Moon madness

Since there are people – and not just the fans of Greek late-night pseudoscientific shows – who believe that the Earth has for centuries been governed by aliens or that the terror attacks on the Twin Towers were part of a conspiracy hatched by the US government and Zionist powers, it should come as no surprise to us to learn that many people believe the Apollo 11 moon landing, 40 years ago, was a hoax. The skeptics include many American citizens who, after all, have a soft spot for conspiracy theories. Some 6 percent of the US population question the Apollo 11 landing but the situation was worse in 1970 when one in three said that «something was wrong» with the landing. The conspiracy theory still ranks among the five most popular. So what was «wrong»? Why does the flag look like it is fluttering? Why did NASA censor the exchanges between the astronauts who, supposedly, saw alien ships? Why were their footprints so deep? Who was Neil Armstrong referring to with his enigmatic remark «Good luck, Mr Gorsky»? How did the cosmonauts survive their passage through the Van Allen radiation belts? These are some of the questions raised by the mostly US-based conspiracy theorists. Of course, there are scientific interpretations more sober than the answer provided by Buzz Aldrin – a punch – to Bart Sibrel who called him a «coward and a liar and a thief.» But for those who are already convinced that «something was wrong,» any scientific explanation is part of the misleading scenario. In order to feel special or superior, privy to some secret knowledge, you cannot possibly adopt what the «naive» and «uninformed» believe. In order to feel more liberated than the misled masses, you fall into the bonds of irrationalism, if not absurdity. That has always been the case. And that’s how it will always be. Humans will have colonized Mars and skeptics will still dispute that we ever made it to the moon.