True Planets

3 maggio 2011

Just a “Matter of Time”… – A small investigation about the NASA/APOLLO 11 Frame n. AS 11-43-6370 (by Dr Paolo C. Fienga, Luna Cognita and Lunar Explorer Italia)

Filed under: Articoli — info @ 08:29

Dear Friends and Readers of Lunar Explorer Italia,

 let’s begin this conversation with a “Statement”: there is no Professional or Amateur Astronomer, or Space Researcher (either Public or Private) who was “lucky (and blind) enough” to be able to avoid to deal – at least once in his Life and Career… - with what we like to call “The Miracles of the Unknown“: the Unidentified Flying Objects (or UFOs, for short).

Well, whereas the “letter” and the “content” of the above Statement, would you like to know the Truth about “Them”?

Do you want to know if “They” really exist and visit us and our “Mysterious Neighbor“, such as the Moon, from time to time?

You Do?!?

Well, that’s too bad Folks, because we do not know the Truth! But, actually – at least up to now and as far as we know… -, NOBODY DOES!

That said, even though the above Statement can be considered – how could we say? – “slightly disappointing”, it is a fact that we can still provide you with some interesting notes about such an everlasting question. A question that, in the end (and wheter you are a “Believer” or a “Skeptic”), everybody knows: are we or are we NOT alone?

But…Do we have some (reliable) Material Evidence which could prove that UFOs actually exist and are close to us?

Well, let’s see what we’ve got here…

Everything started (at least, in this case in point) with an Apollo 11 frame. To be very precise, we are talking about the frame identified by the serial AS 11-43-6370.

AS 11-43-6370 (cropped)


What that frame seems to show, is really astonishing: a “possible UFO” hovering (or better yet: flying, as we shall see and try to demonstrate later…) on the Lunar Surface (also known as ”Lurain”, such as Lunar Terrain) and casting (projecting) a shadow over it.

Is that possible?

Maybe. And maybe not.

In our honest and humble opinion, this subject COULD and SHOULD have been faced and interpreted by reasoning along one of these two possible different lines of thought:

1) since what we have here is a genuine NASA-APOLLO frame, the “Object and its shadow” must be real, and therefore we are/should be talking about a UFO (or, if you do not like that expression, we should discuss about some other REAL Object whose nature is yet unidentified), or
2) since what we have here is a genuine NASA-APOLLO frame, but what we are looking at is NOT an “object” nor a “shadow”, but just an image artifact of some kind (perhaps a NEW kind, but still an image artifact, such as a “distortion” of the imege - meaning the representation of something that does not actually exist in the real world), we should, therefore, be spending some time talking about the NASA – APOLLO pictures in general as well as about some of their most obvious and misleading defects.

That, we repeat, in our opinion, could and should have been an excellent Starting Point. The BEST one.

But it did not work like that.

As a matter of fact, some people, after having “examined” (allegedly examined) the frame that we are discussing now, decided that a Third Way had to be considered, which is the following one: the “object” and the “shadow” are NOT an object and a shadow because the shadow itself… is IMPOSSIBLE (and therefore the object casting an “impossible” shadow MUST NOT exist)!

In other words: in the frame AS 11-43-6370, we are just looking at a pseudo-shadow (caused by a non-existing object) because a shadow like the one visibile in AS 11-43-6370, simply cannot exist in this World. Better yet: it cannot exist in this WHOLE Universe!…

Well, ignoring the fact that such a position has been suggested to us – and please, forgive us for being totally honest - in a kind of ”nasty” way, let’s however ask ourselves one question: is this “Third Way” a good way to approach the subject, or is it a “bad” and misleading one?

Well, let’s just say, for now, that it is just a “way”…

And since Lunar Explorer Italia has always been available towards an honest and polite (if and when possible…) “exchange of opinions”, we decided to ”feed” this debate and, for starters, we asked a couple of Friends and Partners of Lunar Explorer Italia who, beyond any doubt, are true Experts in this subject.

One of them is a Private Researcher, worldwide known as “Luna Cognita” (probably the very BEST Private Researcher operating in the wide Field of the so-called “Anomaly Hunting”); the other one is a Dear Friend of Lunar Explorer Italia, who graduated in Astrophysics a few years ago and that now works at the NSSDC (National Space Science Data Center).

The question we asked was the same for both of them, and it was VERY simple: “Dear Friends, please, look at the frame AS 11-43-6370 – specifically, look at the cropped area – and, once you’ll have focused on the Extra Detail Magnification (which seems to show an “object” of unidentified nature hovering over the Lunar Surface and casting a shadow onto the latter), please, let us know what do you think of it. Do you believe that it is an Image-artifact of some sort? Do you think that the shadow that the object seems to cast on the Lurain is an “impossible” shadow? Can we legitimately talk about a POSSIBLE UFO?”.

