Nasa's Unexplained Files (2012) s06e02 Episode Script

Aliens vs Stalin at Area 51

The new red terror Martian mutants back from the dead Terraforming Mars could be a deadly mistake.
Never-ending nightmares in deep-space deep-freeze Imagine your worst nightmare lasting for decades.
And, the government sends in armed special agents to shut down an observatory.
Have these astronomers spotted something they shouldn't have? These are "NASA's unexplained files.
" November 26, 2018 Mars.
NASA's insight probe approaches the red planet.
It touches down at Elysium Planitia.
It joins a growing regiment of landers and orbiters.
The data they provide will tell scientists if, when, and how the red planet can be made fit for human habitation.
There's a desire to do something very dramatic to change the planet so that it is habitable.
The prize is massive literally, an entire planet ready for populating.
For many, it's a plan that's not just possible it's necessary.
Some people believe that our planet is in great danger, and that someday we'll have to leave earth.
Earth won't last forever.
So in order to survive, we're going to need to move to Mars.
It's easy to exaggerate the threats facing earth, but it would be foolish to ignore them From within, the growing destructive power of weapons technology.
From outside, the increasing number of asteroids narrowly missing earth.
This is not science fiction.
This is guaranteed by the laws of physics and probability.
To stay risks annihilation.
The dinosaurs never conquered space.
And look what happened to them.
But Mars isn't going to hand itself over to human colonists without a fight.
The atmosphere is 100 times thinner than earth's.
Without this heat-retaining insulating blanket, temperatures on Mars plunge to -225 degrees.
It's like being at an altitude of about being 20 miles and saying, "okay, I'm good.
" No, you're not good.
You're dead.
You wouldn't last much longer then 10 or 15 seconds.
Your body would just become a freeze-dried carcass.
But Mars hasn't always been like this.
There are lots of observations that suggest that in the past, Mars had conditions that were right for life.
Mars may have actually had an atmosphere a lot like earth's.
We know there are places on Mars where there were massive floods of water, a thousand times the flow of the Mississippi.
Today on Mars, this water and gas lies beneath the surface.
If they were to be released, the atmosphere and landscape would fundamentally change.
We know that Mars has huge reserves of water and carbon dioxide in its polar ice caps.
These could potentially be used to create an atmosphere.
Water vapor and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases vital elements for an atmosphere fit for humans.
The theory would be to melt the ice caps.
By putting greenhouse gases back into Mars' atmosphere, it may be able to sustain itself as a warm enough planet for us to survive on.
There are a number of ideas for melting the Martian ice caps.
But most of them are unrealistic, vastly expensive, or practically impossible.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk thinks that we can regenerate Mars' atmosphere by nuking the ice caps at the Poles.
You'd need thousands of these weapons probably more than we've actually built to make a dent in something as big as the ice caps that you see on Mars.
But biologists now believe there's a much simpler and cheaper way to transform Mars.
One thing we know for certain is one of the most powerful forces in nature is life itself.
The atmosphere of Mars is dominantly c02.
Somehow, you have to turn that c02 into oxygen.
So you're going to have to plant plants all over the place.
They breathe carbon dioxide and output oxygen.
Let them start growing and gradually, organically, terraform the planet.
Although the climate on Mars is too harsh for most of earth's plant life to survive, scientists have begun to engineer new, enhanced super vegetation that is capable of growing, procreating, and spreading across the red planet.
We need to genetically engineer plants that will grow on Mars.
Scientists are now able to move genetic traits between organisms.
We have strawberries that grow in winter, thanks to antifreeze genes taken from arctic flounder.
We have corn that has been made poisonous to insects.
All kinds of crops and animals have been genetically manipulated to make them grow bigger or act differently.
Scientists have crossed some extremophile DNA with some arctic tundra plants, and had them grow in a jar that had a Mars-like atmosphere.
The results are incredibly exciting, and show that genetically modified organisms could breathe new life into Mars, transforming the planet's atmosphere not just plants, but maybe animals too.
