View Full Version : What did the studio at Wonderland Avenue do?

Paul Rigby
09-30-2009, 09:38 PM
The US Army Air Corps constructs a top-secret movie production studio in 1947…


David Guyatt:

On the movie studio:


In 1947, the Army Air Corps built its top-secret movie production studio on Wonderland Park Avenue. Military training films and Department of Defense documentaries were churned out, including a particularly famous series on the aboveground nuclear tests in Nevada. The studio was deactivated in 1969, and thanks to the efforts of the Laurel Canyon Association, it was prevented from being zoned for further commercial activity.

The top secret 1352d Motion Picture Squadron (Lookout Mountain Laboratory) hidden in the valley of Wonderland Park Avenue. The studio created documentaries on Nevada nuclear tests among other projects and is now a unique residence complex.

Yet it falls to this firm to produce “films for all branches of the military” and, later, “the Air Force Space Division” and NASA:


Graphic Films was established in 1941, by former Disney animator, Lester Novros. Having worked as an animator on such Disney Classics as ASnow White@, ABambi@ and AFantasia@, Novros left the Hollywood animation community to create instructional and informational films that were highly stylized and uniquely designed. His first commission would be the creation of an instructional film for the Army Air Corps, teaching pilots how to bail out of a P-38.

Incorporated in 1946, Graphic Films became a strong entity in the production of films for all branches of the military as well the public and private sectors. The company soon gained a reputation for it's production of consistently creative and innovative documentary and informational films.

As aerospace technology evolved in the early 1950's, production responsibility progressed into the creation of motion pictures for the Air Force Space Division. This was at a time when the word "satellite" was still considered a classified term. Graphic Films production proficiency quickly expanded to include numerous productions for the National Aeronautics and Space Agency - NASA.

So what was the point of the Lookout Mountain Laboratory if it wasn't to make precisely the kind of films which Graphic did?

Incidentally, at Graphic we find wunderkinds like Douglas Trumbull…


Professionally, Douglas Trumbull started out as a technical illustrator at Graphic Films, working on documentary films about NASA and the Air Force.

“I did some obscure films for the Air Force about the space program and then there was this one film about the Apollo program that was kind of interesting.

I was painting lunar modules and lunar surfaces and the vertical assembly building on Saturn 5 rockets and animated this space stuff. And then Graphic Films got a couple of contracts to do films for the New York World's Fair in '64. It was a two year fair in 1964 and 65, and one of them was this dome thing called To The Moon And Beyond, which was kind of a Powers of Ten movie. It went from the "Big Bang" to inside an atom in ten minutes.” 2

And Con Pedersen, friend and colleague of, among others, Werner von Braun:


We had used the technique a lot building spacecraft models for the Air Force and NASA, and I had worked in the Army for Wernher von Braun, so I was used to a lot of blueprints. In fact I had worked with designs of what eventually became the Apollo project. I was very familiar with rocketry and rocket design from the inside out. I had been always very interested in model rocketry since I was a kid.

It is the Graphic wunderkinds who form the core special effects time behind Kubrick’s A Space Oddysey:


It was at the World’s Fair where the Graphic Films feature, Journey Beyond The Stars, was seen by director Stanley Kubrick, that got Mr. Trumbull hired as a special effects supervisor on the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. 2001, released in 1968, is based on Arthur C. Clarke’s book, and written by Kubrick and Clarke. 2001 deals with themes of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life. The film is notable for its scientific realism, pioneering use of special effects, and reliance upon ambiguous yet provocative imagery, and sound in place of traditional techniques of narrative cinema. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one (for visual effects), and won the Kansas City Film Critics Circle awards for Best Director and Best Film of 1968.

PS: Trumbull on the death of Natalie Wood while filming Brainstorm:


Your second film as a director, Brainstorm, faced some serious disasters and was almost shelved before completion. Can you talk about it?

You probably know that Natalie Wood died during the making of Brainstorm. There's a very long story about that that I don't talk about publicly because it would open up a can of worms. It is so deep and so horrendous that I don't go into it. But she was killed in an accident, let's leave it at that.

Jan Klimkowski
09-30-2009, 09:53 PM
The official story has it that Kubrick wanted to shoot Barry Lyndon by candlelight for artistic and aesthetic reasons.

That Kubrick's motivation was primarily artistic is probably, to a large extent, true.

Where did Stanley find the only lens in the world at that time that could deliver what he needed?


Above all it is the light that made BARRY LYNDON famous: the light of its interiors that stems from hundreds of candles, sometimes from only a few. Back then no lens was strong enough for such sequences without the support of artificial light. As early as 1968 Kubrick had run first tests with especially light-sensitive film material but the results could not satisfy him. During the preparations for BARRY LYNDON Kubrick found out about a special lens that Carl Zeiss Oberkochen had developed for NASA's space photographs. This lens with 1:0,7 and a focal length of 50mm was two f-stops faster than all other film lenses at that time. Kubrick had camera specialist Ed DiGiulio integrate it into an old Mitchell BNC which had to be completely remodeled to accommodate the large lens. This enabled cameraman John Alcott to film interiors with available light but it also held a directorial challenge: The much interpreted artificiality and hypnotic slowness of the protagonists is partly due to the technical requirements of filming: actors had to pay attention to not move too fast thereby leaving the extremely limited depth of focus.


Paul Rigby
10-01-2009, 08:39 PM
The official story has it that Kubrick wanted to shoot Barry Lyndon by candlelight for artistic and aesthetic reasons.

That Kubrick's motivation was primarily artistic is probably, to a large extent, true.

Where did Stanley find the only lens in the world at that time that could deliver what he needed?


Kubrick - Auteur of the Deep State?

Spartacus as mood music for the Castro installation? (I know, Anthony Mann etc...)

Paul Rigby
10-29-2009, 11:14 PM
Kubrick - Auteur of the Deep State?

Spartacus as mood music for the Castro installation? (I know, Anthony Mann etc...)

Secrets of The Shining:

Or How Faking the Moon Landings Nearly
Cost Stanley Kubrick his Marriage and his Life.

By Jay Weidner

Copyright 2009 Sacred Mysteries Productions


David Guyatt
10-30-2009, 12:15 PM
Kubrick - Auteur of the Deep State?

Spartacus as mood music for the Castro installation? (I know, Anthony Mann etc...)

Secrets of The Shining:

Or How Faking the Moon Landings Nearly
Cost Stanley Kubrick his Marriage and his Life.

By Jay Weidner

Copyright 2009 Sacred Mysteries Productions


Paul. Many thanks for this link. What a truly fascinating hypothesis. The symbolism presented resonates quite powerfully, imo.

We have dealt before on the forum with Kubrik and his intriguing Eyes Wide Shut, and I think the time is now overdue to discuss the moon landing theory in more detail.

David Guyatt
10-30-2009, 05:46 PM
The following essay is reproduced in full with kind permission of the author: http://www.jayweidner.com/AlchemicalKubrickIIa.html

How Stanley Kubrick
Faked the Apollo Moon Landings:
Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lies.
Alchemical Kubrick II

Jay Weidner

Copyright July 20 th 2009
Sacred Mysteries Productions

"There are great ideas, undiscovered breakthroughs available, to those who can remove one of truths protective layers"
-Neil Armstrong, 'First Man on the Moon'. July 20 th 1994

It has now been forty years since the fabled moon landings by NASA and the Apollo gang. When it comes to the subject of the moon landings, people tend to fall into two belief groups. The first group, by far the bigger of the two groups, accepts the fact that NASA successfully landed on the moon six times and that 12 human beings have actually walked on the surface of the moon. The second group, though far smaller, is more vocal about their beliefs. This group says that we never went to the moon and that the entire thing was faked.

This essay presents a third position on this issue. This third point of view falls somewhere between these two assertions. This third position postulates that humans did go to the moon but what we saw on TV and in photographs was completely faked.

Furthermore this third position reveals that the great filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is the genius who directed the hoaxed landings.


But why fake the moon landings at all? What would be the motivation? Authors Joseph Farrell and Henry Stevens both have shown us undeniable proof that Nazi scientists had developed advanced flying saucer technology as early as 1943. These authors also show that the US Government brought these same Nazi scientists into this country in order to build these highly advanced flying machines.

Furthermore, they believe that the idea that aliens from outer space are invading the Earth is a clever cover story concocted by NASA to hide this technology.

Many sources inside the military industrial complex have related to me that after John Kennedy was shown the flying saucer technology early in his Presidency, he realized that the advances in technology promised by the flying saucers could solve many of the pressing problems of the world. He saw that releasing this exotic technology would point the way towards cheap and environmentally friendly energy among other things.

Soon after seeing the flying saucer technology, JFK made his famous speech asking NASA to land a man on the moon before the decade was out. Many insiders believed that this was a ploy by JFK to get NASA, and the secret government, to release their saucer technologies. Since it was obvious to everyone that standard rocket technology could not get man to the moon and back, JFK may have thought that NASA would be forced to release the knowledge of the technology behind the flying saucers in order to fulfill his vision and get to the moon by the end of the 1960's. JFK's ploy was therefore intended to free this advanced technology from the insidious hands of the shadow government.

After the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, NASA began a new plan that would solve the problem that JFK initiated. This new plan would allow NASA, and the shadow government, to keep the saucer technology secret and to still make it look like standard rocketry had taken man to the moon and back.

Someone high up in the shadow government decided to fake the entire moon landings in order to conceal the United States' extremely new and advanced Nazi technology both from us, the citizens and our enemies.

In some ways NASA's position on this was understandable. We were in the middle of the cold war with the Soviet Union. Did we really want to show the Russians what we had?


In early 1964 Stanley Kubrick had just finished his black satire Dr Strangelove and was looking to do a science fiction film.

While directing Dr. Strangelove Kubrick had asked the US Air Force for permission to film one of their B-52 bombers for the movie. The Pentagon turned him down.

The movie, Dr. Strangelove, was about a flight squadron that had been ordered to fly to Russia and drop nuclear bombs on that country. The Pentagon read Kubrick's script and rejected his request to actually film the inside, and outside, of a B-52.

The reason for this rejection was that Kubrick's film was clearly a satire on the military and US nuclear policy. The Pentagon did not want to assist Kubrick in this satirical undertaking.

Undaunted by the rejection, Kubrick used various special effects to create the B-52 in flight. When viewing Dr. Strangelove today, these special effects look quaint and old fashioned, but in 1963 they looked very good. It is possible that someone in NASA saw what Kubrick had done in Dr. Strangelove and, admiring his artfulness, designated Kubrick as the person best qualified to direct the Apollo Moon landing. If he could do that well on a limited budget - what could he do on an unlimited budget?

No one knows how the powers-that-be convinced Kubrick to direct the Apollo landings. Maybe they had compromised Kubrick in some way. The fact that his brother, Raul Kubrick, was the head of the American Communist Party may have been one of the avenues pursued by the government to get Stanley to cooperate.

Kubrick also had a reputation for being a notoriously nasty negotiator. It would have been very interesting to have been a fly on the wall during the negotiations between Kubrick and NASA.

In the end, it looks like Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landings in return for two things. The first was a virtually unlimited budget to make his ultimate science fiction film: 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the second was that he would be able to make any film he wanted, with no oversight from anyone, for the rest of his life.

Except for his last film, Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick got what he wanted.


It is uncanny the way that the production of 2001: A Space Odyssey parallels the Apollo program. The film production started in 1964 and went on to the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey in1968. Meanwhile the Apollo program also began in 1964 and culminated with the first moon landings on July 20th 1969.

Also it is very interesting to note that scientist Frederick Ordway was working both for NASA and the Apollo program and was also Kubrick's top science advisor for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Once he negotiated the deal, Stanley, got to work. The most pressing problem for Kubrick in 1964 was to figure out a way to make the shots on the ground, on the surface of the moon, look realistic. He had to make the scenes look wide-open and expansive, like it was really done on the moon and not in a studio back lot.


No one knows how many things he tried but eventually Kubrick settled on doing the entire thing with a cinematic technique called Front Screen Projection.

It is in the use of this cinematic technique that the fingerprints of Kubrick can be seen all over the NASA Apollo photographic and video material.

What is Front Screen Projection?

Kubrick did not invent the process but there is no doubt that he perfected it. Front Screen Projection is a cinematic device that allows scenes to be projected behind the actors so that it appears, in the camera, as if the actors are moving around on the set provided by the Front Screen Projection.

The process came into fruition when the 3M company invented a material called Scotchlite. This was a screen material that was made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny glass beads each about .4mm wide. These beads were highly reflective. In the Front Screen Projection process the Scotchlite screen would be placed at the back of the soundstage. The plane of the camera lens and the Scotchlite screen had to be exactly 90 degrees apart. A projector would project the scene onto the Scotchlite screen through a mirror and the light would go through a beam splitter, which would pass the light into the camera. An actor would stand in front of the Scotchlite screen and he would appear to be 'inside' the projection.


Today Hollywood magicians use green screens and computers for special effects and so Front Screen Projection has gone the way of the Adding Machine and the Model T, but for its time, especially in the 1960's, nothing worked better than Front Screen Projection for the realistic look that would be needed both for the ape-men scenes in 2001: A Space Odyssey and the faked Apollo landings.

To see how Front Screen Projection looks on the screen let's examine the ape-men scenes at the beginning of Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey. While viewing the stills from these scenes, or watching them in the film, one has to remember that the early scenes in 2001 with the actors in Ape costumes were all done on a soundstage. None of what you are seeing in the ape-men scenes at the beginning of 2001 was actually shot outside. The scenes that surround the ape-men in 2001 are actually slides of a desert being projected onto Scotchlite screens standing at the rear of the set.

In order to create these desert backgrounds Kubrick sent a photographic team to Spain to shoot 8'' X 10'' Ektachrome slides. These slides were then projected via the Front Screen Projection system onto the Scotchlite screen. The actors in ape costumes stood in front of the screen acting out the script.

If you watch 2001 on DVD you can actually see the 'seams' of the screen occasionally behind the gyrating apes. Kubrick was doing Front Screen Projection on such a huge and grand fashion that the technicians were forced to sew together many screens of Scotchlite so that Kubrick could create the vastness needed for the ape scenes to be believable.

In this still taken from an early scene in 2001 you can see the seams in the blue sky if you look closely.


Next is the same image as above only I have processed it through a graphic program. In this processing I have increased the gamma and increased the contrast.

Please examine:


Now we can clearly see the 'seams' and the 'stitching' of the Scotchlite Front Projection screen in the sky.

To get the perspective correct one has to realize that the Scotchlite screen is right behind the rocky outcropping set, which was built on the soundstage.

The lines on the screen are the flaws in the Scotchlite screen. These flaws in the screen give the sky give a peculiar 'geometry' when the image is properly processed to reveal the Front Projection Scotchlite Screen.

Let's show another example. Here is a still from the famous 'water hole' scene from 2001:


This next image is again the same image as above but with the gamma and contrast increased:


While watching 2001,with the scenes of the ape-men, one can begin to see the tell tale fingerprints that always reveal when the Front Screen Projection system is being used.

It should be emphasized that the sets that surround the ape-men in the movie are real. Those are 'real' rocks (whether paper mache or real) that surround the ape-men. But behind the fabricated rocks on the set, the desert scene is being projected via the Front Screen Projector.

One of the ways that you can tell the Front Screen system is being used is that the bottom horizon line between the actual set and the background Scotchlite screen has to be blocked. Kubrick strategically located rocks and other things near the bottom of the scene in order to hide the projection screen. In other words, the camera and the viewers would see the bottom of the background projection screen if it weren't blocked in some fashion. As part of the 'trick' it became necessary to place things in between the screen and the set to hide the bottom of the screen.



I have photo-shopped a line differentiating the set and the background Scotchlite Front Projection Screen. Please note how everything is in focus, from the pebbles on the ground in the set to the desert mountains beyond.

You will see that hiding the bottom of the Scotchlite screen is always being done when the Front Screen Projection system is used in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hiding the screen is one of the fingerprints; it is evidence of its use. Just like the stage magician who needs the long sleeves of his costume to hide the mechanism of his tricks, so too Kubrick needed to hide the mechanism of his trick behind the carefully placed horizon line between set and screen.

Here is another example from 2001: A Space Odyssey:


And here is the same image with my photo shop line separating the set with the ape-man actor and the Scotchlite Front Projection Screen.


And you will see, before this article is finished, that this same fingerprint, this same evidence, is clearly seen in all of the NASA Apollo stills and video footage.

It is this fingerprint that reveals, not only that NASA faked the Apollo missions but also HOW they faked them.

Let's examine a few NASA Apollo images now.


This is a still from Apollo 17. This is also a great example of the Front Screen Projection process.


Again I have photo-shopped a line indicating the back of the set. One can see that there is a slight uprising behind the rover, which is hiding the bottom of the screen. Also notice that even though everything is in focus from the lunar rover to the mountains in the background, there is a strange change in the landscape of the ground right behind my lines. This is because the photo of the mountains being used on the Front Projection system has a slightly different ground texture than the set. As we go on we will see that this fingerprint is also consistent throughout the Apollo images.

Here is another Apollo image.


Now here is my version where I show the line between set and screen.


Again notice that the texture of the ground changes right behind my lines.

Now let's go to some more Apollo images. We can see that the same thing occurs here as in the ape-men scenes in 2001. There is always a line separating the set from the screen. Even if you do not see it at first it will become apparent, as one grows more familiar with the Front Screen Projection process and how it is being used to fake the astronauts standing on the lunar surface.

Go to any NASA site like ( http://www.apolloarchive.com/apollo_gallery.html) and start looking for yourself.

Not all lunar surface shots are using the process. Sometimes the astronauts are just standing on the set with a completely (and suspicious) black background. The early missions used the Front Screen Projection system only when they had to. But as the missions went on and they had to look better, Kubrick began to perfect the process.

Although you can see the Front Screen Projection process on every mission, the seriously revealing images are in the later missions, particularly Apollo 14, 15, 16 and (my favorite) 17.

Here are a few from Apollo 17.



That astronaut is driving the lunar rover parallel to the screen and the rover is only three or four feet away from the Scotchlite. Please note how the tire treads just lead to nowhere. Actually they are going to the edge of the set.



The astronaut is about six feet in front of the Scotchlite screen. Please note how everything is in focus from the rocks and pebbles close to the camera all the way to the crystal clear mountain behind the astronaut. As we shall see very soon, even that is impossible.

Also please note the other tell tale evidence that permeates the Apollo images: There is a stark difference in the ground texture between the set and what is being projected onto the screen. You can almost count the number of small rocks and the granularity of the ground is clearly seen on the set. But once we get to the screen on the other side of my line this granularity disappears.

This next image is slick little piece of work. When first viewed one is sure that they are looking across the vast unbroken lunar surface from beginning to end. With the Earth rising, it is truly a stunning shot.



But sure enough - a close examination reveals the set/screen line once again. Again please note the change in the texture of the ground immediately on each side of the line. The little pebbles and dust seem to disappear behind the line.





Doesn't the fakery just make you all patriotic inside?


Besides the telltale evidence of the horizon line between set and screen and the changing granularity of the texture of the ground, there is another telltale fingerprint that comes with Front Screen Projection. This has to do with a photographic situation called depth of field. Depth of field has to do with the plane of focus that the lens of the camera is tuned to.

The main rule of thumb in photography is that the larger the format of the film the less depth of field. For instance, 16mm film has a large depth of field. 35mm has a smaller depth of field and 70 mm (which Stanley was using in 2001 as were all of the astronaut-photographers in the Apollo missions) has an incredibly small depth of field.

What this means is that it is virtually impossible for two objects that are far apart in the lens of a 70mm camera to be in the same plane of focus. One of the two objects will always be out-of-focus. Filmmakers like to use depth of field because it creates soft out-of-focus backgrounds that are visually very pleasant to the human eye.

While watching the ape-men scenes at the beginning of 2001, one can see that everything is in focus. Whether it is the apes - or the far away desert background - they are all in focus. This is because the Front Projection Screen on which the background desert scenes is projected is actually not far away from the ape actor. In reality the Scotchlite screen containing the desert scene is right behind the actors just as the Scotchlite screen is right behind the astronauts in the Apollo images. So whatever is projected onto that screen will usually be in the same plane of focus as the actor-ape or the actor-astronaut.

This depth of field is impossible in real life using a large format film like 70 mm. Keeping everything in focus is only possible if everything is actually confined to a small place.

It may look like the ape-men are somewhere in a huge desert landscape but in reality they are all on a small set in a studio.

It may look like the astronauts are on a vast lunar landscape but actually they are on a small confined set.

According to the NASA literature, the Apollo astronauts were using large format Hassleblad cameras. These cameras were provided with large rolls of 70 mm film on which they took the images. This large format film is exactly the same size film that Kubrick was using when shooting 2001.

The plane of focus, the depth of field, on these cameras is incredibly small. This should have been a huge problem for the astronaut-photographers, who would have to be constantly adjusting the focus. We therefore should expect to see a lot of out of focus shots taken by the astronauts. When you consider the fact that, because of their helmets, they did not even have the ability to see through the viewfinder of their cameras, this would have only increased the chances that most of what they would be shooting would be out of focus.

I have gone through the entire photographic record of Apollo program, both at Goddard in Greenbelt, Maryland in the main photographic repository at NASA's Houston headquarters.

When the Apollo photographic record is examined, the exact opposite of what one would expect to find is discovered. Instead of many out of focus shots, we find that nearly every shot is in pristine focus. And these amateur photographer-astronauts have an uncanny sense of composition, especially when one remembers that they are not even able to look through their camera's viewfinders. Their images have the unmistakable quality of a highly polished professional photographer.

Before embarking on his film career Stanley Kubrick was a professional photographer working for Look Magazine.

Honestly, even a professional photographer looking through the viewer of the camera would be hard pressed to come up with the pristine imagery and crystal clear focus of the Apollo astronaut amateur photographers.

Unfortunately though, for everyone involved, the fact that everything is in focus in the Apollo record is the old telltale fingerprint of Front Screen Projection.

Examine the above photographs from Apollo. Please note how everything is in focus. As one goes through the entire Apollo record they will discover that the astronaut photographers never seem to have a problem with depth of field. Even though you could never get everything to remain in focus over such vast distances here on Earth, somehow the rules of physics are bypassed when men shoot photographs on the lunar surface.

Indeed the very physics of lens dynamics and depth of field apparently disappears when the astronauts shoot photographs. (Just for the record the cameras were not altered at all by Hasselblad or anyone else).

