The Great Moon Landing “Hoax” (not a hoax) needs to be discussed. In honor of our Lunar Landing day, I have to give a moment to talk about Bill Kaysing.
So, about a zillion years ago, this producer — Ken Rotcop — hands me a script he wants me to revise because he can’t talk about it -as is- so he’s hoping a sci-fi version will make it marketable.
I do the rewrite, but the script goes nowhere. Ah well. Is what it is.
The original, though… wow… what a ride. It was a biopic about Bill Kaysing, originator of the “Moon Landing Hoax theory” and how he got to that point and what happened next.
So, here’s the story, in brief:
Bill Kaysing was doing work for the aerospace industry of the time and, noting both the push to get into space AND the technical issues at the time, decided to drop out, take the cash, and go do something interesting. A little gardening. Some recipes for an “organic toothpaste” he wanted to sell. Stuff like that.
See, he believed –and this was likely the case at least partially–that there was a LOT of grift going on in aerospace (contemplate Jack Parsons and his orgies if you want an example). And while there was still good work going on, he felt if Congress really pushed–like, say if Congress decided we MUST go to the moon–aerospace would fall flat on its face and the resulting congressional hearings would end up with folks going to jail.
He didn’t want to be one of those guys.
So he left and he wasn’t particularly quiet about why he left. Burned a few bridges on the way out. But also wasn’t screaming this to the stars. He preferred the quiet life.
Then the Moon Landing happens.
Much like everybody else, he watches it and is like “whoa… they actually did it!” He’s amused and impressed. Doesn’t affect his life much.
Then he receives a packet in the mail.
“Hey. Mr Scientist. Check THESE things out.”
And the stuff contained within… it’s compelling. I read the evidence and looked it up online and damn… it sounds real. Until I consulted a couple of scientist friends and they debunked each bit, piece by piece.
Kaysing didn’t have that option. He took what he had to his old boss, with the same questions, and his old boss, looking at the portfolio in front of him didn’t give him any answers. Instead it was “Who the FUCK have you been talking to?”
That was not what Kaysing expected.
Pretty soon after that, he got stonewalled by everyone, investigated, and was definitely being followed by at least one agency, probably more.
The likely reason why? Well, the Russians probably sent the original documents. And that sent everything into a spiral of Spy vs Spy with this guy stuck in the middle.
Kaysing went full paranoid. He couldn’t -prove- anyone was watching him and his old bosses and friends were shunning him. And the more he looked into details, the more he could piece together “the con”, because he was a bright guy and intelligent folks can easily buy into their own narratives, even if the narrative is manifestly false.
So he goes on his merry way, shouting now about how no one will listen to him and he has the truth.
Which attracts the crazies and the conspiracy theorists. Who then validate his beliefs.
And that, sadly is where this story is left. Him going around trying to convince everyone that a thing that happened never happened.
He was definitely the victim of government bullshittery and spy shenanigans and somewhere in Russia there’s some old spymaster snickering about how something as simple as a mailed pamphlet or two–and then sending just enough survelliance out to alert the CIA–could cause such a domino effect. From Moon Landing to Flat Earth to QAnon.
So that’s the cautionary tale of Bill Kaysing, mad prophet lost in the paranoid dreams of a world WITHOUT a moon landing.
Happy Lunar Landing day everyone!