shall all have to wait till the winking stars open up yet another tale, this one right from our own Solar System’s backyard.

Updated Jan 05, 2013 03:02am

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