The ‘Hello, My Name is Jose Jiminez’ Eye Opener

When William Szathmary died on June 15, 2017, in Nashville, Tennessee, millions of fans who knew him, did not know him by his birth name.

Eleven years prior to his death, meeting American comedian Bill Dana was a complete surprise, because I had completely forgotten about the entertainer.

Like many baby boomers growing up in the 1960s, Dana would make America laugh with his signature, “Hello, my name is Jose Jiminez” astronaut routine. It was so popular, another celebrity, a country and western singing star, would adapt his own stage introductions with “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash!”

In 2006, I had the pleasure of meeting Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra, Gene Krantz, and other space related notables at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

Among some of the “celebrities” I talked with were movie and television stars James Drury (The Virginian, Disney’s Toby Tyler), Lana Wood (The Searchers, Peyton Place, Diamonds Are Forever) Clint Howard (Gentle Ben, Apollo 13), and Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet). It was certainly an unexpected eye opener to spend some time with Bill Dana.

“Okay, José, you’re on your way!”


With those words, radioed to Alan Shepard as he lifted off to become the first American astronaut to fly into space on May 5, 1961, Bill Dana’s role in NASA history was sealed.

Because of his popularity portraying “José Jiménez,” Dana was bestowed the title of being the eighth of the Mercury 7 astronauts.

When he died on that June 15th in 2017, Dana was 92.

“He’ll be missed not only by the astronaut family, but many more around the world,” said Tammy Sudler, president and CEO of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. “Bill Dana was lovingly known as our honorary Mercury 8 astronaut.”

First created in 1959 for “The Steve Allen Show” and later appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” José Jiménez held several positions, including an elevator operator, a bobsled racer, a Navy submariner and a lion tamer, but it was as the shiny-spacesuited, reluctant astronaut that the Bolivian character became famous (Dana was of Hungarian-Jewish ancestry in reality).

“What do you consider the most important thing in rocket travel?” asked Ed Sullivan, playing the straight man during one of Dana’s better-known skits.

“To me the most important thing in the rocket travel is the blast-off,” said Dana.

“The blast-off…” repeated Sullivan.

“I always take a blast before I take off. Otherwise, I would not go near that thing,” Dana quipped as Jiménez.

Dana’s José Jiménez routine was later released on record albums, rising to the Top 20 on the Billboard charts, which drew the attention of the real-life Mercury astronauts.

“The astronauts, especially Shepard, absolutely loved the record, and listened to it in the office after intense training sessions,” author Neal Thompson described in “Light This Candle” (Crown, 2004), his biography of the first astronaut. “Shepard even tape recorded the album and during lulls between training exercises or during test launches at the Cape would play the tapes at full volume near the Mission Control loudspeakers.”

The astronaut and comedian first met at a Cocoa Beach night club, where Shepard — from out in the audience and without the prior knowledge of Dana — took on the role of the straight man, setting up Jiménez’s replies. Soon, fellow astronauts Wally Schirra and Deke Slayton joined in.

Dana, 3rd from left with Mercury astronauts



“The club was roaring as the three astronauts took turns,” wrote Thompson. After the show, Dana hurried to a phone to call his producer in New York.

“‘They know us. They know every word. And they love us,” exclaimed Dana, as described by Thompson.

Shepard and the other astronauts’ fondness for Dana and his character led to José Jiménez becoming the unofficial mascot of the Mercury program.

In addition to inspiring the 1961 launch call between Slayton (in the blockhouse) and Shepard (on top of a Redstone rocket), Dana performed at President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural ball with Shepard in attendance.

The comedian also inspired a “gotcha” – a practical joke – that Shepard arranged in secret for John Glenn to discover once aboard his Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft. Opening up a pouch while in orbit, Glenn was surprised by a small stuffed mouse floating free, a reference to the “leetle mice” Jiménez would cite as fellow test subjects in his routine.

Sammy Davis, Jr. Meets Archie Bunker

One of the most celebrated televised episodes of the classic and controversial All in the Family aired in 1972. It’s the tale about the time entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. stopped by to visit the Bunkers.

It begins with a briefcase he left in Archie’s cab and ends with the kiss of infamy. Very few people are aware that the writer of this episode was Bill Dana.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS



🔹Born William Szathmary in Quincy, Massachusetts on Oct. 5, 1924, Dana served as a gunner and mortarman in the U.S. Army during World War II.

🔹He began his career in comedy as a page and a writer for other comedians’ stand-up routines.

🔹Dana was also a screenwriter for television and movies, writing the Emmy-Award-winning “All in the Family” episode, “Sammy Davis Visits Archie Bunker” (1972), penning jokes for the “Donny and Marie” show (1977-1978), and co-writing the script for the “Get Smart” film “The Nude Bomb” (1980).

Dana also showed up as José Jiménez in a number of TV cameos, including as part of a 1966 episode of “Batman,” appearing alongside the late Adam West and Burt Ward.

We are thankful to our incredible sponsors!

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!
CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Expert Observations About Our Moon

Always fascinated by the Moon—perhaps because being a Baby Boomer, tales from my Chickasaw-Choctaw great grandmother Margaret Ralph-Morgan and being around during the early days of manned American space exploration–were influences.

We never took the Moon for granted. Not much in my experiences matched the 1969 landing on the lunar surface by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Meeting and interviewing Aldrin was definitely a highlight years later.

Jack Dennis with Buzz Aldrin

Here is a collection of interesting quotes from scientists, authors, researchers, NASA insiders and star-gazers relating to the enigmatic and often inexplicable nature of the moon:

Isaac Asimov,
American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University and Science Fiction writer. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time.

“We cannot help but come to the conclusion that the Moon by rights ought not to be there. The fact that it is, is one of the strokes of luck almost too good to accept… Small planets, such as Earth, with weak gravitational fields, might well lack satellites… … In general then, when a planet does have satellites, those satellites are much smaller than the planet itself. Therefore, even if the Earth has a satellite, there would be every reason to suspect… that at best it would be a tiny world, perhaps 30 miles in diameter. But that is not so. Earth not only has a satellite, but it is a giant satellite, 2160 miles in diameter. How is it then, that tiny Earth has one? Amazing.”

“The Moon, which has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, is basically a freak of nature”

Irwin Shapiro,
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

“The best possible explanation for the Moon is observational error – the Moon doesn’t exist.’

“The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties are none of them could be considered remotely watertight.”

Christopher Knight and Alan Bulter
Book: Who Built the Moon?

