The Lunatic Fringe

by | Jan 23, 2016

2-Page Photo of Buzz Aldrin in LIFE Magazine, 1969
(Click in Any Image to View Larger)

In this chapter I am going to make mention of additional types of photographic anomalies which appear in the images from the Apollo lunar missions. I will begin by revisiting the image above from the first Moon landing. In this image Buzz Aldrin, the 2nd man to walk on the Moon, is being photographed by Neil Armstrong. I previously emphasized the fact that Aldrin is being lit by a spotlight, for he is standing in a lighting hotspot while the ground around him tapers off into increasing darkness. Such an effect does not occur when a person is standing outside under the light of the Sun.

The main spotlight used to illuminate Aldrin is overhead and behind him. This is revealed by the shadow cast in front of the astronaut. It has been pointed out by many individuals who have examined the Apollo photos, that any surface facing away from the Sun should appear dark with very little detail discernible due to the lack of an atmosphere on the Moon. On Earth, our atmosphere scatters light, casting it in all directions. Scientists refer to this as Rayleigh scattering. The atmospheric scattering of light is the primary reason that shadowed areas on Earth remain significantly illuminated.

There is another factor involved in shadow brightness or darkness. This is the reflectivity of surface materials. If you sit under an umbrella that is erected on a white sandy beach, you will have more illumination than if you were to sit under an umbrella erected in a field of black loamy soil. Yet, in either case, due to the Rayleigh scattering effect of light in the Earth’s atmosphere, you would have sufficient illumination to read a book. The image below demonstrates the significant amount of light available under a large shaded gazebo.

Shade of a Gazebo

On the Moon, an area which lies in shadow would be significantly darker. The Moon has no atmosphere, and this fact alone causes shaded areas to have far less light. Added to this, the lunar surface, or regolith, is on average less reflective than the surface of the Earth. The reflective properties of the lunar regolith have been compared to that of asphalt.

Asphalt Road

The reflective characteristic of any object or material is referred to as its “albedo.” A perfectly reflective surface has an albedo of 1, whereas a surface that reflects no light has an albedo of 0. In our Solar System, the planet with the highest albedo is Venus. It is estimated at 0.75. The Earth by comparison has an albedo of 0.31, while the Moon has an albedo of 0.12. These numbers, however, represent the average reflectivity of an entire planet as viewed from space. A little more than half (55%) of the light of the Sun reflected back into space from the Earth comes from clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere. Without clouds, the Earth would have an albedo of approximately 0.15, which is still higher than the albedo of the Moon.*

On average, it is estimated that only 7% of the light striking the lunar surface is reflected back. The combination of the low reflective characteristics of the lunar surface, and the absence of an atmosphere to scatter light, results in shadows which are significantly darker on the Moon than they are on Earth. To demonstrate the pronounced blackness of shadows on the Moon, let us refer once more to a recent image from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Tycho Central Peak

This high-resolution composite image of a mountain peak inside of a massive crater demonstrates the darkness of shadows on the Moon. Note how there is NO visible detail of any objects which lie in the shadows of these mountainous peaks. I have placed a white box at the top center of the peak, to identify the area which appears in the following photographic image.

Notice the boulder in the center. The side facing the Sun is brightly illuminated, showing much detail. The shadowed area beyond the boulder is totally obscured. The boulder casts an intensely dark shadow. To the right of the boulder’s shadow, on the illuminated hillside, we can see numerous rocky outcroppings and smaller boulders. We can anticipate that such structures also exist in the area covered by the large boulder’s shadow. Yet we have no hint of anything in the shadow. The lack of reflected light due to an absence of an atmosphere, coupled with the low reflective properties of the lunar soil, results in great visual extremes on the Moon. There is a much sharper delineation between lighted surfaces and shadowed surfaces on the Moon when compared to the Earth.

Another aspect of lunar lighting should be kept in mind. Since, the Moon has no atmosphere to scatter or absorb light, and no clouds to block light, the intensity of the Sun’s light striking the Moon’s surface is much greater than that on Earth. This is why the astronaut’s spacesuits were equipped with visors.

