Scientific Methods

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Hello everyone

Please view my interpretation of the assignment of the moon-landing on my blog as titled above (now posted below in addition, upon request). Though I answer the questions posed by Dr. Knight, I also look at the reasoning behind, and what I believe led up to, the much debated moon-landing and the Apollo programme.

History is an amasing reflection of our destructive capabilities.

Do you agree? Make your own comments...

I look forward to your opinions.

Here it is:

As an assignment, we were requested to look critically at the historical footage of the moon landing of Apollo 11 (and some) as well as the views of those who suggest that the moon-landing never actually occurred. The debate reigns…Did Man (Americans) set foot on the moon or was this just the most elaborate hoax ever conceived?

I did some digging, in fact LOTS of digging, and believe that I can answer the question. As the following is of my opinion and by my interpretation of the facts which I obtained, I may well be incorrect, so, please feel free to present me in the comments section of this blog with alternative hypotheses supported by your own facts…

I believe that the moon landings did actually occur, but also that the majority of the sceptics’ conspiracy theories denying the possibility of an actual moon landing, have substance. How is this possible and can we believe what we are given to see as a historical and accurate account of the events which actually took place? Yes and no…read further…

The question of the moon-landings cannot be viewed as would be expected, through the apparent evidence. We need to look deeper into the philosophy of reasoning behind this event and a build up of political and historical events leading up to this milestone. To begin with the end, I extend my sincere congratulations to the USA government for pulling off a project of this magnitude, within hidden, were the possibilities of total annihilation, if such a project had failed. Guys, you did what you needed to do, bravo!

Lets look at the history of 1961, the basis of my reasoning and angle of approach (no pun intended). All information is supplied by: Wikipedia contributors. 1961 [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 Apr 19, 17:30 UTC [cited 2006 Apr 19]. Available from:

3 January 1961

US President Dwight Eisenhower announced that the USA had cut all ties, diplomatic and consular with its neighbour Cuba.

9 January 1961

British intelligence announced that they had discovered a large Soviet-spy organisation in London.

17 January 1961

President Eisenhower gave his last State of the Union address.

20 January 1961

John F. Kennedy became the president of the USA.

24 January 1961

A US B-52 bomber with two 1-megaton nuclear bombs crashed near Goldsboro in North Carolina.

25 January 1961

John F. Kennedy delivered the first live presidential news conference announcing that the two captured crew members of the USAF RB 47 reconnaissance plane (spy-plane), shot down by Soviet fighters over the Barents sea on 1 July 1960, had been released by the Soviet Union.

30 January 1961

John F. Kennedy delivered his first State of the Union address.

31 January 1961

The male Chimpanzee, Ham, became the first Hominid to be rocketed into orbit as part of a test of the Mercury project, a capsule designed to carry US astronauts into space.

1 March 1961

John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.

8 March 1961

The first Polaris submarine arrived at Holy Loch in Scotland.

12 April 1961

Yuri Gagarin became the first human (Soviet) in space.

17 April 1961

The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba begins, ultimately ending in failure.

20 April 1961

Fidel Castro announced that all the invaders of the Bay of Pigs had been defeated.

5 April 1961

Alan Shepherd became the first American in space.

25 May 1961

President John F. Kennedy announced to a special joint session of congress, his goals and intentions to initiate a project (Apollo) to ‘put a man on the moon’ before the end of the decade.

31 May 1961

President John F. Kennedy met with Charles De Gaulle in Paris.

4 June 1961

President John F. Kennedy met with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna (for two days), to discuss nuclear tests, disarmament, and Germany.

4 July 1961

The Soviet nuclear submarine K-19 exploded in the Northern Atlantic.

21 July 1961

Gus Grissom piloted the Mercury 4 capsule, “Liberty Bell,” becoming the second American in space.

13 August 1961

The initiation of the construction of the Berlin wall began.

30 October 1961

The Soviet Union detonated a 58-megaton hydrogen bomb known as “Tsar bomba” over Novaya Zemlya. This explosion to date remains as the record of the largest man-made explosion ever.

2 December 1961

Fidel Castro announced in a nationally broadcast speech that he adopted Marxist-Lenilism and that Cuba was to adopt Communism.

11 December 1961

The Vietnam War officially began.

