Apollo 11 Astronaut Decks Filmmaker

Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, poses for fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong, who shot this photo during their moon walk July 20, 1969. Armstrong and the Apollo 11 lunar module are reflected in Aldrin's visor. CBS/AP

Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin offered a spirited defense Wednesday as to why he decked a pushy filmmaker who wanted him to swear on a Bible that he really did go to the moon – self protection.

"Buzz Aldrin was forced to protect himself and his stepdaughter when he was aggressively confronted outside a Beverly Hills hotel," by independent Nashville filmmaker Bart Sibrel, publicist Robert O'Brien said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

The statement added that Sibrel "has reportedly harassed other Apollo Astronauts (across) the years."

Sibrel, 37, who has spent years trying to prove that American astronauts and especially Aldrin never landed on or walked on the moon, said Aldrin punched him in the jaw when he tried to conduct an ambush interview with him and then ran away.

Sibrel said he'd confronted Aldrin twice before and was surprised that Aldrin reacted the way he did this third time.

"I was very surprised that he hit me, I thought it was very foolish of him to do it in front of two video cameras," Sibrel said. "He has a good punch. It was quick too. I didn't see it coming."

He wants the Beverly Hills police to charge Aldrin with assault.

A police spokesman said police were investigating but had not yet spoken to Aldrin. Once the investigation is completed, its findings will be forwarded to the district attorney to see what, if any, action will be taken, the spokesman said.

The police spokesman added that witnesses have come forward stating that they saw Sibrel aggressively poke Aldrin with a Bible and that Sibrel had lured Aldrin to the hotel under false pretenses so that he could interview him.

Sibrel told Reuters, "I approached him and asked him again to swear on a Bible that he went to the moon, and told him he was a thief for taking money to give an interview for something he didn't do."

The incident was videotaped for a new Sibrel film, which claims to prove that the Apollo 11 astronauts faked footage of their July 1969 trip to the moon to fool the Soviet Union into thinking the United States had won the 1960s space race.

Aldrin was the second man to take a walk on the moon, a feat recorded on grainy black-and-white film footage and transmitted around the world on July 20, 1969.
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.