A photo from February shows a perspective view of the Mars north polar ice cap and its distinctive dark troughs forming a spiral-like pattern. The view is based on undated images taken by the ESA's Mars Express and generated using elevation data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on board the Mars Global Surveyor mission of NASA. (Courtesy of the European Space Agency)

The situation for human beings on Mars is dire, and not just because the red planet's atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide and the average temperature is -81 degrees.

There's also the issue of the child-trafficking ring operating in secret on the planet 33.9 million miles from earth, according to a guest on the Alex Jones Show.

“We actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20-year ride,” Robert David Steele said Thursday during a winding, conspiratorial dialogue with Jones about child victims of sex crimes. “So that once they get to Mars they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony.”

NASA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But Guy Webster, a spokesman for Mars exploration at NASA, told the Daily Beast that rumors about live humans on Mars are false.

“There are no humans on Mars,” he said. “There are active rovers on Mars. There was a rumor going around last week that there weren’t. There are, but there are no humans.”

Jones is known for peddling elaborate and debunked conspiracy theories on his radio show, which airs on 118 stations around the country and reaches millions of listeners. The site had 4.5 million unique page views in the past month and more than 5 million from mid-April to mid-May, according to Quantcast. His YouTube channel has more than 2 million subscribers.

Among his most well-known accusations in recent years is that the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were killed at a school in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax. Jones has claimed that the U.S. government orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and, more recently, promoted the “Pizzagate” conspiracy, which alleged that Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was linked to a child-sex ring operating from the basement of a suburban Washington D.C. pizzeria.

The theory originated on Reddit, where a user claimed hacked emails belonging to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta revealed evidence of an international child-sex ring. The key, the user alleged, was replacing the word “pizza” with “little boy.”

From that moment, the conspiracy theory took on a life of its own, culminating in a North Carolina man firing a military-style assault rifle inside the restaurant in December. Edgar Maddison Welch told investigators he was there to save abused children. Instead, he pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges in March and was sentenced to four years in prison last month.

Confronted about his Sandy Hook allegations during a controversial interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly last month, Jones hedged.

“I tend to believe that children probably did die there,” he told the anchor. “But then you look at all the other evidence on the other side. I can see how other people believe that nobody died there.”

On Thursday’s Infowars broadcast, Steele appeared to connect the kidnapped children being held captive on Mars to pedophile rings who allegedly use children for their youthful body parts and energy.

“Pedophilia does not stop with sodomizing children,” Steele said. “It goes straight into terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood and then murdering them. It also includes murdering them so that they can have their bone marrow harvested as well as body parts.”

“This is the original growth hormone,” Jones said.

“Yes, it's an anti-aging thing,” Steele replied.

Jim Green, head of NASA's planetary science division, answers your questions about human travel to Mars. (Gillian Brockell,Sarah Kaplan/The Washington Post)

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