The moon landing hoax is one of the most famous and most discussed conspiracy theories of all time, despite the fact it's ridiculous it actually has quite a lot of people/idiots convinced that the 1969 moon landing was faked by the American government.
This week Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds returned with a third series of their hilarious podcast, which up until now has tackled Barry's deluded views on the paranormal. In this series they're discussing and debunking some of the most infamous conspiracy theories known to the internet.
In the first episode the duo kicked things off with one of the most hotly contested conspiracy theories of all time, the moon landing hoax.
Luckily for us all, early in the podcast Barry tells us that he's been "looking into the moon landing" and therefore can categorically tell us "it didn’t happen."
Of course, as Ian and every listener of The ParaPod knows, by "looked in to it", Barry of course that means he's "been on the internet," in no way fact checked and plans to reel off anything he's stumbled across while entering his biased search into Google.
It became apparent pretty quickly that Barry's research might not have been up to scratch when he was unable to tell Ian how many times man has been to the moon and even what year we first landed on the moon.
Despite these gaping holes in his research, Barry was confident and went to try to convince Ian with his five pieces of evidence.
1. The Van Allen Belt
The first bit of evidence Barry presented was that to leave Earth's orbit and get to the moon, you have to pass through something known as the Van Allen belt, an area of space which is highly radioactive that, according to Barry, humans can't survive in.
The belt was discovered by James Van Allen in 1958, this gave NASA's engineers plenty of time to plan a safe launch/re-entry trajectory and ensure the spacecraft did as much as possible to protect the astronauts.
The astronauts were exposed to radiation as they passed through the belt, but their path completely bypassed the inner belts and they passed only through the thinner areas of the outer belts.
During the entire mission, most of their exposure to radiation actually came from solar particles once outside Earth's magnetic field. The total radiation received by the astronauts varied from mission to mission but was considerably less than the safe annual level set by the United States Atomic Energy Commission for people who work directly with radioactivity.
So, a pretty wobbly argument as it is but Ian soon crushed it by asking Barry "what's Van Allen's take on that? On what you've just said, the idea that we can't go to the moon because of the radiation belt, what's Van Allen's take on that? If he was here now, what would he say? You're right Barry?"
Still unshaken, Barry replied "yeah" before Ian informed him that "he wouldn't, he's on the record as saying it wouldn't be any issue what so ever."
2. 'C' Marks Prop Rock
As his second piece of evidence Barry claimed that "one of the rocks on the moon has got a little 'c' on it, it's a prop." Barry claims that this "marked" rock proves it's a prop and that the moon landing was staged in a television studio.
I wanted to find this photo to see for myself so I Googled "moon rock with c on it" and the first result was a page called "5 Goofy Moonlanding Hoax Theories," that about sums it up.
OK, that 'C' could be considered a little odd but, if Barry had taken the time to do his research he'd find that the letter didn't appear in the original image, the 'C' is actually a defect that appeared in a third generation copy of the original, most likely, as Ian says, a fine hair laid on the copied image from a dusty darkroom.
Barry's argument that NASA wouldn't make the mistake of contaminating a print doesn't stand because NASA didn't, the defect has appeared in subsequent copies for later publications.
3. No Stars On The Moon
A common argument when claiming that man never landed on the moon is the lack of stars in the sky in any of the photos or videos. Barry of course is sucked in by this so during the podcast Ian told him to get up, go to the window and look up into the sky, "is that space up there?" Ian asked.
"Yeah," replied Barry, confused. Ian continues, "see any stars?"
Of course Barry couldn't see any stars in the blue, morning sky, Ian asks "why not?" and Barry says "it's daytime."
As far as Ian is concerned, the argument has been dismissed, "yeah, that's that one dealt with" but Barry still seems to be confused, "it wasn't daytime on the moon, they haven't got daytime on the moon because they haven't got a sun."
At this point I was listening with my head in my hand. Eventually Ian managed to convince Barry that "when you look up at the moon and it's big and white…"
"Oh yeah, that'll be lit up, yeah," Barry concluded. Just to drill home the point Ian added, "now when the sun's shining on us and our surface is lit up, daytime, not night time, can you see the stars?"
Barry finally got it.
I always find this a weird one as it seems pretty logical that you'll never see stars in the sky with the sun, whats more, I challenge anyone to show me a photo of them with the night sky in the background where stars are visible. Cameras just don't pick up the tiny specks of light in the sky, especially when there's brighter foreground images.
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4. The Stanley Kubrick Connection
Barry's fourth pieces of evidence took no time to debunk at all. He explained to a bemused Ian that NASA needed a good director to put together the fake moon landing broadcast and after seeing Stanley Kubrick's movie '2001' someone in the office said "let's get him."
According to Barry this was in the "early 60s," ignorant of the fact that '2001' wasn't released until 1968. However, Stanley knocked it back but according to Barry, he left little hints in his films, most notably in 'The Shining'.
In the scene where Jack Nicholson's character types "all work and no play" over and over again on the typewriter, it's claimed that the word "all" is actually a reference to Apollo 11 as "a11."
Ian was quick to put this one to bed, asking, "did Stanley Kubrick write 'The Shining?'"
Barry sounding beaten replied, "no, it was Stephen King wasn't it. Forget that," dismissing his own evidence as rubbish.
5. You Wouldn't Send A Knob Head To The Moon
Over the years there has been hundreds of theories put forwards to support the conspiracy that the moon landings never took place, the most famous being inconsistent shadows on the lunar surface, a flag flapping in the non-existent wind, doubts over whether the lunar module had enough power to leave the moon's orbit.
So, which of these bits of evidence did Barry use as his fifth and final to prove his argument once and for all? Well, none of them. Instead Barry decided to take the angle of "you wouldn't send a knob head to the moon."
Barry's logic here is that if you punch someone then you are a knob head, just like Barry's mate Wayne who punched someone and threw them through a fire exit, in fact even Barry himself admits to hitting someone, making him a knob head.
It just so happens that one of the Apollo astronaut wasn't squeaky clean as Barry explains, "there's footage of Buzz Aldrin twatting a man."
Ian is quick to jump in with a question, "before he went to the moon?" Barry doesn't seem to realise the implications of this question and answers, "after he went to the moon."
Playing right into his hands, Ian informs Barry that "if we are taking that if you punch someone, as being a knob head, he hadn't done that when they sent him, ergo, they didn't send a knob head to the moon."
It's got to be remembered that Buzz only actually punched someone because he was provoked by a conspiracy theorist who called him a liar. Basically some loony belittling not only the most amazing thing Buzz has done in his lifetime but also one of the most amazing things mankind has ever achieved. The guy goes as far as to call Buzz "a coward and a liar" so a smack in the face seems only fair.
"That is utter nonsense, everything you said then is utter nonsense."
Although he started out feeling confident, come the end Barry was unable to defend any of the pieces of evidence he brought forward to back this conspiracy but he still had the balls to say "I feel like I'm well researched."
This called for a bit of a reality check from Ian, "what are you talking about? You asked me what year we landed on the moon. You don't know what you’re talking about."
Barry's lack of knowledge actually made this episode of The ParaPod quite stressful and frustrating to listen to.
This was strong start to series three of The ParaPod, not for Barry perhaps but for comedy. While this series might not be so much about Ian Vs Barry, this week there was a clear winner.
Ian 1 - Barry 0.
Sorry Barry, we love you.
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