So we are back on the moon again.
I say we as in the Human Race, but in fact it’s the Chinese who have landed the first craft to touch down on the lunar surface for 40 years.
This mission, Chang 3, touched down this afternoon and immediately went to work. For three hours after the probe landed, its descent slowed and controlled by a powerful miniature rocket engine, the craft began to unpack itself, revealing a small 6 wheeled rover emerging from the craft. Already the rover has driven forward a few meters, its on board sensors and radar scrutinising the lunar surface. Data is being sent back to Earth already.
This little fellar that is roving around the moon is called Yutu – which means Jade Rabbit. In ancient Chinese stories Yutu was the pet rabbit of Chang – the moon Goddess after whom the whole mission is named.
I don’t suppose The Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) has ever heard of Robert Anton Wilson and his writings. If they had, they might have thought twice about naming the rover Yutu.
Robert Anton Wilson was the co author of the Illuminate Trilogy. A Science fiction tongue in cheek romp through conspiracy theories, Illuminate, the masons and ancient Egyptians UFOs, Alien visitations, crop circles and the whole rag bag of the alternative zeitgeist of the late 1970s. In the book, which was advertised as “a fairy tale for paranoids” the main character – Joe Malik – gets abducted by aliens and is processed and brainwashed and given a new name “ U Wacky Wabbit” and sent back to Earth.
Later in the book Wilson postulates that Rabbits and UFOs are inextricably joined in their purpose. He gave this notion a name: Lepufology and today there are several social networks who devote themselves to explore the link between rabbits and Aliens. They even have a Facebook page (although there’s not much activity)
You know how Bugs Bunny is always getting abducted by Marvin the Martian right? Bug’s in his rabbit hole and a UFO lands on top, and he climbs up into its shaft – then he runs around on Mars. You probably have never given it much thought. I wouldn’t even bother now – except – it’s the rabbits, you see.
Throughout the late 50’s and 60’s when in the new age of rockets and strange new test aircraft there were many UFO sightings and in a lot of those accounts farmers would report that rabbits were in abundance, or found dead in large numbers or were running away from the spot where the alleged spacecraft landed. Then there was the 1950’s film “Harvey” with James Stewart whose character “Elwood” had an imaginary friend “Harvey” and he was a giant Rabbit who he regarded as his guardian angel. He alone could see Harvey. The Giant 6 foot 3 inch high Rabbit had the ability to stop time just by looking at a clock.
Did you ever watch E.T.? Look at it again, the opening scene, rabbits run around in front of the camera. In “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” there are rabbits all over the area where the alien craft lands. Rabbits, Lepufologists claim, are the advance party for the visiting aliens to Earth.
All this and more was the basis for Robert Anton Wilsons assertians that UFOs and Rabbits go hand in paw. It should be also noted that Wilson, before becoming a science fiction writer was an editor at Playboy magazine, who’s logo is the loveable bunny.
There’s more. President Jimmy Carter, the only American President to claim to have seen a UFO, was attacked by a ferocious giant rabbit as he sat in a small river fishing boat in Plains, Georgia in 1979. That was enough for the Lepufologists – there was at last incontrovertible proof of a link.
Thirty years later Jimmy Carter explained that the story was mostly untrue. He fought off a terrified giant rabbit that was swimming away from dogs that were chasing it on the opposite bank. It jumped into the creek where he was
fishing from the boat and swam right towards him. He shooed it away with his oar. By the time the story had done the rounds of the local bars that night amongst the secret service and the locals, myth had become legend.
So Yutu the Jade Rabbit is busy advancing man’s knowledge of the moon in preparation for a manned mission in 3 or 4 years time.
Meanwhile, back on Earth in the Hunan province of China, some residents are not so happy about the missions. Every time a large space mission is launched debris from the separating rocket stages fall back to earth and land in their area. The Chang 3 mission is no exception as you can see in this picture.
Lastly, here are some tourists at a festival in Hunan Province, home of Chinese space debris, having their picture taken in front of a giant Rabbit.
You couldn’t make it up boys and girls, you just couldn’t.