It’s Been Nearly 50 Years Since We Last Went to the Moon… Do You Want to Know Why?

📅 Published on July 24, 2021

“It’s Been Nearly 50 Years Since We Last Went to the Moon... Do You Want to Know Why?”

Written by T.J. Lea
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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I’ll say it plain; The acquisition of Nazi party member Wernher von Braun was not the most heinous action NASA committed. Not by a long shot.

By the time I’m done here, you will not look up at the sky in the same way.

I want to start by offering an olive branch of trust; I am not a former NASA employee, an astronaut or some high-ranking government official on the loose. Those people don’t have the fucking time to share their findings or the wherewithal to do so. No, I’m a whistleblower, sharing this in plain sight where it’ll go unnoticed. A needle in a needle pit, if you will.

By December of next year, it will be half a century since humanity has attempted to or landed on the surface of our lunar body. Between 1968 and 1972 we manned six missions and a dozen amazing men have passed 250,000 miles. Since then, the highest we’ve gone is barely 400 miles. Staying in the proverbial pocket.

Do you ever wonder why that’s the case?

I started looking into this when a large number of conversations during the lead-up to the half-century anniversary of our Lunar Landing were met with evasive and awkward answers. Yes, we know NASA had received less than stellar funding over the years, but there’s obviously more to it than that.

Every time I’d get an interview with a cosmonaut, a roadblock would be put in my way.

“Mr. ____ can’t see you right now, he’s got a hip surgery planned and needs to focus on his recovery.”

“I’m sorry, but Dr. ___ is unavailable, he’s facing a bereavement and can’t handle interviews at this time.”

“This is the son of Dr. ____ and she’s requesting you cease and desist from contacting her.”

Roadblock after fucking roadblock. Nobody wanted to talk to me and every forum was littered with idiots, weirdos and conspiracy theory nuts who were convinced of superfluous tall tales about the moon. These fuckers never got a degree, did any proper unbiased research or went out of their mother’s tinfoil-laden basement, they had no clue.

But I was objective. I’d paid my dues reporting on scientific achievements and had always prided myself on being able to focus on the truth, not the circumstantial.

Anyone with half a brain could sense something is wrong when they look up at that lunar body, the pale, faceless orb gazing down at us night after night.

It gets worse when you remember it’s never *really* gone during the day. That the pale blue sky can only hold it back for so long before it rips through the thin veneer of safety and looms overhead. Good thing it can’t watch me where I am, in the safe-house.

Sometimes I hear groaning outside. Pleading, perhaps.

They still want to communicate.

To make me look.

I digress. I was persistent and called in some favors to get access to archived and classified documents, highlighting the space race, expeditions to the moon and…

Lost Cosmonauts.

For anyone not familiar with the original term; it was used as a way to catalog astronauts sent into space by the Soviets, but their existence was never acknowledged by the Russian government in any way. Thus making them “lost”.

It details many things, horrible things, but key among them is one word that stood out when referring to the Lost Cosmonauts:


A transponder developed by the soviets somehow still worked in the hours following a critical error that would leave a cosmonaut in peril. For brevity, I will share the transcription in its entirety:

28TH MAY 1967




V: Colonel Elin, do you copy? Can you hear me?

-No response. Dr. Vitali repeats the question three more times before a response is brought back-

E: Yes, Doctor. I can confirm I hear you. I was unsure if it was you. The voices, they can sometimes lie.

V: Clarify.

-A short response, this time suspected hesitance on Elin’s part due to slight stammer.-

E: It is this darkness, it lies to you. It makes all voices seem like they are putting on an act, trying to gain trust before hurting you. Hurting you badly… It tells me to pull back the curtain, but I refuse.

V: I do not understand. How can there be voices where you are?

E: I do not want anyone from home to understand. You are still in the fog; it is to be expected. I am here to protect that sanctity. It is my job as a cosmonaut. For all of you.

V: For the motherland?

E: No, for all of you.

V: Let’s review from earlier. Your mission to Luna was successful, you’d landed and were due for take-off. You said you needed fixing the controls on Morozov IV before a navigational issue caused a complete failure of power?

E: Yes.

V: And you have reported no way of returning home?

E: Yes.

V: Comrade, forgive the bluntness, but you do not seem to be concerned about this… are you not worried of death? You have been up there for 40 hours… we estimate you will be dead in another day, maybe slightly more. We cannot reach you in time.

-There is a longer than usual pause. A small scratching sound can be heard.-

E: Doctor, you are a far more intelligent man than I and I have things I wish to know before… well, you know. So I wish to ask you three questions before our time is up. I will provide any information you require in return.

V: Of course. What do you see around you? Anything of note?

E: Nothing. Darkness. Pure, welcoming darkness. Doctor, do you believe in god?

