What did the Apollo 11 crew see while on their way to the moon?

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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9/26/05: ... Verified as fact by "Buzz" Aldrin, an unsolved UFO seen by astronauts Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin on their Apollo 11 flight to the moon [continued]
http://www.cohenufo.org/unsolved.html#aldrinapollo11

See in particular the videos on page two. It is claimed that this case is not resolved.

I was aware of the story but never saw the video or the specific claims made by Aldrin, which can be seen on the show cited: "First on the Moon: The untold story". It aired today on the Science channel.

Perhaps this has been explained since the show first aired last year?

Edit: I just noticed in the video linked that they say "an object filmed...like this one filmed on a later mission". That complicates things a bit.
 
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  • #2
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I was watching somthing about that last night on the secience channel and I was going to start a new thread about this.

My Grand father use to work for NASA he even met Dr. Von Brown(I don't think that how you spell it) I think he might of been in misson contorl at the time so I'll ask him about it.

But what I think it might be is that it was probally some derbie or somthing like that just somehow was going towards the moon.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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I managed to record the show and will post the text from Aldrin's statement a little later. Funny enough, he specifically mentioned that they - Aldrin and Armstrong - played this down a bit for fear that any implication of aliens would result in the mission being cancelled.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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Three days and 200,000 miles into the flight of Apollo 11:

Buzz Aldrin said:
There was something out there that was close enough to be observed, and, but what could it be?

Mike decided, he thought he could see it in the telescope, and he was able to do that. And when it was in one position it looked like a series of ellipses, but when you made it real sharp, it was sort of L shaped. That didn't tell us much.

Obviously the three of us weren't going to blurt out, "hey Houston, we've got something moving along side of us and we don't know what it is". You know, "can you tell us what it is". We weren't about to do that, uh, cause we know transmissions would be heard by all sorts of people, and who knows that they might have demanded that we turn back because of aliens, or whatever the reason is. So we didn't do that. We just cautiously asked Houston, how far away was the S-IVB?

[mission control: "Apollo 11, Houston. The S-IVB is about 6000 nautical miles from you now, over".]

And a few moments later, they came back and said something like, it's 6000 miles away - because of the maneuver. And we really didn't think that we were looking at something that far away. So we decided that after a while of watching it, it was time to go to sleep, and not to talk about it anymore until we came back - in debriefing.
The next morning, it was gone.

From "First on the Moon: The untold story".
 
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  • #5
Mech_Engineer
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Ivan Seeking said:
http://www.cohenufo.org/unsolved.html#aldrinapollo11

See in particular the videos on page two. It is claimed that this case is not resolved.

I was aware of the story but never saw the video or the specific claims made by Aldrin, which can be seen on the show cited: "First on the Moon: The untold story". It aired today on the Science channel.

Perhaps this has been explained since the show first aired last year?

Edit: I just noticed in the video linked that they say "an object filmed...like this one filmed on a later mission". That complicates things a bit.
Probably a piece of debris that fell off of the spacecraft during maneuvering and/or stage separation. The fact that these "UFOs" were seen on more than one mission suggest this also, since the missions go through the same maneuver/separation procedures.

The case is probably "unresolved" because they couldn't specifically identify which piece of the spacecraft it was.

The fact that it was only seen for a while and then "disappeared" a day later suggest it was very slowly floating away from the ship (perhaps even rotating, creating a strange reflected light pattern), and at some point was finally too far away to see any more. My gues, this floating space junk eventually made a nice little crater in the moon.
 
  • #6
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Mech_Engineer said:
Probably a piece of debris that fell off of the spacecraft during maneuvering and/or stage separation. The fact that these "UFOs" were seen on more than one mission suggest this also, since the missions go through the same maneuver/separation procedures.
it has been a few months since I saw the special- but I seem to recall that the debris explanation was IMMEDIATELY ruled out becasue debris could not make course corrections and match the speed/heading of the capsule as was observed- obviously if there was even a minute chance that it COULD be debris it would have never been an issue and we would have never heard about it-

my guess: it was a probe form the future- built by a grad student who will try to prove to one of his friends that the moon landing wasn't a hoax- look for the same type of probe near the grassy knoll in the Kennedy assasination footage :tongue:
 
  • #7
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setAI said:
it has been a few months since I saw the special- but I seem to recall that the debris explanation was IMMEDIATELY ruled out becasue debris could not make course corrections and match the speed/heading of the capsule as was observed
Well, the capsule doesn't make any course corrections once it has launched out of earth orbit towards the moon, and any debris that broke off AFTER the capsule is heading towards the moon would have the same heading/speed (which is when the debris was observed, yes?). So while it may have had the appearance of following the spacecraft, chances are invariably in favor of it being just space junk. Let me reiterate: similar sigtings occured on multiple Apollo missions, yes?

