By Phil Plait | August 2, 2009 7:33 am

I wasn’t going to write about this, since it’s really just schadenfreude, but so many people have sent it to me via email I figure it’s touching on some level of skeptical consciousness.

Bart Sibrel arrested

Moon hoax conspiracy promulgator, astronaut stalker, and Buzz Aldrin punching bag Bart Sibrel was recently arrested for vandalism. Apparently, someone took too long to get out of a parking space he wanted. He parked nearby, got out of his car, and then repeatedly jumped up and down on the offending car, doing over $1400 worth of damage.

Now, there is certainly a vast array of snark just quivering to be let loose here. Sibrel is largely responsible for the dumbosity of the Moon hoax still being around, and has used arguably slimy tactics to keep it so. He has lied about me, and still says things that are provably wrong even when I have told him to his face (well, over the radio) that they are factually wrong. Yet he keeps on saying them.

And, of course, there is the potentially huge ad hominem about a conspiracy theorist who goes ballistic over such a minor issue as a parking space. It’s certainly easy to assume he’s a nutsoid goofball who’s just a NASA photo away from losing it completely. But that should be avoided: I know I myself have daydreamed of what I would do to people who take too long to pull out of a parking space — generally at some point large electric shocks applied to delicate body parts are involved.

But the difference, of course, is in idly fantasizing about something versus actually doing it. The real irony here is that Sibrel’s Apollo claims are fantasy, and aimed against people who actually did do something.

So I won’t go out of my way to engage in beating this particular zombie horse. Instead I’ll let you idly daydream about it. Try not to write anything slanderous in the comments, but the best "parking space travel" joke will get the kudos of the BA community.


Comments (109)

  1. Sespetoxri

    Parking Space: Where Everyone Can Hear You Scream

  2. Chris

    It sounds like he listened to “If I had a Bulldozer” one too many times.

  3. But the difference, of course, is in idly fantasizing about something versus actually doing it.

    It’s interesting how many people don’t understand this distinction. The thought police are everywhere. Watching us. With spy beams. *glances furtively*

  4. Sounds like he’s a few parking spaces short of a parking lot.

  5. Gary

    Was Neil Armstrong driving the car that Sibrel attacked?

  6. The Other Gary

    There once was a man name of Bart,
    Who jumped up and down on a car(t).
    ‘Bout landing on the Moon,
    He acts quite the loon,
    Perhaps he just had a brain fart?

  7. Hank

    He never landed on the hood of the car, that mugshot was clearly taken on a Nevada movie set.

  8. We only have Sibrel’s word for it that he launched his cab into a parking space and landed on a car. If he really was capable of landing on the car all those months ago, why has no one else been on the car since then? Why is he the only one? Why have the Russians never been on the car? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before I’d be willing to believe this man has walked on the car.

  9. Grizzly

    He is more to be pitied. This man obviously has problems.

  10. robinpa

    He was heard to yell to the lady in the car, “You didn’t have to do it, Mrs. Gorsky, you didn’t have to do it!!”

  11. Sili

    I myself have daydreamed of what I would do to people who take too long to pull out of a parking space — generally at some point large electric shocks applied to delicate body parts are involved.

    Prepare for quotemining!

    I think robinpa wins the thread.

  12. chimangolatino

    Gary, i think the name of the other guy mas “Moe”.
    Seriously, (?) why wonder about a guy that clearly has a predisposition to mix reality and his fantasies?

  13. Gary

    Was the car he attacked a moon buggy?

  14. Sven

    That’s one small tantrum for (a) man, one giant laughing stock for mankind.

  15. Obviously Mr. Sibrel has a very tenuous grip on reality and demonstrates a very low level of emotional maturity. A sad little man. He should be pitied and not scorned.

  16. My only question about this post is the use of the word “arguably”. What’s arguable about it, Dr. BA? They’re slimy tactics.

  17. Kevin

    Are we sure Bart’s real? Perhaps he’s the one made up on a soundstage, and we just don’t know it.

    Perhaps the real conspiracy is getting us to believe he is real.

  18. Gary Ansorge

    Ah, yes, the old “jumping on the car” tactic,,,I believe Chimps have the same tendency,,,and for much the same reason,,,small frontal lobes,,,amongst other small things,,,

    GAry 7

  19. Scott

    Wait wait wait….

    He…. MOONlights as a cab driver…?

    Oh, sweet irony! 😀

  20. trebor

    Did he leave a blast crater on the bonnet?

