Friday, July 30, 2021


The North Ray Anomaly 

of Apollo 16, or...

The date was April 23, 1972. It was a weekday in the very late afternoon, and I had just come home from a day at St. Mary's High School in St. Louis, having come home on the city bus which runs along Grand Avenue, and walking the remaining city blocks to my house. There was no one in my living room, so I took advantage of the my privilege to TV program selection (my older sisters usually controlled the TV set). The TV set was in the corner of my family's living room. It was a compact color set, which sat on top of an older wood black and white TV cabinet. The black and white TV set didn't work, but from where it sat in the living room, it did work back in July of 1969, when I watched with my family the first steps of Man on the Moon during Apollo 11.

The Most Trusted Man in America - Walter Kronkite of CBS News

That first historic Moon mission, and every Apollo mission before and after, was extensively covered by CBS news, hosted by their distinguished veteran news anchor, Walter Kronkite. Some praise should be acknowledged toward Mr. Kronkite, for all of the time he took covering all of the Apollo Missions for CBS News from beginning to end, even though the other networks dropped covering them and ran their regular programs instead.

The Lunar Rover

Back to the story. The particular coverage that CBS News was covering that April afternoon was the 3rd and last EVA of the Apollo 16 astronauts, who were stationed on the Moon for the past few days. This is the second Apollo Moon Mission to feature a new piece of equipment the astronauts would use on the Moon - the Lunar Rover, an electric battery powered vehicle for expanding the diameter of Lunar EVAs from the landing site. The Rover also is equipped to transmit TV signals directly to Earth, from a TV camera on the Rover, that uses a motorized mount remotely controlled by NASA on Earth.


Sketch from memory of Live CBS TV News Coverage, part 1

During this live NASA TV transmission, I was presented with what seemed at first to appear like a normal lunar EVA. Mr. Kronkite may have made a comment that the astronaut was preparing a rack of fabric compartments on the Lunar Rover for containing rock samples. And I did see the rack in front of the astronaut, but then things took a sudden mysterious turn. All CBS commentary went totally silent. Silhouetted against the lunar sky behind the astronaut was a distinct square shape. Having perceived that it was a man made feature, I thought to myself, "How clever - the astronauts constructed a shelter". Then I thought about the weight limit the Apollo astronauts had to work with going to the Moon, and how they could get that much material in the spacecraft.

Sketch from memory of Live CBS TV News Coverage, part 2

As I was pondering this, the astronaut quietly turned away from the Rover mounted camera, and started walking away. As he walked away down a steep embankment, the camera panned to follow him (the camera mount was remotely controlled by NASA from Earth). As the camera panned, the object beside the astronaut appeared longer and longer in length - over 100 feet long. The mystery of the object deepened the longer appeared to get. As CBS News broadcast this phenomenon, the TV audio was eerily silent - even the astronauts didn't say anything. But then there was some shouting in the background of the CBS studio, as if there was some commotion, as the full size of the strange Lunar Anomaly was visible to the American public. I couldn't tell what was being shouted off camera, until Walter Kronkite's distinctive voice broke in on his live microphone, and clearly said, "What is that, some kind of a box?" Immediately afterward, the live TV broadcast from the Moon ended, and CBS's TV feed switched to a flat image of the Apollo 16 Mission insignia. After a long commercial break, NASA's live TV feed from the Moon continued, but the camera's setup was completely altered. The TV view's focus appeared to center on a large stone boulder sitting on the edge of a crater (this boulder would be later known as the "House Rock" in North Ray Crater). None of the CBS news commentary, by Walter Kronkite or anyone else, ever reflected back on what they saw before the commercial break - the whole incident was abruptly buried.

NASA panorama photo taken inside North Ray Crater,
showing Rover's camera transmitting Live TV

Many years afterward, the aftermath of such an experience was later shared on some podcasts, but no one ever pieced together this story. I managed to realize that I was part of this "Me Too" experience, but didn't find the details until I found evidence of it on Google Earth. There I found the panorama photos of the lunar surface from Apollo 16's third EVA to the edge of North Ray Crater.  One of the photos shows the Rover's TV camera pointed toward the astronaut, as he is preparing the rack of fabric compartments to hold Lunar samples. There are some footprints in the foreground going down the embankment, made by the other astronaut. But the object in North Ray Crater, what I refer to as the North Ray Anomaly, is clearly missing. A panorama photo, which is a mosaic of photos pieced together, can easily be altered by graphic artists at NASA, a statement supported from multiple sources. But do any publicly released photos of the North Ray Anomaly exist, that is the question.

The answer is a solid "Yes". It can be seen a long distance away, at the Apollo 16 Landing Site, but still clearly visible there. Poking up over the ridge in front of North Ray Crater is the square end of the North Ray Anomaly. And the angle of its face clearly suggests that the rest of it angles down inside the crater.

