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  NASA hypnotized an Apollo astronaut

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Author Topic:   NASA hypnotized an Apollo astronaut
BBlatcher
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Posts: 47
From: Savannah, GA, USA
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 01-06-2012 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BBlatcher     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to this post on Vintage Space, NASA had an Apollo astronaut hypnotized, to cut down on his cursing. Supposedly the psychiatrist implanted a suggestion for the astronaut to hum, rather than curse. The mentioned blog post says it was Pete Conrad, of Apollo 12.

Is there any validity to this and can you cite sources?

moorouge
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Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-06-2012 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes - there is some truth in this. It is suggested that this accounts for Conrad's "Tum-ti-tums" on his Moon walks.

RichardH
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Posts: 11
From: Bergen
Registered: Oct 2011

posted 01-06-2012 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardH   Click Here to Email RichardH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember watching a video on YouTube (maybe it was on Al Bean's website) where Al Bean mentioned Pete Conrad's "colorful" language, he also mentioned something about them "trying" to impose a delay on the broadcast, so that any curse words could be edited out, but NASA declined that request.

I've only heard one astronaut actually curse during a mission, and that was John W. Young complaining about the potassium enriched citrus drink they drank on the lunar surface.

MCroft04
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Posts: 1219
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 01-06-2012 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe Gene Cernan had a lapse on Apollo 10 when the LM went wild. I bet there are others.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-06-2012 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BBlatcher:
The mentioned blog post says it was Pete Conrad, of Apollo 12.
For what little it's worth (it doesn't cite its sources), Encyclopedia Astronautica attributes the story to Charlie Duke.
Duke had been hypnotized to keep him from using his customary cuss words while being broadcast live from the moon, which led to his constant singing to compensate...

BBlatcher
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Posts: 47
From: Savannah, GA, USA
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 01-06-2012 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BBlatcher     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
Yes - there is some truth in this. It is suggested that this accounts for Conrad's "Tum-ti-tums" on his Moon walks.

A Man on the Moon and Rocketman attributed that to signs that Conrad was happy and busy working. Evidently he wasn't one to be quiet.

As to it being Charlie Duke on Apollo 16, is that mentioned anywhere, say in his book "Moonwalker"?

moorouge
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From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-07-2012 01:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wasn't it Duke who said, "Rats!" when he fell over on a lunar EVA?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-16-2012 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Charlie Duke confirms it was not him, nor does he know who it was (if anyone) that was hypnotized.

I also heard from Amy Teitel of Vintage Space, who said her blog was inspired by a footnote in Charles Murray's and Catherine Bly Cox's book "Apollo."

Space Cadet Carl
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Posts: 77
From: Lake Orion, Michigan
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 01-17-2012 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Cadet Carl   Click Here to Email Space Cadet Carl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone know where I can listen to the soundbyte or read the transcript of what Gene Cernan actually said when LM Snoopy started tumbling at descent stage separation on Apollo 10? I've looked for the audio and can't find it.

Lunar Module 5
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Posts: 196
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Dec 2004

posted 04-16-2013 05:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar Module 5   Click Here to Email Lunar Module 5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is some discussion here about some of the language used on Apollo 10. The clip of Gene's comment is at about the 8.40 mark.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 555
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 04-16-2013 07:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cernan did indeed say "son of a (expletive deleted since this is a family website)" after staging. It went out live, and I know this because I've seen the CBS coverage of that moment. The version of the CBS coverage that's on YouTube apparently has it cut out, but I've seen the unedited version and it's there.

Cernan just sort of blurts it out - it's not screamed or shouted the way you'd think, but says it so quickly, in a tone that's as much annoyed as surprised, that you almost miss it. It's followed a few seconds later by Cernan saying, "Okay, let's burn on the AGS." About three minutes later, after a litany of readouts and when things have started to stabilize, Cernan says, "I don't know what the hell that was, babe." It's actually a little underwhelming to hear, if you can believe it.

Headshot
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Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 04-16-2013 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember hearing Cernan's SOB exclamation live. My father and I were startled that we actually heard something like that on TV (remember this was back in 1969 when that sort of stuff did not come over the television set). I quickly realized that something "bad" had happened, but the "problem" seemed to be corrected quickly.

Of course the exclamation was not mentioned by the commentators and the "SOB" audio clip was not replayed a gazillion times. In fact, for the longest time, I believe the only unedited source for that crisis was the Time-Life LP set To The Moon.

Cernan's book describes the negative fallout he faced for swearing on the air. Perhaps this fallout registered on Pete Conrad. I am certain NASA management picked up on it.

Chariot412
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Posts: 90
From: Lockport, NY, 14094
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-16-2013 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chariot412   Click Here to Email Chariot412     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lunar Module 5:
The clip of Gene's comment is at about the 8.40 mark.
Gosh, was that what I thought it was at 8:40 on your link?! I knew about the SOB, but that almost sounded like an F-bomb. Am I mistaken? Golly geepers...

Glint
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Posts: 747
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 04-16-2013 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Headshot:
I remember hearing Cernan's SOB exclamation live.
Same here. I ran home from school fast to catch Snoopy's plunge toward the lunar surface on CBS. When I heard the LMP, I couldn't believe my young tender ears!

Lunar Module 5
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Posts: 196
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Dec 2004

posted 04-16-2013 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar Module 5   Click Here to Email Lunar Module 5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes I do think that Gene definitely said the F word... unless my ears deceive me!

Mind you... the comm was pretty bad, which is what he was eluding to!

Lunar Module 5
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Posts: 196
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Dec 2004

posted 04-16-2013 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar Module 5   Click Here to Email Lunar Module 5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the SOB comment — it is heard in full during the coverage here at about the 36:58 point - hope that what you have been wanting to see again, as I believe that is the unedited version as seen live that day.

Headshot
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Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 04-16-2013 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the F-bomb really Cernan's?

For some reason, over the years, I always thought it was Stafford's. I do not remember what put that in my head, but that thought is really stuck in my mind.

Lunar Module 5
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Posts: 196
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Dec 2004

posted 04-16-2013 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar Module 5   Click Here to Email Lunar Module 5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It sure sounds like Cernan! More than Stafford!

Headshot
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Posts: 182
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 04-16-2013 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe you're right LM-5. Just watched/listened to the YouTube segment (talking about bringing back memories!!!) and it sure did not sound like Stafford.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 555
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 04-17-2013 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks to LM-5 for finding that clip. That was an upload I wasn't aware of (it's truly frightening how much is out there just waiting to be discovered!).

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 04-17-2013 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I listened to it on a headset and it didn't sound like an F-bomb to me due to its weird pronunciation. It sounded more like "poo-awk". Or perhaps Gene was trying to combine "phooey" with a k on the end.

I wouldn't read much into it in any event. The SOB comment when the craft started gyrating is what got him into trouble and it was relatively clean compared to what it could have been.

All times are CT (US)

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