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William Charles Kaysing
July 31, 1922
|Died||April 21, 2005 (aged 82)|
|Education||University of Redlands, B.A. English|
|Spouse(s)||Carol M. de Ridder (divorced); Ruth Cole Kaysing|
|Parent(s)||Charles William Kaysing|
Bill Kaysing (July 31, 1922 – April 21, 2005[not verified in body]) was an American writer who claimed that the six Apollo Moon landings between July 1969 and December 1972 were hoaxes, and so a founder of the Moon hoax movement.
Early life and education
Kaysing was born on July 31, 1922 as William Charles Kaysing, to a German-American family in Chicago, Illinois. His father was Charles William Kaysing; his mother's name is unknown.While he was a boy, his family moved to South Pasadena, California. He is described as growing up:
in South Pasadena, California... [with a childhood] like something out of Huckleberry Finn. He had a paper route, went rafting on the Arroyo Seco River, and ate apples he found behind the grocery store. He couldn’t wait to leave home. His violent and abusive father died when he was nine; his mother was emotionally absent; and he had very little to do with his older brother, who would later become an aeronautical engineer.
Kaysing served in the United States Navy during World War II as a midshipman, and later attended Navy Officers Training School, and the University of Southern California. He went on, after the war, to receive a B.A. in English literature, in 1949, from the University of Redlands.
This section needs expansion with: a better development, using broader sources, of the early career years, and especially transition from the Rolling Stone-related itinerant writing, to the beginnings of the Apollo hoax work. You can help by adding to it. (July 2019)
Kaysing graduated high school at 17, and worked for "a single week... in a furniture factory when he decided it wasn’t for him... [then] made his way to San Pedro, where he got a job on a fishing boat and got paid in fish."
After the Navy and college he "worked briefly as a salesman, an insurance claims examiner, and a cabinetmaker...", and in this post-university, pre-technical period, his writing career involved publishing on a variety of subjects. Kaysing then found work as a technical writer at Rocketdynes jet propulsion laboratory, a division of North American Aviation, in 1956, in the period prior to the development of the Apollo missions. In September 1956, he became a service analyst there, in 1958 a service engineer, and in 1962 a publications analyst. From 1956 to 1963 Kaysing served as head of technical publications for Rocketdyne. On May 31, 1963, he resigned for personal reasons.
In the years that followed, Kaysing has been described as suffering from "chronic anxiety, which, over time, turned into full-blown disillusionment with modern life," leading him to get rid of the family television over the objections of his family, and to "tras[h] his radio and cance[l] his newspaper subscription." Thereafter, he led his family, initially, into an itinerant lifestyle, one that eventually led to breakup of the family, but also to an opportunity to write about their lifestyle. Darryn King, writing for Medium.com, describes the time in this way:
He bought a trailer with bunk beds for the girls and embarked on a “year-round vacation.” Before long, he parted ways with his wife and family too. For the better part of the next decade, Kaysing had no fixed address. He foraged for food and picked up odd jobs—freelance writing, fruit-picking, security, and selling dentistry equipment by mail-order.
He returned to writing in a relationship with Straight Arrow Press, then-publisher of the Rolling Stone, in work that would eventually involve photojournalist Robert Altman and designer Jon Goodchild, both from the magazine; his first work was The Ex-Urbanite’s Complete & Illustrated Easy-Does-It First-Time Farmer’s Guide, which dispensed "wisdom on everything from acorns to yurts in his homespun writing style, with epigraphs quoting William Faulkner and the Old Testament and [Altman] photographs of hippie layabouts." In this and subsequent works, Kaysing "was passionate about teaching readers how to live healthful, low-cost, and adventurous lives", presenting readers with "lyrical passages about the exquisite pleasures of fresh air, wildflowers, geothermal springs, and motorcycling through the desert." It was in the period of related writing that followed that books began to include darker tones and themes of social protest, and in this period of a "rambling, tax-evading lifestyle" also led to a new relationship, and his new wife would co-write his work.
Charges of an Apollo hoax
Kaysing would come to assert in a new vein of writing that came to fruition in the mid-1970s, that during his much earlier tenure at Rocketdyne he was privy to documents pertaining to the Mercury, Gemini, Atlas, and Apollo programs, and that one did not need an engineering or science degree to determine that a hoax was being perpetrated. In his account of this intellectual development, the Rocketdyne scientists with whom he worked expressed to him that there was enough technology at the time to perhaps send a crewed rocket to the Moon, but not enough technology developed to return safely to Earth. They also spoke of the very real problem of traveling through atmospheric radiation without harm to the astronauts as a problem that yet needed to be solved. Even before July 1969, he had "a hunch, an intuition, ... a true conviction" and decided that he did not believe that anyone was going to the Moon. Kaysing thus wrote a book titled We Never Went to the Moon: America's Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, which was self-published in 1976, and republished by Health Research Books in 2002.
