Author Topic: Apollo 10 mystery sound  (Read 19881 times)

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #40 on: 02/23/2016 02:58 PM »
I would have to agree, let's keep the ufology for other threads.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #41 on: 02/23/2016 04:31 PM »
Now, can we move on to more useful baseless speculation such as why this interference was more prominent on the other side of the moon?

That's a good question.  Here are a few speculations:

1)  To cover the subjective, perhaps it really wasn't more prominent on the far side.  Maybe the crews who commented on the interference sound only noticed it on the far side because they were not in contact with Houston, and so were less focused on the discussion and therefore more open to notice little background things, like interference noises.

For numbers 2 and 3, we have to ask the question "What was different about the physical situation on the far side from on the near side?"

2)  The Earth, which generates a lot of VHF radiation (especially in the '60s and '70s, from all the VHF TV stations), was blocked by the bulk of the Moon.  Interference patterns might develop in this case, where the background noise of all the VHF radiation from Earth isn't there to "de-tune" a local interference pattern.

3)  While on the near side, the CSM and LM S-band comm systems actively acquire and connect to the Earth stations in the Manned Spacecraft Network.  On the far side, the S-band comm systems remained powered up and ready to connect, but had no lock.  (The spacecraft could not communicate with each other over S-band, which always seemed odd to me.)  Perhaps the interference was inherent in the situation when the VHF comm system was in use and the S-band system was active but had no lock on any transmission source.

And finally, we have the particles-and-fields theory:

4)  The Moon overall maintains a "static" electrical charge, from its interaction both with the supersonic solar wind and the monthly (or, to the Moon, daily) passage through Earth's magnetotail.  It is a complex field interaction.  Now, as noted above, Earth does radiate VHF noise, and likely did moreso back in the Apollo era, when the major TV stations around the world broadcast on VHF frequencies.  Visualize a wave front of VHF noise arriving at the Moon and interacting with its complex charge field.  Some of the VHF energy will be bent and flow at an angle around the Moon's sphere; more of it will fly off in different directions.  All of it will pick up various new resonances from the interaction with the Moon's charge field.  Et voila, Bernard Hermann music on the far side of the Moon...

Just a few thoughts.  And remember, the actual reality may embody some effects from more than one of these theories -- or none of them.  As always, YMMV.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #42 on: 02/23/2016 04:54 PM »
If they were 100.000% sure it was just onboard radio interference, it wouldn't have been classified.

You're making an unwarranted assumption without evidence.

Radio noise produced by electronics can tell you a lot about the electronics.  Someone could easily have been worried that releasing the noise could have given an adversary insight into the electronics producing them.

Anyone familiar with the breaking of Enigma and other codes in World War II knows that various sorts of information that seemed harmless to the enemy ended up being critical to breaking codes.  You never know what an adversary is going to be able to do with seemingly harmless information related to a secret system, so it's reasonable to be cautious and not release such information when there's no compelling reason to do so.

In the Cold War, the U.S. government defaulted to classifying anything related to spaceflight unless there was some reason to release it.  There was no reason to release radio noise from Apollo.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #43 on: 02/23/2016 04:56 PM »
There is a lot of discussion on here about why these tapes were classified. The problem is I haven't seen any good sources that they were classified to begin with.

See the front page of NASA's Apollo 10 Lunar Module (LM) Onboard Voice Transcription:

Group 4, Downgraded at 3 Year Intervals, Declassified After 12 Years

This material contains information affecting the national defense of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws, Title 18, U.S.C. section 793 and 794. The transmission or revelation of which in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.


(Of course that applies to the entire transcript, not just certain portions, so the current references to the audio being classified are to the whole recording, not just the radio interference section specifically.)
« Last Edit: 02/23/2016 05:00 PM by collectSPACE »

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #44 on: 02/23/2016 05:59 PM »
There is a lot of discussion on here about why these tapes were classified. The problem is I haven't seen any good sources that they were classified to begin with.

See the front page of NASA's Apollo 10 Lunar Module (LM) Onboard Voice Transcription:

Group 4, Downgraded at 3 Year Intervals, Declassified After 12 Years

This material contains information affecting the national defense of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws, Title 18, U.S.C. section 793 and 794. The transmission or revelation of which in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.


(Of course that applies to the entire transcript, not just certain portions, so the current references to the audio being classified are to the whole recording, not just the radio interference section specifically.)

