Apollo Investigation

Stanley Kubrick and Apollo: Part One

Links to the films of Stanley Kubrick?

Investigating possible links to Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick and Apollo: Part Two
Stanley Kubrick and Apollo: Part Three

The anomalies and inconsistencies in the Apollo record are subtle and went unnoticed at the time of publication and broadcast during the 1969-72 period. The same has been said of the continuity ‘errors’ found in recent years by analysts of the films of Stanley Kubrick.


Stanley Kubrick in 1964

The object of this investigation is to ascertain if there are any demonstrable links between the works of Stanley Kubrick and the Apollo lunar surface imagery, and further to examine the possibility of indications of common authorship. It is left entirely to the reader to decide if these apparent parallels have any validity.

As we stated in 1999, our research has shown that the Apollo images are “replete with anomalies and inconsistencies”. These countless mistakes, or intentional continuity errors throughout the Apollo photographic record are totally unlike filmmakers’ usual continuity mistakes.

The discontinuities, as detailed by film analysts such as Juli M. Kearns,1 Robert Ager,2 Jay Weidner,3 Owen Harris4 and others, demonstrate that the films of Stanley Kubrick also contain numerous intentional continuity errors that are unlike filmmakers’ usual continuity mistakes.

Regarding Kubrick’s The Shining, Juli M. Kearns says, “The primary plot can handle such questions, as they will be assumed to be errors, if observed. But when one understands that these things happen repeatedly in Kubrick's films, and that these things that happen repeatedly are very similar and form part of a pattern, the primary plot crumbles and one is left with a very different story.

“The plot [in Kubrick’s films] is certainly more than a mere shell, [they] feature themes, ideas, imagery that Kubrick carries from film to film, but the most important character in the film is the eye of the audience member and how they consciously and unconsciously respond to the material presented,” says Juli Kearns. She adds, “the continuity problems are part of Kubrick's method.”1

Similarly, in the Apollo imagery, our research has demonstrated these mistakes are deliberate and they too form a set of repeating patterns.

There are also those who think that Stanley Kubrick, who is regarded by many as the greatest filmmaker of the 20th century, was somehow responsible for the Apollo photographic record but cannot say exactly why – let alone produce any meaningful proof. While the main thrust of the aforementioned film analysts and researchers is that these discontinuities are recurring and are deliberately referenced throughout Kubrick’s work. Their invaluable findings led us in a different direction however, back to analysis of the Apollo imagery.

Our work on the inconsistencies and intentional continuity errors or patterns seen in the Apollo record enabled us to see a number of parallels between the errors in the Apollo imagery and those present in Kubrick’s work. While that infers an insider’s knowledge of Apollo procedures, it does not, of itself, allow for a presumption of execution. So before jumping to any conclusions, let’s take a look at some of these parallels.

These anomalous elements begin to make more sense when like-for-like comparisons are made. Probably only a true master of his craft would be able to achieve such equivalences. These elements of discontinuity are far from being the result of sloppiness, but rather from intentionality. Many scenes are literally set pieces. Every single detail is highly relevant.

We will start with the often-repeated suggestion that the use of front projection could be a link to the master.

Was front projection used in creating the Apollo images?

Some researchers think that front projection was deployed to produce the Apollo photos and TV coverage. Although this photographic process could be used in certain instances to generate still photographic composites, it would have been impossible to use a similar rig on the transmitted live TV as the camera was often panned and moved around, and in the later missions Apollo 15, 16 and 17 had a TV camera capable of panning and tilting – albeit remotely controlled – mounted on the (obviously mobile) lunar rover. There are many examples of 360-degree pans in the TV coverage. And we should remember that the chest-mounted Hasselblad still cameras were also used for shooting panorama sequences of shots.

Below are two pictures of the complex rig that Stanley Kubrick used on 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is obvious that such a rig would be totally impractical for mass photography of either Apollo stills or live TV transmissions.

Front Projection rig

The 2001: A Space Odyssey front projection and camera rig developed
by MGM special effects expert Tom Howard in collaboration with Kubrick

A (half-silvered) mirror was incorporated into the 2001 front projection rig for the special processes in the Dawn of Man sequence, and indeed mirrors are present in many scenes throughout Kubrick’s film The Shining as well as one scene in 2001.

With regard to the Apollo photography, it is difficult to see a need for front projection just to produce a black sky, as no light was ever required or wanted on the black backdrops. Only the mountains required illumination. But any light hitting joins in the black fabric backing from time to time did cause occasional glints from stray fabric fibres, as well as resulting in horizontal, vertical or angular streaks.

One challenge of front projection is matching the look and brightness of the projected background to the foreground. Kubrick flipped some background images while retaining the same foreground in the Dawn of Man sequence. It is likely he was introducing the idea of being able to change the background/backdrop while retaining the same foreground. Of course using a physical backdrop with some texture eliminates the problem of any tricky background/foreground mismatches, as the same studio lighting can be used for both.


Yellow line indicates the edge of the active studio foreground – beyond the line is the mountain and black backdrop

Various photographs of mountains in Africa were taken for the backgrounds of the Dawn of Man sequence in 2001. It is worth noting that Apollo researchers have realised that a very similar-looking mountain was incorporated into some of the Apollo 17 mountain backdrops:

Apollo-2001 study

A 2001 mountain and one used in Apollo – a comparison study by Jack White, 2005

So while it is true that the black backdrops and the mountains were separate from the foreground floor area, and can be seen as such in the numerous examples of the visible joins between foregrounds and backgrounds, in our opinion front projection would have been impractical for any of the Apollo set-ups.

