- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon
name = A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon
director = Bart Winfield Sibrel
producer = Bart Winfield Sibrel
writer = Bart Winfield Sibrel
starring = Anne Tonelson (narrator)
editing = Bart Winfield Sibrel
distributor = AFTH, LLC
January 18, 2001
runtime = 47 minutes
language = English
imdb_id = 0446557
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon" is a 2001 documentary written, produced, and directed by
Nashville, Tennessee-based filmmaker and investigative journalist Bart Winfield Sibrel, a critic of the United Statesspace program and proponent of the theory that the six Apollo lunar landing missions between 1969 and 1972 were hoaxes perpetrated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Sibrel believes that there were numerous insurmountable scientific and technical problems which made it improbable that men could land on the moon and return to Earth safely. Further, he believes that certain anomalies and inconsistencies in NASA's records of the landings point to a hoax, and that the space race was actually a race to develop armaments, citing a 95 percent similarity between the technologies that allowed the launch of
intercontinental ballistic missiles and the launch of the Saturn Vrockets.
Bart Sibrel claims that NASA perpetrated a fraud, because of the perception that if the United States could put a man on the moon before the
Soviet Uniondid it would be a major victory in the Cold War, since the Soviets had been the first to achieve a successful space launch ( Sputnikin 1957), the first manned space flight ( Vostok 1in 1961), and the first spacewalk( Voskhod 2in 1965).
Bart Sibrel also claims that the life-threatening events that occurred during the
Apollo 13mission were actually manufactured by the government to force people to pay attention to the space program. He suggests that this is proven by the claim that a number of viewers called the televisionnetworks complaining that coverage of the second lunar mission, Apollo 12, was interrupting repeats of the " I Love Lucy" program, saying: "it became clear that for the taxpayers, once was enough".
The 47-minute documentary primarily focuses on the
Van Allen belts, areas of intense radiation circling the Earth, as a major reason why Sibrel believes it was impossible for a manned spacecraft to land on the moon. Bart Sibrel also presents footage shot over the course of three days of what he claims is official NASA footage that was not meant for release to the public showing. In this footage, the crew of Apollo 11: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin are, according to Sibrel, staging part of their mission to make it appear that they were 130,000 miles from Earth. The illusion was allegedly perpetrated thus: a color camera was placed at the rear of the capsule, anything that could produce light was deactivated, and an insert was placed on the window to create a false terminator. Sibrel's allegation here is that it took three days for the astronauts to perfect their filming techniques rather than travel to the moon. Moreover, he contends that there is " Earthshine" clearly visible in the window after the lights were turned back on and that this proves that Apollo 11 was in low Earth orbit.
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon" also examines the still photographs and points out what it claims are
anomalies, such as non-parallel shadows, to support the assertion that multiple artificial lighting sources were used; sped-up video footage of the astronauts walking on the lunar surface and lunar rovers driving on the surface are also used to advance the theory they were actually filmed on Earth and slowed down to simulate the moon's lower gravity. The lack of visible stars is another point stressed by Bart Sibrel.
"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon" was narrated by a British stage actress named Anne Tonelson. Bart Sibrel himself makes no appearance in the film. He does appear prominently in the similarly-toned Fox Television Network special, "Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?"
Bart Sibrel also alleges that the "
Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiativewas far simpler than the government claimed it was, and that tests were artificially manipulated to, according to the Government Accountability Office, fool the Soviets about U.S. military readiness.
Jim McDade, writing in the "
Birmingham News", characterized "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon" as "full of falsehoods, innuendo, strident accusations, half-truths, flawed logic and premature conclusions."cite news | url= | title=Lunar Legacy Shooting Down Theories that Apollo Moon Landing was Hoax Conspiracy | publisher= Birmingham News|date= April 1, 2001 | first= | last= | accessdate =2007-05-17 [http://www.bhamnews.com/archives/ Birmingham News archives] ] According to McDade, the "only thing new and weird" in the 47- minutefilm is that the claim that video views of Earthwere actually filmed through a small hole to give the impression that Apollo 11was not in low earth orbit. "Bart has misinterpreted things that are immediately obvious to anyone who has extensively read Apollo history and documentation or anyone who has ever been inside an Apollo Command Module or accurate mockup," says McDade.
Sibrel has also gained some national exposure as an alleged astronaut stalker [cite news
last = Kuntzman
first = Gersh
title = Moon Stalker
publisher = Newsweek
date = 2002-09-16 ] . One infamous incident was with Buzz Aldrin. Sibrel asked Aldrin to put his hand on a Bible and swear that he walked on the moon and when Aldrin refused, Sibrel called Aldrin a coward, liar and thief. This led to an angry Aldrin punching Sibrel in his face.
Apollo moon landing hoax accusations
Astronauts Gone Wild
* [http://www.moonmovie.com "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon" official website]
* [http://www.amerikanexpose.com/audio/ae_120905.mp3 "Radio Interview with Bart Sibrel by talk show host Chris Gerner"]
* [http://www.aulis.com/index.html "Aulis Online - Site of David Percy with a large list of photographic anomalies"]
* [http://www.clavius.org Another popular pro-lunar landing/Sibrel debunking website]
* [http://www.thekeyboard.org.uk/Bart%20Sibrel.htm A critique of Bart Sibrel]
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