Review On Some Of The Most Popular Mysteries And Conspiracies
November 5, 2009 4 Comments
The Man in the Moon; the God/Goddess/Demon/Hare in the Moon; the Shield of Somebody Important-Moon. The Moon has a Face, it is Watching us. That last may or may not strike you as a comforting thought. There are lots of permutations, too, but the basic Adamic urge to Put a Name with the (Moon) Face is found in all cultures. It is difficult not to notice it. Also, the close and obvious connection between lunar cycles and plant cycles made the Moon a participant in early agricultural societies, as if it had a will of its own (or a driver) and rated a name. Of course, as soon as you join a new group, the gossip starts… The Moon has built up quite a rap sheet.
Some Native American traditions speak of a time before Earth acquired its present Moon, of a time when Earth had two smaller moons. We won’t detour there right now- details and interpretations galore are available at a website near you, or bookstores everywhere. However, sticking to the subject of the Moon we have now, let us ponder that “acquired” thing. We shall begin with the theories put forth way back in 1976 in a most unusual book, Somebody Else Is On The Moon, by George H. Leonard.
His conclusions were fantastic, even outrageous, but all referenced point by point with quotes from NASA personnel and various experts in geology, astronomy, and other scientific fields. He had a group of students work with him on the visual analysis of lunar photographs, and his book is full of sketches detailing the things he found. That is where I will diverge from his perspective. I agree with most of the conclusions he reached, but for different reasons.
Leonard started with the basic mysteries of the Moon. Like, where did it come from? It is too large, relative to the mass of the Earth, to have been gravitationally captured. If it was a wandering body that strayed near the Earth, it would have been drawn right into a collision course. If it was moving fast enough to be simply deflected, it would have had to make not just one but several wide orbital passes, each and every one at precisely the right angle, before it could have settled into a stable orbit. The mathematics of that sequence of events are quite improbable. Yet it is the least impossible option. Details on other lunar origin theories can be easily found elsewhere, so we won’t waste much time on them here. The notion of collisions and sundering as the mechanism that formed the Earth is one that periodically gets a new presentation, and is also part of the cosmology of ancient Sumer according to the interpretations of Sitchin. Let me make a small detour…
Zechariah Sitchin is not the only orientalist scholar who has studied Sumer. He has, however, made a career out of interpreting certain texts in support of his theories about the Anunnaki and human origin. I will discuss his work a little more thoroughly elsewhere, but I should mention his lunar origin theory. The Sumerian Creation story speaks of (surprise) a “War in Heaven”, better called a Celestial Battle, with (here’s where his interpreting starts) several personified proto-planets getting banged into one another and breaking into pieces. The fragments of one of them, Tiamat, become the Earth and Moon. There is a close pass by Nibiru, planetary home to the Anunnaki, that starts things going.
Nibiru is the “Twelfth Planet”, according to the Sumerians, who (stay with me now) counted out from the Sun and included it and our Moon in their count. It is reputed to have an extended elliptical orbit that takes 3600 years to complete, which furthermore is at an angle to the plane of the ecliptic and therefore to the orbits of all the other planets. Every other known (admittedly smaller) object in such an orbit gets tweaked, altered by each pass through the plane, but Sitchin seems resolute that Nibiru does not. It does the “drive by” tweaking that wreaks miscellaneous havoc on any main planet nearby, as it makes its two passes through the plane each 3600 year cycle. In any event, the problem that no one seems to bring up is the ad hoc amalgam of myth and cosmology.
There is nothing unusual about finding scientific information encoded in folklore. I mentioned previously that oral tradition can preserve specific data very effectively. But when a myth refers to a god in a “Sun chariot”, it is a metaphor. If you operate under the assumption that there is actual fact buried (or encoded, if you prefer) in a particular myth, then you believe that someone at some time must have understood the real origin. The interpretation and transformation into a story had to have been done knowingly. Most supposedly non-fabulous “history” is written this way, too.
