Do You Know The Conspiracy Theories of the Moon Landing?


It was an epoch-making day in the history of mankind when Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon on 20 July 1969. As the Mission Commander of Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong became the first, while mission’s pilot Edwin E. ‘Buzz’ Aldrin became the second man to step on the surface of the moon on 21 July 1969, 6 hours post the landing. No doubt, it was a historic day for the humankind, but some people around the world believe that it was all a hoax. What if man never landed on the moon? What if the entire moon landing and the Apollo 11 Program was filmed in some studio? Well, Conspiracy theorists believe that Apollo 11 Mission was carried out to beat the Russians in the Space Race. Whether true or not, here is everything you need to know about the Conspiracy Theories of Moon Landing. Also read, Facts about Earth

Conspiracy Theories of the Moon Landing

As of now, 12 men have successfully landed on the moon, all of them being the citizens of the USA. It was indeed a red-letter day in the history of mankind when Neil Armstrong became the very first human to step on the moon. No wonder, it was a day of glory for every person on the Earth. However, there are a number of reasons that indicate that moon landings actually did not take place and it was all a sham. There are many conspiracy theories that stipulate that NASA and the United States Government fooled everyone in order to fulfill their respective motives. Whether true or not, these theories have been prevailing ever since their origin.

What is a Conspiracy Theory?

Conspiracy Theory

Before we discuss the conspiracy theories of the Moon Landing, let us have a look at what a conspiracy theory is.

A conspiracy theory can be stated as a description of an incident, event, or a situation that entreats a conspiracy sans justification and authorization that usually involves illicit or detrimental action performed by the government or some of the other powerful actors.

Some of the greatest conspiracy theories of all time are that of 9/11, John F. Kennedy Assassination, The Illuminati, AIDS Cause, Moon Landings, and many others.

Let us discuss some of the most talked about conspiracy theories of the Moon Landings.

The Beginning of the Moon Hoax Movement

Bill Kaysing

It all started in 1976 when Bill Kaysing released a self-published book, We Never Went to the Moon: America's Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle when he discussed the conspiracy of the moon-landing. Kaysing is now regarded as the initiator of the ‘Moon Hoax Movement’.

According to Kaysing, all the six Apollo lunar missions organized between July 1969 and December 1972 were faked. He has made several claims in his book that tend to prove that moon landings were just a hoax. It was then, that the people started to doubt that moon landings never happened. Not only this, Kaysing has also inspired and encouraged many people who do not believe that the lunar landings were real.

Contretemps of the Conspiracy and the Myths Busted

Well, there are several reasons that make the conspiracists believe that Moon Landings were faked. Stating and explaining them all will go beyond the scope of this article, so here some of the most famous reasons that indicate towards a conspiracy and how they have failed to explain the moon landings to be a hoax. Let’s have a look.

1. No Stars

No Stars

This is one of the most widespread reasons given by the conspiracy theorists to prove that the moon landing was faked. Adherents of the Moon Landing Conspiracy often manage to insist that there are no stars to be seen in any of the pictures or the footage taken on the moon. Therefore, Moon Landings never happened!

Myth Busted

Just like the human eyes, cameras have to expose their shots with a specific aperture and a fixed length of time. While it’s bright during the daytime, the aperture can be small and the exposure short. However, when it is dark at night, the aperture needs to be large and the exposure long. Therefore, in case of an average camera, the exposure times need to be in the order of seconds to see the stars effectively. This is quite hard to be done in case of a video footage. In case the aperture would have been increased to let more light enter into the exposure, it would have turned the lunar surface and the astronauts into white spots. This would have required a larger camera and reduced the depth of field. Hence, the cameras used could clearly see the astronauts, but unfortunately not the stars.

2. Shadows on Moon

shadows on moon 

Yet another reason for the proponents to stick to the Moon Landing Hoax is the shadows of the astronauts in the pictures. According to the claims by theorists, there must have been two light sources in the pictures, as the shadows of the astronauts seem to be cast in different directions. But wait, isn’t the Sun one and only source of light on the moon? So, how can the astronauts cast so many shadows? Hence, these pictures were not taken on the moon. Moreover, it was filmed in some Hollywood Studio or Area 51, right?

Myth Busted

People who do not have good knowledge of light and its principles would say that if there is no other source of light, other than the sun then how come, the astronauts cast shadows in different directions. This is very easy to explain. No doubt the only source of light on the moon is the Sun, but the reason for multiple shadows is not different light sources. Instead, multiple shadows are cast due to perspective illusions and irregular ground.

3. The US Flag

us flag on moon

Yet another famous reason used to prove the moon landing a hoax, is the slight waving of the flag while planting it. According to the conspiracy theorists, this indicates towards the evidence of the wind, which is not present on the moon. Therefore, the moon landing was filmed somewhere on the Earth. Hence proved.

Myth Busted

Actually, the flag seems to wave only while the astronauts are handling it. After it has been planted on the moon’s surface, no signs of waves or motion are seen. In space, where there is no air or atmosphere, if any slight movement in the flag is initiated, it won’t stop until the force of friction of the material alone slows it down. While Myth busters carried out a series of experiments in the vacuum, they successfully verified the behavior of the cloth material. The material behaved in the exact manner as it was seen in the Lunar Mission Video footage and pictures.

