“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind”
~Engraving on Lunar plaque, affixed to Apollo 11 Lunar Module

Fifty years ago, Apollo 11, the culmination of a massive advancement in technology and engineering, landed American astronauts Neil Alden Armstrong and Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. on the surface of the Moon. Traveling with command module Pilot Michael Collins from their starting point at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Merritt Island, Florida, to Mare Tranquillitatis on the Moon and back again, their mission was an eight-day, 480,000-mile round-trip that fulfilled a challenge put forth a mere eight years earlier by then-President John F. Kennedy “of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

The success of Apollo 11 effectively brought the Space Race, a fierce rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union that had driven their respective space programs since the 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik 1, to a close. This achievement also established 20th century humanity as an interplanetary culture, having finally set a footprint in the soil of another world, a dream so old that we could only speculate as to its antiquity.

But the Apollo program, consisting of eight flights to the Moon involving six landings, has not been without controversy: while the Apollo program was under development, it was questioned as to whether or not it could be done; additionally, there were others at the time who questioned whether or not it even should be done. And of course, the question as to whether or not it had been done in the first place has since been posed.

But one enduring mystery concerns what happened during Armstrong and Aldren’s two-and-a-quarter hour walk on the Moon’s surface: during the EVA (extra-vehicular activity), Armstrong switched his radio to a private channel set aside for medical purposes—a channel not broadcast to the public for privacy purpose—for two minutes.

In the mid seventies stories began to circulate that the two-minute radio blackout was due to the appearance of two UFOs that appeared near the Lunar Module. Supposedly photographed by Aldrin during the encounter, the unidentified lights left moments later, allowing the astronauts to resume their work.

The first mention of this incident was what unidentified ham radio enthusiasts, listening in on the transmissions from Tranquility Base on their home radio sets, allegedly heard during the two-minute blackout, published by non-fiction and sci-fi author Otto Binder:

Mission Control: What’s there? Mission Control calling Apollo 11.

Apollo11: These babies are huge, sir… enormous… oh, God, you wouldn’t believe it! I’m telling you there are other spacecraft out there… lined up on the far side of the crater edge… they’re on the Moon watching us…

In 1975, retired NASA communications engineer Maurice Chatelain published Our Cosmic Ancestors, in which he wrote:

“[O]nly moments before Armstrong stepped down the ladder to set foot on the Moon, two UFOs hovered overhead. Edwin Aldrin took several pictures of them. Some of these photographs have been published in the June 1975 issue of Modern People magazine.”

Later, in 1979, Chatelain said that “The encounter was common knowledge in NASA, but nobody has talked about it until now.” He went on to claim that “…all Apollo and Gemini flights were followed, both at a distance and sometimes also quite closely, by space vehicles of extraterrestrial origin – flying saucers, or UFOs, if you want to call them by that name. Every time it occurred, the astronauts informed Mission Control, who then ordered absolute silence.”

The incident was reportedly even backed up by Soviet scientists. In his 1988 book Above Top Secret, Timothy Good writes that Dr. Vladimir Azhazha, a physicist and Professor of Mathematics at Moscow University, said “Neil Armstrong relayed the message to Mission Control that two large, mysterious objects were watching them afte3r having landed near the moon module. But his message was never head by the public – because NASA censored it.”

Good also wrote that an anonymous professor he met at a NASA symposium said that Armstrong had confided in him that the encounter was meant to warn NASA against establishing a base on the Moon. According to the professor’s account, Armstrong explained that he couldn’t provide any details, “except to say that their ships were far superior to ours both in size and technology – Boy, where they big! … and menacing… No, there is no question of a space station.” As for the remaining planned Apollo missions, Armstrong said that NASA was already committed to carrying them out, with crews returning to the Moon six more times, ending with Apollo 17 in 1972.

Armstrong passed away in 2012, taking whatever had transpired during his two-minute private transmission with him—when later asked about it, he declined to divulge what was discussed during the blackout. Aldren maintains that his crew saw nothing out of the ordinary during their flight (at least in terms of extraterrestrial spacecraft) and that reports that a UFO had paced Columbia on its way to the Moon were based on his account, taken out of context, regarding the sighting of discarded components of the mission’s S-IVB stage-three rocket, that launched the Command and Lunar Modules from Earth orbit toward the Moon. Regardless, the question of whether or not the crew of the Eagle witnessed a formation of UFOs intruding on their mission remains a mystery to this day.

6 Comments

  1. The same thing happened to me as you described on the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens program. I’m not sure of the exact date but it was probably around November of 2001. I had bought my small bungalow in Delmar, NY, Albany County, part of the Hudson Valley, soon after my divorce. I was there alone. My two young children were at their mother’s apartment. I found myself on the floor in a trance, unable to move, with 3 or more “Grays” standing over me. I tried with all my might to break free of the trance and tried to yell out but couldn’t. I heard one of them say in a soft voice in English, no less, “He’s awakening. We must go now.” I saw them turn and walk away. I struggled mightily and finally came out of the grip they had on me. I yelled at them and struggled to my feet from the floor and ran after them toward my patio door leading to the rear deck outside. They were gone. I heard a rumbling and then saw a light flash and they were gone. I went outside. It was early morning, probably around 5:45-6am. I furiously ran into the woods behind my house where I thought they had taken off from. I found no evidence.

    I know it was real. I know it happened to me as sure as I’m alive today. I’ve told my kids who are both grown now. They look at me like I’ve gone off the deep end. Others have done the same. No one truly understands until it happens to them. It wasn’t the phenomenon known as sleep paralysis. I’m familiar with that occurrence. It was real. I know it was. My life has never been the same since.

  2. Such a wonderful news article. THANK YOU……..

  3. Joseph, I suspect you meant to post this in another thread, but the relating of your experience here is no less welcome. Hudson Valley was the center of a UFO flap in the early eighties; a multiple of three is the number of Grey that appear to most experiencers; and the rejection of the experience by others around you is more common than any of us would like.

    I also wound up familiarizing myself with the hypnopompic state shortly before started to become aware of my own experiences, and yes, there’s definitely a marked difference between the normal sleep paralysis and having “them” there, despite what the debunkers would like us to believe…

    Thanks, Carollee! I wanted to do something that marked the event, but I didn’t want to just do another recap like everyone else. And looking into the UFO side of Apollo 11 was too much of an Unknown Country to pass up! 🙂

  4. Joseph, I suspect you meant to post this in another thread, but the relating of your experience here is no less welcome. Hudson Valley was also the center of a UFO flap in the early eighties; a multiple of three is the number of Grey that appear to most experiencers; and the rejection of the experience by others around you is more common than any of us would like.

    I also wound up familiarizing myself with the hypnopompic state shortly before started to become aware of my own experiences, and yes, there’s definitely a marked difference between the normal sleep paralysis and having “someone” there, despite what the debunkers would like us to believe…

    Thanks, Carollee! I wanted to do something that marked the event, but I didn’t want to just do another recap like everyone else. And looking into the UFO side of Apollo 11 was too much of an Unknown Country angle to pass up! 🙂

  5. I’m a retired psychologist and have researched the UFO phenomenon for 50-years. In short, there is much “evidence” to demonstrate that “alien being” exist. If 100 people say that they saw a poke-a-dot elephant fly, 99 are lying and one is telling the “truth,”
    then it happened.

  6. Thanks for posting this. That at least gives us an explanation of why we don’t have a base on the moon by now.

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