Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Did man walk on the Moon?

On 21 July 1969, some 40 years ago to the day (if you are reading this on 21 July, obviously!), Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on any celestial body other than good old planet Earth.

Or did he?

Because, just perhaps, it was all just an elaborate hoax engineered by CIA agents to boost US nationalism at a time when the communists posed a real threat to the capitalist system (now it's the capitalists who pose a threat to the financial system; funny how times change eh?)

The conspiracy theorists point to all sorts of technical "inconsistencies" like the US flag waving in the wind (there is no wind on the moon), the strange shadows, and even claims that the astronauts would have been ripped to pieces by incredibly fast moving space particles.

In some ways it would be nice to believe the conspiracy theorists had a case.

But they don't.

They suffer from the ability to distinguish the forest from the trees and to see how things really are rather than be carried away on a raft of ridiculous incredulity.

The technical "inconsistencies" may seem valid but they are grounded in faulty reasoning that is typically made by people who don't understand the technical matters they are talking about.

Take, for example, the lack of stars in the sky. "This is evidence that the US didn't go to the moon," they shout.

Hardly. It's proof that these people are stupid. Because any photographer will tell you that stars cannot be seen as they are too light (compared to the rest of the image) and therefore underexposed. If you don't believe me, try it yourself with your digital camera tonight.

I won't bore you with the rest but the notion that not even one person involved in the supposed cover-up would blow the whistle (to earn a fortune) is just plain ridiculous. Heck, US intelligence couldn't even get good info on Iraq for God's sake (or even, as I wrote before, get the porn film Deep Throat suppressed). So the idea of them keeping this one secret is absurd.

Nah, the moon - in hindsight - was easy.

But Mars is gonna be a lot more difficult...

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