Mythbustin' the Moon Hoax, Part V: The review!

By Phil Plait | August 27, 2008 10:51 am

Mythbusters logoThe day has dawned, the clock has rung, the time has come, calloo callay!

Tonight, the Mythbusters take on the Moon Hoax (check your local listings)! OK, for you newbies, read Parts 1 – 4 (here, here, here, and here). That’ll catch you up on the history.

I was able to get an advance copy of the show — I have powers beyond those of mortal men… or maybe I’m just on a Discovery Channel mailing list for the show, and I asked for a DVD when they said they’d send them to journalists — and let me say, it’s really good. One of their best, in fact! I can’t reveal the results of their tests, but I will say that however each of the tests did in fact turn out, I could see why they came to the conclusion of "busted, confirmed, or plausible" for each.

Having helped them with some of the tests, it was very cool to see the results on screen. They tackle several of the biggies, including why shadows on the Moon appear to be non-parallel. To my great surprise, they came to a somewhat different conclusion than I usually claim for this. I will have to amend my own discussion of this when I give my Moon Hoax talk. Seriously. Nice work on the MB team’s part!

Oddly, one thing that stood out for me was the pronunciation on the show of the word "regolith" (the powdery surface dust on the Moon). I have always said rehg-o-lith, but they all said reeg-o-lith. Now, they talked to NASA folks who must know how to pronounce the word, so you’d think that was right. The thing is, I’ve talked to experts as well, and the ones I know say it the way I do! So now I’ll have to dig into this (haha! Dig! It’s regolith!) a little deeper. Interesting.

Adam Savage from Mythbusters in a spacesuitOne big laugh was that Adam has his own space suit. It was a wedding gift from the MB team. He then modded it to make it more accurate, including a wrist-mounted booklet of instructions just like the Moonwalkers had. But in one part, I noticed that while he put red commander’s stripes on the arms and legs, he left the stripe off the helmet. I was gonna take him to task on this, and then found out that the helmet stripe was only added after Apollo 13. Knowing Adam as a close personal friend*, I’m sure he modded the suit to be an Apollo 11 one. The funny thing to me is that Neil Armstrong was the commander of Apollo 11, and took all the pictures of the lunar surface during their short stay in Apollo 11, so all the shots show Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut without the stripes. Edited to add: As has been pointed out in the comments below and personally to me via email, the stripes weren’t added at all until Apollo 13, so in fact Adam’s suit is incorrect if he’s trying to make it an Apollo 11 simulacrum. I will very much tease him about this when I get the chance.

OK, so it’s not all love and roses for the MB guys: I do have one minor complaint, and it’s about their test of the flag-waving in a vacuum. They seemed to focus on the flag continuing to move after an astronaut stops manipulating the flagpole into the lunar surface, whereas the Hoax goofballs always seem to be complaining that the flag is moving at all, even when the astronaut still had his hands on the flagpole. When I show clips of the flag waving, I make a big point that the corner appears to flap up very high on the Moon, and that’s due to no air and lower gravity. On the Earth, air resistance makes the flag flap rather lackadaisically, and that shows the astronauts were in a low-gravity vacuum environment. Hmmm, where would the nearest low gravity vacuum be? Oh, I know: the frakkin’ MOON.

The MB team also tackle the idea that NASA may have slowed down the footage of the men on the Moon to make it look like they were in lower gravity. Basically, as has been argued by me as well as my friend Jay Windley, slowing down the footage makes it look like the gravity acting on them is less, but it won’t make non-gravitational motions look right. So if an astronaut picks up a rock and drops it, the rock will fall slower, but the actions of the astronaut moving his arm is slowed as well, and that looks goofy. The Mythbusters did a fine job going through this argument and their experiment was not only well executed but Jamie made an excellent observation during that part. I won’t reveal what they found, but keep your ears open for his comment there.

I have some more notes, but I can’t really discuss them without giving away the results, so I’ll hold off. But I think that’s probably enough. You should see for yourself. If I have any real complaints about this episode, it’s that is was too packed with stuff. They should have made it a two-parter! For example, I would have loved loved loved to see how Adam made the model of the Lunar Module (over which I still lust). And there were other aspects that would have been cooler if more details had been given. But still and all, enough is there to cover the ground regolith on this hoary and hairy myth.

For those who want more, Robert Pearlman at CollectSPACE did an interview with the MB team which is now up, and there are some tidbits from me as well.

And I must leave you with this: a screen capture of the title credits for the show:

My name on the Mythbusters credits!

Squa-weeeee!


*I am contractually obligated to refer to him this way.

Comments (202)

  1. madge

    I wanna see this show! C’mon BBC buy the rights fer crissakes so we Brits can watch too! :(

  2. “rehg-o-lith” Was the common pronunciation at the Asteroids, Comets and Meteors Meeting last month.

  3. Cheyenne

    The TIVO is set and my night is planned!

  4. Navneeth

    F!r$+ p0$+ ?

    So, did they finally prove the controversy theorists right, Dr. Plait?
    :P

  5. kurt.eh

    Sigh,

    When Discovery Canada will air the episode, FSM only knows, but it won’t be before mid-September. Grrr.

    http://www.discoverychannel.ca/schedule/series.aspx?timezone=est&type=series&series_name=mythbusters

  6. Todd W.

    Thanks for posting this, BA. I had forgotten that it was Wednesday, and thus, Mythbusters Day.

  7. Todd W.

    @madge

    At the very least, you can watch the extra stuff that they post on their web site… Not the same, I know, but better than nothing, no?

  8. llewelly

    Am I the only one who saw the tiny space-suited figure to the right of Adam? Is this an accidental revelation of NASA’s real secret? The FACT that NASA sent GNOMES and not humans to the moon? The HOAX was not that NASA sent people to the moon – the HOAX was about the SIZE of the people sent! NASA built a great big rocket to make people think normal-sized people were sent, but in fact they sent GNOMES. Note the ‘mythbusters’ completely failed to address this damning truth.

  9. BoC

    I’m a bit worried. The last several Wednesdays where I live have been reruns instead of new episodes. Guess I’ll have to call TWC…

  10. Who knows when we’ll get this episode in Australia. Surely there must be alternative ways of viewing tv shows that have already run in other markets hmmm….

    BA, it also appears that you have your very own IMDB entry too. That makes you, like, a star.

    OT, the “Antivaxxers must be stopped!” page (post and comments) has disappeared, gone, ceased to be… at least for me with Firefox and IE.

  11. Colin J

    Awesome. Can’t wait!

  12. llewelly, can’t be gnomes. Gnomes are bigger and have pointy hats. Could be a fairy?

  13. Ibeechu

    Good thing you made this post, as I was completely unaware that the episode is tonight! I set my reminder. Looks like it’ll be a good one.

    By the way, I’ve also always pronounced “regolith” the way you do :)

  14. What about ray-golith and rego-lith (as in reginald)?

  15. JohnW

    You’re a doctor?!

    I get this pain in my elbow righ here whenever I do this…

  16. Rob Speed

    Aw, I wish I had my name on Kari’s… um. Mmm…

  17. Tonight! Sweet! I’ve been waiting for this one!

    I was sad a few weeks ago when the viral video episode was supposed to be on… only to find a repeat, and read that it had been moved.

  18. Eric Briggs

    Actually Armstrong and Conrad (CDR of Apollo 12) both had suits that were indistinguishable from those of their PLTs. Lovell’s suit on Apollo 13 was the first to be red-striped to distinguish him and his helmet also carried a red stripe, with an additional anchor decal (he was Navy.)

  19. Wait, Mike Evans? Do you know, Phil, which Mike Evans that is? (I’m sure there are many, but the one I’m thinking of is a fellow astronomer, but not necessarily someone I’d expect to be involved in this.)

  20. Viewer3

    …Wow… Not wow for the show, but wow that Adam would ever read this post without sighing and rolling his eyes, and not in a good way. If I did all this work only to have someone complain about pronunciation and a stripe I’m sure I’d have the same reaction. And no, “they pride themselves on attention to detail so it’s only fair to point it out” is hardly a defense. Yet another example of taking the whole “unfoolable ungullible skeptic that is too smart to miss anything and has to prove it to everyone” role to ridiculous heights.

    I hope I remember to watch this tonight, I’ve been looking forward to it. I remember as a kid seeing “evidence” that it was all a hoax, and actually believing it since I didn’t know any better, and because the visual evidence appeared solid. But now I just want it to be put to rest, and hopefully the episode will help.

  21. Wayne

    I also agree with your pronunciation of regolith, as well as several folks I’ve spoken to at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.

    I think we can conclude that the MB pronunciation is “busted”.

  22. Your Name's Not Bruce?

    There were no Commander suit stripes on Apollo 11 or 12. Check out the mission photos on Kipp Teague’s Retroweb Project Apollo site. There are a few shots of Armstrong on the moon; none show stripes. The famous shot of Aldrin has a reflection of Armstrong in the gold coated helmet visor. No stripes. In Apollo 12 photos it’s really hard to tell Conrad from Bean because there are no stripes. Any lunar surface EVA photos showing an astronaut with suit stripes (and helmet stripes) has to be a photo of Alan Shepperd, David Scott, John Young or Gene Cernan.

  23. I have my DVR set for this one! Congratulations to you for providing so much good stuff to the MB team.

  24. Thomas Siefert

    I’m impressed with you managing to capture your name in the credits, each page is only on screen for about 1/120 second. :-)

  25. alcari

    Ahh, thanks to the awesomeness of bittorrent, I will be watching this episode shortly after it airs, no matter where I happen to be at the moment.

    Also, it is pronounced Regh-o-lith (rĕg’ə-lĭth’ )

    listen here:
    http://www.answers.com/regolith&r=67

  26. Arthur Maruyama

    BoC:

    In the US Mythbusters had a couple of shows for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week at the end of July, but the new season of Mythbusters starts tonight, August 27. The shows in between then and tonight were re-runs.

  27. Todd W.

    @shane

    I noticed the same thing happened with the Ed Mitchell followup thread with over 1000 posts. Gone. Kaput.

  28. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    a screen capture of the title credits for the show

    Ah, the reviewer were participating. Plausible, confirmed, and busted!

  29. themadlolscientist

    Hmmmmmmmmmm……. I think Viewer3 has been sucking on a lemon this morning……… OTOH, nitpicking the nitpickers is a lot of fun. I’ve sent the MB crew a nitpicky email or two myself. :-)

    I’ve been jumping up and down and nearly peeing my pants waiting for this episode. I’m sure it’s gonna TEWTALY RAWK!!!!!!!

    OT but hilarious: BA, what’s this I hear (via almightygod on Twitter) about all those wingnut prayers for rain on Obama’s acceptance speech backfiring? The Faux Snooze skybox at the DNC got flooded by its sprinkler system! There is a God, and he answers prayer, but he’s sure got a diabolically twisted sense of humor! :-D

  30. Joe Meils

    Darn. I’ll have to miss Bill Clinton’s address at the DNC… of course, TDC repeats after 10:00 pm…

    Nah! Mythbusters wins. I’ll take Karri Byron over Bill Clinton any day!

  31. Viewer3 – gosh, angry much? I’m sure Phil was just pointing out those things as curiosities, not as “gotchas”!

  32. steve_1

    I have to wonder: What did Joe Rogan think of this episode? :-)

  33. tai

    The OED agrees with your pronunciation of the word regolith, and that’s how I’ve always heard it, as well.

  34. themadlolscientist

    p.s. @ llewelly: Not a gnome. It was either a pygmy or a dwarf. I ask you: WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE PYGMIES AND DWARVES?!?!?!?!?

  35. kuhnigget

    The MB team also tackle the idea that NASA may have slowed down the footage of the men on the Moon to make it look like they were in lower gravity.

    Obviously haven’t seen the show, but might that not have something to do with lower frame rates on the cameras? I seem to recall that they reduced the number of frames per second in order to conserve film. That would produce faster motion, which would then have to be slowed down once the film was copied. This change would produce some jerky, unnatural motion.

  36. BoC

    Arthur Maruyama:

    That would explain it, thanks!

  37. I’ll take Karri Byron over Bill Clinton any day!

    I did not bust myths with that woman!

    J/P=?

  38. madge

    @Todd W
    Thank you for that. We poor Brits (this one at least) are grateful for any crumb offered. you are sweet :)

  39. Todd W.
  40. Quiet Desperation

    It’s about time, what with Discovery’s last minute postponement of new episodes.

  41. So Phil, how are you going to find the million bajillion dollars for the Adam’s lander model now that they dont need it anymore?

    Embezzlement at the JREF?

  42. Sarcastro

    The OED agrees with your pronunciation of the word regolith…

    ˈreg-ə-ˌliθ (although the Webster’s link has it as ˈre-gə-ˌlith).

    Reg (as in ‘regulation’)-uh (schwas aren’t Os)-lith

  43. Ah, language. Isn’t it wonderful? I thought it was pronounced the way you say it. Wheny Hyugens was landing on Titan, I noticed the ESA controllers talking about the Mee-thane. I laughed at that.

  44. Even Stephan

    Robert Laska, stem cell researcher, comments on physics and astronomy in the September 2008 Discover interview
    “It all fits, but the problem is, you then do need to accept what people will not accept: When you turn your back to the moon, it no longer exists.”

  45. Thomas Siefert

    What did they need stripes for anyway? I mean there’s only two people on the whole rock and if you where one of them and had no recollection of any promotion coming your way, you could pretty much assume that the other guy was in charge. :-)

  46. Sili

    A quick google gives ῥηγος – long <e>, short <o> in the original Greek for “blanket”.

    Similarly the first pronunciation guide gives /’ɹɛɡəlɪθ/ (I know people complain when you use imperial measures ; I’ll just suggest that you look into a bit of IPA – it really is very convenient).

    You could always ask John Wells. He would know how the stressing changes the Greek vowel lengths.

  47. @John Paradox: LOL! Really, I LOLed IRL at that one!

  48. Viewer3, I know this is kind of a cliche and all, but maybe you need to get out a little more often. :-)

    As I said, I can’t talk about the actual conclusions of the show (part of the contract in getting the advanced copy) which limits my ability to discuss it.

    Also, I wasn’t kidding: Adam is a friend of mine, and I know him well enough to know that he does in fact pay a HUGE amount of attention to detail. I will enjoy very much teasing him about his suit.

  49. Christine P.

    Thomas – You made me laugh! But I suspect the distinguishing marks were for photographic purposes.

  50. I had lunch with Kari in Las Vegas last year.

    Of course, I only bring this up to make you implode with soul-collapsing envy.

    Ha ha.

  51. Davidlpf

    John Paradox define “bust”.

  52. I squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed so hard when I saw your name on the credits that night!

  53. Crux Australis

    Michael: what do you say, Meh-thane or something?!?! Hahahahahaha!!! Oh wait, is that the way you all feel? Well…fine then.

  54. RAF

    I notice that Jay Windley is also mentioned in the credits.

    Nice to see the Mythbusters using actual EXPERTS.

