From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4_at_msn.com)
Date: Thu Jul 06 2006 - 09:49:49 PDT
Lost Apollo 12 (Recovery) Film Discovered
POSTED: 1:13 pm PDT July 5, 2006
UPDATED: 1:41 pm PDT July 5, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO -- Part of the history of Apollo 12 has been missing until
In November 1969, Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon and Alan Bean became the
crew to explore the moon and return safely to earth.
Two weeks ago, a discovery at the bottom of an old box showed, for the first
time, the final and exciting moments of the mission. It came inside a
16-millimeter film reel.
A film of the successful landing had unknowingly been stored away by the
mission's helicopter pilot. He had no idea that he had in his possession the
only copy of the landing. Once he discovered what the film contained, he
immediately sent it to the USS Hornet's historian in Alameda.
Bay Area resident Rolf Sabye took part in the recovery of the space capsule
in 1969 as a crewmember of the USS Hornet. He still works on the USS Hornet
today. Sabye was at the ship's helm when the Hornet picked up the Apollo
and its three astronauts.
Sabye told NBC's San Jose affiliate, "We had rehearsed night and day with a
dummy capsule to have the entire maneuver perfect so when the actual capsule
landed, we didn't run over the darn thing."
While Sabye had the perfect view of the operation from the ship's bridge,
rest of the world could only imagine what it was like, until now.
For Sabye, he said watching the footage brings back the excitement of it
Sabye said, "The perspective of a 20-year-old is a little different. We all
realized how important it was, but it is a little different then and now.
Looking back, I realize it was a really big chunk of history that I was
witnessing and taking part in."
Sabye said he will send a copy of the film to the two surviving astronauts.
will also send a copy to NASA.
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