Creepy: was the moon landing was hoaxed...?

Dear Fellow Cyberians:
I’m far too rational to give most hoaxes a second thought, but the following essay did give me pause.

There are many valid evidentiary points in this following argument…enough to make any science-minded person reconsider the TV footage seen in 1969.

I’m enclosing the essay that was forwarded to me. Maybe you have 5 minutes to read this and offer your thoughts.

RiverRat in Canada


Did man really walk on the Moon or was it the ultimate camera trick?
asks David Milne

The great lunar lie.

In the early hours of May 16, 1990,after a week spent watching old video
footage of man on the Moon, a thought was turning into an obsession in the
mind of Ralph Rene.
“How can the flag be fluttering,” the 47 year old American kept asking
himself, “when there’s no wind on the atmosphere free Moon?” That
moment was to be the beginning of an incredible Space odyssey for the
self-taught engineer from New Jersey.

He started investigating the Apollo Moon landings, scouring every NASA
film, photo and report with a growing sense of wonder, until finally
reaching an awesome conclusion: America had never put a man on the Moon.
The giant leap for mankind was fake. It is of course the conspiracy theory
to end all conspiracy theories. But Rene has now put all his findings into
a startling book entitled NASA Mooned America. Published by himself, it’s
being sold by mail order - and is a impelling read.

The story lifts off in 1961 with Russia firing Yuri Gagarin into space,
leaving a panicked America trailing in the space race. At an emergency
meeting of Congress, President Kennedy proposed the ultimate face saver, put
a man on the Moon. With an impassioned speech he secured the plan an
unbelievable 40 billion dollars.
And so, says Rene (and a growing number of astro-physicists are beginning to
agree with him), the great Moon hoax was born. Between 1969 and 1972,
seven Apollo ships headed to the Moon. Six claim to have made it, with the
ill fated Apollo 13 - whose oxygen tanks apparently exploded halfway - being
the only casualties. But with the exception of the known rocks, which could
have been easily mocked up in a lab, the photographs and film footage are
the only proof that the Eagle ever landed. And Rene believes they’re fake.

For a start, he says, the TV footage was hopeless.
The world tuned in to watch what looked like two blurred white ghosts
gambol through rocks and dust. Part of the reason for the low quality was
that, strangely, NASA provided no direct link up. So networks actually had
to film “man’s greatest achievement” from a TV screen in Houston -a
deliberate ploy, says Rene, so that nobody could properly examine it.

By contrast, the still photos were stunning. Yet that’s just the
The astronauts took thousands of pictures, each one perfectly exposed
and sharply focused. Not one was badly composed or even blurred. As Rene
points out, that’s not all:

  • The cameras had no white meters or view ponders. So the astronauts
    achieved this feat without being able to see what they were doing.
  • There film stock was unaffected by the intense peaks and powerful
    cosmic radiation on the Moon, conditions that should have made it
  • They managed to adjust their cameras, change film and swap filters
    in pressurized clubs. It should have been almost impossible without the use
    of their fingers.

Award winning British photographer David Persey is convinced the
pictures are fake. His astonishing findings are explained alongside the
pictures on these pages, but the basic points are as follows:

  • The shadows could only have been created with multiple light sources
    and, in particular, powerful spotlights. But the only light source on
    the Moon was the sun.
  • The American flag and the words “United States” are always brightly
    lit, even when everything around is in shadow.
  • Not one still picture matches the film footage, yet NASA claims both
    were shot at the same time.
  • The pictures are so perfect each one would have taken a slick
    advertising agency hours to put them together. But the astronauts
    managed it repeatedly.

David Persey believes the mistakes were deliberate, left there by
“whistle blowers”, who were keen for the truth to one day get out. If
Persey is right and the pictures are fake, then we’ve only NASA’s word
that man ever went to the Moon. And, asks Rene, why would anyone fake
pictures of an event that actually happened?

The questions don’t stop there. Outer space is awash with deadly
radiation that emanates from solar flares firing out from the sun.
Standard astronauts orbiting Earth in near space, like those who recently
fixed the Hubble telescope, are protected by the Earth’s Van Allen belt.
But the Moon is to 240,000 miles distant, way outside this safe band. And,
during the Apollo flights, astronomical data shows there were no less than
1,485 such flares.