    Congratulations, Phil! :)

  55. CasaMan

    Nice! Now i only have to wait 1,5 year to see it on Dutch television :D

  56. Emil

    But what is Nina Persson from The Cardigans doing in the screen shot?

  57. CanadianLeigh

    Discovery channel in Canada is still on repeats as usual. At least they have stopped showing Neanderthals building choppers for awhile. That seemed to all that was on for way too long.
    Please feel free to pronounce Neanderthal any which way you please. Its less painfull than hearing some people try to pronounce “th” properly.

  58. Todd W.

    @RAF

    The Mythbusters are using experts? What elitists!

  59. Davidlpf

    Just on a hypothetical question does anyone torrnet mythbusters.

  60. MattGS

    Yay! But remember, Phil – if this is not going to be absolutely awesome, it will be YOUR FAULT! There’s your name in the credits after all.

  61. Davidlpf

    yeah but the true HBers will just reject our reality and subisitute their own.

  62. alcari

    Hmm, can’t seem to find any torrents yet. Maybe tomorrow morning I’ll have more luck with my “sources”. If anyone finds one, please share the goodness?

  63. todd

    I wish they would put the episodes up on itunes more quickly – the current one on itunes is still MacGyver, and episodes from April still aren’t up. It seems like Discovery would get more revenue by putting up the episodes quickly.

  64. billsmithaz

    @Davidlpf, who astutely said
    > yeah but the true HBers will just reject our reality and subisitute their own.

    I reject your spell-checker and substitute my own.

    (ducking and running…) :)

  65. Thomas Siefert Says: “What did they need stripes for anyway? I mean there’s only two people on the whole rock and if you where one of them and had no recollection of any promotion coming your way, you could pretty much assume that the other guy was in charge.”

    The real-time TV cameras were remote controlled from Earth. With two white-suited guys bouncing around, you had to be able to tell them apart from a distance.

    - Jack

  66. Davidlpf

    @billsmithaz, d’oh did not use spell checker.

  67. Kimpatsu

    @Madge.
    You’re online, aren’t you? Then sure you can watch MB (and everything else from the Colonies).
    ***Cough cough**BT**Cough cough***

  68. A few years back, one of the leading moonbats (Bart Sibrel) accosted Buzz Aldrin at a Beverly Hills Hotel. Sibrel asked Aldrin to swear on a Bible that he really walked on the Moon.

    Aldrin’s response was brief:

    http://www.rigoletto.com/blogger.html#02091715

    “After considering Mr Sibrel’s request, Aldrin gave Sibrel a good left jab.”

  69. Thomas Siefert

    I suspect the distinguishing marks were for photographic purposes.

    The real-time TV cameras were remote controlled from Earth. With two white-suited guys bouncing around, you had to be able to tell them apart from a distance.

    Guess it’s better than Mission Control constantly going: “Yo! You with the golf club… get back to work! and stop messing around with the flag or people might get funny ideas”

  70. “rehg-o-lith” is the only pronunciation I have heard in my 17 years as a geologist, including my current job working on terrestrial regolith.

  71. Not only do they make a great show but they also make for decent artists.

    http://picobsd.amdwebhost.com/~kbob/nvision/DSCN0991.JPG

  72. IBY

    NOOOO!!! I missed it!

  73. IBY

    Oh wait, my bad, I didn’t miss it. :)

  74. Geophysicist

    Hi Phil, As a geo, I can confirm (at least with an Aussie accent) that your pronunciation of Regolith is correct. Also, Adam should have put a stripe on the helmet, everyone knows this makes it go faster…

  75. Grand Lunar

    I missed it! And not because of scheduling, but because the frakking TV at the house I rent doesn’t get Discovery Channel! ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!

  76. That was great! One of the best Mythbusters ever!

  77. Chris

    The first thing I thought of when seeing they were doing this episode was Phil Plait and badastronomy.com. I’m so glad I came here and read your post prior to the end of the episode so I could pick your name out of the credits. I think it’s awesome that they consulted you.

  78. IBY

    Wow, I saw the episode, and it was awesome! I always have known about the reflector thing on the moon, but it is refreshing to see that in TV. The moon hoax guys just got pawned.

  79. I can hardly wait till next year when I will be able to see the episode here in Canada.

  80. Ray

    The only place I had a problem with was the laser reflectors. They could have been emplaced by an automated lander rather than a person. So that one was 50/50. They could have mentioned that.

    Great show. When the Mythbusters are “on” they just can’t be beat.

  81. Ignorant Atheist

    I didn’t think they needed to test the laser reflector. The reflector could have been placed using robotic equipment. Other than that, excellent episode.

  82. Ignorant Atheist

    Doh. Ray beat me to it.

  83. Todd W.

    Maybe I missed it, but he boot print in a vacuum bit, did they not show any test of the boot in regolith not in a vacuum? I saw the boot in the wet/dry sand, but not in regolith with an atmosphere.

    And, I agree, BA, that there was too much packed into a single hour. It felt rather rushed, but still a cool episode. I doubt that it will do anything to change the minds of the conspiracy theorists, but rather give them material to revise their explanations. Not much to helped about that, though.

  84. Tory’s “Take that, conspiracy theorists!” made me laugh. And my bf was thrilled at how Adam explained away the possible problem that detractors would have with their photographs being on a set. And they got to show off Apache Point! Awesome episode.

  85. “I doubt that it will do anything to change the minds of the conspiracy theorists…”

    Sure, but for the countless people who know little of the subject and have seen all the specials biased towards conspiracies now get to see some hands-on experiments that counter them. That, I think, is the goal.

  86. WX Bill

    AWESOME episode! Loved the line, “In your face conspiracy theorists!”

  87. Haha, whoops, I got the quote wrong. Thanks WX :-)

    Ok, and Kari pulling a nail file out of her sleeve? Love her!

  88. MarkH

    Darn late work night. Now I have to wait for a WHOLE HOUR, to see the encore episode.

    Sorry couldn’t help giving a little grief to my neighbors about an hours ride north of me.

    Dish network rules :)

  89. Thanny

    Word pronunciation isn’t set in stone (or regolith). It varies widely over space and time, for many words. Ree-go-lith is just as correct as reg-o-lith. Perhaps more so, since it’s easier to say to native English speakers, which is the last word on pronunciation of any word.

  90. For those that may have missed the show because they may not live in a broadcast zone the first… um… syndication is available in the usual places if you know what I mean nudge nudge wink wink…

  91. Todd W.

    @Nicole

    “Sure, but for the countless people who know little of the subject and have seen all the specials biased towards conspiracies now get to see some hands-on experiments that counter them. That, I think, is the goal.”

    Oh, I agree that the show was aimed more at the fence-sitters and not at the conspiracy theorists. However, I do think the “moving in micro-gravity” was a pretty big blow to the nutters. The slowed down video was just off, and while the bungee-like rig made Adam overall “lighter”, the movement of his helmet and the rest of his suit was just off. In both, normal gravity threwthings off. Only in microgravity did both Adam and his suit move correctly. Good to see that.

  92. Yoeman

    Watching it now, DVR is wonderful. Great show, sure is taking the wind out of a bunch of conspiracy goofballs sails!

  93. Autumn

    Yeah, but they consulted NASA!
    They’re part of it!

    (ducking and covering)

  94. pough

    But what is Nina Persson from The Cardigans doing in the screen shot?

    First Band on the Moon?

  95. Brent

    Awesome episode! I was upset that they didn’t explain how the Schumann resonance interacts with 2012 and the Van Allen belts pfftthaahahahahaha…thank the flying spaghetti for newagers and UFOlogists and moon hoaxers.

  96. Brent

    *oops (flying spaghetti monster)

  97. # Davidlpf Says:
    John Paradox define “bust”.

    Welll…considering where BA’s name is located on the photo of Kari……
    I will NOT go with the obvious definition… besides, I have to watch the DVR’d version of Mythbusters.. and am listening to AM coats to coats.

    J/P=?

  98. BethK

    Fun episode. I watched it with my kids in real time and taped it on the VCR. Kids watch things over and over. Conspiracy theorists could say that the “moon dust” provided by NASA was their special creation that worked at leaving distinct footprints. No one else has been able to go fetch “moon dust” and bring it back. How do we know it wasn’t engineered here on Earth? Actually, what they used was engineered substitute moon dust.

    Don’t attack me. I know we went to the moon, and I’m sad that I’ll never get there. But NASA helped on the myth-busting.

  99. Great job mythbusters! Great job Bad Astronomer!

    “I watched it with my kids in real time and taped it on the VCR.”

    A VC-what? ;)

  100. BigBadSis

    Loved it! They needed to cram all that into two hours instead of just one, though. It was a great opportunity for my kids to see how to reason these things out and not just get on the conspiracy band-wagon. Impressive to see your name, Phil! You continue to make me sick.

  101. Murff

    I’m gonna have to go against the crowd. I didn’t like it all that much (and I love Mythbusters!!)

    I looked at it from a “Hoax Believer” standpoint, and everything they did could easily be refuted(I’m not a HB, btw). It also seemed rushed in the middle and end because the first 15 min actually had nothing. Every hero has a bad day, now I’m looking forward to the water powered rocket car thing!

    All that, and Kari’s dress(?) was distracting…”if yuck was an article of clothing, that was it”, that was my wife’s reaction :)

  102. JackC

    GREAT show – definatly one of – if not THE – best. And you are right on your pronoundiation of (if not the simulated guide to) regolith. Unlike some OTHER words ;-)

    Their use of Zero-G flights was outstanding! And I loved the “In your FACE…!” comment by Torry.

    This one definately needs a reprise – and I too was quite surprised by their shadow facts (apologies to JRR).

    JC

  103. Howard

    I just wanted to point out that only Adam and the voice-over guy said it with a long e. The second mention of regolith in the show was by Jamie (the only time I noticed him mention it), and he pronounced it as you do.

  104. Greg in Austin

    Saw the show. Loved it. I especially liked the fact that they did not try to “prove” the conspiracy theories by testing FOR the conspiracy. For example, the hoax-believers claim there were multiple light sources. The Mythbusters COULD have tried multiple light sources on their models, but instead they simply showed, once and for all, that ONE light was all that was necessary. To use a bit of modern vernacular, the conspiracy theorists were pwn’d.

    @BethK, of course NASA helped with the myth-busting. Who else would you suggest? What other country or space agency claims to have sent humans there? I believe the former Soviet Union retrieved lunar rocks robotically in their space program, but good luck getting some samples from them. Since nobody else in the world can claim to have actual moon dust, it seems NASA is the only logical source.

    8)

  105. The only thing harder than landing on the moon would have been faking the landing. So says Armstrong and I think one of the astronauts at the conclusion of the wonderful documentary “In the Shadow of the Moon.” The show did a good job of designing and executing the experiments so it was quite an educational experience. I watched it with my teenage daughter and I’m happy to say that she picked up on the science of the show with no problem (I had her explain back to me some of the experiments after the show). But I am with those who feel it should have been a two-parter. A lot more context to the problem of the hoaxers and why it is necessary (almost 40 years after the events!) to refute their silly arguments against the reality of the Apollo program would have been very helpful. And more experiments, of course.

  106. kroosing 2 '42' via '37'

    All those fine, astronomical linguists here! What do you think of:

    Regh-o-lith = English (UK and other English speaking areas)
    Reegh-o-lith = Texan

    Or is this too much of a conjecture?

  107. Charles

    Dang, I missed the show watching the Democratic National Convention. Guess I will have to watch out for the repeats. There, the Bush administration’s “war on science” was mentioned several times, as was the Apollo project itself.

    Sometimes you have to postpone analysis of past history in order to watch current history as it happens.

  108. Detatched Observer

    With regard to Ray and Ignorant Atheist, I agree that the reflector could have been placed robotically. In fact, the Soviets did so, on Lunokhod 1 and 2, during the same time period as the Apollo missions. On the other hand, as I frequently say:

    “Any problem worth solving, is worth solving with a laser!”

    And they managed to find a honkin’ laser to use!

  109. Pro Libertate

    Saw the show last night–excellent work. We’ve all read (or written) attacks on the claims of the conspiracy nuts, but it was really fun watching the Mythbusters show that those claims are without merit.

    So what are the conspiracy people going to do when we go back? I think that’ll take the wind out of their sails, since NASA (or whoever goes) will take great pains to prove that they actually went. Even if the loonies (pun intended) insist that the first round was fake, no one will care, because we’ll have shown that it can be done. And, under NASA’s current plan, the methodology for getting there won’t be all that different. Hah!

  110. Charles

    Pro Libertate, it’s easy for a liar to change his lie when s/he’s caught up in the truth. That’s what the Hoaxers will do, because truth is irrelevant to them, keeping their myth alive is.

  111. MoMan

    Disappointing that your blog comes well over a half day too late…make that a full day actually…to be reminded. Does anyone else get this blog long after most of the readers have already seen it? But, it’s all moot. The convention had my full attention. It is pretty damned important to know what is going on in politics right now, which will affect all of us who love our science and skeptical outlooks.

  112. Gus Grissom

    here is footage of the Apollo 11 crew faking part of
    their alleged mission to the Moon back
    in 1969… Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xUGRngAhBI

    the money shot of the fakes is between 7:00 and the
    end of the clip.

    we can only go 300-400 miles into space in manned
    exploration CURRENTLY!
    How are we supposed to believe that we could
    have sent men 239,000 miles to the Moon and back 40 years
    ago, and with less technology than a ‘Gameboy?’(What
    technology was 60000% better 40 years ago than
    currently?) Doesn’t that strike you as illogical?

    18 astronauts allegedly go to the Moon, none see a
    single star?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu6KN89seAs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiVXd6lRUz0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKb7C_QpN0M

    here’s the Apollo 11 crew, neil armstrong, michael collins and buzz aldrin cowering when confronted with the faked footage…

    Also, here is a link to an audio interview with the director, bart sibrel, which gives more details on these frauds:

    http://www.erichufschmid.net/Interview-with-Bart-Sibrel-14Sep2006.mp3

    I got this info from http://www.moonmovie.com.

  113. Pro Libertate

    It’s about faith and about wanting someone to be in control. Thus the 9/11 conspiracy theorists and the moon-landing deniers.

  114. Trebuchet

    MoMan, I saw the blog entry a good half-day before the show was on. It was posted at 10:51 A.M., presumably UT so that was real early in the morning here in the US. And there have been several other blog entries which listed the date.

    I saw and liked the episode. Some things could have been done better, and of course the HB’s will just say they’re part of it, especially since the build team used NASA facilities for their tests.

    They missed an easy one on the vacuum chamber segment. One of the leading hoax proponents (Ralph Rene?) claimed you couldn’t move your hand in gloves in a vacuum, and built a little vacuum chamber with a rubber glove to “prove” it. The NASA chamber had a pair of spacesuit sleeves with gloves which Tori used to manipulate the “stomper”. He didn’t have any problem.

  115. Pro Libertate

    They mentioned a lot of unused footage (and other tests) being posted on their web site, but I didn’t see anything last night. Anyone see it?

