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

Richard Hoagland and Ken Johnston

Part 4 of 4 (Last 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: "This is the CBC Radio Network.")

AB: It absolutely is. I bid you all "good-morning."

Richard C. Hoagland is with us. A contractor to NASA, Ken Johnston - who took care of NASA's photo-analysis; He was actually a photo-documentation supervisor there.

And we'll get back to them in just a moment.

I've got a summary now, of the news conference, already on the Internet. That didn't take very long, did it?

AB: Alright, from a transcript of the press conference at the Press Club, in Washington, D.C.: Skipping down to our guest, Mr. Johnston - he's at the podium. He's giving his background.

In 1966, he left the Marines, and was a consultant and test pilot with Grumman. He amassed 3000 hours as a pilot, himself. He was test command pilot at the Johnson Space Center.

Mr. Johnston is describing photos he saw - while he was in charge of the photo archive at the Johnson Space Center. He is describing a viewing of one of the films taken by the astronauts, on Apollo footage - with "plumage" that was removed from this film, within 24 hours - mysteriously.

He was at Johnson through all the missions.

Mr. Johnson is showing letters, verifying that he gave Hoagland the photos of Apollo 14 - that he has here at the conference.

Is that about accurate, Sir?

KJ: That's very good. I'm surprised you got it that quick.

AB: Well...

RH: Susan was very good. Let's hear it for Susan Karaban. She's editor for Martian Horizons, who was typing furiously during the whole conference. And experiencing a "baptism of fire" in the IRC Chat area.

AB: That's what I heard - "baptism of fire". Okay, again - describing viewing one of the films taken by the astronauts, on Apollo footage with plumage that was removed from that film within 24 hours - tell us about that, please.

KJ: Well, on that particular case, this was Apollo 14.

After we had received the film, right after the astronauts had returned to the earth, it had been processed in the NASA photo lab. It was my responsibility to put together a private viewing for the chief astronomer - that was Dr. Thornton Page and his associate and contributing scientists.

I took the film over and set it up into what is called a "sequence camera;" it's kind of like one of the gun cameras they use in the military - where you can stop, freeze frame, go forward, back up and zoom in.

And we were viewing the Apollo 14 footage coming around the backside of the Moon as we were approaching a large crater. Now, due to the sun angle on the frontside that you would be looking at - (you'd probably be looking at more of a crescent at that point on the backside) - in the shadows in the craters, covering about half the crater - this particularly large crater showed a cluster of about five or six lights down inside the rim.

And this column or plume - or outgassing or something, coming up above the rim of the crater, where we could see that - at that point Dr. Page had me stop and freeze, and back up; and go back and forth several times.

And each time, he'd pause a second and looking at that; and he finally turned to his associates and said: "Well, isn't that interesting!"

And they all chuckled and laughed and Dr. Page said: "Continue".

Well, I finished up that viewing and I was told to check it back into NASA bonded storage in the photo lab. The next day, I was to check it back out and show it to the rank-and-file engineers and scientists at Johnson Space Center.

While we were viewing it the second time, and several of my friends were sitting next to me, I was telling them: "You can't believe what we saw on the backside of the Moon!" "Wait until you see this view."

And as we were approaching the same crater, and we went past the crater - there was nothing there!

I stopped the camera, took the film out to examine it - to see if anything had been cut out - and there was no evidence of anything being cut out. I told the audience that we were having "technical difficulties;" put it back in and finished.

That afternoon, I ran into Dr. Page over at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory and asked him what had happened to the lights and the outgassing, or steam we saw; and he kind of grinned and gave me a little twinkle and a chuckle and said:

"There were no lights. There is nothing there".

And he walked away. And we were so busy, I didn't get a chance to question him again.

AB: See, this is the kind of thing, that it seems to me - they cannot ignore. Now, during the news conference, Sarah McLendon - I'm well familiar with Sarah...

RH: Yes.

AB: White House reporter, apparently was there, and she asked: "Who constructed these artifacts"? Another journalist is wondering why the SETI program which appears to be searching for extraterrestrial life - yet ignores this data. That's a damn good question: Spending what - a 100 million dollars with SETI, or something?

RH: No, not really. It's not that much.

AB: Whatever it...

RH: It's more like ten million.

AB: Alright. Ten million dollars. And here's Richard Hoagland, at a press conference with people like Ken Johnston and engineers and others - and they ignore it.

RH: Well, what I said, I believe, in response was - that the whole premise of SETI is that there are mathematical symbols that would be coming in on radio. There would be coded symbols that would differentiate between background radio static in radio telescope, and an actual ET signal directed toward the earth.

