This was Stanley Herbrich’s big moment. “I’ll give you photographs of the back of the Moon, there’s no need to actually send anyone up there!” Hold on a moment … how on Earth (excuse the pun!) was he going to do that? We can only see the front of the Moon from here – what does the back even look like?
Stanley opened his folder and unveiled his photos. “Here are some pictures of the back side of the Moon.” And indeed, there they were – dozens of pictures of craters like you could see on the Moon … yet every single one previously unseen by mankind. Stanley had done it! Von Braun opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion – another first.
Before I reveal the tricks my uncle used … can you remember the pictures of the back side of the Moon? Probably not! That, you see, was exactly NASA’s intention, and Stanley did his job perfectly. To be honest, he simply faked the photos.
What he needed for the pictures was a rough surface, ideally grey and full of craters. And where better to find all this than on the rusty varnish of his old Dodge behind the shed of Freddy’s barber shop? Up close, the varnish looked exactly like the famous lunar craters. With his old school microscope, Stanley made hundreds of “Moon photos” which served as ideal image stock for the NASA cartography team.
They made a wonderful atlas of the “rear side of the Moon” – i.e. the damage in the Dodge’s paintwork – and Congress was satisfied. This saving alone made the financing of the Moon landing possible at all!