I just got an email from a reader who alerted me to what is either a weirdly leaked piece of Cold War correspondence or a clue for the upcoming found footage scifi/horror film Apollo 18.
Apollo 18 it is! It turns out there’s a hidden section of the official movie site, and fans have been following along on Twitter and Facebook getting clues on how to unlock new features. And a new feature has been unlocked - an intercepted correspondence about the Lunokhod 2 Russian Lunar Rover.
In real life the Lunokhod 2 drove around the Lunar surface for a couple of weeks before mysteriously shutting down. Being the Soviet era the whole thing was kept hush-hush, but recently the official explanation came in that the rover had malfunctioned when lunar dust covered the radiators, causing overheating.
But these documents posit otherwise! They’re from Lavochkin, the Russian aerospace company who made the Soviet rockets and capsules and stuff, and they talk about bringing ‘classified surveillance images’ to Tyuratam, which was essentially the Soviet’s Area 51 - a secret launch base. It was Tyuratam that Gary Powers was trying to find when his U2 spy plane was shot down.
Of real world interest: Lunokhod 2 was lost until last year, when lunar imaging found it. Ownership of it was auctioned off last year to Richard Garriott, who you might know better as Lord British, the creator of the Ultima games. He said:
I am now the world’s only private owner of an object on a foreign celestial body. Though there are international treaties that say, no government shall lay claim to geography off planet earth, I am not a government. Summarily, I claim the moon in the name of Lord British!
This document surely holds some clues as to what will be revealed next - but what are they?
Thanks to Ryan for the email heads up.