Practice English Speaking&Listening with: A Brief History of Moon Hoaxes - Why do people still believe in them?

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Go to google and type in site : moon hoax and you'll get back over 670,000

websites that reference in some way or another that the moon landings were

faked or we have never been to the moon at all.

How did we get from one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th

century to believing that it was a massive cover-up by NASA the CIA the

government or a combination of all three and why almost 50 years after the first

Apollo missions with all the scientific proof available do an increasing number

of people believe in a radically different version of reality. One of the

first reported instances of people not believing but the moon landings were

true came on December 18th 1969 when the New York

Times science reporter John Noble Wilford in an article called "A moon

landing? what moon landing?" remarked that a few stool warmers in the Chicago bars

are on record as suggesting that the Apollo 11 moonwalk last July was

actually staged by hollywood on a nevada desert. Six months later on 15th June

1970 The Atlanta Constitution led with the story "Many

skeptics feel moon explorer Neil armstrong took his 'first giant step for

mankind' somewhere in Arizona". The article was based on a pole of 1721 U.S. citizens

that were asked "Do you really completely believe the United States has actually

landed men on the moon and return them to the earth again" the poll results

showed that less than 5% of responders in Detroit Miami and Akron

believe they were fake but this increased to 54% of

african-americans in places like Washington DC. An early conspiracy theme

is that because of the cold war between the US and the Soviets the U.S. could

not be seen to lose the race to the moon

but when they realized that it couldn't be done NASA faked the missions and used

the funds to buy the silence of potential whistleblowers. Another one

says that we could never get to the moon because the astronauts would have been

killed by the radiation in a Van Allen belts which surround the earth.

This is down to a poor understanding of the science of radiation and that

thinking all radiation is the same, as we will see it's this bad science that is

the underpinning of most of the moon hoax theories. One theory by William

Brian said that we did go to the moon but only with the help of alien

technology and NASA couldn't risk for public finding out about this as they

wouldn't have to disclose how they got it. Another by Richard Hoagland says

that NASA had discovered large artificial glass structures on the lunar

surface and that the astronauts had had their memory of any alien encounters

erased by hypnosis.

He also said that the moon landing hoax he's had been created by NASA themselves

to act as disinformation to put people off the bigger picture of the aliens

they had found. You may well recognized a similarity to the plot of the 1968

stanley kubrick film "2001, A Space Odyssey" which in turn was based in 1964

short story by Arthur C Clarke called "The Sentinel". This was well before the

moon landings and any of the subsequent moon conspiracy theories so you can see

where these ideas can come from.

Over time the same early themes have been recycled again in again with

changes added here and there. One thing that does remain the same though is that

they are all different, if NASA had concocted a hoax they could only be one

version of it. It wasn't until 1975 when the first of the so-called

evidence-based denials appeared by "Bill Kaysing", a journalist who had worked

Rocketdyne incorporated, the makers of the f-1 engines that powered Saturn V moon

Rockets. His 1975 self-published booklet titled "We never went to the moon :

America's 30 billion dollar swindle" which was republished in 1981 and

2002 is acknowledged as the first to lay out many of the arguments which have

been taken up by the subsequent conspiracy theorists. It's here that we

see the bad science at work as he puts forward the missing stars in the photos

of the astronauts, the flag-waving when there is no air, the lack of a blast

crater from under the lunar lander from its descent and optical anomalies in

photos taken on the moon.

He also puts forward the assumption that NASA did not have the technical

expertise to operate moon landings and that the F-1 rockets were so unreliable

the ones on the Apollo 11 rocket were faked with smaller B-1 type engines

inside of them.

This later point has been proven to be incorrect by the recovery of the actual

F-1 engines used on Apollo 11 from the atlantic ocean by Jeff Bezos, the

owner of amazon. Kaysing who was never a scientist nor engineer worked as the

head of the technical publications and as a publications analyst at Rocketdyne

until May 31st 1963, some six years before the moon landings. He said he came

to these and later conclusions because he had seen documents relating to

Mercury, Gemini Atlas and Apollo and that you didn't need to be a trained

professional to know a hoax has been perpetrated. Kaysings theories

subsequently became even more extreme when he alleged that NASA haded staged

the Apollo 1 fire and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster because the

astronauts were about to reveal the hoax and they had to silence them in a

convincing manner.

