the alien menace next door

A Russian documentary alleges that Americans stopped going to the Moon because they uncovered something sinister just under its surface.

cgi lunar ruins apollo

The year was 1975 and the United States was basking in the glory of its success. They beat the Soviets in the space race and were doing nothing short of landing humans on an alien world on a routine basis and with high reliability. NASA was planning up to 20 Apollo missions, some of which would involve significant stays on the Moon and pave the way for lunar bases in the near future. Then suddenly, the project was terminated. No more trips to the Moon, no more official plans for lunar bases, no more travel beyond Earth orbit.

To the vast majority of people, the reason why the Apollo program was shut down seems to be pretty obvious. Each mission cost some $2 billion and at the time we knew little about precious minerals on the moon, how we could use them and how to justify the missions beyond a giant PR project to show the USSR who’s boss. But to some Russians, there was something else going on behind the scenes, something they believed the US was hiding.

The Russian documentary I talked about in my previous post wonders how Soviet leaders may have thought about the Moon and how they planned to use it had they won the space race. But that’s not what it’s actually about. Instead, it’s an Eastern European incarnation of the infamous ancient astronaut theory. (The entire film is available online, but unfortunately only in Russian.)

The filmmakers say that the sudden halt of the Apollo program prompted some to think that all of the Moon landings were a hoax and the US stopped because it was afraid that it couldn’t keep up the farce much longer, and that this view is very much mistaken. The documentary shows what’s probably the most comprehensive debunking of the lunar landing hoax myth I’ve ever seen. In one fell swoop, they explain everything from the waving flag to how the astronauts are supposed to move, to how strange lights and shadows are cast on the surface of our satellite and everything in between. They also show a very seldom seen shot of an astronaut dropping a feather and a stone which land at the same time, something only possible in a vacuum. No, the Moon landings were a fact, the documentary says with absolute certainty. So why did NASA just stop its wildly successful mission?

Their verdict is that the Moon was being used as a base for alien astronauts who mined some of its precious mineral resources and used it as a base to observe or manipulate humanity. Hundreds of pictures of strange lights, shadows and objects are used as supporting evidence, including a comparison between the ruins of an Assyrian city and something that looks like the remnants of an ancient city on the Moon. It’s here that the really big problems with their theory begin and what could’ve been a fascinating study into the Soviet space program and the politics of space exploration collapses into a Jim Marrs book with stunning speed.

Let’s start with the city. Comparing ruins on Earth with ruins on the Moon just doesn’t work. On Earth, the ruins of an ancient city are damaged by weathering and erosion. On the Moon, there wouldn’t be a problem in keeping a city even millions of years old in near perfect shape. No air, no weather, no erosion, nothing to damage the ruins. If there was ever a city on the lunar sand, it would have to be built at least two billion years ago. It would be frozen in time, dusty but otherwise in almost pristine condition since there’s nothing to damage it with the exception of a random meteor impact.

To be fair, the idea of a lunar base for an alien civilization that wants to make frequent trips to the Earth but doesn’t want to deal with the probably hostile conditions of our planet, does make sense. They could build underground habitats (something both the US and the USSR had on the drawing boards since the early 1960s) and tailor them to their liking. They could mine helium 3 for fusion reactors and send low powered craft down to Earth in a routine manner. No need to bridge the stars all the time. So how do we find an underground city on the Moon?

According to the documentary, by the strange shapes and bright flashes of light flying across the satellite. But it seems that every picture of an odd light they show is very inconsistent with another and each supposed object differs wildly in size and shape. It’s not inconceivable that an alien species would build very unique and wildly different craft, but it seems improbable to say the least. Any industrial species would need to understand the concept of efficiency and fleets of one of a kind, unique spacecraft are just plain wasteful. What could those shapes and bright flashes be? Meteors and meteor impacts seem to fit the role. After all, the Moon is always being bombarded and because it’s just 238,000 miles away, we can see just about every impact on the hemisphere facing us if we try. Meteors are all very unique in size and shape and because they’re rich with metals, they could easily glow when hit by the sun’s rays and make a haunting picture of a bizarre light streaking or floating by.

Finally, the filmmakers make stunning claims such as astronauts being followed by UFOs on all their missions and as many as three flying objects of alien origin positioning themselves just off camera as Apollo 11 was landing. Their proof? Fuzzy pictures of strange lights and a claim that the astronauts used code words and auxiliary frequencies to communicate with mission control in short bursts. This is where I throw my hands in the air and say “ok, that’s just plain old nonsense” or rather “полная чепуха” because when you listen to the supposed code words being spoken by astronauts in original English and to the Russian translation, the astronauts’ phrases have been distorted, at times deceptively so. There is also no proof of what the code words were and if there were any to begin with. Finally, there are dozens of reasons why one of the auxiliary frequencies would need to be used. A moving object in space can’t always lock on to the same consistent signal on Earth. That’s what these extra frequencies are for. Backup for a spacecraft always at risk of losing its link to mission control.

The documentary asserts that after enough missions, NASA decided that enough was enough, the Moon was taken and while those UFOs and aliens were still more or less benign, it was time to pack up their toys and go back home. But if that’s true, why would NASA be in such a hurry to get back, basically tripping over its own feet to get there by 2015 and build a base by 2020? Maybe the aliens left? Or maybe they weren’t there during the original missions and pressure from politicians who cared nothing about science or spaceflight killed the project? Maybe there was once an alien base on the Moon millions of years ago and somewhere there are ruins just waiting for us to discover them and ponder who could’ve built them. But so far, I’ve seen very little that could convince me of this and the filmmakers’ case is built on a foundation so shaky, I’m not even sure that some ardent fans of the ancient astronaut theory will believe it.

# oddities // apollo program / moon

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