Let’s be real here; as much as you might dismiss conspiracy theories, you have to admit that they’re a lot of fun to think about. Even if you don’t believe them, even if you know there’s just no way they could be true, you just can’t seem to turn off the History Channel when Ancient Aliens comes on, or a documentary about how LBJ paid the KGB to kill JFK (maybe he thought there were too many initials?). There’s something morbidly fascinating about conspiracy theories, and no matter how rational we may be, it’s impossible not to start connecting dots and seeing things that aren’t there. It’s the same reason we know monsters aren’t real but still see shadows in the dark. We know JFK wasn’t killed by the same secret society that killed Abraham Lincoln, and we know Marilyn Monroe and Princess Di weren’t killed by the Kennedys or the royal family…but isn’t it wild when you look at it up close?
Nevertheless, there are some conspiracy theories that aren’t even cool or very fun, they’re just…stupid. Stupider, even, than the moon landing being staged, or the Earl of Oxford writing plays under the pseudonym William Shakespeare. Some of these theories are so outlandish that they sound fake- but the sad part is that there are people out there who actually believe and perpetuate this horse manure. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of some of the most bizarre theories out there. We would say brace yourselves, but honestly there is no good way to prepare yourself for these.
20. Keanu Reeves Is Immortal
Keanu Reeves is most well-known for his roles in The Matrix and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but there’s another role he plays in his real life- an immortal being.
Folks have noticed that Keanu Reeves does not appear to have aged since Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which was filmed around 30 years ago. Some have also pointed out that he bears a striking resemblance to Charlemagne, a portrait of an unknown man in 1530, and Paul Mounet, an actor who died in 1922 but whose body was never found. Folks believe that these men are all the same person–Keanu Reeves, who stages his deaths and then moves to another part of the world and starts over. Folks have also cited Reeves’s generosity to film crews and charity as reasons for his being immortal: he’s lived for so long that he appreciates every human life.
19. Rothschild Conspiracy
The Rothschild Conspiracy isn’t nearly as ridiculous as “Immortal Keanu Reeves” or “Paul is Dead,” and unlike many conspiracy theories, this one is rooted in true events. However, that doesn’t make this theory any more realistic. Basically, the Rothschilds were a family of Jewish merchants who heavily profited from their business ventures. They became so profitable that they acted as the International Monetary Fund before the International Monetary Fund existed.
Because the family enjoyed financial success, not in small part because various governments owed them money, many believed that the Rothschilds were manipulating political events. Some have even accused the Jewish family of orchestrating the Holocaust–which doesn’t make any sense when you remember that not only are the Rothschilds Jewish, but they were forced to flee to America and much of their wealth was seized by the Nazis. Many still believe that the Rothschilds own half the world’s wealth and use it to control major political events today; in fact, that we are all puppets in their game. It’s an incredibly ignorant theory born out of Anti-Semitism.
18. The New World Order
One of the most popular conspiracy theories out there is that of the New World Order, and it’s one you’ve probably encountered before. Basically, this theory states that the world will be taken over by an authoritarian government with a global agenda. This New World Order will either be made up of Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Round Table, a Fourth Reich, aliens, or the Antichrist’s minions, depending on which version of the NWO theory you choose. Christians, especially, believe that the institution of a New World Order will signal the end times that were prophesied in the New Testament. Once the NWO begins under the Antichrist’s leadership, the world will have a limited window of time (sometimes seven years) before God and Satan have their holy war and the world as we know it comes to an end. There are many who, oddly enough, believe that the NWO headquarters are in the Denver airport–and in fairness to them, the Denver International Airport is a really weird place. With murals, bunkers, a giant demon horse statue, and a time capsule that can’t be opened until 2094, who knows what’s going on there.
17. Avril Lavigne Is Dead
Just as some people believe that JonBenét Ramsey is still alive, others believe that Avril Lavigne is dead, and has been since 2003. But how and why?
Avril Lavigne will always be hailed as a punk-grunge goddess- recently, however, her music is a bit poppier than “Complicated.” It’s not unusual for artists (or anyone) to have a change in taste and interests over the years, but some fans are in denial that the singer of “Sk8er Boi” would ever change. Instead, they believe that Avril Lavigne died back in 2003. Depressed after her parents’ divorce, Avril supposedly took her own life. Her horrified friends and family quietly buried her and then decided that, rather than depress her fans, they would use Avril’s doppelgänger and keep her image alive. Folks believe that they gave Avril 2.0 the same acne and tattoos as Avril, and that her style changed because she couldn’t maintain her dead friend’s style. Fans of this theory were also given hope when “Fake Avril” was diagnosed with Lyme disease and could not eat cheese–but later that week, “the real Avril” was seen at a grocery store buying…you guessed it- cheese.
