Hello, Lovelies! Welcome to the blog post featuring Rebecca diving into a conspiracy theory… then immediately debunking it. Below you will find notes, videos, and a lovely essay by our amazing friend of the show.
This week we have the honor of having Ruk join us! Ruk hosts the show 5 and 30 with Ruk! 5 and 30 With Ruk is a short form interview podcast. It will feature creators, voice actors, and host from many other podcasts. Each guest will be asked 5 random questions that will range from meaning of life stuff to flat out silly. After they answer each one they will be give 30 seconds to promote whatever they like.
In the 1960s two things were happening:
- The Cold War, which was basically between the USA and USSR, that started after the end of WWII in 1948 and lasted until 1991
- The Vietnam War, which lasted between 1955 and 1975
History is important because, not only does it give us context as to why things happened, but it also serves as a blueprint showing what not to do if anyone, literally anyone, decided to pay attention in history class but *whatever*.
In the 1960s the US was dealing with two things. One they were trying to get the upper hand in and the other they were trying to distract the public from. Basically, it was the perfect time for the US government to distract everyone.
Which is why they decided to fake the moon landing.
Ok but why? The US was currently racing the USSR to be the first to the moon and the fastest way to do that would be to fake it. Additionally, due to the bad press the Vietnam War got in general, the moon landing would serve as the perfect distraction at the time.
Luckily, in this day and age, not only have hundreds of people been able to see through the thin veil that is the supposed moon landing, but have also been able to poke holes in this historical event.
There’s no wind on the moon:
Imagine this iconic scene… the year is 1969. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are on the face of this lunar body, preparing a specially made US flag to plant on the moon. As they’re securing the flag in a never ending show of in colonization, something curious happens.
The flag starts waving in the wind.
Which is weird… Because there is no wind on the moon. The moon, essentially, does not have an atmosphere, meaning there is nothing to cause Old Glory to wave proudly in a patriotic breeze.
I know what you’re thinking. “But Rebecca, they built a special flagpole that held the flag from the top”. You are correct, a special flagpole was built. But when the flagpole was being struck into the dirt the flag waved *way* too much for a location that doesn’t have an atmosphere.
We’re currently ignoring the fact that many objects were photoshopped into the pictures such that they BLOCKED OUT THE CROSS HAIRS (seriously. Look it up)
There is a picture taken of Buzz Aldrin walking around on the moon that is supposedly taken by Neil Armstrong. While Neil could have taken a picture of Buzz you don’t see a camera in the reflection of Buzz’s helmet.
No Wishing For You
So we have men on the moon. Cool. While they’re up there they should have a pretty good view of the stars right? Since they’re up there with no light pollution or atmosphere it should be breathtaking. But missing from the photos taken on the moon is… stars.
Why can’t we see the stars in the photos? Simple. The crew didn’t set up stars during the recording of the moon landing.
Radiation Ain’t Cool, Man
Remember when we had Textual Tension on and discussed the Van Allen radiation belts?
Yeah, those suckers pack a punch radioactively speaking.
“Can a cat survive being put in the microwave? No. Which proves that astronauts can’t survive being put through the radiation belts”
Solar Storms happen when the Sun decides to shoot a wave of high energy particles out. On January 23, 2012 the sun emitted a solar flare that rated an M8.7.
Solar flares are rated using A, B, C, M, and X, with each being 10x greater than the previous (e.g. C is 10x greater than B). C flares don’t really affect earth, while M can cause radiation storms that hurt astronauts.
While the earth’s atmosphere protects us from most flares, the atmosphere isn’t there to protect the astronauts
Who filmed neil?
Famous for those first steps, immortalized in everybody’s brains forever. But who was filming it? Did one of the crew hop out of the lunar module to record Neil? Then Neil wouldn’t be the first man on the moon. So who was recording him?
This entire thing is said to be produced by Stanley Kubrik, who was hired to direct and shoot this iconic scene of the United States landing on a celestial body. But, of course, no one talks about it due to the gag order (and possibility of death). So how do we know that, not only was this entire thing produced in a studio, but that someone directed it? Stanley Kubrik told us this in The Shining.
So how did he get his story out? By leaving a trail of clues in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s, The Shining.
