You Really Believe That?
Many people believe that there has to be some nugget of truth at the base of every conspiracy theories while others believe in them without a doubt. We can’t help but think this may be due to some events that turned out to be both unsettling and true over the course of the years.
Of course, we’re talking about how in the 1950s the U.S. government, together with the tobacco industry, hid the connection between smoking and cancer. Or how the CIA conducted terrifying experiments on American citizens which later on came to light as the Tuskegee and Project MK-Ultra experiments.
Now that the seed of doubt has been planted it’s undeniably hard to not buy into certain theories. However, there are some stories out there that are so outlandish we can’t help but wonder who came up with them!?
Today we’re going to go over the 25 strangest conspiracy theories in America. Maybe by looking at them as a whole we can begin to understand how they took root and why they’re so widespread.
9/11, known as the worst terrorist attack in American history, has long been the subject of debate for many people. So much so in fact that you’d be hardpressed to find anyone who hasn’t at least heard about these conspiracy theories.
There are many iterations, some of which are downright bizarre, but the most widespread ones claim that the terrorist attack was conducted by the U.S. government itself and not al-Qaida. These range from believing that the Pentagon was hit with a missile and not an airplane to the claim that the World Trade Center towers actually collapsed due to controlled demolitions.
Most of these theories have sprung up as early as the day of the event. Since then, countless experts have come forward and debunked them anywhere on the internet or even live TV.
The Moon Landing Was a Hoax
When the Apollo 11 astronauts landed and walked on the moon on the 20th of July 1969, the whole world was watching. Countless people from around the world stayed glued to their TVs and radios, watching or listening as history was made. Though we have an abundance of evidence, recordings and reports from that time, a shocking amount of individuals claim it was all a hoax.
Amplified by worries about the Cold War, many people wholeheartedly believe that NASA teamed up with director Stanley Kubrick in order to stage the historical event. Where? In a Hollywood studio, of course.
One prevalent theory claimed the use of super-sophisticated lasers in order to get the light angles just right, but we simply didn’t have the tech back then to have done such a thing. Of course, this further raises questions in the mind of conspiracy theorists. How did we have the technology to send man into space and not film a believable clip in a studio?
The big question, however, is why? Why would anyone go through the trouble? Well, some believe it was all part of a plan to one-up the Russians. But the most outlandish theory of them all is the fact that NASA wanted to conceal the existence of a planet that would eventually destroy Earth.
Yeah, we can’t make heads or tails of it either…
The Flat Earth Theory
Remember back in school when you got to learn about world geography with the help of a globe? Apparently, we’ve all been lied to- and by NASA no less. seriously, why is everyone so angry at NASA?
Though we knew the earth was spherical as early as 600 B.C., there are people today that believe this to be a hoax. They call themselves flat earthers and many are a part of the Flat Earth Society, a group that still believes this 19 century-born conspiracy theory.
You can pretty much divide them into two categories. Some simply believe that we’ve been lied to all our lives and that the governments, scientists, and other unnamed organizations are doing everything in their power to hide the fact that the earth is flat. They often write articles or make videos online ‘debunking’ science while claiming that they want to share the truth with everyone.
The vast majority of such believers follow outdated religious beliefs. They think that the world is exactly as the Bible or other religious texts describe it.
For example, there is Isaiah 40:22, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.” or Revelation 7:1, 20:7 “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.”
Put all these pieces together and you might start to see why some religious followers believe that the Earth might just be flat.
It’s human nature to look for reasons behind tragic events, to want to point the finger at a bad guy and put him behind bars, right? But when it comes to natural disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes or landslides, there’s nobody to blame and we’re all left wondering what we could have done to prevent them anyway.
This is probably one of the reasons behind this bizarre conspiracy theory. Back in 2004, after a submarine earthquake that triggered a huge tsunami in the Indian Ocean, more than 200,000 people lost their lives. Shortly after the heartbreaking event, conspiracy theorists came out of the woodworks and started blaming the U.S. government.
