(Houston) NASA officials today admitted that a massive mud slide has interrupted scanning efforts on the Red Planet. Probes sent to examine the planet’s surface have reportedly been bogged down just west of the Noonday Gulf.

The mud slide appears to have been generated by hordes of astronauts trampling across the Sea of Venus in search of the Seven Cities of Gold. The space travelers, the gold and, up till now, the mud slide, had been kept secret due to “considerable national security considerations of national security”.

“Well the cat’s out now,” said Melvin Toolier, former Aquitaine bull rider great and the recognized inventor of the automotive hair bag. “Now all those loonies on the tax and voter registration rolls will know about alien space ship visits, celebrity wardrobe malfunctions, human abductions, Schiaparelli’s Canals, Cher’s grade school romances and green cheese on our own moon. The next thing you know the public will believe that the Warren Commission was nothing more than a peaceful, grassy knoll.”

Most astronomers do not believe that intelligent life exists on Mars, but do think plants exists there. Until last year scientists had collected no data on minerals or soil specimens.

“Getting back to the mud,” started Toole, “it’s just about everywhere. We suspect that latent polar ice caps may have been the culprit and ancient timber cutting may have created serious erosion.”

Toole was not clear as to who may have been at the bottom of the deforestation or if what appears to be brown, faded Martian Forest Service signs actually indicate attempts at land management.

A combined Russian-American astral backhoe team is expected to arrive on the Red Planet Friday unless they drink too much vodka the night before. With any luck the mud slide can be mucked out before Martian tourist season.

In a related development, bellied sources at the Navel Observatory in Washington confirmed the second sighting of a massive meteor headed straight for earth. The metallic matter, which is thought to have originated between Deimos and Phobos (the moons of Mars) is on a collision course with Disney World.

“We expect the meteor to hit Florida on the night of June 12 which gives people ample time to expand coinciding vacation options,” said Toole from a repaired statement. “After that we just don’t know.” – Suzie Compost


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