Below is an illustration of our suggested typical studio layout, viewed from above, that could have been used with moveable mountain backgrounds. The background mountains are fully adjustable, exchangeable, can be scaled as required and do not require much depth. The inset is our original side view illustration from the 1990s of a studio floor and moveable background:

Circular studio

Possible circular studio set, active studio area toned lighter grey – diameter up to at least 200m

In order to generate the imagery a very large studio would be required with a diameter of at least 200m. We agree with the producer of Make Believe: Smoke & Mirrors that a working foreground floor area was required together with separate mountain backdrops:

Circular studio

Scene from Make Believe: Smoke & Mirrors with active area and separate backdrop


Since the early days, many parallels have been unearthed between at least three of Kubrick’s films – 2001: A Space Odyssey (MGM Studios 1968), The Shining (Warner Bros 1980), and Eyes Wide Shut (Warner Bros 1999). 2001 was made during the Gemini and the Apollo period, The Shining was released 11 years after Apollo 11, and Stanley specifically ordered that Eyes wide Shut be released on the day of the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.

Some film analysts suggest that the Overlook Hotel in The Shining is intended to be symbolic of the USA. "The Overlook Hotel represents America itself; a nation built on the sacred lands of Native Americans” states Owen Harris, while the adjoining hedge maze could represent the Moon. Harris emphasises that "the Overlook hedge-maze represents the Moon".4 Yet, at the start of the film, there is no mature evergreen maze visible in the exterior aerial shots of the actual hotel used, the Timberline Lodge, Oregon. Although it is true that the hotel interior reveals itself to be very maze-like.

Timberline Lodge

The Timberline Lodge, Oregon, USA lacks a hedge maze

However, IF the hedge maze in The Shining is intended to represent the Moon, then the gardener visible through the maze entrance could represent the raking or re-levelling/resetting of the lunar surface. As we shall see, this is in evidence in numerous examples of Apollo foregrounds that were changed from shot-to-shot.

Walking past the maze-moon

Closing day, walking past the maze entrance with the gardener raking the gravel – observed by Rob Ager

In The Shining “A worker is also seen brushing the gravel inside the maze entrance,” says film analyst Rob Ager.2

The group of four walk past the maze of the Overlook Hotel on closing day. Note that the colours of their clothes recall the scene from 2001 wherein (as we shall see later) three sweaters are draped over chairs in Space Station 5 (a staging post to the Moon) which is also the number of people visible in this shot. Notably, this shot includes the raking of gravel inside the maze – and no doubt for emphasis, Kubrick deliberately lingers on the action taking place in the maze. It is also worth remembering what Wendy says when being shown around the hotel on closing day,

WENDY: This place is such an enormous maze!

In the discussion to follow, we will look more closely at some Apollo lunar surface foregrounds that were often changed (raked/bulldozed) then redressed differently in a number of similar scenes.

Examples of anomalous continuity errors found in Kubrick’s films and the Apollo imagery include:

1. Fabrics and/or flags waving – yes, flags waving
2. 90-degree turns and/or rotations
3. Divides, including vertical or horizontal splits
4. Changes to the foreground or background of a scene from shot-to-shot
5. Disappearing and/or reappearing elements
6. Swapping/moving elements around from shot-to-shot
7. The use of models
8a. Additional lighting from more than the primary light source, and
8b. Lighting from unexpected directions
9. Unexpected bright reflections
10. Events played out of sequence
11. Repeated themes/reuse of film set elements
12. Impossible views/scenarios – mirroring or flipping of elements in a scene.

1. Fabrics and/or flags waving

Examples of fluttering or waving props are in evidence in The Shining. For example, the shower curtain in the bathroom of Suite 3 moves of its own accord, also in The Shining a plastic sheet hanging in the stairway flutters. Juli M. Kearns says, “… there's the shower curtain, which is a perfectly natural movement of fabric, though without any perceivable reason, and we watch as it huffs and puffs, breathing in and out, in one long shot. The shower curtain's movement not only foreshadows the later encounter in Room 237, my belief is one could take it as commenting on a number of the continuity mismatches, confirming them as intentional.”

Shower curtain movement

Jack and Wendy in the bathroom of Suite 3 as the shower curtain moves of its own accord

Billowing flags are also to be found during Apollo EVAs on the lunar surface. But, very significantly, Rob Ager has spotted a flag moving or waving of its own accord in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not just any flag, but a US flag. Moreover, this flag is filmed on a studio set at the MGM Borehamwood Studios. The set represents a room supposedly on the Moon – the Moon Briefing Room. If the flag’s motion is caused by controlled air movement, nothing else in the room is affected and those present ignore its motion.

Moon briefing flags
The US flag in 2001 moves of its own accord in the Moon Briefing Room

A significant and perhaps relevant event occurs in The Shining. In a scene when Jack is sitting at his typewriter – air vents are revealed when the chair and low table positioned behind him are removed:

Jack and the chairs

In The Shining air vents are revealed when a chair and table are removed between similar shots – suggesting a lack of continuity

Then, in a later scene, the chairs are missing once more, the air vents to the right of Jack are very visible:

Air vents_behind Jack

This view of the air vents could link to the ‘air’ moving the shower curtain in the bathroom of suite 3, the plastic sheeting swinging in the hotel stairway, or the US flag moving/waving in the Moon Briefing Room.

But then you might say ah! – the Apollo flag waving only happened when the astronauts were touching the flag poles. But that isn't correct – there are at least two instances when the US flag waves entirely on its own, without being touched. One occurs during the second Apollo 15 EVA, the US flag waves just as David Scott walks past at some distance from the flag itself. All explanations for the movement of this flag have been thoroughly and conclusively dismissed by researcher Jarrah White.6 The only possible cause remaining is the air movement resulting from the astronaut walking past the flag.

Apollo 15 flag wave

The initial Apollo 15 flag movement occurs even as David Scott passes it – without ever touching the flag

Then again, there is unexplained flag movement during Apollo 14 when the astronauts were well away from it. In fact they were inside the lunar module. Researcher/film-maker Jet Wintzer found footage from Apollo 14 that shows – on the right-hand side of frame – the flag moving multiple times while the astronauts were in the LM after the close of EVA 2.

