Claims and more Claims

Walking on MarsI’m not sure I can actually file this one in the Misleading Headlines category because the headline pretty much tells it the way it is.

Walking on Mars. Former NASA Employee Claims Men Walked On Mars In 1979.

The story is exactly what the headline purports it to be. An anonymous person claims to have been working for NASA in 1979 and seen live footage from the Viking Lander in which two human figures walked by the lander. She ran upstairs to another room which was covered up and was denied entry. She asked supervisors if what she saw was real but they refused to answer her questions.

With the recent landing on Rosetta and several Mars rovers and Mars orbiters going about there business there seems to be a plethora of stories pretty much like this one. Rocks look like something and are thus evidence of life on Mars. Figures are seen on Mars. It is simply one story after the next. I can only assume that people, besides me, are clicking on these stories and therefore there is an interest.

Are people clicking out of curiosity to see how ridiculous the story is or do they actually believe the headline? I’m sure a bit of both but the sheer volume of such nonsensical stories does surprise me. Yahoo news has at least two or three new ones every week.

I think it’s great people are interested in space and Yahoo has many hard-science stories as well. This is encouraging to me because it means people are clicking on them.

I suppose I’m curious. Do you click on these crazy stories just to see the level of insanity they reach? Do you not click on them? Do you click on them because, hey, it might be true?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy with a Libertarian Edge
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