Lost Apollo 11 video tapes found?

By Phil Plait | June 28, 2009 12:00 pm

[Update 2: According to Bob Jacobs, NASA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, the Sunday Express article I link to below "is a fiction". Sounds to me like I got duped, and I apologize to everyone for forwarding this story. Hopefully more info will come out soon, and I'll update as I hear it.]

[Update: folks at CollectSpace are saying this article is a hoax. I have no evidence either way, which is why I wrote this post using the "allegedly" format. Hopefully more evidence one way or another will come out soon.]

On July 20, just weeks from now, it will be the 40th anniversary of the moment a human stepped foot on another world.

You’ve seen the footage: Neil Armstrong in his bulky suit, stepping off the lunar module’s footpad. Ironically, though, for such a momentous occasion, the video looks awful. Noisy, low-res, and washed out. Well, it turns out that’s because this iconic scene, shown millions of times in the ensuing years, is not the original footage. It was actually taken using a 16mm camera aimed at a screen at NASA’s Mission Control room. And the screen was only showing highly compressed data, so the end result is the lousy stuff we’ve grown used to.

Apollo 11 still from Moon landing
ZOMG! I can see right through NASA’s lies!
And through Neil Armstrong, too.

But all that may now change. The UK Sunday Express is reporting that the original tapes have been found! This means that we may finally, after four decades, get the high-quality footage of Neil Armstrong’s small step that we’ve always wanted.

The deal is this: the video stream from the Moon was of a decent quality, but far too large too be able to be be sent to TVs around the country and the world. Using the Parkes radio telescope in Australia, astronomers recorded the video beamed from the lunar surface in high quality, but what they transmitted to NASA was necessarily compressed. It’s the latter we’ve all seen. The thing is, the high quality tapes were then lost somehow. NASA admitted it a few years ago, and the search was on! According to the article the tapes were finally found recently in a storage facility on Perth.

This is very exciting, and I certainly hope it’s true. I’d love to see this moment once again, but this time with a beautiful clear picture!

And of course, me being who I am, I have to add this part:

Crucially, [the tapes] could once and for all dispel 40 years of wild conspiracy theories.

That is so wonderfully naive! First, conspiracy theories about the Moon landings aren’t based on facts. If they were, the hoax idea would have dried up and blown away 30 years ago. They have no facts. All they have is a zealous fervor and a gross misunderstanding of reality. Finding the tapes won’t help; you could fly a conspiracy theorist to the Moon and show them the equipment lying on the desolate surface, and they’d accuse you of drugging them. My advice: if you try this, leave that goofball on the Moon. That’ll give him plenty of time to think over his ideas.

Second, the use of the word "crucial" made me laugh. I’ve talked with dozens of people at NASA about the Hoax theory, and it’s hardly something that’s critical to them. They all regard it as an irritant, like a tiny pebble in your shoe or a pesky fold in your underwear you can only feel when you sit a certain way. Ignorable, but irksome when you’re reminded about it. And though they’d never admit it, I bet every single person at NASA loves how Buzz handled it.

And third, what the article author forgets is that, to a conspiracy nut, everything in the whole Universe is part of the conspiracy. So the fact that the tapes were missing is evidence of a coverup, and NASA finding the tapes is due to the massive pressure of the hoax community, and if the tapes aren’t exactly as promised that’s because NASA has doctored them, and if they are pristine and perfect then you can look just there and see the wires holding up the astroNOTS, and you still can’t see stars in the footage, and and and.

So, a few weeks before the 40th anniversary of this incredible moment in history, here’s what I think about the Moon Hoaxers: screw them. Let them gripe and moan and try to pee in the punch bowl of NASA. In reality, that punch bowl is way, way over their heads. I can see the magnificent achievement of Apollo for what it was, and I think the vast majority of people out there do as well.

Tip o’ the spacesuit visor to Fark.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Debunking, NASA, Piece of mind, Skepticism

Comments (96)

  1. I can’t wait to see the “HD” footage.

    Of course the Moon hoaxers will take this and twist it to suit their needs, but I have to give them one thing: among all those who suffer from a severe case of myopia and delusions, their BS at least doesn’t cost lives.

  2. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    They hid the original data stream? No, I’m not trying to be conspirationist, I’m just flabbergasted that the real time stuff never got replaced by a better version, whether it was forgotten or buried by its spawn’s success.

    Btw, nice analysis, but don’t you just love the way it sounds like a conspiracy theory about lunatics behavior. The upshot is, of course, that they have been behaving consistently for so long that this can be based on sound modeling, and that it exposes their limited reflex response to the real world.

  3. Sili

    Didn’t this come up some months back? I vaguely recall something about their needing to coax the original recording device back to life in order to recover the data.

    How to deal with conspiracy nuts.

  4. Alan French

    I wonder if the audio is better.

    Clear skies, Alan

  5. Gib

    Perth ??? Perth ??
    That little backwater ? What the hell are the tapes doing there ? It’s on the other side of Australia as the Parkes telescope.

    It also happens to be my home town. I can’t believe I was that close to them most of my life. Which storage facility are they talking about ? I need to know!!!!!!!

    What type of quality are we talking about here ? Movie quality ? Will we be getting at least some 1080p video off these tapes ? That would be AWESOME.

  6. Michelle

    Very naive indeed.

    But for the people who aren’t deluded, this is GREAT news. Can’t wait to see more.

  7. N.Q.

    Lolz.

    Did not expect to ever see Perth mentioned on one of your blog entries. Trust us to misplace them.

  8. nomuse

    Yah. I look forward to seeing what can be pulled from those tapes with new digital conversion and clean-up. We might be looking forward to seeing a resurgence of interest in Apollo among the general public.

    The conspiracy believers, of course, long ago laid their own groundwork. Apparently NASA hid the tapes themselves until the special effects were completed. (Don’t ask why they were able to do Apollo 12 through 17 in the 60′s, but had to wait forty years to finish the blue-screen work and wire removal on Apollo 11′s much shorter, single, EVA!)

  9. llewelly

    Crucially, [the tapes] could once and for all dispel 40 years of wild conspiracy theories.

    Video of that quality didn’t exist in 1969. Obviously, the “lost for 40 years” story is just a lie to cover up the fact that NASA just finished re-filming the moon landing all over again …

  10. While it’s great that the footage has been found, I always thought that there was something oddly fitting about them being lost. The loss was a clear demonstration about how human foibles can affect even the most momentous occasions in human history.

  11. llewelly

    Perth ??? Perth ??
    That little backwater ? What the hell are the tapes doing there ? It’s on the other side of Australia as the Parkes telescope.

    That’s where NASA meets up with the Aliens. (Forget everything you ever heard about “Area 51″; that’s just a myth NASA created to mislead everyone and get them focused on the wrong part of the world.) Don’t believe me? Why else would anyone put a city so far from any other human civilization?

  12. ethanol

    Seems relevent: make sure to check out the votey

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1560#comic

    And I’m sure there are plenty of people at NASA willing to admit they approved of Buzz’s strategy with regards to conspiracy theorists. The irony is, these people could easily be charged under US libel laws, it’s just that they are the only ones who consider that a valid form of argument.

  13. “I can see the magnificent achievement of Apollo for what it was, and I think the vast majority of people out there do as well.”

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. We should be celebrating this awesome event, not questioning it. I had to defend it only yesterday against a friend of mine who in my opinion ought to have known better. This whole “hoax” business is rotting away the greatest achievement of mankind, and I will defend it wherever and whenever it needs defending.

    Can’t wait to see the “lost” tapes!

  14. Grisha

    There is no confirmation that this story is true. This story is woefully undersourced, reads almost like a tabloid. Skeptic senses tingling!

    To be sure, NASA would be out ahead of the story if true. If leaked it would be more than “we can now reveal.”

    The guys at Collectspace watch this sort of thing very closely. I would proceed with utmost caution on this.

    Some discussion at the end of this thread:

    http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/000617.html

  15. T.E.L.

    A few weeks ago Dr Buzzo experimented a little bit with cleaning up the Apollo 11 video, to get a rough idea what to expect: http://depletedcranium.com/?p=2388

  16. I’m still waiting for the sequel.

  17. Daniel

    Forget all the conspiracy crap…Im glad they found the tapes!

  18. PatDurrell

    I cannot wait to see the tapes as well..should be very interesting!

  19. TS

    Found in storage in Perth? Great, my furnitures are in storage there. They would have to move my stuff to find the tapes in the back, bet they damaged my lava lamp and hope they didn’t find my tapes.

  20. What do you mean never admit to loving how Buzz handled the nutball? You must not be partying with the right NASA employees and contractors.

    Llwelly, please do not confuse the USAF and NASA, they do not like that. Area 51 was where the US Air Force met the Aliens after Roswell became too well known. I suspect Edwards AFB is the current location now that the base in Area 51 was shut down.

    Dave

  21. Gary Ansorge

    Ah, conspiracies, the stuff of legends,,,

    I guess lying to the public is something so ingrained in our culture it is even constitutionally protected(not just talking about politicians here,,,what they do is part of their profession). I’m talking here about Fox news and its efforts to distort reality to suit themselves, which is exactly what conspiracy nuts and anti-vaxers are famous for. Check out the link:

    http://www.ceasespin.org/ceasespin_blog/ceasespin_blogger_files/fox_news_gets_okay_to_misinform_public.html

    It’s all about Fox snooze and their first amendment right to lie thru their teeth and then fire anyone who refuses to go along with that.

    GAry 7

  22. davidlpf

    I thought Jay Windley had them.

  23. IAmMarauder

    I actually heard a good one from a conspiracy theorists one day about the moon landings. To put it in context, this guy completely believes alien landings (because there are more webpages devoted to it than sites debunking it), chemtrails and all the rest.

    However he fully believe man went to the moon. However NASA edited the videos – most telling is that they “painted out” all the stars in the videos and photos. I did try to follow up, but as soon as I tried explaining why they wouldn’t show up anyways he left the conversation so I couldn’t get a reason why they would do it.

