NASA has announced that material left over on the moon from the various landings has been spotted and photos have been posted. As soon as I heard the news, I thought that some of the people who have claimed for decades that the landings were a massive hoax perpetrated by NASA would stand by their claims, perhaps even more resolutely than ever. After all, they’ve spent many years building their case and showing their evidence that the landings never took place. Why should they give in now? Couldn’t NASA have doctored the photos to make them look like they indicated some stuff on the moon that was placed there by humans? Of course NASA could have done this. Add to this potentiality the prime time airing of the theory by American TV networks, and you begin to understand how the idea continues to live and thrive.
Where do I stand on this? I believe Americans landed on the moon just as was reported by NASA. Perhaps I’m gullible. Perhaps I’m naive and just want to believe that humans have the intelligence and temerity to perform such a feat, and, further, that Americans wouldn’t lie about such stuff. Not that Americans don’t lie, and that the Government of the United States doesn’t lie. We all know that Americans lie like people from other countries, and that our own government or components of our government have put forth lies for various reasons.
As a young person, I watched as much of the moon landing coverage on TV as I could. I believed every word I heard, and knew, as much as anyone could know, that the photos I saw and the video clips I watched were as true as true could be, especially when much of the information was delivered by Walter Cronkite. He was like an uncle to me. I had seen him cover so many news stories before; how could I doubt his words? He believed in the events he was reporting and he made me believe them too. While writing this piece, I received notification that Uncle Walter has died at the age of 92. Perhaps he waited around till he saw the recent NASA photos, proving to him (if he ever doubted it) that there really is stuff on the moon indicating actual human presence. Whatever the case might be, I’ll miss Walter Cronkite. He was one of my heroes.
The controversy about the legitimacy of the moon landings will continue, perhaps forever. I’ll continue to believe that we really did land on the moon and that the images shown to us for all these years are real and document real events, at least until someone can prove otherwise. People on the other side will continue to deny what I believe to be true, and it is their right to do so. Evolution will continue to take place even as people refute it and deny that we are evidence of it. People will seize a moment in time and a related idea and cling to them as if they were precious and worth saving for eternity. And Earth and the Universe it occupies will continue to change, hourly and daily, regardless of the need for humans to find stability and permanence. Nothing we know today will exist at some point in the future.
But once I watched Americans land on the moon, and I believed the words of Walter Cronkite.