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05 April, 2010

Wagging the Moondoggie, Part I

by David McGowan

It is commonly believed that man will fly directly from the earth to the moon, but to do this, we would require a vehicle of such gigantic proportions that it would prove an economic impossibility. It would have to develop sufficient speed to penetrate the atmosphere and overcome the earth’s gravity and, having traveled all the way to the moon, it must still have enough fuel to land safely and make the return trip to earth. Furthermore, in order to give the expedition a margin of safety, we would not use one ship alone, but a minimum of three … each rocket ship would be taller than New York’s Empire State Building [almost ¼ mile high] and weigh about ten times the tonnage of the Queen Mary, or some 800,000 tons.”
Wernher von Braun, the father of the Apollo space program, writing in Conquest of the Moon

I can see all of you scratching your heads out there and I know exactly what it is that you are thinking: “Why the hell are we taking this detour to the Moon? What happened to Laurel Canyon? Have you completely lost your mind?”

[. . .]

I was rather surprised actually by how little there is out there – a couple of books by Bill Kaysing and Ralph Rene, a smattering of websites and a variety of YouTube videos of varying quality. Virtually all of the websites and videos tend to stick to the same ground covered by Kaysing and Rene, and they almost all use the same NASA photographs to argue the same points. So too do the sites devoted to ‘debunking’ the notion that the landings were faked, and those sites seem to actually outnumber the hoax sites.

While suffering through the numbing uniformity of the various websites on both sides of the aisle, it became perfectly clear that the hoax side of the debate was in serious need of a fresh approach and some new insights. So I began writing again. Feverishly. That does not mean, however, that I have abandoned the Laurel Canyon series. I intend to get back to it quite soon.

And truth be told, while the Apollo story may initially appear to be a radical departure from the ongoing Laurel Canyon series, it actually isn’t much of a detour at all. After all, we’re still going to be living in the 1960s and 1970s. And to a significant degree, we’re probably still going to be hanging out in Laurel Canyon – because who else, after all, was NASA going to trust to handle the post-production work on all that Apollo footage if not Lookout Mountain Laboratory?

I am very well aware, by the way, that there are many, many people out there – even many of the people who have seen through other tall tales told by our government – who think that Moon hoax theorists are complete kooks. And a whole lot of coordinated effort has gone into casting them as such. That makes wading into the Moon hoax debate a potentially dangerous affair.

Remember when Luther (played by Don Knotts) gets taken to court and sued for slander in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken? And don’t try to pretend like you’ve never seen it, because we both know that you have. So anyway, he goes to court and a character witness is called and the guy delivers credible testimony favoring Luther and it is clear that the courtroom is impressed and everything is looking good for our nebbish hero, Luther. Remember what happens next though? On cross-examination, the witness reveals that he is the president of a UFO club that holds their meetings on Mars!

The courtroom, of course, erupts with laughter and all of that formerly credible testimony immediately flies right out the window.

I have already received e-mails warning that I will suffer a similar fate (from people who heard me discussing the topic on Meria Heller’s radio show). Not to worry though – I have somewhat of an advantage over others who have attempted to travel this path: I don’t really care. My mission is to ferret out the truth, wherever it may lie; if at various points along the way, some folks are offended and others question my sanity, that’s not really something that I lose a lot of sleep over.

Anyway, a whole lot of people are extremely reluctant to give up their belief in the success of the Apollo missions. A lot of people, in fact, pretty much shut down at the mere mention of the Moon landings being faked, refusing to even consider the possibility (Facebook, by the way, is definitely not the best place to promote the notion that the landings were faked, in case anyone was wondering). And yet there are some among the True Believers who will allow that, though they firmly believe that we did indeed land on the Moon, they would have understood if it had been a hoax. Given the climate of the times, with Cold War tensions simmering and anxious Americans looking for some sign that their country was still dominant and not technologically inferior to the Soviets, it could be excused if NASA had duped the world.

Such sentiments made me realize that the Moon landing lie is somewhat unique among the big lies told to the American people in that it was, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively benign lie, and one that could be easily spun. Admitting that the landings were faked would not have nearly the same impact as, say, admitting to mass murdering 3,000 Americans and destroying billions of dollars worth of real estate and then using that crime as a pretext to wage two illegal wars and strip away civil, legal and privacy rights.

And yet, despite the fact that it was a relatively benign lie, there is a tremendous reluctance among the American people to let go of the notion that we sent men to the Moon. There are a couple of reasons for that, one of them being that there is a romanticized notion that those were great years – years when one was proud to be an American. And in this day and age, people need that kind of romanticized nostalgia to cling to.

But that is not the main reason that people cling so tenaciously, often even angrily, to what is essentially the adult version of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. What primarily motivates them is fear. But it is not the lie itself that scares people; it is what that lie says about the world around us and how it really functions. For if NASA was able to pull off such an outrageous hoax before the entire world, and then keep that lie in place for four decades, what does that say about the control of the information we receive? What does that say about the media, and the scientific community, and the educational community, and all the other institutions we depend on to tell us the truth? What does that say about the very nature of the world we live in?

That is what scares the hell out of people and prevents them from even considering the possibility that they could have been so thoroughly duped. It’s not being lied to about the Moon landings that people have a problem with, it is the realization that comes with that revelation: if they could lie about that, they could lie about anything.

Continue reading in several parts at Dave McGowan’s website

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