Russian cosmonauts beat Neil Armstrong to be the first man on the moon, according to a shock new theory.
But the Soviet explorers died, with theories suggesting this is why the government covered up the fact it had undertaken the ill-fated mission.
The claims have been backed up by a conspiracy theory video which has emerged online purporting to show the cosmonauts walking on the Moon before the Apollo 11 mission.
According to history, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module Eagle on the moon on July 20, 1969 – 48 years ago.
But the USSR was actually the first to reach the moon, landing the first spacecraft, which beamed back pictures, Dailystar.co.uk reports.
The Russians also sent the first rovers to drive around the lunar surface.
YouTube channel The Unknown released the video which also claimed NASA astronauts, who later went to the moon, found and buried evidence revealing cosmonauts beat them to the Moon and may have perished there.
According to The Unknown, a clip of a “secret night rocket launch” was found in the Russian archive and another video shows a Soviet spacecraft landing on the moon and cosmonauts getting out.
They then appear to plant a Soviet flag.
The second film was found by NASA astronauts at a possible Soviet lunar crash site, the Unknown claims.
The video narrator said: “All that was left was wreckage and a Russian film.
“They were first.”
The new video has been branded an elaborate hoax.
Nick Pope, who used to investigate UFOs and other mysteries for the British Ministry of Defence, said: “If the Soviets had got there first, I have no doubt they’ve have trumpeted it to the world, even if their cosmonauts had subsequently died up there.
“Having said that, I think it’s possible that Soviet secrecy and caginess over failure mean we don’t know everything and that that some other unsuccessful missions – including ones where people died – could have been covered-up.”
Viewers of the video also branded it a hoax created using footage from the US Apollo missions.
YouTube user Lowery Music said: “Those weren’t even Soviet spacesuits.
Jim Bauers wrote: “Are we all to believe that if the Russians landed on the moon first, that they would not make claim to it, [to] wipe America’s nose in it, really?”
Another seemed swayed by the theory.
But others did seem swayed.
Damon Smith said: “They sent Americans to the moon because they found dead astronauts on the moon from Russia.”
“There are loads of government cover-ups.”
Icemanfreeze1 wrote: “The Russians did send a man – but not as told here.”
What is known, however, is that a Russian spacecraft did crash into the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin were still there.
Luna 15 was blasted off from the Soviet Union days before the Apollo 11 mission on July 13.
The unmanned probe smashed into the surface on July 21, a few hours before the Apollo 11 astronauts left.
It had been sent up to get soil samples from the moon before the US.
Many conspiracy theories continue to claim the US moon landings were faked, and even filmed in a studio. Via Express
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