NASA could not have kept a lid on a faked Moon landing for longer than three years and eight months, says Oxford University
Major conspiracies theories, such as a faked Moon landing, would have been exposed within just a few years if they were really true, a scientist has concluded.
Oxford University physicist Dr David Grimes worked out a mathematical way to calculate the chances of a plot being deliberately leaked by a whistle-blower or accidentally uncovered.
He was able to show that the more people share in a conspiracy, the shorter its lifespan is likely to be.
For a plot to last five years, the maximum number of plotters turned out to be 2,521. To keep a scheme operating undetected for more than a decade, fewer than 1,000 people could be involved, while a century-long deception had to include fewer than 125 collaborators.
Applying the technique to four real-life scenarios showed that had the moon landings been a hoax – involving an estimated 411,000 people who worked at NASA – it would have been found out in three years and eight months.