The Blair Cuspids:

Discovery, Undiscovery, and Rediscovery

Below is a report on the Blair Cuspids that Francis Ridge of the Lunascan Project wrote in the summer of 1996. He has granted us permission to repost it. Francis and Mike Lomax were instrumental in the rediscovery of the Blair Cuspids. Following Francis' report, I have reproduced the published comments of an astronomer who apparently has been trying to keep the objects in their undiscovered state - unsuccessfully, I hope.

My own parenthetical comments are interspersed through Fran's report and appear in green lettering.

Lan Fleming




Note: The images on the web site pertaining to this paper are listed as "blair1 (through 5).gif & .jpg. These were scanned by Pat Trainor from the Childress' book. The "1blair.VG" image is a much improved version, including a larger area, the photograph from Lunar Orbiter II. [Francis is referring to images on Lunascan's FTP site athat you can get to by clicking here.  It's definitely worth a visit.] The exact coordinates of the Blair Cuspids and the image, LO-2-61H3, were located through the efforts of The Lunascan Project, the National Space & Science Data Center, and the VGL Group.

Our thanks to Mike Lomax, VGL's specialist on the Sea of Tranquility, for producing and providing this image for our site. His verification group is working on an even better image to post later on.

But here's the story:

Earlier this year we ran into an old picture to use in our newsletter. It was a poor quality photo and there wasn't much said about it. The Lunar Anomaly Catalog Number was "002-ULO". Our caption stated: "'Tower' with long shadow photographed by Lunar Orbiter III in November of 1966. Region: Unknown this date. Section number not determined. Photo Number 66-H-758." Again, the photo was poor quality and the data was very limited.

We originally found the photo in an old NICAP UFO Investigator collection, the June 1971 issue. The photo was a little larger than 1-1/2"x2", very small, and printed on "canary" paper. The caption did not list which orbiter had taken the photo, but said it was taken in November of 1966 and gave the number of the photo above. The caption included this statement, however: "Scientists now believe that the lunar features casting the strange shadows are not as tall as originally assumed and therefore cannot properly be described as 'towers'. They are probably more like cubes or pyramids in shape. The shadows appear elongated because the terrain on which they fall slopes downward, away from protuberances, distorting the shadows true shapes." [This characterization of the cuspid's shapes does not seem to differ significantly from the conclusions that I reached. The profile images I constructed for three of the objects could well be characterized as pyramidal and, in the case of Cuspid 5, an oblong shape, although not low enough by my estimation to be called a cube. I wouldn't consider any of these objects to be "towers", but I also wouldn't consider them to be anything like ordinary lunar surface features. I assume that these earlier scientists didn't consider cubical and pyramidal landforms to be ordinary features of the lunar landscape, either. It's the shapes of the objects, not their size, that's unusual.]

This NICAP statement indicates a NASA source had considered them as unusual and had referred to them as "towers", at least in the beginning. I don't know how reliable the following information is, but I am providing it, along with a better photo for your consumption. As in the case of the Mars "Face" photo, there is more to the "Blair Cuspids" than seemingly tall images. NASA's explanation disregards the position and alignments. If anyone has any information on this photo, or a better copy, please contact us.

The source of most of the photos on our web site is Extraterrestrial Archeology, by David Hatcher Childress, 1994. His source was Not Of This World, by Peter Kolosimo, 1970.

The story goes like this: On November 2, 1966, NASA published an unusual photo of the Sea of Tranquility taken by Lunar Orbiter II (not LO III as stated earlier). William Blair of the Boeing Institute of Biotechnology noticed that the photo had a number of unusual objects depicted on it which cast very clear shadows. These objects appeared to be obelisks, and they threw distinct shadows from the early morning sun, similar to that which is thrown by the Washington Monument. The highest of the obelisks measured about 213 meters, while the lowest must have had the proportions of above-average spruce trees. [Mr. Childress gives a hugely exaggerated figure for the size of these objects; the largest of them, which I have referred to as Cuspid 5, is probably no more than 15 meters (50 feet) in height and the shadow itself is no more than 110 meters (360 feet) in length.] Blair analyzed the photo and came to the conclusion that seven obelisks, an extremely tall one with four smaller ones to the lower left of the larger, and then a sixth was even further back, in alignment with the first. A seventh obelisk formed a triangle with the larger 'corner' obelisks. Furthermore, a rectangular 'depression' could be seen in the lower right of the photo.

"Triangulation of the photo showed that three outer obelisks formed four obelisks created a pyramidal-prismatic form.