Again, we can split these individuals into two groups. Some believe that U.S. held out on important information about the tsunami for strategic and military reasons despite knowing it would hit. Others blamed the U.S. administration outright, claiming that the tsunami was actually government-induced. When asked why they would believe such outlandish things, most conspiracy theorists that subscribe to this idea think it was all in an effort to ‘fix’ the Earth’s rotation.
The Deep State
You may have heard about this particular conspiracy theory a lot more often as of late. That’s because President Donald Trump, his allies, and right-wing media have propagated it, but the truth is that the Deep State theory has actually been around for a while. It’s not new, it simply gained a little bit of a spotlight nowadays.
Trying to define the Deep State isn’t all that easy, but what we can tell you that the theory revolves around a group of people in positions of power such as high-rank officials, media moguls, military leaders, financiers and pretty much any well-connected elite you can think of. Their supposed aim is to manipulate the U.S. government and social structure. To some, this means they want to overthrow the government. Others believe they simply want to commandeer it.
One issue when facing or having a discussion with theorists that believe in the Deep State is that if you disagree with them, they can easily assume that you’re part of it! You can’t prove your innocence, you’ll immediately be branded as ‘guilty’.
You know a conspiracy theory has taken it too far when the FBI has declared it a potential domestic terrorism threat. That’s QAnon for you! This offshoot of the Deep State theory has gained massive amounts of popularity online since its inception on 4Chan and other equally disturbing corners of the world wide web.
The theory is that Democratic leaders in the U.S., including the Obamas and the Clintons, are all pedophiles part of a satan worshipping cult organized by Jews and, wait for it, funded by George Soros (pictured), a famed philanthropic investor. It is even believed that Soros is the leader of the Deep State and we can’t help but notice the racially fueled mental gymnastics that helped some believers come up with that idea.
Needless to say when at the drop of a hat someone could accuse you of being part of the Deep State while believing Democrats are the root of all evil, we’ve got a problem on our hands.
This conspiracy theory branched out of our earlier two examples. Much like the Deep State and QAnon theory, globalism revolves around blaming Democrats and hard-to-quantify entities such as “the banks”, “the government” and even “the media”. Once more, the Obamas, Clintons, and Soros seem to be deeply involved in globalism, but that’s hardly surprising given the fact that most people who believe in this theory are predominantly right-winged.
The supposed goal of globalism is to subjugates the U.S. so that, eventually, we’ll lose our status as a sovereign nation. Why? Well, so that the Deep State can swoop in and take the reins, of course! As such, many conspiracy theorists seriously fear the possibility of a singular autocratic ruling entity over the entire globe.
The good news is that no such thing will happen. The bad news? President Donald Trump has also repeatedly endorsed the theory, so it’s no wonder so many Americans believe this is an actual threat to our great nation.
Illuminati/New World Order
Similar to the Deep state, Globalism, and QAnon to some degree, many people believe that the Illuminati are working behind the scenes so that one day they might create a New World Order. Now, this one’s made its way to pop culture, so it’s very likely you’ve heard of this supposed organization before, but did you know that such a society actually did exist in the 18th century in Europe?
The Illuminati of the olden days did aim to bring radical changes in social and political structures. They were secretive and for a brief period in time held some power too. Conspiracy theorists, however, believe that the society never actually dissolved and they’re still at it, pulling the strings from somewhere in the shadows.
The villains? The same old faceless and nameless ‘they’. Oftentimes these involve the media, banks, corporations, business people, politicians, you name it.
Sandy Hook Shooting
One of the most disgusting conspiracy theories to have plagued America was, unsurprisingly, spearheaded by Alex Jones. The popular “theory-without-facts guru” publicly stated how the Sandy Hook shooting, which took the life of 20 children and 6 educators, was all a hoax.
Jones went on to claim that the parents of the “supposed victims” were paid to lie and that the children were all actors. Unsurprisingly, Jones then had to pay $100,000 in legal fees to the father of one of the victims.
Sadly, it didn’t end there. Many of his followers went on to harass the grieving families. Some even went as far as to send them death threats. We can’t help but wonder why anyone would fake such a horrible incident, but we do think it takes a distinct lack of empathy to accuse parents of faking their own kids’ murders.
In fact, many theorists believe that this was all an elaborate plan to take away gun rights. Needless to say, it’s one of the more disturbing theories out there!