Apollo 14 flag waves

Close up of right side of frame showing the Apollo 14 flag waving while the astronauts were inside the LM

The means of waving the flag would have required something like assisted air movements. A directed flow of air would be the obvious way to introduce motion into these props. Watch the film footage.

There is also an Apollo 14 equipment transfer bag that apparently swings ‘of its own accord’ from beneath the LM “…As if a vent is blowing on it,” reports Jet Wintzer. This action can be seen at 05.00 in the video sequence of his film Moon Hoax Now.

Swinging bag

The swinging rock bag – circled and arrowed

2. 90-degree shifts to elements of a picture

There are many instances of 90-degree turns as well as disappearances of props. “We are also working with 90-degree shifts. We have both, over and over, and in conjunction with each other,” says Juli M. Kearns.

In The Shining, the four are seen walking in front of the Overlook Hotel on a tour but crossing directly in front of an oncoming car the scene cuts, and they are seen to have already made a sharp turn to the right in the next shot.

Juli Kearns explains, “This 90-degree turn and transposition of the group a number of feet from where they were places us in the approximate location across from where the entrance to the maze will be viewed at the end of the film, for at the film's end the maze entrance moves 90-degrees to face the lodge.”

Leaving maze
During the Apollo 15 mission there is an example of a typical 90-degree direction change of surface imagery that can be seen in the foreground of the two following Apollo photos. Horizontal rover tracks in one photo exchanged for mostly vertical footprints in another image. In the early 1990s Jack White produced a study of two similar images:

Apollo 15
And in the next mission, Apollo 16, there is a good example of a 90-degree turn (note also the dividing line between the set and the background). Interestingly, this is the famous “C” rock photo – the "C" originally having been spotted by researcher/engineer Ralph René.

90-degree turn Apollo 16

Impossible 90-degree turn of a rover track in AS16-107-17446

And again in The Shining Juli Kearns observes, “in the heart of the maze, Danny made a reversal, reversing his tracks, then jumped to the side at a 90-degree angle in a bid for survival, thus disappearing at the maze's heart and Jack passing by him.”

Juli Kearns emphasises that these 90-degree shifts happen repeatedly, and should be considered carefully and taken seriously.

Apollo 11 isolated print

Apollo 11, AS11-40-5874, an isolated, single (extra long) footprint set at 90-degrees to the others

Then again, in 2001, Rob Ager says that during the early scenes in the centrifuge, the rotating part of the craft, the “flipped running shot not only shifts 90 degrees but we have Frank running in the opposite direction."

Frank running
Frank running in the the spacecraft Discovery One centrifuge

Film analysts are in agreement that many of Kubrick's interiors and settings are impossible in reality. In an earlier highly-original and memorable sequence of the Aries 1B craft on its way to the Moon, an attendant makes a full 180-degree inversion for a 90-degree exit to access the flight deck:

180 degree turn

An attendant makes an inverted 90-degree exit to the flight deck

In the shot below the two pilots are guiding the craft down to its destination. The flight deck orientation (in relation to the passenger area) would appear to be 90 degrees, based on the turn made by the flight attendant. Juli Kearns stresses that “the flight attendant turns 180 degrees (upside down) yet the flight deck that she enters is at a 90-degree angle from the passenger part of the ship, and those on the flight deck are viewing everything as if they instead have the same orientation of the passengers." ...

Pod cockpit
Pilots on the red-lit lunar pod flight deck navigating their descent to the lunar surface

The flight deck is conspicuously illuminated with red light – this important fact is very obvious in the exterior view below. Juli Kearns, correctly spotting a cockpit anomaly observes, "It is actually impossible for the pilots to have this view of the base they are approaching, for their red lit windows, at the 'top' of the craft, don't afford this perspective." [emphasis added]. Kubrick really wants us to see that the views from the flight deck are impossible.

Additionally, as remarked upon by Rob Ager, despite the fact that the lunar surface is unlit, the craft is itself is well illuminated:

Pod landing
The Aries pilots would be unable to see through their viewing windows for landing – additionally, the Aries 1B craft is in sunlight, even though it is above an unlit lunar surface

In a parallel to the above findings, Jack White produced an Apollo 16 panorama study in which he realised that the US flag rotates 180 degrees, whereas the LM rotates only 90 degrees:

LM rotates 90 degrees

And an Apollo 15 study highlights an approximate 100-degree turn but with a continuous mountain background:

Apollo 15 rotation

See also the paper on Apollo 15 Mount Hadley by Professor Colin Rourke.5

3. Divides, including vertical or horizontal splits

2001 split

Vertical divide in the 2001 Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite sequence

Horizontal divides. This is a category of images that in many instances comprise a divide or split between the foreground of the studio set and the fabric/mountain backdrop.

2001 split
Typical dividing line between foreground and projected background in the 2001 Dawn of Man

As we have shown in 2001, a join had to exist between the foreground and the background. Kubrick’s technique of front projection has been discussed ever since the film was first released. A 10”x8” transparency was placed in a special projector in the camera rig. This method resulted in an unavoidable join between the floor of the set and the background screen (see front screen projection photo shown earlier). Researcher Jay Weidner3 pointed out examples of this in 2011.

