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.
Back on Earth, a climate change conspiracy with 405,000 conspirators – based on scientists and staff at institutions like the Royal Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - would have lasted just three years and nine months.Read More: The Telegraph
And if big pharmaceutical companies were keeping a cure of cancer up their sleeves, the plot would be exposed within three years and three months, Dr Grimes concludes.
Yes, the classic too many people would have to know or be in on it theory being propagandized.