Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What is that on the Moon?

There is something strange on the Moon.

Or at least there seemed to be. A few months back, Discover magazine ran this story about an image taken during Apollo 12 in November of 1969. The photograph shows the Apollo lunar module orbiting the Moon. There is also something definitely strange depicted. At the link, notice the left side of the pictured area of the Moon and the almost artificially straight line etched in its surface. What is that?

Space abounds with anomalies, whether real or from us "just seeing what we want to see." Nowhere else in our experience thus far this more abundant than on the surface of Mars. Seems like at least every week there is a new claim of spotting something that shouldn't be there in a Mars photograph. Fossils, humanoids, bunnies, bottles, footprints, cannons, I've lost track of all the various strange things that are supposedly there. Of course there is also the infamous Face on Mars.

I remember the first time I saw that particular "anomaly"...and forgive me if I've gone on about this before (and I probably have). I was sitting in Neutron Frog's room sometime in high school, flipping through an issue of Omni. They printed pictures of the "face" as well as rock structures resembling pyramids in the Cydonia region. There must have been a civilization there at one time, he and I said, one at least on par with the ancient Egyptians. What happened to them? Well, they died of drought when all the water evacuated to the poles and froze.

We were kids. What do you want?

All these are fun to play with. Up to a point, anyway. There are, of course, plenty of explanations for odd formations on Mars and the Moon. Eventually, NASA came through with the true origins of the mystery photograph Discover ran. The raw, unprocessed version of the photo shows no such white line. Said line was probably accidentally added during the digital processing of the photo or when the negative was copied. Naturally that kind of an explanation inadvertently gives fuel to anomaly proponents. "We never see the raw images! NASA and the ESA airbrush and whitewash everything!"

Personally, I like the response from Jeffery Kluger. He is an Editor-at-Large at Time magazine is the co-author of Lost Moon with Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 fame. In a response to a query about the image, Kluger said:

"It could, of course, simply be dolly tracks from the film crews that faked the moon landings. How they ever had time to do that, invent autism-inducing vaccines and come up with the climate change hoax, I’ll never know."

How indeed, Jeffery Kluger. How indeed.

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