Earlier this week, the moon hoax conspiracy theorists were beating their collective chests and mocking the news that video footage of the Apollo 11 landing was still inexplicably lost. The NPR facebook link to the story was riddled with smarmy comments about how this was proof that our first trip to the moon was faked.
Then, NASA released the restoration of the video footage that already existed, but it was likely not enough to stem the tide of conspiracy theorists parading their denial in full force. No amount of proof will convince certain deniers, even when there is pretty decent video evidence, which they say is lacking.
Even more fantastic than the restored videos, were the photographs taken on that day, cataloged in all their brilliance at the blog The Big Picture. Seeing these images really captured my imagination and brought home the importance and immensity of Apollo 11’s task. The best is this one that captures the lunar module, the moon, and the Earth in one shot.
Finally, the week ended with stunning images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. For the first time since the initial landing, the area where astronauts first walked on the moon was photographed. Some may ask why we haven’t been able to see this area with our telescopes, but the fact is that even the Hubble is not strong enough to focus in on such a small area. Good thing the LRO crossed paths with the landing site! Skeptic celeb, and apocalyptic author, Phil Plait, posted the pics on his blog, Bad Astronomy.
This is all leading up to something. To most of the world, it’s obvious that NASA’s Apollo 11 astronauts landed and walked on the moon. There’s more than enough easily accessible evidence, and any anomalies that deniers claim as proof of a conspiracy are myths that are easily busted. For some people, though, enough is never enough. They’ll widen the conspiracy to include me if it means that they don’t have to admit they’re wrong. But, WHAT IF the conspiracy theorists ARE wrong, objectively speaking (as most reasonable people know they are)? How would Buzz Aldrin react to being confronted by one of these deniers at an airport? Just how pissed off would he get at somebody challenging him to his face? We discovered the answer to that question several years ago when Buzz beat the smack out of Bart Sibrel.