4. The Moon Paparazzi

The Moon Paparazzi

Buzz Aldrin’s picture taken on the moon, in which Neil Armstrong’s reflection is seen on his safety helmet is also the indicator of the moon landing hoax. It seems like Armstrong is clicking Aldrin’s picture, but wait he is not holding a camera so how did he click the picture? Hence, the picture is fake.

Myth Busted

Who took the picture? If Neil Armstrong did not take the picture, so who did? Do not compare the technologies that we use on Earth with the ones that work out there in Space. NASA uses specialized equipment and space suits that work in Space. The cameras were already attached to the space suits of the astronauts and so you won’t see the astronauts holding cameras in their hands.

The Three Main Motives of the Conspiracy Theories of Moon Landing

The theorists or the people who believe that Moon Landings was just a hoax and that man never stepped on the moon have always been trying to find out ways to prove that the Moon Landings were faked. According to conspiracists, there were some motives of the United States Government and NASA that led them to fake the Moon Landings. The three main theories have been stated below:

1. The Space Race

The Space Race

While the Cold War was going on between powers in the Eastern Bloc and those in the Western Bloc after the World War II, the United States decided to engage the Soviet Union in a Space Race. As the Soviet Union was leading in this race with the success of Sputnik 1 with Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human in Space, the USA had to do something really superior to win this race and prove its supremacy.

Then President, John F. Kennedy already illustrated the risk and high expenses by making a statement in his speech in 1962, that the United State of America has decided to go for the mission because of its complexity.

According to the conspiracy theorists, Moon Landing was faked in order to beat the Soviet Union in the Space Race. The doubters also state that the Apollo 11 Moon Mission was actually filmed secretly either in the depth of Area 51 or at high altitude of the Hollywood. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are supposed to be acting it throughout the mission. 

Another reason for doubt is that there is no independent verification of the moon landings of the Apollo Missions other than NASA’s videos and photos; hence it was all a counterfeit.

2. NASA’s Prestige and the Issue of Funding

NASA logo

One of the main reasons due to which it is believed that Lunar Landings were faked is NASA’s motive of getting the funds and to renounce the humiliation. As per the reports, NASA raised nearly $30 billion for the lunar mission. Bill Kaysing made a claim in his book that the money raised by NASA for the Apollo mission would have been used to 'pay-off' many people.

Whereas, according to some of the conspiracy theorists, it is also believed that it was not possible to send humans to the moon at that time. It was done to fulfill the 1961 goal of President John F. Kennedy- to land a man on the moon and return him back safely to the Earth before the end of the decade.

3. The Vietnam War

Vietnam War

Apart from winning the space race and raising NASA’s budget and prestige, it is also claimed by the conspiracy theorists that moon landing mission was carried out to distract the public's attention from the very unpopular and unwelcome Vietnam War, as stated by the American Patriot Friends Network in the year 2009. It is claimed by these theorists that the lunar landing ended about the same time as soon as the involvement of the United States of America in the war ended. 

Well, the claims do not end here, as it is also doubted that NASA had to compete with the budget of the Vietnam War. NASA’s budget elevated in 1966 and dropped in 1972 by 42.3 percent due to which many of its later flights were cancelled, along with some of the most important missions, like establishing the Permanent Space Station and manned Mars Missions.

Why are These Theories Hard to Believe?

Whatever may be the motive of NASA or the United States Government, if the moon landings were really faked then USSR might have tried to expose the hoax as both the nations were fighting quite hard in the Space Race at that time. With this, the USSR would have won the race by defaming NASA and the USA easily. However, nothing kindred to this ever happened. Why would Russia leave such a golden opportunity? Because it actually wasn’t a hoax.

Moreover, a research done by Dr. David Grimes, a physicist at the Oxford University, proved that if Moon Landings were hoaxed, it would have hardly taken a span of 3 years and 8 months to reveal the conspiracy that involved 411,000 people. Grimes have successfully worked to find out the mathematical way to expose a conspiracy.

Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories- The Conclusion

neil armstrong

"People love conspiracy theories... they are very attractive. But it was never a concern to me because I know one day somebody is going to go fly back up there and pick up that camera I left". —Neil Armstrong in 2012

Be it the Space Race or the Vietnam War and the oddities found in the videos and pictures, all these may lead to raising doubts in the minds of the common people about the Moon Landings. But these doubts and claims do not have any valid shreds of evidence. And talking about the oddities in the video footage and pictures, these all have been explained and disproved many times.

Many moon missions have been carried out, which have confirmed the traces of Apollo Landings on the moon, such as China’s Chang’e 2- its 2nd Lunar probe that was launched in the year of 2010.

Not only this, a conspiracy requires a lot to be successful, such as the number of people to be paid off or killed in order to remain silent, dodging through the keen observation of the USSR’s eyes, all the latest technology equipments- rockets, launches, and the control rooms, rocks and other materials of moon, and what not! Don’t you think it might be way too easier to go on the moon than to fake it all? What do you think?


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