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The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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One giant lie

Moon landing conspiracy debunked
American astronaut Buzz Aldrin salutes the American flag during the Apollo 11 mission to the moon on July 20, 1969. Despite no stars, this picture proves the moon landing was real. Photo taken by Neil Armstrong.

Conversations and debates about the reality of humans on the moon have blossomed within the last decade; however, questioning the integrity of the U.S. is ridiculous. 

The Apollo 11 spaceflight undoubtedly landed humans on the moon for the first time ever, and the conspiracies that suggest otherwise are merely just theories.

On April 25, 2024, world-renowned podcaster Joe Rogan interviewed a lifetime conspiracy theorist, Bart Sibrel, who is convinced that NASA and the U.S. government performed “one giant lie” about the 1969 moon landing. The podcast demonstrated both sides of the argument: Sibrel provided decades of research and evidence supporting the U.S. faking the mission, whereas Rogan acted as a stalemate countering Sibrel’s claims. 

The 1969 moon landing was a result of the Cold War, where countries fought silently to establish themselves as a world power. The U.S. and Russia were racing to achieve national supremacy by space succession. In 1957, Russia was in the lead with the launch of the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth called Sputnik. In order to prove that America was the supreme leader in science and technology, NASA’s objective to reach the moon first was set in stone, according to the JFK Library.

Sibrel utilizes this line of motivation as his main argument, suggesting that NASA faked the moon landing in order to prove that the United States is a world power and superior to Russia. He then claims that traveling to the moon was impossible in 1969 due to the application of the Van Allen radiation belt that surrounded Earth and prohibited humans from venturing further. 

Nevertheless, this argument is easily debunked.

Even though the radiation inside the Van Allen belt is deadly, the Apollo 11 spacecraft went through the belt in a minuscule time, so the radiation could not have affected anyone or anything inside, according to the NASA website. It’s like the party trick of walking on coals: If one doesn’t move quickly, then feet will inevitably burn. 

Another one of Sibrel’s arguments mentioned was that the shadows in the moon landing pictures were not accurate, immediately deeming the whole mission nonexistent. The photograph taken by Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969 demonstrated two different shadows that were not parallel with each other like they should’ve been. Sibrel is certain the shadows were faked using studio lights. 

This claim doesn’t make any sense. 

“You have all seen this phenomenon yourself, where, because of perspective, parallel lines appear to be non-parallel. If you are trying to reduce a two-dimensional plane to a three-dimensional situation, you can make lines do all sorts of weird things. Artists have been using this for centuries,” said National Space Centre Discovery Director Professor Anu Ojha.

 The last reason why the U.S. did not in fact fake the moon landing is because everyone working on the Apollo 11 mission is human. All 400,000 individuals would have had to keep a government secret for well over five decades. It is highly unlikely that this large number of humans kept such a big lie covered up, leaving only a slim chance that the 1969 moon landing was faked. 

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About the Contributor
Barrett Scharfe
Barrett Scharfe, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Barrett started journalism as a sophomore. He is entering his third year as co-editor-in-chief. He's captain of the volleyball team, president of both Spikeball Club and Pickleball Club and also a member of the varsity soccer team since freshman year. He's a Sandbridge lifeguard, surfs regularly and also particpates in skimboard competitions.

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