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Features: Articles & Interviews

Hypothesizing the moon's ability to traverse the galaxy

By Michael A. Faries

Space: 1999 was truly science fiction. Scientifically-speaking, the ability for the moon to escape Earth orbit and accelerate into deep space didn't make sense. Even as a third grader in 1975, watching the original U.S. airing of "Breakaway," it didn't seem/feel right. It made you ponder:

- What could give the moon sufficient momentum to escape Earth orbit?
- What was truly driving the lunar astronauts insane?
- What was causing the phenomenons/chain reactions within the nuclear waste facilities, but not in others (ie. "The Seance Spectre" and "Bringers of Wonder, Parts I and II," which demonstrated that the moon has a lot of nuclear waste depots, beyond what we saw in "Breakaway.")

Moonbase Alpha

Knowing that this is a fantasy show (science 'fiction'), it's easier to ignore the real-life science. But it makes the mind search for a plausible explanation.

Over the course of the first season, I had an idea that an alien starship/spacecraft had originally crash-landed on the moon, before the Meta signal was received. Knowing that the world's population might not handle the news well (along similar secrecy displayed in 2001: A Space Odyssey), the ship was surveyed in privacy. Among the scientists was Victor Bergman.

Unfortunately, the ship couldn't be studied in full. The engine generator/drive unit was emitting energies which made the ship unapproachable -- and a full analysis impossible.

Knowing that the world wasn't ready for this -- and that the engine couldn't be studied until the energy fields waned -- the craft was to be covered up. Literally.

And to ensure the cover-up was successful, the nuclear waste areas were built atop the crash site. The craft would be entombed and protected for the time being. Unfortunately, the engine generator/drive unit was conflicting with the nuclear waste. The alien technology interacted over time with the nuclear waste energies. And a chain reaction of sorts was building. When the explosion occured, I envisioned the engine unit soaking up a tremendous amount of energy. The technology which shielded the drive unit extended around the moon; laws of physics were transcended; and the moon was propelled (ie. warped) out of orbit into deep space.

The theories go much further, much deeper. And a lifetime of hypothesizing this has been bolstered by movies such as My Science Project (which I watched, saying 'THIS sounds familiar!') and television shows, such as Macross (the warp fold generator on the SDF-1). At one point, I envisioned the moon as being warped by the device into various star systems randomly by the alien device. Each time, the Alphans would have a limited amount of time (varied from jump to jump) to explore, or potentially evacuate the base. Imagine warping into a star system with an Earth-like planet, but due to the moon's location around a far-orbiting gas giant, it's impossible for the Eagles to travel the distance. Talk about so close, yet so far...

Moonbase Alpha, shielded with Victor Bergman's force field, as the Black Sun draws closer

Imagine if the Moon had a field around it, courtesy of the alien drive unit, which protected it from gravitational extremes (ie. "Black Sun") or breaking apart (ie. the massive explosions in "Breakaway" and "The Seance Spectre"). You wonder why the moonbase wouldn't have detected it, but perhaps the moonbase lacks the instrumentation to precisely detect the energy field.

Imagine if Victor took the secret with him to his grave, or had been hypnotized to forget the project. One wonders how he was able to construct the force field generators in "Black Sun." This is one of my stronger arguments for the exposure to alien technology. Imagine the burden that Victor carried around. And if he had the memories altered, then perhaps bits of the technology exposure had inspired his sub-conscious when he created the force field generators.

Imagine if Commander Gorski was a part of the project, but Commander Koenig wasn't -- and Commisioner Simmons felt that it was a "need to know" basis, which clouded his judgment further. His mixed priorities created more trouble. And in "Earthbound" perhaps he felt he could justify his guilt by traveling back to Earth to explain everything.

It's almost three decades of thought, solidified over time. But I'm hopeful that visitors to this site will give their thoughts and input on it.

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Moonbase Alpha's Eagle One
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Dr. Helena Russell
Dr. Bob Mathias
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Controller Paul Morrow