Bill Kaysing tribute
I was first introduced to Bill Kaysing when I was about fourteen years old. I was watching a news magazine program (one of the first) whose name was 'P.M. Magazine' (it was syndicated to various cities across the US). Apparently Bill was one of their first guests. Having been an employee for about six years during the Apollo 'moon' program, working as a subcontractor within Rocketdyne, his testimony as to the actual behind-the scenes daily operations of NASA had quite a weight to it. Also being highly intelligent, truthful, and well spoken, as well as having a kindly, grandfather-like demeanor, made his eyewitness accounts quite compelling.
Mr. Kaysing explained during this interview which I watched as a young teenager, that NASA was so disorganized and inept that the private opinion expressed in interdepartmental memos, which only a few were privy to, was that the likelihood of a successful first attempt at a manned mission to the moon in the 1960's was well below one percent. 'If you can't make it, you fake it', he said was one of the underground mottos of the organization.
My father was an officer in the Air Force at the time of the missions (I was four years old, asleep in bed . . . I would later find out, a much better use of my time.) One of his perks was a publicity package of 9 by 12 color prints from the first mission, Apollo 11. He gave most of them to me, and I put them all up on my bedroom wall. No matter where we moved (and we moved a lot), the pictures would continually be the centerpiece of my room. I thought the missions were mesmerizing like everyone else, and probably more so as an adolescent. From age 4 to 14 they were the inspiration for my life . . . 'Anything is possible!' I thought. Later, I would find out that this including faking it.
So there I was, sitting in front of the TV listening to Bill tell why he knew, beyond a doubt, that the manned moon missions of the 1960's were impossible, and, therefore, an elaboration. Rather than getting mad like some people (perhaps this was because I was young and open minded), I said to myself, 'Humm . . . I never considered that.' After the program, I went to my bedroom wall and took a very new look at the pictures with this in mind . . . and the onion pealed.
I saw fake backdrops, wrinkles in supposedly pressurized suits, and lighting coming from two directions. 'Wow!' I said to myself. 'How come I never noticed this before?' (Good question.) So, the seed was planted . . . by Bill Kaysing . . . my, eventually, self-adopted grandfather. Ten years later, at age 24, I had become a filmmaker . . . and guess what? I found myself editing a video for the producer and host of the television show that I had seen ten years earlier with Bill Kaysing as their guest. I asked my client, 'Do you remember the guy who was on your show about ten years ago, who said we didn't go to the moon?' 'Sure, he said.' 'What was his name?' I'd like to look him up' I inquired. 'I don't remember . . . but you can call the San Francisco office and ask them. They'll know.' So I did.
You know what? It must have been ten years to the day after I saw the television program, because the producers, when I telephoned, were mandatorily deleting, that day, all of the ten year old information relating to that particular program, as was their custom, feeling that this was a sufficient archival period, and needing continually more room for further, more recent, programs. 'Just in the nick of time!' I exclaimed. Had I called the next day, I may not have ever been able to find out Bill's name and from there track him down. (Aside from meeting a terrific human being, this wouldn't have been such a bad result, considering the amount of grief I have suffered because of this project.)
When I eventually found Bill's phone number, knowing that the moon missions might actually have been an elaborate government deception as he asserted, I realized that, 'If I were them (the bad guys) . . .' (as I often would say to myself for my protection as I worked on this project) ' . . . I might have knocked Mr. Kaysing off and put in a surrogate so that anyone who wished to confess to the shenanigan or pass along key evidence of the crime (who would naturally come to Bill as the spearhead of the campaign at the time), would be found out before the information would have the opportunity to go public.
Just in case, for safety's sake, still not knowing whether his allegations were true or not, I called him first from a pay telephone (remember those?) across the street. After about thirty seconds of talking with him (or less) I came to the confident conclusion that he was genuine. (He was so lovable!) After conducting several extensive telephone interviews with him over the next few weeks, simply for my own curiosity to know the truth, he said, 'Bart, you're a filmmaker, you should make a movie about it.'
I thought about his suggestion for about six months, all the while doing extensive research. At the end of this period, I actually turned down the project, for fear for my life, in the event his account happened to be true. About five years elapsed, all the while we stayed in regular touch. I, as usual, could not let such an unresolved matter go, so I continually asked him more and more questions each time we spoke. Finally, I happened to come to a point in my life when I started reading the Bible . . . thoroughly. I came to the conclusion that I was going to die anyway and that this injustice, if true, was worth dying for.
I changed my mind and we started the project. Bill Kaysing was my constant source of more and more information and inspiration. Three and a half years into the five year project, when I found the 'secret tape' proving beyond a doubt that he was right, I remember calling him up and exclaiming, 'They really didn't go! They really didn't go!' He said very calmly, 'Well, I told you that Bart.' I laugh now, but then I was crying at the shear awe of the discovery and the grief I felt for mankind being so deplorable.
He and I would later travel to Tokyo to promote the film. We had a great time. He was always good company and very loving. He was also quite a ladies man. He liked younger women too! When he was 80, he was robbing the cradle by dating a 60 year old!
I miss him very much and wish dearly that he was still here.