Are the crew members of 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger still alive?
Friends, wrap your head with duct tape (to prevent it from exploding). It’s Down-the-Rabbit-Hole time!
If you’re age 40 years or older, you’d probably remember January 28, 1986.
That was day of the Challenger disaster, when the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida at 11:38 EST. All seven crew members were killed, including five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists.
Millions of Americans (17% of the total population) watched the launch live on TV because of Payload Specialist Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space. Media coverage of the explosion was extensive: one study reported that 85% of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident.
We were told that Challenger disintegrated because of a malfunctioning O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB aft field joint attachment hardware and external fuel tank, leading to the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces broke up the orbiter.
The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. The exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown; several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. But the shuttle had no escape system, and the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface was too violent to be survivable.
The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in NASA’s shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by then President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The commission found NASA’s organizational culture and decision-making processes had been key contributing factors to the accident.
These are the names of Challenger’s 7 crew members:
- Francis Richard Scobee, Commander
- Michael J. Smith, Pilot
- Ronald McNair, Mission Specialist
- Ellison Onizuka, Mission Specialist
- Judith Resnik, Mission Specialist
- Gregory Jarvis, Payload Specialist
- Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist
What if someone were to tell you that most, if not all, of Challenger’s 7 crew members are still alive and thriving in their new professions, contrary to what we’ve been told?
That is the contention of simonshack and other contributors on the chat forum, CluesForum.info. They claim 6 of the 7 Challenger crew members are still alive; some even kept their names. Here’s their evidence. (Note: CluesForum.info referenced a short article by Darrell Foss on Opob News, “Was the Challenger disaster a hoax?,” March 2015, as their first source.)
Click pic below to enlarge
1. Francis Richard Scobee, Commander of Challenger Space Shuttle
Born on May 19, 1939, Commander Francis Richard Scobee was 46 when he died in the Challenger explosion. He would be 75 years old if he were alive today.
Strangely, there’s a man also named Richard Scobee, the CEO of a Chicago marketing-advertising company called Cows in Trees, who bears a striking resemblance (factoring in the 30-year timelapse) to Commander Richard Scobee — same high forehead, same eyebrows, same wide-set eyes that are slightly tilted down in their outer corners.
The source of the pic on the right of CEO Richard Scobee is his LinkedIn page.
If you go on Cows in Trees’ website, you’ll see an animation of a rocket-powered cow in the sky with swirling smoke shaped like the number 6, much like Space Shuttle Challenger as it was seen on TV exploding in mid-air. Wink, wink. CEO Richard Scobee sure has a sense of humor! /sarc
2. Michael J. Smith, Pilot of Challenger
Born on April 30, 1945, Challenger pilot Michael John Smith was 41 years old when he died in the explosion.
There’s a man also named Michael J. Smith, who bears a striking resemblance to astronaut Michael J. Smith — same horizontal eyebrows, same grey-blue eyes, same vertical indentation in the tip of the nose. This Michael J. Smith is a Professor Emeritus (retired) of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Astronaut Michael J. Smith would be 70 years old if he were still alive today. Well, hot diggidy damn, there just happens to be a 69-year-old Michael J. Smith (the professor?) whose addresses include Madison, Wisconsin! (He’s #74 on this LookUpAnyone list.)
3. Ronald McNair, Challenger’s Mission Specialist
Born on Oct. 21, 1950, Challenger’s mission specialist Ronald McNair, the second African-American astronaut, with a Ph.D. in physics, would be 64 years old if he had not perished in the space shuttle explosion. If Ronald (l) were still alive today, he would look just like this pic of his brother, Carl (r).
Carl McNair is an author, education consultant and inspirational speaker. He is the founder and president emeritus of the Ronald E. McNair Foundation in honor of his brother. Here’s Carl’s LinkedIn page. (Please scroll down to my Update of May 9, 2015, for the results of my search on ancestry.com for the birth record(s) of Carl McNair.)