The Moon has astonishing synchronicity with the Sun. When the Sun is at its lowest and weakest in mid-winter, the Moon is at its highest and brightest, and the reverse occurs in mid-summer. Both set at the same point on the horizon at the equinoxes and at the opposite point at the solstices. What are the chances that the Moon would naturally find an orbit so perfect that it would cover the Sun at an eclipse and appear from Earth to be the same size? What are chances that the alignments would be so perfect at the equinoxes and solstices?

Farouk El Baz,
NASA

“If water vapour is coming from the Moon’s interior is this serious. It means that there is a drastic distinction between the different phases of the lunar interior – that the interior is quite different from what we have seen on the surface.”

Mikhail Vasin, Alexander Shcherbakov,
Societ Academy of Sciences, 1970.

“Is the moon a creation of an alien intelligence?”

Dr Harold Urey,
Nobel Prize for Chemistry

“I’m terribly puzzled by the rocks from the Moon and in particular of their titanium content.”

Dr S Ross Taylor,
Geochemist of lunar chemical analysis,

Said the problem was that maria plains the size of Texas had to be covered with melted rock containing fluid titanium. He said you would not expect titanium ever to be hot enough to do that, even on Earth, and no one has ever suggested that the Moon was hotter than the Earth.

“What could distribute titanium in this way? Highly advanced technology developed and operated by entities that are immensely more technologically advance than humans.”

Dr. Gordon MacDonald,
NASA

“it would seem that the Moon is more like a hollow than a homogenous sphere’. He surmised that the data must have been wrong – but it wasn’t.”

Carl Sagan,
Cosmologist,

“A natural satellite cannot be a hollow object.”

Dr. Sean C Solomon,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“The Lunar Orbiter experiments had vastly improved knowledge of the Moon’s gravitational field and indicated the frightening possibility that the Moon might be hollow.”

University of Arizona Lon Hood
“We knew that the Moon’s core was small, but we didn’t know it was this small… This really does add weight to the idea that the Moon’s origin is unique, unlike any other terrestrial body.”

NASA scientists
The Apollo 12 mission to the Moon in November 1969 set up seismometers and then intentionally crashed the Lunar Module causing an impact equivalent to one ton of TNT. The shockwaves built up for eight minutes, and NASA scientists said the Moon ‘rang like a bell.

Maurice Ewing,
American geophysicist and oceanographer

“As for the meaning of it, I’d rather not make an interpretation right now, but it is as though someone had struck a bell, say, in the belfry of a church, a single blow and found that the reverberation from it continued for 30 minutes.”

Ken Johnson,
Supervisor of the Data and Photo Control department during the Apollo missions

“The Moon not only rang like a bell, but the whole Moon wobbled in such a precise way that it was almost as though it had gigantic hydraulic damper struts inside it.”

Moon rocks have been found to contain processed metals, including brass and mica, and the elements Uranium 236 and Neptunium 237 that have never been found to occur naturally.

Dr. D L Anderson,
Professor of geophysics and director of the seismological laboratory,
California Institute of Technology


“The Moon is made inside out and that its inner and outer compositions should be the other way around.”

Dr. Robin Brett,
NASA Scientist

“It seems much easier to explain the nonexistence of the moon than its existence.”

We are thankful to our incredible sponsors!

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!
CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

11 Famous People Who Are Still Alive

Here is a salute to longevity and good health. As of April 21, 2022 (1 pm CST) these famous celebrities were known to be alive. I have met those designated with “*”.

Jimmy Carter (98)*

Photo by Jack Dennis

John Astin (91)

Norman Lear (99)

James Earl Jones (91)*

Dick Van Dyke (96)

Barbara Walters (92)

Bob Barker (98)

Tippi Hedren (92)*

Buzz Aldrin (92)*

Larry Storch (99)

June Lockhart (97)*

Please Support These American Owned Businesses Today

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!
CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

10 Clever Facts We Learned at WonderWorks in Branson, Missouri

We passed up going to WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and I instantly regretted it after we left.

Driving away toward the Great Smokies National Park, I suddenly remembered a Facebook post from a friend, Janie Buys, a few years ago mentioning the attraction. It seems she had doubts about visiting it with husband Phil and son Phil Jr., but after she went in, it didn’t take her long to enjoy it.

A couple of weeks later into our month long roadtrip, Dodie and I were pleasantly surprised to see a WonderWorks in Branson, Missouri.

Dodie navigating through a kaleidoscope tunnel.

Dodie, a retired nurse, has always enjoyed science and the attraction bills itself as “a science focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits – there is something unique and challenging for all ages.”

The building is enticing enough to spur anyone’s interest. It looks like a giant four story venue turned upside down. As soon as we walked in, the floor was the ceiling and the ceiling was the floor.

The WonderWorks entrance.

It was fun to experience the power of 84mph hurricane–force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Some chose to make huge, life–sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab.

I enjoyed the NASA Space area but we elected not to get strapped into the Astronaut Training Gyro to “experience zero gravity.” We also passed lying on the death–defying Bed of Nails.

Astronaut Jack.

Here’s the Top 10 Things I Learned at WonderWorks:

1. You can’t see your ears without a mirror.

2. You can’t count your hair.

3. You can’t breath through your nose with your tounge out.

4. You just tried No. 3.

6. When you tried No. 3 you realized that it is possible, but you looked like a dog.

7. You are smiling right now, because you were fooled.

8. You skipped No. 5.

9. You just checked to see if there is a No. 5.

10. Share this with your friends so they can have fun too.

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!
CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Leftist New Mexico Governor Accused of $200 Million Fraud

Accuser: “Forced to resign when I had to choose between keeping my job and committing crimes.”

Grisham is being sued.

Zach DeGriego, Spaceport America’s former Chief Financial Officer, filed a civil complaint last week in First Judicial District Court against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham regarding alleged fraud of $200 million.

“I’ve never spoken about this publicly until now, but the continued retaliation from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her staff has forced me to make this statement to set the record straight,” DeGriego said in a video statement.

“Many of you know I was the former chief financial officer of Spaceport America in New Mexico. I left that position after making multiple whistleblower complaints. I was forced to resign when I had to choose between keeping my job and committing crimes. After the governor and her staff got rid of me they have done everything in their power to retaliate against me and destroy my life to keep me silent.”

“At the same time, they proceeded to violate multiple federal laws. Today, I have filed a lawsuit against the State of New Mexico for violations of the New Mexico whistleblower protection act and malfeasance by the state auditor.”

DeGriego

“The complaint names 21 individuals who participated in a conspiracy including leaders at the highest levels of state government including Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Attorney General Hector Balderas, New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes, and current managers at Spaceport America.”

New Mexico Spaceport Authority, an agency of the State of New Mexico, is the operator of Spaceport America. It is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex is situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range.

