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Bizzare & Odd

Five Most Insidious Conspiracy Theories of 2014

Cliff Weathers, AlterNet

Ripped from the headlines, these fabrications were spread by politicians, pundits and social media.

This story first appeared at AlterNet.

Conspiracy theories are like bellybuttons, everyone has one but some are just out there more than others. This year, the Internet was rife with vile gossip and wild beliefs; I couldn’t even possibly list all the wacky new chemtrail and illuminati theories in just one article. And let’s just quickly drive a stake through the rumors thatEbola victims are rising from the dead, reptilians disguised as humans run the U.S. government, and Pharrell, Keanu Reeves and Madonna are actually vampires.

I’ve found that the conspiracy theories spread most widely — and the ones that seem plausible to many, unfortunately — are those based on current headlines and often propagated by public figures such as politicians, celebrities and media figures. They travel by word-of-mouth at light speed and become “a known fact.” These theories are often believed by those who assume there must be a coherence behind world events and occurrences don’t just happen randomly. Using that as our criteria, here are the most insidious conspiracy theories of 2014.

1. MH370 landed at a U.S. military installation. The continuing lack of firm evidence about the fate of the missing Malaysian Airways jetliner has conspiracy theorists wagging their tongues. Speculation ranges from alien abduction to the airplane entering into a lost dimension. This speculation has been, in part, spurred by the inexplicable sequence of flight events leading to the plane’s disappearance and the nonstop coverage of the story by the news networks, particularly CNN, whose anchors even began to entertain wild theories on the air while there was little news to report.

Ironically, CNN conducted a poll months after MH370 disappeared from radar in March. It found that some 10% of Americans believe that “space aliens, time travelers or beings from another dimension” played a part in the airliner’s disappearance. Moreover, 21% of poll respondents believe that at least some of the people on the flight survived and they may have landed or crash-landed in some remote area.

One of the more popular theories is that the plane landed on Diego Garcia, a small British atoll in the Indian Ocean where the U.S. operates several strategic military facilities. Conspiracy theorists have long contended that the site has been used by the CIA for “black ops” missions, including the detainment, interrogation and torture of terrorists and political enemies.

Inspired by conspiracy blogger Jim Stone, theorists continue to insist that MH370 was  diverted to Diego Garcia because some “high-value” targets were on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Some believe the plane was diverted to keep 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor from arriving in Beijing, because they held U.S. intelligence secrets the CIA feared would fall into the hands of the Chinese government. Other versions of the conspiracy theory say that the Freescale employees had been working on a drone smaller than a housefly that could used in biochemical warfare.

Conspiracy theorists, however, cannot seem to agree on the ultimate fate of the plane’s crew and passengers. Some speculate they have all become permanent detainees on the island, while others claim that only the high-value targets on the plane were spared and could even be secretly working on U.S. defense projects from Diego Garcia.

To further solidify their Diego Garcia theory, conspiracy theorists quickly acknowledged a claim found on the Internet that an American passenger, Philip Wood, sent GPS coordinates and an image over a cellphone text message, proving the plane had landed on the atoll. Not long after the Philip Wood theory was introduced it was quickly debunked by numerous tech-savvy Internet users who now believe the origin of the text was likely some tomfoolery by users of 4Chan, an Internet subculture site.

2. MH370 and MH17 were the same airplane. Unhappy that the Diego Garcia theory didn’t pan out, other conspiracists were quick to jump on the notion that MH17, the Malaysian Airways airliner widely assumed to be shot down over the Ukraine by Russian-backed separatists in July, was actually MH370 and the passengers on that plane were actually the corpses from the missing plane.

This theory took hold on Twitter only minutes after news broke of the Boeing 777’s mid-air explosion and crash and later spread like wildfire on YouTube. The theory is that the first Malyasian airliner was hijacked and taken to a secret destination for storage, where it was rigged with explosives. It was then flown over the Ukraine/Russian border where it was blown up to implicate one party in the ongoing civil war. Some speculate that the CIA was behind this elaborate “false flag” plot, while others point to the New World Order — a shadowy power elite that secretly controls the world — as staging this to instigate a third world war.

