The following article was written in 1997 by James Beals, an American living in Southern California at the time the described events took place. While his views may not necessarily entirely concur with those of Aulis authors Bennett and Percy, James Beals nevertheless makes very interesting and relevant points. In places it reads like something from The Twilight Zone, or even a NASA back-engineered confession. Moreover, given the 'problems' faced by the space agency and its current shuttle/ISS program – it leads to further questions regarding the space program today – irrespective of what actually happened during the Apollo era.
Note: since much of the information I am writing here is from memory not all the facts and figures (especially the numbers) may be correct, but the basic ideas are valid.
Many people may have a real hard time entertaining the idea that we did not go to the Moon. After all, it has been over 30 years now. It would be unthinkable, improbable, that so many people could keep this a secret for so long. Even other governments would have to be involved. And it would raise innumerable questions as to how and why it was faked.
These are good arguments. However, there remain a number of unexplained 'flaws' in some of the evidence from the lunar landings. Some of those flaws will discussed here.
The purpose of this essay is to put forth my theory that we did not go to the Moon. I do not claim to know conclusively one way or the other. I have no absolute positive proof or evidence. My aim is to make others question these things. Actually, my main purpose is to try to convince the powers that be to come clean. The time is now.
A Brief Explanation of Sources
I am basing my opinions on what my next-door neighbor and friend (when I was between 9 and 23 during the 1960s to early 70s) told me, and what his father told him. My friend and I were in the same grade and we were the same age. His father worked on the space program from the earliest days of its infancy in the early 1950s (while he served in the Air Force) on up through the Apollo project. I lost contact with them before the first space shuttle was launched. This friend of mine later became a nuclear physicist and worked on missile projects for the US military. So, along with his father, he received high security clearance and has worked on top-secret projects of a high national security nature.
A Short History of the Space Program
Let us wildly assume that we have not yet actually gone to the Moon. Why fake the lunar landing missions? And why fake any space exploration missions that followed it? Was the entire space program 'faked'?
I will answer these questions in the course of this essay. But, in order to follow the answers I need to first explain some history of the space program. Understanding what the real space program was, and why we even took on the project of trying to go to the Moon, will help to explain why we may have tried to fake some of it.
In the 1950s the Soviet Union was clearly ahead of the US in the area of rocket technology. In Russia, they had combined their space rocket research with their ballistic missile research and by attaching a 'satellite' to the top of a ballistic missile, they were able to hurl it up and out into space. Before the US could even get a good ICBM off the pad, before they could get the X-15 rocket plane operating properly, the Soviets successfully launched 'Sputnik'. The first known man-made object to venture into space and into orbit around the Earth.
In the view of the world, the Russians were clearly the leader in this new technology – rocket science and space exploration. The US was running far behind in second place. At this point, a no-show second place. The X-15 project had more problems and was running further and further behind.
Even though the US was behind in ballistic missile research, the word came down from top government and military personnel to 'do something' to show to the world we are not a 'second rate' world power. That we are not second rate in technology. We were not going to be beaten by those ‘red-commie Soviets’. Even though US scientists balked at the idea of putting objects on top of ballistic missies and hurling them up into space, even though they laughed at the idea, the word came down to blast something, anything, into space.
We couldn't let the Russians outdo us. US scientists were scrambling to make a powerful and successful ballistic missile anyway, without the same success as the Russians. Now they were told to strap 'things' on top of a big rocket and 'do something'. Just get something up in space. What if the USSR were to put a man in space before us? We would become that second rate power.
Emphasis on the space program got sidetracked. The real US space program was to get the X-15 rocket into space, then keep refining it until we could get a space shuttle that could take men and heavy loads into space. Funding for that project was put on the back burner as more funds were spent on ballistic missiles and putting cargos on top of them.
Finally, the US made a few ballistic missiles, and we were getting somewhere. But not soon enough. The Russians sent a dog into space. Oh God, they got a living entity into space first. The US was just starting to send our first satellites up. In the eyes of the world, especially the political-military developing nations, Russia was ahead of the US in technology. The US government and political powers were getting frantic. This was the cold war, and at this point the US was falling behind, we were getting beaten. The US was struggling, trying to build a reliable large ballistic missile, trying to strap 'things' on top of it. This became a priority over the problem prone shuttle and X-15 type projects. Russia, basically, had only one program going, their ballistic missiles.
