Man claiming the moon landing is fake speaks on campus


Photo by Ian Young

Peter Jarvio shows his model of the flat Earth to two students in the university’s Free Speech Zone on Monday.

Josh Meredith and Ian Young

“The moon landing is fake” shouts a man presenting his ideas on campus.

Peter Jarvio has been on campus sharing his theory about the moon landing being a cover up for the flat Earth. Jarvio first presented his ideas Nov. 8 in the University Breezeway and was asked to leave by Public Safety. He came back to the university Monday, but he moved his presentation to a free speech zone. 

He stood on the grassy corner next to the Art Center all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday sharing his truth to all who will listen. 

“They faked the moon landing to give us propaganda,” Jarvio said. “Personally, I think they did a pathetic job of faking it, but people are so gullible.”

Jarvio said the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing was a cover up because, according to him, NASA discovered the Earth was flat. He backed this up by saying the Deep State and Illuminati control NASA, and NASA covered it up. 

He claims the Earth is flat because water is able to fit perfectly on his 2D printed models of the Earth. Whereas, he said his spherical model can’t possibly hold water at all. Jarvio said he learned this information from binge-watching YouTube videos for two weeks. In his discussion, gravity never came up.  

Jarvio offered small 2D models of the Earth and a list of his sources to those willing to hear him out.

The university is the 12th campus Jarvio has visited since he started presenting his thoughts on the moon landing and the shape of the Earth. Jarvio said compared with other universities the response from USI has been positive. 

 A member of The Shield staff reported a memorable reaction from Steven Williams, associate professor of sociology.

Williams responded to Jarvio’s presentation Nov. 8 by pointing and loudly laughing at Jarvio in the University Breezeway. Students have also been trying to find ways to avoid Jarvio. 

Austin Whitledge, a sophomore accounting major, was leaving the Rice Library and trying to get to class when he saw Jarvio. He said he tried to look away and hope for the best. 

“I was walking by him, and he kept trying to get my attention, even though I was showing him I wasn’t interested,” Whitledge said. “He then made loud comments to a bunch of students about coming to college to learn but not listen to him.”

Jordan Teusch, a sophomore business administration major, said she didn’t really care what Jarvio was saying. 

“His message didn’t bother me,” Teusch said. “It was more about the way he shared it.” 

Teusch said Jarvio was pushing his thoughts on her and was not friendly in the way he got students’ attention. “I personally don’t mind if people like this are on campus, but I’d hate to have students change the way they walk to class because of them.”  

The Eastern Progress and The Indiana Daily Student, the independent student publications for Eastern Kentucky University and Indiana University, both reported Jarvio speaking on their campuses in the last 2 months. 

According to the university’s Freedom of Speech Policy, any speaker who has been invited by university student organizations, administrators, staff or faculty members has the right to speak on campus. 

Steve Baquette, director of Public Safety, said Jarvio can’t be asked to leave campus because  Jarvio “was scheduled in the free speech zone in accordance with the free speech policy.”

Speakers are encouraged to contact Jennifer Hammat, the Dean of Students, if they wish to talk within the free speech zones on campus. Hammat could not be reached for comment as of Wednesday. 

On Monday, Ben Luttrull, media relations specialist, said Jarvio is not affiliated with any group on campus and was not invited to speak.

Jarvio said Tuesday he was invited to campus but then retracted his statement saying he invited himself.

A virtual presentation on common conspiracy theories will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Nov. 30, 2021 on Zoom