As a professional photographer and a filmmaker I have wrestled with depth of field problems for over 40 years. I am surprised that no other photographer has noticed the lack of depth of field problems encountered by the astronaut-photographers. In reality the lack of depth of field problems is a nail in the coffin of the Apollo program.


Former NASA consultant Richard Hoagland has examined many of the photos of the Apollo landings and, although he has never noticed the impossible depth of field, he has found other strange anomalies in the NASA material.

Examining the photographic record of the Apollo missions, and processing Apollo images through various graphics programs, Hoagland has discovered 'geometries' in the skies surrounding the astronauts on the moon. He postulates that these geometries are evidence of some kind of gigantic glass-like structures behind, above and surrounding the astronauts as they stand on the lunar surface. Hoagland even shows us that there are rainbow lights reflecting in the sky high above the astronauts.

Many people, especially in NASA, have attacked Hoagland for these interpretations. Yet, no matter how much they attack Hoagland, they can never explain what it is that he is finding on these Apollo images. In the same way that evidence in the JFK assassination and the high weirdness around 911 is never examined and explained by the anti-conspiracy theorists, so too, is Hoagland's evidence just simply ignored by the critics.

Instead they have created an ad hominum attack machine that criticizes Hoagland - the man - while deftly ignoring his intriguing evidence.

His critics are either wrong or they know what is really happening.

I have known Richard Hoagland for a long time. I was with him during his initial discoveries of artifacts on the lunar surface. I have seen photographic evidence that there are very strange things on the surface of the moon. I am not here to start an argument with Mr. Hoagland or anyone else.

I, like Hoagland, believe that NASA has actually gone to the moon. I believe that moon rocks were taken from the surface of the moon. I believe that there is strong evidence of some kind of past intelligent activity on surface of the moon. But I do not believe that standard rocket technology is what got mankind from the Earth to the surface of the Moon.

I am not trying to debunk Hoagland's discoveries. All I am trying to do, with the following evidence, is show that the Apollo landings were a hoax. And that Stanley Kubrick, using the Front Screen Projection system, directed them.

Again I want to make sure that I am understood here. I am not saying that there are not strange structures on the moon. What I am saying is that the structures and geometries that Richard Hoagland is seeing in the photographs taken on the lunar surface are not what he thinks they are.

Here are a few of Hoagland's images. He believes that these images are proof that NASA is hiding evidence of alien cities.


This is a processed photograph of astronaut Ed Mitchell on the surface of the moon taken during the Apollo 14 mission. Of course all of the stuff in the sky, as seen in this processed Apollo image from Hoagland, is impossible if it was taken on the lunar surface. There is no atmosphere on the moon. Therefore there can be nothing in the sky. Yet when Hoagland processed much of the Apollo lunar surface imagery he discovered, over and over again, all of this 'crud' in the sky above the astronauts.

No one in NASA even attempts to answer Hoagland, or anyone else, about the strange stuff that he, and others, is finding in the skies above the astronauts.

Richard Hoagland theorizes that this is photographic evidence of huge, abandoned 'glass cities' on the surface of the moon. He says that what we are seeing in the above processed image is huge glass towers that only show up on the images after they have been processed through graphics software.

Here are some other of Hoagland's images:


Hoagland has taken the image on the left and processed it in a manner very similar to how I processed the above images from 2001: A Space Odyssey. By increasing the gamma and the contrast of the image he arrived at the picture on the right.

Hoagland interprets the image on the right as proof of giant glass structures behind the astronaut and, for that matter, all over the surface of the moon.

What Hoagland is really seeing, though, is the imperfections in the background Scotchlite screen that Kubrick used to create the lunar backgrounds. These imperfections can also be found in the desert backgrounds in the ape scenes in 2001: A Space Odyssey (see above).

What Hoagland, and the above image reveals, is the texture and geometry of the Scotchlite screen.

Because of the vastness of the set, because he needed it to look like it was NOT DONE ON A SOUNDSTAGE, Kubrick had to sew several Scotchlite screens together. It was only when he had created a large enough Scotchlite screen was he then was able to get a large enough background image that would look expansive enough to appear to be the surface of the moon or a desert four million years ago.

The same process that created the desert backgrounds in 2001 is the same process that created the lunar mountains backgrounds for the Apollo missions.

This is picture from Hoagland's research.


The processed image reveals a rainbow-like reflecting light high above the astronauts in the sky on the moon. Hoagland theorizes that this is a light reflecting off of one of the giant glass towers standing right behind the astronaut.

What this is really is a light reflecting off of one of the tiny glass beads of the Scotchlite screen. For some reason that particular glass bead was slightly off from its 90-degree angle and so it caught the projector light and reflected it back to the camera.

Again a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey (processed):


And one of Hoagland's processed Apollo shots:


It is pretty clear from the two images above that Hoagland's 'geometries' are really the patterns and flaws and stitches in the Scotchlite screen.

Maybe this is why NASA suddenly lost all of its lunar images. Maybe this is why NASA just admitted that they 'accidentally' taped over the original high-resolution tape of Apollo 11. Maybe this is why Neil Armstrong, 'the first man to walk on the moon', doesn't want to participate in the 40 th anniversary parties.

Maybe this is why we have never gone back to the moon.


Many researchers have pointed out the different angles of light on the surface of the moon. Because there is only one light source (the sun) how can there be multiple light angles on the moon such as this?:


How can the astronaut's two shadows not be consistent with each other? If they were actually standing in the bright light of the sun, their two shadows should be at the same exact angle. Yet they are not. Why? Because Kubrick used studio lighting!


But why would Kubrick make a mistake like the inconsistent shadows in the above image? A great filmmaker like Kubrick must have realized that this was a huge mistake.

My answer is that Kubrick did this on purpose.

He left behind telltale evidence for his work. And he did this on purpose. Not just in the above shot but actually all over the Apollo photographic record.

In my forthcoming documentary on the NASA Apollo fakery titled "Kubrick's Odyssey", I will reveal much more photographic evidence than I possibly can in this short essay.

One thing that I am sure is that some part of Stanley Kubrick wanted everyone to know what he had done. And that is why he left behind clues that would explain who did it and how.


Those of you who are familiar with my essay, written in 1999, on 2001: A Space Odyssey called Alchemical Kubrick (see http://www.jayweidner.com/kubrick.htm) already know that I believe that 2001 A Space Odyssey is the greatest esoteric film of all time.

For the first time anywhere, in that essay, I show how Kubrick designed the black monolith to be exactly the same size as the screen on which 2001 was projected. The monolith and the screen are the same thing. The monolith is the screen and the screen is the monolith. It is truly one of the greatest discoveries in cinema history.

When one realizes that Kubrick also used the Front Screen Projection system - not only for the ape scenes in 2001 - but also the fake the moon landings - we can see a double, or even possibly a triple meaning, inside the idea that the screen is the monolith and the monolith is the screen.

If the monolith is that device that enlightens humanity then the Front Screen Projection system, and it's unmistakable fingerprints, is the device that enlightens humanity as to how the Apollo landings were faked.

But also we can see that Kubrick used the faking of the Apollo moon missions as an opportunity to make one great film.

Because he had negotiated a deal where no one would be given oversight on the film, Kubrick was allowed to make whatever movie he desired. Knowing that no one would object to his anti-Hollywood methods, he created the first abstract feature film, the first intellectual movie and the greatest esoteric work of art in the 20 th century.

The President of MGM, at the time in 1968, publicly stated, that he never even saw a rough cut of 2001: A Space Odyssey during the entire four years of production. Does that sound like the manner in which a head of a major studio would act? 2001: A Space Odyssey was one of the most expensive films ever made at that time. Does it even seem remotely possible that no one at MGM even cared to see the continuous progress of the film?

No way.

I am sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the only film in MGM history where the executives who funded the movie never scrutinized the film.

Why weren't they more interested in this very expensive endeavor?

Because MGM did not fund 2001, the US Government did.

Outside of the Front Screen Projection evidence, which I believe nails the fraud of the Apollo landings; there is other circumstantial evidence that forces the conclusion even more in the direction of Kubrick directing the entire Apollo missions.

For instance:

In the original release of 2001 there were many credits thanking NASA and many of the aerospace companies that worked with NASA on the moon landings. These credits have since been removed from all subsequent releases of 2001. But for those of us old enough to remember, in the original credits, Kubrick thanks a vast array of military and space corporations for their help in the production.

As these are the same corporations that supposedly helped NASA get the astronauts to the moon - one has to wonder - what kind of help did they gave Stanley? And for what price?

In the film 'Wag the Dog' Dustin Hoffman plays a movie producer hired by the CIA to 'fake an event'. His name in the movie is Stanley. In that movie 'Stanley' mysteriously dies after telling everyone that he wants to take credit for the 'event' that he helped fake.

Stanley Kubrick died soon after showing Eyes Wide Shut to the executives at Warner Brothers. It is rumored that they were very upset concerning that film. They wanted Kubrick to re-edit the film but he refused. I personally was in France when Stanley died and I saw, on French television, outtakes from the forthcoming Eyes Wide Shut. I saw outtakes from several scenes that were never in the finished film.

Warner Brothers has even come out and admitted that they re-edited the film. To this day they refuse to release a DVD of Stanley Kubrick's cut. Not only is this a direct violation of the agreement that Kubrick had with Warner Brothers but also it means that we will probably never see the un-edited version of this film.

One has to wonder what was cut out?

And finally:

Eyes Wide Shut was released on July 16 th 1999.

Stanley Kubrick insisted in his contract that this be the date of the release.

July 16 th 1999 is exactly 30 years to the day that Apollo 11 was launched.

Happy Fortieth Anniversary Stanley. Now you can rest in peace.

Paul Rigby
10-30-2009, 09:35 PM
The following essay is reproduced in full with kind permission of the author: http://www.jayweidner.com/AlchemicalKubrickIIa.html

[CENTER]How Stanley Kubrick
Faked the Apollo Moon Landings:
Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lies.
Alchemical Kubrick II

Jay Weidner

Copyright July 20 th 2009
Sacred Mysteries Productions

What really attracted me to Weidner's very fine analysis of Kubrick and the curious qualities of the moon landing photos was what seem to me to be reasonances in one particular section of the Z fake, specifically, the sequence following the famous crude splice at 207-211.

Was it Jack White or John Costella who commented on the transparency of one of Clint Hill's legs as he boarded the presidential limousine? Can't remember for the moment, but I offer as a hypothesis that this section of the film incorporates the use of Front Screen Projection (background) and studio-recreated (re-enacted) foreground.

Just to see where it takes us.

Additionally, I wonder, not being familiar with or fond of Kubrick's films, if there are any references to Dallas in his work?

Magda Hassan
10-31-2009, 01:04 AM
Dave MacGowan has gone into the landing recently and very interesting it is too. Certainly brings up many questions regardless of where one stands on the issue.

Wagging the Moondoggie, Part I
October 1, 2009
by David McGowan

“It is commonly believed that man will fly directly from the earth to the moon, but to do this, we would require a vehicle of such gigantic proportions that it would prove an economic impossibility. It would have to develop sufficient speed to penetrate the atmosphere and overcome the earth’s gravity and, having traveled all the way to the moon, it must still have enough fuel to land safely and make the return trip to earth. Furthermore, in order to give the expedition a margin of safety, we would not use one ship alone, but a minimum of three … each rocket ship would be taller than New York’s Empire State Building [almost ¼ mile high] and weigh about ten times the tonnage of the Queen Mary, or some 800,000 tons.”
Wernher von Braun, the father of the Apollo space program, writing in Conquest of the Moon

I can see all of you scratching your heads out there and I know exactly what it is that you are thinking: “Why the hell are we taking this detour to the Moon? What happened to Laurel Canyon? Have you completely lost your mind?”


It all began a few months ago, when I became very busy at my day job as well as with family drama and with what turned out to be a very time-consuming side project, all of which made it increasingly difficult for me to carve out chunks of time to work on the remaining chapters in the series. Over the next two months or so, I pretty much lost all momentum and soon found it hard to motivate myself to write even when I could find the time.

That happens sometimes. Though it sounds rather cliché, ‘writer’s block’ is a very real phenomenon. There are many times when I can sit down at the keyboard and the words flow out of my head faster than I can get them down on the page. But there are also times when producing just one halfway decent sentence seems a near impossible task. This was one of those times.

I found a new source of inspiration, however, when my wife e-mailed me the recent story about the fake Dutch Moon rock, which I and many others found quite amusing, and which also reminded me that I had a lot of other bits and pieces of information concerning the Apollo project that I had collected over the nine years that have passed since I first wrote about the alleged Moon landings. After taking that first look, back in 2000, I was pretty well convinced that the landings were, in fact, faked, but it was perfectly obvious that the rather short, mostly tongue-in-cheek post that I put up back in July of 2000 was not going to convince anyone else of that.

So I contemplated taking a more comprehensive look at the Apollo program. Toward that end, I pulled up my original Apollo post along with various other bits and pieces scattered throughout past newsletters, threw in all the newer material that had never made it onto my website, and then combed the Internet for additional information. In doing so, I realized that a far better case could be made than what I had previously offered to readers.

I also realized that a far better case could be made than what is currently available on the ‘net.

I was rather surprised actually by how little there is out there – a couple of books by Bill Kaysing and Ralph Rene, a smattering of websites and a variety of YouTube videos of varying quality. Virtually all of the websites and videos tend to stick to the same ground covered by Kaysing and Rene, and they almost all use the same NASA photographs to argue the same points. So too do the sites devoted to ‘debunking’ the notion that the landings were faked, and those sites seem to actually outnumber the hoax sites.

While suffering through the numbing uniformity of the various websites on both sides of the aisle, it became perfectly clear that the hoax side of the debate was in serious need of a fresh approach and some new insights. So I began writing again. Feverishly. That does not mean, however, that I have abandoned the Laurel Canyon series. I intend to get back to it quite soon.

And truth be told, while the Apollo story may initially appear to be a radical departure from the ongoing Laurel Canyon series, it actually isn’t much of a detour at all. After all, we’re still going to be living in the 1960s and 1970s. And to a significant degree, we’re probably still going to be hanging out in Laurel Canyon – because who else, after all, was NASA going to trust to handle the post-production work on all that Apollo footage if not Lookout Mountain Laboratory?

I am very well aware, by the way, that there are many, many people out there – even many of the people who have seen through other tall tales told by our government – who think that Moon hoax theorists are complete kooks. And a whole lot of coordinated effort has gone into casting them as such. That makes wading into the Moon hoax debate a potentially dangerous affair.

Remember when Luther (played by Don Knotts) gets taken to court and sued for slander in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken? And don’t try to pretend like you’ve never seen it, because we both know that you have. So anyway, he goes to court and a character witness is called and the guy delivers credible testimony favoring Luther and it is clear that the courtroom is impressed and everything is looking good for our nebbish hero, Luther. Remember what happens next though? On cross-examination, the witness reveals that he is the president of a UFO club that holds their meetings on Mars!

The courtroom, of course, erupts with laughter and all of that formerly credible testimony immediately flies right out the window.

I have already received e-mails warning that I will suffer a similar fate (from people who heard me discussing the topic on Meria Heller’s radio show). Not to worry though – I have somewhat of an advantage over others who have attempted to travel this path: I don’t really care. My mission is to ferret out the truth, wherever it may lie; if at various points along the way, some folks are offended and others question my sanity, that’s not really something that I lose a lot of sleep over.

Anyway, a whole lot of people are extremely reluctant to give up their belief in the success of the Apollo missions. A lot of people, in fact, pretty much shut down at the mere mention of the Moon landings being faked, refusing to even consider the possibility (Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=818978237&ref=name), by the way, is definitely not the best place to promote the notion that the landings were faked, in case anyone was wondering). And yet there are some among the True Believers who will allow that, though they firmly believe that we did indeed land on the Moon, they would have understood if it had been a hoax. Given the climate of the times, with Cold War tensions simmering and anxious Americans looking for some sign that their country was still dominant and not technologically inferior to the Soviets, it could be excused if NASA had duped the world.

Such sentiments made me realize that the Moon landing lie is somewhat unique among the big lies told to the American people in that it was, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively benign lie, and one that could be easily spun. Admitting that the landings were faked would not have nearly the same impact as, say, admitting to mass murdering 3,000 Americans and destroying billions of dollars worth of real estate and then using that crime as a pretext to wage two illegal wars and strip away civil, legal and privacy rights.

And yet, despite the fact that it was a relatively benign lie, there is a tremendous reluctance among the American people to let go of the notion that we sent men to the Moon. There are a couple of reasons for that, one of them being that there is a romanticized notion that those were great years – years when one was proud to be an American. And in this day and age, people need that kind of romanticized nostalgia to cling to.

But that is not the main reason that people cling so tenaciously, often even angrily, to what is essentially the adult version of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. What primarily motivates them is fear. But it is not the lie itself that scares people; it is what that lie says about the world around us and how it really functions. For if NASA was able to pull off such an outrageous hoax before the entire world, and then keep that lie in place for four decades, what does that say about the control of the information we receive? What does that say about the media, and the scientific community, and the educational community, and all the other institutions we depend on to tell us the truth? What does that say about the very nature of the world we live in?

That is what scares the hell out of people and prevents them from even considering the possibility that they could have been so thoroughly duped. It’s not being lied to about the Moon landings that people have a problem with, it is the realization that comes with that revelation: if they could lie about that, they could lie about anything.

It has been my experience that the vast majority of the people who truly believe in the Moon landings know virtually nothing about the alleged missions. And when confronted with some of the more implausible aspects of those alleged missions, the most frequently offered argument is the one that every ‘conspiracy theorist’ has heard at least a thousand times: “That can’t possibly be true because there is no way that a lie that big could have been covered up all this time … too many people would have known about it … yadda, yadda, yadda.”

But what if your own eyes and your innate (though suppressed) ability to think critically and independently tell you that what all the institutions of the State insist is true is actually a lie? What do you do then? Do you trust in your own cognitive abilities, or do you blindly follow authority and pretend as though everything can be explained away? If your worldview will not allow you to believe what you can see with your own eyes, then the problem, it would appear, is with your worldview. So do you change that worldview, or do you live in denial?

The Moon landing lie is unique among the big lies in another way as well: it is a lie that seemingly cannot be maintained indefinitely. Washington need never come clean on, say, the Kennedy assassinations. After all, they’ve been lying about the Lincoln assassination for nearly a century-and-a-half now and getting away with it. But the Moon landing hoax, I would think, has to have some kind of expiration date.

How many decades can pass, after all, without anyone coming even close to a reenactment before people start to catch on? Four obviously haven’t been enough, but how about five, or six, or seven? How about when we hit the 100-year anniversary?

If the first trans-Atlantic flight had not been followed up with another one for over forty years, would anyone have found that unusual? If during the early days of the automobile, when folks were happily cruising along in their Model T’s at a top speed of 40 MPH, someone had suddenly developed a car that could be driven safely at 500 MPH, and then after a few years that car disappeared and for many decades thereafter, despite tremendous advances in automotive technology, no one ever again came close to building a car that could perform like that, would that seem at all odd?

There are indications that this lie does indeed have a shelf life. According to a July 17, 2009 post on CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/07/17/moon.landing.hoax/index.html), “It’s been 37 years since the last Apollo moon mission, and tens of millions of younger Americans have no memories of watching the moon landings live. A 2005-2006 poll by Mary Lynne Dittmar, a space consultant based in Houston, Texas, found that more than a quarter of Americans 18 to 25 expressed some doubt that humans set foot on the moon.”

The goal of any dissident writer is to crack open the doors of perception enough to let a little light in – so that hopefully the seeds of a political reawakening will be planted. There are many doors that can be pried open to achieve that goal, but this one seems particularly vulnerable. Join me then as we take a little trip to the Moon. Or at least pretend to.

“If NASA had really wanted to fake the moon landings – we’re talking purely hypothetical here – the timing was certainly right. The advent of television, having reached worldwide critical mass only years prior to the moon landing, would prove instrumental to the fraud’s success.”
Wired Magazine

Adolph Hitler knew a little bit about the fine art of lying. In Mein Kampf, he wrote that, "If you're going to tell a lie, make sure it's a really fucking big lie."

Truth be told, I’m not exactly conversant in the German language so that may not be an exact translation, but it certainly captures the gist of what the future Fuhrer was trying to say. He went on to explain that this was so because everyone in their everyday lives tells little lies, and so they fully expect others to do so as well. But most people do not expect anyone to tell a real whopper … you know, the kind of brazen, outlandish lie that is just too absurd to actually be a lie. The kind of lie that is so over-the-top that no one would dare utter it if it was in fact a lie.

That is the type of lie, according to Hitler, that will fool the great masses of people, even when the lie is so transparently thin that it couldn't possibly stand up to any kind of critical analysis by anyone actually exercising their brain rather than just blindly accepting the legitimacy of the information they are fed. Take, for example, the rather fanciful notion that the United States landed men on the Moon in the late 1960's and early 1970's. That's the kind of lie we're talking about here: the kind that seems to defy logic and reason and yet has become ingrained in the national psyche to such an extent that it passes for historical fact.

And anyone who would dare question that ‘historical fact,’ needless to say, must surely be stark raving mad.

Before proceeding any further, I should probably mention here that, until relatively recently, if I had heard anyone putting forth the obviously drug-addled notion that the Moon landings were faked, I would have been among the first to offer said person a ride down to the grip store. While conducting research into various other topics, however, it has become increasingly apparent that there are almost always a few morsels of truth in any 'conspiracy theory,' no matter how outlandish that theory may initially appear to be, and so despite my initial skepticism, I was compelled to take a closer look at the Apollo program.

The first thing that I discovered was that the Soviet Union, right up until the time that we allegedly landed the first Apollo spacecraft on the Moon, was solidly kicking our ass in the space race. It wasn’t even close. The world wouldn’t see another mismatch of this magnitude until decades later when Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini came along. The Soviets launched the first orbiting satellite, sent the first animal into space, sent the first man into space, performed the first space walk, sent the first three-man crew into space, was the first nation to have two spacecraft in orbit simultaneously, performed the first docking maneuver in space, and (allegedly) landed the first unmanned probe on the Moon.

Everything the U.S. did, prior to actually landing a manned spacecraft on the Moon, had already been done by the Soviets, who clearly were staying at least a step or two ahead of our top-notch team of imported Nazi scientists (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqAT470a6xE&feature=related). The smart money was clearly on the Soviets to make it to the Moon first, if anyone was to do so. Their astronauts had logged five times as many hours in space as had ours. And they had a considerable amount of time, money, scientific talent and, perhaps most of all, national pride riding on that goal.

