this statement , uttered by Jim Lovell on DECEMBER 25th , 1968 ,yes Christmas
day . and more importantly , moments after the Apollo 8 command
module had cleared the radio shadow of the dark side of the moon
Has been repeatedly cited on conspiracy sites , and forums as some manner of evidence that Lovell has sighted a UFO or alien craft during the orbit
And now I have seen it on a current ATS thread , so its time for APE action
This notion is utterly preposterous
My reasoning for this view is thus :
1)context and timing
It was December 25th , and he had just successfully completed a transit of the dark side of the moon , a feat that only 27 other people have shared .
Given that the Apollo 8 crew also sent back a formal “ merry Christmas “ message , read from the bible , and conducted a religious service in
In this light , Lovell’s message as they emerged from the darkside takes on an entirely more innocent explanation Than some coded message for alien
2)follow up and response
Here is the transcript of those few seconds , taken from :
Apollo 8 flight journal
089:32:50 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
089:33:38 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
089:34:16 Lovell: Houston, Apollo 8, over.
089:34:19 Mattingly: Hello, Apollo 8. Loud and clear.
089:34:25 Lovell: Roger. Please be informed there is a Santa Claus.
089:34:31 Mattingly: That's affirmative. You're the best ones to know.
089:34:37 Lovell: And burn status report: it burned on time; Burn time, 2 minutes, 23 seconds; seven-tenths plus VGX. Attitude nominal, residuals;
minus five-tenths VGX, plus four-tenths VGY, minus 0 VGZ; Delta-VC, minus 26.4.
089:35:14 Mattingly: Roger.
089:35:19 Mattingly: Apollo FLIGHT has...
089:35:23 Mattingly: Apollo 8, recomfirm your burn time, please.
089:35:30 Lovell: Roger. We had 2 minutes, 23 seconds. Our - wait one. Stand corrected to that; 3 minutes, 23 seconds.
089:35:43 Mattingly: Thank you. [Long pause.]
Public Affairs Officer - "This is Mission Control, Houston. Flight Dynamics Officer says that burn is good."
That was theentire
conversation at that time .
If a UFO really had been reported using a pre arranged code term of “ Santa Claus “ I for one would expect SOME response from CAPCOM
Reference to Santa Claus was first made [ in the context of NASA space operations ] by Walter Schirra aboard Mercury 8 . conspiracists claim that this
too was a coded reference to UFOs NASA “ ignored this “ , WTH - their response to Lovell was pretty low key
Buzz Aldrin most notably did not use the “ Santa code “ during his report of an unidentified object visible during Apollo 11`s trip to the moon .
Which is widely reported as evidence of an extra terrestrial craft shadowing the Apollo capsule
Why not , if you are going to have code – it must be both used and acted upon
The “ Santa code “ was neither used consistently , nor acted upon with any visible result .
In stark contrast to the “ Huston we have a problem “ message , which sent CAPCOM [ rightly ] into overdrive of activity
In keeping with technical nature of space travel , and the extensive military links of NASA [ all pree shuttle astronauts were USAF , USN or USMC
the NASA space program was very jargon heavy , listen to any astronaut transmissions , or read any of the transcripts . at times a layman requires a
glossary and list of abbreviations and Acronyms just to keep up , and this is just for routine operations .
jargon also hid other things , the most famous is “ request EMU check “ . during Apollo EVA missions .Ostensibly “EMU CHECK “ was a checklist
of vital suit parameters which had to be monitored during the missions [ and this is how it was MOSTLY used ]
But it was also used to “ force “ a break in activities , when their hear rates and oxygen demand were rising towards unacceptable levels .
Astronauts were even permitted to call “ EMU check “ when they were feeling fatigued
IMHO .If the NASA astronauts had a “ code phrase “ to signal the presence of an UFO , it would be a benign code phrase – such as : “ DZR
lamp is green … “
Well that’s the type of signal I would use , if I ran the zoo .
The “ Santa code “ suffers from one final flaw , IMHO its lack of repeatability , just how many times can you drop “ Santa Claus “ into a
radio message from a space mission ??
If you are going to have a code for “ UFO contact “ it has to be flexible enough to be reusable in the event of multiple contacts [ should these
occur ] . see my suggestion above , a “ lamp code “ could be re used almost infinitely
Whereas the “ Santa code “ fails dismally here too .
This concludes my “ key points “
With these type of claims , a lot hinges on context and interpretation of motive and intent
I Hope I have shown that given that it was Christmas day , and he had just seen the dark side of the moon for the first time , it was a quite
appropriate thing to say , further – it attracted zero
untoward response from mission control .
Then the claims that it was a report of alien encounters will be seen for the absurdity with which I view such claims .
Ape out .