“Speculations about contact often challenge conventional wisdom, from biology to religion. Imagining extraterrestrials, and what they might do, irritates those most sure of an established world view. We must reconsider what we have taken for granted.”
– Michael A.G. Michaud, Contact With Alien Civilizations
As my fans and critics know, I never set out to prove that extraterrestrial ruins existed on the Moon. All I intended was to to make a coffee table book comparing photos I took of the Moon with my 8″ Celestron to NASA’s orbital photography during the Apollo missions. What I ended up seeing in the high-resolution images from NASA had me scratching my head. What were these strange, artificial looking objects I was seeing? They were only simple shapes but it was enough to keep me looking for more, and as often as I could. Hundreds of hours later and amassing a small collection of anomalies, my friends and family had cast me into the lunatic fringe. But I knew I was onto something and so I kept looking and improving my skills. Down the rabbit hole I went, never to return.
To be fair, I have always believed we were not alone in the universe, so I naturally believed I could be looking at alien artifacts and structures. I often listened to the Art Bell show and couldn’t wait for Richard Hoagland and John Lear to be on the air. They would both speak at length about the existence of aliens on the Moon and Mars, about government coverups, and how NASA had altered images in order to hide the truth. I was intrigued and determined to find out for myself. But to find objects that everyone else had overlooked would require me to change how I thought about the built environment, about structure and form, and to build an abstract awareness so that I could examine these images with a fresh pair of eyes.
In 2007 I managed to jump through the necessary hoops with the Lunar Planetary Institute and was given access to NASA’s image archives. If an image I was interested in was missing or only available in low resolution, they would locate a copy across multiple agencies, scan it if necessary, and upload it to my personal FTP folder. The hunt began and a couple thousand hours later, I found something remarkable. Finally my eyes were tuned in and I could see what I couldn’t see before. Tens of thousands of photos were waiting to be examined so I changed the focus of my book to a collection of these odd structural anomalies.
In 2008 I published ULOs – Unidentified Lunar Objects Revealed In NASA Photography. I was rushed for time and the copy suffered, but I managed to include many important finds. Word spread quickly and people started buying the book. Internet radio show hosts were interviewing me live and emails from people around the world were supportive of my efforts. And then on one day I answered the phone and was shocked to hear John Lear’s voice. He barely gave me a chance to speak before asking me who I was, where I had come from, and that he loved my book. That was quite a surreal moment!
I can’t count the number of hours over the next couple years that John and I spent discussing the existence of aliens on the Moon. This wasn’t a topic for the average coffee shop patron and John made it easy to discuss from every imaginable angle what it was that both he and I had been researching. During this time I had also met many other researchers, authors, radio show hosts, TV producers all of which were also convinced that the Moon had even more secrets. But popularity in controversial topics doesn’t come without love of another kind. This was also when the hate emails started trickling in, when emails from strangers would reflect private phone conversations, and when the IRS emptied my bank accounts without warning. And to top it off, the economy was crashing and divorce was imminent.
They say that no good deed is left unpunished, and my life was taking a turn for the worst. I had every intention of revising the first book and publishing a second, but life took hold of the reigns and I needed to exit the scene. I called John, told him I was out, and closed the door. Except for one obscure location online, I took everything down and left behind a single message that read, “Follow The White Rabbit”.
Time passed and I started a new life. I committed myself to my new day job and dove head first into my love for photography. All the nonsense finally calmed down after a few years, I made all new friends and frequented all new places. If I wasn’t at work, I was out and about taking photographs. I opened a photography studio and made my part-time hobby into my professional hobby. Except for a few people, no one in my new life had any clue about my research. But such a thing was not meant to last.
In 2014 I was approached by a television producer who had secured production for a two-hour cable TV special documentary. Bob Kiviat and I had talked many times before about putting together a show that would examine these photographs and he finally succeeded. Unfortunately, my participation would be focused on the work from my book even though I had multiple hard drives overflowing with anomalies no one had seen before. And being on camera was intimidating to say the least. During filming in New Mexico, I met some more incredible researchers to include Mike Bara. Being involved in the production and hanging out with active researchers ignited my curiosity again. When I returned home, I began to reexamine my archive with a fresh new attitude and began developing all new techniques.
I was also inspired to re-release my first book in PDF format and created a small website to promote it. I crossed my fingers and hoped history wouldn’t repeat itself and to date, it hasn’t. A year later in 2015, Richard Hoagland contacted me, and I was a guest on his After Midnight show a handful of times. It’s mind boggling the depth of knowledge Richard has on anything even remotely associated with space and planetary sciences. And then in 2017 I was invited to be the researcher for an Ancient Aliens episode about the Moon. It was surreal to be interviewed alongside David Childress. I brought with me some fascinating examples and we shared camera time examining them. Unfortunately, and with a week before airing, my segment along with David and I landed on the cutting room floor after the History Channel decided to change the focus of the episode to hollow moon theory.
In December 2018 I removed the digital PDF version of the book from the website. I was always bothered by the fact that I rushed it to publication more than a decade ago. It was tired and dated and needed to be refreshed. I don’t know if I’ll ever have time to update it, but in the meantime, I’ll offer some fresh examples here on this website. You will notice in the examples below that I am not identifying the original NASA image numbers. If you are a scientist, an author, director or producer and wish to validate my findings and methods, please contact me here or through someone that knows me. Otherwise, I invite you to begin your own 10,000 hour journey of discovery by visiting the LPI Apollo Image Atlas or Project Apollo Archive on Flickr and share your findings with the world.
