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View Full Version : Need help debunking a couple of Moon landing hoax claims



tvsinesperanto
2010-Oct-26, 02:37 AM
Hi All,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I rarely bother getting involved with Moon landing conspiracy nuts but I recently managed to get dragged into a comment debate on YouTube (I can hear the groans from here). I'm all over the usual hoax believer claims but today I came across a couple of things that I am at a loss to explain.

I'm hoping that someone here will be able to set me on the right track & help me explain them.

The video in question, BTW, is here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n79Vl7_MtU)

The first point of contention is shown between about 4:13 and 4:22.

As you can see, there are 2 pictures of what I *think* is the Apollo 17 LM & surrounding area. In one photo the LM is there, in the next, it isn't. The video fades back & forth between the shots.

I'm aware that many of these examples of objects "disappearing" are due to the camera simply being moved so that objects in the foreground are out of frame but that doesn't seem to be the case in this situation as small rocks & depressions still seem to line up.

There is always that possibility that it has been doctored (and there is a significant difference in brightness between the two pics plus, if you look closely, a very slight ghost of the LM is still there in the "disappeared" frame) but I can't very well claim that it's a fake without proof, or at least some strong evidence. That's the domain of the hoax believers ;-)

I've spent the past 3 or 4 hours scouring the Apollo Image Gallery for the original photos that are shown in the video but I've been unable to find them (AS17-134-20506 is similar but I think it's on a slightly different angle.) so I'd really appreciate some help.

The second issue is just after that between about 4:26 & 5:10

This shows 2 video clips, one after the other, of astronauts walking around in what looks to be the same area in both clips. A graphic at the top of the screen reads "Day one" on the first clip & "Day two" on the second. My opponent claims that:

"Its a clip of the actual released footage of Apollo 16. Of 2 diff days. Yet the same rocks are in 2 diff locations on the moon. day1 1km west day2 4km south at Stone Mountain"[sic]

Again, there are several obvious explanations...

1) He is wrong, or is lying
2) The 2 clips were taken at approx. the same time
3) The two clips were taken on different days but at the same location

but, despite some pretty exhaustive Googling, I can't find the answer.

Can anyone here help me out with an explanation for these things?

If you need any further info from me, please just ask. I'll be checking back regularly.

Cheers,
TV

PS: If you have the time & want a good laugh, check back a few weeks in the comments & witness a hoax believer repeatedly "accuse" me of being Phil Plait. He meant it as an insult but, I think you'll agree, it was one of the greatest compliments I've ever gotten.

LaurelHS
2010-Oct-26, 03:12 AM
This shows 2 video clips, one after the other, of astronauts walking around in what looks to be the same area in both clips. A graphic at the top of the screen reads "Day one" on the first clip & "Day two" on the second. My opponent claims that:

"Its a clip of the actual released footage of Apollo 16. Of 2 diff days. Yet the same rocks are in 2 diff locations on the moon. day1 1km west day2 4km south at Stone Mountain"[sic]

Again, there are several obvious explanations...

1) He is wrong, or is lying
2) The 2 clips were taken at approx. the same time
3) The two clips were taken on different days but at the same location

but, despite some pretty exhaustive Googling, I can't find the answer.

Can anyone here help me out with an explanation for these things?

If you need any further info from me, please just ask. I'll be checking back regularly.

Cheers,
TV

PS: If you have the time & want a good laugh, check back a few weeks in the comments & witness a hoax believer repeatedly "accuse" me of being Phil Plait. He meant it as an insult but, I think you'll agree, it was one of the greatest compliments I've ever gotten.
Hi, welcome. :)

I think this is addressed here (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html#backgrounds). Basically, a company was making a short film about Apollo 16 called Nothing So Hidden, and they made a mistake when identifying the footage and said it was from two different days when it wasn't. So it's a secondary source, not a primary source.

LaurelHS
2010-Oct-26, 03:23 AM
The first point of contention is shown between about 4:13 and 4:22.

As you can see, there are 2 pictures of what I *think* is the Apollo 17 LM & surrounding area. In one photo the LM is there, in the next, it isn't. The video fades back & forth between the shots.

I'm aware that many of these examples of objects "disappearing" are due to the camera simply being moved so that objects in the foreground are out of frame but that doesn't seem to be the case in this situation as small rocks & depressions still seem to line up.

There is always that possibility that it has been doctored (and there is a significant difference in brightness between the two pics plus, if you look closely, a very slight ghost of the LM is still there in the "disappeared" frame) but I can't very well claim that it's a fake without proof, or at least some strong evidence. That's the domain of the hoax believers ;-)
I think the answer is under "Identical Backgrounds" here (http://www.iangoddard.com/moon01.htm).

chrlzs
2010-Oct-26, 07:07 AM
And that was that. :) If there's anything missing, let us know.