    Slightly off-topic: Does anyone else find this with conspiracy theorists? As soon as you start explaining things to them, they switch off, tune out or simply walk away? It is frustrating that I show them enough respect to listen to their explanation, yet they refuse to do the same? Thankfully the others he was telling this to were also photographers who knew damned well why the stars don’t appear, so no harm done. However I have had a few instances where I have had to explain the truth of things to his audience (such as the fact that there is evidence of things like evolution, that there is zero evidence of aliens, and the lunacy behind chemtrails).

  24. doofus

    Bah. It’s all 3-d modeling and CG.

    Why has Neil Armstrong been so difficult to find?
    He’s been in a studio, getting motion-captured.

  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWkGTJEK0Mc&feature=related

    HERE IT IS!

    EVIDENCE OF ANCIENT ARTIFACTS ON THE MOON!

    NEIL ARMSTRONG BLASTED THE THING AWAY SO NOBODY WOULD EVER FIND IT AGAIN.

    From the youtube blurb:
    ——————————————-
    Normally it lasts 14min. What you see is the reason behind all this rush to land on the moon before USSR. It was bombed a few years later by those who decide for us.
    ——————————————-
    And you thought the conspiracy nuts couldn’t get any nuttier.

    I believe (but haven’t verified) that this is from a video series called “The Mind’s Eye” from the 90s demonstrating early computer graphics. These twits videoed it from the TV and presented it as top secret evidence of a cover up.

    If you think that’s bad, read the youtube comments. So many biblestoners out there. So few people asking questions.

  26. zaardvark

    Wow, why would someone write that article? I wouldn’t blame anyone for being duped by that, simply because you wouldn’t have any reason at all to think it was made up. Of course, that’s no excuse, maybe, but jeez…

  27. smeared ink

    For my birthday recently, my uncle and aunt gave me a little encased piece of the gold-coloured Kapton polymide tape from the Apollo 11 command module that returned to Earth. Really cool!
    This led me to bring up the fact that I’ve never been entirely sure how they actually left the moon once they got there, so my uncle found me a video of it (actually of the Apollo 17 mission, I believe). It’s amazing, but we were both laughing at how fake it looked–as though someone’s yanking on a cable to lift this little pod into the sky. It’s like watching the deep sea stuff in Blue Planet. Some of those fish look more fake than muppets! If it weren’t real I’d say it was poorly executed special effects!
    If they had faked that moon departure, even 40 years ago, it would have looked more convincing than the real one!

  28. psuedonymous

    The most utterly ridiculous moon conspiracy theory is one I stumbled upon completely randomly: that the Quindar Tones are really the markers used for a sophisticated real time automatic video editing computer that removed images of alien artefacts from live Apollo footage. No, really.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMax7EGyQSQ

  29. Anders

    Can’t say it too often: Never believe a word of what the Express writes!

  30. IVAN3MAN

    Phil Plait:

    [Update 2: According to Bob Jacobs, NASA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, the Sunday Express article I link to below "is a fiction". Sounds to me like I got duped, and I apologize to everyone for forwarding this story. Hopefully more info will come out soon, and I’ll update as I hear it.]

    Well, I’m not surprised. Back in 2001, I cancelled my newspaper deliveries of the Daily/Sunday Express after Express Newspapers had been purchased by former pornographic magazine merchant Richard Desmond in 2000; since then, both newspapers have gone down the bloody toilet. He is still the owner of the most popular pornographic television channel in the UK, Television X. :P

  31. T.E.L.

    smeared ink Said:

    “It’s amazing, but we were both laughing at how fake it looked–as though someone’s yanking on a cable to lift this little pod into the sky. It’s like watching the deep sea stuff in Blue Planet. Some of those fish look more fake than muppets! If it weren’t real I’d say it was poorly executed special effects!”

    If you think it looks fake, then what convinces you that it’s real?

  32. I don’t know what the big deal is. NASA wasn’t the only one recording the downlink. All of the major networks have tape of the original images from the moon from the NASA feed at the time. About 10 years ago NBC had a series called “As It Happened” where they just played the raw monitoring tape from their broadcasts of historic events in real time. Two that I recorded were the JFK assassination and the Apollo 11 EVA. Both of them were several hours long and were broadcast on the same day and same time of day as the original event. The Apollo 11 EVA even starts with the image upside down and in negative, just the way I remember seeing it live. The quality was just as good (well, poor) as the version NASA has been showing all these years. The camera was only 250 lines (IIRC), and ran at about 10 fps. Not exactly HD.

    - Jack

  33. 5. Gib Says: “Perth ??? Perth ?? That little backwater ? What the hell are the tapes doing there ? ”

    For those who don’t understand Gib’s joke, Perth was the location of the tracking station that happened to be one on-line when the EVA occurred. All of these images were brought to Earth through that site. They even made a movie about it a few years ago called “The Dish.”

    “What type of quality are we talking about here ? Movie quality ? Will we be getting at least some 1080p video off these tapes ? That would be AWESOME.”

    A 250i image converted to 1080p is still a 250i image.

    - Jack

  34. Gib

    Actually Jack, the telescope was in Parkes, nowhere near Perth…….