  116. They did a good job of debunking the claims, but the footage of the moon landing is really not the best proof of the fact that we went there. It would have been difficult in 1969, but simulating a moon landing in a studio could probably be done. It would be difficult, but with enough resources it probably could have been done with a LOT of cutting-edge special effects, specially choreographed use of wires and air-brushing film cells to remove them etc.

    The real proof is more than just the footage. It’s the optical and radar tracking of the mission, the radio signals from the moon independently verified, the laser reflector targets left behind, the fact that the landscape is a perfect match for the images the USSR took with unmanned probes, the moon rock samples and all that.

    If one were to fake a moon landing I think the images would actually be comparatively easy compared to the other challenges. Especially given that the Soviets had a tendency to watch the US space program VERY carefully and would be the first to call foul on any issues at all that indicated it was a fake.

  117. Greg in Austin

    @Gus Grissom,

    I assume you are joking. The first sentence of the video in the first link you provided is simple to debunk. The color film was shot inside the capsule with a color camera, and brought back to earth for developing and processing. There was no way to broadcast that film from orbit, or from the moon. Duh.

    The live video was broadcast with the available technology. The moon is in fact a long way away.

    I didn’t even bother with the rest of the garbage, but if you’d like it debunked here, others would be happy to do so.

    “18 astronauts allegedly go to the Moon, none see a single star?”

    C’mon. This too has been thoroughly debunked. Not only on this blog, but by NASA, and many other sites on the web.

    Moonmovie.com is a piece of crap an entertainment website designed solely to sell DVDs.

    8)

  118. Todd W.

    @drbuzz0

    “It would be difficult, but with enough resources it probably could have been done with a LOT of cutting-edge special effects, specially choreographed use of wires and air-brushing film cells to remove them etc.”

    The problem with faking it in such a way, as the Mythbusters demonstrated, is not the movement of the person themselves, but rather the behavior of their suit and gear. There was a big difference between how the gear behaves on Earth under normal gravity, when the person is rigged to wires, and how it behaves when they’re in reduced gravity. Today, that would be doable with some computer-aided touchups, but back then…

  119. Calli Arcale

    kuhnigget Says:
    Obviously haven’t seen the show, but might that not have something to do with lower frame rates on the cameras? I seem to recall that they reduced the number of frames per second in order to conserve film. That would produce faster motion, which would then have to be slowed down once the film was copied. This change would produce some jerky, unnatural motion.

    Only on early missions did they use lower frame rates to conserve payload mass. (Possibly just Apollo 11, but I don’t recall exactly when they introduced the faster cameras. One of the devils of spaceflight is that you are consigned to using technology that is at least a few years old by the time you fly, because of the amount of lead-time required to get it to where you need it.) Playing 12 fps footage back at 24 fps does produce jerky, unnatural motion — a la Keystone Kops — and you can see this in Apollo 11 film footage.

    Most of the “stock footage” that gets used from Apollo missions is the grainy TV footage from Apollo 11 (due to its singularly historic nature) and the higher-quality 24-fps color footage from later missions. The 12-fps Apollo 11 footage is seldom used in documentaries simply because it doesn’t look anywhere near as good.

  120. MDF

    We all HAVE to get BA to squeeze the plans/drawings for that large LM model out of Adam. He is OUR insider – we need him!

  121. Todd W.

    @MDF

    Didn’t Lego(tm) make a couple sets relating to the Apollo missions?

  122. asdfjkl

    Holy cats–I didn’t know Gordon Freeman was on Mythbusters!

  123. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Greg:

    Since nobody else in the world can claim to have actual moon dust, it seems NASA is the only logical source.

    Noo… I’m not an expert, but I would imagine that we have a lot more meteorite material from the moon than the handful of mars meteorites we have gathered. Similarly, a good reason to get our feet back on the moon (with real scientists) is to go hunting for earth meteorites (moonorites? no, metéōros as in “elevated would still work, wouldn’t it?) which has recorded parts of the history of earth that the geologically active earth has erased. (Like, possible traces of pre-”RNA world” life. Exciting!)

    Of course, the best evidence for that such material emanated from the moon is likely from comparisons with the retrieved material. So as far as the Lunatics goes, you still can’t win. TANSTAAFL.

  124. IVAN3MAN

    Here’s a video clip of Buzz Aldrin punching that tosser Bart Sibrel:

  125. FPS

    ***POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT***

    A couple things that bothered me about it:

    1) You don’t need two light sources in order to produce non-parallel shadows. Most single light sources, in fact, produce non-parallel shadows. In fact, in order for a light source to produce parallel shadows, it has to be sufficiently far away (like the Sun, for instance). A closer light source (like one in a studio) would produce non-parallel shadows without the need for a second light source (a second light source would produce a second set of shadows anyway…I really would be very surprised if the Moon Hoaxers really argued that there were two light sources rather than a single, nearby light source, and I really think they were attacking a straw man here).

    2) The reflectors could have been placed by robots.

    This may seem nit-picky, but it really surprises me that these issues weren’t brought up during production, given how detail-oriented these guys usually are.

    Otherwise, it was pretty good. The last segment in the observatory was the highlight of the show by far, even though it was useless from a debunking standpoint.

  126. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    I would add to the previous post (in moderation) that I’m not sure how the huge difference in escape velocity between the different bodies affect likelihoods of retrieval. The Moon itself is evidence that it is a possibility though. (Similarly there isn’t any convenient glacier “conveyor belts” as in Antarctica geography. Bummer!)

    But one can hope for the best, until someone points to realistic estimates. :-P

  127. Ed Murphy

    For the fine job that the Mythbusters did, I noticed two misconceptions that were reinforced during the show. In the lead into the last commercial before the segment at Apache Point Observatory, a hand draws a picture of an observatory with the telescope clearly sticking out of the dome. It is a common misconception that telescopes stick out of domes, and it is reinforced by almost every movie and cartoon where telescopes are represented.

    Earlier in the show, during the BF Goodrich Insider Info segment, one character looks through a telescope and clearly sees a footprint on the Moon. Of course, this would be harmless “artistic license” if it weren’t for the fact that many people do believe you could see the U.S. flag on the Moon in a large telescope.

  128. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    in moderation

    no more. “The BAdass-tronomer moves faster than light in his quest to apprehend knowledge” (at least over the intertubes).

  129. IVAN3MAN

    Trebuchet:

    They missed an easy one on the vacuum chamber segment. One of the leading hoax proponents (Ralph Rene?) claimed you couldn’t move your hand in gloves in a vacuum, and built a little vacuum chamber with a rubber glove to “prove” it. The NASA chamber had a pair of spacesuit sleeves with gloves which Tori used to manipulate the “stomper”. He didn’t have any problem.

    Furthermore, IIRC, spacesuits only need to be pressurized at 1/3 atmosphere when breathing pure oxygen.

  130. Jonathan

    Robotics were MUCH more primitive than we tend to remember, back in the sixties.

    I’ve seen the suggestion about the robotic placement of the Apollo mirrors before. I believe that the Russians sent three robotic probes to place similar reflectors, and I believe 2 of them failed to place them properly — a 66 percent failure rate.

    In the meantime, those placed by humans, who could adapt to the conditions they found there, are used to this day, and did not have such a high failure rate. In fact, I believe their failure rate was zero.

    The American state of robotics was not more advanced than the Soviet’s at the time. We also have no evidence any American robots designed to do this job ever existed. We do have evidence that photoreflectors designed to be placed by humans DID and DO exist.

    So, I don’t think the photoreflector argument is useless at all. It just adds to the ENORMOUS body of evidence that humans did, in fact, go to the Moon.

    Jonathan

  131. IVAN3MAN

    drbuzz0:

    If one were to fake a moon landing I think the images would actually be comparatively easy compared to the other challenges. Especially given that the Soviets had a tendency to watch the US space program VERY carefully and would be the first to call foul on any issues at all that indicated it was a fake.

    That’s exactly what I said to one Moon Hoax conspiracy theorist, and the silly bugger replied: “The Russians were bought off [by the USA] with grain shipments to keep them silent!”

    *Sigh*

  132. Michelle

    I just finished watching it! (Yea… That means I downloaded it. But know what? Blame Discovery Canada for not airing new Mythbusters on the same time. What was I gonna do, wait 6 months to see it and miss out?)

    It was AWESOME. Their evidence was pretty conclusive, and I loved their mini replica of the moon surface!

    I would… I would do many things just to get my hands on that awesome lander replica. I had stars in my eyes when I seen it!

  133. MattGS

    Getting punched in the face is the best thing Bart Sibrel ever put on film.

    Aside from that – the show was great, but way too rushed. They definitely should have made this a two parter. There’s way too much ground to cover to squeeze it into 45 minutes. And I would have loved to see more of it. Hopefully they’ll revisit it again sometime.

  134. Will

    @FPS

    Not a big deal, but referring to your point #1, I’ve seen MANY hoaxer videos claiming that the shadows in footage could *only* be explained by multiple light sources, and using that to “prove” it wasn’t actually on the moon… so regardless of the validity, I would not say it was at all a straw man.

    Just for comedic value, here’s a great quote from the intellectual bastion that is youtube:

    “As the Sun shines the Moon gets it light from the Sun and reflects it to Earth, just as Christians get their light from the Sun (Son) Jesus and reflect it outward. It’s an Abomination that Masonic Man stepped foot on the Moon.
    Did God allow this blasphemy? Of Man landing on the Moon?
    Or was it a fake! A HOAX performed by a secret Illuminati/Masonic cabal? An elaborate hoax to boast the false glory of man, and blaspheme against God. ”
    :)

  135. Greg in Austin

    @Torbjörn Larsson, OM,

    You said, “Noo… I’m not an expert, but I would imagine that we have a lot more meteorite material from the moon than the handful of mars meteorites we have gathered.”

    You could be correct. But what do lunar rocks fallen to earth as meteorites have to do with putting footprints in the dust on the moon?

    I wonder if you sanded off 10 pounds of dust from a moon rock here on earth that it would somehow look exactly like the dust on the surface of the moon, formed by millions of years of impacts in an airless, low-gravity environment? The chemical composition would be the same, but I seriously doubt that powdered meteorite would behave the same.

    Besides, who would donate their rare moon rock to be ground into dust for an episode of the Mythbusters?

    8)

  136. Todd W.

    @Greg

    I would imagine that grinding up a moon rock here would result in incorrect particle shapes much more akin to sand than to the regolith on the moon (i.e., smoother surfaces rather than jagged).

  137. JackC

    @Will – that pretty much says it all right there, doesn’t it?

    JC

  138. Irishman

    The Bad Astronomer said:
    > They tackle several of the biggies, including why shadows on the Moon appear to be non-parallel. To my great surprise, they came to a somewhat different conclusion than I usually claim for this. I will have to amend my own discussion of this when I give my Moon Hoax talk. Seriously. Nice work on the MB team’s part!

    That the uneven ground? That was previously pointed out on Ian Goddard’s excellent photo examination site, http://www.iangoddard.net/moon01.htm . Strange that you are unaware of it, since it’s linked off your Moon Hoax links page, and was discussed numerous times after the Fox special came out.

    Speaking of which, Adam makes the point of stating that no one has ever tested the Moon Hoax claims before, but that is just wrong. Not only is there the body of explanation available at Bad Astronomy and Clavius, but there are Ian Goddards photos (linked above), and the National Geographic Channel special (that Jay Windley was in) – both of which specifically address Moon Hoax claims and test them.

    > They seemed to focus on the flag continuing to move after an astronaut stops manipulating the flagpole into the lunar surface, whereas the Hoax goofballs always seem to be complaining that the flag is moving at all, even when the astronaut still had his hands on the flagpole.

    They did specifically state they were taking the best claims. Given the obviousness of the flag moving when the astronaut is touching the pole, it would make sense to address the more sensible claim that it moves after the astronaut lets go. However, I don’t recall them explicitly limiting the explanation to after the astronaut lets go. They did show the flag move for longer after they stopped wiggling the pole, but they also showed the higher flapping while doing the wiggling.

    >The Mythbusters did a fine job going through this argument and their experiment was not only well executed but Jamie made an excellent observation during that part. I won’t reveal what they found, but keep your ears open for his comment there.

    Was that his comment that Adam was a big baby? ;-)

  139. Irishman

    kuhnigget said:
    >

    The MB team also tackle the idea that NASA may have slowed down the footage of the men on the Moon to make it look like they were in lower gravity.

    > Obviously haven’t seen the show, but might that not have something to do with lower frame rates on the cameras? I seem to recall that they reduced the number of frames per second in order to conserve film. That would produce faster motion, which would then have to be slowed down once the film was copied. This change would produce some jerky, unnatural motion.

    Perhaps true, but irrelevant. The standard Hoax Proponent claim is that by filming with high speed cameras and then slowing them down, the light, floating appearance of the astronauts is generated. And/or use wires to support the astronaut/suit weight.

    Ray said:
    > The only place I had a problem with was the laser reflectors. They could have been emplaced by an automated lander rather than a person. So that one was 50/50. They could have mentioned that.

    Actually, they were very careful to state that the reflectors do not prove the people went, but having reflectors where NASA claims people went and put them is still pretty solid. So yes, they recognize the reflectors are not proof positive, because of the alternate robotic claims. Which is unlike the National Geographic show which relied on the retroreflectors as solid proof.

    Todd W. said:
    > Maybe I missed it, but he boot print in a vacuum bit, did they not show any test of the boot in regolith not in a vacuum? I saw the boot in the wet/dry sand, but not in regolith with an atmosphere.

    I don’t think they did, and that’s a shame, because I thought the bootprint was the weakest evidence they had. Yes, there was something like a print, but not to the level of sharpness that the Apollo print has. A mix of regolith sand and fine dust would have been much better.

    BethK said:
    > Conspiracy theorists could say that the “moon dust” provided by NASA was their special creation that worked at leaving distinct footprints. No one else has been able to go fetch “moon dust” and bring it back. How do we know it wasn’t engineered here on Earth? Actually, what they used was engineered substitute moon dust.

    Except that the Soviets sent robotic probes that collected a small amount of rock and dirt, so it’s not true that no one else has been able to go fetch some. And samples have been submitted to geologists around the world to study, so if NASA cooked up something in a lab, they had to convince geologists from around the world that it was real.

    Murff said:
    > I looked at it from a “Hoax Believer” standpoint, and everything they did could easily be refuted

    Only by changing the original claim. Remember, the Mythbusters started with HB claims and demonstrated those claims faulty.

    kroosing 2 ’42′ via ’37′ said:
    > All those fine, astronomical linguists here! What do you think of:
    > Regh-o-lith = English (UK and other English speaking areas)
    > Reegh-o-lith = Texan
    >Or is this too much of a conjecture?

    Way too much of a conjecture. Texans don’t say “ree go lith”. And it’s in direct contradiction to:

    Thanny said:
    > Ree-go-lith is just as correct as reg-o-lith. Perhaps more so, since it’s easier to say to native English speakers, which is the last word on pronunciation of any word.