Apollo Astronaut’s Spacesuit

So intense is the Sun’s light on the lunar surface that the astronauts’ visors allowed only 10% of light in the visible range (.39 to .75 microns) to pass through the visor. 90% of the visible light was blocked. This information comes from NASA’s own documentation. It is found in a publication of the Langley Research Center titled Biotechnology, a 290 page document published in 1971.

The visors also reportedly blocked 99% of UV (ultraviolet) light in the .25 to .39 micron range, and 95% of IR (infrared) light in the .75 to 2.5 micron range. Think about this for a moment. Due to the intense brightness of the lunar surface, the astronauts had to wear visors which blocked 90% of visible light. They were trained to only raise their visors when they moved into an area of shadow. There are, however, some Apollo photos which show the astronauts with raised visors while standing in sunlight on the moon’s surface. This is further evidence that the images were staged, for the brilliant light should have been hard to bear.

AS17-146-22296, Astronaut Jack Schmitt with Visor Raised

Consider what effect this brilliant sunlight would have on film. Without a filter, film would be rapidly saturated with light and appear washed out. With a filter, the extreme difference between light and shadow on the Moon would cause shadows to appear impenetrable when the camera was properly adjusted to photograph objects under intense sunlight. It was this very line of reasoning which NASA used to explain why no stars appear in the lunar sky. They say the cameras were set-up for daytime photography, so dimly illuminated objects, such as stars in the sky, did not show up at all. The entire sky appeared as a solid black expanse. If this is true, then the same thing would also occur when the astronauts were taking photos of shadowed objects on the surface of the Moon. Objects illuminated directly by the Sun should appear visible, while everything in shadow should be dark, indistinct, and lacking detail.

The contrast between illuminated and shaded areas on the Moon is much greater than light and shadow on Earth, and it should appear this way in photos. NASA, after all, did not use any specialty film which would allow for a wider range of light exposures such as one would find on the Moon. They used the same Kodak Ektachrome film sold to photographers for use on Earth.

If we were to step into the shade of a building on a sunny day on Earth, there would be a noticeable decrease in light, but we could still see detail quite well. However, on the Moon, if you did the same thing it would be like stepping into the darkness of night. There is therefore no plausible reason that the front of Buzz Aldrin’s spacesuit should be so visible, and the detail so clear. The Sun in all its lunar brilliance is at his back, and the front of his spacesuit is in shadow. We should be able to discern no detail on the shadowed side of Buzz Aldrin. He should appear as a silhouette against a bright backdrop.


Without any front lighting source, and lacking the light scattering properties of the Earth’s atmosphere, all objects lying in shadow on the Moon should appear dark. NASA admits this themselves. On one of their websites the following statements are found.

Without the blue sky, your shadow would be eerily dark, like a piece of night following you around. Weird. Yet that’s exactly how it is on the Moon.

To visualize the experience of Apollo astronauts, imagine the sky turning completely and utterly black while the sun continues to glare. Your silhouette darkens, telling you “you’re not on Earth anymore.”

Shadows were one of the first things Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong mentioned when he stepped onto the surface of the moon. “It’s quite dark here in the shadow [of the lunar module] and a little hard for me to see that I have good footing,” he radioed to Earth…

Above: Blinding sunshine, dark shadows and the lunar lander Antares. From the book FULL MOON by Michael Light, Alfred A. Knopf ©1999.

Given plenty of time to adapt, an astronaut could see almost anywhere.
(Author’s Note: Cameras, unlike people, don’t have plenty of time to adapt.)

Almost. Consider the experience of Apollo 14 astronauts Al Shepard and Ed Mitchell:

They had just landed at Fra Mauro and were busily unloading the lunar module. Out came the ALSEP, a group of experiments bolted to a pallet. Items on the pallet were held down by “Boyd bolts,” each bolt recessed in a sleeve used to guide the Universal Handling Tool, a sort of astronaut’s wrench. Shepard would insert the tool and give it a twist to release the bolt–simple, except that the sleeves quickly filled with moondust. The tool wouldn’t go all the way in.

The sleeve made its own little shadow, so “Al was looking at it, trying to see inside. And he couldn’t get the tool in and couldn’t get it released–and he couldn’t see it,” recalls Mitchell.

