There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff — we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone seeing this today donates $5, we will meet our goal for 2018.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| Some dare call it|
|What THEY don't want|
you to know!
Jarrah White (born April 14, 1980) is an Australian conspiracy theorist known mostly for his long-running series of YouTube videos claiming that the Moon landings were hoaxed. In addition to the MoonFaker videos, he also maintains a website with the same name and his beliefs about the hoax have led him to a few confrontations with notable skeptics on and off the Internet. He likes to style himself "Grandson of the Apollo Moon Hoax Theory".
Beliefs and methods
Most of White's "evidence" appears to be borrowed from earlier conspiracy theorists, notably Ralph René, with whom White claims to have become friends prior to René's death. White has reproduced many of René's calculations and theories in his own videos, perpetuating basic errors attributable to René's lack of understanding of basic mathematical and scientific concepts.
Credentials and background
According to the biography on White's website, he "holds Certificate III & IV with distinctions in Screen (a Film & TV course) at Sydney Institute of TAFE", which would explain why his videos have better production values than the average webcam-shot YouTube dreck. He also claims to be studying for a BSc in astrophysics.
He has been posting YouTube videos in his "Moonfaker" series since 2007, but the earliest record of his Apollo obsession on the world wide web dates back to 2003, when he was an active member (later banned) of The Technodrome, a discussion board dedicated to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
White accepts donations via his Moonfaker website. He also runs a "Paypal fundraise"[sic] entitled Fly Jarrah to the Moon, in which he "encourages propagandists and everyone who believes in Apollo to raise $500,000 to pay for himself and an accompanying believer to take this proposed tourist flight".
White has also apparently taken over the sales side of the late Ralph René's website. For example, a 12-page pamphlet explaining that pi is equal to 3.146264 is available for $14 by emailing Jarrah White.
White presents a long list of Frequently Asked Questions on his website that are intended to supplement his videos; however these suggest either a basic lack of knowledge about space flight and celestial observations or a series of irrelevant red herrings.
A few examples follow:
Q: Weren’t there independent parties tracking Apollo all the way to the moon and back? A: No. There are some known Ham radio operators who attest to having picked up signals from Apollo (Paul Wilson, Richard Knadle, Larry Baysinger, Sven Grahn), but none of them can attest to having tracked these probes all the way to the moon and back. Grahn for example only testifies to having picked up signals from Apollo 17 when it was in earth orbit, when it was on the moon and in lunar orbit. He openly admits to not tracking it the whole way there and back.
Here, Jarrah decides to address a very specific aspect of a claim made, not by NASA, but by someone on the internet. Faced with the incontrovertible fact that radio operators unconnected to NASA did pick up Apollo signals at various points during the mission, Jarrah instead frames the issue as being about independent observers tracking Apollo all the way to the moon. This, however, is a red herring as it would be impossible for any one individual to track the Apollo craft all the way from the Earth to the moon, something which Jarrah, oddly enough mentions himself. The journey took approximately three days, during which time the moon would be below the horizon for great lengths of time for an observer in any given location on Earth. Hence the need for the Deep Space Network (DSN) and Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) of receiving stations around the world to maintain constant contact.
To illustrate the problem, imagine that Carl has driven his car from point X to point Z. Due to a hill obscuring the view at point Y along the route, however, Alice has only seen Carl somewhere between X and Y, while Bob has seen Carl only between Y and Z. Jarrah is essentially claiming that because neither Alice nor Bob have seen Carl driving the entire X to Z distance we should believe that Carl didn't drive at all, and probably doesn't have either a car or a driver's licence.
Not only is Jarrah constructing a red herring, but by framing the "Q" in this very specific way, he's setting up a straw man and a false dilemma for his "A": The intermittent signals picked up at various points along the moon journey confirm NASA's own tracking, and the demand for a complete independent tracking service is simply irrelevant and unreasonable. A series of point observations, even if intermittent, work just fine, Jarrah's false dilemma of either an independent observer tracking Apollo all the way, or "NASA must/could have faked it", notwithstanding.
Q: What is the most compelling evidence that the moon missions were faked? A: First, as demonstrated by James Van Allen’s own findings, the radiation belts that surround earth would have been lethal to astronauts.
This is categorically untrue, as attested to by Dr Van Allen himself: "The recent Fox TV show, which I saw, is an ingenious and entertaining assemblage of nonsense. The claim that radiation exposure during the Apollo missions would have been fatal to the astronauts is only one example of such nonsense."
- Turtles on The Moon?, thread started by Jarrah White on 6 November 2004
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The definition of "independent" is also vague. Jarrah insists that the only "real" independent observers were those working at places without any kind of affiliation with NASA, discounting, for instance, the local non-NASA personnel on the Australian MSFN tracking station, because the station was NASA owned. Why such local would help keep protect the conspiracy for decades afterwards is anyone's guess.