What Google Mars Reveals
at the Location Edgar Rice Burroughs Gives
for His Fictional City of Gathol

by Christopher Fulkerson

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars.

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars.

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars; still closer.
Notice the smoke wafting out of the Dragon's left ear.

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars, closer up.

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars, closer yet.
Both the dragon face inside the hole,
and, though much less clearly,
the smoke-like ghost to the left of the dragon, can be seen

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars
Closer yet. Both the dragon face inside the hole,
and the smoke-like shape emerging
from the left side of the dragon, can be seen

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars.
A similar view, less close up.

View of 10N/20W on Mars, from Google Mars, Closer yet.
Both the dragon face inside the hole,
and the smoke-like ghost of the dragon, can be seen fully.

The Dragon of Gathol, or,
I, Too, Have Found a Face On Mars

by Christopher Fulkerson
May 5, 2015

I certainly didn’t have the ambition to do find a face on Mars.   I really think I have only discovered something that was waiting to be found.   And that surely others must have already found.   But, I did find it on my own, prompted only by a clue from a science fiction book.

I was working with Google Earth and decided to take a look at Mars, to find some of locations of the sites Edgar Rice Burroughs describes in his Mars novels I have loved since boyhood.

I found likely candidates for the Twin Cities of Helium: craters Pal and Dowa.   Pal is named after film director George Pal; Dowa after a town in Africa.   (I am already suspicious about finding a film director’s name in this particular context.)  I found where ERB’s Zodanga should be.   Pal and Dowa are very near each other, just as the Twin Cities of Helium are; they look related, and are in just about the right place – Burroughs gives the coordinates in his books.

The first Burroughs Mars book I ever read was Llana of Gathol.   It was a gift from my fifth grade teacher, Clifford Arnold.   I thought it was trifle strange to get a book about a girl, but it was free.   It was the first book I remember ever getting as a gift.   It turned out it’s not about a girl, it’s about protecting a girl.   That’s more adventurous by far.

Once I finally used Google Earth to look around at Mars, naturally I went to the coordinates of Gathol, the city where John Carter’s granddaughter Llana was born.

You’d think that the co-ordinates 10N/20W are a joke, obviously derived from the old dispatch code “10-20,” used to talk about location on the radio.   That’s a real Grade B Novel invention, to create a city at “ten twenty,” but nobody says Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote Grade A fiction.  In the days when radio was used for dispatch, the question “What’s your ten twenty?” meant “Where are you?”   So it seemed that ERB wasn’t being very imaginative when he said that Gathol was at “ten twenty.”   He was writing a pot-boiler, using “code” so widely known that, if they thought about the significance of the numbers they were reading, a large percentage of his audience might read it and think “Oh, he means it could be “anywhere.”

But when I went to those coordinates for Gathol and found myself looking right at some kind of lizard-looking creature.   See for yourself.

I’ve organized these photos so you can see the view from high, then closer, then still closer.  

I have repositioned the picture so that North is to the right, so that you can see the face straight on.   That is the only editing I have done, or even know how to do.

I have done what I can to figure out how big the thing is and the best I can determine is that it’s 104 feet on a side.   That’s about 11,000 square feet.

You can easily find what I found – at least, for as long as the present version of Mars is there.   NASA and/or Google are putting an image veil over the entire planet.

If you want to check what I’ve found, and also see a better version of it, just go to:

Google Earth – Click on the Saturn Icon in the top tool bar to “Mars,” and enter 10N/20W in the search area right under the word “Search” in the upper left-hand corner of the window.

I’m of the opinion that the “enhanced resolution” version of Mars is really a veil, meant to obscure what we see.    I don’t want to get involved with conspiracy theories about who would do this or why.    I simply ask that you compare the smooth, pretty, brasslike surface of the planet to the sharper, more plausible shapes in the gaps of the image.   A lot of detail is being lost in this newer, finer looking Mars we are seeing thanks to Google.   Surface phenomena of the old “black and white” Mars are rather dramatic and plausible looking when compared to the more recent gold-sheen image, which isn’t at the time of this writing, June 2015, quite complete, so it is possible to see that the older NASA photos have quite a bit more information in them than the air-brushed versions we otherwise see.

An Italian named Matteo Ianneo has found several faces on Mars.   The fourth image in this sequence is one of his.   It looks partly like a painted image, and partly like a monster person with teeth all the way around his face.   If you look carefully, you can see that the teeth look more real than the image of the “sleeping face,” except the teeth are “underneath” something.   Somebody is working very, very hard to get in people’s faces.

The fifth picture in this sequence is one I got from Google Earth, going to the coordinates Ianneo gives.    This image is one I got from Google Earth of the Ianneo discovery, showing a huge halo structure over the face.   All very nice.    Certainly NASA would have some kind of convenient explanation.   NASA doesn’t admit to being stumped.

What is important is the nearby gap you can see in the nice, smooth surface of Mars.   Through the gap, you can see the original NASA photographs.   These show a Martian surface much more like the real thing – you can see that there are mountains and ridges.   These are dramatic and well defined.   And you can see quite clearly that the image we are now expected to accept is a thin linen-like sheet of color over the NASA photograph.

Except for the area that hasn’t been covered up yet, everything looks much smoother in the newer areas.

I’ve been saying for some time that the Solar System is fake; I just wasn’t paranoid enough to suspect NASA was faking it.   Silly me.   I should have known you can never be paranoid enough.


Here is the arithmetic about the size of the Dragon’s Head.   Don’t bet the farm that I’m correct, and please let me know if and how I may need to correct this reckoning if I’m wrong.    All coordinates are from Google Earth.

The Size of the Dragon Head:

The top of the head is at
10° zero minutes 11.85 seconds N/20° 02 minutes 18.17 W

The bottom of the head is at
10° zero minutes 9.91 seconds N/19° 59 minutes 59.63 seconds W

The left side (as you look at it) of the head at the nose line is at
9° 59 minutes 19.05 seconds N/20° one minute 14.27 seconds W

The corresponding right side is at
10° one minute 5.15 seconds N/20° one minute 14.27 seconds W

Height of Head from chin to crown: 1.94 seconds of latitude

Width of Head at the nose line: 1.92 seconds of longitude

Formula for reckoning height:

1.94 seconds of latitude, times 362778 feet in a degree, times .533 (difference in size between Earth and Mars), times (1/3600) because we have a distance only in seconds

= 104.2 feet long

Formula for reckoning width:

1.92 seconds of longitude, times 365166 feet in a degree of longitude, times .533 (difference in size between Earth and Mars), times (1/3600) because we have a distance only in seconds

= 103.8 feet wide

The size of the Dragon’s head is 104.2 feet long times 103.8 feet wide, to a total of 10,816 square feet.   That’s about a third again the size of your average regulation-size gymnasium, which is 80 feet by 100 feet (or, more precisely, 11/8ths the size of a gym).

Posted at ChristopherFulkerson dot com December 22, 2015.