Home      The Anomaly Hunters Roundtable Study

The Anomaly Hunters Roundtable Study: Parrotopia, the Parrot and City Complex.


 Wil Faust

And members of the Anomaly Hunters

(2002 – 2003)


    The following in an Anomaly Hunters group study of an avian formation that extends into a grid-like formation of a city complex on the surface of Mars. The study encompasses a proposed geoglyph and urban complex that Anomaly Hunter Wil Faust has entitled Parrotopia (Figure 1) that was posted on the Anomaly Hunters Board on March 7, 2002.1 The complex is located on the Northwest rim of the huge Argyre Basin. Because of its location Faust believes the complex was an ancient port city at some distant time in the planets past. This preliminary conclusion is supported by the current state of knowledge of Martian geological history.

Figure 1
Parrotopia Complex (MOC 1402185)
(With notations added)


     In examining MOC image 1402185 provided by NASA,2 I direct your attention to the Parrot's head, marked A in figure 1. Three examples of apparent arterial grade separations (i.e. over- and underpasses) are in the vicinity of area B in figure 1. Curved, cylindrical forms connecting to large, multi-level structures are at area C in figure 1.  Three examples of linear alignments composed of rectilinear structures are found at area D in figure 1. Two examples where lineations seem to enter tunnel entrances can be seen at the area identified as E in figure 1. Evidence of multiple lineations -- perhaps as many as ten -- converge radially near this point, hilighted by area F in figure 1.  Three structural alignments converge near this point on the Parrot's right shoulder labeled G in figure 1. The image detail may have been partially erased in this area.

The image scale notations are directly over the near side wing cover. Note the anatomically correct leg structures. The structures in the immediate vicinity of the H notations in figure 1 appear to bear a strong resemblance to jetties and breakwaters. It must be remembered that many components of the complex, including these seemingly harbor-related structures, are partially buried by wind-driven material. It nonetheless can be seen that areas adjoining these possible "harbor" structures are essentially level, save for the wind-driven dunes, and that to the North beyond the level areas begins a scarp leading to higher terrain.3

The following image displays the context in which of Wils' Parrotopia complex was found (Figure 2). What is fascinating about this image is that without any enhancement the parrot image really stands out. The image was reduce greatly and cropped the bottom third of the strip to provide perspective and as you can see the parrot is spectacular. Just as the Egyptians carved the Sphinx out of an existing outcrop, it appears this Martian geoglyph may have also been carved utilizing the given terrain of the area.  It only makes sense to use what is available.

Figure 2
The Parrotopia complex (MOC 1402185)
Note the profile of a full bodied parrot at the bottom portion of this crop and the wing feature
that extends into a grid-like formation of a city complex.

    The decisive factors for the parrot-like appearance of the complex involve three aspects, two are anatomical, the other more behavioral in nature. Anatomically, the shaping of the hillside wing cover is absolutely perfect, right down to the actual 'lie' of the texturing in ovoid concentrics. It is very nearly a perfect rendering of the conformation of the feathers on a parrot's folded wing cover, what we might consider the bird's elbow. I could accept that the approximate shape of a parrot's midsection might be due to chance erosional forces, but I find that the detail is simply too uncannily realistic.

Second, above the eye is a line which accurately corresponds to the typical boundary of a kind of eye patch of small, very fine feathers which some species of parrot exhibit. I don't know the technical name for it (and right now I'm too lazy to go get the African Grey handbook!), but to my way of thinking, the fact it is characteristic only of some species of parrots rather than a stereotypical feature of parrots generally makes it a more believable identifier. (Incidentally, before George is compelled to respond on this point, this feature is characteristic of Macaws too!)

 Finally, and most subtly, is the way the wings are held in this landscape feature. To the eye of a parrot fancier (or, for that matter, many other smallish birds), there is a way the bird will sometimes hold its wings just slightly away from the body. It's a form of body language, signifying variously recognition (sort of a hi!), or pleading or begging (as for a special eat treat). As I interpret this landform, its wings are being held in just that way.

