Friday, June 19, 2009

The Moon Landing Hoax: Still Crazy After All These Years?

Forty years has gone by since man first landed on the Moon, but why isn’t anyone asking why the “Moon Landing Hoax” rumor got started in the first place?

By: Ringo Bones

Given that I’ve always been fascinated by our yet still fledgling efforts to explore outer space. I was hoping that this year Americans will going to be celebrating in a big way about one of their nation’s greatest achievement – if not the greatest achievement – of landing men on the Moon and bringing them safely back to Earth. Like it’s been 40 years. Will we be celebrating this year on July 20, 2009 about the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing? Or will America be saving for the “Big 5-0” – i.e. 50th Anniversary (July 20, 2019?) celebration 10 years from now on the Moon Landing. But for better or for worse, there’s one topic that’s rarely been discussed that it has even raised suspicions that there has been a conspiracy of a cover-up on efforts in trying to prove that the NASA Moon landings were a hoax. Although rational methods have proven that the Moon Landings were real, the bad news is that proofs supporting the contrary are easy to “create” yet hard to disprove that ideas like these even attract the attention of the finest minds in the scientific community around the world.

I’ve seen that episode on Mythbusters were they set-up experiments proving that the Moon landings were real and I even watched the reruns. Though I’m convinced, it is very, very easy to cast doubt about the authenticity of Neil Armstrong and company’s heroic accomplishments through criminal trial lawyer-style logic and reasoning. I mean those quartz retro-reflectors could easily have been placed by a robotic spacecraft. Although if America’s robotic spacecraft technology were that advanced in 1969, the air war over Vietnam would have been fought by unmanned aerial vehicles like those currently in use in Afghanistan. Sadly America’s robotic spacecraft technology wasn’t that well developed back in 1969. Just ask any retired aerospace engineer. Even though if you put yourself in the criminal trial lawyers shoes, you’ll be able to easily figure out the nuts and bolts – i.e. what and how behind the Moon Landing Hoax. But the question now is why did this Moon Landing Hoax idea have gained so much credibility after all these years.

First here’s something that’s trapped between the “how” and the “why” the Moon Landing Hoax got started in the first place. Back in the late 1960s – or around July 20, 1969 - people like today’s Rush Limbaugh, Bill “Papa Bear” O’Reilly, Glen Beck, and the rest of Fox News Network ruled America. These “salt-of-the-earth” people could utter their personal opinions and beliefs, though it was mostly their low opinion of African-Americans and Jews (remember Billy Graham’s accidentally captured on TV “stranglehold of the Jews” speech?). Sadly, these are the kind of people who vehemently claimed the achievement’s of NASA’s manned space program even though this feat is supposedly dedicated to all mankind. Add to that the conservative Right Wing’s belittlement of other cultural revolutions in America that’s happening together with the Moon landings. Like the 1969 Woodstock concert, Or the Peace and Love revolution in Haight Ashbury.

Though I’ve heard rumors that there was a movie made in the 1970s about the faking of the Moon landings but to tell you the truth, the earliest that I’ve even heard about the Moon Landing Hoax topic was in the movie Sneakers back in 1992. And to think that R.E.M. ‘s song Man on the Moon makes them appear as Moon Landing Hoax believers’ apologists. Maybe the Discovery Channel should rerun that Mythbusters Moon Landing Hoax episode to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s landing on the Moon.

But is it possible that the popularity of this Moon Landing Hoax movement is what’s holding back America’s space exploration program? I mean NASA is probably very busy working on a special camera so that viewers will never doubt whether their next Moon landing TV (or Internet Web version whatever) broadcasts in the 2020s will never be accused of being staged in a Burbank soundstage.


VaneSSa said...

I think the primary raison d'être of the creation of the Moon Landing Hoax is politically driven. Given that America was in the 1960s - and on a limited extent still is - ruled by conservative white supremacists not unlike that of personalities populating the Fox news Network. Like Glenn Beck and Bill "Papa Bear" O'Reilly.
Most ethnic groups who are not Anglo-Saxon Protestants were left-out of this "One Giant Leap for Mankind" euphoria of July 20, 1969. Even if the Mythbusters had proven that NASA Moon landings are real and not a hoax, the resentment by folks rejected by mainstream right-wing conservative America will continue to lash out by believing that the July 20, 1969 Moon landings by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the later astronauts were staged in some Hollywood movie soundstage. Or will America wait that this Moon Landing controversy will be resolved by an Indian astronaut of Tamil descent in 2025?

Guapita said...

I do agree that the "Moon Landing Hoax" conspiracy is primarily politically driven. Back in 1969, African-Americans were still a very oppressed ethnic group, über-Tele Evangelist Billy Graham can still get away with his anti-Semitic "Te US Economy Under the Stranglehold of the Jews" speech on prime time TV. Looks like Neil Armstrong's "One Giant Leap" rhetoric doesn't include African-Americans and other non Anglo-Saxon Protestant races back in July 20, 1969. And to think conservative Right-Wing extremist America circa 1969 has the audacity to belittle the first Woodstock, the politically-driven Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy will never die. Even after the Mythbusters team had proven that the Moon landings are real or a Chinese astronaut of Uyghur descent starts staring at Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's footprints on the surface of the Moon in 2030.

Andres said...

Maybe it was that Capricorn One - a movie made by Hollywood and was released back in 1978 about how "might" NASA fake a future manned exploration of Mars. This is the movie - in my opinion - that made the Moon Landing Hoax Conspiracy a runaway pop culture phenomena...and the moral of the lesson is 1960s-era White Anglo-Saxon Protestant America should have treated the "audience members" who do not subscribe to their beliefs. I mean if I were to ask your typical Middle-School-aged American if they knew who the first African-American astronaut is, can they answer in less than 5 minutes without consulting the Internet or Google? The Moon Landing Hoax is nothing more than a political issue that started during the dark days of America's Civil Rights movement. Though it would also be cool if the one who finds out that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin really went to the Moon is an Indian astronaut of Tamil descent just a few feet away from Armstrong and Aldrin's footprints, the American flag, and the lower section of the Lunar Excursion Module on the Sea of Tranquility.

Rojer said...

If looking at it from a political perspective - like the way Professor Richard Dawkins think that all organized religion is - then the answer is yes. The extremely popular urban legend about NASA's Apollo manned Lunar exploration program is nothing more than a hoax has no scientific basis whatsoever. But given that the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant powers-that-be of America has been increasingly embracing the racist science of "Creationism", then yes - we have no choice but to accept that the Moon Landing Hoax Conspiracy could be real.
As an example that happened to me personally that bares resemblance to the Moon Landing Hoax Conspiracy is this: Back in 1998 - before the age of cheap digital still cameras, I and a group of friends visited K2. The Pakistan Army escort of ours got his Kalashnikov covered with frost when we woke up after sleeping in our Base Camp. My friends and I took turns toting the icicle-covered Kalashnikov for an early morning photo-op via a 35mm analog film camera. I've scanned this particular photo on my Friendster account. Not surprisingly - people who don't like me swear that this photo is a photoshopped fake. I do agree that if White America circa 1969 had a much friendlier relations with their non-White ethnic brethren, then this Moon Landing Hoax nonsense would have been nipped in the bud.
Speaking of Capricorn One, I saw it a few months ago. The only actors that are familiar to me - given that I'm still under 30 - are OJ Simpson, Telly "Theo Kojak" Savalas and horror / disaster movie staple of the 1970s Karen Black.

Jon said...

The contenders for NASA's first African-American astronauts are USAF Maj. Robert H. Lawrence who died in training back in December 8, 1967. While the Space Shuttle era's first African American NASA astronaut is Guion "Guy" Bluford.
I too do agree that the still going strong perpetuation of the Apollo Moon Landing Hoax is primarily politically driven. Remember back in the US Presidential Election of 2004 when then Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War photos were deemed as fake by the Republican Party?
The sad news is Mythbusters is primarily a science-driven TV program. They tend to avoid straying into politics at all cost. I mean during the filming of that Moon Landing Hoax episode of the Mythbusters, the Mythbusters team never blurted out that they will - or have voted for - Barack Obama. Or say that they had read The God Delusion by Professor Richard Dawkins and give the book a very favorable review as a means to convince the Moon Landing Hoax believers via political means.
That Capricorn One movie probably influenced the urban myth of the Moon Landing Hoax to no end. It even inspired the punk band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black of Go Kart Records - and Lunachicks stablemate - to have their band named after Karen Black and her film roles.
P.S. Check out the You Tube video of former Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin punching a Moon Landing Hoax fanatic in the stomach.

Nadine said...

