The Moon hoax will never die

By Phil Plait | March 20, 2008 8:47 am

BABlogee William Blakeslee recently sent me a link to a site that is still debating the veracity of the Moon landings. Read it if you can stomach it; the claims being made by the Hoax Believers are ones that even Joe Rogan would leave alone. One guy is claiming we couldn’t have made it through the radiation belts! I mean, c’mon. How many times does this stuff have to be debunked?

I guess it’s an infinite number of times, equal to the human capacity to be totally fooled by zero evidence. As I’ve been quoted so often as saying, eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

Comments (68)

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  1. Bill

    I tried, but no I couldn’t stomach it. I read a couple of posts- that’s all I could take. I guess folks are going to believe what they want to believe. Why would we fake it not once but 5 more times?

  2. Carey

    “How many times does this stuff have to be debunked?”

    The same number of times it is bunked. Duh.

  3. Cello Man

    Consider: People in 2008 still base their foreign, military, and domestic policy based upon what they think will make their imaginary friend in the sky happy.

    Given the widespread prominence of that kind of silliness, the shambling undead corpse of the Moon Hoax fails to surprise me whenever it rears its head.

  4. Celtic_Evolution

    Having been involved in countless of these debates on this board and others, the one thing that becomes clearer and clearer to me is that there is a definite psychology behind people who believe in conspiracies and continue to refuse to accept rational, proven explanations for anything they just won’t believe. I wish I had a better background in psychology, but I nearly failed that class in college. :)

    I know many of you that have engaged these people many times already know this, but you can almost predict the behavior and response methodolgy from these types well ahead of time.

    Can anyone point me to any decent published papers on the psychology of the conspiracy theorist mind?

  5. pumpkinpie

    When everyone who was alive for the moon landings has passed on, this will go in one of two directions:

    1)It’s seen as a great time in history, with most talk of the hoax put to rest.

    2)HBs will go wildly out of control with no living witnesses to argue with them, so the whole world will think it was a hoax.

    I hope it’s not the latter.

  6. terry

    I have news for you. A hundred years from now, people will still be touting intelligent design, ufo’s and psychics. Rational skepticism is not the natural condition of humans, but is instead a constant struggle.

  7. Rowsdower

    Phil, are you trying to make my head explode this early in the morning? What did I ever do to you?

  8. Mark Martin

    Here’s the gist of it: the subtitle of that site is “Debate *Politics* Online”. They aren’t interested in whether or not anyone has been to the Moon. They couldn’t care less. The whole point is to take sides on “issues”.

  9. Doc

    Of course when/if we ever get back to the moon, these nutcases will say that the new pics of people standing next to the Apollo equipment are faked too.

    It’d almost be worth it to pick the most prominent nutjob and send them in person to see the landing sites – but I suspect the temptation to leave them there would be unbearable.

  10. KC

    pumpkinpie:

    I work with a mild hoaxer. The basis of her belief is this:

    “If we landed on the moon, then why can’t we go back now?”

    I told her how the Apollo program was terminated early in favor of Skylab and the shuttle, how NASA went in a different direction, how all the old experienced heads have retired or passed on, how one you end a production line, with all the tools, jigs, and dies, that you basically restart it from scratch. But that isn’t the hard part of the question.

    No, the hard part is that after proving you can safely land men on the moon and return them home, after that grand achievement, that we turned our backs and walked away. That is one thing I can’t explain. Maybe because even though I saw it happen, I don’t really understand that myself.

    So I fear than when all of us have passed on, all of us who watched the landing, who held our breaths when Armstrong determined the intended landing site was too rocky, who heard him say “Tranquility Base Here. The Eagle Has Landed,” have all gone on, then I fear that most will think it was all a hoax. For, despite the promise of Orion, I fear that all NASA can do anymore is make promises and grand plans. And I fear the next American on the moon will have to get there on a Chinese lander – if the Chinese let us come along for the ride.

  11. Michael Lonergan

    Ughhhhh!!!!! I have such a headache… I would be interested to know if any of the folks that post here know of any Sociologists that have studied what makes people gravitate towards conspiracy theories? I have my own opinions, but I do think it is an interesting social phenomenon. I don’t think all of these people are complete nutjobs. Some of them are quite intelligent. I mean just look at R.C.H.

