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  Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon (BBC/NOVA) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon (BBC/NOVA)
Buel
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posted 12-19-2012 06:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Dec. 30th on BBC 2 at 9pm there will be Chris Riley's 'biopic' of Neil Armstrong.
Neil Armstrong's family and friends, many of whom have never spoken publicly before, tell the story of the first man to set foot on the moon.

Drawing heavily on unbroadcast archive footage and the unique perspectives of the contributors, this is an exclusive account of Neil Armstrong's extraordinary life story. From his childhood during America's Great Depression to the heady days of the space programme, his historic first step on the Moon and his famously private later life. Seen through the eyes of those who were with him, discover the man behind the myth, a man who was very much a product of his time.

The film focuses goes beyond his days as an astronaut and shows that his life after the flight of Apollo 11 was, in many ways equally challenging, as Armstrong came to terms with life outside of NASA and the relentless demands of fame until his death in August 2012.

From the producers of 'In the Shadow of the Moon'. Featuring interviews with Armstrong's first wife Janet, their two sons, Rick and Mark, Neil's brother and sister Dean and June, his best friend Kotcho Solacoff and second wife Carol. Fellow astronauts Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Duke and Dave Scott also feature in this revealing biopic.

Madon_space
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posted 12-19-2012 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Madon_space   Click Here to Email Madon_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seen this advertised not so long ago but thanks for the heads up.

I for one can't wait to see this and maybe learn something new about the great man himself.

Buel
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posted 12-28-2012 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the trailer:

It looks amazing!!

Kite
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posted 12-28-2012 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the reminder, must not miss it. That was quite a trailer.

Buel
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posted 12-29-2012 02:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No problem — it looks like quite a programme doesn't it! I'm excited!

The door will be locked, the HD set to 'record', the neighbour's noisy dog will be 'silenced'.

Tykeanaut
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posted 12-29-2012 04:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ahh... a bit of culture for a Sunday night!

the clocks running
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posted 12-29-2012 07:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for the clocks running   Click Here to Email the clocks running     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish that this was on in the USA. I really want to watch it.

Apollo14LMP
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posted 12-30-2012 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo14LMP   Click Here to Email Apollo14LMP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This looks really good cannot wait to watch this one ...will bring back memories of meeting the man himself in Dublin 2003 - an unforgettable night!

Philip
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posted 12-30-2012 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Superb documentary in true BBC-style!

The late Dr Neil Armstrong's family members and friends, former astronauts spoke about an amazing man. Most surprising to me was Dean Armstrong saying that Neil showed him a paper with the words he would speak upon stepping on the lunar surface.

Very rare footage of Apollo astronauts training in a water basin to step off the LM. Also footage filmed by Neil friends before the launch day and during that 16th July 1969...

Buel
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posted 12-30-2012 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WOW! Am I right in thinking that no one, and I mean no one, knew that about THE famous words?

Chris Riley did a marvellous job there, just as he always seems to.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-30-2012 04:40 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 Philip:
Most surprising to me was Dean Armstrong saying that Neil showed him a paper with the words he would speak upon stepping on the lunar surface.
If Dean's account is correct, then he is contradicting his brother, who told James Hansen (in "First Man") that he spent no time thinking about what he would say until after he landed on the moon.

Armstrong's first wife Janet, as well as his crewmates, also told Hansen that they had no idea what Armstrong would say and that he did not discuss it with them.

Buel
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posted 12-30-2012 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does sound odd why he would say that.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-30-2012 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NBC News reports on Dean Armstrong's claim:
In a rare interview, Dean Armstrong recalled that his brother slipped him the words — including the long-disputed reference to "a man" — on a piece of paper as they played a game of Risk, months before the Apollo 11 launch in July 1969.

"He says, 'What do you think about that?' I said 'fabulous.' He said 'I thought you might like that, but I wanted you to read it,'" Dean Armstrong is quoted as saying in a Telegraph report on the documentary, titled "Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon." The show premiered tonight on BBC Two.

A.Pelago
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posted 12-30-2012 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for A.Pelago     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
However, Armstrong also persistently claimed that he never wrote those words out and signed them for anyone yet we've seen two at auction in recent years and heard of at least one other in a collection that not only look completely correct but have very good stories with them.

Paul23
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posted 12-30-2012 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a rare interview, Dean Armstrong recalled that his brother slipped him the words — including the long-disputed reference to "a man" — on a piece of paper as they played a game of Risk, months before the Apollo 11 launch in July 1969.
The only thing I would add to this was that the narration on the documentary did point out that this conflicted with what Neil Armstrong had consistently said down the years so this version of events wasn't being presented as absolute fact by the documentary makers.

