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Apollo 20

Categories: Items of Mutual Interest

Post written by Dennis Detwiller, © 2013

Apollo 20 is a hoax that’s been on the internet since 2007. Here’s how to use it in your Delta Green game.

For those who have never heard of it, the story of “William Rutledge” is interesting and ultimately completely unbelievable. Still, it has its charms, and can be very useful in cementing the “reality” of MAJESTIC in the world of Delta Green.

Rutledge claims to have been the commander of a covert flight of “Apollo 20” from Vandeberg Air Force Base. He says it was a 1976 joint American-Soviet landing to investigate an apparent alien spacecraft on the dark side of the moon.

Covert space flights are not as outrageous as they sound. Simply look up Almaz or Manned Orbital Laboratory and you’ll find a lot of things the public never knew about the space race.  America and the Soviet Union actively launched secret military-only flights (some of them armed) during the 1960s.

The Story

To use Apollo 20 as a backdrop for a game is simple enough. The story goes like this:

  • On Apollo 15, a flyover on the dark side of the moon photographed an unusual object in the Delporte-Izsak region.
  • This huge object (3,370 meters long) was jutting from a crater, covered in moon dust, obviously there for eons.
  • The cancellation of the Apollo program was a cover story to draw attention away from covert space flights.
  • The Soviets were approached about the ship on the dark side of the moon, or already had knowledge of it. Since they were the only world power which could track lunar shots, their complicity would be necessary.
  • The Apollo 18-Soyuz joint flight in 1975 was a test of Russian-American cooperation in space for more covert purposes, disguised as a PR stunt.
  • In late 1975, Apollo 19 was launched from Vandeberg Air Force Base. It was to land within two miles of the ship. Apollo 19 was lost in space, the victim, it is thought, of an asteroid hit.
  • In August 1976, Apollo 20 was launched with William Rutledge, commander, Leona Snyder of Bell Labs, and Alexei Leonov, CCCP. 
  • Leonev and Rutledge landed the LEM  (designation Vandeberg Phoenix and of Russian manufacture) within a mile of the alien craft.
  • They explored the large ship (referred to as “The Ark”) and the ruins of what appeared to be a city (called “Station One”).
  • They did not get far in the large ship, but they found it full of technology and the remnants of biological items, including “vegetation.” They recovered the body of an extraterrestrial biological entity.
  • The body, dubbed MONA LISA, was covered in a thin, wax-like film, and its face was “wired” with some sort of control mechanism.
  • The body was returned to Earth along with a head, a section of writing, and some alien technology.
  • Upon return, the EBE disappeared into governmental hands, and Rutledge slowly drifted out of the military/science community.

Apollo 20 and MAJESTIC

Obviously, in the world of Delta Green, Apollo 20, if it exists, is a MAJESTIC project.

In 1976, MAJESTIC had yet to make contact with the Greys—the aliens recovered from the crash at Roswell—and were obsessively hunting them.

Apollo 20, then, becomes an exploration and test for mankind leveled by the Mi-Go, the secret masters of the Greys. The Mi-Go construct another ship on the dark side of the moon to test the tenacity of the “monkeys.”

Perhaps the “writing” recovered in the ship are the key needed to “call” the Greys that leads to the first contact, a last test to make certain humans are ready for direct interaction.

Using Apollo 20 In Your Game

Having the videos, pics and jpegs turn up in the Agents’ hands, as well as having MAJESTIC hot on their trail, is a great jump-start to any slow moments in an ongoing campaign.

Imagine that Rutledge mails the Agents a rock hammer sealed in a lunar sample bag, along with video tapes and documents from the landing. The hammer can be covered in lunar dust, definitively proving its reality.

From there, the scenario writes itself.

Written by Dennis Detwiller, © 2013

Shane Ivey runs Arc Dream Publishing and is the lead editor of the newest Delta Green projects.

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