We could send fire ants and kudzu, 'cause those things live everywhere and you can't kill them.
And I think it would terraform Mars in no time.
We could have an atmosphere and liquid oceans within a few generations.
Mars might just be able to sustain human life.
We could potentially transform the red planet into another blue planet, and even another green planet.
That's an amazing thing to contemplate.
Imagine a time in the near future the first colonists set foot on NASA's bioengineered planet.
You get there, and your instruments say it's okay to open your visor.
To breathe the air of a planet that you helped engineer would be literally earth-shattering or should I say, Mars-shattering.
But the explorers' enjoyment of the new Martian landscape could be very short-lived.
What happens if our super fertile genetically modified organisms come in contact with Martian life? If we start making Mars more hospitable to life, are we going to wake up things that have been lying dormant there for millions of years? Coming up, a planet red in tooth and claw.
We might be setting off a chain reaction that could spiral out of control.
And, the roswell flying saucer crash it's a horrific new twist.
They said that they were children genetically engineered to look like extraterrestrials.
Scientists believe they can make Mars habitable by sending genetically modified organisms to colonize the planet.
But what happens when the new life from earth meets the old life of Mars? July 2018 the Mars express orbiter scans the Martian ice caps.
It discovers, hidden beneath, a lake of liquid water.
And where there's water can be life.
I get really excited when we find water and oceans on other planets.
Life most likely started in oceans right here on earth.
And if we find oceans on other planets, that means there's a real potential for extraterrestrial life.
Terraforming Mars could awaken dormant Martian creatures whose biology would be completely different to anything we have encountered before.
There's a sort of pandora's box possibility here.
Martian and earth life interacting with each other could that have disastrous consequences? Any organism on Mars could become massive, because the gravity is less than half that on earth.
This can cause their very bodies to grow larger.
These giant organisms can just live and grow.
We might be setting off a chain reaction that could spiral out of control.
And it's quite possible that whatever we sent there to terraform Mars has mutated into some kind of man-eating, astronaut-devouring plant with teeth.
We're going to have some strange mutated Martian fire ant.
I'm not looking forward to getting bit by one of those.
Terraforming Mars risks pitting mankind against a lethal new enemy.
But experts believe we have no choice but to proceed.
Do we dare play god and bring a planet back to life? I say yes, 'cause we're going to need it.
July 1934 the kremlin, Moscow.
A remarkable encounter between two of the world's most famous men could reveal the secret of the roswell crash.
A big Russian airliner descends at Moscow, having as a passenger onboard Mr.
Wells, the famous science fiction author, meets Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Wells dreams of forging a single global government to rule the whole earth.
When I was here in 1920, I talked to Lenin.
And he said to me, "come again in ten years' time and see what we've done.
" Wells came to Moscow to persuade Stalin to move towards the United States so that eventually, the two countries would form a joint government that would be a world government.
Wells' idea is crazy.
Communism is irreconcilable with the American love of individual Liberty.
But a best-selling science fiction story he wrote does give Stalin a fiendishly clever idea.
He wrote the groundbreaking "war of the worlds," which had an amazing influence on mankind.
The 1938 story of a Martian invasion is dramatized on radio by the legendary actor and director, Orson welles.
Many listeners believe it's a genuine news report of a real Martian invasion, as mass panic breaks out across America.
The craft is issuing a great jet of flame! It engulfs the advancing soldiers head-on! Radio listeners were thrown into a frenzy of terror when they mistook a war drama for fact.
My own father listened to that broadcast, grabbed his rifle, and ran outside because he thought aliens were attacking.
I'm deeply shocked and deeply regretful about the results of last night's broadcast.
Stalin would've been aware of this "war of the worlds" broadcast and the panic it spread throughout the country.
That may have been the seed that planted the idea in Stalin's brain that, "I'm gonna try this, but I'm gonna use it for real.
" A decade after the broadcast, Russia and America are locked in cold war.
Stalin does not have nuclear weapons yet, but you don't need physical weapons to win a war.
