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Are We ALONE in the Universe?
Plain Truth Magazine
September 1965
Volume: Vol XXX, No.9
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Are We ALONE in the Universe?
Albert J Portune   
Church of God

Died: July 2, 2002
Ambassador College: 1959

Is this earth unique? Is there life on other planets? Mariner IV's photos give testimony to a story so big, so awesome that even the scientists and astronomers with all their technology are unable to comprehend. Read the shocking truth in this article.

   FAR OUT in the vast, foreign void of outer space over a HUNDRED MILLION MILES FROM EARTH a tiny, silvery speck neared the end of a fantastic 325-MILLION-MILE JOURNEY.
   Back on earth hundreds of scientists and technicians hunched anxiously over their unbelievable complex of computers, meters and sensitive instruments. Giant dish-shaped antennae poised spaceward seemed to strain listening!
   Then it came!
   The incredibly faint radio signals, homing in from 135 MILLION MILES away. Carrying, perhaps, the most unprecedented technical information ever sought for by man actual photographs of the PLANET MARS.

What Scientists Saw

   As the moments ticked by, then stretched into hours, days and weeks, the picture story slowly and graphically unfolded. The speculation of centuries, the questions and theories of astronomers and space scientists inexorably became fact. The planet Mars is a lonely pock-marked wasteland A DEAD PLANET, covered with craters and scars UNINHABITED.
   Scientists, in viewing these graphic photographs, described the planet as a vast wasteland covered like the lunar surface with craters, they claimed, up to 5 billion years old. The mounting evidence seems to conclude that our earth is unique among the other planets of our solar system and that life such as we know it here on earth may exist NOWHERE ELSE.
   President Johnson, who followed the space probe with acute interest and who personally examined the Mars photos, stated recently: "It just may be that life as we know it with its humanity is more unique than many have thought."
   As graphic as these photographs taken by Mariner IV may be as startling and conclusive as may have been their testimony scientists have MISSED the true significance behind them.
   Is the earth unique? Are we alone in this solar system? Is there other life?
   Mars is only PART of the story! Scientists have been given a look at something fantastic. Yet, they have seen only a pinpoint of a story so graphic and startling that it is beyond their ability to comprehend. They have viewed mute testimony of something SO BIG, SO AWESOME in scope that with all their instruments and technology they have thus far not begun to comprehend its meaning.
   That story has already been written. The facts have already been recorded, yet go unnoticed and ignored in today's frantic quest for knowledge.
   You can know and understand! Read the awe-inspiring truth here in this article.

Historic Speculation

   For centuries man has looked up into the heavens and wondered. When the first telescopes revealed that the pinpricks of light in the night sky were actually suns, planets and moons, speculation began are there other heavenly bodies with LIFE on them?
   Primitive telescopes and early astronomers found our sun mothered nine planets held captive by her giant gravitational attraction. Each whirled around her in elliptical orbits. Since life flourished so abundantly on earth, why not on neighboring planets?
   Early speculators even thought life might exist on the moon. In the year 1835 the scientific world was electrified by claims of Sir John Frederick Herschel that he had seen in his revolutionary new telescope living creatures animals and even human beings on the lunar surface. His claims were later found to be a colossal hoax but the speculation has continued.
   The passing years with more accurate and powerful telescopes have given scientists and astronomers more diversified knowledge of our solar system with its nine planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
   Mercury, a tiny planet 3,000 miles in diameter, is so near the sun no possible life could exist. The giant planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all over 30,000 miles in diameter compared to the earth's 8,000-mile diameter are seemingly too distant from the sun to sustain life of any type. Most distant Pluto, apparently a tiny planet over 3 BILLION miles from the sun, certainly could not sustain life.
   The only remaining prospects for the existence of life were Venus and Mars!
   Venus is slightly nearer the sun than Earth and only slightly smaller, with a diameter of 7,600 miles. However, telescopic analysis reveals Venus to have a dense atmosphere of noxious gases, principally ammonia. Thus, Venus appeared also to be incompatible to life.
   Until recently no telescope had penetrated its dense cloud cover. Just this year, however, the California Institute of Technology observatory in Pasadena succeeded in penetrating the cloud layer of Venus and further substantiated early conclusions: "The planet's landscape is dry and permeable like sand or porous rock and it's too hot to support life as we know it. Temperatures on Venus' surface range from 675 degrees Fahrenheit at the equator to 300 degrees at the poles." (Pasadena Independent, August 6, 1965)

Life on Mars?

