The Apollo Lunar Hoax
Life on the Moon was reported in August of 1835 in a series of sensational stories first published by the New York Sun - apparently intended to improve the paper's circulation. These descriptions of lunar life received broad credence and became one of the most spectacular hoaxes in history. Supposedly based on telescopic observations, the stories featured full, lavish accounts of a Moon with oceans and beaches, teeming with plant and animal life and climaxing with the report of sightings of groups of winged, furry, human-like creatures resembling bats! Within a month the hoax had been revealed but the newspaper continued to enjoy an increased readership.
NASA's six manned lunar missions, known as the Apollo program, which was conducted from July 1969 to December 1972, have attracted a great deal of interest among conspiracy theorists who hold that the entire program was a hoax aimed at pulling one over on the Soviets during the Cold War. The cover-up would have to have been shared by some 35,000 NASA employees and approximately 200,000 staff supporting companies who worked on the Apollo Project.
People still question the Moon landings. They cite things like the “American flag waving” in space, despite the plausible explanation that test-firing thrusters near the flag caused it to wave, or that there was a spring inside the deployment boom which would continue to shake the flag in an airless vacuum, making it “appear” to be waving. There are answers to all the questions raised by the non-believers, but one of the strongest arguments (besides LRO’s evidence) is that all the Apollo missions were independently tracked by England and Russia (America's allies and enemies), both of whom sent letters of congratulations after the Moon landings. In the midst of a heated space race, the Russians would have called america's bluff if the landings had not actually happened.
Given the persistent claims of fringe groups that Apollo was a hoax, it is worth noting that only 6 percent of Americans respondenting in a July 1999 the Gallup poll believed “the government staged or faked the Apollo moon landing". Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, a small but significant fraction of the public thinks that NASA may have faked the Apollo Moon landings. This belief is driven by a small group of outspoken (and grossly wrong) conspiracy theorists who claim they have copious evidence that NASA has bamboozled the world.
Ivan Moiseyev, the director of the Institute of Space Policy in Moscow, says Russians only began to embrace the "lunar conspiracy" en masse after the Soviet collapse. "During the Soviet era, no one denied it," he says of the moon landings. "There was nothing at all written about the lunar conspiracy." In Russia, the conspiracy theory appears to be gaining traction. In 2011, when Russian Public Opinion Research Center [VTSiOM] carried out its poll, only 40 percent of respondents denied that American astronauts had reached the moon. Within seven years, that figure had increased by 17 percentage points.
Some 57 percent of Russians believe that there has never been a manned lunar landing and are convinced that the US government falsified videos, photos and other material evidence regarding the 1969 expedition, a July 2018 poll by VTsIOM revealed. The poll, which involved 2,000 random adult respondents across Russia, found that just 24 percent of those polled believed that American astronauts landed on the moon, with another 19 percent saying it was "difficult to answer." Sixty-nine percent of those with a secondary education and 63 percent of those with a secondary technical education said they didn't believe the landings took place; 49 percent of those with an incomplete higher education or above also said they didn't believe that the landings took place.
The poll, which focused on citizens' trust in the scientific community, also included other questions on similar themes. For example, 18 percent of respondents said that they believed that aliens have visited Earth, but that the authorities have hidden this information from the public. Twenty-seven percent said aliens have visited Earth, but have remained hidden to humanity. Forty-two percent said that visitors from extraterrestrial civilizations have never visited Earth, or do not exist. Thirteen percent found it difficult to answer the question.
The Apollo moon landings have been subjected to a host of conspiracy theories. In the UK, a 2016 poll showed that some 52 percent of Brits believed the landings were a conspiracy. Conspiracy proponents have pointed to oddities in photographs and film, mechanical issues, missing data, the presumed technological limitations of the time, as well as the mysterious untimely deaths of a number of astronauts and members of the Apollo program, which they have say is evidence of a cover-up. NASA issued fact sheets in 1977 and 2001 debunking many of these claims.
Russian state TV continues to periodically air programs that give air to the conspiracy theory, ensuring it remains in the public imagination.