"Dr. Richard Shorthill of NASA spoke of the objects, now dubbed the 'Blair Cuspids' as the 'result of some geophysical event.' Blair himself responded by saying, 'If the cuspids really were the result of some geophysical event, it would be natural to expect to see them distributed at random: as a result the triangulation would be scalene or irregular, whereas those concerning the lunar objects lead to a basilary system, with coordinates x,y,z, to the right angle, six isosceles triangles and two axes consisting of three points each.'

[Note: I have not said much concerning the interesting arrangement of these objects on our web site, but anyone interested in investigating the positions can use LO2-61H3.gif (345K file). All of the objects participating in the positional relationships are in this file. One of the smaller "cuspids" at the upper left of the image, which I left unnumbered, forms one corner in all of the triangular formations, and so may be of more importance than I have assigned it.]

"What Blair calls a 'highly speculative analysis in its use of the the hypothetical co-ordinates' includes a 'ditch' or rather a vast rectangular depression to the west of the biggest spire. 'The shadow thrown by such depressions,' he stresses, 'seems to suggest four angles at 90 degrees, and the structure persuades one to think it is like an excavation whose walls have been eroded or fallen inwards.'

When asked if these things were evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence on the Moon or, at least, intelligent beings, Blair Well, I will tell you this. If asimilar thing had been found on Earth, archeology's first concern would have been to inspect the place and carry out trial excaavations to assess the extent of the discovery."

When it was suggested that special conditions might cause the observer to think of symmetrical formations where none really existed, Blair replied: "But if this 'axiom' had been applied to similar on Earth, more than half the Maya and Aztec architecture known today would have still been buried under hills and depressions covered in trees and woods, 'a result of some geophysical event'; archelogy would never have developed and most of the facts relating to human evolution would have remained veiled in mystery."


Be sure to visit the Lunascan Project's web site here.

The "Communal Brain" of Science Ponders the Cuspids (not)

Astronomer Donald E. Wilhelm, in a book on lunar research, To A Rocky Moon, University of Arizona Press, 1993, makes a passing reference to the Blair Cuspids - although he does not call them that - in a passage paying homage to the performance of scientists (well, all but one scientist, it would seem) during the American Lunar Orbiter program:

"The communal Brain of science was at work again. Sometimes the brains of individual scientists work less felicitously. A USGS astrogeologist who should have known better (and who is not named anywhere in this book) interpreted the long shadows cast by boulders under low Sun illumination as shadows of spires, and this blunder was picked up by the sensationalist press and various nuts as evidence of missiles emplaced on the Moon."

I find it highly unlikely that there are missile bases on the moon, and there have certainly been many blunders on all sides, but Dr. Wilhelm has made quite a few blunders of his own in such a surpisingly small amount of text. As described previously, I have found no evidence at all to support the bald assertion he makes that the long shadows of the Cuspids are caused by boulders illuminated at low sun angles. Further, he fails to mention the incredibly regular trench that caused me so much trouble when I tried to interpret the shadow of Cuspid 5. As Mike Lomax first observed, Dr. Wilhelm makes yet another blunder in a chapter note on the above passage where he states:

"Orbiter 2 press release dated as November 1966. The "spires" are at 4.5 degrees N, 15.3 degrees E, on frame H61, framelets 383 and 384. The press release said they were natural."

Dr. Wilhelm, in his zeal to show that he is a true believer of press releases, has accepted erroneous coordinates for the Cuspids. The position he cites is not within the area covered by LO2-61H. He would have realized his mistake had he referred to the NASA support data, and he would also have realized that his assertions about low sun angles were unsupported.

One additional remark made by Wilhelm is, I think, worthy of note: he refers to a USGS (United States Geological Survey) astrogeologist "who should have known better." This is interesting for two reasons: First, it suggests that at least one other scientist of the moon-program era besides William Blair (who was with Boeing and in biotechnolgy, not astrogeology) saw in the "Cuspids" something of an extraordinary nature. This supports the information Fran Ridge uncovered that there was in fact serious interest in some quarters at NASA in these objects. Second, Wilhem's derision of this nameless astrogeolost (and all of Wilhelm's colleagues probably know whom he is deriding) demonstrates how ridicule and ostracism are used to prop up the more bankrupt positions of the scientific orthodoxy.

VGL is an informal organization dedicated to promoting a serious debate on the question of planetary anomalies. I have no illusions that my amateur examination of the Blair Cuspids will convince anyone that these objects are the wonder of the age. I do hope, however, that what we and other similar amateur groups have been doing will bring scientists to an awareness that this is a fascinating and potentially very fruitful avenue of scientific inquiry whose pursuit could be well worth the penalties incurred by disturbing the serene contemplations of the "communal brain" of science. The reward might be, to paraphrase Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, that they will have places to go beyond belief. This small patch of ground in the Sea of Tranquility with some curious "boulders" and a rectangular trench may, perhaps, be one of them.


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