We were getting closer with the X-15, and we were getting somewhere with the ballistic missiles. But, leading US space scientists felt that it was entirely too primitive and madness to think of placing a man, or even a dog, in a small capsule and put them on top of a large ballistic missile and then blast him off into space. Unlike an airplane - or rocket plane, there was no pilot, no manual navigation controls. It was just a big rocket blasting off at full bore, no way to maneuver it. US scientists felt it was too crude, too primitive.
Rather, the X-15 and future craft like it seemed to be more real and practical. A rocket with wings that a pilot had full control over, that can fly in Earth's atmosphere like a jet plane, and travel in space like a rocket. But the mad scientists in Russia went ahead and did it anyway. They actually went ahead and put a man in a little capsule and blasted him off on a large ballistic missile and sent him flying into outer space.
The First Man in Space
That was it; the US had egg all over its face. Even though US space scientists objected and tried to thwart the efforts, the word from high command came down, “put a man on top of rocket and blast him into Earth orbit.” They said, “look, the Russians are doing it, they've done it, it works, at least for the 'political effect' of it, we have to do it. Put a man in a box and blast him off on top a rocket. Just do it.” So, that was the order.
The X-15 project, however, was ready about 5-6 months too late. The first US man in space was not Alan Shepard. It was a pilot flying the X-15 into space and re-entering. But this did not make the same headlines and sensation as the capsules on top of the rockets did.
The X-15 and subsequent projects took a back seat and became less publicized. We started the Mercury program, and that became our publicized space effort. We put Alan Shepard in a small box and blasted him up into space on top of a big ballistic missile. How primitive. Then we blasted up John Glenn in a Mercury capsule and he became the US astronaut to orbit the Earth. He was not the first man into space, that was a Russian, and he wasn't the first American into space, that was an X-15 pilot, then Alan Shepard, but he was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. (At least, that is what the world was led to believe. That the US was no second rate nation – the world had to know that American's had 'the right stuff'.)
What did the US do with that? The US acted like a sleek New York Avenue marketing firm. They hailed this as a major milestone in technological feats. They hailed Glenn as the pioneer of space exploration. But Yuri Gagarin, the Russian, was the first man in space. The US tried to play down this fact, in the US it was mentioned, but when we sent Shepard and Glenn into space, that was somehow much more important, more valiant, more advanced. And we tried to convince the world of this too. But, actually, we were simply playing catch-up with the Soviets.
Did we really do what we said we were doing?
My Neighbors rrom the 1960s
Now at this point I will introduce my neighbor. In the 1960s I grew up in Southern California in La Puente, near West Covina. The boy who lived next door was in the same grade as me so we were friends (well, most of the time). The boy's name was Rob Moore (Jr, but everyone called him Robby, and called his father Bob). His father was also Robert (Bob) Moore. When we moved to that house in 1960-61, the neighbors told us that Bob (the father) was a strange guy. They said he was all right, they guessed, but no one knew anything about him. No one knew where he worked, or what he did for a living. Nothing.
The other neighbors told us that all he ever said to anyone was “Hi”, and then he would walk away. They considered him a sort of eccentric hermit, a nice guy, sort of, maybe, but definitely not the sociable type. My friend, Rob, however, was more than eager to tell me that Bob, his father, worked on 'Top Secret' military projects for the US space program. Later on (in the latter 60s) Rob told me a lot more about his father and the space program.
During the Korean War Bob Moore was a jet fighter pilot in the US Air Force. He remained in the Air Force and joined an elite team of pilots who flew experimental prototype aircraft. In the mid 1950s he was in training to become a pilot with the X-15 rocket plane and was assigned to work with that group. However, before he sat in the pilot's seat, while flying another experimental plane, he developed a painful earache at high altitudes. This disqualified him from piloting the X-15. He was reassigned to 'other' work on the project and remained with the X-15 project.
In the US's attempt to catch-up with Russia and develop a satellite and manned capsule program atop ballistic missiles, Bob Moore was reassigned to work on the Mercury program. He was engaged in highly secretive aspects of the work, not even his son knew exactly what his father did.
The son, Rob, told me, although this I cannot confirm, as it is not in the history books, but he claimed that prior to the first 'recorded' X-15 flight into space that another X-15 flight had also entered space. However, that craft, along with the pilot on board, never returned to Earth. Rather, the pilot was actually the 'first' man to orbit Earth. Rob Moore told me that the pilot fired his rockets with the order to go up 'full throttle' and to keep going as far and as high as the X-15 would go. The rocket only had enough fuel for about 4 minutes of blast time. The fuel ran out, but before it did, he had become the first man in space and had reached the fastest known speed. But something unexpected happened. All other times when the fuel had run out on the X-15 the law of gravity always did its work and the craft glided back down for a landing.
But this time the X-15 had escaped gravity and had mistakenly achieved low Earth orbit. The pilot was helpless. He didn't have one ounce of fuel left, his wing flaps were useless because he was now in space, there was no atmosphere for the wing flaps to work with. And he had only a limited supply of oxygen and no protection from the extreme heat or cold. As he kept drifting he soon was out of radar and radio contact when he started his first orbit of the Earth. He probably died when his air supply ran out, if the extreme cold didn't get to him first.
As I said, that is the story my neighbor told me when he was a nuclear physicist student at UCLA, and when we were both in our early twenties.
The Cold War: At the Edge of Space
So Russia sent the first man into space, then we sent a manned X-15 into space, then Sheppard, and Glenn into Earth orbit. This was the Mercury project. However, some people question whether Glenn actually went up on top a rocket. You see, the rocket used was not that reliable.
Either way, we were embarking on the very early stages of touching the edges of space and at that time, 1961, John F Kennedy shocked the world when he boldly announced that the US would put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade. It was a bold statement, because in 1961 we had hardly even begun sending up rockets. We had no idea how to go to the Moon and what it all entailed. Kennedy's statement that America would put a man on the Moon was not based on scientific research. It was not the conclusion of an extensive feasibility study by a panel of leading scientists as to what was or was not actually feasible, because at that time we had barely just developed a rocket that could carry a few hundred pound payload several thousand miles.
We had no idea how to go all the way to the Moon and back. There was, however, a simplistic idea that all you had to do was build a big enough rocket and blast it off and it would fly all the way there. But, Kennedy's bold declaration was made entirely on the basis of political and military objectives. At the time the USSR was clearly ahead of us in missile power and in ability to lift large loads. We had to do something to confirm our role as technological leader. Since we had touched space for the first time, it seemed to some that the Moon was now within our grasp. But, was it?
It didn't matter, on the world scene where political power and economic power and military might rules, the US was seen as a second rate power, runner-up to the first-rate technological achievements of the USSR. Boldly announcing to the world that the US would have a man on the Moon by the end of the decade was sheer bravado.
The next public phase was the Gemini project. Blasting two men in a capsule atop a rocket and getting them to orbit. At the same time the US and the Russians were sending many satellites into space for spying, weather and telecommunications. Gemini used a much more powerful rocket, the Atlas Centaur. Russia was also sending two-man crews, and Russia was again the first to claim they made a space-walk while in orbit around the Earth. That was around the mid sixties while I was in the 8th grade.
After this phase, the US claimed we had made a space walk. All of this was exciting to any 12-13 year old boy at the time. I watched it on TV whenever I knew something was on. But my friend Rob used to tell me that it was all faked. I had to listen. After all, his father was secretly working on those projects.
I recall Rob showing me actual 8x10 photographs (that his father had given him) showing the US and the Russian space walks and how they were both made in large water tanks, painted to appear as being in space. The space suits were under water suits and on TV when they showed live videos of it they moved slowly. I will explain the slow movements later.
Their moving slowly was due to the water, not due to being weightless in space. If you notice the space walks of today that are taken from the space shuttle the movements are quick (this will all be explained later). In the photos he showed me you could actually see bubbles in the Russian images and small hair thin lines in the US photos.
Rob told me that no men were in the Gemini capsules that were being launched. They were empty.
When their flights were completed the men were put in these capsules and flown up very high using spy planes, then dropped from about 6-8 miles up to splash down in the Pacific. It was always rather odd; the US would splash down in the Pacific, and always 'out of range' of site from the decks of the boats. Helicopters would have to go out and search for them and bring them to the ships. While, in Russia, the men and capsules would land on the ground, often to within feet of hitting their targeted landing zones.