And yet, amazingly enough, despite the incredibly long odds, the underdog Americans made it first. And not only did we make it first, but after a full forty years, the Soviets apparently still haven't quite figured out how we did it. The question that is clearly begged here is a simple one: Why is it that the nation that was leading the world in the field of space travel not only didn’t make it to the Moon back in the 1960s, but still to this day have never made it there? Could it be that they were just really poor losers? I am imagining that perhaps the conversation over in Moscow’s equivalent of NASA went something like this:

Boris: Comrade Ivan, there is terrible news today: the Yankee imperialists have beaten us to the Moon. What should we do?
Ivan: Let's just shit-can our entire space program.
Boris: But comrade, we are so close to success! And we have so much invested in the effort!
Ivan: Fuck it! If we can't be first, we aren't going at all.
Boris: But I beg of you comrade! The moon has so much to teach us, and the Americans will surely not share with us the knowledge they have gained.
Ivan: Nyet!

In truth, the entire space program has largely been, from its inception, little more than an elaborate cover for the research, development and deployment of space-based weaponry and surveillance systems. The media never talk about such things, of course, but government documents (http://www.fas.org/spp/military/docops/usspac/visbook.pdf) make clear that the goals being pursued through space research are largely military in nature. For this reason alone, it is inconceivable that the Soviets would not have followed the Americans onto the Moon for the sake of their own national defense.

It is not just the Soviets, of course, who have never made it to the Moon. The Chinese haven’t either. Nor has any other industrialized nation, despite the rather obvious fact that every such nation on the planet now possesses technology that is light-years beyond what was available to NASA scientists in the 1960s.

Some readers will recall that (and younger readers might want to cover their eyes here, because the information to follow is quite shocking), in the 1960s, a full complement of home electronics consisted of a fuzzy, 13-channel, black-and-white television set with a rotary tuning dial, rabbit ears and no remote. Such cutting-edge technology as the pocket calculator was still five years away from hitting the consumer market.

It is perfectly obvious, of course, that it was not consumer electronics that allegedly sent men to the Moon. The point here though is that advances in aerospace technology mirror advances in consumer technology, and just as there has been revolutionary change in entertainment and communications technology, so too has aerospace technology advanced by light-years in the last four decades. Technologically speaking, the NASA scientists working on the Apollo project were working in the Dark Ages. So if they could pull it off back then, then just about anyone should be able to do it now.

It would be particularly easy, needless to say, for America to do it again, since we’ve already done all the research and development and testing. Why then, I wonder, have we not returned to the Moon since the last Apollo flight? Following the alleged landings, there was considerable talk of establishing a space station on the Moon, and of possibly even colonizing Earth's satellite. Yet all such talk was quickly dropped and soon forgotten and for nearly four decades now not a single human has been to the Moon.

Again, the question that immediately comes to mind is: Why? Why has no nation ever duplicated, or even attempted to duplicate, this miraculous feat? Why has no other nation even sent a manned spacecraft to orbit the Moon? Why has no other nation ever attempted to send a manned spacecraft anywhere beyond low-Earth orbit?

Is it because we already learned everything there was to learn about the Moon? If so, then could it reasonably be argued that it would be possible to make six random landings on the surface of the Earth and come away with a complete and thorough understanding of this heavenly body? Are we to believe that the international scientific community has no open questions that could be answered by a, ahem, ‘return’ trip to the Moon? And is there no military advantage to be gained by sending men to the Moon? Has man’s keen interest in exploring celestial bodies, evident throughout recorded history, suddenly gone into remission?

Maybe, you say, it’s just too damned expensive. But the 1960s were not a particularly prosperous time in U.S. history and we were engaged in an expensive Cold War throughout the decade as well as an even more expensive ‘hot’ war in Southeast Asia, and yet we still managed to finance no less than seven manned missions to the Moon, using a new, disposable, multi-sectioned spacecraft each time. And yet in the four decades since then, we are apparently supposed to believe that no other nation has been able to afford to do it even once.

While we’re on the subject of the passage of time, exactly how much time do you suppose will have to pass before people in significant numbers begin to question the Moon landings? NASA has recently announced that we will not be returning, as previously advertised, by the year 2020. That means that we will pass the fifty-year anniversary of the first alleged landing without a sequel. Will that be enough elapsed time that people will begin to wonder? What about after a full century has passed by? Will our history books still talk about the Moon landings? And if so, what will people make of such stories? When they watch old preserved films from the 1960s, how will they reconcile the laughably primitive technology of the era with the notion that NASA sent men to the Moon?

Consider this peculiar fact: in order to reach the surface of the Moon from the surface of the Earth, the Apollo astronauts would have had to travel a minimum of 234,000 miles*. Since the last Apollo flight allegedly returned from the Moon in 1972, the furthest that any astronaut from any country has traveled from the surface of the Earth is about 400 miles. And very few have even gone that far. The primary components of the current U.S. space program – the space shuttles, the space station, and the Hubble Telescope – operate at an orbiting altitude of about 200 miles.

(*NASA gives the distance from the center of Earth to the center of the Moon as 239,000 miles. Since the Earth has a radius of about 4,000 miles and the Moon’s radius is roughly 1,000 miles, that leaves a surface-to-surface distance of 234,000 miles. The total distance traveled during the alleged missions, including Earth and Moon orbits, ranged from 622,268 miles for Apollo 13 to 1,484,934 miles for Apollo 17. All on a single tank of gas.)

To briefly recap then, in the twenty-first century, utilizing the most cutting-edge modern technology, the best manned spaceship the U.S. can build will only reach an altitude of 200 miles. But in the 1960s, we built a half-dozen of them that flew almost 1,200 times further into space. And then flew back. And they were able to do that despite the fact that the Saturn V rockets that powered the Apollo flights weighed in at a paltry 3,000 tons, about .004% of the size that the principal designer of those very same Saturn rockets said would be required to actually get to the Moon and back (primarily due to the unfathomably large load of fuel that would be required).

To put that into more Earthly terms, U.S. astronauts today travel no further into space than the distance between the San Fernando Valley and Fresno. The Apollo astronauts, on the other hand, traveled a distance equivalent to circumnavigating the planet around the equator – nine-and-a-half times! And they did it with roughly the same amount of fuel that it now takes to make that 200 mile journey, which is why I want NASA to build my next car for me. I figure I’ll only have to fill up the tank once and it should last me for the rest of my life.

“But wait,” you say, “NASA has solid evidence of the validity of the Moon landings. They have, for example, all of that film footage shot on the moon and beamed live directly into our television sets.”

Since we’re on the subject, I have to mention that transmitting live footage back from the Moon was another rather innovative use of 1960s technology. More than two decades later, we would have trouble broadcasting live footage from the deserts of the Middle East, but in 1969, we could beam that shit back from the Moon with nary a technical glitch!

As it turns out, however, NASA doesn’t actually have all of that Moonwalking footage anymore. Truth be told, they don’t have any of it. According to the agency, all the tapes were lost back in the late 1970s. All 700 cartons of them. As Reuters (http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/616295/nasa_cant_find_original_tape_of_moon_landing/index.html) reported on August 15, 2006, “The U.S. government has misplaced the original recording of the first moon landing, including astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ … Armstrong’s famous moonwalk, seen by millions of viewers on July 20, 1969, is among transmissions that NASA has failed to turn up in a year of searching, spokesman Grey Hautaluoma said. ‘We haven’t seen them for quite a while. We’ve been looking for over a year, and they haven’t turned up,’ Hautaluoma said … In all, some 700 boxes of transmissions from the Apollo lunar missions are missing.”

Given that these tapes allegedly documented an unprecedented and unduplicated historical event, one that is said to be the greatest technological achievement of the twentieth century, how in the world would it be possible to, uhmm, ‘lose’ 700 cartons of them? Would not an irreplaceable national treasure such as that be very carefully inventoried and locked away in a secure film vault? And would not copies have been made, and would not those copies also be securely tucked away somewhere? Come to think of it, would not multiple copies have been made for study by the scientific and academic communities?

Had NASA claimed that a few tapes, or even a few cartons of tapes, had been misplaced, then maybe we could give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps some careless NASA employee, for example, absent-mindedly taped a Super Bowl game over one of them. Or maybe some home porn. But does it really seem at all credible to claim that the entire collection of tapes has gone missing – all 700 cartons of them, the entire film record of the alleged Moon landings? In what alternative reality would that happen ‘accidentally’?

Some of you are probably thinking that everyone has already seen the footage anyway, when it was allegedly broadcast live back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, or on NASA’s website, or on YouTube, or on numerous television documentaries. But you would be mistaken. The truth is that the original footage has never been aired, anytime or anywhere – and now, since the tapes seem to have conveniently gone missing, it quite obviously never will be.

The fact that the tapes are missing (and according to NASA, have been for over three decades), amazingly enough, was not even the most compelling information that the Reuters article had to offer. Also to be found was an explanation of how the alleged Moonwalk tapes that we all know and love were created: “Because NASA’s equipment was not compatible with TV technology of the day, the original transmissions had to be displayed on a monitor and re-shot by a TV camera for broadcast.”

So what we saw then, and what we have seen in all the footage ever released by NASA since then, were not in fact live transmissions. To the contrary, it was footage shot off a television monitor, and a tiny black-and-white monitor at that. That monitor may have been running live footage, I suppose, but it seems far more likely that it was running taped footage. NASA of course has never explained why, even if it were true that the original broadcasts had to be ‘re-shot,’ they never subsequently released any of the actual ‘live’ footage. But I guess that’s a moot point now, what with the tapes having gone missing.

With NASA’s admission of how the original broadcasts were created, it is certainly not hard to imagine how fake Moon landing footage could have been produced. As I have already noted, the 1960s were a decidedly low-tech era, and NASA appears to have taken a very low-tech approach. As Moon landing skeptics have duly noted, if the broadcast tapes are played back at roughly twice their normal running speed, the astronauts appear to move about in ways entirely consistent with the way ordinary humans move about right here on planet Earth. Here then is the formula for creating Moonwalk footage: take original footage of guys in ridiculous costumes moving around awkwardly right here on our home planet, broadcast it over a tiny, low-resolution television monitor at about half speed, and then re-film it with a camera focused on that screen. The end result will be broadcast-ready tapes that, in addition to having that all-important grainy, ghosty, rather surreal ‘broadcast from the Moon’ look, also appear to show the astronauts moving about in entirely unnatural ways.

But not, it should be noted, too unnatural. And doesn’t that seem a little odd as well? If we’re being honest here (and for my testosterone-producing readers, this one is directed at you), the average male specimen, whether astronaut or plumber, never really grows up and stops being a little boy. And what guy, given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend some time in a reduced gravity environment, isn’t going to want to see how high he can jump? Or how far he can jump? Hitting a golf ball? Who the hell wants to see that? How about tossing a football for a 200-yard touchdown pass? Or how about the boys dazzling the viewing audience with some otherworldly acrobatics?

And yes, Neil and the guys did exhibit some playfulness at times while allegedly walking on the Moon, but doesn’t it seem a bit odd that they failed to do anything that couldn’t be faked simply by changing the tape speed? When I attended college, I knew a guy on the volleyball team who had a 32” vertical leap right here on Earth. So when I see guys jumping maybe 12”, if that, in a 1/6 gravity environment with no air resistance, I’m not really all that impressed.

Am I the only one, by the way, who finds it odd that people would move in slow motion on the Moon? Why would a reduced gravitational pull cause everything to move much more slowly? Does a 50-pound weight fall more slowly than a 300-pound weight? Given the complete lack of air resistance, shouldn’t things actually fall faster on the Moon? And given the fact that they were much lighter on their feet and not subject to air and wind resistance, shouldn’t the astronauts have been able to move quicker on the Moon than here on Earth? Was slow motion the only thing NASA could come up with to give the video footage an otherworldly feel?

Needless to say, if what has been proposed here is indeed how the ‘Moon landing’ footage in the public domain was created, then the highly incriminating original footage – which would have looked like any other footage shot here on Earth, except for the silly costumes and props – would have had to have been destroyed. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that NASA now takes the position that the original footage has been missing since “sometime in the late 1970s.”

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the video footage that is missing. Also allegedly beamed back from the Moon was voice data, biomedical monitoring data, and telemetry data to monitor the location and mechanical functioning of the spaceship. All of that data, the entire alleged record of the Moon landings, was on the 13,000+ reels that are said to be ‘missing.’ Also missing, according to NASA and its various subcontractors, are the original plans/blueprints for the lunar modules. And for the lunar rovers. And for the entire multi-sectioned Saturn V rockets.

There is, therefore, no way for the modern scientific community to determine whether all of that fancy 1960s technology was even close to being functional or whether it was all for show. Nor is there any way to review the physical record, so to speak, of the alleged flights. We cannot, for example, check the fuel consumption throughout the flights to determine what kind of magic trick NASA used to get the boys there and back with less than 1% of the required fuel. And we will never, it would appear, see the original, first-generation video footage.

You would think that someone at NASA would have thought to preserve such things. No wonder we haven’t given them the money to go back to the Moon; they’d probably just lose it.

Magda Hassan
10-31-2009, 01:05 AM
Wagging the Moondoggie, Part II
October 1, 2009
by David McGowan

“Well,” you now say, “what about all those cool Moon rocks? How did they get those? The Moon is, you know, the only source of Moon rocks, so doesn’t that prove that we were there?”

No, as a matter of fact, it does not prove that we were there, and as odd as it may sound, the Moon is not the only source of Moon rocks. As it turns out, authentic Moon rocks are available right here on Earth, in the form of lunar meteorites. Because the Moon lacks a protective atmosphere, you see, it gets smacked around quite a bit, which is why it is heavily cratered. And when things smash into it to form those craters, lots of bits and pieces of the Moon fly off into space. Some of them end up right here on Earth.

By far the best place to find them is in Antarctica, where they are most plentiful and, due to the terrain, relatively easy to find and well preserved. And that is why it is curious that Antarctica just happens to be where a team of Apollo scientists led by Wernher von Braun ventured off to in the summer of 1967, two years before Apollo 11 blasted off. You would think that, what with the demanding task of perfecting the hugely complex Saturn V rockets, von Braun and his cronies at NASA would have had their hands full, but apparently there was something even more important for them to do down in Antarctica. NASA has never offered much of an explanation for the curiously timed expedition.

Some skeptics have said that it is possible that Moon rocks could have been gathered from the Moon with robotic probes. But while it isn’t being argued here that unmanned craft haven’t reached the Moon, it seems virtually inconceivable that any unmanned spacecraft could have landed on and then been brought back from the surface of the Moon in the 1960s or 1970s. There is no indication that it can even be done today. It’s been more than three decades since anyone has claimed to do it, and that claim, by the Soviets, is highly suspect.

What is known for sure is that even some of the ‘debunking’ websites have, albeit reluctantly, acknowledged that meteorite samples gathered from Antarctica are virtually indistinguishable from NASA’s collection of Moon rocks. Of course, as we very recently learned, that is not true of all of NASA’s Moon rocks. Some of them apparently bear no resemblance at all to lunar meteorites. Instead, they look an awful lot like petrified wood from the Arizona desert.

Such was the case with a ‘Moon rock’ that the Dutch national museum has been carefully safeguarding for many years now, before discovering, in August of 2009, that they were in reality the proud owners of the most over-insured piece of petrified wood (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8226075.stm) on the planet. The ‘Moon rock’ had been a gift to the Dutch from the U.S. State Department, and its authenticity had reportedly been verified through a phone call to NASA. I’m guessing that NASA was probably running low on meteorite fragments and figured the Dutch wouldn’t know the difference anyway. Or maybe Washington was a little peeved over the fact that Dutch newspapers reportedly called NASA’s bluff at the time of the first alleged Moon landing.


This is not to suggest, of course, that all of the Moon rocks passed out by NASA and the State Department are obvious fakes. Most, presumably, are of lunar origin – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they were gathered by American astronauts walking on the surface of the Moon; they could just as easily have come to Earth as meteorites. It is also possible that they are of otherworldly origin but not from the Moon at all – such as meteorites from other sources that have been collected here on Earth. The only way to know for sure what NASA’s Moon rocks are, of course, would be to compare them to a ‘control rock’ that is known to be from the Moon.

The problem, alas, is that the only known source for ‘authenticated’ Moon rocks is NASA, the very same folks who are known to occasionally hand out chunks of petrified wood. The other problem, it turns out, is that most of the Moon rocks are, uhmm, missing. Does anyone see a pattern developing here?

Since the discovery of the fake Moon rock in the Dutch museum, ‘debunkers’ have claimed that the fact that no other Moon rocks have been declared fake proves that the Dutch case is an isolated one. “After that announcement,” goes the argument, “wouldn’t every other country in possession of a Moon rock have rushed to have them authenticated? And since no other country has made a similar announcement, doesn’t that prove that the Moon rocks are real?”

At first glance, that would appear to be a valid argument. The problem, however, is that the vast majority of those countries can’t test their ‘Moon rocks’ because, shockingly enough, no one knows where they are! As the Associated Press reported on September 13, 2009, “Nearly 270 rocks scooped up by U.S. astronauts were given to foreign countries by the Nixon administration … Of 135 rocks from the Apollo 17 mission given away to nations or their leaders, only about 25 have been located by CollectSpace.com, a Web site for space history buffs that has long attempted to compile a list … The outlook for tracking the estimated 134 Apollo 11 rocks is even bleaker. The locations of fewer than a dozen are known.”

It appears then that having a ‘control rock’ wouldn’t really be of much help after all, since nearly 90% of the alleged Moon rocks that we would want to test don’t seem to be around any more.

“But I have also heard,” you now say, “that photos have been taken of the equipment left behind by the Apollo astronauts on the surface of the Moon, like the descent stages of the lunar modules. How do you account for that?”

It is certainly true that there have been numerous claims over the years that various satellites or unmanned space probes or space telescopes were going to capture images that would definitively prove that man walked on the Moon, thus settling the controversy once and for all. And in recent years, the ‘debunkers’ have openly gloated whenever such an announcement has been made, boldly proclaiming that all the “hoax believers” will soon be exposed as the ignorant buffoons that they are.

Despite all the promises, however, no such images have ever been produced, a fact that the ‘debunkers’ seem to conveniently overlook while forever rushing to announce that the hoax theories are about to be discredited.

For at least two decades now, since the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, we have been promised dazzling images of the lunar modules sitting on the surface of the Moon. The Hubble technology, needless to say, never managed to deliver. More recently, in 2002, the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (whose inventor apparently coined the name while watching Sesame Street) was also supposed to deliver the promised images. And seven years later, the fabled images have yet to materialize.

In March of 2005, Space.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7091082/ns/technology_and_science-space/) boldly announced that a “European spacecraft now orbiting the Moon could turn out to be a time machine of sorts as it photographs old landing sites of Soviet robotic probes and the areas where American Apollo crews set down and explored. New imagery of old Apollo touchdown spots, from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) SMART-1 probe, might put to rest conspiratorial thoughts that U.S. astronauts didn’t go the distance and scuff up the lunar landscape. NASA carried out six piloted landings on the Moon in the time period 1969 through 1972. Fringe theorists have said … that NASA never really went to the Moon.”

I’m guessing that most “fringe theorists” will continue to harbor “conspiratorial thoughts” for as long as pompous websites like Space.com continue making arrogant proclamations such as that and then not following them up with so much as a single image in well over four years.

Who knew, by the way, that the European Space Agency had the technology and the budget to send a spacecraft off to orbit the Moon? Who knew that the Europeans even had a space agency? I wonder, given that they obviously have the technology to send spacecraft to the Moon, why they haven’t sent any manned missions there? I would think that it should be fairly easy to send some guys to at least orbit the Moon … right? I mean, all they have to do is add a couple seats to the spacecraft design that they already have and they should be ready to go.

Here is another thing that I sometimes wonder about: why it is that in the 1960s we possessed the advanced technology required to actually land men on the Moon, but in the 21st century we don’t even have the technology required to get an unmanned craft close enough to the Moon to take usable photographs? Or could it be that there’s just nothing there to photograph?

Just this year, NASA itself boldly announced that it’s “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites. The pictures show the Apollo missions’ lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon’s surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules’ locations evident … ‘The LROC team anxiously awaited each image,’ said LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson of Arizona State University. ‘We were very interested in getting our first peek at the lunar module descent stages just for the thrill – and to see how well the cameras had come into focus. Indeed, the images are fantastic and so is the focus.’”

Sounds promising, doesn’t it? The images, however, hardly live up to the billing. They are, in fact, completely worthless. All they depict are tiny white dots on the lunar surface that could be just about anything and that would barely be visible at all without those handy “long shadows from a low sun angle.” And the weird thing about those shadows is that, in the very same NASA article, it says that “because the sun was so low to the horizon when the images were made, even subtle variations in topography create long shadows.” And yet while it is perfectly obvious that there are more than just “subtle variations” in the lunar topography in the images, the alleged lunar modules are the only things casting the long shadows.

http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/369234main_lroc_apollo11labeled_256x256.jpg http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/369440main_lroc_apollo11_lrg.jpg

Even if we give NASA every benefit of the doubt and assume that the images have not been amateurishly Photoshopped and that the indiscernible white dots are indeed something of man-made origin, the most likely culprit would be those Soviet robotic probes mentioned by Space.com, which presumably did land on the Moon. A number of those probes, which were part of the Apollo-era Luna Program, were very similar in size and shape to the lunar modules – certainly enough so that images of much higher resolution would be required to make a definitive judgment.


Actually, after studying the image above, of one of the alleged Luna probes, I’m going to have to say that the Soviets were lying their asses off almost as much as NASA was. There is no way I’m going to buy into the notion that the Soviets sent a freeform abstract sculpture, which appears to have been constructed by Fred Sanford and Granny Clampett, on a 234,000 mile journey from the Earth to the Moon. Careful study of the central area of the photo, however, does reveal why the spacecraft were known as ‘probes.’ I wonder if they were capable of performing docking maneuvers?

According to NASA, Japan and India have also sent unmanned orbiting spacecraft to the Moon in recent years, as has China. As with the ESA’s and NASA’s orbiters, they too have failed to return any images of Earthly artifacts left behind on the surface of the Moon. If the hoax ‘debunking’ websites are to be believed, by the way, the reason that no one has returned to the Moon in thirty-seven years is because we pretty much already tapped that celestial body for all the information it had to offer. There’s really, you see, nothing much left to see there.

