RSR: Moon Landing Conspiracy Hoax Rebutted (and other Moon fun)

See* Real Science Radio Answers the Moon Hoax Claims: Now that Neil Armstrong has passed away, the moon landing hoax is also going. As a tribute to the first man to walk on the moon, we rebut the many claims of the alleged landing hoax. RSR hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams discuss:
- the passing of Neil Armstrong
- the first eating and drinking on the moon was Buzz Aldrin's communion
- the definitive rebuttals to the various moon landing hoax allegations (see below)
- that NASA seriously feared too much lunar dust (and yes, it accumulates fast)
- that the latest data shows that the moon dust argument is valid after all
- the many transient lunar events (that shouldn't be happening if the moon is old) 
 - (post show) what changed the moon's 30-day orbit to one of 29.5 days
the right cross (punch in the face, in Christian love of course) that Aldrin delivered right on target to a conspiracy theory filmmaker.

* Post-show Updates:
- Why does the recently created moon have so many craters?
- Why the near side is more severely hit even though the far side is more cratered?
- has our 2017 interview with an astronaut who walked on the Moon.
- Various theories on the Moon's formation and sourcing Harvard Prof. Irwin Shapiro's quote.
- Share this link with anyone suffering from that ailment.

But see this first. Compared to viewing it from the northern hemisphere, the night sky shows the stars rotating in the opposite direction while the Moon appears upside down, from the southern hemisphere, which is a simple cure for the flat earth syndrome.

The Moon appears upside down in the southern hemisphere, as compared to from the northern hemisphere.

* Moon Landing and Hoax Sources: We are glad, once again, to speak out against a conspiracy theory. Bob Enyart was one of hundreds of millions of people who on July 21, 1969 watched the broadcast of man's first step on the moon. Four decades later Aug. 4, 2010 to familiarize himself with the moon landing hoax allegations and to learn how best to refute them, with producer Will he watched
- Conspiracy Theory: Did we land on the moon, 2001 (CT)
- Mythbusters on the moon landing (MB)
- Apollo 11, First Steps on the Moon (FSOTM) a documentary of NASA officials explaining the risks and uncertainties that threatened the mission. 1998 Global Science Productions
- Honorable mention: see also the moon hoax page from Discovery channel's Phil Plait

* Answering Specific Moon Landing Hoax Claims (collected from the CT video and elsewhere)

- Can't see stars in various photos: The bright foreground and dark background composition of such photos results in a photographic effect whereby dimmer objects, such as stars in the sky, do not appear.

- Buzz Aldrin way too bright: The back of lunar lander is lit up even though conspiracists claim it should be dark because it is in shadow. Likewise, the same iconic photo shows Buzz Aldrin stepping onto the moon in the shadow of the lander but his space suit is bright white. Nvidia, the world's leading graphics equipment manufacturer, in 2018 decided to highlight their cutting edge technical abilities by graphically analyzing this entire scene. They show how stars disappear with a bright foreground; the reflectivity of the dust on the moon lighting up the lander; the significant reflection on Buzz Aldrin from Neil Armstrong's highly reflective space suit; and the white glare of Armstrong's suit peaking through the photo taken by the lander's own camera. All in this brief video...

- Craters on moon may actually be from Area 51: "Conspiracy Theory" aired prior to Google Earth displaying Area 51. Conspiracy theorists have not since not linked to, nor otherwise documented there, the alleged terrestrial moon landscapes.

- No engine noise: On Star Trek TV shows, there is a quiet hum from the engines during typical scenes that take place on the ship. However, the audio from the Lunar Lander is very quiet and an astronaut even mentioned how quiet it was. Sound waves don't propagate in space, so while on earth engine noise will bounce back off the air surrounding a car on the highway, that effect doesn't exist in space. The only engine noise would have been transferred through the craft's structure, which could certainly be audible, but NASA explains that the all important insulation on the craft would significantly dampen that sound.

- No crater in the dust from Lunar Module landings: Photos and videos don't show landing craters below modules, even though NASA artwork previously predicted such craters would result from blown away dust. Of course, the depth of any expected crater would originally be influenced by NASA's fear of deep dust. (See RSF's NASA feared deep dust on the moon.)

