back to article Boffin retracts martian water claims

Gosh darn it, there are no puddles on Mars after all. The researcher responsible for announcing the discovery of standing water on the Martian surface has retracted his claims (see full piece on New Scientist's news blog), after readers of the August publication pointed out that the spot the "water" was standing on was not flat …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can only wonder who or what "convinced" him...

    ... whoever tries to make the obvious official, to tell that Mars is full of life, water, plants, animals and technological buildings and so on.. well, "gets convinced" into retracting any previous statement claiming so ... still even the official heavily censored digital raw data and images from Mars,the Moon and other planets clearly shows that these are not theories but facts

  2. MishyMoshy

    Time of the month

    I guess if you call it an August publication maybe it's just that they're ahead of their time...

    Cos you surely didn't mean to call them an august publication? More like a lower grade pop-sci tabloid that's typical of mainstream scientific news in the UK nowadays - just compare it to Scientific American. All of which illustrates the calibre of staff they've got such that there wasn't anyone left in the building with a couple of braincells switched on to spot such glaring rubbish (like, you know, Mars hardly has an atmosphere which kinda puts the kibosh on that sorta thing...?). Maybe it's too much like rocket science to them.

    Look forward to seeing an article about little green people found on Mars. It'll be worth printing cos it's what somebody said so that's fine. Not a specialist's journalist job to know better.

  3. John Angelico

    Scientist admits claim doesn't hold water; journalist can't take the p...

    It make remain true, dear Vultures, that the journo got it right, but it's the scientist who is retracting, n'est pas?

    John A

    Down Under

  4. Dan P

    Well, there goes his career!

    Jumping to conclusions isn't what I thought science was about, and you certainly don't expect a scientist to announce such a ground-breaking theory as this without doing substantial background checks.

    Still, the next time he announces something like a canal system on Mars, at least people will be rightfully sceptical of his research and check the background instead of blindly publishing it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tabloid Press.

    I can see the headlines now:

    "Martian scientists use advanced tech to place puddles on slopes - fiendish alien plot to discredit our boys. (See page 8)"


  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Mars full of life? pull the other one!

    The anonymous poster of the first comment is an interesting, if not platonic example of a conspiracy theorist. How can you hush up what is in plain sight? Does he think amateur telescopes (even the ones you build yourself) all come with a non-disclosure agreement about anything concerning Mars? Though the detail you can record using webcams is of course limited, no "canal" or other structures are visible, despite claims to by many astronomers in the past (mistranslation of Italian canali = channels lead to this hype). Spacecraft from the USSR (phobos) as well as the USA (mariners, viking, ..) gave the same results: it is a dry, dusty and cold place. Given the bitter differences between the two regimes at that times, it is unlikely they would ever conspire together.

    There may be life on Mars, but if so, it will most likely be microscopic (Viking landers tried to find it, but only got inconclusive results). I am (as a scientist (oops part of the conspiracy)) always excited, but also a sceptical about spectacular new findings. Spectacular claims require spectacular proof, to paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke. However, should there be proof positive of life on Mars (or Europa, one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter), it would be the discovery of the century, and I would be over the moon. When standing in my back garden with a telescope, and seeing several galaxies in a single field of view, each consisting of billions of stars, I cannot help wonder whether someone is looking back, and maybe wondering the same.

    Why are they not paying us a visit? Its the English game of cricket, as any Dougals Adams fan knows.

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