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William Charles Kaysing (July 31, 1922 – April 21, 2005) was a writer best known for claiming that the six Apollo moon landings between July 1969 and December 1972 were hoaxes. He is regarded as the initiator of the moon hoax movement.
Kaysing joined the Navy in 1940 as a midshipman and eventually was sent to officers' training school which led to his attending University of Southern California. In 1949 he received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Redlands. He later worked for a time as a furniture maker, before working at Rocketdyne (a division of North American Aviation and later of Rockwell International), (1956–1963), where Saturn V rocket engines were built. Kaysing was the company's head of technical publications but was not trained as an engineer or scientist.
According to Kaysing he worked at Rocketdyne starting on February 13, 1956 as senior technical writer, then on September 24, 1956 as a service analyst, September 15, 1958 he worked as a service engineer, following on October 10, 1962 as a publications analyst, and on May 31, 1963 he resigned for personal reasons.
Kaysing asserted that during his tenure at Rocketdyne he was privy to documents pertaining to the Mercury, Gemini, Atlas, and Apollo programs, arguing that one does not need an engineering or science degree to determine that a hoax was being perpetrated. Even before July 1969, he had "a hunch, an intuition, ... a true conviction" and decided that he didn't believe that anyone was going to the moon. Kaysing wrote a book entitled We Never Went to the Moon, which was self-published in 1974, listing Randy Reid as a coauthor. It was republished in 2002 by Health Research Books, with no coauthor listed. In his book, Kaysing introduced arguments which he said proved the moon landings were faked.
Claims in the book and subsequent sources include:
Kaysing also claimed that NASA staged both the Apollo 1 fire and the Challenger accident, deliberately murdering the astronauts on board. He suggested that NASA might have learned that these astronauts were about to expose the conspiracy and needed to guarantee their silence. A vocal advocate of conspiracy theories, Kaysing believed there is a high level conspiracy involving the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Reserve, Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies to brain wash the American public, poison their food supply and control the media. He also implied that the death of NASA safety inspector Thomas Ronald Baron in a traffic accident with a train a week after he testified before the United States Congress, and the disappearance of his 500-page report, was not an accident. He was also a participant in the Fox Broadcasting Company documentary Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?, which aired on February 15, 2001.
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 everyone in this country should be proud of. — James Lovell
The case was dismissed in 1999 following the granting of a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by San Francisco attorney John Hardy, representing James Lovell. The judgment was affirmed on appeal on First Amendment grounds. As a result of Kaysing's claims he believed there was a conspiracy against him. One such event was Price Stern Sloan Publishers' decision not to publish his book, after paying a small advance in exchange for the manuscript. The editor's comments:
I'm afraid we disavow it. You need to read it objectively and critically and perhaps ORGANIZE IT. As it is it wanders all over the landscape. Several interesting paragraphs but they don't hold together, link together. You've also wandered from third to first person. It needs a lot of work. You don't really have a manuscript here - seemed more like random notes about what you WOULD write about if you got around to it. What I mean, it reads like notes to the AUTHOR.
Kaysing has wondered why the publisher didn't want to have anything more to do with the book.
Kaysing has inspired numerous people who do not believe the Moon Landings were real. He was the one that encouraged Ralph Rene to write "NASA Mooned America" when Ralph decided he had done extensive research to prove the landings were faked too.
Bill's daughter "Wendy Kaysing" has stated that along with Bill's nephew "Mr. von Schmausen" she hopes to one day write a book about her father. This book is not to reiterate Bill Kaysing's hoax claims but rather talk about her father as a person. This will include quotations, reflections, incidents, philosophies and goals set by Kaysing in his lifetime. Though no specific plans for a release date were given, the authors have stated the working title for this book will be Life and Times with "Wild" Bill Kaysing, the Fastest Pen in the West.
Kaysing is the author of many books, including: