Sometimes things aren’t always as they seem, especially when we are talking about conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are used as an explanatory hypothesis that a group puts forward, basically stating that an organization or certain group of people are secretly behind, or have manipulated certain events that have occurred throughout history. These theories can arise when people are unsatisfied with the stories that the news is telling. Questions can begin to rise, and this is when theorists might start to believe that what they are being told are only half-truths and begin to seek answers on their own. Conspiracy theorists can find reason and explanation in the most minute of details. While some theories may seem quite far-fetched, when explained and broken down, they can become more and more plausible when told over time.
The least we can say when talking about conspiracy theories, that while some may be a touch over-the-top, they can tell quite compelling stories. And who knows - maybe some of them do hold a grain of truth? Regardless, one of the best things we can consider when it comes to conspiracy theories is that they keep us curious and critical - they get us to keep questioning the world around us. Here are 10 conspiracy theories that stem from the good ol' United States of America.
10 JFK Assassination
There has been so much controversy and debate that surrounded President Kennedy’s assassination that we are not even sure which conspiracy theory to cover. The one thing that we know for sure was that John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. As the history books go, he was struck by two bullets – one in the head, one in the neck – while riding in an opened-top car through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. The believed assassin? Lee Harvey Oswald. It is stated that Oswald carried out the assassination of JFK from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald alone was convicted of the crime but many have argued that there must have been a second shooter. Of all the theories, the “Single Bullet Theory” or what theorists later renamed “magic bullet” is what is most hotly debated.
The investigators looking into the JFK case posit that one single bullet entered into JFK’s upper back, exited out his throat and then hit Connally, who was seated in the front seat of the car, breaking his rib and shattering his wrist and then finally came to a stop once it hit his thigh. Many theorists have argued that this is completely impossible and thus the theory that Oswald could not have been working alone was born.
So, who was the second shooter? While some theorists have argued that it was the CIA, others have pointed fingers at the mafia, The KGB and The Illuminati.
9 Elvis is Still Alive
Almost four decades later, the death of music legend Elvis Presley in 1977 still remains a topic of great debate. Proponents of this conspiracy theory believe that Elvis faked his own death for a number of reasons, namely that he wanted out of the public eye to conquer his drugs and eating addiction in private. What are some of the clues that Elvis is still alive and well? Well, for starts, to this day, his 1 million dollar life insurance policy has yet to be collected. This is pretty surprising when you consider the family and friends that Elvis was supporting.
Want more evidence? The spelling of Elvis’ tombstone is incorrect. You may not know that Elvis was born a twin with a stillborn named Garon. To pay tribute to his brother, Elvis’ parents named him Elvis Aron Presley. In 1966, Elvis decided to change his middle name to read Aaron instead of Aron, but later, due to his father’s wishes he changed it back. However, Elvis’ tombstone read “Elvis Aaron Presley”. Theorists have maintained that this is a clue that Elvis was symbolizing the death of his former self, but his present self is still very much alive.
Still not convinced? On the day of Elvis’ death, black helicopters appeared on the lawns of Graceland. It has been said that these helicopters were FBI choppers that came to warn The King that he needed to disappear before the mob whacked him, as he was assisting the FBI on an ongoing investigation into the Memphis Mafia. Apparently an Elvis look-a-like was spotted later that day buying a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires. The name on the ticket? Jon Burrows. Elvis commonly used Jon Burrows as a decoy when booking hotels and restaurants to avoid any unwanted attention.
With all that said, we have to wonder: with the amount of Elvis Presley impersonators out there, it wouldn’t be too hard to fake your own death and remain under the radar, would it?
People who stand behind this conspiracy theory believe that the AIDS virus was created in a lab by the CIA to wipe out the homosexual and African American population. This theory originally came about in 1981 when the epidemic began to hit the United States hard, and a large population of people, specifically men, began dying from the virus.
The conspiracy theory still remains prevalent today. Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, has shut down previous claims that the virus originally started in Africa, and has insisted that AIDS was created in a military lab by the U.S. government. Other supporters of this theory have said that during 1978, the government was injecting gay men with the virus disguising it as a Hepatitis-B vaccine in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The HIV/AIDS epidemic blew up just a few short years later.
7 Paul McCartney is Dead
One of our favorite conspiracy theories? The famous Beatles member, Paul McCartney, is actually dead. A group of Beatle-fanatics started this conspiracy stating that Paul McCartney secretly died in a car crash in 1966, during the peak of the Beatles fame. It has been said that a man by the name of Billy Shears, who looked like Paul and sang like Paul, took McCartney’s place in the band after his death to ensure that The Beatles didn’t miss a beat and continue their musical reign. However, the remaining members of the band began to become so guilt-ridden about Paul’s death and cover up, they began hiding clues in their music.
One of the leading theories regarding Paul’s death is The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover. Conspiracy theorist have pointed out that the cover symbolizes so much more when broken down. John is dressed in all white on the cover to represent a clergyman, Ringo, all dressed in black, represents the mourner, George wears jeans to symbolize the gravedigger and Paul is the only one not wearing shoes, implying that he doesn’t need them, because he is dead. You can also note that McCartney is walking out of sync with the rest of the band, another indication that he is not actually “with” them.
While some theories claim that Paul died in car crash, others point to the idea that McCartney committed suicide. One clue towards this theory lies in the lyrics of the Beatles’ song A Day in the Life with Lennon singing “He blew his mind out in a car”. Along these lines, it has also been rumored that if you play I’m So Tired backwards, you can hear John singing “Paul is dead, I miss him, I miss him.” And lastly, if you listen closely, Lennon can be heard saying “I buried Paul” at the beginning of the Beatles track Strawberry Fields Forever.
