Moon Hoax +10

By Phil Plait | February 15, 2011 11:15 am

My friend and fellow skeptic Tim Farley reminded me that today is the tenth anniversary of Fox airing the TV show "Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?"

Yay?

If I had to describe that show in one word, it would be "grotesquely distorting reality, an execrable steaming pile of offal that doesn’t come within a glancing blow of the truth."

Was that more than one word? Well, it’s hard to find a single word that truly captures the feel of that program.

I remember that week pretty well, in fact. I had just started my job at Sonoma State University, having uprooted my family from suburban DC and moving 5000 km west just the month before. I was puttering around on my computer when the phone rang: it was my pal Dan Vergano, who writes for USA Today. He had some questions about Pluto, so we chatted for a while, and then he asked me that fateful question that would, quite seriously and in all honesty, change my life: "Hey, did you hear about this Fox TV show about the Moon landings being faked? It’s airing on Thursday."

Ironically, at that time I had just finished writing about people who thought Apollo was faked for my first book, Bad Astronomy, so I was pretty familiar with the arguments. I was able to procure an advance copy of the show and watched the whole thing. It was like watching a snuff film, except the victims were 1) reality, and b) the immense effort of nearly half a million people to get Apollo off the ground and to the Moon.

I sat down and wrote a point-by-point dissection of the show, waiting until after it aired to actually post it on my site. I was upset, but didn’t think the page would help much; the web was still a bit shiny and new back then.

Ha! By Monday, the page was out of control. To my shock, CNN and NASA had both linked to it, and I was getting flooded with emails. Most were supportive, but some were from, um, people whose grip on reality was somewhat tenuous. One person called me "Mr. Smarty Pants Astronomer" and proceeded to tell me how dust motes in an Apollo 13 photo were actually stars. Lots of other emails were on par with that one.

One in particular caught my eye. It was describing the landing of Apollo 16, and how the astronauts had a hard time telling how far away rocks were; the lack of an atmosphere and the shapes of the rocks kept fooling them into thinking they were closer than they really were. OK, no big deal, but then I noticed the author of the email kept using the word "we". Suspiciously, I scrolled to the bottom, and it was signed by Apollo 16 lunar lander pilot Charlie Duke!

Holy Haleakala.

That was only the beginning. In the 10 years since I’ve written tens of thousands of words about the Moon Hoax, given invited talks about it all over the country (and Australia, too), debated Moon Hoax advocates on the radio and TV, and generally butted heads with dozens of such antiscience promulgators. But I’ve also met almost all the men who walked on the Moon, talked to dozens of folks who helped put them there, and gotten a chance to meet countless other great people from all over the world who love Apollo and space exploration as much as I do.

It’s funny: sometimes I’m asked how I feel about the claims that Apollo was faked, and the obvious answer is that this entire conspiracy theory idea is composed completely and utterly of ridiculous claims, misinterpreted photos and video, and wholly made-up nonsense. But in a very real sense it helped launch my career as a skeptic and popularizer of science. So I do have to admit I’m a little conflicted about it.

That dumb TV show did a lot of damage to the American level of critical thinking, but I am where I am because of it. I think in the end, and all things considered, I wish it had never happened. On the other hand, maybe some good did come of it…

I remember when I was writing that chapter in my book about the Moon Hoax. It was making me so angry that I was literally losing sleep. My wife was even a little concerned because I was tossing around in bed for many nights. But then one day I was looking over some Apollo pictures for the book, and had open in front of me a classic shot of Apollo 12 astronaut Al Bean holding a sample container filled with lunar regolith.

As I examined the picture, a thought struggled to surface in my head:

This is a picture of Al Bean. It’s a man in a space suit. It’s a man in a spacesuit holding a sample container. It’s a man in a spacesuit holding a sample container on the Moon. Standing on the Moon. It’s a man standing on the freakin’ Moon!

Slowly, a wave of awe, joy, and happiness washed over me — a glow of warmth that stays with me to this day. From that moment on I didn’t let the conspiracy theorists bug me very much. They were wrong, but even more importantly, they didn’t matter. In the long reach of history, they will be forgotten, gnats buzzing around a monumental edifice.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, we did indeed put 12 human beings on the surface of another world, and did in reality and in fact bring them back to Earth.

That’s what matters.

Comments (165)

  1. CJSF

    But Phil, weren’t you already a popularizer of science then? Your original website was up and quite popular, and I am pretty sure the original BABB was in full swing by then? Or am I getting my memories scrambled by the intervening decade?

    CJSF

  2. Tristan Heydt

    NSFW (language) but perfectly safe visuals from the Evolution Control Committee:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhWZ4gNqPP0

  3. Glencoe

    I’m of the opinion that the moon hoax is something that most people will grow out off, and those that don’t can say whatever they like. It doesn’t detract from the magnitude of our achievements and what we did.

    The level of respect they should get is about this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUI36tPKDg4

  4. Great article. I notice that the similarity in the (lack of) brain processes that get people to be moon landing denialists are all to simmilar to evolution deniers, 9/11 “truthers”, birthers, anti-vax loons, and all the rest of them. We are such an easilly manipulated species when it comes to someone telling a tall tale instead of following evidence.

    I like evidence, and you do a great job pointing people at it. Keep up the good work, and I’m glad reality has you on its side.

  5. Lucas

    One of my roommates specifically disbelieves in the very idea of outer space. So, of course, that includes the Moon landing. I just can’t understand what’s to be gained from holding onto that flawed belief.

    I wonder how can you not believe in outer space, yet cling to astrology as if it were the end-all of human behavior, like my roommate does. I just don’t talk to her about it.

  6. Steffen

    I found the best tactic to “argue” with moon landing deniers is NOT to argue rationally. They simply won’t listen to any rational argument because it’s literally a matter of belief for them. They will twist every word, ignore overwhelming facts, and jump on any smallest possible inconsistency. Psychologically, they remind me very much of religious fundamentalists.

    Arguing will just steal my precious time. I found it much better to immediately strike back with a counter-conspiracy theory. Here it is ;-) And feel free to use it!

    “Of course we were on the Moon. The soviets gnashed their teeth, but they had no other choice but to congratulate after the successful landing.

    But they had an evil plan in their backhand: They waited patiently until the memories started to fade. Then they sprang into action. The KGB started to secretly spread rumours all over the world that everything was faked. With the internet, this smear campaign became even more easy for the russians. And much to their advantage, a lot of weirdos fell for their trap, exponentially spreading this deliberate lie by spreading it in blogs, building websites, putting videos on YouTube, etc…

    Anybody who is denying the moon landings it nothing but a willing naive helper for the russian secret service and their plan to win the space race at last by discrediting the USA.”

    Of course, this conspiracy-“theory” is as crazy as denying the moon landings. But I found it extremely efficient in silencing any moon landing deniers immediately.

  7. ASFalcon13

    Ok, I understand you have emotional connections to the event and all, and I’ll admit that Apollo was awesome. However, while you’re rambling on about a crappy TV show that aired a decade ago, NASA’s pulling photos off of a spacecraft that flew within 112 miles of a comet just 14 hours ago. In fact, the closest approach photos arrived not too long ago. Stop whatever you’re doing and go take a look: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stardust/multimedia/version1/index.html

    Yes, it’s a man standing on the freakin’ Moon…and we just revisited a comet for the first time in human history. A freakin’ comet, man!

  8. Sam H

    @5 Steffen: Now THAT is what I call a comeback!! :)

    As for the photo, is that shining nut in the top left just part of the lens flare, or is it Earth? I’ve seen that Soviet saucer in several Apollo photos, sometimes very prominently.

  9. Calli Arcale

    Lucas — well, sometimes it doesn’t matter what a person gets out of a belief. Like junk DNA, sometimes beliefs persist despite not providing any particular advantage in a person’s life. Sometimes there’s mental illness involved (like the lady who was posting videos to Youtube about how rainbows in her sprinkler meant that the government was putting chemicals in the water) but sometimes it’s just part of the general weirdness of the human experience.

    There was this guy whose website I read; he believed Apollo was faked to conceal the fact that supersonic flight was impossible for anything larger than a rifle bullet.

  10. Keith Bowden

    No need to feel conflicted, Phil; you’d still be a fount of information even if we didn’t have science nutters in the world. And thank you for that, by the way. And thanks to The Hive Overmind Discover, you’re reaching even more people.

  11. dust motes in an Apollo 13 photo were actually stars.

    Which, obviously is silly, as everyone knows they are “sprites” from another dimension.

  12. Daniel Boulet

    I remember getting up early to watch the various Gemini and Apollo launches on TV (I was probably too young to pay much attention to the Mercury launches). Starting sometime in the mid-60’s, I followed the whole adventure with the intensity that only a (relatively) young child can muster. I know exactly where I was when Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon (watching it all on a friend of my mother’s TV because they had a big colour TV and ours was still a small black and white model). There has _NEVER_ been any doubt in my mind that the Apollo moon landings were real.

    While the conspiracy theorist crowd will never go away and rebutting them might sometimes feel like an exercise in futility, people like Phil Plait and websites like Bad Astronomy perform an essential service if only to provide a place to send people who are still open to logic even though they are confused if not tempted by the rubbish that the whole anti-science crowd spews out.

  13. Another Eric

    I want to thank you “Mr. Smarty Pants Astronomer” for being here at this time. You help to fill the void of reason that was left with the passing of Carl Sagan.

    Please keep up the good fight.

    Thank you.

