Fifty years later, how sure are you that you know the WHOLE story about the iconic moon landing? Do you know about the ‘secret’ ceremony for example?
This weekend marks 50 years since the iconic lunar landing.
There was a ceremony in the White House with Buzz Aldrin, and the relatives of Neil Armstrong.
AV crews worked some real ‘Saturn 5’ magic on the Washinton Monument, which we’ll include further down the page. But there’s ANOTHER can’t-miss ‘magical’ commemoration of this amazing event that not everyone will have heard about.
Most of our readers already know Mike Rowe, the dirt-under-his-fingernails hard working guy with an almost otherworldly ability to captivate his audience in a story. A few minutes into his podcasts and it won’t matter if you’re politically right or left, you’re transfixed. That’s what a master storyteller can do. And there is one other name I could mention who can work that same magic — especially as it concerns all things Americana, Space Race, and Flight.
The incomparable ‘steely-eyed missile man’… Bill Whittle.
He lives and breathes flight of every kind — but especially space flight. He’s forgotten things most people have never… EVER… learned about it.
For those of us born AFTER the greatest technological achievement in human history had become a hook to hang our laurels on rather than a dream to propel us forward, Bill Whittle’s storytelling takes us all right into heart of the Space Race.
One thing that stands out from his series — and which may whet your appetite for the sort of things he’s got in there — is his an account of a ‘secret’ ceremony that was NOT broadcast over the radio like most of the other communications between the Eagle and Mission Control.
What was the big secret? In order to properly put it in context, he brings us back to Apollo 8 in 1968, where the astronauts become the first people to witness the Earth rising from behind the moon… on Christmas morning. The three astronauts each took turns reading a passage from Geneis 1, closing with the words: “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”
That ‘outrage’ launched a lawsuit from Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists. It ultimately LOST, but it intimidated the brass in NASA into PC silence. More on that in a moment.
In the course of telling these stories, he mentions the qualities these astronauts have in common. Intellect. Courage. Nerves of steel and so on. Christianity is another trait shared among most if not all of them. Why does this matter? Simple. It not only matters because they are competing against their EXPLICITLY athiestic Soviet rivals, but it takes us right to that ceremony we’ve been hinting at.
For various reasons, there was a lag between the time the Eagle landed and the moment they stepped out onto the lunar surface. Communication was between the Astronauts and NASA, not to the general public in that period. Here’s what Bill Whittle describes:
“And now that was over. We were on the moon. We’d used all our missiles, engineers, radars, computers, pilots, aircraft carriers, everything we had in the box to win a war with our ideological polar opposites. It couldn’t be fought any other way on account of there being 20,000 Hydrogen bombs on each side. We’d actually been at war with them for 15 years and we won. Everybody on the planet knew what was going to happen next. In a few hours, the tension of the actual landing safely behind us, and the details of how close we came to catastrophe were still packed safely away in the future, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were gonna open a hatch in front of the closet-sized Eagle, they were gonna crawl out onto the Porch and then slowly step down a golden ladder to claim our prize.
You know it never really occurred to me until just now, but during those first few hours after the landing and before the moonwalk in many ways, the world of 2019 was born and the fate of the Space Age and everything that it could have been kinda was sealed. Because during that 6-hour intermission from history the Crew of Apollo 11’s Lunar module was conducting an operation that would remain hidden for many years to come.
Aldrin was the specialist for this silent clandestine mission, it had been his idea. And he was the one who had gotten clearance to carry a small pouch containing items that were never officially recognized as part of the Apollo 11 manifest. Now after all of the post-landing checks had been made and all the adrenalin in the 2 men had begun to clear, Aldrin opened a specially-sealed package and began setting up as Armstrong watched him in stony silence. Armstrong didn’t seem to like it much. And he must have been pretty worried about what was going on in terms of the politcal fallout if it ever became public.
Aldrin tore open a pouch and poured some liquid into a metal cup. He later said that the edges of the fluid were curling up in very delicate sort of fashion in the slow motion in the one-sixth lunar gravity. “I’d like to request a few moments of silence,” he radioed back to Huston, opening up the second package and spilling the contents into his other hand.
Now hourse before the big show he invited the entire team — but not the rest of the world — to join him as he proceeded. He said, “I would like to invite each person listenin in wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own, individual way.” And with that, Edwin Eugine Aldrin Jr., Elder at the Webster Presbyterian Church located at NASA Parkway back in Houston Texas, quietly read a few words of scripture raised the silver chalice to his lips, took a bite of a concecrated wafer, and had Holy Communion on the surface of another world.
The first fluid ever poured on another planet — was wine.
Aldrin couldn’t understand why this act had been swept so deeply under the rug, he said ‘at the time I could think of no better way to acknowledge the Apollo 11 experience than by giving thanks to God. He would later write than in his memoirs, that would be 40 years later.
This is where Bill brings us through the Apollo 8 story… building up to that point that had ‘just occurred to him’:
She [O’Hair] lost the case, but NASA decided that it didn’t want the trouble, and made it clear to Buzz Aldrin that any religious beliefs he may have had, he needed to keep to himself. And there, RIGHT there during that six hours between the landing and the One Small Step, the fear of freely saying the things that we believed in was planted.
Right there, the can-do spirit of the Space Age took a knee to political correctness, and there, in the six hours between having our cake and eating it too, we went from defeating Communism to bowing to it.
His 4-part podcast series is called Apollo 11: What We Saw. If you like good story telling by people who Love America and her history, you’ll LOVE this.
Here’s the short audio preview as it appeared on Micheal Knowles’ show.
And what better way to wrap up, than with a tweet from the man himself:
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) July 21, 2019
(And here’s the Washington Monument video we promised:)
— Olga Acosta 🇨🇴🇺🇸 (@OlgaPaquita) July 20, 2019
And the launch itself:
— OPTIMUSPRIME (@_J_Peso) July 21, 2019
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