False flag operations represent the act of deliberately fabricating an attack as a justification for internal repression and war. These types of conspiracy theories aren’t uncommon at all, you may just not know that they fall under this category. It’s true that there have been a handful of events in history that had actually been fabricated, such as the second Gulf of Tonkin incident, which was used as a pretext by the U.S. for the Vietnam War.
Theorists, however, are starting to see false flags everywhere. 9/11? That was obviously used to jumpstart the War on Terror. Sandy Hook? Used as an excuse to take away our guns and abolish the Second Amendment.
Most disturbingly of all is that after each mass shooting we suffer, conspiracy theories come out of the woodwork almost instantly, claiming it’s all a hoax and that ‘they’ are trying to take our guns away again. In most cases, ‘they’ are liberal democrats. But in more extreme cases ‘they’ represent some higher power that wants to leave us all vulnerable so that they can take over either our great nation of the whole world.
Camp Hero, Long Island
Everyone anywhere can read anything into ‘do not enter’ signs and abandoned buildings. When these buildings happen to have been former military camps, those with a particularly colorful imagination come up with truly surprising theories.
Camp Hero in Long Island, New York has always been the subject of such theories, but Preston Nichols’ and Peter Moon’s book “The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time,” published in 1992 truly helped these theories take off. It doesn’t help that the location itself looks creepy thanks to old radar towers and sealed structures.
Since then, more and more people have come forward with inexplicable and unfounded stories. But in an ironic and somewhat happy twist, these theories also inspired the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things”! So as long as nobody’s getting hurt and we’re getting great content on Netflix, we think some conspiracy theories aren’t that bad!
Most of these stories revolve around horrible experiments done on kidnapped children so you can see why so many people would become enraged and would want to find out the truth. Other theories revolve around electromagnetic mind-control devices and time travel. You’d think if anyone came up with those things they’d make sure whoever uncovered the conspiracy in the first place would be silenced, right?
Boston Marathon Bombing
The Patriot’s Day bombings at the Boston Marathon in 2013 shook our entire nation, but almost immediately after the devastating incident, conspiracy theorists started cropping up. What didn’t help at all was the fact that Alex Jones’ Infowars organization started promoting some of them quite heavily. With his added influx, it’s not surprising that more and more outlandish theories came up.
Unsurprisingly, some claim that this is a false flag operation by the U.S. in an attempt to push for domestic martial law and police militarization. Other people vow that U.S. military operators were seen walking around the area with large backpacks. In response to pictures of the suspects, other theorists are adamant that they were photoshopped. What’s more, they say the suspect’s uncle worked for the CIA and that they themselves were FBI informants.
Luckily, clear-minded people have managed to debunk one theory that cropped up. In the wake of the event, news organizations tweeted about the bombing with preliminary information. Some say they’d sent these tweets out before the bombing even happened. It only took one look at timezones (and how they work) to shut that argument down!
TWA Flight 800
When TWA Flight 800 exploded in midair in 1996, it killed 230 people. Such an aviation disaster both lead to an uproar of support towards the families of victims and a disturbing amount of conspiracy theories. This time, however, it wasn’t the event itself that sparked them. Instead, they came up after months of patiently waiting for a report.
Everyone wanted to know what had happened, why, and most importantly, how we could ensure that it would never happen again. Well, seven years after the tragic accident, a report finally came out. It concluded that a fuel tank ignition lead to the devastating explosion, but even experts couldn’t find out what the cause of that ignition had been.
As soon as the seemingly “lackluster” report came out conspiracy theorists did what they do best, claiming that it was all a cover-up, some going as far as to say that it was all a hoax. Those on the side of a cover-up claimed that a missile took down the plane. Some said it was all due to a terrorist organization while others still pointed fingers at the government, believing that it was all a military operation gone wrong.
Needless to say, nobody came forward with any substantial proof.
Pan Am Flight 103
The false flag conspiracy theories revolving around Pan Am Flight 103 claim that the aircraft was taken down by the U.S.. in order to justify a growing military presence in the Middle East.
Let’s look at the facts instead, shall we? Pan Am 103 was, in fact, destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. The terrorist attack killed as many as 270 people. Investigations soon pinned Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi as the primary suspect and he was convicted and imprisoned.
