Geometric Reconstruction

The hypothesis that the D&M Pyramid may be the product of intelligent design cannot be advanced simply because there is no geomorphological explanation, but must be subjected to an objective analysis, especially due to its location on Mars, a place where life is not known to have existed. Thus we must first ask a preliminary question: What are the hallmarks of architectures that distinguish them from landforms and how may they be objectively recognized and evaluated?

In searching for the signs of intelligent design, we cannot allow ourselves any subjective, Earth-based frames of reference. The observation "it looks like a pyramid" is sufficient to focus our attention towards further investigation, but proves nothing else. With subjective appearances set aside, there are a number of objective characteristics of architectures that can be identified:

  1. Is the object's geometry inconsistent with known landforms and geomorphological processes? (i.e. does the object exhibit straight lines, curved lines having fixed radii, regular patterns, one or more axes of symmetry, and does the combination of these characteristics preclude geomorphology as a mechanism of origin?)

  2. Is the object aligned with the cardinal directions and/or with significant astronomical events?

  3. Is the object collocated with other objects that are also inconsistent with the surrounding geology? And if so, are they geometrically aligned with each other?

  4. Does the object's geometry express mathematically significant numbers, and/or the symmetries associated with architecture?

The characteristics listed above cannot by themselves establish an object as being the product of intelligent design. What is required is a totality of geometric relationships that, when viewed as a whole, preclude the likelihood of a natural origin. This is precisely the same "convergence of evidence" technique used in the photo-interpretation of aerial photography and satellite imagery. [13]


In exploring the geometry of the D&M Pyramid, the most conservative approach possible was pursued. The reasons for this are partly historical. The Great Pyramid of Egypt has a long history of being mathematically abused by mostly well-meaning investigators who, in attempts to "prove" various theories, have subjected the Great Pyramid to excessively complex measurements and calculations. It is only the simplest and most elegant of these measurements that are widely accepted by architects as valid.

Study of the D&M Pyramid's geometry was therefore restricted to overall observations of location and symmetry, and to these simple relationships:

  1. The values of observable angles expressed in radian measure.

  2. Examining the ratios formed between the observable angles for equality with mathematically significant numbers.

  3. Examining the Sine, Cosine, and Tangent of measured angles for the presence of mathematically significant numbers.

These approaches were selected due to their simplicity, their validity in number bases other than decimal, and their independence from our convention of expressing angles as a portion of a 360 degree circle.


As previously mentioned, the D&M Pyramid shows signs of being damaged on one side, perhaps by a meteoric impact. Some edge and angle reconstruction was therefore necessary before any accurate measurements could be obtained. This is a speculative reconstruction, due to the eroded state of the object. The reconstructive technique is however the same as that used widely in archaeology when evaluating sites in which geometry is important, as in archaeoastronomy.

An NGF filtered orthographic negative of Viking orbiter frame 70A13 was obtained from the National Space Sciences Data Center. An orthographic projection was necessary to ensure that the geometry of the object under study was accurately represented on the image.

The negative image of the D&M was projected using a photographic enlarger that had first been calibrated with a projection grid. This image was used for the reconstruction, combined with reference to an unrectified image processed by Dr. Mark Carlotto for confirmation of detail that was sometimes less clear in the contrasty original negative.

  1. The most distinct edges on the pyramid, those on the sunlit side, were marked by visual averaging. These edges were extended to locate the position of the hypothetical original apex.

  2. A straight line was drawn from the apex through the flat protuberance at the front of the pyramid to mark what appears to be an axis of symmetry.

  3. A line was extended from the apex to the right front corner, which is sharp and clearly visible on the Carlotto image.

  4. The figure was enclosed, based upon the left side of the pyramid and the right front corner.

All visible angles of the D&M Pyramid were measured (+/- 0.2 deg) and subjected to the tests mentioned earlier: radian measure, angle ratios, and trig functions. The results of these measurements are summarized in the following section.