Investigating Possible Conspiracies and Cover-ups – JFK, The Moon Landings, etc.
By Wade Frazier
Revised June 2014
Gary Wean and the JFK Assassination
Assessing the Credibility of Gary’s Story, and How it Fits the Facts
The Backyard Photos
The Nature of the JFK Assassination Affair
Why Are There So Many Conspiracy Theories Today?
The Dangers of Investigating Conspiracies and Cover-ups
What about Those American Hostages in Iran?
9/11 – The Mother of all Conspiracy Theories
Is Anything Being Covered up about the Apollo Moon Landings?
Some Apollo Mission Anomalies
Possibilities regarding the Apollo anomalies
The Nature of the Moon Landings Debate
The Big Cover-up
I was born in 1958, and had a fairly typical middle class suburban American childhood (fan of Gilligan's Island and Star Trek). I was largely raised in Ventura, California; my mother ran the household while my father worked to support the family. His entire career was spent working for the federal government, and all but one year was spent working for the Department of Defense. The nearby military bases employed most of the area’s professionals, so some of my friends’ fathers (as well as several of my father’s friends) also worked for the military. If anything, the political outlook that I was raised with was fairly Cold War, but not too pronounced. I was taught that the Soviets were the bad guys, and my family generally supported politicians from the Democratic Party. My father was rather outraged when Nixon won the presidency in 1968, and I was saddened when Reagan beat Carter in 1980. My political outlook was fairly mainstream, which means that I was ignorant. I read the newspaper virtually everyday, from age 10 to 27, thinking that I was getting the “news.” I had some spiritual training that was useful later on, but I was like most people of my age, assimilating my indoctrination. I kept my eyes open to see how closely reality matched my ideals, because I needed to honestly believe in my ideals.
Upon graduating from college, I had a rather rude awakening as indoctrination and ideals brutally collided with reality. I eventually realized that my profession was virtually worthless, although that full realization was not clear for several years. Then I met Dennis Lee and was able to live my dreams of trying to bring alternative energy to the world. After meeting Dennis, I had a very rude awakening, and my political education began in earnest. Our efforts at developing alternative energy were definitely the targets of conspiracies. Policemen and others committed felonies while pursuing us, leading to the death of one woman. We received offers to buy us out, which culminated in an offer of around $1 billion to bribe us to stop pursuing alternative energy. Dennis rejected the offer made by “European interests,” given through a CIA man, and a month later Dennis was thrown into jail with a $1 million bail on fabricated charges.
As Dennis attained national visibility with his free energy promotion, numerous people approached us who had tried similar ventures, and we were told nightmarish accounts of being wiped out by conspiratorial activities. Kangaroo courts, prison, murder, threatening phone calls in the night, and hiding from the murderers were common tales, and were the kind that few Americans hear firsthand. It became obvious that the energy industry has maintained its technological monopoly by using extremely dirty tactics. It is one thing to hear the tales; it is quite another to live through them.
The first alternative political literature that I read, other than the Christian Science Monitor (which is only slightly alternative), was conspiratorial literature, from conspiracies regarding instigating our wars, to controlling the banking system, to eliminating the USA's sovereignty. While Dennis was still in jail, I was introduced to Noam Chomsky and the political left. Ever since, I have studied scholarship such as Chomsky's far more than right-wing scholarship. I consider left-wing scholarship to be superior. The right and left both explain how the world works. Their perspectives can be divergent, but sometimes are nearly identical. It can be hazardous to over-generalize, but right-wing scholarship is often centered on conspiracies, while left-wing scholarship is more interested in the “structural” aspects of our system’s workings. The right sees the activities as more conscious (conspiratorial), while the left sees it as more unconscious (structural, institutional behavior). Fundamentalist Christians populate the right and academics populate the left. Both have their stories on how the world came to be like it is. The Christian right has the Book of Genesis, while the left has the Big Bang and evolution. One was a conscious creation, while the other was a big and unfathomable accident.
Each perspective has its strengths and weaknesses. The right can veer into outright paranoia and see a conspiracy behind every bush, as it ignored or underplays the structural aspects of what is happening. The police may throw people in jail for curing cancer, but may not know the real reason they threw them in jail (or even care). They were just following orders.
The left often suffers from a “conspiracy phobia.” It has a tendency to see everything as a big accident, with institutional forces at play and few, if any, individuals really controlling a situation’s outcome. It seems afflicted by too-often rejecting the notion that people can be consciously malicious and act in concert. Only a small proportion of our populace is devoted to “evil.” In the minds of those devoted to “evil,” they are simply devoted to themselves. They see themselves as good guys, too. The path of "evil" is simply being devoted to one’s self at the extreme, and such people have made self-service a science. All the same, conscious evil is a small fraction of how the world works, which even Hitler admitted. Most of what is "bad" about humanity is due to people’s actions when they feel threatened with loss, enticed by gain, and so forth. Those on the dark spiritual path (whom those on the left might call psychopaths) easily manipulate the herd of average people, who are preoccupied with comfort and survival.
Gary Wean and the JFK Assassination
In early 1989, it appeared that Dennis had no chance of living as a free man again. There were a handful of people trying to save him from life in prison, and probably being murdered while he was in there. Although our effort was the target of a wide-ranging international conspiracy, Ventura County was also one of the USA's most corrupt counties and regularly ranked in the top ten most corrupt law enforcement jurisdictions (it has even been ranked number one). Dennis was far from alone in being raped by Ventura County’s legal system.
In Ventura County, one person in particular was standing up to the corruption. Gary Wean was a sailor in World War II and became an LAPD policeman in 1946. Gary had the kind of career that they make movies about. He moved back and forth between Ventura County and Los Angeles a couple of times in the 1950s and 1960s, partly due to being caught in political crossfire. While in Los Angeles, Gary was at times a motorcycle cop directing traffic, and at others he was a detective. He worked out of the downtown and Hollywood precincts. Dealing with the escapades of politicians, celebrities, and gangsters was simply part of his job.
In 1947, he pursued an armed robber through the streets of Los Angeles on a high-speed chase. The suspect crashed his car as it barreled along at 90 miles an hour through LA’s streets. He tried escaping on foot, and Gary cornered him in the dark. The suspect begged for his life. As Gary approached, the man stuck his pistol (which had already killed somebody during the robbery) into Gary’s abdomen and fired. He fired a second shot that hit Gary in his hand. Gary then emptied his pistol into the man, while his partner also fired, which killed the robber instantly. Gary’s partner rushed him to the hospital. Although Gary’s abdomen was in great pain, he did not want to unbuckle his Sam Brown belt (a wide leather belt which held his firearm and other police equipment) as they rushed to the hospital, because he thought that it might be all that was holding him together. When Gary finally took off his belt, his partner saw that the bullet hit the belt and did not penetrate Gary’s skin. That was a day in the life of an LAPD cop. Below are images from that day.
Click on image to enlarge.
Gary related many incredible incidents in his book There's a Fish in the Courthouse. Gary was from the old school; he believed in the ideal of law enforcement and the idea that through a properly functioning legal system there could be a more just society.
When I met Gary in early 1989, he gave me the best advice I could get: no organization in the USA would help Dennis, either governmental or private. Dennis’s experience was not that unusual. American judicial gangsterism was normal, but nearly always covered up or misrepresented by the media, as they are an integral part of the system. Gary's advice kept me from wasting my time seeking somebody in the USA's government to help. Gary’s insight helped lead to Dennis’s miraculous release from jail. In my hour of need, Gary was generous with his time, sincere, and helpful.
The first edition of There's a Fish in the Courthouse was published in 1987, and tells of a meeting that Gary attended in late 1963. One of Gary's closest friends was Audie Murphy, who was America's most decorated soldier who became a Hollywood movie star. During World War II, Murphy battled hundreds of German soldiers and six tanks single-handedly near Holtzwihr, France, while he was firing a machine gun from atop a burning vehicle filled with explosives. It stands as one of the most heroic feats from any war. Murphy suffered from “shell shock” (now called Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) for the rest of his life.
Murphy was from Texas, and Bill Decker, Dallas County's sheriff, was his friend. Decker came to California regularly on business, and when he came to town, Gary would arrange for Murphy, Decker, himself, and his partner to dine at the Police Academy. About two weeks after the JFK assassination, in early December 1963, Decker was in town and they all had lunch together. The topic of conversation quickly turned to what arms experts across the nation were discussing: how could Oswald have made those shots with that poor shooting position and mediocre rifle to kill John Kennedy? Nobody at that table thought that it was possible for Oswald to have made those shots.
After they arrived at their conclusion, Decker told them that he knew that Oswald had not fired the shots, and that a man in Dallas wanted to talk to somebody about it. Oswald died while being transferred to Decker’s custody. Decker knew somebody who could set the record straight, who wanted to talk to somebody not connected to Dallas or Washington. Murphy was interested, and the next week, Murphy, Gary, and his partner were flying to Ruidoso, New Mexico to meet Decker and his friend.
They met at the airport and went to a diner to talk. Decker's friend was named John. According to John, Oswald was anything but a “lone nut.” He was an American intelligence agent acting under the direction of E. Howard Hunt. Oswald had been recruited into military intelligence when he joined the Marines. His patronage of an expensive Tokyo nightclub as a private, his learning Russian at the highly sensitive U-2 base in Japan, his defection to the Soviet Union, and other oddities were all part of his intelligence career. His intelligence career probably began even before his Marine days, when he was a cadet in 1955 in David Ferrie’s Civil Air Patrol unit; “coincidentally,” Oswald began his “fascination” with communism at the same time. Oswald was developing "communist" credentials for his future activities in infiltrating communist organizations. It was a fairly normal American intelligence path.
Oswald was inducted into the CIA's covert activities and came under Hunt’s direction. Hunt was a major player in mounting the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, and he, as with many others in the military and CIA, blamed Kennedy for the failure (Kennedy refused to call in openly American air support). Hunt dreamed up the crazy assassination attempts on Castro that the United States tried. Hunt's mission in life was eliminating Castro. Oswald came into Hunt's control, and was thrown into the cauldron of the Cuban exile communities in Miami and New Orleans. Oswald did not initially know what his mission would be.
Hunt was paranoid about Oswald's Russian wife and thought that she might be a Russian spy, so Oswald could tell her nothing about his activities. Oswald’s joining Fair Play for Cuba and his staged “murder attempt” on General Walker were all part of giving Oswald “credentials” that would make his upcoming performance more believable. Hunt had concocted the most bizarre assassination intrigue of all time. Oswald was going to participate in a fake assassination attempt on John Kennedy and frame Castro for it. Oswald’s apparent visit to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City was part of laying an elaborate trail to Cuba. Hunt believed that if Castro could be implicated in an assassination attempt on JFK, the American people could be riled up into supporting an outright invasion of Cuba.
JFK was not aware of the fake assassination plan, but high-ranking officials in the government and his administration were. Military intelligence, the FBI, and the CIA were all involved. Oswald was initially leery of Hunt’s plan, but with assurances and after seeing the high-level people involved, he went along with it. Oswald was to fire his rifle into the air, then go into hiding, and the false trail to Cuba was laid. He could come home to a hero’s welcome and live a normal life after America finished mopping up Cuba.
But something went horribly wrong. The fake assassination turned into a real one. Somebody had infiltrated the operation, interposed the mission, and killed JFK. The real assassins tried killing Oswald after JFK was killed, but policeman Tippit was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was killed. Oswald escaped, to be captured alive. John said that he knew that Oswald would not have shot a policeman under any circumstances. At the end of his mind-blowing tale, John handed over a thick manila envelope, sealed with wax with a thumbprint on it, which contained the documents that John said would prove his story.
Murphy, Gary, and his partner flew back to California. They knew that the situation was too big and dangerous for them to pursue. John said that if he went public with his story, he would quickly disappear, never to be heard from again. A few days after that meeting, Decker called Murphy. As John was telling his story in Ruidoso, the CIA and intelligence community were in shock. They did not know what to do and were paralyzed with fear. As they recovered from their shock, they saw themselves facing the firing squad if their involvement in the assassination intrigue became known. The intelligence community decided that they would do everything they could to cover their tracks by invoking “national security.” Decker told Murphy that John had given him the envelope of documents in a moment of panic, and that if Murphy did not give the envelope back, he would be “destroyed.” Murphy did some fast thinking and told Decker that they had torn the envelope into pieces and threw the shreds out of the airplane as they were flying back to California.
That is what Gary said he witnessed, and I believe him. In the first edition of his book, Gary hid John's identity. Because John was dead when Gary published the second edition of his book in 1996, Gary revealed that “John” was John Tower, the Senator from Texas and George Bush the First's friend whom he nominated to be the Secretary of Defense.
Gary drafted his book in the early 1970s, and his wife typed it up. New evidence keeps coming to light regarding the JFK assassination. Because of what Gary saw, I knew that Oswald was not a lone nut. The center of gravity of my research into the JFK assassination was to see how it correlated with Gary's testimony. Every piece of credible evidence that I have seen supports Gary’s story, and none has ever contradicted it. Particularly impressive has been the revelations of Operation Northwoods, which proposed that the USA's government would stage terrorist acts in the USA to manipulate Americans into supporting an invasion of Cuba. The most formidable JFK assassination book of the early 20th century, as of 2014, was James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable, which also agreed with Gary's reason for why JFK was assassinated: he was trying to end the Cold War.
Gary’s story touches upon many facets of the JFK assassination evidence, including Oswald's military intelligence days, his association with the Cuban exiles, the “Texas Connection,” the “Republican Connection,” the oilman connection, the George Bush connection, the CIA connection, the FBI connection and others. Until the early 21st century, Gary's testimony was ignored by virtually everybody involved in investigating JFK's assassination. It has since been cited in serious JFK works. Gary was the last surviving member of that meeting with John Tower, and Gary died in 2004. Tower and Murphy both died in private plane “accidents” that Gary thought were not accidental.
Gary's career ended in Ventura County when he stumbled into corruption that beggars the imagination. Gary named names, and I knew some of the people that he named, and knew of many of the events. I independently believed his version of some events before I met him. When he encountered the corruption in Ventura, which ended his career, he fought back and survived a murder attempt himself. Those who run Ventura County are judges on the Superior Court, real estate developers, politicians, and the like. According to Gary, political murder was common in Ventura County, where judges, lawyers, and others who got in the way or were expendable were murdered, sometimes by private plane “accidents,” mysterious drownings, etc.
Hollywood has made many movies and TV shows about the police and crime in Los Angeles, especially during the 1940s, and 1950s, such as LA Confidential and Chinatown, and in ways, those movies were like chapters of Gary's career. Gary worked out of the downtown and Hollywood precincts during his days as an LAPD cop. Later in his career, he became an investigator for the LA District Attorney's Office. In the early days of Gary’s career, he was assigned to watch Mickey Cohen, who ran LA’s organized crime operations. Cohen, Bugsy Siegel, and Meyer Lansky were Jewish gangsters. Siegel “built” Las Vegas. Cohen ran LA's crime scene for many years. In typical gangster style, Cohen’s hangouts were often boxing arenas, racetracks, ethnic restaurants, etc. Gary followed Cohen around as part of his job. Cohen and one of his protégés, who has been a Ninth District federal judge since 1979 and is still sitting on the bench at 90 years old in 2014, got Gary fired from his job in the LAPD in 1952. The media and establishment have lavished praise on that judge, with awards and hagiographic articles. I have noticed over the years that the most successful gangsters cultivate reputations for honesty and "liberal" stands, which is an effective method to deflect attention from their criminal behavior. I have witnessed hit men sicced on us (such as Mr. Deputy and Mr. Texas) with similar facades. Psychopaths play that game well, and they easily manipulate most people with their charms. Psychopaths make great politicians and corporate executives.
The connection between Frank Sinatra and organized crime is one of many in the entertainment field (or the CIA, or George Bush, or Joe Kennedy, or entertainment and law enforcement, such as Elvis Presley and the FBI, or the FBI and organized crime). Along with good food and pretty women, first-class entertainment is another gangster perk. Gangsters keep entertainers as their “pets” when they can (I have personal knowledge of that phenomenon). The Las Vegas connection and entertainment is a case in point. Cohen was deeply involved in the Hollywood scene.
One of Cohen’s specialties was blackmailing celebrities, such as obtaining compromising photographs of them to use as leverage. One of Cohen's successes involved Lana Turner. Johnny Stompanato was a good-looking, aspiring gangster; the kind that filled Los Angeles in those days. LA's hookers said that the Italian Stallion Stompanato was the best bedroom performer in LA, and Cohen arranged for him to meet Turner. The romance flourished. Cohen paid for a deluxe motel suite for the lovers. The bed was wired for sound. Cohen got a recording of Stompanato and Turner going at it. Cohen had two thousand copies pressed of Turner’s squeals of ecstasy. It became a hit at Hollywood parties. Some said that it was one of Turner’s finest performances. It made Cohen a lot of money, as he sold the record for $50 a copy. Turner’s daughter eventually murdered Stompanato, which created one of Hollywood’s bigger scandals. That recording became the “must have” item after Stompanato’s death, and Cohen pressed thousands more records, making big money.
As Gary followed Cohen, and sometimes put him under sophisticated surveillance, Gary met members of Cohen’s entourage. In 1946, Gary saw somebody new with Cohen at the racetrack. In 1947, Gary bumped into him at a restaurant that Cohen patronized. The man knew that Gary was a cop, yet they had an interesting conversation. The man introduced himself as Jack Ruby. His real name was Jacob Rubenstein. Ruby openly told Gary that the mob was focusing its operations on New Orleans and Havana, where the action was. With World War II over, the West Coast was not really the happening place anymore. Ruby murdered Oswald, and Gary presented intriguing evidence regarding the organized crime connection with the JFK assassination.
In 1948, the state of Israel was established. Menachem Begin eventually became Israel's Prime Minister. Begin was a member of the Irgun terrorist group. He helped blow up a hotel in Jerusalem, which killed many people. When Begin was Israel's Prime Minister, he could not visit the United Kingdom because he was wanted for murder there. The people who established Israel were extremely violent. Mick Cohen was involved with Begin and became an arms dealer for Israel, which does not surprise anybody who has dug into the CIA’s alliances. Cohen said that his Jewish blood made him such a fervent supporter of Israel, but he was likely in it for the money, as usual.
In Israel’s early days, its relationship with the USA was not happy, and was particularly troubled during the Eisenhower administration. It was not until the war of 1967, when Israel proved itself a murderously aggressive power in the Middle East, grabbing huge chunks of land from its neighbors, that the USA began its massive and unconditional support of Israel, which is the biggest foreign aid project in world history. In 1960, the USA's presidential election was between Nixon (Eisenhower’s vice president) and John Kennedy. Kennedy was a legendary philanderer, and Cohen and friends tried exploiting JFK’s proclivities. According to legend, JFK met Marilyn Monroe through a connection with Frank Sinatra. Right there was a possible organized crime connection, but Gary wrote that another member of the “rat pack,” Joey Bishop (who knew Cohen well - Gary wrote that Bishop even worked for Cohen), came up with the idea of introducing Monroe to JFK, and Gary looked in on Peter Lawford’s (JFK’s in-law) beach-house party when JFK and Monroe were introduced, in 1960, during the Democratic national convention.
As with Stompanato and Turner, Cohen underling Georgie Piscitelli became Monroe’s lover. Cohen got a tape of them in bed together and played it for Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamster boss who later received cement shoes from the Mafia and who was then feeling the heat from Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. They promised Hoffa a tape of JFK and Monroe in bed together (so that Hoffa could blackmail JFK into halting Bobby Kennedy’s efforts), but could never deliver. Monroe was being used as the world’s highest-class hooker. In 2013 and 2014, new allegations of Monroe/JFK sex tapes arose.
Cohen and friends wanted to know what Kennedy's intentions were toward Israel. Monroe was supposed to elicit it during pillow talk. Monroe was controlled by mobsters and was kept on all manner of narcotic. When she became increasingly uncontrollable and potentially dangerous if she publicly talked about what was happening, she was murdered. Gary had Cohen under surveillance, and caught him and Begin having a conversation in Yiddish in a diner. They were talking about Kennedy, Israel, and how much money Kennedy was wasting on the Peace Corps and other programs.
Gary's testimony regarding JFK, John Tower, Marilyn Monroe, Menachem Begin, Jack Ruby, and Mick Cohen is just part of his amazing tale, which he published at great risk. By the year 2000, the only JFK assassination book that I was aware of that even mentioned Gary was Final Judgment, by Michael Collins Piper, who heavily relied on Gary’s testimony. Gary thought that Jewish gangsters were involved in interposing Hunt’s grand scheme. That does not mean that Allen Dulles (the CIA chief whom Kennedy fired over the Bay of Pigs, and who later served on the Warren Commission), J. Edgar Hoover, George Bush, and others were not also involved in interposing Hunt’s scheme and playing Hunt for a chump.
Piper was a reporter for The Spotlight, which I subscribed to for years. It has understandably been described as a neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic publication. The culmination of Gary's book was uncovering a vast Jewish crime organization. It is different from the Italian Mafia, as its members are judges, politicians, and other public figures. It is a highly intelligent crime organization, which uses the pen more than the gun to achieve its goals. The most powerful criminals do not break the laws: they make and enforce the laws, to serve their own interests, not the public’s.
Gary suffered greatly at the hands of Jewish gangsters. Consequently, I believe that he took his Jewish theorizing a little too far, but it was understandable. During my days with Dennis and the horror that I lived through, I thought that policemen and lawyers were among the lowest forms of life. I have since revised my views, but I understand how brutal treatment at the hands of Jewish gangsters can lead to overgeneralizations regarding the Jewish people.
The Jewish people have had a very rough ride, especially at Christendom’s hands. The flocking of Jews to Southern California was just one more chapter in their long journeys, as they tried to find a place in the Christian world where they would not be discriminated against or murdered en masse. Consequently, Jews entered new industries such as the entertainment industry in Hollywood, and some took advantage of Prohibition, just as Italian criminals did. Cohen, Siegel, and Lansky were part of a uniquely American phenomenon. What Gary stumbled into - a Jewish underworld where the criminals were bankers, judges, lawyers, politicians, and others - is an understandable Jewish variation of organized crime. Jewish gangsters also sought “invisibility,” which is also common in corporate and other power games.
Even though Gary took his theorizing about the Jewish people too far, he was correct when he stated that Jewish apologists have been using the cry of “anti-Semitism” as a club to prevent anybody from criticizing Israel (and Gary said that the same tactic prevented the exposure of Jewish gangster activities). Noam Chomsky stated the same thing. So did Native American scholar Ward Churchill. Jewish scholars are definitely guilty of playing up the Jewish Holocaust and its imagined historical exclusivity, to the point where some have denied the Gypsy Holocaust of World War II. Gypsies were subject to the same extermination policies as Jews were and died alongside them in the same death camps.
All the same, the far-right scholarship that argues that the Jewish Holocaust never happened, or was never intended by the Nazis, is, in the words of Ward Churchill, “tripe.” If one is not familiar with scholarship’s “rules,” the-Jewish-Holocaust-Never-Happened scholarship can appear reasonable. Far right scholarship on the subject is extremely biased and often appallingly bad. Typically, they use a few “facts” to establish their arguments, but then liberally add rumor, supposition, and fabrication into the mix to construct their hypotheses.
All disinformation has “truth” and “facts” in it (which makes it plausible), and to the uninitiated can unfortunately be convincing. Probably the main reason why Gary’s testimony was dismissed was because of his fervent writings about Jewish gangsters, and generalizations about the Jewish people that could easily be labeled anti-Semitic. In 1998, I submitted a brief essay about Gary’s testimony to a JFK assassination forum, and the only response was to flame me, call my writing a “fairy tale,” call Murphy a “coward” and Gary a “Nazi.” Yet, Gary’s theories had virtually nothing to do with what Gary said he witnessed. I believe everything that Gary said he saw, including his meeting with John Tower, and Jews do not come up in the Tower conversation at all.
Testimony from other participants with military backgrounds, such as Robert Tosh Plumlee and Richard Case Nagell (who use the same alias that Oswald did), can provide further insight into that milieu. A close relative was a CIA contract agent, and nobody who investigates that realm is going to find some pristine cache of declassified documents that paints the full picture. I often see that approach taken, with varying levels of naïveté displayed by the researcher, usually by those defending the establishment's version of events. Officialdom never tells the whole story in areas such as these, no matter how much it pretends to. I am privy to operations that are still classified, which I learned of from participants close to me. Many years later, I saw aspects of the issue being declassified, but there was plenty still being kept secret, and will probably never be publicly revealed. This is common with the USA's federal government, and what ends up being declassified often shows how badly the government lied to the public. That just comes with the territory of such operations. The privatized operations of the Global Controllers and others are almost never revealed in any depth at all, and revelations from people such as John Perkins barely scratch the surface.
The surfacing of Operation Northwoods' documents in 2001 made Gary’s testimony vastly more credible, as Tower’s tale is very similar to the plans as depicted in Operations Northwoods' documents. I spent hundreds of hours looking into the JFK assassination evidence since 1989, and I have never seen any piece of credible evidence contradict Gary’s testimony, and evidence has kept appearing since the 1980s that keeps confirming it. The next section will deal Gary’s account of John Tower and JFK, and how it fits today’s evidence.
Assessing the Credibility of Gary’s Story, and How it Fits the Facts
Until the early 21st century, Gary’s testimony regarding Tower and JFK was ignored by, or unknown to, nearly everybody involved with the JFK assassination controversy. This section is written in the hope that Operation Northwoods' revelations will spark more interest in Gary’s tale. James Bamford, who brought the Northwoods documents to American attention in his Body of Secrets, wrote that the Northwoods plan “may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government.” There is plenty of competition for “most corrupt plan” in American history.
George Washington was probably America’s richest man when he became president. He was the John Rockefeller of his time, whose fortune was anything but “clean,” and he designed the blueprint to steal the North American continent from Native Americans by forcing them to cede their lands in treaties that the USA's government would never honor. Washington’s plan was quickly adopted by the Continental Congress and was the USA's official policy until there were virtually no more native lands left to steal. Thomas Jefferson told Big Lies to both the British and Spanish ambassadors about the USA's intentions toward North American lands. The USA's government during the 19th century was more openly corrupt than in the 20th century.
The 20th century began with the USA consolidating its theft of the last shreds of Spain’s colonial lands, which began with robber baron William Randolph Hearst whipping up the American people to support an invasion of Cuba, to “free them” from Spain (under the false pretense that Cuba sank an American warship in Havana Harbor). The lie of the USA's “noble intentions” was immediately laid bare when it also seized the Philippines and engaged in a genocidal attack against the Filipinos when they tried becoming independent of the new imperial overlords. To the Filipinos, it mattered little if the usurpers were Spaniards, Americans, or the Japanese. While the USA was still digesting its land grabs from Spain, it engaged in its first experiment in neocolonialism with the outright theft and fabrication of Panama, separating it from Colombia, and then the USA immediately split it with the Panama Canal Zone. The USA invaded Latin America at will after creating Panama.
Panama was a free nation in name only. Wall Street lawyer William Nelson Cromwell, who co-founded Sullivan and Cromwell law firm, ran the “free Panama” operation. In the Panama operation, Cromwell ran a syndicate largely funded by J.P. Morgan, and the American taxpayer was ultimately swindled by their subterfuge, in the biggest single payment that the USA's government had made to that time. John Foster Dulles inherited Cromwell’s empire and became Eisenhower’s Secretary of State while his brother Allen ran the CIA. Both men were partners in Sullivan and Cromwell. Allen and John Foster were particularly fond of Nazi Germany and heavily invested in it during the 1930s. After World War II ended, Allen quickly “rehabilitated” Hitler’s biggest cheerleaders in German banking and industry and put them right back into the positions that they enjoyed while supporting Hitler’s regime.
John Foster Dulles’s behaviors while serving as Eisenhower’s Secretary of State added a new word to the dictionary: brinksmanship. Dulles’s notion of diplomacy with the Soviet Union was threatening it with nuclear attack. The Cromwell-Dulles empire was quite active in Latin America. One of Sullivan and Cromwell’s clients was the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit, which “owned” Guatemala; Allen Dulles was on its board of directors and John Foster Dulles was a major shareholder. In 1951, Jacobo Arbenz became Guatemala’s president, and he nationalized some of United Fruit’s unused land, and had a plan to compensate them for it. Arbenz was a fan of Franking Roosevelt and tried building a New Deal-style economy in Guatemala. Citing the “international communist conspiracy” fantasy, the Dulles brothers engineered the overthrow of Arbenz in 1954, and the Guatemalan people were treated to a string of brutal USA-controlled dictators for more than the next 30 years, which ultimately took hundreds of thousands of lives while the entire nation (except for the ruling class) lived in misery. The year before overthrowing the Guatemalan government, the Dulles brothers reacted to Iran’s attempt to nationalize Britain’s oil monopoly by overthrowing the Iranian government. The USA began taking over Middle East oil on behalf of the American oil companies, which “coincidentally” also served Rockefeller interests. The Shah’s reign was one of the bloodier chapters in modern Middle East history.
The 1950s also saw the USA's invasion of Korea, and millions were killed. Those were also the years of the McCarthy witch-hunts, the wholesale wiping out of cancer treatments by the very same medical authorities to who helped concoct health claims for cigarettes, and the marketing of industrial waste to Americans as “medicine.” In summary, corruption was far from unknown in the USA, especially during that era, and far-right, anti-communist hysteria was imbedded in America’s psyche as deeply as any catechism ever was. People such as Ralph McGehee eventually discovered what a Big Lie anticommunist ideology was. It was a smokescreen designed to disguise and protect imperial/corporate prerogatives.
When Castro’s revolutionaries finally overthrew an American puppet in Latin America in 1959, the super-hawks in the Eisenhower administration could barely contain themselves. As with most called “communist,” Castro was originally simply an anti-imperialist, and Cuba has long had Latin America’s highest standard of living, ever since the Cuban Revolution (there are no homeless in Cuba, which the USA could learn from). The thought that other Latin American nations might follow Cuba’s example and break free of the USA's domination was intolerable, and in the 1960s and 1970s the USA overthrew more than a dozen elected Latin Americas governments and installed American-backed dictatorships, some of which were among the 20th century’s bloodiest regimes. The official reason why the USA has named Cuba a pariah nation and led economic warfare against it since the 1950s is because of its “human rights” violations. The USA's puppet governments in Guatemala and El Salvador during the 1980s made Castro’s Cuba appear saintly. The same went for Colombia, which was Earth’s most violent nation when the Colombian government received vast sums of arms from the USA, to “fight terror.” The rationale used to be to fight “communists,” and then “drug dealers” after the Soviet Union collapsed, and then it became fighting “terror” in Colombia. What will the future rationale be? The same peasants are being killed and the same oil companies are salivating at the prospects of exploiting the region.
Eisenhower was incensed that the Cuban Revolution came during his watch, and asked his military leaders to “think of manufacturing something that would be generally acceptable” to justify invading Cuba. Eisenhower even harbored those ideas as a lame duck president, soon before JFK’s inauguration. Shortly before Eisenhower left office, he appointed a hawk among hawks, General Lyman Lemnitzer, to be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ("JCS"). Lemnitzer thoroughly distrusted civilian politicians and believed that the military should run the American government. Ironically, Lemnitzer’s kind may be just what Eisenhower warned against when he ominously spoke of the growing power of the “military-industrial complex,” three days before he left office.
The antagonism between the military and CIA goes back to World War II, when Wild Bill Donovan and other Wall Street lawyers and executives founded and ran the Office of Strategic Services (OSS - the direct forerunner of the CIA), and they prevailed in the battle over who ran the USA's intelligence scene, and quickly hired Nazis to staff the CIA after World War II ended.
JFK came to office as the CIA was about to mount an invasion of Cuba. Lemnitzer knew it would be a disaster, but remained silent. JFK's advisors (CIA and JCS) were trying to force him into position to openly use the USA's military in an invasion to overthrow Cuba's government. The Bay of Pigs debacle cost Allen Dulles his job but did nothing to cool the hawks’ ardor. While E. Howard Hunt, who planned the Bay of Pigs operation (and would later plan the Watergate break-in and earlier helped overthrow the Guatemalan government), was devising ways to assassinate Castro, with plans seemingly out of Maxwell Smart’s spy manual, General Lemnitzer and friends devised plans to justify invading Cuba, and Operation Northwoods was conceived. The documents only came to light when Oliver Stone’s film JFK inspired the creation of the Assassination Records Review Board ("ARRB"), which was formed in 1994.
An ARRB member tipped off Bamford as to the documents’ existence, and they might be the only documents like them to survive Lemnitzer’s document-destroying fervor. What kinds of plans are in the Northwoods documents? An early idea was to stage a fake attack on the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. The Northwoods ideas became increasingly extreme, and one plan was blowing up the rocket that John Glenn was about to fly in and somehow blame Cuba. They planned plane hijackings and bombings of American cities. One plan that has received attention from 9/11 conspiracy theorists was to stage an incident over Cuba with a drone plane made to look like an airliner. The plane would self-destruct over Cuba to make it appear as if Cuba shot it down. Lemnitzer reported to John McNamara, JFK’s Secretary of Defense. Lemnitzer increasingly fell from grace in the JFK administration, and a few days after Lemnitzer tried broaching his grand plan to McNamara, JFK told Lemnitzer that there was no chance of the USA ever using direct military force against Cuba. That was in 1962, and Lemnitzer soon lost his job as the JCS chairman, but Bamford wrote, “Even after Lemnitzer lost his job, the Joint Chiefs kept planning ‘pretext’ operations at least into 1963.”
Having the military and government devising plans, no matter how insane, bloody, or evil they might seem, does not mean that they were ever approved or implemented. When McNamara was confronted with the Northwoods revelations, he denied that Lemnitzer ever showed him the plan, which may have been true. JFK’s speechwriter Theodore Sorensen also denied such a plan, saying that it would have been “illegal” and “unwise.” Being illegal and unwise has rarely stopped the USA's government from doing anything, particularly during the “War on Terror” and invasion of Iraq. Before the Soviet Union set off its first nuclear bomb, the USA's military had a plan for dropping dozens of atomic bombs on the Soviet Union, and then using the USA's Nazi-allies to finish the job. Cooler heads fortunately prevailed. Similarly, after the USA dropped atom bombs on Japan, there were still die-hard Japanese generals who rejected surrender. The man who designed the kamikaze attack strategy proposed a post-Hiroshima plan to sacrifice about 20 million Japanese citizens in a special kamikaze attack. Once again, sanity prevailed.
Whether the Northwoods plan was ever implemented, or capable of implementation, is not the point I am making. The point is that the Northwoods plan was eerily similar to the tale that Gary reported. The plan that John Tower spoke of seems to have been a CIA parallel to the JCS plan or perhaps its offspring or parent. The plans are so similar in aims and means, that to not take Gary’s testimony seriously is to ignore the evidence. Not only are the plans remarkably similar, with one targeting the America public for “terror” and the other targeting the head of state, but it is widely recognized that the Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964 was either exaggerated or fabricated by the USA's government, in the spirit of the Northwoods plan, which was not lost on Bamford in his book. I know somebody who worked for the U.S. Navy in 1964, and he told me that some of his work was used by the Navy to fabricate the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The Gulf of Tonkin incident initiated the devastation of Southeast Asia, which killed several million people, and the American government’s motives were obviously fraudulent.
