AND THE MOON HOAX
Does anyone really believe that human beings have actually set foot
on the moon? I don't know, but I believe that if it wasn't for the
sci-fi feats of Kubrick in 2001, the American brain trust would have
offered us only audio of the so-called moon landing. It was 2001 that
showed NASA how to stage a moon landing.
Excellent observation. In fact, in early 1968, Mr. Kubrick was
secretly approached by NASA officials who presented him with a
lucrative offer to "direct" the first three moon landings.
Initially Kubrick declined, as 2001: A Space Odyssey was in
post-production at the time, but NASA sweetened the deal by offering
to allow Mr. Kubrick exclusive access to the alien artifacts and
autopsy footage from the Roswell crash site.
NASA further leveraged their position by threatening to publicly
reveal the heavy involvement of Mr. Kubrick's younger brother, Raul,
with the American Communist Party. This would have been an intolerable
embarrassment to Mr. Kubrick, especially since the release of Dr.
Kubrick finally relented, and for sixteen months he and a special
effects team led by Douglas Trumbull worked in a specially-built sound
stage in Huntsville, Alabama, "creating" the first and second moon
landings. This effort resulted in hundreds of hours of 35 mm and video
"footage" of the Apollo 11 and 12 moon missions.
The bogus Apollo 11 mission was masterfully staged in July of
1969. A Saturn V rocket with astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins
was launched into low Earth orbit, remaining there while NASA
carefully released Kubrick's studio footage to the press. After the
spectacular "lunar landing" and "return to Earth," the astronauts
reentered Earth's atmosphere and made a perfect splash down in the
Pacific, right on schedule.
Several months later, the Apollo 12 mission was successfully staged
in a similar manner.
Mr. Kubrick refused to direct the Apollo 13 mission, however,
because NASA officials rejected his screenplay in which the Apollo 13
mission fails. Kubrick insisted that a dramatic failed mission from
which the astronauts were safely returned to Earth would ultimately
prove to be NASA's "finest hour."
NASA maintained that a failed mission would unnecessarily
jeopardize the agency's image, so Kubrick quit the
project. Ironically, NASA later decided to use the failed mission
scenario, for which Randall Cunningham a little known but highly
respected British director was recruited to direct.
Kubrick's relentless perfectionism is evident throughout the
Apollo production, from the chilling "1201 alarm" during the final
seconds of the Eagle's descent to the lunar surface, right down to the
lunar dust covering the astronaut's EVA suites.
The production itself was not without problems, however. For
example, the front-projection process used so successfully in the
"Dawn of Man" sequences in 2001, proved to be inadequate for
reproducing a convincing lunar landscape. Particularly vexing was the
challenge of recreating the harsh lighting conditions and the
one-sixth G environment on the Moon.
Consequently, the moon walk sequences were actually filmed on
location in the Sea of Tranquility. Kubrick did not accompany the crew
to the lunar site because of his well-known fear of flying. However,
all of the scenes were carefully scripted in advance, and Kubrick was
able to direct remotely from the Johnson Space Center in Houston a
film making "first."
An interesting side note: Kubrick is well-known for his interest
in theoretical mathematics. During breaks in the filming of the Apollo
missions, Kubrick would often dabble in orbital mechanics, frequently
consulting with Werner von Braun who lived in Huntsville at the time
After several of these sessions, Kubrick inadvertently derived an elegant
solution to the "free return trajectory" problem the very problem that
prevented NASA from completing a real moon mission in the first place.
Sadly, this discovery came about far too late into the production
for it be of any practical use to the engineers at NASA, and was soon
To this day, however, Stanley Kubrick's brilliant work on the
Apollo missions remains both unsurpassed and regrettably uncredited.