For almost as long as man has been able to boast his ability to travel to Earth's solitary natural satellite, there have been allegations of strange happenings on the lunar surface. From claims of alien bases amidst the mare plains of the moon's far side, to theories of "ancient lunar archaeological excavations" proposed by the likes of Richard C. Hoagland of Coast to Coast AM fame, there have been countless instances where strange objects photographed on the moon, or even just offbeat theories based on pure speculation alone, have led to widespread belief in a host of different activities that remain ongoing on our nearest neighbor.
Among the more recent discoveries, a large object, roughly fifteen times the length of a passenger plane, has been proclaimed by its discoverer, a YouTube user and paranormal researcher operating under the title "WowForReal," as being a gigantic alien spaceship parked on the moon.
At a glance, the object in question certainly does bear some unusual characteristics, and viewed from the proper angle, even seems to bear such characteristics as a cockpit and elongated fuselage, somewhat similar to the shape of an X-wing jet as one might see amidst the Rogue Squadrons in George Lucas' Star Wars films. But is the object truly something manufactured, and what evidence is there to support the idea that an actual alien vehicle was photographed on the moon?
Indeed, we are looking at an extraterrestrial object... by definition. However, the truth of the matter is that this formation, whatever it is, is only "extraterrestrial" in that it has been spotted in a location other than on Earth. As for the claims of the object being a "new" discovery, photos of this particular lunar formation have circulated for years, with similar claims that it may be a very large aircraft, or perhaps even an "alien base" on the moon. In the case of this most recent attempt at highlighting this as a new lunar mystery, the craft was spotted using Google Earth's Moon atlas; for those interested, it can be observed a bit south of the Mare Moscoviense, using Google Moon observation feature at the following coordinates: 22°42’38.46″N, 142°34’44.52″E.
There are a variety of factors that have caused the apparent presence of anomalies within craters, such as the so-called "Aristarchus Anomaly" I wrote about previously here at Mysterious Universe, which is an artifact resulting from high reflectivity (or albedo, properly termed) within the center of the crater. Rather than high reflectivity coming into question in this instance, it seems far more likely that the object, which actually does exist as a natural feature, is nonetheless being interpreted as looking more like a "lunar base" due to digital artifacts present as a result of Google's digital application itself.
Recently, an imaging expert, who requested anonymity, detailed for me more precisely what causes this effect:
That Google Moon image is based on an 80 m/pixel Wide Angle Camera image... Looking inside it, it looks like just another crater (although I suppose one could camouflage a base to LOOK like the inside of a crater).
The reason for the “alien base” appearance is due to image enlargement beyond the native image resolution and interpolation of data to create pixels that aren’t in the original image. If you zoom beyond the native resolution, the Google method interpolates. So if you have a black pixel and a light pixel, the new pixel between is half the color (grey scale).
As I had previously mentioned, there are other videos that seek to explain this aircraft as being a "spaceship", based on images released by NASA over the years. UFO researcher John Lear had famously engaged in the attribution of manmade--or, at very least, intelligently designed--objects he could see in lunar photography. Despite the man's background and credentials, it also seems apparent that these determinations are probably in error, and based more on pareidolia than on actual verifiable observations (Lear, in some instances, has proposed that trees can be seen growing on the moon as well, but that these are often airbrushed out of images released by NASA).
Perhaps there is nonetheless some legitimacy to the idea that we will one day travel to the moon and, perhaps after spending longer periods of observation and exploration there, come to discover evidence of artifacts from other worlds; I would guess these to be less likely the result of lunar inhabitants, or of human involvement there, whether past or present. Instead, perhaps the best case for intelligently designed objects on the moon could be one that supposes that "alien junk" could have found its way there, and having avoided the more harsh process of entry through Earth's atmosphere, could still exist as evidence for some long-gone civilization, whose literal nuts and bolts may have drifted to Earth's moon eons ago.
This, of course, is entirely speculative, but nonetheless would seem a more plausible reckoning for how intelligently designed objects might find their way to the lunar surface than the idea that, thanks to a secret space program, we've already got our own bases there, which are (and have been) fully operational for some time. Who knows... maybe there are bases on the moon. But as the old saying goes, "the eyes see, and the mind believes," and in my opinion, the best cases we've been offered as proof of alien bases, thus far, really do just look like great big piles rocks. In the meantime, I'll keep waiting for a decent image or two to crop up that offer something of a little more substance!