Fabricating incidents to justify invasion is a very old game. The USA initiated/fabricated a border incident to justify the huge land grab known as the Mexican-American War. Hitler probably had his minions burn the Reichstag to “justify” his police state, and Hitler’s crew dressed up concentration camp inmates in Polish uniforms to fabricate a border incident to justify invading Poland, which began World War II. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was certainly no “surprise” to the American military brass, and there is substantial evidence that the American men in Pearl Harbor were sacrificed to lure the isolationist American people into World War II. Michael Ruppert and others have presented compelling evidence that the World Trade Center attacks had prior knowledge by many people, and may have been “allowed to happen,” with some foreknowledge perhaps extending to the White House. In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski openly bragged about the USA arming and inciting the Afghani “rebels” as a way to lure the Soviet Union into Afghanistan and its “Vietnam.” Brzezinski’s little plan killed and/or devastated many millions of people, as he played his global chess game. Thinking that Hunt’s alleged plan is “too far out” is to be ignorant of history, and/or falling prey to the myth of American exceptionalism, as every nationalist ideology encourages.
Gary wrote most of his book during the early 1970s, as he was trying to survive what the gangsters who ran Ventura County dished out, and his wife typed it up. He first published his book in 1987. Gary was basically run out of California for his trouble. Gary’s book is more like a diary than anything else, and is certainly not a work of scholarship. Because I knew Gary a little, and he and I lived in the same milieu for a while (bearing the brunt of evil served up by the same people), and I got to see his integrity and helpfulness in action, I have always believed what he reported as his experiences.
In the early 21st century, a policeman who actually witnessed events that Gary wrote about contacted me and verified their authenticity. That policeman also thought that Gary's writings about Jewish gangsters and generalizations about the Jewish people were over-the-top, but in the aftermath of the USA's invasion of Iraq, with the flacking for war led by Jewish neoconservatives such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, that policeman began to openly wonder if Gary was right. My astronaut colleague Brian O'Leary once briefed Perle and Wolfowitz, along with other military establishment figures, and he thought that they all acted strangely.
Gary’s theories, particularly about the Jewish mob and Jewish people, I have considerable skepticism about. True skepticism, however, means pursuing the truth, not dismissing something out of hand with a priori reasoning, as the “skeptical” crowd has a penchant for. People who survive Gary’s kind of experiences are not going to publish a book like his in the hopes that it makes a lot of money or deceives the public, but to tell a story that needs to be told. In that regard, Gary is like Ralph McGehee, Rodney Stich and Dennis Lee, and he will always have my greatest respect for his courage and willingness to face the dark underbelly of our vaunted system and try to do something about it. There are not many like Gary, whatever extremes of theorizing his arduous journey may have led him to engage in.
Even if Gary’s timing of the Tower conversation is discounted (three weeks after the assassination), or when Gary wrote about it (about ten years later), many details of the Tower conversation did not come into public awareness until after Gary first published his book in 1987. The Northwoods documents and the plans for framing Cuba have not come into public awareness until relatively recently. The revelations of what really happened between the USA and Cuba during the 1960s did not start becoming public knowledge until the 1990s, after the Soviet Union collapsed and documents began to come forward from the former Soviet Union. Ironically, researchers have often encountered more document availability in the former Soviet Union than they have in the USA. Some revelations have been chilling, such as the fact that during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when JFK administration hawks wanted to invade Cuba, there were already numerous nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba, aimed at the USA and ready to go. The Soviet commander in charge of the Cuban nukes admitted that if the USA had invaded Cuba, he would have fired the nukes. It is the closest that the world has ever come to a nuclear holocaust, and it was only JFK's overriding his hawks that kept (a very short-lived) World War III from happening. In light of those revelations, a plan to frame Castro to justify invading Cuba is right out of Dr. Strangelove.
In James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable, the case is strongly made that JFK and Khrushchev both knew that they brought humanity to the brink of an all-out nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis and they both began to work to end the Cold War. They both had to fight their own people more than the "enemy," and JFK may have paid with his life for trying to end the Cold War.
A significant possible connection between Lemnitzer’s plan and Tower’s tale is General Edwin Walker. Walker was Lemnitzer’s soul brother, as Walker was a John Birch Society member as well as a Ku Klux Klan ("KKK") member. Walker helped initiate a “race riot” in Little Rock in 1961 and handed out John Birch material to his troops. Walker’s antics cost him his career, and a pre-JFK-assassination Senate investigation into Walker suspected that Lemnitzer was connected to Walker’s efforts. Oswald’s “assassination attempt” on Walker sure raises more suspicion than it did before the Northwoods documents surfaced, particularly in light of Gary’s tale.
The framing Cuba angle was certainly not in public awareness in 1963 or 1987, and I believe that only with the Northwoods documents, which did not come to American public awareness until 2001, that the framing Cuba angle has become publicly known as government policy. For cautious researchers, it would be most prudent to compare Gary’s book versus what was publicly known in 1987. There is plenty of JFK-associated evidence that has come to light since 1987, which further confirms Gary’s tale, but it will be up to other researchers, not me, to nail down what all those pieces might be. I want to paint a possible picture that accounts for Gary’s reporting, and I have no doubt that the bulk of his reporting of the John Tower conversation is as straight as Gary could tell it, with perhaps some minor shading of it, unconsciously, by events that happened after the Tower conversation and before Gary wrote about it.
If Gary’s tale is true, many people around the “fake assassination” project were unaware that it would turn into a real assassination, especially Lee Harvey Oswald. Up until November 22, 1963, the USA was in denial about a lot of things, and the naïveté of Americans back then was fairly astonishing; about 85% of Americans had “great faith” in America’s institutions (governments, corporations, churches, etc.), which was only about 15% in the late 20th century (or even lower, in the 21st century's “War on Terror,” priest-pedophilia, Enron days). However, many lived lives of quiet desperation, with American housewives being the biggest customer class of Librium when it was introduced in the 1950s (and Valium, AKA “Mother’s Little Helper,” in the early 1960s), to keep them doped up so they could try acting the part of June Cleaver, getting the newspaper, dinner, slippers and pipe ready for her husband as he returned home from the office or factory.
Until the bullets hit JFK, Oswald, Hunt, Tower, and quite a few others were probably being played as chumps by whoever achieved the JFK hit. The fabrication of Oswald’s trail to Cuba, his “commie” credentials and the like were probably not done as carefully as they would be today. That is because the American public was so trusting that they would swallow anything that officialdom told them. Whether that was in fact true, it is reasonable to think that Hunt and friends operated under that assumption. In Hunt’s designs, the trail to Cuba would not be subject to much public scrutiny, and would only be needed until the Cuban invasion and Castro's overthrow was complete.
Oswald was seen in the book depository lunchroom soon after JFK’s shooting, and the Warren Commission had to construct an involved scenario to explain Oswald’s alleged movements. The evidence tends to support the idea that Oswald sat in the lunchroom the entire time period surrounding the assassination. If the mission was interposed, Oswald would have certainly not have been in the “sniper’s nest” as a real assassination was being carried out. The likeliest series of events was that Oswald was told to go to the lunchroom and await further orders, or perhaps wait for a phone call. It is hard to say when Oswald realized that he had been set up, but it was probably less than a minute after JFK was shot. The “fake” plan would have called for Oswald to leave the building anyway, as even a fake hit would have brought plenty of attention onto the book depository. Because of the Single Bullet's (AKA "Magic Bullet’s") wildly improbable tale, I think it likely that people on the real assassination team set up the “sniper’s nest.”
If Hunt’s operation was infiltrated, it is hard to know just who was on the “inside” and who was not. Even on Oswald’s “team,” it is hard to know who was really on the inside in Dallas and who was among Hunt’s chumps. The story generally agreed upon is that Oswald left the book depository before police sealed the building and walked seven blocks to catch a bus. He soon left the bus and took a cab. Depending on what testimony and evidence is believed, Oswald entered the movie theater before policeman J.D. Tippit was murdered, or soon afterward. If Oswald was the intelligence operative that Tower said he was, he may have had a “double,” and the double may have been in town as part of the real hit team. Whatever the real events were, according to Tower’s tale, Oswald realized that he was set up and was doing his best to stay out of jail, and alive. He always referred to himself as a patsy, which is not the stance that one would expect for an assassin.
If Tower’s tale is true, Oswald’s trail to Cuba may have been fabricated, perhaps including his trip to the Cuban embassy in Mexico City. The photographic record in Oswald's military and CIA files may well be fabricated or altered. If Tower’s tale is true, there is little information that came from the FBI or CIA that can be relied upon, which includes nearly all the evidence that the Warren Commission considered, because the “investigators” for the Warren Commission were the FBI and CIA. The Warren Commission's lead counsel, J. Lee Rankin, later believed that the Warren Commission had been deeply compromised by the CIA and FBI. The Warren Commission accepted at face value the CIA and FBI-produced evidence, with Allen Dulles on the commission. Allen Dulles is one of the primary assassination suspects in JFK research circles, and he essentially led the investigation. Another member of the Warren Commission's rogues' gallery was John McCloy. A Rockefeller asset, McCloy was a member of a group that invested $100,000 and made $44 million in profits building ships during World War II. Perhaps McCloy's most infamous act was the brief that he submitted to the USA's Supreme Court that justified the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. He had the section edited out that of the brief that showed that Japanese-American citizens were not considered a threat to the USA. The declassified version of the brief proved McCloy's deception, which likely resulted from his racist views, but that act has competition in the infamy department. McCloy was centrally responsible for "rehabilitating" many Nazis and bringing them into prominent positions in the CIA and elsewhere, which led to programs such as MKUltra. McCloy decided to use the Nazi spymaster, Reinhard Gehlen, to run the West German secret service. Gehlen's activities nearly led to World War III. McCloy initially felt that the Warren Report belabored the Magic Bullet theory on thin evidence, but his good friend Allen Dulles convinced him of Oswald's guilt. I consider it highly relevant that in 2013, in an event marking the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, Robert Kennedy's son admitted that the Kennedy family never believed the Warren Commission's conclusion, and that Robert Kennedy considered the Warren Report to be a "shoddy piece of craftsmanship," and that the CIA and Mafia were probably involved in JFK's death.
Gary’s story fits startlingly with the main lines of evidence and speculation that swirl around Oswald, and there is enough uncertainty regarding various details that I have seen no credible avenue of evidence and theory regarding a conspiracy that Gary’s testimony may not fit with. With the Northwoods revelations, nobody can easily dismiss/ignore Gary’s testimony. Joseph Milteer’s prediction of the JFK hit has been taken seriously by most JFK researchers, even though he was a right wing, KKK-type of guy. Gary was a policeman and investigator, with a solid career going until he ran afoul of the gangsters that run Ventura County. Does being Audie Murphy’s friend count for anything, as far as Gary's credibility? If nothing else, the Northwoods documents may end up giving Gary’s tale due consideration, and Douglass's recent thesis is something that Gary also wrote about long ago. Gary’s experiences with Jack Ruby, Mick Cohen, and the Jewish mob also need to be considered.
In 2006, I encountered two Internet forums that earnestly discussed Gary’s encounter with John Tower and Audie Murphy. They were about the first worthy discussions that I had seen of that issue, and I discovered that Gary passed away in 2004. I had rewarding exchanges with one forum and exchanges with an impressive investigator who informed me that he does not know of any piece of credible evidence that contradicts Gary’s story, and knows of no reason why his tale would not be true, and I have seen Gary's tale discussed in other serious venues, and nobody that I respect has dismissed it.
There are numerous lines of JFK evidence to pursue, which could easily take a person’s lifetime. This essay will deal with just one aspect of the JFK assassination evidence in detail, and people can make up their own minds regarding the truth of the issue, and see if it is worth pursuing further.
The Backyard Photos
On the day of JFK's assassination, after Oswald was arrested, the police (Gus Rose and Richard Stovall) searched the home where his estranged wife, Marina, lived. Oswald was accused of murdering the head of state of the world’s most powerful nation, and the investigation was underway. It is difficult to imagine a murder investigation that would have been carried out with more zeal and thoroughness than that one. The Dallas police descended on Ruth Paine’s house on November 22nd, where Marina lived and where Lee stayed the night before. Ms. Paine let the police come in and search, even though they did not have a search warrant. Lee's possessions were largely stored in Ms. Paine's garage, which was attached to the house. The police thoroughly searched the premises that day and seized many items.
When the Dallas police searched the Paine's home and garage on the day of the assassination, they did not discover the photographs, even though they seized many items, including two cameras. In the two inventories that the police made of Oswald's possessions, those photos are not mentioned. Also, detective Rose, the man who discovered the photos, testified that he found two negatives. Only one has ever been produced (a vast amount of evidence disappeared during the JFK assassination investigation). There is a great deal of evidence of altered testimony by the Warren Commission, too. Michael Paine testified that he saw a backyard photo on the day of the assassination.
In one of numerous anomalies regarding the backyard photos, according to the notes made by Oswald's interrogator, Will Fritz, at an interrogation session at 12:35 PM the day after the assassination, he asked Oswald about where he lived, to find out where the picture of him holding the rifle was taken. The search "discovered" two photographs at 3:20 PM that day, and the detectives (Rose and John McCabe) did not leave the Paines' home until 5:00 PM. Oswald was shown the photographs at a 6:00 PM interrogation and denied that they were of him, and that his head had been pasted onto somebody else's body. According to the official documentation, Oswald was being asked about the backyard photographs before they were officially discovered. According to Jim Marrs's 1970 interview of Robert and Patricia Hester, who worked on the night of the assassination at the National Photo Lab, processing photographs for the Secret Service and FBI, they saw color transparencies of the backyard photographs in the FBI's possession the day before they were "discovered." The backyard photos comprise one of many areas where the policemen's testimony does not jibe with the evidence. The Warren Commission's defenders have constantly attributed such anomalies to "mistakes," and the doubters argue that something more sinister explains them.
In the photos, Oswald is shown holding the rifle and radical newspapers. Another problem is the papers themselves. Before 1960, communism had split into two factions; one was revolutionary and the other sought peaceful co-existence with the capitalist/imperialist world. The two publications that Oswald held up, The Militant and The Worker, both supported the peaceful co-existence approach. Oswald lived in the Soviet Union and was well aware of the split, and Soviet communism had embraced the peaceful co-existence approach. Trying to make a reputation as a militant by holding up those publications would be like holding up the New York Times to help establish one's reputation as a right-wing radical. Nearly all of the evidence presented by the Warren Commission and others to portray Oswald as some kind of communist fail pretty spectacularly. Oswald was a Marine with a crypto clearance, which is higher than top secret, who worked on the Japanese base where the U-2 missions originated. After his discharge from the Marines in 1959, he walked into the American embassy in Moscow to renounce his citizenship and announce his intention to become a Soviet citizen. He also announced that he planned to tell the Soviets everything that he knew from his Marine Corps days. The next year, while Oswald lived in the Soviet Union, as almost certainly part of the CIA's fake dissident program, a U-2 plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. The captured pilot later publicly stated that Oswald may have been involved with his plane being shot down, and Oswald attended the pilot's initial interrogation. Like so many JFK-related witnesses, that pilot died the week before he was to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations ("HSCA") about those events, when his helicopter ran out of fuel while flying over Ventura County, which is a method of murder that Gary Wean regularly encountered in Ventura County. That is quite a "coincidence." CIA documents showed that the USA never believed that that U-2 plane was actually shot down. There is a vast amount of information that points to Oswald being anything other than a rogue commie Marine who somehow moved around the spook world with ease and was trained and befriended by all manner of spook and CIA asset in the years leading up to JFK's assassination. During 2014, the Edward Snowden saga has been playing, with him in political asylum in Russia and who would instantly land in an American prison if he ever came home. At the height of the Cold War, a Marine with a crypto clearance moved to the Soviet Union while announcing his intentions to give the Soviets his secrets in what is arguably the greatest Marine defection ever. The next year, the plane that he worked with was downed over the Soviet Union, which became a huge international incident. Two years later, the defector decided to come back to the USA and was welcomed with open arms. It greatly stretches the imagination to think that he would be treated that way if he was a genuine defector.
In 1960, while Oswald was in the Soviet Union, Hoover wrote a memo stating that an imposter might be using Oswald's birth certificate. Several different people were identified as Oswald before the JFK assassination, and it appears that there were two Oswalds for a decade before the JFK assassination, and one may have helped set up the other as a patsy. Hoover was well aware of two different Oswalds, and on the day of the assassination, the FBI seized all evidence of one of the Oswalds, and those records never made it into the official evidence.
The Oswald in custody said that he would be able to prove that those pictures were fakes. All he was able to prove was his mortality, as Jack Ruby gunned him down the next day. With Oswald dead and unable to defend himself, the wheels of the government and media turned, and Oswald was eventually pronounced as JFK's lone assassin.
During the Warren Commission investigation those backyard photographs became known as exhibits 133-A and 133-B.
Warren Exhibit 133-A
Warren Exhibit 133-B
Life put 133-A on its cover in 1964. Even though it was probably listed in the evidence that the police seized, the negative to 133-A has never been produced. Only the negative to 133-B has been produced. If that ended the tale of "discovering" the photographs, it would be strange enough, but the plot gets thicker.
In 1967, George de Mohrenschildt, a Russian anticommunist aristocrat who worked for CIA front organizations and took Oswald the commie under his wing and probably got him the job at the book depository, discovered another version of 133-A in his possessions after he moved back to America from Haiti. De Mohrenschildt, who "committed suicide" immediately after the HSCA contacted him, did not know where the photograph came from and suspected that it was planted there to further frame Oswald. The strange thing about de Mohrenschildt's photo is that it is a clearer picture than the original 133-A, and views area outside the frame of the original 133-A. There is wide-ranging speculation about that situation. How did de Mohrenschildt come to possess a higher quality photo than the "original," and how was it developed? Those questions broach issues of authenticity not easily answered.
To further fuel the controversy, another backyard photograph was discovered in the possession of the widow of Dallas policeman Roscoe White and given to the HSCA in 1976. The widow once worked for Jack Ruby, for one of many "it's a small world" connections with the assassination. Detective Stovall also gave the same photo to the HSCA in 1978. That photograph is now known as 133-C. The position of Oswald in 133-C is markedly different from 133-A or 133-B. In 133-C, Oswald is holding the newspapers up in the air with his right hand, and the rifle in the air with his left. Neither 133-A nor 133-B depict that posture. In 1964, as police were recreating the backyard photos scenario, photos were taken using the same posture as in 133-C.
The Dallas police department obviously knew about 133-C in 1964. In a familiar pattern, a negative disappeared from evidence and an unreported photo emerged a decade later.
The very origin of the photos is in question. What about the camera that took them? The camera allegedly used to take the photographs was an Imperial Reflex camera. How was that camera found? On the day of the assassination, when the photos were not yet “discovered,” the police seized plenty of photographic equipment. The Dallas police discovered a miniature Minox camera, the kind that spies used. It is about the size of a large cigarette lighter. Oswald the starving commie certainly could not afford one of those. Even stranger was the serial number that the Dallas police recorded off of that camera: serial # 27,259. Years later, Minox reported that the serial numbers of their cameras sold during 1963 were above 135,000. Oswald apparently had some vintage spy equipment. The FBI tried to get the Dallas police to restate their original report to record seizing a Minox light meter, not a camera. The Dallas police refused to reclassify the camera and it disappeared during the FBI's investigation. The FBI later listed it as a light meter. Gerald Posner claimed to have solved that mystery. He claimed to have interviewed Ruth Paine's husband Michael, who said it was his camera, and one that he possessed since the 1950's.
That spy camera makes the mystery of the Imperial Reflex camera even more puzzling. Michael Paine did classified work for Bell Helicopter, which might explain his "spy" camera. It might be innocent, but it is one more odd connection with the intelligence community, in which a woman married to a man who did classified work for the government took in Marina Oswald, the wife of a defector. Marina and Ms. Paine met because of Ms. Paine's avid interest in the Russian language, or so it is said. The FBI seized a number of cameras, and the Imperial Reflex camera was not taken in the first search, nor the second, nor even a later one by the FBI, when they seized the rest of Oswald's possessions. The police even seized a camera that supposedly was not Oswald's, but it was up to Oswald's brother Robert to stumble upon that Imperial Reflex camera on December 8th, 1963, in that magical garage that kept spewing out evidence not discovered or taken in earlier searches. The original documents show that the camera was noted in the original search, for another investigative anomaly.
That Imperial Reflex camera officially became the one that took the infamous photographs. When Marina Oswald was first asked about the photographs, she claimed that she had never taken any. Later she would testify that she remembered one photograph being taken. Her testimony was later amended to say she had taken two photographs, in light of the fact that two photographs were introduced into evidence. She then amended her testimony to state that she took all three photographs now known to exist. She may eventually "remember" more, because the original FBI inventory lists four of them. There was allegedly a photo of Oswald holding the rifle over his head, which his mother found and destroyed. In light of Marina's constantly changing testimony, she is not regarded as a reliable witness, partly because her position was highly vulnerable and she was subject to manipulation by the authorities.
When asked when she took them, Marina originally said it was in the winter of 1963, nearly a year before the assassination. However, the scene depicted in those photographs shows a yard in bloom. Also, the newspapers Oswald held up were not published until the spring. After more prodding of Marina and investigation by the Warren Commission, it has been determined that the likeliest date for the photographs to have been taken was March 31st, 1963. That date corresponds to shortly after Oswald allegedly mail-ordered the rifle, pistol, and papers that he displays in those photos. It also corresponds to the timing of Oswald's “assassination attempt” on General Walker on April 10th. Soon after the Walker incident, de Mohrenschildt met Oswald one last time, and they never met again.
There are a few problems with the alleged photo date of March 31. March 31 may have been too early in the year for the plants and trees in the photos to be in bloom. What is more problematic about the March 31 date is that the photographs were taken in bright sunshine, but the weather records for Dallas on that date show that it was cloudy with traces of rain all day. There are a couple more oddities to consider before getting to the actual photo analysis. One is that when the FBI finally received custody of the Imperial Reflex camera in February of 1964, it did not work, and when it was first shown to Marina, she was unable to identify it as belonging to her husband, even though she supposedly used it. When she was asked how to use that camera, she thought that she held it up to her face, as with most cameras, but the viewfinder in that camera was on top of it, and the camera was held at the waist. The other oddity is that the Oswald in the photos is wearing a black shirt, black pants, and a distinctive wristwatch. After the assassination, the investigators could not find in Oswald's possessions the black shirt, black pants, or the wristwatch, and nobody ever remembered Oswald wearing that wristwatch.
While performing the research for producing this web site, I had to delve into many controversial areas. The only way to resolve the issues to my satisfaction was to try ignoring what all sides had to say and evaluate the primary evidence for myself and try to become my own expert. For a “one-man-show,” that is a tall task, so I have often relied on secondary evidence, but I also looked at the broad spectrum of secondary evidence (while correlating primary to secondary evidence when I could, to get a feeling for how reliable certain secondary evidence might be), and tried digesting all the available evidence into something coherent. The JFK issue was no exception.
Jack White deserves credit for his analysis of the backyard photos. White began his investigation with some expertise in photography and he devoted years to analyzing the backyard photos. The reason he did so was two-fold. The main one was that Oswald himself said that the backyard photos were faked, and his head was pasted onto somebody else’s body. The other was that White asked for and was given advice on how to pursue the JFK evidence, and was told to become expert on just one piece of it and focus his attention there. White did so, and a fair bit of the evidence produced in this essay relied in some measure on what he discovered. White deserves credit for the work he performed. However, White’s analysis of the backyard photographs is not wholly reliable because of his limitations as a photographic expert. Specifically, he has no training or expertise in the field of photogrammetrics, and all of his photogrammetric analysis is suspect.
In 2001 and 2002, I watched White post his analyses of Apollo lunar photographs to a JFK forum, to make the case that the Moon landings were faked. None of his Apollo photo analysis stood up to the slightest scrutiny. To be fair, I have never seen any photo analysis of “faked” Apollo footage that has ever stood up to scrutiny, as far is it proving that the Moon landings were faked, and White proved himself badly out of his element in analyzing the Apollo images. White later tried proving that the Zapruder film was faked, and one of his central analyses, which David Mantik wrote produced “robust” data, has failed to impress upon scrutiny. I later saw White try to make the case for altered 9/11 photographs, and they also did not convince me of anything other than White was out of his element.
White’s work obviously has its limitations. Proving his photographic analyses wanting, however, does not prove the case that the backyard photographs are genuine. Albert Einstein said that he had little respect for somebody who looked for the weakest spot of a board and repeatedly drilled holes through it. White’s “photogrammetric” analyses are the weakest parts of his work and should be considered as such. White’s critics have rarely strayed beyond his lack of photogrammetric expertise in assailing his work. Even amateurs can stumble forward, as I did when discovering Neil Armstrong’s leap back to the Apollo 11 LM. When a musician felt that he found evidence that disproved the acoustic evidence of the HSCA, which was the linchpin in its “conspiracy” finding, the “lone gunman” theorists fell over themselves in congratulating him on his find. Amateurs have made many of science’s breakthroughs.
Evidence can theoretically stand on its own, no matter who produces it. That is the scientific method's ideal. The following analysis will focus on the evidence that most strongly supports to arguments for fakery in the backyard photos, and will also demonstrate that whatever White’s limitations are, the official investigators for the USA's government performed incredibly flawed, if not intentionally flawed, analysis, which brings up the suspicion of fraud.
After looking long and hard at the evidence, I think that the most impressive evidence, as far as photographic fakery in the backyard photos is concerned, exists in four areas:
The anomaly of Oswald’s chin;
The nearly identical position of the camera in the photos;
The shadow anomalies;
The anomalies relating to Oswald’s head, arms and hands, and the rifle and leftist newspapers he is holding, including some shadow anomalies.
Jack White adduced other evidence, such as Oswald’s strange posture in 133-A and evidence of retouching. Although the other evidence may provide supporting evidence of fakery, the lines of evidence listed above seem the most impressive to me, and are also areas where the official explanations usually dealt with the evidence in an unsatisfactory manner.
In 1994, Michael T. Griffith, one of the more prominent independent JFK investigators, spent three hours interviewing photographic expert Brian Mee while examining the evidence. Griffith consulted several other specialists in the field, and their judgments concurred with Mee’s and have influenced this essay. Mee had expertise in exactly the areas that concern the evidence discussed below.
Before beginning this analysis, I will present my opinion of how the photos were probably faked, if they were faked. They were probably faked just as Oswald said, by pasting his head onto somebody else’s body. Also, there are enough strange anomalies with his head, hands, arms, and the rifle and newspaper he holds that there may indeed be several “special” effects pasted into the picture (or altered), to further incriminate Oswald. The photos in evidence are probably at least one generation removed from the original composite photos, and each succeeding generation had degraded clarity, as with any analog copying process.
A legitimate question, in light of Gary Wean’s tale and the notion that they were trying to fabricate Oswald’s violent reputation, is this: why would they feel the need to fabricate the backyard photographs, especially when Oswald was playing along with the game? I have long pondered that question, and I am not sure what the answer might be. The two Oswalds issue may resolve it. Claiming that the backyard photos are genuine would eliminate that seeming contradiction, but for Oswald to call them fakes, and promise that he would be able to prove that they were, is significant. Also, there are so many inconsistencies in how the photographs made their way into the evidence, and conflicting evidence surrounding the photos themselves (such as March 31, 1963 being a cloudy day, or how none of them were “discovered” when they should have been, and the 133-C photo’s travels casts grave doubts on the Dallas PD’s investigative effort), that their authenticity must be seriously questioned. It is highly possible that the rifle that Oswald allegedly ordered is not the one found in the book depository and may not even be the one in the photographs. There are suspicions that the second Oswald fabricated the trail to Mexico City and Cuba. The backyard photos may have been part of an entire body of evidence that was being used to fabricate Oswald’s “violent” tendencies and communist sympathies. There are many scenarios that could have played out, when Hunt’s little plot and the plot-within-a-plot are considered. I acknowledge that faking the backyard photographs can seem initially inconsistent with fabricating Oswald’s violent image, but only those who know the whole story know for sure, if anybody does, and if any of them are still alive.
If Oswald’s head was pasted on somebody else’s body, it is legitimate to search for where that might be, and the area that leaps out to even casual observers is Oswald’s chin. There are several pieces of impressive evidence relating to his chin and photographic fakery. The two most impressive pieces of evidence are the shape of his chin and a line that crosses it, from one edge of his neck to the other, which looks exactly like a crop line, exactly where one might be expected.
If Gary Wean’s tale is in any way true, nothing in the federal government’s files about Oswald is above suspicion, and with the “double” speculations about him, the photographic evidence of Oswald’s younger days must be viewed with suspicion. In Jack White’s second video about the backyard photographs, he presented several photos of Oswald from the government-produced evidence, and made the case that several photos appear to be composites. I have not seen anybody effectively dispute White’s analysis in that matter. What I doubt can be effectively disputed, however, are the mug shots of the man who was captured the day of the assassination, and who died in police custody. Below are comparisons of Oswald’s chin from his mug shots, compared with backyard photo 133-A, and also a man with a square chin is on the right hand side of the below image.
Oswald transformed from a square-chinned guy in the backyard photos to a pointy-chinned guy. How? The man with the square chin on the right is Roscoe White, who possessed the 133-C picture. The square chin was a point of contention in the HSCA hearings, and HSCA expert Calvin McCamy tried to convince the HSCA panel that Oswald’s chin was square in earlier photographs. Congressman Fithian was unimpressed with McCamy’s attempts to give Oswald a square chin, and said:
“I did not visually at least identify any other chin that was even approximately as square as the one in the backyard photograph, from all of the pictures that you put up."
McCamy told the HSCA panel that Oswald’s square chin was an illusion, and that a trick of the light, as it was coming almost directly from above, hid his pointy chin. He was not able to provide even one photo of Oswald to persuasively support his point.
McCamy’s performance on the square chin issue was dubious. What was convincing, however, was the HSCA experts’ “Penrose” study, although it was not convincing in the way that it should have been. The Penrose study compared several photos of Oswald to the backyard photographs, to determine if the man in the backyard was indeed Oswald. The Penrose method measured and compared the dimensions of Oswald’s face to various alleged photographs of him. The Penrose study concluded that the backyard photographs were genuine depictions of Oswald. The data presented for the Penrose study tells the full tale. For three critical parts of Oswald’s head in the backyard photos, the committee omitted the data. Most importantly, they omitted the data regarding Oswald’s chin. That is extremely suspicious, as the chin was the primary area of contention. At best, such “editing” of the data invalidates the Penrose study. At worst, it brings up the suspicion of fraud.
Lying by omission is by far the most common method of lying. I am a professional in the creation, manipulation, and presentation of numerical data. The HSCA experts appeared to have eliminated the data that did not conform to their foregone conclusion. In science, such a method is known as “rigging the data.” In the world of accounting, it is known as "cooking the books" (as with Enron and friends). Of all the many criticisms I have seen of Jack White’s work over the years, by all manner of conspiracy debunkers, I have never seen one “lone gunman” theorist deal with that issue, where the HSCA did something that seemed fraudulent.
Also in the images above, note the difference between where the neck, head, and bottom of the right ear meet. The man in the backyard apparently had a larger neck than the man who died in Dallas PD custody (as did Roscoe White).
In 133-A, a line can be seen exactly where a forger might have pasted Oswald’s face onto somebody else’s body. The below image shows approximately where the line is.
How did McCamy explain the apparent crop line? He said that it was a water spot. Michael Griffith has yet to meet a photographic expert who has seen a water spot run in a straight line. Spots are just that: spots. They are circular in nature. Mee said during the Griffith interview:
“One thing is the sheer coincidence that this line just happens to fall in the chin area; that this one edge of this one particular water spot is supposed to have left deposits in such a way as to form a line that coincidentally starts at one side of the neck, crosses the chin, and then ends at the other side - right where Oswald's head could have been attached to the body. I mean, this would be a good place to join a head to a body in a composite, in the chin area, and here we have a line in that region, and it's supposed to be a water spot.”
What are the odds that perhaps the only water spot that ever ran in a straight line happened to occur right where one would expect a crop line that forged a chin (that was obviously not Oswald’s) onto his face? That kind of stretching of coincidence is typical of defenders of the official version. Conversely, they promote weak arguments to throw doubt on the sinister interpretation of the evidence, so that the official version seems at least mildly plausible. I have seen similar argumentation in scientific disputes. One regards the extinction of the world's megafauna, in which human agency is almost entirely responsible, while human-agency "skeptics" constantly concoct analyses that defect the responsibility from humans onto the weather, in what seems to be kind of fraudulent. Similarly, the original Global Warming "debate" was almost entirely concocted by scientists who sold their souls to the hydrocarbon lobby, and the compliant media portrayed those corporately-funded "dissidents" as having views as legitimate as those of nearly every genuine climate scientist on Earth.
The other anomaly that is extremely difficult to explain away, and Jack White is probably on the right track with his work, is that the backyard photos were all taken with the camera in virtually the same position. Marina Oswald was one of history’s most fickle witnesses, repeatedly prodded to give testimony about the backyard photos, and had to keep amending it, as more photos cropped up or other evidence contradicted it. The authorities manipulated her shamelessly. Many years after the assassination, she publicly stated that she believed that her husband had been framed. However, Marina had virtually no experience with taking pictures, and when she described how she took the backyard photos, it is reasonable to accept her account. According to Marina, Lee brought her into their backyard, and had her take the pictures. He advanced the film and had her take a picture. Then he walked over, took the camera from her, advanced the film and handed her the camera back. Then she took another picture, until all four photos had been taken.
The background in the backyard photos is virtually unchanged from image to image. In order for that to be the case, Marina probably could not have even moved her feet or changed where she held the camera. That is a highly unlikely scenario, given how Marina said that the photo session was performed. The HSCA experts said there were minor differences in the camera’s perspective that could account for the camera moving between pictures. However, the apparent differences in perspective were so small that they almost certainly had to have been done on a tripod. Jack White performed experiments with “keystoning,” in which the photo was slightly tilted and then photographed, which appeared to cause the slight variations. White reported that he was able to exactly align the backgrounds by that technique. I would not accept White’s findings until I saw them independently reproduced, but Mee said the concept can easily explain the slight variances, particularly if they are the result of multigenerational copying. In copying 133-A from one generation to another, the slightest change in the planar alignment of the copying camera and photo can produce the differences that can be seen in the backgrounds between 133-A, B, and C. I would like to see some quality independent analysis of such a hypothesis before completely endorsing it, but at this time, I have to lean toward the tripod method of taking the images, with slight background differences due to slight planar and lateral differences in making the multigenerational copies.
By examining the 133-A and 133-B photographs above, it is evident that in 133-A Oswald’s head is virtually perpendicular to the ground. In 133-B, Oswald’s head is significantly tilted to his left. In both images, the shadow below his nose falls almost exactly at the midpoint of his upper lips (see the chin close-up above to see where that shadow hits his lips). Because of the tilt of his head in 133-B, the nose shadow should not have hit his lip in the same place. McCamy produced photographs of a mannequin at the HSCA hearings to explain this discrepancy. He provided a novel explanation in which the head twisted and tilted, to keep the shadow hitting the same spot on his lip. The HSCA panel was skeptical of McCamy’s explanation, and when the mannequin achieved the posture where the shadow hit the same part of the lip, it was no longer looking at the camera. Once again, McCamy invoked a fortuitous set of improbable circumstances to explain away an anomaly that suggested photographic fakery. Because the mannequin no longer looked into the camera when the desired shadow was achieved, such an analysis cannot be accepted as explaining the anomaly. What appears more likely is that the same head was pasted onto the different pictures, but the forgery was not sophisticated enough to account for different head angles. Also strongly supporting the pasted-head hypothesis, the head is the same size in the photos, although the body size changes. Also, in comparing 133-A and 133-C, the only part of the photos that are identical are Oswald's head. How are those anomalies even possible if the photographs are genuine?
