A little while ago I blogged about the mysterious donut-like object that suddenly appeared on the surface of Mars at the base of the Opportunity rover. NASA concluded that it was only a rock and probably got there by being kicked up from one of Opportunity’s wheels while it moved from point A to point B. Well, now NASA has a lawsuit brought against them by someone that thinks the object is more than meets the eye and he wants the investigation to go further.
Rhawn Joseph, a self-described scientist, says that the rock is a living thing. Joseph, author of such books that range in topics from alien life on Mars, conspiracies in the 9/11 attacks, and multiple perceptual realities, has aimed his lawsuit at NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, and requests that NASA “perform a public, scientific, and statutory duty which is to closely photograph and thoroughly scientifically examine and investigate a putative biological organism.” Joseph claims that he thinks the “rock” was there the whole time, it just grew until it became visible. “The refusal to take close up photos from various angles, the refusal to take microscopic images of the specimen, the refusal to release high resolution photos, is inexplicable, recklessly negligent, and bizarre,” according to the suit.
Well, NASA responded and spokesman, Bob Jacobs, released this statement to Popular Science:
This is an ongoing legal matter and we are limited in what we can discuss about the filing. However, NASA has been publicly sharing our ongoing research into the rock dubbed “Pinnacle Island” since we originally released the images from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity earlier this month. The rock, which NASA is studying to better understand its chemical composition, also was widely discussed during a Jan. 22 NASA Television news conference. As we do with all our scientific research missions, NASA will continue to discuss any new data regarding the rock and other images and information as new data becomes available.
Basically, NASA is standing by their viewpoint that a rock is a rock.
You can check out the whole lawsuit here:
If you’re interested, here is a news conference where NASA talks about the rock in question.