  21. TS

    Ah, yes, the old “jumping on the car” tactic,,,I believe Chimps have the same tendency,,,and for much the same reason,,,small frontal lobes,,,amongst other small things,,,

    Just like Chimps, he has also been known to be throwing a lot of faeces around.

  22. For reasons I fail to comprehend, Stumble decided to classify my submission of this article as “porn”.

    I’m sure that says something about Mr. Sibrel and his mental condition, but I’m not sure what exactly…

  23. level20monkey

    The Sibrel! It burns!

  24. Parking Space One: Would you be shocked to learn the greatest parking event in modern history may not have happened?

  25. That guy’d be in a world of hurt if he ever jumped on my Mini Cooper!

  26. Wait, does this mean the whole Moon Landing Hoax campaign is about NASA taking all the best landing spots from Bart?

  27. “Nashville, we have a problem.”

  28. Levi in NY

    Sibrel is innocent! I just saw some pictures of the “incident” and the shadows aren’t parallel. It’s a hoax!

  29. Stubby

    Q: What do you do if you see a Spaceman ?

    A: Park in it, man…

  30. Alan French

    I believe one series of old Burma Shave signs was…

    Space is big.
    Space is dark.
    It’s hard to find
    A place to park.

    Clear skies, Alan

  31. Erwin Blonk

    Jesus wants him for a moonbeam.

  32. I think maybe Buzz knocked whatever screws he had left loose….

  33. I’ve seen pictures too and there are no stars, so it must be fake.

  34. Roadtripper

    It’s like this: The other driver took too long to undock, keeping Sibrel out of his desired parking orbit, which caused him to go ballistic, and put him on an intercept course with their vehicle, resulting in multiple impacts.


  35. One small parking space, one giant lunatic.

  36. The shadow underneath him was WAY too bright for it to be real. Obviously there were other lights illuminating the car.

  37. Stu

    Sorry, I’ve tried to think of something witty or insightful or compassionate to say, but I have to go with my gut reaction, which was HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good enough for him! Not very charitable, I know, but come on, it’s just what everyone else is thinking. :-)

  38. Was Buzz or any other astronaught in the car?
    Has anyone heard if heard about this or not?

  39. It’s obvious that parking space travel is impossible. You’d never pass through the Van Allen Radial Belts.

  40. This is clearly fake, who took the photos if the guy was jumping up and down the hood of the car?

  41. Some good ones in the forum.
    Click my name.

  42. Ad Hominid

    “But Sibrel, who moonlights as a Nashville cab driver, apparently lost control a few months back over his own landing of sorts.”

    I’m glad to hear he is at least capable of honest work but if I were the owner of the cab company I would think twice about employing someone who was on probation for vandalizing a vehicle over a parking dispute.

  43. Alan French

    My wife just reminded that this is actually from a Sydney Harris cartoon, obviously inspired by the Burma Shave billboards. The actual billboards were generally advertisements or safety messages.

    Space is big.
    Space is dark.
    It’s hard to find
    A place to park.

    Clear skies, Alan

  44. Utakata

    This reminds the day Rush Limbaugh got busted for presciption drugs…it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

  45. to park where no nut has parked before
    to discover new sources of ridicle

  46. Troy

    Maybe someone should make a Bart Sibrel version of Monopoly, with “Free Parking” and “Park Place” the ultimate punchline of the game. (Along with advance token to “Moon Walk”, and “Tranquility Avenue”)

  47. @Robinpa:
    I think you win with that one! LOL Can’t touch that!

  48. Gypsum Fantastic

    I don’t know how american law goes on the subject, but here in the UK, if you’re rude about someone without actually accusing them of anything, it doesn’t count as slander. It’s legally termed “vulgar abuse”.

    So it’s not slander for me to say, for instance, that Sibrel is an utter, utter cock.

  49. Mena

    Mike Haubrich, FCD@26:
    Shouldn’t that be more like “The Sibrel has landed”?

  50. Sir_Struggle

    Someone should send him a Moon Pie for his just desserts.

  51. tarheeltoo

    “To the Moon, Alice! To the Moon!”

  52. Len

    Hey if Neil Armstrong with dwindling fuel supplies had spotted a moon man parked in Tranquility Base he probably would have done the same, we all have our breaking point, the crazies just break a little sooner.

  53. dre

    I’m honestly glad to see that the producers of the pictured newscast accurately labeled him a conspiracy theorist. That’s comforting, if nothing else is.