One area of evidence deals with photogrammetrics, and Jack White made the case that the shadows on his body did not fall in the same line as the shadows on his face, for further evidence of fakery. The HSCA investigators performed a sophisticated analysis where they drew lines from the places on Oswald’s body that cast the shadow to where the shadow hit the ground. They performed what they called a “vanishing point” analysis in which the lines all converged on the source of light, the Sun. The HSCA panel was also skeptical of the vanishing point analysis, as the lines appeared to converge only slight past Oswald’s head, not at the distant Sun. In 2009, a college professor, Hany Farid, who is now known to work for the FBI, produced an analysis of the lighting below Oswald's chin and the shadow cast behind his body in 133-A, and determined that they came from the same light source, so he concluded that the backyard photographs were genuine. Case closed. His analysis was predictably ballyhooed by the media, but no serious investigator considered it anything more than another publicity stunt by the apologists, and in that instance by an admitted asset of the FBI. That kind of "analysis" makes the conspiracy suspicions even stronger, not allay them.
The apparent falling off to the right of Oswald’s body shadow in 133-A is partly an illusion caused by his bizarre posture. White thinks that Oswald is standing to the right of his center of gravity, which should not be possible. However, still photos catch people who are never quite still, and "Oswald" could have been shifting his weight as the photo was taken, producing the effect. All of Jack White’s attempts to impute measured distances onto parts of the picture were dismissed by the HSCA (and all of Jack’s many critics) because of his limitations as a photogrammetric analyst. Has anybody pursued what Jack attempted, to reproduce the scene and use sophisticated photogrammetric analysis, to determine what the real height of the man in the photos was, or how long his rifle was? If anybody has done it, I have not heard of it.
I think that the evidence is persuasive, however, that from the chin up it is Oswald, and from the chin down it is somebody else. Whose chin might that be? Jack White investigated the Roscoe White connection. Roscoe White was on the same ship to Japan as Oswald during their Marine days. They both may have worked for military intelligence. White began at the Dallas Police Department not long before the JFK assassination. A generation after Roscoe White’s death, his son claimed to find his father’s diary in which Roscoe admitted that he was one of the Dealey Plaza shooters. Soon after the son publicly announced the existence of his father’s diary, he said that his home was burglarized and the diary was taken. The conspiracy debunkers mainly replied with “how convenient,” and have largely dismissed the son’s testimony. However, the 133-C photo had been taken from White’s widow in a robbery (other accounts say that con men obtained them from White’s widow), and was seized by the FBI. That was how it made its way into the evidence.
There are other correspondences between Roscoe White and the figure in the backyard photos. He had a similar posture to the “Oswald” in the backyard photos.
The 133-A de Mohrenschildt photo is difficult to account for. It is a clearer image than the “original” 133-A and views area outside the frame of the original 133-A. Brian Mee thought this suspicious, as do I. If the photos were forged as Mee thought they were, the de Mohrenschildt photo perfectly fits the evidence. If the backyard photos are fakes, the likeliest way to do it was to take the original photos with the highest resolution cameras possible and then perform the forgery work. Then the forged images would be photographed at least once more, as removing the images from their original generation would hide much of the evidence of forgery. The photographs will also lose their resolution in successive generations and become grainier. Also, in successive generations, the image will often get slightly cropped along the way. The lower resolution and the graininess of the backyard photos (as Mee observed), as well as the cropping between the de Mohrenschildt photo and the “original” 133-A, gives compelling evidence that the “original” 133-A is a generation or more after the de Mohrenschildt image. One would not expect for Oswald to do that, but fits impressively with the notion that the forgers made a slight mistake when planting evidence in de Mohrenschildt’s belongings.
In addition, the notion that the “original” 133-A is a later generation of the forged images makes some of the HSCA testing of dubious validity. The HSCA investigators performed tests such as measuring the depth of the negative and grain analysis, which would have been of questionable validity if they were generations removed from the original, altered photos.
Those are the main lines of evidence I was the most impressed with, as far as giving evidence of forgery, and where I thought the HSCA performed questionable, if not fraudulent, work.
The last area of evidence that I found compelling, but other investigators often have not, is in the area of his hands, arms, and the newspapers and rifle he is holding. Those backyard photos about are the only evidence linking Oswald to the murder weapon. A nitrate test on his cheek on the day of the assassination (to determine if he fired the rifle) was negative. There was a belated finding of his palm print on an inside part of the rifle, after it had been dismantled, which has understandably been greeted with skepticism in the JFK “conspiracy” community. There were no fingerprints on either the rifle or the pistol that were identified as Oswald’s murder weapons.
Oswald had to be an idiot if he was the real assassin. With all of those incriminating circumstances that “framed” Oswald, we are supposed to believe that he carefully wiped his fingerprints off the rifle before he snuck out of the depository? But he also was so stupid that he had no plan of escape and took a bus and cab before lamely trying to hide in a theater? Far more likely is that the “safe house” plan that Hunt devised for Oswald evaporated when JFK was really shot, and Oswald did what he could, on his own, as the world’s most wanted man.
The rest of this backyard photo section will deal with the rifle, newspapers, and the hands and arms holding them.
Oswald’s left arm, which holds the rifle, is peculiar. Below his upper arm, the only thing visible is his hand. His entire forearm and elbow are invisible. Jack White tried reproducing the phenomenon, but was unable to.
It may be possible that the way Oswald held the rifle hid his entire forearm, but that anomaly bears further scrutiny. His right hand that holds the newspapers is anomalous for more than one reason, and one anomaly is impressive indeed. The fingers on his right hand all appear chopped off, as if Oswald had an accident with the meat cleaver.
The photograph I am using is a pretty good one, from Groden’s The Killing of a President, p. 112, and I have gleaned some other versions from the Internet during my 2014 update process. The chopped-off look is evident in the photo above. Whatever disparaging comments the critics may make about Jack White, one thing they cannot dispute is that Jack has the best quality photographs that exist to work with. On the presentation in his video, the chopped-off look of his fingers is even more pronounced. Mee was skeptical. He thought the reflection of light from the papers could have produced an illusion. White called the chopped-off fingers evidence of retouching. The other anomaly is even more impressive to me.
The shadow issue is highly contested. Oswald has a shadow below his nose, and his eyes are completely in shadow. It appears as if the Sun is at a 45-degree angle to the ground. I arrived at that approximate angle by noting that the shadow’s length under his nose is about equal to the distance his nose protrudes from his face. That is only an approximation and does not need to be more accurate for the point I am about to make.
The HSCA investigation applied plenty of professional aptitude to the backyard photos, and McCamy made the case that the Sun was coming in at such a high angle, that the bottom of Oswald's pointy chin was in shadow, which created the illusion that Oswald had a square chin. If one looks at the photo, McCamy's rationale uses strained logic, which the HSCA itself found difficult to swallow, but the point is taken that the sunlight is coming from a steep angle. Oswald is holding the newspapers against his chest at a nearly perpendicular angle; his right hand with the chopped-off fingers is holding the paper. There is something even stranger than the ends of the fingers missing. The nose’s shadow is about the equivalent of how far it protrudes. Using the same logic, his index finger should cast a shadow on the newspaper it is holding, roughly equal to the height of the finger above the paper. Take a good look at the shadow cast by his right index finger.
There is no shadow. That is compelling evidence that the photo is faked, which would prove the case that Oswald was not a lone nut, if it was true. That logic is admitted to by virtually everybody who has studied the assassination. If those are faked photos, they are sophisticated fakes for 1963. It means that somebody went to a great deal of effort to forge the photos, not something that “Oswald the starving commie” would have had the time, resources, or motive to do. There is also a complete lack of shadow under the bottom of Oswald's hand and little finger.
The final issue is the murder weapon itself. The backyard photos were highly damning because they showed Oswald posing with the murder weapon. There is compelling evidence that at least two rifles have been in evidence as the murder weapon, and that the rifle in the backyard photos is probably not the weapon in evidence today.
Jerry McLeer has presented evidence of two different rifles in evidence, with one cleverly forged to look like the other. The most convincing pieces of evidence are the numerous discrepancies between the rifle examined by the Warren Commission and the weapon that sits in the National Archives (which the Archives will not let anybody examine). Life Magazine took photographs of the rifle in 1983, and those images provide much of the evidence. There is also evidence that the “murder weapon” is a vintage rifle and not something that Oswald would have mail ordered.
Of the many discrepancies between the two rifles, what may be the most impressive for a lay audience are the discrepancies in the serial number, which are depicted in the image below.
Another issue casts doubt that the rifle that Oswald bought is the one he holds in the photos. The Warren Commission exhibit of the rifle ad that Oswald ordered from was not the one that he looked at. The Warren Commission stated that the ad they presented was a duplicate of the ad that Oswald used to purchase his rifle. The original ad that Oswald used was readily available, which made independent investigators scratch their heads. The reason for the Warren Commission’s use of another, later, ad than the one Oswald used became evident. The rifle in the National Archives is a 40-inch rifle. The rifle in the ad Oswald used to purchase his rifle was a 36-inch rifle. The Commission substituted a later ad that advertised a 40-inch rifle. That switch by the Warren Commission to force the rifle in evidence to correspond to the ad is a strange way to perform an investigation. There is excellent work on the Internet regarding those discrepancies (1, 2).
Another issue lends evidence to the notion that the rifle in the photos is not the “murder weapon” in the National Archives. McLeer’s analysis provides the evidence, although the images in Groden's The Killing of a President are adequate. On the rifle’s stock, about a foot from the barrel’s end, on its underside, is a circular ring about an inch in diameter. It is used to attach a strap. The ring is quite clear in good reproductions of the photograph. The ring is round, and appears on the underside of the rifle stock. The Warren Commission rifle had an oblong ring mounted to the side. Lone gunman defenders have theorized that the ring is part of the bush behind Oswald, which is nearly impossible to take seriously. Another explanation I have seen is that the rifle that Oswald holds is turned enough to where the oblong ring on the far side of the Warren Commission rifle is visible and provides the illusion that it is a circular, bottom-mounted ring strap. I am highly skeptical of that explanation also. The rifle appears slightly rotated, as can be seen by looking at the rifle's scope, but it appears far from being rotated onto its side, especially far enough to make the Warren Commission rifle's oblong side ring produce the alleged illusion of a circular ring. The only way to know for sure is to get the “murder weapon” and perform the reconstruction (I will not hold my breath waiting for the federal government’s cooperation on that matter). Also, the cheap rifle strap seen in the backyard photos is markedly different from the strap found on the murder weapon, a strap that appears dyed black, as well as the rifle stock itself. It is difficult to imagine a starving commie shelling out for a designer strap for his rifle (which appears to be designed for the rifle, dyed that same color as the rifle’s stock), when he already had one. Here are some images of the controversial strap ring.
One of the difficult-to-explain-away aspects of Oswald’s tale, particularly regarding the rifle, is that Oswald was supposedly a starving commie. In 1962, he amassed enough money to repay several hundred dollars in loans (including a loan from the State Department), while making virtually no money and trying to support a wife and child. The “lone gunman” defenders have never satisfactorily explained Oswald’s finances, particularly during the time leading up to the assassination. Oswald the starving commie and family man somehow paid off loans and bought a rifle, while scarcely making ends meet. It is similar to the enigma to how Private Oswald could have been a regular customer at a highly expensive Tokyo nightclub, rubbing shoulders with the military brass (something way out of line with America’s military caste system). One night at that club cost as much as he made in a month.
The “murder weapon” was so poorly made that government investigators had to fix the sight’s alignment so it could hit what it shot at, and even then, the government’s best marksmen, after numerous trials, were never able to duplicate Oswald’s alleged feat of putting two bullets into a moving target of JFK’s size and distance, in the time the assassination took. Oswald was only a mediocre marksman in the Marines, and there is no evidence that he ever used a bolt-action rifle before November 22, 1963.
The evidence persuasively supports arguments in favor of the hypothesis that the photos were forged and planted, and the camera was planted. In kind, it is nearly identical to the Magic Bullet’s tale. After the bullet’s highly dubious entrance into the evidence ledgers, Arlen Specter and Gerald Ford concocted one of the most implausible tales ever.
JFK’s autopsy photos and x-rays are probably also forgeries/composites. Nearly all the medical personnel who attended to JFK at the Parkland Hospital, where he was taken after he was shot, testified that the back of his head was blown out. Large blowouts are exit wounds, not entrance wounds. The back of his head being blown out is inconsistent with a bullet coming from Oswald's rifle. The back of his head being blown out is nearly irrefutable evidence of a shot hitting him from the front, which brings up the legendary grassy knoll gunman.
In light of the backyard photos, altering or forging the JFK autopsy photos (and X-rays) would be consistent with how the entire affair has been manipulated. There may have been several shooters in Dealy Plaza that fateful day.
The Nature of the JFK Assassination Affair
I have noticed a pattern in the JFK assassination that reappears in other cover-up attempts.
People in power do not want the rest of humanity to obtain information that may disrupt their power base, even if that information could benefit humanity (e.g. free energy, cancer cures, and political information) because it would encroach on their power base. Noam Chomsky stated that the current institutional ideology ranks hegemony above survival. Another way of stating it is that the elite do not really care if they destroy life on Earth, as long as they are in charge (with survival enclaves secured for themselves, however).
Derailing access to that information is within the scope, motivation, and resources of the power elite (e.g. the energy oligarchy, medical establishment, and USA's government).
There are often agent provocateurs involved in those obfuscations – an agent who develops fake credentials to allow him/her to infiltrate the ranks of researchers who attempt to uncover the truth of any suspected conspiracy, or propose solutions to the big problems.
The structural composition of the suppression includes prosecutors whose careers are measured by their “kill ratio.” The actual innocence of guilt of those prosecuted makes no difference to those people, who also employ others who are just “following orders.” So people who are just doing their jobs largely inflict the damage (the same dynamic is seen in the cancer racket, in which approved “treatments” kill off the patients, while the real cures are suppressed).
Public apathy and lack of integrity of those trying to uncover the truth is by far the most important aspect of these situations. For example, many people suppose that because we do not have free energy, that it does not exist, and thereby ignore the possibility that these resources have been suppressed. Diogenes’s quest for the honest man would be as fruitless today as it was in ancient Greece.
Independent investigators of the JFK assassination often discuss how unhelpful the CIA and FBI have been. The CIA essentially works for the Fortune 500, just as the American President does. They call themselves an intelligence agency, but their “intelligence” is usually disinformation designed to fool the American public. Covert action is their main function, and it has contributed to the death and misery of countless millions of people. The FBI has been liberally used to derail social movements in the USA. Outright murder of activists for native rights, black rights, and the like have been merely days at the office for the FBI. “Fighting crime” has been one of its minor functions. Those organizations are little different than the Soviet Union’s KGB, except that America’s spooks have caused far more death and destruction than the KGB could have ever aspired to. It is well known that many in the American “intelligence community” were very happy when JFK was killed. On that day, in my father’s office in the Department of Defense, one man walked down the halls and shouted his approval of Kennedy’s murder, saying that JFK got what comes to all “tyrants.”
What is obvious when researching the JFK assassination is that at least some theorists and investigators are provocateurs. A classic CIA disinformation ploy is to flood a certain subject with information, some of it true, and some or most of it fabrication, and the strategy of limited hangout is used. If anybody tries investigating the information, they will find so much false information that it taints whatever might be true. There are an incredible number of JFK assassination theories. One is that Kennedy was hit accidentally by a Secret Service man riding in the car behind him, whose gun accidentally discharged when Kennedy was under fire, which gave him his fatal headshot. There is a bizarre theory that there was more than one gunman, but they coincidentally tried to kill Kennedy at the same instant (the Washington Post proposed that one). That one invokes odds of trillions-to-one and might be the most bizarre of all, but it has plenty of competition. Prominent people, such as mainstream journalists, have concocted some of them. They were probably creating their surreal theories under the influence of the CIA or other spook organization. The CIA has operatives in virtually every major media organization. The circus atmosphere of strange theories has served to discredit all assassination theories besides the official “lone nut” one, and sincere researchers are nearly defeated before they begin.
Again, most importantly, what has hurt the independent assassination researchers the most has probably been the behavior of the researchers themselves. Those who independently spend years of their lives investigating the assassination have a trust fund or other source of passive income, are doing it in their spare time, or try to sell the results of their labors. Not too many people have the trust fund option. Also, those who are independently wealthy or have inherited wealth almost always obtained it through the workings of the system, and consequently are rarely going to have an inclination to challenge that system. I have never received a dime of compensation for my writing work, and have given up far more than $1 million of lost income to pursue it, and not many people can do that.
If people put their JFK research out there with their name on it, the provocateurs and others generally take the tactic of discrediting them, and they are instead put into the position of defending themselves, and the evidence they have produced is not considered. It is a classic misdirection tactic. That phenomenon is not limited to investigating conspiracies. My critics do not want to discuss the merits of my propositions, such as whether we are engaging in genocide in Iraq to control Middle East oil, or that we are putting poison in our water supply and calling it medicine. Instead, they attack me for my style, call me names, and otherwise totally avoid the substance of my work. That kind of "shark tank" environment of one's peers is also standard in science, so I am not really taking the conspiracy researchers all that much to task, but there are better ways to do it.
I have looked into many areas like the JFK assassination and examined the primary evidence for myself. I also rely on the work of historians and investigators whose work I have come to respect, through long digestion and investigation of their work, such as Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, David Stannard, Carl Sauer, and Rodney Stich, to name a few.
The fact that provocateurs have stirred up plenty of trouble, that independent JFK researchers have not always been pillars of virtue, that they often attack each other and become too attached to their theories, should not cloud the question of whether JFK was murdered by a conspiracy. Proving a researcher’s theory wrong does not mean that JFK was not murdered by a conspiracy. The evidence can speak for itself, as in those backyard photos.
The JFK assassination brings up extremely uncomfortable issues for Americans. If JFK was killed by a backfired covert operation (as Gary’s story says), and the government acted to cover it up, what kind of government does the USA really have? Would it really be much more legitimate than ancient Rome’s or Nazi Germany's? I have found that nearly everybody who defends the lone gunman theory of the JFK assassination is also of a white bread political persuasion, and has ideas that rarely stray from what officialdom says is so. Defending the lone gunman theory appears in large measure to be an attempt to defend the legitimacy of the USA's government. Why? I think that the cognitive dissonance dynamic explains much of it.
If Gary’s story is true, a lot more than JFK’s death was initiated by that backfired plot to frame Castro. The successful cover-up of JFK’s murder appeared to embolden the intelligence community. The rash of assassinations and attempts after JFK, leading clear to the attempt on Ronald Reagan, all have suspicious connections to the USA's intelligence community, with a “lone nut” scapegoat served up each time. Hunt eventually got caught with his hand in the cookie jar with the Watergate burglary, which may have far more sinister connotations than just some bumbling idiots trying to derail the Democratic challengers to Nixon. This essay will further deal with those issues of further assassinations and other dirty tricks.
Why Are There So Many Conspiracy Theories Today?
While investigating conspiracies and cover-ups, I wondered if this “conspiracy mania” was happening in America in the 1950s. The push to fluoridate our water supplies began in the 1930s. Much of it was a “structural” conspiracy. Scientists working for fluoride polluters would naturally, if largely unconsciously, massage the data to minimize the harm that fluoride caused, and amazingly, produced data showing that fluoride was good for people. Declassified documents show the USA's government covering up fluoride poisoning because fluorine was used in the Manhattan Project extensively, and there were industrial fluoride accidents that harmed many people. Even though it turned out that fluoridation luminary Harold Hodge was secretly working to cover-up fluoride damage due to industrial accidents, and was doing secret research on the fluoride ion's effect on the human central nervous system, a lot of it was just doing his job and obeying the rules of “national security.”
There is a strain of political analysis called “realism” literature, which I do not find very persuasive. Scholarship that assumes away economic factors is not very realistic. Establishment defenders have told me that only a few CIA employees have ever written books critical of the CIA because almost all CIA employees believe that their careers serve their nation. My response has been two-fold. One is that serving one's nation obviously did not mean serving the interests of those in the nations that the CIA helped rape. The other point is that the vast majority of CIA personnel will believe they are doing “good work” no matter how much their eyes tell them otherwise. People will always see themselves as “good guys,” no matter what they are doing. That goes for death camp Nazis killing Jewish children, American “pioneers” killing Native American children, American soldiers bombing Iraq, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and doctors whose cancer treatments kill their patients.
In 2014, conspiracy theories abound in the media and public awareness. Why? I think it is mainly because of the many shocks that the American psyche has endured since 1963. JFK’s assassination marked the beginning of the end of innocence for many Americans. There were definitely dark activities taking place before that, but the American people were largely oblivious to them. After the JFK assassination, America had the Vietnam War, Watergate, the scandals of the Reagan-Bush years (Iran-Contra and Savings and Loan scandals), an invasion of Iraq based on obvious lies, economic collapses due to fraud where those responsible were bailed out, not imprisoned, and America's confidence in its institutions and leaders cannot sink much lower.
There is a strange dichotomy, however. On one hand, people are slowly realizing that they are continually lied to. Yet, they are selective in the lies that they believe or disbelieve. It may be related to the size of the lies. People will believe the lies that serve their interests, while maintaining a general attitude that they are being lied to. They inconsistently assess the dishonesty in their world, and the powerful fully encourage such inconsistency. For instance, the two biggest “scandals” in the media during the 1990s were the O.J. Simpson murder trial and Bill Clinton’s “zippergate” scandal with Monica Lewinsky. The Savings and Loan scandal cost American taxpayers more than a $100 billion, and it has already disappeared into the Memory Hole. Whether O.J. Simpson committed murder or Bill Clinton really had sex with Monica Lewinsky had virtually no bearing on the average American’s life. Yet, those were the big media “scandals” of the 1990s. As Chomsky has said, one of the main purposes of the mainstream media is distracting people from what is really happening. Our murderous oil policies can kill off millions of Iraqi citizens, mainly children, and it barely makes the news or lodges in the public awareness, while O.J. and Clinton’s cigar make headline news. It is not entirely the media’s fault. They are tending the herd, but the herd also desires the tending.
In the end, people suspect that something is awry, and the great increase in conspiracy theories is evidence of it. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross performed the seminal research on the psychological aspects of death and dying in the West. She named five stages of the process. They are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. That process has been generalized to apply to any grieving process, and can apply to most things that people do not want to face. In 1962, about 85% of Americans had “great faith” in society’s institutions, such as the government, corporations, and churches. In 2014, only about 10% of Americans have that “great faith” anymore. What has replaced it is anger, the process’s next stage. Acceptance (some may think they are in acceptance, but they instead have apathetic feelings of powerlessness; it is not the same thing), and transcendence appear to be a long way off, but Mother Earth cannot wait that long. Bargaining and depression are stages that humanity has largely not experienced yet. As Americans have been staying in denial, cognitive dissonance has become more evident, particularly after the World Trade Center attacks of September 2001.
Will we wake up quickly enough to prevent our demise by our own hand? Conspiracy theories seem to be incomplete attempts to understand what is happening. What such a mentality seeks is to seemingly relieve us of our responsibility for what is happening, making us the victims of powerful forces, but the only “power” those forces have is what we gave them. Until we learn to accept our responsibility, the fascination with conspiracies will be one more way that we avoid taking responsibility for our lives. Investigating conspiracies or cover-ups can be dangerous business, however.
The Dangers of Investigating Conspiracies and Cover-ups
With our steeply hierarchical political, economic and social systems, not too many people at the top have to be “in on it” to make conspiratorial designs a reality. The conspiratorial and structural (or conscious and unconscious) perspectives of the situations are important for understanding what is happening. Neither one, by itself, can fully explain the phenomenon.
People such as Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman can write at length about the structural aspects of America’s system, and how its media, for instance, can serve up an inverted view of reality, and they will suffer no harm. For instance, the documentary on Chomsky's life and career, titled Manufacturing Consent, is the most popular documentary in Canadian history. Chomsky's thesis is virtually proven by the reception that it has received in USA. To my knowledge, no American television station has ever played it, except for a small alternative station that went out of business not long afterward.
It is argued, and it is partly true, that Chomsky and Herman have not had their careers ruined, or been thrown in jail, or died mysteriously, because they are prominent academics in their own right, and Chomsky has arguably been the world’s most prominent academic since the 1950s. However, the most important reason that they are still alive is probably because they are not unmasking conspirators. That is when the work can get dangerous.
Structural analysis is generally involved with studying documentation. Conspiracies, by their very nature, do not leave paper trails. Consequently, the “solid” evidence is often patchy and can lead to various interpretations. Also, because of the spotty nature of the “hard” evidence, people can construct conspiracy theories from rather flimsy evidence, for situations in which there may have been no conspiracy. That is the nature of the beast. All too often, people dismiss any and all conspiracy theories because the evidence is not ironclad. Also, “conspiracy” has become a code word for “lunatic fringe.” Deductive logic’s conclusions are only as valid as its assumptions. Inductive logic begins with the factual information available, is also valid reasoning, and is how the new hypotheses of science arise.
Here are examples of the dangers of investigating conspiracies. When Gary Wean waged a legal battle against the gangsters who run Ventura County, who are the judges and their cronies, they tried murdering him in his front yard. Gary made a legal motion that obstructed the sale of bonds used to build the County Center (where Dennis was jailed), which swindled the taxpayers out of many millions of dollars. Building the County Center was part of a plan to make a killing in real estate and other raids of the public coffers. The weekend before Gary's lawsuit delayed the issuance of revenue bonds, he came home one Saturday night to see a strange car parked near his house. Gary had been a policeman for many years and his instincts saved his life. The assassin was sneaking into his yard in the twilight, and Gary grabbed his pistol from his car and hid behind a tree. The assassin fired and blew off a tree limb next to Gary's head. Gary returned fire as the car sped away. If the assassin had killed Gary, his lawsuit would have been dismissed on Monday morning and the revenue bonds would have sold without a hitch. That is one way to deal with gadflies like Gary.
Chronicling mysterious drownings, mysterious plane crashes, a bloody murder of a lawyer and his wife in their bed a few miles from where I was raised (and a few blocks from where I once lived), and other dark events, such as the county judges controlling the local drug trade, Gary's book makes for scary reading; but murders are the extreme acts. Bribes, framing people for crimes and scandals, media smears, and kangaroo court were the more common modus operandi of the conspiracies.
Whereas Gary Wean was speculative in his work at times, Rodney Stich's work was far more conservative. As with Gary, Stich did not become involved because he loved diving into nasty messes, but his job led him to the heart of darkness. Stich was a Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") investigator during the 1960s, and was assigned to investigate several fatal crashes of United Airlines jets. During the course of his investigation, he stumbled into FAA corruption and complicity with United Airlines in covering up their negligence that led to the disasters. Worse than the negligence he discovered was the corruption that covered it up. He wrote Unfriendly Skies, and went on the radio and TV talk show circuit to expose what was happening. It won him few friends in the aviation establishment.
Most people in Stich's shoes keep their heads down, stay quiet, and keep punching the clock. A case in point is my Justice Department friend who investigated the death threat made by an automobile company to a man who invented a 100-MPG carburetor. The oil companies paid the quiet money of $50 million to suppress the invention. My friend was no hero. He saw what happened and realized how the game was played. He kept his head down and later enlightened me with the story. He would not risk his neck by making his discovery public.
Stich's investigations took him deeper and deeper, and his Defrauding America shows how far he descended into the darkness. Defrauding America is about the most frightening book that an American can read. In conservative style with little speculation, Stich chronicled theft after theft of the public's money by a series of related scams by the rich and ruthless. Defrauding America even chronicled a huge bribe that one of my relatives took, and from what I know of the person, Stich's revelation does not surprise me.
Stich investigated the black world of CIA drug running, the criminal aspects of the S&L scandal, Iran-Contra, October Surprise, etc., and the hard-to-believe corruption in the federal government, with federal judges part of the program, eagerly taking their cut (they are lawyers). With a prominent federal court judge in California whom Gary knew was a protégé of Mick Cohen's, the overlap in Stich's and Gary's stories are many.
Defrauding America's cover says it makes the "Godfather Saga Pale by Comparison." It does. One chapter is titled "Silencing Whistleblowers." In that chapter, Stich chronicled what establishment gangsters do to people who speak up. Murdering them is more common than is comfortable for me, yet more common is an array of kangaroo court tactics and other tricks. Stich noted that the pattern of murder accelerated during the 1990s, as the crimes escalated. No saints have ever been American presidents. The Clinton Body Count, where many close to him have died suddenly and/or mysteriously, is well known. If most of them were liquidated, it was standard American politics. Defrauding America was published in 1994, and the worst scandals happened during the Reagan-Bush years. Defrauding America, Russell Bowen’s The Immaculate Deception, Bo Gritz' Called to Serve and Pete Brewton’s The Mafia, CIA and George Bush corroborate that information.
Before reading Defrauding America, I was aware of many of those whistleblowers' fates, and Stich's book told me of dozens more. Stich mentioned Danny Casolaro, who was an investigative reporter who tried breaking the story on what he called "The Octopus." The Octopus was a pattern of scandals that seemed related, including the October Surprise. For those not familiar with October Surprise, it relates to Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1980. The Iranians released their hostages the that day Reagan was inaugurated. Casolaro’s Octopus was an alleged connection between the October Surprise, Iran-Contra, BCCI, Inslaw, and other scandals. In early August of 1991, Casolaro felt that he had nearly solved the puzzle, and told his friends and family that he had nearly attained the big payoff to his investigations.
Just as he reached the brink, he began receiving anonymous threats, so ominous that Casolaro told his brother, a physician, "I have been getting some threatening phone calls. If anything happens to me, don't believe it was accidental." A week later, Casolaro was on his life's most important trip, going to Martinsburg, West Virginia seeking his puzzle's final pieces. On August 10th, while Casolaro was in Martinsburg, a week after he told his brother to not accept "accidental" explanations of anything happening to him, the housekeeper at the Casolaro home picked up the ringing phone to hear, "You're dead, you bastard." The anonymous caller quickly hung up. On that same day, Danny Casolaro lay dying in a bathtub at the Sheraton Hotel in Martinsburg.
In life, Casolaro was squeamish, but the body in the bathtub had apparently hacked its wrists so forcefully that a tendon was severed. There was a suicide note, asking for forgiveness. His friends and family thought him unlikely to kill himself, especially his brother, who received Danny's warning the week before. Casolaro was outgoing and boyishly exuberant about life. The Martinsburg authorities did not contact his family the day that Danny died. Instead they quickly and illegally had his body embalmed, which made a valid autopsy (to answer questions such as, "had he been drugged?") impossible. The next day the Village Voice received an anonymous call, telling them that Casolaro had died. Casolaro's family was not notified until the day after the Village Voice received the news.
When looking into assassinations, mysterious suicides, etc., the same patterns repeat themselves. Inexplicably, the police abandon the most basic procedures of their profession and cavalierly destroy or "misplace" evidence. Very strangely, a briefcase full of Casolaro's investigative notes, which he hauled everywhere he went, especially to Martinsburg, vanished without a trace. There was also evidence that somebody besides Casolaro was in the room after he died, because somebody had been trying to mop up the blood with towels, as told by the assistant housekeeper on duty at the hotel who was on the scene before the authorities arrived. The housekeeper told of blood smeared all over the floor, and a wad of bloody towels lying under the sink. How strange. It was not strange enough for the local police to follow up on, however. It was a suicide, case closed.
After his family raised hell when they discovered what West Virginia's authorities had done, there was an official "investigation," which naturally confirmed that Casolaro killed himself. In the USA's history, very few official investigations have concluded that something might be awry with the system. They are usually cover-ups more than they are investigations.
When the Warren Commission investigated JFK's murder, they could not deny foul play, but decided that a "lone nut" did it. The evidence for a conspiracy surrounding the JFK assassination is simply overwhelming, and studying debunking work such as Gerald Posner's Case Closed makes the case for conspiracy even stronger, even ignoring what Gary Wean knows. When the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated the JFK assassination, one piece of evidence caused them to decide that a conspiracy killed JFK. Many other pieces of evidence should have also convinced them, but they settled on one. They backpedaled as well, stating that there was a conspiracy, but they had no idea who did it. Case closed.
Casolaro was probably silenced. He was kind of an amateur and probably got in over his head. Casolaro ran his ideas by an FBI man. That FBI man told a House investigative committee, "There is cause for suspicions." Three days before Casolaro died, he told an FBI agent that he was warned that his pursuit of the Octopus would kill him.
Another incident during the 1990s can make the pattern clearer. Paul Wilcher was a lawyer who deeply probed the world of CIA covert actions and conspiracies. On May 21st, 1993, Wilcher sent a 101-page document to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. His letter had similar allegations to Casolaro's "Octopus" investigation. To average Americans, Wilcher's allegations might seem like the most extreme conspiracy theories that anybody could imagine.
There is an impressive body of evidence that the Jonestown "mass suicide" in Guyana was anything but mass suicide. Conscientious investigators unearthed that evidence long ago, but I have never seen the American mainstream media question the "mass suicide" Kool-Aid story. There is strong evidence that Jonestown was a slave labor camp that Jones was running with CIA help. Jones had significant CIA ties. There were enough psychoactive drugs, such as Thorazine, at Jonestown to have kept a city of 200,000 doped up for a year. The coroner of Guyana, Dr. Mootoo, was on the scene quickly and testified that almost all of the dead had injection marks on their shoulder blades or were shot or strangled. There was no evidence of mass suicide, but mass murder.
What appears to have happened is something that most Americans would rather not believe could happen. Jonestown appears to have been a continuation of the CIA's MKUltra mind control experiments. The CIA told Congress that they stopped MKUltra in the 1970's, but Ralph McGehee has never once seen the CIA tell the truth to Congress. It is so bad that it is almost guaranteed that the exact opposite of what the CIA tells Congress is true. One of the CIA's primary tasks is lying to the American people. It appears that Jones was a CIA asset who ran a mind control experiment at Jonestown. Jones was the boyhood friend of CIA torture specialist Dan Mitrione, who also operated out of South America. Most of Jonestown’s "residents" were black. The people running Jonestown were white. The "church" they ran in the San Francisco Bay area did attract disturbed and gullible white people who wanted to join a cult, but many Jonestown "residents" apparently were abducted from San Francisco’s streets while others were lured there under false pretenses. It appears that Jonestown may have been partially inspired by what the Nazis did in the death camps. Josef Mengele, of Auschwitz fame, may have known Jones and may have “consulted” at Jonestown.
Whatever they were doing in Jonestown, California Congressman Leo Ryan was getting heat from his constituents regarding their sons and daughters being spirited off to Guyana. Ryan decided to check out Jonestown himself and flew down there. Ryan's appearance "blew" the operation's cover and it had to be shut down. Ryan was murdered as he landed at Jonestown, which is the first and only time that an American Congressman has died in the line of duty. Then they liquidated Jonestown's 900 residents. They apparently tried turning the Jonestown inmates into automatons, and they tried getting everybody to drink the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, but the people were not that far gone. Nearly everybody fled into the jungle. They were chased down, murdered, and hauled back to Jonestown.
Alleged CIA-agent and embassy official Richard Dwyer was apparently there when the killing began, and Jones himself was captured on audio tape yelling, "Get Dwyer out of here!" British and American Special Forces troops were "conducting operations" in the vicinity, and they rounded up and killed Jonestown's fleeing inmates. Bo Gritz knew a Special Forces operative who was part of that operation. The man was so outraged that he wrote a manuscript, titling it with the message they radioed in when the job was done: "All the Niggers are Dead!" The USA's secrecy laws forbade the man from publishing it, but he at least had the satisfaction of writing it.
