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View Full Version : Anybody written a book to debunk the conspiracy theorists?



BigGig
2003-Jul-16, 04:44 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm new to these forums- be gentle, I have been reading the clavius web site, which is a breath of fresh air - the buzz of luna conspiracy is still reasonably fresh over here in Aus, I was wondering if there was a book on the subject giving the same evidence as the web site. If not, do I need permission to print out the web pages themselves or do I just go for it. I am an aircraft engineer, but a bit of a space newbie, I always seem to be arguing (discussing politely!) with someone who still believes this conspiracy stuff and I want to arm myself with as much knowlege as possible. I was actually thinking of conducting a talk at one of the local universities to present the evidence!

Cheers.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-16, 04:47 AM
You're in luck!

http://www.badastronomy.com/book/index.html

Papa Bear
2003-Jul-16, 04:50 AM
Welcome! You're in luck. The name of this site is also the name of a fun and informative book. The Bad Astronomer (or Himself, as I like to say) has written the best book for newbies to debunking (imho)

I'm bettin' you can order it here! (And Phil -- ahem -- Himself is NOT paying me to plug)

Have fun!

Musashi
2003-Jul-16, 04:54 AM
Your best bet is probably to order it, I have not seen it at any of the numerous book stores in my area (and that makes me mad!). :x

jrkeller
2003-Jul-16, 05:18 AM
Also, Jim Oberg (http://www.jamesoberg.com/) is writing a book specifically geared to debunking the moon hoax myth.

BTW, welcome on board. Ask any questions about the moon hoax you'd like.

BigGig
2003-Jul-16, 05:41 AM
Thanks Guys,

I'll grab a copy.

jrkeller, I did have one question asked of me regarding the speeding up of the film which makes the astronauts look like they are moving in an earth type gravity. has this been covered, I haven't seen it.

Peter B
2003-Jul-16, 07:28 AM
G'day BigGig, welcome to the BABB. It's good to see another Aussie on the board (there are a few of us around).

Can you give us a little more info about the question, please, as there are a couple of aspects which could be covered.

For example, on Apollo 14, there's video of a pendulum, caused when a long strap is left to swing freely on the side of the LM as it sits on the Moon. If this had been filmed on Earth, the video would have to be slowed down by a different amount than for watching astronauts cavort around in artificially low gravity. (There's a discussion of this on the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.)

On the other hand, a point JayUtah makes somewhere in a thread here is something about the relationship between astronaut movements affected by muscle movement and those affected by gravity. The former happen at pretty much the same speed they'd happen on Earth, while the latter are slower, due to the reduced gravity. (At least, I think that's how the argument goes.)

Also, there are the other effects you see in the videos which are inconsistent with them being filmed on Earth and slowed down, such as ballistic dust, or flags not stirring when astronauts walk past them.

BigGig
2003-Jul-16, 07:48 AM
Hi Pete,

I have been checking out some of the other hoax sites and their conterparts and have found some answers, thanks for the reply though.

The thing that really gets me about this whole thing, which ,to me, should be a whopping alarm bell for anyone reading them is that all the sites that are saying that the landings were fake give a few sensational comments and then go on to say "buy the book or video for all the details". Whereas the sites which debunk these theories are giving lots of substantial information for free.

I love seeing the faces of those who smugly state (usually at a dinner party or gathering) that the landings were false, after I give some rational explanations to everything.

man on the moon
2003-Jul-16, 07:52 AM
i can only imagine what that would be like. :)

welcome biggig, hope you can stay and enjoy some good conversations in the future! be careful though...it can be addicting. :D

BigGig
2003-Jul-16, 08:11 AM
Hey Man,

Thanks and yes this can be very addictive, It almost gets to the point where you want someone to get up and say 'you know the moon landings were fake' just so you can tell them otherwise. Although I am guilty of a bit of smugness especially when armed with a few facts!

Peter B
2003-Jul-16, 08:37 AM
The thing that really gets me about this whole thing, which ,to me, should be a whopping alarm bell for anyone reading them is that all the sites that are saying that the landings were fake give a few sensational comments and then go on to say "buy the book or video for all the details". Whereas the sites which debunk these theories are giving lots of substantial information for free.

I think you hit the nail on the head there. What it seems to boil down to is a lack of critical thinking skills; many people don't know how to challenge a claim, or even think to challenge something stated authoritatively.

Another Australian on the board, AGNFuel, is in the process of preparing a CD which teaches critical thinking in the guise of debunking the moon hoax, as part of a uni course I think. And at the Australian Skeptics National Conference in August (here in Canberra) I'll be giving a talk with a similar theme at a session aimed at school-age kids.

Many people look at what we do and say, "So what, it's got no effect on my life whether the Moon landings happened." What they miss is that if shysters like Bart Sibrel can be convincing, what about other people who might be out to mislead them, whether used car salesmen, politicians or Pan Pharmaceutical executives.

PS, BigGig, do you follow the AFL? If so, I'll warn you, I'm a Collingwood supporter! :D

BigGig
2003-Jul-16, 09:12 AM
Pete,

Go the Dockers!

