A widespread conspiracy meme that still exists to this date is NASA’s Apollo moon landing missions from the mid 1900’s. Theorists believe NASA orchestrated the moon landings so that the US could win the space race against Russia. At the time, it was believed that the country to first send satellites into space would have an extreme technological advantage and dominance over the rest of the nations. This article shows a timeline of both the USSR and the US and their evolution with space technology. This is important because a big claim for the theorists is that NASA created these fake landings to make other nations believe we had beat them to space. The article appeared in the Science section of the Telegraph. Like any other newspaper, the information can be biased and or based on assumptions. There are many other claims made by theorists that will be examined, using credible online sources to help explain the reasoning behind this conspiracy.
The first source used as evidence is a website called Listverse. This website provides the audience with the top 10 reasons explaining why the moon landing was not real. Ted Goertzel (1964) says, “conspiracy theorists have connected a lot of dots,” which is exactly what the online source attempts to do. By putting all of the facts together, theorists can assume that there was no way the Apollo missions were real. The website was created by Jamie Frater and other people who went to colleges and got degrees in things other than science. This takes some credibility away from their findings, but it does offer an insight into the perspective of other esteemed colleagues in other fields. Another popular website was that of Kevin Overstreet. His website spends a lot of time trying to explain why each picture was doctored and how easy it is to have manufactured the pictures and videos.The last source used is the documentary that was shown to the entire United States courtesy of FOX. (The video is very long but insightful and a good watch if you have an hour to spare). It tries to explain why it is fake and why the government would go to such extremes to fake it. Like many documentaries, information can be skewered in certain ways to make it seem like something that is not. A documentary should not be seen as factual but more like informational.
Susan Blackmore (1999) states, “a theory must lead to testable predictions that turn out to be correct” (p.9). The reason why the moon landing conspiracy is so believable is because at first thought, everything they criticize is actually true. So when people are reading the list from Listverse, they begin to believe the theorists because there are no stars in the background, or there isn’t an impact crater from the lunar module.
The reason these conspiracy continue to live is because media keeps shedding the light on them every now and then to keep the public paranoid about its government. All the videos about these conspiracies consisted of people saying that the government wants to manipulate its citizens to believe the US has unimaginable powers. FOX on a Thursday night, February 15. 2001 aired “Conspiracy theory: Did we land on the moon?” which was very controversial and highly discussed between professionals within the Aerospace community.
After conducting the research, it is hard to believe the conspiracy (although watching the video made me think otherwise for a second) because those who oppose this theory are educated professionals of Space. In all of the rebuttals, they provide proof and reasoning to all of the claims made. Goertzel would argue that theorists overlook evidence against them and instead attack the small flaws their opponents have (p.3). Being the author of this blog, and judge of this great debate, I hereby declare that America did indeed land on the moon. I will end with a great, but controversial, quote from Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut on the moon. “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” or was it “this is one small step for A man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Susan Blackmore (1999). The Meme Machine. London: Oxford University Press.
Ted Goertzel (2011) “The conspiracy meme,” Skeptical Inquirer, 35(1)