Nasascam scam

Deep in the sewers of the internet there is a website that claims to prove that Apollo was a hoax. It calls itself Nasascam, and has had various addresses over the years. It’s latest incarnation is ‘Truth Party’, and it adds a whole other bunch of garbage to it’s litany of lies.

They both contain a mixture of misunderstandings, outright lies and uninformed opinion that some people might mistake for facts, so lets have a look at what it claims. We’ll start with its ‘Apollo Facts’ page before moving onto shred the rest of it.

Claim: Pro Apollo Nutters persistently state there are no scientists in the world who refute the Apollo Moon landings. That is complete and utter balderdash, (which is to be expected of PAN's), because there are more scientists who support the hoax theory, than those who refute it. To start off with here is a list of scientists who support the Moon landing as being genuine. Prof. Michael Brant Shermer, American. Prof. Steven I. Dutch, American. Prof. Brian Cox, British. Prof. Harald Lesch, German. A grand total of 4.

Now here is a list of scientists who support the Moon landing as a hoax. Prof. James M. McCanney, American. Prof. Luke Sargent, American. Prof. André Balogh, British. Prof. Colin Rourke, British. Prof. Krassimir Ivanov Ivandjiiski, Russian. Prof. Takahiko Soejima, Japanese. Prof. Li Zifeng, Chinese. Prof. Federico Martín Maglio, Argentinian. That makes a grand total of 9. So the Moon hoax supporters are way out in front on 69% with Moon landing supporters way behind on 31%.

Well that looks mighty impressive - he’s produced a list of scientists against Apollo that outnumbers Apollo supporting scientists that’s got to be significant right?

OK, first of all he’s decided on which scientists to include, and it is by no means comprehensive. I can list several more off the top of my head without even trying let’s go for Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson just to kick things off. We could then add all the scientists who actually took part in Apollo, and those who analysed the data afterwards. I could even include me in the mix, as I have a science based PhD. That makes me a scientist who supports Apollo. Numbers aren’t so convincing now are they?

Then let’s take a look at the ‘scientists’ he lists as denying Apollo.

James McCanney: Nasascam lists McCanney as a professor, but rationalwiki and this site are less sure about whether he is entitled to call himself that. He does claim to have a physics and maths training, though his degree is a Bachelor of Arts. Other sites suggest his qualification is actually in massage therapy. He seems more interested in making money out of survival preppers and follows of crank theories about all kinds of weird shit. You will see more links on his website directing you to his secure checkout area than to any ‘research’ he has done.

His specific objection to the moon landings seems to be the presence of the Van Allen radiation belts, despite any scientist who understands them (including Van Allen himself) not actually having a problem with them.

Luke Sargent: If you search for Sargent’s name it tends to only crop up in the same listing given above spammed across multiple websites. However you can find him listed here as a historian and violinist. Neither of these are sciences.

André Balogh: Ooh now, here’s a turn up for the books, an actual scientist. Balogh is listed as a space physicist at Imperial College, so he should know a thing or two. However you will find no record of him claiming Apollo didn’t happen, in fact quite the opposite. In this article he says:

“ astronauts walked on the Moon, flew the American flag and displayed the might of US technology and resources to massive global audiences in what remains, arguably, the greatest technical achievement of mankind.”

And here he says:

“The great success of the Apollo programme, undertaken to demonstrate the superiority of the United States in space in the 1960s, resulted in what has been arguably the greatest technological achievement in the history of mankind. Seeing the astronauts speeding almost light-heartedly in their buggy across the Moon was a truly inspirational sight.”

Our scammer seems to have mistaken an article saying Apollo was done in a different time with a different ethos for “not happened at all”, as well as taking a reported comment in a radio interview out of context.

