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This is a response to the latest article from Dark Moon authors Mary Bennett and David Percy ("the Authors") that was posted on their web site.
Fig. 1 -The cover photo to the paper back edition of Dark Moon.

Notably, while emerging pro-Apollo websites often present differing answers to any given problem, the principal theme of Dark Moon has been virtually ignored.

One need not disagree with the overarching thesis of a book to raise objections to points raised therein. Unlike the Authors, we prefer to speak from within the limits of our expertise. The full title Dark Moon: Apollo and the Whistle-Blowers and the Apollo-themed cover photo (Fig. 1) indicate that the book intends to treat as a significant thematic element the Authors' theory on how the Apollo record may have been faked, and it is this element toward which we have focused our efforts to date.

Nevertheless, Dark Moon is, for lack of a better expression, all over the map. It draws upon several controversial topics and presumes connections from them to Apollo and the American space program. We suggest a title along the lines: Dark Moon: Every Conspiracy Theory in the World Wrapped Up In One Book. In order to address every theory raised in the book, we would have to present a web site or book as lengthy, disjointed, and fragmentary as Dark Moon. We prefer to focus our efforts on the Apollo missions and record, since that is where our expertise most comfortably lies.

Our observations and discussions concerning the anomalies apparent in the Apollo record are only a prelude to examining the prime reasons for such hasty attempts to get out into space.

But if having faked the lunar record is a premise of such an argument, then surely serious questions that erode the premise must commensurately erode the conclusion. If the Apollo record was not faked as the Authors suggest, then their explanation for why it might have been faked is purely academic.

It is disappointing that Bennett and Percy are vocal about what has been left unaddressed by Clavius and associated web sites, but they remain largely silent on the serious questions and refutations that we have provided over the past two years. Indeed, their responses are frequently:

"All we have to say on the subject is in our book and video."

"You must buy both our book and our video in order to appreciate our arguments."

Note how these frequent responses revolve around the central theme of suggesting you buy their products.

Further, has attempted and abandoned two separate mechanisms for collecting and responding to reader feedback. These mechanisms were suspiciously discontinued just as readers had begun to ask "hard" questions. The Authors do not do well to emphasize the "work-in-progress" nature of their critics' responses after disavowing their own responsibilities so conspicuously. We fully intend to address all the Authors' Apollo arguments, whereas the Authors don't appear willing to address many of the critics' objections.

The Authors took five years of full-time work to produce their works. It is expected that to address all their findings will take a number of years, especially since the amount of research necessary for refutation generally outweighs by a factor of two the research necessary merely to make conjecture seem plausible.

Having received quantities of mail from both camps in the discussion over the veracity of the Apollo record, we must sympathise with our readers who do not have sufficient background to evaluate the reactions from the pro-Apollo lobby.

That is misplaced sympathy, for the Authors themselves do not have sufficient background to evaluate the reactions from their critics. Ms. Bennett and Mr. Percy have perpetrated upon the reader an ill-researched, oversimplified, and factually questionable account of Apollo. When questioned by competent critics, they invent excuses for not responding.

The Authors claim to have conducted painstaking research, but in many cases we can easily find (sometimes after only minutes of looking) evidence that contradicts or materially alters the Authors' conclusions. The Authors' failure to locate and discuss this evidence in their book is egregious. Their failure to do so even years after its publication is inexcusable; it leads us to conclude that the Authors' claim of thoroughness is exaggerated.

The Authors implicitly promise the reader that he will benefit from their exhaustive research and be liberated from the necessity of educating himself in the relevant topics. The role of author-teacher places a burden upon the Authors to get their science right, and to take care in their redactions not to eliminate pertinent details. Yet when their science is questioned by scientists, and when the important omitted details in their evidence are restored, the Authors lament that the reader may not be able to appreciate such criticism. In fact, we lament that the Authors have done such a poor job of conveying important, technical, complicated, detailed topics to their readers. We suggest the readers hold the Authors responsible, not us.

We intend to educate the reader so that he understands the issues of space travel that apply to Apollo. At this level of understanding, the absurdity of many of the Authors' statements is self-evident. We believe in providing a wealth of information. Conspiracists, on the other hand, spoon-feed material that has been carefully selected to raise suspicions and doubts in the reader with the ultimate goal of distrusting and dismissing a large body of extant evidence. The effective result is to leave the reader with less knowledge than when he started.

