Apollo astronauts who orbited the moon two months before Neil Armstrong's famous 1969 landing heard unexplainable "music" on its far side, while they reportedly were out of the range of Earthly radio transmissions. People are hearing and seeing the entire declassified video for the first time in nearly 50 years as part of the upcoming third season of Science Channel's series, "NASA's Unexplained Files," which returns Feb. 23.
However, information published by TIME magazine Monday claims the situation is an Internet hoax and quickly spread rumor. Gene Cernan, the Apollo 10 lunar module pilot who would have witnessed the music streaming into the capsule told TIME to "forget the UFOs."
Cernan said they took a cassette tape recorder to play their favorite music. "Maybe that was it. It would be interesting to know where this all started."
The sounds lasted almost the whole hour during which the Apollo 10 astronauts' capsule was on the out-of-touch side of the moon. The recording of the so-called odd music was shelved by NASA until 2008, when it was declassified.
Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the U.S. Apollo space program, and the second (after Apollo 8) to orbit the moon.
Recently found recordings made by NASA of this particular journey show the astronauts reacting with surprise and confusion to a howling noise in their headsets. The entire Apollo 10 transcript is available from NASA by clicking here.
At one point, the baffled astronauts can be heard discussing whether or not they should tell NASA command.
"'You hear that? That whistling sound? Whooooooooo!' one of them says.
Another astronaut says he can hear it, too: 'It sounds like, you know, outer space-type music.'
'Well, that sure is weird music,' his companion agrees."
On the current series show, Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden lends credence to the oddity of the sounds, saying: "The Apollo 10 crew was very used to the kind of noise that they should be hearing. Logic tells me that if there was something recorded on there, then there was something there."
NASA's Unexplained Files will discuss some of the possible solutions, which include a magnetic field or atmosphere interfering with the radio, but according to experts in the show, the moon has no magnetic field and not enough atmosphere to cause such issues, reports Daily Mail.
The exact origins of the noises may remain a mystery. But one online observer, Stephen Ritger posted Sunday that the moon may not have a magnetic field, but the sun does. "What they heard was charged particles zooming along magnetic field lines. These are sometimes called "whistler" or "chorus" noises. Radio astronomers have known about them for a long time," he suggested.