    And yes, of course the quality won’t be great. I was getting confused and for some reason was thinking they had the film of the event brought back physically from the moon……

  35. eldrade

    Last I knew of any missing tapes from the apollo11 mission, it wasnt video tape, it was data – telemetry! I wasnt aware that any “video” was missing. So aside from the BS its found, Is is really true about missing video as that seems bogus to me?
    – Mark

  36. Ah, well. Don’t let yourself get so wrung out over the hoaxers. They’re probably charter members of the Flat Earth Society.

  37. Grisha

    The latest Twitters from Bob Jacobs at NASA:

    # @suthers We told Express that we are not in a position to discuss what has or hasn’t been found. We didn’t say “yes” or “no” and cannot yet.about 1 hour ago from web in reply to suthers

    #
    @_Baylink Oh, no worries. There is a search. Express jumped to conclusions with no facts. It happens sometimes.about 1 hour ago from TweetGrid in reply to _Baylink

    So, The Express basically said “yes” when NASA said no comment. NASA is not saying yes or no. We should proceed with caution, because NASA has yet to say anything definitive, except that the Express story is a “fiction”.

    I hope the tapes are found, it’s a major historical record. We just have to sit tight and wait.

  38. There may yet be some truth to this story. I worked at a Sydney radio station, 2GB, for a few years, and a broadcaster there, Brian Wilshire, claimed he was at the Parkes telescope on the fateful day and he saw the moon landing in high resolution – I think he even said in colour. Not sure about the finding of the tapes bit though…

  39. 34. Gib Says: “Actually Jack, the telescope was in Parkes, nowhere near Perth…….”

    Oops, wrong end of the continent. I have a nephew that lives in Perth and a good friend in Adelaide. You’d think I have the geography straight.

    At least I know that Honeysuckle Creek is outside Canberra, also nowhere near Perth…

    I probably have Perth on the brain, outside of having a relative there, since that’s the town that “lit up” for John Glenn in 1962.

    - Jack

  40. And as long as I’m capitulating, the Apollo TV system used on the surface was 320 lines, not 250.

    - Jack

  41. While watching Buzz punch out the loony over and over and over (LOL!!) I found this funny video poking fun at the conspiracy theory.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYVLpC_8SQE

  42. Phil – I”d be a little skeptical about this. It might be the case, but I have heard some info that leads me to suspect that this may be a missunderstanding.

    Noted here: http://depletedcranium.com/?p=3092

    I’m trying to get some more info, but I think this might be a different set of tapes that are not the pre-scan conversion ones

  43. Michael Kingsford Gray

    This is bollocks.
    I saw the direct feed shortly before it got to NASA, and was still this smeary and low res, with vidicon artefacts.
    And it was recorded to Ampex video-tape here in Australia, where the feed direct from the Moon was received.

  44. As the guy who wrote, produced, and directed the Apollo 11 flight film at the Manned Spacecraft Center (and all the other lunar mission films), I’ll tell you how uspet we are with the conspiracy theorists. When confronted by one of them, I just say, “You found me out.” Then get on with whatever else I’m going. You can’t argue with them and who would want to. At age 75 I’m still working in the program for a NASA contractor at the Johnson Space Center. JSC=MSC.

  45. alfaniner

    With the new higher-quality audio, it will finally be revealed that Armstrong said,

    “That’s one small sip for a man, one giant Coke for mankind.”

  46. Christina Viering

    This calls for a movie sequel.

  47. IBY

    Another news once again reporting on “facts.” Perhaps the reporter should have done a tiny little bit more investigation. I wish most rumors were like videogame rumors, since a lot of them eventually comes true. ^_^

  48. José

    A “We found the original tapes” hoax? Why would somebody do that? Am I missing something here?

  49. Tim ( #38 ): Absolutely no way did anyone see the Apollo 11 landing in colour! They sent colour TV from the CSM, but not from the Moon; they didn’t have the capability.
    The low-gain antenna on the Lunar Module didn’t have sufficient bandwidth to transmit colour TV, full stop. It could only transmit black and white – and even then at low resolution – which is why this story about “high resolution tapes” being found is crap.
    The later missions all DID transmit good quality colour TV from the lunar surface, by means of using a four-foot high-gain antenna. On Apollo 12 and 14, this was free-standing, and erected by the astronauts after they left the LM; on 15-17, it was mounted on the Lunar Rover. ( On 12, they only managed to send the pictures for a short time, as Alan Bean broke the camera! )
    Why wasn’t this done on Apollo 11? Because
    a. The colour cameras weren’t ready in time, and
    b. The whole point of Apollo 11 was simply to get them there and back safely, to prove that it could be done. Such niceties as sending high quality TV had to wait until the later missions.
    In any case, even if 11 HAD had the colour equipment, it still wouldn’t have been possible to film Armstrong’s descent in colour – because he couldn’t have erected the free-standing antenna BEFORE he had stepped onto the Moon, could he???!!!
    All this is explained in great detail on Jay Windley’s Moonbase Clavius site, http://www.clavius.org.