V: I know there is much talk of one. Whether they exist? I do not know. How are you feeling? Is there anything you can tell us?

E: I feel fulfilled. I am protecting. The voices keep trying to make me pull back the curtain, but I am strong. I cannot tell you anything you do not already know. The rest… I could not if I tried. Do you believe in people?

V: I… Of course, Elin. We are strongest together. Greatness comes from perseverance and from our collective vision. Why?

-Fervent laughter ripples through the transmitter. It does not match the vocal patterns of Colonel Elin.-

V: Comrade? What was that? Are you well?

E: That was one of the voices. They found your answer amusing. Vitali… do you want to see what’s behind the curtain? Is your desire to make the motherland strongest worth losing your soul?

-There is a long pause, heated discussions between Dr. Vitali and his superiors argue as whispering can be heard from Elin’s side.-

V: What kind of question is that, Elin? You have limited time and resources, yet you waste it with such strange questions?

E: I’m sorry, Doctor. The time up here… the silence… the darkness… it is not meant for mortal men. My wife… my son… please pass them a message. It may be the most important message I’ll ever send.

V: Of course, what is it?

-Another long pause. This time soft weeping can be heard from Elin’s microphone as a low humming grows louder in the background. His voice drops to a whisper.-

E: Komarov died screaming and burning, but at least he was embraced by the Earth… I will not get the chance. Tell Masha… tell my boy… Don’t look up at the moon.

-Transmission concluded. Future attempts to reach Colonel Elin were unsuccessful, and he was presumed dead on May 30th, 1967.-

* * * * * *

This, on its own, is disturbing. It’s been posited before that insanity can come in prolonged darkness and silences. Imagine looking around you, a desolate rock with darkness stretching in every direction. The only piece of hope is a colorful orb that you will never get to see.

But it doesn’t end there. This is simply the prelude to what they found.

Something is calling to me from outside of the bunker. But it’s a clear night tonight, I know better.

Nothing more to do right now than carry on, right?

The Soviets would launch a final expedition on August 12th, 1971, a reconnaissance job involving 3 astronauts would scope out Elin’s final location and see what they could find. The space race now long over and interest dwindling, it was hoped that a definitive find would help boost funding and establish Soviet dominance.

Rather than relaying the entire transcript, I’ll pick things up from the first hour following a successful landing and beginning their search.

* * * * * *

AUGUST 13TH 1971




A: Commander Abromovic checking in, making our way to Colonel Elin’s last known coordinates. ETA 3 hours. Semenov says he sees something and wants to check it out first.

V: Understood. Keep your wits about you, Ilia. It is unknown territory once you reach his spot.

-There’s a short discussion and Abromovic comes back, confused.-

A: Doctor, you said Colonel Elin’s ship malfunctioned with no way to return, yes?

V: That’s correct, Commander. Is there an issue?

A: Yes… Semenov has looked at the ship. The damage done to it was man-made. There are several large dents on the outside and the panel was forcibly ripped.

-Muffled murmuring from Vitali’s side continues for a couple of minutes, Abromovic clearly concerned.-

A: Doctor?

V: It has been noted, perhaps more answers lay with his corpse. Collect what samples you need and head to his last known coordinates. Out.

-3 hours, 18 minutes pass before correspondence begins again.-

A: We have arrived at Elin’s last known location. No sign of him, we can see the terminator – the line between the light and dark side of the moon about 1km from our position. Vattic wants to scope it out.

V: Head for the terminator, but be wary.

A: Oh my god… Doctor, Semenov says he can see a cave entrance right by the terminator. I’m moving in for a closer look.

V: If this is true, this could be the greatest find in human history, comrade. But keep sight for Elin’s body. That is still priority.

-There is a long pause and when Abromovic speaks, his voice is shaking.-

A: We found him. Requesting permission to evacuate immediately.

V: Denied. Why would you leave without exploring this cave? What is going on, Commander? Report.

-Semenov can be heard trying to calm down Vattic, who is having a panic attack.-

A: Colonel Elin is in a small hole that was made by extreme force. His body has been crushed, hands are mangled and his visor has been destroyed… his face… oh, god, pieces of it are missing. Something chewed off his cheeks and lips… Requesting permission to evacuate immediately, Doctor.

V: Denied. You’re not seriously suggesting there is something up there, are you, Commander? Listen to yourself. You’re experiencing the same sickness as Elin. The sight of a corpse is simply making you delirious.

A: Doctor, all three of us are seeing the same thin–

V: Enough. Leave him where he lays, we will discuss this soon. Explore the cave. This is too important a find to back out now. The last of our funding went into this project and we will NOT leave empty-handed and let those capitalist pigs gloat over their victory. Do you hear me?

-Vitali smacks the desk and the mic booms, there is a short pause.-

A: Confirmed. Moving to explore.

