Technology & Science

Museum debunks moon landing conspiracy theorists

An Ohio museum is challenging the conspiracy theorists who argue Neil Armstrong's 1969 lunar landing was a hoax.

An Ohio museum is challenging the conspiracy theorists who argue Neil Armstrong's 1969 lunar landing was a hoax.

The Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta set up a display Saturday featuring some of the points that conspiracy theorists make to try to back up their claims that NASA faked the early moon landings.

The claims that the space agency staged all of its moon landings from 1969 to 1972 in a movie studio can be easily debunked with facts and science, education specialist Andrea Waugh told visitors to the museum, named after Apollo 11 astronaut and hometown hero Neil Armstrong.

For example, conspiracy theorists argue that it is impossible for a U.S. flag photographed next to Armstrong and fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin to be fluttering in a lunar environment that lacks wind or an atmosphere.

The flag had a horizontal bar attached to it at the top to keep the flag from hanging limply down the pole, Waugh said.

And distorted shadows that appear next to astronauts in some of NASA's photographs — another sticking point with nonbelievers — are the result of sunlight reflecting off the lunar landscape, she said.

"If it takes a controversy to get them here, that's fine with us," said Waugh.

The museum's explanations were enough to convince Janet Rosengarten, from nearby Sidney.

"I've never had any question about it," she told local newspaper The Lima News. "I saw Armstrong land on the moon when I was seven and I have no doubt it happened. But it's still fun to see the things people say who doubt it all."

The museum has one of Armstrong's Apollo-era space suits and other artifacts from his career and childhood.

Armstrong, 76, lives in suburban Cincinnati. Wapakoneta isabout 80 kilometres north of Dayton.

With files from the Associated Press