While both planes were Boeing 777s, MH17 was built in 1997 and MH370 five years later, and there are subtle differences in the designs of the planes. Proponents of the idea that the planes were switched say the photographs they saw of MH17 show a newer version of the Boeing 777 with an extra window behind the second exit.

The theory was further promoted by pro-Russian rebels who told the media that the bodies they saw in the wreckage soon after the crash had been dead for many days. The separatists also claimed their passports were “pristine” and looked like they had been planted on the bodies.

Aviation bloggers, many of them pilots themselves, were quick to debunk the extra window theory, and the pro-Russian separatists have not been the most trustworthy sources with other information about the shooting down of the MH17, making their claims dubious at best.

Conspiracy theorists are fond of arguing that it’s naïve to accept coincidences. It seems more naïve to assume that any organization or government would have the necessary resources and competence to steal an airplane without a leaving a trace, keep it hidden for four months during a massive search operation, and later substitute it for another plane many witnesses saw take off from Amsterdam earlier that day after being boarded by its passengers.

3. The feds blanketed the South with fake snow. After the Polar Vortex created uncharacteristically Arctic-like conditions in the South in the early months of the year, several websites and YouTube videos pushed a conspiracy theory that the white stuff falling from the sky was not snow, but a plastic impostor engineered by the federal government for nefarious reasons that were never really explained.

A spate of videos cropped up in January and February showing people unsuccessfully trying to melt this snow with their butane lighters. Instead of becoming water, the snow changes to a gas with the remaining solid becoming tinged with black. In some of the videos, the video bloggers claim the snow gives off a toxic smell. They insist it’s not real snow, but a chemical geo-engineered by the government and dumped on southern states for nefarious reasons.

Except it wasn’t. Meteorologist Mike Stone, who works for CBS affiliate WTVR, explained that what the video bloggers reported was nothing unusual.

“When you heat something like this, it goes from a solid to a gas. It’s called sublimation. It doesn’t go from a solid to a liquid, i.e. melting,” he said.

Meanwhile, other YouTube users posted their own videos debunking the fake snow reports.

“Bottom line, if you don’t want to waste five minutes watching this video, butane burns dirty. The smell is not from the snow, the black on the snow is not because it’s plastic; it’s because of the butane,” said one video blogger.

Many of the videos attempting to expose the snow conspiracy have either been taken down or made private since we first reported this in February, but geo-engineering conspiracy sites are still promoting the myth of plastic snow.

4. The Ebola outbreak is a government plot. Conspiracy theorists like to blame President Obama for a lot of crazy things, but this one takes the cake. Soon after the Ebola outbreak in Africa began to make headlines in August, websites were quick to accuse the Obama administration of all sorts of crazy things that would together lead to some totalitarian dystopia for the U.S. It was an amazingly intricate plot: First the government would use misinformation about Ebola to lull the American public into a false sense of security; then they would use the disease for deliberate population control, impose martial law and the survivors would be given a mandatory Ebola vaccine that would contain an RFID chip to track everyone’s whereabouts. The only thing that seems to be missing from this string of theories is President Obama’s Nehru jacket and Persian cat.

Let’s begin with Sen. Rand Paul, who likes to play the card that he’s a board-certified ophthalmologist whenever a healthcare issue comes up. Sen. Paul got this parade of crazy rolling when he insinuated the Ebola virus was metamorphosing into an airborne virus and that the government knew of it and was covering it up. Even when public health officials contradicted him, Paul declared that Americans shouldn’t trust government types and that Ebola was a highly communicable disease despite their assurances.

Paul even called Glenn Beck’s radio show to warn that the world was on the verge of a worldwide pandemic and that Ebola is “an incredibly transmissible disease that everyone is downplaying, saying it’s hard to catch.”