This is separate from the circumstances that produce warped interpretations like cargo cults. In those cases, some event which was totally not understood produces a sympathetic magic type of emulation in response, either to keep “it” from happening again or to attempt a restoration. When you read the Sumerian Creation myths, on the other hand, you find an account of beings interacting directly with the population of Earth over a long period of time. These Anunnaki drank, fought, slept with the local women, and generally behaved completely human. It was technology that set them apart – but even though the locals could not duplicate that technology, they seem to have understood it for what it was. They also seem to have understood the other information that was shared, like the cosmological model that Sitchin outlines in his book, The Twelfth Planet. Even if his interpretation is a bit, well, interpretive, the ancient Sumerians did seem to have a rather sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of the makeup of the Solar System. This does not mean that the Anunnaki were being completely candid and truthful, by the way. They were a group with an agenda of their own. But the only detail that concerns us at the present moment is the notion that there were people around before the Anunnaki (if you read between the lines) who were able to move planets around. One more ancient account of a prior age when wonders were possible, and one which tags the Builders as extraterrestrials, not spirit beings.
The Earth is the only place in the Solar System where one can see a total eclipse. The apparent diameter of the Moon seen from the surface of the Earth is exactly the same as the apparent diameter of the Sun. That seems like one Hell of a coincidence, especially considering how difficult it is to explain how the Moon managed to establish a stable orbit. The bottom line scientific argument is that it did so, therefore it must have been possible. Hmm. If you think I am kidding, go look it up. Each of the four “standard” formation models carries a disclaimer about its remaining “problems”. This of course delights the Creationists of fundamentalist Christianity, who are quite willing to embrace the notion that the Moon was placed there by specific intent.
Now then, if the Moon was parked there, one more oddity is also solved. Luna is said to be tidal locked, gravitationally held with one side always facing the Earth, a consequence of having two large bodies so proximate. This implies that the Moon was initially spinning, but slowed down over time due to the gravitational drag. Given even more time, the mass of the Moon slowly migrated Earthward, resulting in a pear shape with the narrow end pointed outward. Somehow this was accomplished without pulling the whole body crashing down from orbit.
Oh, I see a hand raised. Yes? Uh huh, the Moon was molten, and formed the pear shape as it cooled, is that it? Well, if you spin clay on a potter’s wheel, you get a round pot. If that molten mass was not spinning, why would it form a planetoid anyway? It would have had to have been rolling, turning perpendicular to the Earth’s axis, to allow the migration of material that we see.
If, however, it was placed there deliberately, with one side intentionally oriented Earthward (like most of our own artificial satellites), then the “tidal bulge” is more reasonably explained. It would most likely be a feature of the original design. That would be a logical way to ensure that one side would in fact remain pointed at the Earth. Let’s return to Leonard…
George Leonard studied thousands of the photos in the NASA moon archives, noting artificial constructions and machinery (as he saw it) all over the place. He talked to amateur astronomers and NASA personnel, and said he was generally well-received. The only real exception to this he cites is an occasional encounter with the bureaucratic labyrinth when seeking some particular photo. He would be told “it” was not at that location, in some other file, labeled with a different stock number by some other agency and / or his request would be processed if he applied at another office someplace. This might have simply been normal government behavior.
Certainly he was not greeted with a big smile and a hearty, “Come! Let us show you what we are hiding!” That, however, is not anything he expected either. It seemed clear to him that the photo evidence of intelligent activity on the Moon was a subject that NASA did not wish to address. In fact, NASA is and has always been loath to discuss such possibilities, Never mind what appears on the photos, never mind the “anomalies” astronomers (amateur and professional) have thought they spotted for hundreds of years. While peculiar occurrences and odd formations are perfectly good fodder for scholarly papers and grant requests, any suggestion of artificiality or intelligent design would invalidate the enquiry, removing it from official consideration. The main tool used for the lunar cover-up has always been disdain. You don’t see that, because it isn’t there. Behave yourself.
