The 20th-anniversary film clips of the Apollo...

<i> From staff and wire reports</i>

The 20th-anniversary film clips of the Apollo 11 mission haven’t changed the mind of Charles Johnson, president of the International Flat Earth Society.

The moon landing was “faked,” he claims, a conspiracy among scientists to wheedle appropriations out of the public.

Johnson--a Southern Californian, of course--is a retired aircraft worker in the desert community of Lancaster who sends out the society’s newspaper to all four corners of the Earth. He says an estimated 1,000 level-headed subscribers pay a yearly fee of $10.

Johnson labels July 20, 1969, “a day of infamy” because “since then, people have stopped believing in heaven and God. We’ve gone into a state of moral collapse.”


Why people believe the moon landing story, anyway, is a mystery to him. “Anyone flying that far would freeze to death,” he said.

After all, he explained, the moon is all of 300 miles from Earth.

No traveler appreciates sunny weather more than the driver of a solar-powered car.

So far, it hasn’t rained on the parade of the three-wheeled Solectria V, which departed from Pomona Wednesday in an attempt to cross the country in 10 days.


Driver James Worden and the other members of his team hope to soak up

enough sun to reach Las Cruces, N.M., by this afternoon. The jalopy, designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, averages about 35 m.p.h., meaning it would be more than adequate for rush-hour traffic in Southern


The race is running a day behind schedule, however. The start had to be postponed because the gas-powered trailer-truck carrying Solectria to Pomona suffered an engine breakdown. It was a sunny day, too.


The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood station is out of prisoners. But not because business is bad.

An inmate who apparently flushed a blanket down his toilet “knocked out all the plumbing,” said Sgt. Brad Kubela. “We’ve shut down for the next two or three days.”

Twelve prisoners in the station were transferred to other jails.

Police believe they know which inmate was the plumbing strangler, but said he won’t be charged because they can’t prove it. What was his motive?


“Who knows?” Kubela said. “Nobody likes being in jail.”

It seemed like the latest chilling incident in a week of violent news:

“Editors,” began the advisory from City News Service. “Paramedics and LAPD officers were sent to the Los Angeles County Art Museum . . . on a report of a person shot and wounded there.”

“All our phones lit up,” Pam Jenkinson, a museum spokeswoman, recalled later.


It turns out there was a slight misunderstanding. “We said ‘shock,’ and they (CNS) thought ‘shot,’ ” said Jenkinson. “One of our workers had a very minor electrical shock.”

And the news crews that flocked to the museum suffered a jolt, too.

Sure, meetings of the county Board of Supervisors can be deadly dull. But Supervisor Mike Antonovich, recently hospitalized with pneumonia, was happy to be back at Thursday’s special budget hearing.

Looking around the chamber, he said lovingly:


“This beats Forest Lawn.”