Most Bizarre NASA Conspiracy Theories (2021) | Unveiled

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NASA is the world's leading space agency, and one of the most important scientific organisations on the planet, but it doesn't have the trust of everybody! In this video, Unveiled takes a closer look at the most bizarre and unusual "alternate" theories surrounding NASA...

4 Bizarre NASA Conspiracy Theories

Despite being a cutting-edge, publicly funded space agency that works in the best interests of the American people, many still don’t trust NASA. Skepticism in science is only on the rise and NASA is a popular target for conspiracy theories. While some conspiracies are widely known, others are a little more out there.

This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering the extraordinary question: what are the weirdest conspiracy theories about NASA?

We’re all used to hearing over and over again from a growing number of skeptics that the moon landing was a hoax. It seems that from the very moment Neil Armstrong took his “giant leap for mankind”, people were looking for a way to explain how it couldn’t be possible. It’s even believed by some that famed movie director Stanley Kubrick was responsible for filming the faked moon landing, and that there are clues in 1980’s “The Shining” pointing to this. But what other far-reaching cover-ups do people claim NASA has a hand in, ones that you may not hear about as much?

Hoaxes involving Mars have long been popular, ever since we started thinking about how we could investigate the fourth rock from the sun in greater detail. Perhaps the first great Martian “hoax” – though its propagators weren’t actually trying to trick anyone – was the famous “Mars canals” theory. As powerful telescopes began to be widely available, there were more people than ever before looking for signs of life on Mars, and many believed they saw alien canals crisscrossing the planet. These Martian aqueducts were, for a while, a major point of interest among scientists, despite the fact the people who believed in the canals couldn’t agree on where they were or what they looked like. Trying to find water on Mars in large enough amounts to support life is still an important part of astronomy, but when much better cameras and telescopes were built, it became clear that the canals on the Martian surface simply didn’t exist. Interestingly, in 2011 some evidence appeared that corroborated the canal story that first emerged more than a century earlier; strange, dark streaks are visible on the planet’s surface from time to time, but they’re probably just made by Mars’s enormous dust devils.

But some people do think NASA is hiding evidence of life on Mars on purpose. They point to “evidence” like unusual rock formations, specifically the famous “Face on Mars”. NASA has explained that it’s really a mesa that seems to have humanoid features in low resolution images - features that disappear with improved resolution. But some conspiracy theorists insist that it’s an alien artifact. Why NASA would want to hide evidence of life on Mars, considering that evidence of life on the red planet would likely result in increased funding for future missions, is anyone’s guess.

There’s also a viral hoax about Mars that circulates every few years, that the planet is drawing close enough to Earth that it will appear the same size as the full moon. This so-called “Mars spectacular” hoax often emerges when Mars is at its perigee, which is the closest point in its orbit to Earth. It gets many people looking eagerly at the sky for a view of the planet. Suffice it to say, even at its perigee of almost 34 million miles, Mars is a lot further away than the moon’s average distance of 239,000 miles. It’s simply never going to look anything like the full moon – unless it were to crash into us, of course.

Luckily, this almost certainly will not happen. But there is another popular conspiracy preoccupied with the belief that a planet will crash into Earth one day soon. The Nibiru cataclysm has never been taken seriously by scientists since it appeared in the mid-1990s, but it’s still captured popular attention. It was even believed by some to be the cause of the predicted 2012 apocalypse that never came about. The theory is that an enormous ninth planet is on a collision course with Earth, but that NASA is concealing the fact. What possible reason NASA would have to lie about a doomsday event is not clear. But if this extra planet is out there, somebody must be covering it up or we’d absolutely know about it. Nibiru – or Planet X – isn’t to be confused with Planet Nine, the hypothetical, extra planet that scientists actually are interested in studying. There isn’t much evidence that a ninth planet beyond Neptune – Pluto notwithstanding – exists, but some scientists are looking into the idea that an additional body of mass might be out there helping to create the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt. This Planet Nine is not speculated to be growing closer to Earth, however, and doesn’t belong to a doomsday scenario.

The idea that the moon landing was faked might be the most famous NASA conspiracy, but there are also other conspiracy theories arguing the opposite: that there have been secret, additional moon landings since the official end of the Apollo program. The Apollo program originally wasn’t supposed to end with Apollo 17 in 1972, it was meant to extend until Apollo 20 and see ten separate moon landings. In the end, we only got six manned moon landings from Apollo before fiscal restraints stopped NASA from sending more. Going to the moon became an expenditure that wasn’t worth the money, since there wasn’t really a way to get a return investment – especially not at the time. Without the motivator of the Cold War with the end of the space race in 1969, interest in lunar missions waned and the federal government slashed NASA’s budget. At least, that’s the official story; what if those Apollo missions did go ahead, but in secret?

It’s been speculated by some that there’s another reason we stopped going to the moon: that the moon is home to hostile aliens who don’t want us there. In fact, a widely circulated internet hoax alleges that Buzz Aldrin himself claimed he saw aliens on the moon. Could NASA have continued investigating the moon after the official end of Apollo? Some believe so, and that not only do aliens have a base on the moon, but NASA may be in communication with it. Of course, we have no evidence for this, and again it’s not clear why NASA would withhold such information, since public knowledge of moon-dwelling aliens would only boost the agency’s funding.

But it’s not only space that NASA might be involved in, despite its position as a space agency: is NASA a major player in the Flat Earth conspiracy? Flat Earthers think so, as NASA being involved in covering up a Flat Earth is the only way their beliefs can make sense. Otherwise, it’s immediately debunked. Flat Earthers will go as far as to claim not only that all space missions are fake far beyond the moon landing, but that reports from the International Space Station are actually shot in Hollywood with actors and impeccable special effects. According to them, NASA plays a key role in keeping the grift going, as they need to manufacture those “fake” images of the Earth as a sphere – not to mention hiding the existence of Flat Earth’s Ice Wall that keeps us from straying far beyond the boundaries of our planet. What’s bizarre about Flat Earth is the number of hoops its believers have to jump through to make it a remotely viable idea. Not only is NASA itself completely fake, along with every other space agency, but NASA for some reason has a vested interest in keeping the knowledge of a Flat Earth under wraps. Exactly why we need to be protected from the revelation that the Earth is flat is not something that Flat Earthers are too clear on, but they are intent on the fact that NASA is complicit. Sometimes they’ll even directly accuse astronauts of lying on social media if they post pictures of the Earth – clearly a sphere – from aboard the ISS. And it’s not just NASA; the world’s airlines, publicly funded or privately owned, are also in cahoots with “them”, since to properly fly from one place to another, pilots must know that the Earth isn’t a globe. In the end, very few Flat Earthers will be persuaded by even the most robust scientific evidence, so it seems this particular conspiracy won’t disappear anytime soon.

Ultimately, research suggests not only that most people trust NASA, but that they think NASA is an invaluable resource to the United States and the entire world. The conspiracy theorists remain a vocal minority. And those were the most bizarre NASA conspiracy theories.