Fortunately for sane people, all of this evidence can be easily refuted and shown to be false. So, lets go down the line:
- No stars: When one sets a camera for certain levels of light acceptance, all lower light levels are no shown in the image. The astronauts' cameras were set based off of sunlight and floodlights on the Lunar Landers. Stars simply were not bright enough to be picked up. One can simulate this phenomenon on Terra Firma, with a high quality 35mm camera and flash systems.
- The "C" rock. There are two major problems with this concept. One, the original picture does not have a "C" on it. It was false "artifact". accidentally introduced into the photo later during reproductions. The images created off of the original negatives do not have this "C". Second, Hollywood doesn't mark it's props using large letters. Props are placed about the set at the direction of the Prop Director. If the Director of the scene doesn't like the placement of a prop, he moves it. The props can not be marked, as the various angles which may be filmed might reveal this marker.
- Mystery Photographer. First, and most obvious, it is possible to set up a camera on a tripod and have it take a picture via remote control, timer, or similar device. Second, many of the "two astronaut" photographs are actually movie stills. For the purpose of recording EVAs (extra-vehicle activities), NASA specifically required the Lander to be equipped with multiple remote controlled cameras, most importantly, the one facing the Landers ladder, for recording the historical landmark "Small Step".
- Flapping Flags: If you take a moment, and back up the footage from the flapping flag, you will notice one of the astronauts bumps the flag. Air or not, you shake something, it's going to flap.
Why does this type of legend persist even with overwhelming evidence to the contrary? It teaches us and reminds us of one important lesson of modern life. While a source may sound credible, one shouldn't automatically assume the evidence is not faked. Our government is the epitome of this source which must be questioned. As a representative republic, it is the duty of all citizens to maintain a healthy level of doubt when our government tells us "thus and so is the truth".
Final ThoughtsThe most famous society of the myth-writers is the Ancient Greeks. For the Greeks, a myth had one of two roles. To explain the unknown or to teach an important moral lesson while entertaining the listener. In modern American society, there are few of the first form, but there are many of the second form. The New Jersey Devil attempts to explain the unknown and support the egos of "educated" people, who simply wouldn't know a normal looking track in the wood, or about the reflective quality of a wolf's eyes in low light levels. Outside of this group of legends, most American Myths are rooted in the morality plays of yesteryear. In them, we learn about the dangers of society and reinforce our own superiority by knowing the dangers which are out there.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go hunt down the Altamaha-Ha...