backmasking space

Man Will Spacewalk

With today being the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon, I bring you this little classic reverse speech from the first words spoken on the surface of the moon which, when reversed, sound like “man will spacewalk”.

Neil Armstrong’s Moon Landing Speech Backwards

Play Forward

Forward:’a small step for a man’

Play in Reverse

Reverse: ‘Man will spacewalk.’

Also of interest, on this anniversary of scientific achievement, NASA has released a collection of 45 panoramic photos from the surface of the moon based on images stitched together from the various Apollo missions.

(Previously, on


The Fight to Save America from Backmasking

Just in time for Halloween, a fantastic article by Bryan Gardiner on the history and belief in backmasking, The Fight to Save America From Satan’s Subliminal Rock Messages.

After circulating pamphlets with the “backward masked” declarations spelled out, that’s precisely what Assemblyman Phillip Wyman and panel witness William H. Yarroll II did. The relevant portion of the eight-minute classic was first played forward for committee members and then reversed. Here’s what Wyman claimed could be heard: “I sing because I live with Satan. The Lord turns me off. There’s no escaping it. Here’s to my sweet Satan.” Yarroll, who identified himself as a “neuroscientist,” noted that a teenager need only listen to “Stairway to Heaven” three times before these backward messages were “stored as truth.”



The following are a selection of related blog postings about my backmasking site (for more, see my backmasking information page or search through posts labelled in the backmasking category):

Backmasking Questions
Summary: A few questions about backmasking to think about and, of course, reader opinions via comments.
Posted: 2006.02.13 – 12:24 pm

Your Backmasking Experiences
Summary: Please leave a comment here if you’re into the whole backmasking thing. Have you tried it? What have you found? Do you think there is something to it, or do you just think it’s all a coincidence? This is the place to leave your comments on what you’ve discovered from your own experimenting.
Posted: 2005.11.02 – 7:24 pm

Other Songs with Backmasking
Summary: I’ve been getting a lot of emails with requests for other songs that have backwards messages as well people sending me lists of songs that apparently have just that. Here are some excerpts (for those of you that care).
Posted: 2004.09.01 – 7:50 pm

Stairway to Heaven Backwards Full Lyrics
Summary: An email sharing his opinion on the lyrics to the whole Stairway to Heaven song played backwards.
Posted: 2004.11.06 – 10:36 am

Stairway to Heaven Backwards Interpretation
Summary: Some emails I have received and my personal interpretation of Stairway to Heaven. (Though now I’ve had some reason to change my interpretation—here it is nonetheless.)
Posted: 2004.02.17 – 12:22 pm

Stairway to Heaven Subliminal Messages
Summary: Some time ago I received an email from a professor at York University. He asked if he could use part of my Stairway to Heaven backwards site/idea for a class. Here you will find the conclusion of his experiment.
Posted: 2005.02.08 – 2:43 pm


Simon Singh on Backmasking

Watch on A Dramatic Demonstration of the Power of Mental Frames on YouTube.


Stairway to Heaven Backwards in HTML 5

I’m in the process of updating my backmasking page into HTML 5. That means I’m (trying to) use your browser’s built in audio playing abilities using the <audio> tag.

So far I’ve only updated the Stairway to Heaven clip, but I plan to go through them all.
Update: I’ve finished creating HTML 5 versions for each song. See the bottom of this post for individual links.

Unfortunately not all modern browsers support the proposed specifications (I’m looking at you Internet Explorer). I’ve tried to fix this by using an embedded Flash audio player for those that have out of date or non-future proof browsers. The irony of switching out of Flash and still being forced to keep Flash is not lost on me.

Please do me a favour by letting me know in the comments if the audio doesn’t work on the browser you’re using. It now works on the iPhone!

Here are the individual links (for permalink / bookmarking purposes):


Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

Michael Shermer talks about why people believe strange things, including the belief that there are secret messages in popular music when it’s played backwards.

[ted id=22]


Backmasking in Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi

By popular request, from Lady Gaga’s debut album The Fame, comes a little clip out of track number three, Paparazzi reversed.

Personally, I can’t hear it even with the “reverse lyrics” showing. To me, Lucifer sounds more like moose-em-mouw, but the emails keep coming. For the record, I’m a complete skeptic.

(More backmasking clips)


Backmasking Reference in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

After watching The L Magazine’s The Evolution of the Modern Blockbuster Movie (via) I got thinking that I had never actually read the famous Batman – The Dark Knight Returns comic series (wikipedia entry) from 1986 that was used as a rough basis for Tim Burton’s Batman (1989).

I remember hearing about Frank Miller’s, soon to be a collector’s item, The Dark Knight Returns and had always wanted to read it, but I was a bit young for its graphic content and besides, I didn’t exactly have any disposable income for comics when I was 7.

However, as I read it this evening, I came across a page that I found pretty interesting. On page 89 of book two, the comic makes a reference to backmasking in Stairway to Heaven. I’m posting it here to show just one more way the legend crept into popular culture. The relevant panels after the jump.

backmasking psychology


The Best of Wikipedia is a continually updated collection of some of the most interesting Wikipedia articles. Here’s one from yesterday:

Pareidolia – Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse. There have been many instances of perceptions of religious imagery and themes—in 1978, a New Mexican woman found that the burn marks on a tortilla she had made appeared similar to the traditional western depiction of Jesus Christ’s face. Thousands of people came to see the framed tortilla. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia.

(via Best of Wikipedia)


Backmasking in Michael Jackson’s Beat It

Despite the continued media frenzy surrounding Michael Jackson’s death, I have to admit I’m kind of over it.

However, I felt inspired to look for the “backmasking” message known to be in the song “Beat It”. So I now present, for your skeptical analysis, a new addition to my backmasking page, Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.