Colin Rourke: Another actual scientist here, assuming you class Maths as a science. Rourke specialises in topology, but oddly doesn’t list in his CV a paper he authored for Aulis website (I’m not linking to this crap, you’ll need to find it yourself) in which he claims that images of Mons Hadley photographed by Apollo 15 are inconsistent with what you can see from orbit. His main beef seems to be that images taken from lunar orbit show what he calls:

“strikingly angular mountain with a sharp peak and many interesting features quite dissimilar to the bland outline shown in the faked ground photos”

It’s a shame he restricted his view of the area to vertical shots from orbit, which are going to show a distinct boundary between light and shade. Well, we can take those vertical shots and convert them into 3D views to prove that the sharp line he sees from above may look a little different lower down and obliquely. We can do this with two of the same sources he uses, namely an Apollo Metric Mapping Camera image and a Lunar Orbiter one. See here for detail on how this was done.

Funny how those sharp boundaries aren’t quite so sharp under different lighting conditions and when you get nearer to them.

He makes other claims based on the way he thinks lunar soil should behave, and generally misunderstands the nature of perspective and topography as an influence of how things look. He also can’t read maps. He also can’t see the irony of using an Apollo 15 image to prove Apollo 15 didn’t happen.

In the end, all he has is “it kinda looks funny”. Not a credible witness.

Krassimir Ivanov Ivandjiiski: Ivandjiiski is described in numerous places (eg here) as a doctor of economics and professor in geopolitics and international relations. So not a scientist then. His place in the hoax nutter gallery is assured by accusing the USSR of trading silence over the Apollo hoax for detente with the US. He runs a magazine where several articles on the subject appeared, but as you have to pay (now there’s a common theme) to get them and they are in Bulgarian I can’t make any comment on the content. What you can see if you look through the archive of articles is that there is a persistent vein of crankery and woo, ranging from aliens among us, to chemtrails, to 9-11 nonsense.

Takahiko Soejima: According to this page, Soejima is a political ‘scientist’. I use the commas deliberately. Politics is not a science. He is also the author of a 2004 book called ‘1962–1972: Apollo 11 has never been to the Moon’. Translations of his work are not available, so we have no idea what the context of the work is or whether he is asking a philosophical question rather than making a statement.

Li Zifeng: Li is a petroleum geologist (so yes, an actual scientist) who also spends a lot of time pontificating about relativity and philosophical subjects. He wrote a paper entitled ‘The Apollo Moon Landings Is A Put-up Job’, and which you can try and read here. The argument seems to be that the missions were designed to show the superiority of the US over the USSR, which is undeniably true. Translating the document via google reveals it to be a regurgitation of the usual hoax crap that is easily debunked. It’s all flag fluttering and blast craters and other arguments that have been discredited many times. The mouthpiece for his arguments, the ‘National Philosophy Alliance’, is one that is decidedly opposed to mainstream science, so we have a scientist making a living opposing science.

Federico Martín Maglio: This gentleman is a social scientist (so not a scientist) specialising in history, education and technology. There is no indication on any of his websites as to an opinion on Apollo, but he does teach about the Cold War, so no doubt touches on the subject there.

In general, it seems that nasascam’s author confuses ‘Professor’ with ‘scientist’, doesn’t always check whether the person is actually a professor, or a scientist, and completely ignores the thousands of actual scientist who disagree wholeheartedly with his bogus claim and dubious statistical analysis.

Claim: The current Airfix plastic kit model of the Saturn V rocket, has no mention whatsoever on the box that Apollo went to the Moon, in fact the word "Moon" does not appear anywhere on the box. It merely states that the Saturn V launched the Apollo capsule into space, (low earth orbit, which is correct). Evidently Airfix realize that Apollo did not go to the Moon, otherwise there would be a reference to it somewhere on the box containing the model. As many would say "The truth is as plastic as the model".

This is damning evidence indeed - a model manufacturer doesn’t acknowledge the moon landings, so it must all be faked. Our scammer doesn’t say which particular model he’s discussing, so I did a quick search to see what I could find. Let’s have a look at some Airfix boxes.

Seems to me that the boxes, and the stuff inside the boxes, mention the moon landing quite a bit.

Claim: Knight Newspapers, (one of the two groups that later merged to form Knight-Ridder Inc.) polled 1,721 US residents one year after the first (fake) Moon landing. It found that more than 30% of respondents were suspicious of NASA's trips to the Moon.  Author: So what is the percentage over 49 years later?