- Missing Lunar Module in photo: A photograph exists of a distinctive moonscape without the lunar module, and then another with the same moonscape that includes the lunar module in the photo. When the module blasts off, it leaves its base, so the first photo seems to have been taken prior to the astronauts landing on the moon. The answer lies in the hills of the moonscape being very far away and because there is no atmosphere on the moon, the image has great clarity giving the impression that the hills are nearby. Then, when the camera is moved just a hundred yards or so to one side and snaps a photo in the same direction, the Lander is no longer in the frame, but the background is hardly changed, because of its distance. Careful examination of the famous photos does show the parallax however. A YouTube video has a great example and actual photos showing that parallax.

- No exhaust plume on leaving moon: The Conspiracy Theory "documentary" claims that there was no exhaust and that the Lunar Module appears to have been lifted off its base by a cable. However the A11-FSOTM documentary shows the blast off with debris flying and the flag being thrown.

- Apparent moon walk motion created by playing film at half speed: As with so many of the hoax claims, scores of professionals would have to be "in" on this, including the film crew, camera men, gaffers, lighting, editors, technical consultants, director, producers, actors/astronauts, chain of command, and all that just for this on aspect of the hoax. The MythBusters crew demonstrated that playing video at half-speed does not produced the visual effects of being in the moon's gravity which is one-sixth of that of the Earth, and neither does fitting a bungee-cord-like harness to make the astronaut lighter. MythBusters did, however, film in an air force plane diving to match the moon's gravity and that did allow them to recreate the astronaut's movement. NASA could not put an entire sound stage or moonscape in a diving airplane. Also, as per Phil Plait, images of the lunar rover kicking up dust show the dust moving in a parabola and not in a distorted trajectory as occurs in earth's atmosphere because of friction from air molecules. That would have been quiet a special effects accomplishment way back then, before digital animation and image processing.

- Apollo 11 astronauts whereabouts: They (and the other five missions to the moon) either circled the earth for eight days or landed and waited out the time on a ship or an island.
Orbiting: During the 1960s and 70s there was great concern for incoming ICBMs by both Russia and the U.S. and others. And this was the height of the space race. Radar installations would have discovered an orbiting ship. The scores of U.S. military engineers manning our radar installations would have been told (and by whom? and through what chain of command) not to report what they would have seen. And who would have instructed the Russians to not report the orbiting craft?
On Earth: The astronauts would have had to be recovered from the sea, and then taken up again into the atmosphere in an Apollo capsule, to be dropped and recovered again from the sea eight days later. The ships, planes, and helicopters involved had a combined hundreds if not more than a thousand crew members. Who knew what was happening and how many were kept in the dark? Or, were the astronauts not originally in the capsule that blasted off into space? If not, how many officials and technicians would have been aware of that part of the hoax in order to pull that off?

- Shadows at different angles: The conspiracy claims that because the moon has only the sun as its single primary source of light, that all shadows should lie in the same direction. MythBusters showed that this was obviously false because the "lay of the land" easily creates an optical illusion suggesting that shadows are from multiple light sources. The crew easily re-created the moon photo with the shadow angles by a simple hill in the "terrain" on their set. Also, if that moonscape photo with the lunar module were faked, it would either have to have been a virtually perfect miniature, or if it had been life size, the two light sources would have had to have been enormous and would have created multiple shadows, or one would have been the sun, and the other large enough to compete with the sun, and then for what purpose? Just to create divergent shadows?

- Fatal radiation: The hoax claims that Van Allen Belt radiation would kill any astronaut, regardless of the craft's insulation. In 2015 on Real Science Radio, we interviewed one of the NASA scientists credited with the early discovery of this radiation belt, Dr. Henry Richter, and discussed with him the bogus claim of a lunar landing hoax. Also, Apollo 16 coincided with the biggest solar flare of the century, and that would have more certainly killed everyone, it is claimed. The more technical the claim, the easier it is for hoax promoters to persuade gullible people. However, there's plenty of documentation regarding levels of radiation, medical impact, etc. to refute this.

- Footprints wouldn't form on the moon: On the beach, millions of people have noticed that they only leave distinct footprints when walking in wet sand, whereas their steps on the dry sand leave just vague impressions, because gravity blurs the outline of the foot by immediately causing thousands of grains of sand to roll back down the "walls" of the print. Promoters of the moon landing hoax exploit this common experience by claiming that footprints wouldn't form in a vacuum and that they would only form in sand that's wet or at least somewhat saturated by humidity. MythBusters disproved that claim by forming footprints in a vacuum, and in dry sand. They used a certain kind of sand very similar to that on the moon, called regolith, which has granules that are jagged. Beach sand has granules that are rounded from movement in water and by air, so beach sand tends to easily roll downhill. However, jagged grains of sand don’t tend to roll over each other, and they tend to hold together better, even without water. The moon has no liquid water nor air currents to cause the grains of sand to erode into rounded shapes.