In one scene, the child, Danny, is wearing a sweater that shows Apollo 11. Danny obviously represents Stanley
Another tell is the scene involving Room 237. The Earth is roughly 237k miles from the earth (ok but really it’s like 238,900 miles from the earth but that can be considered a standard deviation so whatever). Taking this further, the key shown in the movie with the tag “Room No 237” is a sign that there is no moon.
After entering the room, Danny emerges with his sweater ripped up and strangle marks on his throat, refusing to tell his mom what happened. This obviously represents the hold that the government has on Stanley.
Also, as Jack is walking through the pantry, cans of TANG are seen along the shelves. This represents how the Apollo missions, which brought TANG with them, are supposed to be kept in the closet.
Kubrik died in 1999 of a heart attack… or so the story goes
Ok, FINE, lets get real:
How many times do I have to tell you people the moon landing is real!?
It’s currently 7 July, 2020. It’s been 51 years since Apollo 11’s historic mission. So strap in and let a NASA nerd debunk all your “The Moon Landing didn’t happen” conspiracy theories.
Somewhere between 6-20% of Americans don’t believe that the Apollo 11 Lunar module landed on the moon on 7 July, 1969. There are many iterations of the theory and reasons they point out are evidence against it floating about the internet. This is probably a surprise to no one but so we’re going to go through and debunk them before I have an aneurysm.
First thing’s first: How did we even get here?
Like with most conspiracy theories, you have to wonder where it started and how it got traction in popular culture. The internet didn’t exist in the 1970s, so how did people spread misinformation without Twitter? Well, the printed word, of course! That being said people needed to read the printed word which is always a lot harder without the internet. But somehow in We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, was self-published in 1976 by Bill Kaysing, a former US Navy officer with a Bachelor of Arts in English, despite having no knowledge of rockets or technical writing. The book makes a series of claims about the Moon landing and, with the help of the Flat Earth Society in the 1980s, the theory took off. But I’m not going to talk about Flat Earth because Rebecca already covered that (twice) and I already feel my blood pressure rising.
Let’s do a small claim first. That it’s a cover-up. For…whatever reason, we didn’t land on the moon. Bullshit, but let’s just say. It’s a cover-up. Going to the moon seems hard. Like, really hard. We’d have to give the good ol’ college try before deciding to fake it til we make it, right? How many people would be involved in that? Let’s round down and assume 400,000 people worked on the Apollo project for about 10 years. Then there’s the actual men who “walked on the moon” (+12), the crew that were stuck in the command modules (+6) and the other set of astronauts that merely orbited the moon (+6) (That’s the summation of Apollo crews 8, 10 and 13).
Do you think that many people can keep a secret? A secret that big for that long? Friends, I’ve been part of an attempt to throw a surprise party. There were 20 of us. For two weeks. Note how I said attempt. Over 400,000 people for 50 years?
Jesus. Ok. Let’s get into some more science-y claims. I say science-y because people think they understand science from a YouTube video in 144p.
[A/N ok it’s literally 2 weeks later and I’m feeling better, but no less sassy]
The Waving Flag
Something that theorists say is that the film and pictures of the Apollo astronauts planting the Stars and Stripes on the moon is critical evidence that the whole thing was filmed on a soundstage. If you look at the stills, the American flag appears to be waving, as if winds or fans are moving the fabric. However with the whole “lack of atmosphere” thing that the moon has going on, wind isn’t possible. Therefore it has to be staged… right?
Well, not so much.
The flag that’s on the moon had to be specially made- just like everything that went up with the crew. A regular flag would have just flopped and stayed unfurled. But we’re ‘MURICA and let me show you my FREEDOM. What they did was actually pretty nifty. They made a flag pole that also sported a horizontal bar that held the top up. This let all of space see the beauty that is the American Flag. But the frame was
made by a government agency assembled in zero g, so there were some issues getting it all the way extended, go figure some men couldn’t get it up under pressure. This explains the still pictures- the wrinkle in the flag caused by the horizontal rod makes the flag appear wind-swept. And the film? Well things in motion tend to stay in motion- especially with zero g and no atmosphere. With no atmosphere, the flag’s movements continue for a longer period of time due to the lack of air resistance. The flag only seems like it’s moving like it’s been hit by a gust of wind because the astronauts were driving the vertical flag frame rod into the ground so that it could continue to stand until the end of time.
