NASA's Unexplained Files

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NASA's Unexplained Files is a television show on the Science Channel where cranks try to promote their conspiracy theories about NASA and force them upon the general public.


"NASA's missions have uncovered disturbing anomalies that continue to perplex our finest scientific minds. These are...NASA'S unexplained files."

The show opens with narration that suggests that NASA keeps "files" of phenomena that science cannot explain. The fact is, the only such files are those fabricated by the show and supported by comments from cranks as well as a few real scientists that have been deliberately quote mined to make all the conspiracy nonsense sound plausible. The show typically hypes some incident involving NASA (or just space in general) as "strange." It then goes on to have scientists talk about it as if it is strange. After 5-10 minutes of pure crankery, the show explains the "phenomena" rationally, but then follows it up by suggesting that science can't really explain it, and so NASA must be hiding the TRUTH (aliens).

Where's the science?[edit]

"Could spaceships be powered by atomic bombs? Can artificial rings encircle an entire star? Why was Neil Armstrong's transmission feed cut off when he spotted strange lights on the Moon? And how can lightning talk to itself?"

Sadly, such blatant JAQing off has become commonplace among cable television networks seeking to boost their ratings. The Travel Channel has shows promoting ghosts. The History Channel has shows promoting aliens. Little wonder the Science Channel feels compelled to have a show that ignores actual science in favor of promoting UFO conspiracies.[1]

Sample claims[edit]

A sample of the show's scientific documentation.
  • "A UFO crashes in Pennsylvania. Was it a secret Soviet satellite — or something far more dangerous?"[2] Countering UFO cranks' claims that an alien space ship landed in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, NASA released a statement saying it was a Russian probe. The show argues against NASA's statement, claiming that an unnamed "NASA Scientist" later said it was "impossible for a probe to land there at that time of day." (Apparently this person doesn't understand how an orbit works, because the time of day doesn't matter when something can go around the Earth in about 90 minutes.)
  • "Strange markings on the lunar surface that look like footprints."[3] A linear series of depressions on the moon's surface is compared to footprints made by a giant, followed by scientists discussing it as if it's "strange" and "unexplained." When the scientists finally get around to explaining that it's most likely surface features of collapsed underground lava tubes, the show's narrator hints that such huge underground caverns could be used as a "moon base" for either aliens or humans.
  • "Apollo 16 Incident: A camera filming outside of the lunar lander sees a classic UFO image, that wasn't explained for 30 years." The astronauts described "a saucer-shaped object with a dome on top," prompting paroxysms of joy among UFOlogists, but NASA later identified it as a floodlight boom attached to the lunar lander.[4] The show speculates that NASA'S explanation is part of a nefarious plot to keep the real truth (aliens) hidden.[3]
  • "Music behind the Moon." In March 2016 the show had a feature about the "weird, spacey" music heard by the Apollo 10 astronauts immediately after the LM separated from the CSM. This was described as "unexplained" despite the fact that radio engineers have long ago determined that it was inter-modulation of the two VHF signals from the spacecraft.[5]

External link[edit]


  1. NASA's Unexplained Files — All Seasons
  2. NASA's Unexplained Files - "Life in Hell"
  3. 3.0 3.1 NASA's Unexplained Files - "Hammer of Thor" YouTube
  4. "All of the evidence in this analysis is consistent with the conclusion that the object in the Apollo 16 film was the EVA [spacewalk] floodlight/boom." UFO No Longer Unidentified 04/19/2004
  5. 'Music' Heard by Apollo 10 Astronauts at the Moon Not from Aliens, 22 February 2016. By Calla Cofield