Well, as it has already happened in several cases, the answers we received widely exceeded our most optimistic expectations…

From Dr “Jay” (we apologize to our Readers, but we cannot mention the real name of the person involved in this research because WE DO NOT WANT to cause him any trouble - we already had a bad experience, about 5 years ago, with another Friend and Colleague working for the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and we REALLY DO NOT WANT to repeat the same mistake!), we received a very simple answer, which says as follows:”…on the original Apollo 11 negative I can see, in the area that you pointed out, two small dots which DO NOT APPEAR to be image-artifacts…”.

Well, once we say that we will never be grateful enough to Jay for his answer, we DO believe that JUST THAT LINE should be MORE THAN ENOUGH to, at least, make us to consider the POSSIBILITY that what we are looking at in captioned frame is “something unusual” or, if you prefer, that we are watching something that many people like to define as an “Anomaly“.

A “Transient“, to be more specific: an object (a REAL object!) whose nature is not and cannot be identified, but that (obviously) EXISTS and it is UNEXPLAINABLE.

Now: are we saying that the frame  AS 11-43-6370 CERTAINLY depicts an actual UFO?

Of course not! We are just saying that the aforementioned frame PROBABLY shows an Anomaly and that such an Anomaly is not a figment of our imagination (or a defect of of the film), but – PROBABLY – a REAL OBJECT of some kind.

An Object that, BY DEFINITION (considering its appearence and position – i.e.: ABOVE the Lurain), can only be defined as an Unidentified Flying Object. A “UFO“.

An OVNI, in Italian Language, such as “Oggetto Volante Non Identificato“.

But some Folks, here in Italy, decided to simply debunk the frame and its (relatively obvious and certainly questionable, but – we believe – FAIR and OPEN) interpretation, by using the so-called “Shadows’ Theory“.

And what did they do? They actually produced, in order to “scientifically erase” this possible finding, a few (in OUR OPINION highly questionable) drawings, then they dismissed the subject on the assumption that the “alleged UFO” was just the result of a misinterpretation of the frame, due to some lack of competence and the misuse (better yet: non-use…) of the “Scientific Method” (!), by Lunar Explorer Italia.

Ok, we take it.

But, please, allow us now to further retort to our detractor, by quoting a portion of the Report relevant to the content of AS 11-43-6370, as sent to us by our Friend, Luna Cognita. A Report that, in our opinion, first defies and then fully erase the relevance and application of the “Shadows’ Theory” to the case in point…

“…Regarding frame AS 11-43-6370 that you asked about – that is definitely an interesting Hasselblad frame from Apollo 11, clearly appearing to show an Unidentified Object above the Lunar Surface near the Korolev Basin, with the UFO dropping its shadow onto the Lurain (—> Lunar Terrain) below.
Now, like you mentioned, I have also heard a few skeptics attempt to forward the claim that the unidentified object we see in frame #6370 is dropping an “impossible shadow”, using that claim in an attempt to debunk the possible Anomaly.

Well, I believe that there are a few problems with that skeptic claim however.

That “impossible shadow” argument is not as strong a debunk argument as some may think, and an honest skeptic must appreciate that they cannot merely focus on only what that lone image appears to show. The UFO in frame AS 11-43-6370 appears to give the visual impression that the shadow it is casting could be falling straight below the object, as if the UFO was being illuminated from directly overhead at the time. However, we know the Sun was not high in the sky when this frame was exposed.

According to the official historical evidence, the Sun was actually low on the Western Lunar Horizon at the time, almost directly behind the on-orbit CSM camera platform, with the camera’s principal point facing the Lunar East direction shooting through a 250mm telephoto lens at close to a 60-degree high-oblique look angle.

When doing this kind of photo analysis and interpretation, visual appearances and perceptions can sometimes be deceiving, and very importantly, we must always remember that a photograph only gives us a two-dimensional reproduction of a three-dimensional scene – with very little depth information. In order for a debunker to credibly demonstrate that this UFO shadow we see in frame 6370 is in an “impossible” location, they would first have to be able to accurately calculate the exact 3D Object Space Position of the UFO above the Lunar Surface via photogrammetric triangulation of the photograph.

However, skeptics should be aware that there is simply not enough visual evidence in frame 6370 to allow anyone to accurately determine the precise 3D Object Space Location/Altitude of that Unidentified Flying Object in relation to its shadow and the lurain below. That is the problem the debunkers have here, because for the “impossible shadow” debunk to be taken seriously, the skeptics have to somehow be able to triangulate the exact location of the UFO above the Moon from the visual information available in the frame, because that would be the only way they can conclusively demonstrate that the shadow is in an “impossible” location in comparison to the UFO.

But the fact is that frame 6370 does not provide enough visual data for anyone to conclusively determine whether the UFO is actually casting an “impossible shadow” or not.
Some people may look at that image and simply assume the shadow to be “impossible” because of the way it appears at first glance, and they might assume they can determine a very accurate estimate of the UFO’s exact size and location above the Moon based on the visual evidence available in that one frame.
They can’t though!
What the debunkers are doing is just assuming that the UFO is directly above its umbra (creating the “impossible shadow”), but they are ignoring the fact that they have no way of accurately determining via photogrammetric triangulation whether that is the case or not! 

