Astronauts Gone Wild
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|Astronauts Gone Wild: An Investigation Into the Authenticity of the Moon Landings|
|Directed by||Bart Sibrel|
|Produced by||Bart Sibrel|
|Distributed by||AFTH, LLC|
Astronauts Gone Wild: Investigation Into the Authenticity of the Moon Landings is a 2004 documentary video produced and directed by Bart Sibrel, a Nashville, Tennessee-based video maker who charges that the six Apollo Moon landings in the 1960s and 1970s were elaborate hoaxes. Sibrel made this video as a follow-up to his 2001 video A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon, which accuses NASA of falsifying the Apollo 11 mission photography. The title of the presentation is a wordplay on the Girls Gone Wild video series.
Encounters with astronauts
Sibrel's first encounter is with the Apollo 11 crewmember Buzz Aldrin. Inside an office room, he shows Aldrin his "secret" footage, which Sibrel says was sent to him by mistake from NASA. According to Sibrel, this footage shows the crew rigging a shot inside their spacecraft to appear halfway to the Moon, when they were really in Earth orbit and trying to deceive the world.
Aldrin dismisses Sibrel's arguments, stating "We went to the Moon; we're not misleading anybody." Later in the video, Sibrel confronts Aldrin on another occasion, this time in September 2002 in Beverly Hills, California. The confrontational video maker makes his Bible demand. The astronaut refuses and tries his best to get away from Sibrel, who follows Aldrin and calls him "a coward, and a liar, and a thief." Aldrin then punches (visually described as a right overhand) Sibrel on camera. This incident, which made international headlines at the time, is the best-known response he received from one of the Apollo astronauts about his conspiracy belief. In a radio interview, Sibrel stated that he blames himself for provoking Aldrin to punch him. He claims to have sent Aldrin a letter of apology.
As shown in the video, Sibrel also was able to interview astronauts Alan Bean, Eugene Cernan and Edgar Mitchell about the Apollo project. Bean, for instance, states that the "all-up" testing of the Saturn V rocket cut months off the schedule and was an impetus in reaching the Moon before decade's end. Cernan describes an experiment on his Moon mission, Apollo 17, that was specifically designed to study the radiation of the Van Allen radiation belts. The interviews end with the request to swear an oath on Sibrel's Bible. He asks them to "swear and affirm, under penalty of eternal damnation, perjury and treason" that the astronauts really went to the Moon. Cernan and Mitchell testify that they did indeed walk on the Moon, taking the whole oath as Sibrel states it to them. Alan Bean is also willing to swear on Sibrel's Bible, though Sibrel shows him as unwilling to swear under penalty of treason.
Later, Mitchell had the following to say about his encounter: "Sibrel faked his way into my home with false History Channel credentials for an interview. After about 3–4 minutes, he popped the bible question. Realizing who he was, I maintained my cool enough to swear on his bible, then ended the interview and tossed him out of the house, with a boot in his rear."
The other astronauts Sibrel confronts are Michael Collins, Alfred Worden, Bill Anders, John Young and Neil Armstrong. Sibrel did not arrange formal interviews with any of these men, instead accosting them at public events to make his Bible request. For the most part, these astronauts do the best they can to avoid him as soon as they find out that he supports the conspiracy theory. He confronts Armstrong at a meeting of stockholders in New York City. During interviews for the biography, regarding the hoax claims, Armstrong said, "It doesn't bother me. It will all pass in time." The Apollo 11 commander refused to go along with his demands and states, "Mr. Sibrel, you do not deserve answers." Meanwhile, Worden tells Sibrel that his claims of a falsified mission are "totally nonsense." He says that he has no problem swearing on the Bible of his trip to the Moon, but that he does not feel he needs to do so.
Notes and references
- Sibrel, Bart (Director, Producer) (2004). Astronauts Gone Wild: An Investigation Into the Authenticity of the Moon Landings (DVD). AFTH, LLC. OCLC 70182896.
- Sibrel, Bart. "Moon Landing Hoax". moonmovie.com. AFTH, LLC. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2007. Early 2007 listing of video titles available from director.
- "Buzz Aldrin Punches Moon-landing Conspiracy Theorist". The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. October 16, 2002. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- "Buzz Aldrin Punches a Jerk in the Face for Calling Him a Liar". The Week.com. July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Bancroft, Colette (September 29, 2002). "Lunar lunacy". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, FL: Times Publishing Company. Retrieved February 13, 2007.
- Tim Binall (November 25, 2006). "BoA:Audio, Season Two: Bart Sibrel". Binall of America (Podcast). Retrieved February 13, 2007.
- Von Braun, Wernher (1975). "Saturn the Giant: An All-Up Test for the First Flight". In Cortright, Edgar M. Apollo Expeditions to the Moon. NASA SP-350. NASA. OCLC 1623434.
- "bc skeptics / resources / skeptopaedia / s / sibrel, bart". BC Skeptics. British Columbia Society for Skeptical Enquiry. Archived from the original on October 2, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
- Hansen, James R. (2005). First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-743-25631-5.
- Hansen 2005, pp. 634–637
- Official website Bart Sibrel at Sibrel.com
- Moon Base Clavius is Jay Windley's website devoted to debunking the Moon landing hoax allegations
- "Clavius: Bibliography – bart sibrel's top fifteen" by Windley reviews Sibrel's top fifteen arguments supporting a Moon landing hoax
- "Bart Sibrel gets Buzzed" at Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog