THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2008
Here's a piece of the Cinema Retro review:
"Capricorn Onewas the first major release to center on a clearly crackpot theory and present it as a plausible thesis. In this case, the notion is that corrupt NASA executives concoct an audacious plot to fake the first landing on Mars. They gain the co-operation of the three astronauts involved using a combination of appeals to their patriotism coupled with implied threats against their families. As crazy as the scenario sounds, Hal Holbrook, as the plot's mastermind, delivers a speech to the men that makes it sound sensible (they have to have a triumph or public apathy for NASA will result in cancelation of the space program). Things quickly go awry when technical glitches make it appear the capsule was destroyed en route back to earth. In order to maintain the facade, Holbrook has to order the assassination of the astronauts, played by James Brolin, Sam Waterston and O.J. Simpson. The men realize they are expendable and make a daring break for freedom across the desert."
The show we heard had listeners calling in from the US and Canada claiming that this was in fact what happened when we claimed to have landed on the moon. It was all staged in a TV studio by the US government.
I'm pretty sure this theory still has credence among the full-mooners. In fact I heard Sarah Palin promise to look into it if she and that nasty old bastard she's running with ever happen to take the White House.
I played a practical joke on a NASA Langley PR guy when I was covering the place as a news reporter. It might have backfired. I sent him the front page of a checkout-line tabloid that featured this very story. I circled the byline and wrote under it, "Thanks for all your help!" I mailed it to him via his boss, who happened to be my ditzy sister-in-law. He never mentioned it, but was transferred to a smaller post in California not long afterward. My ditzy sis-in-law said she didn't recall getting anything like that. I still feel a little guilty.
I hear this every day.
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