How could the Russians land on terra firma and do so with pinpoint accuracy, while the US had to splash down in the ocean and would be miles off target? The answer: because the Russian landings were never attended by the press watching live. They were filmed and after everything looked just right, the film was released. The US had press on board the ships, so the recovery had to be out of site so they could cover things up if need be.
Why would the US and the USSR be faking their (so-called) excursions into space and Earth orbit? Because, the motto they live by is, "All is fair in love and war", and this was war. The cold war. The world alliances were at stake. Military arms sales were at stake. We are talking major, big-time importance. We had to be the best; we had to at least keep up. It was all out important. By hook or by crook, we could not be outdone by the communist Soviets.
The Russians were always 1 or 2 steps ahead of us. They were the first in space, the first to send up two men, the first to do a space walk, the first to undertake a docking in space, the first to send an unmanned probe to the Moon, the first to have a manned space station, they held the record for having a man in space the longest, they were the first to claim to have broken through the Van Allen belts (which I will discuss further on), the first to send an unmanned probe to the Moon, the first to send a robot to the Moon and have it come back to Earth etc., etc. They were the first all the way, right up to, and until, the US beat them to the most important punch when we claimed to be the first to send men to the Moon. They were the first all the way – until the very last minute, when we beat them out on the most important mission.
Then, once we put men on the Moon, oddly, the Russian's never - ever - sent a manned mission to the Moon. Imagine the worldwide prestige to be gained from being the second to send a manned mission, especially if it had been within months of our first mission. They may not have got all the glory, but they would have clearly saved face by being a close second. Why didn't they?
More About the Moores
My experiences with them confirmed to me that the Moon landings were faked. With Rob Moore as my next-door neighbor I looked at the space program with a different vision. When Apollo came along I would watch it with skepticism and would think, “all right, they could be faking this part, and that would be easy to fake, and this is obviously faked”. Nothing I saw on TV made me doubt it was actually being faked. I saw no overwhelming evidence that it was for real.
It was also an interesting time with Rob's father. He had always appeared to be a recluse, never talking with anyone. But the one thing he spent time on the most at home was his one favorite hobby, radio controlled model airplanes. That is all he ever did at home. He sat in his garage/workshop building his model airplanes.
I recall one day, it must have been some time in the mid to late 60s, while Apollo was getting underway, Rob asked me if I would like to go with him and his dad and watch him fly his radio controlled airplanes. Wow, yeah, that sounded like fun. Bob never said much to me, but he had always been friendly.
Suddenly he snapped and said, "Hey, you can't come with us. Rob, you know I can't take anyone; I have made special arrangements just to take you. No one else can come. That is that." Rob said that I was his best friend and begged and pleaded to let me come. I told them, “Hey it's all right, if your father doesn't want me to go, I understand,” and started walking away feeling sort of hurt. Then Bob called me and told me to come, but he warned me NOT to talk to any of his friends. Strange - but Bob was strange.
I'm not sure where we went. It was about an hours drive. It was a public park and there were about 15-20 other members there, flying their planes. It wasn't a 'normal' radio control airplane club, however. When we walked up, several men approached Bob and said, “you told us that you were only bringing your oldest son, the straight A student". Pointing at me they added, "Who is that? You know the rules, Bob, no one else is allowed". This same questioning went on from a number of the members. Wow, some elite and touchy radio control airplane club. I could tell Bob Moore was feeling the heat.
I heard comments referring to me as a 'civilian'. While they were flying their planes, they also spoke about other things, like their work, which I gathered to be the space program. I was just a teenager at the time, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. These guys all worked together, and they obviously all worked on the space program. Now I knew why Bob was all 'touchy' about me coming. All these guys were Bob's equals (all had high security clearances) and all worked on the same part of the space project.
And Bob, well, he was a totally different person out there on the field. I had never seen him act like this before. He was socializing. He didn't just say hi to these guys then walk away. He laughed and joked with them and held long, friendly conversations. Bob, all of a sudden, looked and acted 'normal'. I figured out that these were the only people he was allowed to 'socialize' with.
The whole purpose of them forming their own private radio controlled airplane club was so they could come together and socialize in civilian life, outside of their work on the space program. Bob was 'free' to talk here, among members of the same group. At home he was not 'free' to talk. He was highly restricted in what he could say. Even with his own wife and children, he hardly said very much. But, among his classified equals he was 'himself', relaxed and talkative.
