The Apollo 11 moon landings were one of humankind's greatest ever achievements in our quest to discover the stars. And yet, after all this time, there are still people who argue that none of it ever happened.
According to some conspiracy theorists, the US government managed to fake the moon landings. They believe that it was cheaper and easier to fabricate evidence man walked upon the lunar surface – than actually sending a team up there.
There have actually been six manned moon landings in total, which ran from the first in 1969 through to 1972 – this is in addition to numerous unmanned landings of probes and the like. Throughout this period, and continuing into present day, conspiracy critics have often poured doubt about NASA's celestial achievements – usually regarding the initial lunar mission, but the subsequent trips aren't entirely exempt from the theorists keen eyes either.
Multiple strands of the 'fake moon landings' theory exist but the motive usually attributed to America's wish to project dominance in the space race with the Soviets. The 'evidence' for a cover-up is typically misplaced shadows, odd photographs and the jumper worn by Danny Lloyd in The Shining.
1972 Apollo 17 Mission
The Apollo 17 mission was the last manned mission to the Moon, making astronauts Commander Gene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison 'Jack' Schmitt the last people to grace its surface. Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans remained onboard the command module for the duration of the moon landing elements of the mission.
Conspiracy theorists on YouTube (the bastion of free speech) claim that one photo from the 1972 mission to the moon reveals that the entire enterprise was faked.
The user who originally uploaded the video in 2017, Streepcap1, claims that there is a reflection in the visor of one of the astronauts, that reveals a 'stage hand'.
They argue that a person is reflected in the visor and they are not wearing a spacesuit.
The video has been viewed over 2.6 million times and was also featured on FOX News.
In the narration, Streetcap1 comments;
You can see some sort of, it looks like a man, back in the early 70s, long hair, wearing some sort of waistcoat-type thing... and a shadow of that figure presumably.
As to why the 1972 landing would be faked goes unexplained.
The Apollo 17 mission ran from 7-19 December, and in those 17 days the crew collected over 110kg of moon rock samples, the largest haul of any NASA mission to the surface of the moon.
The mission also holds the record for the longest total moonwalk, the longest moon landing, and the longest time spent in lunar orbit.