THE EAGLE IS STRANDED
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
I went over my e-mail this morning and I received a message about the anniversary of the Moon landing. The person who sent it wryly explained that July 20th, 1969 was the anniversary of the Moon landing hoax and that there were thousands of conspirators involved. I wrote back and half-jokingly chided him for sending me the e-mail and said that this year I have been quoted in newspaper articles and have appeared on TV shows offering my doubts about the first Moon landing and said that it is becoming apparent that the Moon landing in 1969 didn’t happen and that it looks like we won’t be going in 2024 or 2025 either due to complaints about the budget and how many people believe that combating Climate Change is more important issue.
He responded by saying he was kidding and that he wanted no part of my Moon landing hoax religion. He stated that the thought of no Moon landing would just be another unhappy thought to add to the many more he would have to deal with. I thought it was quite interesting that he called my “moon hoax” theories a religion.
The Moon landing in 1969 is looking more and more like science fiction. It seems that all that is needed is faith that it happened and enough scientists to back up some of the more vague areas surrounding so-called facts. It doesn’t matter if it really happened or not, people believe in what they saw and the magicians trick was remarkable.
When people hear that you question the details of the Moon landing they become angry and decide that it is not something you discuss. There are others who assume that it is a crusade and that you are akin to an atheist trying to destroy faith in something that is as American as Jesus, Big Macs, and morbid obesity.
There are also the people whose crusade it is to tell me I am an idiot. I was on the Penn and Teller show and was called a “crazy assed” DJ and recently I appeared on the Science Channel’s“Truth Behind the Moon Landing” program where I was cast as the bad guy conspiracy theorist that appears to berate a shuttle astronaut that tells me I am pissing all over the graves of those who gave their lives to thrust us into space.
The reality is that I wish the whole discussion was not edited because Mike Bara, Leland Melvin and I were actually having a remarkable exchange where he answered many of my questions about space travel and also was understanding of why someone would question the events that happened 50 years ago.
There was territory we covered about the beginnings of the space program that was far more interesting than the argument over whether we went to the moon or not and whether NASA was capable of hiding some of the moon document by using a little bit of Hollywood to clean up the messiness of the Apollo program.
That is exactly what is happening now as TV special after TV special is now offering glimpses of the moon landing with enhanced shots and never before seen footage that looks as if it has been doctored and re-imaged in the same way George Lucas reimaged Star Wars.
It is said that in order to get people to watch a bit of history they have to hype it with a Hollywood gloss, which of course is the agreement that has always been made by those of us that doubt the Moon shot ever happened in 1969.
There are those who say we never went at all, meaning none of the Moon missions are real and that he whole space program is a hoax– which I disagree with because it is just plain dumb – there are those who believe the Moon landings were shot in a studio somewhere like Area 51 which is not out of the question and then there is me, someone who wants to think we went to the Moon eventually but in 1969 it was a big PR stunt that not only had 3 astronauts orbiting in space for three days but had a big budget for making sure that every shot and camera angle looked right and with a little bit of Hollywood, like what was seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a Moon shot could be faked and even consulted by none other than Stanley Kubrick.
Now I know that those who know Kubrick say that this is a Hollywood myth but once again there were interviews conducted during the Science Channel’s “Truth Behind the Moon Landing” show that made me think that Kubrick had a lot to do with how the Moon landing looked and maybe even had a hand at faking the whole process.
Many of Kubrick’s associates that they interviewed surprisingly admitted that Kubrick did have a relationship with NASA — one even claimed that it would have been easy to fake a Moon landing because he did it in a studio.
Leon Vitali, an associate of Kubrick stated that NASA did have a relationship with the director before he started filming 200: A Space Odyssey. NASA provided Kubrick with a super-fast lens for a camera shot. The lens was capable of filming in candlelight.
The lens was a Carl Zeiss planar 50 MM with an F-number of .07. The smaller the F-Number the larger the aperture. NASA used this lens to get images from the dark side of the Moon.
So Vitali literally confirmed on national television that Kubrick struck up a relationship with NASA and that they had consulted him and worked with him on 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Furthermore, the investigation in the connection of Kubrick and the Moon shots led to Douglas Trumbull the man who created the effects in the movie – Trumbull actually was responsible for creating a moonscape. He said that he can understand why people would wonder if the moon landing was faked in a studio – because he was the guy that faked a moonscape in a studio.
We know that 2001: A Space Odyssey, had amazing shots of the moon that were seen a year before Apollo. Though shot in a studio, it looks more real than the actual landings. It’s the shadow and light, the space and enclosure, the way people move. Also, there was no CGI, no computer-created effects. Everything was actual—models maybe, but actual physical objects. There really was a space station and it really did turn; there really was a “lunar” surface, covered with rocks. It was amazing.