News reports surfaced this week alleged:

🔹Grisham political appointee, Alicia Keyes, encouraged DeGriego (who worked for Spaceport American from 2015 to 2020) to falsify an economic impact study. 

🔹Keyes mishandled a bond refinancing for the purpose of defrauding the state.

🔹When DeGriego attempted to report the wrongdoing, he claimed, he was threatened with investigations and a firing.

“The complaint provides evidence of extortion, bribery, illegal drug use, sex discrimination, procurement fraud, securities fraud, and multiple violations of federal law. The complaint describes how after I left, the defendants proceeded to commit over $200 million in fraud when they issued bonds under false pretenses with disclosure documents containing fraudulent information.”

🔹DeGriego resigned from his position at the company in June 2020, shortly after he filed a complaint alleging that Spaceport America Executive Director Daniel Hicks violated several state laws.

🔹In the lawsuit, DeGriego adds that Hicks attempted to break into his email account and accessed emails DeGriego sent to Keyes about Hicks’ involvement in alleged procurement fraud.

In 2020, Hicks was placed on administrative leave in June, and fired in October following an investigation.

Spaceport Authority employees told investigators that Hicks repeatedly referred to the taxpayer-funded New Mexico Spaceport Authority as “my agency” and the budget as “my money.”

Hicks

The review found that Hicks routinely ignored statutes and regulations as he awarded contracts, hired friends for key positions, and traveled around the nation to conferences, meetings and other events. Specifically, the report claims that Hicks:

  • spent more than $60,000 on travel after he was named to run the spaceport in November 2016;
  • failed to get travel authorization from the governor’s office for 33 separate trips that cost $32,404;
  • overspent on hotels, airfares and other travel expenses;
  • submitted falsified and backdated travel documentation;
  • spent $3,100 traveling around the country for a week to attend events marking 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing without any apparent benefit to the spaceport;
  • spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel and other expenses attempting to attract orbital launch services even though the spaceport could not host them for safety reasons;
  • gave himself a substantial raise that had never been approved by the Spaceport Authority’s Board of Directors;
  • considered the Board of Directors a “nuisance” to which he had no obligation to provide contracts or requests for proposals for review;
  • hired friends without going through the required competitive process; and,
  • inappropriately accessed DeGriego’s email after the complaint was filed.

__________________________

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Look Up in the Sky: January 2022

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mars and the Moon Come Together With Venus Nearby

Venus will have an interesting month. Today and tomorrow (January 8-9), it’s going to be closer to Earth than any planet has been in a century.

🔹It’ll be just 0.266 Astronomical Units or 24.7 million miles away, according to Space.com.

🔹It’ll then appear in the pre-dawn sky later in the month, brightening significantly. You’ll be able to see Venus and the crescent moon together in the pre-dawn sky on January 29-30. They won’t be on top of each other, but they should make a nice tableau in conjunction with Mars, which will be even closer to the moon than Venus. 

All Month: Mars is Back

Mars is coming back into view for us earthlings. It passed out of view behind the sun and is just returning. The red planet will continue to get brighter and rise in the sky over the coming months.

The moon will cross the asterism over a series of nights, as it does each month through the winter, providing a great opportunity to watch the movement of the sky across nights.

🔹The winter hexagon will sit high in the southeastern sky.

🔹If you’re under exceptionally dark skies, the Milky Way cuts through the winter hexagon as well.

🔹The moon hits the western side of the hexagon on January 13 and will trek across it until the night of January 16.

January 17: Full Wolf Moon

The full moon alights on January 17. It’s often called the Wolf Moon and its arrival means you’re going to have some light interference if you’re trying to go out stargazing. 

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Thanksgiving Celebrations In Space

Special From NASA

The Thanksgiving holiday typically brings families and friends together in a celebration of common gratitude for all the good things that have happened during the previous year.

People celebrate the holiday in various ways, with parades, football marathons, and attending religious services, but food remains the over-arching theme. For astronauts embarked on long-duration space missions, separation from family and friends is inevitable, and they rely on fellow crew members to share in the tradition and enjoy the culinary traditions as much as possible.

crew
skylab_4_eating

 
Thanksgiving 1973. Left: Skylab 4 astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson,
and William R. Pogue, the first crew to celebrate Thanksgiving in space.
Right: Gibson, left, and Carr demonstrate eating aboard Skylab.

Skylab 4 astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue were the first crew to celebrate Thanksgiving in space on Nov. 22, 1973. On that day, their seventh of an 84-day mission, Gibson and Pogue completed a 6-hour, 33-minute spacewalk, while Carr remained in the Multiple Docking Adaptor with no access to food.

All three made up for missing lunch by consuming two meals at dinner time, although neither included special items for Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021
neri_vela_w_tortilla

  
Thanksgiving 1985. Left: STS-61B payload specialists Charles D. Walker, left, and Rodolfo Neri Vela of Mexico
enjoy the first Thanksgiving aboard a space shuttle in Atlantis’ middeck. Middle: The STS-61B crew
enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner while floating in Atlantis’ middeck. Right: Mexican payload
specialist Neri Vela, who introduced tortillas to space menus.

Twelve years passed before the next orbital Thanksgiving celebration. On Nov. 28, 1985, the seven-member crew of STS-61B, NASA astronauts Brewster H. Shaw, Bryan D. O’Connor, Jerry L. Ross, Mary L. Cleave, and Sherwood C. “Woody” Spring, and payload specialists Charles D. Walker from the United States and Rodolfo Neri Vela from Mexico, feasted on shrimp cocktail, irradiated turkey, and cranberry sauce aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.

Neri Vela introduced tortillas to space menus, and they have remained favorites among astronauts ever since. Unlike regular bread, tortillas do not create crumbs, a potential hazard in weightlessness, and have multiple uses for any meal of the day.

The crew of STS-33, NASA astronauts Frederick D. Gregory, John E. Blaha, Manley L. “Sonny” Carter, F. Story Musgrave, and Kathryn C. Thornton, celebrated Thanksgiving aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1989.

Gregory and Musgrave celebrated their second Thanksgiving in space two years later, joined by fellow STS-44 NASA astronauts Terrence T. “Tom” Henricks, James S. Voss, Mario Runco, and Thomas J. Hennen aboard space shuttle Atlantis.

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021

 
Thanksgiving 1996. Left: STS-80 astronauts Tamara E. Jernigan, left, Kent V. Rominger, and
Thomas D. Jones enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in Columbia’s middeck. Right: The STS-80
crew during aboard Columbia exchanging Thanksgiving greetings with John E. Blaha
aboard the Mir space station.

