Fact check: WikiLeaks did not release footage that proves moon landing staged

·3 min read

The claim: Video was released by WikiLeaks and proves moon landing was faked

A claim has again emerged on social media that a video purportedly released by WikiLeaks proves a moon landing was faked. It does not specify which of NASA's crewed moon landings is in question, though its contents suggest it refers to the Apollo 11 lunar mission in 1969.

Versions of the video, linked from a blog, were posted roughly 150 times on Facebook throughout 2020 and 2021 and circulated on Twitter in late 2021. It showed up again this month in a Jan. 24 Facebook post that had more than 100 interactions in a day.

The video itself contains a montage of scenes with overdubbed voices. Some scenes appear to show authentic footage from the Apollo 11 mission, while others show activity on a film set.

The video maintains a caption throughout that reads "Wikileaks releases moon landing cut scenes filmed in Nevada desert." It also features what appears to be a WikiLeaks logo in the upper left-hand corner of the screen for much of the video.

"This is ultimate proof that they FAKED it! Yet another HUGE lie exposed," reads the blog.

But this is wrong.

There is no record of the video being released by WikiLeaks. Further, the video contains already publicly available "behind the scenes" footage from the fictional 1970s movie "Capricorn One."

The claim was fact-checked by Reuters and found to be false.

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USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook users who shared the claim for comment. The Twitter users could not be reached.

Video includes 'behind the scenes' footage from fictional movie, not found on WikiLeaks website

While the video purportedly came from WikiLeaks, USA TODAY could not locate it on the WikiLeaks website. WikiLeaks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shedding further doubt on the authenticity of the video, apparent "behind the scenes" footage from the late 1970s movie "Capricorn One" is spliced throughout. "Capricorn One" is a fictional story about a cover-up of a faked space mission to Mars. The apparent "behind the scenes" footage was uploaded to YouTube in 2014.

The video also contains what appears to be authentic footage from the Apollo 11 mission, including astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on the moon.

Fact check: Fake Mars photo not connected to NASA

USA TODAY previously debunked another social media claim that astronauts never landed on the moon. In that case, a mismatch between a photo of an astronaut's lunar footprint and the same astronaut's boot raised suspicions. While the lunar footprint showed tread, the astronaut's boot had a smooth sole.

However, the lunar footprint was made while the astronaut was wearing a treaded "lunar overshoe" which was discarded when the astronauts left the moon.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a video was released by WikiLeaks and proves a moon landing was faked. The video combines seemingly authentic images of the Apollo 11 mission with "behind the scenes" footage from a late 1970s fictional movie. USA TODAY could not locate records of the video on the WikiLeaks site.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: WikiLeaks did not release staged moon landing footage

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