Crew Members of 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger Are Still Alive? or a HOAX?



In 1986 my accountant from Ohio visited Florida with his young son on the day NASA’s Challenger was to blast off. As I left to meet him at a McDonald’s north of Sarasota I put binoculars on the passenger side front seat of my car just in case I caught a glimpse of the lift-off from the other side of the state.

As luck would have it, as I began to exit the restaurant’s parking lot I saw the huge rocket lifting skyward. I stopped and trained my binoculars on it. As I watched, the rocket disappeared into a white cloud bank and I waited for it to reappear above the clouds. It never did. I saw large trails of white smoke. Could it be, I thought, that the launch had malfunctioned? I turned on my car radio and, as I drove southward along the Tamiami Trail I heard the bad news. For years, I believed every word of the government’s narrative, the O-Rings, the bodies, and, as later following TV’s 9/11, Sandy Hook, and the Boston bombing, the horror of it all.

As a start in understanding the Challenger disaster hoax it is imperative to grasp the fact that all publicized Apollo missions to the moon and back in the late 1960’s until the end of December 1972 (Apollo 17) were a hugely expensive hoax. It has taken until the growth of the internet and widespread publication of purported original moon imagery, said to be photographed miles apart but containing the same exact backdrop, to put the nail into the coffin of that monstrous hoax. Anyone who still doubts this fact can begin their own research. NASA ought really to stand for Nonsensical American Space Allegations.

Soon after the late 1972 end of the Apollo hoax NASA designed the Space Shuttle program. Does anyone not realize that this project had to be constructed along the same lines as the previous venture? The time has come to separate gullibility, patriotic wishes, trust in government, credibility of news sources, and (above all) cognitive dissonance, from reality and truth. Perceptive persons must ask, “Where does this put International Space Station (ISS) narratives?” Good question. Challenger’s 1986 images, TV, and press were just one part of NASA’s space shuttles’ hoax narratives.

Following the Apollo program hoax, it was necessary to train new “astronauts” for upcoming Space Shuttle ventures. How did NASA go about finding these enterprising souls? Well, personal bravery isn’t required when one understands that it is all fun and games. Other qualifications are needed, including intelligence.

To fill these new positions NASA did not, as in Apollo, look mainly for experienced test pilots. Instead they hired Nichelle Nichols, to fill job vacancies. Nichols, having starred in popular Star Trek movies, was highly qualified for this responsibility. She was discovered by Hugh Hefner who had hired her to work in his Chicago Playboy Club. Prior to that, an accomplished singer and dancer, Nichelle Nichols had sung with jazz greats Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. Among astronauts hired by her were Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, both of whom were allegedly killed in the “disaster” of hoax space shuttle Challenger.

In maintaining a hoax, rather than killing potential whistle blowers, as needed to be done during Apollo, it was easier to work with cooperative individuals who could return to private lives. Obviously, all could easily do so except for those supposedly killed during fake “space missions”. To actually kill members of the complicit staff would potentially create serious difficulty. Who knows how others, aware of the hoax, might react? The trick was to cobble together biographies, part true and necessarily part fake, for deceased “astronauts”.

Take a quick look at just two of this crew: Michael J. Smith and Judith Resnik. Smith is said to have graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1967 and served in various U.S. Navy capacities until selected in 1980 for Space Shuttle duty. If it turns out that an existing Michael J. Smith doppelganger has credible and verifiable evidence of other activities that would have conflicted with NASA obligations during the span between reporting for space shuttle duty and the date of the Challenger’s narrative we can safely say he was not the person selected for the NASA role. Well, our doppelganger is said to have served as a research program director at the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOS) in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1974 through 1984 before becoming Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, an improbable but not impossible career move for a former U.S. Navy officer. I tried researching NIOS online but the websites were down. I bet they go back up soon.

