1201 Alarm

December 2018 will see the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8's mission to orbit the moon and put the first humans beyond Earth orbit. We've all seen many images of the Apollo missions since then, but most are from the high resolution film and 16mm movies that the astronauts shot on the missions and returned to Earth. "1201 Alarm" is a project that recreates how it was for us, back in the 1960s, watching history unfold on a black and white television.

The 1201 Alarm project is privately funded and we need your help to crowd fund the transfer of audio tapes, photographs and 8mm movie film to digital to share on social media. 

Back in 1969 on a hot July night, I watched ghostly pictures beamed back live from the surface of the moon as two Americans left the Lunar Landing Module (LEM) and became the first men to set foot on a celestial body, other than the Earth. In 1961, at the age of eight, I had become aware that the space travel I'd seen on t.v. was in fact a fiction and with reality of Yuri Gagarin's first orbital flight which filled me with wonder and awe. From then on, I followed the space race, bought books, magazines and souvenirs. By 1968 I was recording the sound track of the t.v. coverage of the Apollo programme on reel-to-reel tape recorders and photographing images from our then 405 line, black and white t.v. set. By the time of the first moon landing I was filming the t.v. with high speed standard 8mm movie film.

Above a mock up Radio Times photographed with the 8mm Bell & Howell camera used, the Apollo 10 photos collection and one of the 7 inch reel-to-reel tapes.

Most of the material that I recorded has survived and 50 years. It's a little like time travel.

The archive includes:

8mm movies of Apollo 11, 12, 13
Photographs from the t.v. of Apollo 11
Reel-to-reel audio recordings of Apollo 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13
Apollo 10 photos

The 1201 Alarm project will take this analogue archive and digitise it so that it can be shared and people can experience the space race in the way it was experienced in the 1960s. The 8mm movie content of the Apollo 11, 12 and 13 missions have now been digitised frame by frame, providing over 53,000 jpg files 1920 x 1080 pixels. These images have initially been complied into movie files and will be further enhanced.

Test sample:

Apollo 11 lift off (live)

Images from the Apollo 10 photo Album:

8mm film and the Apollo 10 photo album along with a portion of reel-to-reel audio tape.


Mark Wrigley

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