Apollo horizon split

AS15-88-11863 with another example of the foreground/horizon line

The above picture is a further example from Apollo 15 of horizontal splits between the foreground action area of the set and the backdrop. Incidentally, Winston Wu pointed out that in this same image there is an apparent 'ledge' between the rear foreground and the near foreground where all the activity has taken place. It looks rather like a white 'carpet' layer that was placed over the 'lunar surface':

Apollo 15 carpet edge
Apparent carpet layer forming a 'ledge' between the far and near foreground areas

4a. Changes to foregrounds, not backgrounds

There are examples in the Apollo record of changes that occur only to the foreground. The background mountains and objects might not move relative to the foreground – while the foreground can change totally differently:


Comparing images AS17-136-20699 and 20700, Xavier Pascal noticed the foreground object (circled green) changed but not the LM or the red areas circled in the background – other parts of the image also move, including the small dark area circled in blue

There are many instances of unexplained changes to items within a sequence, for example in The Shining. Consider the powerful key scene when the twins first appear to Danny – the chairs and at least one ashtray were moved subtly between the shots:

Shining ashtrays chairs

In The Shining, chairs and at least one ashtray were deliberately moved between shots

On studying a consecutive pair of Apollo 17 images, Xavier Pascal – as well as other researchers – spotted a fresh imprint in the second picture below (circled in yellow) which is not in the first photo. There is also a footprint (circled in red) which was present in the first photo but absent in the second – the adjoining flat stone is also missing.

However, a closer look at these two images reveals that in fact, Xavier’s yellow circled ‘footprint’ is more like fanned rake marks – and later we will see these very similar marks occurring in a photo from Apollo 17. These marks are set at 90 degrees to the red-circled footprints. In the right-hand photo 11141, there are TWO missing footprints and TWO flat stones missing – so we are back to similar pairs:

Apollo 15 changes

Apollo 15 footprint changes between consecutive pictures AS15-82-11140 (left) and AS15-82-11141 (right)

In the 2001 Louis XIV bedroom scene Rob Ager observed that initially there is just one porcelain double figurine on the console table behind the chair, but later two double figurines are inexplicably present on the same table.

We note that Louis XIV was known as the Sun King – and Apollo was a god of the Sun.

One figurine

Initially, there is just one double figurine on the table behind the chair ...

Two figurinese

... then in a later scene there are two double figurines on the same console table – the double figurine on the right is added

Compare the fact that in Apollo craters disappear and/or reappear from shot to shot. In this example the same hills are there in the background, but the foregrounds are changed. Some may say that this is due to the camera having been moved for the second shot. But the bottom line is that the published result gives the impression that a second crater has appeared in AS15-85-11428. In any event, the argument that the camera was repositioned doesn't really hold up, as the area marked in red remains in the same spot in both images.

Apollo 15 craters

Apollo 15 craters in AS15-404-11454 and AS15-404-11428 – first one crater, then a second is added – notice the dark area circled in red that remains constant, as does the further crater

4b. Changes to backgrounds, not foregrounds

Moving on now to Eyes Wide Shut, Juli Kearns observes, “The view out the dressing room window isn't even the same... With Alice, the view is all skyscrapers and their lights from top to bottom. With Bill, half of the window is filled with sky. There is no explaining this away as sloppy continuity. It's an intentional and dramatic mismatch between the two scenes.”

Eyes Wide Shut window views

In Eyes Wide Shut – there are two different backgrounds to the same room view – observed by Juli Kearns

We would add here that the louvered blinds are very much in evidence. We also note that the Paris Louvre was the home of the Sun King Louis XIV before he moved to Versailles.

And in a parallel here, in the Apollo images, different backgrounds are often found with the same foregrounds. Apollo mountain sets were reused time and time again:

Apollo 15 mountains

Apollo mountain backdrops noticeably changed between two very similar views

When AS15-88-11864 is superimposed over AS15-88-11866, adapting its size and orientation to obtain the best superposition of the flags, only the mountain backdrop has changed, the perspective is very different. This is despite the fact that the picture was taken from virtually the same spot – noted originally by us in the 1990s and later independently by Xavier Pascal.

5. Disappearing or reappearing items

In The Shining there are frequent disappearances, for example, "we end up having a pattern that is like Danny's escape at the end, his reversing and walking backward in his own steps, then he jumps to the side at a 90-degree angle and covers his track. Thus he disappears from Jack's view,” says Juli Kearns.

Then, as a result of her careful analysis, Juli Kearns realised that in Eyes Wide Shut the paintings to the right of the front door in the apartment hallway were originally located in the bedroom.

Below is an example of two very similar Apollo shots but with one difference:

Missing camera

Jack White's study of the camera missing from these two shots that are otherwise identical

The famous prop "C" rock appears to have been used in Apollo 16 and in Apollo 11 photographs. Notice the corner 'fold' in the fabric of the rock nearest the camera:

C rock used twice

Left and top right is Apollo 11 – lower right image is what appears to be the same prop 'C' rock from Apollo 16, the latter found by Scott Henderson

There are many examples of switched or missing pairs, changes of position and modification of function. Juli Kearns notes, "The Shining maze display board was originally on the left of the maze entrance. But later the sign is on the right in the foreground – larger, and nearer the camera. The supplemental information surrounding the maze map on the board has also changed."

Maze boad first location

Original location of the maze display board on closing day – notice the three additional location drawings on the right hand side of the maze plan

Maze display board

The maze display board is later moved to the right of the maze entrance and positioned in the foreground – note that the additional information is now displayed on both sides of the maze plan

Another example of objects present in one scene, only to disappear in another scene with switched or missing pairs:

Switches change

Two surface switch boxes in The Shining near the Chef’s Office, missing a switch box in a later scene

Just around the corner near the Chef’s Office there were two double light switch boxes on the wall, but later, there is only one switch box on the wall when Wendy returns alone, although the removal of the nearer switch has left no trace.

In the left image the office door is open, and we see a filing cabinet, whereas in the right image the office door is closed (with a label on it). This open/shut door also creates two seemingly different 'see through' aspects. A horizontal format showing two pictures on the office wall versus a vertical format showing us only one picture on the office wall. This is a repetition of the two/one double light switch scenario, and an inversion of the 2001 Louis XIV room with the one pair/two pairs of porcelain figurines.

