PopSci does the Moon Hoax

Contributed by
Sep 30, 2008
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The magazine Popular Science has an article online that pretty much mocks the Moon Hoaxers. Yay!

They interviewed me for the article a few weeks ago, and that part starts on the second page. I say the usual stuff you'd expect from me. A few relatively small things in the article stand out to me which need correcting:

1) Sibrel didn't work on the Fox TV show. Some of his footage was used, but last I heard he said they didn't have the right to use it. He was interviewed for it and appeared in it, though.

2) I don't know if my Fox debunking spawned other sites, but a lot did crop up. That's the web for ya! A good idea is generally thought of by more than one person.

3) The author misspelled Penn Jillette's name. Heh.

But I am a little ticked the way the article ends. In what looks like yet another attempt at journalistic "balance" he equivocated about the hoax:

Though the hoaxers claims usually disappear when held up to the light, there is one question that sticks in one's craw: what happened to the official videotapes of the Apollo 11 landing? [...]

But those priceless historical images weren’t put in a vault at the Smithsonian like they should have been. According to NASA records, the official video images of the moon landing were stored in 2,612 boxes at a government warehouse. Between 1975 and 1979, the Goddard Space Center requested all but two boxes of tapes and never returned them to the National Archives. Now, the 13,000 reels of data are nowhere to be found. In 2006, NASA began a dedicated agency-wide hunt, but to date, the images haven’t shown up. “Despite the challenges of the search,” a NASA release states, “NASA does not consider the tapes to be lost.” But the hoaxers and moon doubters do.

I don't think "that sticks in one's craw", and it's hardly evidence of hoaxery. How could it be, with all the other evidence we have, including tapes from other missions? Also, I've worked at a government facility, and to me it's amazing they were able to keep track of everything they did! It's too bad the tapes were lost, of all things, but it doesn't surprise me that some things were lost, stolen, or just plain disappeared. So I wish the author had phrased that better.

All in all though, despite that, it's a pretty good article. It's moving up Digg, too.