Author Topic: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality  (Read 2566 times)

Offline ApolloEnthusiast

  • Venus
  • **
  • Posts: 32
My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« on: April 05, 2019, 12:25:25 PM »
Hello,

I have three purposes for making this post.  The first is introduction.  I've been reading here for years and decided to start posting and thought I should introduce myself first.  I'm a professional musician with a lifelong interest in the sciences, and consider myself to have a logical mind capable of learning about subjects with which I have minimal formal training.  I'm from the US, but I hope those abroad won't hold that against me as I like to think I am not a stereotypical American  :)

Second, I wanted to talk a bit about how I came to be here, especially while we have an active JR Knowing, who I think could benefit from my story.  As someone who grew up in a world where the Moon landings were a part of history, I spent a good deal of my life taking them for granted and not really appreciating the magnitude of the accomplishment.  It was simply another item on the long list of things that happened before I was born.  I don't know exactly what precipitated the thought, but one evening as I looked up at the Moon, I started thinking about the trip to go there.  I was overcome with a sense of wonder as I imagined what it would be like to try to make that journey.  I was overcome with a desire to know everything I could about the people who had made this absurd undertaking into an actual reality.  I had finally come to understand at a visceral level what made the Apollo project so special and I wanted to learn more.

As so many contemporary layperson research projects begin, I started with the internet.  What wonders and secrets were available at the touch of just a few keys?  As I'm sure many of you are well aware, though I found information about Apollo, I also quickly encountered my first real brush against the allegations that it was all a trick.  I won't rehash all of the claims, but within days I think I'd seen about everything, from damning pictures, to the radiation showstopper.  As a layperson, I didn't have enough information to dismiss these claims out of hand, and even the possibility that this epic adventure could have been nothing but a sham was emotionally devastating for me. 

Here is where my story is different from many of the conspiracy cranks.  While recognizing that I didn't have enough information to dismiss these claims, no matter how badly I wanted them to be false, I also recognized that I didn't have enough information to accept them at face value either.  I resolved to clear the slate of both my wide eyed wonder at the achievement and my fear that it could have been faked, and to begin doing whatever research would be required to satisfy myself one way or another which claim was valid.  I knew that if the project were real, there would be evidence demonstrating that fact, and if the project were faked, there would be evidence demonstrating that fact.  Either way, one answer was true, and the information existed to resolve which if I would be willing to look for it. 

It wasn't long before I found the Clavius site, which had an extremely convenient, nearly comprehensive if not completely comprehensive catalog of the many different claims used to try and discredit the Moon landings.  I'm sure you're all well aware, these claims were accompanied by explanations of each claim and why it was misleading or incorrect.  While some of the explanations were easily understood using nothing more than my high school physics background, some of those explanations, the photo analysis and the radiation in particular, involved technical terms that I didn't understand well enough to confirm that the explanations were accurate for myself.  My skepticism that was necessary for me to find the truth about this issue prohibited me from accepting science explanations I didn't fully understand just as I wouldn't accept the hoax claims with insufficient knowledge.  Why should I accept the Clavius information at face value any more than the websites promoting the hoax?

What became immediately apparent upon examining the information at Clavius is that I wasn't necessarily expected to take it at face value.  There were no vague inferences or questions meant to lead someone in a certain direction.  I researched photo analysis and radiation.  Not enough to use the information in a professional context, but enough to recognize that the information at Clavius could be independently substantiated from experts in their fields.  The information held up consistently as I investigated source after source and familiarized myself with technical terms and their applications.  When I attempted to apply this scrutiny to the hoax claims it was quite clear that they weren't independently verifiable, were largely inconsistent, and all of them founded on a general ignorance or deliberate obfuscation of well understood scientific principles, that even I, without any significant training, was able to learn well enough to apply to the problems.

I know conspiracy people like to think of themselves as "free thinkers", unwilling to accept what others insist upon as truth.  Somehow, this doesn't apply to the vague inferences and provocative questions that are the beginning and end of hoax claims.  These can be accepted at face value with hardly any scrutiny whatsoever.  Not to sound immodest, but I believe my personal experience is a better reflection of actual free thinking, in that I took full responsibility for gathering all of the information necessary to satisfy my curiosity.  I would ask people like JR Knowing to let go of all preconception, and address the entire issue with equal scrutiny.  Don't trust Jay, or any of the other engineers and scientists here.  But don't trust the people who make hoax claims either.  Question everything, even the things that you want to believe, and see what is still standing at the end of a true intellectually honest inquiry. 

Finally, I just wanted to express appreciation to anyone here involved with the Clavius site; it is an incredible resource.  And thanks to everyone here for further expanding my understanding and appreciation for all things Apollo.  I've lurked here for years, and the enormous wealth of knowledge and expertise is tremendous and I enjoy learning more and more about what I consider the greatest achievement in the history of humanity.

