Monday, December 14, 2009
ALEXANDRIA, VA-- Citing irregularities in pictures posted on NASA's official website on the "Who We Are" page, Northern Virginia native Phillip Johnson is calling the event a hoax. "It never happened" he says. A retired high school math teacher and Civil War reenactor, Johnson has been following the space agency for years.
The concern is over pictures taken (allegedly, according to Johnson) at NASA's annual employee picnic where the Exploration Systems division battled the Space Operations division for the Mission Directorate softball championship. "We can't have our government lie to us about what NASA is up to, or what they "claim" to be doing....ain't been softball, I'll tell you that. These pictures have been doctored."
Scanning the photos strewn across his kitchen table, Johnson then pulls a few toward him and begins to explain the evidence. "Look at the length of these shadows on the ground, It's the middle of the summer, when the sun is at it's highest...impossible." Johnson continues with excitement in his voice. "You see this lady right here?" pointing to Communications Planning Director Rachel Sampson who (allegedly) is handing out drinks to players, "Her hair is perfect and it's July...she ain't even sweating."
Johnson then sets his sites on another photo, but this time of Deputy Director of the Advanced Capabilities Division, Roger Flay, fielding a pop fly. "There aint no way this is real. Look at his extension, his vertical leap. You mean to tell me this 200lb man in his 60s has that type of agility? If you look closely you can see the wires."
A NASA spokesperson responded by saying that they hold this picnic and softball game every year and that any claims of a cover-up are not to be taken seriously. Johnson, however wrapped up the interview with this observation. "Sound Stage, definitely a sound stage. You got your lighting, industrial fans for the wind, and rigging, lots of rigging."