FACT CHECK: Did Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin Say in Interview that the Moon Landing Was Faked?

Since there was no TV team with cameras on hand to shoot the landing from that angle on the Moon, Aldrin made a technical difference to highlight that the live TV broadcasts showed an animation of the landing.

A video clip is in circulation on social media which appears to show iconic astronaut Buzz Aldrin claiming that the Moon landing was faked and no one ever landed on it. The claim is completely false and is yet another attempt by conspiracy theorists to prove that the entire event was an eyewash and that man never landed on moon.

The video clip shows Aldrin talking to television host Conan O'Brien on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," where he tells that what people saw was an animation and the entire thing was faked. Many have been falling prey to the fake clip but things become clear if the complete video is watched, where Aldrin explains in detail about the moon landing.

Misleading Claim

Fake News
Screenshot of the misleading video being circulated on Facebook Facebook

The video clip dates back to May 17, 2020 when Aldrin appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." A portion of the video started getting circulated on Facebook on January 31. The video appears to show Conan telling Aldrin that he remembered watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on moon on live television as a child.

Aldrin then says that it is not possible since what he watched was an animation. Many immediately bought the version what they heard. However, it is just part of a six-minute-long segment which misleads.

The video opens with O'Brien and Aldrin seated and talking on the show. Ten seconds into the video O'Brien says: "Let's talk about this because this is fascinating. I remember very clearly, I think anybody who was alive at the time does ... I remember my parents waking me up and we went down and we watched you guys land on the moon."

To this, Aldrin cuts in and says, "No you didn't. No you didn't. Because there wasn't any television ... there wasn't anybody taking a picture. You watched animation. So you associated what you saw with ..."

Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin YouTube grab

Conan then rephrases his statement and says, "I have very hazy memories. What we saw was -- we were all gathered around the old curved top radio."

The video cuts here but by that time many had already fallen prey to it believing that man never landed on moon and the entire thing was faked as what everyone saw was an animation. However, the claim is completely false and for that the entire clip needs to be watched, which was posted sometime in July 2020 by the YouTube channel Team Coco.

Clearing the Air

The complete interview by O'Brien clears the doubt. It's true that Aldrin said that what everyone watched on live television, including O'Brien, is an animation but he explained it in detail which is missing from the misleading clip that is in circulation on social media.

Moon landing
Moon landing Pixabay

Since there was no TV team with cameras on hand to shoot the landing from that angle on the Moon, Aldrin made a technical difference to highlight that the live TV broadcasts showed an animation of the landing. At no point did Aldrin try to imply that that the moon landing was faked.

The complete video shows Aldrin describing the audio from the moon landing which was broadcast, which further proves that the claim being made is completely false and baseless.

The audio from the Moon landing that was played on O'Brien's show, Aldrin further describes how the entire landing happened. "You heard me talking about you know, how many feet we were going to the left and right and then I said, 'Contact light engine stop,' there was a few other things and then Neil said, 'Houston, Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed.' Man, how about that? That was not a bad line."

In fact, it is known to many that NASA's cameras were still not there on the Moon in 1969, when the landing took place, so some of the images were simulated. Even CBS, which aired the Moon landing has the both the original as well as some of the simulated images.

File photo of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module ascent stage
File photo of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module ascent stage Reuters

Walter Cronkite anchored CBS News live coverage on July 20, 1969, as Apollo 11's "Eagle" lunar lander, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, touched down on the moon.

During the broadcast, chyrons indicating that this was as "ANIMATION" or a "CBS NEWS SIMULATION" would appear on the screen for a few seconds at a time. The simulated view of the lunar module Eagle landing was slightly out of sync with the radio transmission that announced the actual touchdown, some 20 seconds ahead of time. The words "LUNAR MODULE HAS LANDED ON THE MOON" did not display on the screen until the astronauts' audio indicated it had happened at 1:13 in the video.

In 1969, not all of the sequences presented to a live television audience were simulated. A black and white Westinghouse TV camera remained on the command module Columbia, while the lunar module Eagle had a black and white Westinghouse TV camera. It was fixed on the Eagle's exterior, positioned to broadcast Armstrong climbing down the ladder and taking his first steps on the moon, an event that occurred six hours after the landing, albeit ahead of schedule. This camera was also mounted on a tripod and used to film on the moon's surface.

Thus, the landing happened but people did watch some simulated images. Aldrin at no point during his interview claimed that the Moon landing was faked. People get to see just a few seconds of the original footage and fell prey to a completely false and baseless claim.

Related topics : Fake news Nasa
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