And what we have found in the NASA data is geometric mathematical-coded data - not in a radio wave - but in pictures and photographs.

And we actually have found that same data on the Moon - in terms of the Clementine data, which we do not have time to get into tonight.

The whole point of this press conference is - there's a whole perspective on the NASA experience that has been restricted from those outside of the agency.

AB: Hmm.

RH: And when you try to bring it to the ordinary press person, or even the interested press person - because they don't have the background, you've got to start at "square one."

AB: Alright.

RH: Even with two hours, there was not enough time to present all of what we had assembled. And we had really winnowed down to the best - because we had to present the credentials and the credibility of our presenters to start with.

AB: Of course.

RH: Now, Sarah McLendon. This is a person I really admire, as one of the few people in the press who still has the "old school" integrity.

AB: You bet!

RH: Sarah McLendon, initially, was not interested at all in coming. When my press people called her up, she said: "Mars, Mars. I don't care about Mars." "I care about people and stuff here on Earth."

AB: (laughing).

RH: And she really was fighting, and my press person put me on the phone on a conference call. In 30 seconds, Art - she agreed to come. She said this is the "most important thing I can do."

She came in a wheelchair this morning. She wasn't feeling well. She was working with an "eagle-eye" at these pictures. She has now invited me to come back to Washington next week, on the 27th, and present this data to her group of investigative reporters that she is schooling at the National Press Club. And she's even going to take me to dinner.

AB: Well then, maybe there has been something significant that has come from this.

RH: There has been. And what I'm going to ask her to do is to basically - at the next press conference - put the question to Bill Clinton directly:

"Mr. President, why don't you just open these files? You said in Belfast, that the Air Force was telling you that UFOs don't exist, but you want to know. Here is data from a space program that you are now in charge of. It didn't happen on your watch, but you, with an Executive Order, can give everyone clemency. No blame. Nobody sitting in front of Senate hearings. Let's just find out what we really have and let's move on."

And Sarah McLendon is the person I'm going to ask to do this; and with more education here, in what she's seeing - I know that she's going to agree to do that.

So, we are making progress.

Now, there's something else I've got to tell Ken, because we're on two different floors of this hotel, overlooking the Capitol.

And this happened before we went on the air, so he does not know this. We have a date, Ken - tomorrow afternoon between four and seven, to meet with the executive producer of one of the major television network news shows here in Washington, to discuss your being interviewed by a major network anchor - regarding what we are talking about this evening.

KJ: That means I'm going out on that limb, a little further?

RH: The process, Art, is working.

AB: So, how do react to that Ken?

KJ: As I was saying, does that mean I'm going out on that limb a little bit further?

AB: It sounds like it.

KJ: Yes.

AB: And while we're there, Ken-

KJ: Yes?

AB: I want to get back to this: Would you like to make a plea for others like yourself? Others that were involved in the program - to come forward?

KJ: Yes, sir. I was going to say before we broke - a lot of us had the Apollo Operations Handbooks for the Command Modules and the Lunar Modules. These had the schematics, the drawings, the blueprints. I saved a lot of that stuff and put them in boxes, hoping to write my memoirs later on in life. And I know there are a lot of people like myself out there that have things - for one reason or another - that they decided to pigeon away and hold.

If we could start a public repository for this data that isn't controlled by any agency or government, or anything like that - I think it would be a great opportunity.

That's why I put my data and material with - it's now called "The Enterprise Mission" group - so I'm hoping that others will come forward and do the same thing.

RH: Art, I want to make an announcement.

We announced at the Press Club, that we have changed the name of "The Mars Mission", to "The Enterprise Mission".

AB: Alright.

RH: And there's a reason for that. Mars is too narrowly focused. We now have demonstrable data indicating strongly - ancient ruins on two worlds in the solar system.

AB: Yes.

RH: I'm beginning to suspect that it's not limited just to that. There's other NASA data sets that we've been quietly looking at, that are very provocative and troubling; if you don't understand that, maybe you're looking at artificial stuff as opposed to natural stuff.

And that will be discussed in future programs that you and I will do, and in future things that we will publish.

AB: Fine.

RH: The point is that we needed a broader focus, so I've been thinking for the last week or so, as we're building up to this.

What are we going to do? How do we move the focus and broaden it from Mars, to the whole NASA solar system exploration and probing questions on what is really out there?

And I realized that already the name had been given to us. But a few nights ago, Alan Keyes, who was a very interesting person - former Ambassador to the UN...

AB: Yes.

RH: Running for President. He was in the debate in Dallas, with Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes, I believe.

AB: Correct.