  54. Martin Watts

    See, if people had really gone to the moon there would be more room to park on Earth.

  55. Here’s an old joke from the Reader’s Digest:

    A little old lady in a Volvo had been patiently waiting for a spot to open up in a parking lot. When the previous occupant finally pulled away, the little old lady began to maneuver her Volvo to squeeze into the spot. Suddenly, a little sports car pulled into the spot ahead of her. As the young snot driving it hopped out he looked at the little old lady and said, “Sorry, lady. You’ve gotta be young and fast!”

    The little old lady waited for the young man to get safely clear of his car, and then slammed on the gas and rammed his car, crushing it into the concrete post in front of him.

    “Sorry, sonny,” she said, as she backed her undamaged car away. “You’ve gotta be old and rich!”

  56. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    An astronaut tried to park his capsule in orbit, before taking a space walk. We are still getting the fallout from it. He should never have taken a park in the walk.

  57. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    The lunar rover was left parked on the moon, because they couldn’t find a packing crater to send it back to Earth.

  58. erlando

    No doubt this is faked. You can see the wires!

  59. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    Exactly who keeps putting nickles in the parking meter for the lunar rover? I just hope we return to the moon before the meter maid shows up.

  60. OtherRob

    I think IMForeman (#40) wins. Though Robinpa’s was quite good too.

  61. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    I’ve been watching those maps in Houston that have the S patterns, and I just realized that they parked the shuttle and set out on Trikkes.

  62. The fact is that a person takes about 7 times longer to pull from a parking space if someone else is waiting.
    Being a man of Science Bart should have known this.

  63. Ken

    He was probably convinced that nobody had ever landed in that parking space, and tried to occupy the same space to prove it!

  64. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    Every time I park my space craft near the center of a galaxy, I can never find it again.

  65. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    A female astronaut tried for a Mars landing and ended up on Venus.

  66. It would amuse me to have a camera and jump out from behind a bush shouting, “Did you fake that car jumping? Did you fake that car jumping?”

    I mean up until the point where he was jumping up and down on a car he was – like Richard C. Hoagland – COMPLETELY CREDIBLE. 😉

    But not anymore. Nope, now he’ll always seem a little crazy to me.

  67. Alan French

    The male astronaut is out wandering around the asteroid belt because he won’t stop and ask for directions. Once he reaches Saturn he may admit he’s lost.

    Clear skies, Alan

  68. DonaldJ

    I must admit that I’ve had my own fantasies about bad parking. Not so much about those slow to exit but those who take up two parking spaces. XKCD addressed it perfectly in strip #562.

    Still, it doesn’t look good for Sibrel.

  69. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    I wouldn’t have to ask for directions if my GPS worked through the Oort cloud.

  70. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    I also enjoyed your first joke poetry, Alan.

  71. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    I wanted to be an Astronaut, but only earned the first couple of letters.

  72. Bahdum (aka Richard)

    I think Sibrel was still coping with the loss of Michael Jackson.

  73. Charles J. Slavis, Jr.

    He didn’t believe that Jackson actually moon walked.

  74. Paul M.

    Bang, zoom, straight to the studio!

  75. Ben

    Parking space, the final frontier.

  76. Nemo

    It’s nice to hear that conspiracy-mongering didn’t pay well enough to keep him from having to take a real job.

  77. That’s one small arrest for (an) ass, and one giant bitchslap for asskind.

  78. Woof

    Agreed… #10 robinpa FTW!

  79. Gotta love the irony. From the article: “Bart Sibrel is a well-known conspiracy theorist whose made a bit of a career out of ambushing America’s astronauts, trying to make them look like hot-headed fakes.”

    So after years of trying to make astronauts look like hot-headed fakes, he shows himself to be a hot-headed fake.

  80. I think that some of Sibrel’s anger might be due to the vehicle that was in the parking space


  81. “One small step for man. One giant step on a car bonnet for another man, kinda.”

    Claire Skies

  82. What’s wrong with me that I don’t get robinpa’s joke? Who’s Mrs. Gorsky?

  83. Paul M.

    I had to do a bit of googling on Mrs Gorsky… hilarity ensued.

  84. drsky… It’s an urban legend… Supposedly something Neil Armstrong said in reference to his next door neighbor… Google it.

