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Did man really walk on the Moon?
Did man really walk on the Moon or was it the ultimate camera trick, asks
David Milne?
The great lunar lie.  In the early hours of May 16, 1990, after a week
spent watching old video footage of man on the Moon, a thought was turning
into an obsession in the mind of Ralph Rene.
"How can the flag be fluttering," the 47 year old American kept asking
himself, "when there's no wind on the atmosphere free Moon?"  That moment
was to be the beginning of an incredible Space odyssey for the self-taught
engineer from New Jersey.
He started investigating the Apollo Moon landings, scouring every NASA
film, photo and report with a growing sense of wonder, until finally
reaching an awesome conclusion: America had never put a man on the Moon.
The giant leap for mankind was fake.  It is of course the conspiracy theory
to end all conspiracy theories.  But Rene has now put all his findings into
a startling book entitled NASA Mooned America.
Published by himself, it's being sold by mail order - and is a compelling
The story lifts off in 1961 with Russia firing Yuri Gagarin into space,
leaving a panicked America trailing in the space race.  At an emergency
meeting of Congress, President Kennedy proposed the ultimate face saver,
put a man on the Moon.  With an impassioned speech he secured the plan an
unbelievable 40 billion dollars.
And so, says Rene (and a growing number of astro-physicists are beginning
to agree with him), the great Moon hoax was born.
Between 1969 and 1972, seven Apollo ships headed to the Moon.  Six claim to
have made it, with the ill fated Apollo 13 - whose oxygen tanks apparently
exploded halfway - being the only casualties.  But with the exception of
the known rocks, which could have been easily mocked up in a lab, the
photographs and film footage are the only proof that the Eagle ever landed.
And Rene believes they're fake.  For a start, he says, the TV footage was
The world tuned in to watch what looked like two blurred white ghosts
gambol through rocks and dust.  Part of the reason for the low quality was
that, strangely, NASA provided no direct link up.  So networks actually had
to film "man's greatest achievement" from a TV screen in Houston -a
deliberate ploy, says Rene, so that nobody could properly examine it.
By contrast, the still photos were stunning.  Yet that's just the problem.
The astronauts took thousands of pictures, each one perfectly exposed and
sharply focused.  Not one was badly composed or even blurred.  As Rene
points out, that's not all:
*  The cameras had no white meters or view ponders.  So the astronauts
achieved this feat without being able to see what they were doing.
*  Their film stock was unaffected by the intense peaks and powerful cosmic
radiation on the Moon, conditions that should have made it useless.
*  They managed to adjust their cameras, change film and swap filters in
pressurized clubs.  It should have been almost impossible without the use
of their fingers.
Award winning British photographer David Persey is convinced the pictures
are fake.  His astonishing findings are explained alongside the pictures on
these pages, but the basic points are as follows:
*  The shadows could only have been created with multiple light sources
and, in particular, powerful spotlights.  But the only light source on the
Moon was the sun.
*  The American flag and the words "United States" are always brightly lit,
even when everything around is in shadow.
*  Not one still picture matches the film footage, yet NASA claims both
were shot at the same time.
*  The pictures are so perfect each one would have taken a slick
advertising agency hours to put them together.  But the astronauts managed
it repeatedly.
David Persey believes the mistakes were deliberate, left there by "whistle
blowers", who were keen for the truth to one day get out.  If Persey is
right and the pictures are fake, then we've only NASA's word that man ever
went to the Moon.  And, asks Rene, why would anyone fake pictures of an
event that actually happened?
The questions don't stop there.  Outer space is awash with deadly radiation
that emanates from solar flares firing out from the sun.  Standard
astronauts orbiting Earth in near space, like those who recently fixed the
Hubble telescope, are protected by the Earth's Van Allen belt.  But the
Moon is to 240,000 miles distant, way outside this safe band.  And, during
the Apollo flights, astronomical data shows there were no less than 1,485
such flares.
John Mauldin, a physicist who works for NASA, once said shielding at least
two meters thick would be needed.  Yet the walls of the Lunar Landers,
which took astronauts from the spaceship to the moons surface were, said
NASA, "about the thickness of heavy duty aluminum foil".  How could that
stop this deadly radiation?
And if the astronauts were protected by their space suits, why didn't
rescue workers use such protective gear at the Chernobyl meltdown, which
released only a fraction of the dose astronauts would encounter?  Not one
Apollo astronaut ever contracted cancer - not even the Apollo 16 crew who
were on their way to the Moon when a big flare started.
