If you ask any history buff what one of the most significant events that occurred in 1969 was, they are sure to respond that it was the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. On July 20th, 1969, these two Americans became the first people to step foot on the moon.“ It was one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong’s iconic first words on the moon, are now known by nearly everyone on Earth. The process behind making this historical event occurred was nothing short of complicated. The entire project required 400,000 NASA employees to be successful.
A lot of us are used to hearing this version of the event that occurred in 1969, but conspiracies have begun that claim the moon landing was faked. Whether or not the moon landing really happened is hands down one of the most provoking conspiracy theories of the modern-day. In 1969, the race to the moon met its end when Armstrong and Aldrin made it to the moon – or so people believe. But, could NASA scientists and the US government genuinely have managed to fake the first moon landing?
There are many people out there who are not convinced that the moon landing happened and refuse to accept it as fact. The reasons behind their disbelief stem from a number of different sources, many calling attention to NASA’s official photos. Be it improbability, inconsistencies, or anomalies – the moon landing conspiracy theories have no shortage of material to question.
10Conspiracy Theorists Claim the Photos of Armstrong on the Moon Aren’t Real
At first glance, the images of Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon to seem nothing short of legendary. The view of Earth, the dusty moon rocks, and the American flag all make for a very iconic image. This image has been revered and respected since the event took place, but many conspiracy theorists actually use it as further proof that the moon landing never really happened. There are several things that conspiracy theorists point out while looking at the photos of the moon landing. Many of these small anomalies are what fuel conspiracy theorists and convince them that the moon landing never happened.
First of all, in the iconic moon landing photos, it seems as though the American flag is waving in the wind. The ripples in the material and the shadows make it look like there is wind flowing through the fabric. The questionable thing is that there is no wind on the moon – the wind doesn’t exist there, so it is impossible that the American flag could be waving in it.
The second anomaly in the photo is the pitch-black sky. Conspiracy theorists have pointed out that it’s strange that the stars aren’t visible in the picture. Along with that, many people have also noticed the peculiar lighting throughout all the photos. It seems as though the shadows aren’t where they should be and that they don’t make sense given that the Sun would be the only source of light on the moon. Some people think that they are also not as dark as they should be.
9People Believe Americans Lied About Landing on the Moon to End the Soviets’ Lunar Attempts
One of the many conspiracies that arose after the moon landing in 1969 is that Americans wanted to beat the Soviets to the moon so severely that they lied about getting there. This competition began when the Soviets successfully launched an artificial satellite, Sputnik, into space in 1957. This achievement for the Soviets caused Americans to fear what else they could be capable of.
Specifically, they began to think that if the Soviets were able to light satellites into space, then they could probably launch missiles onto different countries. A few years later, the Soviets launched Sputnik II into space with a passenger on it. This passenger was Laika, who is known as “The Rocket Dog.” This was a massive milestone in the history of space travel because Laika proved that a living being could survive a flight into space.
In early 1958, Americans launched their first missile into space, the Explorer I. It was at this time that the “space race” between the Americans and the Soviets began to take full force. In 1961, Yuri Gargarin, a member of the USSR, became the first human to be in orbit. Only a few short weeks afterward, Alan Shepard became the first American ever to reach space. It wasn’t long before the Russians succeeded in putting the first woman into space, along with a few other firsts.
NASA scientists did not want to accept that they were losing the space race to the Soviets, so they set out to be the first to ever land on the moon. Conspiracy theorists are positive they lied about their actual steps on the moon simply to scare the Soviets away from any further lunar attempts.
8Bill Kaysing Makes the Moon Landing Conspiracy Seem Quite Believable
One person in particular who believes this event never occurred is Bill Kaysing. Kaysing says this idea occurred to him through intuition and soon became what he says is a “true conviction.” During the years of 1956 to 1963, Kaysing worked at Rocketdyne, which is one of the companies that assisted in designing engine on the Saturn V rocket that is said to have put Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon.
Bill Kaysing is responsible for perpetrating most of the theories about the faked moon landing. What started as a small pamphlet became a well-known international conspiracy theory, and Bill Kaysing was the man behind the first suspicions. His pamphlet, later turned to a book and several intriguing documentaries, was called We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle. Since Kaysing worked at Rocketdyne, he became increasingly convinced of the fact that America’s technology simply wasn’t far enough advance to make the moon landing happen.
Bill Kaysing was one of the first people to list out all the inconsistencies in NASA’s moon landing, as well as the many issues present in the photos of the event. He also pointed out that the statistical odds of America making it to the moon before the Soviet Union, based on budget and technology, we’re actually incredibly low. Kaysing maintained that the moon landing was a fraud until the time of his death in 2005, conducting many interviews explaining all the reasons. Many people consider him to be the reason for the general public’s disbelief on the matter.
