Conspiracy theories are rampant in our society, although they can be controversial to talk. It’s fun to speculate how events may have happened or secrets hidden from society, but in reality conspiracy theories should be taken with a grain of salt. Or several grains of salt. That’s not saying every conspiracy theory out there is false. Companies get charged every day with conspiring to fix prices and limit the competition. Any planned criminal act thought out by multiple people is a conspiracy. Believers in conspiracy theories often have trouble confronting facts and will continue to rationalize their ideas. People with different opinions from them are either members of the conspiracy or oblivious to obvious facts. That is why so many theories have major holes and can become just plain bizarre.
Some of the common conspiracy theories include the idea that Elvis Presley is still alive, the government is hiding the existence of aliens, and that they had something to do with the September 11th attacks on the twin towers in 2011. Each year documentaries are created dedicated to outlining these ideas, presenting the audience with a one sided view into the matter along with quite compelling evidence. There are new theories concocted on a regular basis. When the Malaysia flight disappeared last March, the internet and media was plagued with every possible theory imaginable. Despite the holes, it is entertaining to consider the possibility that things aren’t what they seem, at least for a little while.
10. Subliminal Advertising
In the 1980’s there was concern over subliminal advertising during commercials on TV. The theory was brought forward by authors Wilson Bryan Key and Vance Packard who published books on the subject and claimed subliminal advertising was both rampant and damaging. The books caused a public outcry and led to FCC hearings, both books were investigated and discredited after several important studies were revealed to be faked. The concern over subliminal advertising and messages went from just on TV to bands including Styx and Judas Priest. In the 1990’s, Judas Priest was sued for allegedly causing a teen to commit suicide with subliminal messages. Subliminal messages can be processed by the brain and it has been tested but a thirty second commercial isn’t enough to force anyone to buy a product or do anything, it simple could relay a message.
9. The Moon Landing
Many people believe NASA’s 1969 moon landing was faked because of discrepancies in the photos later distributed and the video shown of the event. In a 1978 film Capricorn One, American astronauts and NASA faked a landing on Mars, which started the idea. In 2001, Fox aired a program called Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon that strengthened the original discrepancies between the photo and video. There are many problems with this theory, because there is no reason NASA would have widely distributed a photo that prove the landing was faked. Then there’s the pounds of moon rocks proven to be from an extraterrestrial origin. There is also photos from later missions that show the impressions of the ground where the spacecraft landed and footprints on the moon.
8. Paul McCartney is Dead
According to many stories and rumors that circulated in the 1960’s, Paul McCartney died in 1966 and the remaining band members hired a look alike and sound alike to take his place in the band. According to some twisted logic, The Beatles and their manager conspired to keep McCartney’s death a secret from fans while still hinting at it in their album covers and leaving clever clues in songs. One example is from the famous Album cover for Abbey Road where the Beatles are pictured crossing at a crosswalk on the road. Paul McCartney is the only band member with barefeet and out of step with the others. Fans banded together to solve the mystery.
7. The Roswell UFO Crash
There is one fact everyone can agree on; something crashed on a remote ranch outside of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The government declared the object to be a flying saucer but then quickly retracted the statement and claimed it was a weather balloon. The evidence points to it being neither but a top secret military balloon called Project Mogul. Eye witness accounts of the crash describe a silvery object with strange symbols on the side, which match photos of Project Mogul. Reports of alien bodies or anything extraterrestrial didn’t surface until thirty years later when a book was published on the incident. There was a cover up, but it was most likely hiding a cold war spying program and not a downed UFO.
6. Satanic Cults
During the 1980’s and 90’s a string of child abuse cases appeared and horrified the nation. Children accused adults of torture, ritual rape and abuse and sometimes included charges of satanism. The media reported on the sensationalized news and NBC aired a program called Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground on Oct. 28 1988. The program backed up its facts with misleading and false statistics, exaggerated media reports and mentions of crimes with even the slightest of relation to Satanism. The documentary claimed over one million Americans were satanists and they were at work killing babies and innocents. In a 1992 F.B.I. report into ritual crime agent Kenneth Lanning found rumors of ritual murders, kidnapping and cannibalism were unfounded.
5. Princess Diana’s Death
It is believed by some that Princess Diana‘s death in 1997 was not the result of a tragic accident but was planned by British Special Forces Operatives to avoid embarrassing information about Prince Charles. After the accident, the father of Dodi Fayed insisted the accident wasn’t really an accident at all. Investigations into the claims took place by both French and British authorities but both found her death to be the result of an accident.
4. AIDS Origins
Conspiracy theorists claim HIV and AIDS were released into society by the CIA in a plot to eliminate homosexuals and African Americans. The Former South African President Thabo Mbeki argued the claim that the disease originated from Africa and accused the U.S. government of manufacturing the illness in military laboratories. A different version of this theory insists that the government injected homosexuals with the virus in the 1978 Hepatitis B experiment. In 2005, Kanye West even supported the conspiracy by claiming in his acceptance after winning the Millions More Movement Image Award that the government was infecting people of African descent in an attempt to weaken them.
3. Miracle on Ice
A popular sports conspiracy theory is the idea that the soviets intentionally lost the famous game against the American’s at the 1980 Olympics. The theory claims the USSR heard President Jimmy Carter was planning a boycott of the summer Moscow games and grew concerned Americas decision would hinder the games. In hoping to convince the U.S. to participate, the hockey team was ordered to throw the game and let the Americans win. Sports historians are against this notion because the idea the Russians throwing any match is unlikely.
Conspiracy theorists contest who the identity is of the English language’s greatest writer. There is not much biographical data on Shakespeare and it isn’t believed the business man and small time actor could have been intelligent enough to pen those plays. Instead it could have been any of the other famous players back then including; Francis Bacon, Ben Jonson, Sir Walter Raleigh or Christopher Marlowe. The idea is still highly debated and no one knows for sure who really wrote the Shakespeare plays.
1. Pearl harbor
A conspiracy theory insists President Franklin Roosevelt was aware of the Japanese plan to attack Pearl Harbor before it happened in Hawaii in December of 1941. Supposedly America was warned by other countries and had already uncovered all the relevant Japanese codes. Conspiracy theorists suggest Roosevelt allowed the attack to happen because they needed it to convince the country to support a war that congress and the American public strongly opposed. Historians have contested the claim and there is no proof the U.S. knew about the impending attack.