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The Story of the Astro-nots� 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 47-year-old Ralph Rene.
"How can the flag be fluttering," the American kept asking himself, "when there's no wind on the atmosphere-free Moon?" That moment was 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 growing wonder, until finally reaching this astounding conclusion: America had never put a man on the Moon. The giant leap for mankind was fake!
(Fluttering Flag- Dead Giveaway!)
This is the conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories. Rene has compiled all his findings in a startling book titled NASA Mooned America. It is being sold by mail order for 25 US dollars and is a compelling read. The story lifts off in 1961 with Russia firing Yuri Gagarin into space, leaving America trailing in the space race. At an emergency meeting of Congress, President Kennedy proposes 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, 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. Rene believes they're fake.
For starters, he says, the TV footage was hopeless. The world tuned in to watch what looked like two blurred white ghosts gambol on an unearthly surface. 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.
Award winning British photographer David Percy is convinced the pictures are fake. He says 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. David Percy believes the mistakes were deliberate, left there by "whistle blowers", who were keen for the truth to get out one day. If Percy is right and the pictures are fake, then we have 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. The earth's Van Allen belt protects standard astronauts orbiting earth in near space. 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 Lander, which took astronauts from the spaceship to the moon's surface, were, said NASA, "about the thickness of heavy duty aluminum foil". How could that stop this deadly radiation? 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. "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. Case of Liar's Conscience?
Here are some more interesting Space oddities:
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 were in infancy in the 60s. This time round will have no way of determining the truth."
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