NASA Apollo 10 astronauts reported that they heard “weird music” when they made a pass around to the dark side of the moon in May 1969 in preparation for the first manned lunar landing. The tapes had been classified, and locked away for nearly 40 years before they were declassified and discovered in 2008. The tapes, made during 60 minutes when the three Apollo 10 astronauts were behind the moon and cut off from radio communication with Earth, will be the subject of an upcoming episode of the Science Channel’s popular TV series, NASA’s Unexplained Files, which begins its first season this Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
NASA Apollo 10 Astronauts Heard ‘Weird Music’ on Dark Side of the Moon
Apollo 10 entered into lunar orbit and got within 5,000 feet from the surface of the moon in preparation for Apollo 11’s manned lunar landing just three months later. Everything seemed to be going well with the mission, as far as the general public back in the United States and the rest of Earth knew. While almost everything did go well, the public was not informed that the three astronauts aboard Apollo 10, Eugene Cernan, John Young and Tom Stafford, heard odd whistling or “whooooing,” sounds through their headsets when they traveled around to the dark side of the moon.
On the tapes, the three NASA Apollo 10 astronauts make repeated comments about the odd whistling sounds they are hearing. One of the astronauts, according to Fox News, said on the tapes, “It sounds like, you know, outer space-type music.”
Then, an astronaut asks the other two, “Shall we tell [NASA] about it?”
He gets the reply from one of his fellow astronauts, “I don’t know. We ought to think about it.”
Back at Mission Control, the tapes were transcribed, classified and then archived, and supposedly, the three astronauts did not talk much about what they had heard while they were circling behind to the dark side of the moon once they returned to Earth. The reason a commentator gave on the video clips released from the upcoming episode of NASA’s Unexplained Files was that the astronauts were worried they might end up being grounded if they talked too much about what they had heard, and what they had possibly seen.
Young eventually made it back to the moon and walked on its surface “as the commander of Apollo 16.” Stafford continued to be an astronaut and flew back into outer space, but never to the moon again, while Cernan commanded the Apollo 17 mission. He was the last man ever to walk on the surface of the moon.
Researcher and author Andrew Chaikin stated that some NASA technicians suggested that the “weird music,” the three astronauts heard might have been caused by “interference from VHF radios on the command module and lunar module interacting with each other.”
However, that explanation did not seem to be accurate to Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden, who also appears on the clip. He reasoned that “The Apollo 10 crew is very used to the kind of noise that they should be hearing.” He added, “Logic tells me that if there was something recorded on there, then there was something there.”
Worden also mentions in the clip that if he had been up there and was cut off from being able to communicate with NASA’s Mission Control and had heard something like that, “the first thing probably, it would freak me out.”
Worden said that a reason why the space agency might not have wanted the general public to know about the “weird music,” the three astronauts heard was “if they thought it was in the public’s best interest” not to know about it, according to Sputnik International.
The NASA Apollo 10 astronauts orbited the moon 31 times. So far, there have not been any reports as to whether the astronauts heard similar “music” any of the other times they circled the moon.
What do you think? Were the noises the NASA astronauts heard simple interference in their headsets, or do you think there is another explanation for the noises that they heard? Sound off in the comments section below and share your thoughts.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy NASA