The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Old Moon Landing Tapes Found – Conspiracy Nuts Still Lost

Posted by mattusmaximus on June 28, 2009

**Update: There is some question as to the validity of the story that new tapes of the Apollo 11 landing have been discovered and that the news story itself might be a hoax.  Read more about it at this entry on the Bad Astronomy blog. Note that my criticisms of the anti-moon landing conspiracy theorists still stand.

I just read this really cool story — World Exclusive: NASA Finds Missing Moon Landing Tapes. As the article states…

ECSTATIC space officials at Nasa could be about to unveil one of their most stunning discoveries for 40 years — new and amazingly clear footage of the first moon landing.

The release of the new images next month could be one of the most talked about events of the summer.

The television images the world has been used to seeing of the historic moment when Neil Armstrong descended down a ladder onto the moon’s surface in 1969 is grainy, blurry and dark.

The following scenes, in which the astronauts move around the lunar lander, are so murky it is difficult to make out exactly what is going on, causing conspiracy theorists to claim the entire Apollo 11 mission was an elaborate fraud.

Here is the current footage we have of the Apollo 11 landing to which the article is referring available on Youtube…

600px-Aldrin_Apollo_11

Now the article is certainly spot on with one thing: the conspiracy theorists will come crawling out of the woodwork to claim that this new footage is part of the big, cast conspiracy to cover up the truth that NASA never sent humans to the moon.  It is likely that they’ll say that this new footage is simply being released now in order to cover up all the supposed errors & inconsistencies within the old footage.  For example, here is a website – The Apollo Hoax – which is all about these supposed discrepancies in the Apollo photographs & video footage… too bad the person who made that site is dead wrong on every aspect of their analysis.

To understand why the CTer’s insistence that the Apollo Landings were fake is so off-base, I strongly recommend looking at the Bad Astronomy website which debunks all these claims. Another good website which takes on the pseudoscientific woo of Moon-Landing-CTers is Moon Base Clavius. Those sites go into very great levels of detail as to why the arguments of the CTers are merely the result of conspiracy mongering, selective thinking, and outright ignorance of physics.

I am very happy to know that these tapes are going to be made public, but at the same time it is a bit upsetting that these CT yahoos are going to use any news about NASA & the Apollo landings as a way of gaining 15 minutes of undeserved fame.  Hopefully it can be another opportunity for skeptics to spread a little critical thinking among the public.

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7 Responses to “Old Moon Landing Tapes Found – Conspiracy Nuts Still Lost”

  1. garym said

    Phil Plait of “Bad Astronomy” is now saying that the story is false.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/06/28/lost-apollo-11-video-tapes-found/

  2. lyn said

    Google Moon should be invented so that people will discover for themselves whether the moon landings were real or not.

  3. Paul said

    Oops, NASA erased the ORIGINAL tapes. How convenient! The tapes you refer to are digital remastered copy.
    Maybe using iMovie or Photoshop, I can land on the moon, too. LOL

    • mattusmaximus said

      Of course, if all NASA had was footage, you might be on to something. But seeing as how they brought back actual samples (you know, rocks) and we left an often-used laser reflection system on the Moon, it’s pretty tough to say – at least with a straight face – that we never sent humans to the Moon. For example, check out these sites where many claims made by the Moon hoax conspiracy theorists are systematically torn apart…

      http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Moon_Landing_hoax_conspiracy_theories

      And note that those CT arguments were shredded long before this recent news about cleaning up the original footage. You know, one of the sad things about so many conspiracy theorists is that they are soooo predictable.

  4. The Moon landings are without any shadow of a doubt completely & quite obviously fake.

    Please see my latest posting refering to Dave McGowans articles.

    Thanks =)

    http://remotekontrol.wordpress.com/

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