I will therefore argue that the UFO is actually not directly above its own shadow at all here. The UFO is in fact closer to the camera than the debunkers think it is, and because the Sun is directly behind the camera, the UFO shadow being cast is not dropping straight down at all – it is actually being cast towards the East at an angle away from the camera. This would mean the UFO is further West (closer to the camera) than its shadow is, and there is nothing “impossible” about that at all given the declared Sun Elevation and camera location.
The “impossible shadow” theory only exists if you assume that the UFO is directly above its own shadow, even though there is no evidence to suggest that is the case here.

Again, for the debunker claim of an “impossible shadow” to have any validity, the skeptics must show that what I said above about the UFO being closer to the camera than they think is not correct.
But the only way for them to disprove what I say and to prove their “impossible shadow” theory would be to somehow plot the exact 3D Object Space Location of the UFO above the Moon to prove the shadow does not make sense.

The evidence to do that position plotting of the UFO does not exist though.

We do not have enough data to accurately attempt a photogrammetric triangulation to try to determine the 3D Object Space Coordinates of the UFO based off that one single frame of film.
We do not know what that object in frame 6370 is, and since it is only visible in one frame, there is no further supporting visual evidence that could allow us to carry out a comparative analysis with other imagery to photogrammetrically determine the scale of that UFO or its altitude and 3D object space position above the lurain at the time it was filmed. We also lack any fine-scale Lunar Surface Topographic Data for that Region that could establish the true Slope directions and Elevation Profiles of the Lunar Surface at the UFO shadow point, and that data would be a requirement for the “impossible shadow” theory to be convincing as well, so the fact is there is no proof that there is anything “impossible” about the shadow we are seeing.
If you consider the idea that the UFO is actually slightly closer to the camera and is not directly above its shadow, then the “impossible shadow” we see becomes entirely possible and explainable.

There is also one further piece of evidence that can support the idea that this is indeed an Unidentified Object flying above the Lunar Surface that was captured on film.
That evidence is not provided in frame #AS 11-43-6370, but rather we have to look at the previous exposed frame – AS 11-43-6369.

I attached a side-by-side cropped image comparison that shows an aligned crop from frame 6369 on the left, and the crop of the same Region of the Surface from frame 6370 (showing the UFO and its shadow) on the right. You can see that the UFO and its shadow are not visible in the same Region of the Lunar Surface in frame 6369.  

That demonstrates that this UFO was not hovering stationary, but rather was flying over the Surface“.

AS 11-43-6379 and 6370 (crop 1 sidestack UFO and shadow visible in 6370)


Whereas the word “Conclusion“, in this case, is wrong (because, as you have read – and hopefully WELL UNDERSTOOD! – that, at this time, we certainly can Observe, Analyze and Speculate, but we CANNOT be definitive about the DEEP and TRUE Nature of what frame AS 11-43-6370 actually represents…), we wish to remind you all that, like we ALWAYS tried to explain on our pages when the subject was the Cosmos and, in particular, the “Controversial Events” of the Cosmos”, there are only two things, today, that we can really be “sure” of:

1) our Knowledge, even though in the past few centuries it sensibly grew, and now is growing and it WILL grow – every day a little more! -, unfortunately is still EXTREMELY LIMITED;

2) the assumption that we ALREADY POSSES a Science that, generally speaking, is capable to prove “beyond any reasonable doubt” what is possible and what is not, both on Earth and in the whole Universe, is a pure fiction. More: it is a (filthy) Lie.

Specifically: what do we REALLY see in the Apollo frame AS 11-43-6370?

Do we see a real UFO? And if so, does this UFO really cast a shadow on the Lunar Terrain?

 Or, maybe, we are just discussing about nothing? And that happened because both the UFO and the “shadow” were just a couple of EXTREMELY BIZARRE image-artifacts of some sort? 

This meaning that both the UFO and the shadow are “illusions”. Illusions created by not only ”our” endless will of seeing “something alien” at all costs, but also by the existence of a defect of some kind in the original film?

Well, Dear Friends, it is absolutely obvious that we CANNOT answer in a DEFINITIVE WAY to all these questions!… And it is also obvious that, as of today, NOBODY CAN.

We can discuss, we can make drawings, we can quote books, theories, suggestions and God knows what else we can do, but the fact is and remains one and one ONLY: we DO NOT have enough data to solve the problem.


Tomorrow, in a month, or maybe in a thousand years, we shall know more. And let’s hope that we shall also know BETTER!

But until then, let’s try to work with what we have, using the best of our capabilities, the best of what we have learned and, while doing so, let’s try to practice (at least) a little Humility. That Humility which will make us, in the end, better Scientists, better Researchers and, we believe, better People.

The answers, you know, about this subject and about a thousand more, will come anyway. It is only a Matter of Time


The Labyrinth of Time


Special Thanks:

to Luna Cognita (for the Research, the Skill, the Erudition, the Education and the Patience he shows while doing his beautiful Work)

to Dr Jay (for having answered to a question that only a few Professional Researchers would have considered worth the risk of being given…)

to Ufologo (alias Massimo Staccioli) and the Public Forum of “Mondo UFO” (for having created the premises of this research)

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