    Ohhh, did I just say that… bwahahahahahahaha…

    OK, scrap what I said about them being complete nutjobs. That was the Irish Guinness from last night talking.

  12. sbm

    could kaguya take pictures of the landing sites and end this nonsense?

  13. Chas

    I went to the link in the first post — under “9 questions” , one is that Mission Control said Shepherd’s golf shot sliced, and asked how that could be, since there is no air on the moon to cause the ball to curve…. Oh, the headache…

  14. billsmithaz

    could kaguya take pictures of the landing sites and end this nonsense?

    The problem with using pictures as proof is that the Hoax Believers will always claim that they were faked.

  15. Celtic_Evolution

    Part of the psychology of this, sbm, is that I’m not convinced that any amount of evidence, photographic or otherwise, would be enough to convince them. The beautiful thing about a conspiricy theory is that once you believe the far-fetched, it’s not a stretch to extend it to cover any and all potential proof. Once you’re willing to throw out the evidence, you will be willing to make up pretty much anything to explain away that evidence. And they will commonly use “catch-all” excuses that are nearly, if not totally, impossible to prove or dis-prove… things like “the Government planted evidence there to make it look like real evidence”. Or “God put dinosaur fossils in the earth to test our faith”. Once you’ve come up with a vague enough, unprovable catch-all, you no longer need to rely on evidence or logical thought.

    I’d venture a guess that you could actually take some of these moon-hoaxers, as Doc proposed above, on a mission to the moon, show them the site, and they’d return to earth, wake up after a long night’s sleep and insist that the whole thing was a fabricated memory implant by the government.

    I wish I were even kidding.

  16. gopher65

    KC:

    When people ask me things like that, it usually boils down to this: “If we could send people to the moon in 1969, then why can’t we do it with space shuttles? They’re more advanced than the Apollo thingies, aren’t they?”

    They can’t seem to grasp that the shuttle was designed for a different purpose, and no piece of technology can do absolutely everything. So my response is this:

    “I read that Amelia Earhart flew over the pacific ocean in her plane in 1928. But I know it is fake. Even today I can’t fly my car over the Atlantic! My car is *much* more advanced than her plane, so if I can’t do it today, obviously she couldn’t have done it in 1928 with that primitive technology!”

    You have to speak to them in a language that they can understand: biting sarcasm and rhetoric. If you make them feel foolish for their silly beliefs (and they *should* feel foolish), then they will change their opinion.

    It won’t make them any smarter, but at least they’ll stop spreading garbage to others. And, just like a virus, once a sufficient portion of the population is immunized against a particular conspiracy theory, it will slowly die off from lack of new hosts. Course, on the opposite side of that, once a CT reaches a critical mass of hosts (as a percentage of the total population) it will go into an exponential spread pattern just like any other contagious disease, mental or physical.

  17. Nigel Depledge

    Doc said:
    “It’d almost be worth it to pick the most prominent nutjob and send them in person to see the landing sites – but I suspect the temptation to leave them there would be unbearable.”

    LOL!

    Maybe some of us could set up a mission to do just that… I’m sure we could raise a coupla billion if it means deporting the likes of Sibrel to the Moon! After all, it’s in a good cause. We could ask Buzz Aldrin to do promotional tours…

  18. There is an ongoing thread at a board I go to as well, that I have long since given up on.

    Here

  19. Nigel Depledge

    KC, that sounds like a useful analogy. I’ll have to remember that.

  20. Greg

    I sent this question to Phil a while back and never got an answer. Since the topic came up I’ll see if anyone knows.

    Back during the moon landings they were concerned about radiation from the sun since it was in a fairly active part of its cycle. I heard that one mission (can’t remember which one) was completed about 2 weeks before a giant radiation burst from the sun. There was much relief because if the burst had come while they were on the moon the effect on the astronauts health would not have been good.

    What I’ve wanted to know is – If they were walking around on the moon: Would they have died quickly form radiation poisoning? Would they have suffered radiation sickness and died within, say, a few months? Would they have lived a normal live but with an increased chance for cancer etc.? Something else?

