Farouk El-Baz

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El-Baz in 2020
Gneiss, tuff
and a little wacke

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Know your schist
Rock stars

Farouk El-Baz (1938- ) is an Egypt-born American geologist and selenologist, and former science adviser to Egypt's President Anwar Sadat. He was secretary of the landing site selection committee for NASA's Apollo Program. He was also one of several selenologists who trained the Apollo astronauts, teaching them to be productive and efficient during their limited time on the lunar surface. He is now Research Professor and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University.

Apollo landing sites[edit]

El-Baz's contributions to the Apollo program have been used as "evidence" by various cranks who think that NASA is involved in all kinds of nefarious stuff with mythological connections. According to them, El-Baz picked the landing sites and also the dates and times of the landings to conform to a ritual dedicated to worship of Isis, Osiris and Horus. While it may be almost true that he picked the sites, selection of dates and times was subject to technical considerations that had nothing to do with El-Baz's field of expertise.[note 1]

Claims about El-Baz were featured in Ancient Aliens Season 4, Episode 5 - "The NASA Connection".[note 2] According to the episode, the lunar landing sites and times were contrived to happen when Sirius, or Regulus, or the belt stars of Orion were at any of five elevations (-33°, -19.5°, 0°, +19.5°, and +33°) over the landing site.

They do not, it seems, ask themselves why only two of the six landing sites conform to this "model,"[note 3] nor how such elevations could have been contrived in light of the fact that even those two landings did not happen at the planned time.


  1. The main considerations were sun angle and the favorable orientation of the three large 80-ft radio dishes spaced out around the Earth.
  2. The relevant sequence starts at 05:08.
  3. Mintaka at 19.5° at the moment of landing of Apollo 12, with the landing occurring six minutes earlier than scheduled. Sirius at -33° at the moment of landing of Apollo 16, after a one-month launch delay and a 6-hour landing delay.