   Thus, the planet Mars remained!
   Telescopic scrutiny seemed to reveal interesting possibilities. Mars is smaller than earth 4,200 miles in diameter and 140 million miles from the sun compared to the Earth's 93 million distance. At times the planet Mars has seemed to reveal canals or possible waterways which changed in appearance with some type of seasonal change. Polar caps of ice seemed to form and dissipate. Dark and light patches appeared to come and go with the "seasons." These indications gave credence to speculation that life presently exists or once had existed on Mars.
   With the coming of modern rocketry and space "know-how" the means to FIND OUT the answers to these speculations became available.

Mariner IV

   On November 28, 1964, after three previous technique-learning, fact-finding probes, Mariner IV began its historic journey. Launched by the now-famous Atlas-Agena rocket vehicle, Mariner IV contained a fantastic orientation of space instruments in its 575-pound payload.
   After leaving Earth's atmosphere, Mariner IV extended its four purple-hued panel blades to the intense light of the sun in outer space its 28 THOUSAND solar cells transforming the heat of the sun into electrical energy to activate the 31 THOUSAND electrical components aboard. Among those components was the "eye" of Mariner its six-inch Vidicon tube peering through a built-in telescopic lens and aimed at the Martian landscape.
   Three hundred million miles and two hundred twenty-eight days later Mariner IV in position near the mysterious planet was activated by its computer brain and by backup signals sent from earth. On July 14, 1965, the "take" began of the series of twenty-one photos of Mars.
   Scientists and technicians on earth gave vent to pent-up emotions from the tense hours of waiting when Mariner's message from its tiny 10 watt radio transmitter began activating the digital code computers.

The Graphic Picture Story

   The remarkable picture story relayed by Mariner IV from outer space and digested during the next days and weeks emphasized ONE GRAPHIC TRUTH the incredible UNIQUENESS of the planet EARTH among its peers.
   The haunting hope that the photos of Mars would reveal some form of life, perhaps evidence of a long-since-perished advanced society which built canals and cities slowly faded into impossibility.
   As the photos came in, one by one, the Martian landscape revealed a crater-marked wasteland apparently unchanged by any water erosion. The lack of erosion on Mars means that no wind or water action has changed or affected Mars' surface for an untold number of years scientists assume perhaps two to five BILLION YEARS.
   No oceans, no streams, no pattern of watercourses like we might see on earth even in our deserts. No sign there had ever been any seas EVER. No volcanic evidence, no foliage, no cloud cover, no movement NOTHING. Only a wasteland pock-marked with the evidence of ancient meteoric bombardment.
   Even the hope that in some remote and sheltered depressions some moisture might collect to sustain some form of life dimmed. Mariner IV's radio transmissions through the Martian atmosphere revealed an atmosphere so attenuated as to approximate a partial vacuum. The Martian atmospheric pressure is only 1 to 2 percent of what we experience here on earth. Even if water did collect in damp recesses, it would almost instantly disappear through "flash distillation."
   Even though some hope is still held for some microscopic form of hardy life on Mars, the undeniable truth is still apparent MARS IS A DEAD PLANET Mars is a void and a wasteland there is NO LIFE THERE.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Bulletin