16. Taylor Swift Is A Satanist Clone
Another wild theory about a famous pop star is that she’s actually a Satanist clone. Many have pointed out Taylor Swift’s uncanny resemblance to Zeena LaVey Schreck, a High Priestess of the Church of Satan from 1985 to 1990 and the daughter of Anton LaVey, the founder of Satanism. Rather than mere happenstance, there are those who believe that there’s a reason for the similarity: T Swizzle is Zeena LaVey Schreck’s clone. See, some folks believe that the Illuminati made a clone of Schreck to carry on her work for a newer, more open-minded generation. Because who better to carry on Anton LaVey’s work than a clone of his daughter…right?
This theory resurfaces every now and then with videos of sketchy “evidence” that T Swift is the clone of Schreck, and every time fans take to Twitter expressing their shock that Taylor Swift’s songs are so addictive because they are infused with the power of Satan. Maybe that’s why she has such bad luck in love…
15. Katy Perry Is JonBenét Ramsey
JonBenét Ramsey’s death is a case that has never been solved and may never be. Many people have their suspicions about a family member or one of the mini-beauty queen’s pedophiliac stalkers. One theory, however, suggests something absolutely bizarre: that JonBenét Ramsey is alive and known today as Katy Perry.
The only basis for this theory is that Katy Perry looks kind of similar to JonBenét. Like, a very small amount. Proponents of this theory believe that JonBenét’s death is so mysterious because it was staged. No one has been able to come up with a good reason for this, however- JonBenét Ramsey had already achieved minor fame with her beauty pageants, so wouldn’t becoming a pop star give the game away? This isn’t even to mention that Katy Perry was born in 1984, making her a full six years older than JonBenét and twelve at the time of the six-year-old’s death.
14. People With Rh Negative Blood Are Descended From Aliens
Sooner or later, you knew we were going to bring it up: aliens.
Rhesus is a protein substance found in red blood cells; Rh negative blood basically means that some folks don’t have this protein. It’s not really a problem; O negative blood types are universal donors and can give blood to anyone, but they can only receive blood from other O negatives. In extreme cases, Rh negative women carrying Rh positive fetuses may experience difficulty during the pregnancy because their blood tries to attack the blood cells of their baby. Because of this difficulty, and because Rh negatives make up a relatively small portion of the population, and because Rh negatives are almost always of Northern European descent, some people believe that folks with Rh blood were actually descended from aliens. These aliens, which early humans may have believed were angels or divine beings, sought to populate the earth with superior beings that would help them oppress the human race and bring the planet into these aliens’ control.
13. Paul Is Dead
A surprisingly popular theory is that legendary singer and former member of the Beatles, Paul McCartney, is actually dead, and the man we know as Paul McCartney today is his doppelganger. In 1967, fans began to notice that Paul McCartney was making fewer public appearances (which was actually because the Beatles were beginning to break up and Paul went on frequent meditative retreats to Scotland). Some claimed that he had actually died and the man they saw was not the real Paul McCartney. It became an international fad to look for imagery and clues in the Beatles’ albums and interviews, and theorists soon reached the conclusion that McCartney had gotten into an argument with the other Beatles during a recording session, drove off in his Aston Martin, and was killed in a car crash. MI6 was afraid that hundreds of depressed fans would commit suicide, so they replaced McCartney with William Campbell, a man who had previously won a Paul McCartney lookalike contest.
12. The Montauk Project
The Montauk Project is another conspiracy theory you’ve probably come across before. The Montauk Project is what our illiterate relatives believe the government is doing behind our backs. Located either at Camp Hero or at Montauk, Long Island, the Montauk Project is supposedly where the military tests weapons of psychological warfare and even dabbles in time travel. A man named Preston Nichols claims to have repressed memories about his time at Montauk, and these have become the source of a series of books he and others have written. In these books, Nichols claims that the government abducts people as test subjects for various kinds of psychological warfare, time travel, teleportation, and mind control. Afterwards, the government wipes their memories so that they can never tell anyone else about it, although some believe that the government may abduct an individual multiple times to test these subjects over a long period of time.