Sen. Paul layered on the crazy, telling a CNN audience that the Obama administration was deliberately dishonest with the public and that people can get Ebola just by being near someone who has the disease. “If someone has Ebola at a cocktail party they’re contagious and you can catch it from them,” he said.

Not to be outdone, other conservatives began to insist that Ebola could become a bioterrorist threat, even weaponized, according to Fox News. Some conservative websites conflated the dual messages of government mistrust and virus weaponization to mean that the Obama administration would use the virus against large U.S. cities. Freedom Outpost, a popular Tea Party news site, said that “Obama is free to have the weaponized version released on the population centers, and he will also shut down certain parts of the power grid in these highly infected areas. This will create a pandemic fast.”

The site claimed the Obama administration’s ultimate and nefarious goal is to create martial law, a theory it shares with Naomi Wolf. The progressive author and journalist also claimed that Obama was using the disease as a convenient pretext for martial law. On her popular Facebook page, which has more than 100,000 likes, Wolf has insisted that the Ebola crisis is being engineered. “Ebola here or ‘here’ means excuse for mass lockdowns,” says Wolf.

This rant is nothing new for Wolf, who has insisted for nearly a decade that the country is on the verge of martial law. But on September 5, she went on an unhinged Facebook rant, insisting that the decision to bring Rick Sacra, an aid worker in Western Africa, back to the U.S. for treatment was a deliberate step toward totalitarianism.

Sacra, a UMass Medical School faculty member who contracted the disease working in Liberia, never did infect anyone in the U.S. and was released from a Nebraska hospital weeks later.

Why would President Obama want to create national chaos and impose martial law? Because his administration had the cure all along, say his critics, and they want to force people to get the vaccine. But according to conspiracy theorists, there’s a little catch; with the injection comes the insertion of an RFID chip, which will allow the government to track your every movement.

The Obama-mandated RFID chip is based on the well-traveled theory that the Affordable Care Act would mandate those in the program to have electronic trackers implanted under their skin. Not only will one’s movements and activities be monitored, the chip will have direct access to its host’s bank account for Obamacare payments. But like Y2K, this conspiracy theory came and went, only to be supplanted by this new, more nefarious conspiracy theory about forced vaccination.

It began when the National Report, a mock-news website that somehow manages to fool most of the people most of the time, reported that a CDC whistleblower exposed a heinous plan to use the pandemic to implant RFID technology through a life-saving vaccine. Unfortunately, this theory was picked up by Chicken Littles on social media before other news sites could expose it as a hoax. It continues to make the rounds.

5. The Scottish independence referendum was fixed. Soon after the Scottish independence referendum failed in mid-September, conspiracy theories by some disappointed pro-independence Scots started to fly on social media. Some claim the vote was suppressed, while others say the results were rigged. These theories continue to gain momentum, and as result, a Change.org petition demanding a new vote now has more than 100,00 signatures.

The leaders of the “Yes” (Independence) campaign and the referendum’s officers accept the results of the vote and refute all accusations of irregularities. Not a single voter or poll officiant raised a red flag during the well-scrutinized polling, verification, vote counting and adjudication processes.

The first conspiracy of the referendum originated in Russia, a country not really known for running a tight electoral ship. Its government observers said the referendum “did not meet international standards,” because the counting rooms were in aircraft hangars with observers watching from the perimeter. The Russian observer, Igor Borisov, complained in his report that the U.S. and Great Britain had browbeat the Russians over their voting procedures in the past, so the complaint appeared to be little more than a rhetorical tit-for-tat for Western criticism of Russian elections. Besides, Russian president Vladimir Putin was anxiously rooting for Scotland to gain its independence, as the Kremlin apparently saw a successful referendum as a way to rationalize its impulsive takeover of Crimea from the Ukraine earlier in the year.

The other “proof” conspiracy theorists provide are two short videos, one of a supposed election worker using a writing tool to mark on one sheet of paper and another of a woman moving two ballots from the “yes” pile to the “no” pile and one ballot from the “no” pile to the “yes” pile, perhaps to correct a mistake she had made. The second video was played in a loop to make it seem like the woman was actively shuffling votes, the first video shows a standard counting procedure, says referendum officials.

