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Moon Landing

So I like to think that normally I'm a rational person. I'm always making fun of conspiracy theorists on this blog.

But on this memorable day - the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Lightyear Aldrin, and Michael Collins landing the Apollo 11 spacecraft on the surface of the moon - I have to confess that where space travel is concerned I am a conspiracy theorist.

Don't get me wrong. I think the notion of going to moons and other planets is very cool. I've seen The Right Stuff, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Mission to Mars more times than I can count. And only two of those are goood movies. Guess which.

But I digress. For all the very cool space shuttle missions we've had and all the credible satellite photos and video of those missions, I've always had a little problem believing the moon landings.

Even when I was a nerdish kid, before I became cooler than the other side of the pillow, I was thinking "I'll bet this stuff was taped using 8 mm, somewhere in the Arizona desert."

I know historians and rocket scientists have given lots of reasons why the conspiracy theories don't make sense in this case - including why the U.S. flag appears to be waving in the breeze, even though there's no atmosphere on the moon that would facilitate a breeze (the flag had rods in it so that it would appear stretched out.

But I just can't buy it. Why haven't we gone back since? Yeah, the moon's no vacation spot. But I'll bet the could've put up a Pauly Shore-esque biodome on its surface by now.

I hope the next planned trip to the moon in a few years will turn me into a believer.

http://twitter.com/jamesburnett

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Wavemancali

James, not believing in the moon landings is the equivalent of being a creationist who believes the world is only 6000 years old.

Both are denying solid facts in evidence and make you look seriously uneducated and unworthy of being taken seriously in any future conversations when it comes to anything scientific.

Did you miss the pictures of the lunar landing site this week in the news? You think they were faked too?

We have landed on the moon 6 times. Not once... 6 times. When you say it didn't happen you're calling a lot of people liars buddy.

I suggest you do some reading before you shovel the sh*t you're talking.

As for why we haven't been back there are 3 reasons. The first and biggest is money. The second is there's really not a lot of value in it. We got enough moon rocks and stuff to do any research we needed. The third is safety. We don't take the same risks with astronauts that we did back in the late 60's.

The only reason we initially went to the moon was to beat the Russians. Cold war posturing was actually good for something.

James B.

Wavemancali, you should do some reading, buddy, some re-reading, 'cause I never called anybody in this post a liar. I never suggested anyone was a liar. I simply said, with some humor, I might add, that I have been a skeptic for some time now.

Since when has skepticism been equivalent to calling someone a liar?

By your logic, I could call you a liar for simply disapproving of and disagreeing with my opinion here.

Yes, I saw the lunar pics. Again, re-read the post. I said that even as a kid, I speculated that the pics were shot in the Arizona desert or something.

Get off the soapbox, buddy, and lighten up.

I have a relatively thick skin, but I dont' ever call people liars unless I know that they lied.

Wavemancali

There's a difference between skepticism about an unknown and skepticism about proven facts.

For example, many people claim to have seen ghosts. I am skeptical about the existence of ghosts. I fully understand how some people who claim to have seen ghosts themselves would be offended by my skepticism. Because essentially I am saying,I don't believe you.

But skepticism on the moon landings is a completely different beast. It is like saying I doubt the world is round, or I doubt the moon isn't really made up of green cheese.

Any Joe blow with a decent laser and a telescope can conduct his own experiments to interact with equipment left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts.

What's the difference between calling a person a liar and saying I don't know if I believe you are telling the truth when you have the means of verifying the truthfulness of their claims?

Your "logic" argument is complete junk. My disagreement is not skeptical. Never once did I doubt a word you said. I just told you that you were incorrect. That's not calling you a liar that's calling you misinformed and wrong.

I'm skeptical about most politicians claiming that they have my best interest at heart. I would definitely class this as calling most politicians either liars, or at the mildest not completely honest. So yes, I have always held that when you claim skepticism about the claims of a person, you are in essence calling them a liar.

There is a way to be skeptical about a person's claims without calling them a liar and that is to be skeptical about their ability to complete a task. For example, I am very skeptical about Obama closing Gitmo as he promised. While I don't doubt he was truthful when he said he was going to close it, I don't believe he has the ability to get the job done.

As for the lunar pics, I was talking about the new lunar pics this week. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html

The reason I get up on my soapbox on this one is that you are a journalist. Someone trusted to supply truth and facts out to the general public. Even jokes about the conspiracy possibly being true when there are tests that you can do to prove it happened really rubs me completely the wrong way.

Sorry if you don't see where I am coming from.

James B.

Sorry you're ruffled, but one more time, get your criticism of me right: I didn't complain that you called me a liar. I called you out for suggesting my skepticism amounted to calling other folks liars.

I am skeptical of people who think JFK was shot by multiple people from multiple angles. I think they're loons, but I can't call them liars. I wasn't there!

Either way, we clearly have different standards of what is OK to joke about. My standard? Just about anything but death, serious illness, or my mother. Not sure what yours is.

James B.

And this blog is sometimes peppered with my opinion, for better or worse. You want pure journalism, void of my personal take, I'll start linking my articles on the blog again.

Wavemancali

Ok, I think we're getting somewhere here, stay with me.

Let me rephrase what you just said and see if you agree with me. Instead of:

"I am skeptical of people who think JFK was shot by multiple people from multiple angles. I think they're loons, but I can't call them liars. I wasn't there!"

I think what you should say is:

"I am skeptical that JFK was shot by multiple people at multiple angles. I think people who believe this are mistaken and loonies."

Much of what we are arguing about here is semantics and language use.

Now here's where it gets down to brass tacks.

If you say "I am skeptical as to whether the moon landings ever happened" the only way to intemperate that statement in my opinion is to also say, "I don't believe 100% that Buzz Aldrin was telling the truth when he claims that he walked on the moon".

I don't see the difference between agreeing with the above statement or saying the above statement, and saying "Buzz Aldrin is a liar".

I don't see a difference.

og

You can be skeptical about who shot JFK, because we do not have a time machine to go back in time to a millisecond before the shot and record all the possibilities.

You cannot be skeptical about the moon landing, because it did, in fact, happen. And you can see the lander on the moon, right now. You can look through a powerful telescope, at the sea of tranquility, and you can see the lander. It's there. There is no question that it is there. It is a fact that can be demonstrated.

Being skeptical of the existence of litte green aliens or alien technology at Area 51 is perfectly normal; being skeptical of something that can be proven by ordinary means puts you in the tinfoil hat realm.

Me, I'm skeptical of the existence of conservatives. I'm pretty sure they exist, but the media as a general rule never reports on their presence. Unless they can be shown to have done something heinous.

Pamela

there are just tooooooooo many people involved in all the science of getting us there --
and home. Thousands.

And what about the 18 or so astronauts who went there. Why would they even be a part of scam.

They were all serious space explorers. Geesh.

Even being a skeptic in jest feeds the conspirators appetite.

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