The first step on the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong was said to be “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But for many of the twelve men who’ve been there, that “one small step” completely changed the way they saw the world. Some returned feeling as if they’d experienced enlightenment. Others spent the years following their lunar exploration depressed and hiding from the press. Some say that those quiet astronauts saw things the others hadn’t – secret things that they were asked to cover up.
After stepping on the moon, Buzz Aldrin’s life fell apart. He went into a deep depression. His marriage of 21 years ended. He remarried and was divorced again within two years. He became an alcoholic. Within a few years, the former astronaut found himself selling used cars to make a living. When approached by the press, he seemed agitated and reluctant to share details of his mission.
Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is also said to have been reclusive and possibly withdrawn. He also frustrated interviewers with his refusals and extremely private nature.
Many people have wondered why they would struggle after such an achievement. Some believe it was because the entire moon landing was a hoax. Some think they saw proof of alien life but it was kept quiet. Buzz did say in one interview that he observed a light moving alongside the ship. Others think that Buzz was just jealous at being the second man on the moon and Neil had always been quiet. We may never know because NASA erased the original moon landing footage.
Whatever caused their depression, the truth is that there are many oddities about the moon. It has been a source of fascination since the dawn of humanity. Many ancient peoples worshipped it as a god or told legends about it. The Zulu tribe of Africa, for example, tells of two alien brothers who towed the moon into place and gave us the rhythms of the Earth.
Even today, its mysteries tantalize our minds. For example, the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun and 400 times closer to the Earth. Because of this mysterious coincidence, when the moon passes in front of the sun during an eclipse, the moon completely blocks the much bigger sun.
Yet scientists say that if the moon were not as it is, life may not have evolved past the sea. The moon affects the tides, and the tides made it possible for some sea creatures to reach land, where they eventually evolved into land animals.
Robotic landers sent by billionaires looking to mine the moon for gold and other resources are slated to begin as early as 2020. Perhaps some of its secrets will be revealed then.