In July 1969 two American astronauts walked on the Moon. It was widely reported on the radio and television with live broadcasts recording every moment from lift-off to the tense landing and then the return journey to splashdown on Earth’s Pacific Ocean. Newspapers also reported on this, the biggest news story of the age – the Space Age.
At the time the Soviet Union was the USA’s rival in space exploration. It was first in space with its unmanned satellite Sputnik in 1957 and the first astronaut/cosmonaut was Yuri Gagarin, who orbited the Earth in April 1961. When Apollo 11 set out for the Moon the Soviets sent information on its own unmanned spacecraft, so that it would not interfere with the American spacecraft’s trajectory.
In 1977 Hollywood made a film called Capricorn One about a space mission that was faked, with a sinister government (this was soon after Watergate) setting out to cover up the deceit and kill the witnesses – the three astronauts themselves.
Over the years since a disturbing trend has taken hold that suggests that the Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s were faked, that the astronauts didn’t walk on the Moon, that the photographs and movies were filmed (by Stanley Kubrick, whose epic 1968 sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey
brought new levels of special effects sophistication to audiences) and that the government and NASA made the whole thing up.
This trend has perplexed many of those who were around at the time and also those who have grown up watching the films taken by the astronauts or listened to their testimonies. How can something so plainly visible and so public somehow not be true? The answer of course is that some people have become so detached and wary of official or government news that is frequently put through the PR Spin-dryer that they have extrapolated this to the biggest event of the 20th century.
They are prepared to disbelieve all the witness testimonies, the hours of film, the thousands of still images, the audio recordings, the scientific experiment results – everything – in order to believe the conspiracy.
There has been ‘evidence’ put forward on TV shows and blogs – and even published books – that are supposed to make us doubt. The work of those 400,000 who took part in this gigantic endeavour is pushed aside because of the way the shadows fall ‘the wrong way’ in a photograph. Spurious claims about the lack of starlight, or the amount of radiation, or the way the dust isn’t shown underneath the landing module, or something else all are given reverence as Facts.
And while the government bend the truth sometimes (and also lie) this should not be taken to mean that they are lying about the Moon Landings. American’s president Nixon may have said there would not be a whitewash in the Whitehouse but when he spoke to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, he was on Earth and they were on the surface of the Moon. To say they weren’t is to call these courageous and decent men liars. Something that is a disgraceful thing to do.
What is to be done?
Everytime you’re on twitter, Facebook, YouTube or in conversation and someone tells you that they landings were faked – tell them They Went.