6. Buildings of Bonkers

The next claim the film makes is that Apollo 8 took lots of pictures that show structures and buildings. It specifically mentions AS08-12-2209, which features the bright ray crater Giordano Bruno. Here’s the image, and next to it is the Syfy building claim. The red square identifies where the ‘building’ is.

And here is a close up of that area in the Apollo 8 photograph.

What they identify as parts of a building is in fact the rim of a shallow and much older Harkhebi J crater north of Giordano Bruno. Well, no-one else seems to have found it, which is amazing given the number of times Giordano has been covered by other probes and even other Apollo missions. Here, for example, is the JAXA 3D GIS image of the area (with the main bowl shaped crater identified with a red arrow) and a Kaguya flyover below right.

And here are some other views, again steadfastly refusing to show any kind of structures or buildings, one from my own copy of ‘Moon Morphology’ the rest from online sources.

Lunar orbiter image V-181-M





Not content with this imaginary complex of buildings, the programme returns to this image later on to proclaim the existence of a ‘tower’. Here’s where it claims it is:

The same photos used above also show this area, so go look at them if you’re that keen, but below left the JAXA view from behind that crater - the tower should be in the middle of the image, and also China’s view from above.

No doubt Hoagland will argue that the USSR edited out these features when they scanned these images seeing as he claims to believe that they are in cahoots with the US in hiding features.

Neither feature appears in the relevant parts of Lunar Orbiter images or Chinese probe views::

There also seems to be no evidence of them in the later Zond 6 and 8 photographs, like these ones below.

Or even Apollo 8 images like this one.

To conclude this part we have two conclusions. Either Hoagland is correct and there is a mysterious 20 mile high tower and an enormous collapsed dome in 2 very poorly reproduced Zond 3 images that appears on no other versions of the images, no other Zond images, no lunar orbiter images and no Chinese images, or it’s just a product of very badly reproduced images.

8. Dome dismissal

The next item is one that is difficult to dismiss because the people making the claim are deliberately vague about the location of the alleged incident. According to the interviewee (Ken Johnston) NASA airbrushed out frames of a movie showing lights and a dome in an unnamed far side crater in an unnamed mission.

Although a later talking head mentions Apollo 14, no crater names are given nd the footage used is based on an Apollo 10 still image of Keeler crater. All we can do here then is discuss what the programme presents and assume they are being honest.


Here’s their view of Keeler compared with the Apollo 10 shot, one of several taken by Apollo 10 as seen in my personal copy of ‘Lunar photographs from Apollos 8, 10 and 11’ published in 1971.

The broadcast again goes back to an Apollo 8 image tp draw our attention to an alien built bridge and pipeline. It doesn’t identify which image, or where it is, but it doesn’t take too long to find out that it is on the south-east rim of Doppler crater, and the image is AS08-13-2244. Here’s the screen shot of the part of the crater, the actual Apollo image (with the area involved shown in the red square) and the alleged structures.

Luckily we don’t have to take their word for it, we can look for ourselves at what’s out there on other images. Here’s the same area viewed by Lunar Orbiter (below left) from my own book. Kaguya’s 3D GIS (below centre) and from China’s probe (below right).

The resolution is not the highest, but none of these images show any kind of structures standing proud of the surface. The lunar orbiter and Chinese images are correctly oriented with north to the top.

The best resolution comes from Kaguya’s actual images rather than the 3D rendering, and the best of this is shown below. Superimposed bottom left is the Apollo 8 image, and top left is an Apollo 17 image. It doesn’t contain all of the detail in the Apollo 8 image (for that you should look at AS17-151-23113), but I chose it because it also appears in the Apollo 17 PSR. The arrows identify the same features in each one.

So, once you actually start to look carefully it becomes clear that far from these being artificial structures standing proud of the surface they are the product of shadows, natural ground undulations and an over-fertile imagination.

7. Russian Ridicule

This is always a popular one, the so-called Tower of Babel and accompanying dome some claim to be able to see in images broadcast back to Earth by the USSR’s Zond-3 in 1965. The photographs were taken in just over an hour at a distance of around 11000km, and the claim made is that first a tower can be seen, and then “an image later” there has been enough relative motion for that tower to disappear over the horizon and for a mysterious dome to appear. This a regurgitation of the utter nonsense spread by arch self-publicist Richard Hoagland in his book Dark Moon and on sites like this one.

Hoagland picks an obscure and poor quality source of his images, but thankfully there are others, such as this one, that allow us to examine the claim more carefully.

