Bart Sibrel

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Bart Sibrel
Bart Sibrel in February 2014.jpg
Bart Sibrel in February 2014
Born 1964 (age 53–54)
Occupation filmmaker, writer, conspiracy theorist
Years active 1985–present

Bart Winfield Sibrel (born 1964) is a controversial filmmaker, writer and conspiracy theorist who asserts that the six Apollo Moon landings between 1969 and 1972 were staged by NASA and controlled by the CIA. He has produced four films on the subject, with the first one released in 2001 and titled A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon. He is also known for demanding that Apollo astronauts put their hand on the Bible and swear an oath that they walked on the moon, which notably resulted in him being punched in the face by Buzz Aldrin, whom he had called "a coward, and a liar, and a thief".


Early life[edit]

Bart Sibrel was born on December 15, 1964. His father was an officer in the United States Air Force.[citation needed] According to Sibrel, until the age of 14 he was a big fan of the Apollo program, until he watched an interview with Bill Kaysing on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

TV and filmmaking career[edit]

After working as a journalist, Sibrel entered into the TV commercials and independent filmmaking field.[citation needed]

Confrontation with Buzz Aldrin[edit]

Sibrel confronted several Apollo astronauts, who did not respond positively when they realized that they were being challenged on their accredited achievement of landing and walking on the Moon.[1] The most infamous incident involved Apollo 11 crew member Buzz Aldrin. According to Aldrin, he was lured to a Beverly Hills, California, hotel on September 9, 2002, under the pretext of an interview on space for a Japanese children's television show.[2] As he was leaving the hotel, Sibrel was there requesting that he swear an oath on a Bible that he had walked on the Moon.[3]

When Aldrin refused, Sibrel followed him and said "you're the one who said you walked on the moon when you didn't", and then called Aldrin "a coward, and a liar, and a thief".[4][3] Aldrin, after asking Sibrel "will you get away from me?", reacted by punching Sibrel in the jaw, while being recorded by Sibrel's camera crew.[5] Sibrel later attempted to use the tape to convince police and prosecutors that he was the victim of an assault. However, it was decided that Aldrin had been provoked and no charges were filed. Many talk shows aired the clip, usually siding with Aldrin's response.[6] Sibrel said later that he wrote a letter of apology to Aldrin for speaking to him harshly.[7][8]

Before this incident, Sibrel had interviewed Aldrin in a hotel room, as shown in Sibrel's film Astronauts Gone Wild. During the interview, after Sibrel confronted Aldrin with a videotape containing, according to Sibrel, newly discovered footage from the Apollo 11 mission, Aldrin replied: "Well, you’re talking to the wrong guy! Why don’t you talk to the administrator at NASA? We were passengers, we're guys going on a flight."[9]

Moon hoax-related assertions and TV appearances[edit]

In his 2001 film A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon, Sibrel asserts that the Moon landings were faked. The central proof in his film features Sibrel-edited footage which he claims was accidentally sent to him from NASA, footage Sibrel alleges is super secret and not meant to ever see the light of day. According to Sibrel, was evidence from that film shows that the Apollo 11 astronauts were staging shots of the Earth to make it appear that the spacecraft was en route to the Moon when it was actually, according to Sibrel, still in low Earth orbit.[10][11]

A viewing of the full NASA film (which is readily available, contrary to Sibrel's claims[12]) shows that it was selectively edited by Sibrel to support his assertions, and that he intentionally left out any moments that contradict, question or disprove his allegations. Independent study of the actual footage shot by the astronauts and comparing the cloud shapes shot (or "faked", according to Sibrel) to the actual recorded cloud patterns for the days in question prove that the Apollo 11 images do indeed show the full Earth and the correct cloud patterns for that day[13], and these are shown as would have been visible from 130,000 miles from Earth at the time they were shot.[14] Further, if the Earth images were cropped and shown from low Earth orbit as Sibrel alleges, then the movement of Earth would be easily seen in the NASA Apollo 11 video. Objects in LEO must maintain speeds approaching 17,500 mph (28,000 kph) to keep their orbital velocity, orbiting the full Earth every 92 minutes.[15] If the craft was in LEO as Sibrel claims, during the 30 minutes the Apollo 11 astronauts shot this film the orbital speed would have caused a 30% change in the surface of the Earth below the capsule, and the terminator would have moved an equal amount. The effect of this high orbital speed relative to the Earth is readily visible to the naked eye out the window of the ISS or other objects in low Earth Orbit[16], and if the astronauts had zoomed in to the Earth as Sibrel alleges, the movement would be even more exaggerated.[17] The lack of any significant change in the Earth view shown in the NASA video not only proves the astronauts of Apollo 11 were not in LEO but a significant distance from the Earth, but also demonstrates Sibrel's lack of objectivity and adherence to any scientific method in making or proving his assertions.

