well ummmm..... we did land on the moon. NASA is planning on going back with a team in 2015 i think. And yes there are reflective mirrors on the moon. We shoot a laser up to them and measure how far we are exactly away from there. Sure we could do that with a probe now, or even 10 years ago. But not in 1969. What makes you think the video is fake? The shadows? The sun isnt the only light source in the universe. Dont forget the earth is also reflecting alot of light. Also do you know how many people it would take to cover up something like that? Someone would have talked by now.
So okay, first off I'm no rocket scientist, I just get bored a lot.
I'd say I'm still 50/50 on whether we put men on the moon.
I am though more like the 90/10 on it not being exactly as presented.
First off, I have to say the political playfield is a major influence in my skepticism. Russia was leaps and bounds ahead of the US in regards to their space program, straight up until the day of the lunar landing. Couple that with pressure to produce results based on JFK's speech, and you've got a pretty heavy motivation for faking any parts of it that you may need to pull it off.
My dad grew up in Panama, and was there during the Cuban Missile Crisis. To hear him talk, JFK era politics and the Cold War were Dark Times, especially when compared to our generation's (I was born in 1979) concept of the Cold War stemming from its end and the successive fall of Russia.
It wasn't just a matter of getting a man on the moon before anyone else. The Enemy was showing to the world (with, at the time, a steady stream of successes, many of which have been shown in recent years to have been fabricated successes) that they possessed superior technogly to the only other country of the era to rival their superpower status.
Getting a man on the moon wasn't about a space race. It was about winning an arms race, and to a lesser extent, national pride. The concept of controlling the moon meant global domination. Being able to construct a military base (or several) on the moon will have major impact on global politics.
Forget the Star Wars defense system. Being able to launch from the moon means you can hit any concievable target on the planet, and that you can (with proper positioning and lunar orbital support) pretty much guarantee that noone else can retaliate against your lunar-based position. After all, they'd have to get something to the moon first to get/hit you, and if you're already there... it's a pretty damned defensible position even if you only factor in the time it'd take to get projectiles to the moon itself!
There are a lot of bogus claims that conspiracy theorists make, and there are also a lot of claims that are, indeed, worth a second look. I remember visiting the space center in Houston at age 10 and noticing the odd crosshairs in photos, or wondering how someone in a suit that (there was a display) big could even fit inside that (the LEM display) small when you consider that there are two of them. The tour guide assured me that it was bigger than it looked from the outside, and my teacher made me write 500 lines of some crap like "I will not harass tour guides on school field trips".
Now, mind you, I was an impressionable youth, and I was skeptical even from that visit. Think back to being a child and then imagine being told that men flew (in child-distance) bazillions of miles away from the planet and landed on the moon in a tiny pod made of tinfoil. It seems unreal from a child's perspective, which I know
is a major fascination factor when talking about outer space. Just think about all that "out there" there is, and how much of it we've actually seen, and... it makes one want to go exploring, doesn't it? :D
Now that I'm older though, there are still a few issues I have with it, as far as questions I'd like answered more clearly. And so, to keep this discussion going, I'll provide my favourites:
There's a photo of Armstrong and Aldrin at one of the lunar sites (I'll find a copy if you really really want) that has the funky shadow thing going. I don't mean like the photos you have where the shadow angles are off like one is - and the other is \, although those are interesting too, they aren't AS interesting to me as this one. What interests me about this one is that there are enough objects and their shadows in the picture to determine, using trig, the location of the light source. And, while I will completely admit I haven't printed the photo out and done the measurements myself, I have read others' calculations and they seem pretty sound. But all calculations aside, it's the visual aspect of the photo that gets me. I did a lot of photography work as a hobby and I know how light source distance can skew shadows and things. On casual visual inspection this appears to be the case. (Though I've yet to find one that puts them at off angles to each other so drastically like the other photo I mentioned.)
And, since I did bring it up, the other photo, the one the theorists all grab and say "Look at the angles of these shadows!" Well... it's pretty worthless, IMO. The rock casting an apparent horizontal shadow in the midground is some unknown distance from the camera. There's bleak greyness inbetween the two and I'd be willing to accept if someone said "the terrain dips down there and that's why the shadow in the midground appears to be horizontal".
The "blast crater" debate is another one I'm fond of. I've seen VTOL jets take off and land (in person), and I always wondered where Armstrong managed to find a bunch of dust to kick up directly at the bottom of the LEM's ladder. I'm also leery of the photos of the "feet" of the LEM that are brand spanking shiny and new-looking. When those VTOLs take off and land, they blow all that stuff away - they're being supported by thrust, after all.
I don't buy the whole module-taking-off-shouldn't-have-a-big-flame thing, though. It's been shown since that space is not an absolute vaccum like we've been led to believe, that there is in fact "air" out there, just... so far inbetween the atoms that it's very... I donno, vaccum-like? Also, if you're launching yourself using combustibles, which require oxygen to burn, I'd assume you've planned ahead and have some sort of oxygen feed system in addition to fuel feed to get yourself off the ground, no? I've never seen any of the skeptics address that anywhere. They just go "No air in space. No flame." Well hell, I'd bring my own air, and I'm NOT a rocket scientist.
And for my final point for this post before my conclusion (since I ramble a lot, and can continue later, if you want to keep going for sh'ts and giggles) is the stage set. I've heard muliple theories surrounding this. NASA says it was built for simulation purposes. It's very realistic looking for a simulation, but so are Microsoft's flight sim games. To each their own. It's not something they've tried to hide away from the public. They've got still shots and things of it on their website, after all.
What I find interesting about that stage set isn't necessarily the fact that it exists, but one of those videos the theorists like to toss around that's filmed at the stage set. In it, the man talking quite clearly says that NASA was prepared to fake the landing footage if needed, because they were concerned about a possible inability to broadcast/recieve video footage from the moon. NASA themselves had stated that they had concerns about broadcasting the video from the moon.
Keep in mind here that extra-terrestial television broadcasting capability was in its infancy in the early 60's. (For reference, the first television broadcast terrestially was in the 20's and in the 50's people were still only getting local CATV - community antenna TV, and colour TV didn't come along til the mid 50's.) Now, keep in mind that the lunar broadcast was SSTV (slow scan TV) broadcasted on a low UHF band which can suffer outages from UV radiation and ionospheric interference, that had to be recieved, transferred to match the terrestial broadcasting format, and then presented to the mass public.
Now, the generally accepted theorist theory is to say the entire thing was a fake.
That little bit of me that likes to still believe the government doesn't actually lie about everything
does find fault with that. I propose a more realistic scenario:
It's crunch time, your broadcast system goes down and all you have is radio transmission, a stage set, and millions of people expecting results. Do you admit that you haven't got proof and take it as a fail? I doubt it.
I say you fake it, keep whatever truth you can salvage from what broadcasts Houston *is* recieving, and make up the rest as you go along. Hell, there's video footage of astronauts simulating planting the flag, so why the hell not?
And why all the oddities? Well, obviously
they're from NASA slamming together real & faked images into one large archive! (God knows two complete sets of lunar photos would explain the obscenely high volume of images taken during Apollo 11's short layover)
I hope this has entertained anyone who's managed to read this far :P