From time to time, it’s pretty easy to believe that the events that happen in the world serve a greater purpose. Conspiracy theories thrive on connecting the inexplicable. However, most of them can be debunked with a simple explanation. While they present what they claim to be “evidence” most of their theories are simply not true.
There are some that believe that major historical events were known about before they occurred. For example, there is a group that believes that the attacks on September 11th on the World Trade Center were known about but allowed to happen in order to gain support for a war against Iraq. Some even go as far to say that the jet fuel from the planes crashing would not have been enough to melt the steel beams and that explosive devices were planted before the attack. Here are some of the most popular theories out there today and how have they been disproved.
15. Obama Was Not Born In America
During his 2008 campaign for President, Barack Obama faced a lot of animosity regarding whether or not he was eligible to run for the position. In order to qualify to run for the highest position in the United States, you must have been born in America. During the campaign, rumors began to circulate that he was actually born in Kenya. The claim began to circulate widely and gained popularity amongst conservatives. In August 2008, a former member of the Democratic State Committee of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against Obama claiming he was born in Kenya. The lawsuit was unsuccessful. Before the election, he presented his official Hawaiian birth certificate. The Hawaiian Department of Health confirmed the legitimacy of this document. Despite this being published in major news outlets, according to polls, 25% of adults still doubted his birthplace in 2011. This led him to release a certified copy of his long form birth certificate and several birth announcements from local Hawaiian newspapers.
14. 9/11 Was An Inside Job
There is a community of “truthers” that believe that the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 were somehow orchestrated by the United States Government. They believe that the attacks were known about in advance and allowed to take place so that the Bush administration could invade Iraq. The biggest claim that the group has made has been in regards to the steel beams in the World Trade Center. According to “truthers,” the jet fuel from the planes would not have been enough to melt the steel beams in the Towers. They believe that the Towers were actually brought down by a controlled demolition. The theory has been debunked by many using footage from the event and no evidence has been presented as to show that the US knew of the planned attacks prior to the tragic event. However, the theory lives on since many believe our war with Iraq was not justified.
13. Lizard People Are Real
Not only is there a belief that there are a group of humans that can shapeshift into lizards, but there is a theory that those lizards are secretly running the world. These lizard people, also known as “Reptilians,” are believed to be secretly controlling humans for their own benefit for years. The most famous Reptilian? None other than Justin Bieber. The theory came to light while he was on his Australian tour in 2017. A media outlet allegedly published a story with the title “Hundreds Of Fans Claim They Saw Justin Bieber Turn Into Giant Reptile.” The internet blew up with discussions and alleged evidence of Bieber’s cold-blooded shape-shifting antics. One claimed that a video of the pop singer in court showed him blinking his eyes like a lizard. Despite all the theories, the website that supposedly published the original story has denied ever having posted any such story.
12. JFK’s Real Killer
While Lee Harvey Oswald was implicated for the murder of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, there are many theories that he was not the true killer or did not act alone. One theory, originally formed by the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations in 1976, claimed that there may have been a second shooter on the grassy knoll. In 1982, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Ballistic Acoustics reexamined the evidence and found no data that could support the conclusion that there was a second shooter. Another theory, stemming from Bobby Kennedy’s suspicions, was that the assassination was an inside job. He believed that a rogue element within the CIA carried out the hit because leaders within the organization were upset with the President over the Bay of the Pigs. At the time of the incident, CIA Director John McCone met with Bobby Kennedy and dispelled any theories.
11. Aliens Have Contacted Us
Everyone at one point has looked up to the vast and wondrous sky and wondered if we are alone in the universe or not. The existence of aliens has been thought to be real for decades. In fact, many people have claimed that extraterrestrial beings have already made contact with us on multiple occasions. In 1947, an unidentified flying object (UFO) allegedly landed in Roswell, New Mexico. While protesters demanded the truth about the UFO, it is claimed to just be a weather balloon crash. The supposed government coverup of the incident gave birth to new rumors about a part of the army base in Nevada. Area 51 is a top secret remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is rumored that the United States government conducts research and experiments on aliens in the facility. While the facility is in use, there has been no confirmation of alien contact or lifeforms.
10. Moon Landing Was Fake
Landing on the moon before the Soviet Union is considered one of the United States’ greatest achievements in the 20th century. It is also one of the most scrutinized events in modern history. Some people believe that the moon landing was faked and that the pictures were taken in a studio created in a remote hangar in Area 51. They think the United States orchestrated the stunt to raise national pride during the Cold War. Believers of this theory point to the movement of the flag in the photograph. The flag appears to be blowing in the wind but there is no wind in space. Some even go as far to say that famous director Stanley Kubrick was the creative mastermind behind the stunt. Defenders of the pictures argue that the movement of the flag only occurs during the unfurling of it, which would happen with or without wind.
9. The Holocaust Never Happened
Despite the massive amount of documentation via photographs, films, first-hand accounts, and written documents, there is a population of people who do not believe that the mass extermination of six million Jewish people did not occur. They do not believe that the German Nazis committed the atrocities associated with the Holocaust. Believers think that Hitler did not send millions to massive concentration camps to exterminate them using gas chambers and other gruesome methods, but simply deported them. They also claim that the accepted figure of five to six million is extremely exaggerated and that the actual number is about a tenth of that. The theories stem from the Nazis attempts during World War Two to cover their tracks. When defeat became imminent, Nazi leaders instructed their subordinates to cover up all traces that a mass extermination occurred. Records were destroyed and secrets were made to be kept.