 This accounts, for example, for why the wing cover feathers do not blend seamlessly into the remainder of the torso, but seem to slightly stand away from the others. The far wing seems to my eye also to be held in a corresponding body posture.The decided appearance of an apparent reference to characteristic parrot behavior was conclusive in my mind, when coupled with the other features I mentioned. That the other features of note largely confirm the interpretation didn't hurt either.

The parrot's upper mandible does look fairly unlike those of hookbill parrots I am aware of. However, as with Martian cities, I guess I don't demand Martian parrots be precise replicas of those on Earth. Hookbills evolved because the meat of edible nuts is found on the inside. Who knows what food prevailed on a warmer, wetter Mars? Maybe (sorry, but I can't resist this!) if a hookbill analogy won't work, maybe a Toucan.5

    To get a better understanding of the artistic qualities expressed within the parrot an analytical drawing was produced with the help of a small animal veterinarian by the name of Amelia Joy Cole (Figure 3). The drawing identifies eighteen points of confirmation that provides overwhelming evidence that this Martian geoglyph not only represents a parrot, but also reveals that its features are anatomically correct.6 
Figure 3

Parrot Analytical Drawing by George Haas with letter notation: A-S.

A. The Belly.  B. The Body. C. Feather Shafts. D. The Eye. E. Primary Flight Feathers.

F. Cere (the top potion of the beak). G. Unknown artifact, possibly a feather. H. Beak.

I. Tongue.  J. Jaw. K. Head. L. Hood Line (neck). M. Claw. N. Foot and Toes.

O. Leg - Metatarsus. P. Leg - Tarsus Joint.  Q. Leg - Tibia. R&S. Tail Feathers.

     Some of these landscapes on Mars are designed or enhanced to "give the illusion” of something. There may be something to that rather beefy thigh on the parrot formation (Figure 2) that wouldn't be too far off from a falcon (?) from a distance. When you look closely at those toes, there is an area that stands out that intersects that's interesting, it has a center area too it anyway that connects the appendages.7

The only out of place feature found within the parrot formation is an odd artifact that penetrates the beak area (labeled "G" in Figure 3).  Notice the arrow shape of the shaft that penetrates the beak and the decorative feather-like feature at its opposite end. This unknown object may actually be the remnant of a hunters "dart" (Figure 4). The placement of the dart is reminiscent of the one that the Hero Twins shoot at the celestial bird Seven Macaw, as recorded in the Maya Popol Vuh. 8

Figure 4
The Parrot's Head (Detail)
(MOC 1402185)
Note the dart that penetrates the beak feature.

In the Creation story of the Popol Vuh, one of the Hero Twins hits Seven Macaw in the beak with a dart from his blow gun. The dart stuns Seven Macaw and knocks out one of his "shinny teeth," sending him down to Earth 9 (Figure 5). These odd feather-like projections in and around the beak of the Parrotopia bird may represent one of these darts.

Figure 5
Seven Macaw and the Hero Twins
Izapa Stela 2
Drawing by Linda Schele

The following image is a drawing of a hammered copper Bird produced by the Hopewell Indians form Ohio 10 (Figure 6). It is presented here as a comparison image for the parrot geoglyph found at the edge of the Parrotopia complex. Notice the parrot-like head, the beak, the round body, the tail feathers and foot. Also notice the overall open profiled posture of the wing, which is very similar in the design as expressed within the parrot geoglyph on Mars. Is this another clue to our lost heritage?

Figure 6
Bird (parrot)
Hammered copper (Hopewell Indians 400 BC to 400 AD)


    Richard C. Hoagland commented on Wilmer Faust's discovery of the "Parrotopia" complex live on the Anomaly Network, IRC Network on March 10, 2002.  The following is what Mr. Hoagland had to say in response to a question asked by The Cydonia Institute member Jim Miller, about this amazing image;


"I see an ancient urban complex partially buried and slowly being exhumed.
It's quite obviously artificial from all the regions but, very old and in ruin.
...the percent of the geometry certainly supports the artificiality of the city."  11

After Hoagland’s appearance on the Anomaly Network program, independent anomaly hunter Keith Laney added the following comment to the study;

“The rectangular areas along the upper edge are what intrigue me the most.