Simplification is often necessary when discussing complicated subjects for the layman reader. We must accept either the responsibility to educate the reader beyond the need for simplism, or the responsibility to measure up to his faith in our simplification. We at have confidence in our readers' ability to understand and judge for themselves, after having been armed with an understanding of the world they live in. Conspiracists have no such confidence: they compel belief (or disbelief) by carefully controlling what the reader is likely to see and hear and hoping he doesn't look for anything on his own.

[F]or every question that has been asked, they have responded with several different, sometimes conflicting answers-when there can be only one correct answer.

The Authors' "every question" is an exaggeration; they have to date provided only two examples of this alleged chaos: the shadow analysis argument discussed below, and a statement made in a previous Aulis web page alleging that critics' estimates of Van Allen belt radiation differ significantly. In each of these cases the Authors themselves demonstrate marked incompetence in the relevant scientific fields. This has led them to mistakenly assert that various criticisms and answers are incompatible and therefore unlikely to be true or applicable. We stress that the perception of inconsistency in these two cases is solely the product of the Authors' inexpertise which they intent to propagate to their readers.

Turning to a more abstract discussion, we believe this dismissal is the Authors' gambit to wriggle free of intellectual responsibility for supporting their claims against criticism and refutation. They believe they have no responsibility to respond until the critics "get their act together." Unfortunately the Authors clearly do not understand the epistemology of their own arguments. So long as they employ indirect reasoning, Ms. Bennett and Mr. Percy have the burden of proof to eliminate all competing hypotheses. Each suggested candidate must be examined and individually eliminated. They may not collectively be dismissed simply on the basis of their plurality.

We agree with the Authors that there must be only one correct answer for any given anomaly. But the Authors suppose that we can refute their attempt to find it only by finding the true cause ourselves. That's not necessary, and it's not what we're trying to do. Refuting an indirect inductive case is a matter of showing that the process of elimination was incomplete. By bringing up alternatives that the Authors haven't considered, we demonstrate the insufficiency of the Authors' case. It doesn't matter that they might be collectively incompatible. It matters only that each one is individually plausible and wasn't expressly eliminated.

A simplified version of the Authors' reasoning is illustrated in this fictitious dialogue

John: I saw an alien spacecraft.
Tom: How do you know it was an alien spacecraft?
John: Because it wasn't an airplane and it wasn't an optical illusion. The only remaining possibility is that it was an alien spacecraft.
Tom: But perhaps it was a weather balloon.
Dick: Or perhaps it was Venus.
Harry: Or perhaps swamp gas, or the space station.
John: But it can be only one thing. It can't be a weather balloon and Venus and swamp gas and the space station. You three can't agree, so clearly you don't know what you're talking about. That means my argument still holds.

If John wishes to continue with his indirect proof then he must eliminate each of the possibilities that Tom, Dick, and Harry have suggested. The fact that they are mutually exclusive is irrelevant. And similarly, the Authors' accusations of inconsistency -- whether justified or not -- simply do not excuse them from the responsibility inherent to their indirect method of reasoning.

While endeavouring to explain the shadow anomalies in some photographs, a variety of explanations have been thrown into the same pot, such as differing inappropriate aspects of perspective analysis and shadow analysis.

No. All those methods -- especially those with demonstrated empirical validity -- are manifestations of the basic underlying elements of projective transformations well known to geometry and mathematics. They all discuss the projection of an affine space onto a film plane, the formalisms of which the Authors have never even acknowledged and which they do not appear to understand when introduced to them.

It is particularly galling that Bennett and Percy should label the efforts of their critics as "inappropriate" since their own methods are mostly invented by them and appear only in their book and video, while ours are documented in numerous textbooks[1]. We find that Dark Moon's ad hoc "analysis" techniques work only on the few carefully constructed examples in the book and fail miserably in real-world examples. And Dark Moon's "photo rules" in some cases even invalidate the photos used elsewhere in the book! For example, the Authors' Photo Rule #1 states

"Light travels in straight, parallel lines at any given moment. Shadow directions are constant because the light comes from the Sun -- a single light source -- some 93 million miles away." (op. cit., p. 21)

However, in Photo #31 (p. 27) from Dark Moon the shadows do not appear at all parallel despite having been cast by the sun. The Authors were asked to address this discrepancy but declined to do so.