    What about if they took refuge in the lander?

    If anyone knows, I appreciate the answer.

  21. Michael Lonergan

    I wonder if we could build some kind of giant ark-like space-ship and ship the whole lot of them, along with the Rapture-ologists to the Moon? Actually, that’s too close, maybe Mars?

    The video I saw a few nights ago (Secret Space) makes a claim in the first few minutes that we never went there. Later on, it claims that when Armstrong and Aldrin landed, they immediately jumped out of the LEM, planted a Masonic flag, and did some secret Masonic ritual on the surface. These guys can’t even get their conspiracy theories straight.

  22. When FOX did their program, that was the first time I ever thought maybe the moon landing was a hoax. Not because I thought we actually did stage it (Would we, sure, it was the cold war, whatever it takes) but Fox did such a great job making NASA look stupid on it.

    Of course, a little common sense moves you past the episode and shows that it is highly unlikely that it could be staged and hidden for this long.

    But wouldn’t it be nice if it was staged? I mean, now we have to go to Mars.. it be so much easier to just go to the Moon for the first time again…

  23. You wanna see some stupid hoaxer claims? Just go to my YouTube page and look at the comments for the Bogosity episode about the Moon Hoax. They’re worse than creationists!

  24. MoonWaggles

    We have never been to the moon, point me a telescope up there and show me the moon buggy then I’ll believe. The truth is we cannot get beyond the radiation belts, that’s why were playing dolly’s with the space shuttle in near orbit.

  25. KC

    gopher65:

    Actually, her question isn’t why can’t we go to the moon in shuttles; it’s why we can’t we aren’t going there now using Apollo-style capsules and rockets built on the Saturn V model, or Earth-orbit-to-Moon craft and landers. Yes, I know why, and the thought of it every July 20th is depressing. Understanding the why and conveying it to someone who only remembers the shuttle flights is another matter.

    The person I mentioned was born years after Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. She wasn’t around for the Skylab missions and the Apollo-Soyuz link-up. All she remembers is the shuttle and orbital flights. She honestly doesn’t know why, and isn’t sure when it’s explained to her.

    Biting sarcasm may be fun, but in my experience, biting sarcasm does nothing but cause a “circling of the wagons” effect. It’s amusing for those who agree with you, but it does nothing to convince those who don’t. Mainly because:

    1. It insults the person on the receiving end of the sarcasm.
    2. It doesn’t really address the point in contention.

    There’s no guarantee we can convince someone of the validity of a viewpoint through polite, reasoned discussion. However, it’s just about a 100% certainty that biting sarcasm *will* fail to bring someone around to whatever point we’re arguing, and only make them hold to their position with greater tenacity.

  26. KC

    Greg:

    James A. Michener used just such a scenario in his book “Space.” The problem are massive solar flares that head in our direction. Such a flare happened between missions in 1972. Had our astronauts been outside the Earth’s magnetosphere, they would have been in big trouble.

    Just how much trouble depends on how energetic the flare is and how long they are exposed to high levels of radiation.

  27. Doc:

    It’d almost be worth it to pick the most prominent nutjob and send them in person to see the landing sites

    Why only “the most prominent”? Why not the top 20?

    but I suspect the temptation to leave them there would be unbearable.

    Is that a problem?

    I seem to remember a sci-fi story involving colonizing a new planet, in which the first step was to send all the lawyers there to set up society, followed by sending colonists. Then it turns out that the whole thing was just a ruse to get rid of the lawyers, and no colonists were ever sent.

    The problem with sending a hoax-believer to the Moon is that either (1) he’ll claim it’s all an elaborate illusion, or (2) the rest will simply claim he was paid off by the “conspirators”.

  28. sbm:

    could kaguya take pictures of the landing sites and end this nonsense?

    We already have photos, taken from the surface. What makes you think that new photos would be believed by the hoax-believers? After all, if “they” could fake all those photos nearly 40 years ago, imagine what “they” could do today.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us wouldn’t love to see such things.

  29. Hairy Doctor Professor

    The person I mentioned was born years after Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. She wasn’t around for the Skylab missions and the Apollo-Soyuz link-up. All she remembers is the shuttle and orbital flights. She honestly doesn’t know why, and isn’t sure when it’s explained to her.

