The first book about the subject, Bill Kaysing’s self-published We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, was released in 1974, two years after the Apollo Moon flights had ended. The Flat Earth Society was one of the first organizations to accuse NASA of faking the landings, arguing that they were staged by Hollywood with Walt Disney sponsorship, based on a script by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Folklorist Linda Degh suggests that writer-director Peter Hyams’s 1978 film Capricorn One, which depicts a hoaxed journey to Mars in a spacecraft that looks identical to the Apollo craft, may have given a boost to the hoax theory’s popularity in the post-Vietnam War era. She notes that this happened during the post-Watergate era, when American citizens were inclined to distrust official accounts. Degh writes: “The mass media catapult these half-truths into a kind of twilight zone where people can make their guesses sound as truths. Mass media have a terrible impact on people who lack guidance”. In A Man on the Moon, published in 1994, Andrew Chaikin mentions that at the time of Apollo 8′s lunar-orbit mission in December 1968, similar conspiracy ideas were already in circulation. Claimed motives of the United States and NASA
Those who believe the landings were faked give several theories about the motives of NASA and the United States government. The three main theories are below. The Space Race
The US government deemed it vital that it win the Space Race against the Soviet Union. Going to the Moon would be risky and expensive, as exemplified by John F. Kennedy famously stating that the United States chose to go because it was hard.
A main reason for the race to the Moon was the Cold War. Philip Plait states in Bad Astronomy that the Soviets—with their own competing Moon program and a formidable scientific community able to analyze NASA data—would have cried foul if the United States tried to fake a Moon landing,...