Never one to back down from a conspiracy theory, Naomi Wolf joined the fracas, claiming to have spreadsheets that could prove the referendum was rigged. On her Facebook page, Wolf wrote that she had the names of 400 Scottish voters who say they did not have a Unique Identifying Number, or a barcode, on the back of their ballots that are used to prevent impersonation. Oddly, there was no record of any person bringing this to the attention of a referendum official as balloting took place.

Still, Wolf eventually presented 500 names of those who said the backs of their ballots were blank. But on Vice, Scottish freelance writer Liam Turbett voiced his doubts about Wolf’s allegations:

“As it happens, I know my ballot paper did have a barcode, but I can’t remember many other details about voting, like what color the wallpaper was or the kind of pen I used. People generally go to the polling station to vote rather than play tedious memory games, so it seems astonishing that lots of voters have suddenly remembered a fairly minor detail about what the reverse of their ballot looked like.”

Later, Wolf’s protest, as well as those of others, was rejected by Lawyers for Yes, a legal group that supported Independence. On examining the evidence presented by Wolf the group said that “of the 3429 ballot papers rejected at the 32 local counts, not one was rejected on the ground that the back was blank or anything like this.” Further, Lawyers for Yes stated that the allegations were an “impressive collection of misunderstandings, conspiracy theories, and legal howlers…usefully collected by Naomi Wolf…”

Responding to criticism about her energetic role in propagating conspiracy theories, Wolf wrote on her Facebook page, “All the people who are attacking me right now for ‘conspiracy theories’ have no idea what they are talking about… people who assume the dominant narrative MUST BE TRUE and the dominant reasons MUST BE REAL are not experienced in how that world works.”

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Bizzare & Odd

What kind of lights appeared in the sky over Hawaii?

Hawaiians saw bright lights in the sky the size of a football field and decided it was Elon Musk’s technique. However, scientists have come to the conclusion that the Starlink satellites have nothing to do with it. The bright lights are already 12 years old, and they revolve around the Earth for completely different reasons.

On the night of October 24, unusual lights appeared in the sky over the Hawaiian Islands, moving eastward. Witnesses of the bright show filmed it and published it on social networks. A group of about ten bright lights the size of a football field moved in the sky after 22:00, Khon2 writes.

People described the group of lights as a massive but transparent flat figure. Some even thought the silhouette was the size of a football field, but the lights did not make any noise.

Many residents were worried about the strange light show and put forward different versions of what was happening.

One of the eyewitnesses, who filmed the lights on camera, said that he was worried when he saw the unusual sight.

I started filming it and when the lights got closer I got worried. I could not understand what it was all about, – says a resident of the island of Molokai Kuyip Kanavalivali.

The lights were visible from the shores of Waikiki to Eva Beach and even on neighboring islands. The brightest show was seen by the inhabitants of the island of Molokai.

We didn’t know what to think. We did not know what it was and where it came from, ” Sheri English said, who also lives in Molokai. – In fact, it was a very eerie feeling.

On social media, people argued about where UFOs came from. Some people thought it was a meteor shower.

Others decided that the lights belong to the satellites of Elon Musk.

However, experts from Mauna Kea observatories have a simpler explanation for the spectacle. In their opinion, it was a rocket booster launched in 2008.

In all likelihood, what people saw last night was the return of the 2008 rocket booster. It was a Chinese rocket that launched a communications satellite for Venezuela, John O’Meara explained, chief scientist at the Keck Observatory.

According to scientists, over the years, the orbit of the launch vehicle collapsed. Astronomers have found a map of the flight path of the object, which was located near the Hawaiian Islands. She also predicted when the rocket booster would re-enter the atmosphere.

We can’t be 100 percent sure because we don’t have a single piece of its wreckage. But the pattern of light we saw in our timeline is aligned with this map. This flight path really makes us believe it was Venesat-1 re-entering the atmosphere,” Mary Beth Leichuck explained, director of strategic communications for the Canadian and Hawaiian Telescope.

