Top 10 Apollo Hoax Theories

In honor of the anniversary of the moon landing, has an article listing (and debunking) the top 10 Apollo Hoax Theories. Below are the top 10 points raised by those who believe the moon landing was a hoax. You'll have to read the article to get the explanation of why these points DON'T prove that the moon landing was a hoax.

#10. Fluttering Flag: The American flag appears to wave in the lunar wind.
#9. Glow-in-the-Dark Astronauts: If the astronauts had left the safety of the Van Allen Belt the radiation would have killed them.
#8. The Shadow Knows: Multiple-angle shadows in the Moon photos prove there was more than one source of light, like a large studio lamp.
#7. Fried Film: In the Sun, the Moon's temperature is toasty 280 degrees F. The film (among other things) would have melted.
#6. Liquid Water on the Moon: To leave a footprint requires moisture in the soil, doesn't it?
#5. Death by Meteor: Space is filled with super-fast micro meteors that would punch through the ship and kill the astronauts.
#4. No Crater at Landing Site: When the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) landed, its powerful engine didn't burrow a deep crater in the "dusty surface."
#3. Phantom Cameraman: How come in that one video of the LEM leaving the surface, the camera follows it up into the sky? Who was running that camera?
#2. Big Rover: There's no way that big moon buggy they were driving could have fit into that little landing module!
#1. Its Full of Stars!: Space is littered with little points of lights (stars). Why then are they missing from the photographs?

Exploration/Travel Science

Posted on Wed Jul 20, 2005

More content from the Hoax Museum:


Yeah... this argument is pretty old and boring as there are some that you can NEVER convince, even when presented with facts. But there is going to be definitive proof soon as there is a EU probe on it's way to the moon that will be able to directly image the Apollo landing sites. Not to mention that little laser reflection device left-behind by Apollo astronauts that ANYONE can use if their laser is powerful enough. The one that's used routinely to measure the distance from the Earth to the Moon... the one we used to determine that the moon recedes 1/4 inch every year! Just think of all the conspiracy stories when we finally do lose the moon...

Posted by Mark-N-Isa  in  Midwest USA  on  Wed Jul 20, 2005  at  09:45 PM
Argh, you have to do a "count down from ten." That bugs me. I just wanted to go straight to the one about the phantom cameraman.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Wed Jul 20, 2005  at  11:20 PM
These debunkings are pretty lightweight, really. There are many better sites out there.
Posted by paul in prague  in  errrm....  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  04:27 AM
People seriously believe those myths?? C'mon - they could have at least come up with something convincing.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  06:37 AM
I still don't believe anyone landed on the moon. Sorry. I watched a movie called "A funny thing happened on the way to the moon" and it had some convincing evidence that no one landed on the moon, beyond the evidence they debunked here.
Posted by Gaia  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  09:51 AM
Gaia, what was this 'convincing evidence'?
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  09:59 AM
Behind the scenes footage and things like that. You'd have to watch the movie to see what I meant. Even if you don't believe it, it's still interesting. wink
Posted by Gaia  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  10:31 AM
Gaia, the funny things is that that particularly documentary was made to show how gullible people are. The 'facts' in it are not facts, and part of the shown 'evidence' is fabricated.

Problem is it back-fired. Many people do take it for real, instead of it being a hoax.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  04:46 PM
Many moons ago (no pun intended) i did believe the conspiracy. i have since totally changed my mind... but to play the devil's advocate for one moment in terms of number 4 there is a second level to the question which is if the dust was blown off the surface by the lem's landing to expose the rock below how did mr. armstrong make a footprint in the little or no dust left around the lander?
Posted by Geekmafia  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  06:43 PM
Mr. Armstrong was still able to leave a footprint behind because he wasn't walking around "under" the lander...
Posted by Mark-N-Isa  in  Midwest USA  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  09:28 PM
Not sure if I got this site from here, but it does a good job of poking in holes in the conspiracy theory.
Posted by Silentz  in  general  on  Thu Jul 21, 2005  at  09:31 PM
"Gaia, the funny things is that that particularly documentary was made to show how gullible people are. The 'facts' in it are not facts, and part of the shown 'evidence' is fabricated."