- Commander Scott's Galileo experiment: At the end of the last Apollo 15 moonwalk, Commander David Scott performed a live demonstration for the television cameras holding out a hammer and a feather and dropping them at the same time. Because the moon's surface is virtually a vacuum, there was no air resistance and the feather fell at the same rate as the hammer, as Galileo had predicted would occur hundreds of years before, for all objects released together fall at the same rate regardless of mass, apart from atmospheric or other interference. Mission controller Joe Allen described the demonstration in the "Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report."

- Why was Neil Armstrong transparent? In the FSOTM documentary, when Armstrong first descended the ladder and walked on the moon he appears to be transparent, with the horizon and various shadows behind him clearly visible through all parts of his body. This is a 1960s-era ghosting of the video image, a transient phenomena similar to the long-term problem that computer screen savers were designed to protect against.

- Flag waving on the moon without a breeze: MythBusters did a great job of showing this effect in a vacuum. As the astronaut planted the flagpole and let it go, the small twist of his wrist translated to the pole and waved the flag. On Earth, without a breeze the flag would stop waving quickly because the air in our atmosphere causes friction which quickly stops the flag from waving, and our gravity, six times stronger than the moon's, also pulls the flag downward causing it to stop waving. On the moon, there is no atmospheric friction to slow the flag's waving motion, and the gravity is far weaker. Therefore, the flag continues to wave, moving almost like a pendulum, until it gradually loses momentum and stops. Notice also in video from the moon that, with the weaker gravity there, the slightest turn of the flag pole causes the bottom far edge of the flag to flip way up to the top of the flag. It is also possible that the differently colored portions of the flag, with the red and white stripes absorbing varying heat from the sun, might also affect the flag's movement. So this waving becomes a proof of the genuineness of the lunar landing, since showing no breeze is something that a filmmaker would highly prioritize among his objectives, whereas the flag actually, and counter-intuitively, behaves exactly as it should on the moon.

Lunar crater Tycho
Tycho crater

- No dust on lunar lander footpads: RSR explanation: Our earthbound experience expects the landing will put up a cloud of dust that would rise, hover, and gradually settle. On the moon however, with virtually no atmosphere a semi-stationary cloud doesn't form any particles shot out by the rocket, as stated above, fly out in an arc (a parabola). The 1/6th atmosphere and lack of an atmosphere enables the particles to follow their trajectory with the vast majority flying beyond the base of the lander before hitting the ground. This is consistent with one of Neil Armstrong's first observations on the Moon, when you can hear him say: "I can see some evidence of rays eminating from the descent engine but, a very insignicant amount. See another explanation at PseudoAstronomy.

- Six lunar landings: It requires a virtual mental illness to claim that the government repeatedly performed a lunar landing hoax, six times, which would have had to involve thousands of people at every pay-grade over a three-year period. Thus some variations of the moon landing hoax claim that only the first landing was faked.

- Video Technology Insufficient: One expert has given many examples of the inability of 1960s technology to broadcast a faked moon landing... 

Apollo 15 laser ranging retro-reflector- Laser beam experiments: For forty years, the U.S. has conducted thousands of laser beam experiments, carefully aiming a beam, striking various pieces of equipment that astronauts left on the moon, including Apollo 15's retro-reflector base plate, with the laser beam bouncing back with the correct wave frequency and exact timing as expected. (These experiments indicate that the moon is recessing from the Earth at more than one inch per year.)

- Don't bear false witness: RSR has interviewed one of the men who walked on the moon and one of the team leads for equipping NASA's earliest missions (who happens to be a creationist and friend of RSR). It is a sin to unjustly impugn their reputations and the reputations of the NASA personnel who were especially vocal and strong Christians from NASA such as astronaut James Irwin who also walked on the Moon. Believers who commit that sin will be ashamed and Christ will have to wipe away those (unnecessary) tears.

- Omnipotent government: Some conspiracy theories (including the one that requires mental illness to claim, that 9-11 was an inside job) exist because proponents exploit gullible members of the public who presume that the government is all powerful and capable.

- 2015 Update Director Stanley Kubric faked moon landing: By year end even those gullible enough to believe the obviously fake video interview of filmmaker Stanley Kubric confessing to faking the moon landing had their hopes dashed. Beginning in August, 2015, various edited versions of this faked Kubric interview circulated online with the uncut version, embedded here, being published in December. If you're interested, you'll especially want to see the section beginning at 12:19 into the video... 

