- (Photo: Reuters/Edwin Aldrin-NASA)
Neil Armstrong lied about the famous "one small step for man" words he spoke as he became the first man to take a step on the moon, according to new claims by his brother.
The astronaut had always insisted that he had not planned those historic words in advance. However, in a recent interview, his brother has insisted that Armstrong came up with the words months prior to the Apollo mission in July 1969. He also has claimed that the original phrase did include the word "a" as Armstrong had so strongly insisted when he was alive.
Armstrong, who died in September, was heard by millions of people around the world as he said the now iconic phrase: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
The astronaut had insisted upon his return to Earth that he had said "a man" but that the "a" had not been heard due to static as his voice was transmitted over hundreds of thousands of miles away.
Dean Armstrong, brother of Neil, has given a rare interview to the BBC just three months after his brother's death. In the interview Dean claims to recall Neil showing him a written version of the now-historical phrase months before the Apollo 11 mission launched. He insists that the phrase shown to him by Neil was: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
Dean's new claims contradict Neil's own version of events. Neil Armstrong had always insisted that he had thought of the famous phrase after landing on the moon.
A BBC documentary that interviewed Dean has explained how the brothers were playing a game of Risk together when Neil handed his sibling a small piece of paper with the legendary words on them.
The documentary is called "Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon" and explains Dean's assertion that his brother handed him the paper asking him, "What do you think about that?"
Dean claims he responded, "Fabulous."
In one of the most heralded biographies of the Apollo mission, "A Man on the Moon," by Andrew Chaikin, it was claimed that as the mission prepared to launch, Neil was bombarded with proposals about what he should say if they made it to the moon. Many suggested Bible passages, and others suggested iconic quotes from Shakespeare plays.
In that biography, Chaikin suggests that Armstrong did not know what he was going to say until the Eagle lunar landed at Tranquility Base. However, brother Dean has now cast fresh doubts on whether Neil had planned what to say all along.
Whether Armstrong did indeed say "a man" is still hotly debated. Although just six years ago in 2006, a computer analysis of the voice recording found evidence that Armstrong's assertions that he said "a" were correct even though it cannot be heard by the naked ear.
Australian computer programmer, Peter Shann Ford, claims that a software analysis picked up a sound wave at the crucial moment in Neil Armstrong's speech that potentially would have been the "a."
NASA spokesman Michael Cabbage has previously supported Armstrong: "If Neil Armstrong says there was an 'a' then as far as we're concerned, there was 'a'."
Here is a video of the moon landing and those famous words: