NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon on July 20, 1969
The famous photo of NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon on July 20, 1969. Image by EPA

Buzz Aldrin video exposes flat-earth lunacy over moon landing

Meghan Williams July 21, 2022
WHAT WAS CLAIMED

Former US astronaut Buzz Aldrin admits in a video there was no moon landing.

OUR VERDICT

False. The short clip is taken out of context from a video in which Aldrin repeatedly mentions landing on the moon.

Flat earthers have a long history of claiming the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 was a hoax.

In 1980, the International Flat Earth Research Society’s president claimed Hollywood studios staged the landing, scripted by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke.

More recently, a post from an Australian Facebook user on a flat earth group asserts former astronaut Buzz Aldrin admits in a video there was no moon landing.

The claim is false. The 54-second clip posted to Facebook on July 13 is taken from a 17-minute video in which Aldrin repeatedly talks about landing on the moon. Aldrin has spoken and written extensively about his lunar landing experience and once punched a man who claimed it was hoax.

The post features the short clip of Aldrin being interviewed by a child, with the caption: “B#zz Aldrin admits the moon landing was fakÔé¼”. The video was filmed at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, on September 5, 2015, while the former astronaut was promoting his book, Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet.

The young interviewer asks Aldrin why no one has been back to the moon in such a long time.

Aldrin replies: “That’s not an eight-year-old’s question. That’s my question. I want to know, but I think I know. Because we didn’t go there and that’s the way it happened. And if it didn’t happen, it’s nice to know why it didn’t happen so in the future, if we want to keep doing something, we need to know why something stopped in the past if we wanted to keep it going”.

In isolation, the first half of Aldrin’s quote could be misconstrued. But as a previous fact check by Snopes points out, the second half of the quote demonstrates Aldrin was talking about the discontinuation of crewed missions to the moon after the final Apollo mission in 1972, rather than never having been there in the first place.

Buzz Aldrin in 2018.
 Buzz Aldrin has vehemently denied claims the moon landing was an elaborate hoax. 

In the longer video, Aldrin goes on to suggest money was the reason manned moon missions ended.

“Money is a good thing. If you want to buy new things, new rockets, instead of keep doing the same thing over, then it’s going to cost more money. And other things need more money too. So, having achieved what the president wanted us to do, and then what thousands, millions of people in America, and millions of people around the world – you know when we toured around the world after we came back, the most fascinating observation was signs that said, ‘We did it’. Not just us, not just America, but we. The world. Different countries. They felt like they were part of what we were able to do. And that made us feel very good,” he says (video mark 7 min 59 sec).

Earlier in the video, Aldrin talks about landing on the moon. The Apollo 11 astronaut says while people had previously travelled into space, he was given the opportunity to attempt a moon landing along with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.

“All of us wanted to succeed. And we did. And that’s why I’m here ÔǪ because I had the curiosity to want to tell people what it was like,” he says (video mark 1 min 17 sec).

Since his lunar mission in July 1969, Aldrin has publicly recalled his experience many times, as seen here, here, here, here, here, and here.

He has also authored several books drawing upon his experiences following Armstrong as the second human to step foot on the moon.

In September 2002, Aldrin punched a moon landing-denialist who accused him of being part of a hoax. Footage of the encounter has been viral for years and resurfaced on Reddit in July 2021.

Similar claims about Aldrin admitting the moon landing was fake, taken from a May 2000 appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, have been debunked by Reuters, PolitiFact, and Snopes.

The Verdict

The claim former astronaut Buzz Aldrin admitted in a video there was no moon landing is false. The short clip has been taken out of context from a longer video in which he mentions successfully landing on the moon several times. The clip isolates his answer to a question about why no one has returned to the moon since 1972. Aldrin has written many books recalling his experiences on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and has spoken frequently about walking on the moon.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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