I have to say I thought it was an excellent documentary and certainly one I can see me watching many more times.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-30-2012 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dean Armstrong was interviewed by Hansen for "First Man" and spoke candidly about his brother on several different topics (including Neil's religious beliefs and his passion for aviation). Why would he have withheld this story when, according to Hansen, Armstrong had given permission to his friends and family to speak openly for this authorized biography?

As far as the few "one small step" autographed items, Armstrong, in an e-mail to me, disputed the authenticity of one of the items that I thought "look(ed) completely correct." I don't think that negates Armstrong's word...

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 12-30-2012 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought the Armstrong program was excellent. The interviews with Neil's family and friends were refreshing and the candid photos and videos, many seen for the first time were excellent. Moving too. Well done Chris Riley and everybody associated with the broadcast.

Could not help but notice the physical similarities to Neil in his children, brother and sister... or was I the only one!? I must get out more.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-30-2012 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And James Hansen has weighed in on Facebook...
As much as I respect Dean Armstrong, I do not believe his recollection of this is correct.

I spent a great deal of time talking about this issue during my near-60 hours of interviews for my biography of him, FIRST MAN. Neil was the sort of man who never told lies. He might avoid or evade certain questions and answers but he never outright lied. So, he told me quite specifically and emphatically that he did not pre-plan what he would say and came up with the phrase only after the landing. That was what he told me clearly and on tape.

I think we should accept that as true and not a story his brother NEVER has told for 43 years and did not mention to me during my long interview for the book. Why wouldn't he have told that story for his brother's authorized biography?

Tykeanaut
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posted 12-31-2012 05:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
Could not help but notice the physical similarities to Neil in his children, brother and sister... or was I the only one!? I must get out more.
Maybe I should get out more too Rick, as I agree!

Great documentary though, well worth a second viewing.

Buel
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posted 12-31-2012 06:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
Could not help but notice the physical similarities to Neil in his children, brother and sister... or was I the only one!?
Totally agree, Armstrong's father too, in the photo? I think it was the shape of the mouth that they all seemed to share.

Apollo14LMP
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posted 12-31-2012 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo14LMP   Click Here to Email Apollo14LMP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Armstrong told guests in Dublin quite categorically that he did not think about the famous words till they had landed safely. He suggested that he didn't think about it till it was a reality.

He indicated that he would not have wasted time thinking about something that he may not have to do or words and sentiment to that effect.

That said why would his brother make this up?

He mentioned the game of "Risk" played before Neil moved to the cape... very difficult to call — perhaps Neil forgot about this chat with his brother?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-31-2012 07:46 AM     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 Apollo14LMP:
That said why would his brother make this up? ...perhaps Neil forgot about this chat with his brother?
Why would his brother only remember this chat after Armstrong's passing? Why is it more plausible that Neil would forgot something after 40 years rather than Dean misremember something in the same time period?

Even if Dean clearly remembers what happened, why would he reveal it now knowing it would reveal his brother was at best, mistaken about his own actions, if not (at worst) lying about it for four decades...

Steve Procter
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posted 12-31-2012 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Procter   Click Here to Email Steve Procter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe that's the point Robert. Who's to say that he only 'remembered' it after Neil's passing. Perhaps he knew all along but chose not to reveal the conversation until after Neil's death. Pure conjecture of course...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-31-2012 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Granted, but to what point?

Unless there was some secret pact between brothers to keep the story hidden until after Neil's passing (and then why not just say that?), why after 40 years go out of your way to cast doubt on not just this, but all of your brother's long-standing testimony? After all, if Neil could lie convincingly about this, what else wasn't he telling the truth about?

I have nothing against Dean, I've never met him and he may be a fine and upstanding gentleman who is telling it exactly as it transpired. I just find the choice of timing to be curious and somewhat regrettable.

Paul23
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posted 12-31-2012 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure how much difference it makes in the scheme of things.

Had Dean stated that Neil presented him with a piece of paper and said that it was what he had been told to say by higher ups then I can see that makes a difference but I don't read that as being the case here.

The words were still Neil's words whenever he came up with them. I suspect any lenghty debate on this is likely to prove ultimately fruitless as it essentially boils down to a conversation that may or may not have happened over a game of Risk between two brothers where few of us could claim to really know both parties personally over forty years ago.

Maybe the key piece of the puzzle is does anyone know if Neil Armstrong was known to enjoy a game of Risk?! Personally I'll just stick with remembering some amazing words that he spoke at a key moment of human history, whenever he came up with them!

