Through some superhuman effort I managed not to cut my throat whilst shaving, though it wasn’t easy. The Today Programme was talking to one of those tedious idiots who continue to believe the moon landings didn’t. It didn’t help that the guy sounded a little like Tony Benn, though I am coming to respect Mr B in my old age. Considerably more than this fool, anyway. “I don’t see the evidence,” he bleated over and again.
I suppose we should consider his point of view. So, apart from the fact that: hundreds of thousands of people were complicit in the hoax; the moon shots were tracked by countless disinterested independent parties (plus the Soviets, who were extremely interested and would have screamed at the slightest hint of a doubt); the instruments left behind by the astronauts are still there and working; the NASA probe now orbiting the moon has sent back shots of the landing sites that show the abandoned descent stages and the footprints left by the astronauts … apart from all that, what evidence is there? And while we’re at it, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Anyway, today’s the day, 40 years ago, when it all happened. I wish I could say I remember it – I was all of four years old – but I don’t. My mother’s main memory is of trying to pay attention to the news while her oblivious inlaws fussed over a road map, trying to work out the best route from Hereford back to New Malden. I don’t even remember that.
I do remember the last Apollo landing, Apollo 17, though I didn’t know it was that at the time: Gene Cernan (I think) singing “I was walking on the moon one day / in the merry merry month of … December”, and the discovery of orange soil. I even remember telling my teacher at school about the orange soil, so it must have struck some kind of chord. And I remember having a cutaway diagram book all about Skylab, and I remember the Apollo-Soyuz linkup that was essentially meant to use up the last of the Saturn Vs … but I don’t remember the first landing.
But to any nutjobs who still insist there was nothing to remember, I say only this.