Jonestown has apparently been repopulated with inmates from Asia, and is merely one of numerous camps like it. There apparently are other Jonestowns dotting the globe, run by the CIA and other spook agencies. America’s tax dollars at work.
How many Americans have heard that story? Has a news anchor talked about that one lately? A House committee "investigated," and concluded that the CIA had nothing to do with Jonestown. Case closed.
Wilcher heard about it, however. Jonestown was mentioned in his letter, along with the JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and John Lennon assassinations, as well as the deaths of J. Edgar Hoover, Martha Mitchell, John Tower, Senator John Heinz, Congressman Ted Weiss, as well as the attempts on Ronald Reagan and George Wallace. Wilcher also wrote about October Surprise, the FBI's COINTELPRO program wiping out the Black Panthers, and so on. Wilcher even alleged that the South Korean airliner's downing was not by the Soviet Union, but by the CIA. Was there a conspiracy theory that Wilcher left out? The major thrust of Wilcher's letter was what happened at Waco. He also discussed the infamous Clinton Body Count. Wilcher's belief was that unless somebody like Janet Reno found some courage, there would not be an America left before long. Wilcher was snooping into the bank accounts of ex-presidents at BCCI. Reno was far from alone in hearing from him. Most of Capitol Hill was aware of Wilcher's muckraking.
Wilcher was taping and attending conferences held by famous independent White House correspondent Sarah McClendon. In the meantime, Wilcher was in close contact with CIA agents and his friend Rodney Stich. In early June 1993, a few weeks after he sent his letter to Reno, Wilcher stopped attending McClendon's conferences. McClendon herself became concerned about Wilcher, and asked a woman friend of Wilcher's to ask Stich if he had heard from him. It is known that on June 16, 1993 Wilcher talked to one of his sources, a CIA contract agent in a federal penitentiary, and also one of Stich's informants.
A couple days before the woman called Stich, she went to Wilcher's apartment, looking for him. Not only was Wilcher not home, but the woman also rang the adjacent apartment's doorbell and was greeted with a recording saying that she had reached a disconnected government number. Wilcher’s friend called Stich on June 22, 1993, asking him what to do, and if he thought that Wilcher was alive. Stich responded that based on what he knew, it was 75% likely that Wilcher was dead. In the meantime, McClendon, 83 at the time, was badgering Washington D.C.'s police to do something about Wilcher's disappearance. On June 23rd, the Washington D.C. police finally broke into Wilcher's apartment to find his decomposing, naked corpse sitting upright on the toilet, as if he had died there.
The apartment was crawling with nearly 30 firemen, policemen, and FBI investigators. The FBI seized all the records in Wilcher's apartment, while incredibly telling McClendon (who rushed to the scene) that they had "no interest" in the case. The local authorities inexplicably ruled Wilcher's death a suicide. The coroner's office refused to provide Stich with a copy of their autopsy report. Case closed.
Stich's informants are CIA/FBI/NSA types, and they end up dead from time to time (one was stuffed into a car trunk at an airport). I am surprised that Stich lived long enough to write Defrauding America. They got Stich, however, which I will cover soon.
Stich discovered that Wilcher was lured out of his apartment and led to Vienna, Virginia. He was interrogated about what he knew about George Bush's, Jimmy Carter's, and former CIA head William Webster's bank accounts at BCCI. BCCI insiders had given Wilcher a great deal of documentation. Wilcher was then fed a pizza and given a can of Pepsi. The Pepsi can was coated with a solution of curare dissolved in DMSO. DMSO is a chemical that carries throughout a person’s body in seconds. When I was in collegiate track, I knew people who used it. If you put your finger in a cup of DMSO, you can taste it on your tongue in seconds. Curare is a highly toxic poison that paralyzes the muscles and causes death from asphyxiation. Wilcher was dead within minutes of grabbing that can of Pepsi.
Then his killers (CIA/NSA types) put his corpse into a fetal position, stuck it in a car's trunk, and drove back to his apartment. By the time they arrived, rigor mortis had set in and Wilcher looked like a statue of The Thinker. They set his corpse on his toilet. That is one way to end an investigation into corruption. The official opinion is that the deaths of Casolaro and Wilcher are unrelated suicides. More people besides Casolaro and Wilcher have died regarding the Octopus-like activities surrounding the BCCI, Inslaw and related scandals.
Stich chronicled the many ways that they silence whistleblowers. Stich wrote about how they took care of him. The judges in California got creativity points in Stich's case; they used an angle that I had never heard of. Stich was a multimillionaire, married many years ago, and in the 1960s he obtained a divorce in Texas. As Tom Bearden said about game theory, they look for chinks in the target’s armor and go for the weak spot. Although Stich had been divorced for 26 years, the judges in California said that California did not recognize his Texas divorce, declared him still legally married to his ex-wife, and then used the community property laws to seize his assets. With no money, he was legally defenseless. Kangarooing somebody into prison from that point is often merely a formality.
They made it up as they went along, not bothering to have a shred of legal standing for what they did. The gangster judges handed down ruling after ruling that would make a lawyer's jaw drop. Then they all wolfed down a chunk of Stich's six-million-dollar net worth. Nice racket.
The Europeans always played off Native Americans against each other, and few natives ever understood as they participated in their eventual annihilation. Similarly, with Stich they found a greedy ex-wife who was willing to participate in the legal abomination so she could get at her ex-husband's money. While reading Stich's account of events, I recalled seeing that game played before, many times. His ex-wife’s participation in the fraud ruined her daughter's life, drove her daughter's husband to suicide, and shattered several lives.
A critical lesson that humanity has yet to learn is that the ends never justify the means. The means become the ends. One cannot use a means inconsistent with the desired end. Good guys do not kill bad guys. That is a lie that too many believe. The devils in costume keep playing that game, as long as people are stupid enough to fall for it. It is idiocy to think that people can kill all the bad guys, and all that will be left are good guys. Maybe it happens in John Wayne Western movies, but not in real life. It is another case of inverted logic. Orthodox cancer treatment uses nearly the same premise: killing all the “bad” cells while sparing the good. It does not work.
As Ralph McGehee made clear in his Deadly Deceits, the CIA actively recruits people who blindly follow orders. The indoctrination and propaganda is intense, but is also merely a continuation of the lies that children are taught in grade school history classes and see on TV. I have known people who are part of "off-the-shelf" operations, in which they do not officially work for the CIA, but try holding down real jobs between stints with the spooks.
They are usually recruited with a pitch about how covert action serves their country. The appeal is usually to patriotism and/or the macho mentality. They are told that they are defending freedom. They are trained in the art of murder and other activities. I have friends with a lot of blood on their hands, whom I will not name, because blowing their cover could risk their lives. They were either young or gullible, and seduced into the program. Generally, their covert action jobs ruined them as human beings. Nobody murders somebody, even when told that they are killing "bad guys," with clean hands and consciences, except true dark path initiates. The CIA’s headquarters are full of zombies who kind of figured it out, but are trapped in their careers and drink themselves silly until retirement.
Once in a great while, a covert action soldier wakes up and his conscience takes over. Ralph McGehee and Philip Agee were two such men. Ralph published his CIABASE on the Internet. His CIABASE was composed of public domain information. He used no classified information. Nevertheless, his activities exposed the CIA for what it is. They made Ralph's life a living hell for daring to speak up. They tried silencing him for years, trying to frame him for crimes and other dirty tactics, but since he was doing nothing illegal, and the CIA's harassment of him was illegal, Ralph was hanging in there, though some days were worse than others. In early 2000, as Ralph was writing about how our “aid” to the Colombian government looked remarkably similar to how the Vietnam experience began, the CIA stepped up the harassment by spiking his food and causing injury to his mouth. Ralph’s CIABASE then went out of business.
The CIA has been partly responsible for the deaths of millions of people throughout the world, as it helps keep the majority of humanity enslaved to the neocolonial system. If humanity survives the transition that we are in the early stages of today, the coming age will not have secret agencies and spies. Secrecy and deception are tools of dark path initiates, not light path beings. When light path beings resort to such tactics to “fight the dark,” they have already lost. The CIA, FBI, NSA, and related institutions are primarily self-serving, or what most would call “evil.” The American people are carefully brainwashed into believing that they need them, to "protect" them.
Phil Agee did not abide by the secrecy agreement as Ralph McGehee did, and he wrote Inside the Company abroad and named names. He had a rougher ride than Ralph. Inside the Company and On the Run documents what the CIA did to Agee. One trick was using a bugged typewriter to find his hiding place in Paris while he was writing Inside the Company. They tried luring him to Spain to "neutralize" him before he finished the book. After he published Inside the Company, he was kicked out of several European countries before he gained political asylum in West Germany. He lost his homeland by publishing how the CIA works.
Some results of the CIA's machinations helped bring cheap oil and other commodities to America, and many Americans have consciously prostituted themselves. They realize that the CIA and gang are creating immense death and destruction throughout the world, but as long as they enjoy cheap gasoline, coffee, bananas and tennis shoes, they think it is great. Many in the upper classes think that the CIA, FBI, and NSA are great institutions, keeping the gravy flowing their way. Those who condone bloodshed and exploitation in the service of their lifestyles, often coming up with highly strained rationales, will create future circumstances where they will find the shoe on the other foot. They will experience what slavery is like, barely surviving while their masters live in opulence.
On the issue of UFOs, there has been credible data and testimony from impeccable sources. Steven Greer founded and has run the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence since 1991. His strategy has been honorable and difficult to defeat. Greer gathered astronauts, politicians, military leaders (generals, and nearly 500 people in all), and other experts and high-ranking people, and persuaded them to testify about what they know about UFOs. As Dennis Lee did, Greer knocked on the front door, walking right up to the White House, the military, Congress, the CIA, the United Nations, and so on, and presenting his material. Of the 100 witnesses that Greer originally amassed, more than 50 wanted immunity from the national security laws before they would testify. More than 40 wanted to testify, and as far as they were concerned, the national security laws could be damned. Those numbers were when Greer only had 100 witnesses willing to speak. His total numbers more than quadrupled, but most of those 400 additional witnesses also want protection before they will testify.
Greer approached the establishment with their own people, making the impossible-to-fairly-attack case that in humanity's common interest, the national security laws should be waived so that those people can publicly tell what they know without being thrown into prison. If there was nothing to hide about UFOs, the government has no defense. The witnesses that Greer assembled were impressive. In April 1997, Greer presented 11 witnesses who testified under oath to U.S. Congress in secret hearings. The co-host of the presentation walked on the Moon, Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell. The witnesses gave firsthand testimonies under oath, of UFO encounters and related events. One person who did not testify was, in words of Greer, an "Intelligence Officer privy to the disinformation plan to stage a mock attack using back-engineered alien reproduction vehicles (ARVs), was picked up and sequestered by Intelligence during the proceedings."
Greer and friends have been trying to bring the issue into a public forum, and waiving the national security laws so that they can testify without being sent straight to prison. Greer's plan is unassailable, yet the merciless attacks on Greer in 1997 were beyond bizarre. Even his supposed allies in the UFO field attacked him, trying to wrap him up in copyright issues and other trivia. People accused Greer of ridiculous things (such as he would make a killing and control the movement). How can he control anything by having public hearings where witnesses can testify without fear of reprisal? The plan is unassailable, which is why the attacks on him were so irrational. The glib attacks were largely made by organizations and people that I suspected of having intelligence connections, posing publicly as UFO enthusiasts, but in reality working to discredit or otherwise attack the real deal coming forward. It is similar "logic" to prosecuting Dennis's Seattle company for "consumer protection," when the customers risked none of their money as they purchased Dennis's heat pump. Logic does not matter if one has the bully pulpit to lie from.
The witnesses were not rabid, wild-eyed conspiracy theorists, but people such as astronauts who wanted to safely testify in a public forum. Those hearings would probably be one of human history’s biggest events, and the man trying to make it happen was attacked from all sides.
An example of this nation's response to that secret Congressional testimony, and the threat of public knowledge that we are not alone in the universe, was David Adair. Adair has been on the Art Bell Show since he testified, and his story is incredible. Adair testified to an experience that he had at Area 51 in 1971. He said that he built a fusion rocket as a teenager, with U.S. government sponsorship and theoretical assistance from Stephen Hawking, before he developed Lou Gehrig's Disease. Hawking was involved because a partial black hole was used as the containment field for the fusion reaction. The rocket was launched in New Mexico and landed at Area 51 in Nevada. At Area 51, Arthur Rudolf, one of the NASA Nazis, asked Adair to look at something. Adair was taken underground and shown what he believed to be a star drive from an alien craft. It was like his fusion engine, but a thousand times larger, and it was alive; it was an organic fusion engine. Adair determined that it had a containment failure. Adair was only 17 years old, and was going to be locked up when Curtis LeMay came and rescued Adair from jail, because he suspected that Adair was in trouble.
LeMay ran the Strategic Air Command and was Barry Goldwater's friend. Goldwater, who lost the presidential election to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, was a brigadier general in the National Guard, one of America's highest-ranking politicians, and a pal of the highest-ranking military officials. One day at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Goldwater was chatting with LeMay and asked if he could see the legendary Blue Room and Hangar 18, reputed home of captured craft, frozen aliens and other extraterrestrial paraphernalia. According to Goldwater, LeMay became the angriest he had ever seen him. He shouted at Goldwater that he had better never hear him ask that question again. It is the highest official admission of what might be going on behind the national security veil that I know of. Goldwater talked for years about that event, even on Larry King Live to a national audience. There are published letters that Goldwater wrote, which confirmed the story.
Adair said that LeMay rescued him from Area 51, and on the way back home to Mount Vernon, Ohio, LeMay told Adair to stop making rockets, and Adair says that he readily complied, not wanting to risk what nearly happened at Area 51. Adair was involved in the space program since then, and was buddies with many astronauts, and his company's equipment went up in the space shuttles regularly.
Adair testified to Congress, under oath, and told them that their own records can prove his story, as they provided the funding to build his rocket. He talked about it on Art Bell to a national audience. Adair said that if he was lying, they could lock him up tomorrow, as he would have perjured himself. His story is unbelievable, but it also might be true.
Where were the "skeptics," leaping all over Adair, proving him to be a fraud? There was barely a peep. His story and credentials cannot be hard to attack if they are bogus. Nobody has made a credible effort as of 2014.
Greer's right hand throughout his UFO activism was Shari Adamiak, who was with him every step of the way. When they held those hearings in April 1997, they were both about 40 years old. How they could be stopped legally or ethically was difficult to imagine, walking in the government's front door with their witnesses. Two months after the hearings, Greer and Adamiak both came down with cancer, as well as others on their team. What are the odds of that "coincidence"? There may be a Curare and Cancer Department in one of America’s intelligence agencies. The collective response by the UFO crowd to those illnesses and deaths was a yawn. Adamiak died on January 20, 1998. Greer is still alive as of 2014.
With America’s collective catatonia and the government's stonewalling of Greer's activities, Greer was forced into doing what he tried avoiding: bypassing the official channels in getting the information out there. Part of his Disclosure Project has been to publish Extraterrestrial Contact. His organization has been preparing documentation and video testimony, if nobody will allow it through the official channels. It will not be surprising if more "coincidental" problems befall Greer and his organization, and he appears to have been damaged by his experiences and has taken the warrior's approach, which I doubt will work. I advocate the lamb's path.
Those situations should have a certain resonance with right-wing Americans. What the government did to the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas in 1993 was obviously a diabolically planned mass murder. As with The Panama Deception, the documentary Rules of Engagement was nominated for an Academy Award. It did not win, but stands as the best audio-visual summary regarding what our government did to those people. Americans should be justly outraged by what happened there. Yet, it is a microcosm of what America has done to Iraq, for instance. The American government murdered more than a dozen children at Waco. It has murdered hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children in the 1990s, and millions of people in the past generation. It murdered millions of Southeast Asian people during the 1960s and 1970s. The Waco Massacre was relatively mild when compared to what happened to Black Kettle’s people, not all that far from Waco.
In a familiar pattern, the Branch Davidian survivors were prosecuted for the deaths of the storm troopers who attacked them (probably killed by their own Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ("BATF") buddies). The men who died in the attack were some of Bill Clinton’s bodyguards, on loan from the Secret Service. They are more people on the Bill Clinton Body Count, and may have known too much. The Branch Davidians fought back and waged their own unlawful death lawsuit against the murdering feds. Several experts were going to testify on the Branch Davidians’ behalf regarding the infrared film footage that clearly depicted the government agents firing machine guns into the Davidian compound as they set it on fire. Expert Carlos Ghigliotti was going to testify regarding the footage. He conveniently died of a “heart attack,” soon before he could testify. He was only 42. Edward Allard, another expert who was going to testify, had an incapacitating stroke a few weeks before Ghigliotti died. At about the same time Ghigliotti was dying, Fred Zegel, another expert who was going to testify, suddenly came down with blood poisoning and barely survived. Another expert who was going to testify, Maurice Cox, had a sudden worsening of his kidney problems at the same time those others had their "mishaps.” Michael McNulty, who produced Rules of Engagement, had major doubts that they were coincidental. The sudden incapacitation and/or death of those experts pretty much destroyed the chance those Davidian plaintiffs had in court. Was it another string of fortunate “coincidences” for the American government? They ply their trade with more subtlety than when David Ferrie died of a “drug overdose” just before Jim Garrison’s JFK assassination investigation could get to him, or George de Mohrenschildt's “committing suicide” the very day that HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi contacted him, and many other amazing and unfortunate "coincidences."
Similarly, the evidence is strong that Timothy McVeigh’s fertilizer bomb could not have done the damage to the Oklahoma City federal building that it did. The Air Force conducted tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida after the Oklahoma City bombing, and Brigadier General Benton K. Partin, one of the world’s leading explosives and ordnance experts, led the research. They found that an air bomb, which was what McVeigh set off, could not possibly do the damage to the Oklahoma City federal building that it supposedly did. An air bomb would have blown out the windows of the federal building and not much else. There had to be other bombs inside the building in order to take out those reinforced concrete columns, which meant that a sophisticated bombing took place, far more than McVeigh and his accomplice could have achieved. McVeigh apparently was a fall guy, as were Oswald and Sirhan, but maybe it was not a government/spook action, but perhaps a backfired covert operation, as the JFK assassination was. There is a great deal of evidence of prior knowledge of the bombing. Everybody at the BATF in that building (except for the support staff) stayed home on the day of the bombing. The Oklahoma governor’s brother wrote a novel before the Oklahoma City bombing, where he described a terrorist bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, performed by some nut named Tom McVey. How far do we want to stretch coincidence?
What about Those American Hostages in Iran?
Why did the Iranians release the hostages the day that Reagan was inaugurated? The Iran-Contra scandal gave plenty of evidence why, as the USA was shipping arms to its "enemy," Iran. The Iranian hostage crisis was an albatross around Jimmy Carter's neck that helped derail his reelection bid. There is substantial evidence pointing to a deal being made between Ronald Reagan's election campaign team and the Iranian government, to hold onto the hostages until after the presidential election. It looks as if George Bush the First may have helped negotiate the deal. The federal government "investigated" and dismissed the October Surprise allegation. They did not really put the allegations to bed, just as the Warren Commission did not regarding JFK's death.
America's political milieu around 1980-1981 is one of American history’s scariest periods. Numerous conspiracy theories swirl around Ronald Reagan's choice of George Bush as his running mate. Bush has a long pedigree in the Eastern Oligarchy and covert activities. Bush ran the CIA and was a member of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, as were many members of the federal government. Bush has apparently admitted that David Rockefeller was his mentor, which is common knowledge in my circles. Rumors abounded that Reagan chose Bush because of Rockefeller's influence.
A little-known member of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission also became president, rising from obscurity to win the 1976 presidential election: Jimmy Carter. David's brother Nelson was vice president while two assassination attempts were made on Gerald Ford, which brought Nelson within a bullet of being the second president who was never on a ballot, and Ford was the first.
While Bush was apparently in Paris in October 1980, negotiating the hostage release with Iran, it looks like the wheels were moving to put some bona fide gangsters in charge of the federal government. Immediately after Reagan was elected, one man was coming out of a five-year hibernation after barely escaping deportation proceedings that were only forestalled because Richard Nixon was run out of office. Ironically, both Nixon and Reagan ran on the law-and-order platform and probably had two of the most lawless administrations in American history. John Lennon was coming out of seclusion after five years. Not only was he in the studio making his first album in five years, Double Fantasy, he was also coming out of his political hibernation. In light of what happened after Reagan's inauguration, Lennon was on a short list of those who could have mobilized average Americans against what Reagan's cronies were about to do to Central America and other nations. Lennon won Nixon's hatred with his high-profile Vietnam protests, which was why they tried deporting him.
A controversial situation got CIA-man Bush on the ticket, who may have helped engineer October Surprise. A few weeks after Reagan was inaugurated, the State Department floated a white paper on February 23, 1981. The white paper was apparently a series of forged documents that were supposed to help justify the reign of terror that the Reagan administration was about to wage in El Salvador, terrorizing the population and killing 75,000 civilians while using about $6 billion in U.S. taxpayer money.
Similar to the "assassins" of JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lennon, those who attempted to assassinate George Wallace, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan were "lone nuts." It is amazing that those "lone nuts" all pulled their triggers at critical or intriguing political moments in American history. Oswald "killed" JFK soon after JFK declared that he planned to pull American troops out of Vietnam. JFK's executive order to pull the troops out of Vietnam was reversed before he was buried. Sirhan B. Sirhan "killed" RFK the night that he won the California democratic primary in 1968, vaulting into the front-runner position for the presidency.
George Wallace came out of nowhere in 1968, in the first substantial third party threat in presidential politics since Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose party, splitting the democratic vote enough (especially with RFK gone) to usher repeated political loser Richard Nixon into the White House. Wallace won several southern states that were traditional democratic shoo-ins in presidential elections. Wallace ran again in 1972, and it looked as if he might gain enough support to where no candidate would win enough Electoral College votes to be elected president, and somebody like George McGovern might sneak into the White House. Right then, a "lone nut" came out of the woodwork and gunned Wallace down, taking him out of the running.
We all know about the Watergate break-in. Or do we? What was that all about, a few bumbling idiots working on Nixon's behalf? One participant was E. Howard Hunt, a man who was undoubtedly (at least to me) involved in the events that led to JFK's assassination. Harrison Livingstone is one of many who believed that the Watergate burglary was far from relatively innocent intrigue regarding Nixon's smear techniques, but an attempt to cover up the political murders that accompanied Nixon's rise to power. Then Nixon’s own people brought him down.
When Nixon and Spiro Agnew were taken out one at a time, they were replaced with "Magic Bullet" Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller was oligarchy personified. Soon after Ford took office, two "lone nuts" tried taking him out, nearly making Nelson Rockefeller the first president who was not on any ballot or picked by an elected president. Maybe it was merely a series of extraordinary coincidences.
Reagan was elected with the help of the Iranian hostage albatross that Carter wore around his neck, and a month later John Lennon was gunned down by another "lone nut." Then Reagan was inaugurated, and the Iranians released the hostages on the same day, followed a few weeks later by the fabricated white paper that helped set the stage for a ten-year reign of terror in Central America. John Lennon was eminently qualified to lead the American people in protesting the crucifixion of Central America. Just when Reagan was able to find the White House bathroom on his own, he was gunned down by another "lone nut." That man was "coincidentally" a friend of George Bush's family.
A few months later, Omar Torrijos, the leader of Panama, died in a mysterious plane crash. It was similar to the “plane crashes” of John Tower and Audie Murphy, in which the plane may have exploded in mid-air, as though a bomb went off in it. The CIA had earlier plotted to assassinate Torrijos, and it appears as if they may have finally succeeded. That set the stage for the reign of Manuel Noriega. George Bush later led America in invading Panama to take out Noriega, supposedly for crimes that Noriega committed while he was working for the CIA, which Bush once ran. A few months before Torrijos’s untimely demise, the helicopter of Ecuadorian president Jaime Roldós exploded in mid-air. Self-admitted economic hit man John Perkins knew both men, and is sure that the CIA assassinated them both. The deaths of Mel Carnahan and Paul Wellstone in 2000 and 2002 were domestic “plane crashes” that happened at opportune moments for the Republicans, as those deaths happened just before election day, and their candidates, who previously did not have a prayer, became shoo-ins on election day, except that Carnahan’s opponent, John Ashcroft, lost to a dead man, as the people elected Carnahan’s widow instead. Gary Wean saw that kind of “convenient” death of the incumbent in his travails in Ventura County, and the unknown challenger ran unopposed as the “untimely” death happened so close to Election Day.
After the assassination attempt, Reagan was a near vegetable for the next eight years of his presidency. The Alzheimer's disease that he developed probably began its progress with the assassination attempt, if not earlier. Alexander Cockburn related a revelation from Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon's The Role of a Lifetime. Four months after the assassination attempt, Cannon interviewed Reagan. In the Washington Post on July 23rd, 1981, he reported an interview with a tired but alert president who just returned from an international summit, talking about how successful it was.
Ten years later, in The Role of a Lifetime, Cannon had something very different to report. Cannon wrote:
"What was surprising to me was Reagan's condition. He was exhausted to the point of incoherence throughout much of the interview and could not remember the substance of any subject that had been discussed apart from Mitterrand's expression of anticommunism. I had not seen Reagan at such close range since the assassination attempt nearly four months earlier, and was shocked at his condition…Reagan simply was unable to recall the content of the talks in which he just participated…The interview concluded…at a signal from Deaver, who did not seem to find the president's condition unusual."
"At the time of the shooting, the press was full of phrases like 'bouncing back,' 'iron constitution,' and other terms indicating that Reagan had emerged from the ordeal in good shape. In fact Reagan very nearly died on the operating table and was a dotard afterwards. He never fully recovered.
"Conclusion: Unless a president is actually dead, the White House press corps can be relied upon to present him as both sentient and sapient, no matter how decrepit his physical and mental condition."
There are stories and film footage of President Reagan falling asleep at conferences and other embarrassing situations. When Reagan testified after he stepped down from the presidency about the Iran-Contra scandal, and said, "I can't remember" far more than 100 times during his two days of testimony, he may have been telling the truth. His acting career came in handy, however, and he generally remembered his lines and read his cue cards for the rest of his presidency.
All those "coincidental" assassinations and assassination attempts have plenty surrounding them that make people wonder. For instance, every single one of those "lone nuts" was connected in some way to the USA's intelligence operations. The evidence on Oswald is overwhelming. Mark David Chapman, Lennon's assassin, worked for a CIA front organization. Sirhan had strange and shadowy connections to CIA-related mind control operations, and Sirhan acted like a Manchurian Candidate. See the movie of that name starring Frank Sinatra, which like The China Syndrome was a little too prescient, and was pulled from circulation and not shown for many years in the USA after the JFK assassination.
E. Howard Hunt was a novelist, among his many talents, and his writing colleague Gore Vidal all but accused Hunt of writing the "diary" of the lone nut Arthur Bremer, who shot George Wallace. Vidal thought that Bremer's diary was a little too writerly, something that Vidal thought Hunt was just the man to write, doing his part in fabricating another "lone nut."
Besides working for a CIA front organization, strange events surround Mark David Chapman’s shooting of Lennon. Chapman originally purchased a plane ticket to Chicago, but ended up in New York. There were days of unaccounted time. When Chapman signed Lennon's name in Hawaii when he quit his job, it was odd. There is little evidence that Chapman was particularly interested in Lennon from a fan's point of view. Chapman was a big fan of Todd Rundgren, but Chapman was not even as big a Lennon fan as I am. What was going on in his head? Were his handlers preparing him for the deed in Chicago? Immediately after he gunned Lennon down, he sat down on the curb, reached into his pocket, pulled out The Catcher in the Rye and began reading it, a kind of Manchurian Candidate behavior one encounters if they begin looking into MKUltra and related programs. Chapman did not act crazy when he was in prison.
When Ronald Reagan was shot, even though his limousine left the scene five minutes before James Brady's did, it arrived at the hospital fifteen minutes after Brady's did. What happened in those twenty missing minutes? Was Reagan told how it was going to be, while he lay there in agony? Reagan admitted that he did not feel anything until the Secret service agent jumped on top of him in the limousine. A strange bullet seemed to enter Reagan’s ribs. The projectile created a small, nearly bloodless wound, and the doctors almost did not find the dime-shaped fléchette. More strangeness was a "lone nut" that was a long-time friend of the Bush family. Bush and Hinckley's dad went way back to the good old Texas oil days, and the elder Hinckley ran the organization that Chapman worked for. The day of the assassination attempt, Hinckley's older brother had a dinner date with George's son Neil. It's a small world.
In most of those assassinations and attempts, there was evidence of more bullets flying than the assassin's gun actually fired. The "lone nut" was usually immediately apprehended and all other suspects were immediately released. "No conspiracy" was announced within hours of each shooting, even in the case of Martin Luther King, Jr., when there was no suspect immediately after his shooting.
Was political assassination the standard policy by those who really ran America from 1963 to 1981, serving up a "lone nut" scapegoat each time? There were many, many other strange and/or untimely deaths of high-ranking CIA, FBI and political folks, such as J. Edgar Hoover, William Sullivan, William Casey, John Tower, Hale Boggs, William Colby, and others. In the 1970s, there apparently was a “spook war” taking place, not much different than a Mafia gang war, except that politicians and bureaucrats were being murdered. As with the rash of strange, violent and untimely deaths surrounding the JFK assassination, political murder while killing more people to tie up the loose ends may be standard practice in America.
There may not have been even one "lone nut" in American presidential assassination history, going clear back to Lincoln. Lincoln's is the only undeniable conspiracy (except the HSCA's lame position on JFK's death), as the conspirators tried killing a number of people on the same night. There are interesting theories regarding how far that conspiracy may have reached. The standard right wing theory is that the European bankers bumped off Lincoln because he cut out the central banks and printed "greenbacks," and JFK was initiating a similar program soon before he died.
9/11 – The Mother of all Conspiracy Theories
On the evening of September 10, 2001, I bought airplane tickets to Ohio to visit pals from my trucking days. The next morning I called my old trucking mentor, letting him know that I was flying out there in a couple of weeks. He replied, “No you’re not,” and told me to turn on the television. When I did, both World Trade Center towers were on fire but still standing. At that moment, I knew that my efforts to heal the planet were too little and too late. There have been no surprises since then for me. Orwell’s permanent war was dusted off and used by George Bush the Second and the neoconservatives to justify all manner of imperial outrage. Aggressive invasions in “self-defense,” in defiance of international law and world opinion, torture centers, outlawed weapons used on invaded nations, police-state tactics used on its domestic citizens and so forth - it is no mystery why America became a pariah nation so soon after 9/11, when the USA was the object of so much global sympathy.
What was also not surprising was the immediate suspicion among many that 9/11 was too convenient a “gift” for Bush and neocons, and that they had something to do with 9/11. In 2004, half of New York City’s residents believed that the Bush administration had foreknowledge of 9/11 and allowed it to happen. A friend living in Manhattan was skeptical of the “inside job” angle of 9/11, until Bush named Henry Kissinger, Mr. Cloak and Dagger, to head the 9/11 Commission. Kissinger resigned when he had to reveal his business relationships.
Partly because of my work on the JFK Assassination, the Moon landings, and other controversies, I had some access to the 9/11 independent researcher community. In 2004, I made the suggestion that the 9/11 researchers should concentrate on the most provable findings and stay away from the more speculative theories, if they want to make a persuasive case to the public. My suggestion sparked a flame war amongst the researchers, which confirmed the observation I made about the JFK researchers. In late 2005, a physics professor from BYU, a conservative bastion if there ever was one, published an academic paper that supported the hypothesis that World Trade Center building number 7 was taken down by controlled demolition, which led to the hypothesis that the main World Trade Center ("WTC") towers were also collapsed in a controlled demolition. The faculties of two Utah universities unanimously accepted his findings. In the wake of publishing his study, he made the same suggestion that I did: researchers should focus their efforts on the most provable aspects of the 9/11 controversy and stop fighting with each other.
Because of the time I spent looking into the JFK assassination, the Moon landings and so forth, I realized that it would take time and effort beyond my means and inclination to do a creditable investigation of the 9/11 evidence. However, I have spent more than a hundred hours looking at the evidence over the years, and I think that the most compelling and fruitful avenues of investigation today include:
Only three steel-framed buildings have collapsed due to fire in world history - all WTC towers, all on the same day, and WTC7 was not hit by a plane and only had small fires in it when it collapsed, and all three collapsed in a manner consistent with controlled demolition;
In the most protected airspace on Earth (over Washington D.C.), America’s entire national security apparatus was caught flatfooted, and the Secretary of Defense himself sat in his office as a plane hit the Pentagon, where he was working, nearly an hour after the first World Trade Center tower was hit;
On 9/11, there were numerous war games being engaged in by the U.S. Air Force and NORAD, with even one “live” hijacking plane in the air; this may help explain the non-response by the USA's military to the hijackings, and is eerily similar to the fake assassination attempt on JFK that turned into a real one - and the Bush family is intimately connected to both events;
A hijacker’s passport miraculously appeared on the ground after the WTC attacks, emerging virtually unscathed from the fiery crash into the WTC; conversely, no black box information from any of the planes has ever been made public;
The plane that allegedly hit the Pentagon performed aerial feats that the experts may not be able to reproduce, but a pilot who never trained beyond a simulator supposedly did it (again, similar to Oswald’s irreproducible feats of marksmanship to shoot JFK); all footage that may have shown a plane hitting the Pentagon has been seized by the federal government and never shown publicly, and there are numerous other anomalies with the plane that allegedly hit the Pentagon;
In the days leading up to 9/11, a highly unusual number of share options of both United and American Airlines were sold short (betting the share price would decline), and the profits made by those speculators may have amounted to many millions of dollars;
The plane that crashed in Pennsylvania left more than one debris field, and they were miles apart, a fact inconsistent with the official version of events - the plane apparently began coming apart before crashing, evidence of either a bomb going off on it, or it being shot down.
Of course, if the USA's government was complicit in 9/11, they are not going to mount an impartial investigation, and the official 9/11 Commission findings were deficient in numerous areas. At best, there is plenty that the American people are not being told about the events of September 11, 2001. At worst, 9/11 was staged or allowed to happen, to give Bush and the neocons free reign with their imperial ambitions. After all, they were the primary beneficiaries of 9/11. Cui bono?
Is Anything Being Covered up about the Apollo Moon Landings?
Warning: This part of this essay can seem technical and arcane, and will not interest many readers. In summary, after years of looking at the evidence, I proved to my satisfaction that the Moon landings happened as officially portrayed, and did not discover anything of great significance covered up about them, while uncovering positive evidence that convinced me that the Moon landings really happened. To bypass this Apollo section and skip to the essay’s end, take this link.
The single year of my father’s career not spent working for the Department of Defense was his year with NASA, working for Chris Kraft in the Mission Control Room in Houston. It was 1966-1967, in the heat of the space race. I was a Houston space brat, and have had an unflagging interest in NASA and the exploration of space. I watched many of the 1960s space shots live on television, and lived in Houston when those astronauts died in the 1967 fire, and its aftermath made my father decide to quit NASA, as the environment became hyper-political and everybody tried to cover their backsides and point the finger at everybody else. As with Brian O'Leary (see his The Making of an Ex-astronaut), my father felt that Texas did not compare favorably to California. I will never forget when those astronauts died, and my father watched on television an event that he experienced at work that day. NASA personnel (including my father) eventually heard the horrifying sounds as those men died. When the Challenger shuttle exploded in 1986, it took me back to that day in 1967, and I felt sick. My father had a top-secret security clearance, and NASA was quasi-military in its approach to the Moon shots.
