It was not long after Americans stopped flying to the Moon in 1972 that conspiracy theories about the lunar landings started to take root. The main thesis: America never went to the Moon at all because the task was simply impossible. The conspiracy theories largely died down after an initial buzz for a quarter century until a 2001 Fox special that took the faked Apollo landings back into national attention on prime time TV.
Now, a decade after the Apollo conspiracy theories were re-ignited, another, even more wild idea has come to the public: did NASA cancel Apollo because of something it found on the Moon?
For quite some time, the web has been abuzz over a horror movie dealing with a secret Apollo 18 mission. While not much is known about the film, whose release date has continually been bumped back months at a time, this much is known: the plot deals with an Apollo 18 mission to the Moon that ended in disaster after the astronauts apparently ran into hostile aliens on Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor.
So, the question arises: could this be real?
Thanks to the Internet, groundless conspiracy theories are presented as fact with ever-increasing frequency. Unfortunately, those not versed in the facts/history are quite prone to take such ideas at face value, which can lead to widespread public misunderstanding that would not even have been possible even a decade ago.
Now for facts.
As with the very idea that NASA faked the Moon landings, the idea that an endeavor as big as a trip to the Moon could be faked is ridiculous in the extreme. First of all, at the time of Apollo, tens of thousands of people were employed with NASA either directly or as sub-contractors. According to traditional wisdom, namely that three may keep a secret if two are dead, the very idea that NASA could somehow swear every single one of its employees to secrecy about such an event is a real stretch of the imagination, especially when considering the impossible to retaliate against deathbed confession.
Second problem: the Saturn V rocket that took astronauts to the Moon was as tall as a 36 story building, 364 feet, or over a football field, in height. Not only was the Saturn V big, it was also extremely loud and could be heard for miles around the launch site. In addition, on the way into space, a rocket of such immense size would be witnessed by millions. Again, the very thought of sending a Saturn V into space without anyone noticing goes against all common sense.
As for why NASA stopped going to the Moon, it was a combination of factors: lack of public interest and a desire to cut spending. When Apollo 11 touched down on the lunar surface and Neil Armstrong too his ‘giant leap for mankind.’ America had won the space race, which was, for some people, enough right there as, after all, America had beat the Soviet Union to the Moon in this multi-billion dollar quest for national pride. Second, Apollo was expensive and, at the same time, the Vietnam War was reaching its peak and the economy was faltering. Together, these two Earthly problems combined to make space exploration look like a waste of money to suddenly budget-conscious politicians.
Suddenly, the case that aliens forced NASA to stop its program of lunar exploration does not look all that probable.