In 1970, in the wake of the national scandal arising from the Apollo Moon Landing Hoax, Richard M. Nixon announced his resignation from the Presidency effective from 3pm.
The Resignation of Richard NixonThe American mindset in 1969 was very much that the superpower that won the Space Race would also win the Cold War. The President was advised that the probability of the Apollo 11 astronauts returning safely was less than 0.1%. And what was worse - in his mind at least - was that the chances of photographics footage being received from the Moon was even more remote. Nixon realised that he would almost certainly be denied the fanfare he required to shift the focus away from the Vietnam War, and that outcome was completely unacceptable.
"Plan B" was required. And now a fiendish idea took shape, because by incredible good fortune (or so it seemed), Stanley Kubrick was filming Space Odyssey 2001 and had already created a moon landing set in England. NASA secretly approached Kubrick to direct the first three Moon landings - the launch and splashdown would be real but the spacecraft would have remained in Earth orbit while the fake footage was broadcast as "live" from the lunar journey. Click to watch Moon Landing A Fake or Fact part1
Problem was Nixon's level of cunning was matched only by his paranoia. Gripped with anxiety over the possibility of a leak, he ordered the assassination of Kubrick and the three NASA actors. The order was ignored by his General Staff, but due a miscommunication, performed by a branch of the CIA.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was so incensed by the hoax that he resigned from both NASA and the US Air Force, descending into alchoholism. The Russians werent fooled. Inside of two hours, the KGB determined that the film footage was a fake due to the wind-flapping America flag, absence of stars and odd reflections in the camera. However Nixon's fate was sealed by a picture that clearly showed a photograph of Stanley Kurbick on the lunar surface.