Aliens On The Moon?

A friend posted this article from Sunny Skyz – “Always Positive, Upbeat Media”.  Here’s an extract:

At least one enormous object of unknown origin has been visually verified as having landed on our moon. As a result, on Wednesday, January 15, three Terrier-Orion rockets blasted off within a span of 20 seconds from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. EST (0600 to 1000 GMT) on hush-hush missions for the Department of Defense (DoD).

TRN has obtained photos of the unknown spacecraft and has an audio interview with an outside consultant from NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) who confirms that for almost two years the U.S. government used the MacDonald Observatory in Texas to track the approach of two of these enormous objects. A year ago, in January 2013, the objects had gotten to within 200,000 miles of Mars when they suddenly vanished.

Realizing these two craft were approaching earth and might not be visible to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital Camera (LROC) depending upon where they went, the Government reactivated the previously cancelled Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) to be launched to the moon on September 6, 2013. It took almost 100 days for LADEE to be placed into proper lunar orbit. By December, 2013, both LADEE and the LROC found at least one of the two enormous objects had landed on the moon, in a crater the size of the City of Chicago.

All sounds very awesome, right?

Is it a hoax or not?  My immediate was that it is; but have I got anything to back that up?

Well, apart from an instinctive distrust of anything involving claims of aliens visiting Earth and giant government cover-ups – I won’t deny a degree of scepticism here – I wanted to verify some of the details of the story to see exactly what we’ve got.

(Note: The article as posted on Sunny Skyz was cited from another site which I understand to have been started by white supremacist and Holocaust denier Hal Turner.  While this doesn’t make the content of that site – which I’m not linking to for obvious reasons – automatically false, it does counsel caution.  This is a man – or at least his friends who are currently running the site – who has a track record of fabricating his own history to suit his political beliefs.  I have no reason to believe that Sunny Skyz, the below-mentioned ‘WowForReel’, or any other person or group mentioned in this post, have any connection or sympathy with Hal Turner.  Except possibly the Daily Mail.  I think they might get on nicely.)

So, first: visual verification.  That should be pretty incontrovertible, right?  Well, here’s the ‘object’ that’s been observed to have ‘landed’ on the Moon:

‘Paranormal researcher’ ‘WowForReel’ posted Google Moon screenies to YouTube, saying:

“After going there on Google Moon and staring at this thing for quite a long time I can say yes, it is really there, not faked and I have no clue what it is.”

Needless to say, the rest of the Internet isn’t so reticent.  It’s aliens.  Do you really need more than this?  It’s clear proof.  Look at those lights!  What else could it possibly be but aliens?  Image artefact?  Pshaw!  Unless you’re NASA admitting that you’re trying, but failing, to cover up evidence of aliens, don’t even bother trying to explain this photo.

Okay.  So, what’s the world’s last standing superpower doing about it?

“As a result, on Wednesday, January 15, three Terrier-Orion rockets blasted off within a span of 20 seconds from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. EST (0600 to 1000 GMT) on hush-hush missions for the Department of Defense (DoD).”

Pretty intense, huh?  Is it true?  Well, apart from three words, yes: it’s true.  Wallops Flight Facility did indeed launch three Terrier Orion rockets, within a twenty-second period, on that date.  And yes, they were on a ‘hush-hush’ mission for the Department of Defense.

Everything thus far ties in with the claims being made.  The three words I mentioned – the ones that don’t quite qualify as ‘remotely true’ – are the ones at the beginning there: “As a result”.  That implies that the Terrier Orions were launched because of this object on the Moon.  You’re supposed to think these rockets represent a hastily-despatched reconnaissance mission to find out what the alien intruders are doing.  Were you convinced?

Don’t be convinced.  This is a Terrier Orion rocket:


While this is what it took to get three men to the Moon:


