By the late James M. Collier

 In 1994, Victoria House Press in New York received a manuscript titled "A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to the Moon." Its author, Ralph Rene, a brilliant lay physicist who had studied Bill Kaysing's thesis (see July issue) that NASA faked seven Apollo moon shots, wanted it published.

 Since I had written the investigative report "Votescam: The Stealing of America," (Victoria House Press) they asked me to investigate Rene and his manuscript to determine the credibility of both.  "I read Kaysing's book 'We Never Went to the Moon'", Rene told me, "and although it was compelling, it lacked technical details, a grounding in physics that would convince scientists, beyond a doubt, that America never went to the moon."

 Rene was positive that NASA had pulled off the hoax of the century.  "NASA didn't have the technical problems solved by l969 when they launched the first moon shot," he insisted, "but I believe they couldn't admit it or they'd lose thirty billion dollars in taxpayer-money."

 I read Rene's manuscript and although I understood basic physics, I couldn't immediately assure the publisher that Rene's assertions were scientifically accurate. Least of all, I couldn't assure them that we didn't go to the moon.  I needed time.

 So what began as simple research turned into months at the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress in Washington and the United States Archives. Surpisingly, precious little had been written about the Apollo missions except standard "puff" pieces in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

 Then my research turned to Grumman Aircraft in Beth Page, New York. Grumman built the Lunar Module (LM), that unwieldy looking craft that never flew on Earth but supposedly landed safely on the moon six times. I asked for blueprints detailing the scientific thought behind its design. Did it run by computer? If so, who built the computer? What made Grumman engineers think it could fly?

 Grumman told me that all the paperwork was destroyed. I was stunned. The LM historical paperwork was destroyed!? Why!? They had no answers.  I turned to Boeing Aircraft in Seattle. They built the Lunar Rover, the little car that NASA claims traversed the moon on Apollo missions15-16-17. NASA claims it was transported to the moon in a five-foot high by six-foot wide, triangular corner section of the LM. (The LM's bottom section was basically a tic-tac-toe design with nine sections. Five sections were squares with the four corners being triangles).

 But my research indicated that the Rover was at least six feet too long to fit into that corner compartment, thus making it impossible to ever get to the moon.

 Next was the National Air and Space Museum in Washington and the Johnson Space Center in Houston where I video taped an actual LM. Here research indicated that the crew compartment and hatches were too small for the astronauts to actually enter and exit. After taking the video footage I challenged NASA to prove that two six-foot astronauts, in ballooned-out pressure suits (4-psi in a vacuum) could either get in or get out of a LM.

 Trying to understand how the moon acquired a ten-foot layer of top soil without wind, rain or water to erode the volcanic-crystaline surface, I spoke to a geologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

 Much of my time was spent just trying to mentally picture the physics of light and shadows, jet propulsion and solar radiation, because most of what NASA was claiming about the moon shots — and what was supposedly discovered on the moon — appeared to be diametrically opposed to present text book physics.

 Anyway, I was knee-deep in all this research, when Rene became impatient and decided to self-publish his book. He changed the title to "NASA Mooned America".  I, however, had been hooked.  But now there wasn't a book to research. I was left hanging, questions plaguing my mind. Questions that neither Kaysing nor Rene entertained.

 Their research had led me into a scientific wonderland, filled with possibilities. What was I going to do? I had been thrown out of a great movie and I'd never know how it ended.  I decided to continue the research. I proposed a book to the publisher titled "Was it Only a Paper Moon?" and I promised it by 1998.

 * * *

 I started with the technical problems NASA faced in outer space. In fact, I discovered there are two separate zones out there, an inner space and an outer space, and that fact eventually became very significant in my research.

 It appears that humans are most likely operating in inner space (the space lab) but outer space, beyond the Van Allen radiation belt, the magnetosphere, 560 miles up, may be too deadly to enter due to solar radiation. If that data proves to be true, Earthmen could not have gone to the moon and returned without some signs of radiation poisoning, cell damage and DNA alteration, and most likely, death from cancer.

 The first concern I faced when I started to write the book was my own public credibility. After all, I was the person who told the country (Votescam) that their votes were being rigged by a cartel of powerful elite, including the owners of major media in America.

 Now I found myself investigating the possibility that we didn't go to the moon. "You've got to be nuts," said my friends. "First you told them the vote is rigged and now you question whether we went to the moon!? They'll hang you Times Square!"