    I’ve also noticed a phenomenon in my students born long after the start of the shuttle program (and long, long after the end of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, etc., which I experienced in real-time): to them everything is a shuttle. Pictures of Delta II rockets are described as shuttles, we went to the moon in the Apollo Shuttle, we first explored Jupiter with the Pioneer Shuttle, the fictional “Valley Forge” in the movie “Silent Running” is a shuttle, etc. They are quite surprised when I correct them. My suspicion is that whenever the Orion/Ares comes on-line, it’ll still be called a shuttle by a lot of people.

  30. Charles

    I fear that all NASA can do anymore is make promises and grand plans.

    Space travel is not cheap. NASA could do a lot if their funding weren’t constantly farked with.

    In fact, NASA wanted to start on going to Mars at the end of the Apollo series (after Apollo 20, there were three canceled missions.) More than likely, we would have gone and come back by now. Had they been given the money.

    What I would like to see is a fully funded Constellation program after a serious look into why Michael Griffin chose his pet project (Ares) over the EELV. From there, the moon. Coupled with more serious research into H3 fusion engineering, we would have a very serious reason to return to the lunar surface. Helium-3 is rare on the Earth but the moon is rich in it. The problem with tradtional fusion is the neutron bombardment that will rapidly eviscerate the containment vessel, and this is not a problem in an H3 fusion reactor. That alone is reason enough to go.

    From there, Mars.

    At the same time, let’s not forget our very valuable unmanned programs. There is no reason why the two cannot coexist and work in conjunction.

    I always like to ask the Moon Hoaxers where the Surveyor 3 parts come from. Most are not bright enough to know that some of Surveyor 3 was retrieved by Apollo 12.

  31. Celtic_Evolution

    MoonWaggles -

    Repeat after me… “I am a sheep… I have NO idea what I’m talking about, but others have ASSURED me that this must be the case, so researching anything for more than two minutes to find out if what I am saying holds up scientifically is totally unnecessary”.

    OK… now repeat it again. And again. Do you feel stupid yet? No?

    OK… well, just take like, oh, I don’t know… 20 minutes out of your life to look up, on your own, why asking for someone to “point me a telescope up there and show me the moon buggy” is not a reasonable request.

    When you can do that, and come back here with the answer, then we can discuss the merits of your other goofy “The truth is we cannot get beyond the radiation belts” argument.

    But since I’m doubting you’ll actually take any time to do any real research on the first issue, it’s unlikely I’ll be hearing back.

  32. Charles:

    I always like to ask the Moon Hoaxers where the Surveyor 3 parts come from.

    “Why, from the secret lab where they were kept since Surveyor 3 was ‘launched’, of course.”
    What makes you think they’d believe that those parts were actually retrieved from the Moon?

    Most are not bright enough to know that some of Surveyor 3 was retrieved by Apollo 12.

    I would have been quite surprised had they not.

  33. Peter iNova

    Eternal vigilance is the modifier of factoids. The more you look, the more you finally get to see what was there in your preconceived notions all along.

    There is no “Moon.” It’s a giant hoax. At best, an optical illusion. So of course there could never be a “Moon Landing.”

    There also was no JFK. If you think you saw him, you saw an actor. Now Reagan, there was a real president. No actor he. You can tell the real from the phony by its relative bulletproofness.

    And eventually, there never will have been a World Trade Center, a war in Iraq, anything out of the ordinary in Darfur, a Beverly Hills 90210 or anything like evolution.

    Ain’t it obvious?

  34. Nemo

    No, the hard part is that after proving you can safely land men on the moon and return them home, after that grand achievement, that we turned our backs and walked away. That is one thing I can’t explain. Maybe because even though I saw it happen, I don’t really understand that myself.

    I feel your pain, but seriously, nothing could be easier to understand: We didn’t go back because there was no short-term, practical reason to do so. That’s not really something that resonates with people like me or (I’m guessing) you, but it did with the people who provided the money; i.e., the government. In fact, there was arguably no practical reason to go there in the first place. But the people with the money wanted to “win” the “space race”, to show that we were better than the Soviets. That accomplished, there was no reason to continue. I doubt that’s what motivated any of the people who actually made it happen, but it was the only political basis for Apollo.

