The 20th July 1969 and the world held its breath. The space race between Russia and the U.S. was to reach its climax.
Ever since President Kennedy had laid down the challenge in the early sixties, it was the aim of both countries to plant the flag of their country firmly on the moon’s surface.
At the height of the Cold War, the West crossed its fingers for American success. There was more than national pride at stake.
Those first steps and the words that accompanied them defined an era, The Space Age. The U.S. had won the battle for the moon and at least half the world celebrated.
The future for mankind was limitless and full of hope…
What then, if it was all a sham, a terrible lie?
Within a few short years some began to suspect that a massive hoax had been perpetrated and the U.S. moon landing conspiracy was born.
The Conspiracy Theorists
In 1976 a self -published book written by a technical writer, Bill Kaysing, came to public attention. In his book We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, Kaysing voices his doubts over whether the actual moon landings ever took place.
He calculated that there was less than a 0.0017% chance of a successful manned lunar mission. Instead of flying to the moon, Kaysing claimed that the launch of Apollo 11 was faked and the astronauts flew instead to Nevada.
He later revised this theory suggesting instead that the astronauts had in fact orbited Earth for eight days and the moon walk scenes were filmed by actors in a studio somewhere in America.
Over the years others have stepped forward to add their own doubts to the veracity of first manned moon landing and offer some compelling evidence to support their theories.
Before examining the evidence for such an elaborate hoax, one needs to ask the question, why? What could possibly motivate NASA or the American Government to play out such an elaborate charade?
Three main theories have been proposed…
National Pride: It is difficult for those who didn’t live through it to realize just how cold, The Cold War was. East and West were physically as well as ideologically divided and the world seemed to teeter on the brink of war.
With the threat of nuclear holocaust always lingering in the background, national pride was played out on the sports field and in the space race.
Would the American public be able to stomach the Soviet Union beating them to the moon?
Vietnam: America had found itself entrenched in a war in Vietnam. As the war dragged on and more and more young soldiers perished, public dissatisfaction grew.
Whether intentional or not, the moon landings provided some distraction for a public sick of war. Those that support this theory point out that Nixon was President during this period.
What lengths would he go to win over public opinion?
Money: Some believe that NASA had to come up with the goods if it was to continue to receive funding. What better prize could there be for a glory seeking government than the first man on the moon?
The Evidence For and Against
Conspiracy theorists believe that they have found overwhelming evidence to support their theory that all or part of the U.S. moon landings were faked.
Equally, those who believe that the moon landings were genuine believe that they can provide an explanation for every anomaly put forward.
Layered Crosshairs: The photographs taken during the moon landings display crosshairs. These crosshairs are designed to aid scaling and direction when taking photographs and are an integral part of the cameras used by the astronauts.
Obviously, when printed the crosshairs should appear in front of any objects that are photographed. Some of the photos of the moon landings clearly show these crosshairs behind objects.
This is impossible unless the photos have been doctored or altered in some way. When challenged as to why this does appear to be the case, NASA explained that the photos were merely cropped or rotated for aesthetic reasons.
The Waving Flag: One of the most iconic moments in history, the planting of the American flag on the surface of the moon. Who could not swell with emotion and pride as they watched it flutter on its pole?
There is just one problem – space is a vacuum, there is no air or wind on the moon to make anything flutter.
NASA’s explanation is that the flag was rolled in a tube for storage. When it was unfurled, the astronauts failed to smooth it out before attaching it to a pole, hence the rippled appearance.
The Stars: Where are the stars? Think of space and we think of galaxies of stars. Where better to see the universe spread out before you in all its beauty than in space, unpolluted by unnatural light?
Examine the photographs of the moon landings and you will see that stars are conspicuous by their absence. NASA claims that the photographs were taken during the lunar daytime when the sun would outshine their brightness.
They suggest that the astronauts used a fast exposure when taking photographs which limits incoming light.
Impact Crater: A quick examination of the moon landing photographs and you can clearly see that the astronauts have left footprints where they have walked.
Why then, has the lunar module failed make any impact upon the moon’s surface? Shouldn’t we expect to see a crater or at least some evidence of disturbance?
NASA’s answer is no.
Due to the lack of gravity the module would require less thrust to land on the rock hard surface of the moon, than it would on Earth.
Unexplained Object: Conspiracy theorists cite the unexplained reflection of an object in the helmet of one of the astronauts, as suspicious.
The object appears to be hanging and some have suggested it may be a studio light and its flex. No explanation has been given by NASA to explain this particular anomaly.
Multiple Light Sources: As the sun is the only natural light source shining onto the moon, it would be reasonable to expect that all shadows fall in the same direction.
This is not the case however, photographs show shadows falling in different directions and at different angles, suggesting multiple light sources.
NASA explains this discrepancy by suggesting that the uneven surface of the moon distorts the angles of shadows as does moon dust and reflected light.
The C Rock: The C rock appears in moon landing photos of the lunar surface. The letter C is so perfectly formed that some have suggested it cannot be accidental.
One theory is that the rock is a prop which has been accidentally placed to reveal its underside. NASA argues that the C does not appear on the original film but is possibly a coiled hair that has fallen onto the image during the developing process.
Another theory they put forward is that it has been mischievously added by a prankster.
Identical Backgrounds: There appear to be almost identical backgrounds to some of the photographs taken during the moon landings. What is disturbing is that the photos were supposedly taken miles apart on the moon’s surface.
Are they merely the backdrop of a movie set?
NASA suggests that because there is no atmosphere, there is nothing to obscure the horizon, making distant objects look much closer.
Hotspots: Many of the photographs appear to display hotspots, suggesting the use of high powered studio spotlights. NASA claims this effect is created when tiny pits in the moon’s surface reflect light, much like a morning dew drop.
The Van Allen Radiation Belt: To reach the moon, astronauts would have to pass through the Van Allen Radiation Belt. Conspiracy theorists contend that it would be impossible for an astronaut to pass through this belt due to the massive levels of radiation.
NASA’s response is that Apollo 11 passed through the belt so quickly that the astronauts were only subjected to a small amount of harmless radiation.
Mysterious deaths, photographic and video discrepancies even Coca Cola cans rolling across the original transmission of the moon landings, the evidence continues to mount up.
Many have highlighted what they believe is definitive proof of the U.S. moon landing conspiracy. For every believer, there is another debunking the evidence.
Can we really accept that one of the greatest achievements of mankind was a hoax?
A hoax that must have involved thousands of people who remain silent and compliant. If it wasn’t one of the greatest deceptions ever undertaken, can we explain the anomalies and discrepancies that exist in the photo and video evidence?
Up to 20% of the American population are convinced that world was duped on that day in 1969. For those that haven’t made up their minds the evidence is there to be freely examined.
Elaborate hoax or one of the defining moments in the history of mankind, you decide.