Will Private Space Missions Shine Light On The Mars Conspiracies?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
February 21, 2019
Last Updated
May 8, 2022
Estimated Reading Time
13 min read
Posted in
Space, Our Solar System

For several years there have been plans, both by NASA and other world governments’ space programs, as well as private companies, to succeed in a manned mission to Mars. And while NASA might be the favorite to achieve this feat, it might be that in the interests of full disclosure of information to the public that a private space program beats them to it.

A depiction of an astronaut on Mars blended into a picture of Mars

A depiction of an astronaut on Mars blended into a picture of Mars

Of the privately funded proposed missions, Mars One was perhaps the most interesting, if only because they offered a one-way ticket only. The project was the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur, Bas Lansdorp, who first made public his plans in May 2012.

What’s more, a reality-type TV show documenting the mission was to partly fund the out of this world exploration. A key individual who created and relaunched the Big Brother show will be in charge of packaging this for TV. Many met the announcement with skepticism to begin with, even claiming it was nothing more than a hoax.

Indeed, as we will look shortly, whether a hoax or not, Mars One would go bankrupt in early-2019. Their story is still worth looking at, though. As is the future plans of NASA and private companies in their race to the red planet. We will update this article below with any such updates. First, though, we turn our attention to the mission that almost was. What happened to Mars One?

Mars One – An Ill-Thought Out Attempt At Planetary Colonization?

Aware of the claims that the Mars One project was merely a publicity stunt, Lansdorp told the BBC in 2012:

If you look at the team involved in Mars One, none of us would do this as a hoax. If a Mars mission was to happen, we’d want to be part of it and if we did a scam now and it didn’t work no-one would ever include us in the real thing! I’m a real entrepreneur. If it wasn’t possible, I wouldn’t spend my time on it. I truly believe it will happen!

Lansdorp believed his company would land humans on Mars by the mid-2020s, several years ahead of NASA’s target date. While the NASA mission always planned on bringing their astronauts home, however, Mars One’s astronauts were to remain on the red planet. Those making up the crew would essentially establish the first human settlement there.

It was this one-way ticket that, according to Lansdorp, would allow Mars One to proceed before any of its rivals, including NASA. Mars One would not have to carry the fuel that would be essential to make a return journey, for example. Nor would it have to overcome the logistics or the obstacles of “launching” a craft from the surface of Mars.

What’s more, the potential crew members were whittled down from millions of people who originally applied. All did so knowing full well it was a one-way ticket. Including people with families and young children.

Mars One always had plenty of detractors. Not least because many consider it an ill-thought-out attempt at planetary colonization. And, it would turn out, they were correct. At least for now.

A Rough Blueprint For Future Missions?

In January 2019 it was announced that the Mars One project was officially bankrupt, [1] ending any hope that the planned “Mars colonization” mission would go ahead. While Lansdorp would confirm the bankruptcy, he would also go on to state his hopes of finding investors to rescue the project. He would state in an e-mail in February 2019 that “we’re working with the administrator and an investor to find a solution”.

In order to finance the project, as mentioned above, Lansdorp planned to monetize the project. To do this, he broke the Mars One project into two separate companies – Mars One Foundation (which is not-for-profit and concerns itself with the actual mission), and Mars One Ventures AG, which would sell the broadcast rights to television and control any other funding).

When Mars One Ventures AG went public in 2016, combined with the date of the launch pushed back from 2023 to 2032 (after NASA’s loosely planned goal of 2030) some became concerned. Others became outright suspicious.

Whichever side of the argument proves to be right, only time will tell. We will, of course, keep you updated on the Mars One revival (should it happen) here on this page.

It did, however, show an intense interest by people all around the planet to have involvement in such a mission. Even one from which they would never return. And while that notion is certainly not one that is ultimately desirable, the fact is, there would be no shortage of people willing to become part of the first team to step foot on another planet.

And what’s more, if a private company does go ahead, there is a relatively good chance that that person might not be “an astronaut”, at least in the traditional sense.

Artist's impression of robots on Mars

Artist’s impression of robots on Mars

New Finds Could “Trigger” Manned Mission To Mars?

Whether the discoveries are genuinely new or whether, as some conspiracy theorists suggest, are part of a “drip-feeding” of information to the general public, the last several years have brought with it several exciting announcements about our cosmic planetary neighbor. Perhaps not least, the likely presence of water – albeit in frozen or vapor form – on the planet today.

In the summer of 2018, however, a ripple went through the space enthusiast community when NASA researchers announced they had discovered what appeared to be liquid water [2] under the south polar ice cap. Professor Roberto Orosei of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics would state at the eagerly anticipated press conference:

It’s probably not a very large lake…(but it’s size) really qualifies this as a body of water. A lake. Not some kind of meltwater filling some space between rock and ice, as happened in certain glaciers on Earth!