In 2009, al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds. When he returned to his home country he was given a hero’s welcome. Many use this as a justification for their conspiracy theories.
Tupac Is Alive
Some diehard fans of Tupac Shakur simply never got over his untimely death, especially given the circumstances of his murder. That’s why so many people in on the internet are convinced he’s still alive and either hiding in plain sight here in the U.S. or living his best life in Belize or Cuba.
In order to wrap our heads around this conspiracy theory, we have to understand the circumstances of his murder. It happened in one of the most heavily policed and crowded areas in America in full public view. Despite all of this his murder has never been solved, and that is precisely why so many people refuse to believe it actually took place.
Posthumously released material further deepened the roots of this theory, as many believe Tupac left hints just before his alleged disappearance. In ‘N***** Done Change’ he wrote “I’ve been shot and murdered, can’t tell you how it happened word for word but best believe that n***** gonna get what they deserve.” while in ‘Life Of An Outlaw’ he raps: “all for the street fame on how to be managed, to plan s***, 6 months in advance to what we plotted, approved to go on swole and now I got it.”
It’s certainly enough to get the crowds thinking.
Elvis Is Alive
The king of rock and roll, Elvis, died of heart failure in 1977, but fans simply refused to believe the shocking news. And we’re not talking about a handful of loud voices, no! Legions of fans claimed that their idol was actually just tired of the spotlight and wanted to regain his privacy once and for all!
What’s worse, Elvis sightings skyrocketed as soon as his death was announced, so much so that the Elvis Sighting Society was founded in 1989. It’s one thing to claim to have seen him in person walking out of your local grocery store, but some fans are convinced he did a cameo in the 1990’s blockbuster Christmas movie “Home Alone”.
Now, as you can imagine, this simply doesn’t make any sense. Surely if the King wanted to retreat from the spotlight he wouldn’t have appeared in a movie, right?
5G Causes Coronavirus
Let’s get one thing straight. Yes, some experts had legitimate concerns over potential health hazards caused by 5G wireless towers, especially with plans underway to place them in residential neighborhoods and near schools. The issue is that as soon as questions were raised, despite reassurances from other experts and proof that the towers pose no risk, conspiracy theories started flooding in. So much so, in fact, that they completely shadowed scientific proof.
First, they believed they could cause cancer. Then they believed they were actually used by the government to collect data and monitor us. With the spread of the global pandemic, conspiracy theorists now believe that 5G is behind the spread of the virus. How this could happen changes depends on who you ask, though the most prevalent belief is that the towers somehow activate the virus. Some theorists in the United Kingdom have even gone as far as to burn down several towers.
We have to ask ourselves, why would any government kill its own citizens and tank their own economies, hm?
Bill Gates’ Coronavirus Microchip
But 5G towers haven’t been the only target of coronavirus conspiracies. Now people are beginning to believe that Bill Gates, of all people, created the virus! The reasons they give are unfounded, of course, as they believe the man behind Microsoft is interested in creating vaccines that would implant microchips in our bodies for surveillance purposes.
This is particularly concerning since we know various organizations already have endless amounts of information about us anyway. Your bank, your employer, social media, GPS, everything that you use in your daily life collects information, so we’re unsure why this wave of conspiracy theorists have emerged!
Yes, we’re well aware how farfetched this sounds, but some people really do believe that the world is actually ruled by reptilians. And it’s all thanks to former BBC sports reporter David Icke who published a book called “The Biggest Secret” in 1998. Since then, this conspiracy theory has not been put to rest.
Who are these reptilians? Well, theorists claim they actually shape-shifting reptilians who have overtaken global society. Everyone from prime ministers to royalty to presidents, Oscar winners, and Olympic athletes have been accused of being shapeshifters- not that there’s any proof, mind you.
Their goal is said to be the enslavement of the human race, but opinions vary as to what’s supposed to happen afterward.
The one good thing that has come out of this theory is the number of jokes that have surfaced on the internet which we highly recommend you check out!
The CIA Created AIDS
Due to the CIA’s history of troubling missions, some of which have truly appalled the public over the years, it has seemingly become a central player in a number of theories.
