Benjamin Franklin once said, “Three people can keep a secret, … if two of them are dead.”
That quote is the reason I don’t believe that the moon landing was faked — imagine the logistics on that particular scene. There is equipment to rent, there are people to pay, there is a great deal of special effects to consider, most of which didn’t exist then and even if they did, how many people worked on that? I don’t see how it could have been done with less than a dozen people. Even if they were all paid handsomely, not one talked? Not one? I would be singing like a canary, I don’t care what document I would have signed. To be more fair, I would probably “sing” after I had a drink or two or five, but I know myself well enough to know that I would also talk about this topic if anyone asked me how my day was, or what weather was expected.
It’s not that secrets weren’t always kept by the government — for example, FDR asked the press not to show him in a wheelchair or using crutches because he wanted America to see him as a strong and healthy president, and the press obliged (because it was the right thing to do for the country — something the free press would nor could ever, never do now). That was a fairly massive deception, for the right reasons. I don’t even think of it as a deception, but rather a collaboration between the President and the Fourth Estate to inspire a nation that needed inspiring.
I believe that most secrets are buried in shallow graves, and sooner or later they get unearthed. And, ironically, the harder someone tries to hide something, the easier it gets uncovered. I’m thinking of Watergate, I’m thinking of “I did not have sex with that woman,” I’m thinking of Charles and Camilla. Humans aren’t meant to hide things, that’s why we have language — because we crave explanations, descriptions and enlightenment. That’s why we seek out mysteries to unravel, because the feeling of gratification of solving a puzzle is powerful. We are simply not content to explain things by way of “magic.” Even while watching a talented magician, we delight in nudging our friend and whispering, “I think I know how he did it!” And, the curiosity of science and scientific inquiry has always been with us. Unlocking the answer to the riddles of our bodies, our minds, our Earth, and our universe continues to lead to new knowledge, and therefore, new questions to answer.
This is also why I don’t believe in wild conspiracy theories. I think that truth is often stranger than (and more interesting than) fiction. A good reporter, a good researcher, or even a deep thinker can piece together the real truth of the matter. And the truth is complex enough. Conspiracy theories are the lazy or biased person’s way of explaining what they cannot explain themselves — kind of like religious zealots who cannot be bothered with facts and information that conflicts with their chosen reality.
All of that, just to say, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,/But in ourselves that we are underlings” — something William Shakespeare knew more than 400 years ago. Search deep enough, for long enough, we will understand the stars and everything in between, because even the universe cannot keep a secret.