| Some dare call it|
|What THEY don't want|
you to know!
The website moontruth.com was a website spoofing the Moon landing hoax conspiracy theory. Its main feature was a short video clip purported to be an outtake from the filming of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the lunar surface.
The website went viral in the early 2000s and the video still can be found on YouTube:
The site eventually came out as a parody, publishing a disclaimer stating that the clip is fake. This doesn't stop people from believing that it supports the hoax accusations, however.
In the video, "Armstrong" says "Sorry, Mr. Gorsky", a reference to an old joke/urban legend that claimed that the real Armstrong said "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky!" after he set foot on the lunar surface.
Wait, they fell for it?
One would think that only a small group of reasonably-"challenged" teenagers would fall for this sort of video. The fact that the humour is obvious and the production values being fairly mundane would be a dead give-away to the fact that it was a joke. Veteran conspiracy theorists Jack White and his buddy James H. Fetzer, however, do seem gullible (or desperate) enough to endorse it.
Fetzer's argument for it being real seems to be an ill-fated attempt to utilise Occam's razor to determine that it is genuine. He postulates only three possible scenarios to explain the video (these are paraphrased for clarity; Fetzer's original three are a little convoluted):
- The footage is real and from the Moon.
- The footage is a real out-take from the faking of the Moon landing.
- The footage is fake, designed to take the piss out of people gullible and/or stupid enough to believe Moon landing conspiracies.
Fetzer correctly discounts hypothesis 1 - as presumably there were no lighting rigs, production crew (without space suits) or directors there to film Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon. However, he takes a rather tremendous leap by discounting hypothesis no. 3 based on the fact that making a fake would have been expensive and questioning the motives of someone who would have made the fake, fake video. Given that the absurdity of the Moon landing hoax and the massive and impractical assumptions required to believe in the conspiracy, even if Fetzer's "conservative" $100,000 price tag for the video was realistic it would still be more likely to be a fake than a real out-take proving a conspiracy. This fake video could have had the budget of a Michael Bay movie and still be cheaper and simpler to produce than a fake Moon landing. Even so, his $100,000 figure is clutching at straws, film nerds could probably pull this off for a couple of hundred dollars tops, perhaps even for free if they had the right contacts with museums (the London Science Museum has a full scale replica of the lunar lander that would work fine for this sort of production) or props departments. You have seen some of the Star Wars fan films, right?
Of course, debunking the claims of authenticity is moot once the original authors have specifically come out and said it was false. However, in true conspiracy theorist fashion, this would likely be seen as just "part of the conspiracy" or "what they want you to think". Indeed, there is an entire sub-category of conspiracy theory that says these hoaxes are deliberately produced as a red herring to distract from and discredit the real conspiracy, which is of course real.
Demise of the website
Unfortunately, the site went down after its author(s) lost interest in maintaining it. The Wayback Machine has a copy, but it periodically becomes unavailable, as the domain has been acquired by domain squatters who sometimes disallow bots from crawling it - the Wayback Machine respects the settings in each site's robots.txt file and will hide archive copies if the current robots.txt does not allow bots to crawl the website. But the video is still on YouTube for all to see, and occasionally, be taken in by.
- Apollo 11 Moon Landing Footage Out-Take, Snopes.com
- The Education Forum, Fetzer / Burton Apollo Hoax debate thread, page 11img and page 12img
- Military Helping In Fake Moon Walk Rehearsal And The Mystery Ladderimg, by Ted Twietmeyer, Rense.com (because it's very hard to get a shirt with a "military" patch on the sleeve)