The Apollo Conspiracy

This next conspiracy theory is a pretty familiar one – as it should be considering it has been around for over 40 years. Did the Apollo astronauts really land on the Moon? It’s a touchy subject but this doesn’t stop conspiracists from disproving it happened.

Background Project Apollo successfully landed the first humans on the Moon from 1969-1972. It began with Apollo 11, which flew Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins safely to the Moon and back to Earth. Armstrong was the first to step on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Photo by NASA 

Conspiracy So, why do people think the Apollo landings never happened? In 1999, only 6 percent of Americans didn’t believe that the moon landing didn’t happen. But people really started reconsidering after Fox television aired a documentary in 2001 called “Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?” Basically, it claimed NASA and the US government faked evidence that man made it to the moon in order to win the Space Race against the Soviet Union.

Common things that conspiracists say to claim the hoax is that the photos are fake. First, there is a photo of Aldrin in a shadow, but he is clearly seen (first photo). Secondly, certain shadows are not parallel to the lunar lander, or spacecraft. Conspiracists also picked up on the rippling American flag (second photo), which is odd considering there is no air or wind in space. Since we’re on the topic, former US Navy officer Bill Kaysing wrote that there was about 0.0017 percent chance of a person actually getting to the Moon, especially because of elements such as the Van Allen belt. There are also claims that the film of the astronauts moonwalking is just them skipping on camera with the footage slowed down.

Photo by NASA 

Rebuttal Who ya gonna call to debunk conspiracies? MythBusters! No really, they did an entire episode on disproving the theories through experiments with a team of scientists. The MythBusters proved that Aldrin would have been able to be seen clearly despite the shadow because of the light that reflected off the Moon’s surface. In regard to the photo of the shadow and spacecraft not lining up, the MythBusters built a replica of all the elements present. When they included hills and craters that were in the picture, the shadows ended up falling in the same directions that they did in the picture. Science.

The MythBusters also found out that the rippling flag was due to the movement of the astronauts planting it in the ground. Apparently, there is no air resistance to stop the ripple of the flag once it has been set in motion. They have rebuttals to all the other theories that you should check out. The experiments they did were really cool, and I thought they were accurate. The MythBusters convinced me! Also, let’s think about this. The Project Apollo spanned over 10 years with thousands of people working on it. In that entire time, not a single person spilled? Yeah right.