  14. Chris

    Break out the tin-foil hats… I’ve chosen duck-tape instead, it helps contain the pressure of my head exploding.

  15. DCCNam

    Personally, I just love the Mitchell and Webb comedy video about the moon hoax. In addition to being funny, it makes a good point about the “massive rocket”!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6MOnehCOUw

  16. Joseph G

    Beautiful and enlightening post, Phil!
    And that is a great picture, even as pictures of humans standing on the freaking moon go :)

  17. SpyderHawke

    It was because of that show that I learned about your page, Phil. Once I learned of you, my “descent” into skepticism began and there was no stopping it. So, I guess I should thank Fox for changing my life.

  18. Conspiracy theories are easy answers to hard problems. Even the seemingly-complicated ones are simplifications: forget half a million people’s real efforts, accomplishments, setbacks, personalities, and reduce it to one narrative. Easy answers make some people feel safe, but real life does not generally permit them, and life is not a unified narrative.

    Also, this: http://onion.com/gOcL7C

  19. Jason Dick

    Here’s one word that you could use: Wrong!

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

  20. Michael Swanson

    @5. Lucas

    “One of my roommates specifically disbelieves in the very idea of outer space.”

    Oh, you have to expand on that. You must! Because the only thing that comes to mind when I read that is “???”

    Phil, I love what you do. You’re one of my sources when refuting all sorts of celestial nonsense. Keep it up and be proud!

  21. Vernon Balbert

    I have to disagree with you on this one, Phil. The damage to critical thinking was done a long time before that “documentary” aired. It just capitalized on it. After all, look at the UFO stuff. That’ was going on long before The Eagle even landed on the moon. Look at snake oil salesmen and so on. It’s always been with us and there are people who will believe all kinds of nonsense and I fear there always will be.

  22. Mitch

    I am completely convinced that this so-called “New World” that Columbus is shilling is a hoax, made from whole cloth. Have you seen this “New World”? What proof does this Columbus guy REALLY have? Those stories are all faked.

    On a serious note: when do we go back? I want to go!

  23. Brian Utterback

    That Charlie Duke would step up to defend Apollo is hardly surprising. Imagine the results if he had stepped up to defend the other side!

  24. @Steffen (#6), that is a very simmilar argument to one I have used, but I like yours better. You get a +1 internets for that!

  25. Sarah

    I wonder if people thought Columbus made it up, too? Great article, Phil.

  26. As much as I want to be excited that we put a man on the Moon, I’m a bit saddened also. The last time a man walked on the Moon was in December 1972. I was born in 1975. So man hasn’t walked on the Moon in my lifetime and man’s not likely to walk on the Moon anytime for the forseeable future. I really want to gather around the TV (or computer screen) with my kids and show them a live (or nearly live) feed of a man bounding across Luna!

  27. Craig Clark

    Thanks for helping stop the foolish hoax stories. I think some of the hoax people also believe that pro wrestling is real

  28. The airing of that show was one of the two most pivotal moments in my life, and I didn’t even watch it. The next day, your article was linked on Slashdot, and I clicked on it and read the whole thing. Then I started reading more and more of your website. That’s the day that I realized that there was a definition for how I think, skepticism, and there was a whole community of other skeptics out there in the world. Through your site, I found out about other skeptical sites. I learned about formal logic, logical fallacies, debate techniques, and all of the tools a skeptic needs. It eventually led me to the atheist communities, which again, I had no idea were out there before. That day 10 years ago changed the direction of my life more than any other save for one, and that one other day probably wouldn’t have happened without this one. So, as much damage as it might have done, I’m glad it aired. It’s stunning to think about how much my life has been influenced by the airing of a conspiracy show 10 years ago that I’ve never even watched.

    I may not always agree with everything you say or do, but I want to thank you, Dr Plait, from the bottom of my blood pump, for everything you’ve done for the community as a whole and especially for me personally.

  29. @Lucas,

    I agree with Michael Swanson. Expand on this “disbelief of outer space.” Some conspiracy theories are so outrageous that they result in great laughter upon hearing them. This sounds like one of those. Does he not think the Moon exists? Or the Sun? Or Jupiter? Or the stars? Does he think that big, bright thing in the sky is Apollo completing his rounds? Or that the Moon is really a secret government weather balloon intended to spy on us?

  30. “Mr. Smarty Pants Astronomer” should be a compliment. I’m still waiting for someone to call me “Mr. Smarty Pants Astronomer”. (Maybe it’d help if i’d get some Astronomer credentials.)

    Being smart should be an admirable thing.

  31. Carlos

    I almost wish the whole landing HAD been a hoax. After all, a government apparatus capable of executing such a complex hoax would have ensured our landing on Mars by now!

  32. CB

    @ DCCNam:

    Personally, I just love the Mitchell and Webb comedy video about the moon hoax. In addition to being funny, it makes a good point about the “massive rocket”!

    Yeah, it’s pretty great! I really like it beyond it just being funny because while I myself have followed all the hoaxer arguments and their debunkings (which I enjoy because 90% of the debunkings can be summarized as “Because it’s THE MOON!”), that skit actually had an argument I hadn’t thought of before. Yeah, what about that massive rocket everyone saw?

  33. dpeters11

    @Michael Swanson: I knew someone similar to that, only worse probably. Keep in mind this was around 1992-1993ish and in the United States. She thought the Government did some sort of operation at birth to make you see stars, guess that means all governments. Obviously she didn’t believe in the space program, but even crazier, she didn’t believe heavier than air travel existed. Yes, that planes (prop or jet) couldn’t fly and were “props” in the film and movie sense, and people only thought they were going to a different city. She said she would only believe in the existence of space if she went up on the Shuttle and could stick her head out the window.

    She also said that dinosaurs didn’t exist because they weren’t mentioned in the Bible. Not even that they and humans coexisted in a young Earth theory, but didn’t exist. She didn’t like it when I asked her where it mentioned squirrels specifically. But then I also knew someone that believed in spontaneous generation, as in one day you could be walking down the street, and “poof” a new species appears in front of you. There are all types out there…

  34. Joseph G

    @24 techydad: Sadly, given the budget cuts going on right now in an effort to reduct the debt death-spiral the US is in, I can’t imagine anyone in government approving a plan to massively increase NASA’s budget (my understanding is that, adjusted for inflation and all that, NASA spent something like 6 or 8 times as much money per year, during the peak of the Apollo program, as it does now).
    Of course, with new technology, it may be possible to accomplish it a bit cheaper now, but I can’t imagine it’d be THAT much cheaper.
    Really, the only way I can see humans returning to the moon within the next 10 to 20 years would be an international effort funded by many nations, sorta like the ISS.
    That wouldn’t be a bad idea, come to think of it. Phase one: International Space Station. Phase 2, International Moonbase :)

  35. Timmy

    I first came in contact with this blog because of the Moon Hoax. I was watching YouTube videos from a moon hoax advocate who was confronting and bullying astronauts. I looked up the hoax on the interwebs and found your old site, which led me here.

    I have always tried to get as much information as I can before I decide what to believe. I look at facts and arguments from both sides and use them to develop an understanding of the issue and make my own well thought out conclusions. Phil, you told me that process has a name: critical thinking.

    You rekindled an old love of astronomy which I am now sharing with my 6yo son. We got a Gallileoscope recently and we went to the US Space & Rocket Center last year.

    I also got some great info on the arguments about Intelligent Design, Global Warming, and Vaccinations. Bonus!

    So, thank you Fox for the crap you call television!

  36. Everyone knows that they were going to fake the Moon landing but then a delivery spaceship from the future came back in time and the government captured one of the alien crew members. They needed to move the alien to Area 51, which was, until then, meant to be the Moon landing soundstage. The president at the time said “Invent NASA and tell them to get off their fannies.”

    I saw it on that documentary called Futurama which (ironically?) aired on Fox.

  37. CharonPDX

    @Glencoe,

    “I’m of the opinion that the moon hoax is something that most people will grow out off, and those that don’t can say whatever they like. It doesn’t detract from the magnitude of our achievements and what we did.”

    There are still idiots that believe the Earth is flat…

  38. The Naturalist

    Last night walking out in the parking lot from work I looked up and saw the moon in a beautiful pale blue sky and just thought “people actually flew all the way there, landed, slept, explored then came back.” Wow, it just gives me goose bumps every time I think about it. Lets get busy going back.

  39. Number 6

    I loved the article, Phil!…..Your excitement and wonder about space exploration and science is contagious…..

    That lame Fox TV show — “Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?” — seems like the equivalent of a digital anti-monolith from the movie, “2001 – A Space Odyssey”, in which an anti-science terrestial intelligence transforms some of mankind into less logical, less critically-thinking, and less intelligent human beings.

  40. chris j.

    But in a very real sense it helped launch my career as a skeptic and popularizer of science. So I do have to admit I’m a little conflicted about it.

    no. a need existed, for someone to step up and shine the light of reason into this void, and you stepped up.

  41. PayasYouStargaze

    The moon hoax was what brought me to Bad Astronomy in the first place. Thanks to that programme, we get to enjoy Phil’s thoughts. Keep it up!

  42. bandsaw

    I have to agree with TechyDad. I think one of the things that encourages the moon hoaxers is that we only managed to do this 6 times, and then we quit. There are many people (myself included) in this world who have not had a human on the moon in their lifetime. There should be cities there now, rather than 40 year old relics. I keep hoping that Virgin Galactic or SpaceX can take us there soon, because the market is there.

