Talk to debunk Moon landing conspiracies

Conspiracy theories surrounding the six famous NASA manned moon landings will be the subject of a free talk in Aberdeen this week.

Questions such as why the flag flapped when there is no air on the moon, and why no stars appear in the background of any image taken on the moon - will be covered by Dr Ken Skeldon from the University of Aberdeen's Public Engagement with Science Unit.

Dr Skeldon's talk - which takes place at Waterstone's Union Bridge branch at 7pm on Wednesday (8 July) – is part of the University's second Café Scientifique series which aims to bring topical issues and debates in science to a wider public audience.

Dr Skeldon will explore and debunk the various myths and fallacies surrounding the moon landings which aim to suggest the six manned NASA missions were faked. 

The event has been created to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission - which saw US astronaut Neil Armstrong take the famous first steps onto the Moon's surface - on 20 July 1969.

An introductory talk by Dr Skeldon will be followed by an open microphone session where audience questions and participation will be encouraged.

Dr Skeldon said: "Over the four decades since Neil Armstrong made the historic first steps onto the moon, speculation over the authenticity of NASA's six manned moon missions has been rife.

"In fact, some suggest that as many as 1 in 5 Americans believe the missions were all hoaxes.

"In my talk I will put forward some reasoning which debunks the various myths, suggesting that much of the so-called hoax evidence is down to "bad science" and selective reporting."

Dr Skeldon's talk is one of two events being hosted by the University to celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversary. 

Leading science writer and broadcaster Dr Chris Riley will give a free talk at the University on 28 July at 6pm in the King's College Conference Centre on the institution's Old Aberdeen campus.

Dr Riley – who has directed and produced over eighty programmes for the BBC, including Tomorrow's World – will detail his work documenting and analysing the momentous flight of Apollo 11 and the other eight manned flights to the Moon undertaken by NASA.

In particular he will provide an insight into the 2007 film documentary, In the Shadow of the Moon, which chronicles the stories of many of the astronauts who flew to the Moon between 1968 and 1972, and his spin off series for the Discovery Science Channel Moon Machines - which tells the stories of the 400,000 engineers who made the dream of Apollo.

Entry to Dr Riley's talk is free but advance registration is advised.  To register, or for further information visit or contact 01224 273874. 

Dr Skeldon's Café Scientifique talk – One small step, many giant myths: Debunking the Moon Hoax Theories takes place on Wednesday 8 July at Waterstone's Union Bridge branch beginning at 7pm

There will be an opportunity to buy refreshments or snacks before the open-mic discussion begins.

There is no need to book for the Café Scientifique events which are free to attend and open to all.

The full Café Scientifique 2009 Spring/Summer programme can be found at and is sponsored by the University of Aberdeen and a Science and Society grant from the Scottish Government.