    I wonder if Sibrel was driving a Saturn??? That would be ironic

  85. I’m evil, but if some yobbo is sitting there waiting to shark my parking spot, I deliberately take my time, and I’d probably go all Aldrin on someone trying to jump on my car to rush me out. It’s a big parking lot, nobody needs to sit there and stare longingly at my space.

    For all my short-tempers with things people do, I just don’t care how they dawdle in a parking space. I go buggo on people blocking the drive while they’re waiting to shark a parking space though. Grrr.

    Nice to see this guy ending up in court though… I can’t wait to see his defence be something like “NASA Mind Control getting revenge on me” or something similar.

  86. Michael Kingsford Gray

    “Tranquilizer base: the Sibrel has landed.”

  87. wb

    I can see getting upset about on-street parking in an area where any open space is rare. But if it was a parking lot with any other space available, you have to be a real “lunatic” to get mad. Just walk a little further, it’s good for your health!

  88. SCOTT

    If I ever meet Buzz Aldrin, I have to ask him what it was like to meet a man who has made a career out of calling him a liar, and punching him square in the face. It must have been the most satisfying punch in history.

  89. vote #10 robinpa – very creative and funny.

  90. Scott B

    Don’t have anything to say about that moon hoax idiot, but it does bring up one of my pet peeves. People waiting on parking spots. I really don’t understand this. Unless the parking lot is entirely full, go the extra 5 spots down and walk. You can probably park there, walk, and get to where you need quicker than waiting on someone. All your doing is rushing the person who got there before you for your own benefit and it’s rude. If I’m not in any hurry, I just sit in my car and wave at these people as they get all upset. Many laughs to be had.

  91. Michelle

    @Scott B: I agree. I can’t stand it. My mother does it ALL THE TIME. There’s a parking spot just a couple spaces down the lot, it doesn’t matter… She wants THAT closer spot.

    Talk about lazy.

  92. TracyM

    I guess living in Vermont I never was irked about anything related to parking, much less gave even a second thought about the speed someone vacated a parking spot.

  93. formulaterp

    # 30. Stubby Says:
    Q: What do you do if you see a Spaceman ?
    A: Park in it, man…

    Not getting nearly enough love. I LOLed.

  94. Peter

    Some of the comments are just too funny.

    Damn, Lou beat me to that one in post #28.

  95. Tim

    I find it interesting that the victim was still in her car at the time that he jumped up and down on it.
    Hmmm…. maybe being from Tennessee he fancied himself to be another Buford Hayse Pusser (as portrayed in the TV series) sans the chunk of 2×4

    Ah well …

  96. mike burkhart

    The guy needs help hes a sick man

  97. Don Wiseman

    Space parking? Just before Apollo 12, Commander Pete Conrad was given several parking tickets for parking in “Admin. Travel” parking next to the Houston NASA hangers while he flew off to meetings, training etc. in his T-38. Much bickering went on about whether Pete was on administrative travel since he was only an astronaut not an administrator. It was finally settled when the guards threatened to ban him from driving on NASA property and Pete grudgingly acquiesced.

    A scene in the film for the Apollo ceremonies for new astronauts getting their gold wings shows the LM coming in to its landing spot, then moveing to another are after seeing an “Admin Travel” sign. In case there is any doubt about the authenticity of the story, I made the film with the 12 backup and support crews.

  98. Keith


    Was the car a Plymouth Satellite?

  99. HawkeyeMD

    I vote robinpa in #10 too. Subtle and brilliant at the same time.

  100. HawkeyeMD

    …this is an accidental double post. Sorry…

  101. Darrin

    That’s no moon…it’s a Volvo…

  102. Chris A.

    @Scott B. (#93):

    Even better: When shopping at a multi-business location (mall, etc.), go into a store, buy your items, then take them out to your car before going to the next store. The parking lot sharks will follow you, assuming that when you reach your car the space is theirs, only to be frustrated. Works especially well at Christmastime.

    For added fun, deliberately take a circuitous path to the car and see how long you can get them to follow you.

  103. I like no 7. – Hank :-)

  104. Jarvis

    I will never meet Bart Sibrel, but I wish I could. I’d love for that idiot to jump on my hood. I’m almost 60, but I’m a former boxer and pro wrestler…he’s think that what Aldrin gave him was a love tap if I ever got my shot at him. Buzz is a national hero. I would call Sibrea a national disgrace, but he isn’t significant enough to rate that high. What an idiot. The lifeguards must have been distracted when he jumped into the gene pool.


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