The veracity of Iran’s triumphant claims to have launched a monkey into space has been called into question by before and after pictures of the simian space-traveller that appear to show two different animals.
Iranian media claimed that the country’s space agency had sent the monkey 75 miles (120 km) above the Earth in a Kavoshgar rocket capsule named Pishgam (Pioneer).
Before and after images of the monkey would appear at first sight to show strikingly different animals.
In the before images, the animal appears to have a large red birthmark over his right eye – which on arrival back on earth appears to have disappeared.
Observers have also pointed out that while photographs and video of the launch of the rocket have been widely distributed, there has been no photographic or other evidence proving that the rocket made it back.
We can’t say for sure but would it be all that surprising if this was a manipulated story of the successful launch? All I can say is, how horrid this is to look at – that monkey strapped in.
Tip: Bob Blaskiewicz
UPDATE: (4-Feb-2013) Claim is now made that they used the wrong footage and photos of the monkey.
Over the weekend Iranian officials, seeking to put to rest the idea that monkey business was involved, explained that one of the two official packages of photos of Iran’s famed simian space traveler depicted the wrong monkey.