15th Century Astronomers Saw Activity, Lights on Moon’s Dark Side
Fifty years ago, NASA published a catalog of lunar phenomena based on the observations of early astronomers dating back to the 15th century. Even after vetting the reports and qualifying their accuracy with secondary sources, NASA found records of bizarre sightings on the dark side of the moon, including flickering spots, bright flashes, and moving lights. What could account for these strange observations?
It’s debatable who first conceived of the telescope, though it’s widely accepted that it was first invented at the start of the 1600s. And while the first models were rudimentary, three-lens spyglasses, the technology quickly progressed over the following decades thanks to the work of Galileo and Kepler.
By adding a combination of convex lenses, the two were able to drastically increase the magnification capability of early telescopes, allowing observation of the cosmos like never before. It’s also evident from his notes that Galileo was able to view Jupiter’s moons, meaning he must have had a pretty clear view of our lunar surface.
Reading through the NASA archive, we notice odd entries in the 1600s beginning with a “bright starlike point,” recorded by several New Englanders observing the dark side of the moon.
Nearly a century later, Bianchini reports a “track of ruddy light, like a beam, crossing the middle of the obscure (shadowed) area (crater in darkness),” while observing the Plato crater in the Monte Alpes mountain range.
Another report cites “Four bright spots. Peculiar behavior of terminator” (the terminator is where the dark side of the moon meets the bright side).
Nearing the 1800s, Piazzi reports “Bright spots on dark side, seen during five different lunations.” And in 1821, Gruithuisen says he saw “brilliant flashing spots,” on the dark side.
Some explain these strange lights as the product of solar flares or coronal mass ejections, which produce sparks in the shadowy regions of the lunar surface. These sparks are said to be as impactful as a meteorite strike, allegedly creating the observed flashes.
But in the records there appear to be certain areas with recurring illuminations, particularly around the Aristarchus crater. “Blinking lights” on the dark side, a “mingling of all kinds of colors in small spots,” and a “starlike light” persist over hundreds of years, even during eclipses.
NASA makes brief mention of these dark side observations, saying they appear frequently in earlier observations, and writing them off as a lack of light gathering power from telescopes of the time.
But telescopes became more sophisticated over those centuries, especially during the 19th century when lenses were increasingly larger and more refined. By this period, astronomy was far enough advanced that dismissing these observations as primitive would be insulting.
And the strange lights observed around Aristarchus are continually observed in varying colors, even by NASA’s own observations from astronomers at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Explanations for these colored bands of light vary from high albedo – a measure of reflectivity of a surface – to a seepage of radioactive gas.
But for those wary of NASA’s endless supply of inadequate justifications, these observations add to a growing list of strange phenomena and apparent obfuscation of what may really be there. Should we continue to believe NASA’s mundane explanations?
Was The 1977 Southern Television Broadcast Interruption A Hoax?
Government agencies that regulate television and radio signals are pretty astute when it comes to maintaining the security of the airwaves. But just after 5 p.m. on Nov. 26, 1977, unsuspecting viewers in England who tuned into the nightly news experienced a Southern Television broadcast interruption by a ‘voice from space.’ To this day, no one knows for certain who was behind the interruption.
Southern Television Broadcast Interruption a Hoax?
On this particular Saturday evening, unbeknownst to those working at an independent television station in Southern England, thousands of viewers were subjected to a six-minute message from an entity referring to itself as Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command.
During the broadcast, Vrillon warned his unassuming audience of the dangers humans were getting themselves into by using weapons of mass destruction. Vrillon also confirmed the UFO phenomenon and his race’s presence “seen as lights in the skies.” Vrillon warned humanity to be wary of false prophets and the evils of money, before imploring his audience to live in harmony and put down its weapons.
The transmission returned to the evening’s normally scheduled programming of Looney Tunes before viewers were assured by news broadcaster, Andrew Gardner, that everything was alright and that it was simply a hoax. But some began to panic, frantically phoning the station under the assumption that the apocalypse was upon them, despite Ashtar Command’s seemingly peaceful dispatch.
News stations distorted the story, reporting different names and versions of Vrillon’s message. This added to the confusion creating a War of the Worlds-type anxiety among those who couldn’t fathom the possibility of a hoax. Adding to the conspiracy is the fact that the culprit of the transmission has still never been discovered.
Many believed the broadcast to be the doing of the Raëlian community, the UFO church founded just four years earlier by Claude Vorilhon, whose name sounds and looks uncannily similar to the Ashtar Commander, Vrillon. Was the name Vrillon just a misconstrued pronunciation of Vorilhon?
The Southern Television broadcast is often compared to the Max Headroom Chicago broadcast interruption of 1987 or the Captain Midnight HBO interruption a year earlier. Though the culprit in the latter case turned out to be a disgruntled employee.
The particular broadcasting system that was being used by the Southern Television station was unusual in that it bounced one signal to another transmitter on the Isle of Wight, rather than using a direct landline like most television transmitters at the time. This allowed the signal to be interfered with, though it would take someone well-versed in the technology to intercept and interrupt it.
What is strange about the Ashtar Command broadcast is that not everyone heard the name “Vrillon” that night. Some say they heard the name “Asteron,” some heard “Gillon,” and others heard “Bramaha.” Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the only audio or video evidence of the message is a reenactment.