Nasascam give no details of the poll, but you can find some here. Interestingly, nasascam’s text is a word for word copy of the Wired article. Unfortunately for nasascam, the opinion of uneducated hicks in middle America is no proof of anything other than the opinion of uneducated hicks in middle America. It’s a shame he ignores the rest of the article that pretty much rubbishes his claim. The percentage over 49 years later isn’t much different, and means nothing other than as an indicator or opinion, not fact.

Claim: The fake Apollo videos and still footage photos show a very dry dusty surface many inches deep. If there is no wind on the Moon, (apart from the wind which constantly blew the flag), then why is there no dust on top of the rocks and boulders? There should be if there is no wind to blow away the dust.

Nasascam makes a number of assumptions here, the main one being that there should be a uniform thick layer of the stuff all over the place. He assumes that the photographs of the lunar surface don’t show any dust on the rocks. He assumes that all the rocks have been there all the time and haven’t arrived from elsewhere. He assumes a uniform depth of lunar soil. He assumes that all lunar dust arrives from above and not from physical break down of rocks in situ thanks to bombardment and weathering.

In fact, what he does is declare as fact that there should be dust without any kind of proof that there isn’t any, or how much there should be, or where it should be. He doesn’t pose the same questions of China or Russia’s surface imagery, which show exactly the same conditions.

FACT: Despite numerous videos being taken on the alleged 17th mission, (fake of course), not one of those movies show Schmitt at "Tracy's Rock", and yet the still photo is the most popular of the whole mission. Did Cernan decide not to use the movie camera at "Tracy's Rock", or is this yet another NASA blunder they overlooked. Yes you've guessed right it is the latter of the two.

Nasascam seems to be under the impression that Gene Cernan was in charge of a movie camera on the moon. In fact, the only person in charge of any kind of camera (other than the still cameras) was Ed Fendell, who controlled the lunar rover TV camera remotely from Earth. He also describes the still photo at Tracy’s rock as being the most popular of Apollo 17, even though this is arguably the ‘Blue Marble’ one.

He is probably thinking of the 16mm DAC camera, which was only used to film Cernan’s initial surface activities, and the landing and take-off. All other surface images were either recorded in TV or on one of the still cameras.

Unfortunately for nasascam, the sampling session at Tracy’s Rock was broadcast on TV, and Schmitt is in fact captured several times, sometimes with Cernan in shot as well, like this:

So it turns out that this claim is a crock of shit.

CLAIM: Despite numerous videos being taken on the Moon's surface, not one of them contains any frames showing planet Earth in the void of space. I would think that is a very poor planning on the part of the astronauts, although we already know why this is so

Again, nasascam clearly hasn’t watched any of the mission footage. In addition to the numerous photographs of Earth taken from the lunar surface it was captured on live TV on many occasions in Apollos 16 (below left) and 17 (below right). The weather patterns and configuration of the Earth are entirely consistent with what should be on view.

So again, bullshit.

CLAIM: Neil Armstrong suffered with mental illness in his later years. A direct result of him putting his name forward as the foundation stone for the biggest lie in history. OR it could be that he became paranoid by the overwhelming number of web sites, exposing him as a liar, and  why was he buried at sea after his death?

Or could it be that this is an utter fabrication without any elements of truth in it whatsoever? It’s a lie, plain as that.

Armstrong was buried at sea because he was a Navy Pilot. Simple.

CLAIM: Rumor has it that Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad was going public about the fake Moon landings on the 30th anniversary back in July 1999. He was killed in a motorcycle accident one week before the 30th anniversary.

Rumour has it that this is a complete crock of crap and some nutcase just made it up. True, he was killed in motorcycle accident in July 1999. The rest? Made up fantasy.

CLAIM: It takes the space shuttle 66 hours to reach the International Space Station which is a mere 200 miles above Earth. NASA claim Apollo 13 was 55 hours into its duration from lift off when it encountered a problem at a distance of 200,000 miles from Earth.