The above historical record on its own paints a volatile and potentially destructive picture, but lets look even deeper at some of the events mentioned to paint an even more DESPERATE picture, since I believe that this desperation led to the make-or-break of history as it is written…

The Democratic world was at war with the Communist world. The war as we know, was one of threat and power to the ultimate goal of world domination, termed the Cold War. The two apposing sides were the USA with its allies, and the Soviet Union with its allies. The creation and testing of weapons of mass destruction fuelled a massive counter aggregation of potential threat on both sides as a matching stand-off, fuelled by the fear of annihilation and propaganda.

If we look more closely at the evidence and the facts of all of the Apollo missions, we notice initially that the rocket used to transport the crew of Apollo 7, called the Saturn B-1 rocket, was in fact originally proposed as the delivery of nuclear warheads ( accessed 18/4/06: 20:12), a fact which the Soviets would most certainly have been aware of through their own intelligence networks. Apollo 7 was the first manned Apollo mission, and would have been well televised. Not only did the Americans successfully launch people into orbit with this rocket, but the crew spent more time in space than all of the Soviet space flights combined up to that time. Television was used as the tool of propaganda, not only as visual entertainment, but as proof that the American could potentially launch a nuclear weapon into Earth’s orbit. This feat demonstrated that the restrictions of flight distance and therefore range of previous weapons of mass destruction were now obsolete. The problem of strategic positioning of defensive or offensive weaponry of this magnitude was now solved. America had to match the first show of this level of potential force of capability initiated by the launch of the first man in orbit, Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet, in 1961.

President Dwight Eisenhower in his State of the Union Address of 1961, his last, expressed the following:

To the Congress of the United States:

Once again it is my Constitutional duty to assess the state of the Union.

On each such previous occasion during these past eight years I have outlined a forward course designed to achieve our mutual objective, a better America in a world of peace. This time my function is different.”( 12:51, 18/4/06).

During the period, the United States has forged ahead under a constructive foreign policy. The continuing goal is peace, liberty, and wellbeing for others as well as ourselves. The aspirations of all peoples are one-peace with justice in freedom. Peace can only be attained collectively as peoples everywhere unite in their determination that liberty and wellbeing come to all mankind.

Yet while we have worked to advance national aspirations for freedom, a divisive force has been at work to divert that aspiration into dangerous channels. The Communist movement throughout the world exploits the natural striving of all to be free and attempts to subjugate men rather than free them. These activities have caused and are continuing to cause grave troubles in the world
.” ( 12:51, 18/4/06)

The above is President Eisenhower’s discussion, in part, of the foreign policy, which clearly outlines his concerns about the potential Communist threat. He continues as part of his discussion of National Defence:

For the first time in our nation's history we have consistently maintained in peacetime, military forces of a magnitude sufficient to deter and if need be to destroy predatory forces in the world.

Tremendous advances in strategic weapons systems have been made in the past eight years. Not until 1953 were expenditures on long-range ballistic missile programs even as much as a million dollars a year; today we spend ten times as much each day on these programs as was spent in all of 1952.

No guided ballistic missiles were operational at the beginning of 1953. Today many types give our armed forces unprecedented effectiveness. The explosive power of our weapons systems for all purposes is almost inconceivable.

Today the United States has operational ATLAS missiles, which can strike a target 5000 miles away in a half-hour. The POLARIS weapons system became operational last fall and the TITAN is scheduled to become so this year. Next year, more than a year ahead of schedule, a vastly improved ICBM, the solid propellant MINUTEMAN, is expected to be ready.

Squadrons of accurate Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles are now operational. The THOR and JUPITER IRBMs based in forward areas can hit targets 1500 miles away in 18 minutes.

Aircraft which fly at speeds faster than sound were still in a developmental stage eight years ago. Today American fighting planes go twice the speed of sound. And either our B-58 Medium Range Jet Bomber or our B-52 Long Range Jet Bomber can carry more explosive power than was used by all combatants in World War II--Allies and Axis combined.

Eight years ago we had no nuclear-powered ships. Today 49 nuclear warships have been authorized. Of these, 14 have been commissioned, including three of the revolutionary POLARIS submarines. Our nuclear submarines have cruised under the North Pole and circumnavigated the earth while submerged. Sea warfare has been revolutionized, and the United States is far and away the leader.