Attempts to define a light source have dismissed the relevant shadow angle of the Sun.

Attempts by the Authors to describe or measure the shadow angle of the sun (e.g., Photo #23, Dark Moon p. 25) are, as described above, subjective and purely ad hoc. They fail to consider, among other things, aspects of terrain and the principles of perspective. The Authors simply declare terrain to be irrelevant. And they give the educated reader numerous clues that they do not understand the nature of angles and directions in the three-dimensional world and how they are either preserved or altered by perspective.

Granted, the reader isn't expected to intuitively understand this either, but it is the Authors' responsibility to get it right, and they haven't. Again the Authors fail to grasp the relevant geometry and mathematics. The chaos they attempt to pin on their critics is instead a manifestation of their own inability to deal with criticism which is out of their technical league.

Vanishing-point analysis and other techniques that derive from projective geometry do not require first guessing where the light source may be or where a shadow "really" falls. The Authors are attempting to hobble the legitimate techniques with the shortcomings of their own ad hoc methods. In a very real sense, Ms. Bennett and Mr. Percy are complaining that our techniques do not replicate their mistakes! Projective geometry provides the physical basis and rigor that free the analyst from the problems of the Authors' naive approach. Its power derives from its being impervious to the effects of subjectivity, perspective, and terrain that plague the Authors' analysis. That's why these techniques -- not the Authors' -- are universally used; they're known to work.

In one particular scene an individual managed to demonstrate that the source of the light was indeed a single light source-but not that it was the Sun so fervently wished for!

But the Authors' original claim was that the shadows in the image could only have been produced by multiple light sources. The Authors have frequently employed such egregious horse-changing when confronted with well-founded criticism. The critic has shown by a standard vanishing-point analysis (VPA) technique (instead of the Authors' home-grown techniques) that the shadows are consistent with a single light source, contrary to the book's assertions. But now the Authors complain because he has not proved that the singular light source was the sun, even though their original argument is no longer valid.

For some of the photos discussed in Dark Moon, the multiple-light hypothesis is the only means by which the Authors have declared them fakes. If they were indeed taken using multiple lights (to explain the apparently inconsistent shadow directions) then they must be questioned, for no such photos could plausibly have been taken on the moon with its single direct light source. But by showing that the shadows are consistent with having been caused by a single direct light source, we show not only that the authors are inexperienced and unskilled at analyzing photographs, we also eliminate their only claim for these particular photos being anomalous.

True, photos taken indoors using a single artificial light will satisfy the VPA criteria as well as the sun, but there is no means by which the Authors can differentiate between one or the other and therefore no basis therein upon which to argue for forgery or authenticity, so long as the VPA test passes. It is not necessary to prove conclusively that the shadows were cast by the sun in order to refute the Authors' multiple-light theory.

Bennett and Percy seem to labor under the delusion that the only viable method of refuting their claims of fakery is to prove the authenticity of the photos. This is not true. To refute any claim on any subject one must simply show that the case made for it is incorrect or incomplete. It is not required that some other specific case be proven instead. We can reliably say that the Authors are wrong without necessarily having to say what else, if anything, may be right. This important distinction is fundamental to the science of investigation. Note that we cannot hold that the photos must be authentic because we have refuted the Authors, only that that Authors have failed to show they are fakes.

With a sweep of the critic's hand the results of the detailed photographic analysis by Dr David Groves were dismissed -- his qualifications and professional experience apparently inadequate.

No. The Authors fervently wish the reader to accept without question the testimony of Dr. Groves on the basis of his credentials alone. Our rejection of his results is stated on the basis of the bad science and oversimplified assumptions underlying them, not on a failure to be impressed by his credentials. Dr. Groves is not the only authority on these matters. Other authorities not only disagree with Dr. Groves, but can provide purely factual reasons for their disagreement.

