Chef John Malik

a writer trapped in a cook's body

The Skeptics Have Landed

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50 years ago, three American astronauts traveled to the moon, two of them landed on it, then all three returned safely to Earth. In the following years six other missions went to the moon, one failed to arrive (Apollo 13) while the other five had successful flights. 12 Americans have set foot on our moon and no country since has managed to pull this off.

Left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin Aldrin

Apollo wasn’t a ten-year journey that began with President John F. Kennedy’s promise of landing on the moon. It began with American researcher Robert Goddard. He was the pioneer of staged rockets and thereby set in motion the potential for space flight. Goddard’s research paper “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes” was published in 1919 yet his work was dismissed by our government and the military. The German rocket scientist and developer of Germany’s V2 rocket, Werner von Braun, was a student of Goddard’s research and admitted as much to his American captors.

Robert Goddard with a two-stage rocket of his own design. March of 1926

After World War Two he was granted asylum in the US in exchange for his knowledge of rocketry, and of course von Braun accepted. His early work with the US Army became the Redstone rocket and from there he was soon assigned to work with NACA, the precursor of NASA. And when Russia launched Sputnik in 1957, the US government was frightened into a spending (and learning) spree that would twelve years later put Americans on the moon courtesy Apollo 11. Neil Armstrong, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, and Michael Collins went to the moon in July of 1969. The Apollo missions are the crowning achievement of American exceptionalism and our desire to explore. And for some unearthly reason, entirely too many earthlings believe we fabricated the entire thing.

Werner von Braun at his office in Houston

And these people have no knowledge or understanding of 1960s rocketry, metallurgy, navigation, or communication. They have no idea who Robert Goddard or Werner von Braun was (without Google), how much research was done by the Air Force’s X15 program, what a Redstone rocket was, who Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, or Wally Schirra was or how many Americans were directly involved in the effort. I’ll give you a hand. In 1969 a tick over 400,000 people worked directly or indirectly as contractors for NASA. So were they duped by NASA or were they all in on it? Seriously, four people can’t keep a secret much less four hundred thousand.

The TV broadcast of Armstrong’s walk was captured by a satellite dish in Australia (Parkes Observatory) before being beamed to receivers across the planet. A dish pointed at the moon. Were they in on it? Their story was captured on a quirky feature length film starring Sam Neill back in 2000. Why aren’t they picketing Sam’s home?

Our astronauts returned with rocks and soil samples that have been analyzed by universities across the country. Heck our last mission even included a geologist, Harrison Schmitt. All those rocks were studied in excruciating detail and are on display in museums across the country.

Moon Rock in Toronto Museum

Each Apollo mission left a laser reflector on the surface and anyone with a strong enough laser can point it at one of those and record their exact distance to the moon at that point in time. Have you seen the episode of Big Bang Theory where the guys did just that?

The Big Bang’s Moon Laser

The Apollo vehicles, scarred and pitted by space travel, can be seen at several museums beginning with Air & Space in Washington, DC It’s all right there. So why would someone “believe” in World War Two, The Cuban Missile Crisis, Gandhi, or the Armenian Genocide and not in our moon landings?

Laser reflector left on the moon’s surface

What is it about the moon landings that brings out the vitriol? Is it all because the flag looks like it’s fluttering? Hey that was an easy one for four hundred thousand rocket scientists. It was framed with rods just like your window shades are. And yet that’s all the evidence they need to scream “FAKE!”

And scream they do. They hide behind fictitious or anonymous social media profiles and SCREAM at anyone that looks on Apollo with awe. They loudly proclaim through comical verbiage (woke AF!) that someone like me is somehow asleep at life’s wheel. That knowledge is the provenance of Wikipedia, and Elon Musk is the father of space flight. That I’ve been hoodwinked by four hundred thousand people. That when my 13 year-old self shook Michael Collins’ hand at an airshow in New Orleans I looked up with awe at nothing more than a huckster selling Fulcanelli’s Elixer.

Apparently their parents never told them “yelling something loud enough doesn’t make you right.”

The real reason these people think the landings were fabricated is because they and/or their generation weren’t involved. “We weren’t there, therefore it didn’t happen and those people weren’t smart enough to pull it off so they had to fake it.”

Apollo 17 on the launch pad

This all boils down to world-class penis envy, Saturn 5 pun intended. Another generation engineered a vehicle to take men to the moon and return safely, all without using modern appliances, modern techniques, an Apple product, Google navigation, or crowd-funding.

Well here’s a heads up, none of those modern conveniences were used to create steam boats, the pyramids of Egypt, diesel trains, powered flight, trans-Atlantic telecommunications, gun powder, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, submarines…shall I keep going?

The reason is faith in previous generations. Those people/that generation weren’t nearly as smart as I am/my generation is, therefore it’s a lie. They weren’t capable and we are.

From Robert Goddard to Werner Von Braun to Neil Armstrong, America’s walk on the moon was accomplished over the course of fifty plus years of trial and error, death and disaster. If you believe it was fabricated I know the musings of a dumb cook won’t change your mind.

Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen

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