This morning I was scanning through Zite and found this article claiming that some guy had definitively crushed the “hoax” that men landing on the moon in 1969 was shot on the back lots of Hollywood.
Now most of you will think this is very old history. Another bit of 60s’ paranoia. Who shot JFK, MLK…….? If you want to brush up your conspiracy theories for the rest of this jeremiad, here is a Wikipedia article, Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories
But, wait, there is more to my mental weirdness around this moon landing.
You have to get the context of the moment that made it more than a little plausible that the government would do such a thing. Here we were in a country that was busy attacking a little country, Vietnam, a little smaller than the land areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota, with half a million men on the ground, helicopters, tanks, the whole armamentarium, and a bombing campaign as intensive as those seen during WWII. What was the governments rationale? A made up attack on a destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin and the big strategic objective of avoiding dominoes.
Yep, The Domino Theory. Great visual image, but grand strategy? Worth killing say a million people?
On the home front we had multiple assassinations, riots in urban areas, a general sense that the government was not in control and perhaps the American people were a bit mad. In the Presidential race Richard Nixon, a well known thug politician, was well in front of Hubert Humphrey who didn’t have the fiber to reject LBJ’s war that most knew was wrong or at the very least they wanted it over with.
Hippies, drugs, wild sex, weird young people, not just here in the US but around the world….. It was a strange moment……
So, why wouldn’t one think that this same government would avoid the possible public relations disaster of three guys sitting on top of a giant Roman candle blowing up ignominiously right there on live TV. Lets go to Hollywood. They can be bought.
(That’s a picture of a Vanguard missile blowing up on the launch pad in 1957. Film was shown nationwide on the evening news. And there were more of these events.)
I have not been a supporter of the Mark Lane, Oliver Stone, et al., conspiracy theories. Too baroque for my tastes But I have always had a soft spot for the theory that NASA actually spent more time in Hollywood than Cape Canaveral. I had seen 2001 a space odyssey in a movie theater in Appleton WI (hometown of another conspiracy nut, Joe McCarthy) in 1968. Now I must confess that I was a bit stoned at the time, but a year later the quality of the video from the alleged landing on the moon at least showed that NASA had not hired the right director. Kubrick was probably already working on his next stoner movie, Clockwork Orange, and couldn’t be attracted back to do something that would have been a big step down from 2001.
So flash forward to this morning. I have not been proselytizing recently about the Men on the Moon thing, but my eyes stopped on an article from Gizmodo about this guy S. G. Collins who had made a video definitively proving that there was in fact insufficient technology back in 1969 to fake the moon bit.
Boy am I depressed…..
While you are on YouTube check out some of this guy’s other videos. I love the production values. This seems to be further proof that good content, even kind of wacky good content, needs no flashy production values. (I have written earlier on by business blog about this, “Who Says Content Is Not Still King on the Web“) Gee, maybe that applies to the crappy video quality of the 1969 moon landing?
PS – other images are shots from Kubrick’s 2001 a space odyssey and a picture of a B52 dropping bombs from Wikipedia used without permission.