If a Doctor of Mathematics tells you that 1 + 1 = 3, his degrees and honors do not make the statement correct. Nor would a rejection of that statement be an affront to those credentials. In fact, the citation of such a "fact" under color of expertise would indeed be an egregious misuse of that expertise. Dark Moon is full of misapplied and misunderstood expertise. The Authors want us to accept that 1 + 1 = 3, in a manner of speaking, because a Doctor of Mathematics cannot possibly be wrong on such a point. We refute that simply by noting that 1 + 1 does not equal 3. The Doctor's credentials are irrelevant.

We have discussed here the crippling flaws in some of Dr. Groves' experiments.

So where does all this argument leave the reader? This lack of consistency in the responses to our findings strongly suggests that there is indeed something seriously wrong with the Apollo record.

No. The Authors simply want the reader to believe that they are right simply because someone else appears to be wrong. The appearance of impropriety is not per se evidence of malfeasance.

As stated above, one need not respond consistently in order to refute the indirect proof that the Authors have provided. In fact, the scientific method works best when several hypotheses -- possibly incompatible ones -- are considered as explanations for a single observation. The question is not why the Authors' critics have considered so many different hypotheses. The question is why the Authors have considered so few.

Bennett and Percy are attempting the age-old propaganda technique: "Something is wrong, therefore I am right." Let's say your car grinds to a halt by the side of the road. Your passenger says it must be an electrical problem, but you feel you must be out of gas. When you discover plenty of gas in the tank, does this prove your passenger's theory that the problem is electrical? Of course not. There are many other potential causes to consider. A good investigation into the cause of your car's failure will consider many theories, some of which perhaps conflict with or outright contradict other theories. So long as any one or number of them remain plausible, your passenger may not assert by default that the car problem is electrical. The Authors are experts in considering only one or two competing theories and the considering the case closed in favor of theirs. However, such an approach has no basis in logic, except as an example of the false dilemma fallacy.

As for awkward points such as the Apollo 11 Coca-Cola bottle incident recounted by Western Australian resident Una Ronald-according to our detractors this account cannot be true.

We have considered the Authors' latest statements in our general treatment of the "Una Ronald" story.

The Apollo material that we received from NASA was supplied either as 5x4 copy transparencies from the originals.

No. The original 70 millimeter transparencies are never used for routine duplicating purposes. At best the Authors had second-generation copies.

The Authors suggest they have in their possession a duplicate transparency of AS16-107-17446 with the "C" mark on the rock. If so, it is the only such transparency known to exist. Let them present it to their critics for independent analysis. This would substantiate their case beyond any reasonable doubt. As it stands we must simply take their word for it.

Any picture published without the hair on the 'C rock' in our opinion is an image that has been retouched to remove the 'C', as upon close examination tell-tale evidence of retouching can be seen.

This is preposterous. The Authors simply attempt to dodge an uncomfortable fact by piling conjecture upon conjecture, clearly basing their interpretation of evidence upon the conclusion they have predetermined instead of the merits of the evidence. If a photo has the "C" on the rock, it's genuine; if a photo doesn't have the "C" then it "must" have been retouched! You cannot get any more selective than this.

Dark Moon states (p. 42) that the "C" on the rock was "air brushed out," but nowhere do they give any evidence of such an act of erasure. They have simply formulated a hypothesis to explain the mark's absence that happens to favor their theory for the photograph in general.

There are two examples of the letter 'C' on the image in question-not just one. This second 'C' has been totally missed by the detractors.

Not missed, just dismissed. It likely is a real mark on the ground, but the claims regarding it are still preposterous.

The Authors claim (op. cit., p. 41) that the "C" on the rock is a set dresser's reference, and we infer that the "C" on the ground is supposed to be the corresponding reference. But none of the dozens of professional set dressers we've consulted in Hollywood or elsewhere agrees that a prop should be marked in such a conspicuous way -- if, indeed, it is marked at all.

If one is sufficiently lenient in his pattern-recognition, one can find several examples of letters and numbers in the noise of the lunar surface. It is also worth mentioning that the surface "C", as represented in Dark Moon (Photo #58, p. 42) has been admittedly enhanced in the Authors' version to amplify its apparent regularity and significance. This is a deliberate ploy to overstate the evidence. While an unretouched version of the photograph appears on page 269 of Dark Moon, the reader is not directed to it as part of this discussion and is left to his own devices to match that photo up with one that was discussed two hundred pages previously. Why do the Authors obscure the actual data with their retouching? Which is more important?

