Fact Check: Social Media Posts Falsely List Disney, Others as NASA Founders

Thu May 30 2024
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WASHINGTON: Walt Disney, L. Ron Hubbard and others listed in posts falsely calling them “founders of NASA” had tangential links to one another or to the early development of rockets, but none was a founder of the space agency.

A spokesperson for the agency said that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed in 1958 by then-U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Congress.

Social media posts, opens new tab shared a poster that lists Hubbard, Disney, Wernher von Braun, Jack Parsons, and Aleister Crowley with the headline, “Founders of NASA,” but without citing any solid evidence.

Remarks on the posts allude to NASA being a film production company and to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories regarding these five “wicked” figures forming the agency with intentions to harm humanity.

However, NASA’s website and a dedicated web page describing its beginnings, opens new tab don’t mention any of the five as contributing to NASA’s formation. Parsons and Von Braun are the only persons named in the poster to have ever worked for the space agency.

A NASA spokesperson said that Hubbard, Disney and Crowley have never worked for the NASA and have no connections to it, but noted Disney’s cooperation with von Braun on a 1955 space documentary movie, with which NASA was not involved.

In an email, the spokesperson said NASA was founded in 1958 following Eisenhower had Congress pass law to set up an agency to oversee the nation’s space activities. “Eisenhower inked the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 into law on July 29, and NASA started its in 1958,” the spokesperson further said.

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