Our tactical air units overseas and our aircraft carriers are alert; Army units, guarding the frontiers of freedom in Europe and the Far East, are in the highest state of readiness in peacetime history; our Marines, a third of whom are deployed in the Far East, are constantly prepared for action; our Reserve establishment has maintained high standards of proficiency, and the Ready Reserve now numbers over 2 ? million citizen-soldiers.

The Department of Defence, a young and still evolving organization, has twice been improved and the line of command has been shortened in order to meet the demands of modern warfare. These major reorganizations have provided a more effective structure for unified planning and direction of the vast defence establishment. Gradual improvements in its structure and procedures are to be expected.

United States civil defence and non-military defence capacity has been greatly strengthened and these activities have been consolidated in one Federal agency.

The defence forces of our Allies now number five million men, several thousand combatant ships, and over 25,000 aircraft. Programs to strengthen these allies have been consistently supported by the Administration. U.S. military assistance goes almost exclusively to friendly nations on the rim of the communist world. This American contribution to nations who have the will to defend their freedom, but insufficient means, should be vigorously continued. Combined with our Allies, the free world now has a far stronger shield than we could provide alone.

Since 1953, our defence policy has been based on the assumption that the international situation would require heavy defence expenditures for an indefinite period to come, probably for years. In this protracted struggle, good management dictates that we resist overspending as resolutely as we oppose under-spending. Every dollar uselessly spent on military mechanisms decreases our total strength and, therefore, our security. We must not return to the "crash-program" psychology of the past when each new feint by the Communists was responded to in panic. The "bomber gap" of several years ago was always a fiction, and the "missile gap" shows every sign of being the same.

The nation can ill afford to abandon a national policy which provides for a fully adequate and steady level of effort, designed for the long pull; a fast adjustment to new scientific and technological advances; a balanced force of such strength as to deter general war, to effectively meet local situations and to retaliate to attack and destroy the attacker; and a strengthened system of free world collective security.” ( 12:51, 18/4/06)

The above illustrates my point exactly, the strategic and public display of POTENTIAL to cause mass destruction, either as defence or attack. President Eisenhower uses the words “revolutionary Polaris submarines” referring to the commissioning of three of the potentially most powerful nuclear-capable submarines of its time, stocked with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles built by the US Navy, each with a range of 1850km. The first test of the Polaris missile took place on 6 May 1962 using a live nuclear warhead, and was the only test of an offensive US nuclear missile (Wikipedia contributors. UGM-27 Polaris [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 Mar 19, 12:35 UTC [cited 2006 Apr 18]. Available from:, again a show of potential force and capability. The deployment of one of the Polaris submarines to Holy Lock in Scotland in 8 March 1961 was a deliberate show of strategic defensive strategy with offensive capability.

Eisenhower’s use of the word “Revolutionary” in itself suggests intent.

The Soviet submarine K-19 exploded in the Northern Atlantic on 4 July 1961. K-19 was a Hotel-class submarine, the first nuclear submarine equipped with nuclear ballistic missiles. (Wikipedia contributors. Soviet submarine K-19 [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 Apr 7, 22:34 UTC [cited 2006 Apr 18]. Available from:

The mere presence of this submarine in the Northern Atlantic displayed the Soviet’s readiness to counter-strategise for their own defensive or offensive possible deployment of weapons of mass destruction, their show of potential force.

Communism seemed to take a grip on the world from 1961 and America was also facing a recession. America could arguably have been at its weakest and open to infiltration or attack. America desperately needed solutions and quickly.

President John F. Kennedy in his State of the Union address commented the following:

Our greatest challenge is still the world that lies beyond the Cold War--but the first great obstacle is still our relations with the Soviet Union and Communist China. We must never be lulled into believing that either power has yielded its ambitions for world domination--ambitions which they forcefully restated only a short time ago. On the contrary, our task is to convince them that aggression and subversion will not be profitable routes to pursue these ends. Open and peaceful competition--for prestige, for markets, for scientific achievement, even for men's minds--is something else again. For if Freedom and Communism were to compete for man's allegiance in a world at peace, I would look to the future with ever increasing confidence.

To meet this array of challenges--to fulfil the role we cannot avoid on the world scene--we must re-examine and revise our whole arsenal of tools: military, economic and political” ( 22:07 19/4/06).