    Funny, last time I checked, I was a native English speaker, and ree go lith is no easier to say than reg o lith. Are you prehaps trying to refer to Brits?

  140. Irishman

    Gus Grissom said:…

    Wow, it took 111 posts before a hoax believer showed up.

    >here is footage of the Apollo 11 crew faking part of
    their alleged mission to the Moon back
    in 1969… Enjoy!

    You’re talking about Bart Sibrel’s ridiculous claims about finding proof of a hoax. Sibrel is a liar and a jerk. Many of his claims are addressed here, including the one that he found secret video of the astronauts setting up to fake a film.

    http://www.clavius.org/bibsibrel.html

    Jay Windley has written much more about this on the BAUT Forum under the Conspiracy Theories forum. http://www.bautforum.com/conspiracy-theories/

    In brief, the video in question is commercially available from Spacecraft Films. It was never secret or unaired. Sibrel sells his video highly edited and with voiceover to “explain” what is going on. His explanation is faulty, and propoganda. The actual film shows the crew practicing focusing out the window from across the capsule. The “frame” Sibrel is all excited about is one of the crew members’ arms.

    > we can only go 300-400 miles into space in manned
    exploration CURRENTLY!
    How are we supposed to believe that we could
    have sent men 239,000 miles to the Moon and back 40 years
    ago, and with less technology than a ‘Gameboy?’(What
    technology was 60000% better 40 years ago than
    currently?) Doesn’t that strike you as illogical?

    What is “logical” or “illogical” is irrelevant. Learn the facts. The Apollo missions has as the predominant and driving feature the politics of the 1960′s and the desire to beat the Soviets. It was a hugely political agenda that allowed the level of funding and effort to make it happen. And once it occurred, the political will had largely dried up for several reasons, primarily including “we already beat them, why do we have to go back?”. Without the national political will, the funding went away. NASA changed focus, the money wasn’t there, and low Earth orbit (LEO) became the planned destination. With LEO as the goal for the reasonable future, NASA focused on vehicles to get there, not to the Moon. Ergo, the Shuttle was designed and built with a limited destination.

    Sort of like designing your automobile to get you across the USA, but to go to Europe you need a ship or a plane. Complaining that we don’t have the ability to go to the Moon is like complaining that you can’t drive to France from Baltimore.

  141. craig

    regarding the flag, I never see anyone mention the fact that the flags had wires woven into them to make them stay out (that’s why they were rippled, the wires still retained some of the curves from having been rolled up).

    So, couldn’t the wires cause some “springiness” that would cause the movements to be amplified, and to continue after the hand is no longer touching the pole?

  142. craig

    I just noticed that the episode is on alt.binaries.multimedia.

    Just noticed, that’s all.

  143. Wendy

    Noooooooo!!!!!! I got so caught up in the excitement of this episode, I completely forgot to check if it would be aired in Canada too! I counted down for MONTHS, I got all my friends hyped up, I even spent the day at the planetarium to warm up the astronomy part of my brain… Only to find that not only did it not air last night, but there’s no news of when it’s going to be aired in Canada, AT ALL.

    What a disappointment!!!!!!!!!!

    *fail*

  144. “…Wow… Not wow for the show, but wow that Adam would ever read this post without sighing and rolling his eyes, and not in a good way. If I did all this work only to have someone complain about pronunciation and a stripe I’m sure I’d have the same reaction.”

    You clearly didn’t hear Adams talk at TAM6 this year.

  145. Sean

    I may have found the model Adam made.
    After a brief Google search and comparing the sheets seen in the build sequence in the episode, (you can see b/w copies of what I think is ‘Sheet A’ and the second sheet of building instructions at roughly the 12 minute mark), I will tentatively say it’s a scaled up version of this paper model:
    http://udonfact.hp.infoseek.co.jp/paper/down/lmdown.html

  146. Illucian

    I just watched the episode and completely loved it.

    I did, however, have an argument with my roommate about it. She’s been of the opinion that the quality and appeal of Mythbusters has steadily gone downhill as their budget and production values have gone up, and that they’ve busted all myths worth their attention. I happen to disagree, and mostly we just choose to disagree and I watch Mythbusters on DVR when she isn’t around. She came throughthe living room and caught five minutes of the show when I watched my recorded copy, and in her opinion, it’s a pointless waste of time to give attention to the hoax at all. That there’s no reason why anyone should attempt to debunk it. I could have gotten into a debate about just why I have come to think as you do, Phil, regarding whether or not hoaxers and conspiracy theorists should be given the attention to debunk their claims, but tempers are already high due to bad days and high temperatures. (Sonoma County in August with no air conditioning. Ugh.) I didn’t realize that someone I am in close proximity with could have that opinion that hoaxers need to be ignored because otherwise we’re stooping to their level, and that no one sensible would ever believe them anyway.

    It gave a sour note to an otherwise very enjoyable episode.

  147. Paul A.

    I bet they would at least give you the smaller lunar lander, have you actually asked them?

  148. DLC

    I saw the episode. It was well-done. I liked the part with the laser reflectors, although I admit the possibility they could have been planted there by remote.

    For the guy abusing Gus Grissolm’s name:
    We went to the moon. The Russians sent remote packages to the moon, including a rover vehicle. It happened. Get used to the idea.

  149. Todd W.

    @Gus Grissom

    Regarding the no stars bit, see this link:

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html#stars

  150. Michelle

    @Wendy: Discovery Canada is pretty lousy. They’ll air it… SOMEDAY. They’re just rerunning old episodes of the last season over and over until they finally get to air the new stuff.

    I dunno what’s wrong with them. That’s why I download my Mythbusters :

  151. Buzz Parsec

    I know how they faked the whole thing. They put a giant vacuum chamber in one of the zero-G planes and filmed it in lots of little 30-second snips at 1/6 g and then spliced it all together. The inside of the plane was painted green so they could CGI in the backgrounds.

    Huh, what do you mean, they didn’t have CGI in 1969? Well, they could have broken the film down frame by frame and photoshopped in the backgrounds and then re-assembled it. Where do you think all those Korean animators got their start? And didn’t you ever notice that all the astronauts have blue hair, yellow skin and 3 fingers? D’oh!

  152. DLC Says: “For the guy abusing Gus Grissom’s name:
    We went to the moon. The Russians sent remote packages to the moon, including a rover vehicle. It happened. Get used to the idea.”

    I, too, want to voice my displeasure over having an MHB abusing the name of one of the original Mercury 7. Those that know me know that I don’t offend easily (comes from being a Libertarian, I guess), but this was more than enough to rate ire.

    I actually watched the main piece of “evidence” on the linked video. I can’t voice my disgust firmly enough and still have this post pass Phil’s anti-obscenity test. I have a policy of not engaging these people directly, it only drags you down to their level. I stopped laughing at the “The image of the Earth is really the window frame” after they’d hammered on it for three minutes (if that were really just a window shot of the ground from LEO, then why could you see all of Africa, and why wasn’t it passing by the window horizontally?). Dang, I just violated my own rule!

    In addition to quote mining, that video was guilty of something called “statistical masturbation.” You manipulate things enough to make you feel good, but it has no use for its intended purpose.

    - Jack

  153. lars bruchmann

    Saw the show last night and loved it. I kept trying to think of things the hoaxers would say to rebutt the proof MB was showing. They went to NASA,of course, who were in on the original conspiracy: and used their ‘dust’. Of course a special flag had to be made… This all goes right back to what Phil says about the moon landing: The moon is NOT Earth. Things are different. If a normal flag was set up there it wouldn’t stick straight out, it would flop down completely, since there is no wind. So the horizontal bar was needed, obviously. This is what makes the flag look ‘fake’, as if the whole thing were faked? It seems their arguments are actually disproving their ridiculous claims. Thanks Phil, and thanks to the MB guys and gal!

  154. Relevant link. For those who haven’t seen the show anyways…

  155. Irishman

    lars bruchmann said:
    > Of course a special flag had to be made…

    The flag was a commercial nylon flag bought from a store and then modified by putting the sleeve at the top for the rod.

    > If a normal flag was set up there it wouldn’t stick straight out, it would flop down completely, since there is no wind. So the horizontal bar was needed, obviously. This is what makes the flag look ‘fake’, as if the whole thing were faked? It seems their arguments are actually disproving their ridiculous claims.

    To be fair, only the really brain dead HB’s use the extended flag as a proof of air. Most are sensible enough to know about the rod. What many latch on to are the flags flapping in the video, not extended in the still photos.

    Pro Libertate said:
    > They mentioned a lot of unused footage (and other tests) being posted on their web site, but I didn’t see anything last night. Anyone see it?

    No. I went looking for it, and found just about everything else, including some really annoying commercials for a dusting product by an annoying guy with some sort of house program. They seem to have changed the website lately, and made things impossible to find – like specific segments of extras. I now rewatched several bits I saw after their programs aired, but still haven’t found the moon hoax extras.

    FPS said:
    > I really would be very surprised if the Moon Hoaxers really argued that there were two light sources rather than a single, nearby light source, and I really think they were attacking a straw man here).

    You obviously haven’t spent any time reading Moon Hoax Believer claims. Trust me, they explicitly state “multiple light sources”. Some of the claims have to do with apparently converging shadows, some with shadows from people next to each others appearing to behave differently. All of them are explained by simple photographic realities such as uneven terrain.

  156. DrBuzzo

    If one were to fake a moon landing I think the images would actually be comparatively easy compared to the other challenges. Especially given that the Soviets had a tendency to watch the US space program VERY carefully and would be the first to call foul on any issues at all that indicated it was a fake.

    But, don’t you see? The conspiracy goes far beyond a NASA coverup! The entire “cold war” never existed, and was just a part of the conspiracy!

  157. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Greg:

    But what do lunar rocks fallen to earth as meteorites have to do with putting footprints in the dust on the moon?

    Not much. Or it could possibly be used to shore up disbelief, such as in “we know where those supposedly transported rocks came from, and there wasn’t no astronaut needed”. :-

    The chemical composition would be the same, but I seriously doubt that powdered meteorite would behave the same.

    Yes, I’m pretty sure that it is hard to impossible to recreate the microstructure (and microchemistry) of such dust. For another data point here, see the current trouble to understand and recreate the Mars dust behavior Phoenix sees.

    who would donate their rare moon rock to be ground into dust for an episode of the Mythbusters?

    Possibly Phil. Seems he would do anything to get his hands on Adam’s Lunar Module model. :-P

  158. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Huh, what do you mean, they didn’t have CGI in 1969? Well, they could have broken the film down frame by frame and photoshopped in the backgrounds and then re-assembled it.

    Duh, they didn’t have photoshop programs either. :-P

    “statistical masturbation.”

    LOL! Statistical masturbation in a statistical population seems fruitless, yes.

    @IVAN3MAN:

    That’s exactly what I said to one Moon Hoax conspiracy theorist, and the silly bugger replied: “The Russians were bought off [by the USA] with grain shipments to keep them silent!”

    At least you can take hearth in that he used the least possible denialist effort. He could have denied the cold war, or Soviet, or even the whole Asian continent for that matter!

  159. quasidog

    I just watched the Myth Busters Moon Hoax show and I have to say, major win. If I had any niggling scary little evil doubt in the back of my mind about whether it might be a hoax, I sure don’t now. To see it first hand solidified the arguments in my mind, and the experiments were pretty comprehensive. T’was just awesome. The best part is the Myth Busters is a pretty popular show world wide now, (it is in Australia) so heaps of people are going to get to see it. Die FOX. :) jks

  160. C

    @Murff: I love that dress! Not only the dress but the stripy gloves and the great boots she wore with the dress. I had a hard time following that segment because I kept thinking, “I want that outfit. How do I get that outfit now that it’s been on television? Everyone will know I’m copying Kari. Damn that Kari! Maybe not everyone watches Mythbusters and only a couple of people will know… no, can’t do it. Damn her!” And then, “She just pulled a file out of her glove! I love her again!”

  161. Buzz Parsec

    Torbjorn (don’t know how to do the umlaut), I thought the “D’oh!” was an adequate substitute for a smiley. Then after I posted, it suddenly struck me that some HBer will pick up this idea and claim it for their own. BA better not disappear this thread like the anti-vaxxer thread!

    Also, cold war? What cold war? Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia!

    PS, C, I loved it when Kari pulled out the nail file. My niece did the same thing while ambling to the summit of Mt Washington and all the tourists who had driven or taken the Smog Railway to the top.

  162. Thomas Siefert

    Torbjorn (don’t know how to do the umlaut)

    It’s easy, you just type: “Torbjorn”, then you turn your keyboard 90 degrees and type a “:” between “j” and “o” turn your keyboard back to normal and hit “F12″and voila… Torbjörn..

    Or you could cut and paste like I just did :-)

  163. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Buzz, you can leave the umlaut, it’s only for decoration.

    [Actually, it's not - it's an "oe" type sound that isn't much, if at all, used by most english speakers. While sufficiently close to already used sounds that englishmen typically can reproduce it fairly accurate. But think, write, and say "o" and it is understandable.]

    If you want to use it, it is actually an HTML code (ö or ö for ö, (Ö or Ö for Ö) and it will turn up if viewed in, say, UTF-8.

    Yes, denialists will latch on to any idea that shore up their denial.

    If hardware and software were primitive in those days, they will claim that our technology wasn’t up to making a moon landing. (Never mind that we are looking at rocketry, or that rocketry is primitive in the sense of being a basic technology.)

    If hardware and software were not primitive in those days, they will claim that our technology was up to faking a moon landing.

    Against denial you can’t win. You can only continue, leaving it as so much roadkill.

    Also, cold war? What cold war? Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia!

    The war between Siberians and Alaskans over the north pole area?

  164. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    D’oh! The “blockcode” tags doesn’t work. So, roughly:

    If you want to use it, it is actually an HTML code (&_ouml_; or &_#_246_; for ö, (&_Ouml_; or &_#_214_; for Ö [remove _'s]) and it will turn up if viewed in, say, UTF-8.

  165. Lewikee

    A few things:

    1. What specific comment of Jamie’s during the suit experiment portion of the show is Phil referring to?

    2. I thought they should have given the moon footage/suit portion of the show a “plausible” rather than a “busted”. All they did was show that they were incapable of properly recreating a 1/6th gravity environment outside of the airplane. This points to the mythbusters’ inadequacies more than the myth’s invalidity. For that myth to be truly busted, they should have shown that it is actually impossible to recreate the moon footage outside of a 1/6th weight environment, not merely that they couldn’t do it themselves.

    3. I agree with a previous poster that they should have shown what the boot print looks like in the regolith in an atmospheric environment in addition to the vacuum footage.

    Otherwise, a great show!

  166. “Buzz, you can leave the umlaut, it’s only for decoration.

    [Actually, it’s not - it’s an “oe” type sound that isn’t much, if at all, used by most english speakers. While sufficiently close to already used sounds that englishmen typically can reproduce it fairly accurate. But think, write, and say “o” and it is understandable.]”

