Mon, Aug 21, 2006
Footage Was To Be Used On Pink Floyd Special
Could a never-completed Pink Floyd video hold the answer to the
missing moon tape mystery currently plaguing NASA?
As Aero-News reported last
week, NASA workers and their affiliates around the
world have been quietly looking for hi-resolution films from the
Apollo moon landings more than 30 years ago. To date, what we've
seen on television were pictures taken by cameras shooting a video
monitor... if you will, pictures of grainy pictures. But the
original hi-res videos are still out there... somewhere... lost in
the maze of government storage facilities.
What's more, time is running out. Those magnetic tapes degrade
over time and the playback equipment used to display their images
is about to be mothballed. So NASA has launched a formal
investigation... and perhaps a key in that probe rests with
Australian music video producer Peter Clifton.
Here's where the story gets even stranger than it has been so
far. Back in 1979, Clifton was working on a Pink Floyd video... to
go along with the smash-album "Dark Side of the Moon." He wanted
some footage of Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon... so he
sent away $180 and got back a half-hour reel of 16-millimeter film
from the Smithsonian.
"I had this idea that I could take segments out of Dark Side of
the Moon and make them into a TV special," said Mr Clifton to
Australia's The Age. "On a visit to Washington, I went to
Smithsonian and asked if they had any shots of rocket ships
travelling. He said, 'well, we can give you highlights of the moon
Clifton never finished the Pink Floyd video... and the film sat
in his vault for years.
"I didn't think another thing about it until a few nights ago
when I was watching television and it came on the news," said
Clifton. "And I thought 'I have got that stuff'."
It turns out Clifton has a copy of only a small fraction of the
missing footage... but the fact that he got it from the Smithsonian
has put investigators on the trail.
Clifton is again going through his vault to find the original
canister in which the film arrived... hoping information under the
NASA logo will help investigators track down up to 700 missing
tapes... before it's too late.
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