Tags: moon | conspiracy | hoax

Moon Rocks Be Damned: Conspiracy Theories Live On 50 Years After Lunar Landing

half of the moon is lit
(Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 July 2019 08:50 PM

Fifty years after the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the moon-hoax theory lives on.

Polls show about 5% or 6% of the public believes the landing was faked, former NASA chief historian Roger Launius told The Washington Post.

The conspiracy theory took off when Bill Kaysing, a former technical writer, published a book in 1976 titled “We Never Went to the Moon.” It became a “foundational text” in the moon-hoax mythology, the Post reported.

And in 2001, the Fox TV network aired a documentary called “Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?” with actor Mitch Pileggi of “The X-Files” TV series serving as narrator.

A key feature of the moon-hoax idea is that photographs taken by the Apollo astronauts don’t look right: no stars and no crater under the moon lander.

NASA responded to the book and film by putting out a statement citing the moon rocks as incontrovertible evidence, the Post reported.

“The rocks and particles, still under study by scientists worldwide, were clearly formed in an atmosphere lacking oxygen and water and they show major chemical differences from any previously known Earth rocks,” NASA’s statement argued.

A more direct response came from Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin when he was hectored by conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel outside a Beverly Hills hotel in 2002, the Post reported.

Sibrel, brandishing a Bible and asking Aldrin to swear on it, said, “You’re the one who said you walked on the moon when you didn’t. . . . You’re a coward and a liar and a thief.”

Aldrin decked him, the Post reported. 

The moon-hoax idea is closely related to “flat Earth” theory, which has gained adherents in recent years thanks to social media and viral videos, the Post reported.

“In reality, you are actually in a giant planetarium, slash terrarium, slash sound stage, slash Hollywood back lot that is so big that you and everyone you know and everyone you’ve ever known never figured it out,” declares a leading flat earther, Mark Sargent, in the documentary “Behind the Curve.”

When Asheley Landrum, a psychologist at Texas Tech University, attended the first Flat Earth International Conference near Raleigh, N.C., in 2017, she discovered 29 of the 30 people she interviewed embraced the flat Earth argument after watching YouTube videos, and the only exception heard about it from family members who had watched those videos.

“Without trust in institutional authority — and particularly without trust in science — we are left with no way to correct disinformation,” Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard professor of the history of science, told the Post. 

“And from there, it is a downward spiral.”

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Fifty years after the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the moon-hoax theory lives on.Polls show about 5% or 6% of the public believes the landing was faked, former NASA chief historian Roger Launius told the Washington Post....
moon, conspiracy, hoax
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2019-50-17
Wednesday, 17 July 2019 08:50 PM
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