The alleged correspondence to the "C" on the rock and the "C" on the ground depends on whether the mark really is on the rock. And apparently the Dark Moon authors have the only early-generation transparency in the whole world that establishes this "fact".

If NASA were trying to remove evidence of the "C", why would they airbrush it out of the rock, but not off the surface in front of the rock? What purpose would airbrushing the "C" serve except to raise more suspicion that NASA was deliberately altering the record? You don't lock the barn door after the horse escapes.

And the Authors seem unconcerned that there are actually two photos of this rock taken from different angles. The other one, AS11-107-17445, has absolutely no trace whatsoever of the "C" on the rock, in any print or transparency. Of course we expect the Authors to argue that it was airbrushed out of this one too. So although the mark can be conclusively traced back to a single print in someone's file cabinet, the Authors' preferred explanation is that this is the only "correct" version among countless "C"-less ones, including the dupe masters.

We have never stated that human beings did not explore the lunar surface. Our hypothesis has always been that although research evidence suggests that the named Apollo astronauts did not venture beyond low Earth orbit, in all probability surrogates were sent to the Moon in the late 1960s.

The Authors accuse their critics of confusing the two questions (1) whether manned moon landings actually occurred, and (2) whether the Apollo record is a true record of any such landing. We acknowledge that the Authors state repeatedly that they question only the veracity of the record. However, they sometimes forget themselves and make a case that would seem to preclude landings altogether.

A substantial segment of the Apollo-related chapters in the book describes what the Authors feel was a total unreadiness of the U.S. aerospace community to conduct manned lunar landings. For example, they question the ability of the Saturn V to launch a lunar mission (op. cit., pp. 124ff). If no suitable booster existed, how could anyone -- named Apollo astronauts or surrogates -- get to the moon? Either the technology was too immature and therefore nobody went to the moon, or else the technology to send the surrogates was adequate and therefore the Authors wrongly estimate the technological capability.

And of course we wonder a bit about the the hypothesis that highly trained pilots (albeit not those whose names we know) would volunteer for a surely suicide mission without any recognition or apparent purpose. In fact they would go knowing someone else was taking credit for their deeds. The Authors have declined to describe just who would agree to do this and why.

Dark Moon can't help but make a contradictory case on this point. It seems more reasonable that the Authors' concession to the possibility of "surrogate" lunar explorers is a ploy to enhance the credibility of their case: it's controversial but not as controversial as some other cases that have been made. Yes, we agree that the question of the landings is separate from the question of the record's authenticity. And we hope the Authors will also bear the difference in mind.

One NASA protagonist, ... asked one of our readers, ... whether he thought that WWII was hoaxed? ...
It is evident to all thinking beings, as he surely knows, that WWII happened.

Yes, that's the point. Of course any rational person believes that World War II occurred. However, by using the same techniques as the Authors have used to question the Apollo record (i.e., unskilled analysis, selective quotation, copious amounts of conjecture), we can show that World War II might not have occurred! If someone is allowed to explain away bald fact by means of some hypothesis about how it "might have been faked," then he can prove any proposition whatsoever.

The analogy to World War II is a way of testing the Authors' method, not directly to compare the war to the Apollo missions. It is well known in logic that a proof which supports a proposition known to be false must be an incorrect proof. If the Authors' method of historical investigation can be used to disprove an unmistakably true event, then there is something wrong with the method. Knowing this, it becomes an academic exercise to determine just how and why it fails, and we're proud to say we have identified many aspects of the Authors' method which compromises the reliability of the conclusions they draw by it.

[NASA Administrator Sean] O'Keefe stated that NASA still faces two key obstacles in the exploration of space: 1. Power and propulsion in deep space. 2. The hazardous radiation environment for humans travelling beyond Earth. Indeed radiation was one of the greatest challenges faced by NASA.

NASA is looking beyond the moon to Mars and the other planets. This will require technology and techniques vastly different from those developed for Apollo. In some cases Apollo was able to "cheat" and use techniques that would not work for longer missions. This is not foul play; Apollo had a distinct deadline. But it is important to take with this grain of salt statements by O'Keefe and others.

