Moon Landings Faked by Georges Melies


I didn’t want to post this on April 1st because you wouldn’t believe me.

But think about it — it CAN’T can’t have been Kubrick — the camera never moves. I think we can assume that SK, deprived of the ability to do long, fluid tracking shots, would have gone hand-held, as he did for the Tycho monolith sequence in 2001.

If not Melies, who died in 1938, presenting some difficulties for the conspiracy theorist (but his death was faked too) I think Robert Bresson would have been a good option. Or, since the Americans had a tendency to hoover up left-over Nazi talent, maybe Leni Riefenstahl? She was adept at staging documentaries and she wasn’t exactly busy after WWII. It would have been easy to swear her to secrecy — she was unpopular enough already. I’m proposing a sort of cinematic version of Operation Paperclip here.


The moon landing fakery theories originated in a book by a technical writer employed by a company called Rocketdyne, which serviced NASA. The author knew nothing about rocketry himself. His self-published crackpot theories were first taken up by the Flat Earth Society, which you should bear in mind. I think a more interesting theory could be spun out of the tenuous connections between Rocketdyne, which merged with Aerojet, and Aerojet’s co-founder, Jack Parsons. It’s not a good conspiracy theory if it doesn’t involve Jack Parsons. Unless you can find another rocket scientist and Crowleyite sorcerer who died in a mysterious explosion, and good luck with that.

4 Responses to “Moon Landings Faked by Georges Melies”

  1. Making the camera lie — not just tell stories — has been around since the beginning. A favorite tale involves an early newsreel photographer who delivered footage of a solar eclipse. It was impressive, aside from the sun bearing the bulbmaker name Mazda. I think the sinking of the Maine was also recreated with crude miniatures.

    Accounts of Rudolf Valentino’s funeral with photos of the procession reached newsstands before the actual event, thanks to a convincing photo op arranged for the press.

    A famous clip of W.C. Fields and others on a quivering movie set during an earthquake was staged after the fact.

    The movie “Broadcast News” includes an interviewer who reshoots a cutaway shot of himself tearing up at what he’s hearing. “Wag the Dog” took it a step further with the government serving up a non-existent war. The last was a good film, although you know in real life the major news celebrities would want to at least get to the nearest Hilton and pose with wrecks and ruins.

  2. Melies staged his own “newsreel” recreations of current events like the Dreyfus trial, in his typical theatrical style. I don’t imagine these were intended to trick anyone, though I can’t be sure. Assumptions about audience sophistication in the early years of the twentieth century are speculative.

  3. DBenson Says:

    I had my questions about audience sophistication when watching an old nature series, “Wild Kingdom”. The host would present himself as having made these films alone in the wild. Then, in addition to multiple angles of events, he’d show footage of himself crawling closer to get a better shot.

  4. Telekinesis.

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