A ‘debunking’ article posted by ABCNews.com (http://a.abcnews.com/m/screen?id=8104410&pid=248), for example, quoted Val Germann, the president of the Central Missouri Astronomical Association, as saying, “There’s no reason to go back … Quite frankly, the moon is a giant parking lot, there’s just not much there.” I wonder why it is then that just about everyone seems to want to send unmanned probes there, or to train enormously powerful telescopes on the Moon’s surface? What could they possibly learn about the “parking lot” from those distances that our astronauts didn’t already discover by actually being there?

Some True Believers also claim that what was dubbed the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment also proves that we really went to the Moon. As the story goes, the astronauts on Apollo 11, Apollo 14, and Apollo 15 all allegedly left small laser targets sitting on the lunar terrain (one of them can be seen in the official NASA photo reproduced below), so that scientists back home could then bounce lasers off the targets to precisely gauge the distance from the Earth to the Moon.


According to the ‘debunkers,’ the fact that observatories to this day bounce lasers off the alleged targets proves that the Apollo missions succeeded. Some skeptics have suggested that the targets were actually placed there robotically, but it seems unlikely that anyone would go to so much trouble and expense when it has been known since as early as 1962 that such targets are completely unnecessary. In December 1966, National Geographic reported that scientists at MIT had been achieving the same result for four years by bouncing a laser off the surface of the Moon. The New York Times added that the Soviets had been doing the same thing since at least 1963.

Even without the knowledge that such measurements were being accurately taken at least seven years before the targets were allegedly placed, it would not have been hard to figure out that there aren’t actually any laser targets on the Moon.

In the image above, the surrounding footprints tell us that the target is roughly the size of the computer monitor you are now staring at. Does anyone truly believe – and I’m including all the True Believers out there – that we had the technology in the late 1960s and early 1970s to hit a target of that size with a laser beam from at least 234,000 miles away? Does anyone believe that we have the technology to do it now?

If so, then can one of NASA’s shills please explain exactly how we are able to do it? How do we know exactly where to point the laser? How exactly do we pinpoint the locations of the targets? The reason I ask is because the ‘debunkers’ have said for years that we don’t have anything here on Earth with anywhere near the optical power to find the abandoned lunar modules, which is why we have never seen any images of Earthly artifacts on the Moon. But the laser targets are obviously much smaller than the landers, so how are we able to ‘see’ and target them?

All those probes orbiting the Moon can’t even ‘see’ the lunar modules from a distance of only 69 miles above the lunar surface, so how exactly are we able to pinpoint the location of something a fraction of that size from almost a quarter of a million miles away?

There was much about the Apollo flights that was truly miraculous, but arguably the greatest technological achievement was the design of the lunar modules. Has anyone, by the way, ever really taken a good look at one of those contraptions? I mean a detailed, up-close look? I’m guessing that the vast majority of people have not, but luckily we can quickly remedy that situation because I happen to have some really good, high-resolution images that come directly from the good people at NASA.


http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/Apollo_11_Lunar_Module_Eagle_in_landing_configurat ion_in_lunar_orbit_from_the_Command_and_Service_Mo dule_Columbia.jpg

While what is depicted in the images may initially appear, to the untrained eye, to be some kind of mock-up that someone cobbled together in their backyard to make fun of NASA, I can assure you that it is actually an extremely high-tech manned spacecraft capable of landing on the surface of the Moon. And incredibly enough, it was also capable of blasting off from the Moon and flying 69 miles back up into lunar orbit! Though not immediately apparent, it is actually a two-stage craft, the lower half (the part that looks like a tubular aluminum framework covered with Mylar and old Christmas wrapping paper) being the descent stage, and the upper half (the part that looks as though it was cobbled together from old air conditioning ductwork and is primarily held together, as can be seen in the close-up, with zippers and gold tape) being the ascent stage.

The upper half, of course, is the more sophisticated portion, being capable of lifting off and flying with enough power to break free of the Moon’s gravity and reach lunar orbit. It also, of course, possessed sophisticated enough navigational capabilities for it to locate, literally out in the middle of fucking nowhere, the command module that it had to dock with in order to get the astronauts safely back to Earth. It also had to catch that command module, which was orbiting the Moon at a leisurely 4,000 miles per hour.


But we’ll get to all that a little later. I think we can all agree for now that such a sleek, stylish, well-designed craft would have no problem flying with that kind of power, precision and stability.

There is one thing that appears to be a problem though: how did they get everything on board the modules that they were going to need to successfully complete their missions? According to NASA, the modules were (excluding the landing pads) only about twelve feet in diameter. That is obviously not a whole lot of space to work with, so let’s try to think of everything that we would need if we were astronauts venturing off on a little journey to the Moon.

First of all, of course, we have to account for the space taken up by the various components of the ship itself. There is the framework and the, uhh, let’s call it the ‘fuselage’ of the craft. And we will need a lot of very sophisticated navigation and guidance and communications equipment, all of which took up a whole lot more space back in the ‘60s than it would today. And then, needless to say, there is the power supply – or rather multiple power supplies. For the descent stage, there is the reverse-thrust rocket that allegedly allowed the craft to make a soft landing on the Moon. And then for the ascent stage, there is a powerful rocket to propel the random bundle of sheet metal into lunar orbit. There are also additional rockets to allegedly stabilize the vessel in flight (the random clusters of what look like bicycle horns).


Next up is the massive amount of fuel that will be required to power all of those rockets, for both the ascent and descent stages of the mission. The ascent stage in particular is going to be a bit of a fuel hog, as ascending 69 miles and breaking free of the Moon’s gravity is a formidable challenge, to say the least. Though it may only have 1/6 the gravitational pull of Earth, keep in mind that it is still a force strong enough to create the tides here on Earth, 234,000 miles away.

I’m not a rocket scientist, by the way, so I am sure that there are quite a few components that I am leaving off of my lunar module – but that’s okay, because our spaceship is already feeling really cramped just with the stuff listed so far. And we’re just getting started.

Next we have to include everything required to keep ourselves alive and well. We aren’t going to be there very long, of course, and space is obviously limited, but we will still require some basic amenities. We will, after all, have to sleep somewhere in the ship, won’t we? Or will we just unfold cots on the lunar surface? We will also require a sanitation/septic system of some kind. Or did those missions bring about another ‘first’ that NASA has been reluctant to brag about? Was Neil Armstrong, unbeknownst to the American people, the first man to take a dump on lunar soil? Or was it Buzz Aldrin? Which astronaut has the distinction of being the first to soil the lunar landscape?

Anyway, getting back to our packing list, in addition to a sanitation system, it is imperative that we bring along an adequate supply of food, water and oxygen – and not just enough to last for the planned duration of our visit, but enough to supply a small safety cushion should anything go wrong. Because from what I have heard, running out of food, water or oxygen while on the Moon can really fuck up an otherwise perfectly good trip. The oxygen is especially important, so we’re going to need a really good, reliable system to deliver that oxygen, and to, you know, recharge the oxygen tanks in our spacesuits so we can walk around on the Moon and jump like 8” or 9” high like the Apollo guys did. And a back-up oxygen system probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

We are also going to need to install a top-of-the-line heating and cooling system. Probably several of them, actually. Because the ‘weather’ on the Moon, so to speak, can be a bit unpleasant. According to the experts over at NASA, daytime highs average a balmy +260° F, but it cools off quite a bit at night, dropping to an average of -280° F. If you’re looking for anything between those two extremes, you won’t really find it on the Moon. It’s pretty much one or the other. If you’re in the sun, you’re going to be boiled alive, and if you’re out of the sun, you’re going to be flash frozen.

I’m not at all sure how the air conditioning system is going to work, come to think of it, since air conditioning requires a steady supply of – and please stop me if I am stating the obvious here – air. And the Moon doesn’t really have a lot of that.

It would help, of course, if our spacecraft was heavily insulated in some manner, but that doesn’t appear to be the case, so we’ll need a really, really good heating and cooling system, and plenty of freon or whatever it is that we’ll need to keep it running. So now we have to add all of the following to our already crowded spacecraft: ourselves; a minimal amount of room to sleep and otherwise take care of the basic necessities of life; some type of plumbing and sewage system; a really good heating and cooling system, and a considerable supply of food, water and oxygen. And we’re still not done packing for our trip.

Now we have to add all of the equipment that will be required to maintain the ship and complete our planned missions. First of all, we are definitely going to need to pack an exhaustive supply of spare parts and a wide variety of tools. That is an absolute must. From what I have heard, there are a few stores on the Moon that do stock spaceship parts, but they tend to close on certain days of the week. And orders from the mainland can take a frustratingly long time to arrive, so it’s always best to be prepared for any emergency. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with our spaceship and the only thing harder than finding a good mechanic here on Earth is finding one on the Moon.

And then, of course, we’ll have to bring all the fancy testing equipment that we will use to pretend to conduct experiments. Some of it is quite bulky, so we’ll need to set aside some storage space for all of that. And we’re going to need some additional storage space to bring back all those petrified wood samples, but we should have room for that after we jettison most of the fake testing equipment.

Our spaceship is now so ridiculously overloaded that we may have had to add a roof-rack and we still aren’t quite done yet. We still have a couple more items to pack, and we probably should have gotten them on sooner because they are going to require a lot of space. Since this is one of the later Apollo flights, you see, we also have to pack a dune buggy, otherwise known as a lunar rover. And the rovers, according to NASA, are a full ten feet long, just two feet less than the diameter of our craft. But not to worry – according to NASA, the rovers (pictured below) folded up to the size of a suitcase. When released, they would just sort of magically unfold and snap into place, ready to roam the lunar terrain.


To be perfectly honest, I’m not really sure why we have to pack the damn rover. There is no real compelling reason to take it to the Moon … except for the fact that they make for good TV, and that seems to be of paramount importance. And as can be seen below, it should easily fit into our spaceship.


One last thing we’re going to need is a whole lot of batteries. Lots and lots of batteries. That’s going to be the only way to power the ship while we’re on the Moon, and we’ll definitely need to run the communications systems, and the oxygen supply system, and the heating and cooling system, and the cabin lights, and the television cameras and transmitters, and all the testing equipment, and our spacesuits, and that damn rover. And we won’t be able to recharge any of the various batteries, so we’re going to need a lot of back-ups. Especially of the really big batteries that run the ship. We may need a separate ship just to carry all the batteries we’re going to need.

By the way, I can’t possibly be the only one who is disappointed that we never followed up on that breakthrough folding-vehicle technology. If we had folding Moon buggies back in the early 1970s, then how far behind could folding automobiles have been had we chosen to stay the course? Had NASA’s pioneering vision been followed up, we could all be folding up our cars and tucking them away under our office desks. But as with all the Apollo technology, it existed only in that specific period of time and has now, sadly, been lost to the ages.

NASA has done something very odd, by the way, with the lunar module that it has on display for museum visitors to marvel at: it has staffed it with miniature astronauts wearing miniature space suits (the module may also be scaled slightly larger than the ‘real’ modules that allegedly landed on the Moon). I wonder why they would do that? I’m pretty sure that Buzz and Neil were of normal stature, so the only reason that I can think of that they would use miniature astronauts would be to portray the modules as larger than what they actually were. And in better condition too. Did they pick up the ones they sent to the Moon at a used car lot?


Before moving on, I need to emphasize here just how sophisticated the lunar modules actually were. These remarkable spacecraft – and I understandably get a little choked up here talking about this, because I am just so damn proud of our team of Nazi scientists – managed to make six perfect take-offs from the surface of the Moon! And understand here people that they did that, amazingly enough, with completely untested technology!

You can’t duplicate the conditions on the Moon here at home, you see, or even provide a rough approximation. And since no one had ever been to the Moon, they didn’t know exactly what to replicate anyway, so this part of the mission was pretty much of a crapshoot. Conditions on the Moon are, to say the least, a bit different than here on Earth. The gravitational pull is only about 1/6 of what it is here. And then there is that whole ‘lack of atmosphere’ thing. And the decidedly unearthly temperatures. And then, of course, there are the high levels of space radiation.

I’m quite sure that we had the best minds available working on the Apollo project, but none of them could have accurately predicted and compensated for how all those unearthly conditions would combine to affect the flight potential of the lunar modules. So the ability of the modules to actually blast off from the Moon and fly was, at best, a theoretical concept.


It is also important to remember that, unlike the initial blast-off from Earth (seen above), which involved the collective efforts of thousands of people and the use of all types of peripheral equipment, the astronauts taking off from the Moon had only themselves and a strange vessel that looked like it had been salvaged from the set of Lost in Space. What would you be thinking, by the way, if you suddenly found yourself on the surface of the Moon with what looked like a cheap movie prop as your only way home? Would you feel comfortable hanging around for a few days doing experiments, confident that, when the time came, the untested contraption behind you would actually get you back home from the Moon? Or would the words “bad career choice” be running through your head?

But as it turns out, America kicked ass back then and those lunar modules performed like champions every single time! They didn’t even need any modifications! Despite the completely foreign environment, they worked perfectly the very first time and every time thereafter!

On Earth, it took many long years of trial and error, many failed test flights, many unfortunate accidents, and many, many trips back to the drawing board before we could safely and reliably launch men into low-Earth orbit. But on the Moon? We nailed that shit the very first time.

Today, of course, we can’t even launch a space shuttle from right here on planet Earth without occasionally blowing one up, even though we have lowered our sights considerably. After all, sending spacecraft into low-Earth orbit is considerably easier than sending spacecraft all the way to the friggin’ Moon and back. It would appear then that we can draw the following conclusion: although technology has advanced immeasurably since the first Apollo Moon landing and we have significantly downgraded our goals in space, we can’t come close to matching the kick-ass safety record we had in the Apollo days.

The thing is that, back in the frontier days, we didn’t need all that fancy technology and book-learnin’ to send Buzz and the boys to the Moon and back. Back then, we had that American can-do spirit and we just cowboyed up and MacGyvered those spaceships to the Moon. All we needed was an old Volkswagen engine, some duct tape and a roll of bailing wire. Throw a roll of butt-wipe and a little Tang on board and you were good to go.

And how about the speed with which we cranked out those Apollo spacecraft? Once we figured out how to make them, we were stamping them out like Coke cans. We fired off seven of them in just under three-and-a-half years, or about one every six months. Given the extreme complexity of those vessels, and the fact that every component had to perform flawlessly under largely unknown conditions, that is a pretty impressive production schedule. America, I think it is safe to say, totally rocked back then!

Magda Hassan
10-31-2009, 01:07 AM
Wagging the Moondoggie, Part III
October 1, 2009
by David McGowan

If the Moon landings were faked, then one question that naturally arises is: why would any government go to such extreme lengths to mount such an elaborate hoax?

The most obvious answer (and the one most frequently cited by skeptics) is to reclaim a sense of national pride that had been stripped away by America's having played follow-the-leader with the Soviets for an entire decade. While this undoubtedly played a large role, there are other factors as well – factors that haven’t been as fully explored. But before we look at those, we must first deal with the question of whether it would have even been possible to pull off such an enormous hoax.

Could so many people have really been duped into believing such an outrageous lie, if that in fact was what it was? To answer that question, we have to keep in mind that we are talking about the summer of 1969 here. Those old enough to have been there will recall that they – along with the vast majority of politically active people in the country – spent that particular period of time primarily engaged in tripping on some really good acid (most likely from the lab of Mr. Owsley).

How hard then would it really have been to fool most of you? I probably could have stuck a fish bowl on my head, wrapped myself in aluminum foil, and then filmed myself high-stepping across my backyard and most of you would have believed that I was Moonwalking. Some of you couldn't entirely rule out the possibility that everyone was walking on the Moon.

In truth, not everyone was fooled by the alleged Moon landings. Though it is rarely discussed these days, a significant number of people gave NASA’s television productions a thumbs-down. As Wired (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.09/moon.land_pr.html) magazine has reported, “when Knight Newspapers polled 1,721 US residents one year after the first moon landing, it found that more than 30 percent of respondents were suspicious of NASA’s trips to the moon.” Given that overall trust in government was considerably higher in those pre-Watergate days, the fact that nearly a third of Americans doubted what they were ‘witnessing’ through their television sets is rather remarkable.

When Fox ran a special on the Moon landings some years back and reported that 1-in-5 Americans had doubts about the Apollo missions, various ‘debunking’ websites cried foul and claimed that the actual percentage was much lower. BadAstronomy.com (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html), for example, claims that the actual figure is about 6%, and that roughly that many people will agree “with almost any question that is asked of them.” Hence, there are only a relative handful of kooks who don’t believe that we’ve ever been to the Moon.

All of those websites fail to mention, of course, that among the people who experienced the events as they were occurring, nearly 1-in-3 had doubts, a number considerably higher than the number that Fox used. And, needless to say, the ‘debunkers’ also failed to mention that 1-in-4 young Americans, a number also higher than the figure Fox used, have doubts about the Moon landings.

Returning then to the question of why such a ruse would be perpetrated, we must transport ourselves back to the year 1969. Richard Nixon has just been inaugurated as our brand new president, and his ascension to the throne is in part due to his promises to the American people that he will disengage from the increasingly unpopular war in Vietnam. But Tricky Dick has a bit of a problem on his hands in that he has absolutely no intention of ending the war. In fact, he would really, really like to escalate the conflict as much as possible. But to do so, he needs to set up a diversion – some means of stoking the patriotic fervor of the American people so that they will blindly rally behind him.

In short, he needs to wag the dog.

This has, of course, traditionally been done by embarking on some short-term, low-risk military endeavor. The problem for Big Dick, however, is that a military mission is exactly what he is trying to divert attention away from. What, then, is a beleaguered president to do? Why, send Neil and Buzz to the Moon, of course! Instead of wagging the dog, it's time to try something new: wagging the Moondoggie!

Nixon's actions from the very moment he takes office belie his campaign pledges to the American people (not unlike that Barry Obama guy, who also led the American people to believe that he opposed an unpopular war). In May of 1969, with Nixon just a few months into his term, the press begins publicizing the illegal B-52 carpetbombing of Cambodia engineered by that irrepressible war criminal, Henry Kissinger. By June, Nixon is scrambling to announce what is dubbed the 'Vietnamization' of the war, which comes with a concomitant withdrawal of U.S. troops.

In truth, however, only 25,000 of the 540,000 U.S. troops then deployed will be brought home. This ruse is, therefore, transparently thin and it will buy the new president little time. To make matters worse, on July 14th, Francis Reitemeyer is granted Conscientious Objector status on the basis of a petition his attorney has filed which explicitly details the training and instruction he has just received in assassination and torture techniques in conjunction with his assignment to the CIA’s Phoenix Program. With these documents entering the public domain, the horrors of the war are beginning to emerge.

Just in time to save the day, however, Apollo 11 blasts off on July 16th on its allegedly historic mission, and – with the entire nation enthralled – four days later the Eagle purportedly makes its landing on the pristine lunar surface. Vietnam is temporarily forgotten as America swells with patriotic pride for having beaten the Evil Empire to the Moon. There is little time to worry about the brutality of war when Neil is taking that “one giant leap for mankind.”

The honeymoon is short-lived, however, for just four months later, in November of 1969, Seymour Hersch publishes a story about the massacre of 504 civilians in the village of My Lai, bringing home to America the full savagery of the war in Southeast Asia. It's time then for another Moon launch, and Apollo 12 dutifully lifts off on November 14th, making another picture-perfect lunar landing before returning on November 24th. The country is once again entranced by the exploits of America's new breed of hero, and suddenly every kid in the country wants to grow up to be an astronaut.

All is well again until March of 1970, at which time a U.S.-backed coup deposes Prince Sihanouk in Cambodia and Lon Nol is handpicked by the CIA to replace him. Cambodia then immediately jumps in the fray by committing troops to the U.S. war effort. The war is further escalated the next month when Nixon authorizes an invasion of Cambodia by U.S. and ARVN ground forces, another move engineered by Henry Kissinger. Nixon has been in office just over a year and the war, far from winding down, has now expanded into Cambodia both in the air and on the ground.

Meanwhile, it's time for yet another Moon launch. But this one is not going to be just any Moon launch. This one, you see, is going to introduce the element of danger. With the first two having gone off without a hitch, the American people – known for having notoriously short attention spans – are already adopting a 'been there, done that' attitude. The problem, in a nutshell, is that it looks just a little too damn easy. In order to regain the attention of the American people, it has to be impressed upon them that our brave astronauts are placing themselves in grave danger.

And so it is that on April 11th, 1970, Apollo 13 blasts off with Tom Hanks and a couple of somewhat lesser known actors on board, but unlike the first two missions, this Apollo spacecraft fails to reach the Moon and instead drifts about for the next six days with the crew in mortal danger of being forever lost in space! Now that gets our attention! So much so that when three Vietnam vets hold a multi-city press conference in New York, San Francisco and Rome on April 14th, attempting to publicize the ongoing Phoenix Program in which they have participated and have firsthand knowledge, nobody can really be bothered with paying much attention. It's hard to be too concerned about the fate of Vietnamese villagers, you see, when Tom and the boys are clearly in trouble.

Awaiting news of the fate of the Apollo 13 crew, we all have our eyes glued to our TVs as though we are watching postmortem coverage of Michael Jackson. When our heroes somehow make it back alive, defying seemingly impossible odds, we are all so goddamned proud of them that we decide to award Tom another Oscar. And all is well again for the remainder of the year.

I really have to repeat here, by the way, that in the late 1960s and early 1970s, America really did rock! I mean, how about that Apollo safety record? Seven manned Moon launches with seven perfect take-offs! Tom and the boys obviously never did make it to the Moon, but the other six crews sure as hell did, and all six set those lunar modules down like the consummate professionals that they were, and all six used that untested technology to successfully blast off from the Moon and attain lunar orbit, and then all six successfully docked with the orbiting command modules. And all seven of those command modules, even Apollo 13’s, returned intact and with their crews happy and healthy.

That was just an awesome time to be an American and especially to be an American astronaut … well, except for the three guys (Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chafee) who were burned alive during a test procedure in the command module of what was to be the Apollo 1 rocket. But they were troublemakers anyway who probably wouldn’t have wanted to go along with the Moon landing fable. And then there was that Thomas Baron guy who was a safety inspector for NASA and who delivered highly critical testimony and a 1,500-page report to Congress, only to then be killed a week later. That report seems to have been sucked into the same Black Hole that swallowed up all the other Apollo evidence.