President John F. Kennedy, though still controversial, had a different approach to the Cold War. He sought resolve and the union of ideas instead of their destructive uses, to better human-kind. He was outspoken and rightly so, but yet, still did not take any nonsense:

In the meantime, I have asked the Defense Secretary to initiate immediately three new steps most clearly needed now:

First, l have directed prompt attention to increase our air-lift capacity. Obtaining additional air transport mobility--and obtaining it now--will better assure the ability of our conventional forces to respond, with discrimination and speed, to any problem at any spot on the globe at any moment's notice. In particular it will enable us to meet any deliberate effort to avoid or divert our forces by starting limited wars in widely scattered parts of the globe.

(b) I have directed prompt action to step up our Polaris submarine program. Using unobligated ship-building funds now (to let contracts originally scheduled for the next fiscal year) will build and place on station--at least nine months earlier than planned-substantially more units of a crucial deterrent--a fleet that will never attack first, but possess sufficient powers of retaliation, concealed beneath the seas, to discourage any aggressor from launching an attack upon our security.

(c) I have directed prompt action to accelerate our entire missile program. Until the Secretary of Defense's reappraisal is completed, the emphasis here will be largely on improved organization and decision making--on cutting down the wasteful duplications and the time-lag that have handicapped our whole family of missiles. If we are to keep the peace, we need an invulnerable missile force powerful enough to deter any aggressor from even threatening an attack that he would know could not destroy enough of our force to prevent his own destruction. For as I said upon taking the oath of office: ‘Only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed’” ( 22:13, 18/4/06).

I strongly believe that President John F. Kennedy anticipated a destructive end to the climax of the Cold War, which was escalating on both sides:

First, we must strengthen our military tools. We are moving into a period of uncertain risk and great commitment in which both the military and diplomatic possibilities require a Free World force so powerful as to make any aggression clearly futile. Yet in the past, lack of a consistent, coherent military strategy, the absence of basic assumptions about our national requirements and the faulty estimates and duplication arising from inter-service rivalries have all made it difficult to assess accurately how adequate--or inadequate--our defenses really are” ( 22:11. 18/4/06).

He met with Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev who was the first secretary of the communist party from 1953 to 1964. President John F. Kennedy met with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna to discuss nuclear tests and disarmament, and Germany, whose affiliation with Communism was growing, ultimately to create what was to be termed the Berlin wall.

John F. Kennedy also met with Charles De Gaulle in Paris on 31 May, prior to his visit with Khrushchev. De Gaulle was a French military leader and a statesman. Before World War Two he was known for his advocation of the concentrated use of aviation forces. He inspired a new constitution. His political ideology is still known as Gaullism (Wikipedia contributors. Charles de Gaulle [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 Apr 17, 11:16 UTC [cited 2006 Apr 18]

John F. Kennedy knew that the make-or-break point of the Cold War was dependant on one overpowering single factor that could embrace all differences between political rivals. I believe that President Kennedy’s fear would have been the potential for world domination of the Communists if indeed their ideals and motives in being the first to service this single factor were realised. Democracy just had to be first, and in doing so, end the Cold War by a juxtapositioning of power and fear versus inclusion, support and stability:

Finally, this Administration intends to explore promptly all possible areas of cooperation with the Soviet Union and other nations "to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors." Specifically, I now invite all nations--including the Soviet Union--to join with us in developing a weather prediction program, in a new communications satellite program and in preparation for probing the distant planets of Mars and Venus, probes which may someday unlock the deepest secrets of the universe.

Today this country is ahead in the science and technology of space, while the Soviet Union is ahead in the capacity to lift large vehicles into orbit. Both nations would help themselves as well as other nations by ten moving these endeavors from the bitter and wasteful competition of the Cold War. The United States would be willing to join with the Soviet Union and the scientists of all nations in a greater effort to make the fruits of this new knowledge available to all-and, beyond that, in an effort to extend farm technology to hungry nations--to wipe out disease--to increase the exchanges of scientists and. their knowledge--and to make our own laboratories available to technicians of other lands who lack the facilities to pursue their own work. Where nature makes natural allies of us all, we can demonstrate that beneficial relations are possible even with those with whom we most deeply disagree-and this must someday be the basis of world peace and world law” ( 22:20, 18/4/06).

President John F. Kennedy announced to a special joint session of congress, his goals and intentions to initiate the Apollo project to ‘put a man on the moon’ before the end of the decade, on 25 May 1961.