Jack+ lamp

Table lamp on Jack’s writing table in The Shining – Jack is typing away at 8am seated left of centre, while the table lamp on Jack’s left is on but with no visible wiring to the lamp


Jack working in the Colorado Lounge on Saturday – note that the table lamp in this view has now disappeared and he is now seated at the centre line of the table and therefore the room

Then again, in the Apollo lunar surface imagery, we can find numerous examples of the rover standing alone with no indication whatsoever of any wheel tracks leading up to, or way from its parked position.

Trackless rover

AS17-140-21354 – No indication of how the rover was driven into position – the tracks are unlikely to have been completely obliterated due to 'wipeout by footprint'

Despite there being some wheel tracks in the distance, tracks around the rover itself are totally absent. The tracks that should be there have been 'disappeared'. It's as if the rover had been lowered down on a cable rather than being driven into position. Alternatively, the foreground surface has been redressed with footprints.

Apollo 15 No tracks

Another example of totally absent wheel tracks from Apollo 15

Although objects are exchanged from scene to scene, sometimes items can disappear completely, for example in The Shining, Dopey on the door of Danny’s room goes missing later:

Dopey later goes missing

Dopey, the accident-prone, youngest dwarf who never, ever tried to speak goes missing from the door of Danny’s room in a later scene

6. Swapping objects and changes to consecutive shots

In The Shining “Not only has the map been moved to in front of the maze, we have large shadows falling over the area before the maze's entrance, from the direction of the audience and camera, that don't appear to belong to the map or foliage backing it,” observes Juli Kearns.

In Apollo 17 an astronaut is located in the foreground of the panorama shown below, but in another version of the scene the astronaut and the LM are swapped around, repositioned, but this exchange takes place in exactly the same setting. This can be confirmed by noting the positions of hills B, D and E as well as the crater in the left foreground.

Apollo 17

Two mutually exclusive scenes with the LM swapped for an astronaut
AS17-134-20437-20443 upper and AS17-147-22494-22521 lower panorama

Apollo 17 same rock
The LM in the left image is swapped for a distant view of the LM, and the distant mountain exchanged for a close up of the mountain – a study by Jack White

Kubrick often seems to give more than one perspective of a situation in his films and sometimes up to three views.

Apollo 17 landscape
Three perspectives of part of the Apollo 17 landscape – incredibly, a very small distant LM is located in the centre of the image inset on the right, AS17-139-21204

And recall in The Shining when Jack was working at his desk but just one shot later the chair and the small table in the background behind him were swapped out for a view of the air vents.

Mannequins have often been used by Kubrick in his films going right back to The Killer’s Kiss in 1955. Another example of the inclusion of mannequins is in Eyes Wide Shut. Four mannequins are prominently displayed in the window of the Rainbow Shop in Eyes Wide Shut, only to be changed around in a later scene:

Rainbow shop exterior
Exterior view of the Rainbow shop in Eyes Wide Shut – note the position of the second mannequin from the right dressed in the white jacket

Juli Kearns observes that, “the arrangement of the mannequins has changed from the exterior view of the shop. The positions of the mannequin in a white coat and the mannequin with the top hat have been switched.”

Rainbow shop interior

Interior view of the Rainbow shop, the mannequin in the white jacket has now become the third mannequin from the right

This swapping around of props, as we have seen, is a regular Apollo lunar surface image change technique. It is also possible that mannequins were used in some of the Apollo lunar surface Hasselblad still photographs – but that is another story, and the subject of a separate study.

7. Use of scale models

In The Shining a scale model is known to have been used by Kubrick and his effects team for creating the 'flood of blood' scene from the elevators:

Flood of blood

The scale model set used for the flood of blood scene in The Shining

Scale models were most likely used in generating some of the Apollo imagery as well – see for example The Lunar Rover – was it a radio-controlled model? The arguments are presented in this video production by a Director of Photography of the famous Mosfilm Studios in Russia.

Rover scale model?

Lunar rover in action, probably a radio-controlled scale model

8. Lighting from more than one light source

In the Apollo lunar surface photography electric lighting was deployed to illuminate the moon sets. For example in a fully-detailed analysis of the famous Apollo 11 photograph of Aldrin standing alone, the shadow of the astronaut was found to be the result of an extra light source located at a higher elevation angle relative to the light which illuminates the background.

Two light sources

Full Image analysis and graphics can be seen in this study. It is now absolutely clear that artificial lighting was used in many Apollo images.

Apollo 14 diverging shadows

Composite of Apollo 14 images AS14-68-9486 and 9487 illustrating diverging shadow directions

Research has shown that an extra source of light was needed to explain the very different shadow directions in the above Apollo 14 photograph. Artificial lighting was used in many shots in the creation of the Apollo imagery with sometimes more than one light source, as below – this view was taken from inside the LM, an example discovered by Scott Henderson:

Apollo 14 LM double shadow

AS14-65-9211 revealing an impossible double shadow of the Apollo 14 lunar module (image from the Project Apollo archive) – such a double shadow would require powerful studio lighting from two sources

In The Shining Jack switches on the lights at night for the hedge maze (representing the Moon) – it is rather unusual to have lighting outside and inside a hedge maze:

Maze lights

Jack switching on the Overlook Hotel hedge maze lights

8b. Lighting from unexpected or opposing directions

Opposing lighting directions were originally spotted by Rob Ager in the sequence with the rotating space station the scene in 2001:

2001 cross lighting

Opposing lighting in 2001 – the space station is illuminated from the left, but the pilots and the flight deck are lit from the upper right – noticed by Rob Ager

Then there is the interesting case cited by Rob Agar of combined side lighting and three-quarter side lighting jointly deployed in the sequence during landing on the lunar surface.

moon pod

2001 three-quarter side light on the Moon – but only rim lighting on the lunar pod which of course isn't possible in reality. To correspond with the pod lighting, the view of the Earth would have needed to look more like the adjusted version below:

moon pod

9. Unexpected bright reflections

Reflections on things like screens, helmet visors, and windows:

2001 reflection

Impossible bright highlight reflection in the 2001 pod window – there is nothing opposite the pod to generate a bright highlight – pointed out by Juli Kearns and Rob Ager

And similarly, there are examples of unexpected reflections in Apollo lunar surface images:

Apollo 12 reflection

Unexpected reflection of an object that looks like a suspended spotlight in an Apollo 12 photo – this visor reflection was originally noted by William Dines and incorporated into a study by Jack White

Then there are many examples of the ‘sky’ or space not actually totally black in the Apollo imagery. Again in 2001 the blackness of space is not actually black when the scene is lightened:

Space artifacts

A 2001 space background filled with artifacts in areas that are not black when lightened

And below, from the Apollo 11 mission is an example of ‘blacking out’ around an image, in this case crude black retouching around an object that has a very 'noisy' non-black background that should be just the rich blackness space:

Apollo 11 in space
AS11-44-6581 LM supposedly in flight – lightened and enhanced revealling artifacts and retouching

Retouching any black regions (as in the above example) means making an area solid black. This is done sometimes to conceal the fact that different blacks might show up in a montage. It is also a technique deployed when unwanted objects in the background need to be concealed that may be faintly visible 'through' the black.

10. Events played out of sequence

Rob Ager and others have pointed out that in 2001 the PA in the space station announces: ‘A blue ladies’ cashmere sweater has been found in the restaurant and can be claimed at the manager's desk.’ It would appear that this is before the loss apparently occurs in a later scene, which takes place in the hallway of Space Station 5, as below.7 (Notice that Dr. Stretyneva’s purple-red dress and blue-gray sweater mix is a rather surprising colour combination.)

Space station meeting
In this shot three sweaters are on the backs of three chairs ...

Missing sweaters

... a little later, when the group sits down, two-thirds of the sweaters go missing from the backs of the chairs – only the cream sweater remains ...


... in fact the brown sweater had fallen down the back of the chair (left), but later it is again present over a chair back – the further blue sweater is also visible again7
the chair seats are joined, but the backs have a significant gap between them, so basically the brown sweater is somehow together with the pale beige one apparently suspended in midair

Out-of-sequence anaomalies are everywhere in the Apollo pictures with, until now, no valid understanding of why there are so many ‘mistakes’ in the imagery and TV coverage. For example, during an Apollo 17 EVA an astronaut is pictured standing by a very damp flag (which is still drying). As we will see, a dirty astronaut with obvious lunar dust on his suit is followed by a picture of him with the space suit somehow washed clean.

Apollo 17 dusty suit

Schmitt has sticky lunar dust on his left arm and the top of his gauntlet

In this Apollo example above AS17-134-20382, Schmitt's space suit (arrowed) is covered in sticky lunar dust, especially his left arm and gauntlet. But just two frames later, in AS17-134-20384, the sticky lunar dust has gone. This occurrence was observed by Apollo researcher Scott Henderson:

Apollo 17 wet suit

AS17-134-20384 – the lunar dust has been washed off. The arm of his space suit and his gauntlet are now clean, and still visibly wet. Any washing is absolutely impossible on the Moon. But in any case, surely a clean space suit should be followed by a dirty one – not the other way round. Obviously an intended out-of-sequence scenario.

We have previously noted that all the Apollo TV coverage had to be filmed and in the can before the actual event played out later ‘live’ on TV.

In The Shining litter bins about the grounds of the Overlook Hotel are decorated with "Keep America Clean" posters. And in the hotel kitchen area there are "Keep This Area Clean" signs:

Keep Clean

The bathroom of Room 237 in The Shining has a dramatic scene where the back of the old woman is covered in what looks like areas of of green mould or fungal growth:

Room 237

Compare this bathroom scene with the green mould on a piece of Apollo equipment. Unbelievably, mouldy fungus-like growth can be seen following the Apollo 12 ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package) removal from the LM. It reveals a very dirty and mouldy item, despite the fact that it was originally prepared in ultra-clean conditions, this example was first noticed by Scott Henderson:

Mould on Apollo 11

Mould/fungal growth (decay due to damp conditions) on the ALSEP, a piece of Apollo 12 equipment AS12-46-6791

“There was a keep American beautiful (by keeping it clean) campaign in the 70s that showed an individual attired as an American Indian weeping at the sight of litter – and there is an emphasis on cleanliness throughout the hotel, many signs dealing with this,” observes Juli Kearns.

WENDY: The loser has to keep America clean, how's that?
DANNY: Keep America clean.

Juli Kearns has emphasised that the Overlook Hotel in The Shining “is a hotbed of anomalies that demonstrate that there can be no expectation of absolutely rational answers in the film, not when the Torrances arrived with a comical amount of luggage that in no way would have fit into their small VW.”

There was an unbelievable amount of luggage unloaded from the VW and stacked in the lobby of the hotel. The collection includes Danny’s trike, his 'Big Wheel’. Without doubt all far too much for the VW Beetle to have carried with its passengers.

Baggage Overlook lobby

The incredible amount of baggage in the Overlook Hotel lobby. This scene could tie in with the perception that that the lunar rover, and all the plethora of other equipment taken to the Moon – including space suits, supplies and the numerous experiment items – was way too much to have ever been stowed inside the LM and actually taken to the Moon.

11. Repeated themes/reuse of elements

“All of Kubrick's films have veins of self consistent detail and themes running through them,” notes Juli Kearns. For example in Eyes Wide Shut there is the “Reuse of the same cab in many scenes." For example, "A cab pulls up in front of the Rainbow shop and lets Bill out. He again appears to be in the 7M96 cab.” Perhaps a hint that the same lunar module was used in all the Apollo photos.