   On August 4, 1965, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena released the official report of Mariner IV's findings, complete with all 21 photographs.
   Here are excerpts from that report:
   "Man's first close-up look at Mars has revealed the scientifically startling fact that at least part of its surface is covered with large craters.
   "Frame number 11 must be ranked as one of the most remarkable scientific photographs of this age.
   "The existence of Martian craters is demonstrated beyond question; their meaning and significance is, of course, a MATTER OF INTERPRETATION. The SEVENTY craters clearly distinguishable on Mariner's photos... range in diameter from 3 to 75 miles. It seems likely that smaller craters exist.
   "The number of craters per unit area of the Martian surface is closely comparable to the densely-cratered up land areas of the MOON. If the Mariner sample is representative of the Martian surface, the total number of craters is more than TEN THOUSAND... In appearance, the Martian craters resemble impact craters.
   "Some mention must be made of features looked for, BUT NOT SEEN on the Mariner photos. Although the flight line crossed several 'canals'... no trace of these features was discernible. No Earth-like features, such as mountain chains, great valleys, ocean basins or continental masses were recognized.
   "... Mars is more moon-like than Earth-like. Reasoning by analogy with the moon, much of the heavily cratered surface of Mars must be very ancient perhaps [they claimed] two to five BILLION years old.
   "The remarkable state of preservation of such an ancient surface leads us to the inference that NO ATMOSPHERE significantly denser than the PRESENT very thin one has characterized the planet since the surface was born. Similarly, it is difficult to believe that FREE WATER in quantities sufficient to form streams or to fill oceans could have existed anywhere on Mars since that time.
   "The Earth is internally dynamic, giving rise to mountains, continents, and other features while the topographic features of Mars have NOT BEEN PRODUCED by stress and deformation within the planet. Mars evidently has long been INACTIVE.

The Real Significance

   Mankind has been given a look, through Mariner's spectacular photographs, at a profound truth so startling and sobering that if it were understood by scientists, it would instantly revolutionize human thinking.
   The empty wasteland, the absence of ANY life, the profound "deadness" of Mars and the chaotic evidence of surface scars from meteoric bombardment corroborate and verify the ancient truth revealed by ALMIGHTY GOD in His Word! "THE HEAVEN, EVEN THE HEAVENS, ARE THE LORD'S: BUT THE EARTH HATH HE GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN!" (Psa. 115:16)
   Yes, the yawning craters and empty surface of a DEAD PLANET are a voice from ancient time echoing a fantastic story of OUTER SPACE already written in the words of the BIBLE the book so many own but so few read and BELIEVE.

The Startling Truth

   To understand this fascinating truth we must go back to the beginning! In Genesis 1:1 we read, "In the beginning GOD created the heaven AND the earth."
   Yes, God CREATED! The earth did not evolve by chance. The earth and the heavens are NOT an accident. They were created by a LIVING GOD to fulfill His purpose.
   The Hebrew word "created" in verse one is BARA, meaning created in perfection and ORDER.

God A God of Order

   God's Word reveals what God is like! In I Corinthians 14:33, God's Word states: "... God is NOT the author of confusion, but of peace." God is orderly, systematic. He rules and governs His creation by LAW.
   Now, prepare yourself for a startling SHOCK!
   Genesis ONE, VERSE TWO contains a fantastic truth MISSED by most theologians.
   "And the earth was without form and void," is the common rendering.
   The Hebrew words for "without form and void" are TOHU and BOHU and mean actually CHAOTIC and CONFUSED.
   Yet, verse one revealed that God originally created the heavens and the earth in order and perfection!
   What happened?
   The answer is the fantastic "open sesame" to understanding why the planet Mars is a chaotic ruin and a wasteland.
   The word "was" in Genesis 1:2 should be translated "BECAME"! God's original creation was beautiful and perfect. Isaiah 45:18 tells us: "For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it NOT IN VAIN." The word "vain" is exactly the same word as in Genesis 1:2, BOHU meaning a chaotic ruin.
   No, God did not originally create the earth in chaos and confusion. It was perfect, but BECAME TOHU AND BOHU a chaotic RUIN.
   In Genesis 19:26, the same Hebrew word which was translated was in Genesis 1:2 is translated BECAME. Genesis 1:2 should read: "And the earth became without form and void."

How Chaos?