7Why Hasn’t Anyone Been Back to the Moon?
Conspiracy theorists point to one unusual fact to aid in proving their point – if the moon landing was real, why hasn’t anyone been back up there? If NASA finally figured out how to make it to the moon, conspiracy theorists think it’s strange that they haven’t used that knowledge again.
Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists, this claim is quite easy to counter. First of all, space travel isn’t like hopping in a car and going on a road trip. It is an extremely expensive endeavor, necessitating millions of dollars in research, development, and workforce. This required government support, sponsors, and tons of funding. Popping back up to the moon isn’t just a little trip, even if they know how to get there.
Plus, NASA has been focusing on space exploration of many different parts of our solar system. Sending probes, satellites, and rovers to some of the eight planets around us has been the focus of space exploration in the past decade or so. The moon isn’t quite a priority when it comes to research, so investing millions to put someone else on the moon isn’t NASA’s mission.
Plans to go back to the moon have actually been put into place several times, but they’ve never quite reached the point of fruition. Although it would be possible to make it back, at least according to NASA and the government, politics and economics have stopped the mission from happening. It seems as though the next people on the moon may not be government-funded at all, but instead could be private companies like Space X or Blue Origin.
6What’s the Motive Behind These Conspiracy Theories?
Although it may be fun to theorize about conspiracies and consider the possible tricks that could have been used, such as photoshop – most people are confused by a straightforward question. This question is: why? Why would NASA and the American government ever have crafted such an elaborate lie about making it to the moon? Of course, beating out the Soviet Union was one possible reason why – but some conspiracy theories list several other reasons. The main reason for faking the moon landing, in the eyes of conspiracy theorists, was to prove the power of the United States government. At the time of the moon landing, trust in the government was quite low.
Theorists believe that the moon landing was a perfect way to prove that the government could accomplish anything at all. Not to mention, establish global dominance over any other country who dared to stand up against them. Unfortunately for the government, the optimism that took place in the 60s actually led to substantial disappointment throughout the 1970s. The peak of putting a man on the moon made people disappointed that other things and accomplishments were not being completed. If the whole thing really was faked, it actually had kind of an adverse effect that was supposedly intended. After the initial excitement about the moon landing, many people became disappointed that the mission never amounted to much.
On the other hand, the goal of the conspiracy theory itself was to accomplish the opposite. Conspiracy theorists want to instill a new doubt in the public’s mind about the power of the American government, as well as its capability to fabricate large-scale lies.
5Stanley Kubrick Played a Part
Many conspiracy theorists believe that it wasn’t just NASA and the astronauts who perpetrated the fake moon landing. Some people even think that legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick played a role in the fabrication. To create such believable footage of the moon landing, many conspiracy theorists believe that a top-notch filmmaker would have been necessary. Stanley Kubrick was considered by most to be the absolute best of his era.
Unfortunately, the claim that Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing is one of the least believable of the conspiracy theories out there. Nowadays, it’s widely recognized as an urban myth more than a legitimate part of the moon landing conspiracy theory. The idea that Kubrick played a role in the lie was born out of necessity. It seemed as though he was the only person, in 1969, who would have been capable of creating such believable footage.
Interestingly enough, this element of the conspiracy theory amounted to a joke in the end. People jokingly say that Stanley Kubrick was asked by NASA to fake the moon landing but that he was such a perfectionist that he insisted on shooting on location. Although there may be some convincing evidence or compelling reasons why the photos were faked, or why the government wanted to fake a moon landing in the first place – there’s nothing to prove that Kubrick was involved at all. Even the most committed of conspiracy theorists have to dig through Kubrick’s later films to find even the slightest bit of symbolism or evidence to indicate that he helped to fake the Apollo 11 moon landing.
4Where’s the Evidence?
Some of these conspiracy theories may seem quite convincing, but the general public still tends to trust that the moon landing really happened. It’s not just because of what NASA has told them. It’s mostly because there is plenty of solid proof that the moon landing took place. First of all, there is literally concrete proof straight from the moon, in the form of moon rock and moon dust. Across all the missions, nearly 400 kilograms of moon rock was collected and brought back down here to Earth.
More evidence lies in the fact that several other influential and trustworthy nations have fact-checked and corroborated the moon landing. If the moon landing were meant to set the United States government apart as a global power, it would be bizarre for countries like Russia, Japan, and China to join in on the fake landing. Each of these countries has confirmed and agreed that the moon landing did really take place.