Juli Kearns also points out that in Eyes Wide Shut: “With Bill carrying the bag that shows the Rainbow logo, and the Rainbow shop observed directly across the street, Kubrick is making no secret that the same storefronts are being used repeatedly. It is like a maze in which one finds nearly identical paths with marginal differences.”

Returning to the Apollo photographic record, a number backdrops are reused over and over again but with different foreground details. For example, the same hill "H" is used many times during Apollo 17 in this study by Jack White:

Same Hill H

Apollo 17 mountains

Another study by Jack White – which brings us to:

12. Impossible scenarios

In Apollo 17 Xavier Pascal observed that there are additional footprints (circled in yellow) which are not present in the adjoining photo AS17-134-20398. But the footprints that were in 20398 (circled in red) are no longer present in 20399. Actually, calling these markings footprints is a misnomer, look again at that yellow circled imprint. Here are those same rake-like striations we saw in the Apollo 15 images earlier.

And again, in AS17-134 20398, notice the wide, linear markings. Referencing previous observations concerning surface raking, right-angle switching and the Chef’s Office framing discussion, this twinning or duplication of similar pairs of images between Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 might be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

Apollo 17 footprints

Apollo 17, AS17-134-20398 (left) and 20399 – notice the yellow-circled imprint and the footprint changes in these mutually exclusive pair of consecutive images

Returning again to The Shining there is an impossible window in the Manager’s Office as the hotel plan shows it is not located on an outside wall.

Juli Kearns points out that, "People can watch The Shining multiple times and never begin to grasp that only one interior window of the hotel has any seeming relation at all to both the stage and real exterior of the Overlook Hotel, and that everything else we observe of the interior has no relationship to the exterior. The maze literally changes orientation in relationship to the hotel, its entrance moving about 90 degrees, and this is so observable as to be a bright red flag signalling, "Hey! Look! Look!"

Another impossible scenario plays out in Apollo 11 at the start of the sequence of Aldrin descending the ladder as we see below. Most importantly, this is a parallel example of the subject being lit when it should otherwise be in darkness – (see the lunar pod section earlier). We should remember that the exit from the LM was on the full shadow side of the craft:

Aldrin suspended

AS11-40-5866 – the above photograph is an impossible representation of Aldrin floating or somehow 'suspended' above the top rung of the LM ladder. Yes, he is not actually standing on any rung of the ladder – this significant anomaly was originally found by researcher Marcus Allen. Recall that in the last part of the scene in Space Station 5, the beige-brown sweater (that together with the cream one) was somehow suspended in midair.


When it comes to mirroring/flipping images or elements in a scene, there are numerous such instances and emphasis on mirrors throughout The Shining and in the bathroom adjoining the Louis XIV room in 2001.

Mirror in 237
The prominent mirror just inside Room 237 in The Shining

Rob Ager states in his 2001 analysis of the Louis XIV setting that, "Looking at the other reflections in his helmet as he approaches the mirror they make little sense... All indications suggest that Kubrick wanted unrealistic reflections in the helmet [visor]" – see the screen image below:

2001 visor reflection

2001 Louis XIV room visor reflections – Juli Kearns also maintains that the reflections in the visor don't look very much like what one might expect to see reflected

Incorrect visor reflections can be found in many Apollo photographs as well. In AS16-114-18388 the hands in the visor reflection show the subject’s fingers – rather than the back of his hands. Obviously impossible and deliberate.

Incorrect, flipped visor reflection

A totally incorrect reflection in AS16-114-18388 – the astronaut's fingers are facing the camera and so they couldn't be reflected in the visor – this impossible scenario was found by Xavier Pascal

Anomalous footprints

An anomalous isolated pair of footprints in AS17-134-20421

Again, in another Apollo example, there is an impossible configuration of Apollo mountain backdrops. Many Apollo pictures taken of the Moon from lunar orbit and those photographed on the lunar surface are very different, as can be seen in this study by Jack White:

Apollo mountain mismatch

The comparatively smooth mountains in the Apollo 15 lunar surface panorama is compared to the jagged Mount Hadley range captured in the lunar orbiter imagery

The intentional mistakes and lack of continuity between various images is so apparent that even former NASA supporter Richard Hoagland, coming late to the party in 2007, stated that: “Noticing the difference between the astronaut’s reports and the photographic record, we began to question everything … especially the validity of the TV recordings and immediately released NASA prints. It was soon clear that the orbital photography and the ground-based images simply didn't match.”8 [emphasis added]

Then there is the creative use of doorways with only part of the scene beyond revealed:

Doorway match

The upper frame is a scene from The Shining, and the lower picture is a part of AS16-116-18722 – a ‘lightstruck’ Apollo image of a ‘ghostly apparition’ – an adobe wall and doorway that is actually a real photograph of a wall. This picture is in fact a double exposure. The upper portion of the photo looks like a physical doorway, while the full image is a lunar view with the LM and mountain background.

It is highly unlikely that there are any doorways on the surface of the Moon.



In The Shining, there are the unwinding hours (happy hour) in the Gold Room and we also have the unwinding or unravelling, torn wool yarn of Danny's Apollo 11 rocket sweater:

Danny torn Apollo jumper

Does this unravelling of Danny's Apollo 11 woollen sweater equate to the unravelling of the Apollo record?
Again we see the blue, brown, and pale beige theme of those space station sweaters.

This is conspicuous says Juli Kearns, "it reminds of the... 'unravelling hours' in the Gold Room sign, ...it would remind of Ariadne's clew, but if we look back to 2001 we may also see in the torn yarn of the sweater a reference to Poole's air hose torn loose.”