If this was too long or too boring, I apologize.  I know it's not really part of the hoax theory, but I thought it somewhat relevant for people who may be struggling with how to find the truth.  I'm looking forward to interacting with everyone more actively, and I promise with fewer words next time  :)

Offline JayUtah

  • Neptune
  • ****
  • Posts: 3180
    • Clavius
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2019, 01:03:36 PM »
I'm a professional musician with a lifelong interest in the sciences...

Hi! I'm a professional engineer with a lifelong interest in music.  Clearly there will be much to talk about.

Quote
Don't trust Jay, or any of the other engineers and scientists here.  But don't trust the people who make hoax claims either.  Question everything, even the things that you want to believe, and see what is still standing at the end of a true intellectually honest inquiry.

That's as clear a summary of rational skepticism as can be had.  Clavius was never meant to succeed by hiding information or presenting only the cherry-picked facts that lead to a desired conclusion.  It's a summary, so by that nature it glosses things and resorts at times to ipse dixit.  But it's a summary written with the understanding that if it ultimately cannot stand up to scrutiny based on the best knowledge in each applicable field, then it will have failed.  If you're following up on something you read there, then you're using it in the way it was meant to be used.  If you're coming away with the impression that it's an honest presentation, then you've validated its goals.

Quote
If this was too long or too boring, I apologize.

As you've discovered, there is a wealth of expertise here, including people who well know the English language and how help people write it clearly and concisely.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline bknight

  • Neptune
  • ****
  • Posts: 2885
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2019, 01:08:56 PM »
Welcome to the forum lurker turned poster.  :)
I came here for a slightly different perspective.  I knew that Apollo was real, but I ran across some site that presented a case for fraud that I could not debunk, so I asked a direct questions what/how to debunk the observation of the HB. 
I got lots of help from everyone here and I have had some personal interchanges with some of the members.  Some had personal experiences that I am envious.  I had only one myself, talking to a female astronaut who had been scheduled for the next mission after the disastrous Columbia.  We discussed that and to her personality, she accepted the risks and still wanted to go.  Sadly I lost contact with her including forgetting her name so I can't check whether she made into orbit on one of the following flights of the shuttle.
But back to Apollo, I don't believe the program landed six crews on the Moon, rather I know it happened because of ll the data literally mountains that exist.
Kudos to Jay, onebigmonkey, ka9q, sts60, Abaddon and any others that have helped in my education to Apollo.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline jr Knowing

  • Earth
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2019, 01:18:00 PM »
Hi Apollo Enthusiast,

I agree with virtually everything you are saying. Of course, others will beg to differ :) .

Big fan of music myself. I wish I could play. Love all sorts of music but my 'era" revolves around '77-85' of alternative new wave and punk, The Clash, The Jam , Kate Bush etc.  Perhaps this is where I get this get all this skepticism of what the "man" is telling me. :)

Offline JayUtah

  • Neptune
  • ****
  • Posts: 3180
    • Clavius
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 01:34:39 PM »
I agree with virtually everything you are saying. Of course, others will beg to differ :) .

No, we don't beg to differ.  We differ while showing ample evidence of your duplicity.  You constantly say one thing and then behave in a contrary manner.  He is encouraging you to verify things for yourself.  Instead you knee-jerkedly dismiss criticism and cling to your suppositions and speculation, which you refuse to question.  You obviously don't agree with him.  Do you understand that implicit rejection is just as fallacious, and for the same reason, as implicit acceptance?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 01:37:39 PM by JayUtah »
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline ApolloEnthusiast

  • Venus
  • **
  • Posts: 32
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 02:33:37 PM »
I agree with virtually everything you are saying.
I find that difficult to believe, because your actions on this board are completely opposite of the philosophy underpinning what I wrote.  You have consistently made unsubstantiated claims and refused to accept or concede that you were wrong.  I deliberately avoided making any claim whatsoever until I was confident that the claim was firmly grounded in verifiable facts.

You have used the same vague inference style, incomprehensible interpretations, and gish gallop style common to the conspiracy community.  I reject the use of all of these on general principle.

You claim skepticism of "the man", but where is that skepticism towards whichever lunatics convinced you there was anything to doubt about the authenticity of the Apollo program?  Why are you so skeptical of science that, with enough motivation you can experimentally verify much of at home, but accept, seemingly without question, implications that impugn the work of half a million people without an apparent blink of the eye?

Offline JayUtah

  • Neptune
  • ****
  • Posts: 3180
    • Clavius
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 04:00:46 PM »
You claim skepticism of "the man", but where is that skepticism towards whichever lunatics convinced you there was anything to doubt about the authenticity of the Apollo program?