In 1996, Blaha celebrated his second Thanksgiving in space with Russian cosmonauts Valeri G. Korzun and Aleksandr Y. Kaleri aboard the space station Mir. Blaha watched the beautiful Earth through the Mir windows rather than his usual viewing fare of football.

The STS-80 crew of NASA astronauts Kenneth D. Cockrell, Kent V. Rominger, Tamara E. Jernigan, Thomas D. Jones, and Musgrave, now on his third turkey day holiday in orbit, celebrated Thanksgiving aboard space shuttle Columbia. Although the eight crew members were in different spacecraft in different orbits, they exchanged holiday greetings via space-to-space radio. This marked the largest number of people in space on Thanksgiving Day up to that time.

One year later, NASA astronaut David A. Wolf celebrated Thanksgiving with his Russian crewmates Anatoli Y. Solovev, who translated the holiday into Russian as den blagodarenia, and Pavel V. Vinogradov aboard Mir. They enjoyed smoked turkey, freeze-dried mashed potatoes, peas, and milk.

Also in orbit at the time was the crew of STS-87, NASA astronauts Kevin R. Kregel, Steven W. Lindsey, Kalpana Chawla, and Winston E. Scott, Takao Doi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Leonid K. Kadenyuk of Ukraine, aboard Columbia. The nine crew members aboard the two spacecraft broke the one-year-old record for the largest number of people in space at one time for Thanksgiving, also setting the record for the most nations represented, four.

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021

  
Thanksgiving 2001, Expedition 3 crewmembers enjoying Thanksgiving dinner aboard the space station.
Left: NASA astronaut Frank L. Culbertson, left, and Vladimir N. Dezhurov of Roscosmos.
Middle: Dezhurov, left, and Mikhail V. Tyurin of Roscosmos. Right: Tyurin, left,
and Culbertson.

The Expedition 1 crew of NASA astronaut William M. Shepherd, and Yuri P. Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev of Roscosmos celebrated the first Thanksgiving aboard the International Space Station on Nov. 23, 2000, three weeks after their arrival aboard the facility.

The crew took time out of their busy schedule to enjoy ham and smoked turkey and send words of thanks to the people on the ground who provided excellent support to their flight. Crews have celebrated Thanksgiving in space every November since then.

In 2001, Expedition 3 crew members NASA astronaut Frank L. Culbertson, and Vladimir N. Dezhurov and Mikhail V. Tyurin of Roscosmos enjoyed the first real Thanksgiving aboard the space station, complete with a cardboard turkey as decoration.

The following year’s orbital Thanksgiving celebration included the largest number of people to that time, the combined 10 crewmembers of Expedition 5, STS-113, and Expedition 6. After a busy day that included the first Thanksgiving Day spacewalk aboard the space station, the crews settled down to a dinner of smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans with mushrooms. Blueberry-cherry cobbler rounded out the meal.

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021

 
Thanksgiving 2008. Left: The Thanksgiving dinner reheating in space shuttle Endeavour’s
food warmer. Right: The crews of Expedition 18 and STS-126 share a meal in
the space shuttle middeck.

Expedition 18 crew members NASA astronauts E. Michael Fincke and Gregory E. Chamitoff and Yuri V. Lonchakov representing Roscosmos, welcomed the STS-126 crew of NASA astronauts Christopher J. Ferguson, Eric A. Boe, Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, Donald R. Pettit, Stephen G. Bowen, R. Shane Kimbrough, and Sandra H. Magnus during Thanksgiving in 2008.

They dined in the space shuttle Endeavour’s middeck on smoked turkey, candied yams, green beans and mushrooms, cornbread dressing and a cranberry-apple dessert. 

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021

 
Thanksgiving 2009. Left: Crew members from Expedition 21 and STS-129 share an
early Thanksgiving meal. Right: The Thanksgiving dinner for the Expedition
21 and STS-129 crews.

The following year saw the largest,  internationally diverse group to celebrate Thanksgiving in space. The six Expedition 21 crew members,  astronauts Jeffrey N. Williams and Nicole P. Stott of NASA, Roman Y. Romanenko and Maksim V. Suraev of Roscosmos, Frank L. DeWinne of the European Space Agency, and Robert B. Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency hosted the six members of the STS-129 crew, NASA astronauts Charles O. Hobaugh, Barry E. Wilmore, Michael J. Foreman, Robert L. Satcher, Randolph J. Bresnik, and Leland D. Melvin.

The twelve assembled crew members represented the United States, Russia, Belgium, and Canada. The celebration took place two days early, since the shuttle undocked from the space station on Thanksgiving Day.

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021

 
Thanksgiving 2010. Left: Expedition 25 commander and NASA astronaut Scott J. Kelly
awaits his crewmates at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Right: The Expedition 25
crew of Oleg I. Skripochka of Roscosmos, left, Kelly, NASA astronaut Douglas H.
Wheeler, Aleksandr Y. Kaleri and Fyodor N. Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, and NASA
astronaut Shannon Walker sending Thanksgiving greetings to the ground
before digging into their dinner.

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2021

 
Thanksgiving 2013. Left: Expedition 38 NASA astronauts Michael S. Hopkins, left,
and Richard A. Mastracchio showing off food items destined for the Thanksgiving
Day dinner. Right: Close-up of the Thanksgiving dinner items, including turkey,
ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans and mushrooms, and dressing.

thanksgiving_2021
thanksgiving_2014

 
Thanksgiving 2014. Left: Eager for Thanksgiving, Expedition 42 commander and NASA
astronaut Barry E. “Butch” Wilmore sets out his meal several days in advance.
Right: Expedition 42 crew members Wilmore, left, Samantha Cristoforetti of the
European Space Agency, Aleksandr M. Samokutyayev and Anton N. Shkaplerov of
Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Terry W. Virts, and Elena O. Serova of Roscosmos
enjoy the Thanksgiving Day dinner.

thanksgiving
thanksgiving

 
Thanksgiving 2015. Left: Expedition 45 crew members Mikhail B. Korniyenko, left,
Oleg D. Kononenko, and Sergei A. Volkov of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Kjell N.
Lindgren, Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and NASA
astronaut Scott J. Kelly pose before the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Right: Kelly, left, and Lindgren show off the Thanksgiving dinner items.

thanksgiving
thanksgiving

 
Thanksgiving 2016. Left: Expedition 50 crew members Oleg V. Novitsky, left,
Sergei N. Ryzhikov, and Andrei I. Borisenko of Roscosmos, Thomas G. Pesquet
of the European Space Agency, and NASA astronauts R. Shane Kimbrough and
Peggy A. Whitson pose before the Thanksgiving dinner table. Right: The
Expedition 50 crew tucks into the feast.

