It's been 45 years to the day that Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon and history was made. Much to Buzz Aldrin's chagrin, Neil Armstrong was the first man to step out onto "The Sea Of Tranquility", the lunar mare that sits within the moon's Tranquillitatis basin. It was there, at 0256 GMT, that Armstrong made THAT giant leap for mankind.
As with any monumentally important event, there's always an army of non-believers ready to call bullshit and dissect every last detail to prove that the rest of us are gullible fools controlled by power-hungry governments and corporations, who believe ridiculous things like NASA organised a trip to the moon.
In celebration of the occasion's 45th anniversary, we take a look at some of the reasons that the moon landing might be a hoax. DISCLAIMER - yes we could have debunked this top ten, but where's the fun in that?
1. THE AMERICAN FLAG WAVES IN "THE WIND"
Like any patriotic explorers worth their salt should, Armstrong and Aldrin whacked an American flag right into the moon and declared it theirs. One problem though - the eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted that the flag is waving in a place where there isn't any wind. What gives?
2. NOT A STAR IN THE SKY
Living in London, we're pretty used to a thick layer of shitty smog denying any opportunities to see the stars but when you travel roughly 384,400 km to galavant on the moon you expect an astronomical show. However, in any photos of the expedition there no stars to be seen. The astronauts reported on the view being starless too.
3. MULTIPLE SOURCES OF LIGHT
Given that the sun is the moon's only source of light, isn't it fairly odd that there are many different angles of shadows? The more curious of us may speculate that this implies the presence of filming equipment. Was it all done on set? If so, it'll most likely have been filmed in Area 51, the world's most iconic transparency vacuum.
4. THE C-ROCK
In one windy, shadow-drenched, starless photo of the moon landing, there's a conspicious rock with a perfectly written "C" on it? Did Aldrin or Armstrong take a large rock to the moon with them for luck? Unlikely. So what's the tampered mineral doing there? And what does that "C" stand for? Consipracy? Collusion? Cover up?
5. IDENTICAL BACKGROUNDS IN PHOTOGRAPHS
OK, so we've never been to the moon. For all we know it all look exactly the same, everywhere you go. England's suburbia is basically just a stock image replicated again and again across oddly named towns. But some conspiracy theorists are calling foul play on some lunar images. On photos that are said by NASA to have been taken miles apart, it's interesting to note that the lunar mountain ranges in the background are identical. Could it be a man-made backdrop? Surely NASA would have the budget for two?
6. THERE ISN'T A HOLE IN THE MOON WHERE APOLLO 11 LANDED
On photographs from 1969's trip to the moon, there is absolutely no sign of an "impact crater" where the lunar module landed. Surely a vessel travelling at speed through space to land on a giant rock would disturb the moon's surface, or at least displace some of the lunar dust that covers its surface? It's as if the shuttle was just placed there rather than landed.
7. WE HAVEN'T BEEN BACK SINCE, BECAUSE WE CAN'T
If we could get to the moon 45 years ago, why aren't we all sitting up there in pods drinking pina coladas, admiring a pretty great view of Earth? It's claimed that we don't actually have the technology to get back there now, so how could we have ever gone?
8. NEIL ARMSTRONG REFUSED TO SWEAR ON THE BIBLE THAT HE WALKED ON THE MOON
Neil Armstrong was given the opportunity to swear on the Bible that he'd walked on the moon but refused, leading to speculation that Armstrong was concerned about his afterlife – would God banish him to Hell for his lies? Armstrong could have pocketed $5,000 too, but didn't do it. Thwarted by the old "swear on your life" trick?
9. AN OVERHEAD SPOTLIGHT SPOTTED IN THE REFLECTION OF AN ASTRONAUT'S VISOR
When looking at photographs from the expedition, some conspiracy theorists noticed a strange, unmoonlike object in the reflection of the visor. Whatever it is it's pretty hard to make out, but speculation abounds that it's an overhead spotlight, the kind used on Hollywood film sets.
10. THE STRANGE POSITIONING OF CROSSHAIRS
The cameras used on the mission came with crosshairs, to help with positioning and scaling. The crosshairs show up on a lot of the images – pay just a little attention and you'll see that some of them lie behind the images, the implication being that foul play is afoot and the images have been altered. Some suggest that the photos are dual-layered – a photo of the moon's surface with the astronauts placed on top.
You've seen the evidence, so now you can make you're own mind up. Below is footage of Buzz Aldrin being called a coward and a thief. He gives the persistent inquisitor a really decent right hook. Guilty, or just tired of being denied the opportunity to enjoy the title of "second man on the moon"?
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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