One widespread conspiracy meme that is still believed today is that NASA and other groups faked the moon landings, specifically the Apollo missions. Those who believe this state that man has not walked on the moon, and that it was all a hoax.
The first website I want to cite is The Atlantean Conspiracy. This site relies mainly on photos and their abnormalities, such as shadows that don’t line up, missing logos or objects, or photos taken out of sequence. The site is run by Eric Dubay. In his About Me section on his blog, he states that he is a “30 year-old American living in Thailand where I teach Yoga and Wing Chun part-time while exposing the New World Order full-time.” The blog is updated most recently on Wednesday October 9 with a post citing multiple links to other posts on his blog supporting the falsity of the moon landings with video clips. In Ted Goertzel’s (2011) article, he states that “conspiracy theorists often seem to believe that they can prove a scientific theory wrong by finding even a minor flaw or gap in the evidence for it.” (p. 5) On Dubay’s site, he strongly believes that the moon landings have been disproven because of the discrepancies in shadows in several photos.
The second site I looked at was Cosmic Conspiracies, which is run by Dave Cosnette, Martin Cosnette, and Andy Lloyd. The site states that “Dave and Martin have been interested in UFOlogy and everything paranormal for over 25 years and have had several close encounters with UFOs and ghosts since an early age.” The Apollo Hoax page specifically supports the conspiracy that the moon landings were faked with photos, videos, and theory about dust and radiation, as well as tell how NASA faked lighting and faked the weightless effect. Susan Blackmore’s (1999) article explains why people like the Cosnettes are so passionate about these conspiracies due to their direct “experiences” with UFOs. “The experiences ‘realness’ of the visions leads many people who have them to reject any naturalistic explanation at all,” (p. 180) Due to how intimate their experience was with a UFO, it is nearly impossible for them to believe anything otherwise, including scientific proof. In addition, Blackmore states that “For example, UFO believers claim that the conspiracy is suppressing The Truth. NDEers claim to have seen The Truth with their own eyes.” (p. 180)
While searching through various sites, one name I came across multiple times was Bill Kaysing. I looked at the Bill Kaysing Tribute Website, which includes a biography and brief descriptions of his theories. Kaysing is the big name in this memeplex, he doubted NASA’s credibility and did a lot of research on the moon landings before he died in 2005. He wrote several books, most notably We Never Went to the Moon, which was self-published in 1976 and republished by Health Research Books in 2002. Some of his ideas include the near impossibility of making it to the moon, brain washing, and staging of the landing, all ideas covered on the other sites I’d seen as well.
Overall, these sites seem to be run by individuals, and not backed by groups, although there is an online presence that reads and supports the authors in comment sections. The authors seem to be encouraging readers to not take information from NASA and other government sources at face value, and to see for themselves whether they believe the moon landings were staged based on the evidence at hand.
Susan Blackmore (1999). The Meme Machine. London: Oxford University Press.
Ted Goertzel (2011) “The conspiracy meme,” Skeptical Inquirer, 35(1).