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Chuck Missler is the head of Koinonia House Ministries. I remember hearing him for the first time when he came to Calvary Chapel in Philadelphia. The church was packed out. I was shocked by what Missler said! I could not believe what I was hearing. He thought the face on Mars indicated that there are Martians who are planning an attack on earth via the moon which would signal the start of the Tribulation (See As The Days of Noah Were). It has been a number of years since he has said this, and I have not seen any Martians, but maybe they are too busy causing problems with the Mars Polar Lander.
The Face on Mars
Because of the NASA announcement about possible ancient life on Mars, there has been wild speculation about aliens. Unfortunately, Richard Hoagland was on CNN pushing the issue that the face on Mars was built by an ancient civilization. He also insists there are remains of large cities on the moon. A number of Christians are also caught up with these wild ideas. Since the invention of large telescopes many have claimed to see familiar objects from fuzzy photographs. These types of illusions are called pareidolia. Italian astronomer Schiaparelli first mapped canals on Mars in 1877. The astronomer Lowell (1855-1916) thought these canals on Mars were made by Martians. This sparked a controversy that peaked in 1910. In 1953 H. Percy Wilkins claimed to see a man-made bridge on the moon. These illusions disappeared when space-crafts took detailed pictures of the moon and Mars. According to planetary scientists the face on Mars is just a natural formation. It is like finding shapes in clouds. Other pictures show no alien civilizations on Mars or the moon. What this does show is man's vivid imagination. The Face of Mars has been photographed again in higher and closer resolution by the Mars Global Surveyor showing that it is just a rock formation. See NASA pictures at Mars Orbiter Camera Views the "Face on Mars"(Information for this article is based on the books, "How to Think About Weird Things" by Schick and Vaughn, and "The Outer Edge" edited by Nickell, Karr, and Genoni.
Jonathan Swift & the Two Moons of Mars
I was also amazed to find out from Chuck Missler that once Mars was so close to earth that you could see its two moons. The proof offered was that Jonathan Swift in his famous book, Gulliver's Travels (1726), describes Mars as having two small moons, way before these two moons were discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall. Velikovshy, and some Christians, explain this by saying that Mars in ancient times was very close to the earth so man could see these two moons. Then Jupiter ejected a comet (now the planet Venus) which passed close to earth, causing the plagues of Egypt, and parting the Red Sea for Moses. Centuries later Venus jolted Mars into its present orbit. This theory is a fantasy that is devoid of facts. UFO fans say that extraterrestrials visited Swift and told him about the two moons of Mars. At the time of Swift the common theory put forth by the great astronomer Johannes Kepler was that Mars had two moons. This was based on the harmony of the planets in the solar system. Since earth had one moon, Jupiter had four, and Saturn had eight, and Mars is between the earth and Jupiter, the logical conclusion is that Mars had two very small moons. Although this theory is false, Swift used this in his book for the Laputians to claim there were two moons around Mars. One does not have to turn to wild speculation as Velikovshy has done, but to the common theories of that day to explain the two moons around Mars. (Information is based on the book The Great Copernicus Chase by Owen Gingerich p. 179, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural by James Randi, p.155).
What I did not realize when Chuck Missler was speaking, was that much of what he was saying was from Velikovsky's wild theories (See above). This led me to a study of Velikovsky's views. What was even more surprising was that some of the speakers at ICC-International Creation Conference brought into Velikovshy's views.
The vast majority of Astronomers both Christian and non-Christian do not follow Velikovshy's theories of Venus knocking Mars out of a close orbit with Earth. He wrote World in Collision in 1950. There have been numerous articles showing the problems with his views. Dr. Newman wrote "The Astrophysics of World in Collision" in Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (December 1973, p.146) which points out the problems. (See the web page Top Ten Reasons Why Velikovsky is Wrong.)
The vast majority of Archaeologists both Christian and non-Christian do not follow Velikovsky's Egyptian chronology that puts the New Kingdom 550+ years later, so that Thutmose III is Shishak king of Egypt in I Kings 14:25, but a stele of Sheshonk at Megiddo indicates that he is the Shishak of the Bible (See "The Campaign of Pharaoh to Palestine" by Maisler in Vetus Testamentum Supplement IV 1957, 57-66). Velikovsky also places the Hyksos at the same time as David and Solomon. Queen Hatshepsut is equated with the Queen of Sheba. A number of articles have been written to show how wrong he is. The Amarna letters link Amenhotep III and other Amarna pharaohs with the Kassite kings of Babylon in the 14th century. (See articles: Biblical Archaeologist Spring 1980, 119; and "Immanuel Velikovshy's Catastrophic History" by Edwin Yamauchi in Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (December 1973, p.134-39).