4. Ellison Onizuka, Challenger Mission Specialist
Another Challenger mission specialist, Ellison Onizuka, the first Japanese-American astronaut, also has a lookalike brother named Claude. Born on June 24, 1946 in Hawaii, Ellison would be 68 years old today if he had not died in the Challenger explosion. If Ellison were still alive, he would look just like this pic of his younger brother Claude — same eyebrows, same eyes, same crow’s feet wrinkles, same nose, even the same hair-parting.
Claude Onizuka is a Liquor Adjudication Board Member of the Department of Liquor Control, County of Hawaii, Hilo, Hawaii. (Please scroll down to my Update of May 9, 2015, for the results of my search on ancestry.com for the birth record(s) of Claude Onizuka.)
5. Judith Resnik, Challenger Mission Specialist
Born on April 5, 1949, Challenger mission specialist Judith Arlene Resnik, with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, was the first Jewish American astronaut to go into space and the second female American astronaut. She would be 66 years old today if she had not died in the explosion.
If she were alive today, it is not difficult to imagine that after 29 years, astronaut Judith Resnik would look like Arthur Liman Professor of Law Judith Resnik at Yale Law School — dark curly hair, dark eyes, same eyebrow shape, same lines on both sides of the face extending up from the jaw.
Simonshack draws our attention to how both Judith Resnicks’ upper lips form a slight peak (on their left) when they speak:
I searched Ancestry.com for “Judith Resnik” whose birthday was April 5, 1949 (according to Wikipedia). While there are burials and obituaries for Judith Resnik who was born April 4 or 5, 1949 and died on Jan. 28, 1986 (see below the screenshot I took), I looked through Ancestry.com’s 241 death records for the last name Resnik but cannot find the SSDI for astronaut Judith Resnik or any other Judith Resnik. The only Resnik SSDIs I found are for Gerald Resnik, Paul Resnik, Sharon Resnik, Wulf Resnik, Michael Resnik, Charles Resnik, Stanley Resnik, Gary Resnik, Daniel Resnik, Donald Resnik, and Patricia Resnik. There is no SSDI for Judith Resnik.
↓ Click image below to enlarge ↓
UPDATE (Sept. 10, 2015):
Here’s a YouTube video comparing the voices of astronaut Judith Resnick and Professor Judith Resnick (h/t FOTM reader CW). They are the same woman.
6. Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Challenger Payload Specialist
Born on Sept. 2, 1948, Sharon Christa McAuliffe was a social studies teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire when she was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher in Space Project. If Challenger had not exploded, she would be the first teacher in space. If she had not died in the Challenger disaster, McAuliffe would be 66 years old today.
Well, there’s a Sharon A. McAuliffe, an adjunct professor at Syracuse University College of Law, who kinda looks like an older astronaut McAuliffe, factoring in the 30 years timelapse. Look at the cowlick of hair, sweeping from the center of their hairlines to the left side of their foreheads.
I searched Ancestry.com for the SSDI for “Sharon McAuliffe,” with the birthdate of Sept. 2, 1948. I found grave/burial indexes for Sharon Christa McAuliffe and an SSDI for a Sha McAuliffe. See screenshot I took below (click to enlarge):
Simonshack points us that “It may also be entirely coincidental” that Syracuse law professor Sharon is a cousin of Terry McAuliffe, the current governor of Virginia who was co-chairman of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Terry McAuliffe, an advocate of gun control, is also very much concerned about NASA funding issues. See here and here.
In the end we need to ask ourselves this question:
It’s one thing that one of the Challenger’s crew members resembles someone alive today. For that, we can chalk it up to a coincidence.
It’s another thing entirely that SIX members of the Challenger crew have doppelgängers who are alive, in some cases with exactly the same names (Richard Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith Resnick, Sharon McAuliffe). What are the chances of that?
You don’t have to be an expert in mathematics to know that those odds defy statistical probability.
