'Fake' Apollo Moon Landing Photo Claims to Show Proof the Mission Was a Hoax

Almost 50 years after man walked on the moon, the "giant leap for mankind" is under the microscope once again—with conspiracy theorists convinced they have proof one of the moon landings was fake.

A picture allegedly taken in December 1972 of the final Apollo 17 moon mission has been shared online, and it shows what one YouTuber believes is the reflection of a "stagehand" in the helmet of one of the astronauts.

The photo, uploaded to YouTube this week by a user named Streetcap1, is entitled "Reflection in a Visor," and Streetcap1 suggests this could mean the 1972 moon landing, in particular, was staged.

"I thought it looked a bit strange, so I took a picture of it using my software," Streetcap1 says in the video commentary.

"What we appear to have here is a figure of a human not wearing a spacesuit, circa early '70s.... Apollo 17 photograph," he explained of the picture. "There was some dispute back in 2009 of the legitimacy of these photos."

"I'm just going to make a little video here and upload it, and you can let me know what you think," Streetcap1 added, explaining he did believe in the moon landing but was now in doubt due to the photograph.

"You can see some, sort of, it looks like a man, back in the early '70s, long hair, wearing some sort of waistcoat-type thing...and a shadow of that figure presumably," he said.

"This is starting to make me think. Where's this guy's spacesuit?" he added of the final moon mission, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt, the first scientist-astronaut to land on the moon.

And his discovery appears to have a lot of fellow conspiracy theorists excited, with some commenting underneath the picture that the user has made a "good spot." Others, however, dismissed it as being digitally altered or pointed out the reflection is another astronaut.

The 1972 Apollo mission was, of course, not the first manned mission to make it to the moon—that honor belongs to Apollo 11, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who took the first steps on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Buzz Aldrin in a photograph taken by fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. In Andy Weir's "Artemis," the landing site is preserved one of the main tourist attractions for visitors to the first and only city on the moon. NASA/Reuters

However, the entire question of whether any mission made it to the moon has long been a fond topic of discussion for conspiracy theorists, with pictures and footage from the landing scrutinized over the years by people determined to find proof.

Over the years, such conspiracy theories have been debunked, from the claim that the rocks collected from by astronauts are actually from Antarctica (geologists confirm this is not the case) to the American flag apparently blowing in the "wind" (just flexible aluminum that vibrated after being handled by the astronauts, folks).