10 Most Enduring Conspiracy Theories
10. Electronic Banking.
The Theory of Electronic Conspiracy is said to be a variant of modern New World Order conspiracy theories. According to some conspiracy theorists, virtual money – credit and debit cards – was created by a “secret group” that plans to dominate the world.
The plan, according to theorists, is to completely eliminate paper and coin currency so that citizens rely solely on electronic banking. Once that goal is achieved, the “secret group” will cause a worldwide electronic blackout, which will simultaneously erase everyone’s bank account information, thus creating chaos and panic. The alleged motivation behind the plot is the reintroduction of slavery into the modern world. The benefactors vary – depending on which theory you subscribe to.
9. Secret Societies Control the World.
If you were really a member of the global élite, you’d know this already: the world is ruled by a powerful, secretive few. Many of the rest of us peons have heard that in 2004 both candidates for the White House were members of Yale University’s secretive Skull and Bones society, many of whose members have risen to powerful positions. But Skull and Bones is small potatoes compared with the mysterious cabals that occupy virtually every seat of power, from the corridors of government to the boardrooms of Wall Street.
Take the Illuminati, a sect said to have originated in 18th century Germany and which is allegedly responsible for the pyramid-and-eye symbol adorning the $1 bill: they intend to foment world wars to strengthen the argument for the creation of a worldwide government (which would, of course, be Satanic in nature). Or consider the Freemasons, who tout their group as the “oldest and largest worldwide fraternity” and boast alumni like George Washington. Some think that despite donating heaps of cash to charity, they’re secretly plotting your undoing at Masonic temples across the world. Or maybe, some theorize, the guys pulling the strings aren’t concealed in shadow at all. They might be the intelligentsia on the Council on Foreign Relations, a cadre of policy wonks who allegedly count their aims as publishing an erudite bimonthly journal and establishing a unified world government — not necessarily in that order.
8. Landing on Moon.
According to conspiracy theorists, the moon landing that the world watched unfold live on July 20, 1969, was a hoax orchestrated by NASA and other key organizations. Theorists believe that the surface Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked upon was not a celestial body but a man-made soundstage.
Proponents of the conspiracy theory insist that the technology of the time was not sufficient enough to pull off such a feat. They claim that environmental obstacles alone – cosmic rays, radiation belts and solar wind – would have made the trip impossible.
As evidence of their belief, theorists point to photographs and video that were taken during the mission, which they claim contain several oddities; including inconsistent shadows, identical backgrounds and the lack of any visible stars.
In 2008, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, stars of the TV show MythBusters, examined several of the myths related to the moon landing. Upon conducting a variety of controlled tests with a team of scientists at a NASA training facility, they concluded that a conspiracy did not exist.
NASA puts little effort into debunking the claims, looking at them as ludicrous; however they did, in July 2009, use the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to take a photo of the Apollo 11 landing site, which they say shows remains of the 1969 landing site. Despite efforts to debunk the myths, conspiracy theorists stand by their claims.
7. The Reptilian Elite.
They are among us. Blood-drinking, flesh-eating, shape-shifting extraterrestrial reptilian humanoids with only one objective in their cold-blooded little heads: to enslave the human race. They are our leaders, our corporate executives, our beloved Oscar-winning actors and Grammy-winning singers, and they’re responsible for the Holocaust, the Oklahoma City bombings and the 9/11 attacks … at least according to former BBC sports reporter David Icke, who became the poster human for the theory in 1998 after publishing his first book, The Biggest Secret, which contained interviews with two Brits who claimed members of the royal family are nothing more than reptiles with crowns.
The conspiracy theorist and New Age philosopher, who wore only turquoise for a time and insisted on being called Son of God-Head, says these “Annunaki” (the reptiles) have controlled humankind since ancient times; they count among their number Queen Elizabeth, George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bob Hope. Encroaching on other conspiracy theorists’ territory, Icke even claims that the lizards are behind secret societies like the Freemasons and the Illuminati. Since earning the dubious title of “paranoid of the decade” in the late 1990s, Icke has written several books on the topic, including his latest work, The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy, while operating his own website — complete with merchandise and advertisements.
6. The CIA and AIDS.
Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first reported the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1981, rumors have persisted that the deadly virus was created by the CIA to wipe out homosexuals and African Americans. Even today, the conspiracy theory has a number of high-profile believers. South African President Thabo Mbeki once touted the theory, disputing scientific claims that the virus originated in Africa and accusing the U.S. government of manufacturing the disease in military labs. When she won the Nobel Peace Prize, Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai used the international spotlight to support that theory as well. Others insist that the government deliberately injected gay men with the virus during 1978 hepatitis-B experiments in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Still others point to Richard Nixon, who combined the U.S. Army’s biowarfare department with the National Cancer Institute in 1971. Though the co-discoverers of HIV — Dr. Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute and Dr. Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in Paris — don’t agree on its origins, most members of the scientific community believe the virus jumped from monkeys to humans some time during the 1930s.
