View Full Version : Apollo 14 Fake Golfing Photo.

2002-May-21, 05:25 AM
On the aulis website there is a section devoted to Apollo 14 and specifically the a photo of Alan Shepard hitting a golf ball and Ed Mitchel watching him. The photo is obviously a fake. It also doesn't appear on any of the NASA websites.


The only place the photo does appear is in Alan Shepard's book. Does anyone know the origin of this photo.

2002-May-21, 05:35 AM
It's a composite image made specifically for Alan Shepard's book I believe. I also believe the image text/explanation in the book will say how/why the image was made. I remember someone telling me about it long ago.

Basically there were no good pics of it (the golfing), and only fuzzy video, so Shepard wanted a clear pic in his book, and had one made.

Something like that anyway...

2002-May-21, 02:55 PM
If the question is whether that's a photo that NASA claimed at any time was authentic, the answer is no. Aulis seems most upset that it's obviously a composite and isn't clearly labelled as such in the caption, and that the Great Al Shepard would dare give his imprimetur to any book that didn't contain only 99.44% pure authentic Apollo illustrations.

In other words it's Bennett and Percy trying to stir up by improperly assuming an expectation of authenticity and reliability, much as they assume the Apollo missions were fake because the movie [i]Apollo 13 ("officially NASA-sanctioned") takes liberties. It's so fun to hear them defend these practices on their web site: "Why, no, we're not grasping at straws. Why do you ask?"

2002-May-21, 03:24 PM
This photo is obviously a fake. First and foremost is who took the picture? My question is what are the origins of the photo? My guess is that Alan Shepard had it made for his book.

2002-May-22, 05:36 AM
"This photo is obviously a fake."

No, it is a composite image made from several Hasselblad images.

" First and foremost is who took the picture?"

Composite from Hasselblad images, not one picture.

" My question is what are the origins of the photo? My guess is that Alan Shepard had it made for his book."

And you are of course correct. As I noted above, there was no pictures of the event, so he had a composite made to show what it probably would have looked like. Not much unlike a artist's drawing.

2002-May-22, 02:11 PM
To me a picture made from several photographs is a fake. It's quite obvious, without even going to the Aulis site, that it is made up off several photographs. I've gone to the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal and I have a pretty good idea which ones were used.

2002-May-22, 02:31 PM
"To me a picture made from several photographs is a fake."

Ok I wont argue with you on that since english is my third language, personally I dont think it's necessarily 'fake' if it was not used making the impression that it was a real image and not a composite.

2002-May-22, 04:07 PM
Whether one calls it a fake or a composite or a dramatization is irrelevant. We know Shepard hit a golf ball on the moon. We know there were no photos taken of the event, just a low quality video. I haven't read Shepard's book so I don't know if anywhere he refers to the picture as a composite or an impression of what his drive looked like as it happened. If there had been a clear Hasselblad photo and this "fake" appeared in its place in the book, there might be some reason to wonder what was being hidden. The simple fact is, he hit the first extraterrestrial golf drive and wanted it documented in his book. Creating an image to approximate a real event isn't deceptive - it's artistic license.

Technically the photo is a fake - but fakery implies an intent to deceive. Since we can't ask Shepard about the photo, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and conclude he simply wanted his feat to be presented photographically in his book. Probably most of us would have done the same.

2002-May-23, 12:16 AM
Has everyone missed the real humour - dare I say "iron-y" - in all this?

Here is the only photo from the Apollo missions that even NASA agrees is fake/composite/dramatized, and it's of someone taking a golf shot! Vanity, thy name is duffer.

I guess we're lucky Al didn't claim to have caught a trout in a lunar lake, or we'd have a "photo" showing us how big it was!!

2002-May-23, 06:45 PM
From the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal:

[Readers should note that, while the golf-shot picture in Al's book Moonshot bears some resemblance to the TV images, it is actually a composite made up of pieces of various Hasselblad images. The only actual record of the golf shot is the TV coverage. Al and Ed had already put their Hasselblads into the ETB at about 135:06:06. In the composite, the LM and LM shadow come from a left/right reversal of AS14-66-9276 (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a14/10100457.jpg). Note the LRRR which is sitting in the footpad of the ladder strut. In reality, the LR-Cubed was deployed at the ALSEP site during the first EVA. Both of the astronaut images in the composite come from a pan Al took at the beginning of EVA-1 shortly before 114:53:34 (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a14/a14-prelim1.html#1145334). The image of "Al" is actually a left/right reversal of Ed's image from AS14-66-9240 (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a14/10100421.jpg). In the real photograph, Ed is doing a TV pan. In the composite, the TV camera has been removed and the golf club has been added. The image of "Ed" in the composite is taken from another frame in Al's earlier pan, AS14-66-9241 (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a14/10100422.jpg). And, once again, the TV had been removed from a left-right reversal of the original images. Similarly, the image of the U.S. flag has been taken from AS14-66-9232 (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a14/10100413.jpg)- or one of the other tourist pictures Al and Ed took during the flag deployment. I have not yet identified the precise images from which the MET and the S-Band were taken; but, the MET image is very similar to the one in AS14-67-9361 (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a14/10100542.jpg), which Al took at the ALSEP site at the end of the ALSEP deployment. Finally, the ball and the shadows of the S-Band legs - like the golf club - appear to have been drawn in.]

[Not long after I bought a copy of Moonshot, Andrew Chaikin and I had a long telephone conversation about the composite and worked out - at least in general terms - how it was put together. Journal Contributor David Harland tells me that the 1994 hardback UK edition published by Virgin Books contains the composite, while Brian Lawrence tells me that the 1995 edition does not.]

The Curtmudgeon
2002-May-23, 07:23 PM
Updated golf 'photo' (http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/franknernest/archive/franknernest-20020523.html)

The (well, okay, not a photo) Curtmudgeon

2002-May-23, 07:44 PM
Aulis' response after reading that info in the ALSJ about the composite golf photo: "Oops, never mind!"

2002-May-23, 08:59 PM
Aulis' lengthy diatribe on the "fake" photo is still there. They are still complaining about why Alan Shepard would conscientiously include a "fake" photo in his "official NASA" book.

Clearly our esteemed authors Bennett and Percy haven't mastered the basic historian's skill of discriminating between primary and secondary sources.

2002-May-25, 07:56 PM
I've seen some obviously fake photos of Christopher Columbus's fleet, Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. I think they probably depict reasonably accurately what the ships looked like as they set out across the Atlantic - but for obvious reasons, real pictures of the actual event don't exist. By Percy and Bennett's logic this calls into question whether Columbus even made the trip - and by extension no-one following him did either, at least prior to the invention of photography. So those old settlements - St Augustine Florida is a good example - must be fakes. The mind boggles!
The friggin' golf shot wasn't photographed. Why expend any effort at all trying to prove that a photo that was never taken was indeed never taken? Who's zoomin' who?!!!!!!!