Very Inca City-ish. This is similar to the area shown by Odyssey as well.” 12

Here is an aerial shot of Nablus, a Palestinian city, from WWI, by Harold Maughan, a distinguished Australian war hero (Figure 7). Isn't it interesting to see this Middle Eastern city, some 62km north of Jerusalem, side by side to Parrotopia, a city on Mars. If you did not know that the second picture is of Mars, what would you think? Parrotopia lacks a few buildings distinguishable in the first photo, but is only slightly less civilized looking, having lines and squares very similar to what you can see in the old photo of Nablus. The lines that are roads appear the same. The masks, effigies, and totems that we have labeled as surface markers may be a form of buildings or dwellings. Sometimes when you examine what appears to be a collapsed face or mound, it appears to have structure underneath, like rebar, perhaps walls, or support structure of some kind. Taking into account different styles of architecture (square vs round), different cultures and such, what would you expect a Martian building to look like? In the center, or what I think is the center, you have a row of four mounds, one of which looks very much like a mask. There are connecting lines that look very much if not identical to the roads in the terrestrial photo. Since this is not a cut-and-paste or trick image, what is the simplest explanation for this similarity?    If there is an argument against this idea of a city on Mars, it should include strong, geological explanations for these patterns, the organization, and the structures observed.13 

Figure 7
A Comparison Between the Palestinian City of Nablus with Parrotopia.
(Photo from WWI, by Harold Maughan)
NORTHEAST CHANNEL AREA (Was the City a port?)

    The illustration below is a relief map produced by the team which operates the MOLA instrument on MGS (Figure 8). This is a laser altimeter, which for the first time has afforded an accurate global view of the Martian topography and as a consequence, how various areas on Mars related functionally in the past in such ways as geohydrological environments. As a result it is now known that the Argyre Basin was an "outflow region." In other words, it produced flows of water that were ultimately conducted to other parts of the planet.

This map illustrates that the outflow from Argyre was generally to the North, in what is termed the Chryse outflow region. The channel for such flows is illustrated by the yellowish-greenish alignment leading from Argrye, near the lower right of this image, toward the upper right center, where they eventually met the outflows from the Valles Marineris system (located in the center of the image, and flowing toward the right-hand side, east). Together they ultimately flowed into the great northern ocean -- Mare Boreum.14 

Figure 8
MOLA Relief map (MGS)
Note Parrotopia is located in the area denoted by the red dot at the bottom of the picture, just right of center.

   It has been well understood for some time that Argyre is ringed by an escarpment, a sloping wall of bluffs and cliffs, resulting from its very ancient origin as an impact crater. Thus it was a significant surprise that, last October, it was announced that a definite outflow channel had been located by the MOLA instrument. The announcement was accompanied by a beautiful relief image compiled from the MOLA data. It was featured on the cover of The Planetary Society's "Planetary Journal" for July/August, 2001.

The significance of the previous knowledge of the geophysiology of the Argyre Basin, the newfound understanding that, though a massive basin, it nonetheless served as an outflow source of water, together combined with the new, dramatic evidence of an ancient City on the Basin's rim, raises interesting possibilities. It would appear that, while a basin such as Argyre would serve as a regional collector of hydrological flows, the quantity was such that a net outflow occurred. It seems likely as a result that Argyre was the repository of a substantial body of water, probably of large extent and possibly depth, and perhaps for one or more significant time periods. The question thus arises as to the possible relationship(s) of the City of Parrotopia to this putative body of water.