The Open University’s Dr. Manish Patel would state that while the discovery doesn’t prove life exist on Mars, it did give scientists a “location of where to look”. She would state:

It’s like a treasure map – except in this case, there will be lots of X’s marking the spot…We have long since known that the surface of Mars is inhospitable to life as we know it. So the search for life on Mars is now in the subsurface!

The find is not only exciting for the obvious reasons of the suggestion and possibility of life, in some form, existing on our cosmic neighbor, but it might prove to be “the trigger for an ambitious new Mars mission”.

Technology To Teleport Martian Life To Earth

Without a doubt, one of the most intriguing claims of recent years concerning the red planet was claims that a United States scientist had technology that had the ability to transport alien life from Mars to Earth. [3]

The claims came from biotechnologist, Dr. Craig Venter in 2013, who claimed to have such technology – technology, we should keep in mind has been found in documents of the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program made available through Freedom Of Information requests states exist. Not only would Venter state that he was certain that life, in whatever form, did exist on our cosmic neighbor, but he also had plans to use technology to beam the DNA of such life back to Earth using a “biological teleporter”.

Once this DNA structure had been sent back to Earth via teleportation, scientists would be able to reconstruct it back to full form here. While the statement appears absurd, it might not be as bizarre as it first sounds.

Venter explained that his device would simply create a copy of the organism – which he compared to a “biological fax machine” – and then send that data back to scientists back on Earth, who would then reconstruct it from the ground up.

It is also perhaps intriguing to note that many science-fiction films and books have suggested and hinted at very similar technology in their futuristic settings. At the very least, it is a great example of how life, inadvertently or not, imitates fiction.

What is even more impressive with these claims is that they have been tested, if only on a limited basis. Around the same time that Venter spoke of his aims, his team along with NASA scientists tested this technology in the Mojave Desert in California. What’s more, these tests would suggest that the technology would work – even from Mars.

Venter has also produced a fully working prototype of this device, which shows exactly how it would search for alien life and then copy its genetic structure. Essentially, it appears the technology is ready to go.

If this device can be successfully deployed to Mars, whether it finds alien life there or not, it could potentially be deployed further afield, perhaps to the moons of the gas giants that NASA scientists also suspect might harbor life. Even the clouds of Venus – some people have suggested, might contain microbial life, which this device could potentially detect and send back to Earth.

Indeed, it might not be a case of alien life coming to us, but us bringing alien life to our own planet, whether from Mars or elsewhere. Whether such tests go ahead, of course, remains to be seen.

The video below examines this a little further.

The Location Of The New Space Race?

Of course, in February 2019, the Mars Rover finally submitted to the sands of time, and indeed the Martian soil. And while there are a plethora of orbiters and probes set to visit the red planet, the real finds will only happen when someone, whoever it is, sends a mission with human cargo and directive.

NASA has put together several proposals for a manned mission to Mars. As have several other private companies.

For example, and although the exact date fluctuates somewhat, NASA, using another manned mission to the Moon as a stepping stone, plan to use the Orion spacecraft to send a human crew to Mars somewhere in the mid-2030s. However, in their projections, a fully-functional non-dependent on Earth colonization would take decades to fully establish itself.

The China National Space Administration plans to have non-manned probes reach Mars by the early 2030s, with a fully manned landing mission taking place a decade or so later.

Privately funded Inspiration Mars Foundation actually prepared a proposal for a manned mission to Mars in 2013 to take place five years later. NASA initially showed interest in the project, however, would ultimately refuse any funding towards it and it ceased shortly after.

Of all these private companies and projects, though, one of them stands out. Given his relative success in private space exploration already, perhaps the safe money for a private company reaching Mars – and one that would make its findings available to boot – would be SpaceX, run by Elon Musk.

Artist's impression of the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

Artist’s impression of the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

The Space X Mars Transportation Infrastructure – The First Step To Mars Colonization

The SpaceX Mars Transportation project is merely a means to an end for Musk’s main goal, to colonize Mars. It relies on BFRs (Big Falcon Rockets) that will contain reusable boosters. Furthermore, the project anticipates a “double launch”, one from the Earth (or Mars if returning) and another one in near planetary orbit at which stage refueling would occur before setting off for the final destination.

This second launch and refuel allows the craft to use almost all of its fuel on the launch and then setting off into planetary trajectory with fully fueled.

Musk also plans to be able to produce the propellant on Mars (a mixture of Methane and Oxygen known as “deep cryo methalox) to unable return journeys without the need to carry the fuel.

Musk has been working on the project on and off since 2007, and while making several updates as to the progress of the rockets he plans to use to transport human cargo to Mars, he has remained relatively tight-lipped.