    Finally, the conspiracy loonies’ argument about the “fuzzy, dark black and white pictures, which made it impossible to see what was really happening” applies ONLY to Apollo 11. As just mentioned, all the other missions sent far better quality colour TV. This particular argument appeals only to a particular breed of retards – those who are too stupid even to realise that there was more than one Moon landing!!!!

  50. Pete Skinner

    I might hazard it’s a guess and the tapes are on EARTH, not Perth, betraying the scammy nature of the news?

  51. Computerworld (http://tinyurl.com/klo9ue) has a very interesting article on this, especially toward the end. It doesn’t mention the Sunday Express article, but there is another person claiming to have the tapes.

    However, I think the best quote is this from Richard Nafzger, senior engineer at the Goddard Space Flight Center, who has been searching for the tapes:

    “Nafzger is currently preparing a report on the results of the search and cannot discuss them until NASA releases the report, the date of which is uncertain. ‘But since I am not running down the street waving a flag and shouting ‘Eureka!’ you can draw your own conclusions.’”

  52. Carlos

    You may want to check the following story:
    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=Hardware&articleId=9134771&taxonomyId=12&pageNumber=1

    While it talks primarily about unmanned probe data, it does reference the Apollo 11 video.

    Bottom line: It was the moon-earth link that required slow speed transmission of the video. Therefore the “raw” video received on the ground was already of pretty dismal quality (as #32 mentioned). Yes, the video was then “converted” to TV by pointing a camera at the slow-scan monitor displaying the original, but that camera was only recording the low quality original.

    IF the original tapes were to be found, the only benefit would be to use modern technology to try to enhance the poor quality video. There is NO good quality video available.

  53. Gary Ansorge

    Memory is a funny attribute. I remember watching Disneys Fantasia in full color, on a nine inch, green screen TV back in 1951,,,Which is, of course, highly improbable,,,

    I expect, since I also saw that same movie at the theater in the late 1940s, my memory filled in the missing color from the later, better recalled memory of 1951.

    As I recall, the Apollo 11 landing was really grainy and in black and white. I have no memory of anything transmitted from the moon in color. Of course, that could be just me,,,

    GAry 7

  54. Don Wiseman

    One other thing. If they wonder how we got the picture of Neil descending when was Buzz still in the cabin, there was an even lower resolution tv camera on one of the legs of the LEM (old and original acromyn). Or maybe it was from the alien base they allegedly destroyed.

  55. Robert Stevens

    Hoax or not, this author wants us to trust government and disdain anyone who questions it, exactly what the founding father’s of America begged us not do do, and for good reason.

    If you haven’t noticed, government may lie and control the media but they are not good at covering up their own conspiracies.

  56. Charles Boyer

    Later lunar missions were broadcast in color. But not Apollo 11.

    It’s amazing how low-tech key links in the data chain were — the up-conversion especially.

  57. T.E.L.

    Don Wiseman Says:

    “One other thing. If they wonder how we got the picture of Neil descending when was Buzz still in the cabin, there was an even lower resolution tv camera on one of the legs of the LEM”

    No, there wasn’t. There was one TV camera. It was packed with the ALSEP equipment in the descent stage. When Armstrong got out on the LM porch, he pulled a big handle, a lot like a rip cord, which opened up the ALSEP and activated the camera. After both crew were outside and ready to deploy the instruments, the camera was unpacked and put on the tripod, with a long cable connecting it to the LM.

  58. When I was teaching, I would show some videos on Apollo 11 using the actual footage. Students these days think it looks fake! Not just the landing, but the liftoff. When so many are used to CGI, it becomes the reality and reality becomes fake. I never saw a Saturn V go up live, but I have seen several Shuttle launches and many unmanned launches. None of them had seen a launch live so I asked them who knows what a real launch looks like: someone who has never seen one or someone who has seen many? They still thought it looked fake.

  59. ar09

    so they had 40 years… to erase, ufos, strange lights, etc. that find is “really” impressive.

  60. Charles Boyer

    Phil, I blame Big Pharma for these tapes being lost.
    :-)

  61. 52. Neil Haggath Says: “Absolutely no way did anyone see the Apollo 11 landing in colour! They sent colour TV from the CSM, but not from the Moon; they didn’t have the capability.”

    That’s true for the live broadcast, but there was a 16mm film camera above the pilot’s window (that’s the right side where Aldrin stood), that recorded the surface activity of the crew. That was color, but, of course, wasn’t seen until the film was brought back and developed.

    - Jack

  62. 56. Gary Ansorge Says: “Memory is a funny attribute. I remember watching Disney’s Fantasia in full color, on a nine inch, green screen TV back in 1951,,,Which is, of course, highly improbable”

    This is a phenomenon called “created memory.” There is no absolute, pristine place where your memories are stored. Your brain is always doing little edits from time-to-time to make the memories fit better with the cumulative world-view that you’ve developed over the years. Sometimes it enhances them quite a bit to be more dramatic. This is the reason that “recovered memories” by hypnotists are generally not allowed in court.