John Mauldin, a physicist who works for NASA, once said shielding at
least two meters thick would be needed. Yet the walls of the Lunar
Landers, which took astronauts from the spaceship to the moons surface were,
said NASA, “about the thickness of heavy duty aluminum foil”. How could
that stop this deadly radiation?
And if the astronauts were protected by their space suits, why
didn’t rescue workers use such protective gear at the Chernobyl
meltdown, which released only a fraction of the dose astronauts would

Not one Apollo astronaut ever contracted cancer - not even the Apollo 16
crew who were on their way to the Moon when a big flare started.

“They should have been fried,” says Rene. Furthermore, every Apollo mission
before number 11 (the first to the Moon) was plagued with around 20,000
defects a-piece. Yet, with the exception of Apollo 13, NASA claims there
wasn’t one major technical problem on any of their Moon missions. Just one
deffect could have blown the whole thing. “The odds against these are so
unlikely that God must have been
the co-pilot,” says Rene.

Several years after NASA claimed its first Moon landing, Buzz Aldrin
“the second man on the Moon” - was asked at a banquet what it felt like
to step on to the lunar surface. Aldrin staggered to his feet and left the
room crying uncontrollably. It would not be the last time he did this.

“It strikes me he’s suffering from trying to live out a very big
lie,” says Rene. Aldrin may also fear for his life. Virgil Grissom, a
NASA astronaut who baited the Apollo program, was due to pilot Apollo 1 as
part of the landings build up. In January 1967, he hung a lemon on his
Apollo capsule (in the US, unroadworthy cars are called lemons) and told his
wife Betty: “if there is ever a serious accident in the space program, it’s
likely to be me.”

Nobody knows what fuelled his fears, but by the end of the month he
and his two co-pilots were dead, burnt to death during a test run when
their capsule, pumped full of high pressure pure oxygen, exploded.
Scientists couldn’t believe NASA’s carelessness - even chemistry students
in high school know high-pressure oxygen is extremely explosive. In fact,
before the first manned Apollo fight even cleared the launch pad, a total of
11 would-be astronauts were dead. Apart from the three who were
incinerated, seven died in plane crashes and one in a car smash. Now this
is a spectacular accident rate. “One wonders if these ‘accidents’ weren’t
NASA’s way of correcting mistakes,” says Rene. “Of saying that some of
these men didn’t have the sort of ‘right
stuff’ they were looking for.”

NASA won’t respond to any of these claims, their press office will
only say that the Moon landings happened and the pictures are real. But a
NASA public affairs officer called Julian Scheer once delighted 200 guests
at a private party with footage of astronauts apparently on a landscape.

It had been made on a mission film set and was identical to what NASA
claimed was they real lunar landscape. “The purpose of this film,” Scheer
told the enthralled group, “is to indicate that you really can fake things
on the ground, almost to the point of deception.” He then invited his
audience to “come to your own decision about whether or not man actually did
walk on the Moon”.

A sudden attack of honesty? You bet, says Rene, who claims the only
real thing about the Apollo missions were the lift offs. The astronauts
simply have to be on board, he says, in case the rocket exploded. “It was
the easiest way to ensure NASA wasn’t left with three astronauts who ought
to be dead,” he claims, adding that they came down a day or so later, out of
the public eye (global surveillance wasn’t what it is now) and into the safe
hands of NASA officials, who whisked them off to prepare for the big day a
week later.

And now NASA is planning another giant step - project Outreach, a 1
trillion dollar manned mission to Mars. “Think what they’ll be able to
mock up with today’s computer graphics,” says Rene chillingly. “Special
effects was in its infancy in the 60s. This time round we will have no way
of determining the truth.”
Space oddities:

  • Apollo 14 astronaut Allen Shepard played golf on the Moon. In
    front of a worldwide TV audience, Mission Control teased him about
    slicing the ball to the right. Yet a slice is caused by uneven air flow
    over the ball. The Moon has no atmosphere and no air.

  • A camera panned upwards to catch Apollo 16’s Lunar Lander lifting
    off the Moon. Who did the filming?

  • One NASA picture from Apollo 11 is looking up at Neil Armstrong
    about to take his giant step for mankind. The photographer must have
    been lying on the planet surface. If Armstrong was the first man on the
    Moon, then who took the shot?

  • The pressure inside a space suit was greater than inside a football.
    The astronauts should have been puffed out like the Michelin Man,
    but were seen freely bending their joints.

  • The Moon landings took place during the Cold War. Why didn’t
    America make a signal on the moon that could be seen from earth? The PR
    would have been phenomenal and it could have been easily done with
    magnesium flares.

