The Skeptical Teacher

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

Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

Whoopi Goldberg’s Comments on the Moon Landing: Amazing *Facepalm* Moment

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 24, 2009

Whoopi Goldberg on “The View” earlier this week seriously entertains some of the Moon Hoax conspiracy woo…

Who took the photos, Whoopi? It’s called a tripod…

This one’s just for you, Whoopi…


Posted in conspiracy theories, media woo, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Buzz Aldrin Punches Moon Hoax Conspiracy Theorist

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 20, 2009

This Youtube video is making the rounds on the Internet, so I figured that I would pass it along, mostly for the entertainment factor 🙂

In 2002, as part of a shameless and rather obvious publicity stunt, conspiracy nutjob & fledgling stalker Bart Sibrel ambushed the Buzz Aldrin (the second man to walk on the Moon)  and publicly defamed him in front of a film crew, thrust a bible in his face and demanded that he swear on it that he really did walk on the moon.  Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Sibrel called Aldrin a liar.  The 72-year old’s response to this harassment? See for yourself…

I’m not one to advocate violence, but upon seeing this footage – and Sibrel’s harassment of Aldrin – I have to admit that I gave ol’ Buzz an “atta boy!” when he socked it to Sibrel.

Just in case you know someone who may doubt we ever sent amazing men like Buzz Aldrin to the Moon, check out these websites which systematically demolish the claims of the Moon Hoax conspiracy theorists

Bad Astronomy: Fox TV and the Apollo Moon Hoax

Moon Base Clavius

Wikipedia: Apollo Moon landing hoax conspiracy theories

Face it, folks, we went to the Moon, and if we’re smart we’ll go back someday in the near future.

Posted in conspiracy theories, humor, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Apollo Landing Sites Photographed on the Moon!

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 17, 2009

I just saw this post over at the Bad Astronomy blog by Phil Plait, and seeing as how the media is crawling all over the touched up NASA footage of the Apollo 11 landing, I wanted to share it with you.  That’s because, as I suspected, while the media is giving NASA some attention, they are – sadly – also giving the conspiracy nuts some attention as well.

Well folks, for those of us whose brains are not addled by conspiracy-mongering, here you go: photographic evidence of the landing sites on the Moon, taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)…

That first one is of the Apollo 11 landing site, with the Eagle lunar module clearly visible.  The LRO website has images of the Apollo 14,15,16, and 17 landing sites as well, including this incredible shot of the Apollo 14 site which shows the tracks left in the lunar dust by the astronauts!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

“New” NASA Video of Moon Landing Not So New

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 16, 2009

As I outlined in my earlier post – Old Moon Landing Tapes Found – Conspiracy Nuts Still Lost – there were rumors going around about “lost” footage of the first Apollo Moon landing being found by NASA.  Well, yes and no.  As this news article points out, the footage is old but it was never lost…


NASA refurbishes video copies of moon landing

With the help of Hollywood, those historic, grainy images of the first men on the moon never looked better. NASA unveiled refurbished video Thursday of the July 20, 1969, moonwalk restored by the same company that sharpened up the movie “Casablanca.”

NASA lost its original moon landing videotapes and after a three-year search, officials have concluded they were probably erased. That original live video was ghostlike and grainy.

NASA and a Hollywood film restoration company took television video copies of what Apollo 11 beamed to Earth 40 years ago and made the pictures look sharper.

NASA emphasized the video isn’t “new” — just better quality.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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…


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

“Borneo Monster” Follow-Up

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 9, 2009

I blogged recently about the supposed “Borneo Monster” – what was claimed to be a 100-foot long snakelike creature photographed in the Baleh River on the island of Borneo in Indonesia. In my earlier post I explained why I thought the photos were bogus, and now we have even more solid evidence that they are, in fact, fakes.

It seems an industrious poster, Fromage, on a article on this story has found the original photograph from which the fake photo was made. Here’s a link to the relevant comments by Fromage…


Using the great tool “TinEye” you can see that is a fake.

The original picture can be seen here :

(Could be the Congo river)

The TinEye link :

For purposes of comparison, I shall place the two photos one after the other. The real, undoctored photo is shown first…

baleh river

And now the faked “Borneo Monster” photo…

faked borneo monster photo

There you go, folks. It’s a fake. It’ll be interesting to see what the true believers say about this. Should be funny 🙂

Posted in cryptozoology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bogus “Borneo Monster”

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 2, 2009

I saw a recent news story on about the supposed discovery of what is being called the “Borneo Monster” – apparently, this critter is supposed to be a 100-foot long snakelike creature that inhabits the Baleh River in Borneo. Already, some photos that are claimed to have been released by villagers along the river are all the buzz on the Internet. Below are the photos in question…

borneo monster 1

borneo monster 2

While the cryptozoology community (the pseudoscientists who make bogus claims about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and so on) is all a-twitter about this “discovery”, the skeptical community (including Ben Radford, the author of the above article) is busy tearing the photographic “evidence” to shreds. For an excellent analysis of these Borneo Monster claims, take a listen to the Feb. 26th podcast from the Skeptics Guide to the Universe.

I just wanted to give my quick thoughts on these photographs:

1) Note the first photo does not include any mention of scale, so I did a little digging on Google Earth. From that analysis, it seems the claim that this “monster” is 100-feet long is completely bogus. In the first photo, the greenery on the banks of the river is most likely made of trees, so this would make the creature of a very large scale; in addition, looking at Google Earth I saw the width of the Baleh River itself was much larger than 100-feet in most places. Thus, the “monster” in the photograph would have to be much larger than 100-feet long, more like 500 to 1000 feet by my estimates!

2) The second photograph was supposedly of the same creature, but it is inconsistent with the first photograph. I say this because the first photo shows what is most likely an animal that is about 500-1000 feet long, whereas the second photo is more consistent with the 100-foot claims. Not to mention, in the second photograph there doesn’t appear to be any disturbance of the water whatsoever due to the presence of the “monster”. In a river where the water is flowing, you could expect to see something like ripples, waves, or froth if something that big were oriented in the river as shown – yet we see nothing of the kind in this photo.

3) A recent discovery of the remains of an ancient snake, called Titanoboa, showed the largest such creature was about 45 feet long. The largest known snakes in existence today are about 33 feet in length, and it is believed by the scientific community that the conditions (temperature, humidity, etc) on our planet now simply are not sufficient to allow larger snakes to survive. In the past, around 58-60 million years ago, when Titanoboa lived, the conditions were right for many species to grow to enlarged size by today’s standards. But those conditions don’t exist today, and even if they did the notion that a 100-foot long snake could survive is extremely implausible.

4) If these photos are the real thing, then why hasn’t anyone else found any other evidence of such a large, land-dwelling beast? Wouldn’t you think that massive piles of shedded snake skin (or, for that matter, poop), tracks in the forests from this thing knocking over vegetation, or other evidence would be easily noticeable? Not to mention, what could such a creature possibly eat in order to stay alive?

In my opinion, these photos are most likely faked, and I also find it is no surprise to hear these tall tales just a couple of weeks after the announcement of Titanoboa’s discovery.

In conclusion, based on this analysis, I think the most plausible explanation for the supposed “Borneo Monster” is the imagination of those villagers along the Baleh River. That region of Indonesia is home to many large snakes, such as shown in the video below…

That fact, coupled with the firing of people’s imaginations at the news of Titanoboa, likely led to this bogus “Borneo Monster” story. It’ll be interesting to see how long this tall tale sticks around, or if it gets even taller as time goes on.

Posted in cryptozoology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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