I also understood that these were no ordinary bunch of guys out there flying their airplanes. Maybe there were other models like this in the mid 1960s, but these guys had radio-controlled jets, and yep, even a remote controlled X-15 rocket plane (using mixtures of CO2 cartridges and some with controlled valves and two gas mixtures). These were not store-bought remote controls. They designed everything themselves, including the transmitters and receivers. They taxied the planes and took off and landed them, all using their remote controls.
Like I said, there were lots of other groups doing this at the time, but I also could see, the technology they had and were using was definitely not average run of the mill stuff. These guys and their planes were definitely a 'different' group.
1969 finally rolled around (the year Rob and I graduated from HS). It was the first alleged lunar landing. Rob and I used to joke about it all being faked. Neither of us believed it was really happening. We would look at different events and say, "hey, even I can figure out how to fake this part or that”. My friend Rob was bound for UCLA as a straight A honor student, and I was headed for the unknown. I planned to major in electronics at a smaller community college, but really, I was not intent on mundane knowledge. I was, at that time, well started in my quest for spiritual enlightenment. I attended college, but my real studies were the libraries where I would try to find God, and my reason for being here.
When school started Rob gave me an open invitation to visit him at UCLA, sometimes, on breaks, or later, after I dropped out of college, I would go there for a week at a time. Especially when I discovered the research library at UCLA. I spent day after day in there, searching for God. They had many Vedic books, and books about Jesus I never saw anywhere else. Bottom line is that I enjoyed going up there, not just to see my old friend, but for the learning experience. I would even sit in on his physics classes. We discussed physics (although he would have to speak English with me, he spoke Latin and techno physics babble half the time).
We would talk about God and religion, the philosophies of life, why we are here. But, it was this time that he also began to openly talk with me about his father and his high level secret work on the space program. I was, for many years, one of Rob's closest friends. I knew him since we were both nine years old. Rob was his father's closest son, so he confided in him, and since I was Rob's friend, he began to confide in me the same secrets his father had revealed to him.
It was probably around 1970 that Rob showed me color charts, posters and printed reports that his father had given him. It clearly stated the documents were Classified. After the first lunar landing or so, Bob Moore and his wife got a divorce. I stayed in touch with Rob's mother from time to time (she lived next door), and to hear the account from her, she was the one who asked for the divorce. She claimed her husband had become a 'zombie'. In order to keep from 'leaking' out any sensitive information he stopped having 'normal' conversations with even his own wife and children. It got to the point that he would only say 'hi' to his own wife and kids.
I found out that she actually did not know anything at all about what the work he did. He had three sons and one daughter. Rob, my friend, was the oldest. But, Rob was different. Bob no longer had anything to do with his family, except Rob. Why Rob? Because Rob was a genius. This guy would rather discuss quantum physics or deep philosophy then anything else imaginable (even girls or music) - (Oh, except he was also a Superman comic book maniac and his other hero was John Lennon). He was a bookworm. Bob Moore was proud of this son. And he was training him to enter his elite world of those who possessed high security clearance working on projects of national security.
Rob would talk a length about his father with me. We both knew him. But I had not seen him for some time since the divorce. While visiting Rob at UCLA one day, I was just leaving to return home when Rob asked me if I could give him a ride over to his father's place. No problem. (Rob may have been a genius and he may have become a nuclear physicist, but he never learned how to drive a car). Rob told me that it would be an opportunity for me to meet his father again. Actually, by this time, Rob had told me a great deal, a lot more than I think he even realized.
I was fully aware at the time that his father was intimately connected with the space program, and that he worked on it from 'the other side', from the secret side of the project. Anyway, Rob asked me to give him a ride, so no problem. I cannot recall the exact location, and this was around 1972, but it was somewhere not too far from UCLA in the Brentwood/Westwood area, near Santa Monica Blvd. We arrived at the apartment. It wasn't the top of the world luxury, but I do recall it wasn't shabby. It was definitely upper class accommodation. A world better than the middle class neighborhood I grew up in, and where Bob used to live.