Anyway, returning now to our timeline, the dawn of 1971 brings the trial of Lt. William Calley on charges that he personally ordered and oversaw the mass murder of the inhabitants of the village of My Lai. And on January 31st, Apollo 14 is launched and once again makes a flawless lunar landing. On February 9th, the Apollo team returns, just a few weeks before Calley is convicted of murder (he served an absurdly short sentence under ‘house arrest’ and none of his superiors were ever held accountable).

A few months after that, the New York Times begins publication of the infamous Pentagon Papers, revealing American policy in Vietnam to be a complex web of lies. Publication is quickly stopped by the Justice Department but resumes once again as June turns to July. This is quickly followed, on July 26th, by the launch of Apollo 15. Four days later, yet another flawless lunar landing clearly demonstrates that America is the most bad-ass nation on Earth. But Moonwalking has become a bit of a bore for the American people, so a new element is introduced and from now on our beloved astronauts will roam the lunar surface in dune buggies. The lunar modules haven’t gotten any bigger, but now they can transport vehicles to the Moon. Cool!

Back on Earth, the astronauts return on August 7th and the rest of the year passes uneventfully. On March 30, 1972, North Vietnamese troops mount a massive offensive across the DMZ into Quang Tri Province, revealing as lies the pompous statements by numerous Washington hacks that victory is close at hand. Nixon and Co. respond to the offensive with deep penetration bombing of North Vietnam and, for good measure, the illegal mining of North Vietnam's ports. They also respond by launching, on April 16th, another rocket (and another dune buggy) to the Moon. On April 27th, the crew of Apollo 16 once again return to a hero's welcome.

By the end of the year, a ceasefire is finally looming on the horizon. Beginning in October, Kissinger and David Bruce (a member of the infamous Mellon family) are secretly negotiating peace terms with Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam. In December, however, those talks break down – but not before Apollo 17 is launched on December 7th. With the latest Apollo mission still a few days away from returning, the talks cease and Dick and Henry unleash a final ruthless carpetbombing campaign against North Vietnam, snuffing out countless thousands of civilian lives. Meanwhile, America warmly greets its returning astronauts.

Just five weeks later, the talks having resumed, a peace agreement is announced. Within a few days a ceasefire is in effect, thereby officially ending America's involvement in Southeast Asia. Though the CIA will remain to continue directing the war by proxy, America's men and women in uniform come home. And the Apollo program – despite several additional missions having been planned and discussed, and despite the additional funding that should have been available with the war drawing to a close – will never be heard from again.

In addition to restoring national pride and providing a diversion from the savage colonial war being waged in Southeast Asia, the Apollo program undoubtedly served another function as well: covert funding of that war effort. Needless to say, faking Moon landings is less expensive than actually making Moon landings, and a whole lot of money was funneled NASA’s way during the Vietnam years to accomplish the latter. It stands to reason that a considerable amount of that money could well have been diverted into covert operations being conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

There is no shortage of Moon hoax ‘debunking’ sites out there on the wild and wooly World Wide Web. The majority of them are not particularly well written or argued and yet they tend to be rather smug and self-congratulatory. Most of them tend to stick to ‘debunking’ the same facts and they use the same arguments to do so.

One thing they like to talk a lot about is the Van Allen radiation belts. The Moon hoax sites talk a lot about them as well. The hoaxers will tell you that man cannot pass through the belts without a considerable amount of radiation protection – protection that could not have been provided in the 1960s through any known technology. And the ‘debunkers’ claim that the Apollo astronauts would have passed through the belts quickly enough that, given the levels of radiation, no harm would have come to them. The hoaxers, say the ‘debunkers,’ are just being girlie men.

As it turns out, both sides are wrong: the ‘debunkers,’ shockingly enough, are completely full of shit, and the hoaxers have actually understated the problem by focusing exclusively on the belts. We know this because NASA itself – whom the ‘debunkers’ like to treat as a virtually unimpeachable source on all things Apollo, except, apparently, when the agency posts an article that implicitly acknowledges that we haven’t actually been to the Moon – has told us that it is so. They have told us that in order to leave low-Earth orbit on any future space flights, our astronauts would need to be protected throughout the entirety of the flight, as well as – and once again, this comes directly from NASA – while working on the surface of the Moon.

On June 24, 2005, NASA made this rather remarkable admission: “NASA's Vision for Space Exploration calls for a return to the Moon as preparation for even longer journeys to Mars and beyond. But there's a potential showstopper: radiation. Space beyond low-Earth orbit is awash with intense radiation from the Sun and from deep galactic sources such as supernovas … Finding a good shield is important.” (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/24jun_electrostatics.htm)

You’re damn right finding a good shield is important!! Back in the 1960s, of course, we didn’t let a little thing like space radiation get in the way of us beating the Ruskies to the Moon. But now, I guess, being that we are more cultured and sophisticated, we want to do it the right way so we have to come up with some way of shielding our spaceships. And our temporary Moon bases. And figuring out how to do that, according to NASA, could be a real “showstopper.”

As NASA notes, “the most common way to deal with radiation is simply to physically block it, as the thick concrete around a nuclear reactor does. But making spaceships from concrete is not an option.” Lead, which is considerably denser than concrete, is actually the preferred material to use for radiation shielding, but lead also isn’t very popular with spaceship designers. In fact, word on the street is that one of the main reasons the Soviets never made it to the Moon was because their scientists calculated that four feet of lead shielding would be required to protect their astronauts, and those same scientists apparently felt that spaceships wouldn’t fly all that well when clad in four feet of lead.

Now NASA is thinking outside the box and contemplating using ‘force fields’ to repel the radiation, a seemingly ridiculous idea that, whether workable in the future or not, certainly wasn’t available to NASA in the 1960s. Below is NASA’s own artist rendering of a proposed ‘force field’ radiation shield that would allow astronauts to work safely on the Moon. As you may have noticed in the earlier photos of the lunar modules, our guys didn’t bring anything like that with them on their, uhmm, earlier missions to the Moon. And you may have also noticed that the modules did not have any type of physical shielding.


How then did they do it? My guess is that the answer lies in that gold foil wrap. While it may look like an amateurish attempt to make the modules appear more ‘high-tech,’ I have a hunch that what we are looking at is another example of the lost technology of the 1960s – this time in the form of a highly-advanced superpolymer that provided maximum radiation shielding while adding virtually no weight. So all we have to do is track down a few leftover rolls of that stuff and we should be well on our way to sending guys back to the Moon.

According to Charles Buhler, a NASA scientist currently working on the force field concept, “Using electric fields to repel radiation was one of the first ideas back in the 1950s, when scientists started to look at the problem of protecting astronauts from radiation. They quickly dropped the idea though because it seemed like the high voltages needed and the awkward designs that they thought would be necessary … would make such an electric shield impractical.”

What a real journalist would have asked here, of course, is: “After dropping the electric shield concept, exactly what did they decide to use to get our astronauts safely to the Moon and back on the Apollo missions? And why can’t we do the same thing now, rather than reinventing the wheel? Don’t you guys have some of that gold foil in a closet somewhere?” No one in the American media, of course, bothered to ask such painfully obvious questions.

The 2005 report from NASA ends as follows: “But, who knows, perhaps one day astronauts on the Moon … will work safely.” Yes, and while we’re dreaming the impossible dream, let’s add a few more things to our wish list as well, like perhaps one day we’ll be able to listen to music on 8-track tape players, and talk to people on rotary dial telephones, and carry portable transistor radios, and use cameras that shoot pictures on special film that develops right before our eyes. Only time will tell, I suppose.

The Van Allen belts, by the way, trap most Earth-bound radiation, thus making it safe for us mortals down here on the surface of planet Earth, as well as for astronauts in low-Earth orbit (the belts extend from 1,000 to 25,000 miles above the surface of the Earth). The danger is in sending men through and beyond the belts, which, apart from the Apollo missions, has never been attempted … well, actually there was that one time, but I think we all remember how badly that turned out. In case anyone has forgotten, the astronauts returned to a world dominated by extremely poor acting, apes speaking with British accents, and a shirtless Charleton Heston. And I don’t think anyone wants to see that happen again.

The 2005 report was not the first time that NASA had openly discussed the high levels of radiation that exist beyond the Van Allen belts. In February 2001, the space agency posted a ‘debunking’ article that argued that the rocks allegedly brought back from the Moon were so distinctive in nature that they proved definitively that man had gone to the Moon. The problem though with maintaining a lie of the magnitude of the Moon landing lie is that there is always the danger that in defending one part of the lie, another part will be exposed. Such was the case with NASA’s ill-conceived The Great Moon Hoax (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast23Feb_2.htm) post, in which it was acknowledged that what are referred to as “cosmic rays” have a tendency to “constantly bombard the Moon and they leave their fingerprints on Moon rocks.”

NASA scientist David McKay explained that “There are isotopes in Moon rocks, isotopes we don’t normally find on Earth, that were created by nuclear reactions with the highest-energy cosmic rays.” The article went on to explain how “Earth is spared from such radiation by our protective atmosphere and magnetosphere. Even if scientists wanted to make something like a Moon rock by, say, bombarding an Earth rock with high energy atomic nuclei, they couldn’t. Earth’s most powerful particle accelerators can’t energize particles to match the most potent cosmic rays, which are themselves accelerated in supernova blastwaves and in the violent cores of galaxies.”

So one of the reasons that we know the Moon rocks are real, you see, is because they were blasted with ridiculously high levels of radiation while sitting on the surface of the Moon. And our astronauts, one would assume, would have been blasted with the very same ridiculously high levels of radiation, but since this was NASA’s attempt at a ‘debunking’ article, they apparently would prefer that you don’t spend too much time analyzing what they have to say.

How exactly are we to reconcile NASA’s current position on space radiation with the same agency’s simultaneous claim that we have already sent men to the Moon? There are a few different possibilities that come to mind, the first of which is that, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we simply threw caution to the wind and sent our boys off to the Moon with no protection whatsoever from space radiation. If that were true, however, then the question that would naturally be raised is: why not just do it again? After all, all of our Moonwalkers made it home safe and sound and most all have lived long, healthy, cancer-free lives. So why all the fuss over space radiation?

NASA could, I suppose, take the position that space radiation is a recent problem. Perhaps in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, space was relatively free of radiation, allowing unshielded Apollo rockets to cruise about without a care in the world while crew members primarily busied themselves with such important tasks as trying to capture all the stems and seeds that were floating around the command module as a result of cleaning their stash of low-grade ‘60s marijuana. It was just a different solar system back in those days. As aging hippies like to say, if you remember the solar system of the sixties, you weren’t really flying around in it.

If it proves not to be the case that this space radiation “showstopper” is a new development, then I suppose that the only explanation that we are left with is that we did indeed have the technology to shield our astronauts from radiation back in the 1960s, but at some time during the last four decades, that technology was simply lost. What probably happened was that an overzealous night custodian simply threw the data away. The conversation around the NASA water cooler the next day probably went something like this: "Holy shit! Has anyone seen that folder that I left on my desk last night? It contained the only copy of the secret formula that I devised for building a weightless space radiation shield. It could be forty years or more before someone else can duplicate it! My ass is so fired!”

Magda Hassan
10-31-2009, 01:08 AM
Wagging the Moondoggie, Part IV
October 1, 2009
by David McGowan

The issue that most of the Moon hoax and ‘debunking’ sites spend the most time on, by far, is the photographic anomalies. And that, I suppose, is to be expected, since with the original videotapes, telemetry tapes and blueprints all having conveniently disappeared, and with most of the Moon rocks missing and their legitimacy being unverifiable, there isn’t much else in the way of physical evidence to examine.

Skeptics have identified a number of problems with NASA’s official photographs (http://www.apolloarchive.com/apollo_gallery.html) of the alleged Moon landings, including; flags appearing to wave despite the lack of atmosphere; non-parallel shadows, suggesting multiple light sources; objects in the shadows that are clearly visible when they shouldn’t be, again indicating multiple light sources; the complete lack of stars in the lunar sky; identical backgrounds in photos that NASA has claimed were shot at different locations; and inconsistencies with the crosshair reference marks.

We will look at each of these in some detail – well, actually we will look at most of them in some detail. Because as it turns out – and I know that this will come as a huge disappointment to all the ‘debunkers’ – I don’t really give a shit whether the flag is waving or not. Many of the ‘debunking’ websites devote an inordinate amount of time to the issue, as though it were the primary plank on which the ‘conspiracy theories’ rested. They do this because the videos and photos are ambiguous and open to interpretation, and the ‘debunkers’ realize that people are going to see in them what they want to see.

The truth though is that it does not matter in the least whether the flag is waving. That is just one tiny drop of potential evidence in an overflowing bucket.

Some of the other problems with the images are considerably less ambiguous. But before we even get to those, we must first discuss the fact that the very existence of the photographs is a technical impossibility. Simply stated, it would not have been possible to capture any of the images allegedly shot on the Moon in the manner that NASA says they were captured.

Back in the day, you see (and younger readers may again want to cover their eyes), cameras weren’t all that smart, so everything had to be done manually. The photographer had to manually focus each shot by peering through the viewfinder and rotating the lens until the scene came into focus. The proper aperture and shutter speeds had to be manually selected for each shot as well, to insure a proper exposure. That required peering through the viewfinder as well, to meter the shot. Finally, each shot had to be properly composed and framed, which obviously also required looking through the viewfinder.

The problem for the astronauts is that the cameras were mounted to their chests, which made it impossible to see through the viewfinder to meter, frame and focus the shots. Everything, therefore, was pretty much of a guess. Focusing would have been entirely guesswork, as would the framing of each shot. An experienced photographer can accurately estimate the exposure settings, but the astronauts lacked such experience, and they were also handicapped by the fact that they were viewing the scenes through heavily tinted visors, which meant that what they were seeing was not what the camera was seeing.

To add to their troubles, they were wearing space helmets that seriously restricted their field of vision, along with enormously bulky, pressurized gloves that severely limited their manual dexterity. The odds then of getting even one of the three elements (exposure, focus and framing) correct under those conditions on any given shot would have been exceedingly low. And yet, amazingly enough, on the overwhelming majority of the photos, they got all three right!

A rather self-important gent by the name of Jay Windley, one of the most prominent of the NASA-approved ‘debunkers,’ attempts to spin all this away on his website, www.clavius.org (http://www.clavius.org/index.html). According to Windley, “The exposures were worked out ahead of time based on experimentation. The ASA/ISO rating of the film was known, and NASA photographers precomputed the necessary exposures … In many cases the camera settings for planned photos were given in the astronauts’ cuff checklists.”

No shit, Jay? Did they send an advance team to the Moon to do that “experimentation”? Because the lighting conditions on the Moon are pretty unique, as you well know, and nobody had ever been there before, so I’m not really seeing how NASA’s photographers were able to work the exposures out “ahead of time.” And what “planned photos” are you referring to? How did they know what they were going to photograph before they even knew what was there? They knew they were going to take photos of each other, I suppose, and of the flag and lander, but they would have had no clue how those things were going to be lit, and it’s the lighting, not the subject, that primarily determines the exposure settings.

Windley of course knows that, since he claims on his site that he is “an experienced photographer [who] has worked professionally in that area from time to time.” He must also know then that his comments about the unimportance of properly focusing a shot are intentionally misleading. He starts off on the right track, more or less, advising readers that an increased depth of field “means that when the lens is set to focus at a certain distance, objects somewhat nearer and farther from this ideal distance are also sharply focused. The narrower the aperture, the greater the depth of field.”

It is certainly true that the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field will be. And the greater the depth of field, the more of the background and foreground will be in focus, assuming that the subject is in proper focus. Windley, like the rest of the ‘debunkers,’ would like us to believe that all of the photos shot on the lunar surface were shot with a very small aperture setting (which supposedly explains the lack of stars in the lunar sky, but we’ll get to that soon enough), which would maximize the depth of field. And the greater the depth of field, according to Windley, “the sloppier the photographer can be about his focus settings.”

That last statement, for those who may have missed it, is the part that isn’t actually true. An increased depth of field most certainly does not mean that you can use the ‘close enough’ technique to focus your camera. Depth of field has nothing to do with whether your subject is sharply focused or not. If your subject is sharply focused, then depth of field determines how many of the other objects in the background and foreground of your photo will be in focus as well. If your subject is not sharply focused, however, then your photo is going to suck regardless of the amount of depth of field.

As for framing the shots, Windley claims that mostly wide-angle lenses were used, which meant that, “It was sufficient to point the camera in the general direction of the subject and you would be likely to frame it well enough.” So apparently all the fuss about framing, exposure and focus is much ado about nothing. All you need do is write the exposure settings down on your sleeve, ballpark the focus, and point your camera in “the general direction of the subject” and you’ll get great shots nearly every time!

Windley then adds (and this is my favorite part of his photography tutorial) that on the later missions, “a 500mm telephoto lens was also taken, and the cameras were modified with sighting rings to help aim them. Normally the camera would be mounted on the space suit chest bracket, but for telephoto use the astronaut would have to remove it and hold it at eye level in order to sight down the rings.”

As any photographer knows, getting a decent shot with a 500mm lens without the use of a tripod is a pretty tall order, even for a seasoned professional. Getting a decent hand-held shot with a 500mm lens while wearing bulky, pressurized gloves would be just about impossible. And the notion that you could come anywhere close to properly framing or focusing an image captured with a 500mm lens without looking through the viewfinder is laughably absurd.

The ‘debunkers’ will also tell you that it is not true that all the Moon landing images were keepers, and that NASA only released the best of the photos. The ‘debunkers,’ however, don’t know what they are talking about. The reality is that NASA has released all of the alleged photos taken during the Apollo missions, including indecipherable ones that are labeled “inadvertent shutter release” (which, I have to admit, is a nice touch). With the exception of what are most likely deliberate mistakes, the clear majority of the shots are pretty well composed, exposed and focused.

For those who don’t find that at all unusual, here is an experiment that you can try at home: grab the nearest 35MM SLR camera and strap it around your neck. It is probably an automatic camera so you will have to set it for manual focus and manual exposure. Now you will need to put on the thickest pair of winter gloves that you can find, as well as a motorcycle helmet with a visor. Once you have done all that, here is your assignment: walk around your neighborhood with the camera pressed firmly to your chest and snap a bunch of photos. You will need to fiddle with the focus and exposure settings, of course, which is going to be a real bitch since you won’t be able to see or feel what you are doing. Also, needless to say, you’ll just have to guess on the framing of all the shots.

You should probably use a digital camera, by the way, so that you don’t waste a lot of film, because you’re not going to have a lot of keepers. Of course, part of the fun of this challenge is changing the film with the gloves and helmet on, and you’ll miss out on that by going digital. Anyway, after you fill up your memory card, head back home and download all your newly captured images. While looking through your collection of unimpressive photos, marvel at the incredible awesomeness of our Apollo astronauts, who not only risked life and limb to expand man’s frontiers, but who were also amazingly talented photographers. I’m more than a little surprised that none of them went on to lucrative careers as professional shutterbugs.

Not that it probably matters much to the True Believers, but the designer of the Hasselblad cameras allegedly used on the missions has stated publicly that it would not have been possible for the astronauts to use the cameras in the manner that NASA claims they were used. But after performing the experiment, you already know that.

Even if our fine astronauts could have captured all of those images, the film would have never survived the journey in such pristine condition. Even very brief exposure to the relatively low levels of radiation used in airport security terminals can damage photographic film, so how would the film have fared after prolonged, continuous exposure to far higher levels of radiation? And what of the 540° F temperature fluctuations? That must have been some amazingly resilient film stock – and yet another example of the lost technology of the 1960s.

Even though the images are clearly not what NASA claims they are, we are going to play along and pretend as though Neil and Buzz and all of the rest of the guys could have actually taken them. The question then is: where did they take them?

Hoax theorists, ‘debunkers’ and NASA are all in agreement on at least one thing: conditions on the surface of the Moon are decidedly different than conditions here on the surface of planet Earth. For one thing, the Moon has no atmosphere. Also, there is only one source of light, which is, of course, the sun (NASA has verified that no other light source was available to the astronauts).

Due to the lack of atmosphere on the Moon, light is not scattered and travels only in a straight line from the sun and is reflected back in the same direction. What that means is that anything that falls in the shadows will be in virtually complete darkness. It also means that all shadows will be cast in the same direction. And it means that the sky is always black, and, with no atmosphere filtering the view, that sky will be filled at all times with a dazzling display of stars unlike anything ever before seen by man.

As other skeptics have noted, none of the photos supposedly brought home from the Moon show a single star in the sky. ‘Debunkers’ have claimed that this is because the exposure settings on the cameras didn’t allow for the stars to be captured on film. In order to properly expose for the objects being photographed, ‘debunkers’ claim, shutter speeds had to be too fast and apertures too small to capture the stars. And that applies, according to the ‘debunkers,’ to every single photo taken on the Moon. Even all the ones that, according to those same ‘debunkers,’ were improperly exposed!

NASA’s own website has boldly stated that, “Astronauts striding across the bright lunar soil in their sunlit spacesuits were literally dazzling. Setting a camera with the proper exposure for a glaring spacesuit would naturally render background stars too faint to see.”

The problem with this claim, which should be obvious to any photographer, is that a variety of different exposure settings would have been required to shoot all the photos allegedly taken on the Moon (Windley acknowledged as much when he claimed that NASA “precomputed the necessary exposures”). All of the scenes below, for example, which are obviously not very well lit, would have required long exposures – exposures that would have definitely captured the brilliantly shining stars, since they would have been the brightest objects in the camera’s field of view.




One thing that I love about the ‘debunking’ websites, by the way, is how frequently they contradict themselves while working their way through their ‘debunking’ checklists. The ever-pompous Phil Plait, proprietor of the appropriately named BadAstronomy.com (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html) website, is a prime example. Fairly early on in his ‘debunking’ rant, he writes as follows: “I’ll say this here now, and return to it many times: the Moon is not the Earth. Conditions there are weird, and our common sense is likely to fail us.”

Plait does indeed return to it often, whenever it advances his argument to do so, but he just as frequently tosses his own cardinal rule aside when that is what serves his purposes – like, for example, just four paragraphs later, when he advises readers to “go outside here on Earth on the darkest night imaginable and take a picture with the exact same camera settings the astronauts used, you won’t see any stars! It’s that simple.”

