The lunar surface samples returned by the Apollo missions are
considered by many to be the most compelling evidence that the
missions were authentic.
The moon rocks could
have easily been fabricated in the laboratory.
Many conspiracists state this, but none have been able to propose
a process by which it could be done so as to produce the unique
properties geologists say are found in moon rocks.
Ordinary earth rocks
were baked in a radiation oven to produce the moon rocks.
This would make sense if the conspiracists would elaborate on what
a "radiation oven" is supposed to be, and what effect it is postulated
to have on minerals. This argument is tantamount to pretending there
exists a magical secret machine to do what the conspiracist says needs
to be done in order for his theory to be true; not a compelling argument.
NASA had ovens capable
of 5,000 F, quite capable of producing any mineral they chose. [Bill
Unfortunately Mr. Kaysing has no
expertise whatsoever in geology or mineralogy. Professional
According to physicist J. R. Keller, melting a composite mineral
and allowing it to solidify sets up convection patterns in the molten
mix and the resulting pattern is preserved in the solid where it can
be examined. Convection is a function of gravity, and lunar rocks
exhibit convection patterns that were obviously produced in the much
less lunar gravity.
Conspiracists have yet to suggest a viable and effective means of
fabricating lunar rocks, despite their assertions that it would
be easy to do.
You just put earth rocks
in a microwave oven, and that will produce the effects of radiation
that geologists say are particular to lunar rocks.
Conspiracists apparently know less about microwave ovens than they
do about lunar surface geology. Microwaves are not ionizing radiation. If you microwave a rock, there
is no discernible change in its chemical, radiological, or crystalline
makeup. You simply have a slightly warm rock.
The radiological effects observed in lunar rocks are produced by
the long-term bombardment of solar particles, the solar wind, and
cosmic radiation. Microwave ovens produce nothing like this.
Geologists say lunar
rocks aren't any different from the basalts found in earth's
oceans. Clearly NASA just recovered seabed basalts and passed them
off as lunar rocks.
It's not true that geologists don't see a major difference between
earth seabed basalts and lunar rocks. Lunar rocks are anhydrous --
they contain no water and there is no evidence of the presence of
water in their formation. This is not true of seabed basalts. Seabed
basalts are simply the earth mineral that most closely resembles lunar
Wernher von Braun made a
trip to Antarctica to recover lunar rocks that had been blasted off the
lunar surface by impacts and had fallen to earth as
meteorites. [Bill Kaysing]
Although von Braun indeed went to Antarctica in 1967, this assertion
is still implausible. Why would von Braun be the person to do this?
An engineer with a brilliance for the design of propulsion and
guidance systems would not necessarily have the expertise to recognize
and recover meteoric lunar surface samples. That would require a
geologist, and NASA certainly had access to some very competent
geologists. Wernher von Braun was a prominent person associated with
NASA. It's understandable that, lacking any real knowledge of the
space program, conspiracists will fabricate scenarios around the only
names they know.
Fig. 1 -Wernher von Braun in Antarctica. (NASA)
Meteorites from the lunar surface do exist, and Antarctica is a
good place to find them. But they are very hard to find. Apollo
returned 850 lbs. (380 kg) of material. But as of the late 1990s,
geologists had found only 19 such specimens. And this is the best
effort of the entire international geology community. It's difficult
to believe that NASA could recover so much more material in the decade
during which the hoax was allegedly executed. Consider also that
Antarctica was first identified as a haven for meteorites in 1969, by
Japanese scientists. That makes it hard to argue that von Braun went
there in 1967 to find specimens to pass off as surface samples. It
also makes it hard for NASA to have collected enough samples for
Apollo 11 and 12 and prepare them in such a short period of time.
Finally, meteorites are very different in appearance from the
Apollo lunar samples. Samples brought back from the moon have very
small pits on the surface. These so-called "zap pits" are caused by
micrometeoroid impacts and are generally only visible under a
microscope. But they are completely absent from recovered lunar
meteorites because the outer layers have been burned away by passage
through the earth's atmosphere.
There are other surface features particular to moon rocks. The
outer layer is rich in helium-3, an isotope difficult and expensive to
acquire on earth. It also shows interaction with the solar wind,
which contains exotic elements not found on earth. If the outer layer
of the meteorite is chipped off to remove the evidence of passage
through earth's atmosphere, all the rich evidence of presence on the
lunar surface is lost too.
The "zap pits" could be
produced by firing ball bearings or other projectiles at meteorite
No. There is a big difference between the pits formed by the
extremely high-speed impact of very small projectiles, and the impact
produced by relatively low-speed, massive projectiles. Meteors strike
at a much faster speed than even bullets.