thanksgiving
thanksgiving
thanksgiving

  
Thanksgiving 2017. Left: The Thanksgiving table is set. Middle: The Expedition 53 crew of Paolo A. Nespoli
of the European Space Agency, left, NASA astronauts Joseph M. Acaba and Mark T. Vande Hei, Sergei N.
Ryazansky and Aleksandr A. Misurkin of Roscosmos, and NASA astronaut Randolph J. Bresnik patiently
awaits the start of the dinner. Right: The Expedition 53 crew digs in.

smoked_turkey_in_the_galley_food_warmer_node_1
thanksgiving

  
Thanksgiving 2019. Left: The turkey is in the oven, or more precisely the smoked turkey
packages are in the Galley Food Warmer. Right: Expedition 61 crew members NASA
astronaut Christina H. Koch, left, Aleksandr A. Skvortsov of Roscosmos, NASA
astronaut Jessica U. Meir, Oleg I. Skripochka of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut
Andrew R. Morgan, and Luca S. Parmitano of the European Space Agency
celebrate Thanksgiving aboard the space station.

thanksgiving_food_prep_rubins_nov_2020
thanksgiving_nov_26_2020

 
Thanksgiving 2020. Left: Expedition 64 NASA astronaut Kathleen H. “Kate” Rubins
prepares the Thanksgiving dinner. Right: The Expedition 64 crew of NASA astronaut
Michael S. Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency,
Sergei V. Kud-Sverchkov and Sergei N. Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, and NASA
astronauts K. Meghan McArthur, Victor J. Glover, and Rubins enjoying
the Thanksgiving meal including frozen treats for dessert.

We hope you enjoyed these stories and photographs from Thanksgivings celebrated in orbit. We would like to wish everyone here on the ground and the seven-member crew of Expedition 66 aboard the space station a very happy Thanksgiving!

Please Support These American Owned Businesses

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

What is the ‘Devolution’ Theory and is it Trump’s Reality?

In July 2020, President Donald J. Trump’s “Space Force” placed 4 top-secret satellites into orbit from Virginia.

This enabled the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) the United States agency responsible for operating spy satellites, to transfer top secret payloads and technology into space.

It also gave President Trump unprecedented ability to gather intelligence with no to little interference from foreign entities and from various powers within the U.S.

Some of this intelligence could be used to track all facets of the upcoming November elections.

“This was so secret, even Vice President Pence didn’t know,” a military connected source informed me. “Russia had satellites chasing one of ours staying within 100 miles on its trail. Looking back, we now understand why Pence wasn’t in the loop for the most top secret activities.”

Through various sources, including seven of our readers (who likely don’t know each other because they live in five different states), there is a good deal of “chatter” about a process called Devolution.

This devolution is a confirmed process being preserved by the U.S. military to secretly maintain and save President Donald Trump’s administration.

I first heard about devolution in November 2020 after the election, but was unsuccessful in obtaining reliable confirmation along the way. It appeared outlandished, but as specific events unfolded, it has shown to be quite feasible.

“This is something going on out there and so top secret, it’s doubtful many in the military or the White House even know what is happening,” one long time, very reliable, Washington D.C. area source said in November. “Just pay attention to what President Trump says–and his actions. It will be behind the backs of key staff, including military leadership, and powerful politicians.”

The first surprise was replacing key defense leaders, including promoting Christopher C. Miller to Secretary of Defense on November 9th, 2020. I reported it here. This was followed quickly by naming Kash Patel, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, David Norquist and others to key military positions.

Almost immediately, we learned globalists on the Defense Policy Board were terminated from their positions by Trump. This list of New World Order proponents included former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, former ranking member of the House Intelligence committee Jane Harman and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Others given the axe were former Chief of Naval Operations retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief operating officer at the Pentagon Rudy De Leon, former George W. Bush deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch II, former undersecretary at the Department of the Treasury David McCormick, former deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton Jamie Gorelick, Robert Joseph and former top defense official Franklin Miller.

The Defense Policy Board is an outside advisory group of former high profile national security officials who “provide the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, independent, informed advice and opinions concerning matters of defense policy in response to specific tasks.”

Why did Trump make these abrupt changes?

Our military intelligence and spying abilities were enhanced through Space Force. It was this ability that exposed and captured behind the scenes dangers to America (and even provided the true vote count in the November election).

It was Space Force technology that helped Trump decide on the now famous raid in Frankfort, Germany. It happened as soon as Miller and company were put in place. I wrote about it here.

Here are some key facts to note:

1. Continuity of operations (COOP) planning has been in existence by the United States since the Cold War as an effort to preserve the continuity of government (COG) in the event of a Nuclear Attack. 

2. These operations have evolved to the point that each and every federal government agency and department has COG and COOP plans.

3. Supposedly, President Trump initiated the devolution process through the Military and the Department of Defense because of intelligence indicators revealing extreme and growing cyber, electronics, space and spy technology warfare.

4. Trump said on several occasions that when China permitted COVID-19 to escape Wuhan, that was essentially an act of war paramount to at least the attack on Pearl Harbor.

5. When the U.S. is at war—even when it is an undeclared war—the President has powers not available to him in peacetime.

6. These powers do not require congressional approval and many times when they are exercised, the public is not aware. The President can, in wartime, take whatever steps are deemed necessary to save the Republic.

The devolution theory bares more towards reality with a close examination of presidential memoranda, executive orders, and odd personnel changes made in 2020 related to national security.

“Central to the devolution theory is that Trump knew the election would be stolen by a foreign power, and he viewed this as an act of war,” a recent whistleblower posted on Telegram.

“In response, he preemptively and covertly took steps to invalidate the outcome of the election,” the post continued. “The measures he took are known only to a handful of people, but they effectively make him the true Commander in Chief. A decision was made to allow the public to believe Joe Biden is President, but at a later date, we will be informed of the truth.”

“Further, the theory proposes that a few key military assets around the country are covertly supporting Trump, while most of the military believes Biden is calling the shots,” indicates a knowledgeable post on Gab. “At a future time—perhaps when indisputable evidence of election fraud is made public—the military and Trump will make their big reveal.”

News not provided by American Mainstream Media.

“One objection to the theory is the adoption of ‘woke’ ideology by military leaders,” the Gab poster wrote. “Critics say that the military has gone soft and would not support Trump today. The U.S. military is comprised of approximately one million people who come from all walks of life, who espouse diverse ideologies and have different loyalties. It’s a gross oversimplification to say ‘the military is corrupt,’ or ‘the military is woke.’ The military is highly compartmentalized. The ideologies and loyalties of one group are not universally embraced by other groups.”