Apollo14LMP
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posted 12-31-2012 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo14LMP   Click Here to Email Apollo14LMP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Neil played Risk quite a few times all in all ...LLRV carsh, X-15 well off course, landing on the Moon.

dom
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posted 12-31-2012 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found this a fascinating documentary that explained a lot about Neil Armstrong's reserve. It really is a shame that it wasn't made when he was still alive, as it would have changed opinions about him.

One highlight for me during the prgramme was Buzz Aldrin finally showing some humility (!) and admitting that Armstrong probably saved his life during the mission.

He said (to paraphrase): "He got me there safely and he got me back safely. I made two mistakes...but I'm not going to tell you what they were!"

Does anyone know what he refers to?

(The amateur video footage of Armstrong playing the piano at his 80th Birthday party was also priceless!)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-31-2012 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just as you regret Armstrong being mistaken as a recluse, I would caution you against assuming Aldrin is not humble ("finally showing some humility").

A closer look at his public persona and commercial activities might reveal that his motivating factor is not self-promotion but greater public awareness and support for space exploration.

dom
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posted 12-31-2012 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My point is that Aldrin finally seems to be admitting that Armstrong really was the best man for the job...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-31-2012 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has Aldrin ever suggested anything different? I don't think I've ever heard him say that he didn't feel confident in Armstrong's command.

Buel
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posted 12-31-2012 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
A closer look at his public persona and commercial activities might reveal that his motivating factor is not self-promotion but greater public awareness and support for space exploration.
Brilliant!!

dom
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posted 12-31-2012 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Has Aldrin ever suggested anything different? I don't think I've ever heard him say that he didn't feel confident in Armstrong's command.
He might have been confident in Armstrong's command abilities but he's made a good job of making his views known for the last 40 years on who REALLY should have been the 'first on the moon'.

Also, I find it hard to respect a man who charges hundreds of dollars to sign something for his "fans."

At least Armstrong had the class to stop signing autographs when it became too commercial...

Buel
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posted 12-31-2012 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have you met him, Dom?

dom
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posted 12-31-2012 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, I'll admit I haven't met Aldrin in person (I did meet Armstrong!) but Buzz's apparent obsession with money put me off when I had the chance and I decided not to...

Buel
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posted 12-31-2012 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I shared those fears but took the plunge and struck up a conversation with him at the dinner at Autographica in Birmingham. I have to tell you that he was polite, friendly and answered my questions with no problems.

I know that people have told stories of how rude/arrogant, etc. he has been, and they might well have a point... but I thought it fair to report my experience.

Regarding the fees for his autograph, this may sound harsh but I do agree with the argument that is — Those that feel it is worth it, pay it. Those who don't, don't. To me, it is that simple.

Just remember those other guys (Duke, Bean, Scott, etc.) don't exactly give them away either, you know. Now, if THEY had been the second man on the Moon, maybe their prices would be different.

Finally (and I don't mean to go on), if you were famous and you signed autographs for free and people were selling them and making a profit... wouldn't you start charging? Honestly?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-31-2012 01:17 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 dom:
Also, I find it hard to respect a man who charges hundreds of dollars to sign something for his "fans."
Aldrin continued to sign freely for thousands of fans (sometimes at just one event) for years after Armstrong stopped signing and in fact, was the only Apollo 11 astronaut willing to sign (for a fee or otherwise) for about a decade. He did that because he respected his fans.

He started charging in part because he saw the free autographs he was giving away appear for sale almost immediately, and in part to help control the demand for his autograph (he still commands a line, even at his current fees).

quote:
Buzz's apparent obsession with money
Just to come full circle, to many Armstrong appeared to be a recluse; appearances can be deceiving.

Steve Procter
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posted 12-31-2012 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Procter   Click Here to Email Steve Procter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course he played Risk. The lyrics of REM's 'Man On The Moon' quote '..let's play Risk'

Absolute proof...

Buel
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posted 12-31-2012 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ooh that's good!!!

Buel
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posted 12-31-2012 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if this would be a good moment to share some scans of the LIFE commemorative magazine I purchased in the U.S and got Glynn Lunney, Dave Scott and Ed Mitchell to give me thir opinions on Mr Armstrong.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do: Lunney | Scott | Mitchell

dom
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posted 12-31-2012 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, my initial post was actually positive when it came to Aldrin's thoughts about Neil Armstrong, so a few more modest comments like that might make me warm to him! It's not too late for him to turn his image around - just look what Armstrong did to his public profile in the last decade of his life.


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