I have slowly become aware that NASA has been less than forthcoming with the American people. For many years, I have read of UFOs accompanying the astronauts through space, watched footage of some of those UFOs, heard legends about Armstrong and Aldrin freaking out on the Moon when alien craft landed next to them (during a two-minute television "blackout"), and examined the experimental equipment that they set out. Through the Apollo program, all the astronauts had military backgrounds, and as such, national security laws could be held over their heads to keep them silent.
My first introduction to a possible NASA cover-up was around 1991, when I read William Brian's Moongate. Brian did not make the case that the Moon landings were faked, but that there was plenty covered up about them. He began his book with the well-known military-NASA connection. Then he discussed the “neutral point discrepancy,” which is the difference in various accounts of the point in space where the gravitational pull of the Moon and Earth would be equal on a spacecraft traveling between them. Brian cited several sources before the Moon landings that calculated the neutral point about 20 thousand miles from the Moon. Then he cited several sources that described the neutral point during the Apollo Moon shots. Those sources cited a neutral point about 40 thousand miles from the Moon's surface. Brian asked what changed in those intervening years. He made the case that the neutral point should be about 20 thousand miles from the Moon's surface, and if it was really 40 thousand miles, then the Moon has a much stronger surface gravity than previously supposed. Brian derived the neutral point calculation and the Moon's surface gravity if the neutral point was 40 thousand miles, and derived a surface gravity for the Moon that was 64% of Earth's, not the 16% we have been told.
Brian then followed a trail of other evidence, such as the astronauts' experiences on the Moon, the evidence of a lunar atmosphere, and other anomalies, and Brian made the case that NASA probably used non-rocket technology to land on the Moon and take off from it, which meant that if we have antigravity technology, we also have free energy technology. I was impressed with Brian's reasoning, and for years I threw down his work in front of the "skeptics," challenging somebody to show me where Brian was wrong. For years, nobody ever did. I had seen Brian called a "kook" (see Donna Kossy's Kooks, pp. 65-66) and other names. Nobody, however, ever showed me where Brian was wrong; they would just smile.
Finally, in the late 1990s, Leroy Ellenberger directed me to Archie Roy's Orbital Motion, the leading text on orbital mechanics. Orbital Motion calculated the neutral point. It was the 40 thousand miles in the Apollo-era literature. Brian found a neutral point discrepancy all right, but it apparently was a discrepancy between the less sophisticated equation that Brian and many others used, and the one that Roy derived. The more sophisticated calculation uses both the Moon's and Earth's gravitational influence. The neutral point discrepancy essentially vanished, as far as demonstrating that the Moon's surface gravity was higher than one-sixth of Earth's. Because the neutral point discrepancy was the foundation of Brian's arguments, I thought it made his entire case shaky, and let him know it.
Mine was apparently the first legitimate challenge that Brian ever received regarding his work. Far less substantial works often received the full blast of the "skeptics." My Moongate experience was educational, and it showed me one more way that establishment challenges can be flawed.
All that stated, Brian and others highlighted anomalies that made me think. Years after first reading Moongate, I slowly became aware of a small group of people who made the case that we never landed men on the Moon. Even the seemingly crazy conspiracy theories have received my attention over the years, but by 2014, I have a pretty high bar for considering them, as the vast majority of them are likely invalid, as I have seen innumerable ones come and go.
The first person to publicly question the notion that we sent men to the Moon was Bill Kaysing, with the 1976 publication of his We Never Went to the Moon, written with Randy Reid. Kaysing worked for the space program in the 1960s, with a security clearance. Kaysing's book is more of a booklet, less than 100 pages long. Kaysing made the case that the Moon landings were faked. He pointed to the shroud of secrecy that pervaded the entire space program, with accidents covered up. That was true. The Space Race was more of a Cold War project than anything else. The military was heavily involved, along with many defense contractors, called “aerospace” firms. Kaysing pointed out numerous anomalies regarding the Moon shots. Some anomalies had not yet been explained to my satisfaction, but Kaysing’s effort in his We Never Went to the Moon was not convincing. He presented photos of the Apollo Moon landings that he thought were faked. Some evidence was compelling, but more was easily explained. A plausible prosaic explanation does not mean that it is the correct explanation. ”Skeptics” have continually invoked Carl Sagan's aphorism, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” One problem was that Sagan was not an even-handed practitioner of the skeptical trade. He often played judge, jury, and executioner regarding anomalous evidence, and unfairly used his reputation to outweigh his arguments, making his own rulings on what an “extraordinary claim” and what “extraordinary evidence” was. If people can rig the game, they always win. Kaysing admitted that his work was purely speculative, and was about the first to question whether men really landed on the Moon.
In the 1990s, Ralph René weighed in. In NASA Mooned America! he advanced several lines of evidence that the Moon landings were faked. Kaysing made the case, and René made it more convincingly, that there were faked/altered photographs from the Moon landings and the space program in general. In one photo, René made the case that a space walk photo of Michael Collins during the Gemini program was actually a composite image fabricated from a photo of him taken in that NASA zero-G plane, during a training mission. The photos in question were from a book by Collins titled Carrying the Fire. However, the "spacewalk" photo was not identified as such, and appeared to be an editorial trick by the publisher, not Collins trying to make a training photo pass for one taken in space.
René pointed out several anomalies in a photo of Charles Duke standing next to the Lunar Rover during the Apollo 16 mission. It is about the most famous “Moon hoax” photograph. One anomaly is the Rover track that shows it making a 90° turn in a few feet while bounding over a boulder, which was a remarkable feat. More intriguing is a rock in the foreground with the letter "C" on it, as if it was a stage prop on a movie set. The “C” has repeatedly been explained away as a fabrication perpetrated by the “Moon hoaxer” crowd and has been explained as an innocent later generation image, in which a NASA technician put the “C” there as a note to correct the color control for the image. In July 2001, Steve Troy, one of Richard Hoagland’s assistants, posted his research on the “C” rock, which showed that it was a “hair” that got on a lens in copying a later generation of the image. His work was the most convincing of all.
René also noted something seen in numerous photos. The detailed foreground quickly becomes a distant background, as if the foreground was real and the background was a matte shot. NASA’s explanation is that because the Moon is so much smaller than Earth, its curvature is greater, and a fall off from close to far away happens much more abruptly. Also, there is the “crosshair” anomaly. In all the NASA Moon photos are gridlines, which are part of the cameras. The gridlines should be superimposed over all images, meaning that they hide what is behind them. The gridlines are made from thin lines, so they do not mar the photographs. There are many NASA space photos with those grid lines going behind the objects. The problem with the “faked” hypothesis is they always seem to go behind white objects. It is possible that in printing the photographs, the white areas bleed over those thin black lines, creating the effect. That is a potentially innocent explanation. That Rover photograph is about the most impressive case of the white “bleeding” over a crosshair, but with the "C" rock explanation, it is obviously a later generation print, which would make that "bleeding" more likely. There has been plenty of analysis on the Internet of the reticle-“bleeding” phenomenon, the Moon hoax debunker explanation seems most persuasive to me. Here is the photograph in question.
One of René’s theories is that the radiation the astronauts would have been subject to after passing through the Van Allen belt (which shields Earth from harmful solar radiation) would have killed them. René's calculations show that the astronauts would have been subject to hundreds of rems per day past the Van Allen belt, while on Earth getting more than one rem per year is beyond the safety limits for most people. There is substantial literature regarding the radiation risk and the exposure that the Apollo astronauts received. There were two radiation risks. The first was radiation within the Van Allen belt. The second was the radiation the astronauts would have been exposed to beyond the protection of the Van Allen belt.
The Van Allen belt is created by Earth’s magnetic field, and it protects Earth from harmful solar and cosmic radiation. At the poles, the Van Allen belt is weakest and more radiation gets through, which causes the northern and southern lights. Radiation workers have a maximum allowable annual dose of one-to-five rems per year. A rem (Roentgen Equivalent Man) is the standard unit of measure in the radiation sciences; it is related to the rad. In the Van Allen belt, an astronaut is exposed to about one rem per hour. The Apollo astronauts theoretically passed through the Van Allen belts quickly and only received about one rem for each pass through the belts. They received in a couple of hours about what radiation workers on Earth should maximally receive in a year.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements proposed guidelines for astronauts in 1989 that NASA accepted. It set a 30-day skin exposure of 150 rems and a career exposure of 600 rems. There are two basic kinds of radiation risks. One is the short-term acute risk, and the other is the long-term risk. The short-term risk is relatively uncontroversial. It has been documented in horrifying detail from accidents in America's nuclear program, the Chernobyl disaster, other nuclear accidents, and dropping nuclear bombs on Japan. If a man receives a dose of 1,000 rems in a day, he will die within a few days, with his insides literally cooked. If he only gets 350 rems, he will probably die within a month. A 35-rem dose will make him sick.
The second radiation risk is what astronauts would be subjected to past the Van Allen belt. The Van Allen belt contains high-energy sub-atomic particles, but the belt also protects Earth from the high-energy particles/waves from space. The two sources from space are the Sun and the galaxy. The Sun produces deadly radiation continually, and the Van Allen belt and Earth’s atmosphere (such as the ozone layer) protects us from the worst of it. The Sun’s most deadly radiation comes from eruptions known as solar flares. The other radiation is galactic cosmic radiation, which comes from the galaxy.
The largest solar flare ever recorded was in 1972, between the Apollo 16 and 17 missions. If astronauts were beyond the Van Allen belt during that flare, they could have been exposed to more than 1,000 rem, which would have killed them before they came back to Earth. That is a real risk in going into space, although the Apollo astronauts did not receive acute doses during the Apollo missions. As with today’s weather, solar flares are not very predictable, although there can be some warning, and NASA tried to be solar weathermen before the Apollo missions. They were playing solar-flare roulette during the Apollo missions, but NASA assessed the probable risk of a solar flare hitting an Apollo mission and decided that it was small.
The acute dose risk is well known. The long-term risk with non-acute doses is more problematic. The American military establishment manipulated and suppressed the data regarding the harm that fluorine inflicts on the human body. In light of declassified documents, it is now known that the Atomic Energy Commission and other federal agencies actively covered up the harmful effects of fluorine and fluorides. The cover-up has continued well into the 21st century. Those same agencies have also produced the data regarding the long-term harmful effects of radiation. A nightmarish Pandora’s Box is opened when researching the cover-up taking place regarding numerous chemicals produced by industry and government, such as lead, dioxins, and other organic compounds. For many years, the American doctor John Gofman detailed how the radiation data was being manipulated to minimize the long-term radiation risks, and recent studies as of 2014 are proving him right. That is a frightening area of research, but the Apollo astronauts would apparently not have been unusually exposed as compared to other radiation workers, and they have not been dying of long-term radiation poisoning, but those effects are not easy to identify, being more statistical effects (usually cancer deaths) rather than obvious symptomatology. There are solar flares every day, but they are relatively small.
In his book, René calculated that the astronauts subject to everyday solar flares would have been subjected to 375 rems per day. His calculations are suspect, partly because few of those solar flares would be “aimed” at Earth. All the same, the radiation issue was a hazard that any manned lunar mission would have faced. It appears that the official analyses of the radiation risk involved with a lunar mission, and the subsequent exposures received by the astronauts, “explains away” this anomaly, although it is obvious that the radiation hazard meant that every Apollo astronaut that passed beyond the Van Allen belt was risking his life in more ways than one. In the end, nothing that René published was compelling evidence of faked Moon landings.
Then along came James Collier, who produced a video titled Was it only a Paper Moon? Collier pointed out numerous anomalies in the Moon footage, including footage from Apollo 16 that shows the astronauts on two different days, in two locations, with the identical foreground. I practically fell off my chair when I saw it. However, the raw footage that Collier did not have, what NASA produced the footage from, actually took place a few minutes apart, and Collier misidentified the rock-holder sitting next to the astronaut as the Lunar Rover. While that showed that Collier performed a less-than-thorough investigation, it also showed the “Hollywood” aspect of what NASA did. The NASA movie had goofy narrative by Charles Duke as he rhapsodized about the Moon’s beauty. The raw footage has no dialogue of the sort. They were playing fast and loose in the editing room. It had me going for a while, before I saw the raw footage. That was about the most impressive anomaly that Collier presented, and it fell apart under scrutiny. Once again, the lunar hoax theorists failed to convince me.
Then along came David Percy and Mary Bennett with their Dark Moon. It presented the best case for faked Moon landings yet, although it still failed to convince me. Their work has obvious flaws and is riddled with errors, although it gave food for thought.
Some Apollo Mission Anomalies
While I was studying for this essay in early 2001, the TV network Fox aired a show about the Moon landings, which addressed the various anomalies presented by Kaysing, René, and others. In July of 2001, members of a Moon hoax forum helpfully critiqued my work, and an aeronautical engineer, Jay Windley, convinced me on several issues that I had residual doubt about. The issues being debated in 2001 included:
1. The American flag rippled in the “breeze” on the Moon;
2. Shadows do not run in parallel lines;
3. Astronauts standing in shadows are illuminated;
4. No visible exhaust issues from the lunar lander’s rockets;
5. There is no crater below the lunar landers;
6. The Moon footage from Apollo 11 was of poor quality;
7. The radiation problem;
8. The “crosshair” problem;
9. Odd reflections;
10. People who might have talked died under mysterious circumstances;
11. The lack of athletic feats performed on the Moon;
12. The Nazi connection;
13. The military-industrial complex connection;
14. The Moon missions were relatively hitchless;
15. Faked photographs;
16. The Rover’s movement on the Moon;
17. The Apollo 11 footage from Bart Sibrel’s video - a detailed analysis;
18. Other anomalies;
19. I hit pay dirt - evidence that convinced me that we landed men on the Moon
The American flag rippled in the “breeze” on the Moon.
There is a great deal of Moon footage where the American flag is flapping, as if in a breeze. Yet, in every scene, an astronaut is holding or touching the flagpole, or he let go a moment before. The astronaut holding the flagpole could easily cause the flapping. The events supposedly happened in a vacuum and low gravity. The flags would not act as they would on Earth. That supposed anomaly fails to convince, but during Apollo 12 the solar wind trap bent as though a breeze were hitting it. The Apollo 12 astronauts made note of it, and Houston put forth the explanation that the solar wind did it. The solar wind would have to be billions of times stronger than it is to have bent the solar wind trap. NASA qualified its explanation and ventured the hypothesis that the difference in temperature between the sunlit and dark sides might have done it, although it stopped when the astronauts tried photographing it. This anomaly fails to convince.
The anomaly where shadows do not run in parallel lines.
There is no shadow analysis that is convincing regarding a Moon hoax. If the only light source on the Moon was the Sun, the theory goes that all shadows on the ground should have run parallel to one another. One problem with shadow analysis is that uneven terrain can cause or contribute to the apparent shadow discrepancies, and multiple light sources should throw multiple shadows, which has never been seen in any of the anomalous lunar photos. So far, no convincing evidence of this supposed anomaly exists.
The anomaly where astronauts standing in shadows are illuminated.
The theory regarding this anomaly is that in the vacuum of space (the Moon has precious little atmosphere), there is no atmospheric diffusion, and a shadow on the Moon should be pitch black. That should be true, except for two facts. The first is that a reflection of light from the Earth can put some light into the shadows, similar to moonshine except far more pronounced, because Earth is much larger. But the Sun is 100,000 times brighter than Earth from the Moon. That illumination would not be seen for the same reason that stars are rarely seen in the Apollo Moon photographs. The second is that if there were any illuminated surfaces with a line of sight to the shadow, they would shine scattered light onto it. That second instance explains every existing lit-in-the-shadows anomaly. Shadows that look gray have always had, as far as the examples I have seen, something illuminated that had a line-of sight to it, usually close-by. Much has been made of astronauts standing in the shadow of the LM (Landing Module, also called Lunar Module), being lit up, or having a “hot spot” on their suits, which supposedly shows a secondary light source, not the Sun. Again, the scattering “backward” of light from the surface onto an astronaut above the Moon’s surface can explain every instance of the astronaut being “lit up” while in shadow, and it is surprising that this “anomaly” has had such a long life among the conspiracy theorists. The “hot spots” may have a similar explanation.
No visible exhaust issued from the lunar landers’ rockets.
The fact of no visible rocket exhaust coming from the LMs when taking off is an impressive anomaly. Various explanations have been proposed over the years. One answer is that a rocket firing in a vacuum looks much different from one firing in Earth’s atmosphere. One hoax debunker explanation is that in a vacuum the rocket exhaust stops igniting immediately after it leaves the nozzle, so the bright blast that we see in Earth takeoffs is not there. Another explanation is that the video cameras during the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions were so poor that they would not have picked up the flash very well. Another explanation is that the takeoffs took place in the daytime, so it made the flame less visible than if it took off at night. Yet another explanation is that the fuels used with the LM did not produce a visible flame. All of those explanations may in fact help explain why there is no visible exhaust coming from the LM, except for a brief flash at the beginning, known as an “ignition transient.”
The fuels used on the Apollo Service Module, Landing Module, and Space Shuttle stabilizer rockets were similar. They were a combination of a hydrazine mixture and dinitrogen tetroxide, or cousins of that combination. They are known as hypergolic fuels, because they need no ignition to light. The chemicals are so reactive that they ignite by merely coming into contact with each other. To clarify this, at this footnote is a little chemistry and rocketry narrative. The shuttle stabilizer rockets are firing in the vacuum of space, and are vastly smaller explosions than the blast needed to take off from the Moon (the shuttle stabilizer rockets were less than a third as powerful as the LM ascent stage rocket). The fuels were slightly different, though, which may account for the light coming from the shuttle stabilizer rockets and the almost complete lack of light coming from the LM. See below some examples of NASA rockets firing in space.
On the poor video quality issue, it was definitely true on Apollo 11, and although the video quality is less than superb for the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 liftoffs, it appears good enough to pick up the flash, as for about a second, there is light seen below the nozzle, and it disappears before the LM is ten feet into the “air.” The takeoff appears to kick up some dust, but after the first few feet, there is no light of combustion seen, or ever any obvious exhaust. The best explanation of the rocket exhaust issue is probably at Jay Windley’s Moon Base Clavius. He stated that the invisible exhaust from the LM was not too surprising but could even appear anomalous to the expert, unless they did some homework. He performed considerable homework to make his case. I am more than 95% convinced by his explanation.
There is no crater below the lunar landers.
Though there is no crater below the lunar landers visible in any lunar landing missions, in some, a slight disturbance of dust can be seen. The reasons given by NASA and the hoax debunkers is that the engines were throttled down heavily by the astronauts, and a couple of inches down the lunar dust gave way to virtual bedrock, which caused the astronauts many problems, such as taking core samples and planting the flags. The explanations put forth by NASA and the hoax debunkers are convincing.
The Moon footage from Apollo 11 was of poor quality.
The Moon video footage from the Apollo 11 landing was poor, extremely so. There has been much writing on the development of the film used on the Moon and how it withstood the lunar environment’s rigors to take those crystal clear photos that we are all familiar with. On the Apollo 11 mission, a state-of-the-art color video camera was in the Command Module. On the Moon it was a black and white camera. Not only that, but television stations around the world did not even get a feed of the footage, but had to film a screen provided by NASA. The press was never allowed in the Mission Control Room until late in the Apollo program, when one press representative was finally allowed into the viewing chamber, directly behind where my father used to sit. It is odd to have sophisticated research and development devoted to the print film and still cameras, but incredibly poor black-and-white live footage produced on the Moon, when a state-of-the-art color video camera was in the Command Module.
I am not completely satisfied with the explanations, although Jay Windley has done a creditable job of explaining the technical issues and how NASA resolved them. That poor quality Apollo 11 video footage is also where I hit my pay dirt.
The radiation problem.
Ralph René’s radiation analysis is not convincing. Even among the conspiracy debunkers, the radiation issue looms largely, and even the most ardent debunkers admit that NASA was fortunate that a solar flare did not cook any astronauts. NASA stated that one astronaut had a little radiation sickness during an Apollo mission, but it was later attributed to what he ate. Although the risk was supposedly low, the potential outcome was disastrous, and it makes one wonder about NASA’s control over the dissemination of data regarding the missions and why they might have staged the Moon landings. What kind of public relations disaster would it have been for the world to watch astronauts being killed by radiation as they tried landing on the Moon, especially during the heat of the Cold War? Today, one of the greatest barriers to attempting a manned mission to Mars is radiation. Astronauts going to Mars would be exposed to solar flare risk far longer than the ten days or so that Apollo astronauts were exposed, making the risk unacceptably high, and the radiation shielding needed to survive solar flares would be much heavier than anything that has been officially sent into space so far. Currently, it is one of the major limiting factors in extended manned missions in the solar system. All the same, NASA assessed the radiation risk and decided that it was low enough to be acceptable, and they had astronomers carefully watching the Sun before the Apollo launches so they could cancel a mission if it seemed that the Sun was about to belch out a large solar flare.
The “crosshair” problem.
The “crosshair” issue is where the reticles had objects superimposed over them, which should be impossible, and is dealt with above.
The issue of odd reflections deserves scrutiny, and the anomalies are interesting. If the footage seemingly shot on the Moon was really shot on Earth in a set environment, simulating the Sun could have been difficult. If it was shot in a set environment, reproducing the Sun’s intensity may have required a spotlight larger than the Sun appears from Earth or the Moon. Reproducing a light appearing the same size as the Sun would have presented difficulties. One difficulty would be keeping the spotlight always the same distance from the action in order to not appear the wrong size if seen. A relatively small distance difference from the spotlight between “scenes” would make noticeable differences in the “Sun’s” apparent size. About the only equipment used during the Moon landings that reflected the Sun, enabling the NASA cameras to pick it up, were helmet visors. The Apollo astronaut helmets, and that of all NASA astronauts, had convex faceplates. Anything reflected in a convex mirror would appear smaller than it would appear if seen directly. Look at your reflection in the underside of a spoon to get the idea.
In the lunar jump image below, images are presented of the Sun as reflected in the visors of astronauts during two lunar missions: Apollo 14 and 17. The Apollo 14 image is how most of them appear, with the Sun rather small in the faceplate. However, quite a few images, as with that one from Apollo 17, have been produced. See how large the Sun’s image is. Many Moon hoax theorists have used that anomaly as evidence of fakery, as the “Sun” was far closer to the astronaut than 93 million miles. I wondered about it for a long time, and I amassed many visor images from lunar photos and footage. However, as Jay Windley and his fellow debunkers explained one day, every one of the “small” images were taken with still film, and all large images are from video footage. That could lend evidence to the theory that the still images and video footage were taken in different sessions, but I believe the likeliest answer has to do with the vagaries of video cameras, especially those early ones, and the Sun’s brilliance. The Sun’s reflection “overexposed” in the video footage, and makes the reflection appear larger than it really was. That phenomenon can be easily seen in today’s video cameras, if they try to directly record the Sun. I consider that anomaly adequately explained by the differences between video and still photography.
There is another reflection anomaly that the Dark Moon authors brought up, but it is not as big an anomaly as they say. More evidence that the debunkers used to make the case that the Apollo landings were real events is that the Apollo astronauts put laser reflectors on the Moon during their missions, and astronomers have been bouncing lasers off of them ever since. The authors of Dark Moon use the fact that the Apollo 11 reflector was 28° from horizontal, and that the Apollo 11 landed about at the lunar equator, so the reflector could not have reflected a laser back at Earth. Their argument is flawed, because it is a three-dimensional issue, not a two-dimensional one. If the landing site were at the equator and in the center of the Moon, as seen from Earth, then their argument would hold. However, the Apollo 11 landing site was 23.63° (according to NASA) from the center of the Moon, as one moves “eastward” along the equator. Think of it as 23.63° of longitude, not latitude. Then the angle of the reflector makes more sense, although there is sill a discrepancy of a few degrees, if the reflector was aligned properly. In looking at the landing site layout and a picture of the reflector with the flag behind it, it appears to be tilted in the general direction of where it should be. It is one more example of the flawed work that the Apollo conspiracy theorists have put forth. The Dark Moon authors brought up other problems with the reflector issue, but when they exaggerated the problem with the reflector-angle issue it weakened their argument. To their credit however, they brought up the issue that the reflector was only placed 40 feet from the LM in one official account, while other accounts had placed it at different distances.
Those kinds of discrepancies abound with NASA, which is partly why it earned the nickname, Never A Straight Answer. It was claimed that Earth-based lasers were hitting the reflector immediately after Armstrong set it up. Another account contradicted that notion, because the lasers apparently will not return a good enough signal during the lunar day. Even stranger, a laser aimed at the Moon can return enough of a signal that a reflector is not even needed. According to the official explanation, of about one sextillion photons fired by an Earth-based laser at the reflector in a burst, one photon will make it back to be recorded in the collector on Earth. In 1962, scientists bounced lasers off the Moon and caught the signal coming back. Apparently however, the signal strength back from lasers aimed at the reflectors on the Moon is about 100 times greater than areas of the Moon without reflectors.
People who might have talked died under mysterious circumstances.
The issue of mysterious and untimely deaths also plagues the Moon shots. Were whistleblowers silenced? The January 1967 death of Gus Grissom, along with Ed White and Roger Chaffee in the Apollo 1 fire, is a possibility. One of the more prominent debunkers of the “we-never-went-to-the-Moon” crowd has published his “disgust” that Bill Kaysing would suggest that Gus Grissom was murdered in order to silence him. Who else made such a “disgusting” claim? Grissom’s wife and son did. They both believed that the Apollo 1 fire was no accident and that the truth was covered up. They had evidence that such a notion might be true, and Grissom’s son Scott called for an official investigation into the matter. Grissom was critical of NASA and hung a lemon on a NASA simulator before he died. People associated with the Apollo 1 simulation on the day of the fire remarked on the strange atmosphere that prevailed. Grissom told his wife that if somebody died in an “accident,” it would likely be him, and not because he was accident prone. Straight-talking Grissom apparently made the NASA brass uneasy with his observations. During the Apollo 1 simulation, just before he died, the communications with the Command Module completely broke down, and Grissom said in exasperation, “How are we going to get to the Moon if we can't talk between two buildings?”
Lola Morrow was the astronauts’ secretary. On the show Moon Shot she can be heard describing the atmosphere on the morning of the fire. She described the mood of Grissom, White, and Chaffee as one she had never seen before. Before each flight and major event, the astronauts were eager to get to it. Not that day. They obviously did not want to do the simulation. Clark MacDonald, an engineer working for McDonnell-Douglas, was hired by NASA to investigate the fire. He finally admitted that more than 30 years earlier, NASA destroyed the evidence he gathered, as well as the report that he produced, for “public relations” reasons. MacDonald determined that an electrical short started the fire when the battery power was switched on. Grissom’s son Scott was granted access to the Apollo 1 craft, where he gathered evidence that he said pointed to sabotage, and that there has been a cover-up of it, a charge that MacDonald's admission supported.
Grissom’s death (taking White and Chaffee with him) is not the only strange one. Bill Kaysing thought that another man was silenced by murder. Thomas Baron was an inspector for North American Rockwell, the contractor that built the Command Module. The astronauts were united in the opinion that what Rockwell produced was of initially poor quality. The astronauts comment on it in Moon Shot. Baron was not an engineer and only had a high school education, but was the detail-oriented fanatic that all technical organizations need. His pals gave him the initials “DR,” which stood for discrepancy report. His supervisor ran out of discrepancy report forms regularly, because Baron used so many of them. He was the squeaky wheel. He made some of his findings public, and Rockwell fired him about three weeks before the Apollo 1 fire. Baron originally produced a 55-page report, and finished a 500-page report that he delivered when he testified to Congress in April of 1967. His testimony received a hostile reception. A few days later, he was dead. His car was struck by a train, which killed not only himself, but also his wife and stepdaughter. In shades of Casolaro and Wilcher, his death was officially ruled a suicide. It was worse than that, because he did not only “kill” himself, but also murdered his wife and her child. It took some interesting psychology to arrive at that conclusion, going from being overly conscientious to becoming a murderer. One theory is that he was distraught over the Apollo 1 fire, so he killed himself and his family. I have not heard about anybody else connected to the Apollo program killing themselves or becoming murderers over the Apollo 1 “accident.” How strange that the biggest whistleblower did. Just what are those odds? The 500-page report disappeared, and has not been seen since. The Moon hoax debunkers have lined up behind the official explanation. Jay Windley thinks that Baron’s report has come up missing partly because it had little investigative value, and that Baron may have indeed killed himself, but if he were murdered, it would have been a private contractor, not NASA, and if they wanted to silence him, they should have done it before he testified. Jay may be right, but I have encountered far too many conveniently timed deaths during my investigations to make my suspicion go away, especially when Grissom’s son thought that Gus was murdered.
Killing whistleblowers such as Thomas Baron was standard operating procedure for the defense establishment, if it related to military matters. I know people who have been involved in Department of Defense whistleblowing activities. It could get pretty scary. Sometimes, people would simply “disappear,” Jimmy Hoffa-style. When billions of dollars are at stake, murdering a few people with “big mouths” or who otherwise stand in the way is standard activity. That is the nature of American-style capitalism. Why should it be different regarding space matters? I was once challenged to provide some evidence of what I know about whistleblowers, and without naming names, the footnote that ends this sentence presents a little of what I am aware of.
James Irwin was an Apollo 15 astronaut. He became a Born Again Christian and led an effort to find Noah’s Ark. According to what I have read and heard, in 1991, Irwin contacted Kaysing to have a chat. Why would Irwin call a “kook” such as Kaysing? Four days after allegedly trying to contact Kaysing, Irwin was dead from a heart attack. Did “Born Again” Irwin want to unburden his conscience? Irwin had heart disease, so that may explain it, but the spooks can induce heart attacks using normally undetectable means.
The lack of athletic feats performed on the Moon.
Before the Apollo program, there were many predictions of what conditions would be encountered in one-sixth gravity. Many athletic feats were predicted, such as running with 14-foot strides and feats that acrobats could only dream of. That kind of speculation was not from the 1800s, but in the November 1967 issue of Science Digest. Even in 1969, such predictions were being made. No feats were recorded of that nature during the Apollo missions. Every explanation for that lack of performance has been marginally valid. Jay Windley and I discovered what I consider undeniable evidence of a remarkable feat performed that does preclude Earth gravity, and it was done on the very first lunar mission, Apollo 11. Millions of people saw it live back in 1969, including me, but it was an unknown event in all the debates on the issue before 2001. The evidence was sitting under everybody’s nose, but until 2001, nobody brought it up.
The explanations for the lack of feats centered around: how heavy and restrictive the suits were; how dangerous it would have been to attempt any feats; the feats that were performed were spectacular under the conditions; and the astronauts were too busy doing important things to bother with athletic feats; and there were feats, but they were not filmed.
The heavy and restrictive suit issue is pertinent. International Latex Corporation ("ILC") made the suits that the Apollo astronauts wore. Hamilton Standard made the portable life support system ("PLSS"), which was the “backpack.” There was fierce competition among various companies to provide the suits and backpacks. ILC produced the A7L model of its suit, which NASA bought. To test their A7L suit, they had a technician get onto a football field with it and run, fall, catch footballs and throw them. NASA was an easy sell after that demonstration. The A7L suit was worn on all the Apollo missions up to Apollo 14. For the last three Apollo missions, the A7LB suit was used, which was even more flexible than the A7L suit. In 1968, Hamilton Standard demonstrated a suit that had a 93% of nude range of motion, which even those who saw the demonstration found hard to believe. The A7LB suit allowed the astronauts to bend over, touch the ground and sit in the Lunar Rover. The Apollo 16 suit even had improved flexibility over the Apollo 15 suit.
There have been numerous misrepresentations of the space suits’ weight. The A7L and PLSS weighed about 180 pounds on Earth, according to NASA. A fully loaded A7LB with PLSS weighed 212 Earth pounds. A 180-pound astronaut with an A7LB on theoretically weighed 392 pounds on Earth, or about 65 Moon pounds, or about one-third of his Earth weight. To gain an idea of what an advantage that would be, try walking around carrying somebody of about your weight on your back, in piggyback fashion. See how long you can walk around. Then imagine carrying around somebody that weighs twice what you do. You would probably collapse. Then imagine the difference between carrying twice your own weight versus having no burden at all. The astronauts experienced that difference in the other direction. Weighing one-third of their Earth weight would have made them feel as if they were floating. During the Apollo missions, the astronauts showed how flexible and tough their suits were as they took many spills and tumbles on the Moon.
The astronauts were fiercely competitive. See Moon Shot for the athletic competitions that the Mercury astronauts had with each other, such as water skiing. The astronauts competed against each other, to see who could land closest to the planned landing site. Their competitiveness permeated the entire astronaut program. Until I hit pay dirt, the most spectacular feat performed during the Apollo missions was John Young’s Jump-Salute feat. Charles Duke had him jump next to the American flag, and Young whipped off a snappy salute in mid-vacuum. Until this essay was published, it was considered the greatest athletic feat that any Apollo astronaut ever displayed on the Moon, and William Brian made it a subject of analysis. The image below shows the analysis.
The debunkers and mainstream media have misrepresented the jumps that Young made. Mainstream captions have stated that he got three feet off the ground, and his leaps have been compared to Michael Jordan’s feats. Neither claim is close to the truth. First of all, the leaps Young made got him about 18-19 inches off the ground, and the image shows how it is easily measured. A standing jump does not take much flexibility. I got about 27-30 inches off the ground with a standing leap when I was a young man, and 18 inches is normal for an athletic man under 40 years old. All a man needs to do is swing his arms and bend his knees (bending the knees is more important), which is easily accomplished in the A7LB suits. Also presented in that above image are video captures of Young’s leap. He bent his knees and lowered and raised his arms nearly as a normal earthman would. The official NASA site stated that Young barely had to flex his knees to attain his jump. About that same flex is what a man would do for a standing leap on Earth. The astronauts would have weighed about one-third of their Earth weight in their suits on the Moon. However, they would have gotten more than three times as high because it is the velocity at which they leave the ground that determines the leap’s height. Because they would have felt so much lighter, they could have jumped more quickly, their leg muscles not burdened as much. The suits would have been somewhat restrictive, but in the Apollo footage, especially the footage from the last three missions, those astronauts moved easily, and their suits did not appear to hinder their movements much at all, especially for the relatively modest flexibility required for a standing leap.
William Brian calculated that a suited astronaut would have attained more than four times the height in a Moon jump as an Earth jump. Brian also doubted the 185-pound space suit weight, because the astronauts performed full-suit simulations in the Oregon desert. It is difficult to imagine walking around and performing duties while wearing a suit that weighed as much as the person did. Brian thought the suits might really have weighed on the order of 70 pounds on Earth, which is doubtful, but an understandable suspicion. Young’s effort was the equivalent of less than a five-inch leap. My grandmother could have done that. It takes more energy to jump up one stair on a staircase. That was the greatest athletic feat ever recorded on the Moon. Not much of a performance, for those fiercely competitive and athletic astronauts. In most matters as these, NASA speaks with more than one voice, and they can contradict each other. On NASA’s site, the description of the jump said it required little effort to attain. Other NASA people have explained the modest altitude attained as due to the restrictive suits. It appears as if Young did not exert himself much to make the jump, particularly as he performed two jumps, back-to-back.
A prominent conspiracy theory is that the astronauts’ activities on the Moon were staged on Earth, and games with the film speed, hidden wires, and other tricks were used to simulate the Moon’s low gravity environment. Some of the footage, if played at twice “normal” speed, looks similar to earthbound footage. The debunkers counter that not all footage looks earthbound at double speed, such as the Rover footage. It is plausible that only the footage of the astronauts moving around would have the speed altered, where footage such as the Rover driving would not. Until I hit “pay dirt,” I was skeptical of the lack of any athletic feat that obviously precluded an Earth-gravity environment.
