It’s possible that happiness or fear can be based on illusion. Maybe that was correct in this case, maybe not. Regardless of what either schools of thought says or what supposed evidence is presented we all will make up our own minds about it.
Having said that, anything is possible with the government especially in our race to space with the Russians. There was a lot of spying and espionage going on and neither the U.S. or Russia could be trusted by either side. Many secretive things have and are still happening today.
Regardless of that, in my mind it’s clear that if they did fake the landing they pulled off a pretty good scam in it’s simplicity. Star Trek did a much better job of depicting space, but that’s just it. If the U.S. wanted to depict space in a studio it certainly would have looked much better than it did. The scene would have opened with the hatch door slowing opening as the camera peeks outside into the unknown in dramatic fashion, the camera would pan around the surface at a huge expanse of empty land and moon rocks. The camera would climb the viewer down the ladder of the lander, and when on the surface pan back around to show Armstrong and the crew stepping out from the ship with a backdrop of the earth on the horizon and a sky full of stars. And when the flag was planted it would be blowing from “space wind” as they would have told us. Now that’s fake. That alone is what makes up my investigative mind about it being true. Instead what we got was a guy already on the ground with a camera, some walking around, and a flag that was frozen still, pretty un dramatic huh?
All the old SciFi films with spaceships on strings almost looked better. So if we were to have faked the moon landing it would have been magnificent looking, how would we know either way, the average person won’t be there anytime soon. Some folks will make a controversy of anything, Kennedy, 9-11, UFO’s, the moon landing, etc. The point is, it doesn’t matter when it comes to life today. Back then if it were faked it was likely for the betterment of us all in that Russia thought we did, and that’s all they need to know. The U.S. was not trying to fool American’s, why would they have wanted to? However the effect was that it only raised our spirit’s and made an enemy think we were the country we were trumped up to be. We had a way of making the world over think our power, not that we weren’t powerful, but we made sure we were thought of as the big guy on the block.
Another example of America’s grand standing was in our weaponry. Russia had way more nuclear weapons than we did at the time. That wasn’t known until the time came that it didn’t matter anymore when both sides showed their hand in the cold war card game. Russia thought we had them beat by a long shot and we let them think just that.
So in closing, real or fake, so what, doesn’t matter other than for conversation sake or for written sake.