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A Hidden Mission for Apollo 17?

Part II. Where Giants Sleep

 Nestled into the northeast side of South Massif's base contact is a dark spot visibly noticed in all the previous photos. As mentioned before, this dark area is named Nansen. The view below is supplied by Apollo 15 Itek panoramic camera photo AS15-9297 and portrayed in NASA publication SP 362, otherwise known as Apollo Over The Moon: A View From Orbit. Nansen is pointed into by arrow A. Note the roughness of the Massif's surface, as this is a small point  that will be brought up later.

  I've also prepared a full resolution gigapan version of this image from recent scans of the original spacecraft films.


  It is reported to be simply a small crater half filled with slide debris from the massif. This is where I find a conundrum. Note the lighter albedo of the debris field leading away from it. Naturally, it would have material in it deposited from up the slope given erosional processes at work on the moon, but the orbital images show it to be far more complex than that. A material slide off of South Massif of the magnitude needed to have reached as far out as is shown would have taken large portion of the massif with it, and surely filled a small crater in, not just partially filled one side of it. From this and other photos, it appears this "crater" is very unnatural. In fact it appears rather rectangular, and very much darker than its surroundings. This is a point to remember as we look at further photos.
The effect is evident regardless of lighting angle.

 This was the main target of Apollo 17; Geology Station 2 on the lunar traverse. They traveled approximately 8 km away from the safety of the lunar module to get there, across many various obstacles. Something was apparently very important about this area other than geology. This composite image shows AS15-9297 in relation to AS17-m-1218.

 Here's a very shortened chronology of the stay on the surface.
First day; landing, set up equipment, rover, ALSEP, short exploratory to Steno crater, sleep.
Second day; drive to geology station 1 (On the way), then straight on to South Massif, an hour and ten minutes at Nansen (geology station 2, meandering exploratory drive back.
Third day, trip to North Massif and Sculptured hills, sleep, then takeoff for home.
To show this particular set of facts I will resort to the Apollo 17 landing traverse maps from the
Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, which documents this marvelous journey very well.

These maps offer an excellent view into Nansen, the names of the local features around the site, and the path that Jack and Gene took to get to the hill. Notice that North Massif is very lineated as well. The area where it meets the Scarp is stunning. The Scarp is best described in the words of Gene Cernan,
"Man, you talk about a mysterious looking place."

 I have here the labeled traverses by day and have arrowed Geology Station 2 at Nansen. According to scale, it is approximately 600 meters wide and very dark inside. The shadow in it is quite anomalous and  does not agree with the sun angle as averaged from the shadows of the myriad other features within

 Here is another view of it's immediate surroundings from even closer. The sun was at a little higher an angle in this picture, yet the darkness and angularity of the Nansen's inside is still evident despite the brightness of its environment. Instead of landslide debris as is the explanation for this bright area, it appears to be the blast debris of an internal pressure release event originating from within the massif and combined with or patchily covered with a resulting slide. South Massif has obvious visual signals of catastrophic collapse on its back side which reinforces this idea. You can see from the marked traverse path that Cernan and Schmitt went right for that huge "Nansen" hole in the side of the massif. 

 Now we'll look at it up close from a different map with yet another lighting angle. In both the mapped traverse images shown here, the plain out rough fractally linear and geometrically angular appearance of both Nansen and the brighter landslide area are obvious.


 Evident from these photos the area is very rough. This is not as apparent in the film clips of the journey to this area, nor the pictures taken from the area of Geology Station 2, which are supposed to be looking into Nansen. The surface photo referenced later to be this feature give an impression of it being not much more than a shallow ditch.

 I have reasons to suspect that a lot of the photography from this traverse has been quietly suppressed or "tricked", and an equal amount of the transcripts edited for normality. Actually the social and national security reverberations of such spectacular findings might have seemed to warrant this, so there is really nothing to be held accountably wrong for. Nevertheless, the transparency of the stated geological mission as a cover for another, much more profound excursion becomes obvious upon closer review. What were they doing here? They drove through all that for rocks? No. I would like to think they were looking for a way into the massif, which may not be a natural feature at all but rather a fantastically constructed, hexagonal shaped, half collapsed ancient artifact. A remnant from a civilization unknown except perhaps through ancient legends. A real life "2001: A Space Odyssey" sort of scenario.

They most likely didn't find a way in, but it's not by any stretch hard to imagine they were probably hoping to. Based on the photography so far why would they not? They definitely went there rather straight away after landing, and it definitely has an artificiality appeal factor.

Part III. Waking the Dead.

"On a satellite I ride, nothing down below can hide"

Keith Laney Productions™ © 2002-2012

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