The belief that the organization created AIDS in order to annihilate both the African-American and Homosexual population was and still is widely believed, in part no thanks to well-known supporters. Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, together with South African President Thabo Mbeki both believe this theory.
Many others who fall under this category also vehemently deny the virus’ origins, claiming it’s all an elaborate, racist hoax.
Denver Airport Conspiracy Theories
Now when it comes to conspiracy theories, one thing is clear. There’s just no proof to keep them afloat. When it comes to the Denver Airport theories, though, the fact that the airport’s CEO Kim Day fueled the flames with clever marketing campaigns definitely doesn’t help.
Instead of putting an end to suspicious beliefs, it appears that the marketing team decided to have some fun with them. After all, who were they going to convince anyways?
Some claim that the undergrown tunnels under the airport host Nazi secret societies. Their proof is in the supposed Nazi imagery used by Leo Tanguma whose works have been showcased in the airport’s public gallery. Others are extremely suspicious of the gargoyle statues peppered around the airport, nevermind the fact that gargoyles have been historically used in architecture to ‘ward off evil spirits’.
Other theories include the ‘proven’ fact that the airport was built on top of Illuminati headquarters and that the railways were built to resemble a swastika.
When you spot an airplane in the sky it’s typically followed by white, puffy lines. They’re called contrails and are formed when vapor from the engines freezes similarly to how you can see your own breath on cold winter days. Basically, they’re condensation trails.
But conspiracy theorists will have you believe otherwise, calling them chemtrails as though slapping a new name on them would solidify their beliefs. They think that the white plumes are actually chemicals either meant for population or weather control. The ‘secret’ chemicals, since nobody has been able to really ‘prove’ what they are, are apparently used by governments all around the world.
Admittedly, if you pick a window seat close to an airplane’s engines it’s true you won’t really see the trails. This is apparently such a suspicious little detail that it’s enough to plant a seed of doubt in people’s minds.
It’s hard to believe that one of the biggest marketing fails to have ever taken place was made by Coca-Cola. But it undoubtedly happened in 1985 and it’s even taught in marketing classes to this day. Back then the company decided to put New Coke on the market, a sweeter, ‘better’ version of their tried and tested formula.
Only… everyone hated it. Fans of the beverage were enraged, claiming that they’d never buy New Coke in favor of the original drink, even though trials proved that most people preferred the newer version.
These things really did happen. Coca-Cola really did suffer a massive blow. But people vehemently believe that it was all a part of a marketing stunt pulled in the middle of the so-called cola wars. The company allegedly wanted to get back in the spotlight by proving to everyone how fantastic their product was.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster that happened in 2010 is known to this day as one of the greatest environmental disasters in recent history. It is also considered one of the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, so it’s no wonder that conspiracy theorists ate the story up rather quickly.
An estimated 4.9 million barrels were discharged in the Gulf of Mexico and many believe this was actually an eco-terrorist attack that attempted to vilify the oil industry while pushing President Obama’s energy policies. The fact that Rush Limbaugh, a right-wing commentator also spread these theories certainly didn’t help.
What kind of evidence did they bring to the table, you might ask? Well, the disaster took place on April 20, coincidentally Hitler’s birthday and the day after Israel’s independence celebrations. On Earth Day, two days later after the initial incident, the rig sank. Many believe that neither of these things were coincidences.
We’re sure that no matter the day of the year, these theorists would have cropped up new ideas anyway.
The Assassination of JFK
And we couldn’t finish our list without mentioning the most well known and widely believed conspiracy theories of them all- the assassination of JFK. John F. Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1963. The killer? Lee Harvey Oswald, as concluded by Justice Earl Warren and his team.
Most Americans believe that the assassination was part of a wider scheme that included Cuban radicals, the mafia, Russia, the American military, and the CIA. So pretty much everyone apparently wanted the president gone if we’re to believe conspiracy theorists.
One reason behind the overabundance of theories is the fact that nightclub owner Jack Ruby killed the main suspect before he could even talk. This alone has made the masses search for more evidence, combing through pictures and films that caught the incident on camera almost relentlessly.