Even though science and the Mythbusters team can prove that NASA's astronauts did land on the Moon, it is very unlikely that it would change the cherished beliefs of hard-core Moon Landing Hoax believers. Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin could deck them all he wants, but I think Moon Landing Hoax believers are very much set in their ways.
The Moon Landing Hoax is really a politically-driven urban legend. If science can prove that the Moon Landings were faked, the then USSR / Soviet Union and their tenured scientists would have been the first to spill the beans before any conspiracy nut could say Capricorn One movie.
The racist-leaning "science" of creationism is just the Christian Salve Morality taken to its logical end. Given that the Texas School Board has set in their ways of embracing this racist scientific idea, then I hope Buzz Aldrin will live long enough to give the new generation of Moon Landing Hoax believers a decking due to the recent decision of the Texas School Board. I know, the Moon Landing Hoax is nothing more than a politically-driven demagoguery, but conservative extremist Right-Wing White Anglo-Saxon Protestant America is still busy "creating" - either by accident or intent - the new generation of Moon Landing Hoax believers.

Hera said...

There is the lingering issue of if the July 20, 1969 Moon Landing was fake, then why did the then Soviet Union exposed it as such. Though Soviet-era secret agents going to America to expose the Apollo manned Moon Missions as an elaborate hoax would make an excellent film nöir detective movie.
To me, belief the Moon Landing Hoax is primarily politically driven. I say the Mythbusters episode and from a scientific perspective, the NASA astronauts did really land on the Moon. Although the Apollo missions became an attractive target of conspiracy nuts, probably due to White Anglo-Saxon Protestant America embracing the racist-leaning science of Creationism. Is Creationism nothing more than Christian Slave Morality taken to its logical end? You betcha! Plus it did tend to spoil everyone's celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing. Someday a Chinese Uyghur or an Indian Tamil astronaut (in 2025) would settle the dispute on whether Armstrong and Aldrin really did land on the Sea of Tranquility.

Ringo said...

The idea accusing NASA's manned Moon landings being an elaborate multi-billion dollar hoax won't survive rigorous scientific scrutiny, like that recently done by the Mythbusters team. Although the politics of the issue could fill thousands of books. It probably started when Professor Werner Von Braun's NAZI past first became publicly known in the US after his death. after it was kept under raps via Operation Paperclip and his involvement in America's manned Lunar missions in the 1960s.

Ariel said...

The Moon Landing Hoax belief is purely political driven. And "might" be due to Dr. Wernher von Braun's NAZI past because together with Dr. Walter Dornberger, he did help Adolph Hitler acquire V-2 rockets.

Jacob said...

I do agree that the perpetuation of the Moon Landing Hoax is a reaction to everyone - especially Americans - who were left in the dark with regards to Dr. Wernher von Braun's NAZI past. The Operation Paperclip fiasco back then is reminiscent of today's former US Vice Presiden Cheney's "Extraordinary Renditions" program. Buzz Aldrin and the rest of the NASA astronauts fortunate enough to walk on the Moon should be explaining to us why Dr. von Braun's NAZI past wasn't public knowledge during the height of the Apollo program.
P.S. Capricorn One is one of my favorite movies even though I was very skeptical of the Moon Landing Hoax ideology - from a scientific point of view.

VaneSSa said...

Everyone's perception that the US government's NASA Apollo manned Lunar missions of the late 1960 are nothing more than politically driven white American Anglo-Saxon Protestant continuation of the now politically incorrect religious doctrine of Manifest Destiny. And the Apollo 8 astronaut's reading from the Book of Genesis from the Holy Bible during their 1968 Yuletide Season circumnavigation of the Moon doesn't help matters either.
On whether Dr. Wernher von Braun was "proud" of his NAZI past has been debated by academics for sometime now ever since the Project Paperclip archives were made public under the US Freedom of Information Act. Many historians subscribe to the point of view that Dr. von Braun was swept into the NAZI fold due to the Third Reich's "pragmatism" with regard to the movements wartime aims. DR. von Braun's memoirs did state that his true aim for joining the NAZI party in order to build the V-2 rockets was that he could - someday - be able to construct a manned space going vehicle that could someday visit the Moon and the other more distant heavenly bodies.

Sherry Rashad said...

The Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy is primarily politically driven even though it can easily be disproved by science like what they did a special episode of Mythbusters. The reading of the Book of Genesis from the Holy Bible by the Apollo 8 astronauts probably angered some Native Americans because they never received a formal apology after the policy of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant-centered Manifest Destiny almost wiped them out from the face of the Earth. Dr. Wernher von Braun's NAZI past being kept under wraps by Operation Paperclip is probably the more forgivable aspects of the politically-incorrect transgressions of NASA's Apollo program.

Ringo said...

After all that's been said - and supposedly done - about the "conspiracy theories" behind the Moon Landing Hoax, the moral of this story is probably: "Bring the best camera - stills and video - that you can next time when you document your visits to an another celestial body.