Sunday, September 06, 2009

Moon landing hoax and Bangladeshi newspapers

The Onion has a hilarious piece on the Moon landing hoax: Conspiracy theorist convinces Neil Armstrong Moon landing was faked. Here is a snippet:

According to Armstrong, he was forced to reconsider every single detail of the monumental journey after watching a few persuasive YouTube videos, and reading several blog posts on conspiracy theorist Ralph Coleman's website, OmissionControl.org.

"It only took a few hastily written paragraphs published by this passionate denier of mankind's so-called 'greatest technological achievement' for me to realize I had been living a lie, " said a visibly emotional Armstrong, addressing reporters at his home.
...
Although Armstrong said he "could have sworn" he felt the effects of zero gravity while soaring out of the Earth's atmosphere and through space, he now believed his memory must be flawed. He also admitted feeling "ashamed" that he had failed to notice the rippling of the American flag he and Buzz Aldrin planted on the surface, blaming his lack of awareness on the bulkiness of the spacesuit and his excitement about traveling to the "moon."

"That rippling is not possible in the vacuum of space," Armstrong said. "It must have been the wind from an air-conditioning duct that I didn't recognize because you can't hear a damn thing inside those helmets."

"This is all just common sense, people," he added. "It's the moon. You can't land on the moon."

Funny, yes. Except that two newspapers in Bangladesh published this as a real news story. Ah - the wonders of internet journalism:

Two Bangladeshi newspapers have apologised after publishing an article taken from a satirical US website which claimed the Moon landings were faked.

The Daily Manab Zamin said US astronaut Neil Armstrong had shocked a news conference by saying he now knew it had been an "elaborate hoax".

Neither they nor the New Nation, which later picked up the story, realised the Onion was not a genuine news site.

Both have now apologised to their readers for not checking the story.

"We thought it was true so we printed it without checking," associate editor Hasanuzzuman Khan told the AFP news agency.

Wait a minute. How do I know that BBC is not fooling me about the Bangladeshi newspapers being fooled by the Onion news story about NASA fooling everyone about landing on the Moon? I guess we will never find out.

Read the Onion story here and the BBC story here.

While we are on wacky stories, it appears that Japan's next First Lady went to Venus in a UFO (and no - this is not from the Onion):

Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, faces formidable foreign policy challenges in dealing with an expansionist China, a nuclear armed North Korea and a sinister Russia. But he need have no concerns about establishing friendly relations with the planet Venus — his own wife is a friend of the Venusians, having travelled there in a UFO in the 1970s.

The distinctions of Miyuki Hatoyama, 66, do not end there. As well as being a musical actress, cookery writer, clothes maker and television personality, she also says that she knew the actor Tom Cruise in a past life when he was incarnated as a Japanese.
...
It was in a book of interviews with prominent people, entitled Most Bizarre Things I’ve Encountered, that she revealed her extraterrestrial jaunt, which occurred during her first marriage. “While my body was sleeping, I think my spirit flew on a triangular-shaped UFO to Venus,” she said. “It was an extremely beautiful place and was very green.”

Oh - and she also eats the Sun in the morning. But somehow, this seems quite reasonable compared to the Venusian adventure:

She also described how she “eats the sun” every morning. She closed her eyes and mimed the act of removing pieces from the sky. “Yum, yum, yum,” she said, placing the imaginary solar morsels in her mouth. “I get energy from it. My husband also does this.”
Read the full story here.

5 comments:

Muhammad Akbar Hussain said...

I am tired of reading news articles on astronomy in Pakistani newspapers too. Every time they come up with some news relating to any astronomical event, there is always something funny associated with that. Sadly enough, if there is any solar eclipse of lunar eclipse or solar/lunar transit, they give more space to the opinion of astrologers than astronomers.

Muhammad Akbar Hussain said...

correction
"...solar eclipse OR lunar eclipse..."

Nizam said...

"We thought it was true so we printed it without checking," associate editor Hasanuzzuman Khan told the AFP news agency.

Confirmation bias at work?

Salman Hameed said...

Nizam,

Either a confirmation bias or and/or an apathy towards reality. Who cares if landing really happened or not...here is a story.

Akbar,

Yes,and even Irfan Husain, who is usually reasonable, recently dedicated an article on crop circles.

Elias said...

Wait a minute. How do I know that BBC is not fooling me about the Bangladeshi newspapers being fooled by the Onion news story about NASA fooling everyone about landing on the Moon?
Oh yes, the Bangladeshi papers have been fooled all right, here's an internet edition.