Of all the proposals, this one sounds the most reasonable and likely. The "music" was classified because everything was classified as a matter of course. Which seemingly entails that the outer-spacey music was never considered to be a potential wow-signal in the first place. Or was it?

Still, I remain curious: we know that NASA had a policy in place to deal with extraterrestrial life--albeit at the microbial level. Thus, the question remains: Was there (and is there) a NASA policy for dealing with close encounters with actual space-faring intelligent aliens? NASA would seem almost remiss in their duties if there was not such a policy in place, given the relative state of ignorance regarding the rest of the Solar System at the time; after all, the US Air Force was still running Project Blue Book!  ;)
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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #45 on: 02/23/2016 06:04 PM »

-SNIP-
Still, I remain curious: we know that NASA had a policy in place to deal with extraterrestrial life--albeit at the microbial level. Thus, the question remains: Was there (and is there) a NASA policy for dealing with close encounters with actual space-faring intelligent aliens? NASA would seem almost remiss in their duties if there was not such a policy in place, given the relative state of ignorance regarding the rest of the Solar System at the time; after all, the US Air Force was still running Project Blue Book!  ;)

NASA does not and never has had a policy for dealing with aliens. Nor does any other spacefaring nation.
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Offline Warren Platts

Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #46 on: 02/23/2016 06:09 PM »
As for why the signal only apparently happened on the Dark Side, isn't it the case that the radios were programmed to automatically seek out signals from Earth? In which case, once behind the Moon, the reception gain would have maxed out, making them hypersensitive to receiving any sort of electronic noise generated by the old fashioned electronics onboard.

As for the proper terminology--Dark Side vs. Far Side--there is a grain of truth to the Dark Side appellation, in that the Near Side receives a lot of Earth-light during the lunar night. At "full Earth", the Moon would receive like 23 times more light than the Earth receives during a full Moon. So even at night, it would be rather bright. You could probably read a newspaper easily. On the Far Side however, stygian blackness always prevails at night. It really is darker over there.

Long time nsf contributor "Hop" explains it well on his blog here:

http://hopsblog-hop.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-dark-side-of-moon.html
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #47 on: 02/23/2016 06:13 PM »

NASA does not and never has had a policy for dealing with aliens. Nor does any other spacefaring nation.

So it's the Air Force's or USSTRATCOM's job?
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #48 on: 02/23/2016 06:41 PM »
A quick gander at nasa.gov could only recover one page on UFOs:

Quote
No branch of the United States Government is currently involved with or responsible for investigations into the possibility of alien life on other planets or for investigating Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's). The U.S. Air Force (USAF) and NASA have had intermittent, independent investigations of the possibility of alien life on other planets; however, none of these has produced factual evidence that life exists on other planets, nor that UFO's are related to aliens.

Under Project Blue Book (1947 to 1969), the Air Force investigated UFO's; then in 1977, NASA was asked to examine the possibility of resuming UFO investigations. After studying all of the facts available, it was determined that nothing would be gained by further investigation ...

The last part is kind of interesting. Does anybody know anything about the 1977 study? Guess that would have been under President Carter. Strange...
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #49 on: 02/23/2016 06:53 PM »
I see spudis just put out an article on the "unexplained" music!

http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/mysterious-apollo-music-explained-180958193/?no-ist
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #50 on: 02/23/2016 07:19 PM »
A quick gander at nasa.gov could only recover one page on UFOs:

Quote
No branch of the United States Government is currently involved with or responsible for investigations into the possibility of alien life on other planets or for investigating Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's). The U.S. Air Force (USAF) and NASA have had intermittent, independent investigations of the possibility of alien life on other planets; however, none of these has produced factual evidence that life exists on other planets, nor that UFO's are related to aliens.

Under Project Blue Book (1947 to 1969), the Air Force investigated UFO's; then in 1977, NASA was asked to examine the possibility of resuming UFO investigations. After studying all of the facts available, it was determined that nothing would be gained by further investigation ...

The last part is kind of interesting. Does anybody know anything about the 1977 study? Guess that would have been under President Carter. Strange...

