AND ONCE AGAIN,
"It is estimated" that
many more photographs could have been taken during the first 60
minutes of the moonwalk.
Estimated by whom? According to what criteria?
Sibrel simply gives us the "If I Ran the Zoo" argument, claiming
it was suspicious that the astronauts did not act like tourists and
waste their precious single roll of EVA film taking pictures of each
other posing in front of the lander, the flag, etc. Mr. Sibrel
doesn't consider that we know what the astronauts looked like; we are
more interested in what the moon looked like. That's why there are
only twenty or so pictures of the astronauts, and only one or two of
If Neil Armstrong had not wanted to be photographed, why
couldn't the hoaxsters have hired a stand-in?
Sibrel argues the crew should have just thrown out the carefully
allocated mission photo plan (cf. Apollo 11 Flight Plan,
pp. 3-79 thru 3-81) and given us Armstrong by the ton. Sibrel claims
correctly that only one or two 70mm still photographs were taken of
Armstrong during the EVA. But he also points to a "single" other
photograph taken by an "automatic" camera. That camera was the 16mm
motion picture camera hung in the LM window. It took literally
hundreds of frames of Armstrong working on the lunar surface, not just
one. And before Aldrin himself left the lunar module, he shot an
entire roll of 16mm film through the cockpit window of Armstrong
descending the ladder and picking up the contingency sample.
The only way you can say Armstrong wasn't on camera is to
arbitrarily limit your consideration to only one type of photography:
the 70mm stills. Armstrong was under-represented there; it is true.
But it's easy to make the evidence come out the way you want it by
paring away what doesn't fit your conclusion. That's what A Funny
Thing has done here.
But did Armstrong refuse to be photographed? Not at all. That
doesn't stop Mr. Sibrel from postulating all sorts of reasons why
Armstrong wouldn't want to be photographed "on the moon": his
reputation, potential liability, etc. -- all of them based on a false
premise and circularly reasoned from Sibrel's predetermined
conclusion. Later Sibrel raises the possibility that the astronauts
in the photos aren't really Armstrong and Aldrin, since you can't see
their faces. That's certainly possible, but Sibrel never reconciles
this argument with his previous ones. Since we can't recognize them
anyway, why is it such a historical faux pas not to have taken
more pictures of them? And if Armstrong had been temperamental about
having his picture taken, they could have brought in a stand-in to
wear his suit and pose as necessary.
This picture (Fig. 1)
shows shadow angles that cannot be produced in sunlight.
Fig. 1 -Neil Armstrong photographs the lunar module
Eagle from a distance. (NASA: AS11-40-5961)
Of course they can.
Fig. 2 -Rocks photographed in the desert with a low sun
show the same shadow angles as lunar photography.
See here for a more detailed
description of this particular photograph. Mr. Sibrel presumes the
implement casting the long thin shadow at lower right is standing
straight up so that the handle is perfectly vertical. It is not. If
two objects are not parallel in three dimensions in the scene, there
is no guaranteed that their shadows will appear parallel in a
Mr. Sibrel implies that he has seen all the color photographs from
Apollo 11. If that were true, he would have noticed, in the same
sequence, photos of the object itself -- the surface close-up camera
-- which is most certainly not vertical. Mr. Sibrel has misled the
viewer either about the depth of his research or about the nature of
"Hot spots" such as this
one cannot be produced in sunlight.
Of course they can.
Fig. 3 -Texture shadow-hiding photographed on an
There's a rock with a
"C" on it -- obviously a prop.
We discuss this at length here. Bart
Sibrel claims to have a background in film and theater, yet he seems
to forget that props are rarely labeled conspicuously as he suggests
here. A trip backstage at any theater or on any film set confirms
that props are kept on tables or in racks and the tables and racks are
labeled, not the items themselves. It is up to the property master to
know which is which.
Fig. 4 -The tip of the gnomon's shadow falls over the rock in
question. (NASA: detail of AS16-107-17446)
The alleged "crease" that tips off Sibrel to the possibility that
it's a papier-mâché rock isn't a crease at all but rather
the shadow of the gnomon tip falling across it. Again, either
Mr. Sibrel saw this when he was cropping the photo and thus
intentionally omitted it, or else he has never seen the full
photograph and is basing his opinion on hasty and incomplete research.
Considering the sheer number of rocks that would have to appear in
a moon set, making them all by hand would be labor-intensive and lead
to the temptation to reuse them in different setups. Far better would
be to do as the Clarke Planetarium (Utah) did when building their
lunar surface diorama -- just use real rocks. They're cheaper, more
plentiful, and come pre-made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
The film shows us one example of a "suspicious" missing fiducial, but certainly no examples of those
that don't seem to be the result of image compositing. And we also
see the standard no crater argument.
Sibrel complains that the lack of dust on the footpads is "explained
away" by the absence of an atmosphere, but he doesn't give any details
about why that explanation is wrong. The viewer is apparently
supposed to decide that NASA's story is "naturally" preposterous
simply because it comes from NASA. In fact NASA has a perfectly good
explanation for the behavior of dust around its spacecraft. Sibrel
just isn't interested in it.