    I ran into this several times while researching “The Saucer Fleet.” I got a question (forwarded from the editor of Filmfax Magazine) from a fan of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” asking why they had removed the credits from the end of the movie. He distinctly remembered seeing them in the theater during the original release. I responded that the film never had credits at the end, they were always at the front. Putting the endless crawl of credits at the end is a comparatively new development in films from the late ’70s or so. Another person swore that he saw the Id Monster become visible at the climax of “Forbidden Planet” when it attacks Morbius. I said that not only does it not become visible, but the attack itself happened off screen with the camera instead trained on Adams and Altaira so you could see their reactions.

    I’ve even run into this myself when viewing films I hadn’t seen in a long time; decades maybe. Certain scenes that I remember very clearly as having a very dramatic reading of a certain line seemed very flat and uninteresting. If it hadn’t been me having the experience, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.

    - Jack

  63. Gary Ansorge

    67. Jack Hagerty:

    AH, but the Id critter WAS semi visible when the ship blasted it with their energy cannon.

    After that experience with Fantasia, KNOWING I could not possibly have seen it on that tiny green screen, I am a lot more careful about expressing facts derived from my prodigious memory store. It’s only a fact when someone else catches it on camera,,,

    When I first read Stranger in a Strange Land, in 1962 (picked it up at London Heath Row airport as I was flying back to the states from Arabia), I thought it the greatest, most insightful SciFi story I’d ever read,,,20 years later, I re-read it and thought, “Dang, that’s rather ,,,stilted,,,”.

    GAry 7

  64. 68. Gary Ansorge Says: “AH, but the Id critter WAS semi visible when the ship blasted it with their energy cannon.”

    Right, but that was the middle of the movie. This guy’s subconscious apparently wanted the resolution of seeing it “for real.”

    When I first read Stranger in a Strange Land, in 1962, I thought it the greatest, most insightful SciFi story I’d ever read,,,20 years later, I re-read it and thought, “Dang, that’s rather ,,,stilted,,,”.

    You obviously Grok the book.

    - Jack

  65. Stuart van Onselen

    Robert Stevens Says:

    Hoax or not, this author wants us to trust government and disdain anyone who questions it

    We all see the world through our own set of pre-conceptual filters. Most of the time we can still all agree on what might tentatively be called “reality”.

    But some people’s filters cause them to have a worldview which only lightly touches reality, and only occasionally at that!

    Which author are you talking about? I read nothing of the sort anywhere on the page, not from Dr Phil, not from the articles, not from the other commentators.

  66. Nigel Depledge

    The BA said:

    The deal is this: the video stream from the Moon was of a decent quality, but far too large too be able to be be sent to TVs around the country and the world.

    Phil, I am really surprised you fell for this.

    This line should have set off your BS detectors. If the footage transmitted from Apollo was of high quality, how would NASA have failed to ensure that it would be transmitted in its full glory to the whole world?

    As you should know, the first lunar landing missions had slow-scan TV cameras mounted on the MESA to film the astronauts as they descended the ladder of the LEM. These cameras were necessarily slow-scan because (a) they were lighter than high-quality TV cameras, and (b) the narrow bandwidth and relatively low gain available from the LEM’s UHF antenna meant that high-quality video images simply could not be transmitted reliably. If I understand correctly, Apollos XI to XIV inclusive had similarly low-quality video transmissions, and the later missions had higher quality video.

    Once the first 2 or 3 landings had been accomplished, NASA had enough knowledge and experience to be able to increase the weight of the LEM and its associated equipment. This included not only the lunar rovers but also higher-quality video cameras and larger UHF antennas (or it could be that they had more experience of pointing the receiving dishes).

    Remember that Apollo XI was the first time it was done, and I’m sure you will agree that NASA’s main priority was to make a successful mission, even if that meant that decent quality video footage had to wait until later missions.

  67. Nigel Depledge

    T.E.L. said:

    No, there wasn’t. There was one TV camera. It was packed with the ALSEP equipment in the descent stage. When Armstrong got out on the LM porch, he pulled a big handle, a lot like a rip cord, which opened up the ALSEP and activated the camera. After both crew were outside and ready to deploy the instruments, the camera was unpacked and put on the tripod, with a long cable connecting it to the LM.

    Erm … nearly.

    The equipment assembly to which you refer is the MESA (Modular Equipment Stowage Assembly). This probably contained the ALSEP, but the camera was mounted on the MESA not the ALSEP.

  68. Nigel Depledge

    OK, following up from #71, I had a quick look at Wikipedia (“Apollo TV camera”), and found that Apollos 12 – 14 actually had better quality footage than Apollo 11, and there was another upgrade for Apollo 15.

    That page also has photos of the “high-quality SSTV images” from Apollo 11. These are indeed better than the images that were transmitted around the world, but not by a great deal.

    Remember that the SSTV cameras trasnmitted 10 frames / sec and this could not be instantly converted into a normal TV image. What they had to do was point a normal TV camera at the SSTV monitor, and this caused some loss of quality.

  69. robbak

    Yes, this article set off my detectors as well – but I still hoped it to be true, and that the details were mangled by tech-illiterate journos.
    There are a couple of very good write-ups about receiving the signals from the moon. Most of them were written in the months following the very good movie “The Dish”. The main source of image degradation was the up-conversion of the slow-scan TV to 25fps broadcast TV, and the reconversion to 33fps for US – and it was basically a TV-camera recording off a slow-phosphor CRT – most of which had dots burnt into the phosphor where the beam had sat when the deflection circuits had failed at one time or another. That is the parents of all the recordings that we possess now.