— Allan Sturm, Founder & Researcher
Lunomaly Research Group, LLC.
The vast majority of the images I examine were either taken from the Apollo command modules or by the Lunar Orbiter series of satellites. There are three standard angles to photograph from: Vertical, Low Oblique, and High Oblique.
Verticals are taken looking practically straight down. The Apollo mission’s metric image catalog are examples of these “mapping camera” photographs. This angle allows analysts to accurately measure objects and features found on the terrain, but unless we have clear shadows, know the altitude of camera, and the location of the sun, vertical photographs give us little clue as to the height of anything in the photo.
Low obliques are tilted 60° away from looking straight down. You’ll know you’re looking at a low oblique photograph when you’re looking down at an angle but still can’t see see the horizon. The photograph of the Giza pyramid complex (above) is a low oblique photograph. Because the angle of the camera has been tilted away from straight down, height of objects begin to be revealed and we can start to see objects and the terrain in perspective.
My favorite images to examine are the high obliques. High obliques are taken at an ~30° angle and clearly show the horizon. From a military perspective, high oblique photography provides the viewer a true perspective of the terrain, but what we gain in perspective we loose in finer details when trying to identify objects closer to the horizon. Clarity of an object of interest begins to compete with the resolution of the film grain.
When and if available, using two or more angles of any area helps determine if what we think we are seeing isn’t just a trick of light and shadow. Unfortunately, multiple photographs of the same area are rare.
My approach to lunar anomaly research is different than others. For starters, I make three grand assumptions that make up my confirmation bias :
1) Humans are not the only intelligent species in the universe.
2) Other intelligent species have had ample time to become technically proficient enough to effectively canvas the galaxy.
3) Our solar system has been visited by traveling species needing to survive or desired to explore the cosmos.
It is my belief that if we were to exhaustively analyze all of the images in the photograph record, we will find enough evidence to support the theory that we are not alone in the universe and that the Moon had been visited long before we ever arrived. Unfortunately, it takes a special kind of crazy to stare at photographs of the Moon for hours on end, looking for subtle differences between rubble and what appears to be artificial. It’s a lot like panning for gold or American hockey.
You can spend all day with no real success – and if you do find something, or even a collection of apparently artificial objects, there’s still no guarantee you’ve actually found anything for real. This is more difficult that you would think. It takes hundreds of hours to get acquainted with the surface characteristics of the Moon and even hundreds more to grasp a true sense of scale. Instead of scanning around like a crazy person, we can borrow known techniques from the air photo interpretation specialists to help spot something significant.
Location – This is much easier with mapping camera photos looking straight down and very difficult with oblique photos. If possible, determine the location of your objects based on other objects.
Size – Being able to measure the size of an object can be very difficult in obliques. Typically you make a rough estimate based on other measurable objects nearby.
Shape [Figure 3] – Generally speaking, if we are alone in the universe, then we shouldn’t be seeing any rectilinear features on the Moon.
Shadow [Fig 1 & 3] – The Moon’s surface is chaotic and reflects a lot of light. Depending on exposure, your objects may or may not cast a well defined shadow. Beware of pseudoscopic illusion and always know the sun angle.
Tone & Color – Typically used for distinguishing vegetation, patches of tone and knowing the shadow angle will help you define the outer boundaries of shapes.
Texture [Fig 2] – The arrangement of repetition of tone and color is also effected by scale. Repetition can also be an architectural quality with objects being intentionally distributed along the terrain. Texture is a product of scale and except for very large objects texture can be difficult to discern.
Pattern [Fig 1] – Pattern considers the spatial arrangement of objects in the landscape. Symmetry might be apparent or implied but know for sure that whatever was there long ago, may have been knocked around by meteor impacts.
Height & Depth – (see Shadow)
Site/Situation/Association [Figure 4]- These are the more subjective and intuitive interpretations you can make that help tell a story of the shape and its location in the terrain. Be prepared for extreme pushback from academics that accept nothing but facts.
One of the drawbacks of examining the Apollo-era film record is that the images lack enough resolution to clearly identify small scale features. The images often suffer from poor exposure and motion blur. The digital versions of these images were saved with medium to heavy compression.
As a result, we aren’t seeing the whole picture and our evaluations are always speculative. But this doesn’t leave us completely in the cold. One way of better understanding what we might be seeing on the Moon is by altering images of objects from Earth in a way to replicates the same image degradation.
[Fig 5] I searched Google Earth for archeological sites and structures and engineered a simple routine that simulated the amount of “fuzzy” to help train my eyes to see differently. Take a moment to study the Chico Canyon images. When comparing the original to the simulated Moon photo, note how easy it would be for someone to claim that they have found giant vents or nuclear cooling towers. The insides of the towers are actually the shadows of the original. This is just one example demonstrating how careful we must be when claiming specificity.
Regarding the much debated topic of NASA altering any image that revealed a pre-existing extraterrestrial presence on the Moon, I have always maintained these three assumptions:
1) The examiners would struggle to identify everything artificial given the relatively short amount of time available for review before releasing the images to the public.
2) Except for the obvious, the examiners may not recognize all artificial objects or structural constructs, for any number of reasons, to include damage from meteors or being partially covered in regolith dust.
3) They could only obfuscate the details of an image so much before it would be obvious that the originals had been tampered with.
And this is why I stick to the high and low oblique images as much as possible because it is much harder to convincingly alter photographs taken in perspective than from looking straight down.
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