Transcript of Interview on the 3/21/96 Art Bell Program of

Richard Hoagland and Ken Johnston

Part 3 of 4 (Third Half-Hour)


The following is a transcript of the radio interview that was aired late Thursday night - March 21, 1996 - into early Friday morning - March 22, 1996 - on the weeknight program, "Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell". The interview was conducted by Art Bell. The participants were Richard Hoagland and Ken Johnston.

(announcer leads in: "Now, here again, Art Bell".)

AB: Once again, here I am. Good evening, everybody.

We have with us, Richard C. Hoagland.

And we have a contractor to NASA. He is Ken Johnston and he took care of NASA's data and photo stuff. He was the documentation supervisor.

And he's just one of those who appeared with Richard Hoagland in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club.

And we're talking with him, about what happened and what didn't happen.

And we'll get back to it in a moment...

Alright, as we go back to our two guests, this report of coverage by KABC Television in Los Angeles, tonight at 11:30 - actually, after we went on the air:

Female anchor:

"Well, the man that once said he found a human-like face - in a photograph - on Mars, tonight claims he spotted signs of an ancient civilization on the Moon.

Richard Hoagland held a news conference displaying magnified portions of pictures taken by the Apollo astronauts on the lunar surface.

Now he sees a Grecian-like temple, a mile and a half-high formation - and what he calls a glass dome.

Apollo 12 astronaut, Alan Bean, said: "Not true". He took many of those photos; says he doesn't see any signs of civilizations or little Moon condos, or anything else."

Other anchor: "Maybe he needs new glasses."

Female: "Maybe".

AB: That was the essence of a newscast that ran at 11:30, on KABC Television, in Los Angeles...

Richard, you want to react to that?

RH: It's interesting about Alan Bean.

We have a film, that was released by NASA in 1969 called, "Apollo 12: Pinpoint for Science", which was the half-hour official NASA "PR" film on the Apollo 12 mission.

AB: Yes.

RH: And we have had that film analyzed, frame by frame. There are some remarkable sequences from that film.

And I have to describe how the film was made, because when the Apollo program was underway - what people have to understand is - there was this incredible demand for time.

Ken, how many hours a day were you putting in on Apollo, when you were there?

KJ: Well, for most of it - in the early 60's - we were putting in anywhere from 12 to 14 hours, 7 days a week.

It was - back in Bethpage, Long Island, at the final assembly plant for the Lunar Module, that we had one guy who had been doing that for like three years; Came in - clocked in - turned around - had a heart attack, and died.

Because that was extremely stressful to do that.

AB: My!

RH: So, between the missions, there was *no* pause. There was no "breathing" space. There was no time for reflection or analysis, or any kind of assignment process that a scientist would recognize.

So it was bang!, bang!, bang! - mission after mission after mission.

And right up to the Apollo 12 mission - which occurred in November of 1969 - NASA "PR" in Washington here, wanted film to get out to the news media.

AB: Yes.

RH: And the procedure was, that they would take the photos the astronauts had taken on the Moon - the still photos - they would make up prints; they would rush them over to this production house - I think it was in Houston, run by Ken Grimm, at the time; And they would put them on what's called an Ocks-Ferry animation stand.

And they would point a 16-millimeter camera at them; and they would pan the stills. And they would make their film from the film of the stills that the astronauts had taken.

On Apollo 12, the astronauts did not take any 16-millimeter motion picture film on the surface, outside the Lunar Module. They took Hasselblad stills - from still cameras mounted on the chest of their spacesuits. And then those were used to make up the film, as part of the elaborate production process when they came back.

Well, we noticed when one of our colleagues - the same gentleman who drove his equipment 10,000 miles from California - from Los Angeles to Goddard - when we put one of these original films, which is now 30 years old - it's faded; it's brittle; it breaks in the projector, in the Telecini - when we put it on the instrument and had him look at it, there were some remarkable peculiarities about this official NASA-released film.

And what I did was - I had him make a videotape copy of the film through this very high-quality electronic system which he's developed, based on German engineering, for the Hollywood film industry out in California.

State-of-the-art, Art, Okay?

AB: Yes.

