|By Clyde Lewis
Thirty years ago People gathered around their television screens to witness one of the most remarkable feats of the Millennium. While Walter Cronkite was holding back the tears, the nation knew that man had landed on the moon. They knew it because they saw it. They knew it because the government said it happened. They knew it because …well just because. That's all the proof they needed. Its 1999 where is the proof?
History buffs will recall that when Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut walked on the moon he made a mistake when saying his famous "One small step speech." He was supposed to say, "This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Well the words he said are history but the words he said after are in the outtakes. You will probably never hear or see them on Bloopers and Practical Jokes but story goes that he made a few remarks after his two feet hit the lunar sand pile. The Story from NASA is that Armstrong made the comment "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning Russia. That perhaps some cosmonaut named Gorsky was Armstrong's rival and that it was some blow below the belt at Russia's failed attempt at a moon landing. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Who was Gorsky? People always confronted Armstrong and asked about Gorsky and Neil would turn red and smile, but never talked about it.
Recently at a press conference in Florida a reporter brought up the enigmatic Gorsky to Armstrong. He asked the question that many reporters had attempted to ask and never got an answer. "Who the Hell is this Gorsky guy you talked about while on the moon?" For 26 years he avoided the question because he didn't want to embarrass Mr. Gorsky. But this time it was the reporter's lucky day Armstrong finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had died so Neil felt that answering the question wouldn't harm anyone.
Armstrong related the story that when he was a kid, he played baseball with a friend of his. Armstrong threw a pitch and his friend hit a pop fly ball, which landed in the front of his neighbor's bedroom window. Mr. & Mrs. Gorsky were his neighbors. Neil ran to get the ball. As he leaned down to pick it up, he couldn't help but overhear Mrs. Gorsky yelling at Mr. Gorsky. There she was screaming at the top of her lungs "Oral sex! You want oral sex?! You'll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!"
Isn't that a great Story? It never happened. It's one of those Urban Legends that everyone loves to tell.
Professor Jan Harold Brunvand once said, "The truth never stands in the way of a good story." No matter how many times this story is told it always sounds so believable, such a wonderful story. It has made it into Newspapers and who knows it may be accepted as true history some day. No matter if it is a white lie.
There is also the old saying "The Bigger the lie, the easier it is to convince others that it is the Truth."
On July 20th 1969 man landed on the moon. A remarkable feat considering it was a direct hit on our first try. That the entire space program went virtually without a hitch and not one man died on the moon. We had mishaps and problems before the moon launch, but miraculously not one death during the big show. It was a miracle we made it through the radiation belts. Oh yes, while the rocket blasted off we forgot all about James Van Allen. You may have heard of him, he was the guy who discovered dangerous radiation belts that surround the earthsome 60,000 to 100,000 miles up.
The Van Allen Belt spews out enough deadly radiation counts to kill any human who ventures into it unprotected. Scientific experiments conducted by Van Allen and the military proved that belt was so deadly that no human could survive in its orbit. The capsule would have to have been lined with 4 feet of lead to protect the astronauts. It was lined with aluminum.
We forgot about that. Because it was on television. We were kids. We dreamed the dreams and believed in them.
The television beamed the blurry images from the moon and we were amazed. We were so astonished that we forgot to look for stars in the firmament above the lunar surface. No worry though there weren't any to see. It seemed odd when in a place with no atmosphere there would be nothing to block starlight. That would mean there would be billions of bright lights to see. None were seen.
It would also mean that that there would be a glare of sunlight during the day. Not soft light. How could there be diffused light on the moon? Diffused lights are used in TV studios and sound stages. Maybe that would explain the pictures that grace our History books. Why they were so breath taking. Now wait a minute! Television Images were blurry; other pics were soft and pleasantly arranged so that they looked captivating in your Viewmaster. The Moon landing was so awesome back then! To think that light reacts the same way without an atmosphere as it does with an atmosphere. That breath taking photos can be taken at temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit when most film melts at 150 degrees. John Carter from mars had a ray gun and Buck Rogers had anti gravity boots, and our Astronauts had heat proof film.
We saw footprints in the lunar sand. Footprints that remained in the dry Lunar soil. It reminded me of when I was on the beaches of the Great Salt Lake and how the sand wouldn't even keep my footprints in tact. I later learned that in order for soil to retain a footprint, there must be moisture. That's why when the water receded I saw my footprints in the sand. I learned in school that there was no water on the moon. Besides in that heat I'll bet it was hard to keep things wet even if there was a little moisture on the moon.
It made you feel proud to be an American as the small steps for a man made an even deeper impression than a 3000-pound lunar lander. It was remarkable to see that with all of the thrust from the rockets there was no crater left in what Armstrong described as a surface that is similar to a light powder. It was so great to see the clean Lander, with no dust on it, made you proud that the astronauts were tidy. I mean with all of that zero gravity it sure would be probable that some of that fine dust would be kicked up into the area surrounding the Lunar leg, Not to mention a chance at static or magnetization. When we were kids we believed every bit of it.
I'm not a kid any more.
