My interest in conspiracy theories is academic. I believe in exactly zero of them. However, they can give you a slightly different perspective on things. For instance, I don’t buy that ancient aliens helped mankind with evolution and building of great monuments. But there have been things discovered that don’t make a lot of sense when mixed with the current thoughts on the who, what, when, and how. Here’s my thoughts on some popular ones.
- The JFK assassination – Oswald may not have worked alone. But there wasn’t a shooter on the grassy knoll and if he did have help, it wasn’t the US government. Oswald was a communist sympathizer and he was trying to get citizenship with the Soviet Union in the years before he shot the President. He’d won awards in the army for marksmanship, meaning he was a good shot. I can see Oswald working with the KGB to assassinate Kennedy. After all, the KGB couldn’t claim responsibility for killing an American president, that would have been an act of war. And we would have dropped nuclear bombs and contrary to the scare talk at the time, the Soviet Union didn’t want a nuclear war anymore than Americans did. Best solution, recruit an American to do the dirty work…
- The moon landing and the space race – So, I could see the US faking the moon landing under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the circumstances weren’t there in 1969. If the moon landing and space race were faked, they were faked in cooperation with the Soviet Union. And that just wasn’t happening. Why do I believe the Soviet Union would have had to cooperate to fake the moon landing? Because of the space race. The Soviet Union would have had to fake their space travel as well as the US. And while that is possible, I think they would have been delighted to come out and say “Hey, we faked this footage and so did the Americans!” long before now. I think this becomes even more likely when the Soviet Union fell and was replaced by a republic who has continued to compete with the US in everything. Exposing the US as fakers would be a massive peacock feather in Vladimir Putin’s cap. And since Russian government hackers seem better at their job than our computer security people, if they had proof, it’d be out there already.
- The Roswell Crash – Something crashed at Roswell and it wasn’t a weather balloon. It seems equally unlikely it was an alien spaceship. Both NASA and the DoD have been hacked a half dozen times. I believe if it were an alien spaceship, the cover up would no longer hold any water, and we’d have evidence of it. Real evidence, not questionable productions like Alien Autopsy and interviews with Bob Lazard.
- The attacks on the World Trade Center were an inside job or the government knew about them beforehand – If the US had orchestrated the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers, all the terrorists would have been Iraqi, Iranian, or Russian. Why? Because it takes time to plan something like that and in the 1990s, the “enemies” of the US were Iraq, Iran, and Russia, not the Taliban or other Islamic extremist group. We wouldn’t have changed the plans for the nationalities of the terrorists in the year prior to the attack or even two years before. While the US wasn’t particularly friendly with the Taliban in the mid to late 1990s, we still had a working relationship with them. Even in 2000, the US still had a decent working relationship with the Taliban. It is more plausible that the US knew of the attack beforehand and did nothing. That’s happened before: we knew that Japan was planning to attack Pearl Harbor in 1941 and didn’t prepare for it, because the US government expected them to back out before it happened. And because if they didn’t change their mind before arriving in Hawaii to bomb the naval fleet, we had an excuse to join WWII. Sadly, there was a serious difference between Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center… Very few civilians died in the attacks on Pearl Harbor and most of them were civilians working for the military. Those that died in Pearl Harbor were casualties of war and most of them were military casualties, something that is expected during war. The World Trade Center was not a military installation and it wasn’t military personnel that died in that attack. And we weren’t technically at war. Pearl Harbor was tragic, but it was still war and it was written off that way. The World Trade Center attack was worse because it wasn’t a war time act and it wasn’t a target of a military action. The effects were more immediate and drastic than those of Pearl Harbor and they will have a longer lasting impact. If, we eventually learn that the US government was aware the attack was imminent and did nothing, it will be thought of much harsher than what it was when we learned that the US knew about Pearl Harbor. And President Bush will be remembered by history as a villain in the same way that Hitler and Stalin are. It seems like an unacceptable risk for a president of the US to take.
