… by Michael Shrimpton
[Editors Note: My, my…how the wheel turns, and the memories this brings back. My first foray into film/TV was in the early 90’s in Manhattan, Duke Ellington Blvd on the upper west side.
While looking for an anchor project we got hustled by the Russians who were all putting together deals at that time to get them invited to the US to work on a deal and go home with the obligatory presents. The most important two were the VCR and fax machine, that anointed the new returning owner that he was not ‘somebody’.
Their hook was footage to do a joint production on the history of their lunar program, which would have been a snap to sell. Our guest for the event in our rented brownstone a block of Central Park was the head cinematographer from LenFilm Studios, in what was called Leningrad at the time. They were the equivalent of MGM studios here, with a few exceptions.
My associate went there in the winter and they had conference meetings with everyone wearing their outside coats, hats, scarfs, gloves…the works. Yes folks, the building was not heated, or only enough to keep the pipes from freezing.
They had so many drunk janitors that they were just passed out in the hallways, and people went about their work just stepping over them like it was nothing. It turned out that of the 5000 ’employees’ that they had, the Russian system on welfare was to make all government institution take on a share of these people at a very low wage.
Lenfilms had 2,000 of them, which put a crunch on their budget. We were told to bring the largest Maxwell House instant coffee to offer at meetings as everybody always had hot water. It was like putting an ounce of cocaine on the party table in the 80’s (or so I have heard). Russia has come a long way since those days.
At the end of the day their definition of dealing with us ‘exclusively’, was that they would sell the rights only to us, and no one else. But the problem with that was they did not ‘have’ the exclusive rights as others were trying to sell the same deal ‘exclusively’ meaning each hustler would only sell them to one entity, not several. Ahh…the hard learned lessons of life… Jim W. Dean ]
The Lunar Landings – Part 2
In debunking this conspiracy theory I seem to have stirred up a hornet’s nest! I repeat – you guys went to the Moon. The discussion has however thrown up some useful comments.
I am especially grateful for being directed to Robert A Breunig’s very helpful website www.braeunig.us/space/hoax. His analysis, with respect, is compelling. He has taken each of the main claims advanced by ‘the lunar landings were a hoax’ brigade and demolished them, without resorting to abuse or name-calling. He also gives a useful online bibliography.
Paying frank tribute to Robert Breunig let me deal with some of the many points raised in the hundreds of comments on last week’s article. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) cannot produce photographs of the abandoned Apollo hardware on the lunar surface because the HST only has a resolving power of 0.05”.
The smallest object it could photograph on the lunar surface would be around 300 feet across.
The Van Allen Belts
My comments on this last week turn out to have been too restrained – as you may have noticed excessive restraint is one of my problems! I’m working on it. Not only were the Van Allen Belts traversed quickly, as Breunig points out, translunar orbits were typically inclined at 30o to the Earth’s equator, thus missing the Belts almost entirely.
The Apollo XI TV Images
Since I have never had a problem with the lunar landings I have been troubled too greatly by the points taken on the photos and TV footage. Some of them however are fair points, requiring an answer. Robert Breunig’s lucid analysis provides it, with respect. Bandwith on the Apollo XI transmissions from the lunar surface was limited. The TV transmissions were 10 frames per second with only 320 lines per second. These transmissions were then converted into US standard for transmission. Makes sense to me!
Absence of Stars
The photographs taken by the Apollo astronauts were on fast exposure settings, too fast for the stars to show. I am no expert photographer, as my holiday snaps will show, but again that makes sense to me.
Maybe I should have covered this point last week. As Breunig points out Apollo XI, XIV and XV astronauts placed reflectors on the lunar surface. These are used by the McDonald Laboratory in Texas to measure the precise distance between the Earth and the Moon, which varies of course by small amounts. How did they get there if they were not placed by astronauts? A robot mission just to put reflectors on the lunar surface seems a bit of a waste of time.
Single Stage to Orbit
There is nothing in the Shuttle/Saturn liquid rocket fuel comparisons. Well done Martin Maloney for pointing this out. The Shuttle was a Single Stage to Orbit vehicle, although it discarded the solid fuel boosters and external fuel tank. The Saturn V Moon Rockets were three-stage.
As General Stafford pointed out at the Annapolis conference the use of a separate landing vehicle for the lunar landing, and a Service Module which could be separated from the Command Module, were critical to the success of the Apollo Program. The Lunar Module by the way did not weigh around 17 long tons on the lunar surface, as some conspiracy theorists maintain. It weighed just over one long ton, given that the Moon’s gravity is only one-sixth that of Earth’s and much of its gross weight was taken up with fuel expended during the descent phase.
Russian and Australian Tracking
The Apollo missions were tracked all the way to the Moon and back by the Russians. Clearly the USSR would have seized on any discrepancies between the published mission profiles and their own tracking data. Not only that but some of the tracking (also coms links) was done via the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia, memorably and wittily dramatized in the movie The Dish. Based on fact, there is an interesting scene where they lose track of the target (whoops!). They realign the dish by pointing it at the moon – because Apollo XI was on the approach to lunar orbit. To find Apollo XI you searched in the vicinity of the Moon.
