A man who once got punched in the face by astronaut Buzz Aldrin says he still doesn’t believe mankind’s set foot on the moon.
This weekened marked the 50th anniversary of what’s widely considered humanity’s greatest achievement – the Apollo 11 mission, which saw Aldrin and Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the Earth’s only natural satellite.
But despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, sceptics remain unconvinced.
Bart Sibrel is perhaps the most infamous. In 2002 the filmmaker and conspiracy theorist tricked Aldrin into thinking he was about to be interviewed on a Japanese TV show. Instead he asked the second man to walk on the moon to swear on the Bible he’d really done it.
When Aldrin refused Sibrel accused him of lying, and forced him up against a wall. Aldrin, then 72, socked the 37-year-old in the face.
“I was very surprised that he hit me. I thought it was very foolish of him to do it in front of two video cameras,” Sibrel told reporters at the time. “He has a good punch. It was quick, too. I didn’t see it coming.”
Seventeen years later, Sibrel hasn’t changed his mind about the moon landings. The now 55-year-old told Florida Today he still believes it was a “Cold War CIA and Nixon administration deception”.
He said he’s got “compelling” evidence the Apollo programme, which was the combined effort of 400,000 people, was a hoax, including “recordings, photographic analysis, and high-profile interviews with those involved in the space programme”.
“The only evidence submitted to support it was entirely controlled and provided by those perpetrating the fraud,” Sibrel told the paper.
He claimed photographs taken by the astronauts clearly show there’s more than one light source, when on the moon, there would only be one – the sun.
“Not a single critic has ever explained… how two shadows in sunlight, from objects five feet apart from one another, can intersect at 90 degrees. Go outside yourself and see if this can take place in sunlight. It is completely impossible.”
Discovery TV show Mythbusters recreated the moon landing for an episode in 2008, and found it was possible to have shadows pointing in different directions from a single light source. The hosts also busted many other myths around the moon landings in the episode.
No charges were laid against Aldrin, with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office determining he had acted in self-defence.