Wagging the Moondoggie by Dave McGowan (1960-2015)

NASA photos

A few questions regarding the 'moon landings':
1. Why have we not gone back?
2. Why didn't Russia, who was way ahead of the USA in the space race, go to the moon, then or now?
3. With all the advanced technology, why haven't other nations gone to the moon?
4. If the Moon landings were faked, why would any government go to such extreme lengths to mount such an elaborate hoax?
5. Could so many people have really been duped into believing such an outrageous lie, if that in fact was what it was? 
6. And also, how did they get that big ol' Lunar Rover off and on that small space ship?
Dave explores these and many other interesting thoughts...

Wagging the Moondoggie: Part I

by Dave McGowan | Oct 1, 2009

“It is commonly believed that man will fly directly from the earth to the moon, but to do this, we would require a vehicle of such gigantic proportions that it would prove an economic impossibility. It would have to develop sufficient speed to penetrate the atmosphere and overcome the earth’s gravity and, having traveled all the way to the moon, it must still have enough fuel to land safely and make the return trip to earth. Furthermore, in order to give the expedition a margin of safety, we would not use one ship alone, but a minimum of three … each rocket ship would be taller than New York’s Empire State Building [almost ¼ mile high] and weigh about ten times the tonnage of the Queen Mary, or some 800,000 tons.”—Wernher von Braun, the father of the Apollo space program, writing in Conquest of the Moon

I can see all of you scratching your heads out there and I know exactly what it is that you are thinking: “Why the hell are we taking this detour to the Moon? What happened to Laurel Canyon? Have you completely lost your mind?”


It all began a few months ago, when I became very busy at my day job as well as with family drama and with what turned out to be a very time-consuming side project, all of which made it increasingly difficult for me to carve out chunks of time to work on the remaining chapters in the series. Over the next two months or so, I pretty much lost all momentum and soon found it hard to motivate myself to write even when I could find the time.

That happens sometimes. Though it sounds rather cliché, ‘writer’s block’ is a very real phenomenon. There are many times when I can sit down at the keyboard and the words flow out of my head faster than I can get them down on the page. But there are also times when producing just one halfway decent sentence seems a near impossible task. This was one of those times.

I found a new source of inspiration, however, when my wife e-mailed me the recent story about the fake Dutch Moon rock, which I and many others found quite amusing, and which also reminded me that I had a lot of other bits and pieces of information concerning the Apollo project that I had collected over the nine years that have passed since I first wrote about the alleged Moon landings. After taking that first look, back in 2000, I was pretty well convinced that the landings were, in fact, faked, but it was perfectly obvious that the rather short, mostly tongue-in-cheek post that I put up back in July of 2000 was not going to convince anyone else of that.

So I contemplated taking a more comprehensive look at the Apollo program. Toward that end, I pulled up my original Apollo post along with various other bits and pieces scattered throughout past newsletters, threw in all the newer material that had never made it onto my website, and then combed the Internet for additional information. In doing so, I realized that a far better case could be made than what I had previously offered to readers.

I also realized that a far better case could be made than what is currently available on the ‘net.

I was rather surprised actually by how little there is out there – a couple of books by Bill Kaysing and Ralph Rene, a smattering of websites and a variety of YouTube videos of varying quality. Virtually all of the websites and videos tend to stick to the same ground covered by Kaysing and Rene, and they almost all use the same NASA photographs to argue the same points. So too do the sites devoted to ‘debunking’ the notion that the landings were faked, and those sites seem to actually outnumber the hoax sites.

While suffering through the numbing uniformity of the various websites on both sides of the aisle, it became perfectly clear that the hoax side of the debate was in serious need of a fresh approach and some new insights. So I began writing again. Feverishly. That does not mean, however, that I have abandoned the Laurel Canyon series. I intend to get back to it quite soon.

And truth be told, while the Apollo story may initially appear to be a radical departure from the ongoing Laurel Canyon series, it actually isn’t much of a detour at all. After all, we’re still going to be living in the 1960s and 1970s. And to a significant degree, we’re probably still going to be hanging out in Laurel Canyon – because who else, after all, was NASA going to trust to handle the post-production work on all that Apollo footage if not Lookout Mountain Laboratory?

I am very well aware, by the way, that there are many, many people out there – even many of the people who have seen through other tall tales told by our government – who think that Moon hoax theorists are complete kooks. And a whole lot of coordinated effort has gone into casting them as such. That makes wading into the Moon hoax debate a potentially dangerous affair.

Remember when Luther (played by Don Knotts) gets taken to court and sued for slander in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken? And don’t try to pretend like you’ve never seen it, because we both know that you have. So anyway, he goes to court and a character witness is called and the guy delivers credible testimony favoring Luther and it is clear that the courtroom is impressed and everything is looking good for our nebbish hero, Luther. Remember what happens next though? On cross-examination, the witness reveals that he is the president of a UFO club that holds their meetings on Mars!

The courtroom, of course, erupts with laughter and all of that formerly credible testimony immediately flies right out the window.

I have already received e-mails warning that I will suffer a similar fate (from people who heard me discussing the topic on Meria Heller’s radio show). Not to worry though – I have somewhat of an advantage over others who have attempted to travel this path: I don’t really care. My mission is to ferret out the truth, wherever it may lie; if at various points along the way, some folks are offended and others question my sanity, that’s not really something that I lose a lot of sleep over.