But of course, when asked if Kubrick faked directed the Moon landing, they both gave a resounding – no!
A few weeks ago someone turned me on to a website that actually broadcast the transmissions between the Apollo astronauts and mission control in real-time. It was a lot of fun to actually run the communications in the background while I was working. I knew that this material would be valuable for an anniversary show –so I recorded a lot of material from the broadcasts.
One day as I was working in the office with my producer, Ron Patton – we heard a strange broadcast from the astronauts. It was about cue cards and stagehands that were helping the astronauts into their suits.
Now needless to say we took a double-take and I told Ron that I was recording the broadcasts – I played them back and both Ron and I laughed awkwardly because I thought it was some sort of a joke or that maybe they were inserted as a joke, then I saw that there was a feature that showed the transcript of the broadcasts – it was not a joke.
Mission control and the astronauts were actually talking about stagehands and other stuff that make it all sound like it was staged:
Mission Control to Neil Armstrong: Is Buzz Holding the cue cards for you… over?
Neil Armstrong: Cue cards have a no. We have no intention of competing with the professionals believe me.
Unidentified voice: yea Ron’s getting to be known as the silent CAPCOM. (unintelligible) OK.
Buzz Aldrin: The only problem Charlie, these TV stagehands don’t know where they stand.
Mission Control: Well he doesn’t really have a union card there we really can’t complain too much I guess.
Neil Armstrong: Hey the restraints here are doing a great job of pulling my pants down.
After laughing awkwardly of the find, we concluded that this had to be a joke amongst the astronauts, that they were doing it all for the cameras but it still makes a person wonder.
There was actually a YouTube video that was posted in 2017 that purported to show evidence that a “stagehand” was seen reflecting in the visor of an astronaut. While the guy who posted the video believes that it is the reflection of a so-called stagehand without a backpack –it could still be a distorted view of another astronaut.
There is always something that makes you wonder about the validity of the Moon landing – not just because of the keen eye of conspiracy theorists but the words form the astronauts themselves.
The internet has made viral a rare interview that Neil Armstrong did in 2005 for 60 minutes where he tells Ed Bradley that the brave face he had during the Moon shot was all a sham.
Some have taken it to mean that Neil was indicating that not everything you see in the Moon record is factual.
Then, of course, last year, there was a viral video that was released on the internet where Buzz Aldrin was attending the National Book Fest in Washington DC and was being interviewed by an eight-year-old girl named Zoey.
Zoey asked the astronaut: “Why has nobody been to the Moon in such a long time?”
Aldrin’s eyes grow wide in the video and he says to the little girl:
“We didn’t go there, and that’s the way it happened. And if it didn’t happen, it would be nice to know why it didn’t happen.”
Many people believe that the questioning of the moon landing is a relatively new phenomenon.
But it’s not.
Since before the conclusion of the Apollo program in 1972, some have questioned the Moon landings, claiming that they were faked in some way or another by NASA, and presumably with the acquiescence or perhaps even active involvement of other individuals and organizations.
I want to make myself clear, when it comes to the Moon landings, either side can say that you can’t let the truth get in the way of a tall tale. Both the Hoax believers and the landing believers are of a “belief” and in the middle of that word is a little word called “lie.” The truth is the science vanguard won’t even allow the consideration of a moon landing hoax. They won’t tolerate any questioning and they have many attack dogs in the media that will help them perpetuate their B.S.
The B.S. I am referring to is that the majority of Americans believe that our space program is infallible, all because every TV special about the Moon landing says so.
The second American in space, Gus Grissom, named his Mercury capsule Liberty Bell 7, representing a patriotic symbol of American independence and NASA’s first seven astronauts.
Grissom’s 15-minute sub-orbital flight in July 1961 went perfectly but, shortly after splashdown, explosive bolts on the hatch blew prematurely. As the spacecraft filled with water, the astronaut scrambled out, nearly drowning before the recovery helicopter could reach him.
When Grissom took command of the first two-man Gemini mission in 1965, he chose the name Molly Brown, after The Unsinkable Molly Brown, a popular Broadway Show. NASA preferred to call the spacecraft Gemini 3 but when Grissom suggested naming it Titanic instead, they relented.
We will never know what Grissom planned to call his first Apollo spacecraft, Apollo 1. The astronaut died in a horrific launchpad fire in January 1967, along with his companions Roger Chaffee and Ed White.
