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Stupidities about astronauts and UFOs

The 2006 "Apollo 11 documentary affair:

"Astronaut Buzz Aldrin of the mission Apollo 11 declared that he saw a UFO and that he was forbidden to speak about it! Finally the Truth is out!"

Ouch, stunning disclosure again? Let's see.

The British TV's Channel Five put on their program grid for July 24 2006 in the evening a documentary "Apollo 11: The Untold Story."

What then happened is only usual with the mass media.

Whereas the gullible pack who does much wrong to ufology is claiming for decades that "they" would forbid the astronauts from "speaking", that the mass medias are the accomplices, or at the orders of a "vast campaign of disinformation", exactly the opposite happened.

The documentary had not even been aired yet, that an amazing crowd of news agencies, websites, information portals and newspapers, from France to Australia, from Canada to England and Japan, gave an extraordinary echo to this documentary, that these people had not even seen yet!

For example:

The "Mirror", a popular British newspaper, by their science editor:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17435778&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=nearly-one-small-step-too-far--name_page.html

The "Kurier", an Austrian newspaper:
http://kurier.at/nachrichten/chronik/19949.php

SBS News, in Australia:
http://www9.sbs.com.au/theworldnews/region.php?id=130415&region=4

The "Bild", a big German tabloid (but also the "Spiegel", supposedly more "serious"):
http://www.bild.t-online.de/BTO/news/aktuell/2006/07/24/apollo-missgeschick-enthuellung/apollo-enthuellung-aldrin.html

There was approximately 200 newspapers websites and news services that brought back the news before the documentary was even aired!

But what news is it?

As all the medias simply copied what the news services sold them, it was about the same story all over the place, which is summarized as:

Before detailing the ufological that interests us here, let's see the points concerning the mission.

The Americans launched Apollo 11 towards the Moon to the contempt of the astronauts life because they were in a hurry to beat the Soviets.

This is what can only be called a "half-truth". You can say "it is true but..." or "it is untrue but..." but you cannot say "it is true" nor "it is untrue."

Of course, the astronauts risked their life. Obviously, the Americans wanted to beat the Soviet in the space race to the moon! It was the principal "raison d'être" of the Apollo program: the Americans had been beaten up to now in the space race, it was necessary to restore the national pride and to put an end to the communist propaganda which drew advantage from the situation by saying that Russian successes and the American failures proved that the socialist system is much better than the liberal system.

But when sensationalistic "documentary" try to cook up anything to making you believe NASA sent their astronauts to an almost sure death, it is better to get your feet back on the ground. Actually, there were deaths indeed on the US side (the fire of Apollo 1), and the Soviet side (but censured). There were risks, but not so high as to call these missions ordered suicides!

The presentation of the Apollo missions as sloppy amateurish unprepared and risky missions is utterly inept. On the contrary, it was naturally essential - including politically with respect to the Eastern bloc - that the mission were successful and that the astronauts returned healthy and safe from the Moon. The preparation, the tests, the simulations, were huge activities and everything was done so that nothing dramatic happens. And that succeeded.

They were so apprehensive of a fatal accident that Nixon had prepared a speech in advance about the astronauts' death.

I do not know if this is true or not. But it is quite possible!

This story had been initially launched by a documentary forgery broadcast on the Arte French/German TV channel. To scoff at the credulous and to give them a lesson, the authors of this show had directed a documentary forgery which claimed that Stanley Kubrick had filmed in a movie studio a "faked successful Apollo mission" in case the real Apollo mission would turn into a disaster. In this documentary, skillful editing makes believe that Nixon had a speech ready in the event of a disaster (the idea of the "false successful mission" thrived later on among Internet trolls who did not even understood that it was all forged, although it was revealed at the end of the show).

The idea was not new, a relatively little known science fiction movie, "Capricorn One", had already used that same plot but about a future Mars missions instead of the Moon missions: The USA want to send an inhabited space mission to Mars, but they realize that it is too risky and right before the true departure of the true rocket, they make the astronauts get out of the rocket, them along in a secret studio and make them simulate all the mission. They force the astronauts into accepting by threatening to hurt their families, so the astronauts play along. But when the true rocket returns, it explodes in front of the TV cameras of the whole world. The astronauts thus understand that the mischievous NASA agents are now obliged to kill them, so they escape, and with the assistance of a journalist who had suspected the fraud, the Truth come out. The movie is rather tedious when the suspense has worn off. It is that sort of movies that gave ideas to certain "conspirationists", those who claim that the astronauts were never on the Moon etc. (An advised ufologist would take the time to look at all those old Sci-Fi movie that explain many crackpot "theories".)

What you must know is that the authors of presidential speeches obviously prepare them in advance and when two alternatives are possible, as here failure or success, the two corresponding speeches are readied, just in case. That should not make anybody gasp, and the Soviets did the same (but generally rather chose censorship: many missions were revealed only after the cosmonaut was safe, back on Earth, quite simply).

The LEM nearly crashed on the surface of the Moon because there was only 70% of the necessary fuel.

This is again a half-truth of the worst sort. Actually when the LEM had landed, there was still fuel in. There was "enough" from the beginning. Simply, nobody was very sure of the state of the lunar ground at the foreseen landing zone. Aldrin saw that there were some rocks, a bit risky, and manoeuver to get onto a safer landing spot, he did that perfectly, perfectly taking into account the possible manoeuvre range that the fuel provided for this!