   How did the earth become a wreck and a ruin? The amazing story is all there in God's Word.
   Long before the dawn of human history, even before God created the heavens and the earth in their original beauty and perfection, God also created a great angelic host of hundreds of millions of angels. He created them to be "ministering spirits" to help and work with God's coming creation man (see Hebrews 1:14).
   When God created the original earth the angelic host rejoiced and sang for joy to see the very dwelling place created for themselves and MAN (Job 38:4-7).
   God had placed great Archangels over the other angels. One of them, Lucifer, whose very name means LIGHT BRINGER, God made a "Covering Cherub" in one of the very highest posts of Angelic authority in the GOVERNMENT of God. After training, the angels were put over the earth to rule it under God's government.
   Notice now what happened...
   "How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, son of the morning [light bringer]! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
   "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt MY THRONE above the stars [angels] of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH" (Isa. 14:12-14).
   In Ezekiel 28, verses 12 through 14, Lucifer is again described. His perfection and beauty were startling. He was on the "INSIDE" of God's plan and government. He knew God was going to create MAN and ultimately offer to man SONSHIP in the family of God.
   Lucifer knew that in the government of God, the RULER, or under-ruler, is actually the SERVANT of those he rules. And he who is in authority, must also be under the authority of his superiors.
   Lucifer, created eternally to be a ministering spirit, was not content to always be a servant. He neither wanted to serve those he ruled, nor to be ruled by GOD. HE WANTED TO BE GOD. He rebelled against God!
   "Thou wast perfect in thy ways until iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, AND THOU HAST SINNED" (verses 15 and 16).
   So Lucifer (light bringer) became SATAN (the adversary).
   He led ONE-THIRD of all the angels with him in his rebellion (Rev. 12:4). In II Peter 2:4 God's Word states: "For if God spared not the ANGELS THAT SINNED..."
   Now, notice the book of Jude to see what Satan and his now FALLEN ANGELS did.
   "AND THE ANGELS WHICH KEPT NOT THEIR FIRST ESTATE, but left their own habitation..." (Jude 6).
   Satan and his demons left their dwelling place on earth. Satan wanted God's dominion! He wanted the throne of God. He argued about it, sought to justify his way of getting, and attempted to seize control of the reins of government. But he WAS DEFEATED.
   God pronounced in Ezekiel 28: "... therefore, I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain [government] of God; and I will destroy [expel] thee, O COVERING CHERUB..." (verse 16).

Space War

   This battle between Satan and his angels and Almighty God for the control of space was WAR on a scope beyond human comprehension.
   The objectives at stake in that war were our own solar system and the UNIVERSE AROUND US.
   Planets may well have been thrown from their orbits! Space debris and great clouds of gas were formed.
   In our solar system scientists have observed graphic evidence that a planet HAS EXPLODED!
   Giant comets were created, tracing gaseous trails in their space-wandering orbits. Huge chunks and masses of smashed planets became flaming meteorites, crashing into the twisted wreckage of other planets. Great gaseous comets blazing mute testimony of their ancient origin; broken asteroids; pieces of planets; meteors and space debris still falling nightly after so long a time all tell the story.
   The Mars photos reveal the whole face of our solar system has been changed!
   Our own moon has long borne mute testimony of WAR. The void, dismal surface defaced and pock-marked by thousands of impacts telling a graphic story.
   When Ranger VI focused its six television cameras on the moon, an incredible close-up view of the pockmarked, ravaged surface of the moon was revealed. Thousands of impact craters and streaking scars gave the undeniable appearance of an ancient battlefield.
   The very substrata of our OWN EARTH itself reveals the same twisted chaos and ancient violence.
   And now, THE PLANET MARS bears testimony as well.
   In an article in the Chicago Sun Times scientists stated that the battered face of Mars was a MAJOR SHOCK.
   The Chicago Tribune also stated that Mars IS a world BRUTALLY pock-marked by huge craters that make it more like the moon than the Earth. "Mars," the article continued, "meaningfully named for the god of war has a landscape resembling a BATTLEFIELD the craters are believed caused by great meteors, or heavenly fireballs DWARFING THE H-BOMB hitting the planet in a bombardment."
   Some of the photographs reveal craters estimated to be 13 THOUSAND FEET DEEP.