Power. Apollo spacecraft used consumable cryogenic fuels for generating power. This works well for missions of 15 days or less. The same technology has been advanced on the larger space shuttle to support missions of up to 30 days. But to support the needs of a spacecraft for months on end is a problem that cannot be readily solved with cryogenics technology. Solar power is insufficient in the outer solar system, where the sun is too dim. Radioisotopic thermoelectric generators have been used successfully in unmanned deep space probes, but are not yet developed for manned applications. But for short missions, cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen combined in fuel cells works very well.

Propulsion. Missions to deep space require considerable delta-v capacity. This requires a spacecraft to carry extra fuel, which precludes launching a fully-fueled spacecraft from Earth. It also requires propellants of sufficient potency that can be stored for months on end with no consequences. Cryogenic propellants have drastic thermal constraints that must be maintained. The current generation of hypergols is corrosive and cannot be stored for long periods of time within the spacecraft's plumbing.

The Apollo missions required less fuel than is contemplated for Mars missions, and the Apollo missions were short enough that hypergolic fuels could be loaded, stored, and used within the window afforded by the spacecraft hardware. Again, the difference between a short mission and a prolonged mission is the key.

Radiation. We have spoken at length about radiation and the means by which Apollo dealt with it. The Authors have not addressed at all our discussion of their claims. Apparently they believe that O'Keefe's statements "trump" any analysis we might perform. But if they sought to understand space radiation they would understand why O'Keefe's statements do not preclude the success of a lunar mission.

The cislunar ambient is such that 15 days (or less) exposure -- most of it inside the spacecraft -- is not biologically significant. However, it likely would be for a Mars mission, since prolonged exposure (even at low levels) is hazardous.

We discuss passage through the Van Allen belts, which would be roughly identical in a Mars mission.

But a fortnight outside the Van Allen belts is not equivalent to several months outside it when discussing the possibility of solar particle events. Statistically the chances of avoiding a solar event in any given 15-day period (i.e., a lengthy Apollo mission) are very good. But the chances of going 18-24 months without a solar flare of hazardous magnitude are practically nil. Whereas the Apollo missions relied on statistical probability to protect them, a Mars mission -- or any long-duration manned mission -- will encounter one and must be prepared to carry on afterwards.

We are always surprised by the conspiracists' ability to escalate a "problem" or a "hazard" or an "challenge" to the status of, in the Authors' words, an "insoluble problem." Simply pointing out the difficulties inherent to some endeavor does not make those problems insurmountable. The Authors rarely describe the problems of space travel in anything other than the superlative.

However, in March 2001 pro-Apollo reader Jay from Utah, perhaps inadvertently, supported our justifications for staged footage when he commented on a documentary he had seen on American TV. In this programme WWII combat cameramen stated that lots of the 'documentary' footage of combat actions was actually staged. And that apparently war footage has been routinely staged as long as there have been cameras covering wars.

Jay responds:

Having been the person to write this I feel the most competent addressing it. There are important differences between my thesis and the thesis of Dark Moon. First, "lots" does not mean a majority. In fact, I know personally of only two: the storming of the Reichstag and the raising of the (second) flag over Iwo Jima. The latter doesn't really count because it was actual Marines actually raising a flag in actual combat, but they did specifically take a film cameraman along and waited until he was ready to film them before they took action. This is not necessarily to "stage" the event. I have heard of similar stagings from the Spanish-American war, but none (for example) from Viet Nam or any of the conflicts in the Persian Gulf.

Second, we have unquestionable evidence that this was done in World War II by the testimony of the cameramen who did it. Can the authors produce any such evidence? Can the authors produce one person who can substantiate having worked to fake the Apollo photos? No, they cannot. They can provide only excuses for why these people -- if they even exist -- are not forthcoming.

Finally, the point I wished to make is what effect such staged footage has on the question of authenticity. Despite having staged photography, there is still the vast majority of actual photography shot in combat. And this photography is still evidence and documentation for World War II. The historicity of the events and the authenticity of the accounts is not drastically diminished, nor our understanding radically altered, by the presence of forgery. Mary Bennett and David Percy wish us to believe that even the merest impression of impropriety in the record demands that Apollo must have unfolded dramatically differently than we have been told. Qualified historians favor a conservative approach to possibly fraudulent evidence; but Dark Moon wants everything to be rewritten on the slightest whim.