Mass hysteria and panic can do the job just fine.
In 2011, investigative journalist Annie jacobsen is told of Stalin's attempt to recreate the "war of the worlds" panic.
According to the source, Stalin himself masterminded the famous alien invasion now known as the roswell incident.
Annie jacobsen had a contact who, in 1978, worked for the roswell project at area 51.
This wasn't a nut.
He actually did have credentials.
He was believable.
July 8, 1947 roswell, new Mexico.
A U.
military officer announces to the press that air force personnel have recovered a crashed flying disc, which left a trail of debris across an area 200 yards wide.
Within 24 hours, the story mysteriously changes.
The next day, the military retracts its statement and says, "oh, it was only a weather balloon.
" They were covering up the crash of what appears to have been an extraterrestrial craft.
Jacobsen's source confirms what many people have long thought this was no weather balloon.
But nor did the flying disc come from space.
He claims it was a Nazi aircraft, captured and operated by the Soviets.
According to jacobsen's source, the aircraft that crashed was actually a modified horten ho 229 experimental airplane designed by the Nazis in 1945.
The ho 229 is a revolutionary jet-powered flying wing that would later inspire the design of the b-2 stealth bomber.
The source claims Stalin's secret service captures the technology at the end of world war ii.
Here is the true story it wasn't a saucer.
It was a flying delta a flying wedge.
The unnamed area 51 engineer has another stunning revelation.
The wreckage contains weird-looking bodies, but not of aliens.
They said that they were children, genetically engineered to look like extraterrestrials.
Coming up, aliens versus communists roswell and the "war of the worlds.
" Had a craft like this dropped in the middle of a city, it would've been a horror movie.
And, astronomers fear a cosmic cover-up as the feds lock down a solar observatory.
Are we about to be hit by a solar Tsunami of radiation particles? A former area 51 engineer describes a sinister communist plot inspired by h.
Wells' "war of the worlds" to cause panic and chaos across America.
He claims that inside the alien-looking craft that landed in roswell were children who the communists had mutilated to look like alien beings.
Had a craft like this dropped in the middle of a city, you would've seen more panic than you could possibly imagine.
It would've been a horror movie.
If this was Stalin's grand scheme, it failed miserably, because the United States government cut this story down within 24 hours.
There was no panic.
There was no mass hysteria.
Some investigators claim that the story of Stalin masterminding roswell is itself a piece of psychological misdirection, put out by American intelligence black ops.
And they got the idea, once again, from a science fiction book.
There was a science fiction story written that covers the same details in this account.
"Tomb tapper" is a short story by "Star Trek" writer James blish, published 10 years after the death of h.
It tells of a Russian plot to crash a pretend flying saucer, piloted by a mutilated Soviet child.
Some analysts believe this fictional story was told to jacobsen as fact to throw her off the scent of what really happened at roswell.
The United States government is great at putting out misinformation.
And very clearly, that is what took place with all of this.
The roswell incident is clouded with so many layers of subterfuge, it's possible the U.
government itself no longer knows the truth.
If roswell, new Mexico, was not Stalin propaganda and it wasn't an actual alien crash, what was it? September 6, 2018 black hawk helicopters packed with armed FBI agents swoop over the Lincoln forest mountains of new Mexico.
Their target not a terrorist training camp, not a drug cartel.
This special SWAT team is about to raid an astronomical observatory The sunspot solar observatory, used by NASA to understand and keep watch on the sun.
There's black hawk helicopters and FBI agents swarming all over the place.
Government agents shut down the observatory and evacuate the 250-acre site.
Local police are left in the dark.
And the employees Are silenced.
Everyone had to sign some kind of secrecy agreement that whatever they'd seen could not be disclosed.
They treated it as if a national security breach had occurred.
Is there something we should know? The FBI says their raid and 11-day lockdown is in response to an observatory employee accused of misusing the Internet.
Many find this explanation difficult to believe.
This is an observatory.
This one looks at the sun.
Maybe they found something that we should be concerned about.