  43. Don’t take it personally, Phil. There are 9/11 conspiracy nuts out there, JFK assassination conspiracy nuts, and holocaust conspiracy nuts. Probably others, too. As for me, I firmly believe that all the various conspiracy theories out there are merely part of a larger world government conspiracy to keep people confused.
    Or maybe it’s all just a glitch in the Matrix. Haven’t decided.

  44. Jason

    @NCC-1701Z So, the only conspiracy is a conspiracy to create conspiracies in order to hide the real conspiracy from the unwitting masses?

    That kind of double-think gives me a headache.

  45. Kenn Murphy
  46. Alas, the moon hoax will never die because it is so very entertaining and gives misinformed people something to do with their know-nothingness.

    In my first month as a NASA employee, a friend sent me an email saying her friend’s teenage son found some stuff “on the Internet” saying we never went to the moon. She asked me what I ( a new NASA employee, corresponding with her FROM NASA) thought of that. So I did. And she said she would never, never ask me about that again!

    The stupid…. it burns.

  47. Robert E

    @dpeters11: Squirrels. I’ll have to remember that one.

  48. Michel

    Why is Obama only upping NASA´s budget with a lousy 1.5%?
    There must be a conspiracy behind that…

    @44 Jason

    and that´s were Big-Pharma comes in.

  49. The worst part is that it spans generations and has been going on for millennia. I just started writing a review of “The Knights Templars Revealed” on my blog and had to just recognize that some people *need* a conspiracy. They can’t grasp that some things can happen. 9/11 was a horrible event. Being able to place the blame on the shoulders of some unknown Illuminati or Masonic or shadowy governmental group helps people cope with things they can’t handle. The moon hoaxers are in the same vein. They just can’t conceive of other people actually walking on another celestial body – it’s too much for their brains. Instead, what’s easier to reconcile is that people faked it. Whether it’s the Knights Templar being the secret masters of the world or NASA pulling the wool over the eyes of the world, the conspiracies will live on.
    Keep up the work, Phil!

  50. Kate

    I wanted a spacesuit so badly after reading read Have Spacesuit Will Travel as a kid, that photo makes me want one again.

  51. Number 6

    @Bill DeVoe….Truer words have lately not been written….You nailed it, Bill!….Look at some of the more popular movies and books — dramas with conspiracy plots. It’s a significant part of our culture. Even the History TV channel often highlights some show based upon a conspiracy-based theory of past events. You’re right!….it’s a pervasive phenomenon….and has been for a long, long time.

  52. idahogie

    I doubt the moon hoax program created a single idiot. If someone saw that and was converted to a moon hoaxer, then they were already lost to rational thought.

    Your work and your site, as several commenters above have testified, have actually changed lives.

    Big, big win for you.

  53. BOB

    Come on people if Neil Armstrong really landed on the moon he would have posted a pic on his twitter page in 1969.

  54. Tom K

    “Well, it’s hard to find a single word that truly captures the feel of that program.”

    I can think of a word, and it’s commonly abbreviated, “BS”.

    “This is a picture of Al Bean. It’s a man in a space suit. It’s a man in a spacesuit holding a sample container. It’s a man in a spacesuit holding a sample container on the Moon. Standing on the Moon. It’s a man standing on the freakin’ Moon!”

    You comment reminds me of the moon landing headline in The Onion (a bit NSFW):
    http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/5442/899118-theonion_moon_landing_super.jpg

  55. Well done, then and in the 10 years in between. You deserve every bit of success, and you have my healthy envy. Heck, I myself was interviewed by Dan Vergano 10 years ago for USA Today (and you have to admit that being in Argentina that’s much more improbable!). You are great.

    And yes, even we people in other corners of the world still shiver when remembering Apollo. We are greatful to Americans for having done it “for all Mankind“.

  56. flip

    Yay Phil for doing awesome stuff for 10 years! Amazingly enough, it was the moon hoax stuff that brought me to the BA site and ultimately to the BA blog (research for some creative writing). Ironically, it was bad Fox TV that allowed me to spend lots of time learning about a great subject – astronomy! Never really been interested up until then, outside of an occasional look at a Hubble image or two.

    Some good did come of it. In April, I will be taking my very first course in astronomy. Plus, I got myself my very own Galileoscope at the end of last year and have been enjoying looking at the moon, Venus, and other things (granted in my very light polluted backyard) as much as I can; and with the help of Stellarium, am actually figuring out where the stars/planets are without having ever looked at a star map before. (My only regret is the giant tree in my backyard which has been blocking my view of Saturn!)

    Thanks Phil for all your hard work and enthusiasm. Without you and this blog, I literally would never have started on this wonderful and wonderous path, or enjoyed the many detailed discussions of religion, science, skepticism, or politics. :)

  57. McWaffle

    Huh. I was going to comment that I had seen this 10 years ago, bought into it somewhat (I was what, 14?) and eventually looking into it lead me to this very page. I thought I was unique, but that’s apparently not the case.

  58. MichaelL

    @Glencoe #3
    “I’m of the opinion that the moon hoax is something that most people will grow out off, and those that don’t can say whatever they like.”

    Unfortunately this rarely happens. What usually happens is that people will continue in their denial, looking for other reasons to deny the truth. I have not met one Moon Landing denier that has been convinced by the abundance of evidence. Ultimately, they will end the argument with something like this: “Well, nothing will convince me that we put a man on the Moon.” I think it comes down to educating people in the school system. Teaching kids critical thinking skills, and teaching them history. I was shocked to read that, during the past anniversary of the Challenger disaster, many students had no clue as to what happened and why it’s important.

  59. frankenstein monster

    Wait till the last shuttle lands. Moon landing denialism will be surpassed by human spaceflight denialism, and soon total denial off all spaceflight.

  60. T-storm
  61. That’s a pretty fantastic picture. I like that he’s wearing a giant watch around the arm of his space suit. I like the little things in pictures like this. The stuff you can see once you look past what it is. I had no idea that those Apollo space suits were as fuzzy as they look there. I just assumed they were some sort of plastic-ish material but if you zoom in, it looks like they have some random threads and appear a little fuzzy.

    To be one of those few that actually landed on the moon. That must have been spectacular.

  62. Tom

    If it were to lift your spirits any, Phil, today is not only the anniversary of this documentary, but also what would be the 447th birthday of Galileo! Now there’s certainly some cause for celebration.

    Back on the topic of skepticism, I have no idea when I really got into it, but I’m glad I am now and I try to pass it on to all my lab students. Most importantly to me, though, I succesfully passed it on to my now-fiancee. Nothing beats seeing the world with a partner who not only appreciates the view, but the wonderful natural causes that create those views. Keep up the good work, Phil!

  63. Here’s to ten more years of Bad Astronomy! (And thanks for the nice plug)

  64. Was that more than one word? Well, it’s hard to find a single word that truly captures the feel of that program.

    Does “dreck” come close to doing it justice?

    but I am where I am because of it. I think in the end, and all things considered, I wish it had never happened. On the other hand, maybe some good did come of it…

    I suppose the same thing could be said about an asteroid wiping out (nearly) all dinosaurs on this planet.

  65. flip

    #6, Steffen

    Would that counter-theory work on Russians or anyone who lived in the Soviet Union?

    #26, Techydad

    You bring up a great, if not obvious point: with all the technological advances these days, we would get almost instant colour video of the men/women on the moon. I wonder how hard it would be to have live video *chat* from the moon? That would be awesome – Q&As, experiments, data collection, all interactive and live to our computers! Would something like that be possible, those of you with the knowledge to answer? (Oh, actually… I seem to remember a video of Randi doing a magic trick with an astronaut… So maybe it is!)

  66. TeddyZ

    Funny, I love watches and was just in a jewelry store looking at that very one, which is still made: the Omega Speedmaster Professional. The back has an inscription commemorating Apollo 11. A bit expensive but I know this reminder of the moon landings would make me smile every time I glanced at it.

  67. David Buchner

    Good for you, Mr. Plait. Cool story.
    For my money, any damage done to the American level of critical thinking had already *been* done, through lack of attention and other things. The airing of the crappy “documentary” was more like a symptom. If it was also the spark that got more folks like you in the public eye, and opened up discussion of this stuff… I call that a win.

  68. Adam K

    Phil, thank you for this. I, too, struggle with the prevalence and unreasonableness of moon landing deniers (and most of the other anti-reason hogwash you call attention to on this blog). The sentiments you write above, especially coming from a man lucky enough to have met so many of Apollo’s heroes, really help drive the point home about how important it is to focus on what we truly did accomplish.

    However, comforting though that may be, the lack of reason so prevalent in America today seems to have rooted itself so deeply in our society, and that makes me quite pessimistic that America would ever be able to do anything like Apollo again. I feel that the political and social challenges standing in the way of further space exploration, disease eradication, or even high speed rail far exceed the technical or scientific problems we solved in the early days of the space program.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing some of your coping mechanisms, though it’s probably outside the scope of your blog, I look forward to more.

  69. Steffen

    #65, flip:

    Besides the inevitable 1 second delay due to the moon being 1 lightsecond away, with modern technology it would be completely no problem to have a color live video chat from the moon.

    For example, the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter can transmit 461 Gigabytes per day, or 100 MB per second. This is much more than the data rate I have here over my DSL connection:

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/LRO_twta.html

  70. Steffen (6):

    Anybody who is denying the moon landings it nothing but a willing naive helper for the russian secret service and their plan to win the space race at last by discrediting the USA.”

