Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories

Jason Thompson

Tuesday, February 18 2020 at 7:30PM

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38 West Street
PO19 1RP

Tel: 01243 783185

Jason Thompson

What's the talk about?

Join Chichester Skeptics in the Pub at 19.30 on Tuesday 18th February to hear from Jason Thompson on ‘One Small Step: Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories’.

In 1969 Neil Armstrong made 'one small step' into the history books, and eleven other men followed in his footsteps. Fifty years later, there are still some who believe the whole affair to be a conspiracy to fool the world into only believing we had been there. What evidence do they claim for this belief, and why should anyone wish to cast doubt on such a momentous achievement? Join us for an investigation into these questions and more.

Jason has been a member of the Ashford Astronomical Society for ten years and a keen amateur astronomer and student of the history of space flight for even longer. He became Chair of the society on the tenth anniversary of his membership. He has given talks to astronomical societies, schools, and other institutions. Outside the society he works in the diagnostics industry, supplying health tests to hospitals and laboratories.

All are welcome — we look forward to an engaging and informative evening. Entry is £5.

Summary of talk
Jason began his talk by stating the obvious: the Moon landings were not faked!

Beginning with President Kennedy's announcement to send a man to the Moon, his talk focussed on the arguments put forth by conspiracy theorists and their reasons for doing so.

Why was the Moon landing faked? Perhaps to beat the Soviets, distract from the Vietnam war?
Jason then considered the so-called evidence used to support a conspiracy theory, e.g. lunar photographs have no stars in the background sky, shadows on the Moon are not parallel, the USA flag is waving in a vaccuum, etc.

He used photos and video footage from extensive freely available online archives to dispel each false claim. This is a good example of confirmation bias, where evidence supporting a claim is sought whilst evidence contradicting a claim is ignored. Yet conspiracy theorists will claim that they have done extensive research.

Jason trounced the notion that "You have your opinion, I have mine.". Opinions are worthless unless thay can be justified to others.

He considered the benefits of being a conspiracy theorist: financial (writing books), notoriety, a feeling of importance or control, malevolence or fun.

Jason is a member of various anti-conspiracy-theory forums that challenges false Moon landing claims. He thinks it is important for all of us to openly confront online fake news and conspiracy theories.

Jason ended his presentation with a series of his favourite Moon landing hoaxes, illustrated with photos and the famous rocket launch from the Moon.

After a break, Jason answered a wide variety of questions:
Do Moon landing conspiracy theorists believe in other conspiracy theories? In his experience, yes.
Wouldn't the Russians be the first people to publicise a USA Moon landing conspiracy? Yes. Although they might claim that it was a worldwide conspiracy!
Are you looking forward to the Mars landing conspiracy? He'll be ready.

This was an entertaining fun talk with a serious message.

Visit the forums and to chat with Jason online.

This talk was on behalf of Ashford Astronomical Society (