  35. KC

    I remember the newspaper article announcing that the Nixon administration had cut the last planned Apollo missions in favor of Skylab and the shuttle. I remember Skylab burned up because the shuttle wasn’t ready, and at the the time I laid that at Proximire’s doorstep. Now I’m not so sure. And yes, we stopped going to the moon because it was impossible to convince anyone that there were practical reasons to stay there. I still think there were – and still is – but that’s another topic.

    Goodness knows there was opposition. Apollo 17 happened a short time before the Arab Oil Embargo, and there was criticism that the kerosene in the 1st stage of the Saturn V was a waste of oil. There was the criticism that the money would be better used at home, and in general all the criticism of the space program that we still hear today. And there will always be those who question the need of a manned space program, preferring to concentrate on unmanned probes (personally I think we need both).

    Now? I suspect NASA has become like any other bureaucracy, and while they still have great guys committed to getting things done, there’s the bureaucrats who have other priorities. But then, in case no one’s noticed, I’m a bit cynical.

  36. MandyDax

    As I’ve been quoted so often as saying, eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

    Um, don’t you mean “As I’ve so often quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying…”?

    Anyway, I’m afraid that there are some people out there that have a psychology so different from the rational mind that you will never be able to convince them that they are irrational and that their ideas are not grounded in reality. If one rejects evidence and logic and rational explanations, there is no way to get through that. The only people you have a hope of convincing that there is no hoax are the ones who are still receptive to listening and to finding the truth. The hardcore hoax conspiracy theorists are too far gone to get them to change their minds. It would be more constructive to talk to a brick wall, since a brick wall will not talk back with infuriating nonsense. Better yet, talk to a cat or dog or other furry pet; at least you can pet them and feel better after they can’t comprehend what you are trying to convey.

  37. The Ill Tempered Klavier

    Now that Arthur C. Clarke’s been promoted to the universe design section (what with Heinlein, Asimov, Poul Anderson, L. Sprague deCamp, Jack Williamson, … already in place) maybe we have the right team up there to straighten out all this horse feathers.

    I fear “Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.” applies just as inexorably as Parkinson’s Laws, but I’m still burning incense at the altars of Fineline, god of engineers, and Zeemoff, god of automation and building contractors.

  38. “As I’ve been quoted so often as saying, eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

    Um, don’t you mean “As I’ve so often quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying…”?”

    Actually, Jefferson said it the other way ’round. The logic’s the same, but technically it’s not a quote.

    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” – Thomas Jefferson

    (though it always amused me more when Admiral Tolwyn said it.)

  39. Yossarian

    This isn’t entirely relevant, but was there ever a scientific reason to send men to the moon?

    I can’t see that much was accomplished on the Apollo missions other than to send several Air Force colonels up there, and get all of them back safely. That was, and remains, a pretty remarkable technical achievement, but not necessarily a scientific one.

  40. Jennifer A. Burdoo

    I read a sci-fi story once, maybe by Isaac Asimov, in which astronauts go to the moon and start orbiting only to find that there is no far side to the moon. Just a mess of string, cloth and wooden planks. The moon is just a 2-D picture in the heavens. And they go nuts. Luckily, it turns out it was just a training mission.

    And THAT reminds me of a glitch in the original Microsoft Flight Simulator from the ’80s, where most buildings were rendered in two dimensions. Snatch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty as you fly by and, wow, it’s just a sheet of metal.

  41. Michael Amato

    When the smart satellite orbited the moon the Smart satellite website said its cameras would easily see the two man lunar buggys with no trouble and would end once and for all the moon hoax debate. Needless to say there where no photos of the Apollo landing sights. Then the Kaguya satellite went in orbit around the moon with precision cameras. The Kaguya web sight also claimed it would settle the moon hoax debate would be ended with great photos of the lunar rovers that were left behind. About a month later I went to the Kaguya web sight again and there was a small notation that explained they discovered their cameras are not good enough to see the lunar rovers. I’m sorry people but this raises huge questions in my mind. Doesn’t the fact satellites orbiting Mars see the tiny rovers on Mars with no trouble but lunar satellites can’t even glimpse these large two man rovers at all make anybody wonder even a little bit??? The question of whether we landed on the moon or not is a legitimate one.

