In 1969 NASA copied the BBC, who had made a documentary about pasta being harvested from trees in Italy for an April Fool's joke, and made their own silly film about people landing on the Moon.
'Hey, it was only a bit of fun', astronaut Buzz Lightbrain said, 'we filmed it all in April 1969, but had to wait til July before showing it to millions of American people. And one dog in Britain. And a parakeet in Morocco. How were we to know that people, well, American people, would take it all so seriously?'
The famous spoof landings are full of in-jokes for viewers, many of whom had already guessed long before the 'landings' that it was a hilarious send-up of Americans believing anything they see on TV.
There's the many-angled shadows clearly visible from all the studio lights, there's no stars in the sky, and backdrops of 'landscape and rocks and earth' look like they've been made in a joiner's workshop, they're so geometrically perfect. And funniest of all is the United States flag waving in the Moon's wind. There is no wind on the Moon, or any possibility of there being any wind.
'Look', Lightbrain protested, 'you're talking about the people that believed that when 'War of the Worlds' was first broadcast on radio, Earth was really being attacked by aliens, and ran out into the streets in panic. The people that believe US soldiers that are currently dying for opium and oil and defending Israel in the Middle East are dying for 'peace and democracy'.'
'The people that haven't yet noticed they've elected a President who is never in America, and didn't notice they'd previously elected one that was a brain-damaged, alcoholic moron.'
The April Fool's joke was so amateurly done that to this day hardly any of the 'footage' is ever shown on TV - if they showed the full 'footage', you can imagine children brought up with CSI movies laughing at the 'landings', the few clips on TV look like an episode of a 1950s cheap sci-fi TV show.
'Yeah, I know', Buzz Lightbrain laughed, 'every July me and the team all get together at Cape Warcriminal, and watch it all again on DVD over a few beers.'
'The funniest bit of the joke is when Neil starts running along 'the Moon's surface. As scientists we all know that the Moon's gravity would crush a human being to nothing in seconds, and of course astronauts still struggle inside the weightless atmosphere of space shuttles. But good old Neil Armstrong managed to not only defy the laws of science, he even managed to play golf on the Moon! Hahahaha, April Fool!'
As the world yawned at yet another unsurprising revelation about the USA, and Americans failing to realise the joke being played on them, an anonymous Prime Minister in London said in an aside: 'Next thing Americans will think the British didn't want to hold on to their American colony in the 1700s, and that Americans were conned into joining World War One by the British torpedoing The Lusitania.'
'Mind you, Americans will believe anything. The Twin Towers were built so that it was scientifically impossible for them to be brought down by being hit by airliners, but they believe they were brought down by airliners.'
'And two World Wars were fought to a standstill by 1917 and won by 1944, but the Yanks believe they won them without joining them til 1917 and 1944. Not surprising that they believe the Moon is made of cheese, and that Neil Armstrong walked on that cheese, hehehehe.'
Buzz Lightbrain was checking the terms of his life insurance policy, in case he became yet another 'accident' that has happened to so many of the cast of the fake Moon landings.