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This really baffles my mind: It's simply amazing how many people (both those who believe in the conspiracy theories and those who don't) actually don't know that NASA landed 6 times on the Moon (the total number of men who have walked on the Moon being 12).
It's not so puzzling that there are some people who have no idea how many times NASA sent people to the Moon, What's amazing is the sheer amount of people who have no idea, and actually believe there was only one single Moon-landing mission. Most amazingly, even some people who don't believe in any conspiracy theories and object to any such claims don't know that they went more than once.
For any person who has even the most basic knowledge of the Apollo program this may seem like a completely ridiculous thing, but it's true. There are many, many people who believe there was only one Moon landing, period. Even among those who openly oppose the idea of the existence of a conspiracy related to this and who believe the landings were completely genuine.
Most conspiracy theorists actually take advantage of this. Search for Moon-landing conspiracy theory webpages out there, and see if you can find any which mentions how many times NASA sent people to the Moon. While some webpages might make some passing reference to this, most of them conveniently leave this completely unmentioned.
The reason why most conspiracy theorists avoid direct mentions to how many Moon landing missions there were is that thinking about it makes the possibility of a hoax quite less likely.
Think about this: Forgetting for a moment the sheer impossibility of actually pulling it off, if the United States government and NASA wanted to fake the first Moon landing, what was the motivation to do this? To win the "space race" with the Soviet Union. They wanted to be the first to go to the Moon, before the soviets.
Ok, you can argue that's a good motivation. Now, what was the motivation for faking the second flight?
They had already won the "space race". They have got to the Moon before the soviets. So what was there to prove anymore? That they could pull the hoax off a second time? For what purpose?
If the flights were a hoax, think about how difficult it would have to have been in practice:
And that's only a very little part of it. As you may imagine, trying to pull off a hoax of this magnitude would have been staggeringly difficult. The risks of getting caught, of someone whistleblowing, of the Soviet Union detecting foul play, were simply enormous.
So let's assume for a second that it was indeed a hoax and that NASA pulled it off successfully, fooling everybody. So they succeeded in their goal: To beat the Soviet Union in the race to the Moon.
So let me ask once again: What possible reason would there be for NASA to make a second fake Moon landing mission?
Every time you try to pull of a hoax of this magnitude, the risks of getting caught only increase. More people would get involved with each consecutive mission. For example, more scientists were involved in each successive flight because they were interested in actually studying the Moon from as close as possible. More and more people were drawn in to successive missions thanks to their success.
So why take the risk? They had already won the race, so why risk it again?
And that's just with the second flight. They went to the Moon SIX TIMES.
There would have been absolutely no reason to continue the hoax after the first landing. Why take the risk? They could have simply said that the spaceflights are way too risky and expensive, with no actual advantages. Nobody would have questioned these motives.
Curiously, there is a minority of conspiracy theorists who actually acknowledge this. For instance, there's a subset of them who claim that only the first landing was faked, but all the subsequent ones were genuine. There are also those who claim that the landings were genuine but the photographs were faked because it wasn't actually possible to take photographs on the Moon. (This latter theory probably comes from the misconception that there's no explanation for the "artifacts" and other things that conspiracy theorists so much love to point out on the photos.)
But returning to my original point: Surprisingly many people don't know that NASA went six times to the Moon, and believe there was only one landing (as amazing as that may sound to many). Conspiracy theorists love to abuse this misconception by simply not making any mention of multiple landing missions.
This is, in a way, a form of dishonest cherry-picking. These theorists deliberately leave out things which could cast doubts on their readers.
But as I have mentioned several times before (like here), honesty is not one of the most outstanding qualities of conspiracy theorists.
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