Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Top Ten Conspiracy Theories,Number 9

Apollo 11 Moon Landings were faked by NASA

The Apollo Moon landing hoax accusations are claims that some or all elements of the Apollo Moon landings were faked by NASA and possibly members of other involved organizations. Some groups and individuals have advanced alternate historical narratives which tend, to varying degrees, to include the following common elements:

The Apollo Astronauts did not land on the Moon;
NASA and possibly others intentionally deceived the public into believing the landing[s] did occur by manufacturing, destroying, or tampering with evidence, including photos, telemetry tapes, transmissions, and rock samples;
NASA and possibly others continue to actively participate in the conspiracy to this day.
According to a 1999 poll conducted by the The Gallup Organization, 6 percent of the US public believes the landing was faked, while what Gallup termed an "overwhelming majority", some 89 percent, did not.

These hoax claims are widely dismissed as baseless by mainstream scientists, technicians and engineers, as well as by NASA and its astronauts. Such claims are also empirically discredited by the existence of three retroreflector arrays left on the Moon by Apollo 11, 14 and 15. Today anyone on Earth with an appropriate laser and telescope system may bounce laser beams off of these devices, verifying placement of the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment at the historically recorded Apollo landing sites on the Moon.

Folklorist Linda Degh pointed out that the film Capricorn One may have given a "boost" to the hoax theory's popularity in the post-Vietnam War, post-Watergate era when segments of the American public were disinclined to trust official accounts. Degh writes that "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 his book 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 such conspiratorial stories were already in circulation.

The first book dedicated to 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 ceased.
technorati tags:Apollo Moon landing hoax,Top Ten Conspiracy Theories.NASA

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