The Moon Landing Hoax Hoax

July 20th was the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s walking on the moon. Well, maybe.

I still have vivid-grainy memories of watching Armstrong’s first steps. A random few students from each class in Macleod State School were selected to go to the library to watch the event on the school’s one TV. I was not one of the lucky few. But Mr. Macrae, our wonderful Grade 4 teacher, just declared “Bugger it!”, determined which student in our class lived closest to the school, and sent out a posse to haul back the kid’s 2-ton TV. We then all watched the moon landing, enthralled and eternally grateful to Mr. Macrae.

But did it really happen?

There have been plenty of questions and questioners, suggesting that the moon landings were faked. How, for example, is the flag in the above photo flapping, given there is no atmosphere to flap it? Then, there is the fake photo of astronauts playing golf on the moon. And the lack of stars in moon photos. And the killer radiation that didn’t kill. And the strange links to Stanley Kubrick. And on and on.

Can all this evidence of doctoring be discounted? Did Man really walk on the moon?

The answers, of course, are Yes and Yes.

The idea that the moon landing was faked is completely ridiculous, and it takes a wilful stupidity to believe it. Which includes about 5% of Americans, and 10% of millenials. (The funniest take is that Kubrick did indeed stage the moon landings, but he was such a perfectionist that he went to the moon to do it.)

There is more to this story, however, than a bunch of conspiracy clowns and gullible slobs. As the brilliant Matt Taibbi writes, there is, indeed, plenty of sleight of hand going on.

The important question is why so many people are willing to believe something so patently false? The answer must be some combination of an inability to discern truth with a lack of concern for truth. And why might that be? Well, just perhaps one factor is an extended history of media and government authorities willing to misdirect and to obfuscate and to flat out lie about everything else. Just perhaps people don’t trust authorities because authorities have abused people’s trust for too long. As Taibbi writes:

“… the flowering of conspiracy theories has an obvious correlation, to a collapse of trust in institutions like the news media and the presidency. … It’s simple math. You can only ask the public to swallow so many fictions before they start to invent their own. The moon story is a great illustration.”

Which is a huge problem. It doesn’t matter a damn if people believe moon landing conspiracy crap. But if they believe that crap then they’ll also believe, more easily, climate change conspiracy crap. And then, an authority that has lost authority is powerless to convince them otherwise. And then, we’re doomed.

But at least we can laugh at the dumb slobs while the Earth goes down in flames.

7 Replies to “The Moon Landing Hoax Hoax”

  1. I was working at National Mutual at the time,. and the company graciously hired several television sets and allowed the staff to watch it live in the cafeteria area.I recall it being very exciting. National Mutual’s demise was sad. National Mutual — AXA — AMP — Phhht.

    1. Well, as I wrote, it is easy to make fun of silly cultists, like flat Earthers (or Catholics), and sure, go ahead. But the real problem is the corruption of the notion of truth, creating the fertile ground for the belief or disbelief in *anything*.

      1. Marty ,

        Apologies for possibly offending flat earthers etc but I think they get less hastles than Copernicus ,Galileo for their heliocentric observations of the 17 century.

        The Pastafarians appear to be are having a humerous debate with intelligent designers much like Bertram Russell and his unobservable pink teapot .

        The ‘brain in a vat’ philosophical argument could be used against the conspiracy theorists on the moon landing.

        Fixing the Climate Emergency is one of the world’s major problems irrespective of the rantings of the POTUS.

        I am expecting with increasing groundswell of public opinion and increasing frequency of extreme weather events and their associated financial cost will coerce democratic governments to mitigate CO2 emmisions before the ” tipping point “is reached.

        If not I will consider migrating south as the planet heats up?

        Steve R

        1. Steve R, I have no problem with you offending flat earthers, or their moon hoax equivalents. My problem (Taibbi’s problem) is people *only* laughing at these clowns, without considering *why* there is a proliferation of such nonsense belief/disbelief and the dangers that that entails.

  2. It comes back to numbers. Every time as far as I am concerned.

    If we look at the number of people across multiple countries involved in the event, then the probability that (A) it was faked and (B) no one has come forward to admit it in 50 years is so immeasurably close to zero that there is no point in calculating it.

    Not that any of the moon hoaxers seem to have the capacity to perform or understand such a calculation.

    There is a wonderful new story of a moon hoaxer accosting Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin a few years ago. He punched them in the head.

    Which is quite understandable.

    1. Yes, there’s no way such a conspiracy could have remained concealed. But it also worth asking, what if the authorities thought that they *could* get away with such a conspiracy? Would they then have been willing to do it?

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