15 December 2010 41 Views

“Apollo 18″ Steps Up Viral With Top Secret Document and New Website

Last month we told you about Dimension Films’ found-footage thriller Apollo 18, whose plot revolves around the idea that there is a (sinister) reason that we never went back to the moon (at least publicly) after the Apollo 17 mission. There was a strange viral video that accompanied the debut of the film’s poster, and now it looks like we may be in for a whole viral marketing campaign, as viral website and some interesting subpages to the official site have popped up.

What should we start with? Let’s go with the clearly official one. Apollo 18’s official website,, has a new page that shows a remote terminal (sound familiar?), and of course, we don’t know who is the owner/user, though we know it’s been up (or on?) for almost a year. It’s just a stylized DOS screen, so here is the text presented:

Kernel version: ASTP Server, Multiprocessor x18

System information for \\apollo-project:
Kernel version: ASTP Server, Mulitiprocessor X18
Product type: Server
Product version: v18

Initialization complete. Data loaded.

Directory of A:\apollo-soyuz-project …

images_001 jpg 2300kb 03241935 03:25:03 A:\future-apollo-missions\users\classified\img_0824.jpg


The “img_0824.jpg” image reveals a top secret document with many redactions (mostly names and dates) that shows Apollo missions 18-20 being postponed instead of cancelled. In real life, missions 18-20 were in fact planned, but subsequently cancelled due to budget cuts, so it looks like the viral is trying to tie into this history as much as possible. I couldn’t find the Major Willard F. Symmons who looks to have written the letter, so I imagine it’s just a character.

What’s interesting is the Soviet ties I’m seeing in a lot of the Apollo 18 marketing. First, if you go back and look at the poster, there is some Russian writing on it, along with the hammer and sickle communism symbol, which was used in the USSR flag. Now we have the new page on the official website that is labeled “cosmonaut”, and it seems to revolve around the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, which was a joint space mission between the US and Soviet Russia in 1975. In fact, the ASTP (which just happened to mark the peaceful end to the Space Race), is sometimes referred to as Apollo 18, as it was the last and only Apollo mission after Apollo 17. How the postponed Apollo missions and ASTP relate is yet to be seen.

Now on to the viral website. Someone named Tyler Gordon has created a blog called Apollo Truth that claims to want to find “the truth” behind the Apollo missions. Obviously, Tyler is being framed as a conspiracy alien nut job, and if past viral campaigns are any indication, (see: Transformers 2, 2012), a random few of his theories and findings may turn out to be accurate (within the reality of the film, of course). On his site, he’s been posting links, videos, and news stories about the Apollo missions, mainly how what we know isn’t the whole truth, and that aliens are among us. In fact, he even posts the viral video we saw with the poster. However, the video was uploaded to YouTube over 2 years ago, so it’s not officially part of the marketing. That seems to be the case for everything Tyler has posted, as we’ve only seen real news stories, topics, and videos that are already on the web (sometimes for a while). Nothing has been fabricated (yet) for the marketing. Tyler dedicates his site to his deceased uncle, retired Air Force pilot James Gordon, who believed in aliens (Google search brought up nothing on the name). What’s interesting is that there was a Richard Gordon scheduled to crew the Apollo 18 mission. Could there be a connection?

In case you’re wondering if the site is actually affiliated with the film, there is evidence to support it outside of the viral video. First of all, the posts (3 pages worth) are dated back to June, but the site was created in late November. Backdating is Viral Marketing 101 for making a blog look real. Also, all the registration info on the site is hidden from public view. Sneaky sneaky. Go ahead and read the blog; there are actually some really interesting (and real!) stories. If you see anything else, let us know in the comments below!

Source: Bloody Disgusting

For more updates on the Apollo 18 viral, click here.

11 thoughts on ““Apollo 18″ Steps Up Viral With Top Secret Document and New Website

  1. “In fact, the ASTP (which just happened to mark the peaceful end to the Space Race), is sometimes referred to as Apollo 18, as it was the last and only Apollo mission after Apollo 17.”