-There is silence for 5 minutes as the group maneuver to the cave opening.-

A: The cave itself appears natural, but the incline goes down and there seems to be some stronger gravity… there’s some rudimentary steps, man-made? Or some kind of creature, maybe. It goes down for a decent degree, will update when we see the bottom.

V: I want photos of everything, Abromovic. Make sure Vattic picks himself up and helps Semenov.

-Heavy breathing comes through 7 minutes later and when Abromovic speaks, he is exasperated.-

A: We’ve found a central room. Several basic archways leading further on, but we’re in a make-shift command room, from my best guess. Vattic thinks that through the route we took, we’ve gone under the terminator dividing the light and dark, now we’re firmly underneath the dark side of the moon. He thinks… Doctor; he thinks we’re in front of shutters. There’s a button in front of us. Semenov is begging us to go back, I think we should lis-

V: Push it.

A: But sir…

V: You will not dishonor our motherland with your hesitance. We are on the cusp of greatness. Push. It.

-Abromovic pushes the button and the sound of the shutters rising fills the audio. Within 60 seconds, screaming follows. A heavy thud and the sound of glass breaking cut through the static before Abromovic can be heard panting.-

A: Oh my god. It’s a viewing port.

V: Where are Pilot Vattic & Science Pilot Semenov? What is going on?

A: It’s a viewing port. It looks out on… no, no no no

-Abromovic is still panting, assumedly going back up the stairs and on the verge of tears, a mixture of crying and manic laughter. Vilati is undeterred, but clear stress in his tone.-

V: Commander, I need a report. Pull yourself together.

A: When we looked out, Semenov started yelping, scratching at his visor. When that didn’t work, he volleyed his head into Vattics until the visor cracked… he continued while I got away. I didn’t look for as long as either of them did, but I saw enough… it looked out at… oh my god… my fucking god in heaven… what are we? Where are we? Is this a zoo?! Doctor, what did you not tell us?!

V: I do not understand. What are you saying, Commander?

A: You lying fucking pig. You fat sack of shit. You knew there was something here. You sent us out to die just like Elin, didn’t you? You old fuck, sending the young to do what dickless men like you could never do!

-Abromovic’s tirade continues for several minutes, words and behaviors he had never exhibited in his psyche evaluation coming out. Vitali sounds genuinely unsettled by some of the things he’s saying.-

V: Commander, we only had an idea of what was there, we did not know for sure, we still do not know. You haven’t told us! Please, for the motherland, for those we’ve lost… tell me what you saw.

-The angry shouting stops and a low rumble permeates through the transmission. Abromovic laughs and cries, it is hard to distinguish which is dominant.-

A: What is waiting for us? What are they watching for? There’s a… “guardian” here. It was asleep until Elin woke it up by getting too close. It wants to make sure we never found out the truth. Oh god… I’ll never see my family again, my home…

-The rumble begins to cause crackling in the audio and, for a moment, another voice comes through. It’s Colonel Elin’s.-

E: The darkness is good. Safe. Comforting. We do not need to see what is behind the curtain, behind the fog. Do not look at the moon.

-For the first time, Vitali is emotionally distraught. He is shaking and his lip quivers as he manages to utter one word:-

V: Why?

A: It’s a terrarium… something is watching us.


* * * * * *

Several days after this, Vitali was found dead in his home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a telescope still propped up by his window. A simple note by his bedside said:

“It blinked. And in that moment; I glimpsed madness.”

In January 1975, an event would occur that would encourage all involved parties to unilaterally agree that the moon should never be visited again. Various excuses of lack of funding, interest, resources and so forth have been put forward. All have validity in them, but they hide the truth. The reason I’m telling you all now. The reason I’m in my bunker and will stay here until the danger passes. I don’t even know how long it’s been… Much like the cosmonauts, I’m in my own void. Disconnected from light and other contact, the voices I create are the only company I have.

Maybe that’s how Elin felt when he realized what secrets were kept here and how important it was that he never took them back home.

Perhaps anyone who stares at it for too long, on unguarded nights, is vulnerable. It brings with it an ugly glow, its secrets laid a little too bare for normal minds to grapple with, encouraging them silently to behave unusually. Like an experiment.

Which is apt when you consider the words of Abromovic & Elin together, the statement and the question:

“It’s a terrarium, something is watching us.”

“Do you want to see what’s behind the curtain?”

We looked behind the curtain. I don’t know what exactly they saw, but with every Supermoon, it gets a little bit closer.

And now it knows we’re aware of it.

There isn’t meant to be Supermoon out tonight. But something is looming overhead, speaking to people.

Please… don’t look at it.

You don’t want to know what’s looking back.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by T.J. Lea
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: T.J. Lea

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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