What's on the Far Side of the Moon?

Close up image of the moon

Tonight I'm going to journey to a distant place and time,
where sorrow and teardrops are unknown
and heartbreak's left behind,
where there's no pain nor any gloom -
the far side of the moon.

-- Joyce P. Hale, Far Side of the Moon

WHAT WE CANNOT see, often, we fear… or at least consider with suspicion. This is perhaps because it's unknown, and people tend to be frightened of the unknown. Ghosts, for example. The far side of the Moon might be another example. Because we cannot see it, the far side of the Moon is for many a place of dark mystery. Why can we never see it? What's there? Rumors in certain circles speculate that it's the perfect place for an alien base.

Rumors aren't reality, of course, so is there any information to back up these claims?

Why We Can't See It

When we look up at the Moon, we always see the same side. This peculiarity results because the Moon rotates just once for every orbit it makes around the Earth. The Moon is slightly lopsided, so over millions of years, gravitational forces have slowed its rotation so that the one side always faces our planet.

The side facing away from us often used to be referred to as "the dark side of the Moon," which is erroneous since, on average, the side we don't see receives just as much sunlight as the side we do see.

For many hundreds of years, humankind wondered what the far side of the Moon was like. Was it similar to the familiar near side? Was it different? What secrets did it hold? The mystery began to be revealed in 1959 when the Soviet Union's Luna 3 spacecraft flew to the far side of the Moon and photographed it for the first time. These first photographs were crude and grainy, but seemed to show a land as bleak and lifeless as the near side.

Subsequent space probes, such as the Lunar Orbiter 4, succeeded in photographing the surface of the far side in much greater detail in 1967. Then in 1968, astronauts aboard Apollo 8, which circled the Moon in preparation for the Apollo 11 landing, saw the far side of the Moon with human eyes for the first time.

Today, we have detailed photo maps of the far side, as well as topographic maps calling out its main features. So the far side of the Moon is not as mysterious as it once was. Yet the stories persist that there are still many secrets there - stories fueled in part by the fact that since Apollo 17 in 1972, we have not returned to the Moon with a manned mission. The conspiracy minded suspect that there's a reason for that: the aliens don't want us there.

Alien Bases

It has long been a theory of some UFOlogists that the far side of the Moon could harbor a base for extraterrestrials. Presuming they come from a distant planet in some other solar system, they must have a base from which they can make their regular visits to the Earth. What better place than the far side of the Moon, which is perpetually hidden from sight?

To bolster this claim, authors at such websites as Alien Presence on the Moon, site the words of Milton William Cooper, allegedly a former intelligence officer with the US Navy. In a 1989 press release from Cooper (again allegedly), he swears under oath that he was privy to information that the US government has knowledge of alien craft visiting Earth. "LUNA is the alien base on the far side of the Moon," the release states. "It was seen and filmed by the Apollo Astronauts. A base, a mining operation using very large machines, and the very large alien craft described in sighting reports as MOTHER SHIPS exist there."

Also known as William or Bill Cooper, he wrote about his theories in such booklets as The Secret Government: The Origin, Identity and Purpose of MJ-12 and his 1991 book Behold A Pale Horse. Cooper was killed by officers of the Apache County Sheriff's Office in 2001 during a raid on his Arizona house for tax evasion. (Cooper opened fire first.)

Is there better evidence?


The UFO Casebook website says there are actual NASA and military photos of the bases on the far side of the Moon. "There is a HUGE alien moon base complex on the far side of the moon," the website says. "This sounds silly but it is true and we have solid proof… straight from the military. In 1994, the US Navy sent a satellite called Clementine to the moon to image it for two months. During that time, the satellite took 1.8 million images. Out of those images, 170,000 images were made available to the public. The rest were classified. Classified moon craters?"

The website provides links to the photos, but like many such photos they are unclear and open to interpretation.

Remote Viewed Bases

One of the most fascinating pieces of "evidence" for alien bases on the far side of the Moon comes from psychic and remote viewer Ingo Swann. Swann, who was instrumental in creating the US government's remote viewing program in the 1970s, is one of the most respected remote viewers in the world.

The opinion that he is perhaps the best remote viewer around is held by other remote viewers, due to his many astonishing successes. In 1973, for example, while remote viewing Jupiter, Swann reported that the giant gas planet had rings. This fact was unknown to astronomers at the time, but was confirmed by Voyager 1 in 1979.

In an article called "To the Moon and Back, With Love" for American Chronicle, writer Gary S. Bekkum recounts Swann's remote viewing session about the Moon, an event reported in Swann's own 1998 self-published work, Penetration.

Swann was asked to remote view several targets by a man named Axelrod, working for the US government.

"Axelrod tasked Ingo with a series of moon coordinates," writes Bekkum. "Unknown to Swann, the targeted moon coordinates, about ten different locations, would bring him mind-to-mind with what he soon realized was an unearthly extraterrestrial presence.

"Swann 'saw' with his mind's eye craters in darkness, and decided that he must be seeing the hidden side of the moon, the side that always faces away from the Earth. Upon achieving psychic 'contact' with the lunar surface, Swann first came upon what looked like trails of tractor-tread marks. Confusion set in until Swann realized that he was 'seeing' intelligent activity and structures on the moon.

"In the depths of a crater he viewed a green, dusty haze lit by banks of artificial lights mounted on very large, tall towers. Swann was stunned by the realization that 'someone' or 'something' appeared, under the aegis of his mind's eye, to be building a base on the moon. He had been inducted into an interplanetary operation and brought to Mr. Axelrod's underground facility by the need to monitor extraterrestrial activities in an unconventional way. Swann decided that Axelrod and company had been given the task of psychically spying on the alien moon base because the extraterrestrials had been less than friendly about conventional human curiosity.

"When Ingo sensed that he had been psychically 'spotted' by two of the humanoid-looking inhabitants of the moon base, he questioned whether or not he was at risk."

Returning To The Moon

Like most such speculation, rumor and psychic reports, tales of mysterious goings-on and alien bases on the far side of the Moon have not been proved. Nor can they be proved - or disproved, for that matter - until perhaps we return to the Moon.

And we apparently have plans to do so. In March, 2006, NASA announced its plans to return to Earth's neighbor. In fact, the plan is to land astronauts on the far side of the Moon! "Under the project," states a [Sunday] TIMESONLINE article, "up to four astronauts at a time will land on the far side of the moon to collect rock samples and carry out research, including looking for water that might one day support a lunar base."

Astronomers have even more ambitious plans of setting up a radio telescope on the far side of the Moon, where it would be protected from radio emissions from the Earth.

What will astronauts and scientists find there? Proof of extraterrestrial visitation? Will these projects settle the question once and for all?

Returning to the Moon is no guarantee of disclosure, of course. If the alien bases are not uncovered and revealed to the citizens of the Earth, conspiracy theorists can always blame the world's governments, who they say continually shield us from the truth of the alien presence.