Anyway, a whole lot of people are extremely reluctant to give up their belief in the success of the Apollo missions. A lot of people, in fact, pretty much shut down at the mere mention of the Moon landings being faked, refusing to even consider the possibility (Facebook, by the way, is definitely not the best place to promote the notion that the landings were faked, in case anyone was wondering). And yet there are some among the True Believers who will allow that, though they firmly believe that we did indeed land on the Moon, they would have understood if it had been a hoax. Given the climate of the times, with Cold War tensions simmering and anxious Americans looking for some sign that their country was still dominant and not technologically inferior to the Soviets, it could be excused if NASA had duped the world.

Such sentiments made me realize that the Moon landing lie is somewhat unique among the big lies told to the American people in that it was, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively benign lie, and one that could be easily spun. Admitting that the landings were faked would not have nearly the same impact as, say, admitting to mass murdering 3,000 Americans and destroying billions of dollars worth of real estate and then using that crime as a pretext to wage two illegal wars and strip away civil, legal and privacy rights.

And yet, despite the fact that it was a relatively benign lie, there is a tremendous reluctance among the American people to let go of the notion that we sent men to the Moon. There are a couple of reasons for that, one of them being that there is a romanticized notion that those were great years – years when one was proud to be an American. And in this day and age, people need that kind of romanticized nostalgia to cling to.

But that is not the main reason that people cling so tenaciously, often even angrily, to what is essentially the adult version of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. What primarily motivates them is fear. But it is not the lie itself that scares people; it is what that lie says about the world around us and how it really functions. For if NASA was able to pull off such an outrageous hoax before the entire world, and then keep that lie in place for four decades, what does that say about the control of the information we receive? What does that say about the media, and the scientific community, and the educational community, and all the other institutions we depend on to tell us the truth? What does that say about the very nature of the world we live in?

That is what scares the hell out of people and prevents them from even considering the possibility that they could have been so thoroughly duped. It’s not being lied to about the Moon landings that people have a problem with, it is the realization that comes with that revelation: if they could lie about that, they could lie about anything.

It has been my experience that the vast majority of the people who truly believe in the Moon landings know virtually nothing about the alleged missions. And when confronted with some of the more implausible aspects of those alleged missions, the most frequently offered argument is the one that every ‘conspiracy theorist’ has heard at least a thousand times: “That can’t possibly be true because there is no way that a lie that big could have been covered up all this time … too many people would have known about it … yadda, yadda, yadda.”

But what if your own eyes and your innate (though suppressed) ability to think critically and independently tell you that what all the institutions of the State insist is true is actually a lie? What do you do then? Do you trust in your own cognitive abilities, or do you blindly follow authority and pretend as though everything can be explained away? If your worldview will not allow you to believe what you can see with your own eyes, then the problem, it would appear, is with your worldview. So do you change that worldview, or do you live in denial?

The Moon landing lie is unique among the big lies in another way as well: it is a lie that seemingly cannot be maintained indefinitely. Washington need never come clean on, say, the Kennedy assassinations. After all, they’ve been lying about the Lincoln assassination for nearly a century-and-a-half now and getting away with it. But the Moon landing hoax, I would think, has to have some kind of expiration date.

How many decades can pass, after all, without anyone coming even close to a reenactment before people start to catch on? Four obviously haven’t been enough, but how about five, or six, or seven? How about when we hit the 100-year anniversary?

If the first trans-Atlantic flight had not been followed up with another one for over forty years, would anyone have found that unusual? If during the early days of the automobile, when folks were happily cruising along in their Model T’s at a top speed of 40 MPH, someone had suddenly developed a car that could be driven safely at 500 MPH, and then after a few years that car disappeared and for many decades thereafter, despite tremendous advances in automotive technology, no one ever again came close to building a car that could perform like that, would that seem at all odd?

There are indications that this lie does indeed have a shelf life. According to a July 17, 2009 post on CNN.com, “It’s been 37 years since the last Apollo moon mission, and tens of millions of younger Americans have no memories of watching the moon landings live. A 2005-2006 poll by Mary Lynne Dittmar, a space consultant based in Houston, Texas, found that more than a quarter of Americans 18 to 25 expressed some doubt that humans set foot on the moon.”

The goal of any dissident writer is to crack open the doors of perception enough to let a little light in – so that hopefully the seeds of a political reawakening will be planted. There are many doors that can be pried open to achieve that goal, but this one seems particularly vulnerable. Join me then as we take a little trip to the Moon. Or at least pretend to.

“If NASA had really wanted to fake the moon landings – we’re talking purely hypothetical here – the timing was certainly right. The advent of television, having reached worldwide critical mass only years prior to the moon landing, would prove instrumental to the fraud’s success.”
Wired Magazine

Adolph Hitler knew a little bit about the fine art of lying. In Mein Kampf, he wrote that, “If you’re going to tell a lie, make sure it’s a really fucking big lie.”

Truth be told, I’m not exactly conversant in the German language so that may not be an exact translation, but it certainly captures the gist of what the future Fuhrer was trying to say. He went on to explain that this was so because everyone in their everyday lives tells little lies, and so they fully expect others to do so as well. But most people do not expect anyone to tell a real whopper … you know, the kind of brazen, outlandish lie that is just too absurd to actually be a lie. The kind of lie that is so over-the-top that no one would dare utter it if it was in fact a lie.

That is the type of lie, according to Hitler, that will fool the great masses of people, even when the lie is so transparently thin that it couldn’t possibly stand up to any kind of critical analysis by anyone actually exercising their brain rather than just blindly accepting the legitimacy of the information they are fed. Take, for example, the rather fanciful notion that the United States landed men on the Moon in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. That’s the kind of lie we’re talking about here: the kind that seems to defy logic and reason and yet has become ingrained in the national psyche to such an extent that it passes for historical fact.

And anyone who would dare question that ‘historical fact,’ needless to say, must surely be stark raving mad.



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