8. The Cure For Cancer Exists
One of the most heartbreaking conspiracy theories out there is that the FDA and Big Pharma are withholding the cure for cancer. This would be a horrible secret to keep, given that a little less than 600,000 people die from cancer every year in the United States. Believers of the theory maintain that the cure has not been released because the Big Pharma companies are making too much money on the current treatments for cancer that the cure would lose them money. There is no evidence that the theory is correct. For the cure to be withheld, that would mean that even those who know about it would have to keep it from their loved ones who have cancer. Eventually, if the cure did exist, someone would have slipped up and revealed the truth. It also makes sense that selling the cure would make the Big Pharma companies more money than withholding it.
7. Secret Group Controlling The World
Historically, the name Illuminati refers to a secret society called the Bavarian Illuminati that was founded in 1776. This Enlightenment-era group began with the goals to oppose religious influence over public life and abuses of power. Many conspiracy theorists and writers like Mark Dice have argued that the group still exists today. The Illuminati is said to control and manipulate all major world events in the hopes of creating a New World Order. Celebrities like Beyonce and past American Presidents like Barack Obama have been accused of being members of the secret organization. While websites like Reddit and 4chan have compiled what users believe to be “evidence,” there is no substantial proof that major world events are being orchestrated by a small group of individuals. For now, Jay Z holding his hands up in the shape of a triangle or the Eye of Providence symbol on the dollar bill have no true significance.
6. Chemtrails Are Infecting Us
A contrail is a trail created by a plane in the sky caused by the combination of the vapor from the plane’s engine combined with low temperatures at the high altitude. Some disappear right away but some last for a while in the sky. Conspiracy theorists believe that the ones that last longer are actually “chemtrails” that have chemical agents in them that are meant to help the government control the population. Others also believe that the chemicals could be the cause for major health issues like respiratory problems or that they are used to manipulate the weather. Scientists have consistently debunked all these theories stating that the trails are a result of a natural occurrence. The reason that some last longer than others has to do with atmospheric conditions, not the presence of harmful chemicals. In 2000, several agencies like the EPA and NASA released a fact sheet in order to dispel chemtrail rumors.
5. The CIA Murdered Bob Marley
Bob Marley, the beloved reggae singer from Jamaica, passed away on May 11, 1981 from complications with melanoma. Some believe that he did not die of natural causes but that the CIA orchestrated his death. Believers claim that Marley and other prominent reggae musicians were going to alert the public of a CIA plot that would bring down Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley. Their evidence comes from a meeting that Marley had with Carl Coby, the son of the late CIA director William Colby, in 1976. They also believe that Marley’s cancer stems from an injury caused by a pair of boots. Shortly after Coby’s visit, a present was delivered to Marley. When he put the boots on, his foot was injured by a copper wire. Some believe this wire was treated with a carcinogenic toxin that would later lead to the cancer that caused his death. Today many of the CIA’s files on Bob Marley remain classified.
4. Pearl Harbor Was Propaganda
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese air force carried out a surprise attack on American soil. The attack was carried out at Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii. Conspiracy theorists believe that President Roosevelt knew about the impending attack but did nothing to warn the base or prevent it. At the time, he wanted to go to war with Germany but did not have the public support. Allowing the attack to take place would change public opinion on the war. This theory rests on the false assumption that Germany and Japan had signed a pact stating that if one country went into war, they all would. The two countries did sign a pact, but it was only a defensive alliance. While Hitler did declare war on the United States after Pearl Harbor, it had nothing to do with the Japanese attacking first. In reality, allowing the attack would have no true influence on the war with Germany. If anything, dealing with Japan created a distraction from the main war.
3. Kurt Cobain Was Taken Out
Kurt Cobain’s untimely death came as a shock to many music lovers around the world. Some believe that he did not commit suic*de but was actually murdered. They argue that his suic*de note looks like a forgery given that the writing at the beginning of the note and that at the end of it look completely different. They also point to the fact that Cobain had three times the fatal dose of heroin in his body when he ended his life. It would be really hard for someone in that state to pull the trigger. Theorists believe that Courtney Love shot Cobain and put the gun in his hands to stage a suicide. These claims are a bit skewed, given that Cobain was an active drug user; he could have built up a tolerance over the lethal limit. Also, given that he was in a deteriorating state, it is plausible that his handwriting could have changed towards the end of his note.
2. Tupac Is Not Dead
As Tupac Shakur became more and more famous, he seemed to find more and more trouble. As tensions grew between East and West Coast rappers, his fame became dangerous. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was gunned down in his car in Vegas. Lovers of the rapper believe that his death was actually an elaborate hoax created so that he could escape down to Cuba for a safe and quiet retirement. Believers claim that Shakur always wore a bulletproof vest to prevent an incident like the one that occurred. The shooter has also never been found. The man who supposedly cremated his body also immediately retired. While no one knows why he continues to hide, fans allege that he is alive and well in Cuba. Some even claim that they have caught him on video. Unfortunately, no concrete evidence has been presented to indicate that Tupac is still alive.
1. The Earth Is Flat
Evidence that the Earth is round can be traced back as far as Aristotle in 330 BC. Despite centuries of evidence, there are people today that still believe that the earth is flat. In 1956, the International Flat Earth Research Society was founded in order to attempt to reach school children before they learned the Earth was round. The movement began to get some traction but the space race of the late 1960s detracted support. At its peak, the group had over 3,000 members. However, by the 1990s, membership began to decline following a fire at the group’s headquarters in California. In 2004, the group was revived through a website. Now there are even online communities that promote the idea that the Earth is flat, un-moving, and the center of the universe. This theory has been disproved through pictures of the Earth from space, scientific data about the Earth’s rotation, and years of research.
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