“Remember,” adds Mitchell, “on the lunar surface there’s no air to refract light–so unless you’ve got direct sunlight, there’s no way in hell you can see anything. It was just pitch black. That’s an amazing phenomenon on an airless planet…”

Shadows could also be mischievous:

Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Al Bean landed in the Ocean of Storms only about 600 yards from Surveyor 3, a robotic spacecraft sent by NASA to the moon three years earlier. A key goal of the Apollo 12 mission was to visit Surveyor 3, to retrieve its TV camera, and to see how well the craft had endured the harsh lunar environment. Surveyor 3 sat in a shallow crater where Conrad and Bean could easily get at it–or so mission planners thought.

The astronauts could see Surveyor 3 from their lunar module Intrepid. “I remember the first time I looked at it,” recalls Bean. “I thought it was on a slope of 40 degrees. How are we going to get down there? I remember us talking about it in the cabin, about having to use ropes.”
But “it turned out [the ground] was real flat,” rejoined Conrad.

What happened? When Conrad and Bean landed, the sun was low in the sky. The top of Surveyor 3 was sunlit, while the bottom was in deep darkness. “I was fooled,” says Bean, “because, on Earth, if something is sunny on one side and very dark on the other, it has to be on a tremendous slope.” In the end, they walked down a gentle 10 degree incline to Surveyor 3–no ropes required.

It seems that NASA began to get their story straight on the extremes of shadow and light on the Moon as the Apollo missions progressed. This was likely due to questions or criticisms they received regarding some of the photos from early Moon landings. NASA completely bungled things on the Apollo 11 mission. The image below shows Buzz Aldrin exiting the Lunar Module. The Sun appears on the far side. The shadows on the ground reveal that the door Aldrin is exiting is almost 180 degrees opposite the Sun. The entire side of the Lunar Module that is in the image should be in darkness with little or no detail visible. The only way to account for this image is that it was filmed on Earth where Rayleigh scattering occurs, and a secondary light source was used to illuminate the side of the Lunar Module opposite the Sun.

This conclusion is further supported by additional images which show Aldrin exiting the Lunar Module. The following image, designated AS11-40-5866, is one of the most frequently cited examples of NASA having faked the Apollo Moon landings. Aside from the remarkable clarity of detail on what is the shadow side of the Lunar Module, there is a visible lighting hot spot on the heel of Buzz Aldrin’s right boot. The heel of the boot is facing away from the Sun, and the light reflection can only be accounted for through the use of a light source pointed toward the side of the Lunar Module the astronaut is descending.


Buzz Aldrin’s Boot

Look at the images of Buzz Aldrin exiting the Lunar Module above. Compare what you see to the words of Neil Armstrong who descended the same ladder just moments earlier.

It’s quite dark here in the shadow [of the lunar module] and a little hard for me to see that I have good footing.

Does it look hard for you to see in the shadowed side of the Lunar Lander? Not at all. There is even a lighting hot spot on Buzz Aldrin’s heel. If shadows are “eerily dark… like a piece of night following you around,” then why is the shadow side of the Lunar Lander so well lit? Astronaut Ed Mitchell stated, “unless you’ve got direct sunlight, there’s no way in hell you can see anything,” yet there was no direct sunlight on the back side of the Lunar Lander that Aldrin and Armstrong descended. Why was it lit up so well? Those who are engaged in refuting the evidence of the Moon missions having been faked, usually argue that the back of the Lunar Module was visible due to the reflection of sunlight off of the lunar surface. Since the lunar surface’s reflectivity is similar to that of asphalt, and the camera was adjusted to take images in intensely bright sunlight, not shadow, this explanation does not wash.

There is another explanation, however. These images were not photographed on the Moon. They were photographed in a staged environment utilizing multiple light sources here on Earth.

Those who have spent time researching the fakery of the Apollo Moon missions have likely come across the writings and videos of Richard Hoagland. Hoagland was a science advisor to CBS during the years of the Apollo Missions and appeared with Walter Cronkite on some of the network’s broadcasts. Prior to this he was a Curator of Astronomy and Space Science at the Springfield Science Museum, 1964–1967, and Assistant Director at the Gengras Science Center in West Hartford, Connecticut, 1967-1968. Hoagland is the author of two books: The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever (1987), and Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA (2007, revised 2009). The latter book was ranked 21st on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperback nonfiction about a month after its release.

