Credit & Copyright: Tom Ruen, Eugene Antoniadi, Lowell Hess,
By the nineteen seventies these ideas had been firmly dismissed by science. Imagery of Mars showing it to be the arid and cold wasteland that we know today had existed for some time. By the time the twin Viking landers had touched down in 1976 the consensus was that Mars was a dead world. The mission would be one of confirmation rather than discovery. To their credit however a number of biological experiments were conducted.
When the results of these experiments were released to the general pubic Mars was officially declared dead. There were however within the details contradictory results that some say showed just the opposite. In particular the Viking biology package GEX/LR/PR designed to capture the telltale signs of chemical metabolism in soil found some interesting results. However in the absence of earth-like organic compounds these results were considered to be no more than an aberration.
1996 an announcement was released which made headlines around the world. What they discovered within a 4-billion-year-old Martian meteorite found in Antarctica was shocking. Under microscopic examination they discovered there what appeared to be fossilized bacteria. The excitement that followed this amazing news was however short lived as this evidence was deemed once again to be inconclusive.