by Lucas Nuzzo
The moon landing conspiracy theory is a very popular conspiracy among conspiracy theorists due to the immense nature of the achievement that was accomplished by the United States. There are many people who believe that the moon landing was a hoax it ranges from chronic conspiracy theorists to everyday normal people. The moon hoax has been popular since we actually first landed on the moon on July 20th 1969. I remember talking to my grandmother about it when I was a kid and she was telling me stories of the footage and how she believed it looked so fake to her. Information may be found all over the internet and is a popular documentary topic. The belief of the moon landing hoax is based on people believing the moon landing was a conspiracy by our government to trick the american people and that it never actually happened (1). This belief is extraordinary because it requires an immense level of (cognitive dissonance) to reason around human’s not going to the moon because there is so much proof that we did.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence for the moon landing taking place just as the United States government has said. The most damning piece of evidence is a whole site by Nasa that shows pictures, and documents all of Apollo 11’s journey on July 20th, 1969 (2). The evidence against the moon landing relies mainly on two pieces of evidence. One based on a picture of buzz aldrin holding a flag that looks like it is waving due to wind, and as we all know there is no wind in space. The other piece of evidence is their belief that Stanley Kubrick helped create the moon landing due to 2001 A Space Odyssey; a movie that came out a year earlier in 1968.
People who do not believe in the moon landing are misinformed and are also misconstruing evidence. The people who believe in the moon landing are usually ones who have a predisposition in not believing the government, this includes agencies such as NASA. Moon landing skeptics misinterpreted evidence, one key piece of evidence that the skeptics point to is an image of buzz aldrin standing next to a US flag on the moon. The US flag looks as if it is waving which could obviously not happen on the moon because space is a vacuum. Skeptics point to this as a gotcha against NASA; nasa released a statement that this occurred due to when Buzz Aldrin placed the flag in the ground he used a twirling motion to secure it, which in return caused the wind like wrinkles (1). Skeptics then reply with fake news, the scientist was bought and refuse to see any reality other than their own. These skeptics may have become mistaken due to the government lying to us before and now they will not believe anything they tell us.
Skeptics of the moon landing are primarily people who distrust the government. Even when confronted with evidence from scientists not involved in NASA the moon landing skeptics will always retreat to the opinion that the government bought them off and they are paid shills. (3). The most prominent people contributing to the social growth of moon landing hoax are celebrities. Celebrities such as Eddie Bravo go on radio shows and talk to millions every year about the moon landing conspiracy and pass it off as gospel to listeners. Believers in the moon landing hoax tend to be conspiracy theorists who already distrust the government. The social influences that sustain them is the online presence of many conspiracy theory websites. Conspiracy theorists seek out these websites and create sub communities in them for their flavor of conspiracy, this creates a safe space where no alternate ideas are brought forward and current ideas are not challenged. This type of online engagement helps these conspiracy theories spread and gain traction among the general population.
For someone to believe that the moon landing was a hoax or a government conspiracy one must already distrust the government. Being a part of an online community with few dissenting voices will also strengthen one’s belief in conspiracy theories or government hoaxes. Individuals with large audiences allows for more individuals to be exposed to conspiracy theories like the moon landing hoax and may be viewed as an authority figure on the subject due to their large audience. An individual must also ignore or misconstrue the mass amount of evidence that exists in support of the moon landing occuring. All of these factors combined may explain why the Moon Landing Hoax is a popular conspiracy theory and why people buy into conspiracy theories in general.