You know they did land on the moon!

Do you belong to a skeptics society? I get into so much trouble (with my wife especially) and get labelled 'negative' when all I want is controlled evidence that supports claims or theories. The moon landing information gives credible evidence that they did occur, I even tried some of the lighting experiments conducted in Clavius. They actually win alot of people over because it is a quick and easy way to counter a lot of Sibrel at al's so called evidence. Do you have any more information on your conference - I won't be able to make it but I am certainly interested.
You can email any details if you have the time, the email button is operational I believe.

Cheers.

JayUtah
2003-Jul-16, 04:00 PM
I was wondering if there was a book on the subject giving the same evidence as the web site.

I'm the Clavius webmaster, in case that's not already obvious. I have a book outlined that uses much of the same evidence as Clavius, but takes a slightly different organizational approach and also illustrates the general pitfalls of conspiracism using the moon hoax as an example. It's on hold right now pending the publication of Jim Oberg's book. Jim has expressed interest in using Clavius material, so I will wait to see how much of it he uses and in what capacity. I want to avoid diluting the market for either of us.

Jim is a published author, and many of these ideas will sound better coming from him. He already has name recognition. However it has been too easy in the past to dismiss Jim because he has close ties to NASA. I don't, therefore based on what Jim covers (and doesn't cover) I can offer a complimentary book from someone not associated in any way with NASA.

Before I "fix" the subject matter in printed form, I'd like to use the web site to get an idea of how best to argue against the hoax. So Clavius will be the primary repository of information for a while.

If not, do I need permission to print out the web pages themselves or do I just go for it.

In the case of Clavius, you can print out the whole site, if you want, and give it to people. You just can't try to make money off of it or claim that you wrote it. That's the blanket license.

I am an aircraft engineer, but a bit of a space newbie ...

Not a lot of difference. I've got experience in both spacecraft and aircraft, so I can assure you that most of what you know about aircraft will translate fairly directly to spacecraft.

I was actually thinking of conducting a talk at one of the local universities to present the evidence!

Please do! You'll find it generates a lot of legitimate and healthy interest in space, science, and engineering.

I did have one question asked of me regarding the speeding up of the film which makes the astronauts look like they are moving in an earth type gravity. has this been covered, I haven't seen it.

It's in bits and pieces throughout Bad Astronomy, and I don't cover it yet on Clavius.

Basically it's subjective opinion. If you speed up the film 2X and it looks natural to you, that's your conclusion. It doesn't really prove that it was done that way since you can argue it's just a convenient feature of mathematics for the apparent motion to work out that way. The force of gravity differs by a factor of six, so vertical velocities should differ by a factor of the square root of six: 2.45. Altering the time scale by a factor of two comes close.

But the problem is that the conspiracists show you a few seconds of film that looks good sped up, and then they imply that it's all like that. It's not hard to find clips that, when sped up 2X, look very comical. The "fallacy of limited scope" says that an explanation that covers only a small amount of applicable evidence is not a very good explanation. If it explains only five seconds of video and doesn't explain the other 30 hours of it, then it's probably not how it was done.

If you dig deeper into why the video looks comical sped up 2X you get into what Peter talks about. In diminished gravity you may bound around in what appears to be slow motion, or drop things that fall gently to the surface. But your other motor activities -- e.g., changing a film magazine, opening a sample bag -- don't slow down because gravity is less. They happen at the same speed in earth gravity, lunar gravity, or in microgravity. These actions are sped up ridiculously and just don't appear natural. It makes it hard to believe that 2X is the "natural" speed of the action you're watching.

There are other obvious telltales such as the Apollo 14 strap.

...give a few sensational comments and then go on to say "buy the book or video for all the details".

It's a big alarm bell for me, but it doesn't seem to be a problem for those predisposed to accept the arguments. Generally one has the right to be compensated for his work, but when a book promises to be "irrefutable evidence" and ends up being crud, I get suspicious. When I go back to those authors and say, "Would you please reconcile your argument with this fact?", and they handwave or avoid the issue, I begin to be less impressed with the theory that they're honest people trying to make an honest living.

I love seeing the faces of those who smugly state (usually at a dinner party or gathering) that the landings were false, after I give some rational explanations to everything.

When someone says that, and it's in a context where a discussion is appropriate, I usually say something like, "I'm an engineer and I used to work in aerospace, and I've studied those theories for years and have found them to be highly ignorant." Most casual readers mistake these conspiracist authors for some kind of expert. When they hear the opinions of other experts they usually back off a bit. Reasonable people, when they see the pattern in the debunking arguments, usually abandon the belief. The pattern they see amounts to, "The author doesn't know what he's talking about."

BigGig
2003-Jul-16, 11:35 PM
Thanks Jay,

Boy you really do go to alot of effort to reply to people, you must be typing all day!

Many thanks to everyone for answers and the welcome - this is a great community.

Cheers.

JayUtah
2003-Jul-16, 11:58 PM
No, I just type fast.