Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Did NASA Fake The Moon Landings?

Wagging the Moondoggie, Part I
October 1, 2009
by David McGowan

Anyway, a whole lot of people are extremely reluctant to give up their belief in the success of the Apollo missions. A lot of people, in fact, pretty much shut down at the mere mention of the Moon landings being faked, refusing to even consider the possibility (Facebook, by the way, is definitely not the best place to promote the notion that the landings were faked, in case anyone was wondering). And yet there are some among the True Believers who will allow that, though they firmly believe that we did indeed land on the Moon, they would have understood if it had been a hoax. Given the climate of the times, with Cold War tensions simmering and anxious Americans looking for some sign that their country was still dominant and not technologically inferior to the Soviets, it could be excused if NASA had duped the world.

Such sentiments made me realize that the Moon landing lie is somewhat unique among the big lies told to the American people in that it was, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively benign lie, and one that could be easily spun. Admitting that the landings were faked would not have nearly the same impact as, say, admitting to mass murdering 3,000 Americans and destroying billions of dollars worth of real estate and then using that crime as a pretext to wage two illegal wars and strip away civil, legal and privacy rights.

And yet, despite the fact that it was a relatively benign lie, there is a tremendous reluctance among the American people to let go of the notion that we sent men to the Moon. There are a couple of reasons for that, one of them being that there is a romanticized notion that those were great years – years when one was proud to be an American. And in this day and age, people need that kind of romanticized nostalgia to cling to.

But that is not the main reason that people cling so tenaciously, often even angrily, to what is essentially the adult version of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. What primarily motivates them is fear. But it is not the lie itself that scares people; it is what that lie says about the world around us and how it really functions. For if NASA was able to pull off such an outrageous hoax before the entire world, and then keep that lie in place for four decades, what does that say about the control of the information we receive? What does that say about the media, and the scientific community, and the educational community, and all the other institutions we depend on to tell us the truth? What does that say about the very nature of the world we live in?

That is what scares the hell out of people and prevents them from even considering the possibility that they could have been so thoroughly duped. It’s not being lied to about the Moon landings that people have a problem with, it is the realization that comes with that revelation: if they could lie about that, they could lie about anything.

It has been my experience that the vast majority of the people who truly believe in the Moon landings know virtually nothing about the alleged missions. And when confronted with some of the more implausible aspects of those alleged missions, the most frequently offered argument is the one that every ‘conspiracy theorist’ has heard at least a thousand times: “That can’t possibly be true because there is no way that a lie that big could have been covered up all this time … too many people would have known about it … yadda, yadda, yadda.”

But what if your own eyes and your innate (though suppressed) ability to think critically and independently tell you that what all the institutions of the State insist is true is actually a lie? What do you do then? Do you trust in your own cognitive abilities, or do you blindly follow authority and pretend as though everything can be explained away? If your worldview will not allow you to believe what you can see with your own eyes, then the problem, it would appear, is with your worldview. So do you change that worldview, or do you live in denial?

The Moon landing lie is unique among the big lies in another way as well: it is a lie that seemingly cannot be maintained indefinitely. Washington need never come clean on, say, the Kennedy assassinations. After all, they’ve been lying about the Lincoln assassination for nearly a century-and-a-half now and getting away with it. But the Moon landing hoax, I would think, has to have some kind of expiration date.

How many decades can pass, after all, without anyone coming even close to a reenactment before people start to catch on? Four obviously haven’t been enough, but how about five, or six, or seven? How about when we hit the 100-year anniversary?

If the first trans-Atlantic flight had not been followed up with another one for over forty years, would anyone have found that unusual? If during the early days of the automobile, when folks were happily cruising along in their Model T’s at a top speed of 40 MPH, someone had suddenly developed a car that could be driven safely at 500 MPH, and then after a few years that car disappeared and for many decades thereafter, despite tremendous advances in automotive technology, no one ever again came close to building a car that could perform like that, would that seem at all odd?

There are indications that this lie does indeed have a shelf life. According to a July 17, 2009 post on CNN.com, “It’s been 37 years since the last Apollo moon mission, and tens of millions of younger Americans have no memories of watching the moon landings live. A 2005-2006 poll by Mary Lynne Dittmar, a space consultant based in Houston, Texas, found that more than a quarter of Americans 18 to 25 expressed some doubt that humans set foot on the moon.”

The goal of any dissident writer is to crack open the doors of perception enough to let a little light in – so that hopefully the seeds of a political reawakening will be planted. There are many doors that can be pried open to achieve that goal, but this one seems particularly vulnerable. Join me then as we take a little trip to the Moon. Or at least pretend to.

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