The very idea of questioning the moon landing is heresy. I can appreciate it if you think I am crazy. I'm not alone. The numbers of those who are beginning to question grow every day. You see what people fail to realize is that there are no independent witnesses to the actual events that took place on the moon.
We take for granted that the evidence is in fact genuine, honestly portrayed, and responsibly reported. In actual fact, mankind has no proof at all that we ever set foot on the Moon, other than the photographs that NASA has elected to publish.
As you can tell there are many things that sound so outrageous and silly that it is hard to believe we fell for all of it. The power of television kept the dream lit, and the threat of war and the challenge of a young Vibrant leader gunned down in his prime kept us from being cynical for a split second. It brought us together for one moment in time before we realized that yes there was an Ugly war, and perhaps our x-leader was the Victim of a governmental coup.
We needed heroes. It took $30 billion to make them. It wasn't enough that there were heroes fighting In Vietnam. We needed glamour boys jumping up and down on a sound stage. Anything to show our superiority.
People forget who was ahead of us in the race for space. The evil Russians. Well they were evil back then. However they sure did know how to run a space program. In the initial stages of the space race, the USSR had the edge over the United States by virtue of its Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft, which were technologically superior to the American spacecraft of the time. The Russians had the First animals in space and the first Humans in space. One day they wake up and hear we land on the moon. They throw in the towel. Why did they give up? They could have topped us by landing a ship on the moon that was capable of building a space station. It's been 30 years since we landed on the moon. It was 30 years ago we went 250,000 miles to deep space. It was a space program where launches to the moon went virtually flawless. Even in tragedy, such as Apollo 13 the Astronauts returned with a happy ending. 30 years after the moon.
We send up shuttles. Shuttles that only go 250 miles into space. We build orbiting Space stations, and we lost seven astronauts in the Challenger Disaster. Is this Progress? Why aren't we flying shuttles to the moon? Why aren't we building space stations and vacation complexes on the moon? Why are we sending Robots to the moon to investigate Ice formations? And finally why is it that for Nostalgic reasons we don't send a couple of astronauts back to the moon to relive the experience?
It's simple. We never went.
You can argue that the cover-up would have to have been shared by some 35,000 NASA employees and approximately 200,000 supporting companies who worked on the Apollo Project. So are you willing to argue that in your office no matter where you work every department knows what the other department is doing?
This is where the art of compartmentalization is utilized to its fullest. It happened with the Manhattan project and several other projects. Secrets can be kept. Money and the threat of death are pretty basic enablers for secrecy. Patriotism also plays a factor. The very fact that I am suggesting we didn't go to the moon makes me a fringe weirdo in some circles. So imagine what would happen if anyone opened their mouths.
People will also argue that there were no technologies available to fake such a mission. Simulating one-sixth the gravity of earth would be easy using movie magic. Hydraulics, wires, and some scenes shot in underwater aquariums. No one knows for sure. Technologies allegedly are developed 20 years before they are commercial which would lend credence to the possibility that in 1969, battleground simulations and planetary terrain programs could have been used with the aid of something as simple as a blue screen.
The crude versions were seen in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 a space Odyssey. It has even been suggested that Kubrick was selected as The director in Charge (a la Wag the Dog) of the moon landings. That he will never get the credit he deserves for their direction. Author C.Powers wrote:
The story goes that in early 1968, Kubrick was secretly approached by NASA officials who presented him with a lucrative offer to "direct" the first three moon landings.
Initially Kubrick declined, as "2001: A Space Odyssey" was in post-production at the time, but NASA threatened to publicly reveal the heavy involvement of Stanley's younger brother, Raul, with the American Communist Party. This would have been an intolerable embarrassment to Mr. Kubrick, especially since the release of "Dr. Strangelove". Kubrick finally relented, and for sixteen months he and a special effects team -- led by Douglas Trumbull worked in a specially built sound stage in Huntsville, Alabama, "creating" the first and second moon landings. This effort resulted in hundreds of hours of 35mm and video "footage" of the Apollo 11 and 12 moon missions.
The bogus Apollo 11 mission was masterfully staged in July of 1969. A Saturn V rocket with astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins was launched into low Earth orbit, remaining there while NASA carefully released Kubrick's studio footage to the press. After the spectacular "lunar landing" and "return to Earth," the astronauts reentered Earth's atmosphere and made a perfect splash down in the Pacific, right on schedule. Several months later, the Apollo 12 mission was successfully staged in a similar manner.
Mr. Kubrick refused to direct the Apollo 13 mission, however, because NASA officials rejected his screenplay in which the Apollo 13 mission fails. Kubrick insisted that a dramatic failed mission from which the astronauts were safely returned to Earth would ultimately prove to be NASA's "finest hour."
NASA maintained that a failed mission would unnecessarily jeopardize the agency's image, so Kubrick quit the project. Ironically, NASA later decided to use the failed mission scenario, for which Randall Cunningham -- a little known but highly respected British director was recruited to direct.