"They should have been fried," says Rene.
Furthermore, every Apollo mission before number 11 (the first to the Moon)
was plagued with around 20,000 defects a-piece.  Yet, with the exception of
Apollo 13, NASA claims there wasn't one major technical problem on any of
their Moon missions.  Just one effect could have blown the whole thing.
"The odds against these are so unlikely that God must have been the
co-pilot,"  says Rene.
Several years after NASA claimed its first Moon landing, Buzz Aldrin "the
second man on the Moon" - was asked at a banquet what it felt like to step
on to the lunar surface.  Aldrin staggered to his feet and left the room
crying uncontrollably.  It would not be the last time he did this.  "It
strikes me he's suffering from trying to live out a very big lie," says
Aldrin may also fear for his life.  Virgil Grissom, a NASA astronaut who
baited the Apollo program, was due to pilot Apollo 1 as part of the
landings build up.  In January 1967, he hung a lemon on his Apollo capsule
(in the US, unroadworthy cars are called lemons) and told his wife Betty:
"if there is ever a serious accident in the space program, it's likely to
be me." Nobody knows what fueled his fears, but by the end of the month he
and his two co-pilots were dead, burnt to death during a test run when
their capsule, pumped full of high pressure pure oxygen, exploded.
Scientists couldn't believe NASA's carelessness - even chemistry students
in high school know high pressure oxygen is extremely explosive.  In fact,
before the first manned Apollo fight even cleared the launch pad, a total
of 11 would-be astronauts were dead.  Apart from the three who were
incinerated, seven died in plane crashes and one in a car smash.  Now this
is a spectacular accident rate.  "One wonders if these 'accidents' weren't
NASA's way of correcting mistakes," says Rene.  "Of saying that some of
these men didn't have the sort of 'right stuff' they were looking for."
NASA won't respond to any of these claims, their press office will only say
that the Moon landings happened and the pictures are real.  But a NASA
public affairs officer called Julian Scheer once delighted 200 guests at a
private party with footage of astronauts apparently on a landscape.  It had
been made on a mission film set and was identical to what NASA claimed was
they real lunar landscape.  "The purpose of this film," Scheer told the
enthralled group, "is to indicate that you really can fake things on
the ground, almost to the point of deception."  He then invited his
audience to "come to your own decision about whether or not man actually
did walk on the Moon".
A sudden attack of honesty?  You bet, says Rene, who claims the only real
thing about the Apollo missions were the lift offs.  The astronauts simply
have to be on board, he says, in case the rocket exploded.  "It was the
easiest way to ensure NASA wasn't left with three astronauts who ought to
be dead," he claims, adding that they came down a day or so later, out of
the public eye (global surveillance wasn't what it is now) and into the
safe hands of NASA officials, who whisked them off to prepare for the
big day a week later.
And now NASA is planning another giant step - project Outreach, a 1
trillion dollar manned mission to Mars.  "Think what they'll be able to
mock up with today's computer graphics," says Rene chillingly.  "Special
effects was in its infancy in the 60s.  This time round we will have no way
of determining the truth."
Space oddities:
*  Apollo 14 astronaut Allen Shepard played golf on the Moon.  In front of
a worldwide TV audience, Mission Control teased him about slicing the ball
to the right.  Yet a slice is caused by uneven air flow over the ball. The
Moon has no atmosphere and no air.
*  A camera panned upwards to catch Apollo 16's Lunar Lander lifting off
the Moon.  Who did the filming?
*  One NASA picture from Apollo 11 is looking up at Neil Armstrong about to
take his giant step for mankind.  The photographer must have been lying on
the planet surface.  If Armstrong was the first man on the Moon, then who
took the shot?
*  The pressure inside a space suit was greater than inside a football. The
astronauts should have been puffed out like the Michelin Man, but were seen
freely bending their joints.
*  The Moon landings took place during the Cold War.  Why didn't America
make a signal on the moon that could be seen from earth?  The PR would have
been phenomenal and it could have been easily done with magnesium flares.
*  Text from pictures in the article.  Only two men walked on the Moon
during the Apollo 12 mission.  Yet the astronaut reflected in the visor has
no camera.  Who took the shot?
*  The flags shadow goes behind the rock but doesn't match the dark line in
the foreground, which looks like a line cord.  So the shadow to the lower
right of the spaceman must be the flag.  Where is his shadow?
And why is the flag fluttering?