51 years after Apollo 11, many still think Moon landing was faked; why the conspiracy theories don’t stand

Between 1969 and 1972, six Apollo missions brought back 382 kg of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. All of the tests have confirmed that they did come from the Moon

 51 years after Apollo 11, many still think Moon landing was faked; why the conspiracy theories don’t stand
(NASA)

Fifty-one years ago, the historic Apollo 11 mission landed the first human beings on the Moon. An estimated 650 million people watched astronaut Neil Armstrong’s televised image and heard his voice describe the event, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” on July 20, 1969. According to NASA, the astronauts left behind an “American flag, a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew, and a plaque that read, ‘Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind’.” Though the first Moonwalker has died, conspiracy theories claiming that the Moon landings were a hoax and that they were faked, live on. How did the Moon landing conspiracy theories start and what are they?

When did the conspiracies begin?

According to reports, theories that the Moon landing was a hoax that the US government had staged to win the space race with the Soviets began to gain traction in the 1970s.

Bill Kaysing, a former US Navy officer, claimed that he had inside knowledge of a government conspiracy to fake the Moon landings. He wrote, “We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle,” in 1976 and many conspiracy theories about the Apollo Moon landings can be traced to this book. “The basic template of the conspiracy theory is that NASA couldn’t manage to safely land a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s as President John F Kennedy had promised, so it only sent astronauts into Earth orbit. Conspiracy theorists then argue that NASA staged the Moon landings in a film studio and that there are tell-tale signs on the footage and the photos that give the game away. They claim that NASA has covered up the elaborate hoax ever since,” writes Peter Knight, professor of American Studies, University of Manchester.

The rise of conspiracy theories has also been attributed to a breakdown in trust between the US government and its citizens. In 1971, for example, the Pentagon Papers showed that the government had repeatedly lied about the Vietnam war. In 1976, a House committee concluded that there was a high chance that there had been a conspiracy to kill John F Kennedy. “That Kaysing’s conspiracy theory took hold in mid-1970s America is in large part due to a wider crisis of trust in the country at the time,” says Knight.

With the 1978 Hollywood film ‘Capricorn One,’ the conspiracy theory got more steam. The plot revolved around the government deceiving the American public into believing that they had landed a manned mission on Mars. “It imagined that a Mars landing was faked in a film studio, tapping into conspiracy rumors that the Moon landings themselves had been directed by Stanley Kubrick. This suggestive myth is based in part on the idea that special effects had become much more sophisticated with Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001 A Space Odyssey, although still far from the capabilities that the conspiracy theories suppose,” explains Knight.

In February 2001, Fox Broadcasting ran a documentary titled “Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?” According to an article on Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s website, after the Fox program first aired, NASA released a one-paragraph press release, “Apollo: Yes, We Did.” It said, “To some extent debating this subject is an insult to the thousands who worked for years to accomplish the most amazing feats of exploration in history. And it certainly is an insult to the memory of those who have given their lives for the exploration of space.”

While these claims were false and easily debunked, they have persisted to this day. Bull. Public opinion polls over the years regularly show that about 5-6% of Americans believe the Moon landing was faked, Roger Launius, NASA’s former chief historian, told AP last year.

Official crew photo of the Apollo 11 Prime Crew. From left to right are astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot. (NASA)

Debunking the conspiracy theories

One question that Moon-hoax enthusiasts often ask is why is the US flag fluttering on the surface? That would be impossible since there’s no air on the Moon, they say. The US flag is fluttering because it has a metal rod sewn into it to give it the appearance of moving in the ‘wind.’ “These flags had a horizontal rod inside to make them stick out from the flagpole. The Apollo 11 astronauts had trouble extending the rod all the way, and in still pictures, this creates a ripple effect that makes the flag look like it’s waving in the wind. In video images of the flag, you can see it only moves while the astronauts are grinding it into the Moon’s surface. After the astronauts step away, it stays in the same bent shape because of the partially-extended rod,” explains History.com.

