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LEBANON, OHIO—Apollo 11 mission commander and famed astronaut Neil Armstrong shocked reporters at a press conference Monday, announcing he had been convinced that his historic first step on the moon was part of an elaborate hoax orchestrated by the United States government.
According to Armstrong, he was forced to reconsider every single detail of the monumental journey after watching a few persuasive YouTube videos, and reading several blog posts on conspiracy theorist Ralph Coleman's website, OmissionControl.org.
"It only took a few hastily written paragraphs published by this passionate denier of mankind's so-called 'greatest technological achievement' for me to realize I had been living a lie, " said a visibly emotional Armstrong, addressing reporters at his home. "It has become painfully clear to me that on July 20, 1969, the Lunar Module under the control of my crew did not in fact travel 250,000 miles over eight days, touch down on the moon, and perform various experiments, ushering in a new era for humanity. Instead, the entire thing was filmed on a soundstage, most likely in New Mexico."
"This is the only logical interpretation of the numerous inconsistencies in the grainy, 40-year-old footage," Armstrong added.
Although Armstrong said he "could have sworn" he felt the effects of zero gravity while soaring out of the Earth's atmosphere and through space, he now believed his memory must be flawed. He also admitted feeling "ashamed" that he had failed to notice the rippling of the American flag he and Buzz Aldrin planted on the surface, blaming his lack of awareness on the bulkiness of the spacesuit and his excitement about traveling to the "moon."
"That rippling is not possible in the vacuum of space," Armstrong said. "It must have been the wind from an air-conditioning duct that I didn't recognize because you can't hear a damn thing inside those helmets."
"This is all just common sense, people," he added. "It's the moon. You can't land on the moon."
They forgot to turn it over," Armstrong said, removing his eyeglasses to wipe away tears. "Those lying bastards at NASA went through all the trouble to fake the moon landing, but they forgot to turn over one little prop rock. And now the whole damn thing's blowing up in their faces."