    I like it.

    Now, if you can only get one of them to respond “Hmm… I never thought of it that way before… It all makes sense now…” :-)

  71. Pft! Conspiracy theories always wind up here: UFOs are real!! Why folks believe in UFOs but not lunar landings is beyond me.

  72. Dave

    I discovered (no pun) your old bad astronomy website while looking for moon hoax debunking ammunition for my non-critical thinking friends. I really liked that article, and have turned up here ever since. I even bought Death From The Skies. Hard to believe it’s been about 10 years.

  73. Bad Wolf

    Excellent post, Dr. Plait. However, I can sum up that show in one word. The word starts with “B” and ends with “T”, and is usually not considered appropriate for work, and is often followed by a whole herd (flock? swarm? pod?) of exclamation points. Penn and Teller had a whole show featuring just that one little word as I recall…

  74. Lenny

    The perfect cure for these conspiracy films: “Nasas Greatest Missions”, narrated by Gary Synese, buckets of nasa footage and interviews with the men themselves, its pure astroporn.

    Just happened to be digging into the boxset this evening, Mercury & Gemini done, was taking a break for a cuppa before the Apollo episode and read this post.

  75. Idlewilde

    @#72

    I believe in aliens *and* lunar landings!

    Anyway…my moon eureka moment was when I saw the video where the hammer and the feather float slowly to the floor. That was yesterday, and I didn’t even know about this anniversary…such a coincidence.

  76. Sawdust Sam

    Another great article, Phil. I remember sitting in a school hall with 350 kids watching the live feed of the first landing/walk on a 26″ b&w tv.

    But aren’t you losing your touch? 75 responses and no fruitloop hurling abuse!

    Or is that a measure of success?

  77. CameronSS

    I was 9 years old when it was shown, and I turned on the TV and saw something about the moon landings, so I left it on and watched almost all of it. My limited 9-year-old knowledge of physics and space exploration was enough to conjecture what they were screwing up with their arguments. I remember finding my dad afterward and asking him how the TV networks could stand to air something that was so obviously wrong.

    A few years after that I came across the Bad Astronomy book in the city library and went to the website it listed, with all the explanations of what that Fox nonsense was I’d seen. I’ve been an avid reader since. Keep it up, Phil!

  78. OtherRob

    Three or four years ago I was trying to post a comment on the BA blog from work (can’t remember if it was here or on the old site) when I got an error message from the blog that our website address had been blacklisted and that I couldn’t comment. I put in a helpdesk ticket with IT — my motivation was that our sites were being blacklisted, which I thought was a bad thing, not that I couldn’t post a blog comment during lunch — but I’m not sure that they understood that.

    Eventually an IT guy called me back and after asking me some questions about the error message he took a look at the site and having seen what it was he told me that in the 70s he’d worked on the Saturn rocket. Pretty cool. :)

  79. I remember being half asleep watching the moon landing on a black and white TV. I’ve never looked at the moon the same way again.

    By the way, no discussion of moon crazy is complete without this YouTube video of astronaut Buzz Aldrin (the 2nd human to step on the moon) punching moon landing denier Bart Sibrel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUI36tPKDg4&feature=related

  80. Naomi

    Gah. I just… I mean, go out and look at the moon tonight. There were ACTUALLY PEOPLE who WALKED on it. With their own two feet! Just thinking about it gives me the same sense of awe that I felt at seeing Gagarin’s and Glenn’s spacesuits, or one of the Apollo 15 suits WITH MOON DUST STILL ON THE LEGS at the Smithsonian. They were on the freaking moon!!

    (Martha’s first episode in Doctor Who – Smith & Jones – sums up that nicely. “We’re on the moon. We’re on the bloody moon!”)

    Lucas @ 5… wow. I think that actually beats one of my old classmates. He:

    a) in a high school chemistry class, when learning about atomic structure, asked if neutrons were ‘the oxygens’,

    b) upon learning that I loved space sciences, sincerely told me that we can’t know anything about space because the only people whose word we can trust are astronauts, and they might lie (thank you for singlehandedly denouncing the existance of astronomy), and

    c) told me that Venus was made of gas (because we couldn’t see the surface – never mind the actual landers or Magellan’s radar!) and therefore wasn’t a planet (I’m not sure what he thought Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune were), but one day, ‘it’ll turn into a sun and THEN it’ll be called a planet’.

    He, uh. Didn’t manage to progress to the end of the year. (He later told me he dropped physics because he disagreed with it. …Rightieo, then!)

  81. fay

    We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves. – Galileo Galilei

  82. Gunnar

    @Sawdust Sam.

    I, too, am slightly amazed that no one has yet posted a reply to this thread attempting to defend the conspiracy hoax theory. Maybe the cause of rationality and honest skepticism is finally beginning to gain on the forces of irrationality and willful ignorance afterall! Maybe some of the hoax believers are finally beginning to realize how stupid they have made themselves look.

  83. Clint O.

    My hypothesis is that the moon landing hoax idea is at least partly a result of humans not returning back to the moon. Although the logic is not sound, I can see how many might feel that if we were able to send humans to the moon at all, we would be sending them there still. On a deeper level, perhaps for some it is born out of disappointment from the non-realization of the fantasies of public space travel in the “space age.” Surely humans wouldn’t “choose” not to go back, so we must have never been in the first place. Of course, these types of arguments might seem valid, but that’s what reality and evidence are for! By the way Phil, for what it’s worth I don’t think your career would have needed the moon hoaxers!

  84. While I’ve never been a science-denier (well, I was a fairly devout Catholic until my early twenties, but I got better) I was 29 when the nature of our existence in space was suddenly made incredibly real to me.

    I have always been very aware of the face of the moon (I am guilty of a little pareidolia and I see a chubby-cheeked face in the full moon) and I know my major constellations. As an Aussie, I’m aware that Orion is standing on his head from my perspective.

    In 2003 I visited the USA, my first time outside Australia and my first time in the Northern Hemisphere. A friend in Ohio very bravely let me drive her car a few times, and one night I caught a glimpse of the full moon and abruptly pulled over. My friend asked what was wrong, and all I could do was point to the sky and gibber “The moon is upside down!”

    It was true. The moon was full, and that chubby-cheeked face that I knew so well was flipped over. With the headlights of the car off, I also started noticing strange, unfamiliar stars… and there was Orion, the right way up, scabbard hanging from his belt instead of pointing upwards.

    In that moment, I suddenly understood. I was living on the surface of a sphere floating in space, and after spending a day on two plane flights, I had crossed to the opposite side of that sphere. It made me dizzy for a moment, finally understanding the enormity of our situation.

    It changed the way I look at the sky, and the way I think of our lives on this fragile planet of ours.

  85. but I am working

    People will believe anything if it lowers the ability of the human mind.

  86. Ron1

    The Apollo program was THE inspiration for me.

    I was 10 years old in 1969 when (via TV) I watched Armstrong step onto the moon. By then, I was already in love with the US Space Program, but Apollo was tops.

    Back in those days you could write to NASA and request promotional material. In return, you’d get a whole bunch of Apollo/NASA booklets, a bunch of colour photos and a plastic REVELL scale model of the CM/LEM — FREE (see what happens when you’re willing to pay taxes :) ). Life was great for a kid who loved science.

    At this point, I have to ‘fess up and say I actually wrote to NASA (and received the full packages) a ‘few’ times because I just loved those CM/LEM models and I wanted variations in different poses. Alas, they are long gone (including the 4ft tall Revell Saturn V model I once owned).

    Yeah, it was real — I miss the excitement, the knowledge that Armstrong’s Mankind were moving forward. We were united for that short period of time.

    Cheers all

  87. Sean H.

    I work with a guy that is a Moon hoaxer, AIDS denier, Holocaust denier and a racist. I work with Anti-Vaxers… FML, I wish I could afford to go back to school.

    I am not much of a TV watcher, so I knew nothing about the Moon hoax show on Fox. I think I found your site looking up stuff about Astrology, liked what I read and proceeded to read more. Thanks for all you have done, good sir. I look forward to many years more.

  88. JLE

    Wow! Love that last shot. One of my saddest days came about 4 years ago when I had a 13 year old student who was adamant that the moon landings were fake and his “Dad” had shown them how they were fake. I met the Dad and as usual, that said a lot to me about why the son was the way he was. It is sad that there are those out there that limit their children or children from finding the truth for themselves through the use of critical and analytical thinking. The longer I teach, the less hope I sometimes have for humanity in terms of the adults of today. Truly the future belongs to the children.

  89. Ha! I was all angry about that show and an amateur astronomer friend of mine sent me to your site. And I’ve been reading your stuff ever since.

    Kudos!

  90. Bill K

    As a kid I remember watching the landing on a big old black and white TV. I wondered what was taking them so long to get out of the lander. I figured they’d touch down and they get out and run around! It was HOURS before they got out. Don’t get me started on the let down of the moon rover vehicle…

    Hoaxes are great, it makes it sooo much easier to grasp just how gullible and stupid some people are.

  91. flip

    #70, Stephen

    Thanks for the info and the link! Considering it takes me 1/2 hour to download a 100MB video, a streaming live chat from the moon with LRO’s capabilities sounds pretty darn neat. (Ah, the things we can do!)

    I’m of the generation that’s never seen a moon walk, but it would be nice to hold out for a new one with live video chat. That just would be the coolest thing ever!

