As suggested in the previous post, do we really get better at spotting fakes? With mainstream mass media slowly but surely losing its monopoly on information distribution (and subsequent opinion forming), the availability of quality independent news sources and more generally the unprecedented accessibility of information to any person on Earth (with an internet connection…), maybe we are becoming less gullible and more inclined to research and think for ourselves. As stated in the Welcome post, keeping an open mind is one of the leading ideas behind this blog. Even if that leads to the fringes of the internet.
When the Apollo 11 crew landed on the moon I was alive but too young to remember anything about it. I am sure though we watched the incredible images of Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon and to this day I am still fascinated with space-travel and the possibilities it may offer. Watching the footage again proved to be an interesting experience.
Strangely, the feat seemed even more impressive, almost to the point that suspension of disbelief was required, considering the technology used back then and the fact that man never went higher than about 300 miles after 1972 (the International Space Station is between 205 and 270 miles).
Let’s not get into the whole conspiracy thing or the technical minutiae of the matter, let’s look at the human factor. If you watch videos of the moon walks the astronauts give the distinct impression of being rather relaxed, sometimes joking or goofing around, jumping, stumbling and in later missions practically joyriding the buggy. Think about this for a moment.
You are in a hostile environment where only your suit protects you from extreme heat, cold, radiation and of course the vacuum of space. Or summarized, certain death. Any damage to your suit can be fatal. Will you fool around and have a good time? Sure, the astronauts were very courageous guys, they had the right stuff, but still.
With that in mind, view the Apollo 11 press conference. A successful heroic mission into uncharted territory, perhaps the most astounding human achievement in the history of mankind, possibly resembling a religious experience when looking upon the fragile blue planet, alone in the vast black void of space. And now, fortunately, safe and back on Earth!
You expect boundless enthusiasm, pride and joy. Instead Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins appear very nervous and tense, almost fearful, tightly on script and not happy at all. To the present day observer, the behavior shown in both instances (moonwalk and press conference) does not seem to match the occasion, in fact, amazingly, when switched it makes more sense. Remarkable, and one can (at least somewhat) understand how this feeds into all kinds of (conspiracy) theories.