In his books, Richard Hoagland proposes that NASA is covering up evidence of ancient alien civilizations which existed on Mars and the Moon. In Dark Mission, Hoagland uses computers and graphics software which was unavailable during the years of the Apollo missions, to examine the lunar photography supplied by NASA from the Surveyor and Apollo Missions. By altering the lighting, contrast and other visual elements of the NASA photographs, Hoagland was able to detect patterns rising from the lunar surface. These geometric patterns appear in the black areas which form the backdrop of the lunar photos, ostensibly being the sky just above the surface of the Moon.

Surveyor 6 Photo Taken One Hour After Sunset, November 24, 1967

Hoagland contends that this image of the lunar horizon, which he has enhanced with graphics software, reveals the remnants of an immense crystalline dome which ancient planetary travelers built to cover their cities. He estimates that this crystal dome was 6-7 miles high. Such an interpretation of this image seems plausible to Hoagland, for he is basing his conclusions on the assumption that NASA actually landed Surveyor robotic craft on the Moon, and later put men on the moon. He is consequently accepting at face value that what he is looking at is a genuine photograph taken from the Moon’s surface, in full scale, which would cause the geometric patterns in the background to be immense.

However, a far more plausible explanation is forthcoming. This explanation asserts that NASA used one of the scale mock-ups of the lunar surface, such as the ones they built at Langley Research Center, and they used a fabric backdrop, possibly something like 3M’s Scotchlite fabric, placed behind the model of the moon. Hoagland’s photographic enhancements are bringing into view the pattern of the fabric backdrop, not some ancient alien crystal dome that was erected on the Moon.


The image above, appears in Dark Mission, as well as on Hoagland’s website, It is an enhancement of a photo from the Apollo 14 mission showing astronaut Ed Mitchell on the lunar surface. By varying the lighting and contrast, Hoagland was able to detect a geometric pattern above the horizon of the Moon. Following is a further enhancement of this same NASA image.

Hoagland once again interpreted this as evidence of an immense crystalline dome structure rising from the lunar surface. Interestingly, in the video edition of Dark Mission, at the 1:28:12 mark, the author states, “What we are seeing is a gridwork of light reflecting material above the Moon.” Absolutely!

Hoagland has however, misidentified the “gridwork of light reflecting material.” It is not a 7 mile high alien crystal dome. Rather, it is panels of Scotchlite reflective material stitched together to use in a front screen projection system at a studio on Earth created to simulate the lunar surface. If this were the actual moon, the scale of the geographic shapes in the background would certainly imply there was a structure many miles high. However, if this is a studio lot on earth, the scale is revealed to be no more than about 30 feet high.

Richard Hoagland, 1994

Hoagland’s Video was recorded at Ohio State University in 1994. During his presentation, Hoagland states, “I was afraid that someone would call the university and say that a lunatic was coming on stage here tonight.” The word “lunatic” originated from the belief that changes in the lunar phase caused periodic insanity. A mentally disturbed person might be referred to as “moon-struck.” Although I would not declare Richard Hoagland to be a lunatic, there is a certain lunacy to his theories. It is believed that President Theodore Roosevelt, in his 1913 autobiography, was the first to use the expression “lunatic fringe.”

Then, among the wise and high-minded people who in self-respecting and genuine fashion strive earnestly for peace, there are foolish fanatics always to be found in such a movement and always discrediting it — the men who form the lunatic fringe in all reform movements.
[Teddy Roosevelt]

In a sense, Richard Hoagland is a member of the lunatic fringe of those who seek to bring to light the deceptions of America’s space agency. He brings discredit to the subject by positing incredible theories of ancient extraterrestrial civilizations on the moon. Even while contending that NASA is engaged in a cover-up that centers on the Apollo Moon missions, he brings into disrepute the very notion of a deception by associating it with theories that are even more fanciful than the tales NASA would have us to believe.

Hoagland has in one sense provided a service by bringing to light the unusual character of the lunar backdrops in the photographs supplied by NASA. At the same time, he leads men away from the truth by being a believer in the government deception that asserts men rode rockets to the Moon, walked on its surface, planted flags, took photos, golfed, and then returned safely back to Earth to tell the story of their adventures.