    #85, Clint O

    I can see how people would fall for the hoax conspiracy on an irrational level based on not being part of the generation who saw it happen. Like anti-vaxxers, it’s (disease/moon landing) just too far out of the younger generations experience to be believable. Personally, I think that’s a step away from “you weren’t there at the beginning of life therefore no evolution” kind of mindset, which is just as nutty.

    #86, DexX

    For me, it was the thought of there not really being an ‘up’. Or ‘down’. It’s kind of cool to think that we Aussies are ‘upside down’ but not really, cause ‘up’ is just a frame of reference when it comes to other galaxies and their position on the X/Y/Z axis. When I think of that, it makes me remember that the earth isn’t the flat gravity-bound object I see in front of me and that it’s just a small part of the true nature of things out there.

  92. @bandsaw ,

    Come to think of it, you’re right. If we were making regular trips to the Moon, it would be hard to deny that we can go there. Even if it was only one trip every 5 years, people would accept it as fact. But it is easy to say that something happened nearly 40 years really didn’t happen.

    This is probably similar to how some anti-vaxxers deny that the viruses we vaccinate against were really bad. They don’t see the effects that polio, mumps, etc had. The disfigurings, deaths, and such. Without this evidence right in front of them every day, it is easy for them to decide that it never really happened (or wasn’t as bad as people said or wouldn’t be as bad in the present day).

    So vaccines are a victim of their own success and the Moon landing is a victim of our failure to return to the Moon.

    @Steffen & @flip,

    That would be great. I don’t have an HDTV (our SD sets work fine), but I think I would buy one just to see the Moon landing live in full high definition. Sadly, you would probably need some filtering of the questions so you didn’t waste the astronauts’ time with “What’s it like on that soundstage you faker?!!” comments. Of course, then the hoaxers will claim that NASA filtered the questions to keep their conspiracy under wraps.

  93. @Sean H,

    Wow. I’ve had to deal with Holocaust deniers before. Some guy took out an ad in our college paper denying the Holocaust happened. The paper claimed it had to “show both sides of the story.” I asked if they would run an ad that said slavery never happened.

    I also had to deal with a bonafide Hitler-worshiper who said that it was a shame that Hitler didn’t get to finish what he started. I’m Jewish and am usually extremely non-violent. But I was ready to punch this guy in the nose. Wouldn’t have convinced him of anything, but there are some people who you just don’t even attempt to reason with.

  94. If the show (which admittedly I have never seen) had never been aired would that have changed the fact there are people whom doubt or otherwise disbelieved the moon landings? By allowing questions & doubts people have to be heard, we in turn giving the scientific community something to respond to in a way which hopefully helps people better understand what is happening, or at very least gives them alternative ideas to consider.

    Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with the free and open expression of ideas, it’s how we learn, grow and better interact with the world around us.

  95. Joseph

    How much money would it take to establish a moon base on a conservative budget?

    How many people on the planet would give a US dollar towards such a project?

    I would give ten such dollars.

  96. Messier Tidy Upper

    Great article as usual, Phil. On this strange mixed anniversary of the BA blog taking off in a big way – summing up in one word from me :

    Thankyou

    You know how much I love this superluminous (beyond merely brilliant) blog of yours, right? :-D

    May it keep going and being a force for good science thinking, bringing us wonders & bad-A** debunking for many decades to come.

  97. Tim G

    It was via that CNN link that I first discovered Badastronomy.

    Here’s to another decade!

  98. katwagner

    #14 Chris. Thank you for the visual where you use duct tape to keep your head from xploding. I feel like that anytime I watch those whackadoos on Fox but I think we have to know who the enemy is.

  99. At least Jack Schmitt knows what it’s like when the shoe is on the other foot. He is a global warming denier (along with Walt Cunningham). They are no less anti-reality than the moon landing deniers, but their denial is not as harmless and amusing.

  100. Richie

    Nine years ago this screened in New Zealand, where a well-meaning mother taped it for me because “it was about space stuff”. I still have that old VHS tape, and have been known to pull it out when someone says something particularly idiotic.

    One set of cousins calls it my “Stupidity Catcher”, (as in the technological equivalent of a dream catcher) while another set refer to it as “The Chewbacca Defence” (South Park ref: Since this tape makes no sense, you must acquit!)

    I’m happy to report that my mother was cured of any accidental exposure to the stupidity of the Fox show, and for last Christmas, she gave me two books. “Bad Astronomy” and “Death From the Skies”.

  101. Nigel Depledge

    Calli Arcale (9) said:

    There was this guy whose website I read; he believed Apollo was faked to conceal the fact that supersonic flight was impossible for anything larger than a rifle bullet.

    Heehee!

    Wow, that guy obviously never spoke to anyone who lived in Wales at the time they were testing Concorde. The distinctive double-boom caused by the sonic shock waves carried for miles.

    Come to think of it, it’s also obvious that he never flew on Concorde to get from London to New York in a mere 3 hours!

  102. Nigel Depledge

    Dpeters11 (33) said:

    She also said that dinosaurs didn’t exist because they weren’t mentioned in the Bible. Not even that they and humans coexisted in a young Earth theory, but didn’t exist. She didn’t like it when I asked her where it mentioned squirrels specifically. But then I also knew someone that believed in spontaneous generation, as in one day you could be walking down the street, and “poof” a new species appears in front of you. There are all types out there…

    Oh, man! That’s too wacky.

    People who bring their kids up with such a skewed idea of reality should not be allowed to have children. Erm … retrospectively. We need a time machine.

  103. Michel

    Ok. This is also a horrible french “documentary” on the moon landings called “The Dark Side of the Moon”.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2304895215368202642#

    It´s so bad it´s it´s …
    It´s completly cut and pasted from all kind of footage to make somewhat of a story.
    Originally aired on the french channel “Arte”.

    Don´t complain afterwards for ruining a good 41 minutes of your life. I warned you… it´s BAD!

  104. Ian

    I think this article sums up what’s most important. It’s what YOU believe that’s important. Well done you for coming to that distinction. These nay sayers will only be a problem if you waste you’re important time on them.

  105. Nigel Depledge

    Steffen (70) said:

    Besides the inevitable 1 second delay due to the moon being 1 lightsecond away, with modern technology it would be completely no problem to have a color live video chat from the moon.

    That’d be a 2-second delay. Signals have to go both ways in 2-way communications. It would take 1 second (ish) for your signal to reach the moon, and an additional second for the astronauts’ response to get back to you.

  106. “grotesquely distorting reality, an execrable steaming pile of offal that doesn’t come within a glancing blow of the truth”. I bet you could make that into a single word in German. Somethinglike “groteskrealitätverzerrtabscheulichedampfendehaufenvonInnereiennichtinnerhalbeinergestreiftderwahrheitkommen”.

  107. Did Alan Bean have a direct line to his mother while he was on the moon? If not, what is the switch on his chest labeled “MAIN MOM TALK” for?

  108. Nige

    Ten years of being the king of Moon hoax debunking! {Tips hat at Phil}

  109. flip

    #94, Techydad

    Oh, I didn’t even *think* of HD or widescreen. Heck, I’d beg, borrow or steal a projector and hook it up to a computer, just to have a big wall of moon walking. You could pretend you’re there with everything ‘lifesize’! (Can I drool now?)

    I agree with the filtering of comments. It’d be necessary just from the sheer volume of questions being sent in anyway. — You could let one moon hoax question in, just to give the moon walkers a bit of a laugh and a shake of the head.

  110. DLC

    On the plus side, that craptacular POS show was good for 4 days of debunking during our conversations on the night shift where I was working at the time. Anything to break up the monotony. being known as the science geek on the job the others kept asking me about this and that. I think I finally just linked your BA /Moonhoax page.

  111. Aubri

    It’s funny, because I have that same thought about once a month — human beings, standing on the freaking MOON! It literally brings tears to my eyes when I think about what that really means — that thousands or millions of years down the road, when humans are living on dozens or hundreds of worlds across the galaxy, when everything we know and love will be, at best, a footnote in a history book (er… history holorecording?), they’ll remember that a man named Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on another world. In my opinon, that was unquestionably the most important moment in all of human history… and the only moment that could ever be more important would be First Contact.

    On roughly the same schedule, I get my mind blown trying to encompass the amount of energy released by a supernova.

  112. Dori

    10 years ago, I was teaching at a middle school magnet program. I was, happily for me, teaching astronomy. UNhappily, my students were mostly kids who’d been pushed into the science magnet by parents; not that they weren’t bright, but they were more impressed by gangsta rappers than anything else. Several of them saw that broadcast; I, of course, had not only not seen it, I wasn’t even aware that something this stupid had been aired. (Fox has NEVER been high on my list of trusted news sources.) Some of the kids began to discuss this with me and I was so stunned that I could barely respond coherently. I had never even MET someone who’d doubted the reality of the Apollo missions, so I simply wasn’t prepared for this silliness. Of course, I began researching the arguments as soon as I got home, and luckily for me, found your old website. I think I managed to at least convince them to think a little more critically, if not totally convince them that the show was ridiculously wrong.

    And for me, I’ve been a fan of yours ever since. Thanks, Phil. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from your blog. I don’t agree with every one of your opinions, but I sure enjoy reading them. (And I DO agree with 97% of them!)

  113. DennyMo

    Hey BA, just re-read your article on the show, found one error:
    “If you watch the clip, you will see dust thrown up by the wheels of the rover. The dust goes up in a perfect parabolic arc and falls back down to the surface…. Had NASA faked this shot, they would have had to have a whole set (which would have been very large) with all the air removed. We don’t have this technology today!