  42. MandyDax

    JediBear, you’re right, I should have used “paraphrased” instead of “quoted,” but I was trying to just rearrange the words BA used.

    Maybe a variation should be the motto of Freecycle: “The price of free stuff is eternal vigilance.” Every time something I see something I would like to take, I read the offer and taken in the same email. :P

    I really wish we hadn’t stopped going to the moon. Maybe once the tech for the space elevator is developed so we can get at least one of those up expense won’t stop us from exploring the system.

  43. Case in point: A hoaxer just tried to convince me that, once you get past the Earth’s atmosphere, all of the stars are as bright as the sun!!!

  44. Everyone please leave the moon hoaxers alone. They’re just overly excited because this is a very special time of the year of for them: They believe the Easter Bunny is coming.

  45. Mark Hansen

    Celtic, you’re wasting your time. Look at the first part of the post from Moonwaggles – “We have never been to the moon”. It’s the same as cdesign proponentists, you start by stating the position that you won’t be moved from.
    It’s amusing to see how the HB’s claim the USSR was “bought off” to prevent their going to the moon or spoiling the “hoax”. Millions of tons (or tonnes) of grain – from where? Who transported it? How were they silenced? Killed? Kidnapped? If so, what of their families, friends, co-workers, etc.?
    And even if they were given the grain, what’s to stop the USSR showing the world that it was all a hoax? A gentlemen’s agreement? The USSR could have scored big time by revealing the hoax and showing the US trading with an enemy.
    The more they struggle to support the conspiracy, the deeper they sink into their own bull***t.

  46. MandyDax

    Wait. You thought Moonwaggles was a serious commenter? Crap, I’ve been Poe’d again. >.<

  47. Michael Lonergan

    Folks, we have our first passenger for my proposed space ark:

    MoonWaggles!

    But I do love his name!

  48. Mark Martin

    MoonWaggles, if you were at the center of a large donut and needed to go beyond the donut without burrowing through it, how would you accomplish it?

    I don’t know what you’d do, but I personally would fly out of the hole and arc around and past the donut. Yeah, that’s what I’d do.

    And as it turns out, that’s what the Apollo spacecraft did. The radiation belts are large donuts, and the Apollo missions were put on trajectories which carried well south of the most intense regions of radiation. This, coupled with quick transit times through the fringes of the belts, was a planned strategy for minimizing the astronauts’ doses. Dealing the Earth’s radiation belts is easy.

  49. Nemo

    Michael Amato: I find it hard to believe that the official web sites for lunar orbiters promised to waste their time debunking moon hoax nonsense, and no, I won’t take your word for it. Got links? (Archive.org will do.) It would be particularly silly because it wouldn’t prove anything to hoax believers — if the original landings were faked then, why not the satellite pictures now?

    Yossarian: There were scientific rationales for manned moon missions, but I’d concede that they were pretty thin. For me, the real reason to send humans to the moon is, it’s the first stepping stone to the Universe.

  50. Nemo

    P.S. We’ve all heard “If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they do X?” But “X” isn’t the point — the moon is. The moon landings still stand in people’s minds as a symbol that we can do anything, if we really try. And you know what? We can.

    I suspect (though I can’t prove it) that this is the driving force behind moon hoax belief — a view of the moon landings as a modern-day Tower of Babel, a symbol of man’s treading into the realm of the gods. For reasons I don’t profess to understand, that scares some people. So they don’t want to believe it.

  51. KC

    I can’t really explain the attraction in thinking it was a hoax. I knew one who thought it was all a hoax when the Apollo missions were on-going. But there were more people who were convinced that the moon landings had “messed up” the Earth’s weather!

    I suppose it doesn’t matter that the Clementine probe took photos of the Apollo 15 landing site. Ah, well.

  52. quasidog

    I don’t know who I am sick of more; Moon hoax advocates, or Moon Hoax Debunking advocates.

  53. Grand Lunar

    Plenty of moon hoax believers exist at YouTube.