No stars in the sky in the moonwalkers’ photograph is another argument. According to experts, the daylight on the surface washes them out, just like it does on Earth. The lunar landscape is brightly lit by the Sun, and astronauts were wearing white space suits that are highly reflective. To capture a bright object with a bright background, the exposure time must be fast. Stars are faint objects, and in the fast exposure, they do not have time to register on the film. “The shutter speeds on the astronauts’ cameras were too fast to capture the faint light of the stars, astronomer Emily Drabek-Maunder at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London said. NASA used high shutter speeds to make sure the pictures weren’t overexposed from the bright light on the Moon,” says the AP report. Another popular conspiracy theory is not being able to see the astronauts holding a camera, so who took the pictures. This is because the camera was mounted on the front of the astronauts’ spacesuit.

People also say that Moon landing is fake because the shadows are not right, indicating that artificial light was used. But the problem with this theory is that besides the Sun, the lunar ground also reflects light. “In the Apollo 11 pictures, the sunlight is being scattered or reflected off the ground every which way, and some of it — a small fraction but enough to be able to see — scatters into the shadows,” Rick Fienberg, the press officer for the American Astronomical Society, tells Hisotry.com. This is the reason why in some pictures, one can make out a plaque that Armstrong and Aldrin left on the Moon even though it is lying in shadow.

Apollo 11 launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (NASA)

People also ask why in all the pictures taken by the astronauts, the shadows are not black. They argue that if the Sun is the only source of light on the Moon, and there is no air to scatter that light, shadows should be black. American astronomer Phil Plait explains, “The lunar dust has a peculiar property: it tends to reflect light back in the direction from where it came. So if you were to stand on the Moon and shine a flashlight at the surface, you would see a very bright spot where the light hits the ground, but, oddly, someone standing a bit to the side would hardly see it at all. The light is preferentially reflected back toward the flashlight (and therefore you), and not the person on the side.”

Why do you see footprints in the pictures, but no marks from the lunar modules that landed there? There are footprints but no impressions from the modules because the weight of the modules was more evenly distributed than the astronauts’ weight, which was in their boots. Further, since the Moon has no atmosphere, liquid water or wind erosion, the footprints remain.

And there is more evidence. Between 1969 and 1972, six Apollo missions brought back 382 kilograms (842 pounds) of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface. All of the tests have confirmed that they did come from the Moon. “The six space flights returned 2,200 separate samples from six different exploration sites on the Moon. Besides, three automated Soviet spacecraft returned important samples totaling 300 grams (approximately 3/4 pound) from three other lunar sites. The lunar sample building at Johnson Space Center is the chief repository for the Apollo samples,” says NASA.

In 2009, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, returned its first imagery of the Apollo Moon landing sites. The pictures show the Apollo missions’ lunar module descent stages sitting on the Moon’s surface, as long shadows from a low Sun angle make the modules’ locations evident. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, was able to image five of the six Apollo sites. “Not only do these images reveal the great accomplishments of Apollo, they also show us that lunar exploration continues,” said LRO project scientist Richard Vondrak of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, in a statement.

(source: https://meaww.com/51-years-apollo-11-people-think-moon-landing-faked-conspiracy-theories-dont-stand )

Donald Trump unveils U.S. Space Force official flag

https://www.stripes.com/polopoly_fs/1.629921.1589567533!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_900/image.jpg

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force unveiled its service flag on Friday, when top Pentagon officials presented President Donald Trump with the sixth military branch’s official colors during a private Oval Office ceremony marking Armed Forces Day.

In photos tweeted out by a Reuters photographer, Trump is seen smiling as the Space Force’s senior enlisted leader, Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, holds up the new flag representing the military service charged with carrying out the Pentagon’s space-based operations. The new service was officially stood up in December when the president — who championed the force’s cause even as some Pentagon leaders initially pushed back on it necessity — signed a law mandating its creation.

The brief ceremony was open only to the daily White House press pool, which includes a reporter and news photographer who share details of the event with other media members. The pool photographer, Steve Holland with the Reuters news agency, shared the photo from inside the Oval Office, revealing the black flag for the new service — the first new military branch in 72 years.

Among people attending the ceremony were the Space Force’s top officer Gen. Jay Raymond, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said the flag reveal was “a very historic moment,” according to a pool report.