Sibrel details his assertions about the Apollo moon landings in his article Did They Really Walk on the Moon on the Very First Attempt?.[18] One of Sibrel's assertions is that the technology of the United States during the era was behind that of the Soviet Union. He points to what he calls a "five-to-one superiority" in man-hours in space held by the Soviets over the United States as well as highlighting several Soviet space firsts.[11] The veracity of the "five-to-one" figure has been challenged by Jay Windley whose website, Moon Base Clavius, is dedicated to the debunking of the Apollo Moon landing hoax accusations: Windley states that the Americans had a clear lead in man-hours in space by the time Apollo 11 was launched.[19] Jay Windley also states that the purportedly secret NASA footage that Sibrel uses is actually widely available and shows the astronauts practicing for an upcoming live telecast.[20]

Sibrel has also stated the life-threatening events that occurred during the Apollo 13 mission were actually manufactured by the government to force people to pay attention to the space program.[citation needed]

Bart Sibrel participated in the Fox television network special, Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?[21] In it, Sibrel stated, "I'd bet my life on it that we didn't go to the Moon."[22] He also appeared in different TV talk shows, including Geraldo At Large.

Writer on the Sleuth Journal website[edit]

Sibrel is the writer of the 'Conspiracy Corner' section on the Sleuth Journal alternative news website.[23]

Moon landing related filmography[edit]

Year Film Director Producer Writer Run time (minutes)
2001 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon Yes Yes Yes 47
2004 Astronauts Gone Wild: An Investigation Into the Authenticity of the Moon Landings Yes Yes 53
Apollo 11 Monkey Business: False Photography Unedited Yes 108
Apollo 11 Post-Flight Press Conference Yes 83

Other filmography[edit]

  • The Passerby (1991) - Writer Producer Director (won "Best Editing" - American Motion Picture Society)
  • To Heaven (1991) - Writer, Producer, Director (won "Best Cinematography" - American Motion Picture Society)
  • Alice, Abigail, Annie (1991) - Writer, Producer Director (won "Top Ten Director" - Videomaker Magazine)
  • Real Men Cry (1992) - Writer, Producer, Director
  • Broadcast News (1995) - Writer, Producer, Director
  • Cyber Angel (1996) - Writer, Producer, Director
  • Sibrel's Demo Reel (2000)
  • Lottery Referendum (2002) - Writer, Producer, Director
  • Only in Nashville (2005) - Writer, Producer, Director

Legal issue[edit]

In July 2009, Sibrel, who worked as a Nashville taxicab driver, was charged with vandalism when he jumped up and down on the hood of a car owned by a woman with whom he was having a parking dispute. Court documents show he was arrested after the driver refused to pull out of a parking space he wanted. The arresting officer wrote, "A few moments later the parking space in front of the victim opened up and [Sibrel] drove into it and parked." Sibrel "then walked up to the victim's car and jumped onto the hood, and then jumped up and down several times." The report says he caused about US$1,400 worth of damage,[citation needed] after which Sibrel pleaded guilty to vandalism and was placed on probation.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Astronauts Gone Wild documentary.
  2. ^ Bancroft, Colette (September 29, 2002). "Lunar lunacy". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Sibrel, Bart Winfield (Director, Producer) (2004). Astronauts Gone Wild: An Investigation Into the Authenticity of the Moon Landings (DVD). AFTH, LLC. OCLC 70182896.
  4. ^ "Ex-astronaut escapes assault charge". London: BBC News. September 21, 2002. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
  5. ^ "Buzz Aldrin Punches a Jerk in the Face for Calling Him a Liar". The Week. July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "Buzz Aldrin Punches Moon-landing Conspiracy Theorist". The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. October 16, 2002. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  7. ^ Richardson, Valerie (July 20, 2009). "Skeptic spreads word of NASA 'folly'". The Washington Times. News World Communications. p. 2 of 3. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  8. ^ Tim Binall (November 25, 2006). "BoA:Audio, Season Two: Bart Sibrel". Binall of America (Podcast). Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  9. ^ Shown at minute 8:30 in the Astronauts Gone Wild documentary
  10. ^ Sibrel, Bart Winfield (Writer, Producer, Director) (2001). A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon (DVD). Fairway, TN: AFTH, LLC. OCLC 426135438.
  11. ^ a b Sibrel, Bart (2001). "The Top Ten Reasons Why No Man Has Ever Set Foot on the Moon". Nashville, Tennessee: AFTH, LLC. Archived from the original on March 30, 2001. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  12. ^ Windley, Jay. "Clavius: Bibliography - bart sibrel's top fifteen". Moon Base Clavius. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  13. ^ "That 'it was filmed in LEO' routine". Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  14. ^ "The Smoking Gun of Bart's "Smoking Gun" Footage". Moon Base Clavius. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  15. ^ "How fast does the Space Station travel?". Cool Cosmos. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  16. ^ "Where Is The International Space Station?". European Space Agency. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  17. ^ "Space Shuttle and International Space Station". Kennedy Space Center. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  18. ^ Sleuth Journal article - Did They Really Walk on the Moon on the Very First Attempt?
  19. ^ Windley, Jay. "Clavius: Technology - beating the soviets". Moon Base Clavius. Retrieved May 29, 2013. The relevance of some of the Soviet "firsts" in relation to a landing of the Moon has also been called into question.
  20. ^ Windley, Jay. "Clavius: Bibliography - bart sibrel's top fifteen". Moon Base Clavius. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
  21. ^ John Moffett; Bruce M. Nash (2001). Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? (Documentary). Hollywood, California: Nash Entertainment, Inc. OCLC 52473513.
  22. ^ At minute 28:45 in the Fox documentary.
  23. ^ 'Conspiracy Corner' section on the Sleuth Journal website [1]
  24. ^ Williams, Phil (July 27, 2009). "Inside Story: Apollo Conspiracy Theorist Arrested After Tirade". Nashville, TN: WTVF. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2010.

External links[edit]