The Scifi files is a series of posts taking mysteries that I’ve found on the internet and finding out more about them. Are they real? Could there be a cover up? What monsters may live on, in or outside our Earth?
The subject of the lunar landings is marred with theories of conspiracy and deceit. Many people are firmly convinced that we did not in fact land on the moon and that the whole thing was a lie and a cover up to look like the US had beaten the Russians in the race to put a man on the moon.
The film 2001: A Space Odyssey is often referred to in these conspiracies as the practice run for filming the moon landings on a set, directed by Stanley Kubrick. When you see the film, it’s easy to see why this could be the case. The film was made in 1968 and even today the visuals used in the film are stunningly realistic. Also looking at films, Capricorn One was a film based specifically on this topic about a cover up to fake the Mars landings.
Let’s look at this objectively, a conspiracy needs to be kept secret in order to be a conspiracy. If the Moon landings didn’t happen and were filmed, who would have known about this?
Most if not all the people at mission control, the people that filmed it, a significant amount of government officials. Now that’s an awful lot of people to keep sch-tum!
This is the guy that the conspiracy theorists have marked as the guy who directed the filming of the faked Moon landings, he’s supposed to have made numerous references to this is his work over the years, leaving little easter egg clue in his films. The thing is if he was really doing this, surely this would have been picked up and he would have been silenced. Secondly, his daughter responded to the theorists in an open letter, she in fact slams the claims calling the ‘A grotesque lie’.
What are the conspiracy theorists saying?
There’s quite a bit here, so I’m going to have to pick only a few points and see where this goes:
Cloak and mirrors:
This is where conspiracy theorists love to live, in the world of shadows and mirrors. There a loads of things they get from the Apollo images but this image apparently shows someone not in a spacesuit taking a picture. They can tell this becasue of the long, thin shadow in his visor:
But… hes’ in a spacesuit. The light from the Sun is casting a long shadow. In fact I think I can make out the life support unit on his back.
How is the flag flapping in the wind?
It’s not – there is no wind. The flag is held up by a wire, which can be seen at the top and any movement on the pole would have made the flag ‘flap’ with no air to stop it.
The blast crater and dust:
One of the things that is picked up on is the absence of a blast cater under the moon lander and the lack of dust on the outer landing gear of the lander:
Where’s the blast crater? Is what’s asked…
Where’s the dust on the foot?
In order to answer this we need to understand how the lander and the landing process worked and a little about how things work on the Moon. In a nutshell on descent the thruster would fire to slow the lander’s rate of descent. Before the lander touched down the thruster would be stopped and it would drop the last few feet to the surface where the landing struts were designed to fold to absorb the impact. Because Armstrong was such an awesome pilot, he manged to land it without the struts folding. That’s why when they ‘step’ off the ladder they actually have a small leap (ironic really).
Because the trust is over a wideish area and the Moon has low gravity, there is no big impact crater. Remember also the Moon’s surface is made of rock and a fine layer of dust, it’s not feet thick all over the place. The thruster would only have made an impact to a depth of 10mm or so which is barely visible. But if you look at the lander image at the top, you can see a lighter area of dust coming from the left of the image showing where the dust was kicked up. The dust is lighter underneath becasue of the UV and radiation from the Sun darkens the dust on the surface.
As for the dust, remember there’s no air on the Moon to hold the dust, it would only be kicked up in the temporary atmosphere of the thruster and then drop straight back down. That’s why there’s no dust on the lander.
What these points show simply is this: Things happen differently on the Moon!
There are meant to be a pile of other things, like the ropes that held the parachute to the capsule, the same rocky landscape seen in different picture from different missions. But this is where conspiracy theorists live, in the land of confusion.
Let’s make this simpler.
Humans – what we left on the Moon and what we brought back:
Bear in mind is that the marks and equipment left by man on the Moon will not go away, it’s on display for the Russians, Chinese and anyone else to see or not see. So If they really didn’t land there they’ll be found out sooner or later! In fact, here are some shot of lunar landing sites taken from orbit:
There’s not much to see for the Apollo 11 site, but then they weren’t there long and didn’t go very far.
The Apollo 17 landing site is more interesting as the Lunar Rover left it’s tracks all over the place. But of course, in the world of a conspiracy theorist, imagery can be faked. So let look deeper – ever heard of the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment? Basically mirrors placed on the Moon by the Apollo 11, 14 and 15 missions have been used to measure the distance on the moon from the Earth by firing lasers at them and measuring the reflected signal. If we want to get narky about this we could say this is also fake, but this is bringing more people into the conspiracy and that’s really what you don’t want to do.
Let’s not also forget the pile of Moon rocks brought back from each mission, it would geologists have been examining them for decades – or are they in on the conspiracy too?
In my mind we went to the Moon, it would have been harder to fake it. Like most conspiracy theories the blizzard of detail is often answered in some simple knowledge. If it had been faked the Russian and Chinese would have proved it long ago. This is one of those stories that needs putting to bed – so we can find a better conspiracy theory.