Another final piece of evidence is that many later photos show the astronaut tracks left behind on the moon. Since there is no wind on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s giant spacesuit steps are still visible in the moon dust. These photos were taken by satellites and the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Would it be realistic for NASA to alter every single picture of the moon ever taken after 1969? Researchers, as well as many members of the general public, believe that it would not have been.
3Martin Kenny Made an Interesting Point About Fact-Checking
Martin Kenny is one man who does not believe in the moon landing, and he states some interesting reasons why the conspiracy has blown up. Although fact-checking would have been difficult in 1969, Kenny points out that technology has made it easier for people to research things all by themselves. Martin Kenny is an outspoken advocate of both the flat earth conspiracy as well as the moon landing conspiracy.
Martin believes that the moon is not a solid rock at all, instead choosing to believe that the moon is made of pure light and would be impossible to step on. Unfortunately, Kenny’s beliefs have been mostly backed up by the claim that no one could prove otherwise, rather than actual evidence. Many conspiracy theorists consider Martin Kenny to be a modern-day version of Bill Kaysing, keeping the moon landing conspiracy alive and well in talking circles. Surprisingly high percentages of people actually believe in the conspiracy, or at least have some form of disbelief or hesitation about all of the details that NASA and the American government have provided.
He makes an interesting point about the existence of a conspiracy in the first place. While the refusal to believe in something in the 1960s may have mostly stemmed from resistance against the government or other major powers, nowadays it could indicate something completely different. People often believe that their ability to research and use technology such as the internet is more reliable than merely believing in experts or other sources.
2How Many People Believe That the Moon Landing Was Faked?
The speculations about the moon landing being a hoax surely began when it appeared live on broadcast television while it was happening, and they haven’t stopped since then. A year after the live images of Armstrong walking on the moon were shown on TV, there was a poll done to inquire about how many Americans believed what they saw on TV that day. The results of this survey showed that 30% of the American population thought the Apollo 11 mission was faked. As the years went on, more and more things began being published that continued the idea that the moon landing could have been a simulated mission by NASA and the US government.
VOA News recently released an article stating, “Despite the huge amount of evidence, the dust and rock samples, the television footage, and the hundreds of thousands of people who made it happen, polls show as many as 6% of Americans believe the Apollo 11 astronauts never landed on the moon.” If you do the calculations, that means approximately 19,632,000 Americans have begun to believe one of the conspiracies floating around about the moon landing not actually happening. Clearly, the individuals who have expressed their disbelief in Apollo 11 on a mass scale have managed to make a lasting impression on the minds of many.
1Is It Possible to Fake Something This Significant So Perfectly?
Every conspiracist who provides their audience with theories of how the moon landing could have been faked seem to flirt with the idea that the photos of Armstrong on the moon would be the easiest way for NASA to fool us all. Film director Howard Berry, who has spent his life studying film post-production, says the live images that appeared on the screen of millions on July 16th, 1969 could not have been faked.
Berry explains that there are only two ways to catch moving images on the camera. The first way is through film, where a succession of images gets exposed on photographic material – this is the old school way. The second way is by using video, which is the modern method mainly used in the 21st century to record live-action.
Theories have arisen that the moon landing that viewers saw on their TV screen on that day was filmed in a TV studio, but Berry manages to debunk this idea by explaining how broadcast television functions. When something is broadcasted onto television from a studio, the video gets recorded at 25 to 30 frames per second. So, if the moon landing video had been faked and recorded in a studio, its video footage would have followed this rule. Except, the moon landing that the world saw on TV in 1969 was recorded at only 10 frames per second using a special camera. This number of frames per second is known as Slow Scan Television. Berry responds to other hypotheses of how the moon landing could have been faked in a television studio and proves there is no possible way that this could have been done based on the 1969 recording.
People have the right to believe whatever they want to in this life, but their ideas may not always match up with what has been proven to be true. Although there have been many people that claimed not to think the moon landing of 1969 happened, there seems to be more evidence to prove its truth rather than its falsity. Individuals like Bill Kaysing and Stanley Kubrick have come up with compelling arguments to try and justify their disbelief about this historical event, but their proof doesn’t seem to be proof enough.
It would be nearly impossible to convince the 530 million viewers who sat around a television on July 16th, 1969, watching images of Armstrong take the first steps on the moon. With the evidence gathered, it seems there would be no point in trying to do so. This historical footage has been reported to be impossible to have faked, so we’re choosing to believe that until a conspiracist finds a way to prove what everyone saw on their screens that day was all an illusion.
Since the moon landing happened over 50 years ago now, and people continue not to regard its historical truth, it’s easy to assume that there are going to be conspiracies about this event for the rest of time. Maybe eventually someone is going to come up with a theory that shocks the nation by proving that it was in fact faked, but until then, we’re going to continue to believe that Armstrong was the first man to have touched the moon.