Steve, a good analysis and use of available data. But did they even need to see it at all? If it is indeed artificial, or even partially artificial, then they would have had to "survey", perform "grade work", and have a "site plan". And this is all irrespective of who "they" were. Neither glyphs nor any major earthworks nor stone structures would have been built without at least some planning. They would have carried out the basic steps of site survey we still do today, e.g., set stakes and run grade lines and sight lines. If they had that level of mathematical skills (and they did), then a map would work just as well as an aerial or satellite photograph.
This image is a GE screen shot of Hindostan Falls, Indiana. The resemblance of the river's course (East Fork of White River) to a bird of prey is obvious. Less "in your face" and more difficult to discern in GE is that there are conical mounds corresponding to the nostril, eye, and ear.
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w223/dcsozman/hindostanmounds.jpg Could they see that from the hills and bluffs to the southwest? Maybe. But I think they just laid it out right the first time. Yes, I'm aware that Basil Rathbone in his Sherlock Holmes finest appears in the extreme lower right.
For either scenario, whether wholly artificial or modified topography, it is an amazing feat of engineering, with or without "modern technology". If it is a totally natural formation, it falls under "How bout that. That's cool!"
I could go out behind my house and"sow" a geoglyph with crushed limestone or even ag lime that would provide high enough albedo and contrast to be easily visible to aircraft or imaging satellites. In order for that artwork to convey the image I intend, I would have to plan exactly where to put the rock. And, since I'm in southern Indiana, the soil will reclaim that stone in a matter of single digit years if I don't maintain it. The Hindostan Falls mounds are probably something over 800 years old(never excavated or even surface survey by professional arkeys) and they periodically are exposed to rushing flood waters. The "Mayan"geoglyph is in the badlands where it is exposed to freeze thaw cycles that would make a highway engineer cringe. Yet they hold both their shape and their meaning after all this time.
Okay, I admit, even if it is totallynatural, the Mayan geoglyph is amazing. Oh, and there is one othermound at Hindostan Falls. It is the type I call "linear". It'smore like a long wall segment, but it has no context for a wall andis the only feature of its type at the site. It lays at a bearing of291.2 degrees, roughly northwest. It does not point to the summersolstice sunset, but it's close. If you extend that line about 1288miles...well, let's just say that the ancients understood geography,navigation, and surveying very, very well.
> Ted -
> At http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2331889 there is a view of it in the
> I would point out that this could have been done without too much actual
> trouble, if the GE altitude info is reasonably correct; there is only a
> 2-3 foot variance in the area of the lips. That would mean that the
> amount of earth moved is not as great as some other things known to be
> man-made, such as some of the Indian mounds. But it would remain to
> explain how they could see it well enough to guide those removing the
> At the same time, if you are on GE and tilt the view to low and look
> from the west toward the east, you will see that that slope faces a
> plain to the south. The plain is more or less 150 feet lower than the
> lips. The plain is 1/4 mile away. It seems possible that some of the
> face might be visible from the plain, but in VERY low relief. Not so
> sure that is good enough for anyone there to give feedback to anyone
> re-forming the land form.
> The eyebrows show up as 10 feet BELOW the lips. Thus, they would be
> not seen from the plain.
> So, the question becomes more than some of the Nazca lines, which are
> viewable from nearby hills or some even from the plain. If the entire
> face isn't visible from the plain, there seem to be two options:Either
> it is natural or they had some means of viewing from a high elevation
> from some point not on the ground.
> I think it is close enough to natural that that would be my bet right
> Part of my thinking there is the Face on Mars, which 15 years ago had
> much written about it. Once other views were found, as I remember it,
> it was judged pretty much to be a trick of the angle of the sunlight on
> natural land forms. If I am wrong on that, some one please inform me.
> This one is not a trick of the light, but my impression is that those
> could be natural. But it is just an impression, backed with some past
> history of stuff like this.
> There was The Old Man of the Mountain, a natural formation that looked
> like the craggy face of an old man when viewed from the side. It
> collapsed in 2003.
> Such things DO happen. In things that are random or semi-random, you
> can get things that look man-made.
> But this one is really incredible. It is impressive. So if I am wrong,
> I would readily bow to the prover and the people who formed it.
> What kind of ground is it? Rocky? Dirt? If the latter, in 500+ years
> the erosion would be substantial and would change it a lot. If soil, we
> would just be looking at a moment in its erosion pattern. No opinion is
> worth anything without knowing about the ground it is made from; all are
> guesses till that is known.
> Steve Garcia
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Ted Sojka wrote:
> > Interesting post by Vince on a giant geo glyph in Canada seen from the
> > air.
> > http://www.thefaramfoundation.com/medhatglyphs.htm