Oh, it is an old story. People who, for lack of understanding the term, call themselves “skeptics” instead espouse a belief which is supported by no facts but only broad and uninformed suppositions and use the term skeptic merely to attempt to add some sense that there is reason behind their assertions.
The following video is only Part 1 of a two part series proposing that Apollo 11 and much of the Apollo program was fakery and lies.
Where to begin? How about with a few definitions.
1 : an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain
b : the method of suspended judgement, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics
3 : doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)
a : to have a firm religious faith
b : to accept something as true, genuine, or real
2 : to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
3 : to hold an opinion : think
a : to consider to be true or honest
b : to accept the word or evidence of
2 : to hold as an opinion : suppose
1: The regions beyond the gravitational influence of Earth encompassing interplanetary, interstellar, and intergalactic space.
2 : Any region of outer space beyond the system of the Earth and Moon.
You know, when a “documentary” gets their information wrong in the introduction, it casts a certain amount of doubt upon what follows.
Oh, I guess I need to add
1 : to be in doubt about
a : to lack confidence in : distrust
b : to consider unlikely
: to be uncertain
Now this is an over two hour documentary and so I will refrain from a case by case refutation of the information given in it, and try to address the key points as I see them, though I am in no way averse to entertaining discussion about specific cases anyone wishes to raise. One of the key points to making a conspiracy theory work is in what the theorists do not tell you, assuming you will take their word if it is presented in appropriately sensible fashion. So often the best method of refutation is to address what they tell you and what they conveniently leave out. Note I am referring to conspiracy theory, not an actual conspiracy.
Wernher von Braun
Right from the start a quote is offered by one of the premier figures in aerospace engineering, Wernher von Braun who, as they state, offers an opinion in 1959 (ten years before Apollo 11) that it would take those ten years just to orbit the moon. What they fail to mention is that von Braun was instrumental in development of NASA and the Apollo program. Von Braun led the Marshall Space Flight Center in development of the Saturn V rockets that delivered the Apollo astronauts to the moon and when he was transferred to NASA, he went under the singular condition that the Saturn V development program continue. Von Braun served as the first Director of NASA from 1960, to 1970, that would be the entire development time that led to Apollo 11, plenty of time to revise his opinions of 1959.
Van Allen Belt
Van Allen radiation belt, [Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.]doughnut-shaped zones of highly energetic charged particles trapped at high altitudes in the magnetic field of Earth. The zones were named for James A. Van Allen, the American physicist who discovered them in 1958, using data transmitted by the U.S. Explorer satellite.
The Van Allen belts are most intense over the Equator and are effectively absent above the poles. No real gap exists between the two zones; they actually merge gradually, with the flux of charged particles showing two regions of maximum density. The inner region is centred approximately 3,000 km (1,860 miles) above the terrestrial surface. The outer region of maximum density is centred at an altitude of about 15,000 to 20,000 km (9,300 to 12,400 miles), though some estimates place it as far above the surface as six Earth radii (about 38,000 km [23,700 miles]).
Here is an animation of the Apollo trajectory through the Van Allen Belt, which demonstrates that the Trans Lunar Trajectory or TLI passes through the outer edges of the radiation zone:
And from an excellent website that does delve into case by case analysis of the Moon Hoax argument, Braeunig.US
It took Apollo only about an hour to pass through the worst part of the radiation belts – once on the outbound trip and once again on the return trip. The total radiation dose received by the astronauts was about one rem. A person will experience radiation sickness with a dose of 100-200 rem, and death with a dose of 300+ rem. Clearly the doses received fall well below anything that could be considered a significant risk. Despite claims that “lead shielding meters thick would have been needed”, NASA found it unnecessary to provide any special radiation shielding.
A large part of the reported discrepancies found in the Apollo and lunar photographs stems from the idea that the photographs seen are the only photographs, and that they were taken as any other tourist photographs are taken here on Earth, and then shown to the neighbors in boring slide shows arranged consecutively (before the advent of FaceBook). This is far from the case. The cameras the astronauts operated were mounted on their chests, with no view finder. Go ahead and try that yourself. Many discrepancies stem from the fact that shots were staged multiple times for the sake of ensuring a decent shot, and none of them were candid or casual. What has been released to the public are the best of those and like any fashion shoot, there are hundreds if not thousands we do not see for every one we do, cropped and selected for quality rather than relevance to another angle of purportedly the same scene. Angles change and details change either slightly or significantly even though pictures we see are proposed to be of the same exact scene. People are short sighted.
There is argument about angles of shadows that fails utterly to take into account variations in the surface of the ground, Mythbusters does a good job of revealing this little bit of misinformation.
While this point is covered in general above I cannot let it pass without specific refutation. There is a “demonstration” given by an “expert” of how shadows are affected by moving toward or away from a strong stationary nearby light source (as opposed to the sun). This demonstration is wholly a manipulation, and as such an outright lie. This issue is raised at around 1:00:40 and they are pointing out the discrepancy in shadow lengths between the two astronauts in a video from Apollo 14. These would be Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell. In the video you can see the discrepancy stated and take note that the shadows are cast upon the ground, roughly perpendicular to the astronauts give or take for topography of the site, while the demonstration shows what happens to a shadow cast upon a wall, parallel to the subject casting the shadow. Casting a shadow onto a perpendicular surface such as the ground from a close proximity light source a shadow will get shorter as the subject approaches the light source! You can try this on your desk at home or at work and see that I am correct. The “expert” claims the opposite, and in order to prove his case uses a completely different experiment, casting a shadow onto a wall which is not relevant to the question. Herein is a perfect example of the sort of manipulation of facts used to “prove” conspiracies of this nature.
