Apollo Discussions > The Reality of Apollo

Alan Bean and VAB

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Jeff Raven:
Good morning,

I'm having a back and forth with a landing denier on YT and they have brought up the claim that Alan Bean didn't know about the Van Allen belts. It's my understanding that the source clip they play comes from one of Sibrel's 'movies' (given that the narrator's voice is the same as on A Funny Thing), and it's obviously highly edited, so we don't know the context.

Here's my problem. I have read both here and on Cosmoquest where people have said that the interview question was actually about his Skylab 3 mission, not Apollo, and so his not being sure if they went that far out comes from there. None of the links I can find are still working, nor can I find the full interview. Does anyone have it and can share it?

Also, I read in those same sources that while Bean was CAPCOM for Gemini 11 he talked to the crew about the belts. I've looked through one transcript of the ground to space communication and can't find where he did that, although there is a part where there's a radiation reading requested, and the altitude is about 650 miles and the CC response was "Sounds like it's safer up there than a chest x-ray."  Again, does anyone have something where it's more clear that he spoke to them about the belts?

I would really like to have primary sources for this, so that I can shut them down on this garbage, but unfortunately right now all I can do is point them toward the posts here and at Cosmoquest, and those are secondary sources. And while I know that people here have a ton of expertise on these topics, I know that the deniers won't accept their word.

Any help would really be appreciated.  Thank you.

If anyone would know, it would be Dwight. He knows heaps about Skylab and I am sure he'll be able to add context if it was from those days.

Peter B:
And there was me wondering what Alan Bean had to do with the Vehicle Assembly Building...LOL.

My attitude whenever it's raised is to say that Bean didn't need to know about the van Allen Belts for Apollo 12. Its existence didn't affect what he needed to know and do as LMP during the mission, so it's likely he paid no attention to it.

Supporting that, I've read (I think in Chaikin's "Man on the Moon") that Bean specifically said he needed to remember so much for Apollo 12 that he deliberately made no attempt to remember the names of people he met, because he was worried that it would make him forget something he needed to know for the mission.

Having said that, do you think it likely that there'd be a raw video of Sibrel's interviews online? It seems unlikely to me that Sibrel would allow that.

Allan F:
You mean like him accidentially leaving evidence he's a fraud?

Peter B:

--- Quote from: Allan F on January 22, 2023, 08:24:54 AM ---You mean like him accidentially leaving evidence he's a fraud?

--- End quote ---

Let's just say it could reveal evidence of...um...creative editing.


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