Of all of the conspiracy theories swirling around out there, the “we never went to the moon” one is the most annoying. Why anyone would choose to believe that the greatest technological feat in history was faked is a wonder in and of itself, besides, the moon landing hoax theory has been thoroughly debunked by everyone from the Mythbusters to NASA’s own Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, who imaged the original Apollo landing sites.

Now, an Oxford mathematician named David Grimes has developed a formula that tests the resilience of conspiracies, based on real life conspiracies such as Watergate and the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.

He calculated, based on the number of conspirators, how long a conspiracy could be kept quiet.

As it turns out, the Apollo moon landing hoax (which would have involved the 400,000 plus people who worked on the Apollo program) would only have lasted 3.7 years. Someone would have blabbed. The equation is a form of the adage that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. With 400,000 people, the effort becomes impossible.

Grimes throws in a straw man by suggesting that people who believe that global warming alarmism is overblown are conspiracy theorists. Global warming is based more on group-think and political intimidation than it is on conspiracy. Despite media spin, a great many climate scientists are global warming skeptics.

Nevertheless, Grimes has pointed the way for future conspiracy theorists. For a conspiracy theory to be remotely plausible, the fewer who are in on it, the better. A conspiracy that involves 125 people, for example, would last a century.

An example of a hard to disprove conspiracy theory would be the one that suggests Donald Trump is secretly working for the Clintons, something that requires three or four people to work.

But as for UFO cover-ups (sorry Fox Mulder), controlled explosions during 9/11, and the Kennedy assassination, forget about it. They're all mathematically impossible. Don't even begin to babble about men in black using memory wiping devices. The Men in Black were just movie characters and are not real.