Never A Straight Answer
A Book Review of
NASA Mooned America
by René, 31 Burgess Place, Apt B, Passaic, New Jersey 07055, $25pp

Review & Commentary by Thomas J. Brown

Long has Earth’s Moon been a source a mystery and puzzlement, as well as an inspiration for love and art. It is also the source of vital life rhythms. It has been mankind’s dream to touch this strange world, for some simply to discover and explore, for others to exploit. It is now pretty much accepted as common knowledge that the U.S. government’s N.A.S.A. has sent manned craft to the Moon, and that they have landed thereon. But wait, not everybody is buying the official story! What’s up?

There have been many books questioning the official story of a dead Moon, visited only by a few handpicked humans catapulted there in fancy tin-cans. Not necessarily in order of appearance, some of these titles are: Somebody Else is on the Moon by George H. Leonard, who claims huge mining machines are moving about on the lunar surface; Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon and Secrets of our Spaceship Moon both by Don Wilson, who claims that the Moon is a giant artificial spaceship and is still inhabited; The Moon: Outpost of the Gods by Jean Sendy, who claims that extraterrestrials used the Moon as an Earth observation post and became the gods of old as they interfered with human development; Flying Saucers on the Moon by Riley Hansard Crabb, who claims that the Moon is a flying saucer base, and goes on to describe moving lights and changing craters recorded by orthodox astronomers in the 1700 and 1800’s; Moongate: Suppressed Findings of the U.S. Space Program by William L. Brian II, who claims that the Moon has a heavy gravity (75% of Earth’s) and atmosphere, and that a top secret antigravity propulsion system was necessary to get on and off the Moon; We Discovered Alien Bases On The Moon by Fred Steckling, which shows quite a number of startling NASA photos indicating vegetation, clouds and domed structures on the Moon, Steckling claims we discovered aliens already there when we got there, and that NASA just couldn’t bear to tell us poor, common mortals this astounding news; Extraterrestrial Archaeology by David Hatcher Childress, who claims that the Moon is long inhabited and that Mercury, Venus, Mars and some of the moons of the outer planets show signs of current or past inhabitation; We Never Went To The Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle! by Bill Kaysing & Randy Reid; and lastly, the subject of this review, NASA Mooned America! by René, the last two books dealing with a mass of discrepancies in NASA’s public output which the authors take to mean that the Moon shots were faked. All these books are well worth acquiring to broaden one’s outlook on this subject.

It is a big charge to claim that NASA never went to the Moon, that it was all a fake, yet this man René has come up with a large body of information that has to be seriously considered. He is obviously not writing this book for the fun of it, I doubt he’s making any money at it, and is sure to be scorned and ridiculed simply for asking good questions which go against the common belief.

Evidence of pictures

René begins with the photographic evidence. The more one looks at photos of the Apollo landings, the more one begins to wonder. No blast craters exist beneath the lunar modules (LEMs), no dust arose from their rocket-softened landings, though the lunar rovers toss dust into the air as though there were an atmosphere acting on the particles. Questions, questions. One important early faked photo is shown here in sequence. Photo 1 is from the book Carrying The Fire by Astronaut Michael Collins. It shows Collins in a no-gravity test inside an airplane. Photo 2 is from the same book and is allegedly of a Gemini 10 space walk. René noticed something fishy about these photos and reversed #1 and sized it so he could overlay it on #2. They match... They are the same photo... And this is official NASA output! 

Photo 1
Photo 2
The Spacey Twins: NASA used the same photo twice, perhaps to cut expenses?
René’s book shows several other interesting photos which indicate various anomalies. On a splashdown photo of Gemini 6A there is a whip antenna in excellent condition clearly shown, with no burn marks or scorching (5000 degrees F on re-entry). No other Gemini had this antenna, and simple logic indicates that it would have burned off during re-entry. Such an antenna is designed for frequencies not used in space. 

The cover photo on the book shows two lunar astronauts (or astro-nots as René calls them), one reflected in the other’s visor. The reflected astronaut is not holding a camera, so who took the picture with only two on the Moon? Also, in the same photo a piece of what appears to be scaffolding with a spotlight on it appears on the left edge of the photo. I’ve seen this same photo in several other places, but it is always cropped so the scaffolding is missing.

