Conspiracy theories exist for a reason. The government is secretive, and it’s not like they haven’t lied to us in the past. It seems as though every other year a report is coming out that vindicates conspiracy theorists, or those who are advocating for more transparency. Interesting conspiracies can be an entertaining way to pass the day, but if you look too deeply you might become the drunk guy at the party harping about how the government is spraying chemicals on us and the moon landing was faked.
Conspiracy theorists get a bad rap. When someone wants to dismiss your ideas as unreasonable, they will call you a conspiracy theorist. That doesn’t mean that their views aren’t valid, and it’s healthy to be skeptical of the information we’re given. Of course, all conspiracy theories aren’t created equal, and there are far more outrageous conspiracies than realistic ones. Still, a good conspiracy theory is interesting for those with an open mind, but we must be careful that people are not taking advantage of our ignorance. There are certain things that the general public doesn’t understand which is why some people are particularly susceptible to these theories. The following are 15 of the more prevalent conspiracy theories out there. These theories will likely never be proven wrong, which is why they will be able to flourish for so long. The only way one of these conspiracy theories will die is if it’s eventually revealed as correct.
The chemtrail argument has its basis in reason, but many of the supporting facts require a vast stretching of the imagination. For those who are unaware, chemtrails refer to the contrails of an airplane; the straight, white lines that are left behind when a plane passes through the sky. Some people believe that these are actually chemicals that the government is spraying for some nefarious reason. More recently, theorists have narrowed-down their claims to state that these chemicals are somehow affecting the weather, and possibly sending storms to locations they deem appropriate. It wouldn’t be the first time the government had sprayed some sketchy chemical on the public, as DDT was a popular insecticide in the 50s and 60s. If the government could control the weather, in theory, it would be terrific. Theorists claim, however, that they are using weather control as climate warfare, sending storms to our enemies. The chemtrail argument has been around for a long time now, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
14. Ancient Aliens
This conspiracy is one of the more thought provoking and interesting theory of the group, as shown by the fact that there is an entire television show dedicated to the possible visitation that our ancient ancestors received. This theory is particularly tough to discredit, because no one really knows what was going on back then. Wrenches keep getting thrown into what we think we know, such as discoveries of lost cities dated far older than we thought civilizations were. The pyramids are one of the cornerstones of the ancient alien argument, as they exist on different continents and are all astrologically correct. There are monoliths that are only visible from the sky, and flat (so called) landing strips in otherwise rock terrain. The ancient alien theory will never end, because there’s no way of knowing what truly happened in ancient history.
13. Global Warming Hoax
Not many people are outright denying that the world is getting warmer, though many are still claiming that humans are not the cause of the accelerated warming. What’s more, theorists claim that the science has been fudged to make it look like humans are the culprits, when they really are not. This theory goes particularly far, stating that there is a global scientific conspiracy afoot to convince the people of the world that we are causing global warming. The reason they would do this is to protect their funding, but it’s not entirely clear why the powers-that-be would want us to focus on cleaning up our act. This one will never die, because the facts don’t dissuade those who believe it. There are studies and reports written about global warming, but that doesn’t persuade the more hard-line deniers of the subject. As stated in the intro, there’s no way to adequately prove this theory wrong, as even the facts are disregarded as corrupt. The acceptance will only come if the theorists are proven correct.
12. Celebrity Death Hoaxes
There are so many celebrity death hoaxes that I’d feel like I would be cheating if I included them all in different items. Some of the more popular theories involve Tupac, Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney. Tupac’s evidence is some of the most convincing, with multiple records being released after his death and even pictures reporting to show him that were taken after the shooting. Paul McCartney was rumored to have died in a car accident, with some of the evidence being encouraged by the band itself. They supposedly brought in an impostor to keep the hype train of the Beatles rolling. Recent photos of Elvis and Tupac are always blurry, and in Elvis’ case it would be too hard to even tell what he would look like now. The argument for celebrities adding to their legacy and living the rest of their life away from the spotlight makes sense, but there is only one celebrity death hoax that seems plausible: performance artist Andy Kaufman.
