A baffling number of people think that the term "celebrity" is interchangeable with "conspiracy." Slap a face on the cover of a magazine and within minutes the more turbid segments of the Internet start churning out crackpot theories about said face secretly being a six-headed alien chupacabra zombie or a Kardashian or whatever mythological monster they read about on a Snapple cap last Wednesday.
And when a celebrity eventually shuffles off this mortal coil, these theories usually crank up to 11.
5Saddam Hussein Was A Proud Stargate Owner
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Before Osama Bin Laden and various extremist terror organizations became Public Enemy No. 1 for the Western world, the official Villain Hat was a snazzy beret worn by Saddam Hussein. The ruthless Iraqi dictator took two dudes named Bush and immeasurable political shenanigans right in the face before going down, while focusing the brunt of his own offensive on his immediate neighbors and own citizens. Which is kind of strange, because it turns out he could have laid waste to every single soldier in the coalition forces quicker than your average general can utter the words "Desert Storm." After all, he had an immensely powerful stargate at his disposal all along.
"Wait, what?" you ask. "You mean stargate, kind of like in that TV show where MacGyver had a gun?" No. Not kind of like it. Exactly like it.
Actual picture of Saddam's basement.
Oh, the how and why of it all are subject to debate. Some say a UFO crash-landed in Iraq around 1988 and Saddam, notable nice person, befriended the survivors and granted them sanctuary, and they gave him a bunch of handy alien tech in return. Others maintain the gate is a remnant of a highly advanced race that abandoned our planet in 1700 B.C. The planet Nibiru (remember the bullshit invisible rogue planet that was supposed to demolish us all when the Mayan calendar "ended" in 2012?) also features in the equation, sometimes. All the conspiracy theorists know for sure is that unless the government has found it, somewhere in Iraq lies a ziggurat or a basement or whatever, containing the means to travel through the vastness of space. Hell, maybe that's where all those weapons of mass destruction went!
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"Dude, low blow."
Unless you count that one winter in the mountains of Switzerland, I have virtually no personal experience maintaining a dictatorship. I don't claim to be a master military strategist, so I have no idea how Saddam might have used this giant, galactic glory hole. Still, I can't shake the feeling that if Saddam had ready access to a vast space portal, he would not have spent the last of his days on home soil hiding in a grubby hole, hoping we wouldn't notice. In fact, the very first Gulf War would probably have ended with a strange stateside trend of berets, large mustaches, and hurried lessons on the intricacies of Iraqi culture.
Also, lots and lots of alien laser fire.
4The Actress From Plan 9 From Outer Space Black Magicked James Dean To Death
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In theory, the tragic car-accident death of James Dean in 1955 was a pretty straightforward affair, as the combination of a young, brash actor and a super-fast, difficult-to-handle car is rarely a good one. Shit, even the common legend about the Porsche 550 Spyder he fatally crashed being cursed can be explained with this logic: All the fellow actors and loved ones who allegedly got the creeps about the car and warned Dean about it probably just recognized the fact that a young person with racing aspirations is generally not at his safest when combined with a top-level race car that is essentially a rocket.
Yeah, that's the theory. Here's practice: Like a remora refusing to admit that the shark it's latching onto is actually a dead cow, a small but persistent segment of the Internet insists that there was something iffy about Dean's death. Was ... was he murdered? Maybe (according to crazies)! Or maybe he survived but was so disfigured that the studio carted him away in shame, never to be seen again. I mean, clearly this metallic doom-husk is something people just walk away from:
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In movies he would have walked away with just a cut on the bridge of his nose.
But let's be reasonable here. Clearly, Dean is dead. If he wasn't, then how do you explain his sacrifice to the dark abyss of the netherworld in an elaborate ritual performed by this woman:
For some reason, the murderous blood magician is never the goofy-looking beatnik.
That's Maila Nurmi, better known to the world as cult goth icon/Ed Wood starlet/TV hostess Vampira. She and Dean were running in the same aspiring-actor circles, with assorted sources claiming that they were either friends, "friends," or a straight-up couple for a while. At some point, their relationship took a sour turn because [insert era-equivalent TMZ rumor here], which led to the only logical conclusion to your average silver screen icon/Morticia Addams hookup: Vampira placed a curse on James Dean's ass. Or car. Or both.
The grisly nature of Dean's demise had two effects: mourning super-fans of the legend, and shit-eye journalists doing their level best to embellish the events so said fans would keep buying papers. According to our good friends, horseshit tabloids, Vampira performed a complex black magic ritual that ended with sticking a mutilated photo of Dean on a wall with a knife, which naturally fell down the very same second the actor perished.
This doofus rumor might actually have worked in favor of Vampira's horror image, if she'd possessed the common sense to shut up about it and let it fade almost-but-not-quite away. However, she optimistically figured that the old "any publicity is good publicity" adage applies to a situation where the nation's crazies suspect you're a black magician who recently pureed a beloved Hollywood legend. So Vampira played up her freshly found satanic cred with photo shoots in front of demonic altars and macabre jokes. An example: Remember that theory where Dean survived but his face was so wrecked he was hidden away? Here's how Vampira and a "date" attended a costumed ball soon after the death:
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See, shitty Halloween costumes aren't just a recent thing!
The fact that you still know Nurmi best from Plan 9 From Outer Space shows how well this went for her. Still, this isn't even the most stupid conspiracy theory about famous car accident victims. That honor goes to ...