Ever the coy one, Phil doesn’t tell us what those “camera settings” are, but he clearly implies that the same settings were used in every photo, which clearly is not the case. Phil also conveniently forgets that the view from the Moon is not filtered through an atmosphere, so the stars have many times the luminosity as here on Earth. Phil’s little experiment, therefore, is entirely invalid, since he forgot to take into account that conditions on the Moon “are weird.” And as with all the ‘debunkers,’ he also forgot to explain why it is that no one thought to expose a photo or two to specifically capture the brilliant display of stars.


Legend holds that a dozen astronauts walked upon the surface of the Moon for varying amounts of time. The Apollo 17 astronauts alone were purportedly there for three days. For the duration of their visits, each of the twelve would have been treated to what was by far the most dazzling display of stars ever seen by the human eye. What they would have seen was many times more stars burning many times brighter than can be seen anywhere here on planet Earth.

Collectively, the dirty dozen took thousands of photos throughout their alleged journeys. And yet, amazingly enough, not one of them thought it might be a good idea to snap even a single photograph of such a wondrous sight. Of course, endless photos of the lunar modules and the monotonous lunar surface are exciting too, but just one or two photos of that dazzling lunar sky might have been nice as well. It’s as if someone went to Niagara Falls and the only photos they brought back were of the car they drove sitting in a nondescript parking lot.

Now let’s turn our attention to the subject of shadows. As skeptics have noted, some of NASA’s photos seem to depict nonparallel shadows, indicating more than one light source. ‘Debunkers’ have claimed that all such discrepancies can be explained by “perspective” and topographical variations on the surface of the Moon. And truth be told, many of the images that I have seen on websites on both sides of the aisle are ambiguous enough that such explanations can be plausibly argued. But there are, as it turns out, images in NASA’s collection that aren’t quite so easy to debunk.

There are, in fact, images that demonstrate unequivocally that more than one light source was used. Take, for example, the image below of one of the landing pods of the Apollo 11 lunar module, allegedly parked on the surface of the Moon.


The primary light source, meant to simulate the sun, is obviously positioned to the right of the scene, as is clearly demonstrated by the shadows of all of the objects in the background. But there is just as obviously a secondary light source coming from the direction of the photographer. We know this because we can see in the foreground that the shadows coming off the small ‘Moon rocks’ point away from us. We know it also because we can see the light being reflected off of the gold foil wrap onto the ground in front of the pod. But we know it most of all because we can actually see the light reflected in the foil wrap on the leg of the pod!

The shadows in the foreground and in the background are at nearly right angles, a phenomenon that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be explained away as a perceptual problem – especially when we can clearly see the reflection of the secondary light! One other question concerning this particular photo: how do you suppose you would go about capturing such a low-angle shot with a chest-mounted camera? Was the astronaut/photographer standing in a foxhole?

The other issue involving shadows concerns the fact that, in the majority of the photos allegedly taken on the Moon, objects lying in the shadows are clearly visible even though, due to the Moon’s lack of atmosphere and the fact that reflected sunlight does not scatter, those shadowed areas should be completely black. The Moon, you see, is kind of a black and white world. If something is in the direct path of the unfiltered sunlight, it should be well lit (on one side); if it’s not, it should be as black as NASA’s starless lunar sky.


The ‘debunkers,’ of course, have an explanation for this. Let’s turn once again to BadAstronomy.com (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html) for that explanation, since that seems to be the website that all the other ‘debunking’ websites consistently reference and link to, the one that all the major media outlets endorse, and the one that even NASA apparently refers skeptics to. According to the site, “The lunar dust has a peculiar property: it tends to reflect light back in the direction from where it came.” Before reviewing the rest of the argument, let’s pause here to take note of the fact that pretty much everything on the Moon has the peculiar property of reflecting light back in the direction from where it came, so given the lack of atmosphere, that’s not really such a peculiar property at all.

Plait them goes on to provide the following explanation of the lighted shadows phenomenon: “Let’s say the sun is off to the right in a picture. It is illuminating the right side of the lander, and the left is in shadow. However, the sunlight falling beyond the lander on the left is being reflected back toward the Sun. That light hits the surface and reflects to the right and up, directly onto the shadowed part of the lander.”

In the previously cited example, Plait managed to make it through four entire paragraphs before contradicting himself. Here he has easily shattered that record by, incredibly enough, contradicting himself in back-to-back sentences! And this, keep in kind, seems to be the best ‘debunker’ that NASA has to offer (it is unclear whether Plait is a paid shill or simply a useful idiot; it other words, it is unclear whether he actually believes the stuff he writes or whether he is knowingly lying his ass off, but the latter seems far more likely).

Plait is right on the money when he says that the light falling beyond the LM on the left would be reflected “back toward the sun.” Unfortunately, he then immediately contradicts himself by claiming that that same light would be reflected “to the right,” onto the module. The only way that that could happen, as Plait surely knows, is if the light were to shine through the lander and reflect off the shaded portion of the soil. But that makes no sense, of course, just as Phil’s explanation makes no sense.

Light does not reflect at an angle on the Moon and it does not disperse, as Plait himself notes elsewhere on his website. It only reflects back to the source, meaning that any light falling beyond the shadow line would reflect back to the sun, just as would any light falling in front of or to the side of the module. None of it would reflect onto the shaded portion of the ship, because light only reflects “back in the direction from where it came,” so in order for it to reflect back onto the lander, it would have to emanate from the lander.

Not too surprisingly, Plait once again invites readers to reproduce the effect right here at home, completely ignoring the fact that, as he himself has acknowledged, light behaves in entirely different ways here on Earth than it does on the Moon. Plait also claims that, “A nifty demonstration of the shadow filling was done by Ian Goddard and can be found here (http://www.iangoddard.com/moon01.htm). His demos are great and really drive the point home.” In truth, Goddard’s “nifty demonstrations” are entirely dependent upon the effects of atmosphere causing the light to disperse, and thus they have no validity whatsoever.

I forgot to mention in the earlier discussion, by the way, that Plait also appealed to readers to conduct an Earth-bound experiment to ‘debunk’ the diverging shadows conundrum. According to Phil, “You can experience this for yourself; go outside on a clear day when the Sun is low in the sky and compare the direction of the shadows of near and far objects. You’ll see that they appear to diverge. Here is a major claim of the HBs that you can disprove all by yourself!”

Here is another experiment that Plait might want to try himself: go outside during the daytime on any day of your choosing and look up at the sky. If it is absolutely jet black, then feel free to continue advising your readers to conduct Moon simulations here at home. If it is blue, however (or gray, or white, or pretty much any color other than black), then stop pretending as though conditions on the Moon can be replicated here on Earth when we all know better (or we all should).

And when you’re done with that experiment? Give the camera-to-the-chest challenge a try and let everyone know how well that works out for you. And try to get some of those low-angle shots that NASA likes.

The truth is that even if Plait was correct about some of the light reflecting into the shadows, there is still way too much detail visible in the shadows in virtually all of NASA’s photos – if the arguments that NASA and Plait put forth earlier are at all accurate. As readers will recall, the earlier claim was that the lunar surface and the astronauts’ spacesuits were so dazzlingly bright in the unfiltered sunlight that very fast shutter speeds and very small apertures were required to avoid overexposing the shots.

The problem for NASA and its attack dogs is that you can’t have it both ways. If the camera is stopped down to avoid overexposing extremely bright highlights, it cannot simultaneously capture full detail in the shadows. And if the aperture and shutter speeds are set to capture detail in the shadows, the camera would necessarily also capture the brilliant stars, which would be far brighter than anything lying in the lunar shadows. Other planets would be pretty hard to miss in the lunar sky as well, though none can be seen in any of NASA’s photos.

Do you remember, by the way, what Windley told us earlier about the relationship between the aperture setting and depth of field? The basic rule is that the smaller the aperture setting, the greater the depth of field will be. With a wide aperture, conversely, the photo will have little depth of field. That is why portrait photographers tend to shoot with the lens wide open, to deliberately isolate the subject from foreground and background elements. Landscape photographers, on the other hand, stop the lens down to keep the entire scene in focus.

With that bit of basic photographic knowledge in hand, it is fairly easy to determine whether NASA’s photographs were, in fact, taken with a very small aperture setting. And a good place to start, I suppose, is with the very first photo allegedly taken by a man standing on lunar soil. Below is what is alleged to be Armstrong’s very first attempt at lunar photography, just after climbing down from the module.


First off, I think we can all agree that, under the circumstances, it’s a pretty damn good first effort. There are problems right off the bat, of course, with the fact that the shadows are obviously lit with a diffused secondary light source, or else we wouldn’t be able to see the top of the bag, or the United States sign, or the shadowed side of the landing strut, but what we’re really looking for here is depth of field, which this photo has very little of. The photographer has focused on the United States sign (and he did it blindly!), but little else is sharply focused. Hence we know, from the very first shot, that the ‘debunkers’ are lying about the exposure settings.

Moving on to Armstrong’s second alleged photo, seen below, we again find that there is very little depth of field. Both the foreground and the background are quite blurry, indicating that it clearly was not taken with a small aperture setting. And yet there is nary a star to be seen.


Before moving on, there is one more of Armstrong’s photos that I feel obligated to present here. It is, after all, his masterpiece, as well as being probably the most iconic of all the Apollo photos. I am talking, of course, about the so-called “Man on the Moon” shot of cohort Buzz Aldrin, seen below (which is probably not actually Aldrin; my guess is that the same two actors did all the Moonwalking in the videos and photos from all the alleged missions).


We must first, of course, compliment Neil on the awesome composition. It hardly looks staged at all. But there are problems here. Once again, I’m just not seeing the depth of field that Windley promised us. It’s also pretty hard not to notice that Buzz’s spacesuit isn’t pressurized. And then there is the noticeable lack of any shadowing on Buzz’s spacesuit. He’s casting a shadow on the ground, but there is no corresponding shadowing of his body. Even here on Earth, that is only possible with a secondary light source.

There are some photos in NASA’s collection that were taken without a secondary light source, so we do know what fake Moon landing pictures should look like. The action shot below of the lunar rover, for example, was taken without a secondary light to fill in the shadows. The shadows still aren’t quite as dark as they would be on the Moon, but the difference between a fake Moon shot taken with a fill light and a fake Moon shot taken without a fill light couldn’t be more obvious.


NASA liked the “Man on the Moon” image so much, by the way, that they essentially restaged it for the Apollo 12 mission. As can be seen below, a secondary light was used for that shot as well. Without the fill light, there is simply no way that a portion of the astronaut’s spacesuit would not be shadowed, as it is in the rover photo above.


Moving on then to the next issue, we have the mystery of the disappearing crosshairs. The problem, according to skeptics, is that the crosshair reference marks, which were etched into the camera’s lenses and therefore should always appear on top of any objects in the photos, sometimes disappear behind those objects.

Plait actually gets this one correct in explaining the phenomenon as a problem of overexposure and contrast. When some of the brighter objects in the photos are overexposed, the fine crosshairs tend to get washed out. That is in fact a reasonable explanation for the effect (by the way, I mentioned before that I was not a rocket scientist; I am, however, a photographer).

The claim that the crosshairs should be visible presupposes that NASA added objects to the photos, creating composites. I seriously doubt though that that would have happened. The scenes appear to have been very carefully staged before the photos were taken, so there would have been no need for cutting and pasting. And if NASA had planned on adding additional elements to the photos, I doubt that they would have complicated that process by using cameras with crosshairs; it would have been much easier to create the composites first and then overlay the grid marks on top of them.

However … the same can certainly not be said of the images that purport to show various parts of the ship flying through space. Take the image below, for example, which is supposed to be a two-dimensional rendering of a three-dimensional scene of the command and service modules in lunar orbit. If it were an actual three-dimensional scene, the spaceship would be 69 miles above the lunar surface – which would, I would think, make it difficult for a portion of that lunar terrain to obscure part of the ship’s S-band antennae assembly.


The shot, as can be seen in the enlargement below, is clearly a composite. And not even a very good one. So it is entirely possible that some of the photos allegedly shot on the Moon are composites as well. I obviously haven’t studied every one of them. I’m just saying that the ones that I have seen that have disappearing crosshairs do not appear to be composites.


The next problem with the NASA photos is that some of them seem to have identical backgrounds but different foregrounds. As Phil Plait explains, “In one [photo], they show the lunar lander with a mountain in the background. They then show another picture of the same mountain, but no lander in the foreground at all. The astronauts could not have taken either picture before landing, of course, and after it lifts off the lander leaves the bottom section behind. Therefore, there would have been something in the second image no matter what, and the foreground could not be empty.”

Plait begins his debunking by stating, rather hilariously: “As always, repeat after me: the Moon is not the Earth.” Plait goes on to claim that distances are very difficult to judge on the Moon and that the two photographs were actually taken from much different angles, and yet the background remains virtually unchanged because, despite appearances, it is a really, really long ways away. Either that, or one of the astronauts was really David Copperfield.

The two photographs appear below. I’ll leave it to readers to decide whether, as Plait claims, the ‘mountains’ are in fact many, many times further away from the lander than the lander is from the photographer. And I’ll do so while noting that Phil provides neither the photographs nor a link to them, but instead asks readers to accept what he says on faith. I wonder why he would do that if he were so sure of his conclusions? I also wonder why, in the final photo, the lander appears to be parked much closer to the 'mountains' than Plait would have us believe.




Magda Hassan
10-31-2009, 01:10 AM
Wagging the Moondoggie, Part V
October 1, 2009
by David McGowan

Stars are not the only thing missing in the Moon photos. Also conspicuously absent is any indication that the lunar modules actually landed in the locations in which they were photographed. Specifically, there is no crater visible under any of the modules, despite the fact that NASA’s own artist renderings clearly showed the presence of a substantial crater. Also, not a speck of dust appears to have been displaced by the 10,000 lb reverse-thrust engine that powered the alleged descent.

NASA’s artist renderings also depict a considerable quantity of smoke and flames shooting out from the bottom of the modules, though nothing of the sort is visible in the purported video footage of the first landing of a lunar module (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR-IjVv5NNQ&feature=related), allegedly shot from inside the module as it set down on lunar soil. In addition, despite the ridiculously close proximity of the immensely powerful rocket engine, no noise from that engine can be heard on the video.


As can be seen in the photo above, the area directly under what is supposed to be the nozzle of the descent stage engine is completely undisturbed. Not only is there no crater, there is no sign of scorching and none of the small ‘Moon rocks’ and not a speck of ‘lunar soil’ has been displaced! And if you refer back to the earlier close-up of the module’s landing pod, you will see that not so much as a single grain of ‘lunar soil’ settled onto the lunar modules while they were setting down.


Your initial response to this may well be, “Well, duh! ... why shouldn't the surface of the Moon be undisturbed?”

Glad you asked. The answer is that the lunar modules were not placed upon the Moon by the hand of God. They had to actually land there. And in order for them to land there in one piece, they had to make use of powerful reverse-thrust rockets. If they hadn’t, they would have made landings roughly comparable to a piano falling off the balcony of a high-rise apartment building.

“But,” you say, “isn't the gravitational pull of the Moon considerably less than that of the Earth?” Of course it is, but that does not render objects weightless. A vehicle with a curb weight of 33,000 pounds here on Earth (what the lunar modules weighed, according to NASA) still weighs close to three tons on the Moon, so it’s not going to make a very soft landing without assistance. And the assistance options were necessarily limited.

NASA could not have used parachutes, such as were used with the returning command modules, because parachutes don’t really work without air, so that would have been a dead giveaway that the landings were faked. They also couldn’t use a helicopter-type rotor, because those also don’t work in an environment devoid of atmosphere. What they allegedly used then to provide the necessary ‘brakes’ was a powerful, reverse-thrust rocket engine.

That is why, in the artist renderings of the landings (the landings obviously couldn’t be filmed, because no one was supposed to be there yet), an enormous blast of flame and hot gas is seen shooting out of the bottom of the module. This massive reverse force would have served to counteract the effects of the Moon's gravitational pull, allowing the module to gently set down in the lunar dust, unharmed and intact. And needless to say, that is kind of important when that very same vehicle is your only ride home.

Given the manner in which the modules allegedly landed, the problem here is that – unless the landing surface was paved with, say, concrete – an inordinate amount of material should have been displaced by the force of the rocket blast as the module was setting down. As Plait likes to say, you can easily verify this yourself. All you have to do is get hold of a rocket with 10,000 pounds of thrust (there probably are some surviving members of the von Braun clan that can hook you up), and head out to the nearest desert location.

Once you find a suitable spot to conduct this experiment, hold the rocket aloft (you might want to wear gloves and an asbestos suit for this part, but it’s up to you) and fire that son-of-a-bitch up, directing the blast towards the desert floor (it might also be a good idea to grab on to a stationary object with your free hand and hold on real tight). Let it rip for whatever you think would be a reasonable amount of time to complete a landing procedure, and then shut it off.

If you've done this correctly, the result will be a fairly large crater and a blinding dust storm. That dust will, of course, eventually settle, leaving a heavy coating of dust on you and your rocket. You may also notice that the blast has lent the desert floor a distinctive scorched look. If you run the experiment for too long, you may even find that the intense heat has fused the cratered sand into something resembling a large bowl of glass.

The point here, of course, is that nothing of the sort is evident in the pictures allegedly brought back from the Moon. The lunar surface is, as noted, completely undisturbed and the modules are as clean as if they had just rolled off the assembly line. It appears as though they did not land at all, but were rather set in place with a crane or other such device. And of course we all know that there were very few crane operators on the Moon in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

How then did the modules get there? Could it be that the lunar surface was so compact that even the considerable force of the rocket could not dislodge it? That might be a credible explanation were it not for the fact that the astronauts themselves, who with the Moon's reduced gravitational pull weighed in at about 30 pounds apiece (maybe 50 pounds each with the additional alleged weight of their packs), made readily identifiable footprints from the moment their feet hit the ground. It appeared, in fact, as though the lunar soil had roughly the same consistency as baby powder. And yet, amazingly enough, not a single grain of this soil seems to have been displaced by the landing of the modules.

The ‘debunkers,’ naturally enough, have an explanation for this. According to them, it’s all about throttle control. As Plait explains, “Sure, the rocket on the lander was capable of 10,000 pounds of thrust, but they had a throttle. They fired the rocket hard to deorbit and slow enough to land on the Moon, but they didn’t need to thrust that hard as they approached the lunar surface; they throttled down to about 3000 pounds of thrust.”

Plait also notes that originally on his site he had said “that the engines also cut off early, before the moment of touchdown, to prevent dust from getting blown around and disturbing the Astronauts’ view of the surface. This was an incorrect assertion.” The funny thing is though that he voiced that “incorrect assertion” just as forcefully and as arrogantly as he voices all the other assertions on his page – which makes sense, I guess, since everything else on his page is incorrect as well.

Phil has obviously never landed a lunar module. Or given much thought to how you would go about doing so. Actually, that’s probably not true. Phil is most likely just a shameless liar. Not a particularly good one, mind you, but you have to remember that he is working with a handicap – he has to weave all of his ‘debunking’ arguments around NASA’s lies.

Let’s try to inject a little sanity into this discussion, shall we? First of all, no one with an ounce of common sense is going to cut the engine and let their three-ton spaceship simply drop onto the lunar surface. Nor are they going to cruise on in while progressively easing up on the throttle, effortlessly setting the module down, as Plait claims, like “a car pulls into a parking spot,” as if they had been landing lunar modules since the day they were born. Because the reality is that the six astronauts who allegedly landed the six lunar modules hadn’t done it before and they only had one chance to get it right.

And do you know why, Phil? Because that module was their only ride home, and if they damaged it in any way, they weren’t going home. Ever. They weren’t going to do anything except die within days in the most desolate place imaginable. And that is why it is perfectly obvious that, if they had really gone to the Moon, they would not under any circumstances have landed the modules in either of the ways that Plait has suggested.

Has anyone ever seen a helicopter land? That is essentially how you would land a lunar module as well. The basic technique is to line yourself up with your landing site while hovering a fairly short distance above the ground (with the module, I presume, you would hold your position by utilizing those clusters of horns). Then, when you’re stabilized and lined up just where you want to be, you very slowly ease off the throttle so as to very gently set it down. And if you’ve never done it before, you’re definitely going to want to take your time.

And that is why there quite obviously should be blast craters under those lunar modules. That is why NASA itself indicated that there would be blast craters under the lunar modules. And that is also why it is fundamentally impossible for the modules to be as impeccably clean and dust-free as they are in all of NASA’s photos. And no amount of spinning from the ‘debunkers’ will ever explain that away.

As previously mentioned, there was much about the Apollo project to stand in awe of. Every individual phase of the missions was, in and of itself, a breathtaking technological achievement. Just blasting men into Earth orbit is a daunting task – so much so that in the nearly half-century that has passed since the first two nations did it (the US and the USSR), only one other (China) has managed to join that elite club. And China has only done it a few times. In the entire history of space exploration, just over 500 men and women have ever orbited the Earth.

And achieving Earth orbit was just the beginning. Then there was the 234,000-mile journey through the unknown to get to the Moon – on a single tank of gas in an unshielded spaceship. Then there was the main ship giving birth to the lunar module, and that untested lunar module then flying down and making a perfect landing on the surface of the Moon. Then there was that same untested lunar module blasting off from the surface of the Moon without the assistance of any ground grew and ascending 69 miles to attain lunar orbit. Then there was the ever-reliable lunar module finding, catching and docking with another ship while in lunar orbit, utilizing some more completely untested technology. Then there was the command module shedding the lunar module and then commencing that 234,000-mile journey back home, apparently still with a full tank of gas.

But as remarkable as it was to get the astronauts safely to and from the Moon, their survival while on the Moon was equally remarkable. To say that the Moon is an environment incompatible with the survival of humans would be a considerable understatement – which brings us to our next topic of discussion: those amazing NASA Moonwalking suits.

Those suits were able to provide the astronauts with everything they needed to stay alive in the Moon’s harsh environment. Remember NASA’s elaborate rendering of what a Moon work station protected from space radiation would look like? Neil and Buzz didn’t need any of that fancy stuff because they were wearing the magic suits. And those extreme temperatures of +260° F to -280° F? Not a problem when you’re wearing the magic suit. Not only could they provide the cooling needed to combat the searing temperatures in the sun, but they could also provide the heat to counteract those frigid shadows.

As can be seen in NASA’s photos, the egress side of the lunar modules (the side with the ladder and hatch) was usually in the shade (though almost always well lit). What that means is that, after traipsing around in the sun for a spell, the astronauts would have had to step into the shadows to reenter the spacecraft. And when they did so, those spacesuits were apparently smart enough to react instantly and switch over from turbo-charged air conditioning to blast-furnace heating in the blink of an eye. Awesome!