He did, however, in November 2018 state that the company had achieved “a number of breakthroughs”. So much so, he was extremely confident that he himself would also travel to Mars. Perhaps interestingly, when asked if his project was really an “escape hatch for the rich”, Musk would state:

No. Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than Earth. Really the ad for going to Mars would be like Shackleton’s ad for going to Antarctica (in 1914) …There’s a good chance of death, going in a little can through deep space. You might land successfully. Once you land successfully…there’s a good chance you’ll die there. We think you can come back, but we’re not sure!

It is a project that we will continue to watch here in anticipation.

Does this picture show a Sphinx-like object on the surface of Mars?

Does this picture show a Sphinx-like object on the surface of Mars?

Ancient Martian Civilizations? Was There Really Life On Mars?

If a successful manned mission to Mars is achieved in the mid-2020s as is Musk’s hope, for example, (and we will keep this page updated with any updates and proposals of such above), might they find evidence of a past civilization from long ago? There has been a plethora of theories about past, advanced civilizations on Mars.

There are numerous alleged sightings of “objects” photographed on the red planet by the NASA Rover. The supposed Sphinx on Mars would surely be of most interest, for example. As would the alleged Martian Pyramids that some insist sit proudly on the Martian surface at exactly the same coordinates as their apparent counterparts here on Earth.

What’s more, there are some intriguing connections between Mars and ancient Egypt. The Great Sphinx, for example, is widely accepted to have once stood a magnificent deep red color. Perhaps even more intriguing is the Arabic name for the city, Cairo, where the Sphinx and the Giza pyramids reside, al-Qahirah. This translates to “Place of Mars”.

Perhaps as an afterthought, as speculative as it is and taking into consideration to the ancient Egyptian and Masonic connections to the Moon Landings, should NASA be successful in achieving a landing on Mars, their activities should be very closely scrutinized. At least as much as they will allow.

Evidence Of Nuclear War On Mars In The Distance Past?

As crazy as the notion of past advanced civilizations existing on Mars seems to some, they would appear a little more credible when a picture surfaced online in 2015. It appeared to show a ruined pillar with petroglyphs similar to those found at ancient Egyptian sites, etched into it in the dust of the Martian surface.

You can view that picture below.

Comparison of an Egyptian column to rubble found on Mars

Comparison of an Egyptian column to rubble found on Mars

In 2014 there surfaced a claim that Mars had suffered some catastrophic nuclear event in its past [4] by propulsion scientist, John Brandenburg. This nuclear fallout was present in the Cydonia and Utopia regions of the planet. In part due to his own theory that these areas also had indicators that an “advanced ancient humanoid civilization” had once resided there, Brandenburg believed it was not a natural event that had caused the fallout.

He even went as far as to say that those responsible were likely an alien race who launched a nuclear attack on the indigenous population of these regions. He would state:

If the reactions weren’t natural, the implication is that intelligent beings artificially caused them!

And, just for a moment, we should ask ourselves. What if Brandenburg is right about the nuclear explosion but wrong about it not being naturally occurring? Given that Mars was once very much like Earth, might that mean we too could be subject to a “naturally occurring” nuclear disaster?

Regardless, these claims, if they were proven true, might suggest that the notion that Mars was the “God of War” in many ancient cultures could be a collective residual memory of such an event.

Have We Been To Mars Before?

In September 2016, NASA Scientist, Jeffrey Sheehy, who is the senior technology officer of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, stated that although the technology did exist to reach Mars as far back as the 1970s, the technology to maintain a human presence on the Martian surface to justify the mission didn’t.

Some people, however, believe that only the first part of that statement is true.

Around a year before Lansdorp’s announcement, Italian UFO researcher, Luca Scantamburlo, released a report of a manned mission to Mars back in 1973. He claimed that the information had come to him via whistle-blower and pilot on the alleged mission, William Rutledge.

There had been several “information gathering” missions to Mars between 1970 and 1972 according to Rutledge. All launched from secret locations in South America and were joint efforts between America and the Soviet Union. The 1973 mission’s sole purpose though was to land on the red planet. The crew consisted of Rutledge himself, Commander Elliot See and Soviet cosmonaut, Vladimir Ilyushin.

Shortly after this release of information by Scantamburlo, a three-minute piece of footage appeared on the Internet. It was claiming to be “leaked” video of the 1973 mission to Mars aboard the ISV Columbus. While the footage is in all likeliness a hoax, it does have an air of authenticity about it. At the very least is impressive footage regardless of the authenticity.

Check out the video below.

“What Can NASA Do?” They Can Only “Speak Of Hoax Or Fiction!”

As for the claims made by Rutledge, perhaps his response to being the whistle-blower sums it up best when he said:

What can NASA or the USAF do now? Blocking or suing me would be an acknowledgment. They can speak of hoax or fiction!

