“Three things cannot be long hidden:
the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
REAL THING OR REEL HOAX?
Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. You
might suspect a scientist would steer clear of
such material. Not so!
The Scientist and Conspiracy Theorist both seek
to decode the unknown and organise chaos
into structures. But where science rises above
primitive tribalism, conspiracy theories drag us
It is therefore a scientist’s duty to challenge
conspiracy theories that engender superstition
or endanger progress. The landings on the Moon
are a natural starting point.
Yes, dear reader: there are those with a strong
belief that man never took any step or leap
for mankind. Were our glorious visits to the
Moon elaborate hoaxes? If that theory gained
momentum then we’d ‘have a problem’.
So let’s consider the evidence.
There are photographs that captured the visit
to the surface of the Moon. Critics are keen to
highlight the differences in quality between
shots taken on the Moon and those on Earth.
True, there are no stars visible in the Moon
landing pictures. But why should there be? We
associate the Moon with darkness (because
we see it at night). But on ITS OWN surface: it’s
bright enough to blot out stars!
The differences between ‘earth’ and ‘moon’
photography only support the idea that we DID
go there. Yes, the resolution quality, graining and
grading look ‘suspect’. Because the images were
taken in SPACE!
The refraction and reﬂection of light differ
substantially in space to how they operate
on Earth. THAT is why we see lens ﬂares so
prominently in the otherwise black sky in the
relevant pictures. It’s not proof of ‘studio lighting’
but s a difference in atmospherics, realised in the
quality of the photographs.
Now, higher resolution satellite photographs
from 2008 (the Japanese Selene Probe) provided
us with 3-D terrain camera images. Guess what?
They match the details in photographs taken
during the Apollo 15 landings from 1971.
Technology defeats the conspiracy theory!
THE MAGIC OF MOVIES
Just as photographs became
moving pictures, so too there
are some who cite cinematic
craft behind the ‘lie’ of the Moon
landings, with Stanley Kubrick’s
craftsmanship applied as a far-
We are supposed to give
credence to an idea that Kubrick
directed a fake Moon landing:
a secret masterpiece and never
returned to the USA by plane
again, for fear that he’d be
assassinated as a Government
conspirator. It sounds madder
than one of Kubrick’s own
movies. That said, beneﬁt of
the doubt is warranted. We are
Kubrick did have the expertise
and the creativity to make
something like this happen. He
was behind the epic visuals of
2001: A Space Odyssey, which
forever deﬁned our perception
of space travel and its associated
wonder and peril.
Christopher Nolan’s latest
effort, Interstellar pays tribute to
Kubrick’s style and its opening
premise is a future founded on
a common belief that the moon
landings never happened. That
is a compelling coincidence.
We have actual, physical studies
of Moon rock and made associ-
ated advances in Geology. Did
we fake those, too? It’s highly
unlikely, given the difference of
quality in volcanic glass.
On Earth rock samples, glass
particles from a meteorite are
broken up over millions of years
at the most. On Moon Rock: Try
BILLIONS! How do we know
this? Because we have analysed
lunar soil from lunar rock and it
contains miniscule fragments of
The glass comes from meteor-
ites that impacted the Moon,
probably billions of years ago.
In order to know Moon rock,
soil (and glass) so well, scien-
tists had to analyse it: looking,
comparing and experimenting.
Where do we get Moon rock?
That’s right: the MOON!
Granted, there are some rock
compositions on Earth identi-
cal to those we cite as ‘Moon’
But coincidence is not evidence.
Kubrick never went on record
saying ‘YES! I FAKED THE MOON
LANDINGS!’ He did remain in
the UK and never ﬂew back to
the USA. So what?
And even Kubrick’s supreme
special effects mastery is unlikely
to have pulled off something as
convincing as the footage we
have. His 2001 ﬁlm is a ﬁlm set
in space; it is not a ﬁlm set on the
Frankly, ﬁlms as late as the 1980s
depicting action on the Moon,
even with Hollywood special
effects budgets at their biggest,
somehow look weak, dated and
Those citing cinematic trickery
simply don’t know the art- form
When we talk of the ‘Moon
landings’ generally, in many
cases we mean the ﬁrst ones:
historic steps taken forward by
Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin
and Michael Collins. Those
remarkable men epitomised
the ﬁnest scientiﬁc and physical
achievements. We should value
Whilst we tend to recite the
schoolboy hero sound bites
(‘one giant leap’), it is equally
important to remember that
Astronauts are scientiﬁc
witnesses. Armstrong, Aldrin,
Collins and co. provided
BETTER MEN THAN YOU OR I
objective, scientiﬁc evidence.
They gave testimonies;
documenting their research as
an elite team.
One of their discoveries was
a pungent ‘lunar dust’, which
clung to their spacesuits during
the experiments they conducted
on the Moon’s surface. It
was odour free at ﬁrst; but on
contact with the oxygen inside
their Capsules, the dust took
on a smell similar to that of
It’s those little, curious details:
observations without always
providing the explanations
rock. But that does not disprove
the truth of the landings. If any-
thing, it is a giant wake-up call to
go BACK to the Moon. We could
thereby learn more about the
Earth, perhaps and better har-
nessing our own resources for
Indeed, a FAR more worrying
question to ask than ‘Did we go
there’ is ‘Why have we never
gone back?’ THAT is a worthy
Doubters: You are walking on
Broken Glass! Supporters: Your
view is ROCK solid!
strived for, that are entirely at
odds with the notion of some
choreographed hoax. It’s very
There are also quite speciﬁc
procedures and methods
associated with that mission.
Documented and ﬁlmed in ‘real-
time’; they provide a proof that
there was a scientiﬁc innovation
to the process of travelling to the
Individual problems were
anticipated and prepared
for or encountered and
science at its bravest and most
compelling. The partial closing
of doors on the Landing Module
is a case in point; conserving
heat whilst preventing
Do you REALLY want to
challenge the sworn testimony
of such distinguished men?
Didn’t think so!
There are other theories and examples of possible evidence both
for and against the idea of Moon landing as conspiracy theory.
We’ve seen a fair sample of arguments and could keep going.
But we’re not going to.
What is Universe sides with reality and truth as deﬁned through
objectively veriﬁed fact. So far as this magazine is concerned,
the Moon landings happened, for real.
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