Kubrick's relentless perfectionism is evident throughout the Apollo production, from the chilling "1201 alarm" during the final seconds of the Eagle's descent to the lunar surface, right down to the lunar dust covering the astronaut's EVA suits.
This all seems a bit hypothetical or is it? Powers also claims:
You see other people twist stories to show that perhaps that all is not right in the sea of tranquility.
If you are finding yourself confused by all this you are not alone. The bottom line is that there are two obvious scenarios One, we never went to the Moon and we have been conned for 30 years. Or the Photos and the footage were all publicity photos and footage done in a studio. There were three astronauts involved in the moon landing and I find it odd that we were able to document the actual landing without a large crew and a technical director to make it look great on the Television set.
How hard is it to comprehend the possibility of a three-day orbit and splash down with decoy astronauts playing in a makeshift sandbox on a soundstage? It is easy isn't it? It's not comfortable but it is easy to imagine it.
Is it hard to imagine Cash Bonuses and veiled threats to keep those in the know quiet about what really happened during the moon landing? Is it any wonder that Neil Armstrong has kept a low profile about the first moon landing? That he seldom talks to the press? It is equally troubling to note that while we praised John Glenn for his nostalgic flight in the shuttle to commemorate his Friendship seven orbit; we merely pause to remember the Moon landing.
The whole event was 30 years ago and to this day the Moon landing seems so deliberate and carefully guarded. The moon landing itself seemed so cold, so devoid of any feeling. The dialogue seemed carefully scripted and delivered with no emotion. What emotions would you have if you knew that you were setting foot on extraterrestrial soil? There seemed to be no tears and no fears. Just a routine giant leap for mankind.
The Moon Landing was my Kindergarten memory. Was it only a paper moon hanging in a cardboard scene? If there was anytime to fake such an endeavor it had to be 1969. We were living in the throes of a cold War. In order to calm worries about Russian space superiority we could have easily devised a plan to use moon propaganda to fool the Soviets into wasting valuable resources in a competitive "space race", while we spent relatively little money on fabricating our own achievements in this competition. Remember they were far ahead of us, and still gave up after the eagle had landed.
We sold our soul to the moon conspiracy; those involved could hardly back out. Just think of the scandal that would result from the public discovering that their tax dollars had been abused! We have been condemned to continue the lie. Money has bought silence. Fear has kept the astronauts quiet. You may ask yourself Fear of what? Well according to Bill Kaysing who appeared on an early Ground Zero Media Program fear for their lives.
Kaysing Contends that there were some astronauts who were ready to blow the whistle on how bad the space program was. He claimed that Tom Baron, complained to Congress that after thoroughly examining the aerospace program, the Apollo missions were unsafe. He was killed 4 days after he testified. Gus Grissom of course had protested openly about Apollo's safety problems died on the launchpad in 1967 when fire swept through his capsule. This mishap was used to show that anyone who wished to speak out about the moon hoax would meet the same end.
If the moon landing was a hoax, it's only part of the lie. It was said to be our finest hour, NASA's crowning achievement. Yet we haven't gone back.
Many uneducated people believe that the Space Shuttle is a remarkable invention. Remarkable only because we marvel at it's mediocrity.
We have been to the moon! At least that is what NASA tells you. We have carried large payloads 250,000 miles to the moon without one astronaut dead. Yet, we have Space shuttles that travel only 250 miles above earth. We have had seven astronauts die attempting to go only a fraction of what the Apollo astronauts achieved effortlessly.
Thirty years after the moon landing I can't even get Windows 98 to work without crashing and we can put a man effortlessly on the moon and bring him back. I can't even get a conversation going between Juno Alaska and Portland Oregon without a 2-second delay, but in 1969 astronauts can reply incredibly fast from 250,000 miles away with no problems. Not to mention the clearness of the astronauts voices in 1969. Thirty years later you get into a blind area and your Cell Phone dies in rush hour traffic.
Can you still make a case for a moon landing when the computers used on the missions back then were allegedly no more sophisticated than the computer in your toaster oven? I know that a lot of people are amused at the fact that someone can even say that we did not land on the moon. People will always say "Look How far we have come."
After the Moon landing the sky really wasn't the limit anymore. At least so we thought. Now it is limited to orbiting space stations and shuttles that routinely leave earth and orbit 250 miles.
We chose to go to the moon, we chose to go to the moon 30 years ago. We chose it because there was a dream that existed. The dream was a civilization that works out its differences on the moon. The underlying dream was superiority. If we owned the moon, then we could dictate it's government, it's inhabitants. It is still a dream.
When the moon landing happened in 1969, a 5-year-old watched and dreamed of living on the moon some day.
He dreamed packing his belongings and buying a ticket for that trip that would take him above the earth.
How was I to know that even the first Astronauts ticket stubs were counterfeit?
I would like to believe we landed on the moon. So I still think about it and I smile a cautious smile hoping no one figures out that I have lost my faith.
It's the same cautious smile I give at Christmas when a child opens a present that is from Santa Claus. After all, The truth never stands in the way of a good story.
The Moon landing will always be a good story, eh Mr. Gorsky?
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.