The Hollywood Connection?
As I’ve said earlier, I’m absolutely baffled as to how and why the moronic concept of the “Apollo Hoax” originated. But I’d like to suggest something which just might have been a contributing factor to its becoming so widespread.
In 1979, just seven years after Apollo ended, a film called Capricorn One was made, which was quite possibly the most ridiculous load of mindless drivel ever to come out of Hollywood. Its theme was – guess what – the faking of a space mission! In fact, it made the slanderous and obscenely insulting suggestion that the US Government would not only fake a space mission, but would then murder the astronauts to stop them talking!
For years, this piece of rubbish appeared to have been mercifully forgotten – but just recently, I was dismayed to see it resurrected on British television. Given the present day popularity of the “Apollo Hoax” stupidity, the BBC should have known better.
For those who have never seen this fine example of “entertainment for the brain dead”, here’s a brief synopsis:
The United States is about to launch the first manned mission to Mars, amid a fanfare of publicity. The space agency – an obvious parody of NASA, though the name NASA isn’t used - discovers a major problem with the spacecraft, when it’s far too late to fix it, which means that the astronauts can’t hope to survive. So rather than lose face by canceling the mission, they decide to fake it. The spacecraft is launched unmanned, and the astronauts taken to a film set, where they are forced, against their will, to enact the entire mission. Yeah, right – as if it would be possible to do such a thing, and get away with it, without years of meticulous planning!
After a supposedly successful “mission”, they fake an “accident” right at the end of it, during re-entry, which supposedly kills the heroic astronauts. At this point, the reluctant actors suddenly realise that they are about to be murdered to prevent them blowing the whistle, and do a runner. The rest of the story consists of them on the run in the desert, being chased by government hit men; needless to say, they manage to escape and tell the world the truth. In fact, one of them makes it back to civilization, just in time to expose the scam in spectacular fashion, by turning up at his own “funeral”!
The film was, of course, intended as a “thriller”, rather than a work of science fiction; its producer obviously knew absolutely nothing about spaceflight, and didn’t bother to research even the most fundamental facts! In the story, would you believe, they are going to Mars using an Apollo-Saturn V spacecraft, and even an Apollo-type Lunar Module! It’s surely obvious, to anyone with half a brain, that a spacecraft designed to go to the Moon couldn’t possibly go to Mars – just as a light aircraft, designed to fly a couple of hundred miles at a time, couldn’t fly from Britain to New Zealand. And any moderately intelligent 12-year-old can see that an Apollo Lunar Module, which was clearly built to operate only in vacuum ( just look at its shape and complete lack of streamlining ), couldn’t possibly land on a planet with an atmosphere!
Now, there is a very strange, but well-known, phenomenon in modern society, whereby some sad and disturbed individuals are apparently unable to distinguish between fiction and reality. In particular, an amazing number of people seem to blur the boundaries between what they see on TV and the real world; some apparently think that their favourite soap operas are about real people. There have been many cases where an actor who plays the “bad guy” in a soap story has had abuse shouted at him in the street – and worse – by the kind of pathetic morons who don’t seem to realise that he is just an actor doing his job, and that the evil character doesn’t really exist! In one infamous incident, an actor even had bricks thrown through the windows of his house – after playing the villain in, of all things, Crossroads, the worst soap in TV history!
( For the uninitiated, Crossroads was a long-running British soap opera, which acquired a cult following, because it was so badly produced as to be unintentionally hilarious. It was famous for its “cardboard sets and cardboard characters”; the acting was abysmal, and the sets so flimsy that when someone slammed a door, you could see the entire wall wobble. Then there were the glaring continuity errors, such as the celebrated scene where a character left a room, and appeared in the next room wearing a different suit! Anyone who could confuse that with reality is definitely in need of professional help. )
Could it be, then, that a similar confusion of fiction and reality, involving Capricorn One and other similar rubbish, has played a part in the popularisation of the “Apollo Hoax” myth? It seems to me that to actually believe the stupidity which is being peddled by Bart Sibrel and his ilk would require a similar degree of mental deficiency to that which drives people to throw bricks at actors…
OK, I’m not seriously suggesting that anyone who saw the film at the time would have confused it with reality! But what is distinctly possible is that
a. The film might have played a part in planting the notion in people’s heads, that space missions could conceivably be faked, and
b. In recent years, when Sibrel and Co. began making their allegations, a very distant and woolly memory may have been stirred in some people’s minds, of something which they saw or heard many years ago, about space missions being faked. Some may have become genuinely confused, and forgotten that what they actually saw, more than two decades ago, was just a work of fiction.
In fact, the aforementioned stupid film definitely has played a small part in the propagation of the conspiracy theory. While Sibrel accuses his country’s government of lies and deception on a massive scale, he is himself guilty of blatantly fabricating false “evidence” to support his bizarre claims. On the cover of his video, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Moon, is a photograph which, he claims, “proves” that the Apollo landings were faked in a film studio. It shows a Lunar Module and two astronauts “supposedly on the lunar surface”, but the picture has been squashed sideways to reveal something else at the edge of it – a set of film set lights. According to Sibrel, this picture was taken during the “faking” of one of the landings…
Needless to say, this picture is, in fact, a scene from Capricorn One!
The question has been posed, on at least one internet forum, of whether belief in the “Apollo was faked” stupidity would now be any less widespread, had Capricorn One never been made. Of course, that’s impossible to answer – but the existence of the film can’t have helped matters. Hollywood sometimes has a lot to answer for.
Previous page Next page
Return to Contents