Conspiracy theorists worldwide speculate on the many presumed secrets of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. In its 60-year history, the notoriously secretive government-affiliate has been accused of everything from staging the Moon landing to covering up signs of alien life and even spending millions to produce a “space pen.”
NASA may have endless teams of experts and a PR department at the ready to debunk those myths, but through the years, a few dirty little secrets have come to light. While some appear irrefutable and others still boast some camps of speculation, the secrets confirm that those working at the space agency are, in fact, only human after all.
10.They Accidentally Recorded Over The Original Tapes Of The Apollo 11 Moon Landing
Conspiracy theorists have accused NASA of staging the Moon landing since the day the footage aired on live TV. So in 2006, when NASA admitted that no one could find the original video recordings of the 1969 landing, suspicions that it was all just one big hoax wildly reignited. One Russian official even weighed in, calling for an investigation.
The agency’s story remains firm, however. According to Reuters, in 2004, an archive in Sydney confirmed to NASA that it had located the missing videos. This proved false but set in motion a global search for the missing footage. With its recovery, NASA hoped to produce sharper images of the landing than those broadcast, which were produced by a TV camera pointed at a monitor.
Today, most experts at NASA believe the tapes are long gone. The culprit? Budget cuts. It was standard procedure through the ’60s and ’70s to reuse the tape reels after a certain number of years in storage. The originals were likely part of a batch of up to 200,000 tapes that were magnetically erased.
What has been saved over the years? In 1972, astronaut John Young developed a major case of gas while standing on the Moon. He had accidentally left his microphone on, and NASA recorded his discussion on what all the fruit was doing to his intestines. This same astronaut was also recorded while eating a corned beef sandwich he had smuggled aboard a separate mission, which, when shared with his copilot, began to crumble and fly around everywhere, threatening to get behind the electrical panels and short-circuit wiring.