While spending some time looking around the surroundings of Parrotopia, in search of an enhancement of a context image of the original frame containing the entire Complex, the following image is the result (Figure 9). After considerable checking and re-checking, I have a fairly high degree of confidence that I've located the image of the parrot on the M1402186 context picture. Looking at it closely, the parrot form appears distinctive to me in reference to its surroundings.15

Figure 9
Context image of the Parrotopia Complex
(XM1402186 enlarged 1.5 times the original)

    The next image (Figure 10) in this study is a modified crop of the original Parrotopia image. On it I have identified two areas with the capital letter "H". These are two of possibly several I note along the northern margin of the urban complex which, I believe, constitute possible evidence of a former relationship of the urban complex to a body of water.

Figure 10
Evidence of an Urban Port
(With Notations)

    The structures in the immediate vicinity of the "H" notations appear to bear a strong resemblance to jettys and breakwaters. It must be remembered, I believe, that many components of the complex, including these seemingly harbor-related structures, are partially buried by wind-driven material. It nonetheless can be seen that areas adjoining these possible "harbor" structures are essentially level, save for the wind-driven dunes, and that to the North beyond the level areas begins a scarp leading to higher terrain.

    I believe there is a strong possibility that, when the topography of the Argyre Basin is sufficiently well understood, it will be found that the ancient highstands of water in this basin have formed one or more equipotential elevations -- marked by beach terraces -- which will coincide with the mean elevation of the Parrotopia water frontage. This is extremely exciting, in my view, for it will constitute corroboration of the probable origin of this beautiful complex as a work of ancient intelligence. Our eventual understanding of the ages of global, geophysical evolution on Mars will then allow us to approximate a time frame to this urban habitation.16

    Taking a closer look at the cities structure I have zeroed in on the grid pattern. The crop presented in Figure 11, which is enlarged at 2.5 times the original image scale (Figure 2), is located near the upper right in the original Parrotopia image. The larger part of this crop seems to be infused with linear and curvilinear features which interconnect; change direction and elevation (they appear to have been functional in one or more ways at multiple topographic levels); enter openings into structures or landforms (often reemerging at a more distant point); and cross one another, sometimes with apparent linkages and at other times clearly without.

    This evidence, in my opinion, is wholly consistent with the essence of what urban transportation systems are about. I believe that's the main evidence presented by this enhancement. But, though, there are a couple of other things I'll comment on as worthy of special note.

Figure 11
City Complex (XcropME3)
Note the rectangular areas

    About one-quarter of the way up the left edge of the picture (Figure 12) is another view of those seemingly cylindrical, curved structures connecting to different levels of structure. In this enhancement, the largest of these is well imaged. It may possibly be casting shadows below, in which case it is at least in part free-standing. In any event, it looks very, very much like some purpose-built device. Notice, for example, how at the upper level it 'feeds' into a larger diameter cylindrical object.

    Then, along the lineation which crosses from bottom center to below the center of the left edge, it's easy to note a large, ovoid dome-like shape. Looking at it closely, there are several features which seemingly reinforce one another and prompt the question to any Egyptologists who just might be reading these words: does this look like a Scarab beetle to you? I'm not an Egyptologist by any stretch, but, it actually does to me! Yes, I know, speculative. But just study it a bit.17

     There is the notably bland area in the upper left quadrant of the image that looks like dried-up mud flats. The area labeled 1 has a round structure with pipe rising from the center and running off to the right. Area labeled 2 in figure 12 features a bridge. There is no other way to describe it other than the ruined entrance to the complex.  In area 3 I have noted these two structures together as they are probably the ruined buttress for the bridge. Note there is pipe-like structure connecting these. The last area labeled 4 is a scarab or beetle-like structure. I noted this not to say I could see it but to say there is that distinct line running down the center of its' back and there is ruined pipe works leading to section 1. Perhaps this is the water processing plant for the city and 2 is the intake, 4 the main holding tank and 1 a processed water tank. 18

Examining the area next to the Scarab beetle is a square formation that looks like it is composed of sand, water, or ice. If you look at it in the un-rotated view, there is an area between the Scarab and another large structure that makes it seem as if there is a canal or pit area between them (this second structure would be on the opposite side, not on the mudflat side of Scarab). Notice the reflective shadows there act like water or ice reflections from the area above? 19 