    When I visited Iceland I was amazed at how many extra letters they had, all of which seemed to be different pronunciations of t and th, that mostly sounded the same to me. Oh, and a couple different o’s, too.

  167. Thomas Siefert

    [Actually, it’s not - it’s an “oe” type sound that isn’t much, if at all, used by most english speakers. While sufficiently close to already used sounds that englishmen typically can reproduce it fairly accurate. But think, write, and say “o” and it is understandable.]”

    I was once at a party in Singapore that turned so wild that we started playing charade (their wide-eyed innocence is really touching). In one instance I was sure that the answer was “Björk” an I said it twice and just got a head-shake in reply. The answer turned out to be “Björk”, but because I’m a Dane and knew how to pronounce it correctly it didn’t sound enough like “Bjork” to register as a correct answer. I’m not even sure they believed me after my explanation on how to pronounce it correctly, but I got a point anyway. :-)

  168. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Thomas, I hear one hypothesis about language is that if you don’t use it you won’t get it – young birds that doesn’t hear adult birds sing will not learn to sing properly, children that does not hear grownups talk will not learn to speak (and/or possibly reason) properly, and, potentially, some languages that doesn’t use other languages sounds will render the speaker unable to hear and reproduce the sound. IIRC that’s a common hypothesis behind japanese problems with producing an “r” (?).

    I admit that producing an “ö” (and ø !) can be a problem. However, I’ve also met english speakers that have learned to produce it flawlessly. (In fact, one girl who had studied swedish a mere year, in England furthermore, fooled me for ~ 5 minutes before I started to suspect she wasn’t born swedish from some or other inflection.) So I believe it is sufficiently close, even if the above related hypothesis may be correct.

  169. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Oh, I forgot – good (point) for you!

  170. Pisces

    This may put rest to the controversy once and for all.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/11jul_lroc.htm

  171. Kol

    Just saw it. Just saved it.

    For you peeps that are waiting for Septober for it to air, you’re not holding your tongue right.

    I’m satisfied with being able to show it to my kids in order to arm them with knowledge and reason.

    This episode was a perfect example of kicking certain extremities and jotting down personal pronouns.

    Sadly, the word, “neener”, keeps running through my head now like some straightforward (untwisted) version of the “song that is stuck in my brain”.

    The work has been done.
    The contrary comments are destined to be lost under the avalanche of evidence presented.

    Those who base their lives, livelihoods and beliefs on trashing truth will undoubtedly scratch and claw to affirm their unjustified opinions and positions. To them I submit a triple-neener with thumbs planted in my ears and a double-lunged-raspberry.

    After that, though, it needs to be about educating our new friends instead of making fun of them.

    I’m not up to that particular task just yet.

  172. Buzz Parsec

    I’ve never understood “neener”. Is it the same as “nyah-nyah”? (Nyah-nyah is usually said while sticking one’s thumbs in one’s ears and wiggling one’s fingers like moose antlers.)

  173. fred edison

    The best part of the MB moon hoax show was when they took the low gravity flight in the spacesuit. When he was bouncing around in simulated moon gravity it looked _exactly_ like video of the moon walks. Very, very cool. Laser thingie was a nice touch, too.

    While the the hoax people want to be blind and ignorant to facts and evidence/proof I doubt it will do much to change their inflexible minds. But it did its work to educate, and hopefully, has made some people rethink what they thought they knew. I enjoyed the show and thought the MB guys/team (plus Phil!) did an outstanding job.

  174. Meg

    Oh MAN!!! I have plain to watch it and missed it!!!! Is there are some rewonds this week?

  175. Vorn

    Lewikee: it’s busted because of two other things, both of which were mentioned obliquely:

    1. time restrictions: the airplane method of simulating low gravity only gets you a minute or so at most, and the video from the moon goes on, uncut, for a lot longer than that.

    2. space restrictions: in order to get the kind of footage you get for the moon landing you need a very large thing – a football field or so would be reasonable – for movement, cameras, and scenery. And it has to be tall enough to accommodate the LEM.

    Now imagine an airplane that can do 1/6-gravity-simulation maneuvers for extended periods of time and is that big. Try not to laugh.

  176. Gaaah!

    Saw the show, didn’t like it. The worst part was how, the very institution who’s reputation was on the line (NASA), was loaning equipment and supplies to these very starstruck “impartial” testers, who, by their mockery of the “other side”, clearly demonstrated that they had an ideology that they were supporting. And lo and behold, the “impartial” truthseekers find in favor of the host nation (NASA). Might as well tape a show where Marlboro Man proves that smoking is actually healthy using materials and equipment from Philip Morris. And then tape a show of James Dobson at the Creation Museum proving that Intelligent Design is real.

    Also, everything that was “proven” could be claimed to have been manipulated with hollywood smoke and mirrors to produce the outcome that they wanted to show. Was that a real picture of a real miniature set of criss-crossed shadows, or was the final picture displayed in the laptop actually just a nice mspaint job? Was that an antigrav plane, or just the inside of a stationary room? Was that flag in a vacuum, or was there a hidden fan just off-camera? Did that boot make a footprint on imitation moon sand, or did we see a pre-made footprint that is then pressed by a NASA boot, and the whole shot played in reverse? See what I mean? Especially that stupid laser at the end… the proof of a laser hitting a mirror on the moon and coming back is… an 80′s-looking software showing a spike on a little graph? Winamp has spiky spectrographs too.

    If you want to settle a debate, you can’t leave room for doubt in your methodology, you can’t give the impression of pre-determined bias, you can’t be associated with the entity who benefits from your positive verdict, and you can’t mock anyone (lest you give the impression of pre-determined bias).

    I pre-emptively agree with anyone that says it’s pretty difficult to prove Moon science on tv without leaving any room for doubt, due to the nature of the medium. I pre-emptively answer the next logical question with: No, I can’t think of a better way to do it.

    But I wish there was – because this addresses not only the fundamental truths about the Moon landing, but also any debate that ever saps the nation’s mental energies. How can a layman get to the absolute truth that is buried beneath the smoke and mirrors of the morons, liars, politicians, pastors, fake scientists and (sometimes) even real scientists? Sometimes we can just wait, and the truth eventually emerges. More often though, like this stupid moon hoax “debate”, the debate drags on and on, because both sides can’t agree on even one system of proving irrefutable evidence.

    Now that I think about it, you know what would have stopped all this hoax debate in the first place? If there was a way for anyone, anywhere on earth, to see live evidence of men walking on the moon, without having to go through NASA’s grainy video feed. All they had to do was say: ” go to an astronomy store and buy a telescope, and at 8pm Eastern standard time set that telescope to the giant crater at coordinate x and y. You’ll see two astronauts land a podcraft, get out, place a special laser-mirror on the ground, and then unroll a 10,000ft American flag. Bingo, no hoax debate – ever.

    [Venting Process Complete. Exit Program? YES NO]

  177. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Gaaah!:

    The worst part was how, the very institution who’s reputation was on the line (NASA), was loaning equipment and supplies to these very starstruck “impartial” testers,

    That is commonely described as “referencing source data”. Would you rather that they guess – so the tests are worthless?

    The impartiality is or isn’t much of a question if the tests are easily reproduced and understood, as the other commenters here vouch for. (This is the same situation in science, each scientist are hardly impartial to the theory he works on to test, but the process of peer review fixes that.)

    The rest of your commentary amounts to add a new conspiracy theory on top of the old one to protect it.

    Save for this:

    ” go to an astronomy store and buy a telescope,

    Duh! You haven’t really followed the series of posts here, have you? No current or near future telescope has the necessary resolution. Way to show your understanding of anything technological, as a basis for a critique of, say, moon landings.

  178. Davidlpf

    @Gaaah! the mythbusters made a comment that some people would just dismiss their efforts as you using special effects now then where is the proof that is not done that way in the past. Also where would you go to find a vacunm chamber that would be large enough to do the experiments in first place.

  179. Penh

    @Buzz Parsec: Yes, “neener neener neener” serves roughly the same function as “nyahh nyahh.” For proper effect, hold the third “nee” for an extra second or two.

  180. quasidog

    Yeah, good point Gaaah! The thing is however, most people already think the moon landing happened anyway, because any idiot can see it’s not only possible, but sort of easy to do, from a certain perspective. This show just demonstrates that some of the choice arguments presented by the conspiracy mongers, are stupid. So remaining skeptical, if most of the main arguments are stupid, why should I bother listening to the other lesser ones ? I don’t need any more proof. The moon landing happened. .. anyway … even if it didn’t … and for some amazing freaking reason … it was faked …. who cares ? But it wasn’t faked. The argument is over just like arguing whether the Earth is flat or not is over. The Earth is round, and the moon landing bloody well happened.

  181. Greg in Austin

    @Gaaah!

    Don’t read much, do you?

    We can’t resolve objects on the moon that small with any telescope on Earth, or even in Earth’s orbit. Until someone lands an object the size of several football fields on the moon (I think Coke would love to do that!) we will never be able to see it from Earth. There is a lunar spacecraft going up this year that will have the necessary camera resolution, though. Will that be good enough for you?

    As to your other comments, YOU don’t have to believe NASA, or the Mythbusters. Like everything else in science, if you don’t believe it, TEST IT YOURSELF! Go into your garage, build a small card-table sized moon landing site, and photograph it yourself. It would only take a couple of days. That would settle the shadow angles hoax idea for you.

    Need a vacuum chamber? You can build one yourself. Google “vacuum pump” and “vacuum technology” All you need is money and time.

    They used NASA for at least 2 reasons. 1) They are the only ones on Earth to claim to have sent humans to the moon. Who else can claim to have the suits, the equipment and the technology to get there? 2) Why spend more money to build a giant chamber, when our tax dollars have already done so? I am certain that the Mythbusters could build one, but it was faster and cheaper to use the ones NASA already has.

    Again, if you think they were using Hollywood special effects and trickery, you weren’t paying very close attention.

    8)

  182. Irishman

    Lewikee sid:
    > 1. What specific comment of Jamie’s during the suit experiment portion of the show is Phil referring to?

    I don’t know, and my subtle prod didn’t work. Maybe I should throw a brick through email? ;-)

    > 2. I thought they should have given the moon footage/suit portion of the show a “plausible” rather than a “busted”. All they did was show that they were incapable of properly recreating a 1/6th gravity environment outside of the airplane. This points to the mythbusters’ inadequacies more than the myth’s invalidity. For that myth to be truly busted, they should have shown that it is actually impossible to recreate the moon footage outside of a 1/6th weight environment, not merely that they couldn’t do it themselves.

    Well, how exactly do they do that? They did their best effort to duplicate the methods described (camera speed and support rigs) and compared it to the video. They were unable to duplicate the look. If someone else thinks it is possible (or plausible), then they need to do it. Also, that is exactly the Mythbusters’ methodology. I’ve seen a few instances where they busted something because they couldn’t replicate it.

    Gaaah! said:
    > The worst part was how, the very institution who’s reputation was on the line (NASA), was loaning equipment and supplies to these very starstruck “impartial” testers, who, by their mockery of the “other side”, clearly demonstrated that they had an ideology that they were supporting. And lo and behold, the “impartial” truthseekers find in favor of the host nation (NASA).

    True, they were not impartial, but had an agenda to show how the hoax proponents’ claims were faulty. And true, using NASA facilities to accomplish the testing does allow questioning of the verdict. However, the hoax proponents aren’t likely to accept anything. So what did they use NASA facilities and equipment for? To provide and operate the vacuum test chamber, and to provide real moon boots for the test.

    > Also, everything that was “proven” could be claimed to have been manipulated with hollywood smoke and mirrors to produce the outcome that they wanted to show.

    Perhaps, but the hoax proponents could do that with any demonstration the Mythbusters could provide.

    > Was that a real picture of a real miniature set of criss-crossed shadows, or was the final picture displayed in the laptop actually just a nice mspaint job?

    If you doubt it, you can recreate it yourself. Simply need a dark room, a single bright light, a rough surface, and a couple objects to create shadows. Now why don’t you describe a way the Mythbusters could have done it better.

    > Was that an antigrav plane, or just the inside of a stationary room?

    Given the way people were bouncing around, tell me how they could have done it in a stationary room.

    > Was that flag in a vacuum, or was there a hidden fan just off-camera?

    The flag behavior was uncharactristic of being blown by a fan. The flapping was characteristic of motion from the pole being rotated. The direct comparision shown was with air vs without air. You are welcome to try to get a flag to display that type of motion with a fan.

    > If you want to settle a debate, you can’t leave room for doubt in your methodology, you can’t give the impression of pre-determined bias, you can’t be associated with the entity who benefits from your positive verdict, and you can’t mock anyone (lest you give the impression of pre-determined bias).

    True.

    > Now that I think about it, you know what would have stopped all this hoax debate in the first place? If there was a way for anyone, anywhere on earth, to see live evidence of men walking on the moon, without having to go through NASA’s grainy video feed. All they had to do was say: ” go to an astronomy store and buy a telescope, and at 8pm Eastern standard time set that telescope to the giant crater at coordinate x and y. You’ll see two astronauts land a podcraft, get out, place a special laser-mirror on the ground, and then unroll a 10,000ft American flag. Bingo, no hoax debate – ever.

    You know what else would have preempted all debate? Telling people to get in there personal transporters and teleport to the moon so they could watch the landing live. Proposing impossible solutions doesn’t help.

    However, if you want evidence not coming from NASA, where people on their own could verify, how about HAM radio operators tracking the Apollo capsule signals from Earth to the Moon? How about tracking the landing directly? Astronomers at the Jodrell Bank radio telescope in Britain tracked the Apollo 11 landing live on their own. They have data plots of the event. But you won’t accept that, because now all they have is a simple data plot years after the fact and testimony of the folks who did it.

    How about this for a comparison. How does one prove that there are people at Antarctica? What conclusive proof can you provide, that can’t be accused of being manipulated by “Hollywood smoke and mirrors”? How is that any different than the Moon Landings?

  183. Gaaah!

    You think that a software that shows a spike is proof of anything? I can whip up similar looking software and claim that the spike is a message being received from Elvis.

    You think that was an actual vacuum chamber they were in? How do we know that? Because they said so? I can film me and my friends in my backyard, and claim that it was Bill Gate’s backyard. Does that make it so?

    My point is that all of the “evidence” on the show can easily be duplicated without using real equipment and supplies. You know who else does a show where he goes through great pains to show you that he’s not fakin’ it? Criss Angel. You telling me he’s got supernatural powers? His show is every bit as imitable as the mythbusters show.

    As for the resolution of telescopes… I don’t disagree with the idea that telescopes at the time can’t see two guys in spacesuits. Whether or not that was true, is unimportant to the larger point I was trying to make: the idea of a 10,000ft American flag visible from earth. Are you telling me that a telescope can’t see a 10,000ft American flag laid out on the moon?