LaMa, where did you find that out at? We watched this movie in school, and I don't think that's what it was. The guy seems serious.

I'm not trying to argue with you, I just want to know your source.
Posted by Bob Orie  in  Colorado  on  Fri Jul 22, 2005  at  08:19 AM
Many years ago I was an amateur astronomer, wish I could stay with it still but too many other interests, and experimented with astrophotography. It takes a LONG time for the stars to show up on film, even the electronic sensors astronomers use now, because the number of photons is very small. If I remember right, the best film used takes around twenty minutes for stars to start showing up. CCD's are faster, but were not available to the astronauts. I don't even think the equipment can be made protable.

As for the flag waving, it was designed to look like it was waving. That was something that was widely reported at the time. I seem to remember that there was a big stink about it then, something about it not being natural - I think.

As far as the fried film argument, this would require heat retention. Just as fast as the equipment got hot, the heat radiated away. The equipment would not get very hot on the inside.

As for the footprints, if the dust is fine enough and has enough friction to hold in place, footprints would last for a long time since there is almost no erosion.

And space is not filled with super-fast meteorites. The density is something around 1 atom per cubic centimeter or less.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Fri Jul 22, 2005  at  02:49 PM
My dad used to work for NASA and was on the panel of authors that wrote the first "owners/users manual" for the space shuttles. Interestingly enough, after the moon landing! Anyway, yes, they DID land on the moon.
Posted by thephrog  in  CA USA  on  Sun Jul 24, 2005  at  10:45 PM
I am quite convinced that the movie "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon" was not an exercise in demonstrating the gullibility of people. At the same time I don't believe Bart Sibrel actually believes a word of the conspiratorial horseshit he spews.

If you read his "Top 15 Reasons" at
(I hope this link works) and then read the rebuttal at the Clavius site linked above you have to wonder what kind of conspiracy-kook blinders this guy wears when he does his "research". Even when it is pointed out to him that his conclusions and "proof" are easily debunked and disproven he continues to spew his ridiculous accusations. Is he really that thick? No, he's just selling videos (at least 4 of them so far). He makes plenty of accusations but if you want to see the evidence you have to buy his videos.

As far as I can tell Bart Sibrel is a liar. He knows he's a liar. He knows that most people who stumble across his crap will conclude that he is a lying, opportunistic, bullshit merchant profiting off a pile of unsubstantiated (but cleverly worded) conspiracy fiction but some small percentage will either buy his shtick completely or at least be curious enough to buy his videos. I think he is a sad little parasite.
Posted by Blondin  on  Wed Jul 27, 2005  at  12:24 PM

It's cobblers, basically.
Posted by Rob  on  Fri Jul 29, 2005  at  09:13 AM
The most obvious reason the moon landings had
to be real is the Russians, and what they
didn't do.

At the time, they were *very* capable of sending
a camera to the moon which could have photographed
the sites where the LEM had landed, and sent back
live pictures showing that the place was empty.

Anyone who was alive at that time knows that the
Russians would have done anything to discredit
the US. But they didn't. Therefore, obviously
they knew we *did* land there.
Posted by Irv  in  Talking Rock GA  on  Sat Jul 30, 2005  at  04:56 PM
Irv you made a very good point. I can remember the early days of the space race if I work to do so - that was what got me interested in astronomy - and I can remember hearing some of the stunts the Russians did to score on the US. Including hiding the deaths of several cosmonauts. If the Russians could have somehow "proven" that we neve got to the Moon, even if they had faked it, they would have done so.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Jul 30, 2005  at  09:15 PM
OTOH, as I understand it one of the claims of the Moon Hoax believers (as in, those who believe it was a hoax, not those who believe the hoax itself, eh) was that the landings were hoaxed precisely *because* of the political situation at the time... The faking of the landings, the hypothesis runs, was actually part of the cold war per se. (In truth, the space race was exactly that - the motivation to fake a moon landing was certainly there.)

