Is NASA Making April Fools of Us All? The Strange Tale of Apollo 20

Apollo 20 and our return to the Moon

When the landing craft from Apollo 17 lifted off the Moon’s surface on December 14, 1972, it marked the end of NASA’s manned lunar exploration missions.

Or did it? Many observers believe the supposed mothballing of the Apollo program was actually a ruse designed to hide the fact that the program had gone dark. Absorbed into a murky top secret netherworld, never to be heard from again.

On April 1st, 2007 evidence emerged that seemed to prove these suspicions were correct. A YouTube user who identified himself as a former NASA astronaut uploaded videos he said had been recorded during the secret Apollo 20 mission, in which he claimed to have participated.

Some of the videos showed rather routine space-based activity. But one revealed the presence of a deserted alien city on the Moon’s surface, while another showed a female alien lying in a Snow White-like state of suspended animation inside the cabin of the Apollo 20 spacecraft.

An Astronaut Spills the Beans

A few months after uploading these videos the alleged ex-astronaut, who identified himself as William Rutledge, consented to an interview on Yahoo Messenger with an Italian ufologist named Luca Scantamburlo.

During this remarkable discussion Rutledge claimed the Apollo 20 team had discovered extensive alien ruins on the surface of the Moon. Even more astonishingly, he said the Apollo 20 team found a gigantic cigar-shaped mothership on the Moon that had been abandoned 1.5 million years ago. They discovered two dead bodies inside, still perfectly preserved in the airless Moon atmosphere, along with another alien who was still alive but unconscious and unresponsive.

Rutledge didn’t explain how the astronauts knew the ship had been lying around in a crater for 1.5 million years (did they find a really old calendar?). Or how an alien could remain in suspended animation for that long. But after the astronauts rescued the female alien they took a video of her as she lay in repose inside the spacecraft. She looked amazingly human, and Rutledge said that she eventually woke up and is still alive somewhere on Earth today.

Shortly after participating in the Yahoo Messenger chat with Scantamburlo, Rutledge disappeared from the scene never to be heard from again. His YouTube account has been closed but others have posted the alleged Apollo 20 on their channels, so they are still available for those who want to check them out.



Goofy Hoax ... or Something Else?

Most who’ve seen the videos have concluded they’re fakes. Which they almost certainly are. But when a bizarre and preposterous story like this one emerges from out of the ether, we are always left to wonder …

Is the Apollo 20 story a harmless practical joke carried out by a special effects wizard with too much time on his hands (hence the April 1st release date of the original video)? Or is it some kind of disinformation campaign designed to discredit people like Richard Hoagland, who say NASA actually did find artificial ruins on the Moon and have been covering up the truth for decades?

At one point a French sculptor and video artist named Thierry Speth did step forward to take credit for perpetrating this hoax. But new Apollo 20 videos were posted online by others following his confession, so at the present time the truth about the Apollo 20 story remains a mystery.


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