We knocked at the door. Bob answered. It was 'strange' Bob again. He saw Rob and said, "Oh Robby, you're early. . . is this Jim?" (Jim, that's me). He asked us in, but, without saying anything to me, he sternly said to Rob, "Robby, we have to talk," and took him into the kitchen. The kitchen had a swinging door on it, but, at the volume Bob was speaking, I could hear every syllable loud and clear. Bob was yelling at his son, "Robby, you know you are NOT to bring ANY ONE with you when you come here. NO ONE. And especially not ANYONE who knows me from BEFORE". This went on for a solid minute. Rob replied, "But Jim is my best friend." His father drilled it in again, that no one from ‘before’ was to know where he is or WHO he is. NO ONE.
He told Rob that he had committed a very serious mistake, the "nation's security" was at risk. Rob then said something to the effect that I was different than others, he even said I may be of help to 'the project'. The anger and concern in Bob's voice was serious. At that point, at least with Bob, I felt I should adopt a 'play it dumb' attitude. When the yelling was over and they walked back into the living room, I looked around the apartment and smiled and then started some small talk. I asked how he had been. He tried to act cordially, and asked how I was. Then, sort of trying to snoop a little, I asked a simple question, "So, what sort of work do you do now?"
I was looking around at the luxurious furnishing in the apartment, he certainly was living better then ever before. Bob looked surprised. He looked around, and then stammered a bit. "I, ah, well, you remember, I er, I used to play the trumpet (no, I didn't know)." He told me that when Johnny Carson was in Hollywood he played for Mitch Henderson on the Tonight Show (really?). I said, "Wow, he isn't in Hollywood that often, do you play for them in New York too?" He said, "Ah, no, ah, just here, just a few weeks several times a year." I guess he realized that didn't sound substantial enough work to justify the pad he was living in, so he started stammering and said that he tried to keep him self busy with odds jobs here and there. Then he told me that actually he was 'retired' and his 'company' was taking good care of him. Yeah, well, someone was sure taking good care of him.
Another curious side note is that about a year or so later when I was visiting my parents I went next door to speak with Rob's mom (Bob's ex-wife). While I was there I asked if Bob was still living in Westwood (or Brentwood). She said, "that lazy bum, no way. He's as broke as they come. Before we divorced he lost his job and everything. He lives in some small run down hole in Baldwin Park (Baldwin Park is the lowest income area of Southern California, at least at the time)." She said she didn't even know if he was there anymore, he never calls her and she doesn't care to call him. She wasn't even sure if the worthless bum was still alive. I felt it best not to even tell her that just a year or so earlier I had visited him along with Rob is a nice plush apartment near UCLA, that his 'company' (uncle Sam) was taking very good care of him. I felt it was better not create too many waves.
In 1973 I joined the Hare Krishna Movement, and around 1974 or so, Rob had left UCLA to go work for Hughes Missile division as a nuclear physicist. I knew that much but I didn't know how to reach him. I was thinking why not make contact with him one more time. I really wanted to talk about the space program with him again. So, I drove over to Hughes Missile division (not far from our temple which was near Culver City).
I went into the reception area, as far as you can go with out a security pass, and asked for Rob Moore. After some time, after explaining he was a nuclear physicist, the receptionist acknowledged that he did work there. I asked to see him or page him. No, that was not allowed. I asked for his home phone number. No, that could not be given.
I left, but I didn't give up. About a month latter I called the same Missile Division and told the receptionist that I was working on 'a project' along with Rob Moore and that I had his home phone number but had misplaced it and needed to reach him right away, that it was important. She didn't ask anything more, and gave me his home phone number. It had now been at least two years or so since I had seen him. I called the number and his 'wife' answered. The rascal got himself married, although it sounded more like his mother then a wife. I asked to talk to Rob, and I got the fifth degree interrogation.
When I told her we were old friends and had been best friends for years, she told me Rob wasn't there and didn't live there anymore. She was terse and she demanded to know how I got their phone number. She was demanding a bit too much, so I finished and hung up the phone. I tried back that evening and Rob answered.
He told me his wife told him that I had called (strange, she told me he didn't live there anymore - a real 'protective' wife). Rob was surprised how I had found him. He explained that he was working on highly sensitive and classified work that was of high national security. I figured that much, and that made me more wanting to talk with him. I asked to see him again, so we could talk. No way.
