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Did the Chinese fake their space walk?
 
Adjust font size:   Close Discover Magazine Phil Plait 2016-08-19
 

 

No.

I assume, as usual, you want more info, though!

There is a rumor going around that the Chinese government faked their space walk last week. I’m getting email about an article in The Epoch Times, and the article has obvious leanings against the Chinese government. I’m no fan of their government either, to be honest, but this article has many signs of the authors wearing tin foil changshans. They bring up the suspicious timing of the spacewalk, for example, as it comes when China is under attack about poisoned milk:

Political analysts say that due to tremendous domestic and international pressure, the Chinese regime moved up its spacewalk in hopes to shift focus away from the milk scandal.

What political analysts? Odd that the two journalists who wrote the article, Zhang Haishan and Shi Yu, wouldn’t actually list any obvious sources. All they ever do is quote unnamed Chinese bloggers, and never go to any other sources. It’s things like that which should set off your baloney detectors.

The claims themselves are pretty bad, too. Below is a video of the spacewalk. The article claims this was all shot underwater, in a practice tank!

As it plays, watch when the hatch opens. See the debris blowing out? The article claims these are bubbles! That’s really silly. It’s obviously debris from inside the craft. Again, an unnamed blogger says that if this were filmed underwater, the bubbles rose too fast. The authors claim it’s possible a fan blew them.

Yeeeeeah.

Watch as the taikonaut comes out of the hatch. Observe his movements. Imagine him in a bulky suit underwater, then watch as he waves to the camera. That’s clearly not underwater; his motions are too rapid to be impeded by water. The movement of the straps and other things hanging off the suit don’t look like they are underwater either; they look like they are in microgravity.

Another claim is that you can see banks of lights reflected off the taikonauts wrist reflectors. I watched carefully, and all I see reflected in the mirrors are the black of space, with occasional reflections of the Earth above. I think it’s the latter that’s claimed to be the lights.

My opinion: all in all, this sounds like yet more conspiracy theorists looking for things that aren’t there, and making stuff up as they see fit. This reads just like an article by Moon hoaxers, looking for anything they don’t understand and trying to wedge some nuttiness into reality.

Tip o’ the spacesuit visor to Steven Andreadis and Leonard David.

Comments:

I think the Epoch Times is affiliated with the Falun Gong, the religious group that has been persecuted in China and has been protesting here in New York City. I don’t have any proof, I just think I have seen the same people in the demonstrations and later handing out the Epoch Times. I haven’t seen any Falun Gong demonstrations for a year or more now.

——Mapnut

@mapnut

Epoch Times is indeed the newspaper of the Falun Gong cult being persecuted in China.

——Todd W.

Oh God, please don’t cite the Epoch Times. That’s like referencing a Scientology article on psychiatrists. It’s a bit of a giggle actually how Falun Gong gets a whole lot of mention all through this “current affairs” newspaper as well as the Communist government although the latter always in a highly critical way.

——GregInVancouver

IVAN3MAN, thanks for posting that video. Almost cacked myself. Hilarious.

I always wondered why the Epoch Times seems to handed out at railway stations by little old Chinese women. I have sympathy for any group persecuted by the Chinese government but Falun Gong’s claims seem to be a little on the extreme side. I don’t doubt the labour camps or the executions but some of their claims seem to be have degenerated into hyperbole.

Their leader also believes that David Copperfield reallywalked through the Great Wall. Seriously, he wrote in the Falun Gong literature that David Copperfield really can do magic.

——shane

Phil Plait

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