The Nazi connection.
Henry Ford and the Rockefeller Empire had close ties with Nazi Germany and helped build their war machine. As the war ended in Europe in 1945, United States and Soviet Union descended on to the V-2 rocket works. They both grabbed as many German scientists as possible. American space heroes such as Werner von Braun, Walter Dornberger, and Arthur Rudolf came from the V-2 program (the “V” in V-2 stood for “vengeance weapon”). The USA also hired the Nazi intelligence network, nearly in its entirety, and built the CIA on it. The rationale was that the Nazis knew more about the Soviet Union than anybody else, so intelligence agents such as Reinhard Gehlen would be useful. Nazi spies helped initiate the Cold War, as they lied to the Americans about the Soviet Union's capabilities and intentions. The Nazis were largely playing the Americans as chumps.
Operation Overcast and Operation Paperclip were secret programs that the USA ran to bring in useful Germans, and von Braun came to America that way. Von Braun was an SS man and was present at such infamous concentration camps as Dora, Nordhausen, and Buchenwald, where hundreds of Allied prisoners of war as well as Jews were tortured, worked to death, and experimented on. He handpicked inmates from Buchenwald to become slaves at the rocket works.
Launching V-2 missiles at London was not the only goal of the Nazi Rocketeers. When the war ended, they were experimenting with an “American” missile, which they could launch from Germany that would drop a payload on New York City. There are instances of Nazis performing human experiments at the death camps and going on the USA's payroll weeks later. Some of the worst Nazi businessmen (Karl Blessing, for instance) were quickly “rehabilitated” by Allen Dulles of the CIA and placed right back into the positions of power they enjoyed while being ardent supporters of Hitler’s regime.
Another Nazi scientist who became an American space hero was Dr. Hubertus Strughold, later called “the father of U.S. space medicine.” He had a long and distinguished career at NASA an even had an American library named after him. He ran a facility at Dachau in which medical experiments were carried out on prisoners and he even had a traveling laboratory, going from camp to camp. He came over in Operation Paperclip. One area of Strughold’s research was a precursor to the CIA’s MKUltra mind control experiments, in which drugs were used on prisoners. But the Nazi-NASA connection that relates to my Apollo program concerns is the Nazi penchant for fabrication and deceit, and the Hollywood connection. Fritz Lang was the legendary German filmmaker who created Metropolis and the more obscure Frau im Mond, which translates to “woman on the Moon.” Hermann Oberth, considered the “Father of the Space Age,” was the technical consultant on rocketry in the film. They filmed a dummy rocket being dropped down a chimney, and then ran the footage in reverse, creating the illusion of a rocket taking off. They created a promotional film that combined footage from real tests with Lang’s film and passed off the whole thing as a documentary. When they finally got a rocket to fly as it should, von Braun took that footage, combined cartoon footage with it, and produced a movie extravaganza that gulled a skeptical Hitler in 1943. Hitler was so impressed that he bestowed a professorship on von Braun and devoted all possible effort into developing the V-2. They failed to tell Hitler that nearly all of their rocket launches were still failing.
The Gestapo confiscated Lang's models for his film. The situation is similar to what conspiracy theorists think may have been the dynamics surrounding the Apollo missions. I believe that the FBI and CIA investigated the Apollo 1 fire and that the FBI destroyed all blueprints of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rockets.
One of the U.S. government's more reliable studios in the war effort was Disney Studios. During World War II, Disney received up to 90% of its money from federal contracts and produced many military training and propaganda films. Donald Duck went to war. Walt Disney was a social Darwinist and anti-communist crusader, heartily approved of the McCarthy witch-hunts, appeared as a friendly witness during the Un-American hearings and fervently the Hollywood's blacklist. Years before the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, von Braun worked closely with Disney Studios and even directed the animators and designed Disneyland’s Tomorrowland ride called Rocket to the Moon. Also, von Braun hosted the Disney show Man in Space. His co-host was Heinz Haber, another NASA Nazi. Haber worked for Strughold and co-authored papers that were based on human experiments performed at Dachau and other concentration camps in which hundreds of prisoners were subjected to experiments that simulated the conditions of high speed, high altitude flight. Prisoners that survived the experiments were generally killed, then dissected. When the Eisenhower administration asked Disney to produce a propaganda film regarding the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Haber was picked to host the Disney show, “Our Friend the Atom.” Haber then wrote a popular children’s book of the same title. I knew about the CIA and NASA Nazis, but I never thought I would read about the Disney Nazis.
In short, Nazi expertise and propaganda in faking film footage has been so inextricably involved with NASA that is not inconceivable that such expertise was employed during the Apollo missions.
The military-industrial complex connection.
The Nazi connection is intertwined with the American military connection. The military was deeply involved with NASA, as were the Nazi scientists. In the 1958 law that created NASA, it is described as a “defense” organization. The NSA (National Security Agency) is the military version of the CIA, at least in theory. Nearly all astronauts through the Apollo program had military backgrounds. Virtually all contractors that built NASA's equipment were military contractors, deeply involved in both the space and arms races. The very companies that produced an amazing array of inferior products for the military, while vastly overcharging for them, supposedly were the same companies that made all that equipment that performed so flawlessly during the Apollo missions.
The Air Force openly admitted that it is developing an offensive military capability in space. The Star Wars program is part of it. Here is a quote from the Commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Command, Joseph Ashy:
“Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but - absolutely - we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and were going to fight into space… we will engage terrestrial targets some day - ships, airplanes, land targets - from space.”
Here is something from an Air Force publication in 1996:
“In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict…These advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to affect very many kills.”
Here is an Air Force official talking about our space dominance, “With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it and we’re going to keep it.” As Noam Chomsky made clear in his summer 2001 article “Hegemony or Survival” regarding the Bush administration's push for a satellite based missile shield system, the nations that topped a list of potential future victims of American international violence consider the Ballistic Missile Defense ("BMD") system as an offensive, not defensive, weapon. The BMD system would further remove the ability of any nation to directly respond to USA-inflicted violence. It would be far easier to sneak a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon in four major cities then launch a missile, without its “return address” on it. If our survival instead of hegemony was the overriding goal, and if containing the spread of weapons to “rogue states” and “terrorists” was truly the USA's goal, it would not plan on devoting more than 1,000 times more money to the Star Wars program than trying to keep the ex-Soviet Union's nuclear weapons from falling into the “wrong hands.” In the wake of the World Trade Center attacks of September 2001, the basic strategy still has not appeared to change.
In reality, the military domination of space is a logical extension of Britain having the world's most powerful navy, the USA building forts in Indian country, and other imperial actions designed to violently protect their interests. The latest version of Star Wars will only make other nations more eager to get better weapons. They do not want to be on the receiving end of American violence, and nuclear weapons are seen is a deterrent, as the USA will not pick on nations that can strike back. It is the timeless story of trying to make better weapons than one's enemy. The USA's attempt to militarize space renders the controversy around the Moon landings a meaningless footnote.
The Moon missions were relatively hitchless.
The relatively hitchless nature of the Apollo missions, and events that seem to be the product of bad script writing, can seem odd. The history of NASA is filled with spectacular failures. The Ranger program was the first American program to try landing on the Moon. There were nine Ranger missions. The Ranger probes were supposed to go to the Moon and crash into it while sending back data. The first six missions were all failures, and by Ranger 7, NASA abandoned the goal of successfully crashing into the Moon. The Ranger 7 mission was launched in July 1964. The Ranger program followed the unsuccessful Pioneer program launches. The first five Pioneer launches, beginning in 1958, were failures. The sixth Pioneer mission (March 1960, called Pioneer 5) was successful, and was followed by two failed missions. Meanwhile in the Soviet Union, a lunar flyby, returning pictures of the far side of the Moon, was achieved on the Luna 3 mission in 1959. The Soviet Union did not send another mission toward the Moon for the next four years. The official story is that they were developing their new, larger booster to enable greater payloads, although there is other speculation about the true reason for the four-year lag. In 1964, the Soviet Union attempted a soft landing on the Moon with its Luna 5. It created a lunar crater as it landed at full speed. Luna 6 failed, and Luna 7 also failed to soft land on the Moon. Luna 8 also crashed. Luna 9 made a successful lunar soft landing on February 3, 1966. It was the first soft-landing ever made on the Moon.
The USA soft-landed the Surveyor 1 on the Moon on June 2, 1966. Surveyor 2 crashed into the Moon. Surveyor 3 had a strange landing. It bounced 35 feet above the Moon when it landed because its rockets kept firing. Surveyor 4 failed, completely and “disappeared” 2.5 minutes before touchdown. NASA never determined what happened. Surveyor 5 nearly failed due to a helium leak, but a jerry-rigged landing saved the mission. Surveyor 6 was the first craft to lift off from the Moon. It did its takeoff maneuver (getting about 12 feet off the lunar surface) at the time of the Apollo 4 mission, in November 1967. Until Apollo 11, that was the only test in taking off.
Apollo 4 was unmanned, as all Apollo launches would be through Apollo 6, because of the Apollo 1 disaster. Apollo 4 was also the first time that the Saturn V rocket was launched, which powered the manned Apollo missions. Apollo 5 used the Saturn 1B rocket, that mission tested the LM in Earth orbit, and the mission was completely run by remote control. Could they have sent unmanned Apollo missions to the Moon? Apollo 6 was a demonstration of that possibility. It was the second launch of the Saturn V rocket, and the goal was to simulate the events needed to send the craft to the Moon and “man rate” the Apollo V rocket. The mission had 20 major failures, it did not even attain the proper orbit, and the third stage burn that was supposed to send the astronauts to the Moon failed to ignite. That was not exactly a great record of success to build on to go the Moon by 1970. The Apollo 6 mission was launched in April 1968, less than two years before Kennedy’s announced deadline. The official story is that von Braun and all of NASA pulled together and performed technical wizardry that is still hard to believe today, even by those who participated in it.
My father left NASA after the Apollo 1 fire because the environment at NASA became, in his words, “hyper-political,” and everybody tried to deflect blame. That was not exactly an environment conducive to making the biggest technical achievement in history. Apollo 7 was the first manned Apollo mission, and it did not use the Saturn V rocket. The mission was nearly perfect, as were the next five manned Apollo missions. One reason for the vastly lower failure rate for the manned missions was that the precautions, effort expended, and expense was far greater in launching human beings into space than hunks of lifeless metal. All of those unmanned Apollo launches were due to a disaster on the ground that killed three men. Also, the most sophisticated piece of technology known to man, the human being, was part of the manned missions. Astronauts were continually solving problems during the missions. Humans are also the most error-prone piece of equipment that went to the Moon, but the flexibility and problem-solving features apparently outweighed the errors. The satellites and probes of the day had limited problem-solving ability, and the remote-control solutions had dimmer prospects than if a human being was on the scene.
The Landing Module was never tested in a “real” landing and takeoff situation until Armstrong and Aldrin supposedly landed on the Moon and took off. When Armstrong tried flying a stripped down version of the LM on Earth, he crashed it and was nearly killed. The LM supposedly made six perfect landings and take offs from the Moon.
Apollo 10 was the closest thing that there was to a “live” test of the LM before landing on the Moon. After the LM descended and was getting ready to ascend, it began spinning wildly, and its pilot, Eugene Cernan, thought that it was going to crash. He got it under control and made it back to the Command Module. The official reason for that near-disaster is that an abort switch had been incorrectly set because of an error in the manual that they used. That explanation shows how vulnerable the missions were to human error, but according to NASA, human error was minimal during the Apollo missions.
O’Leary was skeptical about the Apollo missions, and his skepticism was precisely where mine has been: the Moon landings themselves. The LM had virtually no testing in the environment where it would be used, and the scariest parts of all, the lunar landing and ascent, had no live testing whatsoever before Armstrong and Aldrin supposedly landed and took off from the Moon. The LM had to come in sideways, and its rockets had to fire perfectly to make a horizontal landing on the Moon. Nothing like it in manned space flight has been done before or since, and it was done without having been properly tested in a real environment before the Apollo 11 Mission. In kind, it is a situation similar to NASA's never sending an animal beyond the Van Allen belt to test the radiation of space’s effects on living creatures before it sent men out there. Just before the Apollo 11 mission, NASA sent a monkey into Earth orbit, to spend 30 days there. The monkey died in a week and the capsule was brought down on July 6, 1969.
If we really landed men on the Moon, those astronauts were relatively expendable assets, which their military backgrounds prepared them for. The landing burn was remarkable, never having been tried in a live environment before people risked their lives doing it. Jay Windley informed me that the LM landing burn was relatively easy because there was no atmosphere to contend with. It is true that it would have been easier than an Earth landing, but the “flying bedstead” was the only thing used to train for landing on the Moon, and they did not do a sideways braking burn to rotate for a vertical landing. They also trained in a stationary LM. NASA held its collective breath as Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.
In Dark Moon, a series of images depicted the Surveyor 3 as Apollo 12 was landing (p. 160). I had my doubts that we were seeing genuine footage taken by the LM in Dark Moon, and everybody knowledgeable I have asked about those pictures stated that it is not genuine footage. The burden of proof is on the Dark Moon authors to prove it is genuine Surveyor 3 footage, and I think that they presented faulty information.
I understand why conspiracy theorists have doubts about the Moon landings’ authenticity. I am not saying they are right, but their doubts are understandable. Apollo 12 supposedly made a pinpoint landing to be near Surveyor 3. Pinpoint is right, even though the lunar dust blinded them as they landed. They also may have landed several feet from their deaths. They landed so near the crater where Surveyor 3 was that a few feet further would have landed two of the LM’s legs into the crater, which could have possibly made a tragic end to the Apollo program. The LM was designed to be positioned no more than 6° from a vertical orientation. It appears that the crater slope had more than a 6° slope to it, and appears that as few as ten feet further toward the crater would have had the LM at greater than a 6° angle, and they may not have been able to take off. I have not done the work to prove it, but the terrain at the crater’s lip appears to be greater than a 6° slope.
Another issue regarding the lunar missions was that the re-entry to Earth on return from the Moon was a maneuver virtually never attempted before. It was extremely dangerous, with a small margin of error. NASA never performed an unmanned test of that maneuver either, except a jerry-rigged simulation to try salvaging the failed Apollo 6 mission, which did not quite attain the velocity of a return-from-the-Moon situation. In those early days of NASA, with animals going into space long before humans, and the incessant ground-based testing, they never made a “real world” test of that re-entry, nor the lunar landing, nor taking off from the Moon. They could have tested those maneuvers with smaller and less costly unmanned craft. At the time of Apollo 11, the Soviet Union tried sending an unmanned probe to the Moon, Luna 15, to bring back Moon rocks. Officially, the effort failed (the Dark Moon authors argued that Luna 15 brought back the Apollo 11 Moon rocks). The Soviet Union successfully returned from the lunar surface with Luna 16 in September 1970 with retrieved Moon dust.
At best, giving NASA every benefit of the doubt, it was an extremely hazardous undertaking, with numerous untested, little tested, or poorly tested maneuvers, to land on the Moon before 1970. John Glenn was genuinely afraid of the risks associated with landing on the Moon. My father told me that Glenn was asked if he wanted to be the first man on the Moon. Glenn replied that he would not mind being the first man safely back from the Moon.
It is interesting to see how NASA spun the missions and tests. NASA pronounced the Apollo 6 Mission a success, with nearly all mission objectives achieved. There were many design problems with the LM and many test failures. The unmanned LM1 test on Earth apparently was a disaster. The Ascent Propulsion System blew apart and caught on fire when tested, and it malfunctioned on the second test, which sent the LM into a tumble. The next LM they tested was the LM3, which flew with Apollo 9. The hoax debunkers say that practice makes perfect, but when the LM4 on Apollo 10 spun wildly while supposedly above the lunar surface because a switch was thrown incorrectly, it had to make the Apollo 11 landing a breath-holding event. It is awesome to consider all the things that had to go right on a lunar mission.
NASA called the LM a “skittish” craft mere months before the Apollo 11 mission. To date, a successful landing rocket for Earth conditions has never been developed. In the 1990s, the DC-X rocket was tested. It took off and landed vertically. After several successful test flights, the DC-X program was abandoned after the rocket tipped over and exploded during a test in 1996. Part of the reason we have no landing rockets is the Earth’s atmosphere and higher gravity, but it is another issue that brings up skepticism in the Moon hoaxers’ minds.
Beginning with Apollo 11, the rest of the Apollo program went nearly flawlessly…all except for Apollo 13, which appears to be bad script writing. One strange connection with the Apollo program was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was released during our big push for the Moon, in 1968. Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001, was not a mere science fiction author. He was an astronomer and space expert. His name arises regularly in the official histories of space exploration. He was the first person to describe a geo-synchronous orbit, in 1945. He was a technical contributor to the space effort and a Jules Verne-like visionary. The plot of 2001 revolves around covering up a discovery on the Moon and the errant computer HAL. HAL utters a famous line, "Sorry to interrupt the festivities, but we have a problem.” For lucky number Apollo 13, launched at 13:13 military time, with a date whose digits add up to 13 (4/11/70), James Lovell, the mission commander, picked the name of the command module: Odyssey. On the way to the Moon, as they signed off for the night, they played a tape of Also Sprach Zarathustra, the famous theme song from 2001. A few minutes later, they had their famous accident. What did they tell NASA? “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Was that another strange set of coincidences, or rather unimaginative script writing? Maybe it was synchronicity or Lovell’s fascination with 2001. These speculations touch on other conspiratorial musings made by the Dark Moon authors and others, such as Richard Hoagland’s gang. All the 13s associated with Apollo 13 might be part of a conscious numerological staging of events. Hoagland and Mike Bara showed for years how NASA events were timed to coincide with significant alignments in the stars and planets. Buzz Aldrin is a 33rd degree Mason, and there is a whole body of conspiracy lore that includes the Masons, especially those at the 33rd level.
The official Apollo 13 story is that an oxygen tank exploded in the Service Module. The tank probably had a fire inside it, and then ruptured. Very near to it were liquid hydrogen tanks. The oxygen tank was at about 1,000 PSI pressure when it ruptured. If a hydrogen tank also ruptured, or the nearby hypergolic fuel tanks, Apollo 13 would have become a fireball. As it was, it blew off the side of the command module and created a leak in the other oxygen tank that soon killed the Service Module. If any event during the Apollo program was seemingly influenced by divine providence, the relatively gentle explosion of that oxygen tank was probably it. A tank holding hundreds of pounds of liquid oxygen, exploding at 1,000 PSI, sounds scary.
How did NASA resolve that problem of the blast’s effect? The official story is that Apollo 13 made it back to Earth by an amazing feat of jerry-rigging. They used the LM rockets, as the Service Module was dead, they created a contraption to remove their carbon dioxide from the air, and they used admittedly “primitive” means to determine where they were and point the ship in the right direction to get home safely. It was high drama that kept the world on the edge of its seat. The Apollo missions became old news by Apollo 12 and Apollo 13 put Apollo back in the headlines. The timing was fortuitous. When Ron Howard’s movie on Apollo 13 came out on 1994, instead of the Zarathustra music, they played other music. Why? For a movie that purported to tell the real story, why change the real music which was played?
There are “reasonable” explanations for those strange events, but there are issues with the Apollo 13 mission that will not go away easily. People involved with Apollo 13 have written as if there was divine providence or other strangeness happening. Apollo 13’s alarm system engineer, Jerry Woodfill, posted his account to the Internet, in which he stated that the Apollo 13 drama seemed to be guided by an “unrehearsed script,” and the Apollo 13 drama led him to finding God and religion. NASA sent Arthur C. Clark a report on Apollo 13, and a NASA administrator wrote on it, “Just as you always said it would be.” If there was not something funny going on there, it can make one start believing in strange coincidence. Jim Lovell was also on Apollo 8, and the crew later told Clarke that they were tempted to report sighting a large black monolith on the far side of the Moon. Instead, they read from the book of Genesis and Lovell announced that there was a Santa Claus. Is that funny, or “funny?”
There are a number of video shots from the Apollo 13 mission, when they are supposedly well beyond Earth orbit, and blue can be seen through the windows of the Apollo 13 craft. The conspiracy theorists believe we should see blue through the windows when the Earth is below the window. How can that be? For Apollo 11, there are similar shots. Here are some of those frames.
As discussed below, I satisfied myself that the Apollo 11 photographs taken on the way to the Moon are genuine. One “reasonable” answer has been that ice crystals caused the blue color. Another is that the windows’ coating did it.
The Apollo 13 drama supposedly showed what great problem solvers worked at NASA. My father once related an anecdote to me regarding what great problem solvers the Mission Control people were. A common phenomenon regarding technical efforts such as the space program is that flying was not just what the astronauts did. Most people in the Mission Control Room were avid amateur aeronauts. They either flew private planes, were ex-fighter pilots such as Gene Kranz, or they were "nerds" who flew model airplanes, balloons, and model blimps. One day at the water cooler, the amateur model balloonists were talking about their blimps and balloons and how high they could go. They were having a lively conversation about how they could get their blimps and dirigibles to go higher. They decided that if they could somehow increase the air pressure in the balloons, they could accomplish their goal. They were brainstorming on how to get increased pressure in the blimps. My father walked by and heard their conversation. It is elementary physics that increasing the pressure in a blimp would increase its weight and make it denser, not lighter. Increasing the pressure would make the blimp sink, not go higher. My father listened to their conversation in amazement and butted in. He asked them to remember Archimedes and why things float. He said that their brainstorming was going in the opposite direction of making their blimps to go higher. They looked at my father as if he was crazy. As he told me that story many years ago, he said in awe, "And those people put men on the Moon!" That may not lend much evidence to the "faking it" hypothesis, but is an example of some pretty poor problem solving. The “problem solving” that happened on the Apollo 13 mission was orders of magnitude more difficult than that. That kind of thoughtless behavior displayed at the water cooler is common with scientists too. It is called “forgetting the basics.”
Beginning with Bill Kaysing and continuing through virtually every Moon hoax theorist since, faked photographs are cornerstones of their arguments. If NASA faked the Moon landings, then the images returned would obviously have to be fabricated. There have been times when I thought that I found fabricated or altered images, as have many people who looked at the data. I looked at this area of evidence at great length. With some minor possible exceptions, I have not seen any supposed image fabrication/alteration that has held up to scrutiny, especially regarding the notion that it was consciously done to misrepresent the reality of the Moon landings. The shadow-angle analyses, the astronauts lit in the shadows, the disappearing reticles, the lack of stars, the anomalous reflections, the seeming discrepancies between video and still images, and all the rest, do not stand up to scrutiny, as far as lending evidence to the faked landing hypothesis. There are a number of reasons for this whole “faked image” cottage industry that has developed. One is that we have nothing to compare lunar images to. We do not live in the lunar environment, and the Moon was the first extraterrestrial body that we visited. Of course it would look different from Earth. There were plenty of artistic conceptions through the ages of how the Moon’s surface would appear up close, and a gallery of artist’s conceptions of the lunar surface over the ages would look pretty funny today, if compared to NASA’s lunar images.
I have some areas of professional expertise, mainly with the design and management of information systems, as well as presenting data from them. One axiom of my profession is that those who are not trained in the art of data management, and end up dealing with the outputted data and making decisions from them, often know just enough to be dangerous (often to themselves), and I have ruefully discovered that they cannot be trusted to assess the data on their own, but need to be guided through it, at best. I think that a similar phenomenon relates to the Moon images. Most people who have asserted the “faked image” hypothesis for the Moon landings are not trained in photography or image analysis. I barely know the rudiments myself. We can get into trouble when diving into image analysis when we are not familiar with the discipline’s basics. The experts are not necessarily oracles of truth, either. My work argues just the opposite quite often, but non-specialists can get into trouble when diving into areas where specialists try exercising due caution.
I think that the unique and strange lunar environment, the (at the time) unique event of visiting an extraterrestrial body, the non-specialists who have tried making technical image analyses, as well as lack of caution on their part, have contributed to most of the “faked image” controversy. Factor in some people who may be consciously dishonest (for money or other gain), ego factors, potential provocateurs, a lay audience that is viewing it and people hating to admit they are wrong, and we had that early 21st century situation.
The Lunar Rover’s movements on the Moon.
For Apollo 11, the astronauts did not venture far from the LM. For Apollo 12, they ventured farther and visited Surveyor 3 (they landed near it, apparently almost too near). For Apollo 14 they had lengthy excursions, and they drug along a cart that held their exploratory and experimental gear while huffing and puffing (which ran against expectation, in one-sixth gravity). For the last three Apollo missions, the Lunar Rover made its appearance. The Lunar Rovers were the most expensive dune buggies ever made, costing about $40 million each. They had an Earth weight of 460 pounds, and could carry a load of 1,080 Earth pounds. On the Moon, the empty Rover and equipment on it weighed about 120 pounds. The deployment of the Rover from the LM was a more difficult task for the astronauts on the Moon than it had been in practice sessions on Earth. Why was that, when it weighed one-sixth of its Earth weight?
In 1966, Lawrence Maisak published Survival on the Moon. One of the book’s concerns was with designing vehicles for lunar travel. The one-sixth gravity of the Moon presented serious design issues. A ground-based vehicle on the Moon would not closely resemble one that worked on Earth. Maisak calculated that a Rover-type vehicle would need a tread width of 20 feet (with a center of gravity of six feet high and clearance of three) to keep from tipping over as it negotiated rough terrain. The Lunar Rovers had a tread width of six feet. Not only that, they were top heavy because of the astronauts sitting in them with the heavy backpacks that they wore; their center of gravity was at least three feet above the ground. Not only were the Rover dimensions dissimilar from what was predicted, but also it looked almost exactly like an Earth-based dune buggy. One plausible explanation was that if it traveled slowly it could get away with having an unstable design. The Rover was rated to go about ten miles per hour at top speed. The Apollo 16 astronauts put the Rover through a “Grand Prix” test where they drove rapidly and whipped it around, bouncing and skidding. The Rover’s wheels left the ground, and it “fishtailed” near the end of the demonstration. That might have been the most foolish activity that the astronauts performed on the Moon. If the Rover had tipped over, it could have come down on the Young, possibly puncturing his suit, if not worse. That would have been a disastrous end to the Apollo program, as an astronaut died to get some thrills. The official movie even played banjo music during the Grand Prix. According to William Brian’s analysis, it would have taken little for the Rover to flip over, and the performance during the Grand Prix demonstration seemed to defy a one-sixth gravity situation. Even if such a performance was possible, having it bounce into the air during the stunt was running dangerously.
Various conspiracy theorists have used the Rover’s activities on the Moon as evidence of a cover-up or fabrication. There has been considerable speculation regarding the dust that the Rover kicked up. The way the Moon dust behaved is one of the best pieces of evidence that it is genuine lunar activity. The dust never hangs in the “air” for an appreciable length of time, and many times the astronauts kicked up dust that flew a long way. When watching astronauts walking, dust often sprays out from a footfall. When the astronauts fell, sometimes the dust was kicked a great distance. Unless they made some kind of special Moon dust in the fabrication factory, that was impressive evidence of a vacuum. Nobody is arguing that they built a huge vacuum stage on Earth.
If they could play boulder-soccer on the Moon, do jump-salutes, play golf, throw around equipment, roll and tumble around and play racecar, why did they never record any athletic feat that would have hinted that they were in one-sixth gravity? Much looks like it is not happening in Earth gravity, but it could be similar to a magic trick: there is no way of knowing how they did it unless they let you in on the secret. The behavior of the Moon dust, however, makes the conspiracy theories harder to support. Until I hit pay dirt in July 2001, this area of evidence, where no feat was obviously done in low gravity conditions, was one of my primary areas of residual skepticism.
The Apollo 11 footage from Bart Sibrel’s video - a detailed analysis.
The Fox TV show on the possibly hoaxed Moon landings interviewed a TV producer named Bart Sibrel. Sibrel said that he came upon some obscure footage while researching the Apollo 11 mission, which proved that Apollo 11 never went to the Moon. He released a video (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon) that presented some of the footage.
As I played Sibrel’s footage repeatedly, something about it made me suspect that while it was potentially embarrassing for NASA, it was not evidence that we never went to the Moon, but evidence of NASA playing Hollywood with the mission, trying to give the folks back home a good show. For a couple of days, I thought that I discovered evidence that the photographic record of Apollo 11 was at least partly fabricated, and tried presenting my evidence to the experts, but was snubbed or ignored, and I figured out on my own that I was wrong.
I spent long hours analyzing the Earth’s phase, the visible portions of Earth’s land, the timeline of the Apollo 11 mission, the time stamps on Sibrel’s footage, the NASA images, and other data. Basically, it mostly added up, except for some possible issues such as the orientation of Apollo 11 to Earth’s equator during the mission, and what appears to be incorrect time stamps on Sibrel’s footage, and if the cloud pattern over the Eastern Pacific Ocean can be nearly static for two days. It most likely can.
One dynamic that makes analysis difficult and can lead to suspicion are all the “errors” that NASA made in presenting its data. In the official film of Apollo 11, there is a scene where Earth is seen from space, and the concurrent conversation has NASA asking how far from Earth Apollo 11 is. The astronauts reply that it is 50,000 miles. The view is of Africa. That is wrong. At 50,000 nautical miles from Earth, Apollo 11 would have been able to see California, about 12 hours into the mission. On NASA’s web site, they had a caption on that frame which stated that Apollo 11 was 10,000 miles from Earth when the picture was taken. With those kinds of discrepancies in NASA’s presentation of the data, it is easy to see how conspiracy researchers can develop suspicions, and show how unreliable NASA’s information can be. Richard Hoagland has discussed at length the “Hollywood” aspect of NASA, with its public relations arm altering photographs and performing other manipulations. Never-A-Straight-Answer NASA can give the conspiracy theorists fuel for their fire, and such incompetence (or playing fast and loose with the data) does not help matters. However, when I got my hands on the primary data or closer to it, the anomalies would often be attributed to bad editing, sketchy data leading to invalid suspicions, etc.
Some time stamps on the raw footage that Sibrel discovered appear to be incorrect. For instance, one piece of footage was stamped about 36 hours into the mission, but the footage is of the Command Module’s computer, which was displaying a time about 30 hours into the mission. Importantly, the footage where Neil Armstrong said Apollo 11 is 130,000 miles from Earth has a time stamp on it, and it agrees with the time when Apollo 11 should have been 130,000 nautical miles from Earth, about 34 hours into the mission.
There was an antenna on the ground in California, called Goldstone, which was specifically designed to collect the TV signal from space. The TV shows from Apollo 11 were transmitted when that antenna was facing Apollo 11. For three days in a row, on the way to the Moon, the astronauts beamed down footage to the Goldstone antenna. That is some of the “raw” TV footage that Sibrel received from NASA by mistake.
They also took still images with their cameras. I found these three images. The middle is from the “raw” footage that Sibrel discovered, and the others are from the still frames of the Apollo 11 Mission. There are better resolution images of what I will present here, and anybody who wants to pursue this line of evidence should get the best versions of these images that they can (“GET” means ground elapsed time, or the time since liftoff).
The images are each taken about one day apart, according to the times that I have been able to assign them. In the first image, that is supposedly California peeking out from the clouds. For weeks, I thought that had to be Vancouver Island, because it appears to be a peninsula, but it looked too far south and too large to be Vancouver Island. The latitude of California looks correct, but the land mass does not. It appears as if the “sea” east of the “peninsula” may be the San Joaquin Valley, and I do not know why there appears to be a “sea” to the north of the peninsula. The same appearance is in NASA frame AS11-36-5367. It does not appear to be a valley, but water. I pulled down some satellite images, however, and that illusion was reproduced.
For those three days, the same cross-shaped hole in the clouds hovers over California. For the second and third days, there are entire regions of the clouds that appear to be nearly identical. I doubted that it was possible for those clouds to remain unchanged for days. It could be one of the famous high-pressure systems that form over California, and the clouds end up getting shifted where the air pressure sends them. A cloud pattern can remain the same while the actual clouds keep moving. That is most likely what happened, even though the astronauts talked about the Alaska storm that is seen northwest of the cross over California. Also, in the southern hemisphere there are similar cloud patterns that are nearly identical. For the entire eastern Pacific, there are nearly identical cloud patterns for three days. That is where I thought I found something worth reporting. When I looked at some of Bart Sibrel’s “raw” footage, I came to feel that I was wrong with my initial impression. I also informed Bart of that.
Bart Sibrel’s hypothesis was that the shots of Earth are a cutout, and the Earth is being shot from low Earth orbit. I highly doubt that is true. It does appear, however, that the astronauts had trouble filming the Earth through the Command Module hatch window. There are quite a few images, both in comparing the still footage with the TV footage, and still images, that appear to be where terminator (the line that divides day from night) games are being played. Terminator games I would call a minor deception, but there may also be a more innocent explanation. I was not looking at the best quality images, and I may have been seeing something that was not there. For a few days I thought it was evidence of fabricating Earth phases, to make the day the image was taken appear to be different. Those cloud patterns seemed odd to me at first. I then began watching the satellite images for the ocean off America’s West Coast, and it appears that it is possible for them to look close each day. For the entire hemisphere to look nearly the same I thought was nearly impossible. After getting some of Sibrel’s footage (some of it was given an improper time, it appears), some of the patterns are not as identical as it appeared, and now I believe the three-day pattern is genuine. The Sibrel footage was a month-long detour, but was a valuable experience.
Again, as with William Brian’s neutral point discrepancy and James Collier’s discovery of identical Apollo footage on two separate days, there is a more innocent explanation for the Sibrel footage than it would appear at first glance. There is some controversy over the meeting of Sibrel and Aldrin. I believed that when Bart showed the “raw” footage to Buzz Aldrin, Aldrin became interested in how Bart obtained the footage and asked him probing questions. According to what I understood, Aldrin then said, “If you show this publicly, you are open for a lawsuit, OK?” You can hear Buzz saying that on a video clip on Sibrel’s web site. When Aldrin was asked to explain the footage, according to Sibrel, Aldrin replied, "Well you're talking to the wrong guy! Why don't you talk to the administrator at NASA? We're passengers!" The debunkers have stated that Aldrin’s response to Sibrel, (they said he “slammed” the door on Sibrel) was because he did not deal with Sibrel’s kind. Another version I heard was that Bart “ambushed” Aldrin at his home, and Aldrin then made his threat, but not about the Apollo 11 footage. In September 2002, Sibrel ambushed Aldrin at his hotel and harassed him, and 72-year-old Aldrin punched Sibrel. Somebody related to Apollo, that Sibrel has used for credibility, recently told me that he thought Sibrel was a “flake,” as well as Kaysing.
Bart had some horrible things happen to him as he tried taking his footage public. The evidence he discovered is likely not proof of faking the Apollo landings, but they may have thought that he might have had something that they did not want publicly aired. When somebody gets the treatment that Bart did, it can turn one more than a little fanatical, which is an aspect of the psychology that the debunkers never touch. What happened to Bart happens to Americans every day. Even if his footage does not prove that there was faking of Apollo 11’s photographic record, he was courageous in coming forward as he did. Also, because of what he went through, it is unlikely that he will ever believe that he does not have evidence that proves NASA faked the Moon landings.
My skepticism had been about where Brian O'Leary's had been: the Moon landings themselves. It does not appear that the astronauts shot that Sibrel-discovered film in low Earth orbit. Ralph René's radiation analysis is flawed. Although radiation was a danger, and NASA was playing the odds, I doubt that it prevented humans from going into space beyond low Earth orbit. It is possible that the Moon landings themselves were staged, but the more I looked into the evidence, the less I thought that was the case, and my hitting “pay dirt” removed all of my doubt that those men were not walking around on the Moon.
