One of the most iconic moments in U.S. history was Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface of the moon and uttering those famous words “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Pretty cool huh? Well wait a minute batman. How do we know the whole thing wasn’t faked? Their are books and blogs and documentaries who claim exactly that. Here is a small sample of the kinds of arguments that are made:
The dark elves are completely convinced by the evidence. Clearly the shadows are all wrong and could only have been done in a studio with multiple light sources. Clearly the flag is impossibly waving (no air remember). Clearly the crosshairs are being partially blocked by items in the image – a complete and total impossibility since the crosshairs were in the lens. There are pictures without stars, there is not enough dust at the landing site, the spacesuits could never have shielded the astronauts from solar flares. The list goes on and on and proves that the entire moon landing was just an anomaly of the cold war … a propaganda piece to cover up for failures in Vietnam. Q.E.D. What a hoax!
On the other hand, NAA says often that extraordinary claims requires extraordinary proof. Here is what NAA does know.
1. There are multiple light sources on the moon. You have the sun and reflected light from Earth just for starters. (Earthshine is much brighter than moonshine.) Add in the local mountains, the lunar module and the slopes of the land which can distort shadows and suddenly the shadow arguments just go up in dust.
2. The waving flag is more ridiculous speculation. The “flags” were aluminum foil and had a waving effect folded into the pattern. Once the astronaut let go of the flag there was no movement. Numerous recent over flights of the moon have taken pictures of the flags in their original positions.
3. The crosshairs appear correctly in the foreground in every original picture. Only in copies, do the cross hairs misbehave. Hmmm.
4. Pictures without stars just might be possible if you are foolish enough to film during daylight …wait that is exactly when the pictures without stars were taken. Walking around in total darkness was just not a good idea. (The risk of lunar vampires was simply too great.)
5. The spacesuits never had to face any solar flares. They are rare and we were lucky.
Myth Busters went into many of these hoax stories and found explanations from the real world that debunked many of the examples cited. Here is a sample:
NAA thinks that it is part of human nature to question, to deny, to speculate. These are all good things in many ways as they are part of the scientific method and part of the way we arrive at the truth of a matter. It’s just that claiming things such as we never went into space is just a little too much to take. The wizard of NAA has a brother who knew many of the early astronauts, he was waiting on the navy ship to give them their physicals, he saw the capsules splash into the sea and people get out. He is a 100% credible witness. Sometimes hoaxes just cross over into the realm of fantasy. NAA believes that is what happened with “the moon landing was faked” believers. I love good fiction and I love fantasy. I just don’t think we should be mixing fantasy and history. Moon vampires anyone?