Who is Bart Sibrel?
Bartholomew Winfield Sibrel is an American conspiracy theorist and filmmaker who believes the six Apollo Moon landings between 1969 and 1971 to be hoaxes and has made several documentaries on the subject. He gained notoriety in 2002 when he was punched in the face by Apollo 11 crew member Buzz Aldrin. Active for the last three decades, Sibrel has been the owner of five production companies, worked for the two of three major US networks, and served as a producer on projects that have been broadcast on ABC, NBC, TLC, Fox, USA, and BET. As a guest, he has made appearances on talk shows, such as ‘Geraldo’, ‘The Daily Show’, and ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’. He also wrote several plays and has received numerous awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Top 10 Director Awards from the American Motion Picture Society. In the recent years, he has been earning a living as a taxi driver.
According to his website, as a youth, Sibrel was quite active on stage. He ostensibly appeared in over 500 plays and even is a playwright in his own right. Between 1981 and 1983, he served as the president of Professional Gags Unlimited in Nashville, and then from 1984 to 1986, he was the director of the Poverty Playhouse. He also interned at the Film House Inc. in 1985. Sibrel became the supervising producer of Bachelor of Science Production in the same year.
He has written the non-fiction book ‘Why Be Normal? A Guide to the Unconventional’, which was published 1987, and screenplays for television films, such as ‘Ouden’ (1984), ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ (1985), ‘What Do You Call It?’ (1986), and ‘Selah’ (1987). As a director, he has been involved in the short films ‘Crowd’s Child’ (1986), ‘My Cheeseburger with Bart’ (1991), ‘The Passerby’ (1991), ‘Alice, Abigail, Annie’ (1991), and ‘To Heaven’ (1991); music videos ‘Berlin’ (1987), ‘Crazy Face’ (1989), ‘Real Men Cry’ (1990), and ‘Moore and Moore’ (1991); and documentary ‘Israel’ (1987).
In 1988, he won Directors Choice award at the Sinking Creek Film Festival. Three years later, he took home the American Motion Picture Society awards for Best Cinematography and Best Editing.
In 2001, Sibrel released the documentary film ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon’ in which he argued that all six Apollo Missions that took place between 1969 and 1971 were fake, orchestrated by the US government and NASA. To support his claim, he offered supposed photographic anomalies, technical catastrophes such as the ill-fated Apollo 1Misson in which astronauts Roger B. Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Edward Higgins White perished, disadvantages of contemporary science, and the documented difficulties of traversing through the Van Allen radiation belts.
According to him, the greatest damning evidence was the footage that NASA had inadvertently sent him. He thought that it contained Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins acting out a scenario in which they were 130,000 miles (approximately half way to the Moon) from Earth when in reality, they were at the time in a low Earth orbit. He called this clip “smoking gun” proof in his efforts to prove that the Moon landing was staged. The film was universally panned.
In 2004, he produced and directed a follow-up of ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon’, titled ‘Astronauts Gone Wild’, which too received universal derision. For this film, he conducted formal interviews of several astronauts, including Alan Bean, Eugene Cernan and Edgar Mitchell. Astronaut Neil Armstrong stated that the conspiracy theory “doesn’t bother him. It will pass with time.”
Sibrel has also produced two other documentaries, ‘Apollo 11 Monkey Business: False Photography Unedited’ and ‘Apollo 11 Post-Flight Press Conference’, both released in 2004.
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The Buzz Aldrin Incident
Bart Sibrel first approached Aldrin inside an office and showed him his footage, which Aldrin dismissed. Later, on September 9, 2002, he invited Aldrin to a hotel in Beverly Hills, California on the pretext of an interview on space for a Japanese children TV show. Sibrel began to demand that Aldrin swear a Bible oath that he had indeed walked on the Moon. When Aldrin, who was 72 then, tried to move away from him, Sibrel trailed after him, calling him “a coward, a liar, and a thief.” Aldrin finally punched him in the jaw on camera. Later, Sibrel took full responsibility for the incident and stated that he had sent the astronaut a letter of apology.
Bart Sibrel was born on December 15, 1964 to parents Donald Winfield Sibrel and Sylvia Claire Sibrel, née Herbert. However, there are some disputes about his place of birth. Some sources say that he was born in Nashville, Tennessee while others claim that he is from Dayton, Ohio. Either way, he currently resides in Nashville. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to charges of vandalism on a woman’s vehicle and was put on probation.