Neil Armstrong Lied About Famous Moon Landing Words, Astronaut's Brother Claims in New BBC Documentary

neil armstrong
Armstrong stubbornly maintained until his death in September that he had not planned to say the words in advance, and had improvised his now historic phrase. Reuters

Iconic U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong lied about the famous "one small step for man" quote he spoke as he became the first human to ever set foot on the moon, his brother claims in a new documentary from the BBC.

Armstrong stubbornly maintained until his death in September that he had not planned to say the words in advance, and had improvised his now historic phrase. However, his brother claims otherwise in a recent interview. The first man on the moon's brother insists that Armstrong conceived the words at least months prior to the Apollo mission in July 1969, and that he had planned to include the word "a" when he spoke, just as Armstrong adamantly claimed during his lifetime.

When Armstrong became the first man to ever walk on the surface of the moon, hundreds of millions all over the world heard the astronaut announce: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

After returning from the mission to Earth, the astronaut had insisted that he had said "a man," but that the "a" had been missed listeners as it couldn't be heard through the static because his voice was transmitted over hundreds of thousands of miles.

Three month's after Armstrong's death, his brother Dean gave a rare interview to the BBC. Dean claims in the interview that he remembers Neil showing him a written version of his now timeless words months before his mission launched, and that those words were "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

The documentary, "Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon," says the two brothers were playing the board game Risk together when Neil handed Dean a small piece of paper with the quote written on it.

"What do you think about that?" the documentary asserts Neil asked as he passed the slip of paper to his brother.

"Fabulous," Dean claims he responded.

"I thought you might like that, but I wanted you to read it," Dean says Neil responded.

In one of the most vaunted biographies regarding the Apollo mission, "A Man on the Moon," author Andrew Chaikin suggests that Armstrong didn't know what he was going to say until the Eagle lunar landed at Tranquility Base on the moon.

The exact phrasing of Armstrong's words is still hotly debated as well. Although, in 2006, Peter Shann Ford, an Australian computer programmer, claimed that computer analysis of the voice recording backed up Armstrong's assertion that he said "a" with evidence, even though it can't be heard with the naked ear.

The documentary also reveals some insight behind why Neil Armstrong shunned the public eye following his return to Earth. Armstrong resigned from NASA just two years after his historic journey because he was racked with anxiety about how he could live up to the lofty expectations endemic to being an international icon.

"He had this impossible job - to fulfill this role as the first man to walk on another world. If you give a workaholic an impossible job, then they will try to do it. This is what Armstrong did when he came back from the Moon," said Dr Christopher Riley, a lecturer in science and media at Lincoln University.

"He carries on trying to fulfill everyone's requests. He was seen as this sort of superhuman. He was required to do these impossible things - to bring people together and facilitate impossible projects. We all struggle with our work life balance and he was no exception," he added.

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