    While ASTP was the last Apollo mission, there were 3 other Apollo missions between Apollo 17 and ASTP. They were the three missions to the Skylab space station, SL-2, SL-3 and SL-4.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Whether the Skylab missions are technically Apollo missions is debatable.

  3. crash says:

    There is now a second image up for download on the remote terminal page, img_1222.jpg, but it is requiring a passcode.

  4. Ancient Astro says:

    Just a matter of how one defines an Apollo “mission.” Apollo Program mission or Apollo capsule mission.

    Per NASA’s website, the “Apollo Program” ended with Apollo 17 being the last “Apollo mission.” and lists “Apollo” separately from “Apollo-Soyez Test Project” and “Syklab.”

    If one defines an Apollo mission as one that used the Apollo crew capsule, then the Apollo-Soyez and Skylab missions were also Apollo missions.

    Seems that you should either include them all, or stop with Apollo 17 (or the cancelled Apollo flights to the moon).

  5. Larry says:

    As the three Skylab missions launched using Saturn rockets and utilzed Apollo Command and Service Modules they were most assurdily Apollo missions. They were part of the Apollo Applications Program that used left over lunar hardware. Sheeesh!

  6. Jemurr says:

    That’s really cool and all but how did you find the cosmonauts page to begin with? I clicked around the official website and didn’t see anything. I tried looking in the trailer too. Did I miss it? Also how did the Apollo truth site turn up? I like these things but would like to know how to find them in the first place.

  7. If you read the Bloody Disgusting article we reference, they say how the Apollo Truth site owner Tyler Gordon emailed them. For the Cosmonauts link, we were told about it, but I never learned how it was discovered. I imagine either someone was poking around or a studio source leaked it.

  8. Invivsible Roar says:

    actually if you go on the original site and click “discover” it’ll fail to load one of the pictures from the cosmonauts part.. of course i wouldn’t know if that’s just a recent addition or not P:

  9. thenarcolepsist says:

    This website is just one big jumbled mess! There are so many things that i could say, “that’s obviously false”, but then I come to another document and i say, “this could really have some truth for it”. This movie is obviously not real lost footage, but somebody did some actual research to make people like us look into it and have amusement! 

    The first thing that I interesting were all the names. So far NOTHING comes up on the names, but there is the Lunokhod doc that talks about the “strange nature” of the loss of communication with Lunokhod 2. If you don’t know what this is, then look it up. I did, and it says here that it is historically known as the furthest traveling rover on another celestial body. The story is that its lid scraped the side of a crater and got to much dust in it and ended up losing the capability to cool itself. But how is the lid going to scrape the side of a crater? the lid wasn’t that wide and there isn’t a such thing as a vertical crater! And if there is, what in the hell were the scientists doing driving their expensive toy in such a dangerous place? This is why this document intrigues me so much. It really help me look at the L-2 mission in a different way.

    The next photo was interesting because it showed that there was in installation of fiber-optic cameras on something (for lack of a better word) and all footage recorded would be not be allowed to be released. The next photo after talks about initiating some sort of air force regulation “55-88″ WHICH IS A REAL REGULATION FOR “VITAL INTELLIGENCE SIGHTING”S! This is very interesting. I looked it up and it is in fact a public document saying that if any unknown land, sea, or air vehicles are found and could possibly be of threat, the situation is to be immediately reported. This document is, in fact, a report of a “vital intelligence sighting”. The redacted names and dates obviously make it hard to determine what this means, but at least we know that there was once a use for the 55-88 regulation and the JANAP 146 directive. This makes no sense what so ever; hence forth i continue reading. 

    NOW this begins to get phony. Here there is an on-board voice transcript of the presumed “Apollo 18″ Mission. I can already tell you that either this is hard evidence of the truth or is fake. This alone takes us back to the basics of being a historian: is this source reliable? I have no idea to tell you the truth. I don’t know where these documents came from but i can tell you right now that if this REALLY is from Apollo 18 then ding-ding we have a winner. I recall this exactly in the movie but this means nothing. If anybody can verify this document as a RELIABLE source then we have something. But right now, to me, this is all apart of the illusion and the fun; it’s all for amusement. Very interesting though. I will have to continue researching.

    Please tell me your ideas. Thankyou.

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