[Except at this point the UV rays have completely destroyed the flag’s colouring so now it’s just solid white. Close enough for government work, I guess]
Armstrong’s Magic Camera
There’s a wonderfully beautiful picture of Buzz Aldrin being awesome on the surface of the moon (this distinction is made cuz Buzz Aldrin is awesome regardless of his location). This picture was taken by Neil Armstrong because selfies are notoriously hard without a cell phone and can you imagine the roaming costs of bringing one to the moon? Astronomical.
Skeptics bring up the point that, despite being able to see Armstrong in Aldrin’s visor, you can’t see a camera. So unless there was a photo-taking ghost, there was another party taking that picture.
But here’s the thing about the 1960 space suits: They’re bulky as hell. While you have fingers, there’s limited dexterity and fine movements are difficult to do (before adding the whole ‘space’ thing into the mix). To solve this problem, the folks at NASA just slapped a camera to the chest of the spacesuits. You can even see Armstrong’s hand position in the picture which line up with the perspective of the photograph.
When you look up into the boundless vastness of space, you primarily see one thing: stars. Small ones, big ones, stars-that-are-actually-planets-but-you-don’t-have-a-telescope… all stars. So where are they in the Apollo pictures?! Black sky!? BUSTED!
Don’t go supernova, but wrong. The moon landing was done during lunar daytime which means things were pretty bright on the moon- no atmosphere or clouds to block that sweet, sweet sunlight. With the moon’s surface being this bright grey powder, the astronaut’s suits bright white and reflective, the was light all over the place. For a camera to accurately capture all the features in these bright, shining objects, the dimmer things in the background are unable to be captured with a camera’s short exposure time.
Sure, the stars seem bright from here on Earth, but the next-nearest stars to the moon are in the Alpha Centauri system… which is about 4.35 light years away. That’s quite the distance and the poor stars even further away don’t have a chance standing out against the bright surface of the moon on film.
You Make Me Sick (the Van Allen Belt)
The Van Allen Belts are huge areas of radiation that surround the earth that extend from 640 to 58,000 km (400 to 36,040 mi) above the surface. There are technically three belts- aptly named the inner radiation belt, the outer radiation belt and a transient third belt that just hangs around wherever it wants. Generally, the inner belt is more dangerous, as it holds a higher level of energetic protons (beta particles) than the outer belt.
As one can imagine, high levels of radiation is usually a bad thing. There’s loads of stories throughout history that remind us that ingesting radium or just being around radioactive materials isn’t exactly the key to a long and happy life. In fact, radiation sickness itself occurs when a person is exposed to around 200-1000 rads within a few hours.
How possibly could the astronauts pass through these insanely toxic belts without receiving a lethal dose of radiation!?
Exposure time is key here. Had the astronauts spent days in these areas, then the harmful rays could be problematic. However, the spacecraft moved through these fields in a matter of hours (they were through the inner belt in a few minutes while the outer belt took a little longer but they still cleared the belt within 90 minutes). This amount of radiation is equal to the amount of radiation those on the ISS are exposed to on their missions and even in a healthy range for those who work with radioactive materials. Between the speed of the ship and the shielding that NASA builds within their crafts, there was nothing to worry about.
And in case you were wondering if the radiation would muck up the precious film on the return trip: everything was kept in metal containers. The metal was able to protect the film and all the images from any fogging that the radiation might have tried to cause, keeping all of the images crisp and awesome.
BUT LARGE SOLAR FLARES ARE BAD FOR ASTRONAUTS
I mean, maybe, yeah, sure. But there were no large solar flares recorded during the Apollo missions.
There was one recorded after Apollo 16 returned to Earth and one before Apollo 17… but nothing while any of the spacecraft were performing their mission.
Who filmed NeiL!?
There’s footage of Neil Armstrong being a badass on the moon for the first time… so who filmed him? Definitely a crew member on the soundstage because Buzz was still in the lunar module and Michael Collins was off being wonderfully snarky in the command module.
The thing about NASA and doing things for “the first time in human history”, is that cameras were everywhere. Think about your kid or your cat taking their first steps? You’d document the shit out of that, wouldn’t you? NASA did the same.
An Apollo TV Camera was mounted on the leg of the lunar module (and not just any camera but a Apollo TV Camera… a series of cameras which allowed the signal to be transmitted back to Earth in almost real time. Take that, SONY). This allowed operators to control where the camera was pointing and record what was important at the time. Which was anything and everything because we landed a spacecraft on the moon for the first time.
Your kids/cats got nothin’ on NASA.
That one Mythbusters episode