Neil Armstrong lied about how he conceived the famous moon landing quote, according to his brother Dean Armstrong. Neil Armstrong originally said that his famous quote — that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind — was conceived in transit to the moon, but now it’s being said that the quote actually originated back on Earth months prior to the launch.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this is what Dean Armstrong says really happened:
“Before he went to the Cape, he invited me down to spend a little time with him. He said ‘why don’t you and I, once the boys go to bed, why don’t we play a game of Risk. I said I’d enjoy that. We started playing Risk and then he slipped me a piece of paper and said ‘read that’. I did. On that piece of paper there was ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. He says ‘what do you think about that?’ I said ‘fabulous’. He said ‘I thought you might like that, but I wanted you to read it’. It was ‘that is one small step for A man.”
The claim that Neil Armstrong lied is a pretty strong one, and it seems to conflict with certain historical facts. According to The Economist, the original plan called for Buzz Aldrin to take the first step onto the moon. But due to the physical positioning of the astronauts inside the compact lunar landing module, it was easier for the commander, Neil Armstrong, to be the first to exit the spacecraft and set foot on the moon. So why would Neil Armstrong have created a speech ready for being first to step on the moon?
It’s possible that Neil Armstrong purposefully set up the scenario where Buzz Aldrin would have been forced to clamber over him in order to exit the moon lander first. But if this had been the case, Neil probably would have bragged about it to someone over the long years and the story would have surfaced eventually.
The other and more likely possibility is that Neil did know for certain he was going to be one of two to be walking on the surface of the moon. In this scenario, Neil Armstrong lied still, but he may have prepared the quote in advance without realizing he would be accidentally given the opportunity to be first on the moon’s surface.
The remaining possibility is that Neil Armstrong is not the person who lied. I talked to retired Apollo space worker Charles T. Reece who was the spacecraft inspector during the entire Apollo program and who knew all the astronauts personally. After the astronauts returned to earth, Mr. Reece was the person who gave them a helping hand out of the return capsule floating in the ocean. Mr. Reece went onto become a manager during the space shuttle program and retired in the 1990′s.
Mr. Reece believes that Dean Armstrong is jealous of his brother and says that “it is incredible that his brother would come in at this point and put a cloud over his brother’s statement.” In fact, even if what Dean says is true, Mr. Reece insists that it’s “actually more intelligent to plan in advance by writing a prepared a statement.” According to him, the quote by Neil Armstrong was a strong philosophical statement that will stand the test of time despite any controversies over how it may have been conceived.
In addition, “the idea that Buzz Aldrin was supposed to be first is not true at all.” NASA had planned and designated Neil Armstrong well in advance to be first to step on the moon from the outset. Buzz Aldrin accepted that and knew that, and he was supposed to be monitoring communications as Neil Armstrong stepped down. So there was nothing haphazard like the seating plan accidentally causing Neil to be the first to step on the moon.
Another interesting bit of history is that, at one point, there was discussion by some activists in Washington of planting an United Nations flag on the moon instead of the American flag. A few days before the flight, Mr. Reece was on the swing arm of the White Room and people were discussing the United Nations flag idea. Neil Armstrong responded to this controversy by saying, “We either put the American flag on the moon or I’m not going.” Neil actually thought it was a joke that anyone would consider this action seriously.
Mr. Reece is “astounded” that Neil’s brother Dean would claim that Neil Armstrong lied. His reaction was actually stronger than just that, but we laughingly agreed that Mr. Reece’s further wording could not be printed in this case. He speculates that, since Neil was famous as a fighter pilot long before, it’s possible that brotherly jealousy is what drove this sudden revelation. What do you think about the claim that Neil Armstrong lied?