The Earth Unique

   The story continues in Genesis 1.
   "And the earth became without form and void..." we now know why! "... and darkness was upon the face of the deep [abyss]. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
   The once beautiful earth had become a ruin. It was covered with water. It was dark and vacant.
   Then, God said: "LET THERE BE LIGHT AND THERE WAS LIGHT" (verse 3). Genesis reveals the rest. God RESHAPED THE EARTH, forming dry land and seas, causing foliage and life to grow.
   Then God created and placed MAN on the earth to fulfill His purpose.
   God gave to man through the WORD OF GOD the story of how it all happened. God wanted man to read that story in the things he saw around him (Romans 1:20). God wanted man to see what rebellion against HIS authority caused. God let it all happen on purpose so that man would learn the lesson and seek God's way and obey Him.

Man Without God

   But, man in his vanity has turned from God AND from His Word. Ignoring the graphic testimony and proof around him, man has INVENTED origins and reasons of his own.
   Notice God's indictment in Romans 1: "Because that when they KNEW GOD, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became VAIN in their imaginations, and their foolish heart [understanding] was darkened. Professing themselves to be WISE, they became FOOLS, and CHANGED [or exchanged] the glory of the incorruptible God into an image [form] made like to corruptible man, and to BIRDS, and four-footed BEASTS, and CREEPING THINGS" (verses 21-23).
   Yes, man turned from the truth of his origin and turned to EVOLUTION as his creator even forgetting the ancient Satanic rebellion God had left to remind him of his destiny if he DISOBEYED.
   Notice now man's state. "Wherefore, God also gave them up to [turned them over to] uncleanness through the LUSTS of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves."
   Man turned to himself and exchanged the TRUTH for a LIE (verse 25) worshiping the creature (himself) instead of God who created him.
   And, so man today cannot understand who he is or what he is. He believes he evolved. He believes the universe evolved.
   Man has left GOD OUT OF HIS KNOWLEDGE and, therefore, cannot understand the truth of the things he sees about him.
   Notice verse 28: "and even as they did not like to RETAIN GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, God gave them over to a REPROBATE MIND to do [and to believe] those things which are NOT CONVENIENT" NOT TRUE.

The Conclusion

   Is it any wonder then that the scientists and astronomers cannot understand the real significance of the startling pictures of Mars? Is it any wonder they continue their vain, hopeless search?
   Yet, the sobering reality is beginning to unfold itself shockingly to man. He is realizing the Earth Is unique in our solar system. He is beginning to realize he IS ALONE.
   Out of the vast wasteland and chaos of the solar system, God focused on the planet Earth alone. It was here He chose to recreate and refashion. On Earth and Earth alone God created life and His greatest creation MAN.
   God is working out a perfect plan here below. God created man to grow in GRACE and KNOWLEDGE; to come to understand his Creator, to obey Him and to one day qualify to enter into the very Kingdom and family of God.
   This is the ultimate destiny of MAN. It is the wonderful and inspiring TRUTH revealed by the Creator God in His WORD.
   Satan is the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9). Satan has never given up in his quest to overthrow God. He failed in his attempt to dethrone God. Yet, he has deceived mankind in general into seeking to conquer space WITHOUT GOD.
   Blindly man rushed on in his blind quest inspired by the blindness of his own "reprobate mind" and the urgings of the DECEIVER Satan.
   Yes, this is the story the Martian photos REALLY tell. Mankind, as far as physical life forms go, really is alone in the solar system! And yet MORE THAN ALONE... He is without God.
   The simple TRUTH is revealed clearly in God's Word the BIBLE. Man is really not alone! God is there! "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
   You can know that truth if YOU are willing to diligently seek your Maker, if you are willing to put GOD back in YOUR knowledge.

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Plain Truth MagazineSeptember 1965Vol XXX, No.9
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