Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Apollo 10 Astronauts Heard Weird 'Music' on Far Side of Moon

A view of Earth rising above the lunar horizon photographed from the Apollo 10 Lunar Module, looking west in the direction of travel. The Lunar Module at the time the picture was taken was located above the lunar farside highlands at approximately 105 degrees east longitude. Credit: NASA

The astronauts who flew the dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing reported hearing mysterious “outer space-type music” while flying behind the moon in May 1969. The case of the odd, unexplained whistling noise is uncovered during an upcoming episode of the Science Channel series, “NASA’s Unexplained Files.” The episode focuses on a strange event experienced by the crew members of Apollo 10, a mission which flew to the moon, entered lunar orbit and got within 5,000 feet of the moon’s surface in preparation for Apollo 11’s historic flight two months later.

The Apollo 10 astronauts – Tom Stafford, John Young and Eugene Cernan – can be heard on recordings from the flight talking about the strange sound, and whether to tell NASA about it.

“It sounds like, you know, outer space-type music,” one of the astronauts says.

“Shall we tell [NASA] about it?” an astronaut asks.

“I don’t know,” another replies. “We ought to think about it.”

While listed as ‘confidential’ in 1969 at the height of the Space Race, Apollo 10 mission transcripts and audio have been publicly available since 1973.

"Since the Internet did not exist in the Apollo era, we have only recently provided digital files for some of those earlier missions. The Apollo 10 audio clips were uploaded in 2012, but the mission’s audio recordings have been available at the National Archives since the early 1970s," NASA stated.

As for what caused the strange sounds, Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins provided a detailed explanation in his book "Carrying the Fire," published in 1974.

Orbiting the moon and waiting for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to catch up after blasting off from the lunar surface, Collins wrote "there is a strange noise in my headset now, an eerie woo-woo sound."

"Had I not been warned about it, it would have scared hell out of me," he wrote. "Stafford's Apollo 10 crew had first heard it, during their practice rendezvous around the moon. Alone on the back side, they were more than a little surprised to hear a noise that John Young in the command module and Stafford in the LM each denied making."

After returning to Earth, the Apollo 10 crew "gingerly mentioned it in their debriefing sessions, but fortunately the radio technicians (rather than the UFO fans) had a ready explanation for it," Collins wrote.

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