“The moon landings were nothing but a gigantic bluff,” wrote debate article columnist Arne Bengtsson in regional Swedish newspaper Norrköpings Tidningar.
The article, which was published on Wednesday in both the online and print versions of the newspaper, dismissed the 1969 astronomical feat as nothing more than a fantasy.
“To let astronauts walk around in space suits on the moon is to play with death,” he continued.
An astronaut's footprint on the surface of the moon. Photo: TT
He also questioned how the World Trade Centre buildings in New York could simply collapse and “turn into dust” without some kind of “recorded seismic activity” at ground level.
The piece prompted a flurry of reactions on Swedish social media, not least considering the vast majority of the country's debate pieces this week were about the refugee crisis.
“Of everything you could have chosen to debate today, of everything big and small… there's this?” wrote one Swedish Tweeter.
Others were less forgiving, with one sharing: “Just when you thought it couldn't get any dumber…”
Another offered a prediction: “Tomorrow: Elvis lives!”
The paper's opinion editor, Anders Sjölin, admitted later on Wednesday that running the article may have been a bad idea.
“We've had a discussion and I feel now that it wasn't the best decision to publish it,” he told press broadsheet Dagens Media.
“Of course, you have to respect that some people don't think it's suitable to be debating this. It's something we'll be thinking about going forward.”
The newspapers editor in chief, Anders Nilsson, said due to a slip in standard procedure he hadn't been informed about the article before it hit the press, stating that “it never should have been published”.