In addition to providing radiation protection that today’s technology is unable to match, and a climate control system that is beyond anything available in the twenty-first century, the magic suits also provided the astronauts with breathable air, which definitely came in handy. What the suits did, in essence, was provide the astronauts with their own little portable, climate-controlled, radiation-protected atmosphere.

Of course, to actually do that (if we’re pretending that it could be done at all), the suits would have had to have been pressurized. And it is perfectly obvious from all the photos that the suits were not, in fact, pressurized, because if they were, the astronauts would have looked like the Michelin Man bouncing around on the surface of the Moon.

The magic suits had to perform one other function as well: they had to serve as head-to-toe body armor. Because the Moon, according to NASA, has a serious problem with drive-by shootings from outer space. Seriously. I’m not making that up. I read it on NASA’s own website.

In the very same NASA post that discusses Moon rocks being constantly bombarded with absurdly high levels of radiation, another curious admission can be found: “meteoroids constantly bombard the Moon.” Our old friend from NASA, David McKay, explains that “Apollo moon rocks are peppered with tiny craters from meteoroid impacts.” NASA then explains that that “could only happen to rocks from a planet with little or no atmosphere … like the Moon.”

“Meteoroids,” NASA continues, “are nearly-microscopic specks of space dust that fly through space at speeds often exceeding 50,000 mph – ten times faster than a speeding bullet. They pack a considerable punch … The tiny space bullets can plow directly into Moon rocks, forming miniature and unmistakable craters.”

According to NASA, every square inch of every exposed surface of every rock allegedly gathered from the surface of the Moon shows this pattern. By extension then, we know that every square inch of the lunar surface is peppered with meteoroid craters. There really is no safe place to hang out. There you are minding your own business lining up your golf shot, and the next thing you know a meteoroid is ripping through your spacesuit at 50,000 mph. That has to sting a little bit.

Actually, what it would do is kill you. Almost instantaneously. Not the projectile itself, which probably wouldn’t be lethal after passing through the spacesuit, but ripping or puncturing your magic suit while on the Moon is certainly something that you would want to avoid. You know that old saw about how “nature abhors a vacuum”? How that applies here is that any penetration in your suit would result in all the air being immediately sucked out. Right out of your lungs even. And that can be rather unpleasant.

I guess the Apollo crews really, uhmm, dodged a bullet on that one. Not one of the astronauts was hit, nor any of the lunar modules, nor any of the lunar rovers, nor any of the equipment that was used. I have to say here, by the way, that those Apollo guys were studs of the highest magnitude. Did they know what they were signing up for? What did NASA’s ads say?

“Astronauts wanted. No experience necessary. Duties will include taking a trip to the Moon. Return trip cannot be guaranteed. Applicant must be able to withstand levels of radiation higher than anything that can be generated here on Earth. Applicant must also be able to work comfortably in heat in excess of +250° F, as well as in cooler conditions approaching -300° F. A continuous supply of breathable air may or may not be provided by employer. Snacks and water will necessarily be limited to what fits in employee-provided lunchbox. Rest room facilities will not be available. The ability to dodge 50,000 MPH space bullets is not required, but would be helpful. This is a great money-making opportunity! Paychecks can be picked up upon return to Earth.”

The Apollo guys didn’t have to worry about any of that, of course, because they were wearing the magic suits. Apparently those suits were yet another example of NASA digging deep into the well of lost 1960s technology.

A huge shout-out, by the way, is in order here for the guys at NASA for posting that article about the Moon rocks being bombarded with radiation and meteorites. It makes it so much easier for me when NASA has already done so much of the work of debunking the Moon landings.

When President George W. Jetson announced on January 14, 2004 that America was going to be returning to the Moon, we were quickly advised by NASA types and various television talking heads that such a goal would require about fifteen years to achieve. No one in the media thought to ask why it would take fifteen years to do with twenty-first century technology what it took only eight years to accomplish with 1960s technology. Not one voice was raised to ask how with the twin advantages of improved technology and prior experience it would still take twice as long this time around.

It’s not, after all, as if we have to reinvent the wheel here. Not only have we done this before, but we have done it safely and reliably. How could NASA possibly improve upon the record of the Apollo missions? What could they come up with that could outperform those vintage Saturn V rockets that made it to the Moon damn near every time, and made it home safe every time? And how do you improve upon a lunar module that not only performed flawlessly every time, but that was also the very model of lightweight, compact efficiency?

When you have a system that performs flawlessly on six incredibly technologically complex missions, and that delivers your astronauts home safely even on the one occasion that the system runs amok, why in the world would you toss it in the trash and start from scratch the next time around?

According to a Fox News report published the day after Bush’s announcement, “The effort to return to the Moon will require building new spacecraft and sending out robotic craft to provide materials to be used later by human explorers, say experts.” I wonder why they would need to do that? We didn’t have to do shit like that last time. Why does NASA keep insisting on reinventing the wheel here? Why do they seem to have forgotten that we are old hands at this sort of thing?

Other people have forgotten as well. Following Bush’s attempt to wag the Moondoggie, Republican Senator Sam Brownback sternly warned, “You’ve got the Chinese saying they’re interested – we don’t want them to beat us to the moon!” This may seem like a rather bizarre concern, until you realize that not only is China working on developing a Moon rocket, they are also rumored to be close to completing work on a time machine, which will allow them to transport their Moon rocket back to the mid-1960s and thus beat America to the Moon.

On a more serious note, I’m guessing that since China has managed, in the 50+ years of the space race, to put three whole spaceships into low-Earth orbit, there won’t likely be any Chinese flags waving on the Moon anytime soon.

Anyway, doesn't it seem just a little strange that experts would now suggest that if we get to work right away, we might be able to land men on the Moon by the year 2020? Isn't that like saying that with a lot of hard work and a little luck, we might be able to develop a video game as technologically advanced as Pong by the year 2025? Or that by 2030, the scientific community might produce a battery-operated calculator small enough to fit into your pocket?

And do you think that, if we do ‘go back,’ the voice actors will be given a better script? Will we be given something to replace Armstrong’s cheesy “One small step” line and Aldrin’s poetic “magnificent desolation” line? Have I mentioned, by the way, that Donald Bowman, who worked at the Houston Space Center, has said that Armstrong was indeed handed a script before embarking on the alleged mission? That obviously does not prove that the Moon landings were faked, merely that Washington was very concerned with how the alleged missions were presented.

A NASA statement released in July of this year contained a rather curious assertion: “Conspiracy theories are always difficult to refute because of the impossibility of proving a negative.” It is not, of course, NASA that is being asked to prove a negative, but rather those pesky ‘conspiracy theorists.’ NASA is merely being asked to prove a positive, which should be a relatively easy task. All they have to do is produce some actual evidence, beginning with all those reels of tape containing the telemetry data, the biomedical data, all voice communications, and all the original videotape. They could also release the plans and specifications for all that fancy space hardware. And maybe offer some kind of reasonable explanation for why so many of the official photographs are demonstrably fraudulent.

Alternatively, they could just send some guys back there, to prove that it can be done. It’s been thirty-seven years and counting since the last guests on the Moon checked out. NASA allegedly filmed that final lift-off from the Moon, by the way. In case you haven’t seen the historic film footage, you can view it here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOdzhQS_MMw&feature=fvw). It’s a very short clip and it’s actually quite funny, so be sure to check it out.

I can’t be 100% certain of this, of course, but I have a very strong hunch that NASA picked up the footage off the cutting-room floor after Ed Wood had finished editing Plan 9 From Outer Space. Actually, I probably shouldn’t joke about the clip because I do feel kind of bad for the guy that they had to leave behind to operate the camera. I wonder how he’s doing these days?

Actually, NASA claims that the camera was mounted on the abandoned lunar rover (even in space, Americans are arrogant litterbugs), and that the pan and zoom functions were operated remotely by the ground crew back on Earth. You couldn’t control your television from across the living room in those days, but NASA could pan and zoom a camera from 234,000 miles away. Awesome! And there apparently either wasn’t any delay in the signal or NASA had the foresight to hire a remote camera operator who was able to see a few seconds into the future.

You really have to hand it to the NASA boys – those guys think of everything.

George W. Jetson’s visionary proposal envisioned the Moon as a steppingstone for manned travel to Mars. How that works though is a bit of a mystery to me. The distance between the Earth and Mars varies depending upon where the planets are in their respective orbits, but the minimum distance astronauts would have to travel to reach Mars from Earth is 36,000,000 miles. And the minimum distance astronauts would have to travel to reach Mars from the Moon is, uhmm, also 36,000,000 miles. So I guess what I’m wondering is: what exactly would be gained by making a pit stop on the Moon?

Are there gas stations there to fill up the tank? Some nice hotels maybe where the astronauts could get some R&R? A couple of hot space hookers? How would making a technologically complex landing on the Moon, followed by a lift-off that would require an excessive amount of additional fuel, help get our boys to Mars?

Let’s take a big bite out of the reality sandwich here, shall we? The human animal is quite simply not equipped for space travel beyond low-Earth orbit. There is virtually no chance that we are ever going to send men to the Moon. Despite what NASA would like you to believe, the combination of lethal space radiation, lethal temperatures, a complete lack of breathable air, and a lower gravitational attraction that produces serious health problems, including rapid tissue and bone degeneration, is simply not compatible with human existence. Neither is getting pelted with “space bullets.”

And as for Mars? A roundtrip ticket there would earn you about 75,000,000 frequent flyer miles. I wouldn’t count on that happening anytime soon.

Astronaut Steve Lindsey, after being chosen to command the final planned mission of the space shuttle, had this to say: “Everybody at NASA feels the same way. We’re in favor of taking the next step and getting out of low-Earth orbit.” So while technology in every other realm of human existence continues to take giant strides forward, everyone at NASA appears to want to take a big step backwards. To 1969.

Before bidding adieu, I have one final note to add: a certain Dr. Thomas Gold was an early skeptic of the feasibility of landing on the Moon. He made headlines prior to the alleged flight of Apollo 11 when he predicted that any attempt at a Moon landing would be disastrous. NASA, of course, purportedly proved the good doctor wrong.

Longtime readers will remember that Dr. Gold was America’s most prominent proponent of the abiotic theory of oil and gas production, and that he went and dropped dead just before the ‘Peak Oil’ propaganda started to heat up. Dr. Gold was recently proven to be correct (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084259.htm) on the origins of so-called ‘fossil fuels.’ The article, curiously enough, refers to the research as “revolutionary” – which it is, I suppose, if you ignore the fact that the Soviets and Ukrainians did the same research and drew the same conclusions some fifty years ago.

We all know that that can’t be true, however, because it would be impossible to keep a secret of that magnitude from the entire Western world … right?

Magda Hassan
10-31-2009, 01:11 AM
Wagging the Moondoggie, Part VI
Last Updated: October 13, 2009
by David McGowan

“It took pilots 50 years to progress from scarf-and-goggles barnstorming to setting down footprints on the Sea of Tranquility; it will have taken another half-century for us to return to the moon.”
David Nolan writing in Popular Mechanics, March 2007 (according to the latest from NASA, we won’t be returning even after another half-century has passed)

It was to be such a big event that NASA decided to throw an all-night party at its Ames Research Center to celebrate. There were guest speakers, Moon-themed movies, and a big screen set up for the main event – what NASA billed as the “Spectacular LCROSS Lunar Impacts.”

According to a media advisory (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2009/M09-127.html), “NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission will come to a dramatic conclusion at approximately 4:30 a.m. PDT (7:30 a.m. EDT) on Friday, October 9, 2009, with the impact of the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket and four minutes later, the impact of the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft into Cabeus crater near the moon’s south pole. To mark the event, NASA Ames Research Center is hosting ‘LCROSS Impact Night.’ News media are invited to cover the three-part event that is open to the public and free of charge.”

The news media, the scientific community and amateur astronomers were all suitably excited. Clear back in June, when the mission was launched, Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=nasas-mission-to-bomb-the-moon-2009-06) explained to readers how “Scientists expect the blast to be so powerful that a huge plume of debris will be ejected.” The second impact, the magazine further explained, would produce “a spectacular explosion that should be visible in amateur astronomer’s telescopes.”

The plan was that the first impact would send up a huge cloud of lunar dust and debris, and the larger spacecraft would then follow the same course, directly through the cloud, before necessarily crashing into the surface of the Moon. It would only have four minutes to gather data and transmit it back to Earth. As the LA Times (http://m.latimes.com/inf/infomo?view=page1&feed:a=latimes_1min&feed:c=nationnews&feed:i=49731399&nopaging=1) explained the day before the big event, “if all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will fly through the cloud of debris that will rise above the lunar surface and linger there briefly. As it passes through the cloud, the satellite’s nine instruments will analyze the dust and debris for evidence of water, before crashing itself.”

So in addition to providing a spectacular show, the mission was also going to feed the American public’s need for instant gratification by providing relatively quick results. In that short four-minute span of time, we would gather all the data needed to determine within days if there is water frozen in deep craters on the Moon. The Times noted that, “Scientists preparing for the collision could hardly contain their excitement over what might turn up in that short time.” The crowd at Ames was expected to number in the thousands, possibly even as many as 10,000, all there to see “a dust cloud rising as much as six miles above the lunar surface, providing a rare show for amateur astronomers with telescopes 10 inches or longer.”

I would have guessed that very few, if any, amateur astronomers have telescopes 10 inches or longer, but I could be wrong. Or maybe I’m thinking of something else.

In addition to the gathering at the Ames complex, countless other viewing parties (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/impact/event_index.html) were organized around the country and around the world to view NASA’s live footage. Amateurs were dutifully lined up at their telescopes awaiting the show. And, as the Times noted, “observatories around the world will be watching, along with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.” Steve Hixson, vice-president of Advanced Concepts at Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the spacecraft, assured reporters that the craft was “looking great. I don’t think we could miss the Moon now if we tried.”

I would hope not. How hard, after all, could it possibly be? A full forty years ago we were able to set a manned spacecraft gently down on the Moon – and then fire the engine back up and fly home! Now, with four decades of additional experience and vastly improved technology, all we had to do was send an unmanned spacecraft on a one-way mission to crash into the Moon. How could NASA possibly screw that up?

The media kept referring to the LCROSS mission as the “bombing” of the Moon. Given that NASA is essentially an arm of the US Department of Defense, this should have been a cakewalk. The last time I checked, no one knew more about dropping bombs and firing missiles than the U.S. military. No other country on Earth has come anywhere close to dropping as many bombs on as many parts of the world as Uncle Sam has. The Moon may well be the only landmass within reach of the United States that we haven’t bombed before.

With the United States having long led the world in both lunar exploration and blowing shit up, this mission couldn’t have really been any easier, so it came as no surprise that everyone seemed to be brimming with confidence. President BlackBush, Nobel Peace Prize in hand, was reportedly heard to say: “How do you like me now, motherfuckers?! I’m going to bomb the motherfucking Moon! You all thought that punk-ass bitch that preceded me was arrogant? Watch how I roll!”

As it turned out, the front-page space that all the major media outlets had undoubtedly set aside for the dazzling images wasn’t needed after all. With all eyes on the Moon, what all those viewing parties and all those amateur astronomers and all those giant telescopes saw was … absolutely nothing. The first impact, which was supposed to be captured on live video beamed back from the second spacecraft, never materialized. As the LA Times politely put it, “the plume failed to show on screen.” There is an explanation, of course: “Some scientists suspect the camera settings on the second spacecraft were incorrect, preventing it from spotting the plume.”

Yes, that must be it. You would think though that, what with the importance of the second craft being able to see the plume so that it could then fly through it, they would have gotten that detail right. But apparently they just don’t have the quality control over at NASA that they had back in 1969. As for why none of the amateur or professional telescopes aimed at the Moon captured the first plume, or the allegedly even larger second plume, NASA is going to have to get back to you on that. But probably not right away.

The Times (http://mobile.latimes.com/inf/infomo?view=page1&feed:a=latimes_1min&feed:c=nationnews&feed:i=49762907&nopaging=1) was quick to reassure readers that “scientists might still pluck success from the mission’s anticlimactic ending … At a news conference more than two hours after the crash, mission scientists confirmed that the Centaur rocket made a crater when it hit, and that crater was about the expected size of more than 60 feet across.” There is no way to confirm that claim, of course, since the ship allegedly impacted inside a two-mile deep, pitch-black crater that hasn’t seen daylight for millions of years – which is exactly why it was targeted.

And how pointless, by the way, was this mission? The goal was supposedly to discover if there are large deposits of frozen water on the Moon that could be mined to provide water, breathable oxygen and rocket fuel for future lunar exploration and colonization. The water, if it exists, is at the bottom of deep, permanently dark craters where the temperature is said to hover at around -400° F. At those temperatures, the scientific community tells us, the water would be frozen as hard as rock.

Even if we assume that NASA could overcome all the problems with getting astronauts to the Moon and guaranteeing their survival while there, how exactly would they recover that water? Toss bombs in the craters and then try to run around and gather all the chunks of ice before they melt in the +280° F heat of the sun? Drive down into the craters in one of those folding dune buggies with floodlights, a couple of battery-powered jackhammers, some warm clothes and a shitload of batteries? Or are we going to build a giant, mechanized water-extraction facility of some kind with parts brought up one-at-a-time from Earth? How long do you suppose that will take?

It’s anyone’s guess what the real purpose of this mission was, but whatever goals were being pursued, it doesn’t seem to have gone so well. All that can be said for sure is that NASA appears to be but a shadow of its former self. Once upon a time, we were able to blast men off into space and then turn on our televisions and watch them, just four days later, stroll around on the Moon! Nowadays we send off an empty spaceship, wait patiently for nearly four months, and then watch as NASA fails to successfully crash that empty ship into the Moon.

Since the news media fell asleep at the wheel and failed to bring you the spectacular images that had been promised, I dropped by NASA’s website (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/main/index.html) to pick up a few and bring them to you. The following three photos were labeled as “LCROSS Impact Images.” Following that is a link to NASA’s thrilling live video footage. Enjoy the show. It’s quite dazzling.





Did anyone notice, by the way, all the other ‘lunar modules’ that are recognizable in the larger image captured by NASA's LRO? As will be recalled, they are recognizable by the long shadows they cast. There are, most notably, probably nearly a dozen of them clustered around the crater to the right of the image. I wonder how the boys at NASA figured out which one was the ‘real’ lunar module?


Helen Reyes
10-31-2009, 08:53 PM
Additionally, I wonder, not being familiar with or fond of Kubrick's films, if there are any references to Dallas in his work?

Sort of a roundabout reference:

A first test screening of the film was scheduled for November 22, 1963, the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination. The film was just weeks from its scheduled premiere, but because of the assassination the release was delayed until late January 1964, as it was felt that the public was in no mood for such a film any sooner.

One line by Slim Pickens – "a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff" – was dubbed to change "Dallas" to "Vegas," Dallas being the city where Kennedy was killed. The original reference to Dallas survives in some foreign language-dubbed versions of the film, including the French release.

The assassination also serves as another possible reason why the pie-fight scene was cut. In the scene General Turgidson exclaims, "Gentlemen! Our gallant young president has been struck down in his prime!" after Muffley takes a pie in the face. Editor Anthony Harvey states that "[the scene] would have stayed, except that Columbia Pictures were horrified, and thought it would offend the president's family."

Also, I remember someone calling Slim Pickens "Tex" in the film, but wiki isn't backing me up here.

Slim Pickens as Major T.J. "King" Kong, the B-52 Stratofortress bomber's commander and pilot. His name is a reference to the character 'T.J.' in the popular children's TV show Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and obviously King Kong.

Tom Corbett was also a radio serial (http://www.tennesseebillsotr.com/otr/Tom%20Corbet%20Space%20Cadet/) and probably a comic book too (I forget). Also, Slim Pickens was born Louis Burton Lindley, Jr. in "The Swedish Village" of Kingsburg, Fresno County, California.

In Strangelove Kubrick is poking some fun at William Shirer as well as everyone else. Jack D. Ripper is a parody of Shirer's concerns about both fluoridated water and Project Paperclip. He's also parodying the US government's involvement with the Nazi scientists, obviously, in the person of Dr. Strangelove.

There are some other wild interpretations of The Shining, colorful and spacey, touching on the borders of mind control, see Physical Cosmologies: The Shining (http://www.mstrmnd.com/log/802) (very long, very cryptic, in six installments in poor English)

One rather amazing thing Kubrick, or probably Stephen King, did was to pick up on the children's meme of redrum while it was still current in the first half of the 1970s. It was connected with mirror games such as Bloody Mary and Marco Polo, which involved verbal repititions in darkened rooms to cause an hallucination in a mirror of a bloodied human head. The last link goes into the theme of mirrors in what it calls the glyph language Kubrick invented for The Shining.

Jan Klimkowski
10-31-2009, 09:35 PM
One rather amazing thing Kubrick, or probably Stephen King, did was to pick up on the children's meme of redrum while it was still current in the first half of the 1970s. It was connected with mirror games such as Bloody Mary and Marco Polo, which involved verbal repititions in darkened rooms to cause an hallucination in a mirror of a bloodied human head. The last link goes into the theme of mirrors in what it calls the glyph language Kubrick invented for The Shining.

Helen - whenever you have time, pray tell more....

Helen Reyes
11-02-2009, 01:42 PM
It's interesting to note Eyes Wide Shut can be abbreviated EWS. This is a military acronym for Early Warning System, as in BMEWS, Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, or DEW, Distant Early Warning.

It's also interesting to note that the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey the book, was Arthur C. Clarke, credited with having invented satellites, rumored to be a pedophile, known to be an expatriate in Ceylon/Sri Lanka and shortly before his death, on record as saying there was life on Mars, and even that he'd seen photos of things like sand dollars there. The odd thing is, Clarke wrote the book after the movie was released. Clarke's ending makes the star child vengeful, returning to Earth to destroy it. As in EWS, I believe Clarke's ending to the novel was chopped by the publishers.

Helen - whenever you have time, pray tell more....

On children's lore, I've read children have their own worldview that is passed along from child to child, but forgotten by adults. It includes vocabulary and, the owner of the ethnobotanical seed company J. L. Hudson says, even ethnobotany. I happen to remember "redrum" from before the Stephen King novel was published in 1975. Oddly enough, I remember a cousin used that fake Halloween vampire blood to write it on the back of a chair in a movie theater. It seemed to me it came from the Marco Polo and Bloody Mary mirror games. You repeat Marco Polo or Bloody Mary three times in the dark in front of a mirror, then turn on the lights. For a split second you're supposed to see a bloody head. I never saw it.

