“A main reason for the race to the Moon was the Cold War”
“the Soviets did not have the capability to track deep spacecraft until late in 1972, immediately after which, the last three Apollo missions were suddenly canceled.”
..landings had to be faked to fulfill President Kennedy’s 1961 promise: “achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth”.
“A 2000 poll held by the Russian Public Opinion Fund found that 28% of those surveyed did not believe that American astronauts landed on the Moon, and this percentage is roughly equal in all social-demographic groups. In 2009, a poll held by the United Kingdom’s Engineering & Technology magazine found that 25% of those surveyed did not believe that men landed on the Moon. Another poll gives that 25% of 18–25-year-olds surveyed were unsure that the landings happened.”
The Moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were hoaxes staged by NASA and members of other organizations. Various groups and individuals have made such conspiracy claims since the mid-1970s. The most notable claim is that the six manned landings (1969–1972) were faked and that the twelve Apollo astronauts did not walk on the Moon. Conspiracy theorists base their claims on the notion NASA and others knowingly misled the public into believing the landings happened by manufacturing, destroying, or tampering with evidence; including photos, telemetry tapes, transmissions, rock samples, and even some key witnesses.
Conspiracists have managed to sustain public interest in their theories for more than 40 years despite there being much third-party evidence for the landings and detailed rebuttals to the hoax claims. Polls taken in various locations have shown that between 6% and 20% of Americans surveyed believe that the manned landings were faked, rising to 28% in Russia. Even as late as 2001, the major television network Fox broadcast a documentary named Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? claiming NASA faked the first landing in 1969 to win the Space Race.
Since the late 2000s, high-definition photos taken by the LROC spacecraft of the Apollo landing sites have captured the lander modules and the tracks left by the astronauts. In 2012, images were released showing the Apollo flags still standing on the Moon.
The first book about the subject, Bill Kaysing’s self-published ‘We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle’, was released in 1974, two years after the Apollo Moon flights had ended. The Flat Earth Society was one of the first organizations to accuse NASA of faking the landings, arguing that they were staged by Hollywood with Walt Disney sponsorship, based on a script by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubrick. http://tubidy.mobi/watch/g9Wmmm2_2Fqa6u5p8R1TqUxg_3D_3D/3gp-mobile/fs Folklorist Linda Degh suggests that writer-director Peter Hyams’s 1978 film Capricorn One, which shows a hoaxed journey to Mars in a spacecraft that looks identical to the Apollo craft, may have given a boost to the hoax theory’s popularity in the post-Vietnam War era. She notes that this happened during the post-Watergate era, when American citizens were inclined to distrust official accounts. Degh writes: “The mass media catapult these half-truths into a kind of twilight zone where people can make their guesses sound as truths. Mass media have a terrible impact on people who lack guidance”. In ‘A Man on the Moon’, published in 1994, Andrew Chaikin mentions that at the time of Apollo 8’s lunar-orbit mission in December 1968, similar conspiracy ideas were already in circulation.
There are subcultures worldwide which advocate the belief that the Moon landings were faked. By 1977 the Hare Krishna magazine Back to Godhead called the landings a hoax. The reason they gave is that the Sun is 93,000,000 miles away and according to Hindu mythology the Moon is 800,000 miles farther away than that, making the Moon nearly 94,000,000 miles away. To travel that span in 91 hours would require a speed of more than a million miles per hour, “a patently impossible feat even by the scientists’ calculations.”
James Oberg of ABC News said that the conspiracy theory is taught in Cuban schools and wherever Cuban teachers are sent. A poll conducted in the 1970s by the United States Information Agency in several countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa found that most respondents were unaware of the Moon landings, many of the others dismissed them as propaganda or science fiction, and many thought that it had been the Russians that landed on the Moon.
In a 1994 poll by The Washington Post, 9% of the respondents said that it was possible that astronauts did not go to the Moon and another 5% were unsure. A 1999 Gallup poll found that 6% of the Americans surveyed doubted that the Moon landings happened and that 5% of those surveyed had no opinion, which roughly matches the findings of a similar 1995 Time/CNN poll. Officials of Fox television said that such skepticism rose to about 20% after the February 2001 airing of Fox network’s TV show Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? seen by about 15 million viewers. This 2001 Fox special is seen as having promoted the hoax claims.
A 2000 poll held by the Russian Public Opinion Fund found that 28% of those surveyed did not believe that American astronauts landed on the Moon, and this percentage is roughly equal in all social-demographic groups. In 2009, a poll held by the United Kingdom’s Engineering & Technology magazine found that 25% of those surveyed did not believe that men landed on the Moon. Another poll gives that 25% of 18–25-year-olds surveyed were unsure that the landings happened.
CLAIMED MOTIVES OF THE US & NASA
Those who believe the landings were faked give several theories about the motives of NASA and the United States government. The three main theories are below:
The Space Race
The United States government deemed it vital that it win the Space Race against the Soviet Union. Going to the Moon would be risky and expensive, as exemplified by John F. Kennedy famously stating that the United States chose to go because it was hard.
A main reason for the race to the Moon was the Cold War. Philip Plait says in Bad Astronomy that the Soviets—with their own competing Moon program and a formidable scientific community able to analyze NASA data—would have cried foul if the United States tried to fake a Moon landing, especially since their own program had failed. Proving a hoax would have been a huge propaganda win for the Soviets. Bart Sibrel responded, “the Soviets did not have the capability to track deep spacecraft until late in 1972, immediately after which, the last three Apollo missions were suddenly canceled.”
However, the Soviets had been sending unmanned spacecraft to the Moon since 1959, and “during 1962, deep space tracking facilities were introduced at IP-15 in Ussuriisk and IP-16 in Evpatoria, while Saturn communication stations were added to IP-3, 4 and 14”, the latter having a 100 million km range. The Soviet Union tracked the Apollo missions at the Space Transmissions Corps, which was “fully equipped with the latest intelligence-gathering and surveillance equipment”. Vasily Mishin, in an interview for the article “The Moon Programme That Faltered” (Spaceflight, March 1991, vol. 33, 2–3), describes how the Soviet Moon program dwindled after the Apollo landings.
It is claimed that NASA faked the landings to forgo humiliation and to ensure that it continued to get funding. NASA raised about US$30 billion to go to the Moon, and Bill Kaysing claims that this could have been used to “pay off” many people. Since most conspiracists believe that sending men to the Moon was impossible at the time, they argue that landings had to be faked to fulfill President Kennedy’s 1961 promise: “achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth”. Others have claimed that, with all the known and unknown hazards, NASA would not have risked the public humiliation of astronauts crashing to their deaths on the Moon, broadcast on live TV.
It is claimed that the landings helped the United States government because they were a popular distraction from the Vietnam War; and so manned landings suddenly ended about the same time that the United States ended its role in the Vietnam War.
Some of the pictures the conspiracists use as proof that the moon mission was a hoax are below.