But what could the astronomers have seen that they shouldn't have? There's been some wild theories.
The daytime sky is our blind spot.
If you really want to sneak up on a planet, come from the direction of the sun.
Military strategists throughout history have used glaring sunlight for surprise attacks.
When a fighter pilot or a bomber is doing a run, they come from the sunward direction so they can't be seen.
Could astronomers have detected something headed towards earth using the sun as cover? If people found out about that, it could cause a panic.
So maybe the observatory needed to be shut down to keep it secret.
But no other observatory or monitoring station has reported anything suspicious heading for earth.
Some researchers ask if the shutdown is linked to the solar observatory's specific and most important work The charting of solar activity.
It is well known that certain forms of solar activity can affect life on earth, such as a burst of solar radiation known as a coronal mass ejection.
It's very difficult to predict the currents of a coronal mass ejection.
For NASA, this is a serious problem.
Coronal mass ejections explode with the power of 20 million nuclear bombs.
They create a huge electromagnetic impulse that can knock out power grids across whole continents.
The amount of damage we would face, both on the ground and in space, from a solar event could be catastrophic.
So are we about to be hit by a solar Tsunami of radiation particles? But coronal mass ejections take just three days to reach earth, and would've hit by now.
Far, far more worrying than this, some fear the solar astronomers may have observed a subtle change in the size of the sun the beginning of the end of our entire solar system.
The sun powers life here on earth, so it's the life-giver.
But the sun, it has a deadly ace up its sleeve.
Coming up, the U.
government is powerless against earth's greatest enemy the sun.
Obliteration will be swift and certain.
There will be no escape.
And, hibernating astronauts go on a journey through hell.
They may be trapped in there with nightmares nightmares that never end.
Government agents shut down the sunspot solar observatory, stunning the world of astronomy.
Could the observatory have seen a cataclysmic change in the sun? The sun, at the moment, is turning hydrogen into helium.
It works like a giant h-bomb, okay? But eventually, it's going to run out of the hydrogen.
When the sun exhausts all the hydrogen fuel, it won't just turn off like a light bulb.
Without nuclear fusion pushing gases out, the core begins to collapse under its own gravity.
Because it's getting smaller, it's getting hotter.
Once the temperature in the core of the sun reaches 100 million degrees, the helium will ignite.
And when that happens, the sun will expand drastically and suddenly.
It will expand out to what's called a red giant.
Earth will be literally fried.
Might solar astronomers have detected the first signs of change in the sun the beginning of the end of the solar system? It's no wonder ancient people worshiped the sun as a god, because not only does it provide us life, but in the end, the sun could ultimately spell doom for all of earth.
Most astronomers believe our sun is currently stable, and they hope it will stay so for billions more years.
But astronomers know that sun-like stars elsewhere in the universe act erratically, and there's no guarantee that ours could not suddenly surprise us.
The FBI could've shut down the observatory to contain the alarming information and halt the spread of mass panic around the world.
The sun is one of the most dangerous things in the solar system, and we still don't know everything about it.
Eleven days after it was closed, the sunspot observatory is reopened and watching the sun again.
Despite the official government explanation that a rogue employee's actions triggered the shutdown, some investigators remain unconvinced.
There appears to be a set of occurrences going on, of which this seizure of this observatory is kind of the tip of the iceberg.
May 2016 NASA scientists reveal a radical solution to the problem of sending astronauts to worlds that lie years, decades, or even centuries away from earth.
There are some new ideas about putting people into kind of a stasis, like a deep hibernation state.
The idea of cryosleep is then you don't need to take as many supplies you know, need as much oxygen, food, water.
You preserve the crew's health during a long, long transit so that when they arrive at their destination, they are healthy and able to function.
Cryosleep is frozen sleep astronauts placed in the deep freeze for the duration of their epic journey.
You're just frozen like a snapshot in time.
Nothing will change until the day comes to revive you.
But putting humans on ice is fraught with danger.
You can't just freeze a living person like you'd freeze a steak.