The tower and dome do not seem to be present as clearly in other sources, but what we can say is that in the couple of minutes between the images Zond did not travel far enough for the supposedly 20 mile high tower to have disappeared, particularly as it was a ‘fly-by’ pass rather than an orbit. The banding on the ‘dome’ image indicates that it is frame 28 and this is confirmed by the same photograph used in ‘Exploring Space With a Camera’ that also shows the ‘dome’. What they don’t mention is that both features would also be visible from Earth!

Hoagland’s own description and the distribution of the features on the photograph mean that the tower can only have been in either frame number 24 or 26, but it is not. It is also pretty obvious that the alleged dome should appear in the earlier frames, but it does not for example here is frame 19 compared with frame 28.

The crater containing the alleged domes and lights is the small dark one in the centre of each image below Keeler itself.

For all the apparent secrecy surrounding Keeler crater (if indeed that is the crater to which their interviewee is referring) there certainly are a lot of photographs of it, including some taken by Apollo 11, 13 and 17, and there is even video, such as this still from Apollo 11’s 16mm footage:

And naturally we have China and Japan’s views of the Keeler dome crater too:

Is this the crater they are discussing? Who knows, and frankly who cares - this kind of dishonest TV deserves all it gets. What we can say with certainty is that there is definitely nothing in there.

9. Icarus Infamy

The next thing they make a big deal out of is a feature that someone has spotted in AS11-41-6639, an alleged UFO perched on the edge of a crater. Here’s the Apollo image and their interpretation of what lies on the crater.

Well that certainly looks pretty odd, and well done to the sharp-eyed tin-foil hatters who found it. Let’s just go with a wild and crazy assumption that it isn’t actually a UFO and try and work out what it could be.

The first thing we need to ask is ‘can it be found on any other images? The short answer is no, but there is a longer one that says ‘kind of’, which we’ll get to shortly. Below left is another Apollo 11 image AS11-42-6249, below centre is China’s Chang-e’2 view of the same crater area, an below right is a photo of my own copy of II-033-M.

No sign of any spaceship in any of those, so what’s causing the appearance of a spaceship?

You get a bit more of a clue by looking at higher resolution Kaguya images and comparing them with the Apollo 11 one. Below right is the Kaguya view of the area, while below left is the Apollo 11 view, this time stretched to compensate for the oblique angle at which the image was taken.

If you pay careful attention to the Japanese image you can make out concentric rings around the central pair of ‘pig snout’ craters, and those rings are what is reproduced in the Apollo image. The photograph is not showing a UFO, it is showing the rings of an in shadow cater feature. That’s all. Everything else is inference, suggestion, and pareidolia.

10. Kepler Krap

Next up we have Kepler, another far side crater that has apparently been attracting ‘heated debate on the internet’ because it supposedly looks like it’s been strip-mined in a specific image. The image they refer to specifically is a Lunar Orbiter one, but the first photo they show of Kepler is actually from Apollo 12 (AS12-52-7747).

Here’s their version of the image, the same view from my copy of ‘The moon as viewed by…’ and a close up of the Orbiter view.

So what are the specifics? The main claims are that the large square wall has been stripped clean by mining, that the crater floor is littered with building rubble, and that NASA released a later image that shows none of these features. They neglect to mention that the later image is Apollo 12, and they also neglect to mention the fact that other lunar orbiter images exist from above of Kepler that show no sign of anything artificial.

Something else they fail to mention is that the Apollo 12 photo is taken from a completely different angle, as shown below. On the left is the original Apollo image, on the right is Kepler crater from lunar orbiter. Both are stretched to compensate for the oblique angle. I’ve used arrows to identify the same features in each.

It also becomes much more obvious that the features in the crater bottom are not buildings, and far from the Apollo 12 photograph being ‘cleaned up’, they are the same in both. Far from being buildings, the are rocks and boulders produced during the crater’s formation.

Just to emphasise the point that they are the same, here we have the images from China (left), Japan (centre) and even India’s (partial) shot (right) of the same crater.

See any strip mining? Buildings? Of course not, only idiots can.

Let’s be even more certain and zoom right in on that strip mined wall in the Japanese and Indian images (China’s isn’t high res enough):

Die-hards will no doubt claim that this is exactly what a strip mined crater looks like, but sane people with even a modicum of intelligence will tell you that this is exactly what the wall of a lunar crater looks like, and that only an idiot would claim that a crater that is clearly visible from Earth (as in the images below from my lunar atlases) has been actively mined by alien beings without anyone noticing.

And we’ve run out of page again, so let’s move to part 3…

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