 So I decided to test the waters with several talk-radio shows in the Midwest. Most of the callers said they never believed we went to the moon in the first place. Others protested that I was doing the station and myself a disservice for even bringing up the subject. They argued that I shouldn't malign "those great American heroes, the astronauts."  What could I say to these people? I wanted to explain that I not only sympathized with their point of view, but that at one time I had shared it.

 It wasn't easy being the Cassandra of the airwaves, telling people what they definitely didn't want to hear. Half of me wanted to be proven wrong, but the other half had both hands on the tail of something that sure looked like a duck and quacked like a duck. The last time that happened, the duck turned out to be an expose of computer vote rigging in the United States. As an investigative reporter, I just couldn't let go of that damn duck.

 One enraged listener said that the eagle-feather and hammer that astronauts simultaneously dropped on the moon, was an experiment proving there was no atmosphere on the moon's surface. That person was definitely angry, convinced that I didn't understand basic physics.

I explained that the experiment wasn't done to prove the absence of atmosphere, but to prove that an eagle feather and a hammer would both fall at the same rate of speed because the moon has gravity (1/6th a strong as Earth's).

 "On Earth," I said, "they would both fall at 32-feet per second-per second.

 The caller actually started to holler. "No, no, an eagle feather will float down on Earth and the hammer will fall faster. On the moon there is no air so they both fall at the same speed!"

 I told him to get an eagle feather and try it. It's Galileo's law: no matter what the weight of any two objects is, they will both fall at the exactly same speed. In the final analysis, I had tested the waters by doing radio and found that although they were hot, they wouldn't burn me alive. There were still scores of calls from listeners who encouraged me to continue the investigation.

 * * *

 Then, a funny thing happened on my way to writing that book. I was trying to use words to describe the strange visual phenomena that I saw in NASA photos and videos. Those provocative images are the first evidence that people investigating NASA use to draw you into the fray. "You won't believe this NASA picture," they say, and the tantalizing hunt for clues is forever on.

 It was then I realized you had to see it to believe it. Those NASA pictures were supposedly taken on the moon's surface, but the lighting from the only available sources, the sun and reflected Earth-light, seems all wrong. It is too soft, appearing more like a Disney studio photo; soft pastels and diffused light.

 How could there be diffused light on the moon?

 Earth's atmosphere takes light and bends it, spreading it around objects. Light reflects off air molecules and lights up the dark sides of objects. It is atmosphere, bending the sun's light, that makes the sky appear to be blue. However, on the moon there is no prism of  atmosphere to diffuse or bend light so the sky is totally black.

 On the moon, the sun's light should be blinding. In fact, the astronauts wear gold tinted face plates on their helmets to cut down 95-percent of the light from the sun.

 The dark side of objects in NASA photos should be pitch black, while the lit side should be hellishly bright. Yet, all NASA photos from the moon are softly lit, and they appear to be taken in Earth's atmosphere.


 If NASA film footage was actually taken on the moon, then it would be a tremendous scientific story. One would expect new physics books trumpeting an incredibly new physical reality: atmosphere has nothing to do with diffusing light! Therefore, and forever thereafter, a new scientific principle would be taught in schools: where there is no atmosphere, light will react exactly the same as light in atmosphere. What was wrong in the world of science? Why were the scientists silent about such an important discovery? Why was the major media mute on the subject?

 I called Kodak, in Rochester, NY, the company that supplied the film for the Hasselblad cameras the astronauts used on the moon.  "At what temperature does film melt?" I asked.

 "One hundred and fifty degrees."

 But NASA video and film prove the astronauts to be on the moon's surface when the sun was at high noon; the temperature was +250 F. degrees.

 "The film, in the uncooled cameras would melt," Kodak said.  So the duck was quacking.

 * * *

 When I realized that everything I was trying to describe with words was strongly visual, I decided to commit the research to a video tape instead of a book.

 "Was it Only a Paper Moon" video was released in Spring 1997. It contains a 90-minute unbroken chain of circumstantial evidence that, if not refuted by NASA, proves we could not have gone to the moon. I feel this evidence demands Congressional hearings.

 In following articles I will describe in detail all the astonishing evidence that is still seeking an answer: Did NASA indeed pull the hoax of the century?

 * * *

Footnote: James Collier died of cancer in September 1998.

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