NASA Dismisses Former Apollo
Photo and Data Manager from JPL Educational Program
Missing Apollo Data to be Shown
at National Press Club Briefing Today, Oct. 30, 2007
Dr. Ken Johnston, former Manager of the
Data and Photo Control Department at NASA’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory
during NASA’s manned Apollo Lunar Program, was abruptly terminated
Tuesday morning, October 23rd, from JPL’s prestigious “Solar System
Ambassador” (SSA) Program.
All evidence of Dr. Johnston’s exemplary
4-year participation in the NASA outreach effort to “communicate the
importance of NASA aerospace programs to the public around the world”
has been scrubbed from the official JPL SSA website, without formal
notification of Dr. Johnston as to cause.
Johnston is a key participant in today's
Enterprise Mission press briefing at the National
Press Club in Washington, DC (Zenger Room, 9:00 AM). At that time,
Johnston will reveal how NASA ordered him to destroy key
Apollo lunar images and data more than 40 years ago, rather than allow
them to be preserved for academic and public study.
Johnston will testify how he disobeyed
these NASA orders, secretly preserving the critical Apollo images—and
the never-officially-published lunar discoveries recorded on them.
According to AP, NASA is currently embroiled in a similar controversy
with Congress because of the agency’s planned destruction of supporting
data from a recent aviation safety study.
Johnston’s startling Apollo allegations
have recently appeared in a new book, “Dark
Mission: the Secret History of NASA,” co-authored by former NASA
consultant and CBS Science Advisor, Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara,
an aerospace engineering consultant.
According to Kay Ferrari, JPL Director
of the SSA Program (in a phone call to Johnston last week), it was
Johnston “being quoted [as] criticizing NASA in Hoagland’s new book,
‘Dark Mission,’” that prompted her to ask for Johnston’s resignation
from the SSA Program.
When Johnston refused, citing First Amendment
protections of free speech afforded all NASA employees, even those
at JPL, Ferrari apparently decided to remove him arbitrarily from
the SSA Program this week -- without cause.
JPL’s ultimate decision to fire Dr. Johnston
was initiated, according to Ferrari’s phone call, “by an initial inquiry
to JPL from James Oberg, of NBC News.” Oberg is a former NASA contractor
and a colleague of Johnston’s at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center during
the Apollo Program in the 1970’s. According to Ferrari, Oberg, in
his e-mails, raised “serious issues regarding Johnston’s credentials”
and his “crackpot accusations” against the agency.
Oberg’s NASA contractor history begs
ethical questions regarding his efforts to get Johnston terminated,
based on Johnston’s testimony in “Dark Mission” and intention to present
further “missing” Apollo images and data at the National
Dr. Johnston will present documentation
of his claims, credentials and key role at NASA in today's briefing.
All this on the heels of President George
W. Bush’s own “Vision for Space Exploration” (VSE) – his sudden decision
to “return Americans to manned lunar exploration” … made inexplicably,
in the middle of his war.
Why this abrupt international focus on
a 21st Century Moon Program -- after over 30 years
of the Moon being totally ignored? Did Apollo find “something”
of major importance on the Moon, which NASA just forgot to tell the
rest of us?
And is this somehow connected with NASA’s
inexplicable urgency to launch Discovery “on schedule,” despite
the safety issues? The October 30th NPC briefing will
present startling answers to these major public policy questions –
which could significantly affect the future of the VSE and NASA.
Leading the briefing will be Richard
C. Hoagland: former NASA consultant; CBS News Science Advisor during
the Apollo lunar missions; co-author of “Dark
Mission: The Secret History of NASA” (currently #1 on Amazon’s
list for “Astronomy,” and “Space Science”); and head of The Enterprise Mission. Ken Johnston, former NASA Manager of the Data and Photo
Control Department of NASA’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory at MSC
during the Apollo Program, will present supporting NASA documentation.
According to The Enterprise Mission:
This is an era of increasing concern
for ever more government secrecy and expanding classification. Hoagland
and Johnston will demonstrate that this “less than forthright NASA
decision-making” actually began a long time ago.
Citing specifics from the National Aeronautics
and Space Act of 1958, Hoagland will present startling evidence that,
contrary to assumptions made by politicians, members of the press
and public for almost half a century, NASA is NOT a “civilian” space
agency, but is in fact “a defense agency of the United
As a tax-supported federal institution,
NASA’s 1958 Congressional charter specifically instructs “Sec. 205
… (d) no [NASA] information which has been classified for reasons
of national security shall be included in any [NASA] report
made under this section [of the Act] …” [Emphasis added].
So, what criteria does NASA apply to
classifying its scientific or engineering information? And, what
major NASA discoveries have never been reported – either to
the Congress, the American people or the press -- because of NASA’s
legal ability to lie? And why could these now be politically
Says Hoagland “the evidence that NASA
is something other than the ‘benevolent civilian science institution’
it has pretended to be for 50 years, is as overwhelming now as it
It is this ‘dark mission,’ allowing the
president to legally classify NASA’s most important scientific
and technological findings without even other NASA scientists or
engineers, or Congress, the press or the American people becoming
aware, which we contend is now impelling this new 21st
Century Space Race.
A Race whose outcome – unlike the first
US/USSR race for ‘mere’ political prestige 50 years ago -- will literally
shape the life of every human being now alive on Earth, through the
startling technological discoveries we have evidence that NASA
made on the Moon during Apollo … brought back to Earth … and then
successfully kept secret for more than a generation.”
Supporting Hoagland’s highly controversial
data and analysis, Ken Johnston, former LRL manager of NASA’s photographic
lunar archive in the early 1970’s, will give a first-hand account
of how he was specifically instructed by his NASA managers toward
the end of the Apollo Program to destroy unique Apollo records
of what the astronauts actually recorded on the Moon, rather than
donate them to a university, high school or other public archive.
Hoagland and Johnston – using these 30-year-old
original Apollo images that Johnston, in disobeying that direct order,
personally preserved – will illustrate exactly what NASA hoped
would never become known: the apparent remains of extensivelunar ruins on the Moon, one of the key projected discoveries
cited by a pre-Apollo NASA/Brookings study as “capable of destroying
Hoagland and Johnston will then compare
this 30-year-old data with current Apollo images being posted
on official NASA websites around the world – revealing total confirmation
of Johnston’s 30-year-old
claims – including, an actual astonishing example of the extraordinarily
advanced technology the Apollo astronauts may have returned to
Earth in the last Mission of Apollo....
Richard C. Hoagland and Ken Johnston
will be available for interviews immediately following the briefing
- - which will last from