RH: And I had him send it to me, and I put it through our computer process - which is able to take still frames, digitize them, enlarge them, and then using a variety of algorithms to enhance them.

And on those frames from NASA's own film, we have photographs of Alan Bean standing in front of stunning, geometric, tiered, recessed, buttressed lunar ruins - over and over, again.

AB: Well, then, what do you make of his statement?

RH: Let me get back to the statement, in a minute. Let me complete this thought.

What is really important, is that this film, "Pinpoint for Science" - was an official release document from NASA. It's all over the world. It's in libraries in every country. Every NASA Center, every major city should have this film.

AB: Alright, that underscores my question.

RH: Which means that people should be able to get access to it, and do the same thing with it that we've done with it.

So now we come back to Alan Bean, alright?

Alan Bean is claiming to ABC tonight, that he didn't see anything and as far as he knows, there is nothing there.

Now what I need to see, is the exact wording of his statement.

AB: Hmm.

RH: Remember, the art of politics - is the exact language.

AB: That's true.

RH: The State Department spends a fortune writing draft language for relations between countries, because a word or a comma, legally, has a whole different meaning.

What is very clear here - because we've got the evidence - is a situation very similar to Hillary Clinton's.

Hillary Clinton got a document out of her library the other day, that she wasn't supposed to have. We don't know how it got into her library. She claims she doesn't know how it got to her library - on the third floor of the White House.

But the document exists.

We have photographs of Alan Bean standing in front of ruins on the lunar surface.

AB: So, somebody ought to put that photo up in front of him and say: "What about this?"

RH: Exactly!

And until he is confronted, face-to-face, with this photo and asked: "How can you say it's not there, when it's there on official release prints - that NASA sent all over the world and all we've done is go back to the original NASA film and simply turn up the contrast?"

That's all we did.

AB: Alright, listen to me for a second, Richard. A serious question. This is from me.

RH: Okay.

AB: You've been talking about what could and could not be seen, according to certain filtering.

What do we know about the astronauts' visors?

RH: Good question. Excellent question.

The astronauts' visors were gold; and Ken, correct me at any point - where - if I'm wrong, here.

KJ: Okay.

RH: They were gold-plated, multiple-layer Lexan - which is a very hard plastic. And they had a pull-down gold Lexan covering, so that they could filter out ultraviolet light.

Now, the first thing I thought of - when we got these photographs, is: "Oh my God!" - I mean, here is the greatest tragedy in history. We send human beings to the moon, to explore the moon, to find what no one has found before - and because of the basic equipment they had - which was a filter that cut out ultraviolet - they missed seeing the most stunning obvious thing they should've seen - which is these tiered ruins around them made of glass, shining brightly in the ultraviolet.

AB: Could it be?

RH: No. And I'll tell you why.

Because we have photographs of the astronauts with those gold over-visors raised up, looking at the moon directly, with the unaided eye - through the plastic visor.

KJ: Right. Those were used when looking directly in "up sun" - looking toward the sun.

RH: And because these things glow most brightly, looking away from the sun - when you look at the Apollo 14 panoramas provided by Ken - you can see Shepard's shadow extending out, and the stuff in the sky - the crud, the glass, the domes, the ruins - are most brightly visible away from the sun; when you would put the visor up so you could see.

AB: Alright, Ken...

RH: And, there's another thing.

AB: Yes?

RH: On Apollo 12, from Ken's archive, we have photographs of Pete Conrad looking at Bean, and Bean looking at Conrad, and taking pictures of each other - and we have ruins reflected in the visors of the other astronaut.

AB: Alright, Ken, you were a NASA data and photo-documentation supervisor, or under contract to do that for NASA - do you - have you seen these same things that Richard is now talking about?

KJ: Yes I have.

In fact, that's what I was saying; when they first came over to my house and we just took out a normal - I guess, what were those? - about a five or ten power little loupe.

RH: Yes, we had little photographic loupes that Kerry carries around.

KJ: Right, right. And you could actually see some of these right there. In fact, my wife discovered one of the first ones, and that set us all off.

Kind of like on an Easter egg hunt, almost.

AB: Well,...

RH: There's something else, Art. Alright?

