The Great Lunar Lie - How NASA mooned the world!

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.

As Rene points out, that's not all: The cameras had no light meters or view finders. So the astronauts achieved this feet without being able to see what they were doing. The film stock was unaffected by the intense peaks (temperatures from -250 F to + 250 F) and powerful cosmic radiation on the Moon, conditions that should have made it useless. They managed to adjust their cameras, change film and swap filters in pressurized clubs. It should have been almost impossible to use their fingers. In the adjoining picture the tire tracks are suspiciously too deep and clear to have been made on the lunar surface, as it does not have a mixture of mud and moisture.

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 (video) 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?

An example of a strange picture: In this picture there are two astronauts reflected in the visor. If three men had gone to the moon and we know for certain that one was left behind in the probe to monitor things. How is it then that there are 4 astronauts here: One in the picture, two in the visor and one in the probe. Also the men in the visor do not have cameras. Who took this picture? Were there five men?

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:

1. Apollo 14 astronaut Allan Shepard played golf on the Moon. In front of a worldwide TV audience, Mission Control teased him about slicing the ball to the right. Yet a slice is caused by uneven air flow over the ball. The Moon has no atmosphere and no air.

2. A camera panned upwards to catch Apollo 16's Lunar Lander lifting off the Moon. Who did the filming?

3. One NASA picture from Apollo 11 is looking up at Neil Armstrong about to take his giant step for mankind. The photographer must have been lying on the planet surface. If Armstrong was the first man on the Moon, then who took the shot?

4. The pressure inside a space suit was greater than inside a football. The astronauts should have been puffed out like the Michelin Man, but were seen freely bending their joints.

5. The Moon landings took place during the Cold War. Why didn't America make a signal on the move that could be seen from earth? The PR would have been phenomenal and it could have been easily done with magnesium flares.

A NASA public affairs officer, Julian Scheer once delighted 200 guests at a private party with footage of astronauts apparently on a landscape. "The purpose of this film," Scheer told the enthralled group, "is to indicate that you really can fake things on the ground, almost to the point of deception." He then invited his audience to "come to your own decision about whether or not man actually did walk on the Moon". Rene believes that the only real thing about the Apollo missions were the lift offs. The astronauts simply have to be on board, he says, in case the rocket exploded. "It was the easiest way to ensure NASA wasn't left with three astronauts who ought to be dead."

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."