Ed White, of course, was the first American to walk in space, Grissom had been involved in the Mercury and Gemini programs prior to Apollo and Chaffe was a rookie on the flight but was well known for being the U2 pilot that snapped the pictures that triggered the Cuban Missile crisis.
There are many who believe that NASA murdered the astronauts because they were whistleblowers to the failures.
Grissom had his grudges about the space program and how it seemed to be moving forward without crucial tests or evaluations.
He was worried that the first trip the Moon would be the last. He held a press conference weeks before his death. He stated that the Moon shot was not two years away, more like 10 years away. Grissom also placed a lemon in the window of the Apollo 1 capsule to make a statement about the mission. It seems a bit specious to actually say that NASA murdered three men to silence one. It would be more accurate to demonstrate that Intelligence operations conduct secret agendas to further their own power and create a means to facilitate funding and use of the war machine.
The U.S, Government did consider taking advantage of a possible astronaut fatality to make an excuse to attack Cuba.
However, back then we were not only having a hard time with space travel but we weren’t all that great in pulling off false flags.
In the Operation Northwood’s document there were proposals calling for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus creating an excuse, as well as the public and international backing as they needed to launch a war against Cuba.
There’s one proposal, however, that never gets talked about by the “truthers” and that is Operation Dirty Trick. In the Northwood’s proposal, there was a section that was Number 7 entitled Operation Dirty Trick. In the proposal, it stated that if the Mercury Friendship 7 mission were to somehow fail and John Glenn were to die, it would be advantageous to fake evidence that would show that Castro ordered the hit on the space capsule.
There wouldn’t even have to be physical evidence as it could be reported that the Cubans created an electrical malfunction using radio jamming technologies. They even wanted to guarantee a hit on the Mercury capsule by somehow tipping off Cuban intelligence that the Mercury orbits were in reality spying missions.
This means the NASA and the US Government considered killing off one of its Astronauts in order to give a mandate for attacking Cuba. This makes Lieutenant Colonel Roger Chaffee’s affiliation with Cuban Missile Crisis all the more interesting.
John Glenn may have been spared but was the crew of Apollo 1?
The astronauts were sitting in an oxygen-rich environment. It has been speculated that it was anywhere between 5 pounds per square inch to 22 pounds per square inch. This means that any spark would have caused an inferno. They were actually in a pressure cooker. NASA said that they had no idea that this would have been dangerous. But it seems to be a given that many things burn in an oxygen-rich environment like aluminum, steel, and asbestos.
In 1962 it was reported that there was an oxygen fire that killed three workers and yet NASA denied that there had been any mishaps with oxygen prior to the Apollo1 disaster. NASA lied to the American people.
The New York Times also cited a study that was done in 1964 by NASA that clearly indicated the dangers of using oxygen-rich environments. Once again NASA lied to get the Moon shot up and running again. This once again gives people a reason to question whatever NASA says or does, including the idea that the entire Moon landing record is true. That none of it was forged or hoaxed.
After the Apollo 1 fire, it only took two years and we were on the Moon. When The Space Shuttle Challenger blew up, killing 7 astronauts, the shuttles were grounded for three years.
This happened before the Internet was able to spread the word concerning the inconsistencies of NASA and the probability of hoaxing some if not all of the Moon record. The Apollo program ended in 1973 with an unimpeachable record of safety and no loss of human life. It wasn’t until the Challenger disaster that NASA had to tell the world that it had lost seven astronauts including a civilian schoolteacher named Christa McAuliffe.
NASA’s Apollo mission, brought to you by hidden figures, lost blueprints, enhanced footage and interviews with the lunar heroes, was, as the history books show, the single greatest group achievement in the history of science.
We are right to be sentimental on its 50th anniversary because if it really did happen and I am just a fool for doubting – it is really amazing that it happened with less advanced technology that we have in our Smartphones.
But sadly that doesn’t change the fact that five decades on, it looks increasingly like nothing was really won after the race to the Moon.
Why? Because the U.S. treated the space race as a literal sporting event, and NASA as a championship team that would only have to win one big game and that was all.
It trained for years and spent billions of dollars to get the best science and engineering teams our taxes could buy.
But just 3 years after they gave themselves what they thought of as a gold star on their foreheads, the country’s leaders mothballed the Apollo project for good.
Sure, it saved the U.S. some cash: Apollo cost the U.S. government a grand total of $25.4 billion, according to a 1974 NASA estimate, which was no small chunk of change back then. However, a 1971 study by the Midwest Research Institute found that space technology research had already added $52.5 billion to the U.S. economy. Throwing money at the Moon was actually paying dividends.
And what else did we lose when we lost Apollo?
The answer is simple: we completely lost the rest of our long glorious national space story.
