National Geographic : 1977 Jan
THIS FIRST ISSUE of our 89th year of publication takes us on a journey to one world never before seen close up-Mars and to another seldom glimpsed by United States journalists in the past 16 years-Cuba. The difficulties in reaching Mars were physi cal, and they were overcome by the highest tech nology of which our society is presently capable. The results are nothing less than stunning. To look upon this rust-red alien world with the clear eyes of modern space techniques is an experience that ancient mythology reserved only for gods. Then, to probe and assess the Martian soil for signs of life, as far away as 235 million miles, so enlarges human capabilities that we must won der why we cannot apply some of that power to problems that plague so many earthly cultures. The difficulties in reaching Cuba were, on the other hand, political. It is, after all, right next door. That door was open to U. S. reporters for only two years after a leftist government in 1959 replaced a regime widely regarded as needing re form. The door was slammed shut by the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the later confrontation between the U. S. and U.S.S.R. over placement of offensive missiles on Cuban soil. The years have flown so fast it is hard to grasp that the charismatic leadership of Fidel Castro is now in its 18th year, and that Communism seems firmly anchored in the Caribbean. In 1976 free-lance writer-photographer Fred Ward ob tained permission to travel freely in Cuba, to interview whom he chose, and to spend as much time as required. That proved to be nearly three months. We think his article (page 32) is the most balanced and accurate we have yet seen. Mr. Ward describes life in Cuba today as marked both by commitment to the ideals of the revolution and by frustration. In the end, the many social services, including all medical care, are free, but speech and thought are not; party rule is absolute. While education has gone for ward by impressive leaps, shortages of both housing and consumer goods plague the plan ners, and only continued massive subsidy by the Soviet Union keeps the Cuban economy afloat. Though beset by problems, the Cuban socialist state advertises itself to other small, struggling nations as an alternative to the military dictator ships that abound in Latin America. I can think of no better way to indicate the possibilities-and problems-of our time than to begin 1977 by portraying these two worlds that have such different things to say about our century. FiATfONAL THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICMAGAZINEVOL. 151, NO. 1 COPYRIGHT© 1976 BY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY WASHINGTON,D.C. INTERNATIONALCOPYRIGHTSECURED January 1977 MARS: OUR FIRST CLOSE LOOK i-As Viking Sees It 3 A red landscape dramaticallyshaped by volcano, wind, and water is confirmed by the electronic eyes and arms of NASA spacecraftfarfrom home. II-The Search for Life 9 Key experiments by the two Viking landersfocus on the basic, still unresolved question. Science writer Rick Gore looks at preliminary results. Cuba Today 32 From three months of unrestrictedtravel and countless interviews-includingone with Fidel Castro himself-photojournalist Fred Ward reports on everyday life in the only Communist nation in the Western Hemisphere. Puget Is More Than a Sound 71 At the sea gate of the nation's Northwest, William Graves and David Alan Harvey find outdoor-orientedcities, unspoiled shores, and a growing concern for tomorrow. The Gentle Yamis of Orchid Island 98 Wide ocean and a speck of landframe the world of an ancient people of the western Pacific. A picture story by Chang Shuhua. Pakistan's Wild North-West Frontier i11 Gunfire and eye-for-an-eye justice still rule tribal enclaves of a border province where the Khyber Pass carries scars of invasion and violence. Mike W. Edwards and J. Bruce Baumann roam Kipling country. Mystery of the Medicine Wheels 140 Astronomer John A. Eddy believes early Plains Indians used huge spoked circles of stones to keep track of sun, stars, and seasons. Photographs by Thomas E. Hooper. COVER: Viking's-eye view of the Martian surface bears out the planet's nickname: It's really red,from a pervasive coating of what earthlings know as rust. Photographby NASA.