There are many other anomalies regarding the Moon landings that the conspiracy researchers address. The NASA defenders have easily explained most of them.
I hit pay dirt.
After I finished a draft of this essay in the spring of 2001, I emailed a link to it to some JFK assassination researchers, to get their feedback. The next thing I knew, somebody kicked it into a JFK assassination forum and then an Apollo Hoax forum became aware of my work and invited me to submit it to them. That led to some rewarding exchanges. Regarding the lack of athletic feats performed on the Moon, I lamented that although Neil Armstrong said that he leapt up to the third stair of the LM when leaving the lunar surface, the best visual record we had was Young’s mundane jump-salute. Jay Windley replied that it might have been possible to see Armstrong’s leap in the film. I got the footage, looked at it, and Jay was right. I still find it amazing that the footage of Armstrong’s leap was never mentioned in all the long years of debates. I must have seen it live in 1969, as did many millions of other people, but it was a forgotten feat. That evidence sealed it for me. Neil Armstrong performed that leap on the Moon.
Most of what I have presented is in the form of negative evidence. The conspiracy theorists present evidence that says photographs were faked, or the LM rocket had no visible exhaust plume, or that the Moon dust sure acted strangely, or they ask “what were those Nazis and military contractors really up to?” or “why are there no stars?” or “how did they safely get past the Van Allen Belt?” The debunkers counter with their evidence, answering those questions with mundane explanations, but what did we see that really told us that we landed men on the Moon? Unmanned probes could have brought back the Moon rocks; if the laser reflectors were even necessary to bounce back one photon out of one sextillion, probes could have also set them out. Although the debunkers give plausible answers to the questions about why the images were not faked, what about them would give anybody proof that they were taken on the Moon? Why were they not taken on a billion-dollar set in Area 51, with state-of-the-art (and secret) methods that would have made Kubrick’s 2001 seem like a Godzilla movie with cardboard cities? Why not?
Then the Clementine lunar probe sent back images that show Moon dust being disturbed at the Apollo 15 landing site. Clementine was a military mission. So, the same organization that many suspect of faking the Moon landings published military probe images that “prove” that Apollo 15 really landed on the Moon. It would be far easier to fake what is interpreted as disturbed dust in those Clementine images than it would be to fake the Moon landings. In 2012, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter sent back very detailed images of the Moon, including the Apollo landing sites. The same arguments for faked Moon landings can be made for those images being faked, but I am not one of those believers.
Again, we are brought back to, “Where is the proof that we really landed on the Moon?” Could even Mission Control have been pumped with fake data from the satellite that admittedly was pumping faked data before Apollo 11, hoodwinking them too? At some point, the overarching conspiracy theory begins showing its strain, and people begin brandishing Occam’s razor and say that the simplest explanation is the right one, “We went to the Moon, period.”
When Young leaped 18-19 inches off of the Moon, or the astronauts loped across the lunar surface, they did nothing that could not be easily done on Earth, with perhaps some film-speed tricks being played. Until I hit my pay dirt, the best evidence that I saw of astronaut activities happening on the Moon was the way that dust flew and other flying objects behaved, as though they were in a vacuum. If that was all faked, my mind went numb trying to figure out how they could have done it. The feather-dropping demonstration was something that could also have easily been faked. Here is the closest thing to “proof” that I have seen.
Why was it proof to me? For one thing, it was obscure footage and Armstrong’s leap is not easily noticed unless one knows what to look for. Nobody from NASA or the hoax debunker gang ever used that footage as evidence before 2001, as far as I know. The debate was always involved with Young’s jump, the loping astronauts, etc. It was so obscure that I have a difficult time imagining it being staged with wires or some other ruse.
Even though the video quality is poor (here is a clip of it from NASA), the event is unmistakable, and it confirms what Armstrong talked about in Apollo 11’s technical debriefing. Armstrong was the first to step onto and the last to leave the lunar surface during the Apollo 11 mission. In the frames presented above, Armstrong put his hands along the rail of the LM’s ladder to guide him, bent his knees, and leapt up the ladder. The step he landed on appears to be about chest height, or four feet above the lunar surface. One reason this excited me is that I was a jumping specialist in my youth. From about age 12, I became a jumping bean. I was a high jumper and javelin thrower in college, and was a student of technique. I could achieve about a standing 27-30-inch vertical jump in my best days. Today’s NBA stars, especially the great leapers, have around a 36-inch standing vertical leap. David Thompson, the legendary American Basketball Association star, had a 42-inch vertical leap. The man who holds the world record for the greatest height cleared above his head, Franklin Jacobs, who cleared a bar nearly two feet taller than he stood, had a standing vertical leap of 44 inches, which is about the greatest I have heard of (as of 2014, the Guinness world record is 46 inches). Nobody has ever leapt four feet high in a standing vertical jump on Earth, but Armstrong did as he leapt onto the LM. Not bad for a white guy in a space suit. They either played wire games, dressed up a monkey as Armstrong and the spacesuit was only made of cloth, and we are seeing a special effect that they totally wasted because nobody noticed, or he performed his leap in low gravity. I vote for the last option, and it is the “proof” that I sought for a long time.
The only rebuttal I have ever received for that evidence has been that it was staged with wires. There are several pieces of Apollo footage where the hoaxers stated it was evidence of wires. I have closely scrutinized all of that footage, and none of them are convincing evidence of wires being used. They are all apparently lens flares (reflecting off the astronauts’ antennas, for instance) or what are obviously “strange” movements that are easily explained as the effect of one-sixth-Earth gravity, which the Moon hoax theorists seem to keep forgetting.
That evidence puts to rest William Brian’s theory of high lunar gravity. It also collapses the debunker and NASA defender explanations about how heavy and restrictive the spacesuits were, which precluded any spectacular feats. The astronauts in later missions could have done even better, but nobody tried, partly because the backpacks shifted their center of gravity, and Armstrong had to touch a rail for guidance and leap forward (even adding to his feat of four feet of vertical distance, as he also moved a few feet forward). Armstrong said it was hazardous to jump straight up because of the unbalancing effects of his backpack. It is understandable why nobody on later missions bounded like stags through the lunar vacuum.
As Americans, we are brainwashed every day with all manner of lies. Regarding the Moon landings, at least, I feel that I know the truth. That “proof” has been far more fun to discover. For me, the notion that we may have faked the Moon landings has been laid to rest. It still was an effort dominated by the military establishment, and the current push by the USA to militarize space should make every human being shudder in terror. Every tyrant says that he acts in self-defense. We are playing with our self-annihilation in more ways than one.
In August 2001, I spent time with Brian O’Leary, trying to get the California governor interested in alternative energy, as his job was in jeopardy with the blackouts that California experienced in the winter of 2000-2001. It turned out that Enron and friends raped California, as hordes of “free market” bandits raided the coffers, which led to the governor losing his job to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The response from the bureaucracy was predictable, similar to what Dennis encountered over the years. I had little hope that the light bulb would go on in the governor’s head (we never got past his front office, and the governor’s energy advisers canceled a planned meeting with us at the last minute, in what became a famous encounter), but I went to hang out with Brian. Brian told me that the Fox program misrepresented his interview, excerpting ten seconds from a two-hour interview where they “ambushed” him with a camera crew, and their stated reason was to discuss the Face on Mars. Brian had some residual skepticism about the Moon landings themselves, but it was a small one. Seeing Armstrong’s leap seemed to remove Brian’s residual skepticism, and for a time he seemed certain that the Apollo astronauts in fact landed on the Moon, although I was never able to get him over the hump. He was not happy with how Fox presented his views, and it jeopardized his remaining relationships with his astronaut colleagues, Mitchell and Aldrin among them.
As I wrote this update in 2014, plenty happened since 2001 regarding the moon hoax issue and my relationship with Brian. In 2003, Brian asked me to help him found the New Energy Movement ("NEM"). Our first board meeting was in June 2003. I resumed my career the next month, and funded NEM for its first year. In 2004, the first speaker who committed for NEM's Portland conference was murdered during the same week that he made his commitment. Brian was spooked and immediately moved to South America, where he lived for the rest of his life. I resigned from NEM immediately after the conference and Brian was soon sidelined at NEM by a "rebellion" of the directors, including the rebellion's ringleader, who replaced me after I resigned. Because I left NEM honorably and kept writing on issues dear to us, Brian came back into my life after several years and I eventually became his biographer. With Brian's death, I have been freed to reveal some of why Brian always had some skepticism about the moon landings. Not many years after he left the Establishment and began investigating the frontiers of science, he snooped into the UFO issue. He was soon approached by the USA's military and was made an "offer" to do classified UFO work. Brian nearly died immediately after rejecting their "offer," and that incident ruined his health and shortened his life. All I have seen is derision from the moon hoax debunkers and other establishment defenders to Brian's posthumous revelation, but Brian had very good and intimate reasons to doubt the official versions of space events. It was far more than Brian being the "free thinker" that he mentioned in what truly became his "last word" on his opinions about the moon landings, written a few months before he died. He was genuinely afraid of retribution from the military if he disclosed his near-fatal encounter with it.
I had Brian write his "last word" in response to the difficulties that I was having with Wikipedia's "editors," who were having a field day with the moon hoax issue. Brian regretted that ten seconds from that Fox special for the rest of his life. It overwhelmed everything else about him. Pursuing free energy and Earth-healing is big stuff, to put it mildly, and Brian was dismayed that his public image was dominated by the moon hoax issue. Wikipedia's editor's erased my attempt to link to Brian's "last word," calling my site "not notable" enough, and I tried for the better part of a year to get some help in publishing his "last word" somewhere where Wikipedia's editors would not erase the link to it and allow it to be mentioned. I was quite disappointed that nobody from the space or moon hoax crowd, pro or con, would help me. I wanted the entire moon hoax issue to go away regarding Brian's biography, and in 2014, just before I was going to reach out to the astronaut corps directly on the issue, sanity prevailed, and a Wikipedia editor removed the entire moon hoax issue as "unsourced conspiracy text," which is a happy outcome for me. I hope that I never have to do battle at Wikipedia again over Brian's biography. I can easily live with how it stood in early June 2014.
Also, since 2001, and particularly when I still interacted directly with the public, I have been regularly approached by people who advocated faked moon landings. This is where my moon landing studies really paid off, as there was rarely anything that anybody approached me with that I had not already studied, and I never saw one new argument or "evidence" that was the least bit persuasive for supporting the idea of faked moon landings. It was almost invariably a recycling of previously analyzed "evidence" that fell apart under scrutiny. Occasionally, I would get a novel argument and I would send them Jay's way, and their arguments and evidence did not last long. I have not seen any credible arguments for faked moon landings since 2001, and in my opinion, images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter raise the bar pretty high for anybody making arguments for faked moon landings.
Possibilities Regarding the Apollo Anomalies
I would like to help raise the bar for the Moon hoax theorists to make a compelling case. First of all, they can explain Armstrong’s leap.
I have seen no evidence put forth by the conspiracy theorists that has stood up to scrutiny, as far as it helping to prove that we never landed on the Moon, although there are quite a few points on where I will agree with the conspiracy theorists.
With our national security state and its penchant for secrecy and record of fabrication and cover-up, nobody in the public can say for certain what really happened during the Apollo program. National security games were being played at NASA during the Apollo program. If these kinds of conspiracy musings are to be avoided in the future, the national security state needs to be dismantled. Dismantling the national security state, however, is far more important for the survival of the human species than it is to avoid the propagation of conspiracy theories.
Apollo whistleblowers may well have been murdered or silenced. Thomas Baron’s death is suspicious (and the disappearance of his 500-page report). There is reason for suspicion regarding the Apollo 1 fire, concern regarding Jim Irwin’s sudden death, and less violent suppression efforts directed toward people such as Bart Sibrel (him being silenced until his evidence was analyzed). The defense establishment has silenced or murdered many whistleblowers when it related to military matters, and the same defense establishment players built the equipment that went to the Moon. However, when I have encountered dead and silenced whistleblowers, it was usually for the understandable defense contractor motivation of money. Defense contractors do not want whistleblowers disclosing the fact that they made substandard equipment or were wasteful. The contractors could get disciplined, lose contracts and get a public black eye. Killing “big mouths” has been typical behavior in the defense establishment, and I am particularly aware of that kind of activity happening back during the Apollo days, while the very same defense establishment was committing genocide in Southeast Asia. They could have silenced whistleblowers but also taken their criticisms seriously and attempted to make their equipment better. Before Baron died, Major General Samuel Phillips was making observations similar to Baron’s, and issued his own report. Murdering a low level technician would have been a much easier task than bumping off a major general.
NASA played fast and loose in the editing room with its official movies, and their web sites cannot be relied on to always give the correct information. There are inconsistencies in the images, such as disappearing and off-center reticles, visor reflections and other anomalies that can appear suspicious, although none appear to be the smoking gun of faked footage.
There were definitely screw-ups that can lead to suspicion, such as the inconsistencies in calculating the neutral point in academia, but they have been more innocent errors than proof of a cover-up.
There were many substantial risks regarding the Apollo missions. They were awesomely dangerous undertakings. Moon hoax debunkers have agreed with me regarding NASA continually minimizing the problems overcome and the dangers faced. There was plenty of held breath at NASA during the Moon shots. Little about them was really “routine.”
The relatively hitchless nature of the Apollo missions, and the seemingly scripted nature of the Apollo 13 drama, can give one pause. It is awe-inspiring to ponder all the things that had to go right for the Moon landings to be successful, and when even Robert Seamans said that it was hard to believe that we went, for the Moon hoax theorists to have doubts is understandable.
The fact of no visible exhaust coming from the LMs during lift off appears strange, and the Moon hoax debunkers have had to invoke several phenomena to explain the situation. However, I think they are right.
The poor video quality of Apollo 11 on the Moon and the way the TV networks were forced to record it, lends itself to suspicion.
Hiring Nazis to help make the space program a reality (as well as staffing the CIA with Nazis) was one of history’s more disgusting instances of realpolitik, and the very Nazis that America hired demonstrated their ruthlessness and penchant for deceit numerous times during their Third Reich days. Nazi fabrications at the CIA greatly contributed to the Cold War tensions, and it is legitimate to wonder if von Braun and friends pulled some of their Nazi tricks out of their bag for NASA.
With our government’s penchant for secrecy, it is difficult to know just what really happened, but John Glenn's strange appearance on television, Gordon Cooper's and Ed Mitchell’s support for Steven Greer’s Disclosure Project, Brian O’Leary’s skepticism, Aldrin’s seemingly strange reaction to the footage that Bart Sibrel showed him, David Adair’s incredible testimony and so on, leads to legitimate suspicion regarding things not being as NASA would have them appear. Factor in strange events such as NASA giving the rights to Mars images to a private contractor, the Brookings Institute’s recommendation to hide signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life from the public, and there is plenty to be suspicious of.
However, although the above points can be compelling, they do not add up to NASA faking the Moon landings. They may have tried faking it if they felt they had to, but there are too many strong pieces of evidence that argue for legitimate landings, such as how the Moon dust behaved, aerodynamically clumsy objects flying horizontally for quite a ways and other things flying as if they were in a vacuum, and there is Armstrong’s leap to deal with. It has been tiring to watch the conspiracy theorists sift through the same worthless mine tailings over and over. Very little of the photographic analysis, such as shadows not running parallel, astronauts lit up in while standing in shadows, supposed differences between video and still footage, moving mountains and the like have stood up to the slightest scrutiny, and an area of evidence is easily and thoroughly explained, and then a new researcher presents the same evidence. That kind of behavior gives many of the Moon hoax debunkers, with more than a little justification, the feeling that all Moon hoax theorists are brainless, dishonest, or gullible. Regarding how both sides have behaved, I have this question: is the goal discovering the truth, or attacking or defending the establishment?
If we really landed men on the Moon and returned them to Earth using 1969 rocket technology, it was probably the technical achievement of all time. It was also extremely risky and foolhardy, and numerous dangerous activities were never tested in a real environment until men performed them in space and on the Moon. Why? To win a war that we started?
It is not crazy to doubt that men landed on the Moon, and it is hard to believe that NASA made it there and back with people. For instance, in an article posted to the Internet, written by Elizabeth Thomson, she described a talk where Neil Armstrong and Robert C. Seamans addressed an audience at MIT. Buzz Aldrin was also in attendance. Seamans was deeply involved with the Apollo program. Seamans and Armstrong talked at length about the various technical problems that were overcome to land on the Moon, especially regarding the Lunar Lander. Seamans put the Apollo feats in perspective when he told the audience, “Sometimes I have to admit that when I see the Moon coming over the horizon I find it hard to believe that it really happened." If one of the key technical members of the Apollo effort has a hard time believing it happened, how “unreasonable” is it for the conspiracy theorists to wonder the same thing?
If NASA faked landing on the Moon, the explanation that seems to hold the most water is that we had to make it seem as if we landed on the Moon in order to beat the Russians, gain national prestige (at least in our eyes), and make it by when Kennedy said that we would. It could have become a bureaucratic imperative, and they may have tapped the experiences and talents of Werner von Braun, Stanley Kubrick, and others to accomplish it. Also, if it was faked, relatively few people had to be “in on it.” Before the Apollo missions, there was a satellite put into orbit to beam admittedly fake data to NASA, to test its systems. It could have been the conduit to pump fake data to Mission Control. With the compartmentalization and other dynamics that are common to large governmental operations, people could have created a Moon set without knowing it was to be used for faking it, but for “realistic” training exercises. No conspiracy theorist argues that if the Moon landings were faked, many people were in on it. Few of the hundreds of thousands of people working on the Manhattan Project knew they were making nuclear bombs, and the true motivation for dropping nuclear bombs on Japan has only come to light many years later, thanks to declassified documents. Of course, in light of Armstrong’s leap, the likelihood of that scenario approximating reality is on the order of a small fraction of one percent, in my opinion.
Although I think that we landed on the Moon with human beings, I have little doubt that the powers that be were not above trying to fake it if they had to. In significant ways, the space race was a grotesque display of nationalism, where we made a big deal of planting the flag each time (it looks like Columbus in 1492) with the Stars and Stripes all over the Apollo equipment (did somebody think they might be Chinese astronauts?). In addition, I doubt that we are being told the whole truth about the Apollo program and its findings.
The Nature of the Moon Landings Debate
On both sides of the issue, the conversation is extremely polarized. On the conspiracy side, most of the Moon hoax theorists have not dealt with evidence in an evenhanded manner. Stridency, name-calling, glibness, and other deficiencies can readily be seen. Also, there is a bit of paranoia fueling their fire, although some have good reason for being paranoid. Some may be consciously dishonest, and there are also “provocateur” suspicions. Richard Hoagland has called David Percy a possible British intelligence agent. It might seem far-fetched, but with the Machiavellian workings of our system, it is possible that some Moon hoax theorists are trying to keep the controversy alive as a red herring to distract the public from considering the really important things that NASA is covering up.
On the debunker side there is also stridency, name-calling, condescension, and far too much of the style that characterizes the “skeptical” societies. They are generally better than the conspiracy theorists at sticking to the facts and dealing with them, and have a far better command of the science than most conspiracy theorists. Some have even put forth gentlemanly efforts at doing their debunking. They have, almost to a person, failed to seriously consider or comprehend why so many people think the Moon landings may have been faked. Virtually without exception, they attribute it to paranoid lunacy, idiocy, greed, or dishonesty. Although those may all be aspects of various conspiracy theorists’ motivations, Americans are lied to by the power structure everyday, from all directions, and at some level many people realize it. What most debunkers have in common is being part of the scientific establishment, which in America usually means being part of the military-industrial complex, and few in that arena have avoided absorbing the ideological indoctrination that belonging to that establishment entails.
The Big Cover-up
Whether the Moon landings were faked or not is a minor issue compared to what else may have been covered up: humanity is not alone in the universe.
Hand-in-hand with the military connection are “national security” and secrecy, with plenty of deception, which are wonderful tools for the self-servers who are running the world. In March 2001, there was a strange event on television. My wife was watching one of her favorite shows, Fraser, and John Glenn appeared and said:
“Back in those glory days, I was very uncomfortable when they asked us to say things we didn't want to say and deny other things. Some people asked, you know, were you alone out there? We never gave the real answer, and yet we see things out there, strange things, but we know what we saw out there. And we couldn't really say anything. The bosses were really afraid of this, they were afraid of the War of the Worlds type stuff, and about panic in the streets. So we had to keep quiet. And now we only see these things in our nightmares or maybe in the movies, and some of them are pretty close to being the truth."
It was bizarre, coming out of nowhere, not fitting into the show’s context. It was “funny,” not funny. It appeared that Glenn may have snuck in a disclosure in a forum where it could be passed off as entertainment. In his twilight years, that performance on Fraser could be considered a cousin to a deathbed confession. That event also perfectly fits a favored model of how the powers that be will begin disclosure, by first putting it in benign places such as TV programs and tabloids, under the rubric of entertainment. The veil of secrecy and “national security” virtually never protects national security.
What John Glenn was talking about is far more interesting than if humans have landed on the Moon or not. Brian's near-fatal encounter with the USA's military over the UFO issue removed any doubt I may have harbored that it was a topic only fit for the lunatic fringe. I know many people who have seen UFOs. Some have been taken aboard them, and I went and saw one for myself in 2005 and in subsequent years. They are very real. It is estimated that tens of millions of Americans have seen UFOs. I have spent many years looking at UFO evidence. There is a great deal of “unexplained” phenomena. It is even admitted today that the Air Force’s Project Blue Book was more of a disinformation effort than an investigation (Allen Hynek, who worked for Project Blue Book, admitted it), designed to discourage public interest in UFOs, rather than resolve the issue. In the Project Blue Book Special Report, it was admitted that more than 20% of the incidents remained unexplained by prosaic explanations, even when the game was rigged.
Government disinformation efforts confuse issues it does not want resolved. For an instance of relatively recent government disinformation, those two old men who claimed in the early 1990s to make all the crop circles were probably part of a British Intelligence operation. Immediately after an English tabloid broke the story, the mainstream media immediately and uncritically put it on the front page around the world. Try imagining any other story that a publication such as the Weekly World News would break that would be immediately broadcast on the evening news with Dan Rather, with zero investigation by the TV networks. It perfectly fit Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model of the media. Soon after those men made their “confession,” I heard a European UFO investigator talk about that event. When they tried tracing the story to its source, the trail passed through a tabloid, which broke the story, and led to a front organization for British Intelligence. It is the standard story. I will not deal with all the UFO evidence that I have seen over the years. There are plenty of resources out there for those who want to do the research.
The establishment UFO debunkers, the “skeptics” Philip Klass and James Oberg in particular, have not done their movement many favors with their behavior. UFO investigator Don Ecker once interviewed Klass on a radio show. When Klass gave one of his standard answers on an aspect of the UFO controversy, Ecker (one of the most personable UFO investigators out there) politely challenged him, and Klass yelled a stream of curses, which Ecker had to keep beeping off the air, as he asked Klass to please stop cussing. Klass then hung up on Ecker and the listening audience. Oberg has a little more class, but he is irascible. I have rarely seen him do any debunking work where he does not unleash an insult or invective at those who he is dealing with, and he can be gloriously wrong in his analyses. It is no accident that Klass and Oberg are both august members of the “skeptical” Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal ("CSICOP"). For those challenging the establishment on such issues, the road is rough.
There is plenty to be disturbed about regarding NASA. Most Americans do not know it, but NASA privatized the images coming back from Mars, giving the rights to Michael Malin’s company. NASA has been less than forthright regarding the Face on Mars issue. Malin and the Face on Mars crowd played cat and mouse over the data for years. In the early 21st century, a full image of the face was released, and NASA stated that it was a natural formation because it is asymmetrical. I still wonder. There are strikingly geometric aspects of the face and head. It could be ancient and eroded. Whatever the case may be, privatizing the Mars images not only is contrary to NASA’s charter, but also ridiculous. Imagine if NASA gave the rights to the Moon rocks to the contractor who built the LM. Giving Malin rights to the Mars images, because his company provided the camera, amounts to the same thing. It is outrageous, but passes in silence. If the NASA defenders want more credibility with those who are skeptical of NASA, taking on that issue might give them some, instead of the standard apologetics. Oberg wrote an Op Ed in USA Today (April 24, 2001) where he complained about NASA’s increasing penchant for secrecy. If even Oberg made that observation, it is difficult to deny.
An impressive strategy to try resolving the extraterrestrial issue was the Disclosure Project, run by Steven Greer. How can anybody argue with waiving the national securities laws so that people can tell what they know? What kind of “nuts” did Greer have lined up to testify? One of them was Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper. Greer’s co-chair for the secret Congressional hearings was Apollo 14’s Ed Mitchell. There are also high-ranking members of government who want to testify. So far, the American government has stonewalled the effort and Greer was forced into doing it outside the official channels. The situation speaks volumes about our system’s legitimacy. Greer’s book Extraterrestrial Contact confirms most of what I am aware of regarding UFOs. It is well worth reading.
Edwards Air Force Base in California is prominent in UFO lore. A famous meeting supposedly happened there in 1954. Several alien craft landed at Edwards Air Force Base, and had an “open house,” allowing scientists to crawl over them. President Eisenhower was there, as allegedly were representatives of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds. Many years ago I read an account by a scientist who supposedly attended that meeting. He wrote that the scientists examining the craft had strange expressions. There we were, the most powerful and most technologically advanced nation on Earth. We were full of national pride, thinking that we were so smart and powerful. As they examined the craft, those scientists realized that we were not far removed from the cave. The scientist who wrote his account was sympathetic toward those bewildered scientists, as their intellectual edifices crumbled. His account reminded me of the Brookings Institute’s report to NASA in 1960, where they warned that the scientists might be the group most threatened by the discovery of extra-terrestrial beings of superior intelligence. One event that Cooper wanted to testify to was when his squadron filmed a landed UFO at Edwards Air Force Base, which Cooper was certain was not of earthly origin.
For many years I have read accounts of UFO encounters and activity, as well as how our government dealt with it, and the surrounding milieu. There is far more to the situation than just the nuts and bolts of UFOs. Greer has talked to heads of state about the UFO situation, briefing the CIA director as well as the White House. There apparently is virtually no hostile intent from the ETs. Most extraterrestrial civilizations with representatives on Earth are of benevolent intent, trying to help us get over the hump. We are playing with destroying ourselves, but they cannot violate the Prime Directive (Star Trek is not that fictional). A fair number are neutral, and some are of less-than-benevolent intent. As Creation has apparently been designed, like attracts like, and the power hungry people who run our country have generally interacted with negatively oriented extraterrestrials. The benevolent ones have tried interacting with our governments, but all that our power structure wants are new weapons and technologies of domination. The benevolent ETs will have no part of that, so the people who run our planet (called the Sinister Secret Government by Zoosh, the World Management Team by others, which I call the Global Controllers, and they are related to the various secret societies that have tried running things from behind the scenes for millennia) end up dealing with the “bad” aliens.
Greer confirmed the kind of story that Philip Corso wrote of, and others who have come forward. Apparently, our high tech revolution has the aliens to thank in some measure. Part of the technology was given to us, but a lot of it is from reverse-engineering captured alien craft. One of the more startling revelations of Greer's book is that the world’s governments are not even in charge. The UFO situation began falling out of Eisenhower's grasp when he was President, which may be partly why he warned about the military-industrial complex becoming too powerful when he left office. By the time that John Kennedy got into office, he not only had no control over the situation, he could not even find out much about it. Other presidents after Kennedy have tried finding out more about it, Carter and Clinton for example, but they ran into the brick wall of supranational security. For the people running the show, American presidents are irrelevant, left out of the loop, and do not even know where the loop is. The group in control of the UFO situation is largely composed of a variety of private corporations, largely the same defense contractors who built the equipment for NASA to go to the Moon. Isn’t that interesting?
Technology has come a long way since the Apollo days, and the spooks apparently have the technology to create Star-Trek-like Holodeck experiences, where those subject to it think they are experiencing actual events, but it is virtual reality. Sound crazy? Try getting into their secret areas to find out, as Barry Goldwater did. Would they be “above” foisting such technologies on us?
The famous shuttle STS-48 footage, in which a ground-based weapon at the super-secret Pine Gap base in Australia apparently shot at a nimble UFO, is also a situation that Greer’s sources confirm.
There is even a Marilyn Monroe connection. Greer obtained an alleged CIA document that came from a wiretap on Monroe's telephone. In a document dated two days before her death, she talked on the phone about JFK having a private viewing of a crashed ET spacecraft and dead alien bodies, and she threatened the Kennedys that she would hold a press conference and “tell all.” Maybe that had something to do with why she and Kennedy were killed.
Greer was a medical doctor before he became involved in trying to bring the extraterrestrial situation into public awareness, and was admittedly rather naïve about many things when he began his quest. One area where I disagree with him is where he cautions the Secret Government against making public free energy and antigravity technology. I have seen virtually no evidence that the people running the show have any benevolent intent towards the human race. If there is any benevolent intent, it is related to the benevolent intent that a farmer might have for his cows. He wants to keep them healthy because after milking them for years he eventually slaughters and eats them. My free energy adventures have shown me that free energy is not suppressed because of fears of war, but people protecting their wealth and power. If the self-selected “illuminated ones” (called “Illuminati” in one of the group’s incarnations) had benevolent intent at one time, it long ago became corrupted, largely because of playing with dark path tactics of secrecy and deception, playing at being the elite, and light workers eventually became dark workers. But elites have always been self-serving above all else, going back to the first civilization. Humanity is doing a fine job of destroying our planet by suppressing clean, renewable energy and other Earth-friendly technologies.
Free energy does not have to come from alien technology. Humanity’s energy problems have little to do with technology, per se, but with our degenerate spiritual condition, where greed becomes a virtue, winning is everything, we have great national pride (greed and pride are two of the seven deadly sins), and many think if they tell a lie often enough, it makes it true. As a species, we are locked into our third chakra (power). The fourth (the heart) is waiting to be awakened. Jesus was a forerunner of where we are headed, if we choose to go there. The emotionally crippled condition of Western men is one symptom of our malaise. We may not awaken in time to avoid our self-destruction as a species. It is up to us. The answers are here, if we care to pursue them.
After I finished the first draft of this essay, Greer assembled 20 witnesses who talked on May 9, 2001 in Washington D.C. The 20 witnesses were apparently the best Greer could come up with, for those who were willing to talk without getting national security laws protection. They were almost all ex-military personnel. Only one of them said that they had actually seen an alien in the flesh. The others talked about tracking UFOs in planes and similar events. The witnesses with the best testimony apparently will not talk until they get protection. Greer did the best that he could with what he had, and there is some reason for optimism, but the media dismissed the testimonies as maybe those witnesses did not see what they thought they saw, even when most witnesses stated that they were told not to talk about what they saw. The “it will waste congress’s time” angle was again used. Is it worth waiving the national securities laws so that astronauts and generals can testify to what they have experienced?
 See Dennis's description of that offer and his rejection in The Alternative, p. 20.
 See Michael Parenti's Dirty Truths, pp. 172-191. America’s radical left made their ideology explicit after the World Trade Center attacks of September 2001. See Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert’s “Conspiracies or Institutions? - 9-11 and Beyond”, in Z Magazine, July/August 2002, pp. 3-7.
 A photograph of Gary, with his partner pointing to where the bullet hit his belt is in Gary Wean’s There’s a Fish in the Courthouse, facing p. 114.
 In Anthony Summers's Conspiracy (p. 144-145) he reported a conversation with Victor Marchetti (the first CIA employee to go public with criticism of the CIA; Ralph McGehee was the second and perhaps last to do it “legally”), where he asked Marchetti if he knew anything about the ONI espionage operations against the Soviet Union. Marchetti was an expert in Soviet affairs, as the CIA had recruited him out of college in 1955, where he had majored in Soviet studies. Marchetti responded with:
"At the time, in 1959, the United States was having real difficulty in acquiring information out of the Soviet Union; the technical systems had, of course, not developed to the point that they are at today, and we were resorting to all sorts of activities. One of these activities was an ONI program which involved three dozen, maybe forty, young men who were made to appear disenchanted, poor, American youths who had become turned off and wanted to see what communism was all about. Some of these people lasted only a few weeks. They were sent into the Soviet Union, or into Eastern Europe, with the specific intention the Soviets would pick them up and 'double' them if they suspected them of being U.S. agents, or recruit them as KGB agents. They were trained at various naval installations both here and abroad, but the operation was being run out of Nags Head, North Carolina."
Marchetti described Oswald almost exactly. Significantly, the night that Oswald was arrested after JFK's death, he tried twice to call a man named "Hurt." His calls were intercepted and disconnected by the jail, possibly at the direction of the Secret Service. Apparently Oswald was trying to call a man in North Carolina, in the Nags Head vicinity, and the Hurt in question was probably a military intelligence man.
 See Gary Wean’s There’s a Fish in the Courthouse, pp. 579-594.
 See Gary Wean’s There’s a Fish in the Courthouse, pp. 591-592.
 See, for instance, Richard Gilbride's Matrix for Assassination.
 See Gary Wean’s There’s a Fish in the Courthouse, pp. 354-356.
 See Gary Wean’s There’s a Fish in the Courthouse, pp. 567-572.
 For background on this situation, I recommend Andrew and Leslie Cockburn’s Dangerous Liaison or Noam Chomsky’s The Fateful Triangle and his other works.
 For more evidence of this tale’s possible veracity, in the early 1990s I read a news item about Marilyn Monroe’s former home in Los Angeles. The people who bought her house discovered that the crawl space above her bedroom was filled with a jumble of wiring, which was probably related to surveillance equipment. Whether it was the CIA’s wiring, the Mafia’s, or somebody else’s is a mystery, but somebody knew what was happening in Marilyn’s bedroom.
 The first was from the notes of Hollywood investigator Fred Otash, which surfaced in 2013, and in 2014, an alleged movie of the Kennedy brothers and Marilyn Monroe in a threesome was going to be auctioned to settle the debts of bodyguard William Castleberry (the tape was seized from him), and just before the auction, an anonymous party settled the debt and the tape was pulled from the auction. Otash allegedly made the movie. Lawford's home arises in conjunction with the story.
 See Noam Chomsky’s The Fateful Triangle, especially pp. 13-17.
 See his brilliant arguments in his A Little Matter of Genocide.
 It is easy to find plenty of information on Plumlee and Nagell. In both instances, their military bona fides are easily proven, and as of 2014, Plumlee had testified under oath to federal committees on four separate occasions. Warren Commission defenders have labored mightily to discredit those men, but so-called "attention-seekers" would not have testified under oath four times to federal bodies, with the testimony still classified in 2014, and gotten away with it, much less been called back repeatedly. The Warren Commission's defenders have tried to portray Nagell as a mentally-ill attention seeker, but he "coincidentally" died just as investigators contacted him, just like David Ferrie and George de Mohrenschildt did. The Warren Commission's defenders seem to be great believers in coincidence. When I see them rely on CIA declassified documents to make their cases, I rarely see any of them seriously question how genuine and sanitized the documentation is.
 See James Bamford’s Body of Secrets, p. 82, in the chapter titled “Fists.”
 See William Blum’s Killing Hope for a summary of those American interventions.
 See James Bamford’s Body of Secrets, p. 83.
 James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable, p. 101.
 See James Bamford’s Body of Secrets, p. 89.
 All nationalism is a false consciousness, which fictionally invests the peoples of a political jurisdiction with unique virtue. It is an appeal to human egotism, in order to manipulate people. Such a tactic has always been used by ruling classes to manipulate the masses, usually into supporting violence against those in the out-group. The masses always have to be deceived/enticed/coerced into doing the elites’ dirty work. If there is any trend of history that can be called a “law,” it may be that one. When people begin taking their power back, and see themselves (and everybody else) as sovereign, divine beings, in their in-group, that game will end.