That’s a Saturn V, the biggest, roariest, spikiest and all-out awesomest real spacecraft humanity has yet conceived.  See, the thing about getting to the Moon is that it takes a magnificent amount of fuel. Fuel, in a spacecraft, translates to what’s called ‘delta-v’, the ability to effect changes to your velocity. A spacecraft heading for the International Space Station, in Low Earth Orbit, would need to have a delta-v capability of around 8.5 km/s.  The space shuttle could do that – and you saw how fat and fiery that thing had to be.  And then there’d need to be a little more fuel for manoeuvring on-orbit, docking, and whatever; and some more, albeit only a bit, still in reserve for coming back down. Deorbit requires deceleration (technically ‘retrograde acceleration’), but you can’t just put the brakes on in space: you need a little fuel to come down just as sure as you need lots of it to go up.  So delta-v is a precious commodity.  Spacecraft have to carry the right amount of fuel for the manoeuvring they’re going to have to do.  And that means any change in speed or direction, whether going up, coming down, moving side-to-side, speeding up or slowing down.  It took something the size of the Saturn V to pack enough delta-v to achieve lunar orbit and come home again (around 16 km/s each way) – and don’t forget the tiny size of what came back.  The rest was spent and jettisoned.  Most of that ship, as it’s shown in that photo up there, was just fuel.

The Terrier Orion, or the ‘Terrier Mk 70 boosted Improved Orion’, is a ‘sounding rocket’.  These are in common use: some scientific experiments, military or civilian, don’t require a full, stable orbit.  They only need to get something – a camera, a sensor, whatever – out of the atmosphere, or into momentary microgravity.  So a sounding rocket has enough oomph to get something to the right altitude for a short time – after which rocket and sensor just drop back down again.  And sounding rockets are being launched more or less all the time; far more often than the sort of launch that’d get on the news. Sounding rockets, as you can see, don’t look like much more than basic missiles, and that’s because, like missiles, they only need to burn for a very short time.

So why the secrecy?  The Wallops Facility does indeed say that they won’t release information about this triple launch.  Why not, if it’s all so innocent and doesn’t involve aliens?  The launch was secret for the same reason most Department of Defense missions are secret to some degree: they’re military activity.  NASA is a civilian research agency, which means its own activity is generally made public; but the DoD decidedly isn’t, and like all military organisations around the world it keeps much of its activity ‘hush-hush’.

Okay, so: in January 2013, NASA hastily launches three suborbital sounding rockets as a hasty response to a photo of the Moon that was taken in 2008.

The image layer that includes the anomalous object in question was taken by the Japanese Kaguya orbiter’s Terrain Camera in 2008.  So not only is this information obtained and published by the Japanese authorities, and therefore the American government would struggle to cover it up even if it wanted to, but 2008-2013 doesn’t really represent a swift response by NASA.  Don’t get me wrong: if they’d taken five years to produce a new Saturn V equivalent, the time scale might still qualify as a rush job, especially in the current economy.  But taking five years to decide to launch three missile-rockets that can’t even get to Earth orbit…?

Which brings us, finally, to the anomalous object itself.  It’s pretty clear that it’s not natural, isn’t it?  I mean, a strange black mound with clear, precise patterns of white lights running down two sides:

Oh, hang on, no.  That’s not the right one…  Let’s try again:

Ack, no.  That’s not it, either.  One more go:

Wow!  Look at all those weird alien ships, with odd lights all over the place!

Except…  You’re possibly starting to see a pattern here.  These three images are just a few examples taken from the lunar region close to the ‘aliens’ being hyped up by the Daily Mail and other sensationalist media.  Compare these to WowForReel’s original:

It becomes clear that the convex object we’re being asked to see is just a concave crater: the sunlight is coming, not from the right, as we’re expected to assume, but from the left.  It’s the inside of a crater bowl that’s lit, not the outer shell of a protrusion.  And the strange lights?  Just like the patterns of weird dots on the craters in the other images above, they’re simply image-compression artefact: errors in the image resulting from its being compressed for transmission.  If we were to go hover over any of these craters in the Moon and look directly down at them, we wouldn’t see those dots.  WowForReel can’t possibly have failed to notice the same artefact occurring in dozens of craters around the one he selected for his video:

Click to make bigger.

Finally, the question of cover-up can be answered quite simply – and this goes for every single Earth-shattering conspiracy exposed on the Internet: the US owns the Internet.  At least the parts of it – the complex directory and switching system that routes our connections to websites – that most of us in the western world use from day to day; and certainly including the parts that carry YouTube, other Google services and the Daily Mail.  The US Government, then, wouldn’t need to do much to cover up The Truth if they wanted to.  Every conspiracy website you’ve ever seen is subject to the same basic problem: if the Americans really wanted something kept quiet, they could, at least for most of our daily intents and purposes, switch off the Internet.

It’s worth asking yourself: if it turned out to be true, would this claim be something so important that America would go to any lengths to keep it secret?  And if the answer’s yes, ask yourself why they clearly aren’t.

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