Remember, I was the one living in the Hare Krishna temple, which was labeled a subversive 'cult' at the time, but I was free to call, talk and go where I pleased. I had a car available and asked to drive over and see him, or offered to go pick him up. Here, he was a civilian working at a company that does work for the defense department, but he was 'not allowed' to talk with old friends, he wasn't allowed to talk with anyone who didn't work on the same project and who shared the same high security clearance. He kept using those words, that he 'wasn't allowed' to do this or that.
Rob then explained his situation in more detail. He told me that he worked on a team and that everyone in that team was of the same high security rated clearance. He said that to protect the secrecy of their work they were allowed to associate or speak ONLY with members of the same clearance, and only with members who worked on the same projects. (This was exactly the same as with his father while he worked on the space program). Rob told me that he had to cut off all ties with his past 'life'. That is how he talked about it, his ‘past life’, or previous life. He said he no longer was allowed to speak with even his own mother or brothers or sister, and had not done so for several years and cannot ever do so for the rest of his life. No one, not even me, who used to be his best friend. He even told me that it was likely that other staff members may be listening in on our phone conversation.
I asked if the lady who answered my previous call was his wife? Yes, and he explained that it was an 'arranged' marriage. Actually, in Krishna Consciousness it is recommended that the best marriages are arranged marriages, like in India. But, this guy was a nuclear physicist working for a major company on military projects. 'They' arranged his marriage? I didn't ask and he didn't explain exactly who 'they' were. Anyway, he explained that when he agreed to join the group that he requested one of the conditions was that he wanted to be married. So, they 'fixed him up' with one of the few women who also worked on the project and had the same security clearance.
She was 15 years older than him. He was, at the time, around 25 and she was 40. I told him that was sort of odd, and Rob said it was, and he didn't expect it to last, but it was the only woman whom 'they' had available for him to marry. It was either her or no one. This was one very strange phone call. What exactly was going on? Rob wasn't allowed to talk to old friends. Almost sounded like he was in jail or something. They could only marry another person who also worked on the same project. It was decided that way it would be easier to keep the projects they were working on secret. There would be less of a chance of any one member from accidentally leaking out their secrets. (As Rob's father had sort of done with Rob, and Rob had sort of done with me in the past).
But, I insisted that we meet and talk again. This time Rob mentioned that his wife may 'report' on him if he wasn't careful, it simply wasn't allowed. Then he told me it was also dangerous for him to do so. We had to hang up, he told me his wife was coming into the room.
I didn't even try to call him until at least five years later. I found the number in my wallet and thought, hey, let me give it a try and just see what happens. I was surprised, Rob answered the phone. He was having a real hard time with his marriage, and with life, is what it sounded like. He was now in his mid 30s and his wife was over 50. He told me he wanted 'out', but said it didn't look like that would happen. It sounded like Rob was under some sort of house arrest and his wife was more like a live-in guard or something like that.
I insisted that we meet again in person. It was still NO. But, this time I asked him about his father. I asked if he still saw his father. "My dad?" "Yeah, do you still see him?" "Yeah, I still see him", he said. "Does he still live up near UCLA?" "Yeah". "How is he doing?" "Fine" "Is he still involved with JPL and the space program?" At that point Rob said that he had to hang up, someone might be listening, it was too dangerous for us to speak anymore. Before we did so he asked if I remembered what happened to "John". John? I had no idea who he meant. He told me it was someone we both knew. Then he said that John was with his brother one day and some guy just walked up to him and shot him through the heart.
No one knew who killed him; his brother was in too much shock to remember much. He told me to never call back again; it was too dangerous for me and for him. After he hung up I realized we did have a common friend named John, but we never called him by that name. We called him Pepe (he was half Apache). I never found out what happened to Pepe. He sort of just disappeared. But, obviously, I got the hint about what might happen to me if I kept calling him. Whoever this John was he must have found out too much.
I don't know if you caught the importance of my question to him about his father. Remember, he told me that he was not allowed to associate with any one at all outside of those who had the same security clearance and who did not work on the same projects. Obviously they now had the same security clearance. I had assumed that since Rob was a nuclear physicist and he worked with Hughes Missile Division that he must be designing nuclear warheads, but now I wonder if maybe he is also working on the space program. Anyway, whether or not he and his father worked on the same projects, they both had equal security clearance and were 'allowed' to socialize with one another.
Enough about Rob for now, I just wanted to complete the story about him as it was partially relevant to the Moon project, at least for me as he was my source of information during that time.
Continued, click Next Page