Verona Restaurant

The Verona Restaurant in Eyes Wide Shut

And finally, in Eyes Wide Shut, the Verona Restaurant reminds one of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a comedy by William Shakespeare. Who might these gentlemen be in this case – Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke? Or is this more suggestive of the NASA pals, Arthur C. Clarke and Wernher von Braun? It is also significant to remember that the 2001: A Space Odyssey film project, filmed over several years at MGM Borehamwood Studios in the UK, was dubbed 'NASA East' by officials from ‘NASA west’.

We have established that front screen projection is not really the link to the master – and it is abundantly clear that there are deliberate mistakes and numerous errors in continuity in the films of Stanley Kubrick. But why would there be any deliberate mistakes and continuity errors in the Apollo record if the events were portrayed as they occurred, live from the Moon?

Clearly there is a commonality here – a shared modus operandi (a particular way or mode of working, technique, style or approach). If all these Apollo parallels do not strongly suggest the work of the genius of Stanley Kubrick, then we have to ask why anyone would wish to emulate the trademark 'errors' and the brilliant continuity tricks of the master.

Stanley Kubrick died on March 7 1999. He had lived long enough to see that the anomalies in the Apollo record were being openly discussed by Bill Kaysing and Ralph René. By the end of the millennium the posthumous release of Eyes Wide Shut and the publishing of Dark Moon: Apollo and the Whistle-Blowers would see the inconsistencies within the Apollo record emerge into the mainstream.

The big question still remains: Was Stanley Kubrick responsible for the creation of the Apollo photographs and the film and TV coverage of the lunar landings? Based on this selection of evidence you, dear reader, can make your own evaluation.

In any event one thing seems clear, in whatever way he might have been involved, if indeed he was involved, Stanley Kubrick was unable to tell anyone – and he had to keep it a secret for ever, and ever and ever.

©Mary Bennett and David S. Percy

Aulis Online, April 2019, minor update Jan 2021

October 2021: It has been brought to our attention by Steve Taylor that the number 237 has yet another Apollo reference in The Shining. He notes that Armstrong’s EVA (LM hatch open to LM hatch closed) was of 2 hours 37 minutes 37 seconds, and that this fact used to be on Wikipedia, but has since been removed. He also noticed that when Jack returns from Room 237, having denied that he saw anything at all, Wendy asks: “You went into the room Danny said? To 237? But she pronounces it ‘two thirty-seven’. Jack repeats that he saw absolutely nothing. This is the only time in the entire movie that this room is not referred to as ‘two three seven’.

Continue with Stanley Kubrick and Apollo: Part Two – Significant clues encoded in his films?
Then Stanley Kubrick and Apollo: Part Three – How did Stanley Kubrick achieve his aim?

And After the Ball: Kubrick and Georges MélièsLinks to the French filmmaker?



"Groundbreaking, innovative and revealing."
– Marcus Allen, Apollo researcher and UK editor Nexus magazine

"Wow. I’ve just finished reading the magnum opus on Kubrick: this is really a tour de force. Great work."
– Emanuel E. Garcia, MD

"Why did [Kubrick] build deliberate continuity errors into all his films? Perhaps it is because he wants us to know (at a subliminal level) that what we are seeing is unreal: a fake world of make-believe." As for the "suggestion that the director himself was the whistle-blower, well it's interesting to say the least. Presumably Kubrick wanted us to be aware that this too is all make-believe!"
– Colin Rourke, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Warwick, UK

"Logical, very detailed, well researched and compelling. I can see no fault whatsoever in your reasoning."
– Scott Henderson, Apollo researcher

"I find this novel hypothesis of a parallel between the continuity errors in the Apollo imagery and in 2001, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut both fascinating and unprovable. But it is fascinating precisely because it is unprovable. Once you remove from the table the idea that you want to 'absolutely prove' a Kubrick-Apollo direct connection, you are left with a gigantic mountain of clues that lead you in that direction.
And, being a filmmaker myself, I must say that some of the continuity mistakes found in the films of Kubrick are rather hard to explain as pure accident. These are mistakes you don't make in a $20,000 movie, let alone on the sets of the extremely fanatical perfectionist that was Stanley Kubrick."

– Massimo Mazzucco, director American Moon

HAL stated that “The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made – no 9000 computer has ever made a mistake...” But when it came to HAL’s ability to plan, as things began to go wrong under the pressure, HAL made many mistakes.

Continue with After the Ball: Kubrick and Georges Méliès – Links to the French filmmaker?
And continue with
Kubrick Appendixes – Analysis of the Dark Side of the Moon by Jarrah White



1. Idyll Opus Press, online film analysis by author/artist Juli M. Kearns
2. Collative Learning, film analysis by Rober Ager
3. Kubrick's Odyssey, filmmaker Jay Weidner presents compelling evidence
4. The Shining Code, filmmaker Owen Harris gives a scene-by-scene accounting of The Shining
5. Hadley: A Study in Fakery, version 2 by Professor Colin Rourke
6. MoonFaker Series, Jarrah White's detailed dismissal of all six arguments attempting to explain the Apollo 15 moving flag. Jarrah White says, “It is easy to prove that the flag was not moved by physical contact. If you look at the video frame by frame, you can see that the initial movement of the flag occurs as Scott approaches it. This suggests that it started to move because Scott pushed air into the flag as he ran towards it."
7. This scene is actually even more complicated. Initially, only the beige and brown sweaters are placed on the chair backs – but not the blue one. When they rise from their seats, all three chairs have sweaters on the chair backs. Only two-thirds of the sweaters are visible at one point, but subsequently two-thirds of the sweaters are no longer visible and just one-third remains. Later still, they are all present again.
Dark Mission, Richard C Hoagland and Mike Bara, Feral House, 2007.

In 2018, The Shining was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
2001: A Space Odyssey had been inducted in 1991. But Eyes Wide Shut is notable by its absence thus far from this register.

We consider that this analysis falls under the ‘fair use’ laws of the USA and the United Kingdom, and any copyrighted material is included on a not-for-profit basis for research, discussion and educational purposes only.


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