Christopher Robert Roden
Christopher’s comments repay reading. What he has to say, about additional Apollo missions, and black space ops, is intriguing. I suspect his claim to have been DIA is valid – a lot of folk in INTELCOM visit this site. Christopher, you have my attention!
Dieter the Hun
I am grateful Dieter for your kind comments. I am always up for a trip to Antarctica – I love penguins! Two comments – I am not “afraid” of the DVD. I respect them, as they are very good at what they do, but no true Englishman is ever afraid of the Germans. That does not mean that we do not keep a wary eye on what the ‘wily Hun’ is up to. Admiral Tovey kept a close watch on Admiral Lutjens and the Bismarck, but he was not afraid of her power, even though he respected it. He just blew her out of the water.
Secondly I am not anti-German. As I point out in Spyhunter (publication delayed until January by the way – it’s having to be re-written back into British English, as it’s now being published in the UK, and I need to update it, as the original cut-off date of July 1st 2013 has been overtaken by events) I am no more anti-German than Bomber Harris was.
Way to Go NSA
Well done Meade for the successful COMINT intercepts on Angela Merkel. As I keep pointing out Germany is the ultimate enemy in the Global War on Terror, as al Qaeda is controlled from Germany. The NSA understand this, hence the shift in focus to Germany after 9/11. Angela, with respect, is a legitimate person of interest for the USA.
The NSA does wonderful work, on a limited budget, for inadequate pay. Americans should get behind their most important intelligence agency. And no, I am not writing this because the boys have just slipped me those satellite piccies of a German U-Boat I have been looking for. It is an open secret in INTELCOM that Raj De at Meade is not returning my calls – and I don’t blame him! I hear that Raj is good people and a fine national security lawyer.
As I am sure Lt-Gen Alexander, a brilliant intelligence officer if I may say so, understands, the White House would go ape-s..t if a bunch of satellite photos turned up in my mailbox, even if they were stamped ‘Google Earth’! I suppose I’ll just have to get them from the Russians, which means lower resolution, and me buying the drinks. It’ll have to be the good vodka too, not Tesco’s cooking vodka.
I am occasionally asked what “reasonable force” means. There is a good demonstration in this week’s classic movie, The Gauntlet (1977), directed by and starring the great Clint Eastwood, ably supported by Sandra Locke. In fact there are two scenes which could be used as training aids by law enforcement agencies, the one where the house falls down after a fusillade of shots from the Las Vegas Police Department, and the one where the Phoenix boys shoot up the bus.
The movie also shows the correct procedure for hijacking a bus (don’t try this at home!), the wrong way to stop one, and the correct procedure for shooting a police commissioner (again, don’t try this at home, even if you live in Thames Valley!).
Apologies to Anthony Hopkins, whose name I elided with Jack Hawkins last week.
Sadly this fine British actor passed this week. A bit left-wing with respect, he was nonetheless an intelligent actor who graced his profession over many decades. His father did good work in the Great War, winning the MC.
His great-uncle was Major Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn VC, of the Gordon Highlanders, who did superb work at the Battle of Elandslaagte in 1899 in the Second Boer War, killing many Boers. A full obituary of Nigel Davenport appeared in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph. May he Rest in Peace… November 1st 2013.
[Editors Note: My, my….what a career!!!… Jim W. Dean]
- The Adventures of Robin Hood (1957–58; episodes: “Too Many Earls”; “The Mystery of Ireland’s Eye”; “The Infidel”; “The Road in the Air”; “The Path of True Love”, and “Bride for an Outlaw”)
- Look Back in Anger (1959)
- Peeping Tom (1960)
- The Entertainer (1960)
- Mix Me a Person (1962)
- Ladies Who Do (1963)
- The Third Secret (1964)
- A High Wind in Jamaica (1965)
- Where the Spies Are (1965)
- Sands of the Kalahari (1965)
- Life at the Top (1965)
- A Man for All Seasons (1966)
- Sebastian (1968)
- Play Dirty (1968 film)
- The Strange Affair (1968)
- The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)
- The Virgin Soldiers (1969)
- No Blade of Grass (1970)
- The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970)
- Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)
- Villain (1971)
- The Last Valley (1971)
- Living Free (1972)
- South Riding (TV series)
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1973)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973)
- Phase IV (1974)
- The Regent’s Wife (1975)
- Oil Strike North (1975 TV Series)
- The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
- Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977)
- The London Connection (1979)
- Zulu Dawn (1979 alongside Simon Ward)
- Cry of the Innocent (1980- Gray Harrison Hunt)
- Chariots of Fire (1981)
- Nighthawks (1981)
- Masada (1981)
- Minder (1982)
- An Inspector Calls (Arthur Birling) (1982 TV series)
- A Christmas Carol (1984)
- Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
- Caravaggio (1986)
- Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy (1986)
- Death of a Snowman
- Without a Clue (1988)
- Howards’ Way (TV series) (1985–1990)
- Trainer (TV series as James Brant) (1991)
- Keeping Up Appearances (“The Commodore”) (1993)
- The Treasure Seekers (1996)
- Shanghai 1937 (1997)
- Mosley (TV Serial as Viscount Rothermere) (1998)
- Longitude (miniseries) (2000)
- David Copperfield (TV series) (2000) (USA)
- Midsomer Murders (TV series) (2000)
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.
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