When humankind first set foot on the moon, it was rightfully seen as the greatest technical feat in all of human history. Ever since that day, however, there have been whispers of a government coverup, with many people citing strange anomalies surrounding the Apollo moon missions as evidence that they were not real. Whether you believe or disbelieve, here are the most popular theories about why it may have been faked.
1. Shadows on the moon
There were problems with some of the photographs supposedly taken during the Apollo moon missions. The most common of these are shadow anomalies on the moon where there’s supposed to be only one source of light, the sun. And yet in some instances, the shadows behave as though there are two light sources or more, like almost on a film set. Furthermore, in many photos, there’s a complete absence of stars in the background, which seems odd. While skeptics argue that these anomalies are tricks of light, others are clearly not. Several photos have been airbrushed or manipulated in other ways before they were released to the public.
2. The Cold War
Because of how iconic the moon landings are, it’s easy to forget that the Soviet Union put the first satellite, and then the first human being, into space. This sent shockwaves throughout the Western world, as the Soviets had technology the United States and its allies had not yet developed. This is one of the reasons the moon landing was fast-tracked. If America wasn’t the first to put a person in space, they would be the first to put someone on the moon. This would be a huge propaganda win for the West and a blow to the Soviet regime, which believed itself superior. This space race is one of the reasons given for the moon landings being faked. The theory is that NASA was so eager to win that they faked the entire thing and kept that fact from the world so that they could at least appear to be the most technologically advanced.
3. The hazards of space
Some who believe the moon landing was faked point to the hazards of space as a definitive proof for their theory. They argue that space is so dangerous to human life that it would have been impossible for crews of the Apollo spacecraft to have reached the moon and returned without losing their lives. A prime example of this is the Van Allen radiation belt, which is a zone of energetic charged particles mostly from the sun and other cosmic sources. While these particles have been captured by the Earth’s gravitational pull and provide protection for the atmosphere from cosmic rays, they also contain large amounts of radiation, enough, it has been suggested, to wipe out any human being attempting to pass through the belt. If this is true, believers argue that there’s no way of getting to and from the moon alive.
4. Richard Nixon
Despite nearly 50 years of technological advancement, no one has stepped foot on the moon since the final lunar mission of 1972. Many have questioned why this is the case. Some have cited that it’s been too expensive and couldn’t be justified when the space race had essentially already been won by the United States. However, others point out that all of the manned moon missions took place under Richard Nixon’s presidency. Perhaps the most controversial president of all time, Nixon had to resign his presidency because of nefarious behaviors which culminated in an abuse of power. It’s not difficult, then, to believe that he could have been involved in orchestrating a series of faked moon missions in order to boost his own standing and that of the United States.
5. Insurance policy theory
A more elaborate moon hoax theory is that the landings shown to the public were faked, but the real ones were attempted. The footage from the Apollo missions were therefore faked in a film studio in case the real missions failed. The American government could not afford for their crews to die live on television. That would have been disastrous, so the footage which was broadcast was an insurance policy against this. Depending on which moon hoax theory you encounter, this means that Neil Armstrong and his crew did go to the moon, but the footage broadcast was faked. Or, in a horrifying twist, astronauts were sent to the moon and died either on the surface or during the flight. The decision was then made to broadcast the footage that they had shot to conceal the truth from the general population.
6. Lunar wind
As we’ve already covered, there are a number of photographic anomalies surrounding the lunar missions, but one of the most compelling, according to moon hoax theorists, is the film footage of the astronauts planting the American flag in the lunar soil. As they move the flag into position, the flag moves in a strange way. In fact, it appears to respond to a subtle change in air pressure or an unseen breeze. Of course, there is no breeze or air to speak of on the moon, so why then would the flag move in this way? Moon hoax believers cite this footage as definitive evidence. The fabric of the flag should have remained almost completely still as it was being moved. The only thing in their eyes which could account for this is micro weather in a large indoor film studio.
7. Photographic technology
We’ve looked at the hazards of space and how they could have stopped anyone from even getting to the moon, never mind standing on it. But it wasn’t just the crews of the Apollo missions who would have had to negotiate the radiation of space. The technology would have had to survive too. It’s been suggested that the photographic equipment used to both film and take stills of the lunar surface could not have operated on the lunar surface. They would have been degraded by the harsh environment, rendering them useless. Also, the Apollo missions returned thousands of still photographs. Proponents of the fake moon landing theory argue that it would have been impossible for them to have taken so many photographs while carrying out the exploration and experiments that the official accounts suggest.
8. Lunar sand
The topsoil or sand of the moon’s surface was described by astronauts as being very fine, and yet to moon hoax proponents, it behaved not as though it were on a distant stellar body, but as if it were on Earth itself. Despite the fine dust-like description of the lunar surface, the lunar lander made no impression on it. This, even though the lander was supposed to weigh a substantial amount. There also seems to have been no blast crater on landing. And yet the astronauts’ footprints can be clearly seen. It’s as if the lander was suspended from a crane, not depositing its full weight on the sand. The footprints themselves also cause problems, as the lunar surface should have little or no moisture, and yet the footprints were captured as though there was moisture present.
9. Fake souvenirs
Pieces of moon rock and samples of moon dust were brought back to Earth by all of the Apollo missions. These were analyzed by scientists, and then some of them were given as presents to other countries around the world on behalf of the U.S. Now, this would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that some of those pieces have definitively been shown to be from Earth. Specifically, a piece given to the Dutch prime minister in 1969 has been shown to be fake. More than this, hoax believers argue that even the pieces which are supposedly real bear an uncanny resemblance to Earth rocks collected by scientific expeditions to Antarctica. To many, this is a smoking gun, and a testament to advances in science which can test these samples now and truly determine their origin.
Part of the official record of the first Apollo landing was that Buzz Aldrin experimented with different ways to move across the lunar landscape. Because of the reduced gravity, new forms of more efficient travel could be developed. This included hopping, jumping, and leaping actions, which would allow the astronauts to cover more ground effortlessly. There are several pieces of footage of astronauts on the surface moving in this way. When the footage is sped up, it looks as though astronauts are moving normally, as though they were on Earth. Moon hoax believers suggest that the strange movements on the surface were achieved simply by slowing down the footage as the astronauts moved across a faked moon set constructed by experts in Hollywood.