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Letters Our spine-tingling discovery of the number "19" on the surface of Mars last week - proof were it needed that we are all in fact descended from extraterrestrial robot beings - immediately provoked a spectacular meteor storm of emails.

The implications of this written evidence of mankind's ancestry are too unnerving for most of us to contemplate. Not for Werner Offenbach though, whose scientific German mind offered this insight:

Apparently, they already used English back on Mars. Which may imply the British as a whole originated off Earth. A fact that would not surprise the rest of Europe. ;-)

Indeed, humanity has a lot to thank these aliens for, to be sure: and not only the Mother of all Tongues, but also additional side benefits of civilisation, as Alice notes:

Regarding the article on the mysterious 19 found on Mars... Could the fact that the numerals seem to be in a Club suit shaped hollow suggest that they are a Bridge playing intelligence?

Absolutely. If they spoke English then it's Bridge, Gin and Tonic and cucumber sandwiches all round. Lovely.

In fact, the only thing which could possibly spoil this idyllic scene of afternoon tea with the Cyberrenglish would be the arrival of the black helicopters and Ron Gordon:

While your theories may be interesting, the real, and much more mundane explanation is that NASA, in their haste to drag their Apollo sets out of mothballs, forgot to turn over stage prop 19. Note that other "rocks" in the "pictures from mars" are identical to "pictures of rocks from the Moon". Specifically, the following stage props can be seen in both places:

Prop # 33 - small undistinguished rock
Prop #200A (bulk) - grayish brown powder
Prop #'s 701-755 - small angular fragments, 0.5" to 2.5" max length.

The list is much longer, but these will give you a starting point to verify the utter laziness of the engineers involved in these continuing NASA hoaxes.

So, has NASA staged the whole thing, or is there an even more sinister plot being played out by the Agency?:

Need I mention the recent "discoveries" of several other artifacts on Mars? Like the box, the machine fitting, the bowl, the safe, the stove, the slot rock, the blocks within blocks of rock, collections of mechanical bits and much more.

See www.enterprisemission.com

Why hasn't this research group reported seeing black helicopters yet? They've been at it for years.

A good point made there by Peter. Had you considered, however, the possibility that www.enterprisemission.com is itself a hoax perpetrated by the CIA in order to lure IT news sites into ridiculing conspiracy theorists and thereby undermining their credibility?

Mind you, with Chris Norris at large, the spooks don't need to put themselves out too much:

Dunno about the number 19 in the picture from NASA linked at the bottom of your story, but if you look at the center of that linked picture and follow a line at about 45 degrees you'll find Gandalf himself peeking out of the dirt! It's really weird!

Yup, it's really weird alright, but it's about to get weirder still, thanks to Ian Nebe Barnett:

I wonder if these super-intelligent machine beings are also reponsible for genetically coding hidden messages, one letter or number at a time, into butterfly's wings here on Earth...

www.insects.org/ced4/scaly.html
www.butterflyutopia.com/diaethria.html

Sorry, it was the lizard people who genetically modified the butterflies during their war for supremacy against the dolphin race, a conflict which sadly ended in the destruction of Atlantis.

Nope, we're just going to have to accept that - apart from the English language and Bridge - there are few remaining legacies of Earth's colonisation by the Martians. Perhaps, though, we should ourselves consider the possibility of a return to the Red Planet, spearheaded by our most able emissary. Albert Lederer would like to nominate the following:

Let's send Kevin Warwick to be our ambassador since he's the closest thing to a machine being (superintelligent being questionable here). Considering the guy's a cyborg anyways, he shouldn't need food or water for the journey to Mars, nor will he need a space suit. He should easily be able to adapt his power and communications systems to match that of the ancient civilization and may be able to activate any dormant computer systems that are there.

An excellent choice. God forbid, though, that Captain Cyborg should set foot on Mars and find his journey has been in vain. Pete Jones has the last word on this madness with a new, shocking theory:

The photo is upside down! It's actually 61, which transposes to FA, or Fuck All.

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