In his book, Kaysing introduced arguments which he said proved the Moon landings were faked. Claims in the book (and subsequent sources[clarification needed]) including that:
- NASA lacked the technical expertise to put a man on the Moon.
- the absence of stars in lunar surface photographs was indicative of a hoax.
- there were unexplained optical anomalies in the photographs taken on the Moon.
- the there was an absence of blast craters beneath the Lunar Modules, and that the rocket engines of the Lunar Modules should have generated an enormous dust cloud near their landing sites the final seconds of descent.
- the death of Thomas Baron, a quality control and safety inspector for North American Aviation, was mysterious and indicative of a hoax.
Charges of other conspiracies
Kaysing also claimed that NASA staged both the Apollo 1 fire and the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, deliberately murdering the astronauts on board, suggesting that NASA might have learned that these astronauts were about to expose the conspiracy and needed to guarantee their silence. He also believed that the disappearance of Thomas Baron's 500-page report on the Apollo 1 fire and his death of Baron in a rail-traffic accident a week after he testified before the United States Congress were not accidents.
A vocal advocate of other conspiracy theories, Kaysing believed there to be a high-level conspiracy involving the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Reserve, Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies to brainwash the American public, poison their food supply, and control the media.
Lovell defamation lawsuit
On August 29, 1996, Kaysing filed a defamation lawsuit in Santa Cruz County Superior Court against astronaut Jim Lovell for calling his claims "wacky" in an article by Rafer Guzmán for Metro Silicon Valley. Lovell is quoted:
The guy is wacky. His position makes me feel angry. We spent a lot of time getting ready to go to the Moon. We spent a lot of money, we took great risks, and it's something everybody in this country should be proud of.
The case was dismissed in 1997.
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Original theory from We Never Went to the Moon (1976)
This section needs expansion with: third-party, non-WP:OR description of the work. You can help by adding to it. (July 2019)
Kaysing describes preparation for the launch[clarification needed] as normal, but since Rocketdyne F-1 engines in the first stage of the Saturn V rocket were "totally unreliable," a cluster of "five booster engines of the more dependable B-1 type as used in the C-1 cluster for the Atlas missile" were secretly installed, one inside each of the Saturn V's five F-1s.[original research?]
Revised theory from Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? (2001)
Kaysing states that:[full citation needed]
The astronauts were launched with the Saturn V. Then, in order to account for their disappearance, they simply orbited the Earth for eight days and in the interim they showed these fake pictures of the astronauts on the Moon. But on the eighth day the command console separated from the vehicle and descended to Earth as, of course, was shown in the films.
Responses to Kaysing
This section needs expansion with: a full report about the various published responses to Kaysing's voice in the moon hoax movement. You can help by adding to it. (July 2019)
In March 2013, expeditions financed by business and space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos recovered pieces of rockets from the Apollo program, artifacts that were seen as contradicting Kaysing's published claims of the disuse of the Rocketdyne F-1 engines.
Kaysing encouraged Ralph René to write "NASA Mooned America!", after René decided that he also had research to prove the landings were faked. More generally, despite refutations and other evidence, Kaysing's writings have inspired others in their disbelief in the historicity of the Moon landings.
Kaysing's daughter, Wendy L. Kaysing, has stated that she hopes to one day write a book about her father with Kaysing's nephew, Dietrich von Schmausen, not to reiterate Kaysing's hoax claims, rather to talk about her father as a person.
- Kaysing, William (1966) [Originally published in Cycle World]. Intelligent Motorcycling. Illustrations by Jon Dahlstrom. Long Beach, Calif.: Parkhurst. OCLC 29211988.
- Kaysing, Bill (1970). Land and how to Buy it For a Few Dollars an Acre. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Paradise Publishers. OCLC 80342613.
- —— (1970). How to Eat Well on Less Than a Dollar a Day. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Paradise Publishers. OCLC 80843621.
- —— (1971). The Ex-urbanite's Complete & Illustrated Easy-does-it First-time Farmer's Guide: A Useful Book (1st ed.). San Francisco, Calif.: Straight Arrow Books. OCLC 162589.
- —— (1973). The Ex-urbanite's Complete & Illustrated Easy-does-it First-time Farmer's Guide: A Useful Book (Revised ed.). San Francisco, Calif.: Straight Arrow Books. ISBN 0-87932-047-8.
- —— (1974). The Robin Hood Handbook. New York: Links Books. ISBN 0-82563-024-X.
- ——; Kaysing, Ruth (1975). Eat Well on a Dollar a Day: Live a Healthier Life at a Fraction of the Cost. San Francisco, Calif.: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-87701-066-8.
