A glance at some of the world’s most-read news websites will have left many readers under the impression Buzz Aldrin had confirmed he saw an alien craft. But he has almost certainly not.
The institution behind the claim will not reveal how the claim has been proven, Aldrin himself has denied it, and at least some of the astronauts named didn’t actually take part in the study, since two of them are dead.
The claim, originally published in the Daily Star, has now been repeated by many of the world’s biggest websites and across the world. The reports – many of which cast little doubt on the initial claims – have been shared thousands of times.
The report trades on the idea that Nasa is secretly keeping evidence of aliens under wraps.
While some Apollo astronauts have claimed to have seen UFOs during their missions, Mr Aldrin, the second man on the moon, has not – repeatedly denying reports suggesting he spotted an alien craft during the historic 1969 mission.
The original report said Apollo 11 astronaut Mr Aldrin had “passed lie detector tests over claims they experienced alien encounters”. It said experts had examined astronauts’accounts of “strange space sightings”, using the “latest technology” and that they had proven the astronauts were convinced about what they saw.
It claimed that the experts came from the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology and Sound Health, a non-profit in Albany, Ohio. The organisation had used “top-secret” technology, it said, which scans people’s voices to understand them.
As well as Mr Aldrin, the report claims that four Nasa astronauts have been studied and found to be telling the truth about their claims. It appears that the group did that with recordings, since two of the astronauts being studied are now dead.
But there’s no proof that the wild claims of that organisation have been tested or proven. While “bioacoustics” is a legitimate scientific exercise – it explores how living things make and are changed by sound – that is not what the organisation is doing.
A website that appears to belong to the institute claims that it “quietly goes about changing the future”. “This tiny non-profit research institute has provided supporting evidence for the ancient claims that the sounds of the voice can act as a holographic representation of health and wellness,” the website claims.
It goes on to suggest that the institute can not only tell whether people are lying, but also can be used to “reverse diseases and traumas previously thought to be incurable, to reveal the secrets of our true nature, to enhance our lives, to predict what may be our fate through the frequencies of our voice”.
None of those claims have been tested and many of them appear to be impossible according to modern science. It is theoretically possible that it could be possible to understand whether someone is lying by listening to their voice, but previous examples have been unreliable and the institute reported on by the Daily Star did not make its working available to the public or to other scientists.
Mr Aldrin has repeatedly dismissed suggestions he has seen a UFO. He has spoken about seeing a light out of the window as he was heading towards the Moon – but has always said he is sure that what he saw was either the rocket the crew had separated from, or panels that had come off when the lander and the rocket were detached.
“It was not an alien,” he wrote in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit three years ago. He explained that he had told Nasa about what he had seen and presumed that information had been sent out into the world – until he mentioned what he had seen in a TV interview, which many now point to as proof that Mr Aldrin had seen an alien craft.
The Daily Star repeated this claim in its report, writing that “Aldrin has always maintained he spotted a UFO on the way to the moon”. While it is true that what he said is in some sense unidentified – in that it’s not clear what part of the spacecraft it was – the suggestion that he thinks it might be alien was false and he has repeatedly denied it.
But the institute and the Daily Star suggested that Mr Aldrin had seen a UFO and that its tests had shown that he knew it, even if he wasn’t aware of it. He continues to believe otherwise because his logical mind “cannot explain it”, the Daily Star reported.