It remains therefore, to explain these mysterious backdrops. That subject will be the focus of our next chapter.

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  1. Gwen

    Dear Joseph,

    I had not known of Mr. Hoagland, himself, but I had, occasionally, come across these sorts of claims. Now I know where they originate, so, thank you!

    The "fabric backdrop" made me chuckle. My husband and I recently purchased a microscope for our son. As my husband and son were gathering all types of things to view, a piece of fabric got pushed under the scope. I pointed it out as it was very interesting to see the weave pattern, which you cannot see in detail with your unaided eyes, up close. So I scrolled back up to the photo to look with more care and that's when I chuckled. Yes, indeed, it is fabric.

    I've so enjoyed these posts. I began to research the moon hoax, myself (with some trepidation), a few years ago. I say "trepidation" because the propaganda has been successful in painting people who question these things with the brush of "lunatic" or the dreaded, "conspiracy theorist".

    Anyway, you are doing a terrific job, and you've echoed the same sentiments I've expressed – we are surrounded by deceit and Christians need to wake up to that fact.

    I pray the Father will continue to bless you and your work,


  2. Unknown

    I think you are wrong on this nasa moon thing. all of these things you mention can be clearly resolved by the addition of reflective light from other objects nearby such as the LEM itself, the other astronaut's mostly bright white and reflective suit and the surface of the moon which is a huge reflector of light even on the down-sun-side angle (looking away from the sun). I think you do yourself and your Christian audience a big disservice continuing on this conspiracy path that is impossible to prove.

    arnie fishman

  3. Joseph Herrin

    Hello Arnie,

    Thank you for commenting. I am assuming you are referring to the photo of Buzz Aldrin when you speak of the light which reflects from the LEM illuminating other objects. The shape of the LEM would have to be a parabola to throw a round spotlight upon Aldrin. Your own eyes should show you that the LEM is not shaped like a parabola. Nor could the reflection of light on the Sun-facing side of the LEM explain the illumination of the opposite side of the LEM.

    In this chapter you are commenting on I provided much evidence of shadows being darker on the Moon than on the Earth. The LRO pictures portray them this way. NASA corroborates this fact themselves, and I provided quotations. Even Neil Armstrong described the backside of the LEM as being so dark he had difficulty seeing the ladder he was descending. Remember also that we are seeing photographs, and the film used by NASA could not capture both brilliantly lighted objects and vastly dimmer objects at the same time. Since the cameras were set-up for the brilliant illumination of the lunar surface, they would not have been able to show things which lay in the dark shadows of the Moon.

    You offered no refutation of any of the points I made. You merely offered your opinion that no one could prove the Lunar landings were faked. I disagree. I may not be able to persuade you, or a great many other people, but proving a matter and persuading people of the truth of a matter, are two very different things.

    As in all of the books and various teachings I have posted on my websites, I present evidence and invite people to test everything, taking the matter to God and asking Him for understanding. Whether the subject is the pagan origins of Christmas and Easter, the error of the Hebrew Roots movement and Torah Observance, the ultimate reconciliation of all men to God through the cross of Christ, the governmental order of Yahweh which establishes Christ as the Head of man and man as the head of woman, refuting the KJV-Only dogma, laying out the case for Christian passivism, etc., there will always be a significant number of readers who remain unpersuaded, or who are offended by the things which are being taught.

  4. Joseph Herrin


    Arnie, what I would ask you is whether you are applying the same level of criticism to the official government narrative of the lunar missions? In the opening chapters of this book I presented evidence of the U.S. government practicing lies and deception. I set forth the rationale of a global elite who believe it is their duty to shepherd the masses through use of propaganda, deception, and fabricated events. I provided examples of the U.S. government silencing dissenters, often by having them killed by covert means. I listed examples of this occurring in the Apollo space program as the astronauts of Apollo 1 were incinerated inside a locked space capsule, and the whistleblower Thomas Baron received threats and was subsequently found dead at a railroad crossing along with his wife and stepdaughter, and his 500 page presentation to Congress mysteriously disappearing.