Raymond, the chief of space operations, told Trump that the prominent star design on the black and platinum-colored flag represented the North Star, which “signifies our core value, our guiding light.” (source: https://www.stripes.com/news/us/space-force-unveils-its-service-flag-at-white-house-ceremony-1.629914 )

Over half of British millennials believe the moon landings were faked

A poll of 2,000 Brits found that people aged between 24-35 were the least convinced that Neil Armstrong really was the first man to walk on the lunar surface in July 1969

Six in every 10 millennials reckon the moon landings were faked.

A poll of 2,000 Brits found that people aged between 24-35 were the least convinced that Neil Armstrong really was the first man to walk on the lunar surface, in July 1969.

The Apollo 11 mission was watched by a global audience of 650million people.

But millennials reckon the landing was staged by America in its battle for dominance in space with the Soviet Union.

Asked if they reckoned it was possible for the landing and subsequent missions to the moon to have been faked, 64% of them said yes.

And 62% of younger people aged 16 to 24 agreed with them.

But only 45% of those aged 55 or older said the same, research by ToppCasinoBonus.com found.

Bill Kaysing, a former US Navy officer, was one of the first conspiracy theorists. In his 1976 book on the landings he claimed: “It’s just against all statistical odds.”

Roger Launius, a former chief historian of Nasa, said that everyone “loved conspiracy theories”.

He added: “Every time something big happens, somebody has a counter-explanation.”

The poll also found millennials were the most likely age group to believe that the world is controlled by lizards, with 12% thinking it
was true.

Conspiracy theorists point to photos and footage of moon landings and ask why there are ’no stars’ in the sky or why the American flag is ‘flapping in the breeze’ when there is no wind or atmosphere on the lunar surface.

Others simply ask why we haven’t exploited the moon’s resources by going back time and time again, and even setting up a human colony there – despite it being more than 50 years since the first landing – or what there is no ‘blast crater’ under the landing module.

The Apollo 11 mission was watched by a global audience of 650million people (Image: AP)

(source: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/real-life/over-half-british-millennials-believe-21652869 )

Did we land into a lie? A closer look at 1969 moon landing conspiracy theories

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Alexis Leone, Staff Reporter
February 14, 2020

The moon landing, one of the biggest events in history, was an extremely world-changing experience. The very moment the first men took a step onto the surface of the moon while the world watched in awe on July 20th, 1969, was the moment people knew technology was going to evolve dramatically. Sending humans to the moon was a major accomplishment. What if, however, this breakthrough was too good to be true? Many out there lurking within the pages of the internet or wherever theorists thrive believe that we may have never even been to the actual moon and that Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz “ Aldrin never took Apollo 11 on the expedition. Why was it that so many believe that something so outstanding could have never taken place?

American writer Bill Kaysing was the first of the theorists to not buy the televised moon landing on July 16-24th 1969 and was formally employed by Rocketdyne and helped design rocket engines. He claimed NASA was not technologically capable of sending humans to the moon successfully or at least make it to the moon and back without issues. His theory evolved from a thought to a conviction, and he later wrote a pamphlet in 1976 titled, “We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle.”

One of his most voiced pieces of evidence was that he had worked within the engineering institute that tested the engines and had witnessed many failures. This was the ‘60s and ‘70s: did they really have the correct technology to pull off a stunt as big as sending humans into space? Kaysing’s main point was they could not have taken humans to the moon due to the lack of the right technology at the time. Another thing mentioned to the public was that it seemed that there were no stars present in the pictures provided by NASA. Kaysing argued that if they had truly gone to the moon, there would surely have been some stars present within the pictures. It could have likely been a faulty lighting mistake. However, due to the amount of light they are exposed to in space, the sheen is explained to likely have blocked out any tiny specks we know as stars from being caught on camera. It is uncertain whether this was what had occurred.