    It’s appearent that their attitude isn’t to find out the truth, but rather to try and go against authoritive figures, jump on an anti-American/anti-government bandwagon, and preach their own “ideas” as the truth and as a reason why not to trust the govt.

    They do not see the double standards they bring up. The “no stars” arguement somehow still lives, but for some reason, it doesn’t apply to shuttle photos, or images from space probes like Voyager, Cassini, Galileo, and others. Nor does the idea seem to apply to Gemini.

    They ignore the flight of Zond 5 and others like it because it contradicts their idea that the radiation belts cannot be crossed. I saw one come up with excuses as to not hold the Zond flights as examples of the radiation belts being passble.

    The list goes on.
    The moon hoax believers simply make themselves unapproachable with logic and reasoning of any sort. They seem to be content to live in their own world.

    I also note that the “evidence” they bring up either doesn’t exist or simply is a misinterpretation of an event.
    To paraphrase the 9th Doctor, as long as the evidence is invisible, they hold on to it.
    But when it comes to evidence that DOES exist, “Nope, can’t see it! Won’t hear it!”

  54. Hax Or

    It just doesn’t matter *at all* if we did or did not land on the moon, many many years ago.

    As far as anyone is concerned, it makes no difference. We have space flight knowledge and experience and expertise, but we have no Moon expertise or knowledge (except for some photographs).

    The moon crews didn’t do anything significant. No bases were built. We never went back.

    As far as the Hoaxers are concerned, I agree; we might as well not have even done it.

    Now get off our earthling butt and go colonize the moon, ya noobs.

  55. DAV

    KC: “No, the hard part is that after proving you can safely land men on the moon and return them home, after that grand achievement, that we turned our backs and walked away. That is one thing I can’t explain. Maybe because even though I saw it happen, I don’t really understand that myself.”

    The whole purpose behind going to the moon was to prove it could be done with Good-Ol’-Murrican-KnowHow. It was a grandstand stunt and nothing more. After it was done there was little reason to keep repeating it. Part of the problem might have been the way it was sold to Kennedy by Von Braun but the national pride reason was probably the only practical one to offer.

    If you think back into the past, the major driver behind exploration/colonization is wealth (or food or living room which are just alternate forms of wealth). Columbus sailed to find a route to the Orient (== wealth). Later Spanish expeditions were to get rich. The English joined the parade if only to rob the Spanish.

    If you want regular moon travel / colonization, trips to Mars, whatever, you need to sell the bottom line or you won’t get much backing. Citing starry-eyed dreams will just get you regarded as a Starry-Eyed Dreamer of little consequence.

  56. MoonWaggles, who is probably just a troll but might conceivably be a deceived innocent, posts:

    [[We have never been to the moon, point me a telescope up there and show me the moon buggy then I’ll believe. The truth is we cannot get beyond the radiation belts, that’s why were playing dolly’s with the space shuttle in near orbit.]]

    A lunar mission is not in the Van Allen belts long enough to pick up a lethal dose of radiation. As for seeing a moon buggy through a telescope from the Earth — sorry, there’s no telescope with that kind of resolution. The Hubble space telescope couldn’t do it. The detailed pictures you see of scenes on Earth from satellites are shot from a couple of hundred kilometers up. The Moon is 384,401 kilometers away, on average.

  57. Celtic_Evolution

    Awww… I wanted MoonWaggles to investigate the answer to his “telescope showing the moon buggy” statement himself, BPL! It’s always so much more educational when you learn an answer on your own instead of just being told… that’s what gets most of these moon-hoaxers in trouble in the first place: the inability to investigate what some loud, convincing huckster has told them for themselves and come to their own educated conclusion. :)

    And yeah… I know, he’s probably of the “ye olde trolle” ilk… but hey… my post isn’t for the troll, it’s for the uncertain and un-informed person that might actually believe the statement made by said troll unless otherwise contradicted.

  58. Ken B says: “I seem to remember a sci-fi story involving colonizing a new planet, in which the first step was to send all the lawyers there to set up society, followed by sending colonists. Then it turns out that the whole thing was just a ruse to get rid of the lawyers, and no colonists were ever sent.”

    “Restaurant at the End of the Universe” by the immortal DNA.