One of the most outlandish assertions made by conspiracy supporters is that the US received the support of Soviet scientists in staging the hoax. The moon race took place at the height of the Cold War as part of a broader space race, and the Soviets had made major investments in their own lunar program, sending an unmanned spacecraft to the lunar surface in 1959 and setting up Earth-based tracking facilities, which would have picked up all NASA activity during the time frame in question. Those saying the landings did take place insist that the USSR would not have allowed the US to stage a series of fake landings and get away with it. Furthermore, official Soviet and Russian textbooks and academic programs have praised the US manned lunar program's achievements, while pointing to the USSR's own achievements in exploring the lunar satellite.
One of the main independent experts, Ralph Rene, expressed many doubts about the reliability of the landing of American astronauts on the moon. The main ones are briefly summarized as follows:
1. Gravity. - Accelerated viewing of astronaut jumps on the moon shows that their movements correspond to movements on the earth, and the height of the jumps does not exceed the height of the jumps in the conditions of the earthly earth, although the gravity on the moon is one sixth of the earth. Pebbles, falling from under the wheels of the American lunar rover in flights after the Apollo-13, with an accelerated view, behaves on an earthly basis and does not rise to a height corresponding to the gravity on the moon. Honestly, I did not have the opportunity to verify this fact.
2. "Moonwind." At the time of installation of the US flag on the moon, the flag shook under the influence of air currents. Armstrong straightened the flag and took a few steps back. However, the flag did not stop waving. No "internal fluctuations of the flag" or its "internal energy" can be explained.
3. Snapshots. - Moon shots have specific inconspicuous crosses due to the operation of the equipment. Without these crosses there should not be a single snapshot of the lunar expedition. However, in spite of all the other pictures taken during other space programs, in many lunar photographs there are crosses either missing or located under the image, which raises doubts that the photographs were actually made by lunar instruments. A number of photographs, allegedly made on the moon, in different editions of NASA are presented with clippings and corrections: in some places, shadows have been removed, and retouching has been applied. The very same pictures that NASA provided to the public at different times look different and irrefutably prove the presence of a montage.
4. Stars. - The vast majority of space images of NASA’s lunar program do not show the stars, although their full abundance is on Soviet space images. The black blank background of all photos is explained by the difficulty of modeling the starry sky: the forgery would be obvious to any astronomer.
5. Radiation. - Near-Earth spacecraft are much less susceptible to the damaging effects of solar radiation than a ship remote from Earth. According to American experts, walls with 80 centimeters of lead are necessary to protect a spacecraft flying to the moon. Otherwise, the astronauts will not survive even weeks and die, as all experimental American monkey astronauts died from radiation. However, the NASA spacecraft in the 60s had the side, made of aluminum foil with a thickness of several millimeters.
6. Suits - When the daytime lunar surface is heated to 120 degrees, the spacesuit needs to be cooled, for which, according to modern American specialists in space flights, 4.5 liters of water are required. The Apollo suits were equipped with 1 liter of water and were practically not designed to work in lunar conditions. The spacesuits were made of rubberized fabric without any substantial protection against cosmic radiation. The Apollo suits of the 60s are much smaller than the Soviet and American suits that are used today for going to space for a short time. Even with the current level of technology development, it is impossible to accommodate the oxygen supply for 4 hours, the radio station, the life support system, the thermal control system, etc., as judged by the legend of the 1960s, the Apollo astronauts
7. Landing. - The jet stream, beating from the nozzle of the apparatus descending to the moon, should completely sweep away in a low gravity all the dust - almost weightless - from a surface within a radius of at least hundreds of meters. In airless space, this dust should rise high above the surface of the moon and fly away in a whirlwind a mile from the place of the ship’s descent, which was observed during all landings of the Soviet lunar modules. If you are looking for sex for money, then the profiles of prostitutes in Kiev - exactly what you need. Come on in. However, in the American photographs - in spite of all science and common sense - we see how the astronaut who had just flown in jumps from a levitating apparatus into dust untouched by any influence.