RH: And the reporter asked the only space question in the entire Presidential primary season. He asked each of the participants what they would do if elected President, about NASA.

AB: Correct.

RH: And the thing that was so striking about Alan Keyes - he looked at the camera, and he said, in essence - and I'm going to paraphrase; he said:

"Star Trek more exemplifies the NASA that should exist now, than NASA does."

AB: Matter of fact, he did. Yes.

RH: And I tried to get from C-SPAN, you know - C-SPAN is becoming my pain-in-the "you know what" - we tried to get the tape, because I wanted to run that tape to demonstrate, in the idiom of the day, the Presidential race - to these reporters; that in fact, even the candidates - at least one of them - the bright guy in the group, realizes there's something wrong at NASA.

That it's "business as usual" when you're exploring something which is anything but "usual".

AB: Indeed.

Well, I think NASA feels a pain - not NASA, but C-SPAN - feels a pain in about the same location, with "your name" on it.

RH: (laughs)

Anyway, so - taking a cue from Alan Keyes, I realized that what the Star Trek community had done many years ago, when they overrode NASA's insistence on calling the first space shuttle "Constitution" - and wrote 400,000 letters - which I must admit, I was responsible for engineering - to the White House; to President Ford at that time, to get him to override Jim Fletcher at NASA and to call it "Enterprise" - succeeded.

The democratic aspect of grassroots America, real citizens, voting with their "feet" for a space program that was worthy of the name - demanded of the White House and got from a President of the United States - the first space shuttle of the fleet named "Enterprise".

AB: "Enterprise". And so appropriate it is that you change the name to that.

RH: So we decided this morning, we're going to call this institution we're framing around a real space program:

"To Boldly Go Where Someone Apparently Has Gone Before"

AB: (laughs) That's great!

RH: "The Enterprise Mission".

AB: Alright, "The Enterprise Mission".

On behalf of Ken, Richard - if somebody else out there, with artifacts and more than memories - stored away...

RH: And photographs.

AB: Wants - and photographs, whatever; wants to get hold of you, and is willing to come forward, how do they do it?

RH: They fax us, at: 201- 271-1703.

Or they can leave a message with the Art Bell Website.

[ http://www.artbell.com/ ]

AB: That's true.

RH: Which is rapidly becoming - The Enterprise Mission - "Star Base - One".

We're going to make some further arrangements for setting up our own Website, but in the interim, you're a very interesting "way station" on the road to the future, Art.

AB: There you are!

RH: And we very much appreciate what you have done and what Keith Rowland has done.

AB: Yes.

Yes. Alright, obviously the transcript of the press conference exists. I've got it in my hand. I expect if it's not up there, it will be shortly.

RH: Well, Keith must have worked overtime to get it up there.

AB: Well, I don't know where this came from. It may have come from my own Website, for all I know. Somebody will let us know. So it exists. It will get up there.

And now, your hand up in the air - promising that you will get those Russian photographs, that you didn't get a chance to present...

RH: Actually, I may be able to do something from here in Washington, because there's a computer sitting here in our hotel room, which a friend of mine - a technician - is coming over with a card tomorrow, so I can actually dub disks of images, which exist on a mag-optical drive that we couldn't access all day today; very frustrating.

And when I get those, I will modem them over to Keith and we may be able to actually gather them up before the weekend.

AB: So the people will get to see what they didn't get to see at the Press Club?

RH: Well, they got to see a lot - they just didn't get to see everything.

AB: And this is part of the ev...?

RH: Yes, the 'everything'.

AB: Yes, I've got you.

RH: Yes.

AB: Alright Ken, any final words to everybody out there about your stepping forward? What you've seen; anything else you want to tell everybody?

KJ: Yes, I'd go back to the old adage: "A turtle has to stick his neck out if he's going to get anywhere."

AB: (laughs).

KJ: So, it is kind of lonesome out on the limb and I hope that someone else will come forward.

And I know we're doing the right thing.

AB: Well, I admire you both.

Richard, I want to tell you I've got in my hands an Associated Press story that has now run on the wire. Guess where? In the "kickers" section.

RH: Hmm.

AB: As you might expect. So, once again...

RH: Well, let me tell you some other positive news, because I don't want to end on a "downer".

We are winning!

Boys and girs, ladies and gentlemen, we are winning.

And let me tell you how I know we are winning.

When we left the Press Club, and went out into the hall, in that frenetic confusion...

AB: Yes.

RH: There were all so - it was a mob scene. There were, as I said, almost 20 cameras. We could not move for having a camera and a microphone stuck in our face. And there were not silly questions. There were very serious questions.