All this particular piece of evidence means is thatthe Russians themselves were sufficiently sure that the landings were real to let it go. A conspiracy theorist would no doubt argue that this was a testament to US Intelligence (ha!)...
Posted by paul in prague  on  Mon Aug 01, 2005  at  12:56 AM
hey all
you all argued on and on but no one gave any substance. one question. i am sorry to ,and am bound to hurt the feelings of a particular section who argue in blind faith with no proof.
Posted by Pranay Kumar  in  India  on  Sun Aug 28, 2005  at  12:59 PM
If it was true , then how did the flag dont say scientists just discovered atmosphere on moon that little green buddies breathe.
where did those stars go? on a vacation to the bahamas?
haw do you account for the double shadows
if you want to prove me wrong do not shout or give emotional gibberish reply to my questions and make sense
i challenge you all !!
Posted by Pranay Kumar  in  India  on  Sun Aug 28, 2005  at  01:07 PM
I guess there are good arguments for both sides. My opinion is that they did make it to the moon and back.

Since gravity is much lower on the moon, it would be possible to position the flag in a horozontal position for a period of time. With no atmosphere, any movement which occured in the flag, when positioned, would remain until the friction of the cloth stopped the movement. A similar effect can be done using a fan, when an atmosphere is present. The movement of the air past the flag causes lift and minimizes the effect of gravity.

With telescopes which can track and see a star light years away, you would think that a modern telescope could lock onto the moon and see some evedence that would provide proof.
Posted by Matt  in  Baltimore  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  05:21 PM
I personally believe that the moon landing was fake, there's so much damning evidence to show this. And when the Japanese get there next year with their probe we will all find out.
Posted by reQ  in  World  on  Thu Oct 20, 2005  at  04:03 PM
How come we are unable to go back again. So far the space shuttle was able to go no farther than 400 miles. The Moon is 240,000 miles. the 400 miles is just below the van Allen belt, and the shuttle caused 14 fatalities while moon travels caused none. What's interesting is that NASA was able to conduct all its calcultions with computers that are, put together, weaker than my laptop. Remember when couple people were stranded in the space station few years back? we couldn't even retrieve them but we landed on the moon and came back...several times.
Lets not forget that gravity on the moon is 1/6 that of earth and in order to take off the moon we would need 1/6 the trust of the rocket that flew from earth...that little LEM just wouldn't cut it.
I understand that as Americans we don't want to be embarrassed for lying to world but truth need to be faced and we should come clean.
Posted by Sam  on  Sat Dec 24, 2005  at  04:13 PM
And yes the Soviets knew about out little dirty secret. If you remember Russia was having a terrible famine during late 60's and 70's and for no apparent reson, we after a longtime trying to strave them to death we suddenly started to export massive amounts of grain to Russia and while the Soviets were supporting the vietcongs.
Russians also had an interest to keep the hoax going. Their philosophy is that man can triumph over nature (the communist Atheist Motto).
Posted by Sam  on  Sat Dec 24, 2005  at  04:30 PM
1) Sceptics argue that the lack of stars on Moon photographs is acceptable, despite zero atmosphere to obscure the view. Yuri Gagarin, pronounced the stars to be "astonishingly brilliant". See the official NASA pictures above that I have reproduced that show 'stars' in the sky, as viewed from the lunar surface. And why exactly do you think there are hardly any stars visible on Apollo films taken from the Moon? The answers simple - Professional astronomers would quickly calculate that the configuration and distances of star formations were incorrect and so NASA had to remove them to make sure they could keep up the scam.

2) The pure oxygen atmosphere in the module would have melted the Hasselblad's camera covering and produced poisonous gases. Why weren't the astronauts affected?

3) There should have been a substantial crater blasted out under the LEM's 10,000 pound thrust rocket. Sceptics would have you believe that the engines only had the power to blow the dust from underneath the LEM as it landed. If this is true, how did Armstrong create that famous boot print if all the dust had been blown away?