“Members of Special Operations teams are selected from a large number of applicants based on specific criteria including loyalty,” an expert in military explained. “You’re not going to find wokeism being promoted in their ranks. These men and women are patriots, and the devolution articles suggest that these are the very people Trump is working with.”

To learn more detail, here are interesting links to the Devolution articles from whistleblower Patel Patriot:

Devolution – Part 1: https://patelpatriot.substack.com/p/devolution

Devolution – Part 2: https://patelpatriot.substack.com/p/devolution-part-2

Devolution – Part 3: https://patelpatriot.substack.com/p/devolution-part-3

Devolution – Part 4: https://patelpatriot.substack.com/p/devolution-part-4

Devolution – Part 5: https://patelpatriot.substack.com/p/devolution-part-5

Devolution – Part 6: https://patelpatriot.substack.com/p/devolution-part-6

Devolution – Part 7: https://patelpatriot.substack.com/p/devolution-part-7

Patel Patriot’s Telegram chat: https://t.me/patelpatriotchat

___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

Great offer for CleverJourneys readers. Act now! We use their exceptional products.
CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!

___________________________

Now Available CLICK Here!
From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

My Interview With American Astronaut Buzz Aldrin

.

by Jack Dennis

In 2006, I had the honor of interviewing the second man to walk on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin.

It’s been 52 years ago this week that earth celebrated one of the most historical milestones in history as United States astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the moon for 21 hours.  Many Baby Boomers and space enthusiasts today recall Armstrong’s first words as his boots touched the lunar surface: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

I was fortunate to gather some interesting trivia and facts about the second man on the moon. Dr. Aldrin, now 91, was bestowed the nickname “Buzz” from his baby sister who could only say “Buzzer” instead of “brother” in their New Jersey home.  Little did they know this would evolve into the recognizable inspiration for Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear’s name decades later.

Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. stepped on the moon at 03:15:16 Coordinated Universal Time on July 21, 1969. “Beautiful view,” Aldrin simply uttered the first words to describe what he was experiencing. “Magnificent desolation.”

Jack Dennis with Buzz Aldrin, 2006

New information previously not generally known by the public released by Aldrin recently, combined with the 2006 interview by Dennis, is revealed below: 

When probed about Armstrong and him sighting an UFO on their voyage to the moon, Aldrin beamed. “Yes, we saw something,” he clarified. “But you have to remember the times. We could not blare it out that we saw any UFO because everyone was listening and hanging on to every word we said.”

“Delicately, we asked Houston the location of the SIVB (booster rocket) and they told us something like it was 6,000 miles away,” Aldrin continued. “I remember we talked about it as being L-shaped.”

“Over the years, there have been many suppositions and misrepresentations, but we believe now it was a panel left over from the separation of the spacecraft,” winked Aldrin playfully.

The two were on the lunar surface for 21 hours and returned to earth with 46 pounds of moon rocks and specimens.

Did Aldrin feel any pressure to say or not say anything publicly while he was on the moon?

“Not censorship, if that is what you are implying,” he answered. “We knew what we were doing was unparalleled and extraordinary in human history so we took our choice of words into account as part of our responsibility.”

“Just a few minutes on the moon, I did make a statement of reflection asking everyone to give thanks for the moment,” Aldrin said. “And then, with the radio off, I read from the Scripture. Only Neil (Armstrong) heard me.”

Aldrin took a communion wafer and vial of wine from his minister to the surface of the moon.

“I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me,” wrote Aldrin years after the mission. “In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup.”

“Then I read the Scripture, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit.. Apart from me you can do nothing,'” he wrote.

Aldrin continued, “It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.”

Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin

It is also interesting to note that Aldrin was the first astronaut to earn a doctorate degree. His thesis was the foundation and idea for the docking procedures used in the Gemini and Apollo missions. He was the first astronaut to accomplish a successful spacewalk, while during the Gemini 12 mission of 1966, he was outside the capsule for 5 1/2 hours.

What are Aldrin’s ideas about climate change?

“I think the climate has been changing for billions of years. If it’s warming now, it may cool off later. I’m not in favor of just taking short-term isolated situations and depleting our resources to keep our climate just the way it is today. I’m not necessarily of the school that we are causing it all, I think the world is causing it.”

Moon germ worries.

Amid concerns over what germs the astronauts might have brought back with them from the moon, they were kept in quarantine for three weeks after their return to Earth before they could be reunited with their families. The quarantine experience “quickly became oppressive” according to a NASA history of the mission.

The astronauts had to wear “biological isolation garments” before they went into quarantine, where they had to keep themselves entertained with an exercise room, a ping pong table, television, reading material and phone calls to their families. The suits were to ensure that “the lunar dust we brought back wouldn’t give people on earth our moon germs,” Aldrin said.

“I always found it funny that the rags used to wipe us down that were covered with moon dust were dropped in the ocean,” he tweeted. “So the poor underwater creatures got our moon germs instead.”

Aldrin then suggested that the moon dust in the ocean could be “fodder for a Godzilla movie.”

_____________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE!

_____________________

New book by award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey

Click for Information

10 Most Interesting Facts About UFO Crash From Roswell

Dodie and I have spent the past two weeks traveling the American Southwest with stops in Arizona and  Colorado.

Thursday and Friday (May 27-28, 2021) we visited southeastern New Mexico to learn what we could about the famous Roswell UFO Incident of July 8, 1947.

If any UFO related event has garnered the highest number of headlines and people’s attention in history, it was here.

Driving in Roswell reveals much evidence around town that the community embraces their UFO history.

From storefronts with cartoonish aliens to alien street light lamps to a variety of alien-inspired attractions and museums, this definitely is a Mecca for UFO enthusiasts.

Allegedly, an alien spacecraft crashed in a ranch northwest of Roswell and was actually covered by both the local newspaper and Air Force news.

The news was blasted across the globe but was rapidly covered up by the US military and federal government. Over the years official statements alleged the crash was a weather balloon. In the 1990s it was identified as “radar targets”.

However, there are many secrets of the Roswell alien and UFO story that point toward the fact that what had crashed was nothing but an alien spacecraft.

(1) The Roswell Army Air Field or the RAAF had initially released a press release based on the Roswell Daily Record newspaper with the headlines ‘RAAF captures flying saucer on ranch in Roswell region’. The news however got changed to the crashed object being a weather balloon by the next morning.

RAAF Roswell Daily Record newspaper

(2) On July 2. 1947, a UFO was seen flying northwest in the skies above Roswell, New Mexico, but what happened to that UFO was not known to anyone. It is believed that it is the same UFO that had crashed a few days later.