    Can’t you all admit the entire show could be reproduced by film students? Can’t you all admit that there is a question of credibility when a biased group sets out to prove their side is right? (As in my example of the cigarette spokesman and the religious nut)

    Let’s go back to my biggest point regarding the moon debate:

    WHY didn’t NASA unfurl a giant American flag on the moon, so large that any cheap ass telescope available in the 60′s could see it being unfurled in realtime? Okay, maybe they can’t see the two guys, but people on earth would be able to see the flag itself being unfurled. Or, if a flag is too troublesome, then how about thousands of red and blue square-foot placards, laid on the moon by the astronauts, so that from earth, it resembled a giant American flag.

    Imagine it: while watching realtime tv of the astronauts laying out the flag, you look up through your telescope and see the progress yourself!

  184. Greg in Austin

    Gaaah! said,

    “WHY didn’t NASA unfurl a giant American flag on the moon, so large that any cheap ass telescope available in the 60’s could see it being unfurled in realtime?”

    Because NASA at the time didn’t realize that some fools cannot be reasoned with, even when the evidence is right in front of their faces. Nobody from the 60′s and ’70′s doubted that we were actually landing on the moon. It wasn’t until much later, when the uneducated children grew up without the ability to think for themselves, and would only believe what others said because it sounded cooler, even when what those people said was untrue.

    Nobody doubts that a 10,000 foot long flag on the moon could be seen from Earth. It probably wouldn’t even have to be something 2 miles long. Here’s some homework for you:
    How small of an object can you see on the Moon, from Earth, with a simple backyard 60mm telescope? (These were common then, and are still common today.)

    Then you said,

    “Can’t you all admit the entire show could be reproduced by film students? Can’t you all admit that there is a question of credibility when a biased group sets out to prove their side is right? (As in my example of the cigarette spokesman and the religious nut)”

    Sure, this could be reproduced by film students. It could even be produced by 7th graders in a classroom. It may even be reproducible to you, unless you are completely incompetent. That’s the whole point. These were the best arguments that the Moon Hoax Believers have, and they are easily proven wrong by anybody with an 8th grade science education. You or I could do the EXACT SAME EXPERIMENT in our garages, and come to the SAME CONCLUSION as the Mythbusters, the same conclusion that Phil and everyone else here comes to: WE WENT TO THE MOON! Its not a biased opinion if all experiments confirm that opinion. We call that FACT.

    But my favorite thing you said was,

    “You think that was an actual vacuum chamber they were in? How do we know that? Because they said so? I can film me and my friends in my backyard, and claim that it was Bill Gate’s backyard. Does that make it so?”

    I’ve seen actual vacuum chambers, and worked on them. I know how they work. Although I haven’t seen the exact same one they used on the show, I am certain that’s what it was. And if I doubted it, I could go look at it myself. So could you. You could CLAIM that you and your friends were in Bill Gate’s backyard, but it would be simple to verify your claim, and if you had no evidence to support your claim, there would be no reason to believe you.

    Let’s turn this around on you for a moment, and put the burden of proof where it belongs. You are claiming that the Mythbusters Moon Hoax Show was… um… a hoax. What proof do you have of that claim?

    8)

  185. Just wanted to drop by since I’m a rather long-time reader who just recently started getting Discovery Channel. When I watched this episode, I had a strong hunch, and even went to the trouble of slow-moing the credits after watching because I thought I might see a familiar name or two in there. (I wondered if James Oberg might have been in there too; he wasn’t.) Sure enough, there it was, just as I expected.

    P.S. Rehg-o-lith, but I’m biased as a long-time Latin student & speaker.

  186. nighstalker160

    Gahhh! You really don’t understand do you?

    Adam made it very clear on the show. The HB’s have continuously stated that it their evidence shows it was IMPOSSIBLE for that stuff to have happened on the Moon.

    They claim the ONLY way those photos, flag, etc could have happened as we saw was via hoax.

    The Mythbusters proved that WRONG. They proved you DON’T need more than 1 light source to give the appearance of non-parrallel shadows. They proved you CAN have an illuminated astronaut standing in the shadow of the LEM.

    They proved that filming someone in 1/6 gravity WOULD appear like it did on camera and that merely slowing the film does NOT give the same effect.

    They proved that a flag WOULD wave in a vaccuum (which I just don’t understand this claim…of course the flag would wave due to inertia…unless fabric suddenly becomes rigid in a vaccuum).

    They proved you COULD have a boot print without moisture.

  187. Gaaah!

    “You are claiming that the Mythbusters Moon Hoax Show was… um… a hoax.”

    NO, I did not, anywhere in any comment, claim the show was a hoax, nor the landing a hoax. You sir, are twisting my words and then attacking the twist. That is called strawman, and is quite dishonest of you. I am complaining that the methodology doesn’t work well with the medium of tv. “Proving” anything via tv just isn’t trustworthy, because there are too many ways to cheat and arrive at pre-defined conclusions. Do you think Criss Angel is actually supernatural? He “proves” himself on his show every week.

    “I’ve seen actual vacuum chambers, and worked on them. I know how they work.”

    Ah, an argument from authority. I’ll let that one slide for now, because I have a larger issue with this statement. Of course it appears to work the way you expect – they have the budget to hire someone familiar with vacuum chambers, so it’s easy to build a prop that mimics a chamber perfectly! And no, not anybody can go use it. It’s supposedly on NASA property so the public can’t access it. I would have loved for them to use a publicly accessible chamber, then anyone could go try the experiment themselves.

    “Because NASA at the time didn’t realize that some fools cannot be reasoned with, even when the evidence is right in front of their faces.”

    THAT’s your rebuttal? Putting a giant flag would be the biggest evidence right in front of everyone’s face! Instead of admitting that that one single act, of putting a giant flag would be perfect evidence, you instead make up imaginary thought processes for why it wasn’t done! You made that up! Here’s another thought for you: what if all the video and audio equipment, and the cameras, all malfunctioned due to some unforseen Moon phenomena. Don’t you think NASA would’ve considered this possibility? At which point they need to have an alternative method to prove to the US people, (who are after all, footing the bill) that they landed there. Oh, I have one! They could unfurl a giant frakin flag at 8pm Eastern!

    This is ridiculous. I say something, and then everyone rebuts by responding to something else. Like nighstalker160, who also thinks I am claiming the show and the landing are hoaxes. Again, I did not! I am claiming that the show’s methodology is not irrefutable due to the nature of tv. It’s possible to fake everything they did on that show, but apparently, there are many here who have such a vested interest in American supremacy that they can’t admit that the Mythbusters have the opportunity, means and motive, to put on a deception. Again, I have to keep reiterating this because people here keep twisting my words, so I’ll spell it out once again: I am not accusing the Mythbusters team of impropriety. I am not claiming the hoax is real. I am not claiming NASA lied. The truth of it, is not discussed in any of my comments. What I have been talking about is how tv can be used to prove anything you want.

    Let’s go back to each experiment (I may have the order reversed, this is from memory)
    1) Criss-crossed shadows, examined via miniature, and “proved” with an image appearing on a laptop. Luminosity examined as well. Here’s my take: I agree with everything they did to get to the truth. Mimicked the conditions, color, etc.etc. I have no problem with any of it, I would’ve done the same. But the problem is, the final “a-ha” moment, was an image on a laptop!! That image can just be a hand-drawn photoshop job! Can you admit that it would be easy to cheat at this point, and just include any image they want?
    And again, before ppl start accusing me of things that I am not (such as close-minded, “doesn’t get it”, a hoax-er) let me reiterate: I am not claiming the landing was a hoax, i am not claiming the show is a hoax. I AM claiming that I don’t like the methodology via tv, because there’s too much room to cheat.
    For the record, this experiment is easily reproducible at home. (Both the criss-crossed shadows and the astronaut in the shadow) Any hoaxer that still denies the possibility of different shadow angles from one light source, or denies the possibility of being visible while in a shadow, has clearly NOT tried this at home. This is the one experiment that I liked, because you could try it home. Although, I still don’t like the final proof being an image on a laptop, which can easily be a photoshop job.
    2) Bounding in a 1/6th gravity while in a 200lb suit. Again, I don’t disagree with their process, but this one still can be faked. How could he prove to the audience that his suit actually weighed that much? How could he prove that he was actually in an antigrav plane and not just a prop room in a studio? I don’t know. But you all should be able to admit that that whole sequence can be faked by film students, and that they could portray any conclusion they want.
    3) Boot in the sand. Again, I don’t disagree with their logic. But unfortunately, the magic of tv can fake this too. I once saw a fresh footprint of a dinosaur on a tv show. Is that footprint real? Of course not. Just because it was shown on tv, doesn’t mean it’s real. How could a layman do this experiment on their own? Unfortunately, they can’t, for two reasons: access to imitation moon sand, and the ability to prove that moon sand is actually as how NASA describes it. You must admit this entire experiment too, can be faked. (Of course, this one all depends on the premise that moon sand is finer than earth sand. Which unfortunately, we have to take NASA’s word for it)
    4) Flag in a vacuum. Anyone that has ever seen anything lightweight move in a vacuum tube, or anyone that has taken high-school physics, would know that a vacuum means no air friction. Example: in a vacuum tube, a feather falls as fast a rock. So the flag waving the way it does in the experiment, does not surprise me, nor should it surprise the people I just mentioned. However, all we see are a shot of a metal-looking vault type thing, and a flag waving on command. This does not prove anything. It can be faked. I could construct an EXACT duplicate of the entire sequence and props, but have the flag do the opposite of the depicted results (using camera and cgi trickery, and a well-placed off-camera fan).
    However, I think this experiment could actually be available to the public, but it would have to be of a smaller form: a mini-flag that a person could place onto a crank inside a vacuum tube, along with a lit match and any other small item that behaves predictably in a vacuum.
    5) Moon laser. The astronauts leave a mirror on the moon so we can hit it with lasers. The proof on the show? A cheap looking software program that shows a spike. Are there any scientists on this site that can admit that a software graphic of a spike does not prove anything?

    Do you understand the point I’m trying to make? Using tv to prove the moon landing (or in this case, disprove the hoaxers) just isn’t good enough. There’s too much room to cheat, and too much room for the accusation of cheating. Bush “proved” Saddam had WMD’s. Criss Angel “proves” he’s got magic powers.

    And finally, back to my giant flag. Can somebody give a good, intellectually honest answer to this:

    WHY didn’t NASA unfurl a giant American flag on the moon, so large that any cheap ass telescope available in the 60’s could see it being unfurled in realtime? Okay, maybe they can’t see the two guys, but people on earth would be able to see the flag itself being unfurled. Or, if a flag is too troublesome, then how about thousands of red and blue square-foot placards, laid on the moon by the astronauts, so that from earth, it resembled a giant American flag.

  188. Greg in Austin

    @Gaaah!

    You said earlier,

    “Also, everything that was “proven” could be claimed to have been manipulated with hollywood smoke and mirrors to produce the outcome that they wanted to show. Was that a real picture of a real miniature set of criss-crossed shadows, or was the final picture displayed in the laptop actually just a nice mspaint job?”

    You are stating, quite clearly, that you claim the Mythbuster’s show could have been Hollywood special effects. In other words, a hoax. I stand by my assessment of your comments.

    “You made that up! Here’s another thought for you: what if all the video and audio equipment, and the cameras, all malfunctioned due to some unforseen Moon phenomena.”

    WHO is making things up here? Please describe your “unforseen Moon phenomena.”

    “What I have been talking about is how tv can be used to prove anything you want.”

    And none of us here is refuting that possibility. However, as we have tried to tell you, just because it is on TV, does not mean we DO or DO NOT believe it. The facts are, we CAN recreate these tests, based on what the Mythbusters, and many others, have done. If you question the validity of the show, you can test it yourself. Many people, myself included, have done so, and have come to the same conclusion.

    “2) Bounding in a 1/6th gravity while in a 200lb suit. Again, I don’t disagree with their process, but this one still can be faked.”

    Prove it. And show your work.

    “(Of course, this one all depends on the premise that moon sand is finer than earth sand. Which unfortunately, we have to take NASA’s word for it)”

    Whom else’s word would suffice? The Russians? They are the only other country to have claimed to have retrieved soil from the Moon. If you don’t believe the Russian Space Agency or NASA, who is left?

    “It’s supposedly on NASA property so the public can’t access it. I would have loved for them to use a publicly accessible chamber, then anyone could go try the experiment themselves.”

    NASA is 100% funded by taxpayer money. It is absolutely accessible to the public. If you’ve ever been there, you would know that. Clearly you have no idea who NASA is or how they function.

    “I AM claiming that I don’t like the methodology via tv, because there’s too much room to cheat.”

    Again, I ask you: What proof do you have that they cheated? What motive would they have to cheat, when millions of people are watching, and the results are easily repeatable?

    “This is the one experiment that I liked, because you could try it home. Although, I still don’t like the final proof being an image on a laptop, which can easily be a photoshop job.”

    So, they did everything correctly, but the fact that the final result was shown on a laptop makes it questionable? Get over it. We see photos of galaxies and nebula and planets everyday on computer screens. Are they too suspect because they COULD be created in Photoshop? Get real.

    “Anyone that has ever seen anything lightweight move in a vacuum tube, or anyone that has taken high-school physics, would know that a vacuum means no air friction. Example: in a vacuum tube, a feather falls as fast a rock.”

    Ahh, I love this comment. The astronauts did indeed perform this very experiment on the moon. Commander David Scott, of Apollo 15 did, on live television, drop a hammer and a feather on the moon. If you were to look at the actual film, you could count the frames and confirm that not only did they fall at the exact same rate, but they did so at 1/6 of Earth’s gravity. Google “hammer feather mood drop.”

    “It can be faked. I could construct an EXACT duplicate of the entire sequence and props, but have the flag do the opposite of the depicted results (using camera and cgi trickery, and a well-placed off-camera fan).”

    Again, PROVE IT. Please recreate your moon flag in moving identically to the scene in Mythbusters using a fan instead of a vacuum chamber.

    “Are there any scientists on this site that can admit that a software graphic of a spike does not prove anything?”

    I can’t speak for everyone on this site, or any one else for that matter. HOWEVER, I am certain that if I go to the location that Adam and Jamie went to, and spoke to the same scientist they did, she would be able to explain to me how her laser hardware and software works, and be able to say, with certainty, if it works or not. So, my answer is NO: I will not admit to that, until I have seen the same equipment they did.

    Your same question as before: “WHY didn’t NASA unfurl a giant American flag on the moon, so large that any cheap ass telescope available in the 60’s could see it being unfurled in realtime?”

    How much would a flag 10,000 feet long weigh? (That’s 52,631,579 square feet, or 1.9 square miles, of material, for those who are counting)
    How long would it take 2 men in 1/6 gravity, with no vehicles, to unfurl such a flag?
    I say that the cost in transportation of something that heavy, and the amount of time it would take to undertake such a task would have been unfeasible for most, if not all, of the moon landing missions.

    You certainly don’t have to take my word for it, or for anything on this blog. Why don’t you just ask someone at NASA who worked on the Apollo missions for better answers? Their website is www dot nasa dot gov.

