Former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Buzz Aldrin was the second man to step on the moon 50 years ago, and he nearly faced a battery charge 17 years ago when he punched a conspiracy theorist in the face.
Aldrin was approached by filmmaker and moon landings denier Bart Sibrel in 2002, a confrontation that resulted in Aldrin punching Sibrel in the face after repeated harassment over the moon landing.
Watch the exchange in the video below:
The video shows Aldrin attempting to cross the street with a film crew and his colleague when he is approached by Sibrel, who was carrying a Bible.
Sibrel stepped in front of Aldrin and repeatedly asked, “Why don’t you swear on the Bible that you walked on the moon?”
“Tell him to get outta here or we’ll call the police,” Aldrin told a nearby hotel employee who attempted to intervene.
The hotel employee told Sibrel repeatedly that he was not allowed to solicit on hotel property and asked him to leave. The employee then left into the hotel – presumably to call the police.
Aldrin walked back toward the hotel to get away from Sibrel, who just followed Aldrin and continued the harassment.
“You’d really like a picture, don’t you?” Aldrin seems to say.
“You’re the one who said you walked on the moon when you didn’t,” Sibrel says. “Calling the kettle black.”
“Would you get away from me?” Aldrin said, sounding exasperated.
“You’re a coward, and a liar, and a thief!” Sibrel told him, barely finishing the sentence before receiving a swift punch from Aldrin.
The video continues for a few moments but the audio is muted, so it’s not clear what transpired immediately afterward.
However, Sibrel later pressed charges against Aldrin for assault, and the matter ended up in court. The charges were dropped by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, who said the evidence showed that Sibrel instigated the encounter, Fox News reported.
Aldrin later told Fox’s Neil Cavuto about encounters with conspiracy theorists, “I don’t pay any attention to them, really. They’re out for themselves to make a name.”
Sibrel claims to this day that he has a hoard of evidence disproving the moon landings and has attempted to get the astronauts to come forward with the truth. He claims to have evidence from a security guard who helped protect a secret filming project on an Air Force base that was orchestrated by NASA and the CIA, The Sun reported.
However, more than 410,000 people and 20,000 different companies were said to have been involved in the Apollo mission, and experts say such a massive project would’ve made it impossible to hide a hoax.