Stanley Kubrick Faked the Apollo 11 Moon Landing 45 Years Ago, Or So the Conspiracy Theory Goes

This week is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 journey to the moon. And while most people will celebrate the event by acknowledging the abilities and courage of Neil Armstrong and company in this landmark of human endeavor, a small, though vocal, group of people will decry the moon landing as a fraud.

In that spirit, French filmmaker William Karel spins an elaborate tale of intrigue in Dark Side of the Moon, which you can see above. The 2002 film posits that the Apollo 11 moon landing was staged by none other than Stanley Kubrick. How else did the director get his hands on a super advanced lens from NASA to shoot those gorgeous candle-lit scenes in Barry Lyndon? The film is slickly produced and features an impressive array of interviewees from Henry Kissinger, to Buzz Aldrin to Christiane Kubrick. Some of the other people interviewed include Jack Torrance and David Bowman. If that’s not a tip off that the whole movie is fake, then the blooper reel at the end drives the point home. Only a lot of people didn’t get the joke. Conspiracy enthusiasts Wayne Green cited the movie as further proof that the moon landing was faked.

Moon hoaxers like to point to The Shining as a confession by Kubrick that he was forced into a Big Lie. In the documentary Room 237, conspiracy theorist and leading Sandy Hook truther Jay Weidner claims as much. And Michael Wysmierski argues the same in The Shining Code 2.0, a feature length video that you can watch below. Or get right to the meat of things here.

And just in case you get swept up in Wysmierski’s loony logic, filmmaker S. G. Collins makes the very compelling argument that the technology simply didn’t exist to fake the moon landing in 1969. Case closed.

Related Content:

Stanley Kubrick’s Very First Films: Three Short Documentaries

Room 237: New Documentary Explores Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Those It Obsesses

Rare 1960s Audio: Stanley Kubrick’s Big Interview with The New Yorker

Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow.


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  • jean duffle says:

    Great article! I would like to add that the facts S.G. Collins states have been criticized and have led to further debate and counter-videos, which are quite interesting for those seeking further information on the audio/video technology of the time (see:

  • mary says:

    Why didnt you discuss the lunar landing?it looks like pieces of tin foil and cardboard with tape on it

  • rod says:

    Parts of the lunar lander WERE made of aluminum foil!

    One of the astronauts said “if you weren’t careful, you could put a boot through it” which of course would be the end of life

  • Chris says:

    “filmmaker S. G. Collins makes the very compelling argument that the technology simply didn’t exist to fake the moon landing in 1969″

    — Yes but he didn’t have any idea of NASA’s available technology, only what he as a film-maker had access to.

  • Ace says:

    Propaganda at its finest.

  • Siegfried Marquardt says:

    Abstract mathematical-physical refutation of Apollo 11 and N

    1. After Sternfeld (1959) only two 14-day constellations and a 60-day scenario should exist to reach the moon with an artificial spacecraft from Earth and land on the earth. Regardless of the theoretical facts and details of Sternfeld, required the research satellite SMART I, which was launched end of September 2003, 49 days until the moon level and five months until the probe einmündete in lunar orbit. And successfully running in the December 2013 lunar expedition of Chinese probe Chang`e-3 proved impressively that it takes at least 14 days to cope with the distance from the Earth to the Moon. This Apollo 11 would already impressively refuted empirically because a putative 8-day regime that is allegedly practiced with Apollo 11 and drilled, astrophysical theoretically and empirically does not exist!

    2. The cosmic radiation, which would have affected the astronauts within eight days would have been absolutely hopeless! After all, you would have incorporated a lethal dose of at least 11 Sv to 26 Sv depending on the chosen model calculation. if you are in this context to the high-energy particle density in the cosmos and to the particle stream the sun with the solar constant of 8.5 * 1015 MeV / m * s thinking. The astronauts had the flight to the moon and back in any case not survive.

    3. It was missing a total of 163 tons of rocket fuel to get from Earth to the moon and from there back to Earth by NASA on the given loop-shaped trajectory. Furthermore, the amount of fuel and the former fuel parameters would have a moon charge and even boot from the moon under the former conditions impossible. Alone for the transition from the elliptical trajectory close to the Moon would be for the braking of the CSM + LM with a total of 45.3 t mass of the 2.3 km / s to 1.7 km / s for the lunar orbit [2,72 high (0 , 6: 2,6) -1] * t = 45.3 (1.26 -1) * 45.3 * 45.3 t = 0.26 ≈ 12 tonnes of fuel have been necessary! The remaining three tons a moon landing would not have been possible and start from as little moon! On the Moon, LM did not have 14 t, but (15-8) t = 7 t!

    4. Reconstruction of the command module at a predetermined height by NASA of 3.23 m and a diameter of 3.9 m, resulting in the end can only result a total volume of about 12.9 m³, showed that after deduction of the declared internal volume of 6.23 m³ volume of the outer cell of the command module only about 6.7 m³ could include. With a mass of 5.9 t the density of the command module would thus have to be only about 0.9. This would “afford” not even paper or cardboard! Another mathematical optimization was then that the outer cell only from a 2.5 cm thick aluminum layer could exist – without the heat shield. If one half of the total mass of 5.9 tonnes for a heat shield as a basis, the heat shield could consist of only 2 mm thick steel. A commentary is superfluous almost: The command module would be in the earth’s atmosphere with a theoretically calculated braking temperature of at least 45,000 K like a shooting star burns!