- The New World Order, Illuminati or other secret cabal controlling the world – Have you ever worked with a board of directors or other governing board? They can barely agree enough to run a charity or Fortune 500 company. It seems improbable that a board made up of rich people of different nationalities could hang out in the background and control the events of the world. Furthermore, they are doing a really piss poor job. ISIS and extremists groups like them should be exterminated with extreme prejudice because they threaten the power of the wealthy. The Soviet Union should have never risen, nor the Third Reich, nor Red China, because these powers are not designed to include the old money that would control the world. Most people think this kind of cabal would include world leaders, but they would be explicitly banned. It would be old money like Vladimir Putin, the Queen of England, the Rockefellers, etc. But then there are problems with that too. Bill Gates and Richard Branson would need to be included at this point and I can’t see Richard Branson toeing a secret cabal’s party line. Same for Gates. These guys didn’t get where they were for coloring in the lines of established power structures. Hell, Gates, Branson, and Elon Musk would all need spots and frankly, I think this would crowd out the older, more established rulers. It works on a small scale like the Borgias in a province of Italy, but a large scale like the world, not so much. Old and new, several nationalities, royals and non-royals, yeah the situation becomes comical (you can bet the Saudi royal house would have a spot) very quickly.
- The Earth is Flat – This one is rising in popularity, which is odd in my opinion. So the main thing to support this idea is that most people perceive the world as flat. That’s actually some kind of tenant of the theory. I thought about this one long and hard, because I don’t perceive the world as flat. I’ve tried to read up on it, and it makes my brain hurt. There’s something about the fact that water can’t curve, but water does in fact, naturally curve, hence the concave meniscus that forms when you pour water into a container. Interestingly, this also relates to the idea that no country has ever gone into space and there is a cooperative to fake evidence to the contrary. Why? Because we have pictures from space of the Earth being a sphere. But if those are fake because no one has ever been to space, then the photos are fake to reinforce the idea that the Earth is a sphere. Which once again means the US and Soviet Union worked together to create a fake space race. This doesn’t explain where water goes when it goes to the edge and falls off the flat Earth or why we don’t all just float around because of a lack of gravity. I can’t really argue anything for this theory or against, because my only thoughts is “what nonsense, the Earth can’t be flat.”
Theory 6, actually shows one of the dangers of conspiracy theories. To believe one, a person usually has to accept others. The only way the Earth is flat is if the US and USSR conspired to make a fake space race for some reason and allowed multiple people to create fake evidence of said space exploration. Theory 1 also requires belief in multiple conspiracy theories. For the US government to be involved in the assassination of Kennedy, one has to accept that Ruby was in the employ of the US government and that Oswald was made a patsy because of his communist leanings. Those two things sort of work, but people are freaking odd and do odd things, sometimes without being able to explain them. Jack Ruby was not a friend of Oswald and he wasn’t a supporter of President Kennedy. He seems like the last person in the US to avenge the assassination of a president. He was a crook and possibly mob connected. Which throws some doubt on his working for the US government. But he still shot Oswald on national TV. Why? Who knows? My guess the 15 minutes of fame. 56 years after the assassination of the president, Jack Ruby would be forgotten to the world, we wouldn’t know or care that he was a small nightclub owner from New Orleans who had possible mob connections if he hadn’t killed Oswald. And while that mentality wasn’t common in the 1960s, we’ve learned that doing things for the infamy is just as common as doing it for fame (study school shooters).
I think people who believe in a lot of conspiracy theories are actually the same kind of people who believe everything the government tells them. There is a science behind both and I’ve read the studies and come to the conclusion that conspiracy theorists believe they are free thinkers who see what everyone else misses, but they are actually just buying into a non-mainstream party line. At any rate, conspiracy theorists are just as interesting (in an academic sense) as the theories they support. Most of the time, both are harmless, but every once in a while, they become dangerous (like Pizza Gate) .