    I provided evidence of a deception as all material related to the Saturn V rockets was ordered destroyed right after the Apollo missions, and NASA claims to have lost the high definition video and data tapes from the Moon missions, objects which were ostensibly national treasures. I demonstrated that NASA is a Masonic organization, run by Freemasons of the highest degrees, men who are practiced in lying and deception and who have embraced the Luciferian doctrines of that organization. I laid out the facts showing that an internetwork of global corporations comprise the true power which runs the world. They control both governments and own the media, giving this global elite the ability to carry forth deceptions on a worldwide scale.

    Why would you be less inclined to scrutinize the testimony of known liars and servants of Satan than you would the testimony of a son of God who is devoted to a pursuit of truth? Has the government and media presented more compelling evidence? Are grainy images of men walking on the Moon, and the assurances of the American government, what you would consider irrefutable evidence? Or is it merely the overwhelming weight of academic and scientific opinion that is so compelling? Remember, these are the same minds which say God is dead and assure us men evolved from a common ancestor with the apes. These are the geniuses that teach evolution as fact even if they call it a theory. They would have us believe all the stupendous complexity of creation is the result of time and chance, while discounting any notions of intelligent design.

    Arnie, in your estimation of things I may be doing the church a disservice by pursuing this subject, but that is an accusation I have heard many times before while writing on a variety of subjects. I do not choose my topics because they are popular, nor do I anticipate that anymore than a remnant will ever embrace the teachings I present. I do not mind that you would challenge what I have written, or speak disapprovingly of it. I will, however, be disappointed, as I always am, to encounter those who are believers in Christ and partakers of the Holy Spirit who will dismiss a matter without having given it a fair hearing. I have presented a significant amount of material for consideration on this subject already, and I am nowhere near done. Yet you have concluded that no evidence could possibly be forthcoming that can change your mind. This is a self-fulfilling assumption. People will not see that which they believe cannot exist.

    May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,

    Joseph Herrin

  5. Unknown

    I do not mean to disparage this work you have done! I am sorry for my last comment about you doing a disservice to the body of Christ for pursuing this. for that I apologize to you and your readers—please forgive me in the name of Jesus, for all of your reading members I ask this. Understanding how the world works is valid.

    I do believe there are conspiracies and darkness running through aspects of the country. and it may very true that the masonic aspect in some of nasa's employees is or was real. I will not discount that. I have always been bothered by the naming of these space and military programs for pagan gods. To me this is one the most disturbing details of the secular nature of our government.

    I have spent numbers of hours looking at moon landing/hoax theories before and every time i spend time doing so, i come away with the fact that the hoax theorists are just wrong in their physics—their interpretation of light, perspectives, shadows, movements, the van allen belts and the launch trajectories through them, etc. I grew up in the 60s and saw the whole nasa story in my youth and am acquainted with many aspects of the missions technical details.

    That said, I will look at this report from Thomas Baron—I never heard about this before and his allegations. Lets assume that Baron was on to something and was intentionally silenced——this would not disprove they landed on the moon. all it would prove is that there were some very wicked people occupying the positions of authority in the nasa military industrial chain that would resort to criminal acts to hide defects etc.

  6. Joseph Herrin

    Hello Arnie,

    I appreciate the evident humility present in your reply. Please know that I am not offended by what you communicated in your first comment. I understood that you had objections to the subject being explored in these writings and were not being malicious, nor seeking to attack my character. I am at peace with you, brother.

    From your latest comment, there is an indication that you haven't actually read all of the chapters in this book, or at least have not read them with comprehension. The 500 page report by Thomas Baron is not available for you to review. As I mentioned, it disappeared. There is no longer an extant copy of the report Mr. Baron presented to the Congressional subcommittee tasked with investigating the Apollo 1 tragedy. Also, because members of the committee categorized Mr. Baron's report as an "exhibit," rather than having it made part of the Congressional record, no official copy of the content of his report was made.

    Arnie, I also grew up in the 1960s. I think it is inaccurate to cite such experience to demonstrate one's familiarity with the technical details of the Apollo missions. What the public was subjected to was propaganda, fabrications, and lies. It was only after several decades passed, and I began to have my eyes opened to the deceptive nature of this world we live in, and to discover the very dark history of American government which practices deception as a matter of course, that I was able to take a look at this subject through fresh eyes.

