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Thread: NASA reactions to moon hoax accusations?

  1. #1
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    NASA reactions to moon hoax accusations?

    Did NASA ever officially react to the moon hoax accusations, with a debunking press kit or something? I think not, but I'm not entirely sure and I thought I'd check with you guys first.

  2. #2
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    I am not sure if this response from 2001 counts as a definitive official response, but it is a response. And it references the BAs web site as well.

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    They were going to back a book by James Oberg on the subject until it became public knowledge and there ws an outcry about the idea being waste of money. I think apart from that they treat it with the respect it deserves and ignore it totally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomWolf
    They were going to back a book by James Oberg on the subject until it became public knowledge and there ws an outcry about the idea being waste of money. I think apart from that they treat it with the respect it deserves and ignore it totally.
    From what I've seen of a lot of these people, a book sponsored by the government debunking the hoax would simply be dismissed as a part of the hoax...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by montebianco
    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomWolf
    They were going to back a book by James Oberg on the subject until it became public knowledge and there ws an outcry about the idea being waste of money. I think apart from that they treat it with the respect it deserves and ignore it totally.
    From what I've seen of a lot of these people, a book sponsored by the government debunking the hoax would simply be dismissed as a part of the hoax...
    Not only that, but by ignoring it, you won't have anything used out of context against you. Remember the Fox show? They kept airing the same sentence from NASA over and over again. It made them look like idiots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher
    Not only that, but by ignoring it, you won't have anything used out of context against you. Remember the Fox show? They kept airing the same sentence from NASA over and over again. It made them look like idiots.
    Didn't see the Fox show. But I know people who have been quoted out of context. For example, someone was asked, in a three-digit lottery, what are the odds of getting the same number two days in a row (something which actually happened). The way the question was asked was, what are the odds of a specific number being drawn two days in a row, the first one being a specific date. He (correctly) answered that the probability was one in a million. If the question is, what are the odds of getting any number two days in a row at some point in the history of the lottery, the probability is almost one. Well, they printed his answer to the question, asked the first way, as if it had been an answer to the question, asked the second way. He received quite a few messages from his friends telling him what they thought about his probability skills...

    So I can easily believe the same thing would happen to NASA

  7. #7
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    Two people -- Brian O'Leary and Paul Fjeld -- specifically complained about being quoted out of context on the Fox program. I've spoken to each of them individually to confirm this. Fjeld, in fact, has threatened to sue the producers.

    Regarding NASA's response, individual NASA people sometimes refer people with questions here or to my site. Why? Well, it's easy. The answers Phil and I come up with are likely the same answers NASA would come up with, and why wouldn't NASA save themselves some effort?

    A full-scale, official response was planned, as has already been stated. But the American public gives NASA its priorities, and they spoke and told NASA that responding to these allegations was not an acceptable expenditure of their taxpayer dollars. James Oberg was set to complete the project with private funding, but the funding never materialized. Another author took over the project, hoping he could fare better. But he could not. There seems to be little if any commercial interest in refuting the moon hoax theories.

    The conspiracist reaction to the response (or lack thereof) from NASA is predictably tautological. If NASA refuses to answer, then "they must have something to hide." The conspiracists get a lot of rhetorical mileage out of NASA's general policy to ignore hoax claims. That is unfortunate and likely unavoidable. NASA can't be held responsible to educate everyone on every subject; if a conspiracist's question is a simple misunderstanding of some elementary scientific principle (as it most often is) then NASA has no obligation to be the one to correct that claimant's deficiency.

    If NASA does answer, then it's just dismissed as the latest in a long string of disinformation. Conspiracists categorically deny anything NASA says in its defense, so why would they paradoxically consider NASA the only acceptable source for a rebuttal? One does not have to work for NASA in order to speak correctly and authoritatively on, for example, the Van Allen belts. If the conspiracists really were interested only in getting to the truth, then why not accept it from some other reliable source?

    So NASA is in trouble either way. There is no course of action NASA can take that results in vindication against the conspiracist claims. So faced with the same outcome in each alternative, NASA wisely chooses the alternative that costs them the least: do nothing. But of course the conspiracists have set up the no-win scenario so that they can perpetuate the debate as long as necessary. They only make money when people are debating, not after the questions have been answered -- even if the answers were in their favor.

    The wholesale apathy toward Clavius and other non-NASA sources of information on their claims is likely because the whole point is to attract the attention of NASA. If NASA acknowledges their claims either way, they win notoreity, which is the real reward. They aren't interested in answers if the answers come from some obscure source. The exercise here is cultural vandalism. No one cares if you vandalizes some old building out in the weeds. Vandalizing City Hall is what gets you the attention you want. So the real reason why the hoax believers pester NASA for a response is simply to be acknowledged for their actions, even if those actions are negative.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, everyone. I just wanted to be sure before I clean up some hoax discussions on the German Wikipedia where someone put variations of "NASA said" and "according to NASA" in front of every debunking argument.

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