It is believed that such phenomena are not uncommon, as similar objects are constantly launched into space. To spot them, you just need to be in the right place at the right time – right along the flight path. But when the rocket booster enters the atmosphere, people will be able to see an even brighter light show.

It will begin to disintegrate, heat up, and become very hot. And when it reaches the extreme temperature, it will become very bright and fall apart, – O’Meara added.

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Bizzare & Odd

The first guests from a parallel world appeared on Earth?

In the vicinity of October 13, 2020, somewhere in the Alps, some people from Bosnia observed a very strange phenomenon, a report of which was posted on her Facebook profile by a certain Malisa Simic.  

The video is in Bosnian, so it is difficult to understand the story in detail, but the general description comes down to the observation by a person in the video of some blurry figures with wings and a height of 3.5 meters. Behind them were some kind of luminous objects and all this made an eerie, frightening sound. 

In the frame appears an adult, who probably has a family and a number of urgent matters related to his provision. That is, he has no time to run around the mountains and make fakes. 

The second interesting point is the simultaneous report of citizen Manuel Navarett, an employee of the USPS (United States Postal Service), who on September 24, 2020, met a hefty red-eyed creature with wings at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Unfortunately for researchers, YouTube and social networks are now crammed with all sorts of creative degenerates who want to make stupid fakes or want to become famous, or cut down views, so we very rarely watch and analyze videos of this kind. Distinguishing a real report from a clownery is quite difficult and takes a lot of time. Nevertheless, with these figures, everything ‘seems’ to be interesting.

Manuel reported the following: 

On Thursday, September 24, around 11:00 pm, I finished my shift at the USPS sorting center at O’Hare Airport and walked to my car at the far end of the parking lot. Nearby, about 20-25 feet from the car, stood a very tall man in what I thought was a long coat. 

I opened the door and the car automatically turned on the headlights. The light hit this tall man directly, which obviously made him turn and look directly at me. And then I saw that it was not a man, but something tall and red-eyed with wings, which I initially took for a long coat. I was 5 feet 4 inches, but IT was at least a couple of feet taller than me. 

It began to stare at me, making a clicking and low chirping sound. Then it began to approach quickly, and the clatter in his throat turned into a squeal. When I was about ten feet away, the creature spread its wings and took off, flying directly above me. I squatted down in front of the open car door and screamed hysterically ….


Thus, we already have, as it were, two similar cases that happened at the same time, albeit on different sides of the Earth. People are watching something and this is – tall entities, with wings and make some frightening sounds.

Similar messages from time to time come from different parts of the world, it is even possible that one of the readers saw something similar himself, he does not need to be convinced that there are some creatures with wings around us. Most likely they have always been, since legends and tales are full of such episodes. But the fact that they began to be observed somehow very clearly and even, it seems, got on camera in the Alps is a little alarming.

We don’t know how to explain what’s happening, because we don’t even know what kind of winged creatures they are. But, according to the general opinion, such creatures exist as if in a parallel dimension and almost never cross the border between the worlds. 

However, if they continue to be observed just as often and clearly, then it seems that the boundaries between our worlds are somehow erased and soon something else will fall here.

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Bizzare & Odd

TOP Rare facts about the first landing on the moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, and the whole world gasped. Since then, we have not stopped gasping and groaning, learning new facts about that flight.

We know a lot about the legendary flight of Apollo 11, but a lot of interesting details have remained behind the scenes of the moon race. How much did the Apollo 11 flight cost, what does moon dust smell like and how dangerous it is, why were the astronauts taught to walk sideways and what nearly exploded after landing? “Popular Mechanics” will tell about these and many other little-known, but damn interesting facts associated with the first manned landing on the moon.