- —— (1976). Fell's Beginner's Guide to Motorcycling. New York, N.Y.: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-81190-272-2.
- ——; Reid, Randy (1976). We Never Went to the Moon: America's Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle!. Fountain Valley, Calif.: Eden Press. OCLC 19542836.
- ——; Reid, Randy (1976). We Never Went to the Moon: America's Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle. Pomeroy, Wash.: Health Research Books. OCLC 47861692.
- —— (1977). Clark, Cathy (ed.). Privacy: How to Get It, How to Enjoy It. Fountain Valley, Calif.: Eden Press. OCLC 3892204.
- —— (1981). We Never Went to the Moon: America's 30 Billion Dollar Swindle. Cornville, Ariz.: Desert Publications. ISBN 0-87947-388-6.
- —— (1984). Great Hot Springs of the West. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Capra Press. ISBN 0-88496-211-3.
- —— (1987). Great Hideouts of the West: An Idea Book for Living Free. Port Townsend, Wash.: Loompanics Unlimited. ISBN 0-91517-962-8.
- —— (1987). The Senior Citizens' Survival Manual. Mission, Kansas: Bellwether Press. ISBN 0-94413-600-1.
- —— (1988). Bill Kaysing's Freedom Encyclopedia. New York, N.Y.: Instant Improvement. ISBN 0-94168-302-8.
- ——; Kaysing, Ruth (1996). Eat Well for 99 Cents a Meal. Port Townsend, Wash.: Loompanics Unlimited. ISBN 1-55950-137-5.
- ——; Kaysing, Ruth (1996). The 99¢ a Meal Cookbook. Port Townsend, Wash.: Loompanics Unlimited. ISBN 1-55950-140-5.
After his time in the Navy, Kaysing married and had two daughters. One marriage was to Carol M. de Ridder, which ended in divorce. A second marriage was to Ruth Cole Kaysing.
Kaysing died on April 21, 2005 in Santa Barbara, California.
- King, Darryn (July 18, 2019). "The Moon Landing Hoax Theory Started as a Joke: How a Freelance Writer Sowed Doubts About the Apollo mission... Laying the Groundwork for 9/11 Truthers, Birtherism, Pizzagate, and QAnon". Medium.com. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- Per King, writing at Medium.com, "Kaysing quit his job Rocketdyne in 1963, years before he would have observed anything that would qualify as insight into the company’s contribution to the Apollo missions."
- Kaysing 2002, p. 7.
- Plait 2002, p. 157.
- Kaysing 2002, pp. 20–24.
- Kaysing 2002, pp. 23, 25.
- Kaysing 2002, pp. 19, 22, 75.
- Kaysing 2002, p. 7.
- Nardwuar the Human Serviette (February 16, 1996). "Nardwuar vs Bill Kaysing" (Interview transcript). Nardwuar.com. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- Guzmán, Rafer (July 25–31, 1996). "Mooning NASA". Metroactive. San Jose, Calif.: Metro Newspapers. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- "Author who alleges moon landings never happened sues ex-astronaut, alleging libel and slander" (Abstract). Knight Ridder. September 10, 1996. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- Plait 2002, p. 173.
- Kaysing 2002, pp. 62, 64
- Greene, Jay (March 20, 2013). "Bezos Expeditions recovers pieces of Apollo 11 rockets". CNet.com.
- René 1994
- Munro, Aria C. (June 24, 2005). "Biography of 'Wild' Bill Kaysing, Fastest Pen in the West" (Press release). Publishers Newswire/Neotrope. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
- Kaysing, Bill (2002) . We Never Went to the Moon: America's Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle. Pomeroy, Wash.: Health Research Books. OCLC 52390067.
- Plait, Philip C. (2002). Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax". New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-40976-6.
- René, Ralph (1994). Lucas, Stu (ed.). NASA Mooned America!. Drawings by Chris Wolfer. Passaic, N.J.: René. OCLC 36317224.
- van Bakel, Rogier (September 1994). "The Wrong Stuff". Wired. Retrieved July 20, 2019. A more recent report on Kaysing, including interview material from late in his life.
- Kaysing, Wendy L. (May 9, 2013). "A Brief Biography of Bill Kaysing". self. Retrieved May 9, 2013. Biography of her father, by the daughter of Bill Kaysing.
- Bill Kaysing Tribute Website
- A February 16, 1996, radio interview with Nardwuar the Human Serviette
- What Happened on the Moon? — An Investigation Into Apollo (2000) (Video) on IMDb
- Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? (2001) (TV) on IMDb
- The Truth Behind the Moon Landings: Stranger Than Fiction (2003) (TV) on IMDb