In the latest of a seemingly endless string of photo releases, this reporter was passed yet more evidence of the presence of alien life on the moon, during its exploration by NASA astronauts in the 1960’s and 70’s.
The latest photo was delivered to this newspaper in a large manilla envelope, the top left corner of which bore the ornate stamp of the Bureau of Unexplained Lunar Lifeforms. The bottom right corner was marked by a large red stain, smelling strongly of vodka and tomatoes juice. However it would be pure speculation on the part of this reporter to state this mark was caused by the spillage of a Bloody Mary.
As has become the norm for these releases, the envelope also contained a transcript of the debriefing of the astronaut responsible for taking the photograph.
“Pete and I had made our way round from the landing site towards the location of Surveyor 3, over on the East rim of the crater. Walking around the rim we could see that there was something else down there other than Surveyor.
As we got closer we could see that it was a vehicle just a little smaller than Surveyor, with a similar design; three landing legs at its base and a pair of solar panels on a mast up top.
We made our way round the East side of Surveyor, and headed down the crater wall, then once we got close, we started setting up for the schedule of photographs of it. Of course we had this unexpected object to get photos of too, but Pete started reeling off the instructions for the first photo in the schedule from his cuff list, so I got started on that. I’d set the camera for the first one when I noticed that the other vehicle appeared to be, err, manned, so to speak.
We’d not noticed it on the way down into the crater, but there was one of those little critters perched on top of the vehicle in some kind of seat. We’d run into one this creature on EVA 1, which kept getting in the way of our photography, but this one just sat there, still as can be.
The other thing I noticed was that the vehicle was pretty primitive looking. I mean it looked like they’d raided my basement for parts.
Well I had the Hasselblad set for a shot of Surveyor from 15 feet, with the LEM in the background, when suddenly things started moving. That other vehicle had fired up some kind of motor and started lifting off the surface. It was kicking up a fair amount of debris; some small stones were hitting me and Pete, sounded like someone pouring rice into a pan.
I don’t know what those critters use for propulsion, but it clearly wasn’t up to the job, ‘cos that lander could barely get off the surface, seemed like it was more of a leaf blower than a rocket motor. It just hovered a couple of feet off the surface and wobbled around, like the pilot was on his first day on the job.
I had the camera ready for the Surveyor shot and was going to try and get it and that weird lander in it for size comparison, when that thing suddenly pitched forward and started moving off to my left. It made it up to about twenty feet above the surface, then started dropping.
By then it must have been about half way up the crater wall and it dropped low enough for one of the legs to touch the surface. That thing got ripped off right there and then, I could see the motor on the underside of it twitching round like the ears on a hunting dog, I guess whatever was flying it had a hard time keeping it from crashing into the ground.
I watched it for maybe 15, 20 seconds as it climbed up over the crater rim, then disappeared out of site over the top of it. After that I went back to the remaining photos from Pete’s cuff list.
It was part of the mission plan to bring back some parts of Surveyor 3, so we left a couple of those off the list, so we could bring back that landing leg that got ripped off. When we were back in the LEM I had my first chance to take a good look at it, and it I gotta say, I’ve seen better welding by kids in shop class."