AB: Yes? Yes?

RH: Two years ago, when Alan Bean - it's interesting that Alan Bean has been picked - obviously he's been picked, because we cited him at the press conference this morning as one of the guys that we've got photographs of, standing in front of these things - we also have the Lunar Module parked right in front of one of these step-tiered buttresses, which is identical to the same kind of buttressing we see on the Apollo 14 data - 122 miles away, but at a greater distance.

In other words, we've got convergent data on two different data sets: the NASA film and the prints that Ken put away in the archive - and they are two different sources and they're showing us the same stuff. That's called science.

But let me get back to Bean, alright?

AB: Sure.

RH: The thing that strikes me about Bean, is that Bean is/was a visual guy. Alan Bean, when he retired from the Astronaut Corps, became an artist.

Alan Bean is a professional artist and he's a damn good artist.

I used to do art when I was in the museum game. Back in Springfield, one of the things that I did was - I painted.

And when I went to NBC as an unpaid consultant. The night of the first Surveyor landing, I came back to the museum from New York, in '65 - '66, and I painted the version of what it would have been like to stand on the Moon next to Surveyor, looking up at the Earth - which still hangs in the Museum of Science in Springfield, Massachusetts.

One of my heroes was Chesley Bonstelle, who was the first real, realistic space illustrators of this century.

When Alan Bean retired from being an astronaut, he took his talent and turned into a professional space illustrator. And he has produced all kinds of artwork - centering and moving around the theme of the Apollo missions to the Moon.

So, his artistic background and training and curiosity and talent, was honed to a fine 'art' - pun intended - in terms of his later profession.

And he's done some very, very striking work, which has captured the essence of the Apollo spirit and what we all thought was going on.

AB: Well, this makes it all the more difficult.

RH: Listen to this.

He was asked in an interview - Art, if this was simple, anybody would be doing it. There's a profound mystery here; we've got to get to the bottom of the mystery. When Alan Bean was asked by Newsweek, in 19... two years ago? When was the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11? The 25th anniversary was 1995?

AB: Five.

RH: Oh. Okay.

AB: Last year.

RH: Last year.

When Newsweek did a special issue on Apollo, and the space program -

AB: Yes.

RH: They interviewed a lot of the astronauts: "Where were you then, and where are you now; what do you think, and where should we be going?" And all that.

AB: Right.

RH: The reporter asked specifically - the correspondent asked Alan Bean: "What did space look like from the lunar surface?"

And Bean's reaction is stunningly insightful.

And I would like to ask him face-to-face about it, because he looked thoughtful.

And then he said: "You know it's always puzzled me".

He said: "It resembled black, patent-leather shoes."

AB: Ha!

RH: Now, think about this.

This is an artist remembering a visual impression, stored in the subconscious.

What's the hallmark of black, patent-leather shoes? They're black, yes.

AB: Yes.

RH: But, they're "shiny" black.

AB: Hmm.

RH: Space should be velvet-black. It should be inky-black. It should be infinity, unending, deep, endless black.

It shouldn't be shiny.

And his artist memory was remembering - that during the moon walks, the sky looked like patent-leather shoes.

AB: Fascinating.

RH: I rest my case.

AB: Alright. Here's one for you, again.

Look, if you had the Russian pictures you talk about, and they clearly show large structures - why in the world would you not have shown them right away, to catch the attention - right away - of the press?

KJ: Can I jump in on that one?

AB: Yes, you may. Sure.

KJ: Okay.

The same thing is that we discussed how to present this material, and because it's kind of a progressive process - because when you first look at it, you say: "Oh, well, that's the Moon." I mean, we've been looking at the Moon for thousands of years, and seeing it; and we wanted to present it in such a way - building up to a climax - to show the items of glass, which were so blatant.

So, we were in a process of getting there - and then we got cut short.

AB: Oh, brother!

RH: We also were building credibility. Remember, we're making an extraordinary claim, and I wanted to put forward people like Marv Czarnik...

AB: Of course.

RH: And Ken and Ron Nicks. Ron Nicks was our resident geologist on the panel, this morning. He has extensive background with Parsons and other major engineering firms in the oil industry.