11. The 2004 Tsunami Was A Bomb
The 2004 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed thousands of people and is one of the deadliest natural disasters on record. In many ways, the fourteen countries that were devastated will never fully recover. Because of the deadliness of the earthquake and tsunami, there are some who believe that this was not merely a natural disaster- instead, they believe it was the work of an unidentified military (though many conspiracy theorists point to the U.S., of course) detonating a nuclear weapon under the sea.
While testing and detonating nuclear weapons always has its drawbacks, we can’t really see a scenario where any government would take such risks and kill so many people without an overt reason for doing so. The important question to ask with any conspiracy theory is: Who benefits? In the case of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, absolutely no one benefited.
The Chemtrail Conspiracy Theory is another one that you mainly hear from your crazy relatives, but rarely from sane people. The Chemtrail theory is the idea that when planes leave exhaust trails that last for long periods of time, those trails are actually made up of harmful chemicals. “Chemtrail Truthers” believe that the chemicals in these trails can be used for any number of things, including solar radiation, psychological manipulation, population control, weather modification, and/or biological and chemical warfare. The theory first surfaced in 1996 on internet forums, and the U.S. federal government received angry letters and calls for weeks demanding to know what the population was being exposed to. Even though the government has consistently denied that these trails hold anything malicious and insisted that these are just long-lasting exhaust, conspiracists still believe that these chemtrails are a means of secret chemical warfare. Which is too bad as they can be very pretty!
9. Boeing Honeywell Uninterruptible Autopilot
The Boeing Honeywell “Uninterruptible Autopilot” is actually a pretty useful idea. In response to the hijackings of 9/11, the uninterruptible autopilot can be activated so that the hijackers in question cannot control the plane; instead, the plane will be remotely controlled and flown to safety. This could save lives, even in cases of non-hijacking- imagine if a pilot fell asleep or was knocked unconscious and the right people were able to take control!
Others, however, believe that the autopilot can be used for evil purposes. Some have blamed the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 on the Boeing Honeywell Uninterruptible Autopilot, but Boeing has confirmed that the uninterruptible autopilot has not been used commercially yet, so it would be impossible for either of those flights to have been crashed or lost because of the autopilot. Nevertheless, people are insistent that the CIA, MI6 or somebody is up to something.
Pizzagate is by far one of the stupidest, most “reaching” conspiracy theories we found when writing this article. When John Podesta (Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman) had his emails leaked by WikiLeaks, people believed that, like Anthony Weiner, he was using code words for illicit activities. Somehow, people got it into their heads that the word “pizza” was code for pedophilia and human trafficking, and in extreme cases, satanic worship. So every time Clinton and Podesta would talk about getting pizza or ordering pizza for an event, people believed they were actually talking about a child trafficking ring they were running on the side. Because, I mean, why not, I guess. People even went so far as to link John Podesta to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a British girl who disappeared in 2007 while on holiday in Portugal. Is it so hard to believe that pizza is just that- pizza?
7. HIV Was Created By the Government
The HIV/AIDS epidemic terrified people around the world, and for good reason–it was an unprecedented and, for a time, unidentified illness that took thousands of lives. Many people did not know how it was spread or where the disease came from, leading to some interesting theories. Perhaps the most bizarre is that HIV/AIDS was created by the government as a means of population control.
Thankfully AIDS education has improved since the 1980s and it is highly likely that HIV was derived from SIV (basically, HIV for chimpanzees). However, there are those who are insistent that HIV was created by the U.S. government, either to reduce our population or as a means of biological warfare that was meant for our enemies but was accidentally unleashed on the U.S. Some even believe that it was created by Islamic extremists as a means of biological warfare on the U.S.
Healthcare isn’t always affordable or all-inclusive, and many people struggle with finding dental care. This means that many people ranging anywhere from impoverished to lower-middle-class, neglect their teeth to avoid dental fees. To combat this issue, some areas have begun fluoridating their water supply so that whenever people drink local water, they will be getting fluoride and will decrease their chances of dental issues.
