The Cydonia Institute
Through NASA’s own photographs the truth will be revealed
The Cydonia Institute                                            Vol. 1 No. 8 
The Golden Calf (AKA Lawn Furniture)
by George J. Haas
(June 1998)  Revised 2008 – 2011
        On the night of April 14, 1998 after NASA released the second swath of the Cydonia area, MOC image SP1-23903 (Figure 1), Richard Hoagland appeared on Art Bell’s “Coast to Coast” radio show to discuss its release.1 Hoagland noticed a small area consisting of a few odd geometric shapes, toward the lower portion of the strip, that he felt really looked out of place. The first anomaly was a hexagonal crater sitting right next to a lozenge-shaped mesa, previously identified as Mound P.2 The second oddity was a geometrically-shaped structure located just beyond the eastern side of Mound P that he whimsically titled “Lawn Furniture”.3

 Figure 1
Mound P and Lawn Furniture context image.
Note: Mound P is located at the bottom of the strip, at the center, while the Lawn Furniture structure is circled on the right.
MOC image SP1-23903 – detail (1998)
Contrast enhancement and notation by The Cydonia Institute.

               Another researcher to notice this oddly shaped structure was Mac Tonnies of The Cydonia Imperative web site and the author of After the Martian Apocalypse.While reviewing this same“out of place” formation he said the structure looked like a crumpled aluminum “beer can” that has been stamped flat4 Due to its close proximity to Mound P he referred to the twooddities as “The Mound P complex” (Figure 2). Tonnies was so intrigued by the internal geometry of these two formations that he said “I have little doubt that if such a collection of disparate forms wasdiscovered on Earth's surface via remote sensing, archaeological explanations would be forthcoming.”5 After reviewing the known geological mechanisms that could have produced the so-called “beer can” structure he concluded that the “Angles and interior geometry of this unique feature tend to suggest a non-natural origin.”6

Figure 2
The Mound P Complex
Note: Mound P is on the left and the Lawn Furniture structure is on right side.
Detail of MOC image SP1-23903 (1998) - rotated 7˚east (North is up)
Contrast enhancement by The Cydonia Institute.

Upon closer examination of this most peculiar structure, which has a resolution of 2.46 meters per pixel,7 I also found it to have an extremely intricate internal geometry. I rotated the image in an effort to gain a better perspective of its inner geometry that creates the impression of another half-face. After I identified what appeared to be an eye, muzzle, mouth and a large ear, I preformed a mirror flip to the left of the structure’s ridge line, which was oriented vertically8 (FIGURE 3a). I was intrigued to see that the resulting image of Hoagland’s Lawn Furniture had transformed into a sculpted geoglyph in the shape of a golden calf’s head (FIGURE 3b).

Figure 3
Calf Head Geoglyph
Detail of MOC image SP1-23903 (1998
Left: Demarcation line
Right: Duplicated presentation
Contrast enhancement and notation by The Cydonia Institute.

The overall impression of the calf’s head is well-defined. It has an obvious eye, a muzzle, beard and even an elaborate crowned forehead with an almond-shaped ear that points outward from the side of the head (Figure 4). There is also evidence of a small knob-like formation that creates a horn feature on the side of the forehead, just above the ear. Although I consider the Calf Head geoglyph as a prime example of the type of aesthetic structures to be found on the surface of Mars, it would take almost ten years for NASA to get around to targeting this formation again.

Figure 4
Calf Head Geoglyph with analytical drawing
Left: Detail of MOC image SP1-23903 (1998)
Contrast enhancement by The Cydonia Institute.
Right: Analytical drawing by George J. Haas

In the winter of 2007 this same area was photographed again (Figure 5) by the MRO HiRISE camera (PSP 005924 2210). Although the HiRISE image was shot at a higher resolution of 30.2 cm per pixel,9 the camera angle and lighting are slightly different.

Figure 5
Mound P and the Calf Head Geoglyph
Note: Mound P is on the left and the Calf Head Geoglyph is on right side.
Detail - MRO HiRISE image PSP 005924 2210 (2007)
Contrast enhancement by The Cydonia Institute.

Despite these differences, when the HiRISE image is cropped and mirrored along the same ridgeline of the structure, the Calf Head geoglyph is confirmed (Figure 6). The new image supports all of the proposed facial features including the eye, muzzle, mouth and the almond-shaped ear that points outward from the side of the head. The HiRISE image also highlights a set of dark ridgelines that follow the contours of the forehead, eye, muzzle and mouth.

Figure 6
The Calf Head Geoglyph
Detail - MRO HiRISE image PSP 005924 2210 (2007)
Contrast enhancement by The Cydonia Institute.

During their exodus from Egypt, when the people saw that it appeared Moses was not coming down from Mount Sinai, they gathered around his brother Aaron and Aaron said to them:
"Come, make us gods who will go before us”….

"Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me." …

“He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf”

Exodus 32:1-4


1.) Malin Space Science Systems, BUTTES AND MASSIFS IN CYDONIA MENSAE, MOC narrow-angle image SP1-23903, This image was originally released by NASA on April 14, 1998 and Michael Malin’s processed version was not released until June 6, 2000.
2.) Mound P was part of the sixteen mounds identified by Dr. Stanly McDonald and Dr. Horace Crater as statistically nonrandom.
3.) To explain the humorous title, Hoagland related a brief story behind this odd little structure to a statement made to him by none other than Dr. Michael Malin. He recalled that during a 1988 interview in the New York Times Dr. Malin stated that “[Malin] wouldn’t believe there were artificial structures on Mars until he could see the lawn furniture.” So, with this statement in mind, throughout his evaluation of Martian anomalies, Hoagland maintained the idea that he could only find indisputable evidence of ancient artifacts on Mars if he looked for the “devil in the details.” As stated, Hoagland believed that he had just found such evidence. He basically declared this little structure to be so unnatural that it could easily be seen as the Martian equivalent of a grandiose patio complex complete with lawn furniture. Hoagland’s initial analysis of this odd structure was that it appeared to be “the most blatant feature of things that should not be down there . . . but, they are!”

4.) Mac Tonnies, Another Mound Enigma, The Cydonia Imperative, May 9, 2002,

5.) Ibid.

6.) Mac Tonnies, Structure of Mounds Supports McDaniel and Crater's Geometry Hypothesis, The Cydonia Imperative, April 12, 2000,

7.) Malin Space Science Systems, BUTTES AND MASSIFS IN CYDONIA MENSAE, MOC narrow-angle image SP1-23903,

8.) George J. Haas and William R. Saunders, The Cydonia Codex: Reflections from Mars, (Berkeley: Frog Lid, 2005), p. 287.

9.)MRO HiRISE, Buttes and Knobs in Cydonia Region, November 1, 2007,

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