4) Sceptics claim that you cannot produce a flame in a vacuum because of the lack of oxygen. So how come I have footage on this page showing a flame coming from the exhaust of an Apollo lander? (Obviously the sceptics are wrong or the footage shows the lander working in an atmosphere)

5) Footprints are the result of weight displacing air or moisture from between particles of dirt, dust, or sand. The astronauts left distinct footprints all over the place.

6) The Apollo 11 TV pictures were lousy, yet the broadcast quality magically became fine on the five subsequent missions.

7) Why in most Apollo photos, is there a clear line of definition between the rough foreground and the smooth background?

8) Why did so many NASA Moonscape photos have non parallel shadows? sceptics will tell you because there is two sources of light on the Moon - the Sun and the Earth... That maybe the case, but the shadows would still fall in the same direction, not two or three different angles and Earth shine would have no effect during the bright lunar day (the time at which the Apollo was on the Moon).

9) Why did one of the stage prop rocks have a capital "C" on it and a 'C' on the ground in front of it?

10) How did the fibreglass whip antenna on the Gemini 6A capsule survive the tremendous heat of atmospheric re-entry?
Posted by sam  on  Sun Dec 25, 2005  at  02:32 PM
11) In Ron Howard's 1995 science fiction movie, Apollo 13, the astronauts lose electrical power and begin worrying about freezing to death. In reality, of course, the relentless bombardment of the Sun's rays would rapidly have overheated the vehicle to lethal temperatures with no atmosphere into which to dump the heat build up.

12) Who would dare risk using the LEM on the Moon when a simulated Moon landing was never tested?

13) Instead of being able to jump at least ten feet high in "one sixth" gravity, the highest jump was about nineteen inches.

14) Even though slow motion photography was able to give a fairly convincing appearance of very low gravity, it could not disguise the fact that the astronauts travelled no further between steps than they would have on Earth.

15) If the Rover buggy had actually been moving in one-sixth gravity, then it would have required a twenty foot width in order not to have flipped over on nearly every turn. The Rover had the same width as ordinary small cars.

16) An astrophysicist who has worked for NASA writes that it takes two meters of shielding to protect against medium solar flares and that heavy ones give out tens of thousands of rem in a few hours. Russian scientists calculated in 1959 that astronauts needed a shield of 4 feet of lead to protect them on the Moons surface. Why didn't the astronauts on Apollo 14 and 16 die after exposure to this immense amount of radiation? And why are NASA only starting a project now to test the lunar radiation levels and what their effects would be on the human body if they have sent 12 men there already?

17) The fabric space suits had a crotch to shoulder zipper. There should have been fast leakage of air since even a pinhole deflates a tyre in short order.

18) The astronauts in these "pressurized" suits were easily able to bend their fingers, wrists, elbows, and knees at 5.2 p.s.i. and yet a boxer's 4 p.s.i. speed bag is virtually unbendable. The guys would have looked like balloon men if the suits had actually been pressurized.

19) How did the astronauts leave the LEM? In the documentary 'Paper Moon' The host measures a replica of the LEM at The Space Centre in Houston, what he finds is that the 'official' measurements released by NASA are bogus and that the astronauts could not have got out of the LEM.

20) The water sourced air conditioner backpacks should have produced frequent explosive vapour discharges. They never did.
Posted by sam  on  Sun Dec 25, 2005  at  02:34 PM
Part the First.

Um, is anyone going to post who actually has a grasp of basic physics? It's like a convention of Cliff Clavin impersonators in here.

I won't quote the questions as this is a long enough post as it is. I apologise in advance for any errors, I'm not an astrophysicist, astronomer, astronaut, or guy who works for NASA. I'm just someone who managed to retain some knowledge I gained in high school.

1) Any bright light tends to wash out lesser lights. Even today, with my camera that's 35 years more advanced, if I take a picture of the night sky with a bright light in the frame it washes the stars out. Additionally, the star formations would look exactly the same as on Earth because the distortion cause by parallax was too miniscule to even measure. Parallax for nearby stars is usually measured when the Earth is at opposite ends of its orbit, and still only works for nearer stars. My God, this is an easy one people!