  • Text from pictures in the article. Only two men walked on the Moon
    during the Apollo 12 mission. Yet the astronaut reflected in the visor
    has no camera. Who took the shot?

  • The flags shadow goes behind the rock so doesn’t match the dark line
    in the foreground, which looks like a line cord. So the shadow to the
    lower right of the spaceman must be the flag. Where is his shadow? And why
    is the flag fluttering?

As can be found here:

Some people still believe the world is flat too… :rolleyes:

It’s been answered by Cecil.

This is going to be an interesting one:

Says who? Is it that hard to believe that they only released the nice-looking pictures and threw away the duds? Isn’t that what you do with your pictures?

IANAEE (I am Not an Electrical Engineer), but I think that cosmic radiation is pretty begnign stuff, and it’s fairly constant, so “intense peaks” may be stretching it.

A golfer will be able to provide a better answer, but don’t golf balls slice because you hit them wrong?

Re: all of the camera “problems,” didn’t they have a camera on a boom arm that projected out of the side of the module? I’ll let someone else answe the rest of the questions.

Oh, man! Now I know why my putts are always curling to the left!


RiverRat in Canada
Although life can only be fully understood backwards,
it must be lived forwards.
-Soren Kierkegaard

Hey, I’ll have you know: I have nothing but bad photos with my busted old camera!
So censoring the so-called “bad” photos out is an academic exercise.
As for NASA’s photographic skills and covering-up: don’t be so quick to assume that an organization’s size immediately preempts it from masking ugly truths…
…or shall I bring up Firestone in this conversation?

RiverRat in Canada

A conclusion is when you get tired of questioning.

Yes, hitting the ball wrong can result in side spin, causing a hook or slice because one side is spinning into the airstream and the other away. Aside from small gyroscopic forces a ball hit on the moon would not have the same effect. Backspin with a wedge wouldn’t take effect until the ball hit the ground.

OK, I’ll take a shot at these. I’m sure that by the time that this post is submitted, others will have already been entered.

They were teasing him… it was a joke. The flight of the ball was lost after a very short time - nobody in Houston saw the golf ball hook, slice, or go straight.

A guy in Houston named Ed Fendell operated a TV camera by remote control.

Again a remote camera - The NASA engineers were smart enough to figure out that if an astronaut has to descend to the lunar surface via the LM ladder, then a camera deployed near the bottom of the camera looking up will - surprise! - have a good view of the astronaut climbing down that ladder.

The astronauts did have to exert themselves more when wearing the pressurised EVA suit in a vacuum, but the difference in volume between postures was low enough to be countered by simple muscular effort.

Because they were there to do science (and engineering tests). Granted that the whole Apollo program was founded on Cold-War rivalry, the mere fact of Americans on the Moon was enough PR.

The camera was mounted on the chest of the EVA suit.

Which photo do you mean? The flag did flutter during liftoff of the ascent module, due to backblast from the rocket engine. In fact, the Apollo 11 flag was knocked over during the liftoff.

I would suggest that you be a little less credulous when hearing wildly divergent claims, from any source. The claims always could be correct, but the evidence for such claims must be rock-solid. The ‘evidence’ for this particular claim (that the Apollo landings were faked) is of such low quality that the claim must be dismissed as crack-pottery, at least until much better evidence surfaces. And after 30 years, it hasn’t happened yet.


For an extensive and rather generous-minded debunking of this crap, visit:

I say “generous minded” because among other things, the site author reviews Percy and Bennet’s book “Dark Moon” without mentioning that it lapses into gibberings about “glyphs of power”, crop circles, anti-gravity devices and aliens.

“Award winning British photographer David Persey” (Percy) doesn’t seem to know anything about contrast and exposure. Otherwise he’d know why you can’t see the stars in most (NOT all) of the lunar photographs, an effect which quite frankly anyone can see in their nightime holiday snaps.

He also doesn’t seem to know anything about perspective, since he makes a big deal about things which should be parallel (shadows) not appearing parallel in the photographs.
Presumably if you showed him a nice photo of railway tracks meeting at the horizon, he’d conclude that the rails aren’t parallel either. I do wonder what he won his award for, because it can’t have been photography!

do any of you guys drive a Ford with Firestone tires?

Actually, the Ford/Firestone scandal proves that big secrets don’t stay secret for very long. If the Apollo flights were ALL hoaxes, wouldn’t there be more convincing proof than what you’ve posted?

As for the spacesuits being so flexible, the air pressure inside the suits (and the spacecraft as well) was only about 5 pounds per square inch to solve this precise problem. Also, spacecraft and suits don’t need to carry or manufacture so much air if the pressure is so low. (And it was pure oxygen, which was a major factor in the Apollo One fire.)

