Slipped into see the new film Apollo 18 during my lunch hour today.
Brutal honesty, I was flying a bit blind and really had no idea what to expect…the idea of an 18th Apollo mission that was kept secret, however, fascinated me.
The film is not for everyone. It is filmed to mimic the hand held and security cameras used on such a mission. My best reference is the Blair Witch Project in space. Do not get me wrong here, there were writers and actors…really a tiny cast compared to some films, with the three astronauts as the leads and a number of voices over the radio. This is a work of fiction…
…or is it?
The film is, no question. It does, however, touch on something that has always nibbled just at the back of my brain for the last twenty years. Why have we not been back to the Moon since Apollo 17?
The reason given, of course, is economics. NASA and the United States government could no longer afford the project. In fact, no known manned mission has landed on the Moon since 1972.
According to the Wikipedia details, the US started focusing on Mars and the Soviets on Venus. The page also mentions some more recent unmanned vessels visiting and that China is looking at the Moon for potential mining possibilities…I will return to the Chinese shortly, but this concept should alarm any environmentalist beyond reason.
There are two conspiracy theories that have, not surprisingly, sprouted from this lack of Moon visitations.
The first, and easiest to grasp is that the Apollo missions never landed on the Lunar surface. Instead the footage seen is all filmed on sound stages somewhere in a Hollywood back lot. Thanks to a George W. Bush mouth slip, this particular conspiracy gained more believers when he pointed out how difficult it would be to get past the radiation of the Van Allen Belt. There are too many third parties disputing this theory too put much stock in it, however. The number of people complicit in such a cover up would be awesome in size and it is simply not realistic. From the people currently working the Hubble Space Telescope to those sweeping the floors in NASA’s offices…never mind those that were working at the time it all happened. The one splinter theory that may actually hold water, however, is that the public viewed fakes made in Hollywood because the shots on the Moon were not good enough…use Hollywood to make a better quality picture, and the number of conspirators drops significantly.
I actually took this conspiracy rather serious when I first read about it in Richard Belzer’s book “UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe”. Considering Amazon.com still lists this book under comedy…well, take from that what you will.
Now there is a second conspiracy that has come out of this. One that, to me, makes more and more sense. Back during the days of sea exploration, if an exploration found something unexpected and dangerous…what would they do? I am no tactician, but seems logical they would return and lick their wounds while reloading and rethinking their plans. So, what if the Apollo missions found something…something dangerous and well above our current technology to deal with? Again, logic would dictate “ending” the program until humanity found a way to deal with whatever dangers are out there.
This is not to suggest, on my part, that any secret Apollo missions took place. Seems that it gets debunked fairly easily by etidbits. Besides, it would be awfully difficult to cover up a vessel returning astronauts to Earth…and suicide missions makes very little sense….more so that etidbits claim that the Saturn rockets involved were too big to not be noticed as technology has changed and who is to say that something smaller would not work while claiming to be launching a satellite or some other unmanned craft.
It is to suggest, however, that perhaps we have not been told about everything that was found up there. What if the Moon was looking back at us? What if the Moon has native inhabitants that we cannot yet understand?
The latter of these two is where the film Apollo 18 looks from a fictional perspective. One could go back to Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek lore where the Vulcans observed humanity from a Lunar base…again fiction. Even Peter Gabriel with his song “More Than This” addresses how little we actually know about the Moon and, perhaps more importantly, how little attention we pay to her to educate ourselves.
Is the Moon hiding something from us?
I do not have an answer other than to suggest that we have but scratched her surface and something has scared us away. Economics of the US might be a reasonable excuse, but why did the Soviets not continue…why have the Indians nor the Chinese been yet? What is it about the Moon that leaves us dreaming and yet afraid of her at the same time?
Perhaps our fictions have been hiding some truths.
“And a lie, Mr. Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths.” – Deep Throat, 1994 in the X-File episode E.B.E.
“Mr. Mulder, THEY’VE been here for a long, long time.” – Deep Throat, 1993 in the X-File episode Deep Throat