On another note, was this seen before or after the command capsule had docked with the lunar lander?

As for it being "IMMEDIATELY" ruled out as space junk, I doubt there was sufficient evidence to do that. This show sounds like the B.S. show Fox aired about the faked moon landing.

setAI said:
obviously if there was even a minute chance that it COULD be debris it would have never been an issue and we would have never heard about it
Kind of like there is no credible evidence that the moon landing was faked, yet people keep posting claims and questions to the contrary? That is a VERY minute chance, yet we hear about it all the time. This sounds like a "festering" conspriacy theory similar to faked moon landings and bigfoot. I would say that there is only a minute chance that it was ANYTHING BUT debris from the capsule, not the other way around.
 
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  • #8
DaveC426913
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I would say that there is only a minute chance that it was ANYTHING BUT debris from the capsule, not the other way around.
Not that I want to weaken the case against hoaxes, but the above is kind of circular logic. It's tantamount to saying:

"It is highly unlikely to be a bona fide sighting of ET phenomena because, frankly, bona fide ET sightings are highly unlikely."
 
  • #9
Ivan Seeking
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Not that I'm about to defend the ET explanation for Aldrin's story, but on the point of likelihood: It hit me one day that we can't say how likely an alien encounter might be. It may be any of inevitable, completely impossible, or something in between. If, for example, civilizations tend to exist long enough to allow the evolution of technology that makes intersteller [or temporal...] travel practical, it may be unavoidable that we encounter travelers. They may even seek us out, as we do they with our radio telescopes. We can say that it seems highly unlikely based on what we know now, but without a unified theory, and without knowing the true odds that other more advanced civilizations can exist, it seems to me that the odds as we think of them are really just a guess.
 
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  • #10
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DaveC426913 said:
Not that I want to weaken the case against hoaxes, but the above is kind of circular logic. It's tantamount to saying:

"It is highly unlikely to be a bona fide sighting of ET phenomena because, frankly, bona fide ET sightings are highly unlikely."
I understand the point, and it is a valid one, so allow me to elaborate: I have been given no incontrovertible proof that this "sighting" was anything extraordinary. The assumption that something seen in space with the APPEARANCE of following the ship does not autmatically lend itself to being an alien encouter, although this deduction is obviously being made-

setAI said:
...the debris explanation was IMMEDIATELY ruled out becasue debris could not make course corrections and match the speed/heading of the capsule as was observed...
The argument here is that the astronaut's ship is maneuvering about, rather like a fighter in Star Wars, and the "UFO" is following them. However this lends a false reality to how the ship is flying and when the sightings took place. In reality, the ship achieves a stable orbit around the Earth, and when the time is correct fire the next stage which launches the ship towards the moon. Once this burn is complete, they are on a straight shot to the moon and require little to no course corrections. Therefore, any debris that fell off of the ship after this burn will just follow the ship's trajectory between the Earth and the Moon.

During the trip between the Earth and Moon, after the burn launching the module out of Earth's orbit, there is some maneuvering that takes place where the protective panels covering the lunar lander are blown off (read: debris) and the command module turns around to dock with the lunar lander. I made the point that if the 'UFO" was sighted after this occured, chances are that the sighting was nothing more than a piece of debris resulting from these maneuvers.

In the end, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I have seen NO proof, let alone extraordinary amounts of it. However, Ivan Seeking has presented the strongest evidence against the possibility of it being an E.T. encounter:

Ivan Seeking said:
...I just noticed in the video linked that they say "an object filmed...like this one filmed on a later mission". That complicates things a bit...
The fact that similar encounters occured on multiple flights is strong evidence that a piece of debris gets slowly launched from the capsule during the lunar lander docking operation, giving the appearance of a "UFO" that is following them, when in fact it's just a piece of metal that fell off of their craft and has a very similar velocity to their own.
 