The Apollo missions were not only the means to service the ultimate ideal of the Democratic world as a peaceful gesture in getting Democratic Americans to the moon first, but was also the last front to display the last and largest efforts of potential, to be interpreted on a military scale, in support of the death of the Cold War. So important was this ideal and the race itself, that the advertisement of every step HAD to be undeniably documented. The use of television and photography as the tool of propaganda, as well as sensationalism to secondarily distract the world from pending disaster, had to be FLAWLESS and NON-AMBIGUOUS. Any alternatives to the latter, or suggestions of doubt, could have led to the collapse of Democracy and the ultimate domination of Communism.

If it all came down to the message portrayed, would you too do everything to ensure that the tools used to convey the correct message were supplying irrefutable information (propaganda)? I certainly would.

In my above dissection of what I believe were the balance of political agenda versus absolute survival of the human race as we know it, and if technology was the language used to portray an ultimate and “perfect” message, then I believe that the apparently doctored footage of the Apollo missions, including perfect photographs are proof of this. I strongly believe that America did land people on the moon, as they had no choice but to, however, the doubt that could have been portrayed through the poor quality of technology of the time, or even absence of required technology to accurately deliver the message, most certainly lead to ingenious and desperate innovation.

Today the sceptics are viewing only part of the evidence, and can therefore justifiably make the assumption that America did not set foot on the moon, and the US government will never ever admit anything…in fact the creation of questions by sceptics actually allows the real evidence to become “lost” in opinion…

A final clue to the riddle, in support of the motive behind the space race is the coat of arms printed on the patch designated to the first landing of Americans on the moon, of the Apollo 11 mission. The American coat of arms includes the eagle, holding an olive branch in its talons as a sign of peace. The same eagle holds the same olive branch on the Apollo 11 mission patch. The Lunar module of Apollo 11 was given the name “Eagle” and when the “Eagle had landed” the olive branch, those astronauts representative of a hugely peaceful milestone, took the greatest leap for mankind.


David Vaughan
Senior aquarist, Quarantine
Two Oceans Aquarium
Cape Town, South Africa
(021) 418 38 23


Today SEC accepted the following new rules concerning plagiarism:

Rule A.5.1.8
Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty is serious misconduct and will be dealt with in terms of the provisions of the University's Disciplinary rules for Students. Academic dishonesty is not limited to plagiarism, cheating, collusion or activities of that kind, but extends to all deceptions relating to academic work.

(Please note: Plagiarism is viewed as serious misconduct by the University. If a student is found guilty of plagiarizing he/she may be suspended from the University. Furthermore he/she may be charged with a criminal offence and/or a civil claim for damages may be brought against him/her)

Student disciplinary rules

New rule

"Plagiarism" means to steal, or to pass off as one's own, the formulation, idea or words of another (i.e. appropriating a formulation, idea or words derived from the intellectual work of another person by incorporating, without crediting such author and source, such formulation, idea or words into one's own work).

(Please note: Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:
  • The appropriation of formulations, ideas or words from the work of another person without acknowledging the author(s) and the source; and
  • The appropriation of work from someone else's assignment, thesis, test or research paper without acknowledging such other person and/or source.)

Dr Richard Knight
Co-ordinator: National Information Society Learnerships - Ecological Informatics
Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
University of the Western Cape
Private Bag X17
Bellville 7535
Phone 27 + 21 + 959 3940
Fax 27 + 21 + 959 1237



To clarify....

Review the video material from (can do your own search) see links further below.....

Review the additional links I provided to help get more of a feel for the subject.

Prepare a SHORT 500 plus articles on summarising YOUR views with respect to

  • How certain were you that we landed space-craft on the Moon?
  • How certain were you that we landed men on the moon?
  • How certain that the NASA photos presented to the world are authentic and unmodified?

For each response: discuss, decide and defend!


NASA footage (The Time of Apollo - National Archives and Records Administration 28 min 29 sec - Jan 1, 1975) (Debrief Apollo 8 1969 National Archives and Records Administration 27 min 19 sec - Feb 11, 2006)

Those claiming the lunar landing to be a hoax
(Fox television programme called "Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?") (NASA- Apollo 11 How did they do it - a reportedly genuine NASA clip accidentally released)

Dr Richard Knight
Co-ordinator: National Information Society Learnerships - EcologicalInformatics

Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
University of the Western CapePrivate Bag X17
Bellville 7535
Phone 27 + 21 + 959 3940
Fax 27 + 21 + 959 1237