When/if you return to Youtube, point out to your half-armed opponent in this battle'o'wits that the first and most obvious sign of a trolling pretender is that they do not/will not cite the image sources. That way they can drag these on for a bit longer.

And if you spend a lot of time at Youtube, I suggest you get your iq tested regularly, and at the first sign of any reduction, cancel your membership... :D

tvsinesperanto
2010-Oct-26, 09:18 AM
Hi, welcome.

I think this is addressed here. Basically, a company was making a short film about Apollo 16 called Nothing So Hidden, and they made a mistake when identifying the footage and said it was from two different days when it wasn't. So it's a secondary source, not a primary source.

Yep, thanks heaps for that. I figured that it must be a bogus claim somewhere along the line, either from my opponent's source or the source they consulted (if they even consulted one)

Fantastic, 1 down, 1 to go...


I think the answer is under "Identical Backgrounds" here.

Hmmm, I'm not sure that this is the same example. The pics on that page show the LM in one pic and no LM in the next but has some rough ground in the extreme foreground. The 2 pics in the video are different to those (although they may well have been cropped or altered in some other way). They also seem to have been taken from a slightly different angle to those on the page you linked me to & there is no sign of rover tracks in them.

My first thought was that it was parallax error too but there are details close to the camera & the LM that don't seem to move between the images which has me baffled. Of course, I'm aware of the difficulties of judging distances on the moon but I can usually spot examples where parallax is involved. This one is unique in my experience in that I can see no signs of it whatsoever. Of course, there is always the possibility that I'm wrong. Can anyone else spot any signs of parallax change in the 2 pics used in that YT video?

Fortunately, both of the issues I raised appear to come from the same video &, since that has now been identified (Nothing So Hidden), perhaps I will now have better luck in tracking the pics down to see if they are legit or doctored. I still don't even know for sure what Apollo mission they are from &, until now, the only hint I had as to the source was that there was a logo in the top left corner with the letters IKEI in it. I couldn't trace it to a source though.

In the mean time, if anyone recognises the 2 images used in the YT video between the times 4:13 & 4:22, could you please let me know where they originated & whether or not they are legit? Thanks.

Cheers,
TV

tvsinesperanto
2010-Oct-26, 09:20 AM
And that was that. :) If there's anything missing, let us know.

When/if you return to Youtube, point out to your half-armed opponent in this battle'o'wits that the first and most obvious sign of a trolling pretender is that they do not/will not cite the image sources. That way they can drag these on for a bit longer.

And if you spend a lot of time at Youtube, I suggest you get your iq tested regularly, and at the first sign of any reduction, cancel your membership... :D

Yes, I agree with your comment about spending too much time on YT. Not only does it suck IQ points, it forces you to start thinking in 500 character blocks which can't be good.

captain swoop
2010-Oct-26, 04:17 PM
Also remember that Apollo video isn't in short little 'scenes'. Hoax Proponents like to cut out a few seconds of video to illustrate their claims. WIthoutthe surrounding context the video is usualy useless.

Bobbar
2010-Oct-26, 05:49 PM
You'd think the hoax proponents have never lived near a large mountain or skyline. Sometimes you can drive miles and miles and large land features on the horizon will appear to have not moved at all. If they can't even grasp the simple phenomenon of parallax, how on Earth can they call NASA out on...anything?

First; get the obvious stuff out of the way. Judging distance on the Moon is pretty much a crap shoot for us Earthlings. We are subtly programmed to know that distant objects become hazy and unsaturated. The Moon utterly lacks any of these effects due to the utter lacking of an atmosphere. It must have been quite strange to witness first hand. In-fact one of my favorite clips related to the difficult judging-of-distance is the 'House Rock' clip from Apollo 16. John Young and Charlie Duke head off to, what appears to be, a tool shed sized rock and quickly find out that it is actually the size of a 2-3 story house! Charlie exclaims, "Look at the size of that rock!". I chuckle every time; the visual is pretty hilarious.

I took a series of screen grabs from Google Earth in hopes of illustrating the effect of parallax. The ruler tells me that the mountains on the horizon are around 13.5 miles away from the LM.

Image with the LM (http://img213.imageshack.us/f/paralax1.jpg/)

Half a mile to the left. (http://img139.imageshack.us/f/paralax2.jpg/)

1 mile to the left. (http://img190.imageshack.us/f/paralax3.jpg/)

Finally, about 1.4 miles from the first location. (http://img408.imageshack.us/i/paralax4.jpg/)

You can see how little the shape of the mountains in the background changes, while the foreground changes completely. You would have to travel quite a distance in order to see any drastic changes to the shape of an object that large and that distant.

