Sinlung /
15 April 2011

No Transformers On The Moon? Prove it

If Armstrong and Buzz didn't find a Transformer on the moon, what WERE they doing?

Transformers 3

Where did Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin go during those 21 minutes of radio silence? Here... maybe / Paramount Pictures

Transformers 3

Are conspiracy theories the only way we can actually make sense of it all? Picture: Paramount

Have you heard the one about the moon landing?

Not that it was staged. We all know that rumour is a bunch of bunk.

No, this story involves what Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were doing during those 21 minutes of radio and video silence on the Apollo 11 mission.

You think they were turning over rocks and drinking Tang? Think again.

Turns out the two astronauts were actually bouncing over to the dark side of the moon, investigating a crashed alien space ship that turned out to be — yes — a massive Transformer robot.

"We give you a whole new reason why the moon landing actually did happen," says Lorenzo di Bonaventura, producer of the Transformers movies.

"Everyone was right. The conspiracy existed. It was just a different one than people thought."

Conspiracies are the rage these days, and not just the intrigues spread by the likes of Glenn Beck, talk radio hosts and people who think their new NBN Box will spy on them.

There are even conspiracies surrounding conspiracy-tinged material that has been adapted to the screen.

Did Stieg Larsson really write the best-selling series of thrillers, which, beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, were published after his early death by heart attack?

And was his death natural or was he murdered by neo-Nazis?

All this code-red anxiety in the air has begun to permeate the multiplex as filmmakers proffer plots and plans and secrecy the likes of which haven't been seen since agents Mulder and Scully poked around Area 51 in The X-Files.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, due out on June 29, uses the Apollo 11 lunar mission to accomplish something that sounds entirely implausible — namely, give a Transformers movie an actual storyline.

Dimension Films, meanwhile, has Apollo 18 (due January 2012), a horror film that claims to be found footage from a secret lunar expedition that the government covered up because alien monsters ate the astronauts.

"When the world gets complicated and people start feeling at a loss, these types of conspiracy stories start showing up in pop culture," says USC professor Leo Braudy, who has written several books on film.

"Pop culture is designed to upset you and give you solace.

"The possible existence of a conspiracy would be upsetting. But it's solacing, too, because at least somebody knows what's going on.

"The problem is, of course, that the real world is chaotic and maybe no one knows what's going on."

Chip Berlet, who studies conspiracy culture for Boston-based think tank Political Research Associates, says: "Between the collapse of the economy and unresolved fear after 9-11, there's a lot of anxiety that has to be expressed some way.

"People don't believe their leaders are telling the truth and they look for alternate explanations."

And that, of course, would include the leaders of the nation's space agency, with conspiracy theorists spinning tales of NASA-led hoaxes from the time Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind in 1969.

The 1978 movie Capricorn One took that lunar intrigue, added a dash of post-Watergate, anti-Washington outrage and spun a tale of a fake Mars landing that turns into a murderous government cover-up.

The new Transformers movie and Apollo 18 add to the lunar conspiracy legacy.

"With moon conspiracies, there's a contradiction at work," says di Bonaventura.

"There's a deep-seated romanticism about the moon with the poetry and romantic settings.

"Then you have this notion that there's this gigantic lie propagated about what may be 20th Century man's greatest single achievement."

The problem, Mr Berlet says, is not that Hollywood feeds this mistrust, but that political, business and religious leaders don't step up and address the underlying problems that stoke conspiracy theories in the first place.

"In a healthy society, people would be rolling their eyes at this stuff," he says.

"But nowadays, no matter how far-fetched the rumour is, people say: 'Hmmm... maybe there is something to that.'"

With AP


transformers guy23 said...

So very should take a look at the book Science and the Paranormal. when humans can't understand something, they never say "I can't understand it"; they always come up with some sort of mystic pseudo-explanation or conspiracy theory.

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