Reasons the Moon Landings Could Be a Hoax
The theory that the moon landings were hoaxed by the US government to assert
their victory in the space race over Russia, is something which has grown in
popularity over time.
Recent polls indicate that approximately 20% of Americans believe that the U.S.
has never landed on the moon. After the Apollo missions ended in the seventies,
why haven’t we ever been back? Only during the term of Richard Nixon did
humanity ever land on the moon, and after Watergate most people wouldn’t put it
past Tricky Dick to fake them to put America in good standing in the Cold War.
In this list I have presented some of the proposed evidence to suggest that the
moon landings were hoaxes. I tried to include NASA’s explanations to each entry
to provide an objective perspective.
Conspiracy theorists have pointed out that when the first moon landing was shown
on live television, viewers could clearly see the American flag waving and
fluttering as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted it. Photos of the landing
also seem to show rippling in a breeze, such as the image above which clearly
shows a fold in the flag. The obvious problem here is that there’s no air in the
moon’s atmosphere, and therefore no wind to cause the flag to blow.
Countless explanations have been put forward to disprove this phenomenon as
anything unusual: NASA claimed that the flag was stored in a thin tube and the
rippled effect was caused by it being unfurled before being planted. Other
explanations involve the ripples caused by the reaction force of the astronauts
touching the aluminum pole, which is shown to shake in the video footage.
The claim goes as follows: had NASA really landed us on the moon, there would be
a blast crater underneath the lunar module to mark its landing. On any video
footage or photograph of the landings, no crater is visible, almost as though
the module was simply placed there. The surface of the moon is covered in fine
lunar dust, and even this doesn’t seem to have been displaced in photographic
Much like the waving flag theory, however, the lack of an impact crater has a
slew of potential explanations. NASA maintains that the module required
significantly less thrust in the low-gravity conditions than it would have done
on Earth. The surface of the moon itself is solid rock, so a blast crater
probably wouldn’t be feasible anyway – in the same way that an aeroplane doesn’t
leave a crater when it touches down on a concrete airstrip.
On the moon there is only one strong light source: the Sun. So it’s fair to
suggest that all shadows should run parallel to one another. But this was not
the case during the moon landing: videos and photographs clearly show that
shadows fall in different directions. Conspiracy theorists suggest that this
must mean multiple light sources are present -suggesting that the landing photos
were taken on a film set.
NASA has attempted to blame uneven landscape on the strange shadows, with subtle
bumps and hills on the moon’s surface causing the discrepancies. This
explanation has been tossed out the window by some theorists; how could hills
cause such large angular differences? In the image above the lunar module’s
shadow clearly contradicts that of the rocks in the foreground at almost a 45
The Van Allen Radiation Belt
In order to reach the moon, astronauts had to pass through what is known as the
Van Allen radiation belt. The belt is held in place by Earth’s magnetic field
and stays perpetually in the same place. The Apollo missions to the moon marked
the first ever attempts to transport living humans through the belt. Conspiracy
theorists contend that the sheer levels of radiation would have cooked the
astronauts en route to the moon, despite the layers of aluminum coating the
interior and exterior of the spaceship.
NASA have countered this argument by emphasizing the short amount of time it
took the astronauts to traverse the belt – meaning they received only very small
doses of radiation.
After photographs of the moon landings were released, theorists were quick to
notice a mysterious object (shown above) in the reflection of an astronaut’s
helmet from the Apollo 12 mission. The object appears to be hanging from a rope
or wire and has no reason to be there at all, leading some to suggest it is an
overhead spotlight typically found in film studios.
The resemblance is questionable, given the poor quality of the photograph, but
the mystery remains as to why something is being suspended in mid-air (or rather
lack of air) on the moon. The lunar module in other photos appears to have no
extension from it that matches the photo, so the object still remains totally
Slow-Motion Walking and Hidden Cables
In order to support claims that the moon landings were shot in a studio,
conspiracy theorists had to account for the apparent low-gravity conditions,
which must have been mimicked by NASA. It has been suggested that if you take
the moon landing footage and increase the speed of the film x2.5, the astronauts
appear to be moving in Earth’s gravity. As for the astronaut’s impressive jump
height, which would be impossible to perform in Earth’s gravity, hidden cables
and wires have been suggested as giving the astronauts some extra height. In
some screenshots outlines of alleged hidden cables can be seen (the photograph
above supposedly shows a wire, though it is extremely vague).
One compelling argument for the moon landing hoax is the total lack of stars in
any of the photographic/video evidence. 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.
Certainly eerie, considering you can take pictures of stars from Earth in much
lower quality and still see them.
One of the most famous photos from the moon landings shows a rock in the
foreground, with 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 Layered Cross-hairs
The cameras used by astronauts during the moon landings had a multitude of
cross-hairs to aid with scaling and direction. These are imprinted over the top
of all photographs. Some of the images, however, clearly show the cross-hairs
behind objects in the scene, implying that photographs may have been edited or
doctored after being taken. The photograph shown above is not an isolated
occurrence. Many objects are shown to be in front of the cross-hairs, including
the American flag in one picture and the lunar rover in another.
Conspiracy theorists have suggested NASA printed the man-made objects over a
legitimate photograph of the moon to hoax the landings – although if they really
planned on doing this, then why they used cross-hairs in the first place is a
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? Well, if you’re a hardcore conspiracy theorist, it may
seem viable that NASA simply used the same backdrop when filming different
scenes of their moon landing videos.
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.
The Stanley Kubrick Theory
This loose extension of the popular conspiracy theory states that acclaimed film
director Stanley Kubrick was approached by the US government to hoax the first
three moon landings. There are two main branches of this somewhat implausible
theory: one group of believers maintain that Kubrick was approached after he
released 2001: A Space Odyssey (released in 1968, one year before the first moon
landing), after NASA came to appreciate the stunning realism of the film’s
outer-space scenes at that time; another group contends that Kubrick was groomed
by the government to film the moon landing long before this, and that 2001: A
Space Odyssey was a staged practice run for him.
So what evidence might support such claims? Well: apparently, if you watch The
Shining (another Kubrick picture), you can pick up on some alleged messages
hidden by Kubrick to subtly inform the world of his part in the conspiracy. The
most obvious is the child’s Apollo 11 shirt worn in only one scene. Another
supposed gem is the line written on Jack Nicholson’s character’s typewriter:
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, in which the word “all” can be
interpreted as A11, or Apollo 11.
If you aren’t convinced yet, Kubrick made the mysterious hotel room in the film
number 237. Guess how many miles it is from here to the moon: 238,000. So divide
that by a thousand and minus one, and you’ve got one airtight theory right