A report summarizing the events of 1977 can be found here:

henry.pha.jhu.edu/aaaLibrary/ufosNASA.pdf

Copies of the original letter from the White House and the subsequent correspondence from NASA start on page 17

Basically, the White House wanted to shift the burden of dealing with UFO reports and inquiries from itself to NASA. NASA looked into the previous ten years of UFO reports, decided that there wasn't anything worth investigating, and declined, with the caveat that if there were any hard evidence of UFOs available in the future, then NASA would be only too glad to investigate it.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #51 on: 02/23/2016 07:54 PM »
Another indication that the "mystery sound" was an interference problem in the hardware, from the Apollo Flight Journal:


103:47:58 Stafford (in Snoopy): That weird noise is on VHF B.

103:48:01 Cernan (in Snoopy): It's a what?

103:48:02 Stafford (in Snoopy): It's on VHF B.

103:48:03 Cernan (in Snoopy): Is that right?

103:48:04 Stafford (in Snoopy): Yes.


So, the noise was only coming through on one of the VHF circuits.  The other circuit wasn't getting it.  That pretty clearly makes it an interference issue with the circuit itself, not a real signal being picked up and transformed into sound.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Danderman

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #52 on: 02/23/2016 09:34 PM »
Another indication that the "mystery sound" was an interference problem in the hardware, from the Apollo Flight Journal:


103:47:58 Stafford (in Snoopy): That weird noise is on VHF B.

103:48:01 Cernan (in Snoopy): It's a what?

103:48:02 Stafford (in Snoopy): It's on VHF B.

103:48:03 Cernan (in Snoopy): Is that right?

103:48:04 Stafford (in Snoopy): Yes.


So, the noise was only coming through on one of the VHF circuits.  The other circuit wasn't getting it.  That pretty clearly makes it an interference issue with the circuit itself, not a real signal being picked up and transformed into sound.


which begs the question of why it wasn't heard on the near side of the Moon.

Online meberbs

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #53 on: 02/23/2016 11:11 PM »
There is a lot of discussion on here about why these tapes were classified. The problem is I haven't seen any good sources that they were classified to begin with.

See the front page of NASA's Apollo 10 Lunar Module (LM) Onboard Voice Transcription:

Group 4, Downgraded at 3 Year Intervals, Declassified After 12 Years

This material contains information affecting the national defense of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws, Title 18, U.S.C. section 793 and 794. The transmission or revelation of which in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.


(Of course that applies to the entire transcript, not just certain portions, so the current references to the audio being classified are to the whole recording, not just the radio interference section specifically.)

I guess it was classified then, if only at the Confidential level and declassified in 1981, not 2008 like the "news" articles are claiming. I will leave out speculation on why they thought it was worth classifying, since there was and still exists a "classify it just to be safe" philosophy that seems to be too common.

As for why the signal only apparently happened on the Dark Side, isn't it the case that the radios were programmed to automatically seek out signals from Earth? In which case, once behind the Moon, the reception gain would have maxed out, making them hypersensitive to receiving any sort of electronic noise generated by the old fashioned electronics onboard.

So in that case it was just a matter of them not bothering to turn off the earth communication antennas when not in use. If they were the same antennas used to communicate between the modules, then this shouldn't have been an issue. since they were still in communication.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #54 on: 02/24/2016 02:52 AM »
As for why the signal only apparently happened on the Dark Side, isn't it the case that the radios were programmed to automatically seek out signals from Earth? In which case, once behind the Moon, the reception gain would have maxed out, making them hypersensitive to receiving any sort of electronic noise generated by the old fashioned electronics onboard.

So in that case it was just a matter of them not bothering to turn off the earth communication antennas when not in use. If they were the same antennas used to communicate between the modules, then this shouldn't have been an issue. since they were still in communication.

The CSM and LM VHF radio systems were pretty separate from the S-band systems used to communicate with Earth.  The only commonality was in the wiring out to the headsets and back from the microphones.  The CSM and LM each had one S-band steerable high-gain antenna; the CSM had four omni-directional S-band antennas and the LM had two.  The CSM had two VHF omni antennas, the LM had one, and they were different from the S-band omni antennas, located in different places.

The original Earth-orbital versions of the CSM and early LMs also had C-band radio circuits, with their own half-hoop-shaped antennas, but those radios and antennas never flew on the lunar Apollos.

