Wednesday, 12 March 2014

written by Ryan Yoong, Class of 2014, Form 5 Science 1

Conspiracy theories have always fascinated me. The sheer thought that there could be another possibility to a story than what we are led to believe excites me and even more so when there is suspected “proof” supporting such claims. It is with this passion, that I chose such a topic for my Oral Examination Test this year. 

Every once in a while, a particular story comes along that has the world taken aback and in shock and awe. I am no exception. The following were events that had my eyes glued onto the television, computer screen and just about anywhere where news of the stories would pop up from time to time. Do note that the the theories presented in this three-part article are in no way intended as a form of defamation or misrepresentation; please proceed with an open mind. 
  1. Conspiracy Theory #1: The NASA Moon Landing
On the 20th of July 1969 a miraculous feat, previously thought to have been impossible, was achieved by the United States; the world’s first manned mission to land on the moon proved to be successful. Or was it? For years, it has been speculated that the event was a hoax, and just an effort by the U.S. to assert their victory in the space race against Russia at the time. The next question in your mind must be something along the lines of, “Where’s the proof?”. With that, I urge you to read on; and I guarantee, you will never look at the 1969 moon landing the same way ever again. 

Perhaps the most baffling occurrence that signals towards the hoax region is this very picture taken from NASA’s collection of pictures that were taken during Apollo 11’s mission to the moon. Let’s take a look. 


At first glance it appears that everything seems normal and that Neil Armstrong (above picture) is standing on the moon’s surface with a U.S. flag stuck into the ground. However, upon closer inspection you would notice something else. It has been made extremely clear, through the many science lessons I’ve had over the course of my life, that there is no air in space; hence the need for the special astronaut suits. In the picture above, we can clearly see that the flag appears to be “swaying”, almost indicating that a breeze was present at the time. Then we ponder, how is it possible that there was a breeze when there isn’t even air to begin with? With countless explanations being put forward for the phenomenon, it still remains a mystery as to how such a thing could happen. 

Next on the list of weird sights in space is the following picture; also one from NASA’s extensive collection. 



At night, on earth, there are many wonders that light up the sky, giving us the infinite impression of the wide space above our heads. Yet, we see none in the picture above. A puzzling thing don’t you think? That in space, you see, what appears to be a star count of zero. There are no clouds on the moon, so stars are perpetually visible and significantly brighter than what we see through the filter of Earth’s atmosphere. The argument here is that NASA would have found it impossible to map out the exact locations of all stars for the hoax without being rumbled, and therefore left them out – intentionally falling back on an excuse that the quality of the photographs washes them out (an excuse they did actually give). Some photographs are high-quality, however, and yet still no stars are shown in such pictures. Certainly eerie, considering you can take pictures of stars from Earth in much lower quality and still see them.

The next shred of proof that conspiracy theorist put forward to support their claim has a connection to the following picture.



The most obvious feature about the above rock is what appears to be the letter “C” engraved into it. The letter appears to be almost perfectly symmetrical, meaning it is unlikely to be a natural occurrence. It has been suggested that the rock is simply a prop, with the “C” used as a marker by an alleged film crew. A set designer could have turned the rock the wrong way, accidentally exposing the marking to the camera. NASA has given conflicting excuses for the letter, on the one hand blaming a photographic developer for adding the letter as a practical joke, while on the other hand saying that it may simply have been a stray hair which got tangled up somewhere in the developing process. The final decision? It’s yours to make. 

Last but not least, is the following picture that was taken from the Apollo 15 mission, a few years later. 


The two photos from the Apollo 15 mission shown above clearly have identical backdrops, despite being officially listed by NASA as having been taken miles apart. One photo even shows the lunar module. When all photographs were taken the module had already landed, so how can it possibly be there for one photo and disappear in another?

NASA has suggested that since the moon is much smaller than Earth, horizons can appear significantly closer to the human eye. Despite this, to say that the two hills visible in the photographs are miles apart is incontrovertibly false.

Ultimately, it is you, the reader, who has the final say in what you want to believe is the truth. With all this “proof” that I have presented, I certainly it has opened your eyes to a different possibility of the moon landings. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the article was in no way intended to cause any harm to any party. My decision on what to believe has certainly been clouded by the statements and pictures above. Has yours? 

Side-note: All pictures are property of NASA and all credit goes to the organisation.
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