Why So Many People Still Believe We Never Actually Went to the Moon

By: ScreenGawk Staff | Published: Jan 22, 2024

Over 50 years ago, the U.S. and NASA made history by successfully sending the first American astronauts beyond the borders of the world to land on the moon.

Often credited as one of humankind’s greatest achievements to this day, numerous skeptics argue the moon landing was faked in an attempt to win the Cold-era space race.

Americans Finally Make It to the Moon

After years of tireless work, NASA finally announced its Apollo 11 mission to send the first humans to the moon. 

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., the lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission

Source: NASA/Newsmakers/Getty Images

Over 400,000 employees contributed to the entire mission, which saw Neil Armstrong and Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin make history by landing on the white globe in 1969. Yet, one former space-age worker claims it was all an elaborate hoax.

The Man Behind the Controversy

Bill Kaysing was among the first men to argue the moon landing was fake. He said it started as “a hunch, an intuition” before turning into “a true conviction.”

Photograph of an aging Bill Kaysing during a talk centered on the Apollo 11 Mission

Source: @ShuttleGravity/X

Kaysing, a former US Navy Officer who had worked on various US space programs for Rocketdyne between 1956 and 1963, claims the US lacked the technical advancements to send people to the moon during the era.

Government Plans to Fake Moon Landing

During his time as a technical writer for the rocket manufacturer Rocketdyne, Kaysing claims to have gained inside knowledge about the government’s intention to fake a moon landing.

Buzz Aldrin sets up the seismic experiment, Apollo II mission, July 1969.

Source: Heritage Space/Heritage Images/Getty Images

After leaving the company, Kaysing would later pen his conspiracy theory down in his 1976 book, “We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle.”

Kaysing Supplies Little Evidence

There was little physical evidence to back up most of Kaysing’s claims, as he mostly used old photocopies to illustrate and back up his theories.

An older man looks over old photographs and photocopies in his bedroom

Source: Freepik

Yet, his ideas quickly took off, and people from around the world jumped on board.

Academics Confused Theories Gain Traction

Various academics have refuted Haysing’s claims over the years, citing evidence to contradict his points such as the massive volume of moon rock brought back to Earth by later Russian, Japanese, and Chinese missions. 

A confused professor wearing a dark suit jacket sits at his desk surrounded by books

Source: Freepik

Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that Apollo 11 astronauts made it to the moon, modern conspiracy theorists surmise it’s factual: the moon landing was a hoax.


Podcasters Influence the Spread of Conspiracy Theories

The spread of theories such as a faked moon landing has remained relevant thanks to prominent figures such as podcast host Joe Rogan, who, for years, denied the credibility of the moon landing.

Joe Rogan attends the UFC 277 ceremonial weigh-in at American Airlines Center

Source: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

This has spread into academia, where just last year, a professor in New Jersey was called out after claiming the Apollo 11 mission was a hoax during a chat with his students.


NASA Chief Speaks on Conspiracy Theorists

According to NASA’s former Chief Historian, Roger Launius, “The reality is, the internet has made it possible for people to say whatever the hell they like to a broader number of people than ever before.”

An older man and woman are pictured as they sit on chairs and observe a board full of images centered on a conspiracy

Source: Freepik

He continued, “And the truth is, Americans love conspiracy theories. Every time something big happens, somebody has a counter-explanation.”


British People Believe

The Apollo 11 hoax theory isn’t confined to the U.S. either. Last year, one man joined the popular British TV show “This Morning” to explain that no one could have walked on the moon as it’s made of pure light.

A young group of British people are shocked by what they are reading on the internet

Source: Freepik

Martin Kenny said: “In the past, you saw the moon landings, and there was no way to check any of it. Now, in the age of technology, a lot of young people are now investigating for themselves.”


Recent Poll Produces Shocking Figures

A recent YouGov poll revealed that one in every six people in Britain are under the impression that the moon landings were staged. 

A man dressed in a grey coat interviews a woman wearing glasses on the street

Source: Freepik

According to the results of the poll, around 12% claim Haysing’s theory is “probably true.” While 4% agreed with the statement “definitely true.”


Apollo 1 Astronauts Killed By Government

According to Kaysing, the conspiracy went much deeper than the faking of a moon landing. He claims NASA also staged the Apollo 1 fire and the Space Shutte Challenger accident.

Photo of the Apollo 1 crew for the first manned Apollo space flight, including Edward H. White II, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, and Roger B. Chaffee.

Source: Heritage Space/Heritage Images via Getty Images

Haysing argues the Apollo 1 astronauts planned on revealing NASA’s intentions to fake missions, and so they were deliberately killed.


Advocate of Many Conspiracy Theories

Kaysings’ outlandish theories went well beyond the space program. On several occasions, he’s claimed that the CIA, Federal Reserve, and other federal governmental bodies are working to destroy America from within.

A group of government officials gathers together in a meeting room to discuss future endeavors

Source: Freepik

He argues the agencies are working to poison the American food supply, brainwash the population, and control all of the media to suit their narrative.