Indeed.  Jr Knowing probably didn't come up with that bit about Armstrong and "truth's protective layers" all by himself.  That's from Richard Hoagland, and it's been around for years.  It's such a spectacularly bad line of reasoning that it's hard to believe two people came up with it independently.  Maybe Jr didn't get it from a Hoagland source directly, but it's not likely to be an original thought.  The point remains that almost everyone who comes here to take his turn chipping away at the Apollo record has been primed to do so by some book, video, or web site.  And they have rarely, if ever, questioned those sources the same way they question "the Man."  Granted we all prefer sources that agree with what we already believe.  That's what rational skepticism seeks to overcome.  Don't just question "the man."  Question yourself too, and all you hold dear.

The "truth's protective layers" argument is purely interpretational.  The fact that Armstrong said those words is undisputed.  The dispute comes from what they were intended to mean, and that's mostly a lot of second-guessing, speculation, and innuendo on Hoagland's part.  He frames the facts and places them against a backdrop predicated largely on his own personal gripes with NASA.  Long ago, NASA apparently slighted him in some way, allegedly stealing his academic work.  And Hoagland has made it his mission for decades thereafter to discredit and demean NASA all he can, by whatever means.  Ironically Hoagland believes the Apollo missions were real.  Instead he believes that the truth being covered by "protective layers" is evidence of extraterrestrial life.  Starting with some comically inept manipulation of Apollo photographs, he has accused NASA of hiding evidence of large crystal domes on the Moon, life on Mars, etc.

Bringing this home, if Jr Knowing had followed his "suspicious" Armstrong quote to the origin, the guy who first threw out that line of reasoning, then he would have discovered that it's a guy with a pretty big axe to grind with NASA.  Maybe his framing, backdrop, etc. of the speech is going to be a little bit ... biased?
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline bknight

  • Neptune
  • ****
  • Posts: 2885
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 04:12:38 PM »
You claim skepticism of "the man", but where is that skepticism towards whichever lunatics convinced you there was anything to doubt about the authenticity of the Apollo program?

Indeed.  Jr Knowing probably didn't come up with that bit about Armstrong and "truth's protective layers" all by himself.  That's from Richard Hoagland, and it's been around for years.  It's such a spectacularly bad line of reasoning that it's hard to believe two people came up with it independently.  Maybe Jr didn't get it from a Hoagland source directly, but it's not likely to be an original thought.  The point remains that almost everyone who comes here to take his turn chipping away at the Apollo record has been primed to do so by some book, video, or web site.  And they have rarely, if ever, questioned those sources the same way they question "the Man."  Granted we all prefer sources that agree with what we already believe.  That's what rational skepticism seeks to overcome.  Don't just question "the man."  Question yourself too, and all you hold dear.

The "truth's protective layers" argument is purely interpretational.  The fact that Armstrong said those words is undisputed.  The dispute comes from what they were intended to mean, and that's mostly a lot of second-guessing, speculation, and innuendo on Hoagland's part.  He frames the facts and places them against a backdrop predicated largely on his own personal gripes with NASA.  Long ago, NASA apparently slighted him in some way, allegedly stealing his academic work.  And Hoagland has made it his mission for decades thereafter to discredit and demean NASA all he can, by whatever means.  Ironically Hoagland believes the Apollo missions were real.  Instead he believes that the truth being covered by "protective layers" is evidence of extraterrestrial life.  Starting with some comically inept manipulation of Apollo photographs, he has accused NASA of hiding evidence of large crystal domes on the Moon, life on Mars, etc.

Bringing this home, if Jr Knowing had followed his "suspicious" Armstrong quote to the origin, the guy who first threw out that line of reasoning, then he would have discovered that it's a guy with a pretty big axe to grind with NASA.  Maybe his framing, backdrop, etc. of the speech is going to be a little bit ... biased?

One of the reasons I love this site.  I didn't know what set Hoagland off initially.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline JayUtah

  • Neptune
  • ****
  • Posts: 3180
    • Clavius
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 04:14:44 PM »
One of the reasons I love this site.  I didn't know what set Hoagland off initially.

Phil Plait might remember it better than I do.  We collaborated on a Hoagland rebuttal many years ago, and that was the part he researched.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline bknight

  • Neptune
  • ****
  • Posts: 2885
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 04:45:10 PM »
One of the reasons I love this site.  I didn't know what set Hoagland off initially.

Phil Plait might remember it better than I do.  We collaborated on a Hoagland rebuttal many years ago, and that was the part he researched.

To bad he isn't around here.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline Allan F

  • Jupiter
  • ***
  • Posts: 896
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2019, 12:18:52 AM »
I invited him to come here, but he said, he had "done his bit for queen and country". Exact quote.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline onebigmonkey

  • Saturn
  • ****
  • Posts: 1398
  • ALSJ Clown
    • Apollo Hoax Debunked
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2019, 12:31:15 AM »
Hi Apollo Enthusiast,

I agree with virtually everything you are saying. Of course, others will beg to differ :) .

