“The Eagle has landed.”
“Houston, we have a problem.”
“Stop goofing around, Charlie, and get that rock spiked center stage, and let’s break for the day. I’m as dry as a nun’s gusset.”
It’s the summer of 2011, and the 42th anniversary of Apollo 11 NOT going to the moon, or at least according to Bill Kaysing, author of We Never Went to the Moon , which details the findings of a purported NASA hoax. That’s right: the Apollo moon landings were staged in a top-secret sound stage in the Nevada desert, conveniently located near Las Vegas with easy access to air-conditioned casinos, cold beer, and exotic dancers.
I believe there’s a little conspiracy theorist living in all of us, or maybe that’s just my alien implant talking, but save your money for the slots. Let’s take a small sanity check here. It’s now well known that the Soviets were well on the way to sending men to the moon in the 1960s. While the missions never got off the ground, the Soviets worked very hard on them, and were watching carefully when NASA broadcast the historic footage. Both governments spent billions of dollars and countless man-hours on their lunar projects; national prestige was at stake for two superpowers. Do you really think Pravda would have acknowledged the truth of the moon missions if there was any doubt?
No one is more appalled that millions of people actually agree with Bill Kaysing than Philip Plait, author of Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” . Philip Plat debunks the “moon hoax” as well other astronomy-related urban legends-such as you can make an egg stand on end only during the vernal equinox.
What manner of data could possibly convince someone that the moon still lies beyond our grasp? The answer is in the photographs themselves. If you look carefully at the images, the hoax believers say, you’ll see the lie. What lie? Thousands of photos were taken, and many of them are quite famous. Most consist of the astronauts performing their duties, and are unremarkable, except for the fact that they show space-suited humans on an alien landscape; unremarkable, unless you are looking for a dark conspiracy.
There are five basic concerns raised by the conspiracy theorists. These are:
1. There are no stars in the astronaut photos
2. The astronauts could not have survived the radiation during the trip
3. There is dust under the lunar landing.
4. The high temperature of the moon should have killed the astronauts
5. The play of light and shadows in the surface proves that the photos are faked.
Plait systematically dismantles every point made by the hoax believers with clear, understandable explanations. The hoax believers in many cases use simple physics and common sense to prove their point. Initially, their accusations make sense; however, common sense may not apply on the airless surface of the Moon, and the theorists tend to misunderstand basic physics. Upon closer logical inspection, their arguments fall apart. After all, do you really think that after building elaborate sets, and hiring hundreds of technicians and cameramen and spending millions on the hoax and hookers that NASA would forgot to put stars in the pictures? It is indeed 42 years of inspiration and innovation we celebrate when we acknowledge mankind’s epic journey to the Moon, a triumph of human engineering and the human spirit…
Too soon from the cave? Or too far from the stars? Comment and let me know!