Ray Bradbury used the idea children have their own worldviews in The Veldt (http://www.archive.org/download/XMinus1_A/xminusone_550804_TheVeldt.mp3) and Zero Hour (http://www.archive.org/download/XMinus1_A/xminusone_551123_ZeroHour.mp3) to great effect.

Helen Reyes
11-09-2009, 02:30 PM
This just as easily fits the Strange Timing in Polanski Arrest and MKULTRA Naval Intel Hippie threads..

Object of study: Suspense radio series episode The House in Cypress Canyon, first aired December 5, 1945 (?).


Real estate agent Jerry calls friend and private detective Sam Spade over to Cypress Canyon outside Los Angeles to discuss a strange manuscript found in a half-finished house. The house now has a number: 2256. It was one of those houses from before the war, never finished, just a foundation and some beams. Now it's finished and ready to rent.

Sam initially asks Jerry if he needs protection from the mafia, at which point Jerry tries to explain the nature of the manuscript.

Mr. James Woods and his wife Ellen (they were married 7 years ago in Indiana) need to rent a house. They've been living out of one of those California motels for 3 months, ever since Woods's employer (he's a chemical engineer) moved him out to work on "a minor project in Los Angeles, Hollywood to be exact," from Indiana. Serendipitiously, as they're driving up and down Cypress Canyon, they spot a sign at a realtor's advertising a small house. James doesn't think they have a chance, but his wife persists, and soon they're talking to the realtor and moving in. James says they don't have a chance because the sign is out in "plain sight" already.

The house is dusty, it's been standing empty for a year. As they move their boxes of stuff from the motel in, they find one door is locked, and none of the keys fit it. It's apparently a door to a closet. Ellen makes a passing remark about the severity of the current housing crisis, and how odd it is that a woman moves into a house without knowing all the closets first. Ellen then wants to discuss getting red curtains, but Jim is tired and convinces her to go to bed. As they prepare, a strange sound is heard, like a wildcat.

They retire, and a more horrible sound is heard. Jim thinks it might be a bobcat or mountain lion. Ellen thinks it came from inside the house. Jim doesn't understand where it could come from inside the house. Ellen reminds him of the locked closet.

They go to investigate. In the dark, Ellen sees there is a liquid coming from underneath the door of the closet. Despite Jim trying to stop her, she touches it. In the light they see it's blood.

They call the police and an officer comes by. The blood is gone from the floor and Ellen's hand, and the closet is unlocked now. The officer remarks they are from the east, and warns there are strange things in the canyon at night. They sleep poorly.

The next day, Ellen scratches the spot on her hand that came in contact with the blood. That night Jim and Ellen take sleeping pills to sleep. Jim awakens to find Ellen missing. He searches, but knows she's in the closet. He opens the door finally to find her in a fierce pose. He tries to reach out to her, but she bites him on the arm, then collapses. She sleeps soundly but Jim can't. The next morning she remembers nothing. Jim tries to lose himself in work the next day, and sees a doctor about the bite. The doctor has never seen an infection spread so quickly. Jim then realizes it's late, and will soon be dark. He races home, but Ellen is gone. In the middle of the night he turns on the shortwave for some reason. He hears a police call about a murder nearby. He rushes to the scene and sees the corpse, with the neck ripped out. Bystanders call him Frank the milkman.

This is a crucial part: the police radio says the murder took place in the 4000 block of Laurel Canyon. The responding officer is the same who came to the Woods's home the night before. He recognizes Jim, but Jim explains anyway that he lives "right down the street." Cypress Canyon is Laurel Canyon. This is confirmed at the end of the story with the newspaper clippings.

Ellen eventually comes home, and then it cuts back to Jerry and Sam Spade discussing the manuscript. Sam thinks maybe a writer lived next door and misplaced a story. Jerry says there are newspaper clippings paper-clipped to the manuscript as well.

Dated December 26, byline Hollywood: murder/suicide in Cypress Canyon, Jim and Ellen are dead. This is the second tragedy to be reported in Cypress Canyon in the last 24 hours, the other being the unexplained death of Frank Polanski, milkman.

Sam and Jerry's conversation turns to the paradox of the story being written before construction on the house was complete. Sam leaves and a pair stop by the realty office to rent the now finished one-storey California bungalow, named Jim and Ellen Woods.

This is considered a classic Old-Time Radio episode and can be found in numerous places on the internet, in varying quality. Suspense also redramatized it several times, in 1946 and later. Every version I've heard has the same elements: Laurel Canyon, action taking place between the winter solstice and Christmas, and Frank Polanski, milkman.

Jan Klimkowski
11-09-2009, 09:40 PM
Helen - thanks for posting that radio play and the plot summary.

Have you ever seen a movie called The Mothman Prophecies, which explores some of these themes, precursors, synchronicities, in what might loosely be termed a Hollywood Jungian manner?

Fundamentally, I believe that art comes from the subconscious and unconscious. The artist tries to create form (or anti-form) from those subconscious impulses. The sophistication and degree of crafting of the resulting work of art depends upon both the skill and the self-awareness of the artist.

The next stage of interference arises when the work of art comes to be distributed, and here I will concentrate on books, films, TV and radio.

If it is a self-published novel, then the artist's work may reach the public pretty much in the form the artist intended. Nearly all other literature or cinema or television is subject to the interference of the publisher or the broadcaster.

A major director like Ridley Scott has suffered major recuts at the hands of his funders, as the director's cut of films from Bladerunner to Kingdom of Heaven demonstrates. His intended work of art as compared with that originally broadcast have been radically, fundamentally, different.

Authors of novels may have slightly more control, but at the very least they have to work with an editor.

TV and radio programmes are always subject to interference from those funding the project.

In conclusion, the published or broadcast form of a work of art may be substantially different from the original product of the artist's mind.

Kubrick, until the alleged recutting of Eyes Wide Shut, is one of the very rare exceptions to the rule.

The other exception is those rare artists whose work is so strange that it is very hard for the studio or publisher to sanitize it. The films of David Lynch are an example. For instance, Fire Walk With Me and Mulholland Drive appear almost pure forms of Lynch's subconscious.

Most works of art though have suffered fundamental alteration between conception and distribution.

The next stage is the manner in which these works of art affect readers, viewers, listeners.

This introduces the feedback loop involving art and the subconscious.

Once art is out there, for example works such as Bluebird or the Wizard of Oz, where subconscious elements have been shaped into form and narrative, this art starts to shape and influence the subconscious of all those who experience it.

It is in this sense that the repeated allegations that Bluebird or the Wizard of Oz have been used as programming tools have some credibility for me. I find it unlikely that their authors wrote them as "programming tools". However, once these works of art existed, and were performed, and became part of the imagination of millions of people, then their form could potentially be used and subverted.

The Mothman Prophecies is an example of the addition of a metaphysical or archetypal dimension to this process.

Now, to return to the example of the 1945 radio play featuring Frank Polanski in those synchronous locations. I find it highly implausible that the artist or artists who created the work of art, in a studio framework, were knowingly preparing us for Rosemary's Baby and the Manson family slaughter of Sharon Tate, Mrs Roman Polanski, in Cielo Drive, more than two decades into the future.

That said, there is no particular reason in 1945 for the studio to decide to change a seemingly minor detail such as the name of the character "Frank Polanski".

From what part of the scriptwriter's unconscious did that name come from?

Was it simply that the notion of a stupid "polack" milkman, signalled by the use of a name like "Polanski", would help make this brutal character believable for an American audience?

Or did the scriptwriter receive the name from the aether of the personal or collective unconscious? Where space and time twist and swirl in more than three dimensions?

Helen Reyes
11-10-2009, 10:52 AM
Have you ever seen a movie called The Mothman Prophecies, which explores some of these themes, precursors, synchronicities, in what might loosely be termed a Hollywood Jungian manner?

I saw it, watched it half-distractedly on television once. Funny you should mention that. John Keel half-wrote, half-collected the Mothman stuff as I recall. His book Our Haunted Planet goes into some of the connexions between Men in Black and elementals. The problem as I see it is the Suspense! radio plays prefigure this phenomenon again, as the first modern mention of The Man in Black, who introduced episodes prior to the first modern Man in Black, who contacted Dahl in the Maury Island case in 1947. To connect MIB with the Black Man, a witches' black sabbath name for Satan, is fine, but there's a more obvious and current candidate in the Suspense! announcer.

The broadcast posted was probably first broadcasted in 1946, not 45. Even so, it's prior to the stated time for the establishment of the studio on Wonderland Avenue, which is 1947. Since it's called a unit of the Army Air Corps, that means before June 1947 when the Air Force was commissioned as a separate branch of the military, just around the time the CIA and NSC were created by presidential decree. In 1946 Roman Polanski would have just been reunited with his father in Cracow after his return from Mathausen in Austria.

The episode I posted is more of a coincidence than it seems at first glance. It's not just the surname Polanski and Laurel Canyon. It's prefiguring all the blood later spilt in the canyon in the classical murder/suicides and it's telling us it is prefiguring it, and it is tying it to the specific location. It is also saying there is a mysterious force at work, akin to lycanthropy, that turns people bestial.

Wikipedia says: "Pola?ski himself escaped the Kraków Ghetto in 1943 and survived the war using the name Romek Wilk with the help of some Polish Roman Catholic families."

Romek Wilk. Little Roman the Wolf.

While the Wonderland Avenue studio wasn't there until 1947, we are told (but there were film crews present for the nuclear tests, tasked with filming them for the military, in 1945 at Port Chicago and later Trinity), even before World War II there was a strange secure compound behind Laurel Canyon in what is now called Rustic Canyon. What it was, who ran it, no one knows, or isn't saying. The story it was a Nazi base inside America makes for sensational journalism but probably isn't true.

The next stage of interference arises when the work of art comes to be distributed, and here I will concentrate on books, films, TV and radio.

William Spier was the driving force behind Suspense at that time. Orson Welles was affiliated. Spiers married Gypsy Rose's sister. The script didn't change in the ensuing redramatizations over the years. They always even included the gratuitous product placement for Peterson Brothers furniture, whatever that is.

TV and radio programmes are always subject to interference from those funding the project.

Back then radio series usually had but one spnsor. At that time Suspense had Roma Wines. Suspense didn't shy away from violent deaths but it's safe to assume Roma wanted to cultivate a wholesome and decent reputation for the product.


Roma Wine Company, Fresno

The largest winery in California, with a correspondingly large production. The Roma Wine Company was established when J. Battista Cella and his brother Lorenzo came to California in 1915 and acquired the small Roma Winery established at Lodi. The move to Fresno occurred in 1933, when the Roma Wine Company acquired the Santa Lucia Winery, which had been founded a few years earlier by N. D. Naman. Roma then began an expansion program which resulted in its becoming the world's largest and most modern winery of its time. In 1942 Schenley Industries, Inc., acquired Roma Wine Company and all wineries and physical assets of the company and embarked upon a further expansion and modernization program.

Colonel Albert H. Burton is in charge of over-all production of the Roma Wine Company and other Schenley wine interests. Richard Auerbach is in charge of production control, while William Shonkwiler is the chief chemist and quality-control supervisor. Sales and merchandising are handled through CVA Corporation of San Francisco under the direction of its board chairman, Harry G. Serlis.

The Roma winery at Fresno has a crushing capacity of 80,000 tons of grapes a season, while total storage capacity is over 16,700,000 gallons of wine. The Roma winery at Kingsburg has an additional capacity of 7,800,00o gallons.

Winery buildings and operating areas cover some fifty-five acres. With minor exceptions all Roma dessert wines are produced from grapes grown in the San Joaquin Valley within a radius of sixty miles of the Fresno winery. White grapes represent about 70 per cent of the total volume crushed and include chiefly Muscat of Alexandria, Feher Szagos, Palomino, Malaga, and Thompson Seedless, the last two varieties being used principally for the production of brandy and grape concentrates. The most important dark grapes used are Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Mission, Grenache, Carignane, and Salvador.

Roma produces sound standard-quality wines which are nationally distributed and also exported to various foreign countries, including the Orient. Roma Reserve is the basic brand, with Roma Estate and Roma Select the two principal variations, conforming to the demand in various parts of the country.

Under the various Roma brands the following wines are available, most of which are bottled in the exclusive Roma dripless bottle, a new merchandising development:

Table wines:
RED: Burgundy, Claret, and Zinfandel; Red Chianti and Vino di Roma (vino rosso type); WHITE: Sauterne, Chablis, and Rhine Wine; White Chianti; ROSE: Vin Rose. ...

Now, to return to the example of the 1945 radio play featuring Frank Polanski in those synchronous locations. I find it highly implausible that the artist or artists who created the work of art, in a studio framework, were knowingly preparing us for Rosemary's Baby and the Manson family slaughter of Sharon Tate, Mrs Roman Polanski, in Cielo Drive, more than two decades into the future.

Or for a secret military studio to be located according to a radio play. The foundations were laid before the war, but only finished after.

That said, there is no particular reason in 1945 for the studio to decide to change a seemingly minor detail such as the name of the character "Frank Polanski".

No, Jan, the point was only that the script didn't change over the years, which means the details weren't mistakes, they were following the original script. It would've been easy for a Hollywood actor or radio star to insert "Laurel" for "Cypress" and to have it go out over the air, and even be transcribed (recorded for later rebroadcast). The first version has the cop say "Palanski" but later versions say "Polanski." The first actor simply didn't enunciate the O, he gave it the good old American schwa.

From what part of the scriptwriter's unconscious did that name come from?

Was it simply that the notion of a stupid "polack" milkman, signalled by the use of a name like "Polanski", would help make this brutal character believable for an American audience?

First, his character wasn't brutal. He was victimized, his throat was ripped out by Cathy Lewis/Ellen Woods, James A. Woods's wolfgirl wife. Second, "milkman" had a certain ring to it immediately following World War II, something like "postman," a male who has contact with women whose husbands are absent, abroad or dead, who might sometimes have access to the domicile. The Freudian implications of milk are obvious.

Or did the scriptwriter receive the name from the aether of the personal or collective unconscious? Where space and time twist and swirl in more than three dimensions?

Yes, I believe so. "Roma" Wines, Frank "Polanski" murdered in the canyon... In fact I'll wager the script writer lived in or near Laurel Canyon, and the story came to him as he contemplated unfinished construction next door over, late one night, when a wild animal was heard to howl somewhere nearby.

The Cypress Canyon address is a real one, if you transplant it to Laurel Canyon Boulevard:
2256 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90046
An internet search of that shows it listed on http://www.orange-systems.info/usa/ as the business address of ORANGE SYSTEMS USA
An almost exact replica of the webpage exists at http://www.orange-systems.co.uk/ which lists the business address of ORANGE SYSTEMS Ltd as ORANGE SYSTEMS Ltd, UNIT F, THE SCOPE, WILLS ROAD, TOTNES TQ9 5XN

For more on why this radio drama is a bigger coincidence than it seems at first glance, read all the krazy kalifornia stuff beginning at http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr93.html if you haven't done so already.

I'm guessing there's something behind the secret studio and the murders in Laurel Canyon, and it has something to do with the compound in Rustic Canyon and something to do with local elemental spirits whispering in suggestible ears and something to do with MKULTRA and earlier projects aimed at shaping public opinion.

Jan Klimkowski
11-10-2009, 06:45 PM
Helen - lots of fascinating material in your post.

I think we also got our wires crossed a few times there, entirely unintentionally.

Fwiw I have an insider's view on editorial interference in the process of filmmaking because I've spent almost two decades making documentaries for the BBC, NatGeo, Discovery etc. I'm also very interested in movies in all their aspects - from technical minutiae to insider gossip to ongoing impact on audiences.

By gossip, I don't mean who's shagging whom. I'm talking more of the shifting creative evolution of the project.

An obvious example is the evolution of Apocalypse Now, from the original right-wing, Kurtz-loving, extreme Nietzschian, script of John Milius - inspired by tales of the Phoenix Program and, allegedly, Tony Poshepny - through rewriting by FF Coppola, the casting and filming of Harvey Keitel as Willard, his firing and replacement by the much blander Martin Sheen who goes malarially mad on location, onwards to the climactic scenes in the Montagnard/Hmong Laotian compound, TS Eliot & Joseph Conrad spirited through a seer, a very edgy Marlon Brando, back to California for Walter Murch to make editing decisions so fundamental that a radically different work of art, only dimly present in the original scripts, emerged.

Etc etc.

Apocalypse Now was only ever given solid form when the celloloid prints were made. And even these were altered days after release. Yes - I once saw the airstrike called in and blow Kurtz's compound, and its inhabitants, to smithereens. For years afterwards, I thought must have hallucinated it. Until I learnt that Coppola withdrew those prints and had them destroyed.


The broader point is that a form of this creative process takes place in the production of every radio and television programme, every film or play. That process is driven primarily by the key creative personnel - director, actors, editor, DoP etc.

This creative evolution is not malign, and is usually a good thing.

Fighting that creative evolution is editorial interference by the funders of projects. This may be the studio or broadcaster, who are usually driven by the bottom line. They want to make money, and will demand changes that they believe will make a work more popular. Ie put more bums on seats.

An example is the original studio cut of Kingdom of Heaven. As is often the case, the film did badly at the box office precisely because the studio thought they were changing the movie to make it more populist, and in fact they just made it more crap.

This editorial interference has a more malign form, which is changes demanded in the service of a political agenda. I have a friend who was working on a major series for Discovery about the Vietnam War. He wrote a script line stating that America lost the Vietnam War. It was struck out, and he was told to avoid that notion in its entirety if he wanted to keep working on the project.

Any MSM documentary with "conspiracy" in the title or blurb will have as its raison d'etre the "debunking" of the "conspiracy" at all costs.

So, there are many layers of interference.

And interference is rather a good word for moving into the John Keel/Mothman territory.

Keel/Mothman reveals interference at the literal and material level. Men in Black. Deliberate distortions.

However, there is also interference at the metaphysical level.

As if some numinous figure is twirling the radio dial, and channels are bleeding into each other.

And the radio itself is, for want of a better phrase, able to receive intra-dimensional signals.

This is also David Lynch territory.

Polanski, rather like Lloyd the barman, exists in many forms.

Helen Reyes
11-11-2009, 09:47 AM
I think we also got our wires crossed a few times there, entirely unintentionally.

Maybe so. I was just trying to impress what a big coincidence this is/was. Really, honest, somebody believe me :)

An obvious example is the evolution of Apocalypse Now, from the original right-wing, Kurtz-loving, extreme Nietzschian, script of John Milius - inspired by tales of the Phoenix Program and, allegedly, Tony Poshepny - through rewriting by FF Coppola, the casting and filming of Harvey Keitel as Willard, his firing and replacement by the much blander Martin Sheen who goes malarially mad on location, onwards to the climactic scenes in the Montagnard/Hmong Laotian compound, TS Eliot & Joseph Conrad spirited through a seer...

Including Cao Dai elements would've made a lot of sense.

Apocalypse Now was only ever given solid form when the celloloid prints were made. And even these were altered days after release. Yes - I once saw the airstrike called in and blow Kurtz's compound, and its inhabitants, to smithereens. For years afterwards, I thought must have hallucinated it.

That's the one I saw too.

So, there are many layers of interference.

And interference is rather a good word for moving into the John Keel/Mothman territory.

Keel/Mothman reveals interference at the literal and material level. Men in Black. Deliberate distortions.

However, there is also interference at the metaphysical level.

As if some numinous figure is twirling the radio dial, and channels are bleeding into each other.

And the radio itself is, for want of a better phrase, able to receive intra-dimensional signals.

This is also David Lynch territory.

Polanski, rather like Lloyd the barman, exists in many forms.

Radio productions were lavish affairs back then, and popular shows like Suspense and Lux Radio Theater worked hand-in-hand with the film indutry, adapting for radio before release, starring the same stars, etc. Discovering the radio ties of the clandestine Wonderland studio might shed light on what they were up to.

I'm aware of editorial and political interference at BBC to a small degree, as an outside observer. I've also experienced it in my own work over the years. It almost seemspointless to even critique the MSM at this point, like flogging a dead horse. We've watched the newspapers, for example, lose so many readers that they are approaching the government with outstretched hands and a serious face asking for a handout. After publishing the government line for a decade, their credibility, the public perception of their independence, is shot. So New York Times for example takes a cash infusion from Mexican druglords and acts like this is a normal thing for the free press to do.

Realizing the sycophantic press, collaborators in the War on Terror/New Crusades, have lost credibility, the foundations begin casting about for alternatives to infiltrate, namely in the "blogosphere." Which is where the US military invested a lot of propaganda money too before the blogs, too, became passe, or at least recognized as containing a lot of disinformation.

In order to accomodate the internal contradictions and physical anomolies of the neo-con world view, including the New Physics that entered the universe on Sept 11, 2001, documentaries have also become quite shoddy and have lost a lot of public credibility, across the board.

And if the last Depression is anything to judge by, demand for real news will probably decline, not related proportionally to the supply of real news available, but because of the need to escape an unpleasant reality.

On Lloyd, Polanski and other ghosts in LC, I don't know what's going on there, but I'm willing to entertain the idea that there is spiritual interference at work with some kind of time slip. The kabbalists talk about dybbukim, fallen spirits who can sometimes deliver accurate information from the near future, but just as often convey information from alternate realities, from the lost kingdoms of Edom. Then there's Houdini's wife, poor old poisoned Houdini, sitting up all night holding seances to channel her husband's ectoplasm. There's blood spilt before, before the radio drama, and there's blood spilt after, and after 20 years there are subterranean rivers of blood flowing under the canyon. Maybe all that blood and gore, terror and death, coupled with a steady stream of Hollywood fan-pilgrims and weird occult activities by locals, set up some sort of time loop or "bleed-through" so that Polanski's name could float on the night wind in 1945.

The only thing I can imagine that would be worse than being trapped in that lodge in the Shining for an eternity is if I were trapped in that lodge for an eternity while the Eagles' Hotel California played on a continuous loop, forever and ever.

David Guyatt
11-11-2009, 03:40 PM
It has occurred to me, more than once in this thread, that the geographical location under discussion (i.e., the canyon) may be one of those very odd places that seem to resonate in at least two different dimensions at the same time. A time portal or dimensional gateway if you will. And that tis might account for some of these oddities.

Just a passing thought.