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Aldrin punches moon sceptic

Beverly Hills, Sept. 22 (AP): No charges will be filed against Buzz Aldrin for allegedly punching a man who called him a liar and demanded that the former astronaut swear on the Bible that he’d been to the moon.

Bart Sibrel, 37, claimed the 72-year-old Aldrin hit him in the face on September 9 outside the Luxe Hotel in Beverly Hills after Sibrel called him “a coward, a liar and a thief”.

The Los Angeles county district attorney’s office announced on Friday it had declined to file a misdemeanor battery count. It was unlikely a jury would have convicted Aldrin, deputy district attorney Elizabeth Ratinoff said.

Sibrel, who hails from Nashville, Tennessee, says he does not believe Aldrin or anyone else has walked on the moon. Sibrel said he was trying to confront Aldrin about his 1969 lunar mission when the former Apollo 11 astronaut swung at him.

A 10-second clip from the videotaped incident showed Sibrel yelling at Aldrin from several feet away before Aldrin responded, “will you get away from me!” and lunged at Sibrel with a right hook.

A young woman tried to pull Aldrin away. Aldrin was defending himself and family members, said his lawyer, Robert O’Brien. “We hope that in the future Mr Sibrel will refrain from harassing Dr Aldrin and any other Apollo astronauts,” O’Brien said.

Sibrel has confronted Aldrin on two previous occasions and has produced an independent film asserting that the lunar landing was faked.

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