Dec 15, 2011 I Nick Redfern

Apollo: In the Event of Disaster

Numerous allegations and claims have been made about the famous 1969 flight to the Moon of NASA's Apollo 11. They include that the astronauts saw UFOs on the way to the Moon, that alien spacecraft were seen and filmed on the surface of the Moon, and that the whole event was nothing but a well-orchestrated hoax. And the conspiratorial list goes on and on. But, there's yet another issue that directly concerns the Moon landings and that was quietly planned for way back in 1969. This one, however, is very different to all of the above matters, but is certainly no less intriguing...

There is one particular aspect of the Apollo missions to the Moon that was shrouded in deep secrecy for decades. It is an aspect of the project that offers much support for the notion that the astronauts really did set foot on the surface of the Moon, which I, personally, do believe occurred. Although the Neil Armstrong-Buzz Aldrin-Michael Collins flight proved to be a spectacular and historic success, behind the scenes both NASA and the White House knew that this never before attempted mission was an extremely dicey one.

There was a very real possibility that it could all have ended in awful tragedy, with Armstrong and Aldrin left stranded on the surface of the Moon, and faced with an inevitable and rapid death; while Collins, orbiting above the lunar surface, would have been forced to make the terrible decision to leave his friends and comrades behind, and head back to the safety of the Earth, utterly alone.

As a result, and in the event that the fate of Armstrong and Aldrin might very well have been forever and cruelly sealed far away from home, a brief speech was secretly and quietly drawn up for then President Richard M. Nixon, should he be forced to reveal to the world and the media that the very worst case scenario really had tragically come to pass.

A July 18, 1969 document sent from Nixon aide William Safire to Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff, H.R. “Bob” Halderman, reveals the text of the this speech. Given the title of In Event of Moon Disaster, it began thus:

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding."

The document continued: "They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown. In their exploration, they steered the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man. In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations."

Its final words: "In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood. Others will follow and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts. For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of the world that is forever mankind.”

Thankfully, the speech was never needed during the course of any of the Apollo missions, and the secret documents languished in near obscurity, all but forgotten for decades.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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