Figure 12
Crop of Wil's XcropME3
(With annotations by Starjim)

1. Round structure with pipe. 2. The bridge

3. Ruined buttress for the bridge. 4. Scarab Formation.

    When the upper most part of the City Complex, (beyond the Parrot's wing) is turned around, the infrastructure becomes quite obvious (Figure 13). With the parrot at the top of the city as it is given from MSSS this area would be adjacent to Wils northeast area. At any rate there is a defined channel running along the bottom of the image. My impression of this is that of the observation deck of a cruise ship (Figure 13). Picture the rear of the ship full of windows from the water line to the top deck. I have noted a large walkway leading to a round area. Note the streaking in the darkest area, that streaking goes in a different direction from the surrounding area – like glass. I hate to say it but I put an arrow pointing at a little head that just happens to be at the starting point of the ramp. (I have to keep with the pet theory of marker = structure). The tiny hand drawn arrow points to one of those spots previously mentioned regarding lines that clearly cross over each other where there is visible separation where they intersect.20

    The large dark area to which the arrow at the lower left points is where the idea of a harbor that was pointed to earlier. Those higher albedo structures look like breakwaters and jetties. And the location of the channel is exactly where it needs to be in order to connect via water transport toward the central region of the Argyre Basin.21 

Figure 13
Observation Deck
Detail MOC 1402185


    Now, For Something Completely Different.What if we view the Parrotopia Complex from the same perspective as the picture was taken by the MOC and therefore view the image as presented in the MSSS best gif image (Figure 14).  Below please find a crop which presents the area of interest from another pointof view. Please note that this image is JPEG with only 50% quality so it is only useful for gross reference, not for detail analysis. In this analysis I shall refer to the top, bottom, right and left sides as NSEW as a convenience without regard for where true North really is. Now, please bear with me.

    First, I would like you to visualize the backside of a house and imagine that you have a grandiose vision. You want the world’s largest awning so you buy some aluminum poles, attach one end of some of those poles to the top of your house (the body of the parot) and allow the other ends to lie on the ground at the far end of your yard (forming the wing). You might bend the poles down at the far end so the awning doesn’t actually go all the way to ground, allowing you access  under it. Next you run some of the extra poles across the first poles and connect them where they cross. This will provide some structural rigidity. Then you put a new hi-tec super strong, super light material across the framework and you have a really big, strong awning.

    But now you realize that you used incredibly strong super poles and decide you also want a deck. So you attach some more poles to your house, run these out, level to the ground, until they meet the first poles. You connect them and build your deck on them using the same super strong materials. So far so good, but since you have grandiose ideas you build another deck above the first. This now gives you a double decker deck under a slanting roof. OK. With that ridiculous image firmly in mind, it is time to look at my image. 22

Figure 14
The Winged Canopy
Parrot and wing inverted
(Notations by Jim MUC)

    What we see in this image is an artificial structure reminiscent of what I just described above. The terrain slopes down toward the SE and the parrot is in the top third of the image. Notice the digit 1 I placed at the throat of the bird and the second 1 I placed a little way to the SE (Figure 14). These mark where a long pipe connects to the terrain at the top 1, runs down to the SE and terminates at some sort of structure just left of the lower 1. A second pipe connects at the upper digit 2 and runs SE, down to the dark stuff where it terminates on a pod or structural foot, just to the left of the lower digit 2. Find the upper digits 3, 4, 5 and 6 and you will find more pipes, each running down to the SE and terminating at the corresponding lower 3,4,5 or 6. Look to the left of the lower digit 6 and you will see additional pipes running toward the NW. These pipes are all primary structural supports.

