Would you be the first person on Mars - if it were hoaxed?

I was listening to an interview with the late, great Neil Armstrong, he was asked what he though about the conspiracy theory that the Moon landing was faked. He said he paid it no mind since he knows that he left a radio up there, so the evidence will be there for our descendants to find.

Anyway, it’s the not too distant future, next Sunday A.D. The future is pretty bleak, the nation’s self confidence is at a low ebb, the economy is in the toilet and America needs something to believe in. There’s a knock on the door. It’s a representative of NASA who says that your country needs you. In these bleak times, there is something that can reinvigorate the country, something that the last POTUS promised - a wo/man on Mars.

Sadly cash is a bit tight, so they’re gonna fake it. With the money saved, they can look after things here on Earth. The conspiracy will be watertight - an elite cadre of experts will in the name of their country make sure every single technical detail is sorted out, no amount of scrutiny will expose the hoax. For now…

So, you get all the glory, the influence, the wealth, the prestige. But one day mankind will really land on the red planet and discover the first landing was bullshit, and your name will be mud. Fortunately for you by the time that happens you’ll be long dead, since nobody else has the technical know-how or money to do it while you’re alive.

Do you go along with the scheme, as moon hoax theorists say Armstrong and Aldrin did?

Probably some sort of mixture of the options above. Reject participation, but keep an eye on them to see if they carry on with other individuals. From there, probably something along the lines of exposure. I’m not very fond of living life as a lie.

Well, granted there aren’t any repercussions for rejecting in the first place…

I suspect the repercussion for rejection would be sleeping with the fishes. A government willing to indulge in a conspiracy like that would probably rather not risk being exposed.

This is the reason I’d go along with the hoax.

I know, I know: don’t fight the hypothetical. But: when mankind really lands on the red planet – I mean, sure, if it’s Angola or Argentina my name will be mud. But what if it’s my fellow Americans who manage it after faking the first landing? Can’t they bring along an old-timey 2012-style radio with my initials on it?

I would do it even if the hoax were to be revealed a year later. In fact, I would prefer it if the hoax were revealed before I died. But either way I would do it.

Good luck Mr. Gorsky :slight_smile:

I’d run away. I’ve seen Capricorn One

No. The First Duty is to the truth.

In today’s climate, you’d get paid by the government for the hoax, be famous, be exposed and “hated” for twenty minutes, go on a bunch of TV shows and make a mint, get a VH1 reality show and a movie deal, and start a clothing line and get paid to show up at parties.

Hell, I’m all over it.

As much as I love manned space exploration, the idea of faking it is an anathema to me.
If I brought myself to participate in a hoax, I would despise myself for the rest of my life.
I find that price too high to pay.

If you say no they’ll erase your memory of the conversation with one of those MiB flash-things.

Just depends on the size of the paycheck.

Everybody has a price, although it might not always be in money.

Really? (Whips out check book ) how much to let me slaughter your loved ones?

Define “let”, “slaughter” and “loved ones”. Plus at this point we’re talking about amounts of money so large that entire national economies would be affected, so even the economics of it get a bit tricky…

You wouldn’t ever have to worry about money ever again. You’d be an instant worldwide celebrity. Just think of the sponsorship or ad deals alone. How much would Coca-Cola give you to say that the first person on Mars likes the taste of coke? How much would Disney give the Martian pioneer to look like they enjoyed Disneyland? How much would Playboy give you for a few tasteful…well, you get the idea.

Sure, why not? I could always admit to the truth if I got tired of living the lie… Then I’d recant. Then I’d recant that, and write a book about it… Then a movie, but with a different ending. Then I’d “confess” different truths to different reporters, but never allowing the conversations to be recorded. Ultimately, I’d run for President and divert all funds into going to Mars for real, but later, I’d leak that THAT was a hoax, even though it wasn’t… Then I’d make a new movie about that, only this time it would be a musical. A Broadway show would be produced, performed entirely by nude eunuchs… What was the question again?

Yes, Mr. Faux-Astronaut is a shoe-in for Dancing with the Stars.

Well, usually, the prevention of the slaughter of loved ones is what’s the “stake”, if you will. I might not do something for a billion dollars, but the threat of harm to ones family is also currency, in a way.

May as well go along with it. They’re going to kill you soon after you ‘get back’ so that you won’t have the opportunity to have a change of heart.

At least I’ll have had the chance to get some ultrasex action before they off me if I go along with the scam.

You do realize it would be impossible to fake, right? The rest of the world has a wee bit of technology too. We’d all be listening in on transmissions, not just waiting for NASA to show us the latest events on TV.