 Oswald was seen just before and just after the assassination. Carolyn Arnold saw Oswald in the second floor lunchroom 15 minutes before the assassination, eating lunch, and saw him on the book depository’s first floor only five minutes before the assassination. He was seen in the lunchroom two minutes after the assassination, by a few people. The “sniper’s nest” was on the sixth floor. See the timeline in Fetzer’s Murder in Dealey Plaza, for instance.
 Perhaps the greatest work of fiction in my lifetime is the Magic Bullet’s tale. The official story is that the military-jacketed round was fired by Oswald’s rifle, entered JFK’s back, exited his throat, entered John Connally’s back, made several wounds and shattered bones, to somehow lodge in Connally’s clothing, to be found in virtually undamaged condition on an unused stretcher in Parkland Hospital. The so-called "chain of custody" for the Magic Bullet is extremely shaky, with the usual FBI alterations and fabrications around what was very likely planted "evidence." A mere two pieces of evidence readily collapse the Magic Bullet theory. In order for the bullet traverse JFK’s back and exit his throat, it would have had to pass through the bones of his spine (see David Mantik’s diagram in Fetzer’s Murder in Dealey Plaza, p. 3). If it hit bone, there was no way for it to have exited JFK’s body without leaving a very messy exit wound (and even if it did not hit bone, its exit would not have been a “clean” one), and shattering, as the bullet that supposedly hit JFK’s head (the next bullet fired) did. In the infamous “Stare-of-Death” autopsy photo of JFK (See Harrison Livingstone’s High Treason 2, the photo section after p. 432), on the lower edge of the wound made by the emergency tracheotomy, the edge of the bullet wound can clearly be seen, and it is a clean, circular wound, as would be made by an entrance wound, not an exit wound (the doctors who saw it at Parkland described it as an entrance wound). The shattering, tumbling bullet that supposedly passed through JFK’s spine could not have made that wound. In addition, the back wound was probed during the autopsy and it shortly ended, not passing through his body. That is only a small part of the evidence that contradicts the Magic Bullet’s amazing story. People with ballistics backgrounds have long told me how ridiculous the Magic Bullet’s tale is. Gary named Arlen Specter, the author of the Magic Bullet theory, as one of the Jewish mobsters who helped interpose Hunt's scheme as well as helped cover it up.
 See the timeline in Murder in Dealey Plaza, edited by Jim Fetzer. It brings up pieces of evidence that contradict the official series of events. It is hard to know just what might be the true series of events regarding Oswald’s movements between the assassination and his capture little more than an hour later.
 James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable, pp. 14-16.
 The list of evidence that has disappeared, been destroyed, or is still classified, is vast. For a sketch of the pieces of crucial evidence that have disappeared, consider the following: still pictures and film taken by witnesses of the assassination in Dealey Plaza, bullet fragments found in Dealey Plaza, bullet fragments removed from John Connally’s body, as well as fragments removed from JFK; Lyndon Johnson ordering JFK’s limousine cleaned out mere minutes after the assassination, which thereby destroyed a great deal of evidence; the Minox camera, the negative to 133-A, the fourth backyard photo, JFK’s brain, and one doctor burning his notes from the JFK autopsy. That is a minimal portion of the list of missing evidence. Then factor in the many strange and/or sudden deaths of witnesses and others connected to the possible conspiracy, and the holes in the JFK evidence are gaping.
 See the Warren Commission Report, "Appendix XI - Reports Relating to the Interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald at the Dallas Police Department; Report of Capt. J. W. Fritz, Dallas Police Department; Interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald".
 Gerald Posner's Case Closed, p. 344. Then again, Posner may have not solved the mystery. Posner was notorious for fabricating and misrepresenting the evidence that he presented in Case Closed. See, for instance, Jerry D. Rose's "The Deadly Smirk and Other Inventions", "One Dozen 'Posnerisms'" by the editors of The Assassination Web, and see this archive. That Posner produced deeply flawed scholarship is fairly easy to discern, and he was caught in serial plagiarizing in his subsequent work, which cost him his job. More important was how the media establishment uncritically embraced his work, when the same establishment mercilessly derided Oliver Stone’s JFK movie before it was even released. The establishment did not embrace Posner’s work because it had any merit, but because it told the story that the establishment wanted told. Posner also exonerated the government in his next book about the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, and he performed similarly.
 See Jim Fetzer’s Murder in Dealy Plaza, pp. 324-360. See the analysis on John McAdams’s site, a page titled “Bogus Conspiracy Photo Experts” and the sub-link “Was Mary Moorman Standing in Elm Street?” I have to side with the analysis that McAdams presents. White apparently made a significant error in his reconstruction, and it defeated his thesis that Mary Moorman was standing in the street when she was taking pictures of the motorcade while JFK was being shot.
 See Harrison Livingstone’s High Treason 2, p. 464. Robert Groden, who had what is widely believed to the best cache of photographic materials on the JFK assassination, had his home burglarized and his material stolen in 1999. This is a common theme in the JFK milieu, and the suspicion that people working for the real assassins have been tying up loose ends (or the CIA and FBI covering their tracks), is not easy to dismiss.
 HSCA Report, Testimony of Calvin S. McCamy. Cecil W. Kirk was the other expert witness to testify regarding the backyard photographs. The HSCA discussion and conclusions are published in Volume VI of their report.
 See Anthony Summers’s Conspiracy, p. 212, for instance. Gerald Posner makes a number of mildly plausible attempts to explain the situation in his Case Closed.
 For instance, Carlos Hathcock, the senior instructor at the Marine sniper school at Quantico, led an effort to reproduce Oswald’s feat at Quantico, reproducing the firing angle, the range, the moving target, the timing, and every nuance of the official scenario, and made many attempts to reproduce Oswald’s feat. The Marine’s best marksmen could not reproduce Oswald’s feat. Craig Roberts, a professional sniper himself, authored Kill Zone and interviewed Hathcock, who said:
"Let me tell you what we did at Quantico…we reconstructed the whole thing: the angle, the range, the moving target, the time limit, the obstacles, everything. I don’t know how many times we tried it, but we couldn’t duplicate what the Warren Commission said Oswald did. Now if I can’t do it, how in the world could a guy who was a non-qual on the rifle range and later only qualified ‘marksman’ do it?"
According to Israeli Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky, Mossad also attempted to reproduce Oswald’s feat, with the best equipment and people, and deemed Oswald’s feat “impossible.” See, for instance, Fetzer’s Murder in Dealey Plaza, pp. 42-43. See Michael Griffith’s account of Oswald’s shooting feat and attempts to reproduce it.
 See, for instance, M. Wesley Swearingen’s FBI Secrets, written from the inside, as was Ralph McGehee’s Deadly Deceits. See also Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall’s trilogy of Cages of Steel, Agents of Repression and The COINTELPRO Papers. See also William Blum’s Killing Hope and Rogue State, Noam Chomsky’s Deterring Democracy and many of his other works.
 See, for instance, a summary of “realist” theory in The Perils of Anarchy, edited by Michael Edward Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, and Steven E. Miller, pp. ix-xxi. See Howard Zinn’s response to realist theory in his Declarations of Independence, pp. 9-31. I consider the “radical” position far more explanatory than the realist position.
 See Gary Wean's There's a Fish in the Courthouse, pp. 189-195.
 See Jonathan Vankin and John Whelan's The 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All-Time, pp. 119-127. See Rodney Stich's Defrauding America, pp 435-463.
 See Rodney Stich's Defrauding America, p. 440. Lisa Featherstone and Peter Rothberg's "Suicide or Murder?" Lies of our Times, November 1991, pp. 5-6. See Jonathan Vankin and John Whelan's 50 Greatest Conspiracies of all Time, pp. 119-127.
 See Jonathan Vankin and John Whelan's 50 Greatest Conspiracies of all Time, pp. 288-294. See Bo Gritz's Called to Serve, pp. 583-587.
 Rodney Stich's Defrauding America, pp. 580-583.
 See Rodney Stich's Defrauding America, pp. 69-78.
 See Ralph McGehee's Deadly Deceits, pp. 1-16.
 For a sampling of the witnesses, their experiences and their credentials, see Steven Greer’s Extraterrestrial Contact, pp. 355-359.
 See Timothy Green Beckley and Arthur Crockett's Prophecies of the Presidents, p. 115. See Timothy Good's Above Top Secret, pp. 404-405. See also Steven Greer's Extraterrestrial Contact, p. 468.
 See the transcript of David Adair's Art Bell Show appearance in The Sedona Journal of Emergence, February 1998, pp. 26-39. A transcript may be available from Art Bell's organization.
 See Jim Garrison's On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. 160-168. See Gaeton Fonzi's The Last Investigation, pp. 191-192.
 See Russell Bowen's Immaculate Deception, pp. 67-94. See Rodney Stich's Defrauding America, pp. 235-262. See Jonathan Vankin and John Whelan's 50 Greatest Conspiracies of all Time, pp. 165-173.
 See Bo Gritz's Called to Serve, p. 497.
 See Poelchau and Philip Agee's White Paper Whitewash. See also William Blum's Killing Hope, pp. 352-369.
 See discussion in Harrison Livingstone's High Treason II, pp. 403-407. Although Wallace was running as a Democrat in 1972, if he had not won the Democratic nomination, he might have run as an independent again. He ran for president again in 1976.
 See discussion in Harrison Livingstone's High Treason II, pp. 421-433.
 Ford proposed the Magic Bullet theory when he served on the Warren Commission, helped out by Arlen Specter, who has had a highly successful political career after concocting the Magic Bullet theory.
 See Ellen Ray’s “Noriega, Torrijos, and the CIA,” Lies of Our Times, February 1990, p. 10. See the letter from Graham Greene, in Lies of Our Times, March 1990, p. 3. See William Blum's Killing Hope, pp. 453, 306.
 See William Blum's Killing Hope, pp. 305-314.
 See Alexander Cockburn’s "Through a Glass Darkly", Lies of Our Times, November 1991, pp. 12-13.
 See Gore Vidal's United States, Essays, 1952-1992, pp. 857-883.
 See Jonathan Vankin and John Whelan's 50 Greatest Conspiracies of all Time, pp. 325-331. The more orthodox interpretation is Jack Jones’s Let Me Take You Down.
 See Jonathan Vankin and John Whelan's 50 Greatest Conspiracies of all Time, pp. 332-337. Gritz, Called to Serve, pp. 548-550.
 See Bo Gritz's Called to Serve, pp. 492-554.
 See Epperson, The Unseen Hand, pp. 151-163.
 Moon's sphere of influence = (Moon's mass/Earth's mass) to the 0.4th power multiplied by the distance from the Earth's to Moon's centers. (See Orbital Motion, equation 12.1, p. 371)
Using a mass of 1/81 of Earth and 230,000 miles, the calculation is as follows:
(1/81)0.4 x 230,000 miles = 39,658 miles.
 See Richard Lewis's Voyages of Apollo, p. 116.
 Rockets work by controlled explosions. The entire principle behind conventional rocketry is the violent reactions that expand gases. The fuel reacts and burns in controlled fashion and the gases expand in one direction: out of the rocket nozzle. An explosion is simply a quick expansion caused by a violently quick chemical reaction. The reaction causes a great increase in temperature, which makes the gases expand, hence the gases issuing from the rocket. The quick reaction and explosive expansion of the hot gases is accompanied by light given off, which is because some of the radiation given off makes it into the visible spectrum of light. The quicker the reaction, the hotter it is, and the more light produced, such as the difference between “red hot” and “white hot.” Not all the electromagnetic radiation given off is in the spectrum of visible light, and different substances give off light in different frequencies. All the same, the hotter a reaction is, the more electromagnetic radiation it will produce. Burning a piece of wood is a quick release of energy that the Sun slowly gave to the tree over many years. The hypergolic fuels used in the Apollo missions were used for two reasons. One reason is that if the fuel exploded on contact, no ignition system would be needed, which brings up the second, more important, reason. The fuel on the Service and Landing Modules had to be lifted into space first. Therefore, the more “efficient” the fuel was (i.e., the more explosion per pound of propellant), the better it was to take aboard the Service and Landing Modules. It meant that less fuel would be needed to send it into space. The hypergolic fuels used on the Service and Landing Modules were the most powerful propellants that NASA had. They created more powerful explosions than the fuels used in the earlier stages. Thus, they burned at a greater temperature, which would have made the light given off relatively even greater than the earlier stages, in theory. This footnote was corrected by Jay Windley, who said that the spectrum of light given off by different fuels would be different for each fuel, and a fuel that burned hotter would not necessarily look brighter than a colder one, because of the spectral properties of each substance. He is right. Even though the hotter a reaction is, the more electromagnetic energy given off, it may not be in the visible spectrum, and the tendency of giving off of electromagnetic radiation will vary from substance to substance. Jay also presented an image of the exact fuel used in the LM ascent stage, and it did look fainter than other fuels, but not close to invisible. Jay said that it took him significant time and research to finally explain the lack of visible exhaust plume to his satisfaction, and it could look anomalous even to rocket scientists, until they had done some homework.
 See Mary Bennett and David Percy's Dark Moon, pp. 325-330.
 National Geographic reported that in its December 1966 issue. See Mary Bennett and David Percy's Dark Moon, pp. 503, 529, n. 26.
 A close relative of mine was a whistleblower in the Department of Defense. Long ago, during the Apollo era, he was on a project where a defense contractor was supplying timing equipment for an oceanographic project. They were similar to atomic clocks, but Mickey Mouse watches would have been adequate. He had seen prodigious waste in the Defense Department before (such as $500 million studies that nobody would read, stacked in a warehouse, collecting dust), but that one got him more bothered than usual and he began making noise. He eventually got some attention, and the government did not buy those extraordinarily expensive timing mechanisms, and used the equivalent of Mickey Mouse watches to get the job done. It saved the government about $400 million. When it came time to award the whistleblower, my relative’s boss stepped up and said that it was his doing. My relative’s boss received the highest award that a civilian can receive, directly from the American president; he also received a check for about the equivalent of two years’ wages, and an annual annuity, and my relative got zero. No recognition, no money – that is typical defense establishment behavior. In fact, his superiors scuttled his career. My relative was fairly early in his career, and was rather naïve. Years later, as a defense contractor tried recruiting him, the issue of that instance of his whistleblowing came up, and the contractor told him that he was lucky to be alive. For saving a $400 million contract, the contractor said, quite a few defense contractors would have had him murdered. He was lucky. As my relative’s career progressed, he began seeing instances of how other whistleblowers were silenced. In one case, a federal magistrate disappeared, Jimmy Hoffa-style, as he was about to render an unfavorable ruling regarding a defense contractor. I am not a deeply connected insider, but I know whistleblowers.
In the late 1990s, a friend testified in a whistleblower lawsuit. Back in the 1980s, he worked for a defense contractor in Silicon Valley, and they built some famous equipment that was used in Desert Storm. He was a computer programmer and analyst, and developed an accounting and inventory system for defective parts. There is plenty of red tape involved in government cost-plus contracts. The contractor needed to account for their defective pieces (they would be paid for them). They would build an assembly for the equipment. If during inspection the assembly was found defective, it was put it in a defective bin. A book-to-physical reconciliation, in which the accounting system will say there should be 100 items on hand, and the items on hand are counted, to see if there really are 100, assesses an accounting system’s accuracy. That defense contractor had production deadlines and other pressures, which were typical situations in manufacturing processes, except that the customer was the government, so it really did not have to work all that well (if you have been in the business, you know what I mean). They would periodically run out of parts, but they had deadlines to meet. So, somebody would sneak back to the defective bins, remove the defective assemblies, and put them into the equipment. When it would come time to account for the defective pieces, they would be short. An engineer began complaining. He knew that they put out defective product because of that practice (and others), and overcharged the government.
That engineer was fired and blackballed from the industry. He was an early case of why there are whistleblower laws today. My friend no longer worked for the defense contractor when the situation began making the news, but he followed the events. In Silicon Valley and other defense industry havens, the marketing practices were a little unusual, but not that unusual, if one has been in the corporate world much. A local house of prostitution was hired by the defense contractor to service the many Pentagon officials that came visiting. Probably all the local defense contractors periodically hired that establishment, with “the best girls in town.” I saw similar things in the trucking industry, and they were minor leaguers compared to the defense establishment. Just as a stink began brewing over the ruckus that the whistleblower was making, and just as eyes began being focused on a certain house of prostitution, the madam disappeared. My friend watched what happened and stayed quiet for several years.
Some sense of justice prevailed in that case. The original whistleblowing engineer received restitution and waged a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the taxpayer against the defense contractor, asking for more than $1 billion in damages. It became a high profile case and is easily researched. I will not name names here. Naming names is what gets people in trouble. With enough of a spotlight on the situation and a defense contractor backed up a few steps, after a bunch of soul-searching and dealing with genuine fear, my friend contacted the engineer’s legal team. He was willing to testify about what he saw, how he developed the accounting system, and how the defective parts inventory came up short and why. In normal courtroom situations, surprise witnesses are rarely used, but each side knows who is going to testify. When my friend’s name was put on the witness list, he no longer lived in California, but lived about 1,000 miles away. Suddenly, a private investigator for the defense contractor began beating the bushes hard in my friend’s neighborhood. The investigator found my friend’s brother’s ex-wife, in a distant county, trying to dig up dirt. He contacted my friend and told him what he was doing. It was obviously intended to intimidate my friend. I have been in kangaroo court before, and public officials tried intimidating me as I testified. I counseled my friend on what he could expect, and fortunately they did not try to intimidate him on the witness stand. They probably did not find anything to use against him. The whistleblower won the lawsuit, but such situations are rarely resolved to the plaintiff’s benefit. The defense contractor usually assigns a team of lawyers to appeal the ruling indefinitely, and they quite possibly will never part with a dime in damages from the ruling. That is how it works most of the time, if it even gets to the point of a favorable ruling.
The most depressing aspect of whistleblowing, however, is not that their employers try silencing them and ruining their lives (it is part of their “job”), but that their friends and colleagues disown them and ostracize them for speaking up, because it “rocked the boat.” The crime of the whistleblowers has even been called “committing the truth.” In whistleblowing circles, that is the most dismaying part of their experience. Many whistleblowers were driven over the edge not because how their employers treated them, but how their friends and families did.
 See Lillian Kozloski’s, U.S. Space Gear: Outfitting the Astronaut, p. 81.
 See William Brian's Moongate, p. 69.
 See William Brian's Moongate, p. 78.
 See Lillian Kozloski’s, U.S. Space Gear: Outfitting the Astronaut, pp. 91, 96.
 See William Brian's Moongate, pp. 209-212.
 Reading Kozloski’s U.S. Space Gear does not lend evidence to Brian’s suspicion, as the A7L suits weighed in the range of other suits like it.
 See Dennis Piszkiewicz's The Nazi Rocketeers: Dreams of Space and Crimes of War, p. 167.
 Probably the best account regarding the post-war hiring of the Nazis, and what it cost America, is in Christopher Simpson’s Blowback.
 See Christopher Simpson’s The Splendid Blond Beast, especially pp. 217-231.
 See Frank Winter’s Rockets into Space, for a discussion of those early days of rocketry.
 See Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, pp. 37, 283. Schlosser relied on Tom Bower’s The Paperclip Conspiracy (see pp. 214-232), which chronicled, using declassified documents and interviews, Strughold’s activities in covering up the human experiments performed at Dachau for the Luftwaffe. The Strughold/Haber story is one of hundreds like them, of Nazi scientists brought into the USA because of their usefulness, and if their research was performed on involuntary human subjects, the Americans were only too willing to look the other way. There is no doubt that all the scientists working with Strughold were either aware of the human experiments that formed the basis of their research, or performed the experiments themselves. The experiments were mainly involved with the effects of high altitude and cold.
The experiments included throwing people into ice tanks and monitoring their deaths, often with thermometers put into their orifices, along with heart monitors, etc. The high altitude experiments often were performed by putting Jewish prisoners from Dachau (hundreds died in those experiments) into a state-of-the-art decompression chamber. If the prisoners survived, they were then killed and dissected.
Operation Paperclip and related programs protected hundreds of Nazi war criminals from prosecution, and if Haber did not perform the experiments himself, his papers written with Strughold were based on the findings of those experiments, and everybody working with Strughold knew full well who the experimental subjects were. Strughold became such an American hero that a library was named after him in Texas. Jewish groups protested, and Strughold has been dealt with fairly harshly by posterity. Haber merits similar treatment.
 Those quotes can be found in David McGowan’s Derailing Democracy, pp. 194-195.
 See, for instance, Werner von Braun, et al.'s Space Travel: A History, or Frank Winter's Rockets into Space.
 See Richard Lewis's Voyages of Apollo, p. 212.
 See Lawrence Maisak's Survival on the Moon, pp. 133-136.
 See William Brian’s, Moongate, pp. 75-78.
 At about that time, they took still frame AS11-36-5337.
 Such as Sibrel’s third day image and NASA frame AS11-44-6674, according to my calculations, or images AS11-44-6672 and 6673.
 See Armstrong’s statement in the Apollo 11’s crew in the technical debriefing on July 31, 1969, in Robert Godwin’s Apollo 11: The NASA Mission Reports, Volume Two, p. 89.
 Richard Hoagland and Oberg squared off on the STS-48 space shuttle footage. If you have not seen that footage, seeing it before reading this is advisable (in 2014, these were the best analyses that I saw: 1, 2). The STS-48 footage is the single most spectacular piece of evidence I have ever seen regarding UFOs. The footage was taken in 1991 by the space shuttle Discovery, by a camera that was pointing at Earth. What is seen is a point of light that appears near the horizon of Earth, apparently many miles above the Earth's surface. It moves in independent fashion across the Earth. Its appearance and movement alone are strange. For about 15 seconds the object crosses the screen, then a flash lights up the sky. Instantly, the object makes a greater-than-90° turn and launches itself into space, away from Earth. The movement is spectacular. The object can be seen for about ten seconds after its turn, and dims slowly as it leaves Earth behind.
A few seconds after the object made its turn, something that looked like a shotgun blast came ripping up through the atmosphere, almost exactly where the object made its turn. By all appearances, it looked like a ground-based weapon shot at an intelligently piloted craft, which dodged the shot. That is exactly the kind of situation that Don Corso wrote about. It is exactly the kind of activity that Steven Greer wrote about, in which highly placed officials have admitted that we are shooting at alien craft, and have even shot some down. Even the high officials think that the “cowboys” who are shooting at non-hostile alien craft are not only stupid, but are endangering the human race if they make the aliens angry.
The implications of that footage are profound. One reason the footage is so spectacular is that there is no debate regarding its authenticity. The footage was beamed down-to-Earth and seen live. A college student first obtained the footage from NASA's link, and nobody has disputed the authenticity of the video, unlike nearly all the other UFO images that have been obtained under a wide array of circumstances during the past fifty years.
If objects in the footage are the distances from the camera that they appear to be, which is many, many miles, nobody can laugh at tales of UFOs again. Richard Hoagland has publicized the Face on Mars controversy more than anybody else. Hoagland also presented image analysis that promotes the idea that artificial structures are on the Moon. Hoagland belongs to the school of thought that believes that UFO's are likely Earth-based craft, made by humans, by military or quasi-military organizations. Hoagland theorized that the footage may have recorded a test of Star Wars technology on a drone craft controlled by human beings. In late 1998, I saw Hoagland present more shuttle footage that caught a similar “energy beam” event coming from South America. Something strange is happening up there.
The "shotgun blast" may have been a much-improved variation of admitted Star Wars technology. The "blast" appeared to be moving hundreds of miles per second. No officially admitted earthly technology can fire a projectile that fast. The Star Wars technology could apparently fire a projectile at up to 15 miles per second. In Corso's The Day After Roswell, he described technology that is exactly like that "shotgun blast," and he wrote that the whole Star Wars program was designed specifically to shoot at extraterrestrial craft. Hundreds of miles per second is far beyond what has been made public. A craft that made that sudden turn and acceleration is far, far beyond anything that our government has admitted to having. The turn and acceleration produced G-force and acceleration numbers that blow the mind. The calculations show that the object was moving at Mach 73 (about 53,000 miles an hour) before it was shot at. After the "muzzle flash" the craft instantly turned and flew away at Mach 285, for a G-force acceleration of 14,000 G's. The most an astronaut has ever experienced is less than ten G's. That kind of nimble maneuvering has been described by thousands of people who have seen UFOs. Subsequent analysis of the tape determined that the object was near the Pine Gap military base in Australia when it was shot at. Pine Gap is a super-secret American military base in the Australian outback, a perfect spot for such an awesome, ground-based weapon to shoot at UFOs. (See Graham Stewart's "'Star Wars' over Australia?", Nexus, April-May 1996, pp. 55-56.)
Hoagland published his analysis. He ventured the opinion that the video records a Star Wars test against a drone. Hoagland had his reasons for thinking that all we were seeing was our own handiwork. Hoagland also theorized that the structures on Mars and the Moon are ancient ruins. He has always been reluctant to admit that there might be "aliens" among us. I tend to believe that the shuttle footage recorded a pot shot taken at an extraterrestrial craft. If we are seeing earthbound technology, it may well have been borrowed or stolen from extraterrestrials.
The point of this discussion is contrasting the work of Hoagland and Oberg. Hoagland produced his analysis and made note of possibly related issues, such as NASA ending its policy of producing live, unscrambled footage from the shuttle, immediately after the STS-48 mission. Oberg then produced a rebuttal to Hoagland. Oberg's rebuttal has been published on the Internet. Any analysis of that shuttle footage must deal with the two most spectacular events on it: the sudden turn and acceleration of the "craft," and the "shotgun blast" ripping through the atmosphere right behind it. Looking at the footage is necessary to understand the nature of Oberg's analysis.
Oberg worked for NASA, and like Klass was a prominent "skeptic" and august member of CSICOP. Oberg and Klass were the two most prominent UFO debunkers in the "skeptical" movement. Oberg's analysis is quite technical regarding the footage and space shuttle telemetry when it was taken. He made the case that the footage shows not a craft flying hundreds of miles away over Earth, but ice crystals a few feet from the shuttle's camera. He also made the case that the "ice crystal" made its incredible turn and acceleration not due to intelligent piloting, but it was blown that way by the firing of one of the shuttle's stabilizing rockets. That flash in the sky when the "ice crystal" turned was not the muzzle blast of Star Wars technology, but the flash of the rocket firing.
Oberg stated that the event was not occurring hundreds of miles away, but is a remarkable illusion caused by ice crystals and a firing rocket. It was a debunker performance at its finest. Most of Oberg's points have been rebutted by Hoagland and independently by Dr. Jack Kasher, but what blew me away was what Oberg did not see fit to discuss. Again, there are two dramatic events within seconds of each other: a dramatic turn and acceleration of the "craft" and the "shotgun blast" that was apparently fired at it. In order to explain away the entire event as an illusion, both have to be explained away as a remarkable series of coincidental illusions. With all the technical talk by Oberg, he did not even mention the "shotgun blast." For his in-depth "analysis" to completely ignore the blast, while giving reams of technical data on ancillary items, makes it a shockingly poor exercise in debunking. Watch the video and then read Oberg's explanation. His explanation collapsed of its own weight. In addition, image analysis expert Dr. Mark Carlotto published an analysis of the STS-48 footage in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 45-63, 1995. It is also available on the Internet. Carlotto made the case that what we see in the footage is not debris near the shuttle blowing by a rocket blast, but something in the distance, just as it appears to be. Jack Kasher also performed an intense analysis of that footage. NASA has published its debunking of the footage, and after STS-48, they immediately and “coincidentally” stopped allowing the public to see live shuttle footage, to protect the astronauts’ privacy.
Apparently Oberg eventually heard enough about his "critique" that he published an addendum to his explanation. He stated that the "projectile" was an ice crystal that followed the "rocket blast," blown out by the blast and following the other "ice crystal." For one thing, those two coincidental ice crystals move in decidedly different directions, which is questionable if they were both propelled by the same rocket blast. Another thing is that the second crystal suddenly appears in the middle of the field of vision, looking exactly as if it came up through the atmosphere, hundreds of miles away. If it really were an ejected ice crystal, it would not suddenly appear in the middle of the screen, but appear in the left corner and progress across the screen. Similarly, the first "ice crystal" can be seen moving away for about ten seconds, getting progressively dimmer as it appears to move far away from Earth. Oberg's explanation does not account for that, among other anomalies.
Also, there was a second projectile that moved across the sky when the obvious one did. There were other "ice crystals" during that event that also made strange movements, appearing as if they were other intelligently piloted craft reacting to the Star Wars show. Oberg also defended NASA's new policy of delaying and scrambling its footage, and came up with another rationale for government secrecy in a supposedly public agency.
Oberg could not help himself from launching inflammatory words while debunking the footage. I have rarely seen a debunking performance that did not call its target names, seriously question their state of mind or motivation, or make glib jokes at their target's expense. Oberg used words of certitude when critiquing Hoagland, using words such as "invalid," "false" and "wrong," when Oberg only had a difference of opinion, garbing himself in the mantle of rectitude while making his critique. In Oberg's essay, he inserted comments when describing Hoagland's critique, such as "I have checked with a NASA Public Affairs official, and have personally verified, that things (as usual) are not quite what Richard Hoagland alleges." In defending NASA's new secrecy policy, Oberg finished up with "Outside of avoiding whines about censorship, there's no reason to do so."
I might be gentler regarding Oberg's analysis if I had not seen similar examples of his craft. Many years later, I was on the receiving end of some of Oberg's debunking, and it was as shabby as I have seen, and he did not even perform minimal homework. Oberg was one of Sagan's comrades in their dubious debunking effort on the Sirius-Dogon mystery. For another instance of Oberg's efforts, an interaction with Charles Ginenthal will suffice. Ginenthal may be the most vigorous defender of Immanuel Velikovsky's theories. I originally stumbled into Velikovsky's work and the field of catastrophism by reading Ginenthal's Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky when I was tracking Carl Sagan's debunker career. I have gotten into catastrophism since the mid-1990s, and have read about 10,000 pages of material from all sides of the controversy. Even some of Ginenthal's pro-Velikovskian comrades have called Ginenthal an apologist for Velikovsky.
The catastrophic issue is vast, and the Velikovskian thesis is so broad and interdisciplinary that it would take many years of study to effectively evaluate. His work delved into seemingly unrelated areas such as mythology, ancient history, archeology, geology, space probe data, physics, astronomy, dendrochronology, glaciology and a host of disciplines. It is not a thesis for quick study artists. Velikovsky's theories exercised Einstein's brain. Most catastrophists do not believe Velikovsky's planetary billiards scenario of near misses between Earth, Venus, Mars and the Moon, but much about his related theses are not easily dismissed. I took up catastrophic theory as a hobby, getting sucked in far deeper than I had originally intended. I was merely tracking Carl Sagan and slipped into an area that I originally had no intention of pursuing. In the study that I performed for my 2014 essay, I decided that any hypothesis that denies or minimizes human-agency in the megafauna extinctions is quite dubious, and that includes the catastrophist explanations that I have seen, which is a big strike against catastrophic theory, as far as catastrophes in the Holocene Epoch, in my opinion.
I doubt that anyone can be an "expert" in all the areas that Velikovsky tackled, including Velikovsky. Many things often taken for granted in modern physics and cosmology, such as the Big Bang, the nature of the Red Shift, how the planets and galaxies formed, the nature of gravity and electromagnetism, the accuracy of dating methods such as carbon dating and dendrochronology, etc., are subject to enduring controversy.
Leroy Ellenberger has been Ginenthal's harshest critic for years. Ellenberger used to be in the Velikovsky camp and an assistant of Velikovsky's before he died in 1979. Ellenberger left the Velikovsky camp during the 1980's and has been the harshest critic of those pursuing his theories ever since. Leroy and I have corresponded many times as I investigated the nature of the controversy. Leroy was quite helpful and cordial with me, although he is merciless in his derision of Ginenthal and other Velikovskians. I will not comment on Leroy's work except to say that Tom van Flandern told me that he thinks part of Leroy's rage has something to do with the verve of an apostate. Henry Bauer stated the same thing in one of his books.
Ginenthal published his own journal that he named The Velikovskian. In the first issue of The Velikovskian, published in 1993, Ginenthal wrote an article titled "The Moon in Upheaval," which delved into Velikovsky's theories about the rough time that our Moon has had in recent history. Ginenthal responsibly fished for "expert" responses to his work, and Oberg penned a response to Ginenthal's article on the Moon. Ginenthal published Oberg's response, along with his response to Oberg in the fourth issue of The Velikovskian. I cannot say for certain how much Oberg or Ginenthal were "right" in their debate, but I could assess some of it. My point is not about who was right, but how the scientific establishment reacts to fringe work such as Ginenthal's.
Oberg again could not contain himself from making snide comments regarding work he criticized. For instance, Ginenthal made a case for explosive projectiles from Io's surface. Oberg's response was:
"The middle paragraph, on page 73, is probably the worst example of confusion and misrepresentation, of arrogant ignorance, of classic pseudoscientific illogic. It refers to Io's 'tidally-induced volcanic explosions,' which eject surface matter upward at 3000 (feet per second). 'In one second, a motionless body sitting on Io's surface will have been struck by a force of such power that will be ejected upward to a height of 3000 feet.' First, some high school physics student should tell Ginenthal that a body starting at zero and winding up at 3000 (feet per second) in one second will travel only 1500 feet in the first second, not 3000 feet."
That was not unusually caustic commentary for Oberg.
Oberg's attack on Ginenthal would be bad enough, with his insult about high school physics students showing Ginenthal how wrong his analysis was, and how wanting was his understanding of rudimentary physics. On that issue of those hypothetical projectile velocities, Ginenthal was correct, and Oberg dead wrong. To attack somebody as Oberg did was indefensible, but for his critique to also be gloriously wrong takes it to another level.
In his haste to insult Ginenthal, Oberg apparently forgot to think through the problem. For the kind of hypothetical projectile that Ginenthal theorized, the projectile would leave the ground at 3,000 feet per second. Oberg incorrectly assumed that the projectile would begin accelerating from a velocity of zero at ground level, accelerating like a race car for the next second, and only reaching the 3,000 feet per second velocity after accelerating for a second, and therefore traveling only 1,500 feet in that first second. That high school physics student could have told Oberg the result of that thought experiment.
That kind of thought experiment can be tricky, and there have been many problems like that published over the years in brainteaser books. It is a deserving problem to think about for a high school physics student, but most students would derive an approximately correct answer, not Oberg's wrong one. For Oberg to get it wrong is no great crime, and shows that he does not always think things through, and how our scientists are not immune from coming up with wrong answers on relatively easy questions such as what the "muzzle velocity" would be for that hypothetical projectile. The invective Oberg unleashed came back at him 100-fold.
Instead of firing back at Oberg in kind, Ginenthal enlisted George Talbott to compute that distance traveled in one second by that hypothetical projectile. Talbott performed a rigorous calculation while cautioning his readers that it is not as easy as it looks, and many scientists can come up with the wrong answer if they are not careful. Talbott calculated a distance of 2,997 feet in that first second (The Velikovskian, Vol. 1, No. 4, p. 21.). Talbott then made observations about the nature of the "scientific" criticisms of Velikovsky's work over the generations. Oberg's performance was not unusual when criticizing Velikovsky's theories or his followers.
 See Steven Greer's Extraterrestrial Contact, p. 359.
 See Steven Greer's Extraterrestrial Contact, pp. 313-315.
 See Steven Greer's Extraterrestrial Contact, p. 455.
 See Steven Greer's Extraterrestrial Contact, pp. 32-35.