After my somewhat tepid feelings towards Moonwalkers, see: https://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/moonwalkers.html, I was dubious about yet another fictional film about the fake moon landings. I decided to watch Operation Avalanche (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3776826/) on Amazon Prime when I heard about it at a conference. It is a "found footage" independent drama from
released in 2016. It is shot in the style of Blair Witch Project and Paranormal
Activity, however it is clearly of a much a higher budget than those other
two contemporary productions, being of a period setting that is well-reconstructed;
with genuine 1960's cars, fashions and hairstyles etc. The story follows a
group of rather geeky young film-making students who are recruited by the CIA
for a mission to pose undercover at NASA, pretending to make a documentary
about the Apollo Programme. The government believes the agency has been penetrated
by a Soviet mole. Along with their formal project footage, the team film their
adventures on portable cine cameras, the equivalent in those days of modern phone-cams.
They fail to catch the spy, but during the course of their investigations they
discover that NASA know secretly that a manned moon landing is impossible
within the timeframe demanded by President Kennedy in May of 1961, before the
end of 1969. There is also the threat that the Russians will get there first,
giving them a hat-trick in the Space Race. The agents subsequently find
themselves embroiled in a plot to make fake footage of the Apollo 11 moon
landing in a studio which will be passed off to the world as the real thing.
The story and script are intricate and far better constructed than Moonwalkers. The acting is very good. The movie varies in tone considerably. At times, especially in the early scenes, it is something of a comedy. For example the team have to bug the telephone of James Webb, the NASA director for most of the Apollo Programme; and they gain much amusement by secretly recording him flirting lasciviously with his girlfriend. At other times the film is quite macabre. The ending is very shocking and violent. One interesting and chilling aspect is that the CIA have a "plan B" in case the film crew cannot produce the fake footage quickly enough or of realistic enough quality. They will shoot down the Apollo Saturn V rocket and blame in on the
They call this "Operation Northwoods". Operation Northwoods is a real
false flag operation proposed by the CIA after the Cuban Revolution. They
suggested that the agency should carry out terrorist attacks in American
cities, sink ships, crash airliners, murder Cuban refugees and many other
atrocities, which would then be blamed on the Castro regime. This would justify
all-out war on Cuba
and the removal of Fidel Castro, see: https://www.wanttoknow.info/010501operationnorthwoods.
It's interesting that the producers of Operation
Avalanche have called their fictional space equivalent by the same name. Do
they hope people will go out and Google it? I recommend watching Operation Avalanche. It serves as a very
informative introduction, in fictional allegory, to the fake moon landing
subject. It also includes explanations of common objections from Apollo-believers.
We're approaching the half-century anniversary of the major Apollo achievements;
the first manned mission, Apollo 8, will hit the fifty-year mark in December
this year. Unlike Moonwalkers, I
don't detect any themes of disinformation in Operation Avalanche, although others might well disagree. If
anything, I think this film inspires awareness of the issues and doubts over
the official story about the first human expedition onto another world.
See here for background: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/programme-179-podcast-marcus-allen.html.https://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/kubricks-daughter-on-moon-landings.html.