Saturday, July 25, 2009
The First Plagiarism on the Moon
Gary Peach, a retired British scientist who was working at the Tidbinbilla satellite tracking station near Canberra, Australia at the time of the Apollo lunar landing, claims to have come up with astronaut Neil Armstrong's famous statement upon setting foot on the moon: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."
"The day before the Apollo mission, I was doing some final tests on the equipment," Peach told the Daily Mail newspaper on Wednesday.
"I was approached by the director, a Mr Monkton. He was an American who was in contact with Apollo. I told him I was worried about what would be said when they landed on the moon.
"I thought, being Americans, they might say: `Holy chicken s**t look at all that f***ing dust'. I felt that would not be a suitable thing to be quoted in history books until eternity.
"He asked me what should be said. I had been thinking about this. I told him: `One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind'. And I definitely said `a man'.
"What he did with my suggestion I have no idea, but he did leave immediately and at a greater pace than he had entered the room."
But I strongly protest that there was any danger of Armstrong saying anything like `Holy chicken s**t look at all that f***ing dust'. Our astronauts were too well schooled in public relations for that.
"Hey, this'd be a great place for a McDonalds," on the other hand ...
Old joke brought out of retirement for nostalgia purposes.