I know there are many skeptics who would discredit the first photo as a fluke or a camera error. To them I would direct their attention to a second photo, clearly showing that same "camera fluke". This is a real, solid object sitting inside North Ray Crater, which was an intended objective of the Apollo 16 Mission. In fact, I later saw NASA footage of the Apollo 16 Moon Landing, and although the film doesn't show it, the astronauts commented that they had a clear view of North Ray Crater, and seemed intent on setting down the LEM in its vicinity. And during their EVA to North Ray Crater, there were two stopping points - next to the boulder on the open hillside, and finally to the edge of North Ray Crater. So it doesn't take much to conclude that the astronauts intentionally drove the Rover up to that square-ish thing on the horizon next to North Ray Crater.

So what is the North Ray Anomaly? 

Whatever it is, it's been there for a very long time, 
and it's still there now.  
It seems unlikely we will ever find 
an answer to Walter Cronkite's enigmatic question:

"What is that, some kind of a box?"



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stan the Man's Hit Podcast

Back in 1963, baseball legend Stan Musial released a phonograph LP record (Stan the Man's Hit Record) with a photo illustration booklet enclosed, as an instruction for little league baseball hitters to improve their game. It has some interesting insight into Stan's hitting technique, and how he achieved renowned success at it.

The original record is available by resellers for as little as $10, and as much as $150. An autographed copy can be worth $3000. But as a way of marketing baseball memorabilia, I think this loses the original intention Stan may have had for making this recording -- a way to teach young baseball players how to improve and enjoy their hitting skills.

I do not have the original LP, but I have converted a borrowed copy of Stan's record to digital format. I have noticed there are other audio downloads available, but I think this is the only iTunes podcast enhanced version featuring scanned pictures from the instruction booklet. You can get it here by opposite-clicking to download the file from this link:

For those of you who don't have iTunes, I have the mp3 file version, with a PDF of the instruction booklet to follow along with:

And as Stan says, the important thing is to have fun!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2011 - The Year of the Megasoid

It is the year 2011 -- the earth has survived the onslaught of invading alien creatures during the 1980s, and mankind is beginning to cautiously move ahead in a post-apocalyptic world. This is the vision of the 1965 televisions show "The Outer Limits". The time it sets is now, but it is interesting to see how the culture is different. For example, everyone has ditched their iPhones for the old rotary desk models with the coiled wire hand set. Cars have their classic styling and chrome bumpers back. In an interesting twist, it wasn't unusual for gangster types to have clones made of themselves, and send them on suicidal hit missions. And in the midst of it all lurks the monstrous Megasoid.

You can re-live 2011 again in this Outer Limits episode courtesy of

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tim Hunkin and The Secret Life of Machines

Since Tim Hunkin's TV series on "The Secret Life of Machines", I've always been fascinated by his work. He has taken mechanical devices to an artistic expressive level, and even beyond that, to make witty cultural statements. You can view or download videos of this TV series at -- or

Nowadays, one of his ongoing projects has been arcade game amusements at a beach pier in southern England, called Under The Pier.

His most recent arcade game is the Personal Nuclear Reactor -- also at Under The Pier.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The World's Most Famous Crosswalk

I just found a Live Web Cam focused on the crosswalk in front of EMI Abbey Road Studio in London. Even today, there is a constant struggle between pedestrians and motorists at that location. I managed to catch this webcam at night, and even at late hours there are groups of tourists there trying to get a reconstructed Beatles album cover photo, in the midst of passing headlights.

Last February, there was a news scare that EMI was offering to sell the world famous recording studios, but a week later the offer was withdrawn. Abbey Road Studios (center of top photo) started out in November of 1931. It is most noted for the recordings of The Beatles and Pink Floyd.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Chorus Line of Lost In Space Robots

What's more scary than a life size Lost In Space robot? Ten of them! There is an actual company that makes quality life size replicas of the TV robot, for only $24,500 each. They talk, move their heads, bodies, flash lights, and take soil samples. To deactivate, simply pull his power pack.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I am now a Blogger (or a Monkey with a Typewriter).

For my birthday, I am starting a blog. It's a bigger step than my webpage, because now I have an online journal that can easily be added to. I've been trying iWeb, and it's a bit of a chore to get into and update, with text formatting, moving pictures around etc. But with a blog, I do not need to do a new page layout just to add an entry. So I am hoping that this will make me more productive, and possibly I can get an audience with it.

Of course, with the proliferation of personal blogs on the internet, one cannot help but draw the analogy to thousands of monkeys with typewriters (one of which will accidentally write a classic blog).