The Cydonia Institute
Through NASA’s own photographs the truth will be revealed
The Cydonia Institute                                                Vol. 10   No. 2 
The HiRISE Face Reveals a Hidden Owl
by George J. Haas
November 2007 (Revised 2011)
One of the first surprises noticed in the 2001 MOC image of the Cydonia Face (E03-00824) was the presence of a flailing tongue1 seen on the Feline side of the Face (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Feline side of the Face on Mars with the tongue highlighted.
MOC E03-00824 (2001)
Note the crowned tongue within the boxed area
Enhancement by The Cydonia Institute

The formation of the tongue was confirmed in the 2007 HiRISE image (PSP-00323402210) and is fully realized in the duplicated presentation where we are able to see its facial features in more detail (Figure 2). Again the new image reveals the tongue to be fashioned as an elaborately constructed avian head with a decorative horn-tipped crown. Besides the crown, the tongue includes two large eye orbits surrounded by feathery contours and a sharp beak that creates an owl-like face.

Figure 2
Crowned Tongue (2007)

Detail of duplicated perspective of the Feline side of the Cydonia Face.
HiRISE (PSP-00323402210)
Enhancement by The Cydonia Institute

When the Crowned Tongue is viewed in relationship to the overall shape of the zigzag mane formation, the tongue emerges as the crowned head of a horned owl as the lower chin and beard elements transform into the owl’s body including a set of wings and tail feathers2 (Figure 3).

Figure 3
Horned Owl (2007)
Detail of duplicated perspective of the feline side of the Cydonia Face.
HiRISE (PSP-00323402210)
Enhancement by The Cydonia Institute

As we have demonstrated previously the humanoid and feline sides of the Face have a direct relationship to a set of masks found on the First Temple at Ceros Mexico.3 We found that the humanoid side represents the First Lord mask on the temple, while the feline mask represents the Jaguar Sun.4 According to tradition, when the creature known as Jaguar Sun journeys down below the horizon into the Underworld he takes on the alternate aspect of the Nighttime Sun. Once in the Underworld he joins his avian companion the horned owl at the temple of God L (the death god). Just such a scene of this mythical reunion is illustrated in the Codex Borgia5 (Figure 4). Notice the horned owl and the jaguar leaving an Underworld Temple as a death skull with a large tongue blade protruding from his mouth hovers above them. Looking again at the at the feline side of the Cydonia Face (Figure 1) note the totemic image of a horned owl conflated within its mane and beard reaffirming the jaguar’s spiritual transformation between the upper and lower worlds as the Jaguar Sun and the Nighttime Jaguar. 

Figure 4
Horned owl and jaguar in the underworld
Codex Borgia, page 24

Within the walls of the Tetitla Palace located at the Aztec site of Teotihuacan, Mexico there are several mural paintings of owls6 depicted in frontal views with outstretched wings (Figure 5). Notice the round feathered head and the dark mask around the eyes7 and droplets of blood flowing from the beak. The body has a set of flat prominent tail feathers and exaggerated claws. When examined next to the Horned Owl observed on the Feline side of the Cydonia Face, the comparison with the Tetitla owl is quite revealing (Figure 5).

Figure 5
Owl comparison
Left: Owl - Tetitla Palace, in Teotihuacan.
Right: Horned Owl – detail of the Feline side of the Cydonia Face

Just as the Horned Owl is only half an image, placed within the mane feature of the Feline side of the Cydonia Face, the extreme bilateral symmetry of the owl painting at Tetitla has led some archeologist to suggest that many of the avian creatures depicted at Teotihuacan may be the creation of a fusion between two half profiles.8


1. George J. Haas William R. Saunders, The Cydonia Codex: Reflections from Mars, (Berkeley: Frog Lid, 2005), pp. 277 -279.

2. George J. Haas William R. Saunders, The Martian Codex: More Reflections from Mars, (Berkeley: Frog Lid, 2009), pp. 31 -33.

3. See TCI article:  The Face on Mars found at Cerros .
4. George J. Haas William R. Saunders, The Cydonia Codex: Reflections from Mars, (Berkeley: Frog Lid, 2005), p. 24, Fig 1.127.

5. The Codex Borgia is a Mesoamerican manuscript consisting of 39 pages that were written sometime before the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The codex was brought to Europe during the early Spanish Colonial period and rediscovered in 1805 among the effects of Cardinal Stefano Borgia. The Codex Borgia is presently housed in the Apostolic Library located in the Vatican.

6. Arthur G. Miller, The Mural Painting of Teotihuacán. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1973, p 138. Also see - A Ramble Around Teotihuacan, A Guided Tour by Richard A. Diehl, March 14, 2011.

7. The owl depicted on the mural at Tetitl may represent a spectacled owl, which gets its name from the pattern of white feathers around its eyes. The spectacled owl is a large tropical owl found in southern Mexico.

8. Sejourne, Laurette, El Quetzatlcoatl en Teotihuacan. Cuadernos Americanos, Vol. 138, No. 1, 1965, p. 147.
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