Big fan of music myself. I wish I could play. Love all sorts of music but my 'era" revolves around '77-85' of alternative new wave and punk, The Clash, The Jam , Kate Bush etc.  Perhaps this is where I get this get all this skepticism of what the "man" is telling me. :)

That's my musical era, along with many other decades before and after, but my scepticism and cynicism about 'the man stands alongside rationalism and an enquiring mind that doesn't blindly accept things that aren't true just because they take an anti-authoritarian stance. Knee jerk contrarianism is not a healthy approach to enquiry, and just because you don't trust someone, doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth.

I didn't start playing guitar until my 40s. You are never too old to acquire new knowledge of any kind.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 12:38:29 AM by onebigmonkey »

Offline Obviousman

  • Mars
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2019, 08:41:10 PM »
Hi ApolloEnthusiast, and welcome.

You said something which I always tried to include when debunking hoax claims, especially the photographic claims: don't trust me. Yep, listen to what I have to say but don't just believe me unless you are personally convinced it is backed up by science. Repeat photographic claims yourself (e.g. non-parallel shadows), go find some experts in the field regarding a question and listen to what they say. Do research yourself: find articles in papers, check dates and sources, etc (e.g. Una Ronald's "coke bottle" claims regarding when the broadcast was show and what the newspapers reported; virtually none of it was true).

Cheers!

Edited to add: I'm not a scientist (though I have an interest) and I am not a musician (I can't be bothered to learn)... but it takes all types, doesn't it? 8-)
 
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 08:43:20 PM by Obviousman »

Offline smartcooky

  • Uranus
  • ****
  • Posts: 1687
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2019, 11:53:44 PM »
Hi Apollo Enshusiast, and even if you;'re a long time lurker, welcome anyway

One of the key things for me that brings me to understand that the Apollo Programme was real (apart from the fact that I was 14 at the time of Apollo 11 and experienced A11 to A17 over the course of my early teens) is that fact that no matter what you investigate, everything, and I mean everything is self consistent. All aspects of Apollo spacecraft design, development and construction adhere to well understood and well tested engineering principles. There are no no gaping holes in the technology.

However, on the other side of the argument, this is not so. Hoax Believers' entire basis for the hoax is based on the failure of reality to match their personal expectations. Certain things, they say, "don't look right" or "shouldn't act that way", and big part of that this down to their own failure to properly understand that they have spent their entire lives living on a planet with an atmosphere and 1G of gravity, and they can't make the transition to understand that what they are looking at is how things look and act on a planet with 1/6G and a no atmosphere. jrknowing's latest nonsense about lunar regolith is a prime example of that failure to make the transition of understand what you are looking at.

However, there is another issue here, and that is, even if NASA had wanted to perpetrated a hoax, there are certain key aspects of such a hoax that would have been impossible to fake. One of those was filming the lunar surface operations. While you might think that this would be relatively simple it would have been utterly impossible in 1969, in fact, it is still impossible today, even with modern CGI techniques. The 2009 movie "Moon" and the 2011 movie "Apollo 18", despite both having pretty damned advanced CGI techniques available to them, utterly failed to show the low-g/vacuum environment correctly. In fact, there is really only one way to film shots that look like 1/6th G/vacuum, and that is to shoot it in 1/6G/vacuum. HBs would have you believe it was shot on a sound stage at Area 51 in NV, and then slowed down to fake the moon walking. Uh Uh. It doesn't work.  It would take 100% CGI to fake lunar surface operations... and they didn't even have anything remotely like CGI at all in the late 1960s.

Furthermore, the lunar surface operations were shown around he world live, as they happened. Much of it ran uninterrupted for hours; there are reasons why that was impossible too, but I'll let an expert explain why...



► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition

Offline ApolloEnthusiast

  • Venus
  • **
  • Posts: 32
Re: My personal experience with Hoax claims vs. Reality
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2019, 09:13:26 PM »
Hi ApolloEnthusiast, and welcome.

You said something which I always tried to include when debunking hoax claims, especially the photographic claims: don't trust me. Yep, listen to what I have to say but don't just believe me unless you are personally convinced it is backed up by science.
Thanks for the welcome!  And yes, I believe credible people don't insist on being believed, they simply provide information and allow people to investigate as they need.  I also probably shouldn't have specified scientists and engineers, as there is a lot of people here with relevant expertise who are not necessarily scientists or engineers. 

Hi Apollo Enshusiast, and even if you;'re a long time lurker, welcome anyway

However, there is another issue here, and that is, even if NASA had wanted to perpetrated a hoax, there are certain key aspects of such a hoax that would have been impossible to fake.
Thanks for the welcome!  I agree with everything you wrote, it didn't take me very long in my research to discover exactly what you said.  No matter how difficult or seemingly impossible the Apollo project may seem, faking it is simply out of the question.