Honorable Mention General Fiction at 2003 Eric Hoffer Book Awards
Elvis has left the planet!
Have you heard that NASA faked the moon landing? Well, you have not heard it like this!
The first and only novel that tells the TRUE story of the first moon landing. Cleverly merging the Apollo 11 mission with the death of Marilyn Monroe and the assassination of JFK while explaining all those Elvis sightings. You won't find a more amusing story than this one!
Described by the Midwest Book Review as “a wonderful romp in never-land,” “patently absurd” and “certainly original” this book will interest anyone intrigued by all those conspiracy theories that are constantly emblazoned on the pages of the supermarket tabloids. And more importantly, it’s the perfect book for anyone looking to put a little humor into their life.
Not a book about Elvis Presley, ELVIS AND THE BLUE MOON CONSPIRACY tells the story of how our government, the press and our national icons interact through the power of television.
Months before man landed on the moon in 1969, NASA Administrator and former JFK advisor Jack Monroe thought the mission needed a slight touchup. He turned to Peter Dixon, his second-in-command and an avid Elvis fanatic, and together this dynamic pair concocted a spectacle that would honor the pinnacle of human achievement: a lunar celebration to cap the space race with an outer space gala called Operation Blue Moon. To make it happen, they needed to hire the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.
Dani Mitchell is a young, ambitious journalist from The Sensational Nation whose recent breakout interview with the Dalai Lama earned critical acclaim. Her next assignment is an exclusive one-on-one with Elvis - but the King is nowhere to be found.
With Monroe and Dixon standing in her way, Dani embarks on a mission to track down Elvis Presley. Was Neil Armstrong the first man to walk the moon? Or was it somebody else? In the final days before the first moon landing, Dani will find her way to the bottom of NASA's mysterious Operation Blue Moon and learn the true story of Apollo 11.
The limousine parked outside the White House. Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman greeted Monroe and Dixon as they emerged from their limo, then led them through security and into the halls of the mansion. As they walked to the West Wing, Haldeman told the NASA men, "The President is looking forward to the meeting." Then Haldeman spoke directly to Monroe. "We all know what a terrific job you did with JFK."
Monroe cleared his throat and nervously straightened his tie. Few knew the full extend of Jack Monroe's relationship with the former president, and it was those exact few that Monroe and Dixon were about to meet.
President Nixon came out of the Oval Office and met the two NASA officials in the secretary's anteroom. "A pleasure to see you again, Dr. Monroe. We were just discussing the exceptional work you did with JFK."
"Thank you, Mr. President."
Then the President turned to Dixon. "And you must be Peter Dixon."
"Yes, sir," Dixon replied.
Jack said, "I recruited Peter in 1964 out of the DOD. He's one of the best strategic thinkers you'll ever meet."
Nixon quietly sized up Dixon and then ushered everyone into the Oval Office. Dixon was surprised to see Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sitting on two couches, awaiting their arrival. President Nixon introduced everyone and the six conspirators got down to business.
As Jack Monroe took his seat beside the Secretary of State, Hoover inspected him from the opposite couch. The FBI had a thirty-one page file on Dr. John P. Monroe. Eighteen pages were classified. Hoover knew the content of those classified pages and had nothing but the utmost respect for the doctor.
Now Nixon offered the floor to Peter Dixon who started to outline the details of Operation Blue Moon. He told them how NASA would sneak Elvis Presley onto the Saturn V rocket without word leaking to the public. How he would be trained in secrecy so that the public thought Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins constituted the entire Apollo 11 crew.
They'd keep Elvis silent and off camera throughout the duration of the trip. Hoover assured the two NASA men that the FBI could plug any leak in a matter of hours. Television broadcasts would run on a short delay and mission footage would be altered to suit the surprise concert before it was beamed to the masses via satellite.
"There is just one thing," Kissinger mentioned as he fiddled with his tie. "How do you expect Elvis Presley to play guitar when he's hunched inside that spacesuit?"
Dixon cursed himself. How did he forget about that?
Monroe covered wonderfully. He said, "Our engineers are highly competent. We're adjusting for every contingency." Nixon was close to believing that Operation Blue Moon would be possible. The President glanced at Kissinger who nodded his approval. J. Edgar also signaled okay. Nixon saw that Bob Haldeman had already decided, as the Chief of Staff was perched on the edge of the couch, awaiting the President's decision.
"Elvis Presley," Nixon pondered. "The Concert in the Sea of Tranquility, 1969. It could go down in history as one of the most spectacular moments of all time."