  70. Nigel Depledge

    Robert Stevens (59) said:

    Hoax or not, this author

    Presumably you mean Phil?

    wants us to trust government and disdain anyone who questions it,

    No, indeed. Go look back through his blog posts and see how often he questions or decries government policies.

    It looks like you have based your judgement on Phil’s obvious disdain for people who believe in the moon hoax (i.e. those who doubt that NASA ever sent men to the moon). However, if there were the slightest bit of credibility to any of the hoax claims, the conspiracy would have had to involve at the very least the following:
    NASA (obviously);
    NASA employees, from top brass to astronauts to engineers and technicians;
    All of NASA’s Apollo and Gemini subcontractors;
    The governments and military of every other nation capable of using radar to track the Apollo capsules and listening to their radio transmissions (including the USSR);
    Scientists around the world who have examined the rocks brought back from the moon by Apollo missions;
    Radio amateurs around the world (many of whom would have had the technology to listen to the radio communications from the spacecraft).

    All in all, this amounts to tens of millions of people, none of whom really have any motive to lie to the world. And how many people have subsequently come forward and admitted to being involved in this alleged conspiracy?

    exactly what the founding father’s of America begged us not do do, and for good reason.

    Well, this is not quite true, is it? They would have insisted that you question your government, but that does not mean that you should harbour entirely unreasonable doubts about its activities.

    If you haven’t noticed, government may lie and control the media

    This is laughable. Government control the media? Since when?

    but they are not good at covering up their own conspiracies.

    And if they control the media, how exactly are these “conspiracies” supposed to leak out?

    Seriously, there is no credible evidence for the conspiracy that you imply.

  71. Robert Carnegie

    If this is a hoax then as a Britisher I apologise for the poor standard of our Sunday newspapers. It isn’t just this one. All of them are separate editions or separate titles from the weeklies, and all of them are to a degree relaxed about whether the story is true or not. Not that the weekday and Saturday editions are glorious either. But the Sundays.

    Some of them appear to be used by one or another political faction to present a policy idea or an allegation against an opponent that, depending on the reaction probably, both from the public and from politicians and other interested parties, may never be heard of again. Queen to conduct hangings personally, that sort of thing. (I made that up, do you suppose they mean paintings?) BBC radio news still has a section where the newspaper stories are described and discussed and it’s heartbreaking, although at least you don’t have to buy the blasted things to find out what the fuss is.

    This isn’t new either, they’ve been awful for ages and ages. I don’t know when it was that the Sunday Express reported AIDS is cured – I used to see the paper when my parents bought it (ugh!) This is when I stopped. Late 1980s, early 90s, maybe. The cure consisted of passing the patient’s blood through a machine that heats it to just above 40 Celsius. That kills the virus, they said. So again, on behalf of my country, I apologise.

    I also apologise for our standing with the United States in invading Iraq. Someone even said that you would not have gone, public opinion wouldn’t allow it, if we hadn’t joined in. But I may have read that in a newspaper.

    You are sure about uranium on the Moon?

  72. Headless Unicorn Guy

    And third, what the article author forgets is that, to a conspiracy nut, everything in the whole Universe is part of the conspiracy. — Bad Astronomer

    Ever wondered why Conspiracy Theorists are so bitter?
    They’re the only one in the entire Universe who isn’t part of The Vast Conspiracy!

    As Rich Buhler explained from experience on a radio talk show in the Eighties, it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to disprove a Conspiracy Theory:

    * Any evidence against The Conspiracy is Obviously Disinformation Planted by The Conspiracy.

    * Lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is PROOF! The Conspiracy Is So Vast THEY Can Silence Anyone. (Except the Heroic Truther, that is.)

    C.S.Lewis pegged the attitude at the end of the seventh Chronicle of Narnia, The Last Battle:

    “WE WON’T BE TAKEN IN! THE DWARFS ARE FOR THE DWARFS! WE WON’T BE TAKEN IN!”

    And so sure are they that they Won’t Be Taken In, they can never be taken out into Reality. So they stay in their filthy Conspiracy Stable, eating Conspiracy Garbage…

  73. T.E.L.

    Nigel Depledge Said:

    “The equipment assembly to which you refer is the MESA (Modular Equipment Stowage Assembly). This probably contained the ALSEP, but the camera was mounted on the MESA not the ALSEP.”

    Yep. That’s pretty much exactly what I already said alright. The essential issue was that a single TV camera went to the surface, stowed in the descent stage.

  74. Don D

    Nasa lists a briefing to be held July 16 to release restored Apollo 11 moonwalk video in their press releases on their website. It was posted July 13. Whatever the quality it should be interesting from an historical perpective. So far as them having “misplaced” them for almost 40 years, if you’ve had to deal with many government agencies, administrations or services before then its entirely believeable!