* On the moon dust: NASA had serious concern that a four billion year-old moon might have had many meters of accumulated dust on its surface. Currently, dust is accumulating on the moon "10 times faster" than previously thought according to a 2013 paper in the journal Space Weather which found that Apollo Dust Detector Experiments showed that, "dust accretion... caused [equipment] overheating and subsequent failure of experiments from Apollo 11 to Apollo 17. NASA's concern back in the 1960s is documented at Listen also to RSR for the first hand account from NASA Rocket Scientist Henry Richter, in Bob Enyart's 2015 interview with the man responsible for launching America's first satellite, and who oversaw development of the scientific equipment used on the first lunar missions, and who played an important role in the early discovery of the Van Allen radiation belt. See Dr. Walt Brown's brief summary and then his careful analysis of how much dust should be on a four-billion year old  moon. (A lot more than is there.) And see Terry Hurlbut's great article, The moon-dust argument might be valid after all. Dr. Brown's calculations are based on actual data and seriously challenges the Answers in Genesis warning that creationists should not use the moon dust argument. On February 13, 2014, Ken Ham blogged about his great debate with Bill Nye  and listed moon dust among "outdated or discredited" arguments. For years, Real Science Radio has been calling for AiG and other young-earth ministries (who have our love and respect) to either update their decades-old argument to show the public, if they can 1) where Dr. Brown's assembled data and mathematical calculations are in error and 2) where NASA's latest lunar dust accumulation data is in error, or they should themselves resume using this powerful argument for a young moon!

* Transient Lunar Phenomena: All secular astronomers believe the moon to be billions of years old. Therefore they expect it would be "geologically" inert. However still today, as expected by young earthers, the entire solar system sees many transient events and yet such occurrences surprise the astronomers and cosmologists who are not biblical creationists. The details and references for this list of TLPs appear at
- Explosive outgassing
- Fast lunar recession from Earth
- A thousand annual moonquakes
- Recent lunar volcanism
- Molten outer core
- Moon still radiating heat
- Unequal hemisphere temperatures
- Photographic evidence of surface changes
- Young craters lacking solar & cosmic weathering
- Rapid dust buildup
- Outgassing of radon, helium & oxygen
- Still visible ubiquitious micrometeorites
- Temporary lunar dust clouds
- Earth's atmosphere extends beyond the Moon.

* The near side impacted more severely than the far side: From
- Impactors that hit the near side of the Moon have hit with more force than those that hit the far side. (2019 update: Huge impactor lies beneath the far side's lunar south pole.)
2-year lunar libration (rocking)- The rocking of the near side of the Moon is slowing, but not discernibly only over millions of years as expected by the evolutionary time frame, but far more rapidly, as will be confirmed by photographic records, not over eons but over decades (added 9/1/13). See Wikipedia for their incomplete description of the Moon's rocking movement, which is called libration. Standard explanations of lunar libration present three kinds of movements but they omit a fourth, which explains what made the near side of the Moon the near side. As proved by NASA's Grail mission in 2012, the mass concentrations on the Moon coincide with the impact craters. After the impacts, gravity swung that "heavier side" of the Moon (via tidal locking) such that it now always faces the Earth. If Noah's kids had drawn careful pictures of the Moon, they would have depicted craters that today are not visible to us on Earth because they're on the "back side." The issue is complicated, but if we can locate sufficient photo documentation of the Moon from the early 1900s or before, or, even if we begin with more recent photos (like the wonderfully standardized images to the right from 2006/2007) at high enough resolution, we should be able to show that this fourth kind of movement is slowing relatively quickly, that is, discernibly over decades and centuries, not over eons.

What you Aren't Being Told about AstronomyFor today's show RSR recommends
What You Aren't Being Told About Astronomy:
Our Created Solar System

Today's Resource: Have you browsed through our Science Department in the KGOV Store? Check out especially:
- The RSR Age of the Earth Debate with a geophysicist
- Walt Brown’s In the Beginning 
- Our RSR evolution debate with infamous evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott
- Our RSR CD series: The Hydroplate Theory & Dr. Walt Brown On the Air
And please help us stay on the air by donating, or just call us at 1-800-8Enyart.


