The Cydonia Institute
Through NASA’s own photographs the truth will be revealed
The Cydonia Institute                                                                                                                  Vol. 12  No. 1 
The Howler Monkey 
by George J. Haas
February 2009
   In the spring of 2000 NASA's Mars Global Surveyor camera photographed a section of the northern most area of Cydonia in MOC image M0400576 (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Northern region of Cydonia context image M04-00577
Notated with the location of MOC image M04-00576
Courtesy NASA/JPL//The Cydonia Institute

   The image featured what NASA claimed to be an example of a giant polygonal mesa at a resolution of 4.64 meters per pixel with the sun coming in from the north (left). The first thing I notice about this polygonal formation was its overt face-like appearance (Figure 2). The overall shape of the mesa conforms to facial features one would expect to see in a profiled head of a simian creature. Notice the large forehead and the fanning, or segmented pattern curving around the back of the skull. The facial features include a short broad nose and large nostril, similar to those seen within primates. The face also has a large empty eye socket, a gaping mouth with thick lips. On the western side of the mesa we noticed a flat bar-shaped formation, possibly serving as a rectangular ear bar that appears to be partially covered by debris. Beyond the mesa on the eastern side, is an arching grove cut into the flat plane. It begins at the front of the forehead and then curves southward ending abruptly.1 After completing a preliminary study, my first impression of the overall structure was that NASA had photographed another Martian geoglyph, this one in the form of a howler monkey.
Figure 2
Polygonal Mesa (M0400576)

Left: The Martian Howler Monkey

Right: Analytical drawing by George J. Haas

   In the pantheon of Maya gods, there is a celestial god known as God C that is typically represented as a simian-faced figure and glyph2 (Figure 3a). Most archaeologists believe the glyphs main design element is based on the facial features of the howler monkey3 (Figure 3b). Although the meanings attributed to the variant forms of God C glyphs are complex, they are normally read as sacred, divine or holy.4

Figure 3
God C and Howler Monkey
a. God C
(Image source: Madrid Codex, p.78)
Drawing by George J. Haas
b. Howler Monkey
Detail of a Polychrome Bowl (reversed)
Drawing by George J. Haas
(Image source: After Photo by Justin Kerr K8640)

   In its variant forms, it is also connected to sacred blood5 and also has a celestial identification with the cardinal directions, most notably north.6 At times it becomes the North Star in Ursa Minor, which is referred to as “guards of the North.”7 In many Maya inscriptions and codices a profiled head of God C is commonly shown in the sky-bands (Figure 4). In Maya Yucatec, God C was also called Xaman Ek’, which literally means “north star.”8

Figure 4
God C in Skyband
Drawing by George J. Haas
(Image source: Madrid Codex, p.78)

   Besides these Maya glyphs, portraits of howler monkeys are also seen on stone hacha’s that were produced for the Mesoamerican ball game. The following two examples exhibit similar facial features as those seen within the polygonal mesa at Cydonia (Figure 5).  The first is Maya stone hacha in the form of a howler monkey. Notice the broad curved forehead, the empty eye socket and the open mouth (Figure 5a). The second example is a stone hacha from Veracruz (Figure 5b). This hacha depicts a transformational image of a human and monkey face. Notice the spiraling headdress, the broad nose, the empty eye socket and the gaping mouth with thick lips. 

Figure 5
Monkey Faced Hachas
a. Howler Monkey Head (Hacha)
Maya – Guatemala
Drawing by George J. Haas
(Image source: Seeing with new eyes, Rebecca Stone-Miller
b. Helmeted Transformational Head (Hacha)
Olmec – Veracruz
Drawing by George J. Haas
(Image source: Ceremonial Sculpture of Ancient Veracruz, Dr. Marilyn M. Goldstein)

   When these Mesoamerican sculptures and glyphs of howler monkeys are compared to the simian-faced formation seen on the northern planes of Cydonia their intrinsic commonality becomes undeniable. Most notable is the Helmeted Transformational Head (Figure 6).

Figure 6
Comparison of Howler Monkeys
Left: Helmeted Transformational Head (Hacha)
Olmec – Veracruz
Right: Martian Howler Monkey

   Beyond the overt relationship between the various incarnation of the Mesoamerican howler monkey and this polygonal mesa, their similarity goes far beyond chance. It goes far deeper by challenging all odds of probability when one considers that the area known as Cydonia is located at a latitude between 32° N to 42° N9 and according to the ancillary data, provided by NASA, the center of this MOC strip zeros in on the planet at 42.27°N. Therefore, due to the fact that this polygonal mesa is seen in the lower third of the strip, it is strategically location right at the northern most point of Cydonia - at 42° N.

   We find it to be well beyond coincidence that not only does this polygonal mesa resemble a howler monkey as described within the motifs of Mesoamerican iconography, it is also the Martian equivalent to God C - a celestial marker for cardinal north.

1. A similar carved trench is seen extending from a structure in the Cydonia area known as the Fortress. See MOC image M04-01903.
2. John Montgomery, Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphics, (Hippocrene Books, Inc. New York) 2002, p.155.
3. Susan Milbrath, Star Gods of the Maya Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars, (University of Texas Press, Austin), 1999, p.225.
4. Linda Schele and David Freidel, A Forest of Kings, The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya, (Quill, New York), 1990, p.410.
5. Ibid, p.410.
6. Susan Milbrath, Star Gods of the Maya Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars, (University of Texas Press, Austin), 1999,   p.71,75.
7. Ibid, p. 273.
8. Ibid, p. 273.
9. William K. Hartmann, A Traveler’s Guide to Mars The Mysterious Landscapes of the Red Planet (2003), p.336.


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