Page 6 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - March 2019
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6           Idiotic Appeal of Moon Landing Conspiracy

              The Tenacious, Idiotic

           Appeal Of Moon Landing

               Conspiracy Theories

          It has a long and pervasive history: no
           matter the volume of proof, no matter
            the ease with which it can be further

                        Calum Marsh

          It is the summer of 1969. The world’s attention
          is skyward: toward the moon, where Apollo 11
          approaches its epoch-making destiny. But in a
          house on the beach off the coast of central
          California broods a man who knows better than
          to care. His name is Bill Kaysing. He is a former
          technical writer at Rocketdyne, the company
          that built the spacecraft’s main propulsion units.
                 Kaysing has a hunch. It will eventually
          manifest as a suspicion, and then mutate into
          one of the most pervasive and insidious
          conspiracy theories of all time. Kaysing will
          write a book on the subject. Rather he will write
          the book — the primary text, outlining his every  fixation) for such men and women is the      his original research, “the author made an
          intuition, misgiving and doubt about the moon   apparent truth it demonstrates about the       unusual effort to find clues that would indicate
          landing.                                        government on a world-historical scale. To the  that a simulation had, in fact, taken place.”
                 Among common conspiracy theories, the    ardent conspiracy theorist, the government is         The effort was certainly unusual. On
          moon landing is the most tenacious. It has a long  capable of anything — except, of course,    page 21, he presents a facsimile of a well-known
          and pervasive history: no matter the volume of  sending men to the moon.                       photograph of the lunar surface, the black of
                                                                                                         outer space cresting up beyond the horizon
          proof, no matter the ease with which it can be
          further substantiated, otherwise reasonable men  Kaysing’s opus,  We Never Went to the Moon:   behind. It bears a terse caption: “Where are the
          and women continue to affirm their incredulity.  America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, which  STARS?”  Yes, it was foolish of NASA’s
          They insist that radiation from the Van Allen belt  features chapters such as “Elements of Rocket  counterfeiters to have left stars out of what
          between Earth and the moon would make a safe    Propulsion” and “Were the  Astronauts          Kaysing concludes is an obvious composite.
          trip between the two physically impossible.     Manchurian Candidates,” describes his personal  Were these photos as fraudulent as he maintains,
          They say solar flares and solar winds would     apprehensions about the veracity of the project:  and had they included whatever details whose
          have destroyed any spacecraft making an         “Why, of all people, shouldn’t I be captivated  absence he cites as clinching proof of their
          attempt. They claim surface temperatures on the  with the prospect of seeing the fruition of my  fraudulence, Kaysing would chalk the added
          lunar surface by day would have cooked the      work and the labours of thousands of others    touches up to NASA’s fastidiousness. Photos
          astronauts alive in their suits, or as least spoiled  who had contributed to the  Apollo voyage  can be faked. So, of course, they must be.
          a camera film.  They argue transmissions of     programs?” he wonders. “Somehow I seemed to           “Look closely at both of these purported
          sound or video from such an extraordinary       have perceived that the  Apollo project had    moon landing shots,” Kaysing writes above a
          distance could not have come through so quickly  become a gigantic hoax and that nobody was    straightforward pair of moon pictures pasted
          or so clearly.  They contend the failed and     leaving earth for the moon, certainly not in July  side by side. Most of his proof has this same
          thwarted efforts of the Gemini and early Apollo  of 1969.”                                     tone of self-appointed expertise: don’t trust the
          missions demonstrate a basic incompetence it           He begins with skepticism and proceeds  word of NASA; your own eyes can see the truth.
          would have been impossible for NASA in a        to confirm his own disbeliefs. Kaysing’s book  It is enough that something merely seems true.
          matter of months to overcome.                   represents what he calls “an invitation to NASA       Skeptics like Kaysing are not persuaded
                 And so on. None of these contentions     or other groups or concerned individuals to    by photographs or live broadcasts or even by the
          has any basis in scientific fact. Indeed, it’s  review the concept present and refute it with  rocks that were brought back to Earth from the
          essential to such arguments that they run       some indisputable evidence that we have,       moon. How can evidence compete with instinct?
          contrary to the scientific method at large. After  indeed, landed on the moon.” Of course,     How can images of the real moon convince you
          all, what’s a fancy explanation from scientists  evidence such as “photos” or “superficial items”  it’s not a sound stage? If one feels according to
          really worth?  Scientists:  the very people who  will not suffice to satisfy his dubious mind.  one’s gut that, say, the shadows cast across the
          orchestrated this elaborate scheme.                    Why did astronauts seem to score        lunar surface by the landing module ought to be
                 Someone who truly believes the moon      attractive jobs following their return? Why did  pointed another direction, or that the landing
          landing was a conspiracy and a hoax perpetrated  various other astronauts, those whose launch  module ought to have created a blast crater that
          by NASA and the United States government        attempts failed, wind up conveniently dead?    should have been visible in pictures of the craft,
          cannot be dissuaded from this belief by reason  And why did we never hear about gold or silver  that counts for more to the obstinate conspiracy
          alone. Try explaining to the conspiracy theorist  or diamonds on the moon?  The questions      theorist than easily manipulable trivialities such
          that, for instance, the moon landing took place in  tormenting such doubters “have never been  as “facts.”
          the early hours of dawn when temperatures are   satisfactorily answered by NASA,” Kaysing             One simply has to look for potential
          much cooler, or that there were no solar flares  argues.                                       motivation: NASA was ashamed of the $30
          during the times of the Apollo voyages, or that        Surely we have all, at some time or     billion it had invested in the project without
          the aluminum hull of the Apollo spacecraft was  another, pondered these mysteries. Only        result; some impatient and powerful politicians
          designed to insulate the astronauts against     Kaysing seeks at last to solve them:           were embarrassed that the Soviet Union had
          radiation of the kind one might find in the Van  “Recognizing that  ASP officials would cover  continued to outpace their progress in the space
          Allen belt, and the facts will fall on deaf ears.  their tracks as effectively as the CIA agents who  race; the president was desperate to distract an
                 Part of the reason the moon landing has  concealed the murderers of President Kennedy,”  aggrieved public from its dissent toward the
          been a matter of such particular fascination (and  he explains sensibly enough when introducing  Vietnam war. (Continued on Page
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