Fifty years after the Moon all we got was a shuttle program that failed catastrophically, twice, before it was defunded. NASA hasn’t been able to send its own astronauts to the International Space Station since 2011, and it’s likely to keep relying on the Russians to transport them until at least 2020.
The Trump administration wants to return Americans to the moon, a place they haven’t been since 1972, in five years during President Donald Trump’s second term, if he is reelected. Right now, the agency doesn’t have the money to make it happen. In May, the White House asked Congress for an extra $1.6 billion in NASA’s next budget to start funding this effort, which would cost $20 billion to $30 billion and, unlike the Apollo program, rely heavily on technology bought from private companies. Astronauts would land near the South Pole this time, where they could theoretically make use of water frozen in the surface. And the crew would include, for the first time, a woman.
A mission to Mars, the focal objective of the Trump administration will come later after astronauts show they can safely live and work on the Moon.
Many people do not know that in the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon had two big-ticket NASA proposals on his desk. The more expensive one was an Apollo-style mission sending humans to Mars.
It wasn’t science fiction: the necessary nuclear rocket program, known as NERVA, had already been built and successfully demonstrated. NASA hoped to use it to send astronauts to Mars by 1979. Wernher Von Braun, a pioneering engineer, and hero to an American public that still didn’t know about his dubious past building Nazi rockets was all in favor.
Needless to say, it didn’t happen and so, of course, Trump wants to propose the same thing – and it won’t happen while he is President.
Again, we need to understand the inconvenient truth about NASA and Apollo – we had the technology to go to the Moon in 1969, allegedly. We apparently were working on the tech for a Mars mission in the 1970s and yet it is still out of our reach.
As Congress figures out funding for the next year, NASA officials have spent the past several months talking up the new mission, named Artemis, after Apollo’s sister in Greek mythology. As with the Apollo-anniversary coverage, everyone seemed to be on message. Until that is, Trump tweeted that the mission of NASA had strayed.
“For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – we did that 50 years ago,” President Trump tweeted in June. “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part).”
The tweet stunned the NASA community. Trump has been enamored of the Mars-mission idea since he took office, and once asked a NASA official whether the agency could put people on the Red Planet by the end of his first term. But that conversation unfolded in private and was only revealed in a tell-all book by a former White House official. In contrast, there was no denying the angry and confusing Mars tweet, nor the blatant contradictions in its message.
Then, last week, another shocking moment and setback – NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that he was demoting NASA’s head of human exploration. William Gerstenmaier has worked at NASA since 1977, guiding the agency through spaceflight triumphs and tragedies, and shifting gears every time a new president comes along with different ideas for the nation’s space priorities.
Although the decision came from Bridenstine, Gerstenmaier appears to be a victim of the White House’s impatience with NASA’s progress on the moon mission. The development of the rocket that is supposed to launch the Artemis astronauts, like most major exploration efforts in NASA history, is over budget and years behind schedule.
Vice President Mike Pence, who gives the big space-policy speeches on behalf of Trump, is “livid,” according to The Washington Post. “If NASA is not currently capable of landing American astronauts on the Moon in five years,” Pence said earlier this year, “we need to change the organization, not the mission.”
Bridenstine insists that, despite the sudden personnel shake-up, everything is fine at NASA. It can be argued that things have always been a mess at NASA and it is a wonder we even made it to the Moon at all.
I remember when George W. Bush proposed the Constellation program I knew that it was not going to get off the ground. I opened up the discussion about the idea that it is all just a dog and pony show and no one would listen. They would only become indignant. I understood why because it closes up the ceiling and limits our vision and horizon.
It is becoming evident to me that with all of the lip service, things just don’t add up with all of the stories about going back to Moon, mining water and creating an outpost for a launch to Mars.
While a space station sounds like all sorts of awesome, it does not seem practical.
Nothing has added up. Nothing has made sense. We have sent men to the moon without a single astronaut dying.
Yet decades later the shuttle launches became safety hazards, and even though we allegedly had a successful Apollo program, no one really cared.
The only manned space flight after Apollo resulted in the Challenger and Columbia shuttles exploding and killing astronauts, even a teacher and somehow that clouded the memory of brave men leaving the confines of earth and setting foot on an extraterrestrial sphere.
Of course, that is also up for discussion. To say we never went to the Moon is anathema even though most teenagers would tell you that Louis Armstrong was the first man to step off the Lunar module into history.
I contend that the idea of space and space travel has been held sacred by geeks. Some geeks grow up and realize that perhaps it was all part of those lies we choose to believe in, just like poisoned Halloween Candy and the Bogeyman.