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Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?

Reviewed April 8, 2001

On February 15, 2001 (and again on March 21) FOX aired a television show titled "Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?". It claimed that the Moon landings that took place between 1969 and 1972 were all an elaborate hoax.

Conspiracy theorists, such as Bill Kaysing and Bart Sibrel, received the majority of the air time while Brian Welch, the only NASA spokesperson, was limited to a few poorly edited comments. It was clear from the start that the show was biased in favour of the conspiracy theory. After all, on television "ratings" is the name of the game, and you don't get good ratings telling people that we went to the Moon.

The sad thing about this show was that it almost sounded believable, if you don't know much about the Apollo program or physics. Most of the people in the audience didn't take the time to research Apollo when the show was over, and that's a major problem. What will future generations believe? FOX was irresponsible in airing that show. They even went far enough to accuse NASA of murder.

The simple truth is that twelve people have walked on the Moon. The evidence supporting this claim is overwhelming. Hoax believers ignore physical evidence such as the eight hundred pounds of Moon rock brought back by the astronauts, or the fact that the Russians had the ability to track the Apollo spacecraft using radar and radio waves. If NASA didn't go to the Moon, don't you think the Russians would have made a big deal about it?

The supporters of the conspiracy theory can only repeat the same old "evidence" such as the lack of stars in photographs, or the lack of a blast crator under the lunar module. Every single claim made during FOX's conspiracy show can easily be explained.

The following is a list of some of the hoax believer claims, along with my explainations.

  • Why does the flag wave on the Moon when there is no air?
  • Simple. In every example of this there is an astronaut holding the flag pole trying to push it into the ground or trying to straighten it. The astronaut moves the pole, which moves the flag. You don't need air for this to happen.

  • The show said the lunar lander's engine created 10,000 lbs. of thrust. Why wasn't there a blast crator under the LM?
  • The engine on the lunar lander was capable of producing 10,000 lbs. of thrust, but that doesn't mean it always used that much. The LM engine had a throttle, which was reduced to about 3,000 lbs. of thrust by the time the lander reached the surface of the Moon. That amount of thrust just isn't capable of creating a crator into solid rock.

  • Why do objects in shadow appear as if they have been lit by a second light source? Why don't the shadows run parallel?
  • The objects have been lit by a second light source: the Moon. Light bouncing off the surface of the Moon lights up objects that would otherwise be in complete darkness.

    There is a great demonstration of this at:

    The shadows don't run parallel because the ground is uneven. Try this: Stand in a room with a light behind you so that your shadow goes straight out in front of you. Now lean left. Your shadow leans left too, right?

    On the Moon, if the lander is tilting one way and an astronaut is tilting another way, the shadows will not be parallel and might even intersect. Two light sources make two shadows. There aren't any photos with double shadows, which proves that the only light source casting shadows is the Sun.

  • The Earth is surrounded by radiation, called the Van Allen Belt. How did the astronauts survive?
  • The radiation belt only reaches about 25,000 miles from where it starts to where it ends. The Apollo spacecraft was travelling at close to 25,000 miles per hour, which means they got through the radiation belt in about an hour. The astronauts weren't exposed to the radiation for long enough to get sick. Plus, the radiation in the belt isn't as deadly as X-rays, like the FOX show would like you to believe. The thin metal body of the Apollo capsule was actually capable of deflecting some of the radiation. The following site explains it much better than I can:

    Related Links
  • Bad Astronomy

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