He stood up there for 10 -15 minutes. And again, Ken, you could testify - if you would like.

He basically said: "I'm looking at these pictures, and as a geologist, I cannot explain what is in these pictures".

"This is no moon I have ever learned about."

AB: Correct, Ken?

KJ: Absolutely correct. He said that he had no earth model to be able to explain the anomalies and things that he was looking at.

AB: Alright, well see - this begins to add substance then, certainly to your claims - Richard. And so much so, I would think - that, at the very least - it ought to be more than a "chuckle item" at the end of a newscast. And it ought to engender some serious investigation, even by NASA - ha, ha.

RH: Unless Art, we really don't want to know.

AB: Unless we don't want to know. Well...

RH: I am beginning to feel - that we're dealing much less with conspiracy - which is a word I'm becoming to really detest...

AB: I know.

RH: Than with what I call, "an unconscious unwillingness to shake reality." There is an awful lot of people that are comfortable - living in their illusion.

AB: Yes.

RH: We create the world around us - to make us feel more comfortable.

AB: Well, the one area, Richard, that I disagree with you in...

RH: Okay.

AB: Is the effect this information would have on the present scientific and religious paradigms; I think it would wreak havoc. I know you think everybody's ready; they're not.

I wish you could have been around to get some of the calls I've had, from devout Christians - who would be horrendously challenged and shaken, if your information was validated.

Now, that's a lot of people in America, Richard.

RH: So, you're basically saying there is a political reason to keep it quiet?

AB: That's right. Of course I am.

RH: Okay. I mean - but we have to get this out on the table. You know, people say to me: "Why wouldn't NASA make this public?" "Wouldn't this be a 'gold card' for NASA"? "Wouldn't this unloose the space program"? And what you have just said, Art, is one of the most important, salient pieces of analysis - which is the motivation.

In other words, Brookings is "alive and well." We have not grown up, according to this. We really would be devastated. There would be tremendous, systemic changes - which certain people, in positions of power, have simply decided: "We are not going to allow." "Period." "End of discussion."

AB: Alright.

RH: Which is why it is a "giggle" item at the end of the evening news.

AB: Yes, alright. Look, you've got these Russian pictures. You didn't get a chance to show them at the press conference, because now, I understand, you got caught out of time - you had to clear the area. But what about getting them up on my Internet site?

RH: Oh yes. When I get back to New York, I'm going to be putting all of the images we had at the Press Club - up on your site.

AB: Oh, excellent!

RH: Yes, well I mean - I've been planning this.

AB: Will there also be, some sort of - if nothing else - condensed transcript?...

RH: Yes.

AB: Of what occurred at the press conference?

RH: Yes, there will.

AB: And you can get that at the Website?

RH: We will. Alright?

AB: Alright, good.

Now, Ken, you've got your neck out - a couple of miles or more - here. And how much consideration did you give to going public, before you did?

KJ: Well, fortunately I'm 53 years old now. At the time, I was probably one of the youngest engineers involved in the program. And each time I listen to Richard talk, I realize that that limb is getting a little further out there.

Hopefully there are other people - in fact, I know that there has to be. Yesterday when I was listening to Richard talk - he was talking about the fact that most of the documentation and stuff on how to build the Apollo 5, the Saturn 5 spacecrafts - has been - I believe you said, Richard - has been destroyed; or has been retrieved, or what have you...

RH: The FBI went around the country - after Apollo - and they literally called back the blueprints from the contractors, from engineers, from private consultants - and they destroyed them.

We could not build a Saturn 5 today, if our lives depended on it. We would have to "re-invent the wheel."

KJ: A lot of us had the Apollo Operations Handbooks - for the Command Service Modules, for the Lunar Modules.

AB: Ken, hold it there for one second. We're at the bottom of the hour and we'll come back to you after the bottom of the hour, Ken - and pursue this.

Ken Johnston, contactor to NASA - NASA's data and photo-documentation supervisor. And Richard Hoagland. Back in a moment.

(- break for messages -)

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Transcribed by Tom Talley ([email protected]), Proofreading by James Shannon ([email protected]), HTML by Keith Rowland ([email protected]).

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