Although considerably less credible than Rutledge and Scantamburlo, a woman known only as “Jackie” [5] claimed live on air on Coast To Coast radio in 2014, that she had seen with her own eyes “humans on Mars in 1979” while she had been an employee with NASA.

Her job was to download streaming data, describing herself as being part of NASA’s “downstairs team.” She claimed that via a live feed she witnessed men in “space-suits” walking on the surface of the red planet. Although Jackie claimed that a further six NASA employees also witnessed this event, no-one stepped forward to back-up her claims.

It has been a long-running rumor that NASA and other such bodies are vastly further ahead than they admit. Their capabilities in space travel and technology is arguably far beyond what the public realizes. It isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination to think that perhaps these types of missions were going on in secret.

Black Budget Programs And Non-Terrestrial Officers!

While it is common knowledge that former United States President Ronald Reagan had an interest in UFOs, even claiming two separate sightings of them, one particular paragraph he wrote in his journals (eventually published in the book The Reagan Diaries in 2007) raised an eyebrow or two in relation to this. The entry in question read:

Lunch with 5 top space scientists. It was fascinating. Space truly is the last frontier. And some of the developments there in astronomy etc. are like science fiction, except they are real. I learned that our shuttle capacity is such that we could orbit 300 people.

This made some wonder exactly what NASA concern themselves with. As far as the general public were aware, space shuttles of the time only had capacity for eight people. Was NASA working with technology far beyond what we knew they possessed?

Outspoken whistle-blower and former Canadian Defense Minister, Paul Hellyer, would state in January 2014 that the black budget was very real. And amounted to “trillions of dollars.” This money is “rerouted” from public spending and used for “top-secret” projects.

Gary McKinnon managed to hack into several top-secret United States government files in the early 2000s. Including NASA files. He would make some remarkable revelations about the files’ contents. Of all the files McKinnon saw, perhaps the one by the name of “Non-Terrestrial Officers” is the most intriguing.

McKinnon told Project Camelot during an interview:

That phrase (Non-Terrestrial Officers) is nowhere to be found on the web, or in military documentation. The other thing (I saw) was a list of ship to ship and fleet to fleet transfers. Bear in mind, ‘fleet to fleet’, so multiple ships, of materials!

We should perhaps note the effort that went into attempts to extradite McKinnon.

A depiction of what it might look like to peer out of a porthole on to Mars

A depiction of what it might look like to peer out of a porthole on to Mars

Why Is Mars So Important To Our Collective Conscious Memory?

Mars has always had a special place in the collective subconscious of humanity. Whether referencing “invaders from Mars” in the contemporary era of science-fiction or the god-like status it enjoyed in antiquity, Mars, of all the planets holds our fascination.

Might, for example, if claims of an advanced ancient civilization existing on the red planet thousands, maybe millions of years ago are true, might some of these indigenous Martians have escaped their dying world and found refuge on Earth? Might they have been the “ancient astronauts” that many believe came to Earth long ago in the distant past?

And if there are connections to such ancient civilizations as ancient Egypt, does that make these Martians, human? What would that mean for us? We have examined before, for example, the notion that the human body seems poorly conditioned for life on Earth. Might this be because deep down in our genetic make-up we are more in sympathy with Mars?

Might we even find clues to suggest that such legends of advanced societies as Atlantis, while hugely speculative to begin with, might not have referred to an island (at least originally in the oral stories) but to Mars before whatever disaster turned it from a habitable world of plenty into the freezing, rocky landscape it is today?

All of these questions and more will only receive answers when humans set foot on Mars themselves. Indeed, the race to reach Mars may prove to be as important as it is intriguing.

Check out the video below. It looks at some of the Mars conspiracies a little closer.


1 Mars One Company Goes Bankrupt, Jeff Foust, Space, February 19th, 2019 https://www.space.com/mars-one-company-goes-bankrupt.html
2 Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed on Mars, Mary Halton, BBC, July 25th, 2018 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44952710
3 US Scientist Has Technology To Teleport Aliens From Mars To Earth, Hows and Whys https://www.howandwhys.com/us-scientist-has-technology-to-teleport-aliens-from-mars-to-earth/
4 Evidence of Ancient Nuclear Explosions on Mars, Says Scientist, Tara MasIsaac, The Epoch Times, December 22nd, 2015 https://www.theepochtimes.com/evidence-of-ancient-nuclear-explosions-on-mars-says-scientist_1924819.html
5 ‘I saw men walking on Mars in 1979’: ‘Former Nasa employee’ claims there was a secret manned mission to the red planet, Ellie Zolfagharifard, Mail Online, November 28th, 2014 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2852829/Was-secret-manned-mission-Mars-1979-Former-Nasa-employee-claims-saw-suited-men-running-red-planet.html

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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