Wake up, folks. The Moon is fake.

The Moon, it’s said, is an anomaly with so many freakish coincidences surrounding its existence that it must be a big, fat fake…

Even to the world’s best scientific minds, the Moon is a mystery of gargantuan proportions. Nobody knows how it was formed, and the most popular hypothesis—that a planet-sized rock called Theia smashed into Earth, ejecting a lump of rock into space that later became the Moon—has recently been thrown into doubt.

Even Irwin Shapiro, an astrophysicist and former director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said:

“The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties and none of them could be considered remotely watertight.”

There’s no escaping the fact that the Moon is damned odd. Here are some examples of its weirdness:

  • It’s too big. The Moon is bloody huge compared to all the other moons in the Solar System. Author and professor of biochemistry Isaac Asimov argues that the Moon ought to be tiny, only about 30 miles in diameter, yet it’s actually 2,160 miles.
  • The Moon is responsible for 80% of the Earth’s constant rotation. In relation to all the other planets and moons in our Solar System, the value’s less than 1%.
  • Every planet and moon in the Solar System has different, unique isotopic ratios, and yet the Moon’s are the same as Earth’s. You might think that the ‘giant impact’ hypothesis or ‘whack theory’ explains this—because the Moon is a bit of Earth that broke off. But, in laymen’s terms, whack theory says that the impact would’ve caused the Earth and Theia to melt. The molten debris that eventually became the Moon would’ve mixed with Theia and re-formed in a completely different way to the Earth. This should’ve resulted in different isotopic ratios, but didn’t. Because, well, the Moon’s weird.
  • The mother of all coincidences is the very nature of a total eclipse. The Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun and 400 times closer to the Earth, which is why it completely obscures the Sun during an eclipse. Its size and orbit are just right. What are the chances?

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Mysterious buildings that aren’t what they seem

Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest

Do you ever walk past a building and wonder if it’s really as it looks? Probably not, but that’s because we’ve all got too much on our minds. We take our surroundings for granted and we don’t question them. So how do we know that we’re not being deceived left, right and centre? Newsflash—we are.

There are buildings that aren’t what they seem all over the place. Last year I took a jaunt to Budapest with my girlfriend and we visited the grand and ornate Vajdahunyad Castle. Though it looks like it has been the home of kings and queens for centuries, it hasn’t. In fact, it’s only been standing since 1896 and nobody’s ever lived there. It’s a fake, a folly, a fantasy pastiche showcasing Hungary’s architectural evolution.

Vajdahunyad Castle amalgamates copies of parts of major landmark buildings from different time periods across different parts of Hungary. As a result, it’s a mishmash of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles, and even more telling is that it was originally made from wood and cardboard! It was rebuilt using stone and brick between 1904 and 1908 because it got so popular.

But Vajdahunyad Castle is not alone. There are tons of folly castles all over the world, and dozens in the UK alone. Take this castle, for example, which overlooks the city of Bath, Somerset.

From a distance, this looks like a typical medieval castle—but it’s nothing of the sort. Literally known as Sham Castle, it was built in the 18th century to ‘enhance the view’ from philanthropist Ralph Allen’s town house in the city. The blocked-up windows are a hint, but when you walk through its main entrance, that’s when you realise. There’s no more castle! You can see from the picture below that it’s only supposed to be viewed from the front.

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The Nampa figurine — more evidence that time travel is real?

nampa-figurine-1In 1889, well-drillers discovered the Nampa figurine, a mysterious artefact that really puts a spanner in the works of modern evolutionary theory. But I have another idea. What if the figurine is proof that time is not as linear as we all thought, but a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff?

On August 1st 1889, workers led by M.A. Kurtz were drilling a water well in Nampa, Idaho. Suddenly their steam pump spat out a small piece of a brownish clay and sparked a baffling archaeological mystery.

The object, also known as the Nampa image, was one and a half inches in length, made from clay and quartz, and clearly human-shaped, with one leg partially broken off. Geologist G. Frederick Wright said it was a “female figure” with “lifelike lineaments” and “remarkable for the perfection with which it represents the human form”.

