Discussing Controversy

The Moon Landing

July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong and his crew members Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins become the first three people to land on the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin then went on to make the “giant leap for mankind,” before planting a flag on the surface and heading back to Earth. On this day, history was made and our place in the universe was forever changed as we left our mark in the cosmos.

That’s not how everyone sees it though.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of how “the shadows aren’t parallel,” or how “the flag can’t wave like that,” despite there being clear evidence to debunk all these ridiculous claims. Yet, to this day Americans and many foreigners believe that the moon landing was a hoax and that all 400,000 people who worked on the Apollo launch have kept it a secret for more than 50 years (History.com).

Foolish if you ask me. Also foolish to anyone who can read and comprehend scientific evidence, but it is important to understand how such a ridiculous sentiment came to be.

Although the moon landing was seen as a huge victory against Russia during the Cold War, the US government would quickly lose the trust of its citizens in the next few years. In 1965, President Johnson made the decision to send US combat forces into battle in Vietnam to fight a fight that many Americans believed was not our issue. The moon landing marked four years of US soldiers on Vietnamese soil with no hope of an end in sight. Then, in 1971, the Pentagon Papers were leaked and citizens across the country read how the Johnson administration was systemically lying about the Vietnam War. Distrust became less about communism amongst our loved ones, and rather, the American state conspiring against itself (Manchester). Then, in 1972, the Watergate scandal occurred and the people of the United States, having just reelected Nixon, were furious, and continued to lose faith in their government. All this distrust led to Americans believing ridiculous claims about the moon landing because if the government could lie about everything they were reading about, what stops them from lying about the moon landing?

            I think that all these ideas can fit under a single persuasion technique and that is “The Big Lie.” The people who are spewing this nonsense don’t need to be right about the information because if they seem confident enough, people who have a hard time thinking for themselves will get in line and follow because they are charmed by a charismatic individual. It doesn’t matter that the conspiracy’s so-called “facts,” have been debunked time and time again because if you really believe something is true, then it must be.

Despite there being individuals out in the world who still believe this conspiracy, it is relieving to know that only 5-10% of American distrust the official version of events (Manchester). Still…5-10% is a lot more than I had hoped for before reading more into this topic. All I have to say is, do research and think for yourself because blindly believing what other people spew on the internet is never going to end well.






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