I've read literally 100s of books in my life but this was with ease one of the most fascinating ones I've laid my eyes on.
I could start right off by praising Hancock's research and the integrity of his sources, but actually, before any of that, I think special credit should be given to this man's authorship.
Indeed that's in my mind the biggest asset of this book: that it's a definitive "cantputdowner". The only way i could see someone not being thoroughly engulfed in this marvelous work of a book is if he's either brainwashed beyond repair and refuses to hear anything entertaining notions that go against the "programm" in his mind, or, worse still, if someone is basically cerebrally pulseless.
Hancock spreads out a super convincing, mm, not so much theory, but argument. At no point in his book, again to his credit, does he dogmatically claim "look, there WAS intelligent life on Mars at some point" but he does claim that the evidence is overwhelming towards such a direction and that the rather bizzare attitude of Nasa about this might be actually confirming this or at the very least fuels suspicion to the max.
The premise here is the stunning "monuments" in the area of Cydonia and the implications arising from this. It's not only the well known (???) face on Mars but also the hexagonal eerily symmetrical pyramids and other such phenomena that have tell-tale signs of artificiality about them.
Even though i've read quite some, especially on the net, about the "Face" i found that there was actually an ocean of data i was totally unaware of. Hancock goes on a lenghty but very pleasant to read diatribe about those constructions but where it gets immensely interesting is when he tackles the more-than-strange behavior of Nasa about the whole issue. NASA to put it in a nutshell has been basically fronting the theory that not only the winds are particularly talented out on Mars but that they are also selectively talented as they seem to be creating things in Cydonia and only.
That might be laughable enough one would think, but their overall attitude to public demand for further and detailed investigation on these anomalies so the matter could (?) be put to rest has been borderline conspiratorial. The world has either had to deal with outright refusals or with grainy photos that Nasa releases in an apparent effort to conceal what really? Questiosn that scream for immediate answers. NASA general politics are also discussed in the process and, well, they dont seem exactly "crystal-clean" stuff to put it extremely mildly.
But by then you'd only be half way through the book: the latter half is the one that -incredibly-manages to capture the imagination even more albeit in a macabre and cosmically scary way.
If the death of Mars as all evidence overwhelmingly suggests came from a cosmic bombardment of comets or fragments thereof what are the implications to us here? Especially since the spectacular "atatck" of comet Levy-Shoemaker on Jupiter there has been more discussion about such a danger even if the budget we actually have on comet-orbit watching is downright ridiculous.
Hancock reveals to the uninitiated, like myself, that comets are not a distant low-probability threat but an ever-present and increasingly threatening reality. Alone in our solar system there are 100s of 1000s of them flying about in anarchic orbits and in mindbending speeds (most between 45.000-60.000klm/hour). Many are so called "earth-crossers" as they regularly (in universal terms) cross our orbit.
When one thinks that our current theory holds that the dinos became history indeed because of a comet or that there have been not just that one but several seriously damaging impacts in Earth's past, but also, that contrary to mainstream belief a comet does not have to be "giant size" (i.e planet-size) but a mere few kilometers in diameter to make the "blue planet" another cosmic corpse with a past. But with no present.
Hancock does also question the possible connection between a past civilisation on Mars and ourselves and again, the evidence more than confirms his notion that such a connection is not some far-out sci-fi type thought but it is actually supported by our ancient heritage. What i like a lot about Hancock compared to other researchers of the genre is that he's actual very casual and undogmatic even when he suggests (but never insists) such dazzling theories.
An absolutely tremendous book on all levels. If you do have a "sucpicion department" in your brain the "Mars Mystery" will confirm your worst fears. All this has nothing to do with "conspiracy theories" by the way. As a journalist once said at the beginning of the 20th century:
"...it's not the conspiracy theories that interest me, it's the theories about conspiracies."