The Truth Is Out There: The Biggest Conspiracies of All Time

The world is full of intricate conspiracies meant to dupe the average person, at least according to some people. From Area 51 to the JFK assassination, conspiracy theorists have explanations for everything. Since my current book is a suspense/thriller dealing with a true conspiracy in the health care industry, I decided to take a look at some of the most enduring conspiracy theories and those with the biggest followings. Here are the top 10.

1. We Are Ruled by a Reptilian Elite

According to former BBC sports reporter David Icke, shape-shifting extraterrestrial reptilian humanoids called “Annunaki” have controlled us since ancient times intending to enslave the human race. He first explained his theories in the 1998 book “The Biggest Secret,” claiming Princess Diana confirmed for him that members of the British royal family (like Queen Elizabeth) are really reptiles. Other people who are truly reptiles include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bob Hope, George W. Bush, and Henry Kissinger. Naturally these lizard people are responsible for the Holocaust, 9/11, and secret societies like the Illuminati. This conspiracy theory has a large and devoted following.

2. Jews Control the World

A 19th-century Russian Manuscript titled “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (long since proven a forgery) is essentially required reading for the Nazi Party, among others. It’s an instruction manual to a new member of the “elders” that lays out an evil Jewish plot to control the world by taking over the media and financial institutions. In spite of being proven a hoax (scholars agree it was created by the Okhrana, the secret police of the Russian Empire), you can find this document translated into several languages with a strong following on the Internet and, unfortunately, in the Middle East.

3. Secret Societies Control the World

If you don’t believe the Jews control the world, then how about the Illuminati or Freemasons? The Illuminati are believed to have originated in 18th century Germany. One of their symbols is the pyramid-and-eye found on the $1 bill. They plan to start world wars to bring in the New World Order, essentially a single worldwide government that obviously would be Satanic in nature. The Freemasons reside closer to home (for those, like me, in the U.S.). They’re called the “oldest and largest worldwide fraternity” with members that included George Washington. At Masonic temples throughout the world, they’re secretly plotting their own world domination. Some followers of this conspiracy believe the World Bank, the IMF, the European Union, and the United Nations belong to one of these secret societies and are the first step in ushering in that terrifying New World Order.

4. 9/11 (and Pearl Harbor) were Allowed to Happen

Many people have believed that Roosevelt allowed Pearl Harbor to happen in order to convince Congress to enter World War II, citing the evidence that all the major aircraft carriers were away from the harbor that day. This theory has actually gained credibility over the years. Now similar theories have emerged for 9/11. According to Time Magazine, a 2006 poll found that “42% of Americans believe that the government and the 9/11 commission ‘concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence that contradicts their official explanation of the September 11th attacks.’”

The “9/11 Truth Movement” has put forth the claim that the World Trade Center could not have been brought down by the impact of the planes and burning aviation fuel alone. They point to video evidence that they say shows puffs of smoke, caused by demolition squibs, on floors well below where the planes hit. Witnesses who were in the towers at the time, including firemen and policemen, also state that they heard explosions “below the aircraft impacts (including in basement levels) and before both the collapses and attacks themselves.”

5. Area 51

One of the more well-known conspiracy theories, proponents believe a UFO crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. These remains are now stored at the Area 51 Air Force Base. The theory gained additional traction in 1989, when former mortician Glenn Dennis claimed he participated in alien autopsies at Roswell. Then in 2002, Walter Haut, the Roswell Army Air Field public affairs officer in 1947 who drafted the initial press release, released a signed affidavit saying he saw alien corpses and a craft and that there had been a military cover up. Is the truth still out there?

6. The JFK assassination

This one isn’t just one conspiracy theory but many. All of them believe Lee Harvey Oswald was either a patsy or didn’t act alone. 70% of Americans agree that Kennedy’s death was part of a broader plot. The so-called “magic bullet theory” remains among the best evidence. According to the Warren Commission in its investigation of the assassination, a single bullet caused 7 wounds in total to both JFK and Texas Governor John Connally. Thus the “magic bullet theory.” Otherwise, if more than one bullet was involved, then there had to be a second shooter – most likely on that infamous grassy knoll. Other evidence cited includes the footage shot by Abraham Zapruder and reports of witnesses who heard more than three shots and/or shots coming from directions other than the book depository. So it seems the only thing left to debate is whether the mafia, CIA, KGB, or rogue government officials planned and executed JFK’s assassination.

7. NASA Faked the Moon Landings

Desperate to beat the Russians in the Space Race, NASA created a film set (possibly helped by Stanley Kubrick using the technology from his film 2001), and filmed a fake moon landing with Buzz Aldrin and Neal Armstrong acting out their parts. Those who believe this conspiracy point to the moving flag as evidence of wind (impossible on the moon), the lack of stars, and shadows falling in different directions.

8. Jesus Was Married to Mary Magdalene

Thanks to The Da Vinci Code, millions of people believe Jesus did marry Mary Magdalene, had children, and their descendants still live today. Others take this theory one step further, saying the descendants moved to southern France, intermarried with the nobles who eventually became the Merovingian dynasty, and have a claim to the throne of France that’s supported by the Priory of Sion.

In fact, the conspiracy existed long before that popular novel, dating from the discovery of the Gnostic Gospels in 1945. Religious experts continue to dispute the authenticity of these documents.

9. The CIA Created AIDS

This theory persists today, that the CIA created AIDS in order to eradicate homosexuals and African Americans. High profile supporters of this theory include South African President Thabo Mbeki and Kenyan ecologist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Wangari Maathai. Others believe that the World Health Organization created the killer virus, and still others believe Richard Nixon was behind the project when he combined the U.S. Army’s bio-warfare department with the National Cancer Institute in 1971.

10. Princess Diana was Murdered

Either rogue members of the British secret service or MI6 decided Diana’s relationship with Fayed threatened the monarchy, so agents were sent in a white Fiat Uno to blind and disorient Diana’s driver, Henri Paul, as he passed through the Paris underpass. Then after the crash they switched Paul’s blood sample with that of someone who had consumed a lot of alcohol. Not a shred of evidence exists to support this theory, but its enthusiastic followers don’t let that get in their way.

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories? Share your thoughts and your own theories here.

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