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By Nabeela Shaikh in Wickked! - On

Chicken nuggets aren’t really made of chicken. But they don’t want you to know.

Health officials found horsemeat in the IKEA sausages in more than 20 European countries. But the government doesn’t want you to know.

Here’s another one. The moon landing was a conspiracy. But..

You already guessed that from the title. So what is this sorcerous moon landing conspiracy I speak of?

The Theory

The moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated moon landings were hoaxes that were staged by NASA and members of other organizations. All this started in the 70’s (like a lot of other madness) owing to various groups and individuals making their own claims; some saying the landings never happened and other slightly more reasonable ones say that although it did happen, NASA distorted some facts.

It all started with a book published by a Mr. Bill Kaysing two years after the moon landings in 1974. Then popped up The Flat Earth Society (a very conspiratorial name indeed) who claimed that the landings were staged by Hollywood with Walt Disney sponsorship, based on a script by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubrick. I think that speaks for itself.




The Motives

Now who and why would anyone come up with such a ludicrous hypothesis, you ask? It was probably the working of a bunch of eccentric government-loathing, tax-evading middle-aged men who lived in their mother’s basement and had nothing better to do than come up with why the US government would want to fool people into thinking that one of the biggest technological advancements of the 70’s was in fact, a hoax. *gasp*

I kid. These were actually very scholarly people-journalists, doctors, authors who have extensively researched the topic in order to justify their claims. They all cite slightly different motives behind the moon landings, but the ones that are the most common and agreed upon include:

The Space Race: In what was known as the Space Race, the US and USSR competed Cold-War style for supremacy in space-exploration. The US wanted to beat the Soviet Union.. to the moon. And as stated by Kennedy, the United States wanted to go precisely because it was a difficult feat.

NASA Funding: NASA was going broke, and had to keep everyone from finding out. So according to the conspiracy theorists, they raised $30 billion (through car washes and bake sales, I wonder?), paid off people to silence them and faked an entire moon landing to convince people they were still important.

Vietnam War: The US government couldn’t possibly have the entire nation’s attention focused on ‘Nam, so presuming the public had a concentration capacity of a 2 year old, they used the moon-landings to distract them from the war.


The Evidence?

But even conspiracists need to back up their claims, otherwise they wouldn’t have the staunch support of a staggering 6% of Americans backing them up. Evidence is mostly circumstantial, photographic and possibly the result of deep-rooted psychological issues that may have had something to do with alien abduction. Some of the most popular ones include:

The Waving Flag: Footage of the landings reveal ripples in the US flag while unfurling it, which in turn indicates the presence of breeze, which is a huge issue because obviously there’s no wind on the moon.



The Shadows: This is a much debated topic. Some believe that the sun is not the only source of light on the moon and that the lunar surface reflects its own light which illuminates all things on the surface. So technically there should be no shadows.

Another theory states that objects on the moon do cast a shadow, but since the sun is the sole source of light, all the shadows should be somewhat parallel to each other, but as you can see:



They’re not.

Lack of stars: Similar to the problem faced in the song, everyone was very disappointed at the lack of stars, shooting or otherwise in the photographs. They surmised that since there were no clouds on the moon, one should be able to see the stars pretty clearly. But alas, NASA slipped up.



It doesn’t help that countless BBC documentaries and books have been published, hyping up the issue to the point of incredibility. But nonetheless it does make for a good conversation starter.

For more whacky theories on how the moon landing could never have possibly taken place, check out

Nabeela Shaikh

Enamoured by Humbert Humbert and Holden Caulfield. Swears by glitter. And nicotine.

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