A CRATER on the surface of Mars may have been caused by an alien spaceship crash, scientists have admitted.
Photos of the scarred rock even seem to include wheels, an axle and other debris.
Experts said a “fragment from an extraterrestrial or terrestrial spacecraft cannot be discounted with absolute certainty”.
At the time, the space agency’s astrobiologist Dr Nathalie Cabrol described it as “the most bizarre rock” she had seen in 20 years of studying Mars.
Now a new research paper concludes the formations may be “sand spikes” like those which are formed on Earth during strong earthquakes.
The authors, including Prof Richard Armstrong of Aston University, said the objects are unlikely to be from the ten human-made spacecraft that have crashed or disappeared on Mars.
Prof Armstrong added: “One can only speculate about extraterrestrial origins.
“Mars images often show strange formations which ‘look like’ familiar objects.”