    As with any subject, whether it be a report of conspiracy in this world, or Christian doctrine, belief and practice, there will always exist a great amount of error on all sides which serves to sow confusion and cloud the truth. It would be unwise to throw out the baby with the bath water. Certainly there is much misinformation, false claims, and errant reasoning advanced by those who contend that NASA faked the moon landings. It is our responsibility to test all claims, whether they appear to advance or refute the position we hold to be true. We need to chart a course down the middle of the road, being careful not to fall into the ditch on either side. Our goal should be truth.

    In my own research into this subject I have encountered many dubious arguments being propounded by those who contend that a hoax was perpetrated by the U.S. government. Having tested the arguments and examined the evidence, I have concluded that much of it lacks merit. I have made decisions to bypass that which is doubtful, while holding fast to that which is worthy. I cannot answer for what other men have written on this subject, nor would it be proper for you to judge my presentation by the failings of others. I invite you to judge my writing on its own merits.

    May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,

    Joseph Herrin

  7. Mark T.

    Dear Joseph, it is in the same spirit that I offer my apology for the snippy comments I made after the 'Smoke and Mirrors' post. It comes across as angry and that was the furthest thing from my mind when I wrote it. This series of posts has awakened something in me that I now wrestle with and it is causing me no end of confusion and unrest! I was born in December of 1968 and so I was not even 7 months old when the Apollo missions began! I was not even there!! But like so many others in my generation I grew up believing that man had been to the moon. I've always been curious and of course I had read the conspiracy theories but dismissed them because I wanted to believe man had done it, perhaps I even NEEDED to believe it! And this is what is so frustrating… WHY do I need to believe this? Does it elevate me as a person to believe that man has been to the moon, does it do something for my ego to believe it? Why is it so difficult for me to let it go? Am I THAT gullible? Can I believe my own eyes? Is this where the great anger and gnashing of teeth comes after the masses of humanity finally realize their plight after the thick cover of deception has been lifted?
    My fear is this, that the arguments you put forth have been done so before. The arguments against the hoax are as convincing to the layperson as those for it. I am not a scientist, I know nothing of light or particle physics, Van Allen Belts and cosmic radiation and I don't know that in some previous age man did not inhabit the planets and moons of this solar system. I fear that the argument cannot be proven beyond doubt and though I claim to have an open mind about these things there is a part of me that wants to hang on to this moon story with a TIGHT grip.
    Once again I offer my apology to you and to the readers of this blog and pray that the darkness be lifted and for eyes to "see".
    God Bless!

  8. Eddy Carter-Smith

    Listen to what experts summarize:

    "A significant factor contributing to the difficulty (of space travel) is the energy (read mass) which must be supplied to obtain a reasonable travel time. A lower bound for the required energy is the kinetic energy K = ½ mv², where m is the final mass. If deceleration on arrival is desired and cannot be achieved by any means other than the (rocket) engines of the ship, then the required energy (read mass) at least doubles, because the energy (read mass) needed to halt the ship equals the energy (read mass) needed to accelerate it to travel speed." Etc, etc.
    It means, e.g. that a spaceship with mass m = 10 000 kg arriving at speed v = 10 000 m/s wanting to stop (0 m/s speed) must use 500 GJ energy to brake because the kinetic energy K (unit Joule or J) is m 10 000 (kg) times v 10 000 (m/s) times v 10 000 m/s divided by 2 or K = ½mv².

    I am actually a tanker man having operated oil tankers for many years at sea. A super tanker with weight 300.000.000 kg doing 15 knots (7.5 m/s) at sea has kinetic energy only 8.4375 GJ. The spaceship with 30 000 times smaller mass but much faster needs almost 60 times more energy than a super tanker at sea on Earth to stop. Imagine that! A modern supertanker maybe uses 60.000 kg/day fuel just to sail at sea overcoming resistance. It will stop by itself in say 30 minutes due to resistance, if the engine is shut off. If you reverse the engine – crash stop – you may stop in 15 minutes. In space there is no resistance. You must stop by using your rocket engine applying (brake) force in the opposite direction of travel.


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