    Actually, NASA *does* have this technology, and has had it since 1969. The Space Power Facility at the Glenn Research Center is a 100’x122′ vacuum chamber than can draw high vacuums (~600,000’+ altitude). Not as complete a vacuum as the moon perhaps, but close enough to recreate this visual effect. If anybody needed to. Which they didn’t. Because THEY REALLY WERE ON THE FREAKIN’ MOON! (Sorry, I get almost as annoyed as you do by some of these wingnuts.)
    http://facilities.grc.nasa.gov/spf/index.html

    33. dpeters11 Says:
    “She thought the Government did some sort of operation at birth to make you see stars”
    I know Leviticus prescribes some interesting procedures, but I wonder what operation the Biblical authors went through in order to see the stars they describe so frequently in the Scriptures?

  114. JohnK

    It was this show that helped me discover the Bad Astronomy website and its Forum [prior to its merging with Universe Today]. This show also revitalized my interest in the space program.

  115. PayasYouStargaze

    @33 dpeters11

    :O Did your friend ever have to visit an airport? Better yet, did you take her to an airport? What did she/would she have said about the aeroplanes taking off and landing right infront of her eyes, with people getting in an out of them?

  116. Quiet Desperation

    Lucas never came back? I want to know the non-outerspace theory as well.

    I once toyed around with the concept of a solid universe with vast chambers and caves, but I wasn’t sure how that would work out gravitationally.

  117. Wayne on the Plains

    Wow, ten years since I discovered Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer, while looking for info on debunking that stupid show. It’s been a good decade.

  118. tmac57

    Phil, I’m gonna have to call you on this one.I don’t think there ever was such a show on FOX. I mean come on! Why would FOX ruin their good name by running such nonsense! This whole ‘Moon Hoax’ thing has been dreamed up by you to drive millions of people to your blog. Well good job Mr. Smarty Pants! Sure, you can point to segments of the show on YouTube, but may I point out that YOUTUBE DIDN’T EVEN EXIST 10 YEARS AGO!!! Q.E.D.!!!
    Signed,
    Paul Oliver Elliot

  119. Dori

    @33 dpeters11,

    I won’t refer to the person you were talking about as a “friend” of yours– sounds like you’re much too smart for her– and she frankly sounds like she’s in serious need of a mental health professional. I was appalled, however, that she thinks the government somehow implants visions of stars in your head. Since she seems to believe the Bible, I wonder how she’d account for the fact that stars are mentioned innumerable times in the Bible?

    Honestly, if you’re still in touch with her, I’d try to talk her into seeing a psychiatrist. I wonder if perhaps she has schizophrenia or some other illness. Having worked with emotionally disturbed high schoolers, I can only feel sorry for her.

  120. dpeters11

    @122 Dori and others

    Nope, not in contact with any of them. In fact, left the entire town, too many weirdos. At least where I am now, they are spread out more :)

    I honestly didn’t argue the points much, just like the ones that truly think the moon landing was a hoax, there is no convincing some people of reality.

    I’ve told my wife I want to go to the Creation Museum which is in the area, but she’s afraid I’d make a scene, either by laughing too hard or telling their visitors and docents how many ways they are scientifically wrong.

  121. ND

    dpeters11,

    Was this town somewhere in upstate NY by any chance?

  122. @dpeters11,

    I’d love it if that theory were true. I could bypass airport security and just walk/drive to Disney World from my house. After all, it must be in the same city by her theory, right? ;-)

  123. What bothers me most is not that people think the landings were faked and it’s all a cover-up, but that they have that little faith in humanity and the abilities of hundreds of thousands of people to accomplish something wonderful.

    I would hate to go through life believing that people are capable only of lies and hoaxes, rather than ingenuity and achievements. That’s a sad existence, IMO.

  124. Rift

    I remember the change that had on your website. You only had about 12 regulars posting on your forum, me being one for five or so years (IIRC), and then boom, the few nuts we had (mostly geocentric idiots and planet x nutjobs) multiplied by several orders. It did make you, and I always point you out went I see you on tv “Hey! I KNOW that guy”.

  125. CB

    @ IMForeman:

    I think Mitchell and Webb put it best:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6MOnehCOUw

    Heh. They said it well, but actually I think Buzz Aldrin put it best:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOo6aHSY8hU

  126. mike burkhart

    Dose any of this suprise any one? More then half of this nation thinks :Lee Harvery Oswald had nothing to do with the Kenndey assnation , thinks a Ufo crashed at Roswell,that the same Ufo is locked up at ether Hanger 18 or Area 51 ,Bigfoot, the Loch ness monster, Ufos, and that Aleins built all of the ancient citys and monumets (after all they argure we humans were just to stupid) and lets not forget the people devoted to: Astrology, crystalles and last but not lest the Christan fundamentlists who refuse to accept Evolution. I don’t know maybe its because we have the freedom to beleve what we want and some abuse it . Or maybe its our educational system . Or maybe we have become a parinod nation,all of this started after Vietnam,Watergateand the 1960 and we just trust anyone anymore. We are like Pontius Pilate who ask Jesus: What is truth?

  127. PeteC

    I’d like to echo (55) Guillermo Abramson. Thank you to the people of the USA, in particular the scientists and engineers, who did this astonishing, amazing thing. And thank you for doing it in all our names.

    In Europe, we often see the USA as a country of extremes, instead of the more standard-distribution curves we tend to have over here. You seem to have extreme views on things, rather than moderate ones. The USA often seems to have the very best scientists, engineers and visionaries, and the very worst deniers and willfully ignorant. It has the very best principles of equality and justice, and the very worst excuses why that doesn’t apply to those foreigners over there. It believes in freedom of belief, but sometimes not for those who don’t share the One True Faith.

    While the Apollo program wasn’t all done for the very best of reasons, it was the very best of reasons that triumphed in the end. I’m not American, yet I swell with emotion every time I see that old footage. Landing on the Moon – on the freaking Moon, for goodness sake! – is an achievement, an adventure and a modern Wonder of the World to truly be proud of. Very well done, indeed, sirs.

  128. Andy Robson

    Oh, if only Fox had cancelled that bit of sci-fi before it could have been broadcast. Damn.
    Thanks for fighting the good fight these ten years Phil.

    Those who believe the Moon landings were hoaxes tend to be younger than those of us who actually watched the lunar EVA’s on TV, they don’t know much history – especially space history, and they they don’t know much about science – fertile ground for the seeds of ignorant conspiracy theories.

    I just point out the Mythbusters great Moon Hoax Conspiracy show, and ask them if they ever heard of Luna 15. Luna 15 was launched by the USSR three days before Apollo 11, and was in orbit at the same time (crashing on the moon the same day Armstrong & Aldrin landed). Turns out it wasn’t just the US and USSR that had big dish antennas pointed moonward that week – so did the UK. Their Jodrell Bank radio telescope picked up both Luna 15’s telemetry, and Apollo’s voice communications. If we hadn’t landed on the Moon July 20th, 1969 you would think that the Soviet Union would have known and would have screamed bloody murder about our faking it right then and there. Right? (Crickets chirping.)

    I’m sure I’ll live long enough to watch people walk on the Moon again. NASA might be reduced to a research organization, but private companies are stepping up to the challenges. Hell, one company involved in the Google Lunar X Prize just signed up for a flight aboard a SpacEx Falcon 9!

    We’ll bury the hoaxers in the Lunar dust.

  129. Isaac

    Andy, you may be sure that you’ll live long enough to see people walk on the Moon again. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m 54. I expect to live another 30 years or so, and I don’t expect to see people on the Moon again. I sincerely hope that you are right and I am wrong.

  130. jfb

    Wasn’t that show hosted by Mitch Pileggi? I remember being royally pissed off with him for participating in that circus. At least “The X-Files” was supposed to be fiction.

    I still run into the odd hoaxer in other forums, or at least people who “aren’t convinced”. And it always goes back to the same lame photographic “evidence” that’s so weak you almost feel bad for tearing it down.

    Almost.

    It’s not like parallax or perspective are such complicated topics.

  131. Patricio Cruzat

    Hi Phil.
    Isn’t it tender? I mean, the ignorants are always so sure of their statements it’s heartening. By myself, every new knowledge I acquire, I understand how ignorant I still am. And I have friends and coleagues that know NOTHING of what I know. Oh! But they know everything about “reality” shows, and soap operas, and celebrities, and astrology, and any pseudo science or the so called altmed.
    So they declare solemnly “I don’t believe man has landed on the Moon!” like “They can not fool me out because I’m smart”. It’ so sad. But this is the world we live. I try to explain that somethings you can BELIEVE or not, and others you KNOW or not.
    I usually mock saying “By the principle of ignodynamics of POSC, also known by POSC’s law, the ignorance, the stupidity and the lies spread faster and remain longer than knowledge, intelligence and truth”. (By the way, POSC is me…hahaha.)
    Regards.

  132. don gisselbeck

    Still no hoax bekievers? I was hoping for some amusement.

  133. Don Q

    I was living not far from Cape Kennedy and my father worked there during that remarkable time in history. My memory about the first landing…

    After taking off on July 16th, in the year of my 16th birthday, they landed on the moon actually *on* my 16th birthday. Within the space of these few days, these guys *blasted* off in a Saturn V (it shook the world more than 20 mile away), actually *rocketed* across space faster than a rifle bullet (several times faster), watched the moon grow in the window till it completely filled the view, climbed aboard the lander and dropped, first into the boulder field, then skimmed around till they were almost out of ‘gas’ before finally dropping the feet of the lander into the lunar soil. Wow! I’m out of breath just remembering it.