If you just stick someone in the freezer, ice crystals develop, and their cells basically do a little, tiny ice explosion.
You thaw them out, and they're just mush.
It's not pretty.
Instead, NASA scientists unlocking the secret of cryosleep have turned to the animal kingdom.
A large percentage of the work that's being done now is in animals that currently exploit torpor as a means of survival during periods of extreme cold and low resources.
Hibernating animals enter a state of torpor a kind of suspended animation.
Creatures like bears lower their body temperature by ten degrees.
Slowing their metabolisms, they survive on less food and water.
And torpor seems to have a massive advantage for astronauts' bodies when facing two of space's deadliest perils.
Putting them in this induced torpor, they're able to withstand radiation, have less bone wastage and these are critical issues for long-term survival in space.
Researchers are working on drugs and special chambers that can send humans into a bear-like state of hibernation.
And there's already designs for pods in the international space station which people will be able to go into and have coolant sprayed in through the nose, which will lower the body temperatures and put astronauts into torpor.
You're actually still functionally alive.
Your body's still metabolizing.
It's just doing it at an incredibly slow rate.
NASA could put entire crews into stasis, their bodies drip-fed with vital nutrients, their physical health monitored and cared for by robots.
Astronauts' bodies could survive prolonged cryosleep, but what would happen to their minds? They dreamt a nightmare but they're in cryosleep, so you can't wake up.
Does the nightmare continue forever? Coming up, deep freeze astronauts turn psycho in space.
We can revive someone at the end of this, but will they be sane? And, the spooky guardian angel looking after NASA astronauts.
What if there's a secret military mission that we don't know about? NASA is creating cutting-edge cryosleep technology for decades-long space missions to other stars.
But what happens to astronauts after years of stasis? It will keep their bodies healthy, but scientists fear what the process could do to their minds.
The dangers of putting somebody into a suspended hibernation state is sleep is an active process.
In other words, it's not a state where the brain is dormant.
It's a state where the brain is actually active.
What happens with your consciousness? What happens with your dreams? In cryosleep, you can't wake up.
If you can't wake up, would the dreams continue? The longer we sleep, the further the brain slips into a phase of intense dreaming.
The experience is indistinguishable from real life, and not all dreams are happy ones.
Imagine your worst nightmare, and then imagine having it last for decades.
Nightmares bring to life our darkest, most terrible fears falling, drowning, being pursued.
But even our worst nightmares, when they become too much, will wake us up.
We are left drained, shaken, traumatized.
But the nightmare is over.
We've all had restless nights, but we get over it.
We wake up and move on to the next day.
But what happens if those restless dreams just keep on for a year, or for ten years? How would we survive then? Perhaps most terrifying of all is the prospect of sleep paralysis in space.
Astronauts' brains are awake, but their bodies are still asleep and cannot move.
In this condition, sufferers sometimes feel the presence of a malevolent being crushing down on their chest.
People who've been in comas do report dreaming, being aware of it, but they can't do anything.
They can't get out of it.
What we're doing is potentially not just putting someone in solitary confinement, but also making it so that they can't move.
We can revive someone at the end of this, but will they be sane? Of all the dangers we may face in deep space, perhaps most terrifying are the demons within.
April 12, 1981 astronauts Robert crippen and John young are about to get on board the world's most dangerous machine Sts-1, the maiden flight of NASA's space shuttle.
Lift off.
John will tell you, it was untested.
He said, "Jerry, I thought if our odds were 50/50" that we'd get back, "that was being optimistic.
" Roger, roll.
Young and crippen successfully reach orbit.
This glorious moment of "wow," you know, "I just sat on a rocket and I am in orbit.
This is incredible.
" But the euphoria is short-lived.
They looked through the window there in the back, and they could see some tiles missing on some of the outer surfaces.
It was very, very concerning.
Off of the starboard pod, we do have a few tiles missing off of three tile and some smaller pieces.
Roger, crip, we can see that good.