11. Hitler Escaped
Out of all of the public figures who might have faked their death, Hitler is the most likely. Sure, living the rest of your life in anonymity seems like a decent excuse for Elvis and Tupac, but they wouldn’t have been executed if they remained in the limelight. There is a prevalent conspiracy theory that Hitler actually didn’t die like we’re told he did. The theory insists that he was assisted by the Vatican, and fled to South America where he lived out the rest of his days. There was even a compound in Argentina that was said to have held the fascist leader while he was on the run. There are even claims that he had a black girlfriend to hide his identity further, and that he used the Vatican’s maps to hunt for treasure in South American countries. The same theory claims that he died in his nineties, which is far too long for such a terrible person to live. Like most of these, there’s no real way to prove that this didn’t happen, so the Hitler narrative will likely exist for as long as people are skeptical about his fate.
Bigfoot’s existence will always be something that’s debated among conspiracy theorists. If you haven’t considered the possibility of the large primate’s existence, you may think that this is complete banana-land talk. When you think about it, though, there are indications that the existence of the “missing link” might be more than tinfoil hat banter. Is it really so hard to believe that there’s some sort of large primate that is smart enough to know that if its discovered by humans, it would mean the end of its life? Humans are discovering new species all the time, who’s to say they won’t discover some large, humanoid ape living in the Pacific Northwest? These, and others, are the arguments of those who entertain the idea of Bigfoot’s existence. It isn’t some mythical beast, but just a species of undiscovered ape. There’s no way to disprove the theory, so it will likely stand the test of time.
9. Philadelphia Experiment
The Philadelphia Experiment is one of the founding members of the conspiracy world. There isn’t a consensus on the motives of what this experiment was trying to produce, but the overall theory is that the US Navy conducted an experiment to try to render one of their ships invisible. The experiment worked, but to many witness’s dismay the ship reappeared with some of the crew embedded in the ship’s deck. Others were thrown from the ship and some were mentally incapacitated when the ship reappeared. Theorists also draw lines to the theory of the Montauk Project, a secret government project that dealt with inter-dimensional beings (i.e. Stranger Things), aliens and time travel. Some say that the ship was part of a time-warp to the future, with some members meeting those involved with the Montauk Project. The whole theory surrounding these two projects is interesting for the conspiracy-minded, but to the rest it may just seem like an episode of The Twilight Zone.
8. Bohemian Grove
Bohemian Grove is the setting of some of the grander conspiracy theories out there. It’s sort of the parent of other conspiracy theories; it serves as an explanation for how these things transpire. Bohemian Grove is like a summer camp for the rich and powerful. It’s a two week getaway in California, where a club of all men congregate to discuss their shared identity. What they talk about on the retreat is unknown, but there is little doubt that these high-power individuals meet at this yearly retreat. Conspiracy king Alex Jones actually infiltrated one of their festivals and filmed what he saw. What is depicted on the video appears to be some sort of creepy ritual, bordering on satanic. Those who believe in the Illuminati, or a shadow government, believe Bohemian Grove is one of the places that these influencers met to discuss policy. The whole event is shrouded in secrecy, so it’s unlikely any of the rumors will get dispelled surrounding Bohemian Grove.
7. Princess Diana
The 1997 death of Princess Diana shocked the world. Events such as this breed conspiracy theories, and this situation was no different. The official explanation was that the paparazzi was following her and caused her driver to crash, killing everyone inside. Of course, this explanation rang false for a lot of people and further investigations followed. The motive of Diana’s killing would be that she was possibly pregnant with her boyfriend’s child. Her boyfriend was Dodi Fayed, and there was general concern in the royal family of a non-white, non-Christian in their bloodline. The rest of the theory is a little more convoluted, as some claim that Henri Paul, the driver at the time, was actually an MI6 agent who was set up. Diana’s death was consistent with another assassination attempt, where the agent would use a strobe light to blind the driver. There were also discrepancies in the blood test of Henri Paul, leading to even further scrutiny of facts. We’ll likely never know the whole truth, and while this isn’t the biggest conspiracy on the list, some people are still passionate advocates that Princess Diana was murdered
Shakespeare should need no introduction to anyone reading this. Everyone has either read or Sparknoted a Shakespeare title in high school or college, and while some people love his work, others can barely make heads or tails of it. Some of his literature seems as though it’s written in a different language, and there is so much to unpack in each line that it can seem overwhelming. The conspiracy surrounding the author, though, is that it wasn’t Shakespeare at all. The writings attributed to Shakespeare are in debate, with nearly one hundred possible authors that may have used the moniker. For one reason or another, the author/authors of his work were unable or unwilling to take credit, and therefore attributed them to a different individual. Some even claim that the Shakespeare, as we know him, never even existed. Scholars generally disregard these claims, but there are some Shakespearean scholars who believe that Shakespeare’s life experience and status is inconsistent with his writing. We’ll never know for sure, though, so there will always be people who claim that Shakespeare never wrote anything of note.