A lot of information has gone out somewhere and is reaching someone.

And when I got back to the hotel, one of my press people ran down the hall and said: "You've got to come here, immediately. John Holleman is on the phone."

AB: Oh?

RH: John Holleman is the science reporter, the space reporter, for CNN.

AB: Yes indeed.

RH: Well, I was, at that point, feeling a little bit p'd-off with CNN, because they did not show up. They promised us on the phone they would show up. They did not show up.

So, I pick up the phone and I said to John, I said, "Hi John. Dick Hoagland here. I'm a fan of yours."

And he said, "Dick, I'm becoming a fan of yours. What in the world is going on? Tell me about these pictures."

AB: Hmm.

RH: And we had a conversation. He has agreed that he wants to do a major story on this. He wants to do it while Ken and company are still here in Washington, at the Washington Bureau...

AB: Well, sure.

RH: Which means booking satellite time. We have these huge murals and blow-ups that we had created for the Press Club that are physical enlargements of photographs, several feet across - both in black and white, and color; unenhanced and enhanced, to compare - that I'll be able to use in the studio.

And barring that, he said he wants to talk to Ken, later - at some point. And he wants me to send disks - the same disks I'm going to be sending, or the same images electronically to your website; I'm going to be sending them to Atlanta, to John Holleman.

AB: Alright.

RH: So, if people want to see this on CNN, you might just give John Holleman a call or send him a fax, and encourage him to "follow his nose" for news.

AB: Wonderful.

Ken, you're a brave man. Richard, so are you. I want to thank-you both for being here this morning.

RH: We are two tired men. (chuckles)

AB: I know. It's got to be what- coming up on four o'clock in Washington?

RH: And I have a nine o'clock interview tomorrow morning.

AB: Oh my!

KJ: To both.

AB: You both better get to bed and I want to thank-you both again for being here. The audience was starving for information.

They'd been teased by all you had said and I'd said, and then they never got to see it on C-SPAN; so I'm glad to be able to get the real story of what occurred - out.

RH: Well, you know, this is just the beginning.

I think we've started a process. The reaction of the rank-and-file and the press corps that were there was very positive.

And Ken, if you question me, just don't be shy.

KJ: (laughter).

RH: The fact that Sarah McLendon was there, that she's invited me back, that she wants to introduce me to more people...

AB: Absolutely.

RH: There are a lot of things that are moving.

We have the "Big Mo", as George Bush once said.

And your audience, Art, really deserves some kudos from us, because, I must say - that the calls and the faxes and the solicitations and the good wishes, and the feeling that people really care - has been what's kept us going. That, and a few cups of coffee and some adrenaline.

So, thank-you, one and all! And with that, we will wish you a fond good-night, from the nation's Capitol.

AB: Alright. Good-night, Richard.

And Ken, thank-you for coming on the air, tired as you are - and we will no doubt speak with you again.

KJ: Thank-you very much Art. Enjoyed it.

AB: Okay. Take care, you two.

Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. You wanted to know what went on at the press conference.

Now you know.

You might also want to know that the information with regard to the press conference is probably on the website, now. You let me know.

The photographs that are coming, will be there soon. If you wish to get to my website, it is:

http://www.artbell.com

Well, that was a lot for you to digest. I hope you enjoyed it. And again, I want to thank those two for getting up at a very odd hour - to do this.

You're listening to CBC.


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

Final Words From Tom Talley

In transcribing this interview from voice to text, I have tried to remain faithful to the actual conversation.

I apologize to Art Bell, Richard Hoagland and Ken Johnston, if I have attributed to them, in this transcript, something they did not say. I may easily have erred in my rendering.

I also apologize for any misspelled names and places and things. I lacked ready references, at times, to confirm. I feel confident that needed corrections and alterations will be worked in at a later date, by those knowledgeable.

I have to admit, that at times, even though I had an excellent recording to work with, I relied heavily on pure phonetics to transcribe, when words were in doubt.

Upon undertaking this task, I quickly realized I was in for a long haul. I couldn't believe the number of times I had to repeat playing passages, and even single words on my cassette player, to try to 'get it right'.

The subjective nature of the task of transcribing, is something I was not aware of, until I started. I had to interpret words and passages at times, because of the inability to hear clearly and slowly enough.

The times when several parties were talking simultaneously, with resulting overlap of words- proved to be the most challenging part of this effort. I had to learn how to hear in a slightly different way, to dissect the conversation, and then patch it back together in a linear progression.

All in all, to summarize the doing of this deed, I quote the words of Forrest Gump:

"It was tuufff!"

Thanks again,Tom Talley