After looking at some of the biggest, most severe, and widely spread conspiracy theories, let us take a stroll down memory lane and remember some of the biggest fears and conspiracies that people came up with in the past.
Most of these were based merely on an idea that wasn’t backed up by any real proof but created quite a fuss, either globally or on a local level.
01. Y2K computer apocalypse
If you were old enough to use a computer in late 9o’s, then you must have heard about the Y2K hype. In case you haven’t, it was the idea that everything in the world that was run by computers, and computers themselves would suddenly stop working across the globe on midnight of January 1, 2000.
The so-called Y2K bug was based on the notion that when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000, the date would read 01/01/00, which the system could interpret as the year 1900 instead of 2000. This kind of error could potentially cause very serious difficulties in system operations and lead to some major disasters.
The theory itself wasn’t completely bogus. The applications that relied on dates to perform any type of serious calculations could easily have turned into a mess.
The companies started testing the possible implications by moving the computers’ internal clocks forward, and the results were often disturbing.
But the fact was that the Y2K bug could only influence a very specific segment of the IT sector. Everyone else would either experience minor, easy to resolve difficulties, or none whatsoever. Some work had to be done. That’s a fact because programmers from the early days used shortcuts to save space, and implemented two- digit instead of four-digit dates. But were we really facing a global disaster that was only avoided thanks to work completed years ahead of time?
Many believe that it was all a big conspiracy created to disseminate panic among people. At the same time, the fixes and patches on the old system made computer companies some serious money.
While there is no doubt that the Y2K bug could have created some inconvenience for certain sectors, and perhaps even cause an accident or two 5 the global panic was most certainly exaggerated. First of all, the bug was noticed well ahead of time, and with so many people working to implement the fix on the all important systems, it was highly unlikely that anything horrible could happen. Secondly, it created a lot of panic among regular computer users who weren’t at all likely to be affected by this bug in any serious way.
02. The Reptilian elite
As absurd as this theory may sound, there is actually a significant number of people who believe that alien reptiles are living in our midst, masking themselves as human, and plotting to turn the human race into their slaves. Reptilians have infiltrated all parts of our society^ and are now some of the most powerful figures in the world.
From politicians and corporate executives to actors and singers, they are everywhere. All the horrible events in the world, like bloody wars, the Holocaust, terrorist attacks^ and so forth are their doing.
The Reptilians (or “Annanuki,’’ as some call them) have been controlling the human race since the earliest years of our civilization. The word “Annanuki” comes from ancient Mesopotamia, where the term was used to describe the children of their chief deity.
This is by far one of the wildest conspiracy theories described in this book, but, as mentioned, the number of believers is not insignificant.
03. The lost time conspiracy
If someone were to tell you, you were living in the year 1713, what would you tell them? But as crazy as this idea may sounds there was a German Historian, who claimed exactly this. Heribert Illig took notice that the archaeological evidence from the period between the years 614 and 911 was very scarce. I don’t want to say that he jumped to a conclusion， but he literally jumped to a conclusion that this is because those 300 years never really happened, and that we are being lied to about the period we live in (for whatever reason).
The theory was quickly disputed by science, particularly astronomy, since certain cosmic events take place at fixed intervals. One such events the occurrence of Halley’s comet, easily disputes Illig’s claims, but the man definitely deserves brownie points for imagination.
04. There is no moon
Wait, what? This idea is neck to neck with the Reptilians, but there is a group of conspiracy theorists who claim that the moon doesn’t exist.
Not believing in the moon landing is one thing, and we’ve devoted an entire chapter of this post to looking at some facts, evidence, and theories regarding this topic, but how on Earth can someone try to deny the existence of the Moon altogether?
This (thankfully) small group of people maintains that the Moon is just a hologram placed in the sky to do something. Of course, not even they can explain who placed it there or the reason for it, which further adds to its unlikelihood of being true.
05. CERN is trying to bring back Osiris
With some of these theories, I can see how an individual would come to believe them, but how he could get even a single person to believe their story remains a mystery. According to this conspiracy theory, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is, in fact, an underground laboratory built to bring back the ancient Egyptian god Osiris.
Just like the Moon theory, this one is pretty random. As the proof of their claims, conspiracy theorists put forth the statue of Hindu god Shiva located at the entrance to the laboratory. The only connection between these two is that both are gods, but that’s where it stops. There is nothing that links Osiris and Shiva.
Not that it would matter anyway, but it is funny to see what kind of “proof’ some of these theories try to use to explain their claims.
06. The television controls our minds
It would seem that some 15% of Americans believe that their minds are being controlled through watching television. Talking about conspiracy theories, one can hardly get more paranoid than this. Imagine believing that every time you watch the TV, your mind is being influenced by the signals.
