Refuting the Most Popular Apollo Moon Landing Hoax Theories

A review of so-called evidence suggesting the Apollo 11 never reached the moon.

ByABC News
July 16, 2009, 6:40 PM

July 19, 2009— -- It is perhaps the most iconic image of the 20th century: man landing on the moon, planting an American flag and saying those famous words: "…one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

It was an incredible feat. So incredible that many found it hard to believe at the time.

Val Germann, president of the Central Missouri Astronomical Association, said his own grandmother was a skeptic.

"It didn't resonate with her or mean that much to her. She said, 'I don't think that really happened."

"I said, 'Oh they did [walk on the moon]. I know it's hard to believe but they did.'"

Germann, 59, has spent a lifetime studying space: He taught astronomy for more than 20 years at Missouri's Columbia College before retiring. For years he has fielded questions about moon landing conspiracies from curious students, but an online poll conducted earlier this month by Britain's Engineering and Technology magazine was the last straw.

"That is what really made me angry. I'm going, 'This stuff is still going around?'"

The poll claimed that 25 percent of British people "don't believe the Apollo 11 moon landing." Germann decided to prepare a PowerPoint presentation debunking the theories of the moonwalk naysayers and present it on Monday, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He's expecting more than 100 people to show up.

"What's going to seal it is the new lunar reconnaissance mission," Germann said. Click HERE to learn more about the images Apollo left behind.

For the majority of people in the U.S., there's no doubt that the moon landing happened. Just six percent of Americans think the government staged the Apollo moon landings according to a 1999 Gallup poll, the most recent data available. A similar poll by Time/CNN, conducted in 1995, also revealed that six percent believe the moon landings were faked.

Moonwalk conspiracy theories still live on, in large part thanks to the Internet. As the 40th anniversary of the moon landing approaches, the phrase "apollo moon landing hoax" is one of the top 10 hottest searches on Google, perhaps aided by NASA's recent announcement that they accidentally erased the original moon landing footage.