We are disappointed that the Authors reproduce comments submitted to their web site when the comments appear to support their point, but they let pass in silence Jay's conclusive refutation of the so-called "jump salute" inconsistency and the lunar module crater argument, which were also submitted to their web site long before this, and which the Authors have never addressed. Further, the submissions to their site over the past few years are no longer available for public viewing, although the Authors continue to invoke them for their own purposes. We propose the Authors publish all the comments that have been made, not simply those that appear to agree with them.

Six decades after WWII it is now calmly acknowledged that considerable amounts of the historical record were staged. Four decades after the first mission to the Moon the authors ask if the same approach was adopted for Apollo.

And it is appropriate to answer each question differently. The Authors, in amplifying and sensationalizng the notion of staged footage in combat, have attempted to borrow evidence in one case to apply it to theirs. We can prove without much difficulty that some selected portions of combat photography from various wars was staged because we can talk to the people who did it and they can show us how, where, and why it was done. But the authors of Dark Moon enjoy no such credibility. They have only a hypothesis, and when we examine the evidence that supposedly favors that hypothesis we find a trail of half-truths, of omitted pertinent information, and of pretended expertise.

It is not a matter of "shock" value, as the Authors suggest. We reject their conclusions not because we aren't yet "ready" to accept the possibility of a fraudulent Apollo record. We reject their conclusion because there is no compelling evidence in favor of it.

"But nobody has acknowledged that any single one of the images of Apollo were staged," we might hear you cry. Well, yes they have.

Here, in referring to Shepard's Moon Shot (1994), the Authors continue their penchant for ignoring primary sources in favor of secondary sources. That an editor or even an astronaut author would create out of several original sources an image to illustrate his popular book is not evidence of fraud on NASA's part, even if Shepard was once a NASA astronaut.

The photograph that sticks in the Authors' craw is not labeled as one of the Apollo Hasselblad photographs, nor is it claimed in the text to be an actual photograph depicting the actual image of the events. The Authors note this, but say it is likely to be believed as authentic. But that is the all-important difference between what is claimed and what is inferred. Popular books do not generally give specific disclaimers on their illustrations.

The authors simply strain to make this an "official" NASA photograph from Apollo when it patently is not.

In the 1975 Michael Collins biography Carrying the Fire a photograph appears of Collins on an EVA floating against a black sky. In fact (noted by Ralph René) this picture was originally taken within the confines of the zero-G aircraft. With the background blacked out and the photo reversed it purported to be an image from the Gemini X mission.

No it did not. The author Ralph René simply made that claim himself and then attempted to pin it on Collins, and then by strained verbal gymnastics, on NASA. The photograph in question appears without a caption, and nothing in the book purports it to be an image from Collins' Gemini mission. In fact, later in the book the unaltered photo appears with a caption clearly identifying it as taken in the microgravity training aircraft.

René was offered $10,000 by author James Oberg to produce any edition of the book in which this photograph is identified as a Gemini EVA photo, and so far he has not been able to do it. Here too, the conspiracists have dressed up a straw man in flimsy, inferential reasoning that purports to connect their secondary-source (or worse) evidence back to NASA. There is no such claim as the Authors have purported, and no evidence of intent to deceive.

The Authors rely heavily on "inferring" and "hints" when examining this type of material. This is simply to disguise their efforts to "read into" these sources the problems they say are contained in them. And they are ones to talk. In Dark Moon they have attributed to NASA a film clip allegedly of Apollo 12's landing on the Surveyor landing site. But when pressed, they admit they just assumed the clip was from NASA; they have no evidence that it was produced by NASA nor that it was intended to depict the actual landing. It seems the Authors cannot resist drawing sweeping assumptions and inferring relationships, then stating them as fact. We cannot accept them as serious researchers if they do that.


  1. A brief bibliography would include
    • Coxeter, H.S.M. Projective Geometry, 2d ed. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto, 1974.
    • Edwards, Lawrence. Projective Geometry. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1980.
    • Struik, Dirk. Projective Geometry. London: Addison-Wesley, 1953.
    • Veblen, Oswald and Young, Arthur. Projective Geometry. Boston: Ginn and Company, 1910.

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