5. Fluoride Mind Control
The Fluoride controversy is one of the conspiracies that will never die, likely because there is at least a shred of truth in it. The theory claims that the fluoridation of public water supply is a mind control experiment/device for the shadow government that is the Illuminati. While this is an extreme version of the claim, and far less likely to be realistic, there are some merits worth considering. ALCOA, an aluminum manufacturer, had an unlimited supply of fluoride and the most to gain from water fluoridation. They did a test on rats and determined that it would help our teeth if we ingested it in large quantities. This means that the people who decided to put a chemical in our water were not dentists or doctors, but a private company. In the recent past, it has been proven that Fluoride is doing much more harm than good. That’s not even a conspiracy anymore. These, combined with the fact that fluoride calcifies the pineal gland (which many consider to be “the seat of the soul”), gave birth to the theory that the government is using this chemical for attempted mind control.
4. Area 51
The buzz about Area 51 will never die, no matter how many documents are released to the public. The famous UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico has had many theories attached to it, from Russian spies to unreleased US technology to actual aliens, but none of this can be definitively proven wrong. Alien enthusiasts love Area 51, as it is the backbone of many theories surrounding the existence of extraterrestrials. It seems as though the local community has embraced the theories, as many local shops are dedicated to the mystery that surrounds the area. We’ll likely never get the full story of what truly happened on that government base, and if we do it’s likely not all of us will believe it.
911 “truthers” as they have been affectionately dubbed by the internet, are some of the more modern embodiment of tinfoil-hat-wearers. The evidence for the theory is compelling, even if you’re closed-minded to these types of things. From building seven to a virtually unblemished passport found in the rubble, everything in the 911 story seems too clean to be completely true. We all know that the government lies to us, and if you believe people like Alex Jones, this is not the first time the government has attempted something like this. The 911 report added to the mystery surrounding the situation, as it neglected to mention the collapse of Building 7, a building that was not hit by one of the planes. The theories vary, with some stating that the pentagon was shot with a missile and that military, not passenger, planes were sent barreling into the World Trade Center. It’s a lot to wrap your head around, but for those who have done their research it’s hard to deny that there was something suspicious going on. We aren’t getting any clarification any time soon, so it’s likely these theorists will go to their grave claiming that Bush did 911.
2. JFK Assassination
The JFK assassination conspiracy is almost a classic at this point. There were a lot of sketchy details around the assassination of John F Kennedy, most surrounding the alleged shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald himself was assassinated while he was in police custody, which led many to believe that he didn’t act alone. His assassination indicates that there might have been someone for Oswald to rat out. The bullet wounds that Kennedy sustained were also inconsistent with a single shooter, adding to the mystery surrounding his assassination. All of the theories claim that there was a larger organization behind his death, whether it be the mafia, the KGB, the US government or a combination of organizations. To add to the skepticism and disbelief, Kennedy gave a speech before his death in which he evoked secret societies. It’s unclear exactly what he was referring to, but those who believe in the shadow government conspiracy see this as further proof of government involvement.
1. Moon Landing
The moon landing is one of the classic conspiracy theories that show the lifespan that these truly have. Apollo 11’s landing on the moon in 1969 is under considerable scrutiny from modern-day skeptics, as they claim filmmaker Stanley Kubrick had a hand in assisting NASA in their forgery. One of Kubrick’s groundbreaking films was 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it is argued that NASA used some of his techniques in faking the lunar landing. Evidence for this includes the waving of an American flag (as if it is being affected by a breeze) and astronauts appearing to be pulled by wires. There’s, of course, no definitive evidence, but theorists reference the fact that man has never ventured into deep space since the Apollo missions. Some claim that the radiation and solar flares would kill humans, and it is suspicious that humans have advanced on virtually every turn when it comes to space, except for manned exploration. A much more reasonable theory claims that, while man actually did go to the moon, NASA wanted to ensure that the American people didn’t witness a failure. Some of the evidence is compelling, and the fact that most of the country isn’t adequately science literate (including myself), this theory will likely always have legs.