In the previous part of this series, I described the efforts to rebut the second hand accounts of Maurice Chatelain concerning talk about NASA personnel about UFOs on the Moon and pressures on the astronauts not to talk about any UFO sightings. I had also described the rather mysterious context of additional dialogue between Houston and Apollo 11 in the book “Celestial Raise” which I quoted.
The dialogue recited is problematic enough, coming as it does without any source cited in the book, but the entire provenience does not inspire confidence in its accuracy. However the mighty effort of Oberg and NASA to discredit it is like watching a bullet ricocheting upon striking what looks like a paper thin wall. We then realize there may be something more to the wall than paper.
According to Oberg, he had found the source from which the dialogue was received, presumably indirectly, by the book’s authors: “Author Sam Pepper (otherwise unidentified and he has since vanished) [The parenthetical phrase is Oberg’s] gave this version of ‘the top secret tape transcript’ from ‘a leak close to the top.’” Actually, Oberg, for some reason, never mentions the book. After picking at several petty, picayunish details in the language of the transcript, Oberg concludes on his website that the "Pepper Transcript" was either fabricated or that Pepper used very poor judgment in allowing himself to be victimized by somebody else's fake.
I don’t think that Pepper vanished. I don’t think he ever existed. It may be that Oberg was the one victimized by somebody’s fake. There are literally thousands of Sam Pepper sites on Google, but none seem to have any connection with Apollo, space, or NASA. It appears that all of the sites pertain to an English TV entertainer. He was probably far too young at the time (late 70s or early 80s) to have any involvement. However it seems there was a Sergeant Pepper song by the Beatles which was based, in turn, on the Major Tom song, also popular at the time, being part of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” which is a spoof on the entire space venture. Both were fictional characters, and the relationship between the two is much discussed on the web. There is another well known myth from many years ago about a Tom Pepper who was a great liar, and had to wander the earth til he learned how to tell the truth. I think someone was pulling Oberg’s leg.
Much more telling is the scattershot method we hear from a NASA spokesman on Oberg’s site, and mostly through Oberg’s hand. The news from there is that astronauts ‘NEVER’ used the term ‘mission control.’ (emphasis by the spokesman or by Oberg). In the army I was taught never to say always and never to say never. Maybe it was used here because it hadn’t happened before that someone found UFOs on the moon. A wife may call her husband John, but usually not Mr. Smith, or John Smith, unless she is expressing anger, great joy, or surprise. To emphasize, people do use more formal language sometimes. Officers call privates by just their last names, but sometimes to make a point they address him as Private Jones, or Private Earl Jones. highly unusual circumstances can result in highly unusual speech. And if this was concocted, it was certainly by someone who knew about transmissions in the space programs. In any event this kind of thing is petty, smacks of desperate ‘reaching” and proves nothing.
Exactly what were the problems that NASA had with the language otherwise? In the words of their spokesman: “Technical-sounding gibberish such a ‘field-distortion’, ‘orbit scanned’, ‘625 to the fifth’, ‘auto-relays’, etc. were never found in real transcripts.”
If NASA can answer nonsense like the questions implying that our astronauts never went to the moon, they could certainly answer this one claiming that UFOs were seen on the Moon, if they wanted. The “625 to 5 automatic relay” is ridiculed by the NASA spokesman for its allegedly unusual terminology, But he, and NASA, obviously knew what it meant, and it obviously meant something. They never denied that. Why quibble with the format? Why not just get to the point? Were UFOs seen or were they not?
The mirrors mentioned at the conclusion of the dialogue were for the purpose of measuring the earth-moon distance over time. If the dialogue was concocted, whoever concocted it, obviously knew about the mirrors, though that was but one of scores of experiments performed on that mission, and not emphasized in the media. If they were in fact mentioned, it could only have been in passing. The alleged villain in the NASA story must have been somewhat savvy.
But what insignificant carping is done, points up more starkly what is not done. Why not tell us exactly what was said? Instead of quibbling with technicalities, why not pull this transcript out of the mass NASA says it has and let it be known once and for all? They’ve quibbled with details; they’ve denied the dialogue, but have never denied publicly the guts of the issue. If NASA has the tape of conversation during the crucial two minutes or so, and they claim there was no break in the transmissions, why not make it public?
According to Oberg: “NASA claims that all photos, all voice transcripts, all debriefings are in the public domain and are available to the news media. This data is too voluminous to publish openly, but is available to researchers with appropriate credentials in Houston, Flagstaff, and Washington.” Or is it? There is something very puzzling here. Was NASA playing straight with Oberg?
On July 17, 2009, according to America on Line, NASA announced that it did not have the original videos of the live transmissions from Apollo 11. NASA believes that it must have erased the 45 tapes years ago so that it could reuse them. So, not only are ‘all’ of the tapes not available; none of them are. The entire original 11 hours of taped record is gone. It is a subject we will deal with in a little more detail in Part 4 of this tale.
In 1998 the issue of the sighting on the moon was addressed by Timothy Good in his “Above Top Secret.” He is a meticulous and scrupulous author of a number of well researched UFO books. He repeats the observations of Binder and Chatelain, and adds to their number, a Dr. Garry Henderson, all three of whom concur that the astronauts were under strict orders not to discuss their sightings. In addition, Dr Steven Greer, in his book “Disclosure,” reports that former NASA employee Donna Hare stated that the astronauts who seemed determined to talk publicly were threatened. Hare also spoke of the widespread talk at NASA about UFOs seen on the moon.
Good further reports that a friend of his who formerly served in British military intelligence told Good of overhearing a conversation, at a NASA symposium, between Armstrong and a certain professor. Good says that the name of the professor is known to him, but that he, Good, is not permitted to reveal the name of the professor, nor the location or date of the conversation. He realizes this will give fuel to the debunkers, but we may be certain he is at least accurately reporting what he heard. And, judging by his books, he is quite discriminating and not easily fooled. I, for one, think he has earned our confidence in his judgment. According to the friend’s recollection, part of the dialogue was as follows:
Professor: What REALLY happened out there with Apollo 11?
Armstrong: It was incredible, of course we had always known there was a possibility, the fact is, we were warned off! There was never any question then of a space station or a moon city.
Professor: How do you mean "warned off"?
Armstrong: I can't go into details, except to say that their
ships were far superior to ours both in size and
technology - Boy, were they big! and menacing! No, there is no question of a space station.
Professor: But NASA had other missions after Apollo 11?
Armstrong: Naturally - NASA was committed at that time, and couldn't risk panic on Earth. But it really was a quick scoop and back again.
Proof of this in court would require the testimony of Armstrong or the unnamed professor. But we are not in court, and are entitled to make our own evaluations of evidence. Due to the silence of the government, we are, in fact, forced to it.
The fourth and final part of this series will be published shortly.
The author’s web site is www.ourinterplanetaryfuture.com His book is “Our Interplanetary Future: A UFO Primer For Skeptics.”