With respect to improbable career changes, Judith Resnik is interesting. The fake space shuttle astronaut married in 1970 a former student buddy at Carnegie Mellon University where they both majored in electrical engineering. Interestingly, both were soon employed by RCA where they worked with various NASA projects connected to the company. After a few years they moved to the D.C. area because Judith’s husband had decided to go to Georgetown University Law School (talk about a career change!). The narrative is that Judith did not join him in law but enrolled at the University of Maryland, graduating in 1977 with a PhD in EE before being recruited in 1978 for NASA by Nichelle Nichols.

Although divorced from her former student buddy, they remained on good terms. Judith invited him to observe her blast-off in the maiden voyage of the space shuttle Discovery for an August to September “mission” in 1984. Thus, we have the curious picture of the lawyer coming to Florida to watch his ex-wife, a former student buddy, in a milestone blast-off during the space shuttle hoax. Obviously, Judith wasn’t in space for weeks, her televised wild weightless hair notwithstanding. Perhaps he knows where she was.

The living doppelganger is said to have graduated NYU Law School in 1975. In a year she was a lecturer and teaching at Yale Law School, a meteoric career move. She is said to have been on the faculty of University of Southern California’s Law School for seventeen years, beginning in 1980 before re-joining Yale Law School in 1997. I observe that one need not practice law, generating court transcripts, to have an illustrious law career. This strikes me as curious but I am not a lawyer so what do I know?

I know that we are living in a world of smoke and mirrors designed so well by very smart people that America’s masses, who long ago lost beneficent representative government, will remain, as George Carlin put it, “willfully ignorant”.

ADDENDUM (posted July 29, 2015):
Considerable evidence has been presented linking Judith Resnik who was killed in January, 1986 in the explosion of NASA’s shuttle, Challenger, with Attorney Judith Resnik who is a professor at Yale University’s College of Law.

There is ample pre-college background online for NASA-Judith, including a worshiping father, Marvin, and her high-school years near home in Akron, Ohio. The narrative is that she went on to study electrical engineering at
Carnegie-Mellon and then earned a PhD in EE from The University of Maryland before joining NASA and dying in the Challenger’s explosion.

There is less background online for Attorney Resnik. She emerges as a brilliant Bryn Mawr student at age 18 who graduated in 1972 and then graduated from law school at New York University in 1975.

Attorney Resnik’s resume has her leaving, in 1980, a position at Yale to teach at the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles. She remained in that area until returning east to Yale in 1997. If
that time-line for Attorney Resnik is accurate, it puts her in Los Angeles at the time of the Challenger’s explosion in January 1986. She remained in California for more than ten years.

Following Challenger’s 1986 explosion NASA-Judith’s heart-broken father, Marvin, moved in 1987 from Akron, Ohio to Encinitas, California (for the weather, no doubt) where he remained until his death in March, 2010. Prior to his death, he collected more than $2 million from the manufacturer of Challenger’s O-Rings, failure of which had been determined by NASA to have been the cause of his beloved daughter’s death.

I wonder if heart-broken Marvin Resnik ever knew that a brilliant young woman who, coincidentally, bore an uncanny resemblance to his beloved daughter, as well as carried his daughter’s name, Judith Resnik, was for more than a decade only a 90-minute drive away.

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 orbiterChallenger 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

But wait!

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 mjsmith@cae.wisc.edu



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 Social Security Death Index (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 andan 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 havedoppelgängers 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
CARL MCNAIR


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.
CLAUDE ONIZUKA


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.


Claim: The seven astronauts supposedly killed in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion are quietly living out their lives in the U.S.

FALSE

Examples: [Collected via e-mail, April 2015]


What about this silly thing about the Challenger astronauts still being alive which I have seen floating on Facebook.

Origins: On the morning of 28 January 1986, NASA lost its first astronauts to an in-space accident when all seven members of the Space Shuttle Challenger crew were lost when a booster engine failed and caused the Challenger to break apart just 73 seconds after launch. Killed in that accident were Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; and astronauts Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist.

Nearly thirty years later, in May 2015, the online world contemplated a conspiracy rumor questioning whether the Challenger crew was in fact still alive, as evidenced by the fact that persons resembling those original crew members (at the approximate ages they would be now), and bearing similar or identical names, are still living and working in the United States:


What if I 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?