  189. Greg in Austin

    Earlier I said,

    “I’ve seen actual vacuum chambers, and worked on them. I know how they work.”

    And Gaaah! rebutted, saying,
    “Ah, an argument from authority. I’ll let that one slide for now, because I have a larger issue with this statement. Of course it appears to work the way you expect – they have the budget to hire someone familiar with vacuum chambers, so it’s easy to build a prop that mimics a chamber perfectly!”

    What authority am I referring to, other than my own? I’ve seen vacuum chambers of enormous size, in person. I have pay stubs and records from companies I’ve worked in that had such equipment. I’ve been to NASA on multiple occasions, seen their equipment firsthand, and I have photographic evidence to back up these statements. I can name 5 companies that build vacuum pumps and the related equipment used in building a vacuum chamber, and show you examples of hardware that matches the machinery used on the show identically. How am I possibly appealing to authority?

    Please tell me exactly what “larger issue” you have with my statement.

  190. Todd W.

    On the unfurling a flag on the moon, the payload question was the first to come to mind. As Greg already pointed out, storage volume and weight would be major concerns. The logistics of unfurling it is another valid question.

    Turning the question around, what would be the purpose of unfurling a giant flag on the moon? Only to say “Hey, look! We’re here!”? Anything else?

  191. Irishman

    Gaaah!, I accept your point that the TV show could be faked to prove any point, so TV show as proof is inherently questionable. Further, I agree with several of your statements about the methods, including the use of the laptop on that image. I thought to myself why didn’t they just point the TV camera itself at the table from that position. But the thing is, that could be faked, too, so if you want to posit the Mythbusters faking it, that wouldn’t be proof, either.

    The proof is that if one were to conduct the tests oneself, one will replicate the results. No need to rely upon the Mythbusters show. However, seeing the Mythbusters do it will for most people settle the question because most rely on the integrity of the program and the the people involved. If ever there were a scandal that leaked stories of the Discovery channel tweaking setups or such to get specific outcomes, then that would be major news (at least to people who, like, watch the show). So most reasonable people won’t have problem accepting Mythbusters on this, the same way they trust Mythbusters on anything else they do.

    Of course, if someone does doubt them, they can replicate the tests themselves. Which is the whole point. Not one single Hoax Proponent has ever gone out and done these experiments himself. Oh, sure, you’ll see video segments of pestering astronauts, and books written by “photographic experts” writing pages of explanation of what it would take to recreate the look of the pictures, and even webpages and discussion boards full of people making up their own figures (or copying other people’s work) to demonstrate what they think is wrong, but not one single hoax proponent has ever gone out and made a set of the landing to test how much light the ground reflects, or how shadows get filled in, or how camera exposure works. They just don’t do it. So while you have valid comments about the TV show not really being proof, the people who really need the proof won’t even look at pictures they take themselves to see that the shadows in fact aren’t always parallel.

    > You think that a software that shows a spike is proof of anything? I can whip up similar looking software and claim that the spike is a message being received from Elvis.

    Correct, a picture of a data plot is not proof of anything. Even being there witnessing it yourself you could question if the computer is really doing what they say it is doing. Certainly watching a TV show is even less reliable.

    > You know who else does a show where he goes through great pains to show you that he’s not fakin’ it? Criss Angel. You telling me he’s got supernatural powers?

    Technically, Criss Angel goes through great pains to show you certain ways he is not faking it. But if you ask him, he will admit he is faking it and does not have supernatural powers. (Hint: he slammed a guy on The Phenomenon for claiming to talk to the dead.)

    > NO, I did not, anywhere in any comment, claim the show was a hoax, nor the landing a hoax.

    Correct, you did not state that you think either the show or the landing itself was a hoax. What you pointed out was there is no way to conclusively demonstrate that the show was not a hoax.

    > I would have loved for them to use a publicly accessible chamber, then anyone could go try the experiment themselves.

    So how does the Mythbusters using a NASA facility preclude other people from trying the experiment themselves? Just because Mythbusters used a NASA facility doesn’t mean the public has to use the same facility. Why can’t anyone who wants to do it themselves locate a publically accessible chamber on their own? Why do they need Mythbusters to do that?

    Greg in Austin said:
    >“Because NASA at the time didn’t realize that some fools cannot be reasoned with, even when the evidence is right in front of their faces.”

    Gaaah! said:
    > THAT’s your rebuttal? Putting a giant flag would be the biggest evidence right in front of everyone’s face! Instead of admitting that that one single act, of putting a giant flag would be perfect evidence, you instead make up imaginary thought processes for why it wasn’t done! You made that up! Here’s another thought for you: what if all the video and audio equipment, and the cameras, all malfunctioned due to some unforseen Moon phenomena. Don’t you think NASA would’ve considered this possibility? At which point they need to have an alternative method to prove to the US people, (who are after all, footing the bill) that they landed there. Oh, I have one! They could unfurl a giant frakin flag at 8pm Eastern!

    If all the video, audio, and cameras failed at once, I think NASA would have a lot more to worry about that proving the astronauts really were on the Moon – like getting the astronauts home safely.

    So here’s a question, you jump all over Greg for making up an imaginary thought process for NASA, but then you do the same thing. “Don’t you think NASA would’ve considered this possibility?” So why is your version acceptable but Greg’s not?

    You are also seriously underestimating the time, weight, and effort involved in creating a display on the Moon’s surface that is visually discernable from Earth by the average person with a home telescope. Seriously, run some numbers to see what it would take. Assume you use 1/16 in thick posterboard. Hell, assume you use 1/200 in think paper cards 1m x 1m. Whatever. Tell me how big an area is required for a 4 in home telescope to be able to see. Tell me how much area has to be covered for it to register as visually discernable mark. How large an area for something describable as a flag. Now figure out how long it will take 2 guys to lay all those cards out across the lunar terrain. How does that compare to the EVA time that was spent, and the distances traveled on the actual missions?

    I don’t know, either, but my SWAG is that they would need to cover something like 5 sq miles for it to be visible, and 50 sq miles to make a “flag”. I’m thinking that to even do the 5 sq miles would take more time than spent on all the EVAs combined. I suspect something like a factor of 10 on time.

    Now think about the weight and volume of material. How do they get it there? Does it fit in the LM? They only brought 842 lbs of moon rock and dust on all the Apollo missions. And they accomplished that by leaving things behind. Where is the payload mass to carry all that paperboard for the flag?

    I heard there was one idea for a way to make a visually discernable signal from the Moon. It consisted of detonating a nuclear bomb on the surface while in shadow so the fireball could be seen. That’s the scale of effect required.

    > However, I think this experiment [flag waving in vacuum] could actually be available to the public, but it would have to be of a smaller form: a mini-flag that a person could place onto a crank inside a vacuum tube, along with a lit match and any other small item that behaves predictably in a vacuum.

    I suspect it would be trickier than that. Things don’t always scale properly. For instance, your flag has to be large enough that the thickness of the fabric isn’t too stiff for the dimensions of the flag, or you don’t get an accurate representation. That’s why they went full scale. Maybe if they had put a marshmallow man next to the flag, to prove it was a vacuum?

    Greg in Austin said:
    “It’s supposedly on NASA property so the public can’t access it. I would have loved for them to use a publicly accessible chamber, then anyone could go try the experiment themselves.”

    > NASA is 100% funded by taxpayer money. It is absolutely accessible to the public. If you’ve ever been there, you would know that. Clearly you have no idea who NASA is or how they function.

    That’s not entirely true. Johnson Space Center (for instance) used to be open to the public (back up until the 1990′s), but then went to a pay for tour visitor’s center. After 9/11, they curtailed access and increased security. I suspect all NASA centers are the same. Similarly, the Mythbusters were able to arrange access to use the facilities, but how was not discussed. I know movies (like Armageddon) were filmed at NASA facilities, but those were paid for services through contracts. I’m not sure what a private citizen would require in order to gain access to not only visit but use a NASA vacuum chamber. Given the mess I have to go through to use one, I can’t imagine it is simple. Gaaah!’s point is essentially valid. No public citizen is just going to walk in and say, “Hey, can I borrow your chamber for 15 minutes to see how a flag moves?”

  192. Gaaah!

    I specifically said “could be claimed”. This is to indicate the POSSIBILITY that OTHERS may be claiming the show was faked with hollywood magic. And I am pointing out the possible justifications. I never once claimed the show IS fake, I claimed many many times how and why people could claim as such.

    On the issue of unforseen moon phenomena – the point i was trying to make, which you conveniently ignored (again) is that NASA could have come up with the POSSIBILITY that something indigenous to the moon might POSSIBLY disrupt video and audio signals to earth… at which point, they would need to have a contingency plan just in case. And here comes the important part of that line of thinking (which you ignored): If it’s possible that signals might be disrupted, then it would be nice to have a backup plan to show everybody that they’re on the moon. So laying a giant flag is a good idea in this context. That’s the point of me making up the ‘unforseen circumstances’ possibility. If you were to go on a cruise, wouldn’t you consider that it’s possible that your cell phone won’t work out there? At which point, you’d prepare a back up plan to communicate with your family, yes? So, yeah, I made this up – I don’t know if NASA did consider the POSSIBILITY of zero communication ability, but I think that’s a valid, logical possibility, don’t you? These are the smartest guys in the world – isn’t this a likely POSSIBILITY that they would have mulled this over at least once? And if so, then it’s also possible that they thought of unfurling a giant flag on the moon to show that they’ve landed. This idea is logical and based on the possiblity that communications equipment might not work. But your statement is pure baloney:
    “Because NASA at the time didn’t realize that some fools cannot be reasoned with, even when the evidence is right in front of their faces.”

    Moving on:
    “However, as we have tried to tell you, just because it is on TV, does not mean we DO or DO NOT believe it.”

    Nobody has made such a statement, not even you. The impression I get from you and everyone else here, is that the show told them what they wanted to hear, and therefore they don’t care to discuss problems with the methodology. You like the outcome so you don’t care how they got there. Me, I don’t care about the ends. I only care about the means. And especially, if the means have any justification for being accused of false.

    As for faking the bounding section – do you really think that hollywood can make realistic explosions, aliens, weapons, dinosaurs… but you don’t believe a film student could duplicate that Adam’s entire sequence? Have you seen any sci fi films lately? Don’t all those space sequences seem real? That’s how good cg technology and camera trickery is nowadays. If they can fake space battles and ancient Mayan civilations, they can perfectly duplicate Adam’s sequence.

    Regarding moon sand:
    “Whom else’s word would suffice? The Russians? They are the only other country to have claimed to have retrieved soil from the Moon. If you don’t believe the Russian Space Agency or NASA, who is left?”

    Do you admit that there are credibility questions when there is only one source in which to verify information? I’ve got a unicorn in my backyard, but I’m the only who knows about it. No, I won’t allow you to come over and see it, nor anyone else, but I will show you grainy video that I took as well as photographs displayed on a laptop. Do you believe me, the only person on earth with this information? You don’t want to have to just take my word for it, right? Preferably, you’d like other sources right? Well, me too.

    “NASA is 100% funded by taxpayer money. It is absolutely accessible to the public. If you’ve ever been there, you would know that. Clearly you have no idea who NASA is or how they function.”

    Hey, thanks for belittling me. Since you’re such a NASA expert, and you’re acting like you’ve been there, why don’t you tell me where I can visit that vacuum chamber and do those experiments? And I noticed you ignored the part where I mention that this expirement can be verified by the public, if a musuem were to set up an exhibit using vacuum tubes and miniature flags.

    “Again, I ask you: What proof do you have that they cheated?”

    None. But I am not accusing them of cheating. What proof do you have that it’s real? Just because it all behaved the way you expected? I expect Jack Bauer to be heroic and save the world. AND HE DID! WOO HOO! Is he real? Can Criss Angel actually dissolve his molecules and pass through glass windows, and then re-constitute himself? Again, I am not accusing them of cheating. I am saying they have motive, means and opportunity to cheat, which is why I don’t like the methodology of proving science via tv. Too many people can justifiably complain about camera angles, cgi, etc. Again, I am not accusing them of cheating. I am pointing out how they can be accused of cheating. You ever seen an advertisement that seems innocuous, but some people might construe it as offensive? You’d think to yourself, didn’t somebody at the ad company point out that this ad could possibly be misconstrued? But there is another possibility: maybe, just maybe, they actually meant it to be subtly offensive! See my point? Motive, means, and opportunity is not by itself indicative of nefarious actions. It just means there’s the possibility. And when demonstrating science, I don’t like the possibility of the accusation of cheating. That’s why I am pointing out why I don’t like the methodology via tv.

    “So, they did everything correctly, but the fact that the final result was shown on a laptop makes it questionable?”

    Yes. Can you not admit that? If I show you a laptop picture of Elvis driving a 2008 BMW M5… are you gonna think he’s alive? If I produce a documentary about Artic unicorns and show my flight, showed the landing, showed the walking around, and finally showed you a picture of a unicorn on my laptop, claiming it was hooked up to a webcam pointed at a unicorn…. are you gonna think unicorns exist in the Arctic? The possibility exists for cheating. That’s why I don’t like the methodology via tv.

    “drop a hammer and a feather on the moon.”

    They could have dropped a prop hammer and a prop feather, designed to weigh the weight necessary to fall slow enough to appear they are in a 1/6th gravity. Film students could do that too. It’s POSSIBLE to fake. Can you admit that?

    “Again, PROVE IT. Please recreate your moon flag in moving identically to the scene in Mythbusters using a fan instead of a vacuum chamber.”

    Are you telling me that Spielberg can bring WWII to life 50 years after the fact, but you don’t think it’s possible to duplicate Grant’s entire sequence? Are you telling me that the doctors on Grey’s Anatomy can perform realistic looking surgeries, complete with blood spattering and arteries exposed… but you don’t think it’s POSSIBLE to duplicate Grant’s entire sequence?

    “HOWEVER, I am certain that if I go to the location that Adam and Jamie went to, and spoke to the same scientist they did, she would be able to explain to me how her laser hardware and software works, and be able to say, with certainty, if it works or not. So, my answer is NO: I will not admit to that, until I have seen the same equipment they did.”

    There you go again, twisting my words and then responding to the twist. This shows your intellectual dishonesty. I said that a software showing a spectrograph spike proves nothing. I wasn’t talking abou their spectrograph. Look at my sentence: “a spectrograph spike proves nothing”. I am only talking about software. You responded by attacking something else. And I am astounded that you can’t admit that a software graphic of a spectrograph spike doesn’t prove anthing. Hey, I’ve got a software that shows how much money I have. Right now, the spike has reached as high as $50billion dollars. Do I actually have that much money? Again: a software screen showing something happening, doesn’t actually prove that anything is actually happening!

    “How long would it take 2 men in 1/6 gravity, with no vehicles, to unfurl such a “flag?”"