Leonard made sketches of the things he found, and tended to settle on an observational theory of Somebody carrying out mining operations. He drew spidery machines that would be as large as small cities, noting the tracks they left on the crater floor as they chewed away at the rim. He states in the preface to his book that:
No, I do not know who They are
No, I do not know where They come from
No, I do not know precisely what Their purpose is
But he did favor the idea of aliens being responsible, probably more than one type of alien, rather than people from here . He did not completely rule out the possibility of a clandestine Terrestrial space program, but he felt that since this could not explain the long history of observed Moon anomalies, it was less likely to be a factor. There is a lot that one could read between the lines of his one and only book if one was so inclined. He is one of those authors who occasionally seems to be trying to very subtly imply an additional vector or layer. This could have been his way of holding back from making an overly tight fit of the data into his theories, which he repeatedly cautions are incomplete, or it could have meant something else. Perhaps there was more to George H. Leonard than is at first apparent.
There is a reason why professional astronomers, almost all of whom are tied in one way or another to government funding, shy away from pointing their big telescopes at the Moon. They affect a blasé attitude of indifference toward our nearest neighbor, because if they do look, they see Disturbing Things. Leonard makes note of this, and the situation has not changed in the years since. No, Hubble can’t look at the Moon… gee, here’s a photo of the full face of the Moon taken by Hubble… well, we’re too busy, yeah, that’s it. Don’t bother us. Schedules, you know. So most lunar observation (that we know of) is done by the amateurs. There have been plenty of probes launched at the Moon, but except for the Lick Observatory photos taken in the 1950′s there has been relatively little ground based investigation by major observatories, especially in the U.S. Yes, that thing up there is the Moon, so what? Hasn’t changed, has it? Don’t bother us.
Leonard believed that the Apollo missions landed on the Moon. He also deduced a somewhat different agenda for the aliens he connected with the lunar activities than I do, even though he was careful to steer clear of theories that went beyond the data he had accumulated. He did speculate, however. As Richard Hoagland recently commented, a necessary part of science is speculation. No guts, no glory.
Leonard speaks of many conversations with “insiders”, people who knew what the secrets were. Apparently, much of the feedback he received in those chats was of the “You’re on the right track”, or the “Look at such-and-such” variety. This frustrated him greatly. No one wanted to really spill the beans, it seemed. They wanted him to do it, but wouldn’t tell him what was there that needed spilling. The other possibility, which he doesn’t state directly but which had obviously occurred to him, was that they didn’t actually have any confidence that they really knew. There were aliens involved, there was Politics involved, there was spinning going on. Basic life-advice includes, “Don’t spill while you are spinning. It can be very messy.”
I used a quote from Jules Verne in the title art for the Apollo chapter. I’ll save you the bother of going back to puzzle it out from the illustration:
“I have always made a point in my romances of basing my so-called inventions upon a groundwork of actual fact, and of using in their construction methods and materials which are not entirely without the pale of contemporary engineering skill and knowledge.”
I found that quote on one of the NASA web pages, in a biography they have posted of Verne. Yes, he was a scientific visionary, and yes, he had many good and prescient ideas. But the choice of the quote itself is still a bit ironic, a slightly pompous observation given in an interview late in his life. It sounds different when NASA says it.
While doing his research, Leonard found another unusual quote chosen by NASA, this one leading into the Preliminary Science Report published after the Apollo 17 mission:
“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, or perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
Even before I tell you the name of the author, you may have already been slightly startled by the last four words of it. but that is of course just the coincidence of contemporary context. Right? The author lived some time ago, in 16th C. Italy. He was Niccolo Machiavelli. Oh, you’ve heard of him? Remember, context is everything…
One thing Leonard did not take into account was the tolas effect. He had no idea that the things he saw were designed to be seen at some particular scale, designed by minds far different from the engineers he imagined. Aliens are one thing, but artists, well now you’re talking about really strange. I am not making the blanket statement that he didn’t see what he saw, I’m just pointing out that he wasn’t separating the structural strangeness of the place, something for which he had no contextual basis, from the intrusive things like machines, ships, and possible bases set up by visitors other than the original Builders. Rather than looking for what he thought he saw.
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