H/t FOTM’s Martha Trowbridge
Update (May 1, 2015):
On the genealogy website Ancestry.com, I found the SSDIs of Francis Richard Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and a “Sha McAuliffe” (see above in the section on McAuliffe), but not of Judith Resnik (as I explained above in the section on her above. Here are the screenshots I took of the SSDIs of Scobee, Smith, McNair, Onizuka, and Jarvis. (Click to enlarge)
It should be said that although SSDI presumably has the imprimatur of the U.S. government, we still have reasons to be skeptical. I refer you to the curious case of Adam Lanza, who on Dec. 14, 2012, allegedly shot to death, first his mother Nancy, then 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We are told that he then shot himself in the head minutes before the police arrived at the school.
Genealogy sites such as Ancestry.com initially had Adam Lanza’s SSDI with a date of death (DOD) as Dec. 13, 2012 — one day BEFORE the massacre. Then when bloggers discovered that strange DOD, the genealogy websites quickly changed his DOD to Dec. 14, 2012. See:
- SSDI changed Adam Lanza’s date-of-death from Dec. 13 to Dec. 14, 2012 !!!
- Ancestry.com still has Adam Lanza’s date-of-death as a day before the Sandy Hook massacre
Update (May 9, 2015): The Search for 2 Brothers
I searched on Ancestry.com for a “Carl McNair,” who claims to be the brother of astronaut Ronald McNair. Carl S. McNair’s LinkedIn page says his birthdate is Dec. 16; Wikipedia’s page on Ronald McNair says his parents are Carl C. and Pearl M. McNair. So I asked Ancestry.com to search all “birth, baptism and christening” records for “Carl McNair,” born on Dec. 16, whose father is Carl McNair and mother is Pearl McNair.
Result of search: Just one record in Texas Birth Certificates 1903-1932, that of Herschel John McNair, born on 12 Oct 1912 – Rosewood, Upshur, whose father was William McNair and mother was Pearl Watkins.
In other words, according to Ancestry.com, there is no Carl McNair, brother of Ronald McNair. Here’s the screenshot I took of ancestry.com’s search results, with the time (10:18 AM) and date (5/9/2015) when I took it in the lower right corner (circled in red).
↓ Click image to enlarge ↓
Just to be sure, I re-did my search for “Carl McNair,” this time without specifying the names of the parents. There were 8,850 results. So I narrowed the search to “Carl McNair,” whose father’s last name is McNair and whose mother’s first name is Pearl. That narrowed the results to 8,980, which include all persons whose last name is McNair or similar-sounding last names, e.g., McNare, McNear, Mackner. Of those 8,980 results, I found no Carl McNair whose father’s name is (also) Carl McNair and whose mother’s first name is Pearl.
No parent names were given for these 3 Carl McNairs:
- Carl W. McNair, b. Sept 2, 1950
- Carl F. McNair, b. Feb. 9, 1954
- Marcus Carl McNair, b. Dec. 23, 1952
Since astronaut Ronald McNair was born on Oct. 21, 1950, we can rule out #1 Carl W. McNair, born on Sept. 2, 1950, as Ronald’s brother. That leaves us with Carl. F. McNair and Marcus Carl McNair.
I also asked Ancestry.com to search for the birth records of “Claude Onizuka,” the alleged brother of astronaut Ellison Onizuka. According to Wikipedia’s entry on Ellison Onizuka, his father was the late Masamitsu Onizuka, his mother is Mitsue Onizuka.
Result of search: “Your search for Claude Onizuka returned zero good matches.”
Just to be sure, I re-did the search for “Claude Onizuka,” this time without putting in the names of the parents. There were 36 results, none of which is Claude Onizuka. In other words, according to Ancestry.com, no one named Claude Onizuka had ever been born in the United States.
(Could this be the reason?)
I have no idea! But a commenter offered the most charitable explanation: that NASA knew there were problems with the Challenger, but was under political pressure to launch it. So they protected the crew members by pulling them from the Challenger without telling anyone.
Pretty incredible spike due to this post!
______________________________________________________________In older news there was no yellow cake in Iraq! 🙂
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