This video makes a large case out of the supposed “coke bottle” seen by viewers in Australia in an early feed of the Apollo 11 Landing. Primarily a woman identified as Una Ronald (a false name) claims that as a girl she stayed up late to watch the moon landing and saw Buzz Aldrin kick a coke bottle as he came down the ladder from the Lander.
“Having decided to stay up and watch what she believed to be live images of the ‘Apollo 11’ EVA direct from the Moon, she was more than astonished to see a Coca Cola bottle roll across the lower right quadrant of the TV screen! The incident lasted only two or three seconds at the very most.
… “‘The TV picture I was watching was extremely fuzzy, you could just about distinguish the movements of the astronauts, but when the Coke bottle rolled across the screen it was totally visible, in complete contrast to the fuzz, it was as sharp as anything. Everyone knows the distinctive shape of a Coke bottle — the design was *completely* clear.'”
According to Lunar Planetary Institute:
The first manned spacecraft landing on the Moon was at 3:17 p.m. EST on July 20, 1969, when the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, the Eagle, landed in Mare Tranquillitatis, located at 0°4’5″N latitude, 23°42’28″E longitude. The Eagle landed approximately 50 kilometers from the closest highland material and approximately 400 meters west of a sharp-rimmed blocky crater about 180 meters in diameter.
3:17 Eastern Standard Time in the US translates to 5:17 am in Eastern Australia. It was not until six hours later that Neil Armstrong descended the ladder to be the first man to walk on the moon. Buzz Aldrin’s descent came around noon. She must have stayed up awfully late.
No account is given for this discrepancy on “Una’s” telling of her story, however an attempt is made to account for why the “coke bottle” is perfectly clear despite the grainy quality of the video. To achieve a signal of any strength with the technology of the day it was necessary to significantly reduce the bandwidth and so lose image quality in live feed video from the lunar surface. Claims are made that the delay between when Australia received the live feed, and when a supposed taped feed went out to the rest of the world gave a “whistle blower” broadcast engineer time to video edit the perfectly clear “coke bottle” into the video. Without even entering into how such a video edit was technically possible in 1969, this proposal utterly fails to explain how such an addition with such obvious discrepancy would prove anything as if it is possible to edit an anomaly onto a claimed hoax video, it would also be possible to edit that image onto a video of a factual event. In any case, the time delay claimed did not exist.
There were delays, but significant effort went into specific construction of a network designed to carry the signal live to the world and the only delays that occurred were those demanded by the necessitation of communication between parts of that network, and of course the speed of light as the signal travelled around the world. Conspiracists also fail to point out that several other similar anomalies occur, and can easily be attributed to light reflections from the mirrored visors on the astronauts helmets causing lens flare on the cameras.
At one point this proposal of conspiracy and hoax resorts to analyzing the script of the Tom Hanks movie, “Apollo 13” and critiquing discrepancies in that script as evidence of the actual Apollo 13 being a faked incident. Later, and digging deeper, apparently becoming desperate for evidence to flesh out the hoax it is proposed that a scene from the Sean Connery James Bond, “Diamonds are Forever” where Bond enters a Moon walk training facility is in fact whistle blowing “on a grand scale.” Finally and predictable they raise the movie “Capricorn One” in which a manned mission to Mars is faked as evidence that the moon missions could have been faked, because it is of course reasonably shown by a two hour movie how thousands of engineers, mathematicians, aerospace workers from various subcontractors, television stations, and just plain employees across half the world can keep secret that more than a dozen missions to the moon were faked, and never let on for fifty years. And, oh, I guess they decided to forget that the secret was not kept in “Capricorn One” either.
America’s drive to the moon was fuelled by Cold War paranoia, and our perceived failures in Russia being the first to launch an artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, and first to put a living being into space, then a man. If anyone had reason to reveal America’s moon missions as a hoax, it was the Soviet Union. Undoubtedly the Soviets had radar tracking on the Gemini, and Apollo missions just as we did on Sputnik and their Soyuz program and if there was a hint of fakery in Apollo they had everything to gain by revealing it as their own Lunar missions were plagued with catastrophic failures and loss of lives of Cosmonauts. Yet not a single word of any conspiracy proposal offers up one bit of evidence coming from Russia.
I will leave you to watch the video, and hope you will look for the manipulations of information. Discrepancies in the evidence presented as evidence of fraud are more numerous than even those used as support of the claims of Apollo being a hoax. And I will leave you to ask the questions. Ask me if you like and I will do my best to find the answers. The video above is merely part one of the “documentary” Dark Mission, part two is also available on You Tube for your perusal and If anyone is interested I will bring that here as well.
In the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson
What a compliment it is of our emergent technological culture that there are members of our society that are so impressed with what we have achieved that they cannot comprehend it.
But then he is an astrophysicist and so has everything to lose in being a whistle blower.