5. Holocaust Revisionism.
Despite overwhelming evidence and an admission and apology from Germany decades ago, revisionists continue to claim that nearly 6 million Jews were not killed by Nazis during the Holocaust. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for one, has called the Holocaust a “myth” and suggested that Germany and other European countries, rather than Palestine, provide land for a Jewish state.
Unlike Ahmadinejad, most revisionists do not deny that Jews were interned in prison camps during World War II; rather, they argue that the number of deaths was greatly exaggerated. Gas chambers are a particular sticking point: Holocaust deniers say they were purely a rumor or, if they indeed existed, were not powerful enough to kill — though evidence and history indicate otherwise. And the photographs of emaciated and dying Jews? Attorney Edgar J. Steele, a revisionist, says, “All those pictures of skinny people and bodies stacked like cordwood were actually of Czechs and Poles and Germans [who] died of typhus, which was rampant in the camps.”
4. Area 51 and the Aliens.
We may have Tang thanks to the space program, but who gave us such innovations as the Stealth fighter and Kevlar? Aliens, of course. Conspiracy theorists believe that the remains of crashed UFO spacecrafts are stored at Area 51, an Air Force base about 150 miles from Las Vegas, where government scientists reverse-engineer the aliens’ highly advanced technology. Fodder for this has come from a variety of supposed UFO sightings in the area and testimony from a retired Army colonel who says he was given access to extraterrestrial materials gathered from an alien spacecraft that crashed in Roswell, N.M. Some believe that the government studies time travel at Area 51, also known as Groom Lake or Dreamland.
The government has developed advanced aircraft and weapons systems at nearby Nellis Air Force Base, including Stealth bombers and reconnaissance planes. And the government’s official line — that the details of Area 51 are classified for purposes of national security, is only seen as further proof that the military is hiding aliens or alien spacecraft.
3. 9/11 .
Not since the JFK assassination has there been a national tragedy so heavily imprinted in American minds. or that has given rise to quite as many alternative explanations. While videos and photographs of the two planes striking the World Trade Center towers are famous around the world, the sheer profusion of documentary evidence has only provided even more fodder for conspiracy theories.
A May 2006 Zogby poll found that 42% of Americans believed 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.” Why had the military failed to intercept the hijacked planes? Had the government issued a “stand down” order, to minimize interference with a secret plan to destroy the buildings and blame it on Islamic terrorists? In 2005, Popular Mechanics published a massive investigation of similar claims and responses to them. The reporting team found that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) did not have a history of having fighter jets prepped and ready to intercept aircraft that had gone off route. And while the team found no evidence that the government had planned the attacks, lack of proof has rarely stopped conspiracy theorists before.
2. The JFK Assassination.
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, struck by two bullets. one in the head, one in the neck, while riding in an open-topped limo through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with killing him, and a presidential commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren found that Oswald acted alone. But that conclusion hasn’t passed muster with the public. There are countless conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
A 2003 ABC News poll found that 70% of Americans believe Kennedy’s death was the result of a broader plot. The trajectory of the bullets, some say, didn’t square with Oswald’s perch on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Others suggest a second gunman, perhaps on the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza, participated in the shooting. Others believe in an even broader conspiracy. Was Kennedy killed by CIA agents acting either out of anger over the Bay of Pigs or at the behest of Vice President Lyndon Johnson? By KGB operatives? Mobsters mad at Kennedy’s brother for initiating the prosecution of organized crime rings? Speculation over one of history’s most famous political assassinations is such a popular parlor game that most people have taken the rumors to heart: just 32% of those polled by ABC believe Oswald carried out the killing on his own.
1. Bermuda Triangle.
Is there a mysterious force that causes ships and planes to disappear in the Bermuda Triangle, or is this just another far-fetched theory? For hundreds of years people have told stories about strange happenings in the Bermuda Triangle.
Also known as the Devil’s Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is Located in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. It covers roughly 500,000 square miles of the ocean, with apexes in Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico.There is no mistaking that a large number of vessels have gone missing in the area. however the explanation for those disappearances is where the conspiracies come into play. According to theorists, supernatural elements are responsible for the disappearances. Some say extraterrestrial beings are to blame, while others point to the mythical lost continent of Atlantis.
The U.S. Coast Guard and other experts familiar with the triangle discount supernatural elements as being responsible. Instead, they point to the fact that the triangle is situated in a heavily traveled area of the ocean. They say that the number of incidents that occur there are no greater than those that occur in other parts of the ocean. They feel that any number of natural occurrences. including tropical storms and rogue waves. could be responsible. They also point to the possibility of pirates and mechanical failures. In regard to the compass problems, experts say that there are no unusual magnetic anomalies in the area and cite the fact that all compasses have natural magnetic variations.
Regardless of whom you believe, one thing remains certain. The Bermuda Triangle will undoubtedly continue to remain a source of mystery and intrigue.