According to the denizens of /r/conspiracy and your wacky aunt on Facebook, there are terrifying mysteries unfolding all around us, all the time. From proof of Satanic cults to a government plot to exterminate half a million Americans to evidence of aliens touching down on Earth, the internet has photographic evidence of dozens of shadowy, bone-chilling conspiracies. Photographs that the government doesn't want you to see, but apparently can't stop thousands of Alex Jones fans from circulating on social media.
However, most (a term here meaning "all") of those "unexplained" photographs have totally rational and comparatively lame explanations behind them which anyone with 15 seconds and access to Google Image Search could uncover.
6FEMA's "Coffin Stockpile" Preparing For A Massive Planned Disaster Is A Company's Storage Field
Get your surgical masks and Lysol ready, because FEMA is currently working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control to make your funeral arrangements. Or at least, that's the case according to Alex Jones, an unending stream of quack "news" sites, and that one Facebook friend from high school you keep forgetting to hide. It seems the U.S. government -- in particular, the Obama administration -- is stockpiling plastic caskets in preparation for some mysterious event that will wipe out a significant chunk of the American populace.
Luckily, only Cartoon Americans are affected.
What makes this theory so convincing is the undeniable, evidence courtesy of Google Earth, showing a staggering number -- half a million, to be exact -- of black, human-sized Tupperware containers stored smack dab in the middle of Bumfuck, Georgia (the state which is home to the CDC).
Above: the last Tupperware party you'll ever be invited to.
This tells us two things: First, that FEMA and/or the CDC is preparing for a truly apocalypse-worthy number of sudden casualties, and second, they are inexplicably going to bury us all individually after said event rather than rolling us into a sinkhole and/or the sea.
The Stupid Reality:
The so-called "FEMA caskets" are in fact burial vaults, the plastic containers used in essentially every modern burial that takes place in the United States. They're the outer shells used to prevent moisture, creepy crawlies, and errant voodoo resurrection spells from ever reaching those ornate caskets that we drop five grand on before dropping them into the ground and covering them with dirt.
The gaping hole for illustrative purposes gets you a 10-percent discount.
Seeing as how they're designed to withstand an eternity six feet underground, the company that manufactured them -- Vantage Products in Covington, Georgia -- chose to skip the cost of a traditional warehouse and instead stacked their supply in a field, where they've been storing them for nearly 20 years. But take the advent of Google Earth, add the location's close proximity to the CDC in Atlanta, and multiply the result by the truly mind-boggling number of "caskets" involved, and suddenly Obama is planning to gas us all with the virus from The Stand.
Oh, and about that aforementioned mind-boggling number? That was a simple case of good old-fashioned internet hyperbole. The actual number of burial vaults on the property was around 50,000 -- a far cry from the half million claimed by conspiracy types. Though that's still enough to make us concerned for the general health and well-being of the citizens of Georgia. Who in their right mind keeps a stockpile of 50,000 casket-cozies at the ready?
5JFK's "Umbrella Man" Was Some Guy Staging An Ill-Timed Protest
The JFK assassination undoubtedly holds some sort of world record for being the only true-life event to inspire more fan theories than Game Of Thrones. One such theory revolves around "Umbrella Man" -- an otherwise-nondescript man who inexplicably opened an umbrella near the president's motorcade route mere seconds before the assassination. Was Umbrella Man signaling the shooter(s) to begin his (their) assault?
The New York Times
A foolproof plan ... unless it rained that day.
Long before being popularized by Oliver Stone's Academy-Award nominated film, Umbrella Man captured the public's imagination from the moment the Zapruder film was released to the public in the mid-'70s. The mysterious figure zoomed like Mary Poppins onto conspiracy theorists' radars, with a young Bill O'Reilly positing in 1979 that Umbrella Man was not merely a signal man, but a full-fledged assassin armed with a weaponized umbrella. You know, like a fucking Batman villain.
While it's easy to write that off as the initial dribblings of the incessant geyser of shithouse crazy that's erupted from the mouth of Bill O'Reilly over the years, you can't deny that there's something bizarre and a little creepy about a guy who, on a sunny day without a cloud in the sky, when literally no one else had an umbrella, opened one up moments before one of the most notorious events of the 20th Century.
The Stupid Reality:
There's actually very little mystery surrounding the identity of Umbrella Man, considering he readily told the world who he was back in 1978.
As revealed in testimony before the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations, Umbrella Man wasn't a Soviet plant, a CIA stooge, a professional assassin, or a guy with a debilitating smoking habit and a criminal love of birds. He was simply Louie Steven Witt, and -- as was hilariously demonstrated right there in the courtroom -- his umbrella was sorely lacking any type of flechette shooter or rocket launcher or mechanized boxing glove.
Which would have made November 22, 1963 memorable for an entirely different reason.
But why the umbrella? It was Witt's way of protesting -- not JFK, but his pop, Joseph P. Kennedy, who was a former ambassador to the UK. See, back in the 1930s, Joe Kennedy was known to pal around with notorious Nazi appeaser Neville Chamberlain, who was in turn known for his propensity to lug around an umbrella at all times.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H12478/CC-BY-SA 3.0
If only that umbrella had been equipped with a boxing glove boinger ...
Witt thought the ultimate form of protest would be to flash an umbrella at Joe Kennedy's son, the president. He wasn't part of some nefarious assassination conspiracy -- he was a random guy whose terribleness at staging a protest was only surpassed by his transcendentally shitty timing.