Today, the Space Shuttle flies with pressure equal to that of sea level. But when the astronauts go on an EVA, they first go into an airlock and reduce the air pressure to about 6 psi., then put on their suits. When they return, they take off the suits, then SLOWLY increase the air pressure inside the lock, slowly to prevent the bends from occurring.

The flights happened. 12 men walked on the moon. Deal with it.

Well, I walk, and yes, I have suffered from unexpected blowouts caused by low-quality rubber soles.

I’d like to have my opportunity to shoot some of the fish in that barrel.

I’ve seen footage of one flag being set up on the moon. The astronaut gave the flag a pat so that it would start waving. With no air resistance, the flag kept waving longer than it would on earth.

As a really bad golfer, I can tell you that it is entirely possible to hit a straight ball as much as forty-five degrees off of the point of aiming, and I swear I once nearly emasculated a fellow golfer standing ninety degrees from where I was aiming. The club face is “open” and strikes the ball at an angle. Believe me, golf would be one helluva lot easier if this were not the case. And anyway, Groundskeeper Willie is dead on: we only have Shepard’s word for where the two balls went. The other astronaut was busy keeping his (SHIELDED) camera trained on Shepard.

You mean Capricorn One (1978).

Capricorn One: Yet another example of O.J. being framed.

I was in a hurry when I posted this because my allotted time on the computer was getting short. So, I posted from memory. I’m happy to say I got this part correct.

I didn’t do as well here, though. The entire procedure is described here. (Warning, it’s a LOOOOOOONG description!)

Space suits (which NASA refers to as Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs)) are actually pressurized at only four psi. That’s how they are able to retain mobility. I’ve been unable to find the air pressure specifications for the Apollo moon suits, but I bet they were similar.

I think I saw that film in the late 80’s… wasn’t Hal Holbrook and OJ Simpson in that?

Hah! If so, then this world is truly ironic… OJ got nabbed in the movie for being honest , while he got away in real life with murder.

As for the NASA hoax claim: isn’t Oliver Stone working on a film version of this conspiracy theory right now? Might make for a fun video rental one day…


RiverRat, I have to ask. Do you actually believe that there is even a tiny possibility that the moon landings were faked, or are you trolling?

Dear manhattan:

Thank you for promptly doing your job as a moderator to keep these threads on track… your work must be tiring, slogging through all the text of other people’s thoughts.

As for my motivations for being here:

I am not a conspiracy-minded kind of guy… I actually chuckle at anything like crop circles and UFOs and Roswell. To me, the X Files show is nothing more than humorful escapism…a tickle to the right hemisphere of the old noggin. I don’t particularily care if aliens exist or not, unless they can give me some good tax tips and RSP advice.

This NASA theory only caught my attention because of the meticulous details examined by some of its proponents… including the radiation index, the torque spin of golf balls, and the granular dust observations.

Being grossly over-educated, and knowing a thing or two about science, my curiousity was piqued by this obsessive detailing.

So, on a lark, I have decided to question this whole notion myself by going to the lazy-person’s research facility: the web.

Of the hundreds of discussion forums on the web, I chose this place because I thought straightdope would accurately represent the rational free thinkers on the web.

So here I am, raising this fun moon theory as a flag, watching for whoever salutes.

I am glad to see that the responses thus far have been from some rational-sounding people, instead of from crystal-rubbing Branch-Davidian types who see monsters behind every corner.
(or, am I speaking too soon?)

Courtesy of some links from your members, and from some browsing around this site, I have found an attempted explanation of the alleged NASA hoax. To be candid, I found that explanation unsatisfying…but I’m glad to see that it was least addressed by Cecil and crew.

As I said, this is a curiousity lark for me, and I’m not particularily invested in uncovering any NASA scandals here. I’m much more interested in the Firestone (alleged) scandal, and the future of oil prices… things that will more likely affect my wee existence in this large world.
I will follow this thread for a short while longer to see if any compelling writings are added.


btw: Are there any good pages here on tax advice and RSPs?

Yours in cyberspace,
Paul the RiverRat
Edmonton, Canada

The early bird may get the worm,
but it’s the second mouse who gets the cheese.

for what it’s worth, i’ve read that the flag was kept unfurled by a metal rod which accidentally bent during deployment. while this gave the illusion of the flag ‘waving’ in the photographs, it isn’t really moving at all.