As part of my continuing series on the Apollo Moon Hoax, I am going to address a fairly common claim of all the Apollo photos being too good to be true. I’ll be writing a related post soon about the related claim dealing with how the astronauts actually took the photos (exposure settings, focusing, aiming, etc.).
All posts in this series:
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: An Overview
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: Why Haven’t Any Pictures Been Taken of the Landing Sites?
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: There Is a “Prop Rock” Labeled with a “C” (Updated)
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: Huge, Deadly Temperature Variation Claims
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: “No Stars” Claim and an Explanation of Dynamic Range
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: How Could the Astronauts Take So Many Photographs?
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: Why Is There No Blast Crater Under the Lunar Module?
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: Why Is There No Lunar Dust on the Lander’s Footpads?
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: Footprints Need Water to Form, Right? And How Hoaxers Argue
- The Apollo Moon Hoax: All the Photos Are Way Too Good!
This is a pretty common Apollo moon hoax claim, and it was featured towards the beginning of the 2001 FOX docudrama. The basic premise shown during that TV special where they quote Bill Kaysings: “The pictures that we see that were allegedly taken on the moon are absolutely perfect.”
Another version, this time from Ralph Rene: “All the photographs brought back from the moon are correctly exposed, correctly framed, and crisply in focus. This seems suspicious.”
Is This True?
In a word: No.
What’s humorous about this claim in this this day and age is that it is demonstrably false given a computer, the internet, and less than 5 minutes. You can go to any number of websites that archive all the Apollo photographs and see quite plainly, for yourself, that many of the pictures, in a word, SUCK.
The Project Apollo Image Gallery is one of my favorite. I clicked randomly on the Apollo 12 mission. I clicked on three photos, in a row, selecting the position at random. One was good (AS12-46-6821), one was framed poorly with the horizon going down at around a 20° angle while photographing the astronaut’s butt (AS12-46-6820), and the third showed a lens flare of ghosting around the astronaut (AS12-46-6818).
And then there’s the one I’m showing below, AS12-47-7010. The label on the picture is, “Reflection of astronaut.” Quite, um, interesting, but hardly a “perfect,” “correctly exposed,” “correctly framed,” nor even “crisply in focus” photograph.
Why the Claim?
So that bears the question as to why this claim even exists if it’s so demonstrably wrong? The answer is that it’s really cheap to duplicate images these days (17¢ at Costco!!) or to place them online in a digital archive. But back in the 1960s and ’70s, that was not the case. It was expensive to print up images, and it took quite a bit of time.
Since this entire Apollo program was a massive public relations campaign – not only to the American public but to the rest of the world – NASA only released the best of the photographs. After all, of the literally thousands of photographs from the Apollo missions, it simply does not make sense for a press office to release all of them, rather they would want to control the release and only put out the best ones.
And not only that, but ones that may have been cropped and rotated to make them the best … but that’s an issue to address on a separate hoax proponent claim.
This claim is, in my opinion, one of the silliest that’s out there. It may seem like a good one, but literally any amount of effort to look into it will show that it’s simply wrong. This is a case of anomaly hunting where there isn’t even any anomaly.