The avalanche of pro-NASA evidence from the last moon hoax thread I participated in was quite impressive; more than enough (combined with the equally impressive avalanche of personal attacks) to cause me to cease and desist. But on Saturday I saw a program (ABC’s “The Century”) with a small clip of moon footage that stirred up some new questions. I know this topic has been beaten to death on the SDMB, but dammit, I need some answers (and besides, at least this isn’t another WTC thread).
Okay: two questions, and that’s it. I don’t want to discuss any footage, photos, transmissions or evidence of any sort other than these two things, because then things spiral out of hand way too fast. The more we stay focused, the quicker this thread will be over and done with.
(1) I sent this question to the Bad Astronomy site as soon as I saw the ABC special, but I haven’t heard back from The Bad Astronomer yet, so here goes…
There is a very famous scene of the ascent of the Apollo 16 LEM, often cited by hoax buffs regarding the presence/absence of flames from the takeoff. But the presence or absence of flames in the scene isn’t of concern to me. What is concerning is the way the camera filming the launch zooms out and pans up into the sky to track the ascent of the lunar lander. (I found a copy of the film at this conspiratorial address: http://www.darkstar1.co.uk/lem.rm. Despite the dubious source, tt looks, to me, the same as what I saw on TV.)
Now, obviously, no astronauts were left behind to film the ascent. That, to me, leaves only two possibilities: (a) that NASA had some sort of radio-control zooming mechanism
set up in the camera and a panning mechanism set up in the tripod, operated either automatically upon ignition or by astronauts watching the live feed from within the ascending capsule and panning up accordingly, AND that this mechanism was installed for the sole purpose of getting the “pan-to-the-sky” shot of the astronauts’ departure from the moon or (b) somebody’s pulling our collective leg.
I’m guessing the astronauts didn’t have a live feed from the camera inside their capsule, and would probably have been too busy trying to get home alive to worry about cinematography. That leaves the possibility of an automated motor system designed to zoom out and pan up in synch with the ascent of the lander. One debunking website claimed such devices WERE installed, but gave no evidence to support the claim. Can anyone help?
2) Okay, now this one REALLY freaks me out. If I’m perceiving things correctly, this one is so obvious it’s hard to believe NASA would put it on their site. It’s at http://www.nasa.gov/gallery/video/index.html, under the “Human Space Flight” heading as “Apollo Video Clips.”
Apparently, this is the footage of the flag being put up on the Apollo 14 mission. The hoax buffs tend to cite this one for evidence of wind on the “moon,” due to the strange fluttering of the flag. But I can accept that, somehow, that’s all coming from the rotational motion of the flagpole in the astronaut’s hand.
The thing that gets me is the astronaut who starts out closest to the camera. Look how long his shadow is (reaching above the other astronaut’s knees), and watch how short it gets as he approaches his companion. Then watch how long it again gets as he returns. Check out the point about 2/3 through the footage at which the shadow of the astronaut’s head reaches about, oh, 80% up what is presumably the shadow of the LEM. Observe how the flag-planting astronaut’s head-shadow doesn’t reach beyond about 90% of the shadow of the LEM (and neither does the other guy’s, when he’s out by the flag). And you can tell that the heads don’t just stretch out to some unseen point “over a hill” because the shadow of the flag held over the astronaut’s head is clearly visible, and even it does not extend past the shadow of the LEM.
This looks, to me, like a very obviously artificial light source. Can anyone explain to me how even a sun extremely low on the horizon at lunar morning could account for what appear to be radically shifting shadow lengths? Without calling me a troll? Please???