    Now, the ‘plan’ called for them to sleep for a few hours before going out on the moon’s surface. Really? SLEEP?! You want them to sleep after all of that, with the surface of the moon waiting for them right outside the door? Seriously… Besides, that would put it off till after midnight on the East coast, making the first step on the moon happen the day after my birthday.

    Well, as it turns out, they were unable to sleep, and mission control granted them permission to deviate from the planned schedule. The new plan was to go out on the surface of the moon as soon as they could get ready! And now, I never have to worry about forgetting when my birthday is. It is the day humans first landed on, and walked on the moon.

  134. Michel

    @135 don gisselbeck

    Yeah, without them a topic like this kinda sucks.

  135. Nigel Depledge

    @ 135 & 136 –

    Well, I’ll do my best to substitute for the HBs . . .

    1. The flag was waving as if it was in a wind. If there’s no air on the moon, there should be no wind, so it must have been a soundstage in Arizona.

    2. The descent engine of the LM should have excavated a huge deep crater. It didn’t, therefore it was a mock-up.

    3. The LM and the moonwalkers should have sunk into the dust. They didn’t, so the dust was only a few inches deep on that soundstage in Arizona.

    4. Where are the freakin’ stars!!!????!!!111!

    5. There’s a rock in one photo that has a kind-of C-shaped looking thing on it. So it must have been a prop, because what moon-landing hoaxer wouldn’t label their props before distributing them around that soundstage in Arizona?

    6. It was too freakin’ hot in the sunlight and too freakin’ cold in the shade. The astronauts would have frozen and cooked!

    7. How did the film survive unprotected against all that radiation that’s in space, huh?

    8. Notwithstanding 7, the photos are too good to be true. It’s as if the astronauts had been practising with the cameras.

    9. My washing machine has a more powerful processor than the Apollo spaceships. Therefore, they couldn’t have done it.

    10. The astronauts would have fried in the radsiation in the Van Allen radiation belts. After all, there was far too much radiation there for a man to survive for more than a few seconds, and we have no idea how to shield against the type of radiation in the belts, right?

    11. The Apollo 1 fire in Jan ’67 proves not that there were design flaws in the Command Module, but that NASA killed Grissom, White and Chaffee because they were about to blow the whistle over the design flaws in the Command Module.

    12. Hey, they didn’t take me with them, despite the fact that I hadn’t even been born in ’69, so they can’t really have gone there! (Isn’t this what many of the arguments boil down to?)

    13. Notwithstanding 8, the photos look weird.

    14. I mean, the shadows aren’t parallel, so there must have been more than one light source. But the light sources must have been really, really tightly-focussed spotlights cos otherwise there’d be multiple shadows from the multiple light sources.

    15. The distant hills (especially in Taurus-Littrow (sp?)) look too close, so they must be a painted backdrop.

    16. The shadows should be pitch-black if there’s no air to bend the light around things, but they’re not, so it must have been filmed on a soundstage in Arizona.

    [hyperventilating]

    [calm down, deep breaths]

    No, sorry, guys, I have to stop there, this is just too hard. My brain is trying to escape out my ears because typing this tripe is just too wrong.

  136. #137 Nigel:
    Your no. 8 – or as if NASA only published the best of the photos, and just filed away the rubbish ones.

    But you missed the best one of all…
    “As the Moon’s gravity is a sixth of that of Earth, the ascent stage of the LM would have needed a sixth as much fuel as the space shuttle to take off and go back into orbit – but you can see that its fuel tanks were nowhere near that big!”

    I kid you not!!!!!!!! That really is one of the “arguments” of High Priest Loony Bart Sibrel himself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His total ignorance of the most elementary physics is simply staggering.
    Did I have fun, ridiculing that one on my web site!

  137. Nigel Depledge

    @ Neil ^ –

    Oh, man, I forgot about that one. And I even read it on your website first (I mean, my first encounter with that argument was on your website).

  138. Messier Tidy Upper

    @135. don gisselbeck : Still no hoax bekievers? I was hoping for some amusement.

    Would it be too optimistic to think that the Moon Hoax Conspiracy Theory (MHCT) is now pretty much completely dead? All done & dusted for all but a *very* tiny (& dwindling?) handful of loons, thanks in no small part to the efforts of people like Dr Phil Plait & the ‘Mythbusters’ team among others?

    Can anyone confirm / deny that impression?

    Hopefully confirm. I still have just about a micron of faith left in humanity’s semi-intelligence after all ..

    (I also find myself thinking – & hoping – that creationism has now passed its zenith following the 2005 Dover trial and is gradually fading into its unquiet grave among the other “fringe” nutball beliefs. Then again, that’s probably what they thought after the Scope’s “monkey” trial in 1925. )

  139. Brent

    Of cause the moon landings were faked … in a movie set on Mars

  140. I remember when a friend of mine told me he did not believe we actually went to the moon (because of this show). I was so shocked that anyone could believe such a thing that I don’t think I handled it very well. He still feels embarassed about being taken in by the hoax.

  141. Dave

    I was too small a child to appreciate the fact that men were walking on the moon, but I do remember the broadcast, and the excitement in the living room. In my early teens the movie Capricorn 1 introduced the storyline of a faked Mars mission. I’m sure that movie made many a denier. I was on the fence until I read Phil.

  142. Cat

    @ Calli Arcale

    Sorry to spoil a good simile, but it looks very much as though “junk” DNA, ain’t. They just thought it was. Here’s a single example:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100221/full/news.2010.82.html

    Scientific American listed this change as one of the ten most important scientific developments of 2010.

    My brother is convinced thatboth climate change and the Moon landings are hoaxes. He’s a petrolhead, so the first I understand—he really, really wants to be a victim persecuted by those all-powerful liberal tree-huggers; but what is it with Moon landings?

    Anyway, both beliefs show a complete failure to grasp what is involved in scientific research. Like, for starters, thousands and thousands of people across the globe, for decades. ‘But they kept the Manhattan Project secret!’ Not from the bloody Russkies they didn’t.

  143. david

    “I had just finished writing about people who thought Apollo was faked for my first book, Bad Astronomy” – I knew it was faked, I just never realized that it was faked pre-emptively so that you could write a book about it.

  144. Peter

    The sad thing is that these conspiracy theorist and hoax mungers forget that for the Apollo landing to be a hoax it had to be a truely global conspiracy. It had to include not just US sites and organisations (NASA, etc.) but the Australian ground stations at Honeysuckle Creek and Tidbinbilla, and the Radio Telescope at Parkes. The conspiracy would need to include the hundreds of Australian staff of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Post Master Generals Department (PMG) and the Department of Supply. All on the other side of the world. And don’t forget the Spanish ground stations at Maspalomas and Fresnedillas. The many staff of the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) and the telecommunication carriers and operators in Spain and Britain that piped the Apollo signals back to the US would have had to be involve in the hoax. And none of them spilled the beans in all these years? Yeah right! The conspiracy theorists are truely deluded!

  145. Nigel Depledge

    @ David (146) –

    Nice catch! ;-)

  146. Joe

    I actually work with someone who believes the moon landings were faked! I work in Information Technology with someone who uses technology on a daily basis. Some of this technology probably came from NASA! I just don’t get it!
    He seems like a reasonable, smart guy in general.

  147. #141 MTU:
    Not to mention, thanks to the LRO images! They have surely killed the conspiracy theory stone dead, at least for anyone capable of any semblance of rational thought!

    #140 Nigel:
    Nice to know that someone actually reads my web site!! A new page, dealing with the LRO images, will ( belatedly ) appear very soon – like this weekend.

  148. Skeptics come in many varieties. There are Phil’s type that are trying to bring science to the common man while at the same time debunking pseudo-sciences. But there are also skeptics of governments and leaders that fall for ludicrous ideas like the “moon hoax.” Most people believe in things they can see, like the huge Opollo efforts at the time plus the later LRO images and the simple logic that it would be impossible for any government to pull off or even attempt such a hoax with the certain knowledge that it would eventually be discovered.

    There are skeptics that believe in man’s ability to do things but have little faith or belief in man’s theories. Many religious people fall into this category of skepticism.

    There are skeptics that do not believe in religion, who believe in general science and technology but are individually selective concerning what theories they think have logical merit to them and which seen to fail in this respect. I am one of these skeptics. I believe in no well-known conspiracy theories or hoaxes, am fairly well science educated but think most science theories have little or no merit to them with a few exceptions like natural selection, chemical theory, plate tectonics (the cause is still hypothesis). From my skepticism I believe most all the mainstream science theories that we presently relish, within a hundred years or so, will all be replaced and have my own ideas of what will replace them.

    Skepticism comes in all different varieties :) and can serve you well in your life such as the adage that one should be skeptical (or at least a little leery) of what salesman are telling you. It is a word that conjures up different meanings, some favorable and some not, to different people.

    cheers

  149. Messier Tidy Upper

    150. Neil Haggath Says:

    #141 MTU: Not to mention, thanks to the LRO images! They have surely killed the conspiracy theory stone dead, at least for anyone capable of any semblance of rational thought.

    Yes, absolutely true. Having the old landing sites imaged was as conclusive as it gets really. :-)

    Of course, having people actually fly back to the Moon and start colonies there – taking tourists out to see some of the Apollo descent stages, flags and near-eternal footprints in person would be the best refutation of all.