Monroe nodded. "That was out assessment as well."
The President was still undecided. Dixon knew this was their only chance to receive a "Go" for the great mission, and now Nixon was on the fence. Dixon decided it was time to play the ace in the hole. He said, "Perhaps we could capitalize on merchandising." The others listened curiously as Dixon explained. "We can market T-shirts that say 'Concert From the Sea of Tranquility.' And we can sell Lunar Elvis action figures to kids."
Monroe winked at Dixon, urging him to continue with this fresh, brilliant idea.
Dixon said, "We can market a 'Greatest Moment of All Time' coffee mug. And the world will definitely need a 'Get Elvis to the Moon and Back' board game. It could generate millions in political capital."
The President's men drooled at the thought.
It was no longer a tough decision for the President. "It's a terrific idea," he smiled. "Elvis Presley is the first man on the moon. Is there any better way to win the space race?"
Monroe and Dixon both said, "No, Mr. President."
President Nixon smiled at Jack Monroe. "I shall be the one to reveal Elvis to the world. To be Master of Ceremonies, so to speak. I will place a phone call to the moon and greet Neil and Buzz. Then on worldwide television I will announce our very, very special guest star."
Monroe sincerely appreciated the President's gesture. "Yes, sir," he said. "It would be our pleasure."
"Then I wish you the best of luck. Operation Blue Moon is approved."
The meeting was adjourned. Nixon shook hands with Monroe, then everyone shook hands with everyone else. The President walked Monroe and Dixon to the door. "I will give Mr. Presley a call tonight. I'll remind him that he once served his country and that we'd be honored if he served it again."
"Perfect, Mr. President," Monroe agreed. "You soften him up so Peter and I can swoop in tomorrow with his paycheck and a contract."
Dixon felt a new weight on his shoulders and that cramp in his stomach again. Nixon said, "Keep me posted on all developments."
"Yes, sir," they nodded.
Then the President leaned in close. "Gentlemen," he whsipered.
Elvis and the Blue Moon Conspiracy
Robert O. Barclay
Midwest Book Review
"Elvis and the Blue Moon Conspiracy" begins in 1999 with a series of Elvis sightings, the sort that appear in the tabloids on a regular basis--the ones that tell us that Elvis is still alive. Then we are swept back in time to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida wheree two top planners for NASA are discussing preparations for the Apollo 11 launch. The two are talking over cocktails and worrying about the upcoming walk on the moon. One says: "we need to gaurantee that mankind is witness to the Super Bowl of historic events." How will they do this? They'll put Elvis on the moon--what else? As improbable as this may seem, these two begin seriously to put their plan into action.
Next we have a flashback to 1960, to a remote Maasai village in Tanzania. Because the Maasai have become so enamored with the music of Elvis, Moja, one of the tribesmen, decides to carve a two foot ivory statue of "The King". This sacred idol becomes a symbol for the village and through a complex set of events, which includes a National Geographic photographer named Scott Ritcher, the statue makes its way back to America where it ends up in the Jungle Room at Graceland.
Now the story shifts to New York City where we meet an ambitious young reporter, Dani Mitchell, who is looking for her next story. She works for a tabloid called, The Sensational Nation and has just gotten special recognition for her exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama. Her next assignment is to Graceland where she is viciously cut off by Peter Dixon's limo, one of the two men plotting to put Elvis on the moon.
Now we have the beginnings of a wonderful romp in never-land. The whole idea of Elvis on the moon is patently absurd, but the author has peppered his story with enough real facts and detail to make you want to believe it--at least some of the time. The reader will enjoy meeting a wide variety of delightfully crazy characters. In fact one of them is actually committed to a mental hospital in upper state New York.
The writing is sound, the story is fun, the characters are complex, and the idea is certainly original. If you've ever been intrigued by all those conspiracy theories that are constantly emblazoned on the pages of the supermarket tabloids this will be an interesting read.
I know that I'll probably be burned at the stake for heresy, but Elvis was not my favorite singer. Oh, I'll admit that he is an American icon who changed the music industry and I'll admit to enjoying some of his movies when I was a youngster, but I certainly didn't get all goose-bumpy at the mention of his name. Still, I read "Elvis and the Blue Moon Conspiracy" with delight and got a good chuckle out of the ending when the author reveals the "real" story behind JFK and the mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe.
This is not great literature, but it is definitely entertaining. I give it high marks for originality and can honestly recommend it to anyone looking to put a little silliness into their lives. Smile it's good for you.