The moon smells like burning

The big question before the NASA team was: what will the surface of the moon be? Will the lander feet touch a hard surface or sink into something soft? The good news was that the surface was actually quite hard, but the real surprise was that the moon had its own scent.

astronaut on the moon
NASA Aldrin after collecting a sample of lunar soil. Pay attention, under his feet is a scoop-landing net with a long handle

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned to the lunar module, the lunar mud entered the cabin and began to smell strong. The astronauts reported that it was the smell of something burnt, like wet ash from a fireplace.

The cost of a flight to the moon flew into a pretty penny

In total, the States spent more than $ 25 billion on the Apollo program. Decent, but in 1960s prices. In terms of today’s money, this is more than $ 150 billion – that’s really decent.

Saturn-5
NASA Saturn 5 booster with Apollo 11 during launch. Millions of dollars burn so brightly

Only Apollo 11 itself cost the Americans 355 million dollars, and another 185 million had to be paid for the Saturn 5 launch vehicle. Further on the little things: the command module “Columbia”, in which Michael Collins remained while Armstrong and Aldrin roamed the moon ($ 55 million), the lunar module “Eagle” ($ 40 million).

The USSR carefully concealed attempts to get to the Moon first

Not only the States were going to demonstrate their dominance by landing people on the moon, the Soviet Union was also preparing for this feat. From 1967 to 1969, the USSR launched a lot of spacecraft – “Cosmos”, “Probes”, “Soyuz” and “Luna”. The most successful of these turned out to be Zond-5, which became the first spacecraft in the world to return photographic film taken from the Moon to Earth.

True, as soon as the American astronauts set foot on its surface first, the Soviets lost interest and reduced their efforts in this direction to a minimum.

At first, our country needed secrecy so that, God forbid, no one would catch up with us. But then, when the States did catch up with us and overtook us, we had to maintain secrecy so that no one knew that we had been beaten.

Astronauts trained, literally walking sideways

How do you prepare to send someone to a place no one has ever been? To do this, NASA created a series of simulators in the 1960s that simulated what astronauts might encounter in reality.

NASA training
NASA: Astronauts Prepared for Lunar Gravity in Exotic Pose

Aldrin practiced collecting samples on artificial moonlit landscapes indoors. Armstrong trained in piloting on a training simulator in Houston. And to simulate walking in the atmosphere with the gravity of the moon, astronauts, dressed in spacesuits, were hung sideways on special cables and forced to walk for hours on the walls of the Langley Research Center.

For 20 years we could not find a photo of Armstrong on the moon

After that flight, it was officially believed that there was not a single photo of Neil Armstrong, taken on the moon while leaving the ship, since he had the camera all the time.

Neil Armstrong on the moon
NASA Here it is, the only snapshot of Neil Armstrong on the Moon that could not be found for 20 years. By the way, later NASA decided to make red stripes on the commander’s spacesuit so that the astronauts could be easily distinguished.

However, in 1987, NASA historians managed to make a discovery: there is still a picture, but it is the only one. Edwin Aldrin took a camera that Armstrong had placed on the open panel of the lunar module’s cargo hold before collecting rock samples and shot a panorama. Part of this panorama was the shot with Armstrong.

Buzz Aldrin received communion on the moon

When Eagle landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to wait a bit before embarking on their first moonwalk. Aldrin, as an elder in the Presbyterian Church, made good use of his time and did things that no other person has ever done. He took part in the first religious sacrament ever performed on the moon – the rite of Christian communion. Armstrong declined to participate.

Aldrin had originally hoped for a live radio broadcast, but at the last moment NASA dropped the idea. All because of a lawsuit initiated by the militant atheist Madaline Murray O’Hare: she filed a lawsuit against the agency in connection with the fact that the crew of Apollo 8 on Christmas Eve 1968 in lunar orbit on the air read the first chapter of Genesis.

Scientists were terribly afraid of space microbes

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins found themselves stuck in a biological defense quarantine upon arrival. Since humans had never been to the moon before, NASA scientists couldn’t be sure that some deadly space plague hadn’t come along with the astronauts.