This claim is made out of ignorance - ignorance of what the Shuttle did when it launched and docked with the ISS. It might well have taken 66 hours for some missions to dock but that doesn’t mean that it took that long to travel 200 miles. The reality is that after launch the shuttle entered orbit, sometimes doing other jobs before docking with the ISS, sometimes entering a pursuit of the ISS that could take a couple of days. You do not want to suddenly pile into the thing, you catch up slowly, you dock.

For example STS-96, the first to dock with the ISS, took about 42 hours to catch up with it. STS-106 launched on a Friday and docked on a Sunday, with the crew doing other stuff (like sleeping) in between.

CLAIM: In 1998, after looking at the NASASCAM website, world celebrity Uri Geller said that NASA's Apollo Moon pictures have been crudely faked, and asks WHY? Uri however, is friendly with Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, so we may ask WHY does he not ask Mitchell himself why the pictures were faked?

Oddly an original version of this clam says that Geller claims on his website that he believes Apollo to be fake. Suffice to say the only references to Apollo are those featuring Ed Mitchell. Not once is there any claim that Apollo was faked. Why? Because it wasn’t.

It’s also worth pointing out again that the opinions of someone like Geller, not a scientist, are arguably worthless. Like many others his claimed words present no evidence other than ‘it kinda looks funny’.

CLAIM: President Lyndon Johnson made certain Apollo files classified, with a declassification date of 2026. This is so those involved in the Apollo scam would be long dead and gone, and no one alive to blame. One need not wait 8 years for the truth behind Apollo, as the truth is already well known.

Let’s be clear - many aspects of Apollo were secret or relied on formerly classified technology. The USA did not want to know how it was achieving its goals, or what its cameras were capable of seeing, so many areas of the mission were not publicly revealed. Many things have been revealed through FOIA requests, but none of them cast any doubt on the missions. Much of the claim relies on the circular logic used by UFO nuts, namely that absence of evidence shows that the evidence is suppressed, as opposed to ‘not actually existing’.

There may well be secret documents still awaiting release, but if they exist then nasascam knows no more about the contents than I do, and can’t make any claim as to what they will show.

CLAIM: In the early 60s NASA/CIA officials, realizing that a manned Moon landing was totally impossible before 1970, met in secret behind closed doors. It was at that meeting they agreed upon a decision to fake Apollo 11, in the hope they would get to the Moon later on, and then substitute the earlier faked pictures with genuine Moon pictures. The reality is they never succeeded with any mission.

The reality is that this is utter fantasy and there is no evidence to show it happened, at all, ever.

CLAIM: Arthur C. Clarke referred to Apollo 11 as "A Hole in History". Historian A.J.P. Taylor referred to it as "The biggest non event of his lifetime".

Almost correct. Clarke described it as ‘A rift in history’, and used it as a metaphor to distinguish between the era before we landed on the moon and the post-landing one. He certainly did not believe the missions didn’t happen, and described hoaxers as ‘nitwits’ and ‘lunatics’. Likewise Taylor’s quote does not in any way show that the landings did not happen, or even that he believed they did not happen, just that he considered them unimportant.

CLAIM: NASA had not perfected the lunar landing craft in time for Apollo 11. In 2018 they are still trying to get a rocket to land and take off again, over 49 years after Apollo was supposed to have done just that.

Any evidence for this? Any actual evidence to disprove the testing flights made many years before Apollo 11 on Apollo 5, 9 and 10? Anything to disprove all the engine testing, vacuum testing? No? Bullshit then.

CLAIM: Film footage taken inside the capsule of ALL Apollo missions, shows a light blue haze, and curvature of Earth through capsule window, when they were supposedly half way to the Moon, and in the blackness of space. This proves that capsule was only in Earth orbit.

This is a tired old rehash of the bullshit puked up by Bart Sibrel The colour of the haze is as much a product of the film in the camera and the lighting conditions inside the LM than it is of outside. The only images showing the curvature of the Earth (other than those actually shot in Earth orbit) show the entire curve in a way that can only be possible by being on the way to the moon.

Live TV broadcasts show Earth’s weather patterns just as they appear in satellite weather photos. Fact.