The heat-resistant tiles protect the astronauts from being incinerated by the incredible 3,000-degree temperatures of reentry.
They're able to see the damage to the back of the shuttle.
What they're not able to see is anything around the sides and underneath.
The tiles on the underside of the shuttle are the most vital, as they bear the brunt of the heat.
Without those protective tiles on the underside of the shuttle, it basically becomes a death trap.
Neither the astronauts nor ground control can make out if the shuttle is doomed on reentry or not.
Houston has an impossible dilemma.
You basically have two choices.
You could stay in orbit and you're going to run out of oxygen.
The other would be, reenter and burn up on reentry.
Oxygen is running out when ground control suddenly makes what looks like a rash and reckless decision.
The crew is given the authorization to go ahead for the de-orbit burn.
We are go for main engine start.
It looks like NASA is just taking a huge gamble with their lives.
But what most observers don't know is that these pioneering NASA astronauts are not alone.
Astronauts on the first-ever space shuttle mission Roger, roll.
are ordered to attempt to return to earth, even though heatproof tiles vital to reentry could be missing.
During reentry, the crew enters the ionization blackout the point during reentry where they can't talk to the ground.
That's the scary part for the people in mission control.
They're biting their fingernails and they're on the edge of their seats.
For 15 minutes, there is silence at mission control.
The more silence you have, the more you know something is going gravely wrong.
Then Hello there, Houston.
Columbia's here.
young's voice crackles across the radio.
Hello, Columbia.
Houston's here.
How do you read? The mission is a success.
But observers want to know why Houston seemed to gamble so recklessly with the astronauts' lives.
How did NASA know that the shuttle was safe to return to earth on that reentry? The official line from NASA is that long-range photography from sites in Florida and Hawaii was able to verify that there was no damage to the underside.
But researchers soon uncover that this is not the truth.
The cameras on the ground didn't have enough resolution to be able to tell whether there was damage.
What information did they have to make a decision to go for it? There's a really big unknown here.
Investigators analyze the shuttle's flight plan and find crippen and young were asked to make a bizarre and inexplicable maneuver while out in space.
Perhaps there is a clue.
During the mission, the astronauts were asked to invert the shuttle.
Rolling the shuttle points the underside to a top-secret U.
asset orbiting the earth.
NASA purposefully maneuvered the space shuttle such that its underside could be photographed by the latest spy satellite, keyhole 11.
Officially, this satellite does not exist.
In 1981, the keyhole satellites were the ultimate in ground observation.
You had a very large mirror, eight feet in diameter.
So you were able to get incredible, incredible detail of ground objects.
Top-secret keyhole 11 is designed to spy in ultra-close detail on the tyrannical Soviet union's military maneuvers.
This is the first American spy satellite to be able to take a photograph and transmit it down to earth so you have real-time imaging capability.
Re-targeting keyhole 11 to look at the shuttle is a gamble for America, as it leaves the Pentagon temporarily blind to Soviet troop movements.
It's a huge risk.
The nro satellite was in a polar orbit, and then the shuttle in its orbit was just more Equatorial.
So they ended up figuring out a way to do this ballet act, if you will.
The satellite and shuttle are speeding through space at 17,500 miles per hour in different directions.
It's the mother of all moving targets.
It'd be like standing on the sidelines and trying to hit a baseball at 100 miles per hour with a marble.
Whew! Young and crippen expertly maneuver the shuttle into position.
The spy camera takes its shots.
Mission control downloads the pictures.
The crazy thing is, it works.
The NASA team can see the underside of the shuttle and determine that there is no damage to the heat shield.
They ended up giving them the okay to come on home.
Welcome home, Columbia.
Beautiful, beautiful.
Their first flight, there was a lot of luck involved because there were things that could've happened that, thank god, did not.
John is very kind of unemotional.
But getting off that space shuttle, you know, he's literally kissing the earth.
Because number one, he's alive, and number two, we just accomplished one incredible thing, flying that space shuttle.
It's an incredible story, and the fact that we didn't lose Columbia is amazing.