In a scenario proposed by conspiracy writer Bill Kaysing, NASA scientists discovered in the late 1960s that it would be impossible to send astronauts to the moon because of lethal radiation risks. But instead of going through an embarrassing shutdown of the costly Apollo program, officials designed an ingenious hoax. They staged an actual rocket launch, but once the spacecraft was out of sight, the Apollo 11 crew secretly was transferred to a military aircraft and flown to a movie stage. A few days later, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin play-acted the lunar landing in front of cameras, and the phony event was then transmitted by NASA to millions of unsuspecting viewers.
Pretty slick, huh? One problem with that premise: Where could the government stage possibly such a conspiratorial event, without risking the political catastrophe that would come from having the deception exposed? They probably wouldn't have wanted to shoot the fake moon landing in a Hollywood studio. It would have made more sense to film at a remote top-secret military installation, one that general public didn't even know existed. Area 51, of course, would have been perfect for that purpose [source: Griggs].