My favorite of the photo anomalies in the book is shown here as Photo 3, which René has titled “Mutt and Jeff”. The anomaly in this photo is obvious. This is a photo of Armstrong, holding the staff, and Aldrin, holding the flag. While the two astronauts are basically the same height, the shadow of Armstrong is about 75% the length of Aldrin’s. The shadows are not parallel as they should be, but converge, indicating two sources of light. René used trigonometry to discover that Aldrin’s personal source of illumination is at 26.4 degrees of altitude, while Armstrong’s is at 34.9 degrees. The sun was at 13.5 degrees altitude on the real Moon, so where were these guys? Certainly not where we have been led to believe. Perhaps a soundstage in the American desert? 

Photo 3
Mutt & Jeff
NASA allegedly shot tens of thousands of pictures of the lunar landings, yet it is very difficult to procure even a decent percentage of these, and the same ones show up in most publications. The television footage of the first Moon landing was very poor. While having access to the finest of technology, NASA would not allow a direct feed of the footage, but forced networks and news services to film through an optically enlarged television screen, adding quite a bit of distortion. During the Apollo 16 lunar lift-off the camera followed the ship up off the surface. No one was left on the Moon, so who panned the camera? NASA later claimed that the camera was radio controlled from Earth, but how could they have followed the ship so closely given the transmission time lag? Kentucky windage?

However, other lunar photos not mentioned by René, but appearing in some of the other previously mentioned books, indicate movement and structure on the Moon. One well known photo, (Photo 4) shot from an unmanned orbiter, which has even appeared in National Geographic, shows “boulders” rolling, allegedly from a moonquake. However, basic scrutiny shows that they are rolling up and down hill. Lesser known photographs show these same “boulders” on other areas of the Moon making identical track marks. 

Photo 4
Rolling Boulders
Photo 5 is from National Geographic, September 1973, and was shot by the crew of Apollo 17. A close-up shot of this same boulder has appeared in a recent issue of Nexus magazine, October-November 1995, which shows it to be the same cylindrical shape with arms as the larger rolling boulder of Photo 4.
Photo 5
Rolling Boulder Gets Around
Domed and pointed building-like structures appear in craters. These have been written off as lava bubbles or geological responses to the impacts causing the craters, even though the physical evidence goes against them being impact craters (the rim heights are similar regardless of crater diameter). Photo 6 is an enlarged section of a photo of the crater Kepler which appeared in the February 1969 National Geographic. It looks to me like there is an artificial complex in Kepler. Fred Steckling has a blowup of this structure in his book.
Photo 6
A "city" in the center of Crater Kepler?
While René has shown some serious problems with the lunar photos, mostly those of the astronauts on the Moon, he doesn’t show any of the boulder or dome photos. I would have to concur that many of the astronaut photos are faked, it becomes obvious after a while. However, I don’t think this necessarily brings us to the conclusion that NASA didn’t go, but it certainly means we’re being lied to about something. But let us go on to further discrepancies:

Star light, star dark!

If one were to add up all the astronauts’ stated observations of the appearance of space above the atmosphere one would come to the conclusion that they were either crazy, incompetent or they never went, or, perhaps some of them were lying??? Alan Sheppard, first American to be catapulted up reported seeing no stars, ditto for Virgil Grissom. John Glenn reported seeing some brighter stars only (and he saw those weird “fireflies”).

To quote some astronauts on the subject:

Neil Armstrong: “The sky is black, you know,” “It’s a very dark sky.”

Mike Collins on Gemini 10:: “My God, the stars are everywhere: above me on all sides, even below me somewhat, down there next to that obscure horizon. The stars are bright and they are steady.” This was written 14 years after, and remember that the Gemini 10 space walk photo shown here has now been proven fake.

Mike Collins on Apollo 11: “I can’t see the earth, only the black starless sky behind the Agena,... As I slowly cartwheel away from the Agena, I see nothing but the black sky for several seconds...” “What I see is disappointing for only the brightest stars are visible through the telescope, and it is difficult to recognize them when they are not accompanied by the dimmer stars...”

Gene Cernan on Apollo 17: “When the sunlight comes through the blackness of space, it’s black. I didn’t say it’s dark, I said black. So black you can’t even conceive how black it is in your mind. The sunlight doesn’t strike on anything, so all you see is black.”

Yuri Gagarin, first Russian cosmonaut: “Astonishingly bright cold stars could be seen through the windows.”

