Monday, March 25, 2013

Conspiracy Week: MOON LANDING

I admit that as I age, I find the dividing line between the crazies and the sane more ambiguous than I did in my youth.  And (as Robert Anton Wilson tried to teach us) the imaginary conspiracies sometimes overlap with the real ones in odd ways.

For instance, there is a moment (49 min. 25 sec. in) in the documentary Apollo Zero by Bart Sibrel – who thinks the moon landings never happened – when astronaut Edgar Mitchell muses aloud about shooting the documentarian and Mitchell’s son Adam is heard (not realizing he’s miked) to ask (perhaps jokingly), “Y’wanna call the CIA, have ’em whacked?”  I swear.  (More about the CIA later in this “Conspiracy Week” of blog entries, within my larger “Month of Geopolitics.”)

On top of that, there’s a certain justice in Mitchell suffering this annoying conspiracy theorist, since Mitchell himself believes in a government cover-up of extraterrestrials.

Mitchell kicked Sibrel during the confrontation seen in the documentary, and Buzz Aldrin once famously punched Sibrel in the face (another astronaut confronted by Sibrel refused to swear on a Bible that he’d been to the moon and offered the oddly-weak explanation that he doubted it was a real Bible – and of course I don’t think there’s a real God, just to add another odd layer to the conflict). 

You can’t blame astronauts for wanting to beat Sibrel, really.  But it’s interesting one of them should also have a son who reflexively thinks of the CIA as hitmen.  Does he get it from Hollywood?  A crazy dad?  Experience?

Astronauts don’t normally inspire conspiracy-theory documentaries, though – they inspire things like this, and rightly so.

And the layers of weirdness don’t end there (don’t blame me, I’m just a messenger): There are also conspiracy theorists who think Sibrel was in league with Aldrin all along and – irony of ironies! – think the video of Aldrin punching Sibrel was faked (that their brief conversation in the video was hastily dubbed and the punch a mere “stage” punch).

So to summarize (to take the most-mainstream view of these events, mind you), we have conspiracy theorists…distrusting a conspiracy theorist…who himself confronted astronauts who include a conspiracy theorist…whose son invokes CIA assassins. 

So we don’t even need any actual aliens or conspiracies to achieve weirdness, not in America.


rocketsciencesense said...

As an Aerospace Engineer who works at NASA I am always confronted by the "faked moon landing" discussions, usually in bars. I used to not have much patience for it. However, my favorite Moon conspiracy has to be "Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA" by
Richard C. Hoagland. Are you familiar? It is awesome.

Todd Seavey said...

I'm not, but embarrassingly, I do recall that he not only popularized the "face on Mars" claim but (I think) spoke at the Libertarian Party convention one year.

Much as I love all who fear the government, my first intellectual hero was probably Carl Sagan, who showed that if you gawk at an entire planet full of rocks, you can even find ones that look like Kermit the Frog if you set your mind to it.

(Not that any pro-science person can pretend to 100% certainty about anything, etc., etc.)