A unclassified report for an obscure contract to develop Analytical Techniques in Planetary Quarantine was delivered to NASA in early 1970. The contractor, Exotech Incorporated of Washington D.C. had unrestricted access to classified documents about the Apollo missions until 1975. On page 131 of the report it clearly shows that the Apollo 18 mission was intended to land on the moon at Schröter’s Valley, in the Aristarchus plateau region. This is interesting for a number of reasons as we will explain below.
The region of the Aristarchus plateau has been the site of many reported transient lunar phenomena, with a total of 122 such reports by 2007; the highest recorded for any lunar feature. Such events include temporary obscurations and colorations of the surface, and catalogues of these show that more than one-third of the most reliable spottings come from this locale. In 1971 when Apollo 15 passed 110 kilometers above the Aristarchus plateau, a significant rise in alpha particles was detected. These particles are believed to be caused by the decay of radon-222, a radioactive gas with a half-life of only 3.8 days. The Lunar Prospector mission later confirmed Radon-222 emissions from this crater. Could this be the result of a decaying alien moon base? Or is it a result of some natural lunar phenomena?
“I ask, what happened to Apollo 18 and Apollo 19? They were both paid for and astronauts were trained. What happened to these missions?” – Stanton Friedman
NASA’s Plans for a Lunar Base on the Aristarchus Plateau
While planning was underway for Apollo 18 NASA contracted North American Rockwell’s Space Division to draw up plans for semi-permanent lunar surface bases (LSB’s). Curiously, the Aristarchus Plateau, proximal to Schröter’s Valley, was targeted as one of the locations for a base. The subsequent report delivered to NASA in May of 1971 provides details on why the Aristarchus Plateau was chosen. As we will see in a moment, it’s the type of experiments that NASA intended to carry out there that makes you wonder if the Apollo 18 Movie was as far fetched as some of us would have you believe.
The objectives of the Lunar Base Synthesis Study were to define and analyze lunar exploration missions in order to establish the role of a semi-permanent lunar surface base (LSB) as an element of an integrated space program, and to prepare conceptual designs for two different lunar surface shelters. One shelter concept was to be optimized for the LSB mission requirements whereas the other represented a potential adaptation of a specified space station module. The study was oriented towards a lunar surface base which would support a two- to five-year program of scientific and exploration activities in the 1980’s by a crew of up to 12 men.
Justification for targeting the Aristarchus Plateau for a lunar base centered around transient lunar phenomena that has been so pervasive in the area. Transient events resembling glowing lights have been seen by telescope in Schröter’s Valley. The report states: There is some evidence for the release of gases, at least sporadically, from the lunar interior. Middlehurst (1967) has summarized the visual evidence for color changes at specific locations on the lunar surface. About 400 cases of these have been observed, with maximum activity in the vicinity of Aristarchus. The best presumption is probably that the composition of the released gases is similar to volcanic gas on earth.
According the report the experiments planned at Aristarchus included Life detection, Geological mapping and analysis, Drilling and sampling, Mineralogical and chemical analysis in situ, Gravity profiling, Seismic profiling, In situ measurements of natural radiation spectrum, Magnetic profiling, Borehole logging, and Heat flow.
Life detection? Why would NASA look for life on the Aristarchus Plateau? It’s important to note that the Aristarchus Plateau wasn’t the only lunar surface base location studied, but it was the only one described in any level of detail. That unto itself is interesting, if not suggestive of an ulterior motive for the study.
In any case the result of our findings is that anomalous and unexplained phenomena occurs on our Moon, and that NASA planned for lunar surface bases near those phenomena. Most interesting however is that the Apollo 18 mission was intended to land precisely where NASA planned to study the existence of life. Was the Apollo 18 Movie based on fact or fiction?
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Aristarchus (crater)”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.