There are many, of course, who believe that fluoridating is actually a cover for something far more sinister. Like Chemtrail Truthers, Fluoridation Truthers believe that the government is trying to poison us or sterilize us as a means of population control. And in fairness, they do have a point–if the government can put fluoride in water, how easy would it be for them to slip something else in? But since the government would benefit in absolutely no way from poisoning its citizens, it’s unlikely we have anything to worry about except healthier teeth.
5. 2010 Haiti Earthquake
Like the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, there are many who believe that the 2010 Haiti earthquake was not a natural disaster, but rather caused by a military organization. Some believe that the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (also known as HAARP), a branch of the United States government, triggered the earthquake either on purpose or accidentally during a test. Still others believe that the earthquake was caused by the Israeli Defense Force using a similar weapon; the IDF used the chaotic aftermath to harvest organs (either from newly dead corpses or by luring people to donate blood and then sedating them) and sell them on the black market. Because, I mean, obviously.
Like the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, we have to accept that the Haiti earthquake was just that- an earthquake. A natural disaster that was caused by natural events, not the government testing a nuclear weapon or a terrorist extremist group trying to harvest organs.
4. Lizard Alien Shapeshifters
Conspiracy theorists are back at it again with the aliens (have they ever stopped?). Basically, former goalkeeper David Icke believes that thirteen historically well-known families, including the Rothschilds, Windsors, Kennedys, De Medicis, Hanoverians, Hapsburgs, Plantagenets, Rockefellers, and Romanovs, are actually reptilian aliens with the ability to shapeshift. These thirteen families and their minions have been manipulating finances, politics, and religion around the globe to prepare earth for their reptilian alien overlords to make their final attack. Icke believes that is why Princess Diana died- she knew the royal family’s secret lizard agenda and they were worried that after her divorce from Prince Charles, she would tell someone, so they killed her and made it look like a car accident.
Many believe that these lizard shapeshifters are also the Illuminati, and that for hundreds of years they have been working to form a New World Order, at which point our lizard alien overlords will make earth a colony of the greater, more powerful New World Order. We can’t wait!
3. Clinton Body Count
The Clintons are some of the most unpopular people in the world. After Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment, people began to turn on Bill and Hillary, who was heavily criticized for not leaving her husband and for continuing to have an active role in politics. The vitriol against the Clintons became so great that people began to accuse Bill of killing his political rivals. The rumor resurfaced when Hillary ran for president, claiming that both of the Clintons killed those who opposed them or knew dangerous secrets about them. This is similar to the theory of the Bush Body Count, which essentially says that the Bush family also killed their own political rivals. The only reason George W. became president, according to these people, is because none of his opponents were left. It’s true that people connected with the Clintons and the Bushes have died, but people die all the time, regardless of their connections.
We all know that a man dumb enough to say “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” about a woman he was clearly having sexual relations with, isn’t smart enough to have anyone discreetly killed, so we’ll chalk this one up to coincidence.
2. Berenstein/Berenstain Bears
Many of us grew up thinking of the Berenstein Bears. Recently, however, Redditors began to notice something odd; where we had all remembered Berenstein with an “e,” the books now read Berenstain with an “a.” Books people distinctly remember owning and reading in their childhood have changed from Berenstein to Berenstain. Worried that we were all suffering from some kind of Mandela Effect (a phenomenon where large groups of people misremember the same thing), the internet became even more freaked out when a Redditor took a picture of an old VHS tape–this time reading Berenstein.
This has led many people to believe that we live in a kind of multiverse–a darker timeline, as it were. This is common with the Mandela Effect–many believe that it’s too coincidental and that the timeline in our universe has been interrupted.
1. Vril Society
We saved the best for last. Get ready folks, because this one’s a hoot.
After World War I, a woman in Vienna claimed that she was a medium who had been in contact with a secret society of subterranean beings. These beings, called the Thule, had descended under the seas with the lost city of Atlantis, and in the thousands of years they’d been underwater, they had advanced far beyond their human ancestors and were capable of much more. A socialist matriarchy, the Thule were building a super machine called the Vril, which they would use to control the earth. All of this was communicated to the medium in Vienna, and in the period between the two World Wars, the Vril Society was formed. People actually believed that they could change their species and join the Thule under the seas.
What the Vril society did not know was that the Thule were the subject of a book written in 1871–The Coming Race by Bulwer Lytton. Lytton wrote it as science fiction, but because the genre had not gained the popularity it would in the twentieth century, some people believed that Lytton’s account was factual, not fictional.