2nd July, 1947, UFO Roswell

(3) Rancher Mac Brazel, whose ranch was the crashing ground for the unidentified flying object had reported that the crash had happened in the first week of July, however the cover-up story said that the weather balloon had crashed on 14 June 1947. Such a timing gap certainly reveals a lot about the probable cover-up attempts by the officials.

What Truth Covered By US Military After Roswell 1947 UFO Crash

(4) In 1989, a young local mortician, Glenn Dennis, claimed that his friend, who worked as a nurse at the Roswell Army Air Field, entered one of the examination rooms to discover that the doctors were bent over and examining the bodies of three creatures. As per the description of the nurse, the creatures had big bald heads, small bodies and long arms.

Dennis was working at Ballard Funeral Home when he received some curious calls one afternoon from the Roswell Air Force morgue. The base’s mortuary officer was needing small, hermetically sealed coffins and also wanted to know how to preserve bodies that had been exposed to the elements for a few days and avoid contaminating the tissue.

Dennis later said that evening he drove to the base hospital, where he saw large pieces of wreckage with strange engravings on one of the pieces sticking out of the back of a military ambulance. He entered the hospital and was visiting with the nurse he knew when suddenly he was threatened by military police and forced to leave.

The next day, Dennis met with the nurse, who told him about bodies discovered with the wreckage and drew pictures of them on a prescription pad. Within a few days she was transferred to England; her whereabouts remain unknown.

(5) Many witnesses reported seeing a blazing aircraft high up in the sky moments before it crashed onto the ground. As per the witnesses, what crashed down certainly did not look like a weather balloon of any type.

witnesses UFO Roswell

(6) As per witness rancher Mac Brazel and Major Jesse Marcel, the debris of the crash site contained small beams that were about ¾ or ½ inch square with some sort of hieroglyphics on them that was completely undecipherable, rubber strips, tin foils and a type of tough paper with sticks and many more unidentifiable objects. The debris that was shown to the press later on did not have any of these things.

(7) If a weather balloon would have crashed in reality, there should have been long strings that would have connected the 700 feet long Project Mogul weather balloon, but in reality there was nothing like that observed in the wreck that was shown to the press, leaving the question burning that was it actually a weather balloon that had crashed in the fields of Roswell.

crash fields of Roswell

(8) The RAAF officials had given testimonials that the spread of the debris was nothing beyond 200 yards, whereas the reality is that the debris of the crash had a spread of ¾ mile long and around 500 feet wide.

Truth Of Roswell 1947 UFO Crash

(9) The wreckage of the object that had crashed in Roswell was loaded on a B-29 fighter plane and flown to Wright Field, which later was renamed Wright Patterson Air force base and served as a storage ground for all UFO related contents.

Roswell crash debris B-29 fighter plane

(10) Apart from the crash at Roswell, there was another crash site in an area known as Plains of San Agustin that lay west of Socorro in New Mexico. A damaged metallic craft was recovered, and allegedly dead alien bodies were discovered. This news was completely suppressed by the Air Force according to locals.

In early July, the 2021 Roswell UFO Museum Ufologist Invasion, featuring some of the most renown UFO researchers, authors and actual close encounter witnesses will be on hand for a four day event.

Flagstaff, Arizona Through Dust Storm to Meteor Crater

Sedona, Arizona, was extremely busy and has grown since my last visit in 2016. Always beautiful, we stopped briefly to live in the moment of this enchanting destination, but elected to move on. That took a while as we endured the traffic jams.

I will seriously think twice about going through again and thought it sad that one of my favorite places ever has become far too popular.

It was melancholic realizing future generations will never experience the magic many of us did.

Commercialized and extensively developed, Sedona is well on her way to a busy future.

Flagstaff, Arizona

We drove on north to the mountain town of Flagstaff, a truly charming place to stop for a while. We spent the night on May 20th. Dodie’s favorite hotel there is Little America, but we didn’t make reservations this time.

We will be back, perhaps this fall, in our camping van to explore the historic downtown area, where various art galleries, enticing boutiques, Native American shops, outdoor outfitters, eateries, and microbreweries dwell amid the 19th-century streets.

Dodie’s son, Jackson, graduated from Northern Arizona University there, so she is familar with university’s museum, the intriguing Lowell Observatory, and the turn-of-the-20th-century Riordan Mansion State Historic Park.

There are three national monuments located within 7.5 to 33 miles of Flagstaff: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and Wupatki National Monument. We’ll be back.

Meteor Crater

Almost 50,000 years ago a giant fireball streaked across the North American sky from east to west before it struck the Earth with a force 150 times bigger than the atomic bomb.

The last time I visited Meteor Crater was in June 1979. My, it is a far better experience seeing and learning from it as a man in my 60s (vs 20s).

We discovered, through their museum, two quick movies and visitor center, that the impact “generated immensely powerful shock waves in the meteorite, the rock and the surrounding atmosphere. In the air, shock waves swept across the level plain devastating all in their path for a radius of several miles. In the ground, as the meteorite penetrated the rocky plain, pressures rose to over 20 million pounds per square inch, and both iron and rock experienced limited vaporization and extensive melting. Beyond the melted region, an enormous volume of rock underwent complete fragmentation and ejection.”

Dodie sought protection and stability from the high winds within the Meteor Crater complex.

“The result of these violent conditions was the excavation of a giant bowl-shaped cavity. In seconds, a crater 700 feet deep, over 4,000 feet across, and 2.4 miles in circumference was carved into this once-flat rocky plain. During its formation, over 175 million tons of limestone and sandstone were abruptly thrown out to form a continuous blanket of debris surrounding the crater for a distance of over a mile.”

Before we drove east on IH-40 (old Route 66) to visit the Crater, we ate breakfast at IHOP. As I walked out the front door, I heard a loud crack-pop burst. I thought it was lightning.

The winds were so hard it popped the top third of a 40 foot Juniper tree in two. We were parked less than 30 feet from it.

Highway warning signs advised of hard winds and dark dust storms ahead. The five mile drive from the highway to the Crater Visitor Center was surreal as if we were on Mars. I could barely stay on the two lane road with red dirt and heavy gusts fighting me all the way.

When Dodie took Mr. Beefy to the visitor center’s dog kennel, I went to purchase tickets. Again, I heard a loud crash and whirling noise as I was about to enter. I held the door open for a man who was exiting and he yelled, “Oh my God!”

He saw the front windshield blow out of his truck and watched it fly over 400 feet away–luckily, away from the parking area into an empty pasture.