An article on Gizmodo on the topic claimed that by the 1970s, around 30 percent of the public did not believe the moon landings were real. many skeptical and beginning to wonder if the government was being real with them. Bill Kaysing had become the main founder of the landing hoax movement, pulling up connections between director Stanley Kubrik and the televised moon landing. He claimed Kubrik’s special effects for film “Space Oddity” (2001) were highly convincing, making some people, including Kaysing, believe that Kubrik could have been in on directing the fake set for the Apollo landings. While more started to notice more film connections in movies such as “Capricorn One” (1978) wherein the movie, the Mars landing is faked in a film studio, giving the theories some light. There was also a mention of how blank-faced the astronauts seemed once they had arrived home, almost as if they didn’t have much to experience.

Many theories revolve around the landings, in part due to the internet. Some of the more specific details include things that were picked out from the footage. In the video of the moon landing, the flag appears to be waving in the wind as it is planted in the moon’s soil, which is impossible in space. Additionally, the letter C appears to be engraved on a moon rock somewhere in the film. These are two of the many more minor things people have paid attention too. People who disagree with this conspiracy may recall seeing the rocket blast off, to which theorists say that NASA likely just sent them up into the earth’s atmosphere and no further.

Could all this evidence have any sort of accuracy? Was the urgency to send people to the moon as the end of the decade approached at the president’s desire a push towards fraud to make it possible? Were the tapes just a scripted movie directed program that we had believed was live from another universe outside of ours? Perhaps we wanted something we couldn’t achieve far too soon. It’s really all up to our own opinions; we may never truly figure it out.

(source: https://rbclarion.com/top-stories/2020/02/14/did-we-land-into-a-lie-a-closer-look-at-1969-moon-landing-conspiracy-theories/ )

Bart Sibrel: Moon Landing 50th anniversary

What the notoriously corrupt United States federal government is claiming is to have sent men to the moon in 1969, on the very FIRST attempt, even though right here on earth Mt. Everest and the South Pole took NUMEROUS tries before success, allegedly accomplishing this amazing feat with FIFTY YEAR OLDER technology (a cell phone has ONE MILLION times more computing power than ALL of NASA did back then), yet FIFTY years later the farthest NASA can now send astronauts from Earth is only 1/1000th the distance as claimed half a century ago, despite there being five decades more advancements in rockets and computers.

If Toyota claimed they made a car FIFTY years ago that could travel 50,000 miles on one gallon of gasoline, yet today their best car can only go 50 miles per gallon, or 1/1000th the distance, would not their forgery be incredibly obvious? If it were not for people’s emotional attachment to the fifty year unrepeatable moon landing claim, also with only 1/1000th the distance capable five decades later, they would otherwise easily recognize it as the fraud that it sadly is.

The alleged moon landings are the only technological claim in the entire history of the world, such as the first automobile, airplane, or nuclear power, which was not far surpassed in capability fifty years later, much less could not be duplicated by any nation on earth fifty years later. The supposed moon landings are also the only time in the entire history of the world that such claimed breakthrough technology was deliberately destroyed afterwards, actually only done so to hide the evidence of their fraud.

Seeing how it is IMPOSSIBLE for technology to go backwards and today NASA can only send astronauts 1/1000th the distance from the Earth as was claimed FIFTY years ago on the very FIRST attempt with FIVE DECADES OLDER technology, the only remaining conclusion is that the 1969 claim was a government forgery. It is that simple.

MIT Science Reporter — “Landing on the Moon”

This 1966 MIT Science Reporter television program details the development and construction of the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), the only vehicle of the three Apollo spacecraft modules that actually lands on the moon. Project engineer Thomas Kelly gives a tour of the LEM at Grumman Aircraft in Long Island, NY, and demonstrates the LEM Automatic Checkout System, while test pilot Robert Smyth demonstrates the lunar landing simulator via an electronic computer-controlled model of the Moon. The program is presented by MIT in association with WGBH-TV Boston, and hosted by MIT reporter John Fitch; it was produced for NASA. MIT Museum Collections.

Operation Avalanche (2016 Movie) – Official Trailer

In 1967, during the height of the Cold War, two young CIA agents (Matt Johnson and Owen Williams) go undercover at NASA to investigate a possible Russian mole. In disguise as documentary filmmakers, they tap phones and break into offices while purporting to learn more about the Apollo project. But when they end up uncovering a shocking NASA secret — and a major government cover-up — they decide to embark on a new mission that may put their own lives at risk.