    5. Even in a preliminary phase in the reconstruction of the Lunar Module according to NASA parameters after deduction of the alleged approx MTr = 10.8 t invoiced fuel mass of the starting compound with Mo = 15 t the Lunar Module merely remain only 4.2 t to empty weight, already with the material reconstruction of the cabin (about 1.1 tons), parts of the outer cell (1.3 t), and the declared weight (1.7 t), without taking into account the weight the astronauts with their space suits (400 kg), the mass of the tank and the two main engines of the Lunar Module (…) of 600 kg exceeded. Total lacked exceeding 3 tonnes construction mass, could be as originally stated by NASA and how 11 is impressive and convincing with the total reconstruction of the Luna module of Apollo.

    6. The declared by NASA thrust of 44.4 kN and 15.6 kN of the descending and ascending level does not match with the theoretically calculated thrust. There are significant differences here! (descending level: S = m * ve = 16.8 kg / s * 2560m / s ≈ 43 kN and rising level: S = 5.9 kg / s * 2560m / s = 15.1 kN).

    7. addition would be the Lunar Module at a speed of 215 m / s bounced and crashed on the moon, because the former fuel parameters such as the effective exhaust velocity of 2560 m / s and the mass ratio of the descending level of 15 t to 6.8 t only permitted a maximum speed burnout of 2025 m / s [vB = ve * ln (Mo: ML) = 2560m / s * ln (15: 6,8) = 2560m / s * 0.79 = 2025 m / s]. Taking away the 570 m / s, which are caused by the moon’s gravity from, so you get only a resultant velocity of 1455 m / s. It could have been so ago by the technical and physical parameters, can be held no moon landing!
    It is on the other hand almost pointless to be mentioned that the rising level only a resulting burnout velocity of around 1500 m / s could have and therefore does not enter the orbit would be as it had a speed difference to the orbital velocity of 170 m / s in this case would.

    8. Furthermore, the pendulum behavior of the flag on the moon is extremely treacherous! For the pendulum period T, which is physically connected to the pendulum length l (l = 0.7 m) and the gravitational acceleration g (g = 9.81) to

    T = 2 * π * √ l: g (1)

    calculated, would have on the Moon

    T = 6.28 * √ 0.7 m 1.6 m /s ≈ 4.2 a (2)

    respectively. In the TV film documentaries period lasts but close to 2 s, as indicated on the earth. The exact calculation of the period for the earth yields accurate

    T = 6.28 * √ 0.7 m / 9.81 ≈ 1.7 s. (3)

    This time difference of 2.5 s is serious! In addition, a slightly damped periodic oscillation would arise on the moon, because there is no atmosphere is present on the moon. The increasing vibration is true but almost aperiodic. Summary: The shooting took place so unique on earth!

    9. A mechanical instability of the lunar module would have made an intact moon landing impossible! Every person on the planet has probably already seen a failed rocket launch when the rocket has already picked up a few meters from the launch pad and then fail the engines and do not produce more power. As a result, the rocket moves the physical laws of gravity accordingly again towards the launch platform and then tilts due to the mechanical instability simply because the center of gravity has changed dramatically. This would also be the fate of the lunar module of Apollo 11 was because shortly before landing an absolute instability of the ferry would have been! Because: Full expected gross, the rising level would have had to ground just before landing on the moon for about 5 t and the descending stage would have received under the fuel consumption of only 8 t only about 2 tons of empty weight had. As the focus of the Lunar Module must have lain on the moon exactly at 2.1 m before landing the ferry across the nozzle, the torques would like 2.5: 1 to 3:1 behaved. For an absolutely unstable mechanical system would be active! Even the smallest vibration, such as vibrations through the engine orpressure fluctuations in the effluent gases in the nozzle of the engine have the lunar position ferry can easily tip over!Amoon landing would indeed be “successful”, but a return from the moon would have been so impossible. However, sincê 11 have fortunately survived the imaginary adventures all actors of Apollo, it can be concluded razor sharp, no moon landing took place.
    The solution of the physical problem is that the focus of a lander simply must be at the level of the nozzle of the engine, such as the Chinese realize this in December 2013, and practiced.

    P. S. By the way, the author had the skeptical thoughts on the instability of the lunar module landing on the moon more than 45 years ago spontaneously for about 1 s had entertained!

    Siegfried Marquardt, Kingswells, February 2015

  • Fessell says:

    Amazing Mr Marquardt,
    You explained it so well!

  • Yaz says:

    Nice list of made-up nonsense Mr Marquardt.

    For example, take point number one, which is really unformed because you clearly don’t understand the reasons for the different times it takes spacecraft to reach the moon (and back to earth for some). In case you didn’t know, the USSR landed many craft on the moon, including returning samples back to earth during Luna 16, 20 and 24. The total mission times on average (from earth launch to capsule return to earth) for Luna 16, 20 and 24 was 12 days! Upon leaving the lunar surface, the capsules for those Luna missions ALL took THREE days to return to earth.

    So, you were saying?

    Now take point number 2 regarding cosmic rays. In low earth orbit, the body of the earth shields astronauts from about 1/3 of the cosmic rays and the magnetosphere deflects about another 1/3 of the cosmic rays. So it doesn’t take a mathematician to realise that the cosmic ray levels outside of earth’s magnetosphere is about 3 times higher than in low earth orbit.

    Now expand upon that….it means that in terms of radiation dosage due to cosmic rays, a 2 weeks Apollo mission would expose the astronauts to the about the same level of cosmic ray radiation as a 6 week mission in the International Space Station.

    The record stay for low earth orbit is 437 days, which is about the equivalent of a mission outside of earth’s magnetosphere lasting about 145 DAYS, about 12 of the longest Apollo missions!

    As for point number 8, you cannot compare the edge of a 5ft by 3ft swinging sheet of nylon cloth attached to a cross and flagpole in a vacuum to a pendulum attach to a fixed point on earth. Just the fact that you believe the two are comparible shows how little you know.

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