Professor Albert A. Wright of Oberlin College (yes, another ‘Wright’, but I think the two are unrelated…) said that there were “faint geometric markings on the figure, which represent either clothing patterns or jewellery”. These markings, mostly on the arms, wrists and around the neck, led Wright to conclude that “the doll is the image of a person of a high civilisation, artistically attired”.

Wright also commented on who might have crafted the figure. He decided that it was not the work of a “small child or amateur”, but of a “true artist”.

Herein lies the problem. The problem that has confounded scientists for decades.

An out-of-place artefact

The Nampa doll was recovered from depths of 320 feet. The stratum at that depth was about 2 million years old. However, humans like us have only been walking the Earth for 200,000 years. This makes the Nampa figurine an out-of-place artefact, an ‘oopart’, because, well, who the hell could have crafted it if humans didn’t exist?

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Is Osama bin Laden really dead?


Osama bin Laden, architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (unless you believe the conspiracy theories), was killed in Pakistan on May 2nd 2011 as part of a CIA-led operation — wasn’t he? Not everyone’s satisfied that we’ve seen or heard the last of him…

It was headline news worldwide when US Navy SEALs took out Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as part of Operation Neptune Spear, almost 10 years after he orchestrated the world’s deadliest terrorist atrocity.

We all remember it. But what stuck out then — and still does now — is how shrouded in secrecy bin Laden’s death was. It was all telling, no showing. We all wanted to see an image of the monstrous mass murderer’s dead body. But not a single photograph was released by the government. No DNA evidence was released to the public either. And to top it off, he was hastily buried at sea within 24 hours of his death.

Here’s the official story:

Navy SEALs conducted a raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden peered through his bedroom door to see the SEALs advancing up the stairs. Lead SEAL Robert O’Neill fired a shot at him that either missed or hit him in the side. Bin Laden retreated into the bedroom; O’Neill and the SEALs followed.

According to O’Neill, bin Laden was in the bedroom using a woman as a human shield. He had his hands on her shoulders and was pushing her forward. O’Neill was able to shoot bin Laden twice in the forehead, then again as he crumpled to the floor. Another SEAL, Matt Bissonnette, also claims to have fired shots into bin Laden’s fallen body.

The SEAL leader radioed, “For God and country—Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo” and “Geronimo E.K.I.A”, which means “enemy killed in action”. Watching the operation from inside the White House Situation Room, President Barrack Obama said simply, “We got him.”

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I’m going to be on Spaced Out Radio! October 25th Pacific Time, October 26th London Time



Next week I’ll be on Canadian online radio station, Spaced Out Radio, talking to host Dave Scott about UFOs, conspiracies, time travel and general weirdness. Eeeek! I’m nervous and excited but I’m sure it’ll be great fun — for me and for listeners!

The interview, I’m told, will last two hours and Dave wants my take on some of the stranger conspiracies, mysteries and monsters  out there. I’ve certainly covered some utterly crackers theories of late! Expect talk about royal lizards and Flat Earth. Hopefully we’ll get into some time travel urban legends (my favourites) and things like the Loch Ness Monster and the suicidal munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. I’ll also make sure to talk a little bit about my conspiracy fiction writing, namely Million Eyes and the Million Eyes Short Stories, which are ultimately the reason why this blog exists.

I understand I’ll also be answering questions from the audience in Spaced Out Radio’s chat rooms.

The show broadcasts from British Columbia and will start at 9pm Pacific Time, midnight Eastern Time, and 5am London Time.

And yes, as I’m a Brit on London Time, it’s going to be an early start for me! Hopefully I’ll be coherent. Thank you Flying Spaghetti Monster for inventing coffee.

The show will broadcast live on Spaced Out Radio’s website at all the times I’ve just mentioned, and you can also listen to it on Tune In. If you’re in the UK and, like most people, your bed is more important at that time in the morning, you’ll be able to listen to the show on the station’s YouTube page afterwards. I’ll post a link on the blog when I have it. I’m also told you’ll be able to download the show from iTunes.


Does “The Shining” reveal that the Apollo moon landings were faked?


Apparently there’s much more to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining than we all realised. It’s believed that the film contains a range of clues revealing that the Apollo moon landings were faked. Bonkers, right? Or might the conspiracy theorists be onto something?

