Everyone knows about the famous meteorite that contained fossilized Mars bacteria that should have been a first step to full disclosure, but now new evidence is coming out that the Viking missions to Mars actually found life. The news came out via an article by Discovery back in April that says new analysis of the data from the landers reveals they may have detected biological life:
The new study took a different approach. Researchers distilled the Viking Labeled Release data, provided as hard copies by the original researchers, into sets of numbers and analyzed the results for complexity. Since living systems are more complicated than non-biological processes, the idea was to look at the experiment results from a purely numerical perspective.
Of course, the conspiracy theorists are probably thinking that life was detected but the findings were covered up by the government in order to not create a panic in the 70s. With Curiosity landing in just over a month, it’ll be interesting to see what that larger rover is able to dig up in the soil.