    A damn long time. But – are they in a rush? Okay, I admit, a tarp that large would be hard to manage by just two guys in clunky space suits. I’ve seen rain delays in baseball games, and they need around a dozen guys. So how about using machines – moon tractors or something like that, designed specifically for this task? Let’s just move on: Instead of a giant flag, what about the other half of the flag-unfurling idea I proposed? (Which you conveniently ignored)) I also said, if a whole flag is too much trouble, then they could use 10,000 square-ft placards. As far as payload, well, the entire box of placards could easily be dropped off in a giant crate, like when they drop supplies to soldiers in a battlefield. 10,000 square-ft placards can’t be that heavy, can it? It’d still take a long time to lay them out, but there’s no rush, is there? Especially when proving to the world that they landed on the moon?

    “What authority am I referring to, other than my own?”

    You are the authority I was referring to. When people say, just believe me because I am an expert in that field. That’s argument from authority, do you agree? Of course, that doesn’t automatically mean the authority is lying. But it does mean they are trying to silence debate, whether maliciously or not. And what you were trying to do, was appeal to your own authority in order to declare the vacuum chamber 100% real – from the comfort of your own home. Well sir, I will not just “take your word for it” that the one they used was real. You don’t know either. You believe it’s real because you like the Mythbusters, you don’t have any reason to doubt them, and it behaved how you expected. I don’t care either way whether it’s real. I’m pointing out that people can claim it’s fake, and why they could claim it’s fake, and how they would have enough justification to make such claims.

    “Please tell me exactly what “larger issue” you have with my statement.”

    I’ll take your word for it that you know vacuum chambers. However, are you the only one on earth? NO. There are others too. Any one of them could be hired by a film student, to construct a fascimile that looks like a real one, real enough to fool you. And then the hired vacuum guy could show the film student how the vacuum chamber behaves. Anything the student couldn’t do with physical props, could then be filled in with cg. The “larger issue”, which allows me to not need to rebut your agrument from authority, is that it is entirely possible that the reason it looked real to you is because they hired an expert to make it look real enough to fool other experts! Have you ever watched an episode of “24″ or “The Shield” or anything show like that? Are the guns they use – “real”? Of course not! They hire experts to teach the prop guy how to make real-looking guns! The expert then teaches the sound guy what real gunfire sounds like. And then they hire real policemen to teach the actors how to realistically fire these prop guns. See my point? It is POSSIBLE that it looks real because they hire experts to teach the prop people how make it look, sound, and act real! I am pointing out that they have motive, means and opportunity – and that’s why people can claim this is faked. But I AM NOT accusing them of cheating. It doesn’t matter to me. Their results don’t matter to me. What matters to me is that the methodology via tv allows too much room for cheating, and even more room for the accusation of cheating. Which is a point you still don’t seem to want to discuss.

    And to Todd:
    …”the payload question was the first to come to mind”…

    But NASA’s smart, yes? And the Moon is 1/6th gravity, yes? They could probably find a way, yes? I can think of one way to get this to work, and I’m not as smart as NASA: drop-ship a giant crate with the flag in it. The astronauts go and open the crate, and using specially designed flag-unfurling machines stored inside, unfurl the giant flag. But I agree the logistics are very inefficient. Thus I also suggested, in a comment way above, that they could place 10,000 square-ft placards instead. That can’t be too hard or heavy, can it?

    “Turning the question around, what would be the purpose of unfurling a giant flag on the moon? Only to say “Hey, look! We’re here!”? Anything else?”

    To silence the doubters. If they were to unfurl (or place piece by piece) a giant flag on the moon, witnessed by hundreds of millions of people on earth via their own backyard telescopes, it would be irrefutable proof. There would be ZERO debate. Do you agree? So why didn’t NASA do this?

    And to Irishman: thanks for having intellectually honest discourse. Let me talk with you further about some things you said:
    “Of course, if someone does doubt them, they can replicate the tests themselves.”

    These are the tests that I like the most. No scientific and pseudo-scientific wrangling. Regarding the criss-cross pattern demonstration, I said I liked it because it’s something that could be done at home. I also said, if any hoaxer still claims that this phenomena is impossible, then CLEARLY, they did not try this at home. I also said something similar regarding the vacuum chamber, and you touched upon the idea. The flag-vacuum test can be done in the public, but on a smaller scale than a giant vacuum chamber. I agree with you that the mini-flag would need to be created with care to ensure it can actually wave at all; but the semantics aren’t important. The larger point, is that this experiment is also available (in some form or other) to the public. Hence, if the hoaxers deny this, then clearly they also have not tried it yet. My problem is with the other experiments that can’t be done at home, while at the same time, can be easily be accused of hollywood fakery.

    “So here’s a question, you jump all over Greg for making up an imaginary thought process for NASA, but then you do the same thing. “Don’t you think NASA would’ve considered this possibility?” So why is your version acceptable but Greg’s not?”

    Because my version is a logical idea extending from the circumstances. If you travel somewhere, it’s logical to consider the possibility that communications equipment over there, may not be available. Ever traveled to the Antartic? Me neither, but it’s a fair assumption that a new traveler to the Antartic could possibly consider that he may not have internet access over there. NASA is smart. They consider all technical possibilities – so my imaginary thought process is derived from technological necessity.
    But Greg’s reasoning for why NASA didn’t even CONSIDER there might be any POSSIBLE reason for needing a giant flag on the moon, for any reason (much less to show proof of landing), is “Because NASA at the time didn’t realize that some fools cannot be reasoned with, even when the evidence is right in front of their faces.”

    This thought process does not have a technological reason behind it. Hence, my reaction of incredulity. Sure, it’s possible that they didn’t anticipate skeptics. But a NASA egghead missing the POSSIBILITY that people might not believe them? You mean NASA missed something? Sure, possible. Again, there’s no evidence to support my idea either (the idea that they’d consider it possible that communications might not work), but at least there’s a logically technological reason why I assumed they’d have considered it. Furthermore, my idea was not intended to mock anyone, nor protect a legacy. He clearly was mocking the hoaxers.

    Lastly, you discuss the possibility of my giant flag idea. My rebuttal is: they’re NASA. They’re smart. They’d be able to figure out how to drop a crate of flag/placards, find an easy way for the astronauts to lay them all out, and they’d be able to calculate how big it would need to be in order for ordinary ’60s telescopes to see it. If this is difficult… how about square-meter sized placards? How about driving around a space rover that places the placards down, like those vehicles that draw the striped lines in the middle of the street? Or a Rover that leaves trails of red or blue luminescent dust. Whatever. NASA should be smart enough to figure out a way to put a giant flag on the moon, visible to ’60s telescopes, if they wanted to. Or if not home telescopes, at least university telescopes. To doubt that ability, and yet accept that they can send humans to the moon, is well, kind of contradictive.

  193. Greg in Austin

    Wow. The term “paranoid delusion” suddenly popped into my head.

    Gaaah!, I’m sorry if the things I said really bothered you this much. I won’t take any more time responding to your comments, except for this one:

    “They could have dropped a prop hammer and a prop feather, designed to weigh the weight necessary to fall slow enough to appear they are in a 1/6th gravity. Film students could do that too. It’s POSSIBLE to fake. Can you admit that?”

    Knowing how gravity affects matter, I will not admit that this is easy, or even possible to fake. See, the thing about gravity, and we know this from calculations and direct observation, is no matter how much something weighs, it still falls at the same rate. Look up “Issac Newton.”

    A feather weighing as much as a few paperclips will accelerate toward the ground at the exact same rate as a 10-pound hammer, minus any drag caused by wind resistance. Even a prop hammer would fall at the same rate as a real hammer.

    On the Earth, anywhere and everywhere on the Earth, all objects fall at about 9.8 meters per second squared. On the moon, however, all objects would fall at a much slower rate of about 1.6 meters per second squared. (plus or minus a few fractions of a percent, depending on the location) And, since there is no significant atmosphere on the moon, the feather does not slow down at all due to wind resistance.

    That means, in order to “fake” being on the moon, you would need either computer-generated special effects (not possible in 1969), or you would have to fly a large aircraft in a parabolic flight that would “simulate” 1/6 of the earth’s gravity. Even so, you could not film for more than a minute or two at a time, and we’ve seen unbroken footage from the moon for much longer periods of time.

    Again, all objects, regardless of size or weight “fall” at the same rate due to gravity. Those rates (9.8m/s^2 on the earth and 1.6m/s^2 on the moon) are not something we can fake. Why do you think the TV shows like Star Trek, or the movies like Star Wars just totally skip over those concepts?

  194. Irishman

    Gaaah! said:
    > They could have dropped a prop hammer and a prop feather, designed to weigh the weight necessary to fall slow enough to appear they are in a 1/6th gravity. Film students could do that too. It’s POSSIBLE to fake. Can you admit that?

    Greg is right, they couldn’t fake it the way you imagine. The rate objects fall is determined by the local* acceleration of gravity and air resistance. In vacuum, the air part goes away, and the sole determinant is the acceleration of gravity. The size and weight of the object do not play a role.

    I won’t say there is absolutely no way it could be faked, but it isn’t a simple thing, and Greg is again right that Hollywood hasn’t managed to figure it out yet. Just witness any lunar or Martian or other low gravity setting. CGI is used some, but most of the time they just let things fall under normal Earth gravity and hope the audience doesn’t notice or won’t care.

    > The larger point, is that this experiment is also available (in some form or other) to the public.

    It might be nice for there to be a museum exhibit or something that addresses the Moon hoax claims, that is interactive or at least directly witnessable. Unfortunately, when anyone tries to do it they get accused of being morons. Witness the incident from a couple years ago when the NASA Public Affairs office contracted Jim Oberg to write a book to refute the Moon Hoax claims. It became known, and announced on the national news like “look how NASA is wasting money now”. Suddenly the contract was pulled. It doesn’t matter that there are moon hoax proponents, it doesn’t even matter that there is apparently a growing segment of people who doubt, because the idea of addressing the doubts is given the same level of derision as the doubters are given.

    > Because my version is a logical idea extending from the circumstances. If you travel somewhere, it’s logical to consider the possibility that communications equipment over there, may not be available.

    Perhaps, but Apollo 11 wasn’t the first trip. They had already sent robotic landers that demonstrated electronic signals could be returned, and had already orbited the Moon (Apollo 8, 10). So there really wasn’t a reason to think all means of communication would fail at once. So like I said, if that occurred, there would probably be a lot more on NASA’s mind than “Oh gee, now nobody will believe us.” Kinda like Apollo 13.

    Your argument is along the lines of “If I ran the zoo…” You would have thought of this and you would have done that. Well, I guess you should have been there.

    > Lastly, you discuss the possibility of my giant flag idea. My rebuttal is: they’re NASA. They’re smart. They’d be able to figure out how to drop a crate of flag/placards, find an easy way for the astronauts to lay them all out, and they’d be able to calculate how big it would need to be in order for ordinary ’60s telescopes to see it. If this is difficult… how about square-meter sized placards? How about driving around a space rover that places the placards down, like those vehicles that draw the striped lines in the middle of the street? Or a Rover that leaves trails of red or blue luminescent dust. Whatever. NASA should be smart enough to figure out a way to put a giant flag on the moon, visible to ’60s telescopes, if they wanted to. Or if not home telescopes, at least university telescopes. To doubt that ability, and yet accept that they can send humans to the moon, is well, kind of contradictive.

    My response was not to doubt that NASA could have developed some means. My point was for you to examine the scale of the problem so you could perhaps understand why NASA might have felt it was not worth the time, money, energy, etc. I mean, they were already sending back TV signals and communication that was not encrypted. There already were HAM operators tracking the missions themselves. They were already bringing back 100s of photographs and movie film. Who is going to doubt the evidence? I just don’t think it registered with NASA that someone would see everything involved and still say “That’s fake”. Not to mention, there is NO way that NASA in 1969 was thinking that access to the Moon would be truncated by 1975. They were thinking this was the first step in a long, glorious, continuous string of missions to the Moon and elsewhere. There was no anticipation that we wouldn’t have regular commercial flights to the Moon by now.

    My urge to you is to think about what it would take, because you seem to gloss over it and think it would have been simple and quick. It would not have been simple or quick. Developing automated systems to help would have been at least on the scope of the LM itself. Think about how long they stayed on the Moon – 3 days was the longest visit. And that included time sleeping and eating. Now how long would it have taken to deploy your 1 ft square placards, even using a rover device? A week? 2? How much more in the way of oxygen and water and food and CO2 scrubbing? How much more fuel would have been required to get that material there? You propose a second launch to prestage the materials. Now you’re talking about a lunar surface rendezvous? That’s yet another giant complexity.

    NASA’s challenge was to land a human and return safely, not to post a flag visible by the average person or university telescopes or whatever. They completed their assignment. Now you want to retroactively change that assignment.

  195. Todd W.

    A quick thought on the “flag on the moon” idea (whether a single piece or a bunch of tagboard squares).

    If the sole purpose was to silence doubters, then there is no reasonable basis for NASA to have included it in the mission. As Irishman already pointed out, there were numerous people outside of NASA already tracking the missions.

    Let’s think of it this way. You are part of a group in North America designing a mission to send people for the first time to the southern American continent. You have generally reliable means of communication, but, like in your scenario, something could go wrong. The plan calls for the explorers to go there, document and transmit their activities back home (for the sake of argument, let’s assume they have the means to do so), and return back. It is generally known, or at least assumed, that there are no good sources of clean water or food there, and that something in the air requires the explorers to take along air tanks. The need to bring air, food and water limits the amount of time they have down there, as well as how much space is available. They are going to have a number of scientific experiments to conduct, as well as sample some of the local soil, among other tasks.

    Now, as part of the planning crew, are you going to have them also erect a structure that can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere with telescopes or other line-of-sight devices of the necessary resolution, accounting for the curvature of the Earth, just to silence anyone that might doubt the explorers went to that continent? Assuming that there are means to build such a structure, would you have the 2-4 man crew spend time on that? In order to do so, significant amounts of food, water and air supplies would need to be sent with them or ahead of them. Keep in mind, also, that pre-staging the supplies would have an equivalent cost to the manned mission.

    My scenario may seem absurd, but the principles involved are somewhat similar. Likewise, when you go on a cruise and account for the possibility that your cell phone may not work, do you have some sort of mile-high sign that you are going to erect so that people will not doubt that you actually are out in the middle of the ocean? NASA may have thought of the possibility of loss of communication or doubters, but the costs associated with a “flag on the moon” activity outweigh any benefit that may be derived from it. Not to mention that the doubters will just claim that it was unmanned vehicles unfurling the flag or laying out the placards.

  196. Good discussions going here… There are many problems with the Mythbuster’s show. They will soon be exposed on http://WWW.MOONHOAX.US and MOONMOVIE.COM.

    As for the feather and hammer, David Percy proved he could fake that easily without the use of a vacuum. But, that is a minor issue compared to the blunders made by NASA during Apollo.

    All will be revealed in time. For those who are curious about the facts behind Apollo, visit MOONHOAX.US and view the film series by Jarrah White – MoonFaker. And, there’s a MarsFaker as well.

    Cheers.

  197. MartyM

    I LOVE this episode of MB!!!

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