On 7 May, Curiosity took a photo of what appears to be a “doorway” carved into a Martian rock. It’s perfectly flat and rectangle-shaped, so it has sparked all sorts of conspiracy theories from the moment it was released.
“It looks like something out of a Peter Jackson movie,” says one commenter. “A wormhole portal to another dimension” suggests another. Various musings about an aircraft going down, a rocket launch, meteors and alien invasions ensue. But what exactly did residents of Lazy Mountain, Alaska photograph?
From the images, it appears to be a column of smoke reaching down to the horizon. However, it looks nothing like any normal aircraft contrail that you would normally see. As rumour grew of a potential crash State Troopers moved in to investigate.