NickW
2010-Oct-28, 12:41 AM
Thanks for the examples, Bobbar. I am going to have to bring those up next time I need a good way to explain that effect.

chrlzs
2010-Oct-28, 08:24 AM
The first point of contention is shown between about 4:13 and 4:22.
As you can see, there are 2 pictures of what I *think* is the Apollo 17 LM & surrounding area. In one photo the LM is there, in the next, it isn't. The video fades back & forth between the shots.
I'm aware that many of these examples of objects "disappearing" are due to the camera simply being moved so that objects in the foreground are out of frame but that doesn't seem to be the case in this situation as small rocks & depressions still seem to line up.

"seem" being the operative word here...

For the sake of completion, I took a little look at this. And that video (as youtube videos are often wont to do) contains a despicable 3-card trick...
Here's a direct, UN-faded, animation of the two 'matching scenes'. Feel free to now point out the matching rocks...
http://www.bautforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13851
Anyone? You'll see that not only is there NOTHING in the foreground that matches, the background is actually quite different and doesn't really match well either, except perhaps for the skyline.

Now look very carefully at the animation in the video, and you will see that the lowlife who created that video simply aligned the very contrasty areas, ie the skyline, and then uses an incomplete soft fade between frames - he makes sure he doesn't fade it *completely*!! That way it looks as if some of the rocks are on both images, because of course they do not completely disappear. Like I said, it's a lame, dishonest card-trick, designed to fool the casual viewer. IMNSHO, this sort of deliberate manipulation is absolutely shameful. It shows the depths to which these scammers will go to.


Ask me what I really think.. :D

Bobbar
2010-Oct-28, 05:33 PM
Anyone? You'll see that not only is there NOTHING in the foreground that matches, the background is actually quite different and doesn't really match well either, except perhaps for the skyline.


As expected. Nothing in the foreground should match, they are in two completely different locations.

To me the second image without the LM visible looks like it's distorted, the fiducials (crosshairs) are not symmetrical. So it could be that the poster stretched the latter image in order to better match the former. Or it was an image taken from an already stitched panorama, which almost always results in some of the images being distorted.

Weltraum
2010-Oct-28, 08:41 PM
As expected. Nothing in the foreground should match, they are in two completely different locations.

To me the second image without the LM visible looks like it's distorted, the fiducials (crosshairs) are not symmetrical. So it could be that the poster stretched the latter image in order to better match the former. Or it was an image taken from an already stitched panorama, which almost always results in some of the images being distorted.

I would wager that the tilt was a little different, as it will depend at least in part on the slope of the ground where the photographing astronaut was standing in each case. And those background mountains are farther away than one might guess. As has been explained elsewhere, the airlessness of the moon fools our natural perception, since we're used to atmospheric hazing or whatever the proper term would be for that.

That video abuses a good song from Enigma, too. That creep.

LaurelHS
2010-Oct-29, 03:33 AM
What's the name of the song, just out of curiosity?

tvsinesperanto
2010-Oct-29, 11:25 AM
"seem" being the operative word here...

Now look very carefully at the animation in the video, and you will see that the lowlife who created that video simply aligned the very contrasty areas, ie the skyline, and then uses an incomplete soft fade between frames - he makes sure he doesn't fade it *completely*!! That way it looks as if some of the rocks are on both images, because of course they do not completely disappear. Like I said, it's a lame, dishonest card-trick, designed to fool the casual viewer. IMNSHO, this sort of deliberate manipulation is absolutely shameful. It shows the depths to which these scammers will go to.


Ask me what I really think.. :D

BINGO! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Yep, this explains it perfectly. It also explains why, as I said in my original post...


if you look closely, a very slight ghost of the LM is still there in the "disappeared" frame

The dirty little lying <language>! I guess that just goes to show that they aren't past fabricating evidence to support their claims.

Thanks again, this was driving me nuts.

Cheers,
TV

Swift
2010-Oct-29, 03:03 PM
tvsinesperanto

Glad we could help you out, but please, child-friendly language, even if the description is applicable.

tvsinesperanto
2010-Oct-30, 07:35 AM
tvsinesperanto

Glad we could help you out, but please, child-friendly language, even if the description is applicable.

My apologies. The word I used isn't one that I would have expected to be considered inappropriate or obscene. Perhaps it's a cultural thing.

I will, however, tone it down further in future.

Cheers,
TV