    Now look just N of the lower digits 4, 5 and 6. You will find pipes running perpendicular to the primary supports that connect to those supports forming a framework. Look a little further N and find another row of perpendicular pipes. These pipes provide another level of framework. Each level has some sort of flooring material. Look just NW of the lower digit 6 and you will find additional vertical supports for the framework. What we have found is a totally artificial, multi-floored, really large structure. You will notice that some of the flooring and top level surfaces have collapsed allowing you to look into the structure where you can see some really large objects.23

We have been able to 'view' objects inside of this area, below the framework in which the black area is the result of a slanting structure and that would account for the lines or striations.24

  Now, look along the path defined by the upper digits 4, 5 and 6. You will see what looks like ribs extending down from the body of the bird. The bird is actually hollow underneath. Those ribs are part of the overhead roof assembly (body of the bird.) Between the digits 4 and 5 you will find a large structure that extends from the outside, back under the roof.25 

  Clarifying this analysis a little more, nothing seen in my cropped image and the immediate area around it appears natural, nothing. This entire area is terraformed. Examine the dark area where you find my lower digits 2 and 3. This is not land.  When this area is enlarged and you increase the brightness, you will see definite structure. You will see where the dark material connects to the 'hillside' on the right and runs up to the left beneath the tiered structure. More important, you will see along the edges that the dark material is thin enough that you can see the terrain features below it. As stated this could have been a water basin at one time. Water would drain into this basin and collect beneath the black stuff which collects heat from the Sun and provides insulation from the cold above in order to prevent or reduce freezing of the water below. Geothermal energy could also be used to help prevent freezing. In fact, Geothermal heat might also be used to passively warm the structures above. 26


1. This is a condensed and edited version of a much large discussion and analysis. See: http://www.anomalyhunters.com.

2. MOC narrow-angle image M14-02185, (released April 4, 2001), http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/m13_m18/images/M14/M1402185.html.

3. Wil Faust, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Thursday, 7 March 2002, at 5:31 a.m.

4 Jim Miller, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Thursday, 14 March 2002, at 3:45 p.m.


5. Wil Faust, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Friday, 10 January 2003, at 9:06 p.m.

6. George Haas, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Friday, 8 March 2002, at 12:25 p.m.

7. Peg, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Thursday, 14 March 2002, at 7:17 p.m.

8. George Haas, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Friday, 8 March 2002, at 12:25 p.m.

9. Dennis, Tedlock, Popol Vuh, (New York: Touchstone, 1986), pages 90-94.

10. David Thomas, Exploring Ancient Native America, (New York: Macmillian, 1994), page 135.

11. George Haas, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Sunday, 10 March 2002, at 2:00 p.m.

12. Keith Laney, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Monday, 11 March 2002, at 11:49 a.m.

13. Sharon Adams, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Tuesday, 14 January 2003, at 4:42 a.m.

14. Wil Faust, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Saturday, 20 April 2002, at 11:00 p.m.

15. Wil Faust, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Sunday, 12 January 2003, at 8:58 p.m.

16. Wil Faust, Anomaly Hunters, PARROTOPIA UPDATE No.1: Was the City a port?, Date: Saturday, 20 April 2002, at 11:00 p.m.

17. Wil Faust, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Friday, 17 January 2003, at 9:54 p.m. 

18. Jim Miller, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Saturday, 18 January 2003, at 4:30 a.m.

19. Sharon Adams, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Saturday, 18 January 2003, at 11:50 a.m.

20. Jim Miller, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Saturday, 18 January 2003, at 5:35 a.m.

21. Wil Faust, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Saturday, 18 January 2003, at 12:16 p.m.

22 Jim MUC, Anomaly Hunters, Now, For Something Completely Different, Date: Friday, 24 January 2003, at 3:56 a.m.

23. Ibid.

24. Jim Miller, Anomaly Hunters, Date: Friday, 24 January 2003, at 1:28 p.m.

25. Jim MUC, Anomaly Hunters, Now, For Something Completely Different, Date: Friday, 24 January 2003, at 3:56 a.m.

26. Jim MUC, Anomaly Hunters, Now, For Something Completely Different, Date: Friday, 24 January 2003, at 2:52 p.m.