The Cydonia Institute
Through NASA’s own photographs the truth will be revealed


The Cydonia Institute                                                      Vol. 6  No. 1  ◘
The Cydonia Viking (A Bearded Quetzalcoatl)
by George J. Haas and William R. Saunders
January 2003 (Revised 2012)


    Located with in the Cydonia Complex is a structure that has become known as the “City Center Pyramid” or the “Main Pyramid” (Figure 1). Although the entire structure was not captured by the 1998 MGS camera, we approximate its length and width to each be about 3 kilometers (2 miles).

Figure 1
Context image: Main Pyramid of the Cydonia Complex (1998)
Inverted and contrast adjusted with notations (SP1-25803)
Note geoglyph marked number 1

  As a result of the many early interpretations of Viking data, the “Main Pyramid” was once thought to be an enormous four-sided pyramid based on an Egyptian model. However, the 1998 MOC image (SP1-25803) shows that this is not the case. It now appears to be five-sided, segmented by five major “spines” radiating from the top to an almost circular base. The most prominent anomalies on this structure are an almond-shaped “crater” accompanied by two adjoining rectangular impressions on the northern end of the “pyramid.”1

   The new image reveals that “Main Pyramid” has a complex series of radiating “spines” and a set of geometrically shaped features within its surrounding apron. After a considerable amount of time was invested in evaluating these formations, we noted that they were parts of a complex set of half-images along the segmented base line (FIGURE 1). Although we uncovered three pictographic portraits that appear as either the right or left side of a whole image we will only focus on the geoglyph marked number 1 in this study.2

   The geoglyph from the “Main Pyramid” marked number 1 in Figure 1 consists of a half faced portrait (Figure 2). When the geoglyph is cropped and rotated to a vertical presentation, the heads demarcation line can be detected running along the adjoining terrain. When mirrored the head appears to be composed of a full-bearded face with twisting braids, deep set eyes, a nose, and mouth. The head is completed with a Viking-like helmet. The “Viking” head is roughly 700–800 meters (half a mile) in length from the top of the helmet to the neck.

Figure 2
The Viking geoglyph
Detail: Main Pyramid (marked number1 in figure 1)
LEFT, Half Faced Pictograph

CENTER, Demarcation Line

RIGHT, Mirrored Pictograph (Viking)

   When the “Viking” head is compared to a typical Viking age helmet the common features become quite apparent (Figure 3). Notice the central helmet crest, the brow and nose guard, the false mustache and lower-helmet extensions.

Figure 3
Saxon and Martian Helmet Comparison
Detail of Main Pyramid (marked number1 in figure 1)
with inset of a Saxon Helmet on left side
(Image source, History Unearthed by Leonard Woolley)

  Although our initial judgment of this structure led us to believe that it represented a Viking-like portrait, we acknowledge that this image also bears many similar features to the Aztec depiction of Quetzalcoatl (the “Feathered Serpent”) as seen in Figure 4.

Figure 4
Quetzalcoatl with feathered plumes (Aztec Codex)

Drawing by George J. Haas
(Image source: Codex Telleriano, page 22)

  This image of Quetzalcoatl is bearded and wears a helmet strikingly similar to the Mars figure. The portrait includes a lower-helmet extension and long braids made of serpents. If one looks closely at the braids of the Martian image in Figure 5 it also appears as though they are formed by a coiled serpent.

Figure 5
Comparison of the Viking and Quetzalcoatl

RIGHT, detail of Martian Viking

LEFT, Detail of Aztec Quetzalcoatal

Note the lower extension of Quetzalcoatl’s helmet
and the serpent braids match the Mars image.

    Because the Viking pictograph shares such strong iconographic similarities with Mesoamerican motifs, we assert that the pictograph identified as number 1 in Figure 1 is a Martian representation of the Maya god Quetzalcoatl in his personification of the morning star, Venus.

   Similar half-faced geoglyphs have been recorded in Peru. Far to the north, beyond the city of Lima, are the ruins of Caral, located in the Supe Valley. From recent excavations of this site, some archaeologists are hailing this almost forgotten complex as the home of the earliest known settlement in the New World; they date it to well before 2600 B.C.3 Just beyond this ancient complex of mounds and half-buried pyramids is an immense half-faced stone geoglyph set into the surface of this once sacred ground (Figure 6).

Figure 6
Caral Half Faced Geoglyph (Caral, Peru, 2500 B.C.)

Drawing by George J. Haas
(Image source: Smithsonian Magazine August 2002)

  Notice the “D”-shaped head with its large gaping mouth and raked hair. It should be noted that this partial face is not carved in profile - it is designed in a “cut in half” manner.4 In the illustration on the right side of Figure 6, notice the demarcation line runs right down through the forehead - cutting the nose and chin in half. Like the half-faced Viking pictograph found at Cydonia, the Caral face was also constructed to be seen from high above the ground.

When the area seen directly above the Martian Viking portrait (Figure 1) is included in the mirrored image - a pair of feathered plumes appear to extend from the Viking's helmet forming two serpents (Figure 7). Notice the serpents "feathered" eye and the open mouth - spewing fire and smoke.5 There is also an opened winged bird formation at the top of the image, diving between the two serpent heads.

Figure 7
Viking/Quetzalcotl with feathered serpent
MOC SP1-25803 - notated

Here is the same image colorized (Figure 8). Notice the serpent's "feathered" eye and the open mouth spewing fire and smoke. A diving bird formation also appears at the top of the image, between the two serpent heads.

Figure 8
Viking/Quetzalcotl with feathered serpent
MOC SP1-25803 - colorized

In 2012 an Inuit artist by the name of Abraham Ruben had an exhibit of his sculptures at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.  Living in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia Ruben draws his inspiration from circumpolar people and their movements, which include his Inuit ancestors and Norse myths and legends that speak of historical contact.6 One of the sculptures included in the exhibition featured a portrait of a Viking with twin serpents’ spring from his helmet (Figure 9) - much like the Viking portrait seen on Mars.

Figure 9
Brazilian soapstone

  1. These anomalous features were not only noticed by us and many other researchers, but became the main focus of an investigation set forth by Stanley V. McDaniel of the Society for Planetary SETI Research (SPSR). See Stanley V. McDaniel, “Peculiarities At ‘Main Pyramid.’” The McDaniel Report Newsletter, May, 7, 1998:
  2. The full analysis of the Main Pyramid, including pictographs number 2 and 3, is available in the book by George J. Haas and William R. Saunders “The Cydonia Codex Reflections from Mars,  (North Atlantic Books, Frog, Ltd.,2005), pp.121-139.
  3. Ruth Shady Solis, Jonathan Haas, and Winifred Creamer, “Dating Caral, a Pre-ceramic Site in the Supe Valley on the Central Coast of Peru,” Science 292, no. 5517 (April 27, 2001), pp. 723–726.
  4. To view additional examples of half faced artworks click here: Half-Faced
  5. The area seen within the Main Pyramid that creates the serpent's head is the same area that forms the chest plate of "The Admiral" geoglyph in section 2 of figure 1.
  6. Kevin Gover, Arctic Journeys Ancient Memories, Sculptures by Abraham Angik Ruben, Perpetua Press, Santa Barbara, 2012.

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