Further, such impacts would leave traces of the projectiles in the
rock. Substances such as stainless steel or other refined or purified
materials don't exist in nature and would be evidence of fraud.
But the lunar samples
are, in fact, contaminated.
They're not contaminated with anything that could be used to
produce "zap pits" or anything like that. You can't poke holes in a
mineral by shooting Teflon at it. They are, instead, contaminated by
the materials used by astronauts to collect, store, and transport the
samples. Although the contamination is a concern for geologists, the
contamination is entirely consistent with NASA's claims for how they
Since geologists had
never seen lunar rocks before, they wouldn't know a genuine lunar rock
from an ordinary earth rock or one that had been
This is equivalent to saying that geologists don't know their
business. Just because conspiracists don't understand much about the
science of geology doesn't mean the professional practitioners don't
Geologists know pretty well how the chemical, thermal, and
mechanical processes act and interact to produce earth rocks.
Consequently they had a pretty good idea of how rocks would form when
those factors were different or absent. And while they may not have
had much prior experience with lunar material, they had a century or
two of experience with earth rocks. To suggest they would not
recognize an earth rock for what it was is ludicrous.
We've already shown that the set of properties identified in the
samples cannot be artificially manufactured. Whether the samples are
real or genuine is irrelevant to this specific point. The samples
geologists have examined cannot be manufactured, therefore it is
useless to argue that they can be fooled by manufactured fabrications.
Finally, the Soviet Union recovered a few grams of lunar surface
material using unmanned probes. The U.S. was permitted to examine the
Soviet samples and in return NASA shared its Apollo samples with the
Soviets. The Soviets had examined genuine lunar surface material that
did not depend on Apollo's authenticity. And so they certainly
couldn't be fooled by fabrications designed to exploit the supposed
ignorance of geologists. The Soviets accepted the authenticity of the
The Apollo samples have been examined by many eminent and
qualified geologists from all over the world, and none has doubted
that they are actual samples of lunar surface material.
Geologists are all
trained in government-funded and government-controlled universities.
If the government wanted to keep the true nature of the lunar samples
secret, it could certainly control what geologists know and
If it's more comfortable for conspiracists to believe than an
entire branch of science has been hijacked worldwide for decades by
the U.S. government in order to protect its secret, and that this was
somehow easier to accomplish than genuinely landing on the moon, then
there's not much that can be said.
It's difficult to imagine what influence, if any, the
U.S. government could have had over the Soviet Academy of Sciences,
whose geologists examined Apollo lunar samples. And there are plenty
of other governments and scientists who don't care what the United
States government thinks and who can instruct their geologists any way
Conspiracists find it easier to believe than an entire branch of
the world's scientific community has either been fooled,
co-opted, or intimidated for thirty years!
The U.S. government
threatens any geologist with terrible consequences if he should reveal
that the samples he obtains from NASA are not actual lunar surface
One must demonstrate a certain eminence in his field in order to
obtain a lunar sample. Thus the people obtaining and using these
samples are not unknown or obscure people. These are published
scientists who aren't going to be interested in pretending to study
what they know is a forgery. To suggest that the hundreds of
geologists who have published on the Apollo lunar surface samples are
somehow participating in the alleged conspiracy -- even just by
complicity in keeping the threat a secret -- is incredible.
NASA could have obtained
genuine lunar surface material just the way the Soviet Union did: by
using unmanned space probes.
In many ways that's even harder to accomplish than a manned
landing. The Soviets tried several times and succeeded with only a
few such missions and recovered a total of about ten ounces of
material. This effort occupied a major portion of the Soviet space
program's capacity. It would have required a similarly large portion
of the U.S. aerospace capacity to produce secret unmanned probes. And
there is also the question of where those spacecraft were launched and
upon what kind of rocket. Those things are hard to hide.
As already noted, the Apollo program returned more than 800 pounds
(350 kilograms) of material. That's beyond our current
sample-return technology, not to mention that available in the 1960s.
But all of that hasn't
been examined. Perhaps NASA just obtained a very little bit of actual
surface material and just claims to have vast amounts of
Most scientists who obtain lunar surface material specifically
request pristine materials that have not been previously examined, or
even exposed to air or sunlight. It is also possible to request
pieces of specific specimens or typical samples from different
specimen types. The total amount of pristine material sent out for
independent examination exceeds the sample return technology of the
1960s, and probably today's sample return technology as well.