Zeeman crater gets moon nuts all excited because of a couple of features online that they think proves firstly that there are alien bases on the moon and secondly because they think NASA is deliberately airbrushing out these alien bases in order to hoodwink people.

Let’s look at the first claim. It revolves around a feature on the northern rim of the crater imaged by the Clementine Probe as presented on the US Navy’s Clementine viewer. This site gives the gist of it, but there are lots of other ones following the herd.

Here’s the picture that gets them all frothing at the mouth:

Wow - pretty clear cut case right? NASA are obviously hiding something there. Here’s what it got replaced with in the new Clementine browser:

The promoters of the ‘NASA is evil and are the only people who ever do any space research ever’ theory have only one conclusion: NASA hid something. When people found the smudges and started working on seeing what was behind them, they pulled the images and replaced it with more fake ones.

Or…this theory is bullshit and they just replaced it with better quality images not chock full of jpeg artefacts.

Clementine’s coverage of the moon in the visible spectrum is not complete in terms of high resolution images, and the viewer has been constructed using a combination of image spectra and radar observations. It is possible to download the raw image files from this site, and we can produce a view composed of high resolution strips.

Not all of the area is covered by the high resolution strips, but enough of it is to show that there are no alien cities hidden beneath the jpeg artefacts in the earlier Clementine mosaic.

It becomes clearer that the Clementine browser map is using UV spectrum images when you read the introduction to the Clementine Atlas of the Moon, a copy of which I own. It states that the pictures it uses are the UV spectrum images, and these can also be found on the site linked to above. Below is a composite of the UV frames available (left) and a photograph of Zeeman from the atlas (right).

No alien cities, no secret bases, nothing. Not only that, but China and India’s views of Zeeman are an exact match for the one provided by Clementine. Whatever the cause of the blurring in the Clementine Browser screenshots, it is clear that they are not hiding anything at all. This becomes even more obvious when you compare it with (for example) China’s view.

Wow there it is - in plain sight, an entrance to an alien megastructure of some sort, hidden on the lunar far side until some nerdy geek found it.

Or is it?

You can see from the white cross in the shaded part of the image that there has been some distortion involved in producing the mozaic, and we also know that there aren’t any overhead views of Zeeman on the Lunar Orbiter series - they are all oblique. The best views of the crater are in images 21 (below right) and 22 (below left) of Orbiter 5.

Looks pretty clear that these Lunar Orbiter photographs show no sign whatsoever of any alien base entrance.

But wait - what if NASA (what with them being evil and all) have just hidden it away with more devilish airbrushing? Well, it just so happens that many of the Lunar Orbiter images were published in books available to anyone who wanted to buy one, and I have one of them. Here, from my own 1971 Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon, is photo 21 from Lunar Orbiter V and Zeeman crater from it.

It is self evidently the same photograph and there is no evidence of any alien gateway in that one either.

It’s also worth looking at China and India’s view of the same thing:

I’m sure some might try and argue that the the hole isn’t on the side, but firstly they’d have to be pretty desperate to cling on to some false idea to do that, and secondly you can see where the alleged hole should be. It’s right here.

Once the Clementine image is stretched to match the real topography of the crater you can make out exactly what features are being masked by the jpeg faults - and those features are actual bits of moon.

The second Zeeman feature that gets UFO nuts in a lather exists in one place and one place only: Google Moon’s Lunar Orbiter mosaic. Here’s the bit under discussion:

Again, nothing hidden there.

The obvious rejoinder to this is “Yeah but NASA…”, so it would be really helpful if other countries had also imaged the crater.

As it happens, they have. China and India also have images from Zeeman - see below. You can get the Indian images from the same place as Clementine, and China’s from here.

Japan also has images of the area, both from above and from their 3D GIS viewer.

And also Japan, where the 3D perspective really brings home the cause of the deep shadowing - it’s a very high crater lip, also known as Zeeman Mons!

An even better illustration comes from this image produced by the LRO, which shows the feature viewed from the side as the probe passed over it.

No porthole.

No gateway.

No alien civilization of any kind.

While the alien spotters have been quick to jump on an explanation that makes no sense and has no support from actual evidence, they have missed the obvious: it’s a stitching glitch in the mosaic, nothing to do with NASA and certainly nothing to do with ET.

Discerning readers might also want to take a look at the Lunar Orbiter images for any sign of alien cities supposedly lurking behind Clementine’s smudges. Helpful hint: you won’t see any.

Zeeman crater is interesting because it is a crater and it’s on the moon. Nothing else.