The belief is loosely based on the research by Herbert Krugman conducted in 1969. Krugman discovered that after a minute of watching television, a person’s brain switches off the logical Beta waves, and instead moves to Alpha waves• During the entire time spent watching television, the brain is in “Alpha mode”.
This created a fear that the mass media could be used to control our thoughts through special programs aimed at changing our behavioral patterns or belief systems. If our brain truly switches to Alpha waves while watching television, then it is not inconceivable that our minds would be more predisposed to accepting certain ideas and suggestions without rationally thinking them through. This theory also brought to light theories of subliminal messages in advertising， and even the idea that the government places small cameras and microphones inside televisions in order to spy on us. Of course, these are merely speculations of conspiracy theorists, as there is no firm evidence of any kind to back up these claims.
07. New diseases are invented by pharmaceutical companies to boost profits
This theory doesn’t seem that outlandish at all. Big pharmaceutical companies survive on illness^ diseases^ and selling medications. At the same time, they have the resources, technology, and knowledge to come up with new strains of different bacteria or viruses to boost their sales with an accompanying cure.
However, conspiracy theorists take this possibility to a whole new level, claiming that these companies spend most of their time doing exactly this: coming up with new diseases for which they could sell the medications later on.
One incredibly rampant theory is that the government teamed up with the pharmaceutical industry to create the AIDS virus. When the illness first surfaced, it was predominantly infecting gay men and intravenous drug users. Conspiracy theorists believe AIDS was purposely spread through these demographics in order to “wipe them out”. After the supposed plan failed, and AIDS began spreading throughout the entirety of the population, the pharmaceutical industry created drugs to treat the virus in order to profit off the mistake. It is even said a cure for AIDS has been discovered, but is being withheld from the public in order for big pharma to profit off overpriced treatments. While it is not impossible or beyond belief that pharmaceutical companies might be doing something shady in this regard (in fact， they probably are), it is quite unlikely that their main modus operandi is: create the disease, make the cure, sell the cure, rinse and repeat.
08. Airplanes exhaust dangerous chemicals in the air
Unlike the previous one, this theory is really out there• As discussed previously^ there is a decent number of people believing this to be true or at least possible. Namely, that the trace left by airplanes while flying through the air is not simply the engine exhaust but rather a dangerous chemical sprayed under directions from the government.
So, those believing in this conspiracy theory are convinced that the government is deliberately poisoning its people without any particular reason or a goal.
One good way to look at the validity of conspiracy theories is to ask the question “why?”. If something is being said with limited reasoning or because the person has malicious intent, then in all likelihood it is just complete and utter nonsense. It is one thing to believe that the USA came up with a fictional enemy to get their hands on the Middle Eastern oil, and completely different to think you are being poisoned just because those in power feel like it.
And on top of that, the airplane exhaust is something that actually exists.
09. The Bigfoot
We could hardly write a book about conspiracy theories without mentioning Bigfoot. There are a lot of people out there who believe that Bigfoot is real, and he is the missing link in our evolution. Once again, there is the idea that it is being kept from us for some strange, undefined reason.
10. Kurt Cobain was murdered
Nirvana fans around the world were outraged by the death of Kurt Cobain, and in turn, many conspiracies developed around the case. Fans insisted that Kurt Cobain did not commit suicide, but was actually murdered. Theorists believed that his girlfriend, Courtney Love, was responsible for his death, going as far as to edit his suicide note, but this was very unlikely. The crime scene and police reports made it very apparent that Cobain took his own life.
11. The CIA helped spread crack cocaine in the USA
If you are not sure who did it, the CIA did it, right? Despite the fact that people are often very willing to blame everything and anything on the USA clandestine organization, as far as this theory goes, the claims do make some sense.
Crack cocaine took reign in the American cities’ inner circles during the 1980’s. According to conspiracy theorists, the CIA turned a blind eye to Nicaraguan drug traffickers because they used a large portion of their drug profits to fund the Contra army’s efforts in that country.
These allegations were, of course, completely disputed by the government, but true or not, it’s not like those involved would actually admit to any wrongdoing in this matter. While there is no real evidence to back up these allegations, it is somewhat hard to believe that all of this was happening, and the government, the CIA, and the police were all powerless to do anything about it until it was too late.
12. Barack Obama is the Antichrist
We will conclude this section of unbelievable or lesser-known conspiracy theories with the one claiming that President Barack Obama is, in fact, the Antichrist himself.
Apart from political motivation and difference in views, what prompted these people to believe this is beyond my comprehension. But, there you have it.