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July 28, 2014

Neil Armstrong: what he really said

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 1st 2006 1:02PM
neil armstrongWe all know the famous words astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered when he first set foot on the surface of the moon: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." That quote has been burned into our collective conscience for years, but if you think about it, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Armstrong has always insisted that he said, "That's one small step for A man, one giant leap for mankind," and a recent analysis of the audio by an Australian computer programmer may have finally validated Armstrong's claim. Peter Shann Ford studied a graphical representation of the quote, and found evidence that the elusive "A" was transmitted to NASA. Hell, even without the "A" that's still a damn good quote from the first person to ever step onto the surface of the moon. I'm sure if it were me it would just be a lot of screaming and crying.

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Gaetano Ruscito

Sirs,
I do not agree with Peter Shann Ford's "analysis" of Neil Armstrong's moon landing speech. I have listened to the audio myself, and from my analysis of the speech pattern, I do not believe their was either the time for Neil Armstrong to insert the "a", nor would the speech have flowed in the same manner had an "a" been spoken. My opinion only.

October 10 2006 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick Mariette

Peter Shann Ford's "analysis" of Neil Armstrong's moon landing speech is completely unscientific, and not a proof at all (and Peter is more a CEO and ex news anchorman than computer programmer). (1). No speech researcher would make a scientific claim using Goldwave software, they would more likely use Matlab or Praat, other software. (2). The audio used was 11.025 kHz, 8 bit quality. (3). The "control phrase" (for mankind) has shorter syllables because it has more of them. (4). Peter Shann Ford didn't use the first tool of any speech researcher - the spectrogram. (5). Peter's "research" was reviewed by an astronaut who emphasised the finding was "persuasive", and "Ms. Rano Singh, a Physiotherapist with a Masters in Biomechanics". (6). The mouth diagram is from a description of Korean alveolars, and Korean does not have the American English approximant /r/. (this point from http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003639.html#more)
(7). There was no peer review by real speech analysis researchers. I believe the whole thing to be a dodgy publicity stunt for Peter Shann Ford and his Control Bionics company. Read more here: http://blog.soundsorange.net

October 04 2006 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick Mariette

Peter Shann Ford's "analysis" of Neil Armstrong's moon landing speech is completely unscientific, and not a proof at all (and Peter is more a CEO and ex news anchorman than computer programmer). (1). No speech researcher would make a scientific claim using Goldwave software, they would more likely use Matlab or Praat, other software. (2). The audio used was 11.025 kHz, 8 bit quality. (3). The "control phrase" (for mankind) has shorter syllables because it has more of them. (4). Peter Shann Ford didn't use the first tool of any speech researcher - the spectrogram. (5). Peter's "research" was reviewed by an astronaut who emphasised the finding was "persuasive", and "Ms. Rano Singh, a Physiotherapist with a Masters in Biomechanics". (6). The mouth diagram is from a description of Korean alveolars, and Korean does not have the American English approximant /r/. (this point from http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003639.html#more)
(7). There was no peer review by real speech analysis researchers. I believe the whole thing to be a dodgy publicity stunt for Peter Shann Ford and his Control Bionics company. Read more here: http://blog.soundsorange.net

October 04 2006 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick Mariette

Peter Shann Ford's "analysis" of Neil Armstrong's moon landing speech is completely unscientific, and not a proof at all (and Peter is more a CEO and ex news anchorman than computer programmer). (1). No speech researcher would make a scientific claim using Goldwave software, they would more likely use Matlab or Praat, other software. (2). The audio used was 11.025 kHz, 8 bit quality. (3). The "control phrase" (for mankind) has shorter syllables because it has more of them. (4). Peter Shann Ford didn't use the first tool of any speech researcher - the spectrogram. (5). Peter's "research" was reviewed by an astronaut who emphasised the finding was "persuasive", and "Ms. Rano Singh, a Physiotherapist with a Masters in Biomechanics". (6). The mouth diagram is from a description of Korean alveolars, and Korean does not have the American English approximant /r/. (this point from http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003639.html#more)
(7). There was no peer review by real speech analysis researchers. I believe the whole thing to be a dodgy publicity stunt for Peter Shann Ford and his Control Bionics company. Read more here: http://blog.soundsorange.net

October 04 2006 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

As a matter of fact they didn't draw straws. Neil Armstrong exited first because he was mission commander and Buzz was "only" Lunar Module commander. And spare a thought for poor Michael Collins who didn't even get to watch it on TV even though he was closer to the broadcasting location than anyone else.

October 02 2006 at 2:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Wyant

I wonder if he and Buzz drew straws to choose who would step out and make the speech. Furthermore, do you think he spent the whole trip writing and rehearsing those now immortal words?

October 01 2006 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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