The Thursday Thesis – 27/12/2018
Have you ever looked back at something you believed in and wondered “How did I ever believe that load of old cobblers”?
We all get fooled sometimes, and it’s human nature to cling to our beliefs. We resist change and tenaciously hang on to what we think we know – even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
When we are very young we are told stories by our most credible sources, featuring characters such as Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Bogey-Man. Eventually we grow up and realise we’ve been misled and shrug it off as naivete: we were just kids, how could we know?
But as adults our beliefs’ defence mechanisms are much more developed – we’ve had years of practice and our beliefs have become much more entrenched as a result.
The more I’ve read, the more I’ve learned, assimilated and synthesised – just as you have. And as a consequence, some old beliefs have toppled – mostly about the “guitar heroes” I was peddled as a spotty teenager with a Mr Spoon haircut and a fashion sense that thought flares were a great idea, deep into the 80’s...
But I had another hero, and he had feet of clay, too : Apollo 11 Mission Commander Neil Armstrong.
I grew up fascinated by space, science and the “Space Race” – the Cold War battle for supremacy between the USSR and the good ol’ US of A.
At the head of the exalted ones was always Armstrong, with Buzz Aldrin, Yuri Gagarin, Ludmilla Tereschkova, Gus Grissom and the others trailing a mile behind in the parade of spacefarers who led the way to the New Frontier for off-planet exploration and colonisation by my generation.
These days, of course, I don’t believe a bloody word of it.
Nope, not for a moment do I now believe that America landed on the moon in 1969.
I suggest you brace yourself for 2019’s inevitable US tub-thumpin’ and flag wavin’ celebration of the Apollo 11 mission, because it’s going to be laid out right in front of us all over again, and it’s the greatest lie ever told.
We are invited to celebrate the passing of 50 years since Neil Armstrong supposedly set foot on the lunar dust.
Now, 50 years later, we can’t go back. According to NASA we’ve “lost the technology” that took the boys there.
We can’t go beyond the Van Allen radiation belts until NASA has “proven that it can be done safely”.
Odd – they seemed to do it routinely 50 years ago...
They could just use the old space suits that the Apollo guys had – except that they did not feature radiation protective layers...
NASA are busy developing the rocket to go back to the moon...
50 years ago the Saturn V rocket did this routinely.
NASA could easily refer to the old mission data and simply re-run the Apollo missions instead of spending billions developing a launch vehicles...except they’ve “lost the data”.
You couldn’t make this up: the evidence supporting Man’s Greatest Achievement isn’t there any more?
You’re shitting me, right NASA?
Not a bit of it.
“Oh, but there are the photographs from the moon” I hear you cry – outraged that I should doubt a branch of the US Government.
The cuddly old USA wouldn’t lie to us, would they?
Of course not.
America is the World’s Number One aggressor state, with a tally of military and CIA interventions ranging from subversion and covert perversion of free and fair elections to out-and-out invasion and mass murder, so we can trust them. If they say they went to the moon, they went to the moon.
I just can’t buy it any more.
You see it’s the photos that NASA say proves the story which demolish the myth. They are the smoking gun of fakery.
In fact, my own doubts really began with the Apollo photographs: those stunning images of a glorious moment in man’s history.
Back in the day I was a keen photographer, shooting freelance for the local paper, weddings and portraits. I shot vast numbers of photographs and even had some featured in the UK’s top photography magazine. I did my own darkroom work, too – all the processing and printing; avidly studying every part of the process from composition to final image via re-touching, image manipulation and finishing.
Busted: I was a geek.
And that’s the problem: I began to look at NASA’s finest images from a geek’s-eye view. That’s when I knew something wasn’t right, that NASA’s story made no sense at all. The more of NASA’s information I read, the less things made sense.
First there were the cameras used “on the moon” – the Hasselblad EL model. ‘Blads are still the Rolls-Royce of cameras – and naturally I couldn’t afford one, but I’ve owned several similar medium-format cameras over the years so I understand their operation and limitations.
Even back in the 80’s with cameras of that type, you had to do everything manually – there was no Automatic anything.
Before you pressed the shutter you had to meter the light and calculate shutter time and aperture settings to ensure that the film would be correctly exposed. Too much light burned-out the highlights, too little light and details would be lost into shadows as highlights became murky grey splodges.
Apollo 11 carried no light meters, and without a light meter, every exposure setting was just a guess.
Focusing had to be done by eye, peering into the viewfinder onto a matte focusing screen to make sure the inverted image on the screen was sharp.
The cameras had no automatic exposure controls, no light metering, and no automatic focus.
And that’s what NASA sent to the moon!
The astronauts’ EL units didn’t even have viewfinders to set up the shots, since they were mounted on the chest of the spacesuit and the helmet assembly didn’t allow the astronaut to see the camera’s controls.
Then there was the film in the Hasselblads. Some films coped better with under or over-exposure than others and some films were famously difficult to expose correctly – especially films that produced transparencies (slides) instead of negatives. Among the most notoriously flakey films was Kodak Ektachrome - a transparency film with little latitude for errors in exposure.
And naturally, NASA sent Kodak Ektachrome to the moon.
To allow for the lack of latitude of film or in particularly important circumstances, it was usual to “bracket” every shot. That meant taking two extra shots at higher and lower exposure settings than normal, ensuring that we had the best margin for safety on critical images, such as weddings and special occasions.
But at the singular moment of man’s greatest technical triumph, every shot was a one-off. NASA didn’t even bother with bracketing.
So here’s the problem: we have gorgeously composed, beautifully exposed, dead-on-balls-accurate images with no bracketing for safety; allegedly taken by men in armoured gloves, operating blind with no way of seeing what they were shooting, no means of measuring light, in a hostile environment, using all-manual cameras to expose one of the world’s most picky films at the unique moment in man’s history where nothing could be left to chance.
That’s why the Apollo 11 moon pictures are the smoking gun that proves the USA’s moon landing story is fake - because nothing about them makes sense.
Every single technical detail about them is wrong.
And that’s before you begin to analyse what is in – or not in - the actual images; their multiple light sources, the absence of star-fields, the cross-hairs that disappear behind objects in the images...
It’s all on NASA’s website, go and check it out for yourself.
And what about my hero, Neil Armstrong?
Well, he and his crew squirmed and flinched their way through a couple of press conferences, before withdrawing from public life to a great extent, reluctant to discuss their supposed adventure.
If I’d gone to the moon I’d want to tell every single person I met about it, wouldn’t you?
Watching the press conference footage now, I see three scared men, embarrassed and unsure of their answers; only able to answer questions in language that distances them from their lunar odyssey. Not one of them says “I saw...”, “I did...”, or “I felt...” because they never went to the moon and couldn’t bring themselves to use such direct language to describe what they hadn’t done.
Between them they couldn’t even decide whether they could see any stars from the moon’s surface – despite its lack of atmosphere and the desolate blackness of the bitter-cold lunar night.
Back in 1969 the lie was easy to pull off. In 2019 we’ll be sold the same lie all over again.
I’m not buying it – what about you?
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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The Thursday Thesis is a fun way to share ideas and experiences from life as a Guitar Teacher, Certified NLP Practitioner and Life-Coach, Retailer, Composer, Player, Technician, Accountant, Scientist and Writer... and as the father of a wonderful son.
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