  • #11
DaveC426913
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The fact that similar encounters occured on multiple flights is strong evidence that a piece of debris gets slowly launched from the capsule during the lunar lander docking operation, giving the appearance of a "UFO" that is following them, when in fact it's just a piece of metal that fell off of their craft and has a very similar velocity to their own.
Agreed. But (now don't misunderstand - I completely agree that this is a mundane event) those astronauts are not hicks from the farm, debris from the vehicle would have been the very first thing they would have concluded too. I mean duh, it's not like debris would have caught them by surprise.

So it makes me wonder what it is that led them to think this was a mysterious event. After all, not only are they first-person witnesses, but they're also the most qualified to make the analysis.

Frankly, it seems kind of an exercise in futility for us to analyze an event that has surely been diluted and corrupted from the original report.
 
  • #12
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the ET explanation doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in this case- even if the object was clearly observed as something artificial with manoevering ability [which apperently was not the case- just inert mass]- long before ET's get blamed I would think that the RUSSIANS would have been a more likely culprit- or a private sector interest- as unlikely as those scenarios are they are still orders of magnitude more probable than aliens
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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The real problem here is that we don't know how far away the object might have been so we can't know how large it may have been. What was not clear to me was whether or not ANY detail could be observed without the telescope. Was this just a light in the distance, and if so, can we completely rule out the S-IVB? Might the first stage be seen if it was reflecting sunlight? Would it be possible to see the first stage as described, at 6000 miles, through a telescope? Of course we know nothing about the scope used either.
 
  • #14
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DaveC426913 said:
Not that I want to weaken the case against hoaxes, but the above is kind of circular logic. It's tantamount to saying:

"It is highly unlikely to be a bona fide sighting of ET phenomena because, frankly, bona fide ET sightings are highly unlikely."
By the way Dave, I have to commend you for pointing out the formal logical fallacy in my argument which I originally had overlooked. I think a lot of the arguments in this section especially (and others, the P&WA section could benefit from a little more logic) would be far more effective with a little thought into making formally logical arguments and avoiding all of the wishy-washy calls to emotion and personal attacks.

For some reason I am strongly drawn to logic, I really should have taken more philosophy classes in college :biggrin:
 
  • #16
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Bad Astronomy said:
In fact, this thing has been identified. It was one of the panels from the booster rocket that separated when the crew went into their lunar trajectory.
Thank you. Exactly what I was saying.
 
  • #17
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What if they saw somthing that appered to be closer then they it seemed like. I know that can happen while it's dark with objects in the sky.
 
  • #18
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Well, I know that it can be very difficult to estimate long distances to an object in space optically (without laser rangefinding), especially if you don't know the object's dimensions. But, I get the feeling this topic has concluded itself.
 
  • #19
Ivan Seeking
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Thanks Phobos.

I wonder why Aldrin wasn't quoted directly by Plait.
 
  • #20
Ivan Seeking
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I had a chance to read the BA site and the debunking is pretty weak. First of all, we have nothing but hearsay coming from someone who says that that he talked with Aldrin, but never quotes him. This sort of thing is not acceptable even as anecdotal evidence. Next, it is alleged that the object was identified, but all that I saw was that there was a possibility that this is what they saw. Without further investigation or justification, I hardly think this can be cited as a fact.

Personally, based on my experience with debunkers misquoting people and misrepresenting information, I would like to hear directly from Aldrin what exactly was said and what was agreed upon. From what Aldrin said, nothing more was discussed that evening, so what part of the conversation was omitted? Was this discussed in the debriefing and everyone agreed at that time? And wouldn't this all be in an official report somewhere if it was officially identified; esp since it apparently got the astronauts a little worked up?

I'm sure it was the panel as stated, but the debunking is barely more than rumor and assumptions.

Note also that they obviously saw something, so this is more about an explanation than a debunking. It is possible that the show is being debunked for misrepresenting Aldrin's statement.

Interesting note: It would seem that Plait otherwise likes The Discovery Channel.
 
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  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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Last night on Larry King, Buzz Aldrin addressed this publically.

...ALDRIN: We saw one of the four panels, the 99.999. And these are three guys who have flown in space twice and have looked out at the stars and all sorts of things...
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/13/lkl.02.html

The context was that in the end, they were 99.999% confident that they saw one of the panels.
 

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