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.

Itâ??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.

This exercise is an amusing example of how easy it is to weave a compelling conspiracy theory out of a few suggestive elements, but its premise defies credulity: NASA faked (for no explicable reason) the deaths of seven astronauts in a catostrophic shuttle accident, then allowed those astronauts to openly live out the rest of their lives back home without even taking the basic steps of disguising their physical appearances or real names — and nobody noticed it until nearly 30 years later.

All this conspiracy exercise really demonstrates is that you can sometimes find two people with the same name who bear a passing resemblance to each other. To wit:

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.


These two Scobees are similar in appearance, but there are distinct differences that can't be accounted for by the passage of years (such as the difference in ear shapes). Moreover, at the time that Francis Richard Scobee, the former Air Force pilot, was training with NASA as an astronaut and serving as an instructor pilot for the shuttle's 747 carrier aircraft, Richard Scobee, the current CEO of Cows in Trees, was serving as CEO and President of The Marketing Edge, Inc. in Chicago. The same man couldn't have been holding down two such disparate jobs, in two widely separated geographic locations, at the same time.


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).

Yes, the late Ronald McNair looked a lot like his brother, Carl, as many siblings do (but they're still easy to tell apart, as Carl has an obvious gap in his front teeth that Ronald didn't). And this proves what, exactly? It might be a curiosity if there were no record of the existence of "Carl McNair" until after the Challenger explosion, but that isn't the case. Are we supposed to believe that Ronald secretly took over his brother's identity after the Challenger "accident" and somehow engineered the disappearance of the real Carl? Of course, the real point of this comparison is that the creators of this conspiracy theory couldn't find a similarly named doppelgänger for Ronald McNair other than his own brother.


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.



Again, the shocking revelation that someone looked a lot like his brother. And again, the creators of this theory couldn't find a similarly named doppelgänger for one of the Challenger astronauts other than his own brother.





And now we pause for a pertinent question: Why has Gregory Jarvis been completely skipped over in this accounting of dead Challenger astronauts who are seemingly carrying on today as if nothing had ever happened to them? The simple answer is that it's because someone couldn't find any online photographs of another Gregory Jarvis who credibly resembles payload specialist Gregory Jarvis.


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.


Nobody familiar with either person would confuse these two Judith Resniks with each other, as they have very different facial structures. And while Judith Resnik the electrical engineer was engaged in work and study at RCA, NIH, Xerox, and NASA in the 1970s and 80s, Judith Resnik the lawyer was teaching law school classes at Yale and USC. How someone could have been simultaneously (not to mention secretly) holding down two completely disparate jobs at opposite ends of the country remains unexplained.


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.

Same problems: These two Sharon McAuliffes don't really look all that much alike, and while Christa McAuliffe (she went by her middle name rather than "Sharon") the schoolteacher was obtaining degrees in education from Framingham State College (Massachusetts) and Bowie State University (Maryland), teaching social studies at Concord High School (New Hampshire), and training with NASA,Sharon McAuliffe the lawyer was attending Syracuse University and working for an accounting firm in Syracuse (New York).

This conspiracy narrative concludes by claiming that there are no records in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for any of the seven Challenger astronauts:


There is no Social Security Death Index for all 7 Challenger crew members. As far as Social Security is concerned, Francis Richard Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Greg Jarvis, and Sharon Christa McAuliffe are still alive.

First of all, the SSDI is not comprehensive: That database indexes most &mdash but not all — persons who have died since 1936, had a Social Security Number (SSN), and whose death has been reported to the Social Security Administration. More important, this claim about missing records is not true: entries for at least four of the Challenger crewmembers can easily be found in SSDI searches:
All in all, we have four Challenger astronauts who looked somewhat like persons with similar names who are living today, two Challenger astronauts who looked like their siblings, and one Challenger astronaut who apparently didn't look like anyone else bearing the same name. This conspiracy rumor about still-living "dead" Challenger astronauts is some good tongue-in-cheek fun, but as an actual theory it's sorely lacking in evidence and cohesiveness.


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