Roland, an employee, told us the reported winds were 45-55 mph with gusts into the 90s. Before we proceeded into the museum, a young couple drove up and the front grill and bumper blew off their car. Roland remained busy filling out incident reports that afternoon.

For us, it was a long day on Route 66.

The Hollywood Star’s Mother Who Saved Apollo 13 Astronauts

A Special Mother’s Day Story

On August 12, 2006, I had the privilege of interviewing astronauts such as Buzz Aldrin, Bruce McCandless, Wally Schirra and more at a collectSpace event in San Antonio.

There were other space related celebrities I talked with including James Drury (Classic TV’s The Virginian), Lana Wood (Natalie Wood’s sister, Diamonds Are Forever), and Clint Howard (brother of Ron Howard, TV’s Gentle Ben and 1995 movie Apollo 13).

One of the most interesting people I met was famed NASA Space Control Center chief Gene Kranz (“Failure is not an option.”) played by Ed Harris in the Apollo 13 movie.

During his interview he said the most riveting mission “was of course, the Apollo 11, our first manned landing” but the “most tense was without a doubt, Apollo 13.” He praised his team and engineers for saving the lives of astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jim Swigert in 1970 after an oxygen tank exploded on their voyage to the moon.

Kranz, 2nd from left.
Apollo 13 crew returns to Earth.

Judith Love Cohen was one of those engineers Kranz talked about. She had three children–Neil, Howard, and Rachel–when she saved Apollo 13.

Cohen had a fascinating life as an engineer who worked on the Pioneer, Apollo, and Hubble space missions. Later she would become an author and publisher of books about women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and environmentalism in the 1990s, a ballet dancer with the New York Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, an advocate for better treatment of women in the workplace. Today, you may recognize her son.

She passed away in 2016 at the age of 82 following a short battle with cancer. Her oldest son, Neil Siegel, a professor of engineering, included an anecdote from the Apollo 13 mission in an obituary he wrote on July 29 the year of her death.

Judith Love Cohen with son, USC professor Neil Siegel.

“My mother, USC alumna Judith Love Cohen Siegel Black Katz, B.S. EE ’57, M.S. EE ’62, died on July 25, 2016, after a short battle with cancer. She was just a couple of weeks shy of her 83rd birthday.”

“A beloved mother, wife, and friend, she was an accomplished engineer, author, and publisher.”

“Her first passions were dancing and engineering. By age 19, she was a dancer in the Corps de Ballet of the New York Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, and a student in engineering school of Brooklyn. She met Bernard Siegel, the man who became her first husband and my father, at the end of her freshman year. They were married a couple of months later and made the move west to Southern California.”

“During the next 10 years, she worked full-time as an engineer, had the first three of her four children, and completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at USC. She liked to be busy.

“She started dancing again – recreational folk dancing – around 1964, which she continued until the end of her life.”

“Her engineering career included roles on the teams that created the guidance computer for the Minuteman missile, the Abort-Guidance System in the Lunar Excursion Module for the Apollo space program, the ground system for the Tracking Data, and Relay System Satellite (recently retired after nearly 40 years of operations on orbit!) among others.”

“This picture is of Judy with the Pioneer spacecraft in 1959. She and my father worked together on this satellite, which was scheduled to launch in spring of 1959. “Life” magazine decided that a husband-and-wife engineering couple would be a good story, so photographers came to our house in Bellflower and took photos of the family.”

“Unfortunately, the Atlas-Able rocket that was supposed to launch blew up on the pad at Cape Canaveral, and “Life” lost interest in the story. A replacement satellite got built, and was going to be launched in 1960 or 1961. “Look” magazine thought that it would do the story. So we had another set of photographers at our new house in Manhattan Beach. The story never ran, but we still have the photos, including this one.”

“Judy and Bud divorced in the mid-1960’s, and she soon married Tom Black.”

“Her fourth child was born a few years later. She actually went to her office on the day that (he) was born. When it was time to go to the hospital, she took with her a computer printout of the problem she was working on. Later that day, she called her boss and told him that she had solved the problem. And . . . oh, yes, the baby was born, too.”

“My mother usually considered her work on the Apollo program to be the highlight of her career. When disaster struck the Apollo 13 mission, it was the Abort-Guidance System that brought the astronauts home safely. Judy was there when the Apollo 13 astronauts paid a “thank you” to the TRW facility in Redondo Beach.”

“She finished her engineering career running the systems engineering for the science ground facility of the Hubble Space Telescope.”

“During her engineering career, she was a vigorous and tireless advocate of better treatment for women in the workplace. Many things that today we consider routine – the posting of job openings inside of a company so that anyone could apply, formal job descriptions for every position, and so forth – were her creations. She had a profound impact on equality in the workforce.”

“She and Tom divorced in the late 1970’s, and she later met and married the man who turned out to be the love of her life, David Katz. They had been married 35 years at the time of her death.”

“Judy retired from engineering in the early 1990’s, and immediately wrote a small book called “You Can Be a Woman Engineer” targeted to eight- to 10 year-old girls. It was intended to encourage them to consider a career in engineering.”

“She was not able to find a publisher, so she and David started their own book company. This led to a new passion and an entire series of titles including, “You Can be a Woman Architect” (co-authored with my father’s wife, a practicing architect), “You Can be a Woman Astronomer,” and many others.”

“Judy sold more than 100,000 of these books; held hundreds of in-person book-readings and seminars; and prepared lesson-kits so that hundreds of other people could do the same. She must have influenced tens of thousands of young girls to become interested in professional careers of one sort or another.”

“Her husband David illustrated these books, so this was an adventure of love that they experienced together.”

“She was an ideal mother-in-law to my wife Robyn, especially when Robyn’s own mother died at a relatively early age. She invited Robyn to become a co-author for one of her books. The partnership worked, and she and Robyn co-authored the last 10 or so of the books in the series.”

“In the last 10 years, my mother acquired three grandchildren, giving her yet another passion.”

“Her life was not perfect: Her younger sister, Rosalind, died young; there were the two divorces; and she suffered the trauma of losing a child, my brother Howard, who also died young. But she was happy to have reached age 82½ without a single overnight visit to the hospital since age 6, and was busy every minute doing the things that she loved.”

“We will miss her very much.”

The rest of the story is that Judith Love Cohen worked on the day she was in labor with her fourth child. She took a printout of a problem concerning Apollo 13 that she was working on to the hospital. She called her boss and said she finished the problem and then gave birth to a baby boy–actor and musician Jack Black.

He has been in movies such as Jumanji (2017 & 2019), Po in Kung Fu Panda, School of Rock, and Nacho Libre just to name a few.