2) Sites please. Oxygen doesn't 'melt' things. It does increase the rate of oxidation, oddly enough.

3) The dust was only a few inches thick, on average. The dust was piled up around the LEM. The ladder extended out the side of the LEM, not the bottom.

4) Of course you can produce a flame in a vacuum, or is the sun not all firey and stuff? Ooh, better yet, maybe it has an oxygen atmosphere. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no chemist, but both the ascent and decent propulsion systems used N2O4, which includes oxygen.

5) This is just completely wrong. Even in a vacuum particles have distance between them and if compressed together, electromagnetic force (ie, static) is enough to help them keep their shape.

6) What exactly does this prove? That they invested in improved cameras or transmission systems maybe?

7) There isn't that I can see. I'm afraid you're going to actually have to show us what you're talking about.

8) Any irregular surface will create seemingly nonparallel shadows. Try it. Also, two different light sources will create shadows that fall in different directions unless those light sources are coming from the same point. Have you never been around more than one light at a time?

9) Show us the 'C'.

10) Assuming the antenna survived, it was because the designers had the forethought to install it somewhere other than the bottom of the capsule where the heat shielding was located. The heat around the upper portion of the capsule was nowhere near as great as at the bottom. The capsule was designed that way to prevent the death of the astronauts. Of course, one can also wonder why you brought up Gemini when Gemini never traveled to the moon. That was the Apollo series. Get your capsules straight.

Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  03:07 AM
Part the Second.

11) How do you think the heat got to the capsule from the sun? Magic? Of course heat radiates in a vacuum. Have you ever stood out in the sun before?

12) What? This question doesn't make sense.

13) You're automatically assuming that you are capable of jumping 6 times higher in a gravity 1/6 that of Earth. Even a 200lb astronaut would still weigh in at 33lbs on the moon. Still a fair bit of weight to be throwing 10 feet up when wearing a bulky suit that limits freedom of movement.

14) The astronauts clearly hopped longer distances than is normal on Earth.

15) According to the NTSA ,the gross operation Earth weight of the Lunar Rover was 1535lbs with crew, equipment, and payload. Dividing by 1/6 gives us a Lunar weight of 256lbs. That's plenty of weight to keep it from flipping over at the speeds it was moving. Again, try it if you don't believe it.

16) Um, because there wasn't a solar flare at the time? If a severe solar flare had occured when the capsule wasn't in the shadow of the Earth or Moon then the astronauts would have died. Solar flares aren't continuous. An interesting report on a new solar flare imager

Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  03:09 AM
Part the Third.

17) The spacesuits are multi layer suits. The inner layer was the one providing a contained atmosphere for the astronaut. The outer layer protected the inner layer. The buckels and such were for snugging it down after donning. From Wikipedia's article on Space Suits.

All space suit designs try to minimize or eliminate this(see question #18) problem. The most common solution is to form the suit out of multiple layers. The bladder layer is a rubbery, airtight layer much like a balloon. The restraint layer goes outside the bladder, and provides a specific shape for the suit. Since the bladder layer is larger than the restraint layer, the restraint takes all of the stresses caused by the pressure of the suit. Since the bladder is not under pressure, it will not "pop" like a balloon, even if punctured. The restraint layer is shaped in such a way that bending a joint will cause pockets of fabric, called gores, to open up on the outside of the joint. This makes up for the volume lost on the inside of the joint, and keeps the suit at a constant volume. However, once the gores are opened all the way, the joint cannot be bent anymore without a considerable amount of work.

Additionally, this image of a spacesuit from Apollo 15 clearly shows no zipper from crotch to shoulder, though the earlier suits would probably have been different.

18) See #17 and accompanying link.

19) This is not proof. This is, at best, evidence. Take the measurements yourself. Three non-used LEMs are on display, LM-2 (National Air and Space Museum), LM-9 (Kennedy Space Center), and LM-13 (Cradle of Aviate, Long Island). These are production units and not 'replicas'.

20) Why should they? Please cite your reasoning.

Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  03:09 AM
Comments: Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.