CLAIM: Moon pictures on NASA's web sites are fake, with backdrop scenes pasted. The pictures reveal a black line penciled in where background meets daylight sky, which was blacked out completely.

AANs (Anti-Apollo Nutters) are all very fond of claiming that they lunar surface images are all done on a stage with a backdrop, and will often produce photos claiming to prove their existence. What they can never do is explain why the backdrop looks different depending on where it was photographed (short of having God knows how many of them), or where the backdrop joins the ground, or how the backdrops contain detail not known about until the actual missions, or where the stages were or who built them and who did the filming and the editing and the lighting and so on and so on.

It’s clutching at straws is what it is.

CLAIM: The LM used on latter missions, was the same spec as the first mission, IE, no modifications. It would have therefore been impossible to carry the rover vehicle to the Moon in the same confined LM, even if it collapsed into a more compact form.

Aside from the fact that it isn’t true, the later mission LMs were a different design to accommodate the longer missions and more equipment, this idiot really seems to think that the LRV was carried inside the LM, rather than attached to the outside. Really?

CLAIM: The lunar rover had inflatable tires which would have exploded if pre-inflated, and there was no air on the Moon to inflate them. Pro Apollo Nutters claim the rover had solid wire mesh tires. Yes the rover in the museum had these fitted in the mid 70s when they realized pneumatic tires could not have functioned on the Moon. NASA have had over 49 years in which to clear up the plainly obvious mistakes within the Apollo program. Each time someone brings up a query NASA correct it and say nothing, ie, they cannot say why the anomaly was there in the first place. Anyway I have pictures of the rover supposedly on the Moon and it has the same tires and tire valves as the one they used at KSC. In other words it is the same one. Early close up pictures of the rover on Internet have changed since the blunder was exposed on this web site.

No. Just, no.

The rovers on the moon had mesh tyres. The ones with rubber tyres were on the ground for training. There are no pictures of the rovers on the moon with rubber tyres. Not one. There are countless photos of the rovers on the moon in books and magazines that can not be erased by anyone. There is zero evidence whatsoever that NASA has replaced images of the rover.

Oh, and the exploding tyres thing? Nonsense. The Space Shuttles had inflatable tyres. They do not explode in space.

CLAIM: It would have been impossible to have a water cooled space suit on the Moon, when outside temperature was already at boiling point of water, there would be nowhere for the heat to dissipate.

The outside temperature of what? The vacuum of space has no temperature. Things in it can gain or lose heat by radiation and conduction. If we assume that nasascam is reverting to the boiling point of water in a vacuum, he needs to check his physics books for the freezing point of water.

Warm water in the space suit passes through a porous block supplied with water from a reservoir in the PLSS backpack. The ice is heated by suit water and sublimates, which then cools the water in the suit.

It works in the same way as pretty much every spacesuit in use now.

CLAIM: The LM was suspended from a huge traverse crane based at Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, and was gently lowered at the same time it traversed over a mock Moon surface created beneath it. Check picture on APOLLO REALITY site, and Channel 4 video "As it Happened".

The one they used for training was, yes. The ones that landed on the moon, not so much. Unless they managed to make lunar surfaces that exactly matched the actual lunar surface in more detail than they actually had, this was just not possible. These things have never been secret, no-one hid the fact that they were training to use the lunar modules on enormous visible for miles around bright red gantries.

CLAIM: Trainee astronauts were also suspended from this huge traverse crane in a horizontal position to simulate reduced gravity. Check picture on APOLLO REALITY site with the NASA web site picture of Harrison Schmitt tripping up. The unusual high backward leg swing is identical in both pictures.

Erm..Isn’t this just a continuation of the last one? Again, no secret, and what did you want them to do? Just nip up there and hope for the best? Maybe the leg swings show that astronauts experiencing low gravity respond to the same loss of balance in the same way. Notice how one is horizontal and one isn’t?

CLAIM: Film footage allegedly taken by Apollo 8 as it supposedly circled the Moon, is the same film used for the Apollo 11 mission, except that film is reversed and run backwards, look for "tadpole like" mountain range. What NASA did was to film the mock lunar surface at LRC, traveling in one direction, then reverse camera, and film surface traveling in opposite direction, as shown in videos.