  75. Leon Johnson

    Wow, I am shocked with what I am reading from all of you ‘Sheeple’. Maybe we went to the moon, but then again maybe we didn’t. How will we ever know, us average folk can’t get up there to ever find out. I am not a conspiracy guy, just a guy who has learned to question things when 2 plus 2 don’t appear to equal 4 anymore. As a matter of fact, I only recently (3 years ago) started to wonder why NO OTHER COUNTRY on the planet in the past 35 years has even attempted to go there………seems strange, and not of human nature to me. Japan, China, Russia, Israel………..all of them have vested interest in space………yet no one wants to go plant a flag next to ours and also be considered ‘elite’?………….I’m just just saying……….it started me to scratch my chin and say “hmmmm’ only three short years ago. I was born on the DAY that Neil stepped on the moon, I turn 40 in a few days, and I can’t believe that no one…………NO ONE has been back since ’72. Something is amiss here……….I just don’t know what, yet.

    But, this I do know and will question it as any kindergartner would…… The single greatest event and acheivement by MANKIND in the 20th Century occurred on July 20, 1969 by 3 men and an organization called NASA with the backing of the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT…………and they somehow (like the 3 stooges) misplaced or lost the vintage clear video footage of it for 40 years? Are you kidding me? There wasn’t an extremely overpaid NASA person there in Australia that night with the distinct and only job of delivering that footage safely to NASA HQ on the next flight off that continent? Really? That does not make sense fellas. It just doesn’t. If you swallow this with a patriotic smile on your face, then I also have a bridge in brooklyn that I’d like to sell to you.

    I want to believe. I really do. And I try to. But, the more I think for myself, the more I spend on this planet, the more I think about the Space Shuttle traveling a maximum of 331 miles in space in the past 3 decades………….the more I scratch my chin man. I can’t help it.

  76. Scott

    “I can’t believe that no one…………NO ONE has been back since ‘72. Something is amiss here……….I just don’t know what, yet.”

    Because it’s very expensive and the reason for going back would be…?

    If it’s just to place a flag why bother? It’s been done and it’s not like a landing would attract the same praise of the 60′s.

    Until there’s a worthwhile mission I don’t see anyone doing it.

  77. I also believe the lost tapes WERE recovered in Australia, that their in valuable in that even at slow scan and slow upload onto digital tape (beta-maxish) of digital data for the image screen lines, they would provide higher quality data than what the “digital enhancement” unvieled today would have been.

    Why wasn’t Edgar Mitchel allowed to go to this Anniversary?

    Hhhmmm.

  78. A great place to see a comprehensive collection of NASA’s images and video is http://www.nasaimages.org. It’s a joint-venture between NASA and The Internet Archive. To see some newly digitized motion picture film from all the Apollo missions, click on the “Apollo 40th Anniversary” featured collection on the right-hand side of the home page, or just search “Apollo”.

  79. Sparky McBiff

    Nigel Depledge said:

    “Government control the media? Since when?”.

    I was completely with you until you made that rather outlandish claim.
    I suggest you Google “Operation Mockingbird” for starters.
    And even former CIA director William Colby once claimed: “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
    That said, the Apollo landing “hoaxers” are embarrassingly ignorant fools.
    I’ve looked into each of their “proofs” and without fail each one falls flat due to a complete lack of the understanding of basic science and physics on their part.
    (Unlike the scientifically valid evidence of the 911 Truth people, of which the corporate media is maintaining a complete blackout).
    The media is only “free” when it is concerned with items of relative unimportance.

  80. Clark Neily

    This is such obvious nonsense. Who could believe that the hundreds of people working in and around the MCC, in Flight Operations, and in Flight Crew Operations, would not have known about this and let it out at the time? Also, anyone with even passing acquaintance of the Apollo 11 crew as people would find it difficult to imagine them cooperating in any such foolishness. And not Chris Kraft, for sure…
    Clark Neily
    Formerly of Flight Crew Operations Directorate
    NASA Manned Spacecraft Center
    Houston, Texas

  81. Tony

    Of course a lot of the videos and photographs of the Apollo missions will contain anomalies but for different reasons than the ones cooked up by the moon landing deniers. Why must these kooks automatically go for the negative explanation?
    YES footage was made on Earth, “just in case” 1. They didn’t make it back, 2 Some fool forgot to remove the lens cap. 3. Same guy forgot to pack that extra box of Kodak film and etc etc.
    The US government like to cover ALL POSSIBILITIES so having extra terrestrially made footage with the known astronauts gave them an insurance policy covering ALL those possibilities.
    Bits were cut out of the actual moon photos and film were removed for other reasons, probably the same reasons why they regularly airbrush out those little objects that shouldn’t be there on current film and pics. E.G. ancient ruins, people who were already there waiting and watching. Vehicles belonging to these people [not from around here]. Mars has similar stuff on and under its surface.
    I wonder how the skeptics would react to the news that the USA had already been to the Moon a few years before the antiquated rockets took them there in ’69 using more advanced technology which got them there in hours not days. That the NAZIS travelled to Mars in the late 40s using their own home made saucers. That they are NOW travelling to Mars using “Jump Room” technology on a regular basis. “Beam me up Obama!” And that there’s a large human population living on Mars right now (living underground).

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