In my blog “Were the Apollo moon landings faked?” I assessed the footage of the original 1960s missions to the moon. Conspiracy theorists believe that this footage was shot on a film set, not the actual moon, with claims about suspicious shadows, missing stars and fluttering flags commonly cited as evidence.

Those who believe that the moon landings were a hoax think that NASA — desperate to beat Russia in the Space Race — contacted director Stanley Kubrick and asked him to film the scenes. Why do people believe that Kubrick was responsible? Because he allegedly littered his 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining with symbolism and clues that the moon landings were faked. Burdened by his deception, The Shining was Kubrick’s way of confessing his role in the monumental NASA conspiracy.

It’s said that Kubrick filmed the fake moon landing while he was working on his sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. In that film, he used a special effects technique known as Front Screen Projection to create backgrounds in a scene, and some people believe they can see evidence of this technique in the moon landing footage. (Have a read of my previous blog for my thoughts on the various ‘clues’ in the footage.)

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The Black Knight satellite — are aliens watching us?

One of the famous 1998 images of the Black Knight Satellite

One of the famous 1998 images of the Black Knight Satellite

A persistent UFO conspiracy theory is that there is an alien satellite in orbit around Earth and it’s been there for 13,000 years. So what is it? What is its purpose? And is it really there?

The Black Knight satellite rose to fame in 1998, when an object was photographed from the International Space Station (ISS) during the STS-88 shuttle mission. This object—a black, oddly shaped ‘thing’—was floating in orbit around Earth. Here are two more of the 1998 images…

maxresdefault Black-Knight-336475

Could it be an alien spy satellite? A weapon? A mind-control device? An actual alien, lying dormant in orbit?

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David Manning, the invisible film critic


Between 2000 and 2001, several movies were released by Columbia Pictures that were not very well received by film critics. Well, apart from one. Journalist David Manning heaped high praise Hollow Man (2000) and The Animal (2001) even though no one else did. Did he just have bad taste? No. David Manning wasn’t really there…

David Manning was a journalist for the Ridgefield Press, a small weekly newspaper in Connecticut. He called Hollow Man “one hell of a scary ride!” He called The Forsaken (2001) “a sexy, scary thrill ride!” And he said this of The Animal: “The producing team of ‘Big Daddy’ has produced another winner!” This is while other critics were savaging them, particularly The Forsaken, which has a dismal 8% rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

Manning’s comments were used prominently in posters and advertisements for the films, and this is how they attracted the attention of Newsweek reporter John Horn. He was particularly suspicious of Manning’s comment about The Animal, because the film had not been screened for critics.

2001manning01He decided to investigate Manning and contacted the Ridgefield Press, at which point he learned the truth. The newspaper had never heard of him. No other reporters had heard of him either. In fact, David Manning was as invisible as Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man.

John Horn investigated further and discovered that David Manning was the product of a marketing conspiracy. Josh Goldstine and Matthew Cramer, two marketing executives at Sony Pictures (Columbia’s parent company), had invented David Manning and concocted all his ‘reviews’. It’s unclear whether anyone else at Sony knew about the deception. As soon as the truth was uncovered, Cramer and Goldstine were suspended and Sony pulled the ads.

2001manning03The story didn’t end there. Two moviegoers decided to bring a lawsuit against Sony, claiming that they went to see Heath Ledger movie A Knight’s Tale (2001) because of David Manning’s bogus review blurbs. (A Knight’s Tale was actually quite popular with audiences and critics, but these two moviegoers obviously weren’t fans.)

While Sony did not admit liability, an out-of-court settlement was reached. Sony agreed to pay $1.5m to dissatisfied moviegoers ($5 each) who had been to see the movies that were positively reviewed by Manning. It also agreed to pay fines of $326,000 to the state of Connecticut for the deception.

And so David Manning is now an embarrassing marketing misstep in Sony’s history books. But does he also indicate that we may be surrounded by deceptive marketing – flagrant lies about the products and services we use every day – that we just haven’t cottoned onto yet?

Next week: Was Pope John Paul I murdered?