Prof. August Piccard on his high altitude balloon flight circa 1938 (many miles up with special heated suit) said that the sky turned from blue to deep violet to black. It is said that he claimed the sun disappeared as he got to the higher altitudes, though I have been unable to locate this exact reference.

My own investigations of NASA, circa 1987, revealed people who claimed that the stars could not be seen in space, but that special diffraction gratings were being developed to attempt to see them. This was from the period from Sheppard on to Skylab. I later spoke with John Bartoe who was up on an early shuttle flight and he laughed at this, said he couldn’t believe that anyone in NASA would say that because he was in space and the stars were brighter than they are on Earth! (They must have slipped him a working diffraction grating.) I called back my contact in NASA and he told me “Sir, the astronaut is a trained observer and is reporting what he saw, but the information I gave you (about the blackness of space) was essentially correct.” I spoke with the man who developed the film for NASA for 25 years and he told me that the astronauts weren’t even sure if they could see the sun, that it may have been the appearance of the sun on their windows!

The fact is that there are no visible light photographs of the sun, the stars, or any planets (other than the Earth & Moon, and not including specific probes sent to those planets) available in any NASA photo catalog. The fact that no stars appear on any photos was one of the main pillars of evidence for Bill Kaysing’s book. René is the source of the astronauts quotes as above and feels that there must be some serious problem with this selective star-blindness. As there is no definite answer available to us right now as to whether or not we can see the stars in space, I would have to say that we cannot base our conclusion as to the validity of the Apollo flights on the evidence of the appearance (or non-appearance) of stars in NASA photos.

Thermal Problems

Space is supposed to be at absolute zero. Anything directly in the sunshine heats up incredibly. Skylab overheated when one of its solar panels failed to deploy properly, yet Apollo 13, in direct sunlight and in a lethal radiation zone, supposedly got cold! On the launch pad the ship is air conditioned from ground services. In space the ship is air-conditioned (powered by fuel cells), if you turn off that air conditioner the ship gets cold! At least that is what NASA’s line of logic dictates. Apollo 17’s LEM sat on the Moon in the direct sun for 75 hours straight. Without massive power and refrigeration units the only way to cool the LEM would have been with the explosive cooling of water. Many tons would have been necessary for that time period. The astronauts reported that the LEMs were “too cold to sleep in”. How cold would your closed car be after 75 hours of direct sunlight (or even 1 hour)?

The life support backpacks that the astronauts wore were supposed to COOL them on the lunar surface by discharging water from a blowhole. Conservative calculation of the water necessary to accomplish this, given standard metabolic heat and solar radiation, indicates that the backpacks had to be filled 40% with water, allowing room also for an oxygen bottle, carbon dioxide scrubber, dehumidifier, water bladder for the cooling circuit and one for dump water, a heat exchanger, a radio monitoring bodily function, a communications radio with power to reach Houston, and a battery to power all this. Also, for the cooling to be functioning, the water had to be ejected from the blow hole regularly. This would have created the effect of a fountain spewing minute crystals of water, quite a tremendous photo opportunity NASA seemed to have missed on tens of thousands of photos. NASA’s own cutaway drawing of the backpack shows a water storage capacity of about .43 gallons, almost enough for 27 minutes of operation at the impossible efficiency of 100%. NASA claims 4 hours of operation.

Odd Fit

With the backpacks on the astronauts would need about 35 inches of clearance to crawl through the 30 inch hatch on the LEM (lunar module) in the manner claimed by NASA. Awful tight fit!

After getting back in the LEM the astronauts “repressurized their cabin.” Then “they removed their boots, slipped out of the backpacks heavy with life-support equipment that had kept them alive on the Moon, reopened the hatch, and dumped them along with crumpled food packages and filled urine bags onto the surface.” (Apollo 11) There is no airlock on the LEM, how did they open the door after repressurization and dump their suits and garbage without dying from the supposed vacuum & heat (or was that cold)?

Space Radiation

Van Allen radiation belts and solar flares create deadly radiation in space. NASA spacecraft were not shielded against this. Apollos 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 flew during the peak of solar cycle 20, with large flares occurring during the flights. All those astronauts would have received many hundreds or thousands of times the LIFETIME radiation limits for nuclear energy workers. A Supersonic Transport (SST) must drop altitude when it gets a dosage of 10 millirems, at 100 millirems it must alter its flight plan. 170 millirems is dangerous and almost guarantees cancer in the future. During Apollo 14 & 16 the solar flares would have given the astronauts approximately 75,000 rem (not millirems!). In an article in National Geographic, Chernobyl—One Year Later it says: “In general, 5 rem is considered acceptable for a nuclear-plant employee in a year, with 25 rem (the total countenanced for Chernobyl cleanup workers) an allowable once-in-a-lifetime dose.” The walls of the spacecraft were “paper thin” and the fabric suits had no radiation shielding built in, anyway only very thick lead or a large measure of water (approximately 6 feet of shielding mass) will reduce the radiation of solar flares to anywhere close to safe levels. How did NASA protect the astronauts against this deadly radiation? The words “Space Radiation” appear extremely rarely, if at all, in books about manned space flights. Russian scientists told astronomer Bernard Lovell that they know of no way to shield from radiation outside the Van Allen radiation belts.

Outright Murder?

Shortly before the 1967 test-pad fire that killed three astronauts (Grissom, White & Chaffee) Virgil Grissom told his wife, Betty, “If there is ever a serious accident in the space program, it’s likely to be me.” He had become a critic of the Space Program and had expressed unease about the success of actually getting men on the Moon. The decision to run this test with pure oxygen at pressure was nothing short of moronic — it created a calorimeter bomb which was set off by the astronauts being told to flip switches that caused tiny sparks. Immediately after the testpad fire, before anyone was notified, government agents raided Grissom’s home and took all his personal papers. When they returned his papers to his widow his personal diary and all papers containing the word “Apollo” were missing!

Five other astronauts died in “accidents” that same year. Before the first Apollo manned mission left the launch pad eleven astronauts had died in “accidents”, Grissom, White & Chaffee in the capsule fire, Freemen, Basset, See, Rogers, Williams, Adams and Lawrence died in airplane crashes (remember these were the world’s best pilots flying their private aircraft, government supplied trainers — very safe craft) and Givens was killed in a car crash. In 1970 Taylor died in a plane crash.


There is no doubt that René has opened a can of worms with NASA Mooned America!. It is a challenge to us researchers to check out his information. Only a small portion of his research appear in this review, René has done his homework well and he is an intelligent man. I agree with most of his information, some of his figuring is beyond my technical grasp, and some things I don’t agree with, such as his claim that the lunar footprints could only be made in wet soil. I have made very clear footprints in fine, dry desert dust, and have used them as a guide on returns from in the wilderness. I agree that many photos have been faked, that the information doesn’t add up, and that NASA will go to great lengths, even murder, to cover up whatever is really happening. I think, and have so for a long time, that there is and has been for centuries, perhaps millennia, intelligent activities occurring on, and perhaps below, the surface of the Moon. I may be wrong, and I admit that possibility, but there is a tremendous body of information to back up my belief.

As far as NASA is concerned, I think that it is just a dog-and-pony show, while the real space program goes on behind the scenes. All of the authors mentioned in this review can be likened to the six blind men and the elephant. They all have an important piece of the puzzle which is being hidden from us. Let’s put those pieces together and work towards a clear picture.

It is hard to make a definite conclusion with all this conflicting information. What is being covered up? It is possible, given the light of René’s information on radiation and thermal problems that NASA never went to the Moon. However, there has been quite a bit of activity noticed on the Moon since the discovery of the telescope, and unmanned missions have sent back photos of boulders, obelisks and domes. Perhaps robot craft were landed and sent the photos necessary to fake the backgrounds of the manned missions, or perhaps there is another answer: That there is an advanced technology being used in space that us mere mortals have no access to. We can speculate that antigravity drives would create a protective field (like a personal Van Allen Belt) which would shield those inside the craft from deadly radiation. If so then manned missions may well have been undertaken, but for some reason or another NASA still felt the need to fake some of the informational output. All we can say for sure is that we Never get A Straight Answer!

And so I highly recommend NASA Mooned America! as an important, must-read book, which should provoke debate. The mass of evidence René presents cannot be simply written off because his conclusions go against what we have been told. His charges must be answered with more detailed information, not sideswipes at his point of view. This entire subject must be examined more fully.

© 1997-2001 Thomas J Brown