8. Information leakage - In the memoirs of the astronaut Aldrin there is a description of a party in a narrow circle of astronauts, where those present were watching a film showing the adventures of Fred Hayes on the Moon. Hayes performed all kinds of steps, then tried to stand on the step of the moon rover, but the step crumbled as soon as he stepped on it. However, Fred Hayes was never on the moon. He is a participant in the infamous Apollo 13 flight, which did not land on the surface of the moon. Either all the Apollo flights were falsified, or for each flight a fictional version of the landing was created that could work at the right moment. There are plenty of other facts. During the "live broadcast from the moon," the audience several times came across strange things, such as the outspoken letter S, painted on one of the "untouched" moonstones and accidentally caught in a frame in one of the "lunar" reports. The falsification was so obvious that tens of thousands of Americans - not Russian at all - were overwhelmed with television, NASA and the White House in bags of indignant letters. This has never happened before or after the lunar epic. No reply was given to any letter.
9. Confidentiality. - In 1967, under doubtful circumstances, 11 astronauts died. Seven died in plane crashes, the rest were burned in a test capsule. According to the American researchers question, they were "dissent". The highest mortality rate in the camp of American astronauts is just the most dubious program of NASA.
Certain skeptics say that in reality, NASA did not land astronauts on the moon (a maximum of only once or twice, and the rest of the landings were taken in the pavilions on Earth and were broadcast, perhaps, from the Apollo ships that only circled the moon).
In the USA, scurrilous American Fox TV special that seemed to convince many members of the public of the 'reality' of the 'hoax'. More buzz about the Moon began on 15 February 2001 when Fox television aired a program called Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? Guests on the show argued that NASA technology in the 1960's wasn't up to the task of a real Moon landing. Instead, anxious to win the Space Race any way it could, NASA acted out the Apollo program in movie studios. Neil Armstrong's historic first steps on another world, the rollicking Moon Buggy rides, even Al Shepard's arcing golf shot over Fra Mauro-- it was all a fake!
According to the show NASA was a blundering movie producer thirty years ago. For example, Conspiracy Theory pundits pointed out a seeming discrepancy in Apollo imagery: Pictures of astronauts transmitted from the Moon don't include stars in the dark lunar sky -- an obvious production error! What happened? Did NASA film-makers forget to turn on the constellations?
Most photographers already know the answer: It's difficult to capture something very bright and something else very dim on the same piece of film -- typical emulsions don't have enough "dynamic range." Astronauts striding across the bright lunar soil in their sunlit spacesuits were literally dazzling. Setting a camera with the proper exposure for a glaring spacesuit would naturally render background stars too faint to see.
Here's another one: Pictures of Apollo astronauts erecting a US flag on the Moon show the flag bending and rippling. How can that be? After all, there's no breeze on the Moon.... Not every waving flag needs a breeze -- at least not in space. When astronauts were planting the flagpole they rotated it back and forth to better penetrate the lunar soil (anyone who's set a blunt tent-post will know how this works). So of course the flag waved! Unfurling a piece of rolled-up cloth with stored angular momentum will naturally result in waves and ripples -- no breeze required!
The best rebuttal to allegations of a "Moon Hoax," however, is common sense. Evidence that the Apollo program really happened is compelling: A dozen astronauts (laden with cameras) walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. Nine of them are still alive and can testify to their experience. They didn't return from the Moon empty-handed, either. Just as Columbus carried a few hundred natives back to Spain as evidence of his trip to the New World, Apollo astronauts brought 841 pounds of Moon rock home to Earth.
"Moon rocks are absolutely unique," says Dr. David McKay, Chief Scientist for Planetary Science and Exploration at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). McKay is a member of the group that oversees the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at JSC where most of the Moon rocks are stored. "They differ from Earth rocks in many respects," he added. "For example," explains Dr. Marc Norman, a lunar geologist at the University of Tasmania, "lunar samples have almost no water trapped in their crystal structure, and common substances such as clay minerals that are ubiquitous on Earth are totally absent in Moon rocks."
Even Dr. Robert Park, Director of the Washington office of the American Physical Society and a noted critic of NASA's human space flight program, agreed with the space agency on this issue. "The body of physical evidence that humans did walk on the Moon is simply overwhelming."
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