The story goes (From Carl Sagan's "Cosmos") that back in the day, a overly zealous reporter who wanted to be the "first at something" and was caught up in "Mars mania" (this really goes back, like late 19th century) needed a scoop really badly. so he sent a telegram to one of the Astronomers on staff at the Lowell Observatory: Send ASAP collect, 500 word report on whether or not there is Life On Mars.
So, the Astronomer sent a telegram back to the reporter; "Nobody Knows" 250 times. Such was the thinking at the turn of the 19th Century.
Some organized groups even went so far as to draw up plans to write, in very large wheat fields in states like Kansas, a message to the Martians. Then, when it was close to opposition to lite the Kerosene, which would have been saturated into message and hopefully be bright enough to have been seen by any "Martians" who just happened to be observing Earth thru a telescope at that time (I suppose a "Martian" version of Percival Lowell). Imagine a Martian version of "the War of the World's", LOL!
Bu the story which really is my favorite and really takes the cake. Is the one about a very wealthy widow who printed in certain American papers an announcement that the first person/group who could somehow make contact with extra-terrestrials would win a $1,000,000.00
prize. But that Mars didn't count because that would be "too easy".
So, is there life on Mars? Yes, absolutely....actually, I mean No of course not! ....but then again, Yes. ....wait, ask me again when the very frist Astronauts from Earth actually arrive on Mars...then I'll tell you.
Clear skies and keep looking up!