"The Moon is observational error. It doesn't exist." Ha ha ha ha ha!* Moon Formation Theories: Have you heard the one about the moon being observational error? (See below.) Major hypotheses proposed regarding the Moon's naturalistic origin:
- Fissioned from the rotating early Earth
- Twin planetoid formed with the early Earth
- Captured by Earth
- Planetary impact (planetary catastrophists run amuck, which in the 2020s is the theory currently in vogue)

The media has placed undeserved trust in the atheist's ability to explain origins. They can't explain star formation (including our Sun), and thus, they can't explain galaxy formation either, and their problems with the origin of the solar system effort are epic. Regarding our own moon, the reason that atheist astronomers hold differing theories of how our closest neighbor formed, is because they don't know how it formed. A famed astronomy professor, Irwin Shapiro, once said, jokingly, "The moon is observational error. It doesn't exist!" (Btw, that quote's floated in publications and online for years without the certain attribution we provide just below, along with a NASA scientist's quote, "It seems much easier to explain the non-existence of the moon than its existence".)

* Irwin Shapiro Quote Confirmation and Correction: On July 14th, 2020 Harvard's prof. Shapiro emailed RSR's Bob Enyart:

The first part of the quote is correct. The rest is all wrong. The context was showing at that time, about a half century or so ago, that the theories of the origin of the moon all seemed to be flawed. I made this joke in an undergraduate class that I was teaching on planetary physics at MIT.

So Dr. Shapiro is only claiming the bold part, and admittedly the funny part, of the quote as it has appeared online:

The best possible explanation for the Moon is observational error; the Moon does not exist. The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties are none of them could be considered remotely watertight.

Likewise, as reported upon the 2019 death of NASA's Robin Brett by a Washington Post reporter, and previously in the 1971 edition of We Reach the Moon by a NY Times reporter as quoted in Secrets of Our Spaceship Moon, NASA's moon rock scientist Brett once said:

It seems much easier to explain the non-existence of the moon than its existence.

And in 1975, perhaps harkening back to a time of slightly more humility as compared to the 21st century, in Secrets, page 7, Don Wilson quotes Dr. Urey:

...the origin and history of the Moon have remained a mystery despite intensive study by eminent scientists during the last century and a half. — Dr. Harold Urey Nobel prize-winning scientists.

Not surprisingly, in professor Shapiro's recollection above, he seeks to put in the best possible light mainstream thought in his own field. But we don't have to go back to the mid 1900s to find opposing proposals for a naturalistic Moon origin, nor extreme difficulties with each proposal. For example:
- Irregular metal distribution: Researchers reported in a July 2020 paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters that "dense materials aren’t uniformly distributed in the Moon’s subsurface."
Far too much water: A researcher for the 2013 Nature Geoscience paper on water in lunar rock told the University of Michigan News Service, "This is somewhat difficult to explain with the current popular moon-formation model" for "the hot ejecta should have degassed almost completely, eliminating all water."
- Missing radioactivity: The Moon has little radioactivity as compared to what is expected if it formed from an Earth impact with a Mars-sized body.
- Unexplected isotope distribution: Consider the missing uniform distribution of solar system isotopes including unexpected Earth/moon differences.
- Molten outer core: The Moon's outer core is molten. So much still-molten rock on such a small body in space is either evidence against it being billions of years old, or is evidence of very recent bombardment, both of which are widely rejected by evolutionists.
- Extreme transient lunar phenomena: Contradicting NASA's standard view as reported in Foundations of Astronomy, 6th Edition 1997, that our 4.5 billion-year-old Moon, "is now a cold, dead, geologically inactive world" at (Transient Lunar Phenomena) we cite the sources for the 2,000+ moonquakes per year with the strongest measured at magnitude 5.5, the Moon's unexpected heat, shrinking, rapid measured dust buildup yet minimal global accumulation, molten outer core, volcanism, many young craters, ubiquitous micrometeorites and boulder tracks, radon & helium emissions, recession, and two major but "temporaryLagrange dust clouds (and see our TLP link for the 2015 edition of Foundations still describing the Moon as "geologically inactive")
- Copacetic relationship 1: The Moon's nearly circular orbit (eccentricity ~ 0.05) makes its influence extraordinarily reliable.
- Copacetic relationship 2: The Moon's mass helps stabilize the Earth's tilt on its axis providing for the diversity of alternating seasons.
Copacetic relationship 3: The Moon's distance from the Earth provides tides to keep life thriving in our oceans, and thus, life thriving globally
- Copacetic relationship 4: The Moon's size and distance, both at 1/400th the Sun's, enables perfect eclipses that open up the realm of educational astronomy
- Etc. Please send other examples to
None of these pariculars are expected if the Moon originated according to the accepted secular origins hypothesis and combined, they falsify that and materialist origins "theories" in general.