This may be the first time you’re hearing about Chemtrails, or if you follow Kylie Jenner on Twitter, her mention of chemtrails back in May of this year, may have sparked your interested in the modern conspiracy theory.
What are chemtrails? They refer to the white lines that are left in the sky after an airplane flies by. Chemtrails have a very scientific reason for appearing. Basically, the water particles that escape an airplane’s exhaust, quickly condense and freeze, this is what creates the vapor cloud that trails behind them. However, in recent years, it has been noted that these vapor clouds have multiplied and are lingering much longer in the sky than they used to.
The conspiracy theory behind chemtrails incites that the white streaks in the sky left from airplanes are actually full of chemicals that are poisoning us. The reason? Theorists have explained a couple of different ideas when it comes to the purpose of these poisons. The most popular conspiracies surrounding chemtrails are that they are being used a means to “weed out” the sick and elderly, while others have stated that it’s being used as a way for the government to control the weather.
The one thing that all parties can agree on? The white trail of poisons that are being released into the atmosphere are certainly not good for any of us.
5 Area 51 and The Aliens
Theorists who have raised questions regarding Area 51 and the aliens are convinced that the remains of crashed UFO space crafts are being stored in this United States Air Force facility in Nevada. In 1947, there was a sighting of an airborne object crash near Roswell. Gen. William “Butch” Blanchard issued a statement stating that they had recovered the remains of a flying object or UFO. The Army later retracted the statement and said the “flying disc” was merely a weather balloon.
It wasn’t until 1970 that this conspiracy gained huge traction when physicist, Stanton T. Friedman wrote a book concluding that the crash was a result of alien activity. Many believe that this supposed weather balloon was a cover for some kind of secret project, while others are still holding fast on the theory that there really is extraterrestrial activity going on in Area 51. The restriction on Area 51 and the lack of information we have on the land has only helped fuel beliefs that the government must be hiding something.
4 Global Warming
Sorry Al Gore, not everyone is as convinced of your Inconvenient Truth as you are. Conspiracy theorists who believe Global Warming is a hoax have commonly pointed their fingers at scientists and accused them of manipulating temperature data to back up their stance on climate change. Theorists have argued that the warming and cooling patterns of weather systems has been something that has occurred since the Earth’s beginning. While some believe that Global Warming is a natural occurrence, others state that the government is using it as a way to increase taxes. Other believe that by perpetuating this hoax, scientists can continue to receive huge amounts of grant money.
3 The Illuminati
The Illuminati is a group of elites who are believed to control everything from finances to government to religion, culture and more. While members of the Illuminati have been kept secret, many believe that the group is made up of politicians, like Obama and George W Bush, royalty such as Queen Elizabeth II along with some of the most famous faces we know, think Beyonce and Jay-Z. This group is everywhere, controlling our fast food chains, commercials, the Super Bowl. You name it and the Illuminati has had some kind of hand in everything that goes on around us.
The purpose of The Illuminati? To establish the New World Order in which the planet will be controlled by a one-world authoritarian power. Some theorists believe that The Illuminati, has themselves, created conspiracy theories surrounding their group to convince people that they really don’t exist, or just to convolute all the information they read on them. Seems a little bit silly, but still quite brilliant, no?
2 The Moon Landing
One small step for man, one giant leap towards almost a half-century-long conspiracy theory. Those who believe Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin never really did make it to the moon have argued that this faked mission was put in place to show up the Russians and plant the American flag on the Moon before they beat them to it. Many have posited that the “moon landing” actually took place on a film set either high in the Hollywood Hills or deep within Area 51. The fact that videos of the Apollo mission is only available through NASA have only fuelled theorists’ belief that this was an elaborate hoax.
Want some proof? Well, if you watch the video of the moon landing, you will of course notice Buzz Aldrin planting an American flag on the moon. If you look closely, it looks like the flag is waving. Given that the Moon exists in a vacuum-like atmosphere, the waving of the flag would be completely impossible.
One of the most tragic occurrences in American history, the 9/11 attacks has been a topic which conspiracy theorist's have fiercely debated. Was it an inside job, or was it an act of terrorism? This conspiracy theory has so many layers and aspects, all contributing to a singular belief that the United States government, along with the CIA, were responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Let’s begin with the actual collapse of the World Trade Center. Theorists have argued that the way the towers fell after the plane hit, mirrors very similarly to how buildings fall when during a controlled demolition. This has been one of the most fundamental arguments for conspiracy theorists, stating that there were bombs already set up in the building before the planes hit, thus inciting that it was an inside job. Some witnesses who were trapped in the World Trade Center at the time of the crash, stated that they heard explosions as they were trying to escape the towers.
To add on to this belief, many architects and scientists have maintained that a plane’s fuel could not produce enough heat to melt the steel frames of the 2 towers that collapsed. Furthermore, the light weight aluminum that planes are constructed out of to make it easier for them to fly, could not have caused as much damage as they did, bringing 2 buildings completely to the ground. Not to mention the rapid collapse of both buildings, the South Tower collapsing 56 minutes after being hit, and the North Tower falling about 90 minutes after being struck.
The reason for the attack? Many have argued that 9/11 was a means for the U.S. government to start a war in Afghanistan with very little backlash from the American public.