And yet, when that sorry excuse for a television "documentary" series touches on a subject you know well, it gives a special kind of pain. Watching "NASA's Secret Agenda," I felt like Jason Colavito does when the series covers his special subject, history of mythology (follow that link and you'll see Colavito describing this episode as a "steaming turd." That's not nice, Jason. Oh, perhaps it is.) This episode devoted itself to saying, about 20 times in 20 slightly different ways, that Wernher Von Braun was such a genius that he had to have acquired some secret knowledge from—you guessed it, I'm sure—Ancient Aliens. As Colavito correctly notes, the Soviets of that era seem to have done very nicely without alien intervention. Calculation of how to get to the Moon on an elliptical semi-orbit is mathematics, folks, not mysticism.
The history of early spaceflight (well, some of it) was told with only a few minor errors. Then around the 30:00 mark, on came Mike Bara and the lies came thick and fast. Describing the Apollo 17 mission yet again, in a narrative he stole from Keith Laney, Bara talked about the "mysterious" hexagonal-shaped mountain astronauts Cernan & Schmitt spent some time at. The video showed us this:
credit: Prometheus Entertainment
He was talking about South Massif, which actually looks like this:
credit: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter WAC
Is that honest television documentary reporting? Or pure bullshit?
Then it was on to the skull-like rock in crater Shorty, which Richard Hoagland dubbed Data's Head. This blog has covered that piece of nonsense again and again. The narration said "Bara and Hoagland obtained early-generation negatives from NASA..." However, IT'S NOT TRUE. Here's what Hoagland told Kerry Cassidy about his perfunctory research:
[W]e've gotten two copies of film - not just the web but film, (which is really crappy copies that were sent to us), and what I was able to do was a computerized robot comparison with C3PO.
NASA does not hand out "early generation negatives," especially not to hostile nincompoops. To be fair to Mike Bara, those sins were committed by the producers and writers, not him personally. But for me, re-telling the lies about South Massif and Shorty is quite bad enough. Ugh.