Hollywood has also helped to popularize the moon hoaxes with films like The 1978

"Capricorn one" which deals with NASA faking a Mars mission due to technical problems

discovered just before the launch that would have killed the astronauts they had

continued and the ensuing cover up. In 2001 the conspiracy theorist received a

huge boost with the fox TV documentary called "Conspiracy theory: Did we land on

the moon" the program aired on mainstream TV and bill Kaysing was one of the main

contributors. Because this came out over 30 years after the moon landings it

reintroduced for conspiracy theories to a new audience many of which without a

technical understanding would have found it compelling in its arguments. But the

program didn't offer a reply to be allegations which included that

astronauts and others had died in mysterious circumstances to hide the

so-called truth.

This is where the US government and NASA have been their own worst enemy in

creating an atmosphere of distrust and enabling the conspiracies to develop.

Things like the Watergate debacle, the iran-contra affair and the refusal of

NASA to talk about the allegations because they thought they were just too

absurd to warrant a reply just helped the conspiracy theorist arguments. An opinion

poll conducted in 1964 marked a high point for the public belief in the

government with 76% of people saying that they believe that the

U.S. government would do what is right

most or all of time. By the early 1990's that figure had fallen

to less than 25%. It's one thing to create conspiracy theories

but you still need people to believe in them

this is where the emphasis moves from a hoax creators to the believers and

evangelizers that embrace and repeat the conspiracy theories often with little

regard for poor and incorrect understanding of the science that these

theories are based on. Belief is the major component here.

There is a basic tenant in psychology in that once someone firmly believes in

something over that be

conspiracy theories, politics, religious beliefs, aliens, ghosts or whatever,

no matter what proof is forwarded to the country

it can be almost impossible for them to change their minds because they want to

believe in them and for some it's to the point of fanatical hostility when

repeatedly challenged. In fact there is a phenomenon known as the backfire effect

where the more aggressively someone asserts a particular viewpoint with

scientific proof like NASA, the more it pushes the conspiracy believers in the

opposite direction and reinforces their convictions. So why are some people drawn

to the alternative viewpoints and others not.

This tendency cuts across age, race, gender, occupation and political standing.

One area does show a difference though is education. Research carried out by the

university of Miami using long-term empirical data found that people with a

high school education were almost twice as likely at 42% to

believe in conspiracy theories of all types compared to ones with

post-graduate degrees at 23%. A recent poll carried out by the

Fairleigh Dickinson University showed that 63% of registered

U.S. voters believe in at least one political conspiracy theory. According to

professor of psychology Viren Swami of Westminster University England "once

you believe in one conspiracy theory

you are much more likely to believe in others" Psychological testing has

revealed that people are more susceptible to conspiracy theories if

they feel anxiou,s under stress or feel that they don't have control over their


This is believed to trigger some people to see non-existent patterns and

attribute conspiratorial explanations.

Compared to the 60's, 70's and even 80's the world is now a very different

place. The so-called surveillance society with its privacy issues leaks about

eavesdropping on web browsing and emails, job uncertainty, poverty, terror attacks

and a highly unequal society and living in a rapidly changing an unpredictable

world all contribute to the feeling of lack of control for great deal more

people than it did in the past.

The Internet has made things worse in a way with a world of information both

good and bad just a google search away. The problem here is of "Confirmation Bias"

this is the tendency to only believe the evidence that supports your point of

view and the tribalism of people that occurs on chat rooms, blogs, forums and

YouTube channels also helps reinforce the false information and the "us and

them" view of the world. Whilst believing that you know that NASA faked the moon

landings might make you feeling control it doesn't actually give you any control.

The problem with this lack of faith in scientific endeavor is where will it

take you in the future.

To some it seems no matter what NASA or others might do there will always be

some form of hidden agenda and this negates from the achievements that NASA

did 50 years ago and for those which are still yet to come.

Thank you for watching I hope you enjoyed the video and if you did then

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so until the next time it's goodbye from me,

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