The S-band systems were not powered down every time the CSM and/or LM went around the back side of the Moon, they just kept running.  The steerable antennas were generally not selected on the back side, to keep them from driving looking for a signal; one of the omnis was usually selected.  This kept the antenna drives from running.  But the S-band electronics kept operating, even though the crew was not selecting to transmit via S-band.

The comm system could be set up such that a given crewman could be transmitting S-band to and from Earth, VHF between spacecraft, or both at once,  In addition, there was a mode they used when they didn't want to have the VHF powered up and they were on the near side -- they could enable the MSFN relay and have all contact between the spacecraft go through Houston.  That entailed a fierce delay between a statement made by someone in the LM being heard by the CM pilot, and vice-versa, but it sufficed when the two spacecraft were out of line-of-sight, and when they just didn't want the power drain of running the VHF circuits when they weren't really needed.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #55 on: 02/24/2016 05:48 AM »
Can I just point something out, please?  This thread and many of the links use the term "dark side of the moon".  There is no "dark side of the moon" other than the name of a famous musical album.  The "far side of the moon" from Earth's perspective is illuminated as often as the side that faces us is illuminated.  Now, the moon's material is a bit dark so the whole thing is a bit dark, especially compared with how it appears in the night sky (as bright white) but it's still illuminated.

I think nothing could make these points clearer than this video.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/from-a-million-miles-away-nasa-camera-shows-moon-crossing-face-of-earth

While it's certainly not as bright as the white clouds on Earth, it's not too dissimilar in brightness to the land masses visible on our planet in the background of that video.

You're being too literal.  The term "dark side of the moon" has been used for decades for the side away from the Earth.  It's not because people are or were ignorant and thought it was literally dark.  It's like the term "dark ages" -- nobody thinks the dark ages were literally a time with less sunlight.

Just as with "dark ages", the "dark" in "dark side of the moon" refers to a lack of knowledge.  The term was coined before we had seen that side of the moon.

It's fine if you prefer a different term, but don't be too harsh on people who use the term "dark side of the moon" -- it doesn't indicate ignorance, simply the use of a common term with a different meaning of the word "dark".

Online QuantumG

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #56 on: 02/24/2016 07:54 AM »
Indeed. The "dark web" isn't dark because there's no fiber optics to it. Sometimes I think Neil deGrass Tyson has turned everyone into tiresome ignorant pedantics.
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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #57 on: 02/24/2016 10:10 PM »
I have just found this story, and I am a bit confused.  I remember reading something about radio noise on Apollo flights behind the moon when I was about 12 or 13.  That would have been the mid 70s.  My memory is rather fuzzy on it, was a long time ago. Why is this suddenly being claimed to have been classified before now? 

I suppose I could be remembering something else......

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #58 on: 02/24/2016 10:29 PM »
I have just found this story, and I am a bit confused.  I remember reading something about radio noise on Apollo flights behind the moon when I was about 12 or 13.  That would have been the mid 70s.  My memory is rather fuzzy on it, was a long time ago. Why is this suddenly being claimed to have been classified before now? 

I suppose I could be remembering something else......

The noises heard on the VHF radio sets behind the Moon on the Apollo missions have been known -- not classified -- since at least 1973, when Mike Collins' book Carrying the Fire came out which described what he heard on Apollo 11.

The transcripts of the on-board recordings were classified for several years, and were then declassified, something like 12 years after the flights.  The recordings themselves weren't classified all this time, they just weren't archived in a publicly accessible format until relatively recently.

The recording in question, from Apollo 10, has been linked to at the Apollo Flight Journal website for some time.  So, it hasn't even been recently released.

The furor is media-generated and exacerbated by poor reporting.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

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Re: Apollo 10 mystery sound
« Reply #59 on: 02/24/2016 10:50 PM »

NASA does not and never has had a policy for dealing with aliens. Nor does any other spacefaring nation.

So it's the Air Force's or USSTRATCOM's job?

No, no US government agency has a set policy regarding the discovery of aliens or alien contact. Nor, so far as I'm aware, does any other nation or any other nation's agencies, nor nearly all other international agencies.

The only (so far as I'm aware) international agency on Earth with a set policy of what to do if they discover evidence of or make contact with aliens is SETI. Basically their plan is to call in experts to triple-check to see if what they have is real and then they call up the UN to set up an international press conference.

That's probably also along the lines of what would happen if NASA or any other government agency (or any other nation or their agencies) discovered evidence for aliens.
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