  150. sHx

    Oh, dude! Americans and their silly obsession with conspiracy theories.

    The only nation that actually achieved to land a dozen humans on the Moon is also the only nation in the world that actually debates if the endevour was for real. Seriously!

    This whole notion of ‘moon-landing hoax’ is so far out that when I first heard of it I actually thought it was a prank. Honest to gods, I thought it was some skeptic joke that was aimed at conspiracy theorists.

    When I found out that the hoax claims were for real, I was flabbergasted. It was bad enough that the US was a land of faith-healing charlatans who could cure a dozen people with a wave of hand (Benny Hinn, hallelujah!) on camera, week after week. But this?

  151. Nigel Depledge

    Joe (149) said:

    I actually work with someone who believes the moon landings were faked! I work in Information Technology with someone who uses technology on a daily basis. Some of this technology probably came from NASA! I just don’t get it!

    Without Project Apollo, we might still not have microprocessors.

    NASA ordered a million microprocessor chips so that the manufacturer – having such a huge order on their books – would be able to develop the technology to mass-produce the things (as opposed to making them one at a time).

    Obviously the technology would have been developed sooner or later (once the market potential was recognised) but who’s to say that had to happen any time during the ’60s? Or the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s?

  152. Nigel Depledge

    Forrest Noble (151) said:

    Skeptics come in many varieties. There are Phil’s type that are trying to bring science to the common man while at the same time debunking pseudo-sciences. But there are also skeptics of governments and leaders that fall for ludicrous ideas like the “moon hoax.”

    I would not call these people (i.e. those who reject official statements without evidence) sceptics. Phil is a sceptic – he is doubtful of claims unless they are supported by evidence or a logical extrapolation from stuff that we already know. The conspiracy theorists are more like the more extreme religious believers – they reject even hard evidence that contradicts their cherished worldview. Perhaps we should call them “moon-landing deniers” instead?

    Most people believe in things they can see, like the huge Opollo efforts at the time plus the later LRO images and the simple logic that it would be impossible for any government to pull off or even attempt such a hoax with the certain knowledge that it would eventually be discovered.

    Well, yes. Or they accept the expertise of people who really do know what they are talking about. But this option leads down a potentially dangerous path.

    There are skeptics that believe in man’s ability to do things but have little faith or belief in man’s theories. Many religious people fall into this category of skepticism.

    Again, this is not scepticism – it is denialsim.

    There are skeptics that do not believe in religion, who believe in general science and technology but are individually selective concerning what theories they think have logical merit to them and which seen to fail in this respect. I am one of these skeptics. I believe in no well-known conspiracy theories or hoaxes, am fairly well science educated but think most science theories have little or no merit to them with a few exceptions like natural selection, chemical theory, plate tectonics (the cause is still hypothesis).

    I’d be interested to know why you feel this way.

    What are your opinions about the following leading scientific theories:
    General Relativity;
    Quantum Mechanics;
    Big Bang cosmology (with or without inflation);
    Th Standard Model?

    Also, what do you think the “cause” of plate tectonics is? I am only aware of plate tectionics as a hugely successful descriptive theory.

    From my skepticism I believe most all the mainstream science theories that we presently relish, within a hundred years or so, will all be replaced and have my own ideas of what will replace them.

    And what makes you think that our present theories won’t turn out to be special cases of the more sophisticated theories that will replace them? (I mean this in the way that Newtonian gravitational theory – while “wrong” in the strictest sense of the word – turned out to be a special case of General Relativity.)

    To put this another way, why do you think that our present major theories are not at least a pretty good approximation to relaity?

  153. barry

    the “fake moon landing” conspiracists run in tandem with the “jews did 9/11″ and so forth.
    much of them are leftwing neomarxists who wish to discredit every success accomplished by the judeochristian west in general and by the caucasian male in particular.
    meanwhile the parasites who dominate our universities with their cultural relativism, political correctness and intolerance towards any wasp male daring to reflect on the advantages of working in a free market economy would throw us back to roughly the height of 12th century caliphate. this is where europe basically started before the reformation, the renaissance and the industrial revolution, where most people were indentured agricultural peasants under a fuedal landlord.
    there are reasons why islamic theocracies nor any other civilization progressed from donkey cart to spacecraft within 3 centuries.

  154. Dan

    A couple of months ago, my Dad related a little story about his early years as a machinist – making airplane parts and so forth. We were out in the yard at his house, planning a little yard work on a warm Winter day. He looked up and pointed out the dimly visible moon in the daylight sky.

    “You remember those little go-karts the astronauts took with them,” he said. “Up there? To ride around on when they explored?”

    “The Lunar Rovers,” I replied. “Yeah Dad, we watched every space mission on TV as far back as I can remember. What about the Rovers?”

    “I made a couple of parts for those things,” he said. “My fingerprints are up there. On two of those buggies. Just some little parts. Don’t even know what they were. But I held something in my hand that went to the moon. I made something that went to the moon. And it’s still there…”

    Makes me proud. Remember, it wasn’t just the science folks who got us there. Thousands and thousands of people working together on little jobs, in shops and factories scattered all over the country did their part. Teamwork got us there. It’ll take teamwork to get us back there.

    “One giant leap, for all mankind…”

    I was 12 when I heard those words come out of the TV speaker. I’ll be 54 this year. Dad is in his mid 70s. It’s time we went back.

  155. henry

    You sure try hard to impress us that the manned landing took place. Sure they did! How many years ago You say? No money for continued flights You say?…By the way, who is paying You the money now to say the things You claim now. Don’t insult our intelligence and get a real job…You do admit that You” got where You are” because of Your stance on the Apollo affair. I suggest You may still be milking the same cow but from the other side this time. How sad is that…

  156. henry

    You sure try hard to impress us that the manned landing took place. Sure they did! How many years ago You say? No money for continued flights You say?…By the way, who is paying You the money now to say the things You claim now. Don’t insult our intelligence and get a real job…You do admit that You” got where You are” because of Your stance on the Apollo affair. I suggest You may still be milking the same cow but from the other side this time. How sad is that…

  157. Alex

    Lets turn to some of the evidence:

    NASA images: AS15-87-11695, AS15-87-11696, AS15-87-11697, AS15-87-11698, AS15-87-11699
    http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11696HR.jpg
    http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11695HR.jpg
    http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11697HR.jpg
    http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11698HR.jpg
    http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11699HR.jpg

    These images show the CSM (Command Service Module) of Apollo 15. The photos were taken from the LEM (Landing Module or Lunar Excursion Module). The images show the Moon surface in the background.
    This could have happened only if the CSM was to land instead of the LEM.
    My God, what a mistake!
    What we should see is the LEM going toward the surface as on the image:
    http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/0/10075156.jpg
    These images also prove that the fake Apollo images were created by a small group of experts with only a few scientists and engineers checking the images, therefore some mistakes were bound to happen.

  158. Jay Roberts

    Mr. Plait, I’ve been reading you since the old site, but have never been motivated to comment before this article. I’ve actually been mining your site for information to confront the hoaxers I meet in person-for a *very* personal reason.

    My Aunt was one of those “nearly half a million people” that made it happen.

    She was IBM Federal Services Division, assigned to NASA from late Gemini to early Shuttle, and her team of programmers were the people that wrote the LOI program for Apollo 8 (family legend holds that she was pretty much awake from the launch until she heard Lovell say “burn complete”, and immediately drove to our house in south Louisiana-where she slept for almost 20hrs straight. All I can remember (I was 8yrs. old-but was already *into* the program-and had already built my first Estes Alpha, as well! ) is constant commands from my mother to “..LET YOUR AUNT JUDY SLEEP!!!!”

    In the article, you seem to have some doubts about the need to have written your original bits against the various morons that would pursue the hoaxers for the sake of financial gain. Don’t *ever* doubt that the work was worth it. Those of us who love one of the people who helped to accomplish this amazing achievement thank you. So it made you “famous”..so what? These days it seems a rare occasion when someone gets rewarded for telling the *truth*. Enjoy it!

    Apologies for the length of the comment-I just wanted you to know. And thanks for that great Al Bean pic. Your reaction to it reminded me of the hysterical (but extremely profane, NSFW for most of us) take the satirical site “The Onion” did when addressing the : http://members.shaw.ca/rlongpre01/moon.html

  159. Danielle

    Great article Phil :)

  160. Pascal

    You talk of misinterpreted photos, Phil, but the Apollo believers make many misinterpretations of them too.
    I have a question for you, Phil: Do you know the properties of the photographer’s shadows?
    I doubt so!
    The photographer’s shadow has several properties, and the Apollo photos often violate these properties.
    See this video on Youtube, and I’ll bet you’ll learn some things you ignore:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeOdrlC6QeA&feature=channel_video_title
    Do you know that the rope core memory of Apollo has some major defaults which make that it can’t work?
    And do you know that the operating system of the computer of Apollo is absurd, and that the programs of Apollo are full of errors of syntax and logic.
    Do you know that all the electronic interfaces of Apollo contain intentional errors?
    Do you know that the way that the LM flies on the videos is unphysical?
    If I don’t believe in Apollo, it’s for very good reasons.

  161. Bianca Lawrence

    Which moon did we land on? Apparently we have another one called Cruithne!

    Watch a movie called Capricorn One. It relates. Brilliant work of fiction.

    So we can bounce a laser off a mirror left on the surface of the moon… How do you fake that??

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