It’s a shame he doesn’t provide us with actual stills from the mission, but a few things should strike you there. Firstly, the two missions orbited in exactly the same direction - there would be no need for them to reverse the footage. Secondly, the two missions orbited differently, and the areas covered by 16mm footage only overlapped in an area between Heaviside and Chauvinet craters on the lunar far side. There are clear differences between the sets of footage, and nothing like a ‘tadpole like’ mountain range.

CLAIM: Film footage showing Apollo missions allegedly circling the Moon, was taken by a rail mounted camera which slowly moved toward a rotating plaster paris model of the Moon.

While there were indeed lunar simulators with camera rigs set up to to film them, they were used in training to give astronauts an idea of what to expect. What they did not have was the level of detail shown in Apollo photographs that have been proven to be genuine over and over again, not just by NASA probes, but by Indian, Chinese and Japanese ones. The writer of the Nasascam and Truth Party sites is so far up his own rabbit hole he doesn’t believe anyone has been in space, so it’s unlikely he’ll ever be convinced by actual evidence.

CLAIM: Plaster of Paris model of Mons Hadley was made before the landing

It’s worth reproducing the original here, just so you can see for yourself what a complete fabrication it is:

As usual, his claim is just a flat out lie.

Let’s move on to “Truth Party”. I’m not giving him the traffic, search for it yourself. It’s a meme heavy load of bullshit with very few actual claims in it and an awful lot of bare assertion, but let’s dissect some of the crap on there.

Claim: Apollo 8’s Earthrise is fake.

Frank makes this claim by posting s screenshot from Photoshop:

It’s a complete lie.

The model of Hadley was made after the missions by USGS, using data obtained from Apollo 15 itself, to see whether the apparent layers in Mons Hadley were real, or just an artefact of lighting.

The data were obtained from orbit using the SIM bay instrumentation, a process clearly documented during, and after, the mission.

The photo you see here is a composite of actual foreground imagery (hence the Reseau crosses) and that model.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a USGS publication with the photos, and the description of how and why it was done.

CLAIM: Photo from lunar orbit was taken in 1989

Here’s another bold claim, stating that a photo didn’t exist before 1989.

The photograph in question is AS11-37-5443, and unfortunately for Frank, or Willis, or whoever, is that it has been publicly available for over 50 years. Here it is in the Apollo 11 70 mm photographic catalog, published in 1970. Here’s another original version. Several other images in the same sequence can be found in books published at the same time, like the one shown below right from this Peterson’s book of man in space, published in 1974 (my copy).

There’s no source for his original image, but the filename should tell you it’s a piss poor low resolution copy of the actual image. He gives no reason for his claim other than a version of the image with lots of brightness and contrast adjustment, as if that’s all you need.

All it’s actual showing is that if you mess around with photos, you mess up the photo, especially low resolution versions of them.

In fact,  that Earthrise image has all the information you need to prove it’s genuine, as I demonstrate here.

Claim: the same ‘backdrop’ is used in 3 different photos

First things first,they aren’t individual photographs. Each one of the images shown on the right is a panorama consisting of several images stitched together.

The top one is at Station 6, or Tracy’s Rock, and consists of AS17-140- 21483 to 21509.

The second one is also at Tracey’s rock, this time from the other side, but again with a near 360 degree panorama from images AS17-141- 21575 to 21603.

The final one is at Station 7, around 500m from Station 6 (see the map below right), but still roughly over 10km from the south massif. It uses AS17-146- 22339 to 22363.

I’ve added my personal scans of those panoramas from original copies of the Apollo 17 geology report, published in 1981.

In short, the images all show the same south massif and distant hills because they are all taken from a point. They aren’t three photos, they are 3 combined photos consisting of over 60 individual images.  

In other words. It’s the same hills, viewed from the same distance, on the moon. The only bullshit is Frank’s, and the dumbasses are the ones who believe it.

NB: Any sections of the websites quoted here are fair use of those sections for criticism, and definitely sarcasm. There is no way I’d want to claim that bullshit as my own work.