Who hasn’t heard that the United States government and NASA faked the moon landing in 1969? Or that there are aliens and alien spacecraft hidden at U.S. military base Area 51? These conspiracy theories are some of the more famous speculations produced in the past fifty years, but schemes such as these have been proposed for hundreds of years.
Conspiracy theories are ideas that attempt to explain a case or situation based on a plot concocted and carried out by a secret group or alliance that intentionally tried to cover its tracks. This often gives a negative undertone to the phrase “conspiracy theory” and makes many people dismiss such ideas as ridiculous. While many conjectures, like the faking of the moon landing, have become the stuff of legend, some of the lesser-known hypotheses are actually the most interesting. Here are eight of the most bizarre conspiracy theories of the past one hundred years.
1. Reptoids Rule the World
David Icke, a reporter for the British Broadcasting Corporation, did some research on some ancient Sumerian tablets. Icke claims from his research that reptilian people arrived on Earth from the constellation Draco, a term that means “dragon” in Latin. These creatures are a mix of dragons, dinosaurs, and reptiles that came to Earth to rule and control the inhabitants. With a patchwork of connections to the ancient Sumerian Anunnaki, the serpent from the Biblical Garden of Eden, and members of the presidential Bush family and English royal family, Icke’s theory contends that these reptoids are fully in control of the world’s people. The reptoids live deep within the Earth’s core, taking part in politics and media representations. In order to hide from everyday citizens, Icke claims that these reptoids must drink human blood that makes them shift into human form. With no one who can definitively disprove his theory, Icke continues to tour and speak publicly about his reptoids.
2. The Curse of Kentucky Fried Chicken
Originating in the 1950s, this conspiracy theory gained renewed traction in the 1980s following -the death of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders. The long-standing rumor contends that the Colonel was a secret member of the Ku Klux Klan, a group long known for terrorizing African-Americans in the United States. According to the theory, Sanders left 10 percent of his estate to the Klan at the time of his death because of the curse of his secret spices. With the common perception that African-Americans love fried chicken, the conspiracy theory states that Colonel Sanders’ secret spices were concocted with his Ku Klux brotherhood in mind. Supposedly the seven-herb blend includes a chemical compound aimed specifically at African-Americans men to make them infertile, while Caucasian men are completely unaffected. As long as the spices remain secret, this theory cannot truly be disproved.
3. Antarctic Nazi UFOs
Historians agree that the Nazi party harbored rocket technology that far exceeded the capabilities of the United States and the Soviet Union, although postulations that the Nazis had been to the moon by the 1940s were never confirmed. During World War II, the Soviets claim to have found a secret research facility run by the Nazis that housed a prototype for a flying saucer as well as another craft. Using BMW parts in addition to other German-manufactured products, this conspiracy theory maintains that the Nazis actually had built sever flying saucers, possibly in cooperation with alien beings. Although the Nazis never activated their flying saucers during World War II warfare, the theory contends that the party moved the flying saucers to Antarctica where they had a secret research base that is still in operation today with Nazi-faithful scientists. Those who believe this theory recognize that flying saucers found in Roswell or sailing over houses are actually Antarctic Nazis testing their creations.
4. Messages from Microsoft
Conspiracy theorists who were playing with the Microsoft Office font known as Wingdings came across a disturbing message that sent their hypothesizing into overdrive. When “NYC” is typed in all capital letters in the Wingding font, the symbols are a skull and crossbones, a six-pointed star known as a Jewish symbol, and a thumbs up. Theorists contend that Bill Gates and Microsoft included this combination as a secret message urging death to all Jews in New York City. A similar code was concocted for the supposed flight number for one of the planes that crashed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. With the code “Q33NY” entered into Wingdings, the supposed result is an airplane symbol, two documents that represent the twin towers, a skull and crossbones, and the six-pointed star again. This hidden message seems to represent the airplane crashing that led to death and that was caused by the anti-Israeli sentiments expressed by Al-Quaeda. A final spooky message is contained in the Wingdings version of the word “MILLENIUM.” With a combination of bomb symbols, sad faces, a cross, and skulls and crossbones, theorists concluded that this message was warning of the end of the world at the change of the millennium. Fortunately, at least this part of the theory was disproved.
5. Hoover’s Homosexual Hit Squad
This conspiracy theory hinges on the work of original FBI leader J. Edgar Hoover. Although it is not new that many people believe that Hoover and other political leaders plotted the assassination of John F. Kennedy to be carried out under an FBI directive, this twist in the story adds more mystery. In this hypothesis, the men who murdered JFK wore street clothes to carry out the hit. As soon as the assignment was complete, contend these believers, the assassinators changed their clothes to flamboyant colors and styles in an attempt to appear homosexual. Hoover’s supposed reasoning was that people who were dressed in everyday clothes could be detained and questioned for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that homosexual men would be ignored based on the assumption that gay men would never commit such a grotesque crime. With the mystery of JFK’s death still unsolved, this could still be a possibility.
6. Dental Implants
In a cross between a conspiracy theory and a business plan, many people believe that dentists who perform crowns and root canals work with pharmaceutical companies to secretly include small microwave devices in patients’ teeth. According to the conjecture, when these microwaves are activated, they are set to deliver very painful heartburn to the unsuspecting patients. In order to combat this heartburn, people frequently purchase medication, thereby putting money in the pockets of the drug companies. Excessive use of heartburn medication can lead to degeneration of teeth, bringing the patients back to the dentists for more dental work. This win-win situation for dentists and pharmaceuticals would never be suspected by patients.
7. Stephen King vs. John Lennon
Rather than convicted killer Mark David Chapman causing the end of John Lennon’s life, some conspiracy theorist believe that an unusual trio led to the musician’s untimely end. With ring leader Stephen King as the triggerman, the plans were concocted by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Supposedly the three hired Chapman as a look-alike for King in the media cover-up following the murder on December 8, 1980. Theorists point to coded evidence printed in the headlines of magazines such as Time and Newsweek in the months leading up to the former Beatle’s murder. These codes seem to include a description of the face of the actual killer as well as the true identity of the three plotters hidden in plain sight.
8. Electronic Banking Plot
Credit and debit cards were created by a secret alliance bent on controlling the world through the distribution of “virtual money,” according to conspiracy theorists. By eliminating all physical money, in coin and paper form, the group intends to eventually create panic and chaos all over the world in one fell swoop. Once all the money is held in the virtual world, theorists believe that this secret alliance will cause a worldwide technological blackout. During that moment, every person’s bank account, home of the virtual money will be completely erased, leaving each person penniless. Although the benefactors of this theory are unknown, conspiracy theorists believe that the main motivation for this plot is to reinstate slavery in the modern world as people scramble to find work and money to survive. Bankers and money experts refuse to acknowledge this theory or discuss whether it could potentially occur.
Conspiracy theories continue when people continue to read them and begin believing in them. Hypotheses that gain traction are met with entire websites dedicated to proving them true, thereby creating even more believers. Although some theories can seemingly be disproved quickly and easily, many others are much more difficult to debunk because the ideas are either too far-fetched to find evidence to refute them or there is no factual answer to the situation. Even when presented with supportable evidence that would seemingly point out the flaws in the conspiracy theories, many people will continue to believe.