    - Jack

  59. Grand Lunar

    @ “Hax Or” and “DAV”

    I beg to differ about the Apollo astronauts not having done anything signifigent.

    From the samples that were returned, we added to our scientific knowledge of the Earth-moon system.
    We gained a better understanding of the moon’s origin, and later how it influenced the Earth itself throughout it’s history.

    While Apollo 11 was the main mission to prove we could go to the moon (as well as beating the Russians at something BIG), the later missions were undertaken as missions of scientific exploration.

    The main reason Apollo was killed, from what I’ve gathered, is that Nixon wanted to do away with a program associated with the democratic Kennedy administration.
    Had this not been the case, and the program left to continue toward the planned goals, we would’ve had bases on the moon, and manned Mars mission. We would’ve even had a nuclear powered rocket engine.

    All these were killed in favor of the expensive shuttle program. And we’ve regretted it since.

    What’s needed is a voice. A strong voice from all who love space exploration. We must be heard, and keep the new program going.

  60. Celtic, I apologize, I should have held off.

  61. DAV

    BPL: I beg to differ about the Apollo astronauts not having done anything significant.

    Didn’t say that, Barton. I said that the moon mission was done for grandstanding and with no really big economic driver to continue, it shriveled.

    All these were killed in favor of the expensive shuttle program. And we’ve regretted it since.

    Which only goes to prove my point. The near space program has economic advantages: weather sats, comm sats, land sats and, yes, even spy sats.

    What’s needed is a voice. A strong voice from all who love space exploration. We must be heard, and keep the new program going.

    Agreed. Von Braun was one of the best and really knew how to play the game. He couldn’t sell economic advantage so he sold national pride.

    The truth is, general public interest in science mostly extends only to what we can get from it. That means derived technology making things better/cheaper or new sources of raw material, etc. Science, for the most part, ranks right alongside farming technique in terms of general interest.

    Who ever does the selling had better emphasize the economic advantage. Any science we get from it has to be treated as gravy instead of the main course.


    “And all this science i don’t understand
    It’s just my job five days a week:
    A rocket man…” — Bernie Taupin

  62. Celtic_Evolution

    BPL… Nah… i was just giving you grief for the fun of it. He was never going to look for that answer. We both know that. :)

  63. You know what might be fun? Set up a date to rickroll the site. Have all the regular readers create accounts. Post hundreds of new posts and topics, and offer links for moon hoax sites. Then have all those links point to BA’s moon hoax debunking page.

  64. John Roberts

    Michael Amato makes the best point here. If the Kaguya satellite can’t see the rovers -then there’s a problem. Why bother learning all that stuff about convex / concave lenses and focal points and what-not in physics to become a scientist – design a camera for a moon orbiting satellite – and then only after it is up there orbiting the moon suddenly discover “oops, looks like our cameras are not powerful enough to see the rovers”. Uhm? So all that focal point stuff in physics is just nonsense? And even the Hubble can’t see them? Wow. I wonder if you were on the moon standing like 5 feet away from one, if you could see it? These things are just darn hard to see man.

  65. Dr Bonesy

    it is only a conspiracy if there IS a shadow of a doubt. How about you humor the conspiracy theorists with an open scientific discussion so you can put it to rest instead of burying it? Anybody who talks ill and has their doubts of the space program cant all be a conspiracy theorist… After all wasnt it gus grissom who hung a lemon on his capsule?

  66. cliffspc

    The reason they went into space, and then to the moon, was for militarization (it was during the cold war after all). The Soviets were ahead, and the US military and leaders feared Russian nukes and spying-eyes in orbit. Going to the moon was a ‘sell’ for the American population to support the space program and the costs associated with it.

    If you want to silence the critics, then put another man on the moon (or wait for the Chinese or Google to do it). There is no other way. A fundamental principle of a scientific achievement is repeatability, and so far, only the US has done so. And not for 40 years.

    I would wager my retirement savings and everything I own (at 1:2 odds) that the feat will not be achieved during my lifetime. I am 44yrs old. Any takers? You can pay my children…
    ~peace~

  67. cliffspc

    I am a supporter of space exploration, btw. I just simply wish they would get on with it before we get a NEO sighted in our neighborhood.

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