When you are told to buy what the "documentary" says about missing fuel, you should actually understand only this: "hats off for the remarkable landing, guys!"

During the countdown for the LEM's take off from the moon, Aldrin saw that a fuse was destroyed and repaired it with a ball point pen, if he had not done so they would have died.

If this is true - why not? Let me know - that proves the astronauts were right well when they protested about journalists who at the time teased them by claiming monkeys would do the job just as well as they would!

Yes, the first Apollo missions were not just a joyride and it is not without reason that people like me say these astronauts are heroes. To sit your ass on a mountain of metal and fuel, a mountain of stuff that is in reality nothing else than a huge missile, to sit down at the top of that missile, that requires some guts, nerves of steel, and much competences and good reflexes. One day, one of these crackpots who write books about astronauts not really gone on the Moon harassed Aldrin in the street about that. Then, Zidane, sorry, Aldrin put smacked a good fistful of his hand in the guy's face. I say: well done Buzz!

The documentary:

Before dealing with Aldrin's UFO, let's make some comments about the documentary.

Everyone seems to have their minds set that this is "new revelations." But actually this documentary was often rerun since last year, but under another title: "First one the Moon: the Untold Story." It is periodically rerun on cables and satellite TV channels.

This enabled me to have already seen it, and contrary to the medias and conspiracies fans that seem very excited before to have even seen it, I can talk about it knowingly.

Should you want to buy it:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0484835

It is still periodically run on TV in many countries, for example, it was again on the "Science Channel" in the US on July 30, 2006:

science.discovery.com/tvlistings/episode.jsp?episode=0&cpi=115678&gid=0&channel=SCI

Should you need to join the producers: www.atlanticproductions.tv/forthprog.html

When U-K's Channel 5 announced the show, as we saw, medias went crazy about it But there is a remarkable thing: some of them silenced the UFO story!

It was the case with AFP, Agence France Presses, as they listed all the documentaries claimed highlights EXCEPT the story of the UFO. "Disinformation", that's a French tradition... Just a few weeks before, AFP had reported a story of unidentified space junk and called it "UFO" because the Russians had written about "a not identified object." It may well be that following reactions on this mistake they do not dare too much anymore to venture into UFOs.

Of course, the Internet trolls now ramble on at large about the UFO of Apollo 11... The "Truth" with la capital "T" finally "revealed"! There was a NASA cover-up! An alien spaceship was seen by Aldrin, and NASA ordered silence on him! One of these trolls even predicted that Aldrin will be assassinated by the infamous disinformation agents in the next days for having dared "to say the Truth on TV finally!"

This chap deserves my Prize for the UFO Stupidity, this beautiful alien mug:

The Apollo 11 UFO:

"Aldrin and the other astronauts saw a UFO during the flight but NASA ordered them to remain silent."

If you had seen the documentary, you would have seen that this is all about astute editing of quotes.

The sequence starts with remarks by the host. Then, Aldrin says this:

"There was something out there, that was close enough to be observed, and, er, what could it be?"


"Buzz" Aldrin in the documentary.

And it he is cut. The documentary then shows a short footage of two "balls", specifying that it is not what Aldrin saw but that it is a similar UFO filmed during another mission. The host says that it is an "object" that traveled alongside Apollo 11.

It is obvious: this is edited quoting, and "amplified" using footage and a comment unrelated to what Aldrin had just said!

The host adds: "if it was not a part of their rocket, that could only be a... UFO!"

That is just so typical of this kind of documentary: what does it mean, "a UFO?" It means actually just nothing. It is not really a synonym for "alien spaceship" but of course, this is what is suggested to the viewers who are accustomed to understand "UFO" as meaning "alien spaceship." And you can't criticize! Because indeed, if you try to write a protest mail to the Director, it would be just so easy for him to fight back: "nope, we did not say that it was an alien spaceship, we only said it was a UFO, something unidentified."

What the brief footage shows lasts only 5 seconds. There are no references, and it resembles a reflection on an entirely black background, as one finds some on NASA footage. Nothing is said about the mission during which that footage is said to have been made.

Then, it is again Aldrin who speaking:

"Mike decided he thought he could see it in the telescope and he was able to do that, and when it was in one position it had series of ellipses. But when you made it real sharp it was sort of "L" shaped. That didn't tell us very much."

And he is cut again.

He does not get to say anything more, all the remainder is said by the host. The host says that the crew had a good sight on the object (whereas the telescope was needed), but that they has no desire to report it to mission control (but they did).

That's all!

There is no censorship, no cover-up, no silencing. At no time does Aldrin say anything about being prevented from talking about it.

Aldrin and Collins saw something, with the telescope, after focusing, it had something of an L-shape, and they could not find what it was at the time, but it did not puzzle them very much.

What more could have Aldrin said if he had not been cut? In this type of sensationalist documentary, the ends of interview are quite simply not shown. Is it because he would have continued with "we finally understood that it was a part of our spaceship"?

What are we certain of by listening to the two sentences by Aldrin? We are certain that:

Actually, what they saw was indeed identified as one of the four detachable panels of their spaceship, detached before this phase of the flight and moving along with them!

But in this kind of "documentary", all the easy way consists in editing what people say to give to the credulous viewer a completely false idea on what occurred.

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This page was last updated on July 31, 2006