Apollo 11 crew
NASA Upon arrival on Earth, the Apollo 11 crew communicated with the world only through the glass of the special van. Even with President Nixon.

As soon as their capsule splashed down in the Pacific on July 24, 1969, the trio were sent into a mobile quarantine van, which was taken to NASA’s Lunar Reception Laboratory in Houston, where the team remained until August 10, 1969.

Film cassettes and sample containers were less fortunate. The films were sterilized in an autoclave for several hours, after which they were sent to the darkroom. There, one of the photo technicians accidentally took the cassette with his bare hands (just the one that the astronauts dropped on the moon) and was taken out in the moon dust. He had to take a five minute disinfectant shower.

Lunar Reception Laboratory
NASA This is the building of the Lunar Reception Laboratory, where the crew spent 18 days of quarantine

The sample containers were double sterilized: first with ultraviolet light, then with peracetic acid. Then they were rinsed with sterile water and dried with nitrogen. The opening of the containers was delayed due to unstable pressure in the vacuum zone.

They suspected a small leak in one of the gloves that could be used to manipulate the samples. Less than a week later, the gloves were torn. Most of the lunar samples were exposed to the earth’s atmosphere, and two of the technicians had to be quarantined. Then four more technicians were quarantined. In total, more than two dozen people have been quarantined.

President Nixon prepared in advance for mission failure

As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin jump across the moon’s surface, Richard Nixon’s anxiety peaked. After all, if something goes wrong, he will have to make excuses to ordinary Americans for billions of wasted tax dollars.

Employees of the 37th President of the United States prepared a statement that he was supposed to read in case the worst happened. Even the NASA staff chaplain was on a low start. Watching the Apollo 11 adventures live, the President could only hope he didn’t have to read that statement. As we know, it was never necessary to read it. The mission failure speech was only made public 30 years later.

Astronauts did not land where planned

When Lunar Module Eagle, with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard, undocked from Command Module Columbia, in which Collins remained, the residual pressure inside the tunnel connecting the two spaceships was not sufficiently relieved. So “Eagle” received a small, but still an additional impetus.

Nine minutes before landing, Armstrong realized that the Eagle would fly past the planned landing site. According to astronauts’ estimates, they should have missed by about five kilometers (in fact, they missed by six).

Lunar module "Eagle"
NASA Lunar module “Eagle” after undocking from the command module “Columbia”

But the search for a new safe landing site is not so bad. Due to the overload, the Eagle’s onboard computer distracted astronauts with constant emergency signals, and radio communications with the Mission Control Center were patchy. Fortunately, since the on-board system alarm was intermittent, the MCC considered the risk of overload low and gave the go-ahead to land.

When the Eagle had only 30 seconds of fuel left, Armstrong gently guided the lunar module towards the makeshift landing pad: “Houston, says Tranquility Base. The Eagle sat down. “

The lunar module nearly exploded

As adrenaline dropped and the astronauts completed their tasks, another problem was brewing. Although the Eagle’s landing engine had already been turned off, the sensors recorded an increase in pressure in its fuel line. This could mean only one thing: an ice plug formed in the system, and the accumulated fuel vapors were heated from the unit that had not yet cooled down.

At NASA, the situation was considered critical, and if the increase in pressure is not eliminated, the Eagle could explode. However, before the instructions for venting the fuel system were given to Armstrong and Aldrin, the ice plug melted, the pressure returned to normal, and the problem went away on its own.

The danger of moon dust

Created billions of years ago by meteorite impacts, the Moon lacks processes that could give debris and tiny soil particles smoother shapes. The astronauts have discovered that abrasive dust is much more than a nuisance.

Buzz Aldrin's Trail on the Moon
NASA Aldrin’s boot imprint, which literally inherited in the history of astronautics.

In later missions after Apollo 11, with longer exits to the lunar surface, there were reports that dust particles penetrated the interior of the lunar module, covered the visors of helmets, and caused zippers to wedge. The moon dust penetrated even through the layers of the protective suit material.

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